The Scout Report -- Volume 10, Number 48

December 3, 2004

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

NSDL Scout Reports

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

NSDL Scout Reports

NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology

The twenty-fifth issue of the third volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers Web sites and comments about Internet Search Engines.

Research and Education

Center for AIDS Prevention Studies [pdf]

Established in 1986, the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) is a research center within the University of California-San Francisco, and has adopted an interdisciplinary approach to methods of preventing HIV infection and its consequences. With a team of researchers and faculty members from various academic disciplines, CAPS performs a variety of important tasks, including helping train new scientists to conduct AIDS prevention research, and also in disseminating knowledge, skills and effective research and prevention models to the general public and various health agencies. Visitors with an academic interest in this area may want to start by perusing the Research section of the site, as it contains information about their current and completed research projects, along with information about community collaborative research projects. One rather useful part of the site for the general public is the publications area. Here visitors may download fact sheets (offered here in Spanish or English) and read some of CAPS latest reports, such as the urban health study that addresses the issue of performing community-based research with injection drug users. [KMG]

International Society for Reef Studies [pdf]

Located within the Florida Institute of Technology, the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) was founded in 1980, and is designed to disseminate its findings on both living and fossil coral reefs to fellow scholars around the globe and the general public. Before delving into the main site, visitors will want to look through the ISRS in-house publication "Reef Encounters" to get a sense of the various projects the organization is currently working on, and of course, to read brief summaries of its research findings. Of course, for those who already are passionate about coral reefs, there is also a link to sign up for the NOAA "Coral List" forum. The resources section of the site is another good place to look for outside Web resources on other coral reef societies, marine laboratories, and government sites that contain materials on coral reefs and marine biology. [KMG]

RAND Review

The RAND Corporation has provided insightful and enlightened research into a host of topics for more than 50 years. Some of its core research areas include civil justice, education, energy policy, substance abuse, and international affairs. With such a broad agenda, it is not surprising that the organization has its own in-house publication dedicated to promulgating its research results. The RAND Review is published tri-annually, and each issue contains the text and graphics of each cover story, a message from the editor, several short news briefs, commentary pieces, and other features. Some of the more recent features have dealt with the provisioning of community health care initiatives, Selective Service, and the future of American civil justice. Visitors can search the RAND Review by date, topic, or keyword, and may also elect to receive a free online subscription. [KMG]

Sky High

Though the mere mention of the state of Wisconsin may not lead some to think immediately of aviation history, there is actually quite a bit of such material in the state, and the archivists at the Wisconsin Historical Society have placed some of its archival holdings online. This Web exhibit draws on the picture collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison libraries. Visitors can search the entire collection, or elect to view one of the eight thematic galleries presented here. One particular highlight is the John G. Kaminski scrapbook, which presents photographs taken by this pioneer aviator from Milwaukee. Airport enthusiasts will want to look at the airport gallery, which includes early photographs of airports in Rhinelander, Sheboygan, and Madison. [KMG]

Center for Immigration Studies [pdf]

Founded in 1985, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization which happens to be the United States' only think tank devoted "exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States." From the homepage, visitors can peruse a number of common topics in immigration, such as immigration history, statistics on immigrants, and citizenship. The site's homepage also contains links to current news articles addressing various aspects of immigration, and also contains a feature titled "This Day in Immigration", which highlights various important dates in immigration history and policy. Perhaps the most helpful section of the site is the "What's New" area of the site, which highlights various new policy briefs and papers released by the CIS. [KMG]

The Price of Freedom: Americans at War [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

There are numerous online exhibits that attempt to holistically address the experience of Americans at war, but few succeed as thoroughly as this recently released gem presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. With an admirable eye for integrating visual documentary evidence and short historical essays and descriptions, this website offers insights into the various armed conflicts that have engulfed the country from the Revolutionary War to the current conflict in Iraq. Entering the main area of the site, visitors encounter a visual timeline of the conflicts, and may elect to explore each one by clicking on its representative icon. Continuing on, each conflict contains a brief video clip exploring the main challenges and issues of each encounter, and also offers some general statistics, such as the number of casualties and troops deployed. Each conflict is primarily explored by allowing visitors to browse through a section of artifacts, such as an Apache shield from 1872 and the stuffed dog "Stubby", which later served as the inspiration for the Georgetown Hoyas mascot. As one might expect, visitors can search the entire collection of artifacts collected within this online archive and download various educational materials, such as a guide for teachers and an interactive "history mystery" feature titled "Who am I?" [KMG]

Yad Vashem (Last reviewed on December 1, 2000) [pdf, Windows Media Player]

It has been four years since the Scout Report took a close look at the Yad Vashem website, and during that time, this fine site has added a number of helpful resources that are worth noting. The parent organization responsible for the site (the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority) was established in 1953, and since then has been "entrusted with documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust period". To be sure one of the most important recent additions to the site is the central database of Shoah Victim's Names, where visitors may search a computerized database which contains the names of approximately half of the victims of the Holocaust. In order to give context to some of these individuals, visitors will want to go within "The Stories Behind the Names" section to learn more. Needless to say, the "Explore and Discover" area warrants several visits itself, as it contains helpful educational materials (such as "This Month in Holocaust History") and a number of classroom activities. [KMG]

Mathematical Fiction

Alex Kasman, Associate Professor in the College of Charleston Department of Mathematics, has compiled this list of Mathematical Fiction. The books and stories listed here may be of interest to teachers or anyone wanting to read about mathematics from a literary perspective. The collection is organized so that visitors can browse by medium (which includes 22 entries that are categorized as "Available Free Online"), genre, motif, or topic. Some motifs include Evil Mathematicians, Female Mathematicians, Insanity, Math as Beautiful/Exciting/Useful, and Math as Cold/Dry/Useless. Some examples of topics listed include Algebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory, Mathematical Physics, and Probability/Statistics. The category with by far the most entries is Science Fiction with Not Science-Fiction, Fantasy or Horror coming in at a close second. Visitors can also search the entire database, view entries by Title or Author or Year, or check out the 30 most recently added or modified entries. Each entry is followed by a sentence or two describing the article or book and some include a website link to the article or to for ordering information. Proceeds from sales made through the website go to the College of Charleston Department of Mathematics. [VF] This site is also reviewed in the December 3, 2004_NSDL MET Report_. [VF]

General Interest

American Garden Museum

For those who ask others the eternal question, "How does your garden grow?", the American Garden Museum website may be a nice way to find out how different American gardens have evolved through history. As a statement on the site proclaims, "The Museum highlights gardens big and small, urban and rural, gentle and outrageous, wildly expensive and affordable." Visitors may want to delve into the site by looking through the "Showcase" area. In this part of the site, a different garden or landscaped environment is profiled every couple of months, including such interesting sites as Opus 40, which is located in Saugerties, New York. The "Gardens" area features an interactive clickable map of the United States, where visitors may learn about prominent gardens in each state, such as the Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, New York. Finally, those who already have a green thumb may submit their own gardening stories or experiences, which may then be shared with the online gardening community via this particular website. [KMG]

Reversing Vandalism

Sometimes traumatic events, though harrowing and disturbing, may serve as catalytic moments that can create openings for informed discussion, debate, and eventually, healing. One such event occurred in the early months of 2001 when San Francisco Public Library staff began finding damaged books hidden under shelving units throughout the main library. The books were mostly related to issues of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals, and the works had been carved and mutilated with a sharp instrument. Eventually the vandal was caught by a librarian, and later found guilty of a hate crime. After this series of events, a number of local visual artists and library staff began to think about creating the "Reversing Vandalism" project, which would allow artists to use the damaged books to create new works of arts. When the project was completed, participants from more than 20 states had created new works from these books in a wide range of media. On this site, visitors can view the completed works, read statements from the artists, and read various media responses to the project. Overall, a very fruitful and creative idea is expressed through this insightful online exhibit. [KMG]

Historic Newspaper: Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online (1841-1902)

Nicholson Baker to the contrary, this online version of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, created by Brooklyn Public Library with support from IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services), is just as much fun to read as paper. The digitization was done from microfilm of the newspaper provided by Library of Congress and processed using Olive Software, so that readers can see the paper in its original page layout, as well as zooming in on particular articles, and searching. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle was in print from 1841 to 1955, and briefly revived from 1960 to 1963. Currently, October 26, 1841 to December 31, 1902 is online, about half of the Eagle's years of publication. Browsing by date is especially easy; users who visit this day (December 3) 110 years ago (1894) can read front page news including: the 53rd Congress is again in session in Washington D.C., on the same carpets but with fresh flowers on the desks; and a small scandal in the opera world - Mme. Nordica, announced as the soloist at the December 10 Seidel Society concert, is also booked at the Metropolitan the same evening. Keyword searches can be limited to retrieve terms only in headlines, bylines or article text, since picture captions and advertisements are indexed. The hit list defaults to displaying by score, which is based on term count, and where terms appear the results display may also be sorted by date or alphabetically by title. [DS]

Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Once again, the good people at NOVA have created an eye-opening website to complement another interesting and compelling program in the long-running series. This website presents a host of materials about a recent archaeological exploration into a cave in the Judean desert designed to explore the last refuge of the legendary Jewish patriot Shimon Bar-Kokhba, who led a revolt against the Romans in the year 132 CE. This latest exploration was designed as a follow-up to a previous excavation led by Israeli archaeologist in 1960, which successfully uncovered a cache of ancient documents and artifacts that enhanced understanding of this legendary revolt. On the site, visitors can read an overview of the program, and partake of several nice interactive features, including an interactive translation of a 2000-year-old document found in the cave 40 years ago. Another feature that should not be missed is an interview with the late Pinchas Porat, who was just a young volunteer on the first fateful archaeological dig in 1960 that just happened to find some of these important relics from the Second Revolt of the Jews. [KMG]

YMCA National Safe Place [pdf]

In today's world where many social services for young people are being scaled back due to budgetary constraints, outreach programs such as Project Safe Place are important to know about. The program got its start in 1983 in Louisville, and since then has spread to many parts of the country. Essentially, the Safe Place program creates a network of locations (such as schools, fire stations, YMCAs, and libraries) where young people who may be distressed by difficult and threatening situations, such as domestic disputes or other such problems, can find help and support resources. On the site, visitors can learn in great detail about the program, find Safe Place locations around the country, and read about the organization's history and current leadership. One highlight to note on the site is the Teen Topics area, which has been designed specifically for teenagers as a place to read about topics they may have questions about, such as eating disorders, suicide, and teen crime. [KMG]

Harvard Design Magazine [pdf]

As the originator of the first formal programs in both city and regional planning and urban design in North America, it is fitting that Harvard University's Design School should play host to the fine Harvard Design Magazine. Published bi-annually since 1997, each issue contains thoughtful and provocative pieces that range from book reviews, the practice of architects and planners, to current trends in landscape design. It should be duly noted that only selected materials from the print version of the magazine are made freely available here, but there is certainly enough offered online at no charge to warrant several visits to the site. Some of the more compelling pieces include a commentary on planning titled "Suburbia and its Discontents" by Matthew Kiefer and a fine piece by noted urban designer and theorist Michael Sorkin on the Guggenheim in Las Vegas. For some older chestnuts, visitors need to look no further than the commentary on New Urbanism and communitarianism offered by noted Marxist geographer David Harvey in the Winter/Spring 1997 issue. [KMG]

BBC Four: Interviews

The BBC is held in high esteem throughout the worldwide broadcasting community for the illuminating interviews the network's correspondents and hosts hold with various individuals, including international political activists, artists, scientists, public intellectuals, and numerous others who represent the very best in their respective fields of endeavor. BBC Four has created this website to provide online access to many of its recent interviews, along with some "classics" from previous broadcasts. Some of the more current interviews include transcripts of talks with Simon Schaffer on the nature of light and Katie Barlow, a filmmaker who has explored the nature of suicide attacks on Israel's buses. Of course, visitors will want to take a close look at some of the classic interviews, which include snippets of conversations with Sir John Gielgud, Robert Altman, Benjamin Britten, and Salvador Dali. [KMG]

Network Tools

USAPhotoMaps 2.49

Designed for those who have a need for maps from the United States Geological Survey, this helpful application will be of general interest to numerous other parties as well. With this program, visitors can download aerial photographs and topographic maps from Microsoft's Terraserver website. After completing this step, visitors can scroll through the maps, mark waypoints, and center the map on any particular waypoint. This version of USAPhotoMaps is compatible with operating systems running Windows 98 and higher. [KMG]

Spam Bouncer 1.9

It is sometimes quite difficult to keep out unwanted spam emails from email inboxes, and sorting through them one by one is time-consuming and rather annoying. Fortunately, there are programs like Spam Bouncer 1.9 which effectively search the headers and text of an incoming email to see if it may in fact be such an unwanted email. Once such emails have been identified, the program can be set up to either tag the suspected spam email or complain to the providers of known spammers or spam sites about such infractions.

In The News

"Blog" is the top word of the year

Publisher: 'Blog' No. 1 word of the year
Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2004
'Yon-sama' Japan's Word of the Year
World History Blog
Black and White Photography
Internet Scout Project Weblog

This week Merriam-Webster Inc, the company responsible for producing that venerable dictionary announced its top 10 "words of the year" list, with the immensely popular "blog" taking the number one place. The company compiles the list each year by taking the most researched words on its various Web sites, and of course, always omits such consistently favored profanities. Interestingly enough, eight of the entries on this year's list included words related to prominent news events, such as the words incumbent, partisan, and hurricane. Blogs were responsible for creating a decent online (and offline) "buzz" around various political machinations during this presidential election year, including the contention that U.S President George W. Bush wore a listening device during his first debate against Democrat candidate John Kerry. While a Merriam-Webster spokesman was unable to give exact numbers for how many times blog had been looked up on its websites, he remarked that from July onward, the word received tens of thousands of hits per month.

The first link offered here leads to a news story from CNN International that gives some background into this year's list, as compiled by the Merriam-Webster company. The second link will take visitors to the official list as offered by the company, and visitors may also see the definition for each word in full. On a somewhat related note, the third link leads to Digital Chosunilbo (a daily news report about Korea) that notes that the Japanese diminutive "Yon-sama" (which means "a humble player") has been selected as the word of the year to celebrate the publication of an annual book of words. If some of our visitors don't yet have a blog of their own, they will want to take a look at the fourth link which will let them create their own free blog quite quickly. The fifth link leads to the World History blog, which as its mission statement suggests, "features all aspects of world history." The sixth link will take visitors to yet another blog, which is in fact primarily dedicated to some rather striking photography of London and New York. The final link is close to our heart here at the Scout Project, as it is our very own blog where we post various items of interest for you, gentle reader. [KMG]

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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2004.

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2004. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

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