The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 42

October 21, 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

Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future [pdf]

For most of the 20th century, the United States was the pre-eminent leader in many enterprises that were based on advanced scientific and technological knowledge. In recent years, there has been a growing concern that the US may be losing its competitive advantage as other countries (such as India and China) continue to invest heavily both in higher education and the training of scientists and engineers. This very provocative and insightful 504-page report from the National Academy of Sciences takes a critical appraisal of the current state of these affairs, and also offers four primary recommendations along with twenty ideas about how best these recommendations might be achieved over the coming years. Some of these primary recommendations include creating attractive merit-based scholarships for those who wish to become K-12 science educators and lobby policy-makers to fight for tax incentives for innovation that is based in the United States. For those interested in this rather compelling issue, this is a report that is worthy of considerable time and attention. [KMG]

The Florida Folklife Collection [Real Player]

With generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Florida State Archives has recently finished an ambitious two-year project to enhance access to a number of items in the Florida Folklife Collection by creating The Florida Memory Project website. No doubt the site will be of great interest to folklorists and the general public, as it contains an online index with descriptions of 50,000 photographic images and close to 5,000 audio recordings. Additionally, visitors can peruse over 10,000 of these photographic images by performing detailed searches. Visitors can also look through the audio section for a number of real finds, including a WPA recording of a work song performed by Zora Neale Hurston along with other folk song recordings. The site also includes five separate educational units, which may be used in the classroom, or perused at the discretion of each visitor. The units include discussions of the history of net making and net fishing in Florida and the creation of Seminole dolls by noted doll maker Mary B. Billie. [KMG]

National Governors Association [pdf]

With the wide range of issues that confront and bedevil even the most experienced state governor it makes sense that there is a bipartisan organization that offers some coherence to the shared problems confronting many such leaders. Based in Washington D.C., the National Governors Association (NGA), serves as the collective voice of these elected officials and also oversees the NGA Center for Best Practices, which focuses on state innovations and best practices on a wide range of policy issues. On their webpage, visitors can learn about the latest actions taken by the NGA, read opinion articles from various governors, and take a glance at the different policy initiatives underway in different states, such as Arkansass Governor Mike Huckabees Healthy America. Visitors will definitely want to take a look at the publications area of the Center for Best Practices where they will find something of value contained within a host of sections, including those that deal with workforce retention and information technology. [KMG]

Marine Ornithology [pdf]

Whether one has a love of great seabirds or just an interest in the lives of these magnificent creatures, the website of the journal Marine Ornithology is well worth a visit. Started in 1976 by John Cooper, the journal is operated by an editorial board, under the direction of the Pacific Seabird Group, along with other related organizations. Visitors who may wish to contribute a piece to this peer-reviewed journal may want to take a look at their submission requirements and then proceed to the contents of the most recent issue. Some of the more recent articles in the latest issue deal with such topics as parasites and diseases of the auks and aspects of the breeding biology of the Gentoo penguin. For those looking for back issues, the full-text of every past issue dating back to 1988 is also available on the site. [KMG]

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum [pdf, Real Player]

Born in 1874, President Herbert Hoover was a rather remarkable government administrator whose many lasting achievements are often overshadowed by the fact that he had the misfortune to preside over the United States during the beginning of the Great Depression. As one might expect, The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum offers a great deal of perspective on Hoover and his accomplishments, and does so through a number of fine online exhibits and additional materials. First-time visitors to the site may wish to peruse the practical information about visiting the actual Library and Museum in Iowa, but they will want to be sure to continue to the Hoover Information Station of the site. Here they can read Hoovers Inaugural Speech from March 4, 1929, view a list of his public positions and honors, and read his own reflections on his boyhood days in Iowa. [KMG]

General Interest

In Cold Blood: A Legacy [Quick Time]

Forty years ago, Truman Capote, author of such novels as Breakfast at Tiffanys, set a new standard of interpretive and investigative journalism with his investigation into the brutal killings that changed the lives of the residents of Holcomb, Kansas. In 1965, The New Yorker published his work in a serial format under the title, In Cold Blood. Earlier this year, the Lawrence Journal-World created this fine online site in order to provide some perspective on these events and to afford readers the opportunity to respond to these events. Visitors to the site may wish to start by looking at a timeline offered here of the events, then learn about the various participants in these events. Additionally, visitors can read the full-text articles of the four-part series, including pieces that offer some insight into the characters in Capotes work and the way in which he portrayed the various parties to these events. Finally, the site is rounded out by a collection of photos that include those of Capote in some of his trademark hats and the Finney County Courtroom where Perry Smith and Richard Hickock were convicted of the murder of the Clutter family. [KMG]

Smithsonian.TV: A gateway to live online events and multimedia content

[Window Media Player, QuickTime]

The Smithsonian Institution presents a wide variety of multimedia presentations on this section of its website. Included is the live panda cam of Mei Xiang and her cub Tai Shan, born July 9, 2005, archived arts events such as Senior Curator Richard Murray explaining the role of myth in Emanuel Leutze's historical painting Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, interviews with Carol Burnette and Martin Scorcese, as well as virtual tours of the Smithsonian campus. For example, view the Smithsonian Libraries' "Chasing Venus" lecture series originally presented in April, May, and June 2004, on the occasion of the first of two transits of Venus - when the planet Venus passes directly between Earth and the Sun - to occur in this century (there will be another in 2012); or view performances from the National Museum of the American Indian grand opening last year. One caution to using the site since the videos are in a variety of formats, they will not work exactly the same across all browsers and platforms - viewers may need to exercise a little patience waiting for videos to load. [DS]

National Organization for Victim Assistance [pdf]

Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is widely considered a leader in the attempt to secure rights for victims across the world and to provide related support services to mental health professionals, criminal justice agencies, and researchers. Starting at their homepage, users can learn about some of the latest situations they are responding to, including such natural disasters as hurricanes and tsunamis. After viewing the materials, users will definitely want to look at the Help For Victims area, as it contains well-thought out information on advocation and assistance for crime victims with disabilities and how to get help after victimization. Additionally, the publications area of the site includes a myriad of booklets and chapters available for download that deal with crisis intervention, supportive counseling, and the psychological trauma of crime. [KMG]

Predicting Seasonal Weather [Macromedia Flash Player]

Recently, the National Science Foundation has developed a number of Flash-enabled features that showcase the latest research done under their general direction. Many of these features deal directly with a host of pragmatic issues, and some are quite delightful in their overall execution and visual appeal. One such feature highlighted on this site deals with predicting seasonal weather. Of course, predicting such trends in weather are both important to the general public, and to those businesses that are sensitive to the weather conditions. In a series of brief essays, replete with illustrative diagrams, visitors can learn about a new proposed seasonal forecast model. The site is rounded out by a link to a number of classroom resources, thematically organized for convenience. [KMG]

BBC Science & Nature: Prehistoric Life

The BBC is well-regarded for their laudable efforts to provide high-quality online content that complements their fine radio and television offerings. Devised as part of their general Science and Nature website, this particular corner of the web offers a number of educational resources on prehistoric life. The casual visitor may want to take a look through some of the highlights offered here, which include a section on so-called killerdinosaurs (such as the triceratops) and ancient sea monsters. The highlights area also includes a fun interactive game that allows visitors to match fossilized feces (called coprolites) to the animal that is most likely to have created it. Visitors would also do well to take a close look at the Human Beginnings area of the site, which allows them a number of insights into the various early achievements of prehistoric man, along with information about those hominids that are sometimes affectionately referred to as cavemen. [KMG]

This I Believe

In the early 1950s, legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow began a radio program titled This I Believe. On the program, Murrow brought American from all walks of life together to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization. On the original program, many Americans (including such personages as Helen Keller and Jackie Robinson) shared their thoughts with the nation. Some fifty years later, National Public Radio is revisiting this concept by airing these very personal statements from their listeners each Monday. On the site, visitors can read recently contributed essays from people like Senator John McCain, Nancy Yucius, and Dr. Benjamin Carson. Visitors may also want to consider writing their own essay and sending it in as well. As a special treat, the producers of the program have also included a number of essays from the original program, including those written by Albert Einstein and President Harry S. Truman. [KMG]

Network Tools

GroupMail Free Edition

If one has to deliver a number of email messages to a vast array of persons, say for example a listserv comprised of 18th century British historians, the GroupMail application may be just the thing for the job. With a well-designed interface, the application features a relatively easy way to create such email lists, and the free version profiled here supports up to 100 recipients. This program is compatible with computers which run Windows 95 or newer. [KMG]

Privacy History Eraser 1.4

The Privacy History Eraser application allows users to effectively erase the usage history from such applications as Internet Explorer and Windows Media. Visitors who visit the companys primary website can also download ten additional plug-ins that will help them erase their programs, which may also come in handy for those who surf the web frequently. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 2000 and XP. [KMG]

In The News

New book claims to identify the real Shakespeare

Book on real Shakespeare stirs up new tempest

Focus: Is this an imposter I see before me,,2087-1817581,00.html

Welcome to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust [pdf]

Royal Shakespeare Company [Macromedia Flash Player]

Shakespeares shadow

Theaters must stop producing so many new plays and focus more on the classics,,1593896,00.html

If one went into the parlor of the average family during the 19th century, they would most likely find two books in common: the Bible and a bound volume of Shakespeares works. Over the centuries, numerous individuals have called into question the authorship of both works, but the debate over Shakespeares plays continues to rage on with a seemingly unending stream of pundits who claim to have the last word on the subject. The latest volley in this imbroglio reached the public this week with the release of a new book by Brenda James and William Rubinstein titled The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare. In their work, James and Rubinstein contend that the real Bard was Sir Henry Neville, who was a distant relative of Shakespeare and a well-educated bonne home. James began looking into the potential connections between Shakespeare and Neville several years ago, and was intrigued with what she believes is a code on the dedication page of Shakespeares sonnets. To her eye, the code revealed the name Henry Neville, and she continued her investigation in this manner. While critical reviews of the work are still forthcoming, some have already voiced their skepticism. One such retort came from Professor Jonathan Bates of Warwick University who stated Theres not a shred of evidence in support of the argument; its full of errors. Theres no reason to doubt that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. [KMG]

The first link will lead visitors to an article from the Chicago Sun-Times that discusses this new book and its provocative claims. The second link will take visitors to a fine piece from The Times Richard Woods, who reports on the debate about the authorship of these works and also on some of the latest works on the Bard. The third link will take users to the homepage of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, where visitors can learn more about Shakespeares life and about such important queries as What did Shakespeare look like?. The fourth link will whisk users away to the very lovely homepage of the Royal Shakespeare Company, which features information about their current productions and some fine educational resources that address teaching Shakespeares plays in the classroom. The fifth link leads to a joint review of two recent books on Shakespeare from Professor William E. Cain, writing for the Boston Globe. The final link leads to an impassioned editorial piece from the British playwright Mark Ravenhill in this Mondays Guardian on the importance of engaging the rich material in plays that may be considered old-hat. [KMG]

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