The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 40

October 7, 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

Out of Balance: Marketing of Soda, Candy, Snacks and Fast Foods Drowns Out Healthful Messages [pdf]

Despite the best intentions of many public health educators and concerned parents, the obesity problem in the United States continues to grow. A number of organizations have been interested in looking at the role of advertising as a part of this process, and this particular 31-page report on the subject will be of interest to many. Jointly published by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and the Consumers Union (the organization which publishes Consumer Reports), the report looks at the rather ubiquitous nature of advertising by the food, beverage, and restaurant industries as compared to the relatively small amount spent on communicating the importance of eating five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day. The report contains a number of helpful graphs and charts, along with a set of policy recommendations at the conclusion of the report. [KMG]

Office of the Surgeon General [pdf]

The Office of the Surgeon General has rather interesting origins, as it was originally established as part of the U.S. Marine Hospital Service in 1798. By 1870, the Marine Hospital Service was reorganized as a national hospital system under the direction of the Supervising Surgeon, who was later given the title of Surgeon General. Officially, the primary mission of the Surgeon General is to oversee the 6000 member Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, but over the years, those who have held the office have taken on a number of controversial issues, such as teenage sexuality and the dangers of smoking. On the Surgeon Generals website, visitors can learn about public health priorities, read speeches given by the General, and examine testimony given to Congress. Perhaps the most compelling area here is the reports and publications area of the site, which includes a number of public health reports issued by the Surgeon General, including Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Surgeon Generals Report. [KMG]

UNESCO: Education For All [pdf]

In 1990 participants at the World Conference on Education for All, in Jomtien, Thailand, articulated the importance of providing primary education for all children and massively reducing adult illiteracy by the end of the decade. By 2000, some of these goals were reached, but the World Education Forum (sponsored by UNESCO) continues to work towards achieving all of these goals. The website offered here includes sections that answer a number of FAQs about the initiative and provide material on how each country involved in this process is working towards these goals. For persons who might be interested in reading about the more recent achievements of the Education For All initiative, there is also a section titled EFA Monitoring which includes reports from 2002, 2003/2004, and 2005. Given the complexity of this global undertaking, visitors should not be surprised to find that there is also copious information on the global co-ordination efforts of the EFA initiative here as well. [KMG]

Tate Collection: Carousel

The Tate Gallery in London is perhaps one of the worlds finest museums of modern art, and is well-regarded for its creative online collections and galleries. Most recently they developed a rather novel way to browse through approximately 2000 of their artworks online. They are calling it Carousel and this website will allow the curious user to weave their way through this large collection. As their site notes, Its like a random walk with a subtle guiding hand. The works are randomly generated on the site, and visitors can highlight images by clicking on them as they appear and also add them to their favorites list. No doubt this site will prove most efficacious for art educators, artists, and those interested in engaging in a bit of a peripatetic online artistic journey. [KMG]

Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service [pdf]

Created as a result of the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, the Endangered Species Program is responsible for promulgating information about the various international agreements that protect species, maintain the listing program of threatened and endangered species, and also disseminate publications and fact sheets. As one might expect, a primary feature of the site is the actual list of threatened and endangered species. Visitors can generate and print out this list, and also peruse a list of general statistics, along with looking at species list by classification, such as clams, snails, and lichens. The sites homepage also contains direct links to recent publications, such as Working Together: Tools for Helping Imperiled Wildlife on Private Lands. Visitors can also look at management plans adopted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and learn about the various invasive species which are also of concern to the agency. Finally, visitors can also peruse the online archive of the Endangered Species Bulletin all the way back to 1995. [KMG]

General Interest

American Radio Works: No Place for a Woman [Real Player]

Many great things have come out of Minnesota, and the fine radio documentary programs developed by American Radio Works fall squarely into that category, in no small part due to their fine investigative journalism and curiosity about the world. Their latest documentary explores the experience of women who came to work in the iron mines of northern Minnesota. The documentary is divided into three segments, and on this website visitors can listen to the entire program, if they so desire. The program begins by exploring the changing context of job opportunities for women in the 1970s, and continues on to tell the stories of women like Pat Kosmach, who was an activist in the Steelworkers union during this turbulent time. The site also contains a number of fine additional features, including a section that tells about the experience of women who were called to work in the region during World War II. The site is rounded out by several reflection pieces by Catherine Winter and Stephanie Hemphill, who were responsible for researching and creating this documentary. [KMG]

Neuschwanstein Castle: Germany

In 1864, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria wrote to the composer Richard Wagner stating his intention to rebuild the old castle of his ancestors. Speaking of the location he wrote that it was, one of the most beautiful to be found. The castle, opened to the public seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.3 million people visit the castle of the fairy-tale king. On the castles official website (provided in both English and German) visitors follow links to discover the history of King Ludwig II, the building process, the surrounding area, and the challenges the castle faces today. Anyone with an interest in castles, Bavaria, or Germany will find this site useful and informative. The site also provides a plentitude of photos of the castle and the surrounding area, complete with detailed descriptions. In addition, the site provides quick links to other national historic sites within Germany including other castles of King Ludwig II. [CMH]

AmeriCorps [pdf]

Drawing on a long tradition in the United States of voluntary community service, the AmeriCorps program was formally created during the presidency of Bill Clinton, and its stability and increased success was ensured by President Bush in 2003, when he signed the Strengthen AmeriCorps Program Act. First-time visitors to the site may want to begin by looking through the About AmeriCorps section. Here they will find general information about the organization and they may also take a look at a longitudinal study on the long term benefits of the program titled, Serving Country and Community. The other primary sections available from the homepage provide materials for organizations interested in sponsoring AmeriCorps volunteers and for those persons who may want to sign up to become a AmeriCorps volunteer. The site also includes a Best Practices area that features a number of well-tested programs, such as how best to develop a community gardening project or how to build effective summer learning programs. [KMG]

Americans for the Arts [pdf]

Over the past several decades, a host of organizations have developed for the purpose of lobbying on behalf of the arts throughout the United States. Americans for the Arts was created in 1996 when the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies and the American Council for the Arts merged. The primary purpose of the nonprofit organization is to advance the cause of the arts in America through generating more resources for the arts and arts education. Their well-designed and thoughtful website will be of great interest to persons looking for resources on this topic, and also for organizations who may be looking to pursue additional funding resources for their own arts organizations. New visitors can gain quick entry into these collections by looking through sections that include policy and advocacy, research and information, and professional development. One of the best resources on the site is a report issued in 2004 titled Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts, which is the first national study that covers both the nonprofit and for-profit arts industry. [KMG]

iPod Subway Maps

As more and more people use their iPod devices for a variety of uses, it seems quite apropos that there might be a website dedicated to providing maps of subway systems that urbanites and tourists alike can use at their own discretion. This particular site was designed by William Bright, and so far he has made close to two dozen maps available here. Some of the cities include Berlin, Paris, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The website includes information on how to place the maps on the iPod, and also includes information about each map for those seeking additional material. Of course, as with many sites these days, there is also a weblog where visitors can keep track of new developments and additions to the site. [KMG]


What if you could trade details on the whereabouts of wandering tattlers with hundreds of other amateur (and professional) ornithologists across North America? This exchange of information is now quite easy, as the very helpful eBird website developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society can facilitate all of this and much more. With this site, visitors can enter their own bird observations, or access the entire historical database to find out what other users of the eBird site have to say about their own bird watching forays. Of course, before getting started, visitors may want to read the About eBird section, which includes a number of tutorials on how to use the system. The site is rounded out by a nice glossary, which includes information on such terms as Birds Per Hour and Casual Observation. [KMG]

Network Tools


With the advent of the Internet, users could share thoughts, ideas, and rants almost instantaneously across oceans, mountain ranges, or even just across a mere ZIP code boundary. With this latest device created by Tim Spalding, those who are so inclined can share information about their own personal libraries across great distances. Currently users can catalog up to 200 books at no charge and also create tags for each record as they do so. Overall, this is a rather fun little tool, and it may become quite addictive over time. Library Thing is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

Opera Browser 8.5

Opera has come out with a new browser that contains a number of fine new features, and as a result, both first-time and repeat visitors will want to pay close attention. This version includes support for bidirectional languages (such as Arabic and Hebrew), a compelling slide-show feature for web-based photos, and spatial navigation. Finally, users can also customize the look of the browser with a number of new skins and templates. This version is compatible with computers which run Windows 95 or newer and Mac OS X. [KMG]

In The News

10th planet discovery creates excitement and debate

Astronomers space out, find 10th planet

Bid to solve dispute over planets

10th Planet has moon companion

Information on the telescope used to discover Xena and Gabrielle

Discovery of Xenas moon

Discovery of 2003 UB313 the 10th Planet

International Astronomical Union

Kuiper Belt page

The newly discovered planet 2003 UB313, otherwise known as Xena, now has a companion in the solar system. Originally spotted in 2003, Xena was not officially announced until July of 2005. On the heels of the publication of Xenas existence, comes the revelation that Xena has a moon, named Gabrielle. The names Xena and Gabrielle are only temporary, used by some astronomers because they are simpler to remember than names such as 2003 UB313. To decide the official name, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) must first decide if Xena is in fact a planet, then they will decide if the discoverers proposed name will be used. The astronomers who discovered both Xena and Gabrielle cannot reveal their proposed name, so until then the nicknames will have to suffice. Xena was found in the Kuiper Belt, which is a huge region of icy planetary bodies that orbit beyond Neptune in the distant region of the solar system. The discovery of this new planet and its moon has reignited the debate about what properties an object must possess in order to be classed as a planet. Prior to this newest discovery, Plutos status as a planet was already in question by some astronomers. But while Pluto rests on 100 years of history as a planet, newly discovered bodies are not so easily defined. Until the IAU can agree on a definition of a planet, Pluto will continue to hang on tenuously to its status as one of nine planets, and its mnemonic device, My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas, will remain as well. While the public awaits the final definition of what constitutes a planet, both school children and adults alike can rest easy and will not yet have to ponder what else our excellent mother will send us.

The first link takes users to the announcement of the discovery of Xena in August made in the Yale Daily News. The second link takes the user to an article from the BBC further discussing the planetary debate. The third link is a BBC article that includes this weeks announcement about Xenas moon. For further knowledge about the astronomers and telescope involved with these two discoveries, among others, the fourth link will take the user to their website. The fifth and sixth link will take the user directly to the discovering astronomers website for the announcements about the new moon, Xena, and information on the progress of the IAU. If you are interested in the IAU, the seventh link will take you to their website. And finally the last link will take you to a website dedicated to providing more information on the Kuiper Belt and the icy bodies that make up this far region of our solar system. [CMH]

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

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