The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 10

March 11, 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 Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology

The fifth issue of the fourth volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Technology and Religion.

Research and Education

Year of Languages [doc, pdf]

The importance of fluency in a second language is sometimes underappreciated, and the work of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is designed to promote just that. As such, 2005 is being celebrated as "The Year of Languages", and the ACTFL is taking this opportunity "to focus America's attention on the academic, social and economic benefits of studying other languages and cultures from around the world." On the organization's website, visitors can learn about some of its latest initiatives, peruse a calendar of events, and look through a series of informational factsheets on various languages. Educators will appreciate the section dedicated to providing helpful ideas for activities and events and looking over a template for creating lessons that integrate culture successfully. [KMG]

Russia Profile

The availability of high-quality news reporting on the Internet continues to improve, though at times finding reputable sources can still be difficult for certain parts of the world. Russia Profile is one such source, as it is produced by the Independent Media group, which is responsible for publishing The Moscow Times along with a number of other magazines across Russia. The goal of this website is to both broaden the scope of news coming out of Russia and "to provide a platform for an informed discussion of issues related to or concerning Russia". From the site's homepage, visitors can read about the latest from Russia Profile, view a calendar of events, and subscribe for free to the print edition of Russia Profile. Visitors can also participate in a number of online forum discussions. [KMG]

American Historical Association [pdf]

Incorporated by Congress in 1889, the American Historical Association (AHA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "the promotion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of historical documents and artifacts, and the dissemination of historical research." Currently, the AHA has more than 14,000 history professionals at every type of educational institution, museum, historical organization, library, and archive. On the site, visitors can learn about various prizes and fellowships available from the AHA and also learn about its various publications. Those individuals interested in enrolling in a doctoral program in history will want to look at their profiles of various programs around the United States. Visitors will also want to look at the current and archived issues of the AHA's well-known monthly publication, Perspectives. The publication contains helpful articles that range from commentary on teaching to those on museum exhibitions. [KMG]

Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online [QuickTime,RealPlayer]

The experiences of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their companions as they moved through the American West continue to fascinate almost 200 years after they were recorded during their three-year expedition. A number of scholars have marveled at the experiences of these individuals including the legendary historian Bernard De Voto and also the late Stephen Ambrose. This remarkable website produced at the University of Nebraska was begun in 2003 and currently contains several thousands pages of the explorers' journals as edited by Professor Gary E. Moulton. The project is sponsored by a host of organizations, including the Center for Great Plains Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Nebraska Press. Along with searching, browsing, and reading the journals, visitors must be sure to take a look at the superb extra features offered here, including several nice essays such as "Lewis and Clark as Plains Ethnographers" and "Lewis and Clark on the Great Plains: A Natural History". [KMG]

U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs [pdf]

The Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) serves as the principal international strategic communications service for the foreign affairs community. The IIP was merged into the Department of State in 1999, and works on creating significant numbers of products and services (such as this website and electronic journals) in order to reach key international audiences. As such, the information of the site is available in a number of languages, including Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese. The homepage contains updated news from Washington, D.C., and thematic news areas that address relevant topics such as health, economics, Europe, and women. The site also has audio features, such as the weekly radio address from President George W. Bush. Special features of the site include recent publications sponsored by the IIP, such as "Working for Women, Worldwide". For visitors who wish to stay abreast of the news releases from the IIP there is an area on the homepage where they may sign up for daily or weekly updates. [KMG]

SNOW Research Community of Practice

SNOW Research Community of Practice, sponsored by the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, is a collaboration of professionals whose goal is to "provide a one-stop solution to customers' snow science and engineering problems." The 48 members have expertise in a variety of areas, including geophysics, chemistry, biology, physics, and mechanical, geological, electrical, civil, and geological engineering. This website provides contact information for snow experts and describes the tools and facilities that are at their disposal. They also provide a wealth of information on various aspects of snow research, including snow models, snow chemistry, and GIS/Remote sensing of snow. Also described here is research on snow mechanics and engineering, which can be used "to develop instrumentation, physical understanding and models and combined with other physical principals to solve problems in hydrology, transportation, engineering infrastructure, and climate change." In addition, the group provides updates on snow impacts in the news, such as the extensive snowfall in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan that has affected safety, transportation, and flooding in those regions, and a link to a map of U.S. snow coverage from the National Weather Service. This site is also reviewed in the March 11, 2005_NSDL MET Report_. [VF]

Minnesota Historical Society: Places [Macromedia Flash Reader]

The Minnesota Historical Society has been documenting and collecting the collective past of the state for many decades, and this site brings together some of its fine resources on the state's many diverse historic locales and structures. Visitors may want to begin by looking at the list of sites that are run under the auspices of the Society and then continue on to peruse some of the other thematic collections offered here. Some of these collections include bridges, shipwrecks, and a nice section of roadside architecture. A real treat for visitors is the inclusion of the online version of the Minnesota Place Names encyclopedia. The project was originally compiled by Warren Upham, a somewhat idiosyncratic antiquarian who had quite a penchant for geographic names. Visitors can elect to browse the encyclopedia by county or through the use of their search engine. Finally, visitors can also search an online database of the state's National Register properties. [KMG]

BBC: Science & Nature: Human Body and Mind-Interactive Body [Macromedia Flash Reader]

The BBC is well regarded around the world for its fine news reporting and in recent years, equally well known for its educational websites. This very fine interactive website produced as part of the network's online Science & Nature site allows visitors to explore the human body through a series of interactive activities. Visitors can select the gender of the body they wish to view and then proceed to look through the organs, muscles, skeleton, and nervous system of each human body. The interactive part is really the best facet of the site, as users can choose each organ, learn about its various functions and properties, and then drag the organ onto the correct location within the human body. Visitors can continue by moving on to correctly place the muscles and elements of the nervous system within the body. Overall, this is a fine pedagogical tool and rather elegant in its user interface structure. [KMG]

General Interest

People have enjoyed miniaturized versions of their favorite full-size counterparts for centuries. One need only think of such items as miniature train sets and dollhouses to be reminded of this curious fascination with such items. Video game machines are certainly no exception, and during the 1970s and 1980s, some of the biggest competitors in the market produced handheld versions of their full-size arcade counterparts. For those persons with a penchant for such devices, Steven Read (a long-time enthusiast) has created this fun website which features photographs and profiles of some of these time-honored favorites. The miniature arcade games are organized under their respective companies, such as Tandy, Nintendo, Mattel, and of course, Coleco. In fact, many visitors will find it interesting that several of these companies (Coleco and Tandy) started life as companies that made leather goods. Regardless of this fact, there are dozens of fine old arcade chestnuts to revisit here, including Dig-Dug, Mr. Do, and that most legendary of all pixilated of the great apes, Donkey Kong. [KMG]


ArtsEdge is the National Arts and Education Network, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and partner of MarcoPolo, (last mentioned in the March 26, 2004 NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, ArtsEdge exists to support visual and performing arts education and "creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience." To achieve its mission, the ArtsEdge web site offers over 350 lesson plans, such as A Tribute to Miro, which provides everything teachers need to conduct a class project for fifth- to eighth-graders to create paintings in the style of Miro: a detailed instructional plan, links to museum images of Miro's work, and an interactive display of five Miro paintings. In addition, the Connect section of the site provides resources for arts education advocacy; there are 27 articles, surveys, and reports (most in pdf format) authored by nationally known arts and educational organizations such as the J. Paul Getty Trust, the U.S. Department of Education, and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Finally, the Explore section of the site offers selected online activities for students, teachers, and all arts lovers to explore the arts. [DS]

The Ten O'Clock News [QuickTime]

While it is relatively easy to find old sitcoms and variety programs in a variety of media formats, it is somewhat difficult to find news broadcasts that may be of seminal interest to any number of researchers, including historians or other social scientists. Working with funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this collection created by the WGBH Media Archives and Preservation Center includes video clips of these original newscasts which date from 1974 to 1991. The collection focuses on news stories which relate directly to Boston's African-American community and may be browsed by categories such as personal name or geographic location. Some of the topics covered by these video clips include the desegregation of the Boston public school system, race relations in the city, and interviews with such notable African-American leaders as Julian Bond and Andrew Young. [KMG]

Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills: Gold and Gold Mining in Georgia, 1830s-1940s

When thinking about searching for gold deposits in United States, some may automatically think of the intense activity that took place in California during the middle of the 19th century. Thus it may be of some surprise that there was also a significant amount of gold mining in Lumpkin County in the state of Georgia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This fine digital archive from the Digital Library of Georgia brings together legal, financial, promotional documents, photographs, and postcards that represent the flourishing interest in gold mining during this period. The photographs and postcards are definitely worth a look and the primarily depict mining methods along the Chestatee River and at the Findley Mill. The collection is rounded out by a listing of relevant "Players and Places" in this story and a number of suggested readings. [KMG]

Film Festivals

Now that the Oscars and Golden Globes have all been awarded, some cineastes may think that the season of film celebration, award shows, and festivals is in a quiet slumber for a few months. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and a quick glance at the Film Festival website quickly dispels that misconception. Online since 1995, the site provides a great resource about previous and upcoming film festivals from all over the world. Here visitors can read the latest headline news from the various festivals, read coverage of the proceedings, and search a prodigious database of information. Visitors may also want to consider signing up to receive the free weekly newsletter or also viewing a selection of popular video clips culled from coverage of recent festivals. [KMG]

John Foxe Collection

Born in 1516 in Lincolnshire, John Foxe is perhaps best known today as the individual responsible for publishing the Book of Martyrs, which detailed the lives of the various martyrs of the Catholic church through woodcuts and other forms of artistic expression. Subsequent editions of the work included new materials, such as the accounts of the St. Bartholomew Day massacre of Protestants in Paris in 1572 and the projected Spanish invasion of England in 1588. This digital collection created by The Ohio State University Libraries Digital Projects group brings together selected woodcuts and stories from the 1563, 1570, 1576 and 1583 editions. Currently there are several hundred images on the site, and some of them include the stories of the invention of printing and Lady Jane Grey. [KMG]

Two on Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright on the Web
Frank Lloyd Wright: Designs for an American Landscape, 1922-1932

In many ways, Frank Lloyd Wright was the "Master Builder" archetype par excellence. His iconic and instantly recognizable architectural style continues to influence designers today and his persona was far beyond the common phrase "larger than life", as he suffered no fools and did he what pleased in most aspects of his professional and personal life. The first site offers a nice look into some of the many projects that Wright endeavored to create during his 70-year career. Visitors can peruse his various projects, many of which are complemented by photographs and extensive descriptions. The site also features a personal photographic essay by the creator of the site entitled "Finding Mr. Wright" that is worth a look. The second site is a somewhat older, yet still helpful, site created by the Library of Congress that profiles Wright's various designs from the period 1922 to 1932. The site contains primary documents that relate the design plans for such projects as the Lake Tahoe Colony and the A.M. Johnson Desert Compound, among others. [KMG]

Network Tools

Stockmat 9.2

For those persons who like to follow their stocks, Stockmat 9.2 will be a nice addition to their computer. This personal finance tool allows users to monitor up to 20 stocks at one time. The stock report symbols are displayed in a moving ticker and users may elect to customize a set of audio and visual alerts. Stockmat 9.2 is compatible only with Microsoft Windows 95 or newer. [KMG]

EasyOffice+PDF Filter 8.0

This free version of EasyOffice is an office suite package that is compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe pdf files. Some of the programs include a dictionary, a notepad, a calculator, an image editor, and a diagram creation device. Additionally, EasyOffice is available in a host of different languages, including Turkish, Spanish, Chinese, and German. This version of EasyOffice is compatible only with Microsoft Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

In The News

United Nations urges governments around the world ban all human cloning

U.N. approves call for ban on human cloning
UN Approves Non-Binding Resolution on Cloning [RealPlayer]
General Assembly approves declaration banning all forms of cloning
Ad Hoc Committee on an International Convention against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings [pdf]
Cloning Fact Sheet
Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Reproductive Cloning

The potential for human cloning seems to hold various intriguing possibilities to some parties, while many others remain wholly appalled by the very idea of this process. Despite this substantial difference of opinion, the United Nations General Assembly passed a nonbinding statement on cloning this past Tuesday that urges governments to ban all human cloning, including the cloning of human embryos for stem-cell research. While the United States did not play a substantive role in advocating for such a statement, the vote was seen by some as a victor for the administration of President George W. Bush. The actual measure was proposed by Honduras, and was largely supported by Roman Catholic countries, though there were some unusual schisms in the final vote on the statement. One example was the case of the United States and Britain, with Britain voting against the statement. While some in the United Nations bemoaned the final vote on this statement, some, such as Costa Rican Ambassador Bruno Stagno Ugarte were more enthusiastic, as he noted: ".therapeutic cloning involves the creation of human life for the purpose of destroying it."

The first link will take visitors to a news article from that discusses the results of the recent United Nations vote. The second link will take visitors to additional audio coverage of the vote as offered by Peter Heinlein, reporting for Voice of America. The third link leads to the official press release from the United Nations on the vote in the General Assembly this past Tuesday. The fourth link leads to the very timely homepage of the Ad Hoc Committee on an International Convention against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings, which presents material from the various committees from the year 2001 to the present. The fifth link leads to a succinct and eminently readable factsheet on cloning, provided by the Human Genome Project. The sixth and final link leads to a very thorough online book from the National Academies press on the various aspects of human reproductive cloning. [KMG]

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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2005.

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Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, 1994-2005. 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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