The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 12

March 25, 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 sixth issue of the fourth volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Cyborg Technology.

Research and Education

Survey of Mexican Migrants [pdf]

The Pew Hispanic Center has been generating some interesting work lately, and this latest survey administered to nearly 5,000 Mexican migrants is worth a closer look. The 35-page report authored by Roberto Suro shows that almost half of the respondents would like to stay in the United States for the rest of their lives, or at least for as long as they are able. Interestingly enough, the survey also found that by a four-to-one margin, respondents would like to sign up for a temporary worker program similar to the one proposed by President George W. Bush. The demographics of the sample size are somewhat noteworthy as well, as nearly half of the sample was of people between 18 and 29 years old, and almost half had been in the country for five years or less. [KMG]

Centre for Civil Society [pdf]

Located at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) is a "leading international organization for research, analysis, debate and learning about civil society". Under the direction of Professor Jude Howell, the group performs a broad range of research on the general topic of civil society across the globe, and its Working Papers series is definitely worth a look. Some of the papers here include "Civil society as a metaphor for western liberalism" and "Public-private partnership in the United States: Historical patterns and current trends". Guests arriving on the site may also want to look at the section on current and recently completed projects, which include work on European social policy, social capital, and local civil society. [KMG]

National Science Foundation: Sea Vent Viewer

The National Science Foundation sponsors thousands of substantial research projects every year across a very broad range of scholarly fields, and this recent provocative addition to the NSF's Earth & Environmental Science site will be of real interest to many. This particular feature allows visitors to explore the area of the ocean floor in and around a sea vent, complete with various interactive features. For those who are not already aware of sea vents, they support a rich ecosystem that includes fish, shrimp, tubeworms, mussels, crabs, and clams. The water from these sea vents comes out at close to 756 degrees Fahrenheit and appears to gush out in the same manner as smoke. Browsing through this underwater world, visitors can learn about the vents and the diverse life forms that exist 1.5 miles beneath the surface of the ocean. [KMG]

State of World Population 2004 [pdf]

Sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund, the State of World Population 2004 site contains a number of important resources for persons interested in long-range and current trends regarding the world's population. The report itself is 124 pages, and is divided into chapters that include "Population and the Environment" and "Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment". The report also contains a number of rather helpful graphs and tables, such as one that tracks world population growth from 1950 to 2050 and the proportion of population over age 65 by region in 2000 and 2050. For those who may not have time to read the entire report, the site also contains an executive summary and a frequently updated news area with relevant coverage. It is worth noting that the report is also available in Russian, French, Spanish, and Arabic. [KMG]

NYPL Digital Gallery

Lovers of historical and cultural ephemera should prepare themselves for this website, which has been years in the making and is an absolute gem for anyone interested in the potential of large-scale digital galleries. The NYPL Digital Gallery is The New York Public Library's new image database, which currently contains over 275,000 items for online viewing. Just to give users a sense of what they might find on the site, some of the items include Goya's Disasters of War, George Caitlin's North American Indian Portfolio, and of course, some lovely cityscapes of New York City's Fifth Avenue. Given the staggering number of images here, it is not surprising that there are a broad range of thematic collections that will help users navigate the database's holdings. The site also contains a "Curator's Choice" section, which features hundreds of American posters printed from 1893 through the early years of the 20th century. Overall, this site will warrant many return visits and is both elegant and easy to use. [KMG]

Modeling and Simulation Information Analysis Center [pdf]

The Modeling and Simulation Information Analysis Center (MSIAC) assists the Department of Defense (DoD) in meeting its M&S needs "by providing scientific, technical, and operational support information and services." Through the Help Desk, MSIAC also answers technical inquiries from non-DoD customers, who agree to pay for their service beyond the first two hours. The group has experience in weapons technology including WMD, information management, modeling and simulation, operations analysis, chemical and explosive sciences, material sciences, spectrum engineering, wireless communication, life sciences, medical informatics and telemedicine, transportation systems, and reliability, availability, and maintainability. A wealth of resources are available from this website, including the Modeling & Simulation Resource Repository (MSRR), which is described as "the first place to go for answers to M&S" and Glossary of Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Terms, information on special topics of interest within M&S, and links to related websites. The MSIAC's M&S Journal Online offers quarterly articles of interest to the M&S community free of charge. This site is also reviewed in the March 25, 2005_NSDL MET Report_. [VF]

International Crisis Group [pdf]

With over 100 staff members on five continents, the International Crisis Group is an independent non-profit organization that is dedicated to utilizing field-based analysis and advocacy "to prevent and resolve deadly conflict". The Group is well-known for its various efforts, and visitors can learn about the current organization and its latest annual report in the "About Crisis Group" section of the site. The homepage of the site is organized in an efficient manner, and also provides direct access to the Group's latest reports and briefings, such as "Coca, Drugs and Social Protest in Bolivia and Peru" and "Macedonia: Not out of the Woods Yet". Visitors may also want to browse the Group's current outreach efforts by looking through the "Programs" area, which lists activities and publications from different parts of the world. Visitors may also elect to sign up to receive email updates about the Group's work as well. [KMG]

Turning Around Downtown: Twelve Steps to Revitalization [pdf]

Ever since the rise in importance of the automobile, many public intellectuals, academics, urban planners, and sociologists have lamented the decline of traditional downtowns across America. In this report from The Brookings Institution, Christopher B. Leinberger explores the key facets that are necessary to effectively revitalize downtown areas. In the report, Leinberger comments on the importance of "fostering walkable urbanity", but is also mindful to also note that creating such types of places is at times vastly complex. Some of the twelve steps offered here may sound familiar to many, including the oft-suggested remedy "Create an Urban Entertainment District" and "Re-create a Strong Office Market". Without a doubt, persons interested in such places will find much to agree and disagree with in this paper, and thus it's definitely worth a close look. [KMG]

General Interest

New Tactics in Human Rights [pdf]

As this website explains in its Common Questions area, "Tactics consist of how to make a change", and given this statement, the site will be of great interest to those with a concern for international human rights. The New Tactics in Human Rights organization is primarily concerned with providing practitioners in the field with a package of practical tools, a worldwide symposium, and a number of other strategic planning resources. The project itself is coordinated by the Center for Victims of Torture and is overseen by a board of advisors that includes novelist Mario Vargas Llosa and the Right Honorable Kim Campbell, who is the former Prime Minister of Canada. The "Tools for Action" section is a real find as it contains a number of tactical notebooks taken from various case studies around the world, including work from Turkey, Hungary, Romania, and Albania. It is worth noting that many of the materials on the site are also available in Spanish and French. [KMG]

Discovering Buddhist Art [Macromedia Flash Player]

Even if you can't get to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) to see Discovering Buddhist Art, you can learn a lot about it from this Web interactive site prepared to accompany the show. And the Web site features a number of pieces from SAM's collections that are not on display at the museum. Examine dozens of Buddhas--busts, heads, carved into architectural fragments, and standing figures, including Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, depicted with long earlobes, hair in a topknot, and a bump on the forehead, denoting wisdom. In addition to Buddhas, see Boddhisattvas and colorful mandalas, and a video of Tibetan monks making a sand mandala. There are also sections on Otherworldly Beings, Buddhist Teachers, Animals, Manuscripts, Ritual Objects, and Containers. [DS]

E.Space [Macromedia Flash Player]

San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is a place that remains one of the premier museums in the United States for presenting new and cutting-edge work from a variety of artistic traditions and forms of expression. This idea extends into the museum's online presence, and particularly on their fine site. The site provides direct access to various commissioned artworks, permanent collection Web objects, and featured sites. The rather intriguing commissioned Web projects are designed to "explore the new forms of storytelling in a space delineated by the personal computer screen, as well as the hypermedia structure". Some of the projects available here include "Relevatory Landscapes" and "CrossFade". The newest addition to the site is "New Work" by Yael Kanarek and Lynn Hershman, which addresses the age-old conventions involved with traditional museum display and exhibition. [KMG]

ACORN [pdf]

Since the rise of community activism in large urban areas during the 20th century, a number of large scale organizations have sought to create an umbrella network to support these various advocacy and outreach efforts. One such organization is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) which is inspired by the struggle for social justice and creating stronger communities. On the group's website, visitors interested in these ideas (either from a pragmatic or academic standpoint) can learn about ACORN's current work and accomplishments, along with reading a detailed history of the organization written by Professor Dan Russell of Springfield College. Some visitors may also want to learn about ACORN's International programs, which operate in Peru, the Dominican Republic, Canada, and Mexico. Visitors will also want to take a look at the group's free newsletter and the newsletter archives, which date back to 2003. [KMG]

Center for Health Services Research and Policy [pdf[

Founded in 1990, the George Washington University Center for Health Services and Policy is "dedicated to providing policymakers, public health officials, health care administrators, and advocates with the information and ideas they need to improve access to quality, affordable health care." With a staff of several dozen, the Center's work falls into a number of topical areas, such as welfare reform, HIV/AIDS, behavioral health policy, and maternal and child health. One of the first stops for new visitors should be the "Publications" section, which contains the organization's latest work (and archived materials) emanating from different research areas. The site also contains a helpful listing of relevant links and the opportunity to join the Center's managed behavioral healthcare electronic mailing list. [KMG]

The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections

For centuries, humans have been fascinated with natural history collections, and their rise in number during the Enlightenment corresponded with a strong desire to classify and know more about the natural world in a rigorous and scientific fashion. Founded in 1985, The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) is a multidisciplinary organization comprised of various individuals interested in the development and preservation of such collections. On the Society site, visitors can learn about its annual conference, awards, and recommendations for best practices in various aspects of natural history collection preservation and maintenance. Visitors will also want to peruse the group's newsletters and news announcements as well. The site is rounded out with information about the Society's governance and also membership applications. [KMG]


With more and more people (including children) suffering from the potentially debilitating effects of allergies, Scout Report readers will want to take note of this rather well-designed independent site based in the UK and designed to function as a information and support site for allergy sufferers and their families. New visitors to the site will want to take note of the free monthly newsletter "InTouch", which provides the latest information on allergy, eczema and asthma news. Visitors can also share their stories about coping with allergy, along with reading stories from other contributors to the site. The "Features" area is quite useful as it features articles written by doctors and journalists on such timely topics as "Babies and Food Allergy" and "Food Allergy and Intolerance". Finally, the site also contains answers to some commonly asked questions, such as "What is an allergy?" and "Who can get allergies?". [KMG]

Network Tools

Pluck 1.0 RC3

No doubt many regular Scout Report readers find themselves constantly enthralled by the sheer volume of material on the Internet. The Pluck application may be worth a look as this application allows users to automate their Web searches and retrieval options, along with effectively offering a way to neatly organize their Internet search results. The application's homepage also features some nice screenshots and additional information about its capabilities. This version of Pluck is compatible with Windows 2000 or higher. [KMG]

MySharedPhotos Uploader 2.6.4

In anticipation of all the springtime photographs that may be forthcoming in the near future, users may want to take a look at this version of MySharedPhotos Uploader. This application allows users to easily upload photographs from their computers or directly from their digital camera, if they so desire. Visitors can also use the program to create a number of personalized photo albums to share with their friends and family members. This version of MySharedPhotos Uploader is compatible with Windows 98 or higher. [KMG]

In The News

Interest in preserving endangered languages thrives on college campuses

Notre Dame program gives a fighting change to Irish language
Keough Institute for Irish studies
The American Conference for Irish Studies
RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta [RealPlayer]
Ethnologue, Languages of the World
International Mother Language Day [pdf]

Many groups around the globe are concerned with languages that seem to be slowly fading out of existence, whether they be spoken in Africa or Europe. Government efforts have helped out a number of languages during the past several decades and the role of various institutions of higher education should not be underestimated as well. One rather interesting program that has been in the news recently is the Keough Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. The Institute has been in existence in 1993, and offers instruction in a wide variety of topics, including the Irish language, Irish history, and Irish dance. The courses offered by the Institute have grown increasingly popular over the past few years, and as John P. Harrington (who serves as the president of the American Conference for Irish Studies) noted recently, "They've done a good job of creating Irish studies as a genuinely international subject area, which is what it is." Summing up much of the feelings at the Institute, language instructor Brian O Conchubhair remarked that "The death of the Irish language has been foretold since the 1840s, but it's still hanging in there."

The first link leads to a news story on the Irish studies program at the University of Notre Dame from The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. The second link will take visitors to the very informative homepage of the Keough Institute for Irish Studies, where users may learn about their public lecture series, their faculty, and other germane details. The third link leads to the website for The American Conference for Irish Studies, which awards prizes for distinguished publications in the field and also provides information on the various Irish studies programs around the country. The fourth link leads to the Irish-language radio station operated by RTE in Ireland. Here visitors can listen to a wide range of programs, all of which are broadcast in Irish. The fifth link takes users to the Ethnologue website, which is a truly amazing online resource about the world's languages. The final link leads to UNESCO's very fine International Mother Language Day, which includes a variety of resources such as position papers, and the very useful Atlas of World Languages in Danger of Disappearing. [KMG]

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