July 15, 2005
A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.
- UN News Centre: The Middle East
- Making of America Journals
- National Geographic News
- Darfur Dawn: The Conflict in Darfur Through Children's Eyes
- Ask a Scientist!
- World Health Organization: Influenza
- McVicar/Stein Photo Copy Service Collection
- The Golden Age Romance Comics Archive
- Complete Review
- Caravan Kingdoms: Yemen and the Ancient Incense Trade
- Drayton Hall
The Middle East is a vastly complex region, both in terms of its cultural history and the very intricate political economy that is in flux throughout the area. The UN News Centre area dedicated to the Middle East will help interested parties keep abreast of developments in the area, along with providing them access to information about the UN's activities and initiatives in the region. The site organizes the material into a number of sections, such as those that contain press remarks and statements from the Secretary General, resolutions from the Secretary Council, and documents from the General Assembly relating to the Middle East. The homepage also contains specific information on the UN peace missions in such locales as Lebanon and the Golan Heights. As with most sites offered by the UN, the materials on this site are available in Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. [KMG]
The Making of America (MOA) project at the University of Michigan is one of the oldest collaborative efforts designed to make a wide range of historical journals available online. Started in the fall of 1995, the project has successfully offered access to thousands of pages of journals and books that document American social history from the antebellum period through Reconstruction. With generous assistance from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MOA digital archive has digitized numerous journals from this period, and made them widely accessible. Visitors will appreciate looking through such pieces as the "Anatomy of Selfishness" from the February 1887 of Catholic World, or the entire contents of the Southern Literary Messenger from November 1845. [KMG]
During its long history, the National Geographic Society (and its accompanying magazine) has reported a host of important scientific discoveries from around the world. Keeping that fact in mind, many users will not be surprised to learn about the presence of the National Geographic News site, which provides access to many of the day's most compelling news, including updates on the Space Shuttle launches and new archaeological discoveries. The news stories are thematically organized around such familiar topics as animals and nature, health, and the environment. The feature section titled "Pulse of the Planet" is a nice find, along with the "Offbeat" area, which offers a bit of lighter news coverage, such as the news that a grizzly bear-sized catfish caught in Thailand. [KMG]
The situation in Darfur in Sudan has fallen off the mainstream media radar as of late, despite the fact that the situation in that part of the world remains fairly desperate. In February 2005, Human Rights Watch researchers Dr. Annie Sparrow and Olivier Bercault visited Darfur to assess a number of issues in the refugee camps in the region. In doing so, thy collected numerous drawings from children in the region that documented their own experiences during the recent months. On this site, visitors can view these drawings, many of which depict these experiences (such as the bombings by Sudanese government forces) in harrowing detail. Additionally, visitors can also listen to Sparrow talk about her mission and work in and around the area. [KMG]
The Internet offers many opportunities to find quality answers to a host of important questions, ranging from the fields of the humanities to those in the hard sciences. One important resource that offers answers to a number of thorny questions is the Ask a Scientist! website created and maintained by the Centers for Materials Research at Cornell University. The site had its debut on September 17, 1998, when Professor Neil Ashcroft answered the timely question, "What is Jupiter made of?". Visitors to the site can browse or search for previously answered questions, and of course, they are also welcome to submit their own questions for consideration. Visitors will definitely want to view the "Frequently Viewed Questions", which feature responses to such favorites queries as "How can you tell if a diamond is real or fake?" or "How is glass made?" [KMG]
While many public health risks take turns dominating the media spotlight, influenza continues to be a very real risk for billions of people around the globe. While the most well-known influenza pandemic remains the world-wide outbreak of the disease in 1918, the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to explore and track incidences of this disease in an effort to avoid another outbreak. On the WHO page dedicated to this disease, visitors can read a factsheet about the disease, and also peruse the organization's mission statement and priority activities as regards monitoring influenza. The site also contains links to rather timely documents that include a set of policy recommendations for strengthening the response to pandemic influenza and also on the subject of avian influenza. Not surprisingly, visitors can also learn about the latest outbreaks of the disease as reported by WHO officials and correspondents. [KMG]
The Wisconsin Historical Society continues to create interesting and valuable online digital collections that document various aspects of local and regional history, and this collection is now exception. Angus McVicar and George Stein were two local commercial photographers who spent much of their lives taking photographs of street scenes, the built environment, businesses, and public events, in and around Madison from the 1920s through the 1960s. In 1999, Stein donated the negatives and prints from the pair's work to the Wisconsin Historical Society, which proceeded to place 2,000 of the 10,000 images into this online collection. Visitors to the site can view a list of some popular searches on the site, including browsing through areas that include "Service Stations", "Banks", Wisconsin State Capitol", and "Railroad Cars and Employees". Overall, this fine collection will be of great interest to historians and those with a penchant for local history. [KMG]
While many of those who read the Scout Report have probably heard of romance novels, probably a much smaller number have heard of romance comics. The genre came of age in the late 1940s, and, interestingly enough, was started by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, who had created Captain America several years before that. The genre hit its stride in 1949, when close to 120 romance comics were on the market, most of which were drawn and written by men. This site, created by Jenny Miller, offers up some of these rather intriguing titles from this period in digitized form. On the site, visitors can read issues of such series as "Rangeland Love", "Lovelorn", and "Glamorous Romances". Also, visitors should be sure to check out the May 1960 edition of "Teen-Age Love", whose cover offers the dramatic opening line: "I hate himI hate him because I know that when he calls again for a date, I'll say yes and accept his bad manners." Overall, this is a fun site, and an interesting way to examine one way in which "romance" was portrayed through a popular and mass-marketed medium during the post-World War II period. [KMG]
Many sites provide book reviews, but Complete Review may be one of the better ones available to the Web-browsing public. Currently, the site includes 1,443 book reviews, and visitors can browse through them at their leisure. Visitors can also view the reviews by genre, such as drama, film, philosophy, or poetry. Each review contains a bit of brief information (such as the date of publication and general availability), then continues on to include the complete review, along with a letter grade for the work, and additional links to reviews provided by other notable sources, such as the Guardian newspaper. Repeat visitors can also click on the "What's New" area to look at the latest materials added to the site. Finally, visitors can also peruse their compelling weblog, titled "The Literary Saloon". Here, users can get the latest news on such topics as Toni Morrison's honorary degree from Oxford and various translation prizes. [KMG]
With the general assistance of a host of corporations, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution have created a probing exhibit that explores the artistic heritage of Yemen through items found in the ancient kingdoms of Qataban, Saba, and Himyar in the southern Arabian peninsula. The objects included in the exhibit include stone funerary sculpture, architectural fragments, and other such items of material culture. The accompanying online exhibit offered here is quite well-organized, as visitors are presented with six major themes that outline the history of these empires, complete with an interactive timeline that puts various cultural, historical, and trade developments into a broader context. Additionally, visitors can also learn about the in situ exhibit and read trenchant reviews from a number of sources, such as The Washington Times. [KMG]
Built as a home for John Drayton in the late 1730s, Drayton Hall is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that tells the story of life in the American South for a host of different perspectives. Much of the place's history is interpreted through its architecture, oral history, archaeology, and historical records. For those persons who cannot make it to Charleston to see the Hall in person, its excellent website offers some fine online exhibits for the Web-browsing public. Visitors will want to peruse the exhibits, which include information about Drayton Hall during the American Revolution and a virtual tour of the grounds. For those who are interested in making the trip to South Carolina to visit the Hall, there is ample information about the public hours of the grounds, along with back copies of the in-house newsletter, Interiors.[KMG]
As people find themselves needing to send out emails as reminders to friends about upcoming work-related events, parties, weddings, and such happy occasions, they may find a need for this application. GroupMail 5.00.673 contains an easy-to-use interface that will allow users to send emails to up to 100 recipients. Additionally, users can also create email lists for their convenience. This particular version of GroupMail is compatible with Windows 95 or newer. [KMG]
For those people who are concerned about erasing evidence of their Internet activity stored in their browser, Powerful Cookies 1.0.7 may be worth taking a look at. Visitors can use this program to delete cookies, clean index.dat files, clean the cache, remove temporary files, and erase typed URLs. This application is compatible with Windows 95 or newer. [KMG]
Indian Tom Hanks is now British
Man Waits Year to Get British Citizenship
The Man Who Lost His Past
NPR: Questioning the U.S. Citizenship Test [RealPlayer]
Immigration & Nationality Directorate [pdf]
Can you pass a citizenship test?
This past Tuesday, East African Indian Sanjay Shah became an official British citizen after 400 days spent in limbo at the Nairobi airport. Shahs story was documented in the press frequently, and interest in his predicament continued to build after the release of the recent Tom Hanks film, The Terminal. Shahs case highlighted the rather complex way in which the residents of former and current British overseas colonies and territories are afforded access to Britain in terms of immigration and citizenship. Shah renounced his Kenyan passport in order to leave Africa permanently in May 2004, but he quickly learned that Britain would not afford him access to the country. During his time in the airport in Nairobi, Shah slept in the airports lounge and became close to many of the staff who worked in the airport. Interestingly enough, this particular predicament has an analogous situation in Charles de Gaulle Airport, where an Iranian man (who now calls himself Sir Alfred) has resided for the past sixteen years.
The first link offered here leads to a news story from the Times of India which reports on the recent news that Sanjay Shah had in fact become a British citizen. The second link offers some additional information on Shahs situation as reported in this past Tuesdays online edition of the Guardian. The third link offers the rather somber story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri, as reported by the filmmaker Paul Berczeller. The fourth link offers a reflection of the nature of the citizenship test offered in the United States by Solomon Skolnick, an author who has recently written a book on the subject. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the Immigration & Nationality Directorate of the United Kingdom. Here visitors can learn about how they might be eligible to come to the United Kingdom for work or other reasons. The final link leads to a BBC News special that allows visitors to find out if they could pass a British citizenship test, albeit in an shortened form. [KMG]
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