The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 34

August 26, 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

Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis [pdf]

Located at the University of Southern California, the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis performs research on a host of topics that are germane to the world of postsecondary education. Some of the Center's projects include work on financial aid and access for students of color, successful college outreach programs, and the retention of doctoral students of color. On its website visitors will find information on events sponsored by the Center and a number of recently released publications that will be of interest to persons working in the field and educational policy analysts. Some of these publications include titles such as "Show us the Money: Low-income Students, Families, and Financial Aid" and "Creating Helping Environments for College-Going." The site is rounded out by a helpful bibliography of works on cultural literacy that deal with higher education. [KMG]

The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law

The intersection between the fields of philosophy, science, and law is a complex one, and a number of scholars continue to be intimately concerned with exploring the many aspects of the interactions among these disciplines. The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law is a publication that is dedicated to examining such questions, and has done so since its inception in 2001. Edited by Dr. Jason Borenstein, the peer-reviewed journal has published pieces on gene patents, the role of medical experts in the courtroom, and the notion of truth in the law. Visitors to the site can peruse the archives of the journal, and also sign up to receive updates about the journal from time to time. For those who might be interested in submitting an item to the journal, the site also contains detailed information on the particulars of this process. [KMG]

The Institute for the Study of Society and Environment [pdf, Microsoft PowerPoint]

Located in Boulder, Colo., The Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE) is committed to effectively integrating the needs of society with astute knowledge of the environment "to better understand and communicate impacts of weather, climate, and global change." A good place to start on the Institute's website is the "Our Research" area, which provides copious material on its current research projects. Visitors can explore these projects through the general headings, or they may also wish to view the Institute's annual scientific report. The site also contains a well-designed section dedicated to publicizing the Institute's events, such as workshops and seminars, which may be of interest to those in the field of climatology and related disciplines. Finally, the site also provides online access to the Network Newsletter, which is designed in particular for those involved in climate-related impact assessment. [KMG]

A Picture of Britain: an exhibition celebrating the British landscape [pdf, RealPlayer]

Take a tour of the British countryside, "from the Scottish Highlands to the South Downs," via this web exhibition from the Tate Online. A Picture of Britain looks at the ways in which the British landscape has inspired artists like John Constable, JMW Turner, LS Lowry, Paul Nash and Richard Long. The Web exhibition features an interactive map, a quiz for you to test your knowledge of various regions, including the Highlands and Glens, the Romantic North, and the Mystical West. Using the map, plot landmarks and artistic locations to see the places that have inspired generations of British artists, such as Tintern Abbey, Tyne River, and Lands End. There is also an Art On Demand section where visitors can order prints of their favorite images from the show. [DS]

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy [pdf] (Last profiled on September 27, 1996)

Started in 1986, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) "promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy." Designed for the general public and for experts in the field, the Institute's website contains information on its own research initiatives and on the broader subject of agricultural policy, both in the United States and abroad. As a matter of fact, the homepage provides a nice sample of the Institute's work, as it includes factsheets (such as "The Costs of Cheap Food") and links to its latest reports, including "Healthy Food, Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Communities." Perhaps the most valuable area of the site is the Resource Centers section. Here users can access a number of special sites designed to provide the latest material on a number of thematic areas of interest, such as water policy and agribusiness. [KMG]

North American Mammals [Macromedia Flash Player, QuickTime, pdf]

The Smithsonian Institution is well regarded for both its fine in situ collections and its rather dynamic and lively Web-based exhibits and databases. This particular site contains a searchable database of the approximately 400 living mammals of North America. Much of the material on the site is based on The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals by Don E. Wilson and Sue Ruff. New visitors will definitely want to begin by perusing the "About the Site" area as it provides some basic information about how to best utilize the ways to search the database. In brief, the database may be searched by species, geographic location, conservation status, and family tree. For each mammal, visitors can view several renderings and photographs and also read a short scientific and narrative description. A particularly novel feature is that for many of the mammals visitors can listen to a sound clip of each in its natural habitat. Another feature that is quite helpful is that visitors can create their own printable field guides by merely clicking a box next to each mammal's scientific name, and then proceed to print these materials out as they wish. [KMG]

General Interest

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [pdf]

Operating as part of the Border and Transportation Security Office (which itself is part of the Department of Homeland Security), the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office is designed "to prevent acts of terrorism by targeting the people, money, and materials that support terrorist and criminal activities." The agency's tremendously useful website contains sections that address border security, public security, financial and trade investigations, and of course, material on careers with the ICE. The agency's homepage is a great way to learn about its most recent achievements as it features recent success stories from various ICE initiatives, whether it be prosecuting those accused of abducting illegal aliens or those persons who have conspired to commit domestic terrorist acts against the United States government. The public security section is a nice touch as well, as it provides information about such programs as the federal air marshals initiative and the ICE's "Most Wanted" list. [KMG]

Plan [pdf]

Founded in 1937, the Plan organization was initially intended to provide food and education to the unfortunate children whose lives were disrupted by the trauma and horror of the Spanish Civil War. Almost 70 years later, Plan continues to provide much needed assistance to 45 countries around the world, primarily in the areas of education, housing, and cross-cultural learning. First-time visitors will want to begin by looking through the section titled "Issues affecting children." This area provides both background materials and general guiding principles on such topics as street children, children in disaster areas, and HIV/AIDS among young people in the developing world. The "Where we work" area of the site provides detailed material on the work of the Plan organization in each region and country that the organization serves. Finally, concerned visitors to the site may also learn about opportunities for sponsoring a child. [KMG]

Two on Appalachia

University of Kentucky Appalachian Center [pdf]
Appalachian Heritage

To many, Appalachia remains a somewhat misunderstood region of the United States. Some still erroneously think of the area as hopelessly backward, while still others might even have trouble locating the general contours of the region on a map. Fortunately, there are a number of interesting interdisciplinary centers designed as clearinghouses of material on Appalachia located throughout the region's numerous universities and colleges. The first site leads to the University of Kentucky's Appalachian Center, where visitors can learn about the mission of the Center and also browse through some of its publications, which deal with economic development in Appalachia and trends in coal production in the region. The second site offered here leads to the homepage of the literary magazine, Appalachian Heritage, which is housed at Berea College. Visitors to the site can learn more about the publication, and also read excerpts from past issues. [KMG]

Orion [RealPlayer]

Since its inception in 1982, the Orion magazine has had a primary concern with reconnecting human culture with the natural world and "engaging the heart and mind". During the past few decades, Orion has published the work of a number of new voices, along with such established writers as Barry Lopez and David Quammen. First-time visitors to the site will enjoy perusing the online archive, which contains selected articles and other writings from the magazine. Some of the materials available online include the piece "Peas, Man" by Matt Rasmussen. In the piece he offers his memories of working in the pea fields in the Skagit Valley. Another insightful piece in the most recent issue is "What Fundamentalists Need for Their Salvation" by David James Duncan. There are a number of fine online features here, including an audio feature of Pulitzer-Prize winner Richard Rhodes talking about the Everglades. [KMG]

World Bank: Asia Alternative Energy Program [pdf, RealPlayer]

A number of private and public concerns continue to search for alternative energy sources, and some of them have contributed mightily to the wide array of emerging technologies in this important area. The Asia Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE) was created in 1992 by the World Bank in order to maintain support for a broad range of alternative energy projects and related activities throughout Asia. ASTAE partners and staff members work with a portfolio valued at over $1.3 billion in order to identify such projects, and those interested in such projects would do well to take a closer look through this site. Some of the resources on the site include a number of reports, informational tables about their lending operations, and a selection of additional Web-based resources. The site concludes with a short video that describes recent achievements in increasing access to modern energy services in several client countries served by such endeavors. [KMG]

Architect Studio 3D [Macromedia Flash Player, Shockwave]

When one thinks of the vast number of influential architects the world has seen during the past centuries, one is reminded of Dies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, and of course, that Master from the Midwest, Frank Lloyd Wright. It's hard to imagine that a website would be able to conjure up the spirit of this famous and controversial architect, but it does just that. With the assistance of a user-friendly interface, the Architect Studio 3D site allows users to build a model home for a number of clients and their very specific needs. With a small icon of the master residing in the bottom of the left-hand corner of the screen, visitors will get the chance to create their own building for one of these clients, and then submit it to a design gallery for consideration by others. For those visitors who may be less familiar with the world of architecture, there is a handy section titled "About Architecture". Here they will find a glossary of terms that provide brief descriptions of such important concepts and design elements as site, wall, client, roof, and exterior material. Of course, no such site would be complete without a brief biography of the man himself, and as such, a nice overview of his work and life is provided here as well. [KMG]

Network Tools

Download Accelerator Plus 7.5

From pdf files to streaming audio, many computer users rely heavily on a solid Internet connection to keep up to date with friends and colleagues around the world. With that in mind, this application is definitely worth a close look. Download Accelerator Plus 7.5 does exactly what its name implies, as it optimizes download times and can also initiate automatic recovery from lost connections. The application integrates with a number of browsers and is available in ten languages. The free version is compatible with Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

VIF 0.7.0

It's hard not to be at least intrigued by a new open source project that declares itself to be about "fun and politics." With the WIF 0.7.0 project, users can create compelling discussion forums with structured threads that will assist individuals from around the globe in participating in a variety of online conversations. While visitors do have to register to make a contribution to the project, this process is relatively simple. This version of VIF is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Colleges Begin to Embrace Fresh Food Movement

Fresh Gets Invited to the Cool Table [Free registration required]
Schools get smarter about food
Food for Thought
Bonnies college grub again rated the ickiest
Quick Tips to Packing a Safe Lunch

In previous decades, the quality of food in many college cafeterias varied widely, and many institutions began to serve more mass-produced entrees as their enrollments began to rise after World War II. This pendulum is beginning to swing back the other way, as more than 200 universities and close to 400 school districts are starting to give more support to a farm-to-cafeteria movement that attempts to build menus around fresh local ingredients. One such institution is Middlebury College in Vermont, which has been well known for years for serving Ben and Jerrys brand ice cream in its dining halls. As of late, the liberal arts college has also begun to use heirloom tomatoes, broccoli, and other foodstuffs grown in close proximity to campus. As certain pundits have been quick to point out, making this transition is not always easy, as food costs are often significantly higher and variations in growing conditions and climate can make certain products impossible to find locally. Interestingly enough, a number of college administrators and the like have noted that this movement is both increasingly more socially responsible and also serves as a marketing tool that appeals to baby boomer parents who assisted in the creation of the organic food movement a generation ago.

The first link leads to a fine article on the farm-to-cafeteria movement from this Wednesdays New York Times. The article also includes a multimedia slide show that is definitely worth a look. The second link will take users to an article from Tuesdays Detroit Free Press which provides some current coverage of the continuing effort to restrict certain high-fat and high-sugar food products in Americas high school cafeterias and vending machines. The third link will whisk visitors away to a piece by Jennifer Rickard of The Oklahoma Daily in which she talks about the relationship between diet and study skills. The fourth link takes visitors to the site, which contains compelling information about this movement and also offers some helpful online resources about starting and maintaining such farm-to-college programs. The fifth link leads to a news story about St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, N.Y., which recently received the dubious distinction of having the worst campus food, as recorded in the Princeton Reviews publication, Best 361 Colleges. The final link will take visitors to a very important link offered by the Partnership for Food Safety Education. Here visitors can learn about the lost art (and science) of packing a safe lunch for young and old alike. [KMG]

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