March 18, 2005
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Beyond the City: The Rural Contribution to Development
- Open Society Justice Initiative
- The Knowledge Economy: Is the United States Losing Its Competitive Edge?
- Taking Action on Climate Change
- Historic Missouri Newspapers Project
- Landmark Supreme Court Cases
- International Institute for Environment and Development
- University of California-Los Angeles: Online Archive of American Folk Medicine
- Their Circular Life
- Association of American Universities
- LEAD International
- Historic Scotland
- Frontline: A Company of Soldiers
- International Women's Day
The sixth 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 Sunflowers. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Clouds.
The situation of rural communities in Latin America and the Caribbean is in some cases quite dire, and this report from the World Bank offers some timely commentary on the economic opportunities in these areas of the world. Released in February 2005, this 352-page report prepared by a team of researchers led by Guillermo Perry evaluates the effect of the rural sector on national growth, poverty reduction, and environmental degradation. The casual visitor may want to peruse some highlights from the report, browse through a presentation, or listen to an audio interview with co-author Daniel Lederman. In the report, Lederman remarks that "The rural contribution to development in the region has been hampered by insufficient investment in public services". The report offers a number of policy recommendations, including the suggestion that "success in reducing poverty in marginalized regions will depend on the ability of both central and local governments to work with local communities to identify economic opportunities and constraints and to balance local needs with national interests.". [KMG]
With offices in Abuja, Budapest, and New York, the Open Society Justice Institute "performs law reform activities grounded in the protection of human rights, and contributes to the development of legal capacity for open societies worldwide." To that end, the Institute offers a wide range of helpful resources on its website, including access to its in-house journal, Justice Initiatives, information about its advocacy efforts around the globe, and an events calendar. The "Books & Monographs" area provides a host of helpful research and primary source materials, such as a handbook for monitoring election campaign finance and a section dedicated to combating discrimination in Russia. Those persons looking for information about the Institute's work in a specific part of the world will want to look through the geographically organized material in the "Regions" area. [KMG]
In recent years, there has been a great deal of national and international talk about the so-called "knowledge economy" which is of particular interest to policy-makers, economists, and a host of other groups. One of the consortium groups interested in the knowledge economy is the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation. The Task Force is comprised of a number of related member organizations (including the American Physical Society). This February 2005 report from the Task Force explores the possibility that the United States may in fact be losing its leadership role in science and innovation, a position it has retained since the conclusion of World War II. Some of the benchmarks that the report mentions include the fact that the proportion of US citizens in science and engineering graduate studies within the US declined by ten percent between 1994 and 2001. This very timely report will be worth a read, particularly for those in the fields of academia and innovation studies. [KMG]
At this Government of Canada website, visitors can "learn about the science, impacts and adaptation to climate change and how individuals, governments, businesses, industry and communities take action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Through maps, graphs, and clear text, users can learn the basics of climate change and the greenhouse gases. The website details many of the ecological, economic, and global impacts of climate change. Users can find out about the One-Tonne Challenge, which encourages everyone to reduce their emissions. Teachers can find questions and activities to educate their students about climate change. The website also offers a calculator to estimate a user's current emissions, a series of videos instructing individuals how to create an energy efficient home and car, as well as publications and media resources. This site is also reviewed in the March 18, 2005 NSDL Physical Sciences Report[RME].
A number of digitization projects have been completed over the past few years, and more than a few of them have involved digitizing local newspaper collections, whether they are from Sheffield or Pittsburgh. This rather novel project, sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the University of Missouri, brings together a clutch of newspapers from around the state of Missouri from a host of time periods. The papers themselves are drawn from a wide variety of holding institutions, including the Kansas City Public Library, the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Lincoln University Library. The newspapers included in this archive are the Columbia Missourian, the Hannibal Courier, and the Liberty Weekly Tribune. Besides serving as a nice source of primary historical documents from Missouri, it's rather entertaining to browse through the newspapers. This site is optimized for the Internet Explorer browser. [KMG]
There is always a great demand for educational materials regarding the most important US Supreme Court Cases and this website is an outgrowth of that sustained interest. Developed by Street Law and the Supreme Court Historical Society, this website was developed in order to provide teachers with a full range of resources and activities regarding such cases. The general teaching strategies offered here include political cartoon analysis, moot court, continuum exercises, and website evaluation. Some of the cases covered here include Mapp v. Ohio, Gideon v. Wainwright, and Miranda v. Arizona. The site also offers some detailed explanations of important related concepts, such as federalism, national supremacy, and judicial review. Additional, the site provides background summaries of each case and pertinent discussion questions for a variety of reading levels and abilities. [KMG]
The question of sustainable development is one that has garnered significant attention during the past few years, and there are a number of organizations doing work around the globe to promulgate these principles. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is one such organization, and it has been working in this field since 1971. As the mission statement on its site indicates, the Institute seeks "to promote sustainable patterns of world development through collaborative research, policy studies, networking and knowledge dissemination." The homepage is a great place to start, as visitors can quickly delve into the latest reports and newsletters. Also, a dropdown menu titled "IIED Research" allows visitors access into its work in such areas as human settlements and sustainable agriculture. Finally, visitors can read seventeen issues of the IIED journal, Environment and Urbanization, (dating from 1995 to 2002) at no charge. [KMG]
The Archive of American Folk Medicine is the result of more than 50 years of work by UCLA-associated folklorists who "documented beliefs and practices relating to folk medicine and alternative healthcare. In order to make the data more readily available to the worldwide community of researchers and medical practitioners, the Online Archive of American Folk Medicine was established in 1996 under the direction of Dr. Michael Owen Jones, a professor of folklore and history at UCLA." The Archive draws from over 3,200 published works, and is intended to serve folklorists, sociologists, and historians. The website provides basic and advanced search options; and records include brief entries for Citation, Condition, Belief, Method of Treatment, and more. Users should be aware that the Archive website has not been updated in several years but it remains a valuable resource for researchers and others interested in folk medicine. This site is also reviewed in the March 18, 2005 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [NL]
This rather provocative website (which requires Macromedia Flash Player) explores various urban environments around Italy and draws visitors into the life of a "typical" day in the different lives of these seemingly ordinary places. The website was created by Lorenzo Fonda and David Terenzi and features original music and a rather welcoming user interface for exploring the different environments. The interface for each of the five urban places allows users to drag a small triangle around a circle, and essentially move through a series of images (and related sounds recorded on site) that take place during a single day. The places featured on the site include the train station in Modena, the Campo San Barnaba in Venezia, and three additional locales. Overall, this site offers a fascinating way of looking at and experiencing different urban environments and a potential template for future online projects. [KMG]
Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities (AAU) initially consisted of the fourteen universities that offered the Ph.D. degree. Currently their number includes 60 American universities and two Canadian universities. The AAU's overall mission is to develop national policy positions of primary relevance to academic research and graduate and professional education. Of course, the organization's work also extends to other germane areas, including timely discussion of undergraduate education. On the AAU site, visitors can learn about the organization's most recent work, read about its positions on intellectual property issues, and peruse the latest AAU newsletters. The section of the site dedicated to internally produced reports will be of great interest to some, as it contains helpful work on such topics as "Reinvigorating the Humanities: Enhancing Research and Education on Campus and Beyond". [KMG]
Hosted on the campus of Imperial College London, the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) is a worldwide consortium of individuals and non-governmental organizations committed to the cause of sustainable development. In its laudable work dedicated to creating and supporting networks of people and institutions involved in sustainable developments, LEAD also performs a great deal of research in the field, along with practical programs designed to sustain such networks. Practitioners will want to begin by looking through the Events section of the website, which lists upcoming events and conferences sponsored by LEAD and a smattering of like-minded events hosted by other organizations. Visitors can also read about the group's latest outreach initiative, the Young Leaders Project, which is intended to bring together young people in their 20s so they may learn more about sustainable development under the guidance of a LEAD Fellow. [KMG]
Scotland is well-known for its efforts to preserve its fantastic range of historic sites, buildings, and monuments and much of this work happens under the auspices of Historic Scotland. Historic Scotland is an agency with the Scottish Executive Education Department and as such, is largely responsible for developing long-range plans for the preservation of the built heritage of the country. To get a sense of the broad range of properties within Historic Scotland, visitors would do well to look through the interactive map of Scotland offered within the "Places to Visit" area. Those persons with a penchant for historic preservation and planning will also want to take a look at the organization's long-range preservation program and some of its free online publications such as "Archaeological Information and Advice in Scotland" and "Conserving the Underwater Heritage". [KMG]
A number of documentaries have paid close to attention to various aspects of the current military conflict in Iraq, but this recent documentary by the people at Frontline warrants special notice. In November 2004, a production team documented the day-to-day realities of the soldiers of the 1-8 Cavalary's Dog Company in South Baghdad. The actual filming began three days after the Falljuah campaign was launched, and as such the production acquired a rather intense and moving aspect heightened by these encounters and incidents. On this site, visitors can watch the entire program as it appeared on PBS, read a list of FAQ's about the production, and read four fascinating interviews with those in Dog Company. Visitors can also read the notebook of producer Edward Jarvis and offer their own reactions to the program. [KMG]
International Women's Day has been celebrated by the United Nation since 1975, and this fine website provides a host of information on this year's celebration for the general public. On the site, visitors can read a message from Secretary-General Kofi Annan, view a webcast of related events sponsored by the UN, and learn about the history behind this event. The site also has a link to Women Watch, which provides very comprehensive information on gender equality and the empowerment of women from around the world. Additionally, the site also has information about the review and appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995. Finally, the site has some items that will be of broad interest, such as materials on the UN Millennium development goals and materials on disaster response strategies. [KMG]
Despite a somewhat unusual name, the Screamer Radio application will be quite helpful to those persons who are combing the web for new and compelling radio stations. Given that there are hundreds of ready-to-play radio stations that are accessible through the application, visitors will find a great deal of interest here. Additionally, the application allows visitors the option to record what they are listening to as well. Screamer Radio 0.3.6 is compatible with Windows 98 or higher. [KMG]
These days websites usually have a number of compelling multimedia files embedded within their pages, and some of them may be worth downloading to view at a later date. This trial version of MultiGrabber 3.34 is an application that will let users do just that, as it can be used to save pictures, cascaded style sheets, Macromedia Flash movies, and RealPlayer movies. This 30-day trial version of MultiGrabber is compatible with Windows 98 or higher. [KMG]
St. Augustine: Historic City can't afford its past
Florida Office of Cultural and Historical Programs [pdf]
City of Augustine: Department of Heritage Tourism
Citizens for the Preservation of St. Augustine [pdf]
Heritage Tourism Assessment & Recommendations for St. Augustine, Florida [pdf]
Castillo De San Marco National Monument
It might be argued that in terms of the built environment, Americans love what is new and are, at times, dismissive of that historic urban fabric of their past. As many parts of the country continue to be reinvigorated with new urban developments, it also becomes increasingly difficult to preserve those unique developments that are an integral part of a place's history. One city that is currently having a difficult time grappling with these issues happens to be St. Augustine, founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1565 and the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in North America. The city has approximately 1,200 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular tourist destination for persons looking to visit both the oldest fort in the United States (Castillo de San Marcos) and the city's extensive historic quarter, whose very layout reflects its Spanish colonial past. Currently the city is faced with dealing a number of development pressures, including the fact that Jacksonville (which is located north of St. Augustine) continues to grow quickly and other institutions in the city proper are looking to expand in the coming years. Echoing the concerns of many in the community, Bill Adams, the city's preservation director, recently commented that "Ultimately, the attrition of time will wear away at these national treasures and they'll gradually disappear, like footprints in the sand."
The first link will take visitors to a recent USA Today news piece that explains the difficulties St. Augustine is facing as it tries to develop an effective way to preserve its heritage. The second link leads to the homepage of the Florida Office of Cultural and Historical Programs, which provides ample and engaging information about the various preservation and archaeological programs that occur under the Office's direction. The third link leads to a site offered by the City of St. Augustine's Department of Heritage Tourism where visitors can learn about various walking tours and the colonial Spanish Quarter. The fourth link will take visitors to the homepage of Citizens for the Preservation of St. Augustine, which is a "citizens action group committed to the preservation of St. Augustine's historic and scenic resources." The fifth link leads to a rather timely and germane document from The National Trust for Historic Preservation which offers some sober and reflective recommendations regarding the heritage tourism potential and possibilities for the city. The final link leads to a site provided by the National Park Service on the monumental Castillo de San Marcos, which was built by the Spanish from 1672 to 1695. [KMG]
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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout
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