The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 3

January 20, 2006

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

The National Mental Health Association [pdf]

As it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2009, the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) remains the countrys oldest and largest nonprofit organization that deals with all aspects of mental health and mental illness. First-time users of their site will find that their homepage contains copious amounts of material related to their advocacy efforts, along with materials that deal with helping a loved one who may be suffering the effects of mental illness. The Need Info? area is a good place to start for these types of materials, as it provides access to information on treatment resources, support groups, and fact sheets. Visitors can also elect to sign up for one (or several) of their helpful email updates, which include work on related legislation, and mental health news coverage. [KMG]

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Georgia Towns and Cities, 1884-1922

The Scout Report has profiled a number of map collections in the past, and it is always a delight to find new collections to offer to our readers. This latest collection was created as part of the Digital Library of Georgia project, and contains the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for the years 1884 to 1922, inclusive. As some users might already know, the Sanborn maps were originally created and used by fire insurance assessors, but over the past several decades, urbanologists have used them extensively to study the ways in which American cities and towns have changed. Visitors to the site can perform a basic search using their search engine, or utilize the address search feature as well. Users may also wish to browse the collection by city or by year in order to get a sense of how these tremendously useful documents look and operate. To provide one example, visitors may wish to compare the maps of Atlanta in 1886 to those created in 1918. [KMG]

International Womens Health Coalition [pdf]

The growing interest in womens health and rights can be gauged effectively by the recent emphasis placed on these matters by important leaders such as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who remarked that the best way for the world to thrive is to ensure that its women have the freedom, power, and knowledge to make decisions affecting their own lives and those of their families and communities. The International Womens Health Coalition (IWHC), founded in 1984, is committed to providing financial assistance to local womens groups in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well as through their own advocacy work at intergovernmental conferences. One of the highlights of their site is their Featured Resources area, which includes a number of recent publications, and a topical list of publications dealing with such issues as youth health, contraception, and HIV/AIDS. Visitors can also search their fact sheet collection, along with annual reports, and speeches. The site is rounded out by a providing visitors the opportunity to sign up to receive email updates in English or Spanish. [KMG]

USDA: Rural and Community Development [pdf]!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?navtype=SU&navid=RURAL_DEVELOPMENT

The United States government has been involved in rural development support for over seventy years, and the United States Department of Agricultures Rural and Community Development program has spearheaded many of these initiatives directly. Users of the site should first look at their homepage, which provides a Spotlights area, profiling recent announcements and website features, such as information about rural development policy and related pieces of legislation. The homepage also contains a Related Topics area which includes quick access to a broad range of related topics, including backyard conservation, utility services, and drought assistance. Near the bottom of the homepage, visitors will find links to recent reports, such as Promoting Tourism in Rural America. Additionally, the homepage also provides access to the Journal of Extension and Rural Cooperatives Magazine. Finally, the site also includes a database of farmers markets across the United States. [KMG]

World Health Organization: Food Safety [pdf]

Growing concern about food safety has spurred a number of international organizations to action, and the World Health Organization (WHO) is one group that has been concerned with this issue for the past few years. The WHO has worked closely with a number of like-minded organizations (such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) to address food safety issues along the entire food production chain-from production to consumption. To help disseminate some of their findings, they have created this site that provides information on microbiological risks, food borne diseases, and consumer education. The homepage provides access to a number of recent publications and presentations, along with information about upcoming meetings and research studies. Those working in the fields of public health and food safety education will definitely want to take a look at their fact sheets, which include the publication Five keys to safer food, which is available in a number of different languages. [KMG]

Shared Experience: Art & War

The use of artistic expression to convey the experience of war and the battlefield has been around since antiquity, and has given rise to glorious poetry, epic stories, and more recently, paintings. This online exhibit created by the people at the Australian War Memorial presents the experiences of Australians, Britons, and Canadians in the Second World War through paintings created during this turbulent period. As the homepage suggests, The men and women that feature in these works are shown waiting, preparing, fighting, suffering, celebrating. First-time visitors will want to start by reading the introductory essay by Roger Tolson titled A Shared Experience. After doing so, they should feel free to browse around the paintings offered here, all of which are grouped into thematic categories that include Casualties, Work, and Battle. There are a number of rather haunting and evocative paintings scattered across these categories, but visitors should be sure to take a look at the work Battlefield burial of three NCOs by Ivor Hele and Airmen In A Village Pub Yorkshire by Miller Brittain. The site is rounded by brief biographies for each of the artists whose work is included on the site. [KMG]

General Interest

Earth From Above [Shock Wave]

Many people may be familiar with the Earth from Above project via the traveling exhibition that made its way across the United States a few years back. Sponsored by UNESCO and Fuji Film, the work was an ambitious project by the photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand to document many of the worlds most interesting places and to examine the effects of humans on various corners of the earth. This remarkable website allows users to view many of these photographs via an innovative interactive interface that is relatively easy to use. Some of the sights that visitors to the site will see include the Mammoth Hot Springs, camels in Mauritania, and a mangrove forest in New Caledonia. It should be noted that to view the site visitors will need to use either Netscape or Internet Explorer in order to take advantage of the sites full capabilities. [KMG]

Beyond the Visible: The Art of Odilon Redon [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Entering Beyond the Visible: The Art of Odilon Redon is to be transported into the artists' dreamlike, surreal world. Several dozen of the works in the exhibition are arranged into three main themes: Monsters, Metamorphosis and Tales. The Monsters section includes some of Redons most reproduced images, such as Eye-Balloon, 1878; Spider, 1887; and The Egg, 1885. In the Tales section, one should page through all eleven prints in the portfolio labeled The Temptation of Saint Anthony, 1888. Life forms mutate into each in the Metamorphosis section, as exemplified by The March Flower, a sad human head, plate II from Homage to Goya, 1885. Finally, stop by the All Works section to see all the art in the show by date rather than theme. [DS]

The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

While it is not possible to return to San Francisco in the days after the destructive earthquake that shook the city on April 18, 1906, this well-thought out site from the Bancroft Library at Berkeley offers visitors a cornucopia of visual ephemera and primary documents related to this famed event. As part of a collaborative effort with other area institutions (including Stanford University and The Society of California Pioneers), staff members at the Bancroft Library have created this collection for the general public. On the site, visitors will find an interactive map of the city, complete with links to a host of historic photographs. Other features include a 360-degreee panoramic view of the city in ruins and a fine list of additional resources, such as relevant books, articles and dissertations of note. Overall, this is a well-presented site and one that merits several visits. [KMG]

Style and Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey [Macromedia Flash Player]

For some, the importance of style and fashion is paramount in their everyday lives. While many in contemporary society remain on the cutting edge of fashion in order to appear hip, life in other societies demanded much of vestments in terms of their ability to convey status and power. This was certainly true of life in imperial Turkey during the reign of the Ottomans, and this delightful online exhibition pays homage to their complex and beautiful robes and related items. On this site, visitors are treated to a fine introductory essay that describes the bright colors and bold designs of these robes, along with providing some important background information. With relative ease, visitors can zoom in to view details of some of these robes, which feature intricate weaves and explosions of vibrant color. For visitors who are not completely sated by this exhibition, the site also contains links to other sites on the Ottoman Library created by a host of other institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [KMG]

Vincentian Postcards

St. Vincent de Paul was a 17th century priest who founded the Congregation of the Mission in 1625 and throughout his life the society worked towards preaching the gospel. Several centuries later, the Vincentians began to develop a presence in the United States, and this online collection from DePaul University contains postcards which reflect a wide variety of the Vincentians activities in the country, including images of their hospitals, universities, and religious orders. Visitors can elect to use the search engine provided on the site, or they can also look through a selection of searches, such as religious orders, Saint Vincents life, and building type. All told, the collection contains 580 postcards that offer substantial insight into the world of the Vincentians, as visitors can look at images of St. Josephs College in Maryland and places and buildings closely associated with the life of St. Vincent. [KMG]

Early Childhood Interventions: Proven Results, Future Promise

A significant amount of intellectual hand wringing has gone on as of late regarding the nature and importance of early childhood intervention programs. Some have claimed that such programs (including Head Start) are inherently a waste of money, while others tout their apparent ability to increase future educational and life opportunities, particularly for the under-privileged. This intriguing research report from the RAND Corporation, authored by Rebecca Kilburn and Jill Cannon, provides compelling evidence suggesting that well-designed programs for disadvantaged children age four and younger can produce economic benefits that are quite significant. The report contends that high quality early childhood programs can keep children out of expensive special education programs; increase high school graduation rates; reduce juvenile crime, and increase the number of students who go on to college. Stimulating in its approach and its scholarly rigor, this report will be quite useful and helpful to persons interested in such policy issues. [KMG]

Network Tools

Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5

As an embedded feature within the Mozilla web browser, Thunderbird was a fine email component offered as part of the entire Mozilla experience. Recently, this email client was released as a stand-alone application, and it is definitely worth taking a look at. With this latest version of Thunderbird, visitors have access to a number of great security features (such as message encryption) and a number of layout options. Visitors will also find a number of standard features included, such as message searching and return receipts. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

iDump 1.1

Given that transferring songs from ones computer to an iPod device can sometimes be a hassle, this latest application will be most helpful for persons in such a predicament. With this application, visitors can also use such features as a built-in search engine to locate various songs, an export playlist function, and functionality in three languages, including German and Spanish. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 2000 and XP. [KMG]

In The News

Heritage status brings unexpected consequences

Preservation: Sure, Its a Good Thing, but[Free registration required, Macromedia Flash Player]

Three Rivers hydro-electric project checked by World Heritage Status

Not everything can be preserved exactly as it is for all time

World Heritage Centre: The List

World Heritage Education Kit

World Heritage Site

Preserving the various products of human societies can be a difficult process. How does one begin to landmark the cultural and social riches of the world that can be found in many quarters of Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia? Many experts in the field argue that it is important to preserve such places for future generations, so that they might have some sense of the experiences of people who have long passed from the earth. Still others argue that such heritage and preservation activities hinder development and are an infringement on the rights of property holders. This debate continues to unfold and evolve in places such as Mexico, which has a number of heritage sites that have been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list since the original list was first created in 1978. This past week, the New York Times reported on the issues surrounding the list, with particular reference to the situation in Mexico, which finds itself coping with managing the growing numbers of tourists who are seeking out such places. There has been a groundswell of concern from organizations such as the New York-based World Monuments Fund about designating such sites and the increase in traffic produced by being placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The president of the Fund, Bonnie Burnham, recently remarked Countries found out that while they didnt get money from UNESCO, they did get recognition, and recognition results in tourism. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a very nice article from the New York Times Seth Kugel, who reports on both the positive and less-than-positive aspects of having places of cultural significance on the World Heritage Site list. The piece also includes a link to an audio slide show that will take visitors through some of Mexicos World Heritage sites. The second link leads to a news story from this past Monday that discusses how a major hydroelectric project in China may be held up due to the fact that the area contains the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage site. The third link will take users to an impassioned editorial from the Scotsman which discusses the recent preservation imbroglio that is underway in Edinburgh, which is also on the World Heritage list. The fourth link will take users to the actual World Heritage List created by UNESCO. Here visitors can view the list (organized by country), and peruse basic facts about such marvels as the city of Meknes in Morocco and the Poblet Monastery in Spain. The fifth link leads to a helpful educational toolkit developed by the World Heritage organization that is designed to teach young and old alike about the importance of the preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world. The final link leads to a site developed and maintained by Els Slots, an individual who has great admiration and respect for those places on the World Heritage list. Here visitors can view a number of fine photographs of a number of the sites, including the old city of Jerusalem and the city of Bath. [KMG]

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