The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 29

July 22, 2005

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

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

Research and Education

The Roger Reynolds Collection [pdf, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer]

During the last several years, the Library of Congress's I Hear America Singing collection has expanded its online presence, and this latest addition will be of special interest to aficionados of contemporary classical music. This particular online collection is drawn from the Roger Reynolds Collection at the Library of Congress, and offers a multimedia perspective on this influential American composer. Mr. Reynolds was the recipient of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for composition and is well known for his experiments incorporating a host of new technologies and spatial approaches into his compositions. One such piece is "The Emperor of Ice Cream", which includes such directions as "Begin inflating paper sack" and also uses either a "fire-cracker or cap-gun" as a percussive instrument. Visitors will want to read the biographical essay about Reynolds offered here and also view a complete list of his compositions. The site also contains a very nice interview with Reynolds, which was done by Stephen Soderberg of the Library of Congress in October, 2000. [KMG]

The Archive of Early American Images

Drawn from the holdings of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, the Archive of Early American Images is designed "to assist historians in their quest for contemporary images to illustrate their research findings and to facilitate the study of historical images in their own right and in proper context." This evolving image database (planned to eventually contain some 6,000 images) contains numerous images that have been culled from relatively obscure books printed in Europe that have visual documentation related to the Americas in the period before 1825. First-time visitors can browse the materials here by time, geographical area, or subjects, which include such headings as flora and fauna, industry, maps, and portraits. With such a wide array of images available, many visitors will be tempted to come back to this site numerous times, as they will definitely find materials that may help them in the classroom setting. [KMG]

Knowledge for Development [pdf, RealPlayer],,menuPK:461238~pagePK:64156143~piPK:64154155~theSitePK:461198,00.html

There is great debate about which regions of the world will be the most economically successful in the 21st century, but many scholars and pundits believe those regions will be the ones that can most successfully attract the so-called "knowledge" areas, such as information technology, nanotechnology, and a host of other fields. The World Bank is intimately interested in such developments, and has created this site to provide information about its Knowledge for Development program. On the site, visitors can read assessments of individual country's knowledge economy prospects, and read working papers on related topics, such as promotion innovation in developing countries. Visitors who are less familiar with the notion of the "knowledge economy", will want to watch a video interview with program manager Carl Dahlman. Finally, visitors can also read the program's quarterly newsletter, which is available here as well. [KMG]

In Support of Arab Democracy: Why and How [pdf]

In its 84-year history, the Council on Foreign Relations has published a number of important papers and publications dealing with a host of public policy issues, and this latest effort that addresses democracy in the Arab world should be of significant interest to many different groups. This particular report came from a Council-supported Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Congressman Vin Weber. In its 88 pages, the report (released in June 2005) suggests that the promotion of democracy is the best way to achieve stability in the Middle East, and also offers a number of substantial suggestions about how this might be done. Perhaps one of the most interesting segments of the report are the four pages titled "Additional or Dissenting Views", which offer some further explications (and caveats) to the main proposals of the paper as offered by members of the Task Force. [KMG]

Smithsonian: Spotlight on Science

Since 2003, the Smithsonian Institute has provided this topical online weekly newsletter to those persons interested in learning about the latest scientific discoveries and endeavors that have originated from any one of its various institutions. Visitors to the site will want to browse through the most recent newsletters, and they may also wish to search the previous newsletters by keyword or by browsing entire back issues. Some of the more recent pieces include information about the recent success story of the Florida panther, supernovae, and the river channels on the planet Mars. Each issue also contains information about recent publications in which the research appeared, and in select instances, also includes links to the full text document. Overall, this electronic newsletter will be of great interest to teachers, students, and the general public. [KMG]

Early Stuart Libels [pdf]

A number of collaborative online projects have developed during the past few years that draw on the resources of institutions and individuals that are frequently separated by hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. This website, which features early seventeenth-century political poetry, is just such a project. The team of collaborators includes professors from both Rutgers University and the University of Exeter, and was generously supported by funds from the Arts & Humanities Research Council. The poems themselves are largely those of satire and invective, and were originally penned in the decades between the rise of King James I to power and the outbreak of the English Civil War. Visitors to the site can search the entire collection by name or by source, and they may also want to peruse the introduction which offers some nice background material about the importance of these pieces of writing. [KMG]

General Interest

National Council of Nonprofit Associations [pdf]

The diversity of nonprofits in the United States is somewhat staggering, so it makes sense to find out that such a group as the National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA) exists. The NCNA is a national network that serves over 22,000 member nonprofits, and also works towards advocating on behalf of its members via its home office in Washington, D.C. On the organization's homepage, visitors can learn about its upcoming conferences and meetings, and also read the latest policy news updates. The Resources area is probably the place that most general users of the site will find most helpful. Here, visitors can learn about job opportunities in the nonprofit sector and peruse a set of external links that lead to such other relevant sites as Nonprofit Quarterly and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. [KMG]

Pioneering Modern Painting: Czanne and Pissarro 1865 - 1885 [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

It's always satisfying when the Web version nicely does what the analog used to do, and even more so when there are added features. This interactive Web site from the Museum of Modern Art displays pairs of paintings by Paul Czanne and Camille Pissaro so that viewers can compare them, in the traditional manner of art history lectures. Some pairs are similar, such as Czanne's Still Life with Flask, Glass and Jug, side-by-side with Pissaro's Still Life with Pitcher, or two paintings of L'Hermitage in winter, a neighborhood in the town of Pontoise familiar to both painters. Other pairs are disparate, contrasting still lifes and portraits, that have similarities of technique or color. In addition, thanks to the dynamic nature of the Web site, paintings can be grouped by themes, such as houses and village streets, or techniques (all defined in a glossary): impasto, parallel brush strokes, pallette knife and brush. [DS]


There are many places on the Web to find extensive genealogical records, but the ScotlandsPeople website may be just about the best place to find various records about persons who lived, died, and were married in Scotland. The site contains access to over 43 million records, and was created through a partnership between the General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland, The Court of the Lord Lyon and Scotland Online. Visitors to the site may browse indices of Scottish births from 1553 to 1904, marriages from 1553 to 1929, and deaths from 1855 to 1954. New users may want to look at the "What's in the Database" section of the site to get a sense of the entire contents of this rather vast collection. The site also provides some information about how to get started with these materials, along with the wills and testaments of some rather famous Scots, including James Boswell, Robert Adam, Robert Burns, and Adam Smith. [KMG]

Raleigh: A Capital City [Macromedia Flash Player]

The story of the United States is told in many different ways, and the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places offers a number of compelling online tours that allow visitors entry into many of the historic sites scattered around the country. This very nice online tour focuses on Raleigh, N.C., and was commissioned in partnership with the City of Raleigh and a number of related units of government. The tour presented on this site highlights 48 historic places, and includes the city's Victorian neighborhoods and some of the more quotidian commercial buildings around the area. Visitors can navigate these sites through a series of interactive maps, or by a comprehensive list that provides information about the historical significance of each structure or feature of the built environment. The site also contains a number of thematic essays that deal with different stages of the city's development, such as suburbanization. The site is rounded out by a selection of additional links to other online resources on Raleigh history and tourism, along with a select bibliography of relevant works. [KMG]

Fresh Yarn

Created by Hillary Carlip, who works as an NPR commentator and artist, the Fresh Yarn website is a place that serves as a gathering place for people interested in reading compelling, bizarre, and funny personal narrative essays. The site has been online since April, 2004, and since that time, there have been 25 "installments" of new material from a wide range of authors. Visitors to the site can read such great material as Jill Soloway's "Diamonds" piece from the first installment or Stephanie Kuehnhert's recollection of Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994. Those who are so inclined may also want to consider submitting their own piece for consideration after consulting the guidelines for such essays. [KMG]


As more and more films use visual effects throughout their running time, movie fans continue to clamor for more information about how the process of creating such effects works and what types of challenges might be encountered during such a process. In an attempt to offer a look inside this world, Ian Failes, an Australian lawyer, has created this Vfxblog, which is a weblog that offers interviews with people working in this field, along with updates on films that use such visual effects. Visitors will definitely want to check out the interviews, as they profile the work of persons such as Jeff Wolverton and Mike Elizalde on the recent film "Fantastic Four" and Paul Franklin's work on "Batman Begins". Overall, this site is a fine way to learn about both the art and science of working on such endeavors. [KMG]

Network Tools

Electric Sheep 2.6

The title of this rather compelling application is derived from the thought-provoking novel by Philip K. Dick, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". Essentially, what this open source screen saver does is allow a vast number of computers to communicate with each other to create abstract animations known as "sheep". Visitors can also vote for their favorite "sheep" as well, thereby allowing other fellow users the ability to learn about their own preferences for abstract art. This version of Electric Sheep is compatible with most operating systems. [KMG]

NeoPhoto 2.0

For those readers coming back from vacation, NeoPhoto 2.0 may be able to help them get their photos organized quickly and efficiently so that friends and family can see them at their earliest convenience. With this version of NeoPhoto, visitors can create their own set of linked photo webpages (in one of several themes), and also edit and annotate their photos in order to make them more personal and intimate. This version of NeoPhoto 2.0 is compatible with Windows 95. [KMG]

In The News

Noted US Vietnam Commander Dies

U.S. Vietnam Commander Westmoreland Dies
Gen. Westmoreland, Who Led U.S. in Vietnam, Dies
CNN Cold War-Interviews: William Westmoreland
NPR: Vietnam War Commander Westmoreland Dies at 91 [RealPlayer]
General Westmoreland, R.I.P.
Vietnam Veterans of America

This past Monday, retired General William Westmoreland passed away in his sleep in Charleston, S.C. Westmoreland was well known for his leadership of the US forces during the Vietnam War, and often came under fire for his aggressive advocacy of military buildup. Near the end of Westmorelands tenure as commander of US forces, the success of the Tet Offensive seemed to overshadow some of his previous accomplishments, as many media commentators blamed him in part for the continuing problems in the war. As with many noted American generals throughout history, Westmoreland graduated from West Point, then moved quickly through the ranks to become a colonel by the age of 30. After President Lyndon Johnson recalled Westmoreland to Washington to serve as the US Army Chief of Staff in 1968, he stayed on active duty for four more years. For the remainder of his life, Westmoreland continued to speak to numerous Vietnam veterans groups around the United States and even filed a lawsuit against CBS in 1982 when a network news report implied that he had deceived President Johnson and the American people about troop strength in Vietnam.

The first link will take visitors to a Seattle Times news article from this Tuesday that offers some basic insights into the life of General Westmoreland. The second link leads to the recently published New York Times obituary of the late general. The third link will take users to an interview with Westmoreland conducted by CNN in which he answers questions about the Tet Offensive and the Vietnam War in general. The fourth link leads to a National Public Radio commentary on Westmoreland, and includes some remarks by author Stanley Karnow. The fifth link leads to a commentary on Westmoreland offered by John J. Miller of the National Review. The sixth and final link will take users to the official homepage of the Vietnam Veterans of America. [KMG]

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