The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 50

December 16, 2005

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

A Note to our Readers

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

A Note to our Readers

Scout Holiday Publishing Schedule

The Scout Report will be on vacation December 23rd and 30th. We will return with the January 6th, 2006 report. [CMH]

Best Holiday Wishes and see you next year,

Chanda Halderman
Managing Editor

Research and Education

The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War

Telling the story of the American Civil War can be a rather fractious and divisive process, but this website brings together a number of unique perspectives for general consideration. The Valley of the Shadow site details life in and around Augusta County, Virginia, and Frankly County, Pennsylvania from the time of John Browns Raid through the era of Reconstruction. Visitors will find within the site hundreds of relevant and compelling documents, including church records, maps, personal diaries, soldiers records, and census materials. Some of the documents (such as census records) can be viewed side-by-side for comparative purposes. The Memory of the War area is particularly moving as it contains first-hand recollections of the period after the war concluded in 1865. Within this area, the primary documents offered here are divided into sections that include reunions, politics, and obituaries. Overall, the site makes a fine educational resource for both young and old. [KMG]

Ripples of Genocide: Journey Through Eastern Congo [Macromedia Flash Player]

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has done a fine job of providing online materials and exhibitions about various genocides throughout history, and this latest offering provides a sobering and honest look at such a situation in the eastern Congo. This highly interactive site draws on the impressions and contributions of four people who visited the region in 2003 and 2004. These people include a number of journalists and activists, including Angelina Jolie and John Prendergast. Visitors can proceed through an outstanding virtual journal, which contains numerous photographs from the region, audio narration, and a number of collages. Along with this visually and aurally arresting material, the site also contains a link to a new report on the current situation in the Congo from the International Rescue Committee. [KMG]

FDA Consumer Magazine

Some readers may find the thought of reading the average government publication less than riveting, but fortunately the Food and Drug Administrations in-house publication, FDA Consumer, is both well-written and informative. Intended for both a general audience and those concerned with the ongoing work of the FDA, the magazine offers broad coverage on both how to stay healthy and the regulatory work that is part of their mission. Every issue features a consumer quiz, commentary on recent regulatory activities, and a column from the magazines editor. On their site, visitors can read the complete contents of recent issues and also take a look at special issues on drug development and food labeling. The online archive is quite impressive, as it stretches back to 1989, although the contents of the entire magazine are not available for earlier years. [KMG]

Nature of the Beast: Animals in Japanese Paintings & Prints [Macromedia Flash Player]

Beginning with the curious and quick-moving beetle that moves across the screen, visitors will appreciate the visual appeal of this online exhibit offered by the Pacific Asia Museum. The site explores the depiction of animals in Japanese paintings and prints, and does so through three sections titled, Tradition, Reality, and Imagination. Each section contains six high-quality digital renderings of various artworks, complete with an extended essay on the works importance, and the use of animals within each work. One work that is particularly lovely is the 1848 scroll painting, Sparrows and Bamboo by Tsubaki Chinzan. An animated timeline provides additional context for each work and the broader artistic milieu throughout Japan, and a games section offers a host of fun activities, such as a random monster generator. [KMG]

Business Plan Archive [pdf]

Documenting the recent past can present a number of challenges for academics and archivists for any number of reasons, and documenting business history can have some unique challenges. This recent partnership between the Library of Congress, the Center for History and New Media, and the University of Maryland Libraries brings together business plans and related planning documents from the early days of the dot com boom and subsequent bust. The homepage contains information about recent additions to the site and the research corner provides guidelines and recommendations for studying companies. Visitors will need to register (at no charge) to use the archive and they can search the materials through a fine online search engine provided here. Finally, users will want to definitely take a look at video coverage from 2004 where thirteen dot com survivors provided some insights into their business operations during this heady period. [KMG]

Poetic Waves: Angel Island [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

While many visitors to San Francisco may be familiar with Alcatraz Island, they may be less familiar with the story of Angel Island, which is also located nearby. From 1910 to 1940, the island served as immigration station for newly arrived Asian American immigrants to the United States. While here, these people began to bond over their shared experiences, and also started to learn about the difficult time that they would face in this new land. This multimedia website pays tribute to their experiences through offering compelling information about this place through audio narration and music. As the title of the site suggests, visitors can read some of the poetry the immigrants carved into the barracks where they lived when they were being processed upon arrival. The website accurately suggests that there is no direct connection between them except for the languages, the time period, and place. Of course, visitors may wish to continue their visit to the site, by taking the online tour of the facility, which includes the hospital building, the pier, and the barracks. [KMG]

General Interest

Delta Society

The connective tissue between animals and humans has been developed over millennia, both through living in close proximity with each other, and through the complex ways in which they interact. The Delta Foundation was established in 1977 in order to expand awareness of the positive effect animals can have on human health and development. Since that time, they have worked to remove barriers that prevent involvement of animals in everyday life and towards expanding the role of animals in service and education. On their website, visitors can learn about service animals and their various uses, and read about the nature of pet loss and bereavement. Visitors may be happy to learn that they can also learn about volunteer opportunities which they can take part in with their favorite pet or animal. [KMG]

the Warhol: Time Capsule 21 [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Sometime in the 1970s, Andy Warhol began making "time capsules", brown cardboard boxes into which he would drop all kinds of objects from his daily life: letters, clippings from magazines and newspapers, gifts, photographs, business records, and his own and other artists' work. By the time of his death in 1987, Warhol had filled over 600 boxes that were all moved to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in 1994. The Museum has been systematically opening the Time Capsules, and this Web exhibition of Time Capsule 21 allows users to tour selected contents. Dating from the 1950s to the 1970s, this particular capsule contains a great deal of Warhol's work, and the online exhibition allows linking to contextual material. For example, the caption to a Polaroid portrait of YoYo Bischofberger, the wife of a Swiss art dealer, explains how Warhol used Polaroids as part of his portrait-making process, and links to a collage of Warhol portraits, a portrait of Debbie Harry, and a video of Warhol taking photographs of Harry in preparation for making her portrait. There is also a 7-page inventory of the complete contents of Time Capsule 21. [DS]

Science Cinematheque [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Frequently, art imitates life, and at times, the foreshadowing power of art can shape debates about critical issues facing human kind. The Museum of the Moving Image continues this tradition with their Sloan Science Cinematheque website, which is intended to serve as a general forum that will enhance the public understanding of science and technology. The site is divided into three primary sections, including one that contains short student films, lively scholarly articles, and Dialogues. This last section contains video coverage of panel discussion about science and film held at the Museums headquarters. The student films are well worth taking a look at, as they address a wide range of themes, including urban ornithology and a city-dweller obsessed with botany. The site concludes with the articles section, which features commentary from the Museums curators on the recent documentary Grizzly Man, and the complex depiction of the late Alfred Kinsey in the film Kinsey. [KMG]

Revealing Chicago: An Aerial Portrait [Macromedia Flash Player]

Patterns of human use (and misuse) of the land can be provocatively revealed through aerial photography, a fact that is not lost on artists, raconteurs, and perhaps most surprisingly, elected officials. This delightful online exhibit brings together the photographic acumen of Terry Evans, working in tandem with two regional organizations in Chicago, the Openlands Project and Chicago Metropolis 2020. The exhibit begins with the contention that the photographs offer perspectives on the past, present, future of the Chicago region, and fortunately, it follows up on this promise quite well. With a nice interactive feature, visitors can scan through a map of the Chicagoland region to view photographs of old industrial factories, suburban sprawl, and protected wetlands. Visitors can also view the photographs thematically, which includes such areas as farming, infrastructure, and perhaps more leisurely, chilling out. Overall, this is a lovely site and it should be of great interest to urbanologists and those with a penchant for planning or the built environment. [KMG]

The New Yorker [Real Player]

With its urbane and cosmopolitan commentaries on everything from cross-country truck drivers to the latest geo-political imbroglios, the New Yorker has been delighting readers for eight decades. Despite the fact that it costs a few dollars to actually subscribe to the magazine, their website has a great deal of free content for the interested web-browsing individual. Visitors may wish to start by looking at some old chestnuts in their From the Archive area. In recent weeks, it has contained such gems as a 1962 interview with the author of the Mary Poppins books and poetry from Ezra Pound. Of course, one will also find some of the same sections as the print magazine, including The Talk of the Town and Shouts and Murmurs. [KMG]

American Press Institute [pdf]

The American Press Institute has been providing high-quality resources for practicing journalists for years, and now visitors with a penchant for the field can find out about some of these helpful materials on this site. While their homepage can be a bit visually hard to follow, the resources here are top-notch, and include some first-rate publications, such as Reaching Latino Audiences and Women, Men and Newsroom Leadership. The Journalists Toolbox is a real find, as it contains a number of easy-to-use resources on such materials as copyediting, Iraq, and reporting on technology affairs. Additionally, there is a fine area dedicated to business journalism, including helpful hints on how best to deploy statistics in such pieces of writing. Overall, the site is extremely useful, and it is worth visiting several times. [KMG]

Network Tools

FireTune for Fire Fox 1.x

Sometimes the best product is just a slight improvement on an existing product. This is certainly the case with FireTune for Fire Fox. Designed to optimize the browsing experience for those who utilize the popular browser, the application improves a number of key aspects of the browser. These features include the streamlining of actually setting the computer preferences and the like, and they can be used quickly and more efficiently. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

GeoQuiz 1.1

If one cant go around the world in a jet or on a cruise ship, its not a bad idea to learn about world geography via this handy application. With GeoQuiz 1.1, visitors can zoom in around a map of the world to learn the answers to such basic questions as What country is that? Of course, they will have to guess from a list of options, as it is a quiz of sorts. The program also contains a number of new modules, such as those for the United States, which is designed to help users learn the location of each state. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Pollution reporting requirements may change shortly

EPA would ease pollution reporting

Poor put at risk by pollution

Still dusted: Clinton, Nadler call for investigation of EPA response to 9-11,lombardi,70936,2.html

Environmental Protection Agency: Superfund [pdf]

State of the Air 2005: Best and Worst Cities

Urban air pollution and health inequities: a workshop report [pdf]

Pollution and the environment have recently been on the minds of both the public and policymakers alike, particularly given the recent talks regarding the Kyoto Protocol and a number of other international policy measures. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it wanted to ease some of the Clean Air Act regulations that require factories and other industrial polluters to report small releases of toxic pollutants. The program that first made industry responsible for reporting such releases was initiated in 1986, and a number of persons have begun to criticize the EPA for considering such an action. The EPA has countered by stating that communities affected by such releases will be able to know what types of materials are released, but that the details about how each chemical was released will not be made public. All of these announcements come on the heels of a recently released analysis of industrial air pollution in the United States, conducted by the Associated Press, which shows that African-Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of posing the greatest health danger. Overall, the results of this analysis also suggest that poor people are much more likely to live in areas with much higher levels of industrial pollution. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a recent news piece that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune that addresses the potential action that the EPA may take. The second link will whisk users away to an interesting piece from the Seattle Times that discusses the results of the Associated Presss analysis of the patterns of industrial pollution across the country. The third link will take visitors to an article in this weeks Village Voice, which addresses concerns with the way the EPA responded to the toxic cleanup in the area around the World Trade Center disaster site. The fourth link leads to the EPAs homepage for information about Superfund sites and cleanup efforts over the past twenty-five years. The fifth site leads to the American Lung Associations list of the best and worst cities in terms of a number of metrics, including ozone pollution and year-round particle pollution. The final link leads to a compelling workshop report created by the American Lung Association on the nature of urban air pollution and health inequities. [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

Internet Scout Project Team
Max GrinnellEditor
Chanda HaldermanManaging Editor
Rachael BowerCo-Director
Edward AlmasyCo-Director
Debra ShapiroContributor
Nathan JohnsonInternet Cataloger
Michael GrossheimSystem Administrator
Kyle MannaTechnical Specialist
Christopher SpoehrWeb Developer
David MayerWeb Site Designer

For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout Project staff page.