June 17, 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
A Note to our Readers
Research and Education
- Organization of American States
- Animal Legal & Historical Web Center
- International Fund for Animal Welfare
- Images from the McCormick-International Harvester Collection
- Rethinking Schools: Spring 2005 Rethinking Mathematics
- Unraveling the Mysteries of King Tutankhamun
- ArchNet: Islamic Architecture Community
- Botany Photo of the Day
- Musee du Louvre
- The Education of Shelby Knox
- Expressions of Faith
- Theme Park Insider
- Murder with Southern Hospitality: An Exhibition of Mississippi Mysteries
In The News
NSDL Scout Reports
The twelfth issue of the fourth volume of the MET Report is available. Its Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Public School Finance.
A Note to our Readers
With this edition, the Internet Scout Project ends the NSDL Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology after four years of publication. We are very excited about our newest NSF National Science Digital Library-funded effort, the Applied Mathematics and Science Education Repository (AMSER), a new four-year project that will link community and technical colleges to online applied math and science resources via a web portal and complimentary services. Our goal is to make AMSER-- http://amser.org/ -- the same kind of high-quality source of information about online resources that the NSDL Scout Reports have been.
As part of our effort to make AMSER useful and usable we have created an online survey -- http://amser.org/survey -- which will help us better understand how faculty and staff at community and technical colleges are currently using digital materials. We would encourage readers from these environments, as well as those from the rest of the education and library communities, to complete the survey. Your valuable feedback will help inform the work of AMSER and NSDL as a whole. If you have questions about AMSER or an interest in using AMSER in your classroom, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or watch for information about the project on the Scout website at http://scout.wisc.edu/ -- where you can also find information about subscribing to our flagship publication, The Scout Report.
Research and Education
In 1948, 21 nations in the Western hemisphere signed the Organization of American States (OAS) Charter which was designed to affirm their commitment to a number of common goals and their respect for each nation's sovereignty. In the present day, the members of the OAS continue to work together to protect human rights, strengthen security throughout the region, and to fight corruption. On this site (last reviewed in the Scout Report on August 8, 1996), scholars and the general public can take advantage of the organization's many online resources, including the audio archives of OAS Radio, detailed information on the OAS's governing bodies, and its annual reports. From the homepage, visitors can also peruse some of their other online materials, such as online exhibits from the Art Museum of the Americas and The Children's Corner. Young people will enjoy the Children's Corner as it provides material on the culture, history, art, and folklore of South, Central and North America. [KMG]
A number of online electronic archives have been developed in recent years to allow fellow scholars access to recent works by other colleagues in a wide variety of fields. Cogprints is one such archive, as it functions as a place where persons working in the areas of psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, and biology may place their work. First-time visitors may want to begin by browsing the archive either by year or by subject. After getting a sense of the contents of the archive, visitors can then perform simple or advanced searches in order to find specific materials. For those scholars who wish to contribute materials, there is also a place where they may register for an account. [KMG]
With his colleague Rebecca Wisch, Professor David Favre at the Michigan State University College of Law has created this very helpful online resource designed to give the public and the legal community access to comprehensive explanations on the issues surrounding animal law and associated topics. From the homepage, visitors can peruse new material (such as an overview of French animal law), or move to the left-hand side of the homepage to select information about animal law in different states or by topic. One of the other recently added features is the full text of dog laws for all 50 states, along with a basic overview of state dog leash laws. Overall, the site is well-designed and will be of interest to those with a specific interest in this very broad topic. [KMG]
During the past few years, a finely nuanced sensibility about the shared interests and coexistence of human and animals has emerged as a number of international organizations have begun work and advocacy efforts in this area. The work of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) began three decades ago when a group of individuals decided to come together to stop a hunt for white-coat harp seals on the eastern coast of Canada. Since that time, the IFAW has expanded its work across the world, and this site affords visitors the opportunity to learn about the organization's work, read its annual reports from the past several years, and find out more about its different campaigns across different regions. Visitors can click on different parts of an interactive world map to look at this information or browse a list of animals in the "Save Animals" section of the site. [KMG]
Cyrus McCormick was one of the great successes of the American Industrial Revolution, as he was the inventor of the first commercially successful reaper. While he invented the machine in Virginia, his real triumphs began when he moved to Chicago and formed what would later become known as the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. Over the company's long history it produced thousands of various publications, advertising materials, and short industrial films. This particularly strong online collection created by materials donated to the Wisconsin Historical Society includes thousands of images that date from the 1840s to the 1980s. Visitors may view these images by perusing a list of topics, such as farm equipment, railroads, trucks, and women at work. One topic heading that is definitely worth a look is the one dedicated to providing images for the 1931 Reaper Centennial Celebration. Here one may view images that include a re-enactment of the first McCormick reaper and a placard with a painting by N.C. Wyeth that celebrates the first reaper test, which took place in Steele's Tavern, A. [KMG]
Rethinking Schools, founded in 1986, publishes educational materials, including this online version of its quarterly journal. The organization is "firmly committed to equity and to the vision that public education is central to the creation of a humane, caring, multiracial democracy." Although the journal features articles of interest to a broad audience, they focus on problems facing urban schools, with a particular emphasis on issues of race. The articles are written by and for teachers, parents, and students and cover topics relating to classroom practice and educational theory, in addition to key policy issues. The Spring 2005 issue includes two articles specifically addressing mathematics education as well as excerpts from the organization's newest book called Rethinking Mathematics. The first article, entitled Integrals and Equity, discusses how "a math lesson prompts new awareness for prep school students--and their teacher." The second article, entitled The Geometry of Inequality, describes a math activity in which students and teacher explored some of the causes of the 1992 "Rodney King Riots" in South Central Los Angeles. This site is also reviewed in the June 17, 2005 NSDL MET Report. [VF]
With a major exhibit on King Tutankhamun set to return to the United States shortly, interest in this extremely popular pharaoh of Egypt continues to build. National Geographic has created this fun and informative website that allows visitors to examine his body through the use of CT scan imagery and see how he might have looked. Clicking on the entrance to this multimedia feature, visitors are greeted by audio narration that complements a 360-degree view of the four walls of King Tut's tomb. Visitors can then look closer at each wall in detail by using a built-in interface to navigate the various decorative and symbolic markings on each side. After this first section, visitors can move to the "Royal Wrappings" feature, which includes a detailed look at the many layers in which King Tut was entombed. The site is rounded out by a selection of additional links to such resources as articles from National Geographic dealing with Egyptian archaeology. [KMG]
The rise of the Internet has allowed many professional and scholarly communities to communicate with each other across great distances, and the field of architecture and urban planning is no exception. Developed at MIT and the University of Texas at Austin, ArchNet is one such international online community that deals specifically with providing new perspectives on the built environment and insights into Islamic design and culture. Visitors will want to begin by registering on the site (at no charge) and continue by perusing sections that include a digital calendar of upcoming events (such as germane architectural conferences), a digital library of images, and links to career opportunities in the field. The site also includes a selection of course syllabi submitted by different instructors that may prove useful both to students and to those who are just generally curious about Islamic architecture. [KMG]
The motto of this fine site is simple: "In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily". A more pure expression could not be found to describe this lovely site offered by the University of British Columbia's Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research. The site focuses on a different high-quality photograph every day, complete with background information. Visitors can also view the site's archives, which date back to April 2005 and browse previously featured photographs, which are divided into categories that include conifers, lichens, mosses, and natural landscapes. Visitors will also want to check out some of organization's resources, including The Garden Weblog and the online garden forums. Finally, the site also affords visitors the opportunity to download desktop wallpaper for their own computer. [KMG]
Celebrating 10 years online, the Louvre Museum presents its newly redesigned website for 2005. Online visitors can view the museum's permanent collection of more than 175,000 works of art, by starting with any of the eight curatorial departments, or using the kaleidoscope feature for a thematic approach that groups works by themes such as Masterpieces, Water, or Daily Life. As an example, the Department of Painting showcases 177 selected works, which can also be viewed by country, or thematic trail. The site also provides access to databases, such as ATLA (works on display); the inventory of the Department of Prints & Drawings; and Joconde: Works in French museums. A few minor criticisms are difficult-to-read orange or purple navigational text on a grey background, and page design that anticipates new, wider monitors. If anything, the site is almost too interactive, and some visitors may feel stuck in a slide show. If you just want to see the Mona Lisa, or work by any artist, try the search box, to retrieve a simple list of results. Future plans for the site include more thematic trails, more personalization, and online ticket sales. [DS]
The debate over federally funded abstinence-only sex education continues to concern many across the country, and the Point of View series on PBS has recently addressed this issue through one of its thought-provoking shows. The show looks at this debate through the eyes of Shelby Knox, who when the show was produced was a teenager who became interested in this contentious subject. The site contains such compelling features as interviews with the filmmakers Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt, some useful facts and statistics on sex education, and commentary from several policy-makers on sex education in schools. Also included on the site are a number of interviews with relevant persons about virginity pledges and the various gay-straight student alliance groups in high schools. [KMG]
Insightful commentary on events ranging from development tools in Sri Lanka to the fight to end poverty across the globe can be found on the Worldview program, which is produced by Chicago Public Radio. The program is hosted by Jerome McDonnell, who is ably assisted by a number of other staff members, including Steve Bynum and Andrea Wenzel. On the Worldview site, visitors can listen to archived programs individually, or by browsing some of their topical series which deal with such meaty topics as "The Present and Future of China" and "The Online War of Iraq". Some of the more recent programs are also equally compelling, including segments dealing with Brazilian film, the globalization of gangs, and Islam and human rights. [KMG]
The Collect Britain project at the British Library has produced a number of nice virtual exhibitions during the past several years, and its latest offers an intimate look into the favorite sacred manuscripts of some notable individuals. Essentially, the British Library asked a number of well-known persons from different faiths to choose some of their favorite sacred manuscripts from the holdings of the Library. Saeed Jaffrey, one of the most famous Indian actors in the world, selects his favorite Islamic manuscripts here, which include images of the Taj Mahal and a Spanish Qu'ran from Granada. A number of other faiths are represented, including Jainism, Judaism, and Sikhism. For each object, each person was able to offer their own commentary, along with brief commentaries from Library curators. [KMG]
As summer enters full swing, more and more people will travel to America's numerous amusement parks and traveling carnivals. Quite a few of these people would do well to take a look at the Theme Park Insider website for reviews of various parks and the best (and worst) attractions at each particular place of amusement before they venture onto the open road. Edited by Robert Niles, the site contains reviews of new amusement park rides, an "Accident Watch" (which documents the latest accidents at each park), and reviews of theme park hotels as well. The site also has a number of discussion boards for visitors to chime in with their own take on a number of topics, such as which rides have the longest rides and general amusement park lore. [KMG]
For those people who still think of Mississippi as solely being the land of such authors as Faulkner and his ilk, this fine online exhibit offered by the University of Mississippi Libraries may expand their knowledge of Southern writers. The exhibit prominently features the book covers of mystery novels written by a host of Mississippians, including such authors as Newton Gayle, Nevada Barr, and Colonel William C. Falkner. Here they may peruse the cover art of such novels as "The White Rose of Memphis" and Elmore Leonard's "Tishomingo Blues". For those who wish to locate authors by their location, an interactive map of Mississippi makes this process rather simple. The site is rounded out by a complete bibliography, which includes links to each work's cover art. [KMG]
Many users may want to learn more about how to browse weblog sites more effectively, and Blog Navigator may be just the program to do the trick. The program uses RSS feeds, supports many types of sites, and also includes features for reading blogs offline. Their helpful interface makes it relatively easy to locate weblogs and peruse headlines of interest. Additionally, adding news sites and blogs is simple as visitors may just right-click and paste the XML feed located on most major news sites. This version of Blog Navigator is compatible with Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]
While many people enjoy providing music for their friends and colleagues over a traditional sound system, this application may convince them of the merits of listening to various selections by way of their computer. The DJ-1800 is a self-contained professional DJ system that allows users to cue up songs, control a four-channel equalizer, and bend and shift the pitch, along with numerous other features. Additionally, the program is available in a number of different languages, including Japanese, Spanish, Greek, and Italian. This version is compatible with Mac OS X. [KMG]
In The News
Journalists Bid Farewell to Fleet Street
Agency Shuts Fleet Street office
There Will Always Be A Connection
The News Has Passed Fleet Street By [RealPlayer]
St. Bride's Fleet Street
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
In a world characterized by impersonal and sometimes distant interactions over the phone or email, Fleet Street in central London remained a place where journalists (amateur and professional) gathered to ruminate about the news and just about any topic that came to mind. For more than 300 years, the area was the nerve center of British journalism, as it served as the home of many of the country's leading newspapers. The death-knell for this era effectively ended this past Wednesday as the last major news office on the street closed its doors for good. A variety of technological improvements in the past several decades allowed newspapers to move their primary publishing plants outside of the area, and this part of central London is primarily a legal and banking center. As the former editor of the Daily Mirror commented, "You can practice journalism anywhere. It's become an electronic industry now, not so much with people going out into the towns and streets and telephoning their copy back to the office." There were several special events planned this week to mark this event, including a service held at St. Bride's, which is known as a journalists' church in the area.
The first link leads to a story from Newsday which talks about the recent demise of Fleet Street as a hub for journalists and news agencies. The second link leads to a story from the BBC regarding the church service held to mark the departure of Reuters from Fleet Street this past week. The third story is from the Guardian, and offers some first-hand recollections of Fleet Street from Mark Oliver, along with a few helpful hypertext links. The fourth link allows visitors the ability to listen to a feature from NPR's Morning Edition about Fleet Street. The fifth link takes visitors to the homepage of St. Brides, popularly known as the "journalists' church" in the Fleet Street area. The sixth and final link will take users to a page that provides a bit of information about the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub, a gathering place for salty journalists and other such curmudgeons. [KMG]
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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout
Internet Scout Project Team Max Grinnell Editor Chris Long Managing Editor Rachael Bower Co-Director Edward Almasy Co-Director Nathan Larson Contributor Valerie Farnsworth Contributor Debra Shapiro Contributor Rachel Enright Contributor Todd Bruns Internet Cataloger Barry Wiegan Software Engineer Justin Rush Technical Specialist Michael Grossheim Technical Specialist Andy Yaco-Mink Website Designer
For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout Project staff page.