The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 7

February 17, 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

Migration Policy Institute [pdf]

Founded in 2001, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) evolved from a program at the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace. Since its inception, the MPI has been dedicated to examining the trends and processes associated with the movement of various people worldwide. The homepage offers a wide array of resources for the general public, journalists, and academicians. Looking at the In Focus area on the homepage, visitors can download new working papers and reports with titles such as The New Boat People and Immigration Enforcement at the Worksite, Making it Work. From the homepage, users can also make their way to the Migration Information Source website which contains global migration data, country migration profiles, and a glossary of migration terms. Visitors with specific questions can also view a list of experts in a variety of topics related to migration and email them directly. [KMG]

World War II Military Situation Maps

Maps have been integral to military conflicts and warfare since time immemorial, and many of these documents are highly prized by collectors and military historians. The American Memory Project at the Library of Congress recently created this fine digital collection of World War II situation maps from the years 1944 and 1945. Beginning with the D-Day Invasion, the maps provide information about troop positions throughout Western Europe, along with important graphical representations of various landmarks within the military landscape. Visitors can browse through the collection by title, creator, subject, place, or date. Perhaps the finest part of the site is an interactive essay that takes users through the Battle of the Bulge with a series of maps and some brief commentaries. [KMG]

Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body [Real Player, pdf]

With all the increased interest in the world of forensics, high-quality online resources on the subject are in great demand. This wide-ranging survey of forensics and the human body was created by the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. As the website so poignantly notes when it comments on forensics: Its visible proofs testify on behalf of the victims of violent crimes and against the guilty-and console and inspire and amaze us. Starting with the Exhibition area, visitors can learn about the rise of forensics and proceed to move through sections on forensics laboratories and public perceptions of forensics. The Educational section of the site is also quite worthy of attention, as it contains lesson plans, online games, and a number of archived interviews with forensic scientists. [KMG]

National Climatic Data Center

As the worlds largest active archive of weather data, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is truly a force of nature. The organization operates the World Data Center for Meteorology in Asheville, NC as well as the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology in Boulder, CO. The material offered includes data sets that track historical climate data throughout the United States and material on global hazards. The In the Spotlight area is a nice place to start as it contains some of their more recent thematic collections, such as information on the weather at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and summaries of the storm meteorology of Hurricane Katrina. The Climate Monitoring area is quite broad in its scope, containing the annual State of the Climate reports and data on snowfall. [KMG]

Measuring Linguistic Diversity on the Internet [pdf]

From online dating to scholarly collaborations, the web facilitates millions of interactions between distant groups of people every day. One question recently posed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was this: What languages are being used in all of this online activity? A good question to be sure, and this important document is the result of their lengthy inquiry. Published near the end of 2005, this 106-page paper contains a number of important findings about the nature of researching linguistic diversity on the internet. The paper includes sections on the usage of Asian and African languages on the internet, along with an investigation into linguistic bias authored by John Paolillo. The report is rounded out by a very thorough bibliography that will be of great use to those with a detailed interest in this area. [KMG]

The Free Expression Policy Project

Founded in 2000, The Free Expression Policy Project has been part of the NYU School of Laws Brennan Center for Justice for the past two years. During that time, the Project has continued to provide research reports and a host of other valuable insights on copyright, free speech, and media democracy issues. The site is fairly easy to navigate, as users can peruse some of the topical headings offered at the top of the homepage. These include areas that deal with media policy, violence in the media, art censorship, and censorship history. Users can also use tabs on the left side of the homepage to look over a number of fact sheets, commentaries, and court and agency briefs. Overall, the site contains a host of materials that will be quite helpful to both legal scholars and those with an interest in these weighty and important issues. [KMG]

General Interest

Peace Corps Writers [pdf]

There are a number of organizations whose members maintain a close affinity and appreciation for their work long after they have completed their time working together. One such organization is the Peace Corps, and this website serves as testimony to those shared bonds. Established by Peace Corps alums John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil, the Peace Corps Writers website combines reflections by different generations of fellow Peace Corps volunteers and a number of special pieces on the history of the organization. Visitors to the site can read the contents of the current issue (and archived ones as well), which include interviews with fellow travelers and their lives after the Peace Corps. Interestingly enough, each issue also contains reviews of books authored by others of their number. The historical articles should not be missed as they contain early editorials about the future of Peace Corps from the early 1960s and a piece on the experience of Paul Theroux as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi. [KMG]

Whitney ARTPORT: The Whitney Museum Portal to Net Art [Macromedia Flash


Created by the Whitney Museum, this portal to digital art has been around for some time, but is still worth another look. The portal includes current "gate pages", that point to the work of selected artists and change monthly, along with an archive of gate pages dating back to 2001. In the section on commissioned digital art projects, the current lineup includes The Dumpster (Valentine's Day, 06) by Golan Levin with Kamal Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg, blog posts about breakups scavenged in 2005, and {Software} Structures by Casey Reas (with Robert Hodgin, William Ngan, Jared Tarbell) exploring the idea of software as art. Finally, the resources section lists galleries, networks and museums on the Web, publications, and new media festivals, while the collection area showcases digital art owned by the Whitney Museum. Altogether, ARTPORT provides a great jumping off place to the far-flung and ephemeral world of Web art. [DS]

African American Sheet Music, 1820-1920
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, sheet music was produced in enormous quantities in the United States. To historians and other interested parties, much of this material serves as a way to look at social and cultural mores of the times. This digital collection from Brown University takes a look at the sheet music that reflected attitudes towards African-Americans. Containing several hundred pieces of sheet music, this collection includes songs from the period of antebellum blackface and the abolitionist period. The wide range of material offered here also allows visitors the ability to trace the evolution of certain archetypes in African-American culture, including the appearances of Uncle Tom and Jim Crow. Also included here are a number of insightful essays, such as Minstrelsy and the Construction of Race in America. [KMG]

Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation Network [pdf, Real Player]

The world of public policy formation is a broad one, and the Open Society Institute is an intriguing and informative part of this broad universe. Specifically, the Institutes goal is to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. Not surprisingly, the publications area of this site is quite laudable. Here visitors will find material discussing the Institutes wide range of work related to investigating the situation in Darfur as well as same-sex marriage amendments. Beyond this, this area also affords visitors the opportunity to view electronic newsletters. The site also contains a very nice section dedicated to the groups Initiatives, which includes their work on democratic governance in Africa and other areas. Finally, the site is rounded out by a selection of opinion pieces and event listings. [KMG]

The Motley Fool [Real Player]

With a title like The Motley Fool, visitors unacquainted with this program may wonder what exactly this series might be about. Created in 1993, the program is essentially a down-to-earth guide to personal finance and investing offered by David Gardner on National Public Radio. As might be expected, this lively program covers a wide range of subjects, including online wedding planning, helpful stock tips, and retirement funds. First-time visitors to the site will want to listen to a sample program, and then perhaps examine the programs online archives, which date back to January 2002. One of the more recently added features to the site is the area dedicated to downloadable podcast programs. A number of these are definitely worth downloading, and taken in tandem with the actual radio show, should be considered a fine guide to the compelling area of personal finance and business acumen. [KMG]

Inside the Brain: An Interactive Tour

The human brain is in many ways a fantastic and enigmatic part of the body, and only within the past few decades have scientists begun to understand its many nooks and crannies. When the brain is beset with any number of neurological conditions, it changes in a myriad of ways. This website, provided by the Alzheimers Association, provides an interactive tour of the brain of a person with Alzheimers disease. The tour contains sixteen interactive slides, and each slide contains informative text that provides background material. The first seven slides contain a bit of background information about the brain, such as what the brain is composed of and how it functions. Rounding out the site are a selection of links to sites that provide additional information on the brain, such as the Harvard University Whole Brain Atlas site and the BBCs Interactive Brain Map. [KMG]

Network Tools

ScrapBook for Firefox 0.18.4

Some may think that a scrapbook is just a way to keep bits of important odds and ends together, whether it be electronically or in an actual physical scrapbook. This particularly helpful extension used in tandem with the Firefox browser will allow users to save web pages for their own usage. The features of this program also allow users to organize their collections of web pages as they see fit and also perform a full text search within these saved pages. This program is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

Web Performance Analyzer Free Edition 1.2

For those users with websites, this application will be most welcome. Essentially, the application allows users the ability to measure, analyze, and track their own web page performance with a variety of tools. The application can also mark which pages may be loading too slowly and also track individual pages performances over time. This version of Web Performance Analyzer is compatible with all computers running Windows 95 or newer. [KMG]

In The News

U.S. Army Says Goodbye to MASH

U.S. Army Gives Away Last MASH,,-5624260,00.html

Last U.S. MASH Unit Handed Over to Pakistan

Mission to quake-ravaged Kashmir is farewell for MASH

Korean War 50th Anniversary [Macromedia Flash Player]

Korean War Casualty Lists

M*A*S*H Television Show Guide

In a remote valley in Pakistan this Thursday, the United States Army said farewell to the last remaining Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit. These tremendously helpful and durable units were best known as a result of the very popular television show set during the Korean War, which featured a wise-cracking cast that included Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, and Harry Morgan. This particular MASH unit had been stationed in northern Pakistan for four months helping give medical aid to the thousands of people affected by the October 8th earthquake that devastated the region. The Armys decision to donate the unit to Pakistan was part of a broader change in their medical operations, namely one that places a premium on the combat support hospital system. This system is inherently more flexible, and utilizes surgical squads that can go out into the field. Most of the Pakistani medical staff scheduled to take over the MASH unit had never seen the television show of the same name, but one of the spokesmen for the Pakistani Army, Major Farooq Nasir, mentioned that he had seen the show. He remarked, It was a nice comedy. They didnt behave like that here. They were quite serious.

The first link will take visitors to a news article from The Guardian that discusses the last MASH unit. The second link leads to a National Public Radio feature about the MASH units, and includes a brief interview with Rear Admiral Michael LeFever about the handover of the unit to Pakistan. The third link leads to some additional news coverage provided by USA Todays Paul Wiseman. The fourth link leads to a site created by the Department of Defense to provide information about the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War. The fifth link leads to a site provided by the National Archives, which allows users to search casualty lists from the Korean War. The final link will take users to a site created by that provides information about the television show MASH, complete with cast biographies and episode summaries. [KMG]

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