The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 19

May 13, 2005

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

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 tenth 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 Spring Wildflowers. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Exploring Caves.

Research and Education

The Cuban Rafter Phenomenon: A Unique Sea Exodus [RealPlayer, pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

Drawing on the talents of three local scholars in and around Miami, this interactive and informative website offers an unique perspective into the experience of the thousands of citizens who left Cuba in small boats, homemade rafts and other such crafts during the raft crisis of 1994. The broader theme of the site is the general post-1959 migration of Cubans to America, which has been the subject of much scrutiny by policy-makers and scholars. Beginning with an interactive map, visitors can get a sense of the route these people have taken over the years, in and around such places as Key West, Havana, and the Caymans. The other documents on the site include photographs of the rafters' experience, timelines of key events, and information from a 2004 conference held on the subject. The site is further enhanced by a number of dramatic video clips and the availability of the material in Spanish. [KMG]

Center for Labor Research and Education [pdf]

The Center for Labor Research and Education at UCLA is part of the larger Institute of Industrial Relations (AIR) at that institution, and serves as a bridge between the scholarly work in the field and the labor community throughout Southern California. Scholars and students alike take advantage of their materials on campus, and the Web-browsing public can now do the same via this site. Many visitors will want to check out Center's publications, which include the archives of its own "Labor Education News" and a number of other timely reports such as those of NAFTA and a summary report on the situation of Asian Pacific Islander workers. Visitors can also peruse the listings of Center events and also take a look at the websites of some of its affiliates, including UCLA's own urban planning department. [KMG]

State of the News Media 2005 [pdf]

The inaugural edition of the State of the News Media report in 2004 was a tremendous success, and the good people at the Project for Excellence in Journalism have created this second edition of the report for the year 2005. The report contains nine discrete sections, along with a section that gives information on the work's methodology, and additional commentary on the findings from the staff members at the Project for Excellence in Journalism. For those browsers looking for a quick review of the findings, there is an overview section as well. Here they will find some summary results, including the observation that more and more traditional press models (such as the journalism of fact verification) is moving increasingly towards the "talk-show" model, which places a premium on merely asserting unverified facts. The overview also contains some interesting observations about the trends in media ownership over the past year and the general public's attitudes towards the news media. [KMG]

Paper Plate Education [jpeg]

The Paper Plate Education website, created by Chuck Bueter at DePaul University, offers hands-on activities covering a range of science topics and education levels. With an abundance of paper plates and a few other common items, students can learn about the seasonal and latitudinal changes of the altitude of the noon sun, correct depictions of the phases of the moon, the interior of planets, and much more. Visitors can view images of a few individuals' paper plate projects. Because the author is always adding more materials, regular users should visit the What's New link to easily obtain the latest science activities. This site is also reviewed in the May 13, 2005 NSDL Physical Sciences Report. [RME]

Untapped Potential : US Science and Technology Cooperation with the Islamic World [pdf]

There has been much discussion about how the United States can improve its relationship and general standing throughout the Islamic world, and despite the best intentions of many policy-makers, policy initiatives, and politicians, it would seem that there are few options that may work. This intriguing 112-page paper from the Brookings Institution (authored by Michael A. Levi and Michael B. d'Arcy) suggests that the respect held for American science and technology may serve as a valuable channel for cooperation. The authors suggest that any coherent strategy should focus on a number of aspects, including a focus on applying technology, taking advantage of Islamic world diasporas (such as the numerous scholars from the Islamic world who are in the United States), and maintaining modest expectations overall. [KMG]

During the past nine decades, the Field Museum in Chicago has sent a vast array of scientists into the field to perform hands-on research in areas including paleontology, archaeology, and ecology. With the release of this well-thought-out website, visitors can now learn about the diverse projects currently underway at the Museum. The site opens up to reveal an interactive map that allows users to click on any number of research projects, such as Lande Grande's work on fossil fishes in Wyoming, or the work of Mary Hennen on the peregrine falcon in northern Illinois. Within each project, visitors can view photos of the scientists at work, view streaming video clips of their work, and engage in truly interactive features that let users explore these scientists' research world. Another nice feature is that visitors to the site can also sign up to receive email dispatches from scientists as they explore new places. [KMG]

Eldis [pdf]

There are a number of websites providing information on the broad field of development around the world, but Eldis is definitely one of the better ones available for public perusal. Developed at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, Eldis receives funding from a wide range of sources, including the World Bank and the Global Development Network. The core function of Eldis is to act as an Internet-based information service, maintaining a library of online documents and resource guides to such relevant development topics as climate change, health systems, globalization, and pastoralism. Due to this focus, Eldis will be of particular interest to development practitioners, various non-governmental organizations, and researchers. The resource guides are a good place to start out, as they contain brief overviews of each topical area, complemented by a few key documents. Equally enticing is the "News and Events" section, which contains announcements about funding opportunities and advice about seeking employment in the development sector. [KMG]

The Genographic Project [Macromedia Flash Player, Windows Media Player]

The Genographic Project is a collaborative effort by the National Geographic Society, IBM, and others to "assemble the world's largest collection of DNA samples to map how humankind populated the planet." The five-year study is being conducted at ten research centers around the world; and "will result in the creation of a global database of human genetic variation and associated anthropological data (language, social customs, etc.)." The Genographic Project website contains background information about the project as well as information about participating in the study. The site also offers an educational Genetics Overview section, and an Interactive Atlas of the Human Journey. This site is also reviewed in the May 13, 2005 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [NL]

General Interest

Best of Photojournalism 2005

Despite the vast amount of "multimedia" material floating around the world, the persuasive and emotive visual power of so-called "static" photographs remains highly compelling. The annual Best of Photojournalism awards pay tribute to a wide range of media, and this website offers the best in still photography from the year 2005. Announced throughout the month of March, visitors can view the images at their leisure in a myriad of categories, including "Sports Portfolio of the Year", "International News Picture Story", and "Portrait and Personality". Scattered throughout the site are photos of federal agents on duty on the United States-Mexico border, a Kashmiri woman outside of an immunization clinic, and a wrestler in the throes of training to qualify for the Palestinian Olympic team. [KMG]

Silent Witness: the story of Lola Rein and her dress [Macromedia Flash Player]

This small and powerful exhibition from the US Holocaust Museum tells how Lola Rein escaped the Nazis by hiding for seven months, spending the days in a 4x6-foot hole dug below a barn, with three other Jews. Rein was eight years old when she went into hiding on a summer day, wearing a dress embroidered by her mother, a talented seamstress. In 2002, Rein donated the dress to the Holocaust Museum, and told her story to curators. The Web exhibition's use of Flash animation and video allows visitors to see the dress close up, watch Rein talk about her time in hiding, and experience human memory embodied in an object. [DS]

National Statistical Service of Greece [pdf]

Greece is one of the oldest countries in the world, and for those seeking current and historical information about the country in terms of a variety of statistics, this website will be quite useful. On the site, visitors can download a recent publication titled "Greece in Numbers" which is a 27-page document produced by the Statistical Service that features some basic demographic data, along with information about the country's manufacturing output and natural resources. Within the section titled "Statistical Data", visitors can also view more specialized data such as yearly information about the number of live births and the labor market. Visitors looking to learn about the new products released on the site should consult the "News" section or read through their press release section as well for various statistical indices. [KMG]

National Academy of Public Administration [pdf]

While the National Academy of Public Administration may conjure up images of that dreaded word "bureaucracy", this important independent non-partisan organization chartered by Congress plays a vital role in assisting federal, state, and local governments in improving their effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability. On their site, users can learn about the Academy, its mission, special initiatives, and in addition, very diverse projects, such as those for Bonneville Power, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Transit Administration. Visitors can also learn about the Academy's five centers, which include those on government performance, human resources, intergovernmental relations, and management studies. Each area provides a brief overview of each center's work and equally helpful, access to its latest publications. Finally, the site also provides a calendar of relevant conferences and events, along with a search engine. [KMG]

Shared History: Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas

The old college grounds and the local surroundings often bring back wistful, nostalgia-drenched memories for many alums and long-time residents. The city of Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas have grown up together in that sense, and this collection of 500 photographs of the city and the campus offer some visual perspective on this subject. The work was funded in part by the Happy Hollow Foundation, and visitors can search the collection in three ways or just browse on through the photographs at their leisure. The photographs included here include those of various churches and businesses in the community along with famous campus buildings such as Old Main or Razorback Stadium. The materials offered here were drawn from the Special Collections Picture Collection at the University and the William S. Campbell Collections. [KMG]

Destination Earth [Macromedia Flash Player]

NASA has a number of sites devoted to disseminating material about its various scientific expeditions and discoveries, and the Destination Earth is one of the clearinghouse-style sites that will be of great interest to the general public. From the site's homepage, visitors can choose overviews of the different epochs of NASA discovery (ranging from 1958 to 1997) or by looking through the "Today in Earth Science" section, which contains important news updates on various topics related to the earth sciences such as the discovery of new fault lines. In the "Vision For the Future" area, users can learn about upcoming NASA expeditions and also about the potential benefits of such missions. Of course, no such website would be complete without a section for young people, and the "For Kids Only", provides access to a number of educational resources designed to help them learn about the solar system and the universe. [KMG]

U.S. Department of Justice: Task Force for Faith-based & Community Initiatives [pdf]

On January 29, 2001, President George W. Bush issued two executive orders related to faith-based and community organizations. The first established a base of operations within the White House for such initiatives, and the second established centers within various cabinet- level departments, including the Department of Justice (DOJ). As the latter's website notes, "The Task Force's purpose is to promote good works by neighbors, particularly in the areas of juvenile delinquency, prisoners and their families, victims of crime, domestic violence, and drug addiction/treatment/prevention." Visitors to the site can learn about funding opportunities administered by the DOJ and also read some of its publications, such as "Moving Beyond the Walls: Faith and Justice Partnerships Working for High Risk Youth". Interested parties may also want to look at the Task Force's FAQ section and sign up to receive email updates. [KMG]

Network Tools


This latest application from ZoneLabs is intended to assist users who wish to protect their DSL- or cable-connected personal computer from marauding hackers. The program includes four interlocking security services, including a firewall and Internet lock, and an application control. The Interlock is particularly handy, as it effectively blocks Internet traffic while your computer is unattended. This version of ZoneAlarm is compatible with Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

Salling Clicker 2.2.1

These days, most mobile phones come with a host of features and options, ranging from built-in cameras to Web-browsing capabilities. This particular application allows visitors to control their Macintosh computers with their mobile phone remotely. The application works with over 30 models of cell phones, and can be used to control iTunes, PowerPoint, and a host of other applications. This trial version can be used for up to 30 clicks and is compatible with MacOS X 10.2.8 or newer. [KMG]

In The News

Famous silkscreen by Andy Warhol sold for $12.6 million

Warhols Liz sells for $12.6 million at Sothebys
Sothebys: Liz
The Andy Warhol Museum
BBC Four: Andy Warhol [RealPlayer]
Elizabeth Taylor at Reel Classics
Larry King Live: Interview with Elizabeth Taylor, February 3, 2003

Andy Warhol was perhaps best known for his keen interpretations of contemporary post-World War II American culture and Elizabeth Taylor is perhaps best known for her amazing violet eyes and distinguished film roles. Their paths crossed (in a matter of speaking) when Warhol created a vibrant silkscreen of Taylor from a publicity photograph of her taken around the time that she was making the film Cleopatra in 1963. This past Tuesday, that particular silkscreen sold for $12.6 million at a contemporary art auction at Sothebys. Warhol always had a deep affinity for Taylor, and even remarked once that It would be very glamorous to be reincarnated as a great big ring on Liz Taylors finger. Interestingly enough, this painting is one of thirteen made on a variety of colored backgrounds. This particular painting has a red light background and measures 40 by 40 inches.

The first link will take visitors to a recent CNN news piece about the recent auction at which the silkscreen Liz went on the block. The second link will lead visitors to a page provided by Sothebys which provides copious details about the background, provenance, and execution of this striking piece of art. The third link will take visitors to the homepage of the marvelous Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Here they can peruse some of his works and learn about the museum. The fourth link will take users to a 1981 interview with Warhol done by the BBC where he talks about portrait painting, his love of his Sony Walkman, and his affection for everyone. The fifth link leads to a nice site which provides some basic information about Taylors long career, complete with a filmography and a list of her various accolades. The final link will take visitors to the transcript of an interview with Taylor from the Larry King Show in which she discusses her love of jewelry, her various perfumes, and of course, Richard Burton. [KMG]

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