The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 36

September 9, 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

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004 [pdf]

Released in August 2005 by the U.S. Census Bureau, this timely 85-page report examines recent changes within the demographic profile of the real median household income of US residents, along with material on the nation's official poverty rate and those persons without health insurance coverage. The data in the report is based on information from 2003 and 2004, and notes that the nation's official poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2004. The report also notes that the number of persons without health insurance coverage increased by approximately 800,000 to 45.8 million. The report itself is divided into six chapters, and also includes four appendices which details such crucial research questions as how the Bureau measures income and poverty. For persons with a keen interest in this subject (such as policy makers or scholars) this report will be a valued research tool. [KMG]

Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs [pdf]

Established in 1914, the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs was created by the noted philanthropist Andrew Carnegie with the lofty and admirable goal of working towards world peace. Today the Council continues to be a well-known forum for research and education in a number of areas, including ethics and international policy. On their homepage, visitors can learn about some of the many events sponsored by the council, such as panel discussions and international symposia. As might be expected, the publications area is quite strong, and contains links to many full-text pieces. The two primary publications featured here include Ethics & International Affairs and Human Rights Dialogue. A real treat is the access afforded here to the well-known publication, Worldview, which was published from 1958 to 1985. Visitors can read classic articles by Noam Chomsky and Reinhold Niebuhr which originally appeared between the covers of this important publication. [KMG]

Polish Declarations Collection

The relationship between Poland and the United States has existed for several centuries, as early as the Revolutionary War some of the key figures were great Polish military heroes, such as Casimir Pulaski and Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Continuing and strengthening the relationship between these two countries over the years are the many Poles who have immigrated to the United States. Recently, the Library of Congress digitized one of the most interesting (and little-known) documents in their collection, the Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States. The 111-volume collection was given to President Calvin Coolidge in 1926 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of US independence. These ornately decorated volumes were signed over an eight-month period by nearly one-sixth of Poland's population in 1926, totaling close to 5.5 million signatures. The Library of Congress has digitized the first eleven volumes, and placed them online here for consideration by genealogists, historians, and other interested parties. The first several volumes contain the signatures of government officials, artists (including full-size works of art), and signatures from three institutions of higher learning. Visitors can search the contents by keyword, geographic locations, and by title. Overall, this is a rather remarkable collection, and one that will merit several visits. [KMG]

National Portrait Gallery: Portrait Search

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery (NPG) has a new search interface that allows searching across over 80,000 portrait records. Four slightly overlapping search methods are provided, but the interface itself stays largely the same - portrait sitters' names can be combined with artists' names, medium, dates, and other criteria, such as the sitter or artist's distinction; whether they were prominent in business or politics and government. The first search is the NPG Portrait Search, 12,000 records for paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and photographs in the National Portrait Gallery's collection, showing individuals who made significant contributions to US history and culture, many accompanied by digital images. The second search is Catalog of American Portraits (CAP), that combines the NPG search with 70,000 additional records for American portraits in public and private collections. In addition, the Biographical Search is a simple text search for names, dates, or keywords across more than 50,000 portrait records (with links to digital images if available), and Browse Selections offers views of groups of portraits on various themes (currently, US presidents and Hispanic portraits). [DS]

An Update on Higher Education Policy in 2004 in 11 Western countries [pdf]

The researchers and scholars at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) at the Universiteit Twente in the Netherlands have long been interested in the changing world of higher education within Western Europe. This latest 58-page report on the broader landscape of this system focuses on the latest developments in higher education's infrastructure, finance, governance and quality assurance in eleven different countries, including Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. Each country's developments are summarized in several pages, and the report concludes with some broader reflections. The report includes a number of helpful references, and also provides information about where interested parties can access data sets and additional research materials both online and at various institutions. [KMG]

Communities for Quality Education [pdf]

Over the past several years, a number of organizations and policy centers have grown increasingly concerned about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)and its implications for students and other members of the education community across the United States. One such group is the Communities for Quality Education, a national education advocacy group which seeks "to build a partnership between people inside and outside the education community who share the common goal of building better public schools for every child." Visitors will definitely want to peruse their research reports, which include data on the number of schools that did not make adequate yearly progress according to the NCLB. The site also features news coverage based on the insightful work of the organization, along with several nice interactive maps that document the actions of individual states concerned with various aspects of the NCLB. [KMG]

General Interest


As more and more parents choose to raise their children in cities, a number of organizations have been created to provide them with helpful resources that will help them enhance their child's urban upbringing. The GoCityKids online guide does exactly that, as it offers suggestions for family-friendly activities in their database. Currently, the guide covers fourteen cities, such as Albuquerque, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Visitors will want to start by using the ActivityFinder search engine, which allows them to search for activities by day, child's age, and type of activity. Visitors can also use the homepage to search by general subject, such as day camps, lodgings, parent resources, and parties. Given that cities are often defined by their neighborhoods, visitors can also elect to search through a list of these highly intimate geographical units at their leisure. [KMG]

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law [pdf]

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is primarily concerned with helping establish a legal framework for strengthening civil society across the globe. Their work includes providing technical assistance to over 90 countries and partnerships with civil society representatives and government officials. First-time visitors may want to begin by reading some of their news briefs and press releases, which examine recent legislation and policy developments that bear directly on the area of civil society. The "Tools and Publications" area will be quite helpful to practitioners in this area as it includes assessment tools (such as a bibliography on the nonprofit sector and civil society) and a number of guidelines for laws affecting civic organizations. Visitors will also want to peruse the archives and current edition of the ICNL's own journal, The International Journal for Not-For-Profit Law. [KMG]

Habitat for Humanity [pdf]

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has constructed over 175,000 houses, which provides homes for over 1 million people. While the organization's most famous volunteer may be former President Jimmy Carter, the group is always on the lookout for other interested parties who would like to give generously of their time. The organization's website contains information on the history of Habitat, along with information about donating and volunteering for the organization. To get a sense of the scope of their work, visitors will want to take a look at the "Where We Build" section of the site. Utilizing a clickable map, visitors can learn about their different home-building efforts in the countries they serve. To really delve into the work of the organization, visitors would do well to peruse the latest edition of Habitat's "Faces and Places" magazine, which contains articles on rural poverty housing initiatives. [KMG]

Silicon Valley History Online

As described on this website, Silicon Valley is "a bellwether beast, pursuing the newest technologies on the drawing board and in the hand". This compelling online digital archive was created by a consortium of organizations and institutions located in the Silicon Valley, including the History San Jose Research Library and the Santa Clara University Archives. Appropriately enough, visitors entering through the site's homepage will be greeted by a number of context-specific images, including a couple of peaches, a microchip processor, and a historical photograph of two scientists at work. From there, visitors can delve into the documents collected here by clicking on one of the general headings, such as education, people, technology, agriculture, and urban life. Currently, the archive contains close to 1000 images, and users are free to browse through them at their leisure. Visitors can also create customized searches and save their favorite images to a "My Favorites" area. [KMG]

Chicago Manual of Style
In 1906, the first edition of The Chicago Manual of Style was published by the University of Chicago. Over the past one hundred years, the Manual has been revised and edited fourteen times, and is now in its fifteenth edition. On this site, visitors may register for free and gain access to the search tool for this latest edition. While this feature is certainly helpful, there are a number of equally useful aspects of the site. The first is the area that gives a number of examples of Chicago-style documentation, such as the humanities style and the well-known author-date system. Equally helpful is the "Q&A" section where the editors answer such timely questions as "If someone has a PhD and is a professor at a university, is their title Doctor or Professor?" [KMG]

Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Right from the beginning, this interesting site lets users know immediately what perspective they will encounter here: "This site caters specifically to those who find an impotent similarity in the 'New Releases' section of a video store and whatever's 'coming to a theater near you'". The site was launched in 2001 and features film reviews from a rotating staff, a section of discussion boards, and a "Features" area. In the "Features" area, visitors will find some of the most compelling material offered, as it contains a number of exhibits on the inventive and iconic film titles designed by Saul Bass (who is responsible for the titles for such films as "Anatomy of a Murder" and "Casino") and "James Bond Returns". Finally, the site also features a RSS feed for interested parties. [KMG]

Network Tools


With many persons needing to travel for business or for pleasure, this handy application that brings weather information directly to the Firefox web browser will be most welcome. This version of ForecastFox draws on information from, and users may enter a US zip code to find out the exact weather conditions at any given locale. Also, a slider function effectively alerts users when current weather conditions are updated. This application is compatible with all operating systems running Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

gPodder 0.4

Over the past few months, more and more podcasts have been made available online for consideration by the general web-browsing public. Some of these podcasts feature the histrionics of political commentators, while still others offer improvisational comedy and the like. This application allows users to manager the podcast feeds they are interested in, and also automatically downloads podcasts from any given site. This application is compatible with all operating systems running Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

In The News

Venice Film Festival Highlights New Cinematic Endeavors

Venice Film Fest finds Romance

Gilliam hopes for better reception at Venice Film Festival

Who dares wins,4120,1564305,00.html

La Biennale di Venezia [Macromedia Flash Player]

Film Festivals

Proof [Macromedia Flash Player]

Movies offer us a brief few hours of respite from the everyday toil of
life, and whether they are comedic or dramatic in their general
orientation, they remain a fairly common form of entertainment and
artistic expression from Singapore to the Silicon Valley. Film
festivals, whether they are in the South of France or the American
South, offer a concentrated and highly dynamic environment where a
myriad of persons involved in the cinematic process come together, and
the media dutifully follows. For the past week or so, many of these
personages have come together at the Venice Film Festival (the oldest
such festival in the world), which concludes on September 10th. Some of
the films featured include a new blue-collar musical by noted auteur
and actor John Turturro, George Clooneys Good Night, and Good Luck,
and Ang Lees Brokeback Mountain. Another film that has garnered
considerable attention is the film adaptation of the Pulitzer-Prize
winning play, Proof, authored by David Auburn. Regardless of the stiff
competition at the festival, only one film will be awarded the highly
coveted Golden Lion, which will be handed out on the final day of the

The first link leads to news story from the San Francisco Examiner that
provides some details on director John Turturros Venice Film Festival
entry, Romance & Cigarettes. The second link will take visitors to a
story from the CBC on Terry Gilliams hope that his latest film, The
Brothers Grimm, will find a more welcoming and critical audience in
Venice than it has thus far in both the US and Canada. The third link
leads to some nice reporting on some of the Festivals films from the
Guardians own Geoffrey McNab. The fourth link will lead users to the
homepage of the Festival, where interested parties can peruse
information about the general schedule of films, along with news
releases directly from their headquarters. The fifth link leads to the
very thorough Film Festivals website, which provides a host of material
on all of the major film festivals across the globe, along with an
extensive archive of previous coverage that dates back to 1995. The
final link leads to the official homepage for the film Proof. Here
visitors can watch a short preview of the forthcoming film and learn a
bit more about the general contours of the films plot. [KMG]

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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2005.

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Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2005. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

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