The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 1

January 7, 2005

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 Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

The first issues of the fourth volumes of the Life Sciences Report and Physical Sciences Report are available. The Topic in Depth section of the Life Sciences Report annotates sites on Beetles. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Tsunamis.

Research and Education

Two from the History Cooperative

The Oral History Review
World History Connected

Many academic disciplines have been actively seeking to expand their scholarly publishing activities onto the Internet, and history is certainly no exception. In the spring of 2000, The History Cooperative was launched as part of a collaborative effort on the part of four organizations (including the American Historical Association and the National Academy Press). Rather recently, The History Cooperative brought two new publications into the fold: Oral History Review and World History Connected. Visitors to the first site can read the first electronic edition of the Oral History Review (from September 2004), and peruse such articles as "Kissing Cousins: Journalism and Oral History" and a number of book reviews from that edition. Visitors can also view submission guidelines and learn about the journals' editorial board. The second link leads to the World History Connected e-journal, which is the new journal of "learning and teaching for world history educators". Currently there are three issues of this journal available here for the public's consideration. Visitors will want to make sure and read a commentary titled "An Emerging Consensus in World History" by that eminent historian from the University of Chicago, Professor Emeritus William McNeill. [KMG]

Two from the National Academies

Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review [pdf]
News Conference on Firearms Report [RealPlayer]

The National Academy of Sciences has never been known to shy away from important and controversial public policy debates, and this recent report on the relationship on the role of guns in U.S. society is no exception. Released in December 2004, this 328-page report from the National Academies' National Research Council contains some rather important observations, including the fact that there is no credible evidence that "right-to-carry" laws either decrease or increase the incidence of violent crime. It should be noted that the study committee responsible for the report was not asked to address any issues of policy, but rather just to offer a critical and methodical assessment of the research base on firearms violence and on prevention, intervention, and control strategies. That being said, the committee did recommend that the federal government should support a robust research program in this area. The first site mentioned here will lead visitors to a full-text version of the report which may be viewed online, complete with a rather compelling dissent section offered by the noted social scientist James Q. Wilson. The second link leads to a news conference that complemented the recent release of this valuable report. [KMG]

Ohio Center for the Book

During the past few centuries the state of Ohio has proved to be a place of great fecundity in terms of producing outstanding authors, poets, and literary curmudgeons of all stripes. Ohioans clearly love to read, and this is demonstrated by the fact that the Cleveland Public Library is the home to the Ohio Center for the Book, and has served in this capacity since 1977. The Center promotes books, reading, libraries, and literacy throughout the entirety of the state, and also serves as a catalyst for collaboration among readers, authors, publishers, educators, and other bibliophiles. From the main page, visitors can learn about book-related events happening across the state, and may even do so by browsing by geographic region. A welcome find on the site is the Interactive Literary Map of Ohio that features an interactive map where users may click on at their leisure to learn about the literary figures that have emerged from various parts of the state. Overall, a lovely site and one that merits several visits. [KMG]

The New Madrid Compendium: A Comprehensive Source of References for the 1811-1812 Earthquakes [jpeg, Internet Explorer]

"The New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 were one of the most dramatic natural disasters to strike the North American continent." At this website, the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (ERI) supplies numerous archived eyewitness accounts to these earthquakes. Visitors can search through reports about these earthquakes from three databases. Researchers can find countless references of documents and maps. The website lists items still wanted by ERI to complete this project as well. [RME] This site is also reviewed in the January 7, 2005_NSDL Physical Sciences Report_.

National Rural Health Association [pdf]

The antiquated image of the "old-time" family doctor traveling hundreds of miles to see patients widely dispersed across the rural landscape may remain in the minds of some persons, but the truth of the matter is that many persons in rural America have relatively little access to adequate health care. Advocating on the behalf of rural Americans (and their health) is the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). While some of the material on the site is available only to members, there is certainly enough publicly available information here to warrant several visits. On the site, visitors can read about rural health policy and read articles from the NRHA's own publication, The Journal of Rural Health. Of additional value is the NRHA issue papers and policy briefs section, which includes papers that cover topics such as the special needs of rural veterans and HIV/AIDS in rural America and its disproportionate impact on minority and multicultural populations. [KMG]

Operation Homecoming [pdf, RealPlayer]

The experience of war has proved to be a wellspring of literary expression, both lachrymose and intently reflective, something that is evident in the works of such masters as Remarque and Hemingway, among others. Keeping that in mind, the National Endowment for the Arts (in coordination with all four branches of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense) has created this novel literary program that will sponsor writing workshops for returning troops and their families at military installations across the U.S. and abroad. On this site, visitors can learn about upcoming workshop locations for servicepersons and their families, along with listening to audio clips from a CD which features the literature of war, read by 10 American authors, including Tobias Wolff and James Salter. Additionally, visitors can read the guidelines for submitting written pieces to the anthology of wartime writing that will be published in the near future under the auspices of the NEA. [KMG]

Worldview [Macromedia Flash Reader]

With generous support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Architectural League of New York has created this Web-based project with the purpose of offering a range of well-organized materials and information on what is new and interesting in urbanism and architecture from different cities around the world. Currently the site offers perspectives on two "world cities": Caracas, Venezuela and Dhaka, Bangladesh. For each city, visitors can peruse an interview with a leading urban planner or architect who is intimately familiar with each conurbation, comb through a historical map that allows visitors to see the growth of each place, and make their way along a timeline of events. For those concerned with policy issues, the "Critical Issues" will be an important destination, along with the featured interviews with architects such as Jalal Ahmad and Francisco Bielsa. [KMG]

Fox Chase Cancer Center: Research [pdf]

In 1974, the Fox Chase Cancer Center was designated as one the country's first comprehensive cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute. The mission of Fox Chase "is to reduce the burden of human cancer through the highest-quality programs in research and patient care, including cancer prevention, treatment, early detection and education." Current Fox Chase faculty research programs focus on molecular aspects of oncogenesis; cell cycle control; gene expression; viral molecular biology and pathogenesis; regulation and development of the immune system; and more. Specific research programs include Cellular and Development Biology; Prostate Cancer; Breast Cancer; Immunobiology; and Cancer Prevention and Control. From the research program pages, visitors can link to publication listings, research interests, and contact information for staff members. The website also provides information about Resources & Research Education, and the Fox Chase Postdoctoral Research Program. The Center's Talbot Research Library has a number of helpful resources for researchers as well including links to Databases, and Journal Holdings. [NL] This site is also reviewed in the January 7, 2005_NSDL Life Sciences Report_.

General Interest

Houses of the Future [Macromedia Flash Reader]

If one were to showcase new housing technologies and innovative designs in Australia, it wouldn't be a bad idea to place such an exhibit next to one of the most instantly recognizable structures in the world. Well, that is precisely what the Australian government (in collaboration with private industry groups) did when they placed this remarkable "Houses of the Future" exhibition next to the Sydney Opera House. While the exhibit has since moved on to a new location, visitors who are curious about the future of the built environment (particularly in terms of domestic architecture and construction) will enjoy this interactive website. The website features six homes that are part of a "new generation of prefabricated dwellings emerging around the globe". The requirements for each new housing type were that they be prefabricated for easy transportation, environmentally sustainable, designed by an architect, and "futuristic in appearance and use of domestic space". On the site, visitors may look within each house, all the while learning about each structure's historical precedents, environmental features, and of course, its architects. For those interested in the potential of domestic architecture, this website will be quite a treat. [KMG] [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

While some groups only give lip service to spreading the good word about the importance of tolerance, the Southern Poverty Law Center has created this fine website to disseminate valuable materials for people interested in dismantling bigotry and creating communities that welcome and value diversity. The site has much to offer, including daily news updates about groups and individuals working for tolerance and fighting hate, guidebooks for adult and youth activists, and educational games for young children. The site is thematically divided into areas for teachers, teens, children, and parents. The parents section has some great resources, including a feature titled "10 Ways to Nurture Tolerance" and a list of helpful books on the theme of tolerance for parents that is quite handy. Educators will find the "Teaching Tolerance" area a welcome find, as it contains a number of classroom activities and the current edition (along with an archive) of their Teaching Tolerance magazine. [KMG]

Antiques Roadshow

What do a 1940 Olympic poster, a signed Oscar Wilde book, and a Moravian ceramic flask have in common? Well, they've all recently been appraised on the rather popular PBS program, Antiques Roadshow. If one can't watch the show itself, this website is a nice surrogate, offering additional information about antiquing, including a glossary of terms, a virtual roadshow tour, and some helpful tips. Seasoned veterans may want to skip ahead to the appraisers section, where they may learn about the appraisers featured on each program, organized by specialty. Visitors can also get inside each of the stories featured on the program by visiting the "Follow the Stories" area where they can select an area of interest (such as decorative arts or folklore) or by browsing through a list of cities the Roadshow has visited in the past. Finally, visitors who can't make it to a taping of the show should feel free to submit their own antique story online here. [KMG]

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Part of the Smithsonian Institution since 1967, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York was founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor, and Sarah Hewitt as part of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Today the museum is one of the largest design museums in the world, with a total catalog of more than 250,000 objects. The site is full of helpful material, ranging from the pragmatic (upcoming and ongoing exhibitions) to the playful (a series of very entertaining online games). Of course, users must be sure to check out the National Design Awards page, where they will have the opportunity to learn about the best designs of the year in a host of categories, including architecture, communications, and fashion. Finally, those persons interested in obtaining a master's degree in the history of decorative arts and design will want to learn about this rather compelling program offered jointly with the Parsons School of Design. [KMG]

Resident Assistant

Now that students around the country are returning to college after winter break, it may behoove those in student services (or those with a young person who is attending college) to take a look at this helpful site. Designed specifically with resident assistants (RAs) in mind, the site contains over 2,300 pages of residence life materials including programming ideas, icebreakers, and articles on a host of different topics. There are also a number of articles that impart advice for new RA's, including those on common mistakes, keys to success, and planning successful trips for students under their charge. One particularly helpful feature is the "Ask the Experts" section, where persons seeking answers to residential life questions can pose their questions online, or review previously answered questions about community building, dealing with students who may have a substance abuse problems and so on. [KMG]

Women in World History Curriculum

Under the able direction of educator Lyn Reese, the Women in World History Curriculum project has been developing materials that introduce women's history into the secondary level classroom for more than two decades. Teachers and parents will enjoy perusing the online materials here, which include reviews of various curricula, reviews of women's history books that may be useful in the classroom, and of course, some historical background essays on topics such as women and the Crusades and historical perspectives on Islamic dress. The site also contains 13 activities that educators may use in their classrooms. The topics covered by these activities include the role of women in the early Industrial Revolution period in England and the fight for global suffrage. Additionally, some of the educational materials featured here are available for purchase. [KMG]

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging [pdf, RealPlayer]

First established in 1961 as a temporary committee, the Senate Special Committee on Aging was granted permanent status on February 1, 1977. The Committee frequently commissions studies of issues related to relevant policy issues, such as the situation of Medicare and Social Security. During its history, various members of the Committee have worked to expose unacceptable conditions in nursing homes and add protections for seniors in the area of age discrimination. On this site, visitors can learn about upcoming hearings sponsored by the Committee, learn about prescription medicine assistance programs, and track important pieces of proposed legislation. Visitors can also read about the special issues that form the core interests of the Committee, such as repealing the death tax and identity theft, among others. Finally, users who elect to do so may also sign up to receive e-news via their email account. [KMG]

Network Tools

Vcatch Antivirus

Vcatch Antivirus is a program that will help users monitor their incoming emails and downloads in order to protect their computers from viruses and other such nefarious intruders. This program is integrated with Windows Explorer, and includes a detection engine that analyzes all files. Another helpful feature is that this application cooperates with anti-virus programs that are already installed on users' operating system. This program is compatible with all operating systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]

Collmate 1.30

The New Year is now upon us, and it may be time to find a suitable computer program to organize all of those baubles, bangles, and beads that have accumulated over the past year. Collmate 1.30 may be just the program, as it allows individuals to organize their collection of buttons, Kewpie dolls, carnival glass, or anything else that might need to get in order. With this program, users can describe a collectible, attach a photograph, and enter other germane information. Visitors can use this demonstration version for 30 days at no charge. This version is compatible with all operating systems running Windows 95 and higher. [KMG]

In The News

Debate over wind farms continue in the New Year

Wind turbines taking toll on birds of prey
Thousands of bats dying in turbines
Tax credits help fuel growth of wind power
U.S. Department of Energy: Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program [pdf]
American Wind Energy Association [pdf]
Center for Biological Diversity: Altamont Wind Farm [pdf]

To some persons, wind farms represent a way to reduce Americas dependence on various non-renewable energy resources. Still others feel that these wind farms are having an increasingly deleterious effect on various endangered animal populations, including certain species of bats, red-tailed hawks, and golden eagles. One of the most well-known wind turbine farms in the United States, located in the Diablo Mountains between San Francisco and the Central Valley, has come under increasing scrutiny due to the fact that it spans an international migratory bird route. It is estimated that close to 5,000 birds are killed annually by accidentally flying into the fiberglass blades on the massive turbines that have become noted icons of the region. Many commentators and scientists have noted that debates and controversy will continue to surround these turbines due to the fact that 17 states has passed laws which require that some of their future energy come from renewable sources. In past months, the issue of whether or not future wind turbines should be built has come to be a contentious subject in Nantucket Sound, West Virginia, and Kansas.

The first article comes from this Mondays USA Today, and examines the ongoing debate over the highly criticized Altamont Pass wind-power project and its effect on certain protected bird populations. The second link leads to a fine piece from the Concord Monitor that provides insight into the revelation that many bats are being killed by flying into wind turbines in West Virginia. Going to the third link here provides some insights into the growing popularity of wind power, as this article from the Shreveport Times elucidates the governments role in providing tax breaks to energy companies operating such facilities. The fourth link will take visitors to a helpful resource page about wind and hydropower technologies offered by the U.S Department of Energy. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the American Wind Energy Association. Here visitors can learn about the organizations work, and read industry news and information on some of their sponsored events. The final link leads to a webpage provided by the Center for Biological Diversity that talks about the effects of the Altamont Pass wind project on wildlife, along with offering some material about the Centers watchdog efforts. [KMG]

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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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