The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 9

March 3, 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

William J. Clinton Presidential Center [Real Player, pdf]

Former President Clinton, like President Jimmy Carter before him, has embarked on an ambitious program of humanitarian work through the William J. Clinton Foundation. On the Foundations website, visitors can learn about the various partnerships and programs, which are centered on the themes of health security, economic empowerment, and leadership development, among others. From the homepage, visitors can learn about these programs, and also read from President Clintons travel diary. For those looking to learn about the Foundations work in greater detail, there are themed sections which provide successful case studies in each area, along with video clips of the initiatives at work. Finally, visitors can also read press releases from the Foundation, and peruse transcripts of Clintons speeches given on behalf of the Foundation. [KMG]

Pew Institute for Ocean Science [pdf, Real Player]

Established in 2003, the Pew Institute for Ocean Science is dedicated to conducting, sponsoring, disseminating, and promoting world-class scientific activity aimed at protecting the worlds oceans and the species that inhabit them. As part of their ambitious mission, the Institute has established this website to provide open access to information about their research and findings. This information includes material on various projects, such as the Pew Global Shark Assessment as well as their work on fishery yields around the worlds oceans. The projects area is well organized, as visitors can see what types of media are available for each project, such as images, videos, audio programs, press coverage, and publications. The events calendar here is a nice feature, and is worth consulting to find out about conferences that address deep sea corals and local approaches to marine conservation and management. [KMG]

Two on Teaching in Community Colleges

The Center for Teaching Excellence [pdf]
Del Mar College-Teaching and Learning Center [Real Player]

A number of colleges and universities have excellent sites dedicated to helping professors and other educators learn more about effective teaching methods. In recent years, more than a few community colleges have also adopted such techniques, creating a plethora of websites geared towards assisting educators. The first site profiled is from the Lansing Community Colleges Center For Teaching Excellence. From their page, visitors can take a look through a number of useful documents, such as Classroom Strategies for Fostering Student Retention and Essays on Teaching Excellence. The site also contains their biannual newsletter, Spotlight on Faculty, which features a number of teaching tips and techniques developed by faculty at the college. The second site will take users to the Teaching and Learning Center at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Here visitors can find helpful technology tips designed for incorporating technology into the classroom, and a number of podcasts of interest. These podcasts deal with a number of themes, ranging from mental health crises on campus to resource challenges facing community colleges. [KMG]

National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy [pdf]

Located at Harvard University, The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) draws on numerous scholars and experts to investigate the practice of educational programs around the country that serve adults with limited literacy and English language skills. Their various outreach efforts include disseminating their research findings through journals and policy reports, along with the leadership provided by their Connecting Practice, Policy, and Research initiative. The Research section of the site is a good place to start, as users can learn about their most recent research projects and also read publications authored by researchers working at NCSALL. Beyond this section, visitors will also appreciate the Publications area, which includes research briefs, reports, and selections from their occasional papers series. One highlight here is the Focus on Basics quarterly publication, which presents best practices and current research on adult learning and literacy. Visitors can view the current issue, and also scan through the archives, which date back to 1997. [KMG]

The Future of Children [pdf]

There are a number of fine journals that deal with policies oriented toward children in the United States, and The Future of Children is certainly one of the best. The journal is a publication of The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. On this site, visitors can read the current issue of the journal, and also browse their previous issues dating back to 1991. Each issue has a general theme, and past years have featured issues dealing with adoption, health insurance for children, caring for infants and toddlers, and domestic violence. For visitors who may be pressed for time, each issue contains an executive summary and article summaries. Additionally, users may also wish to sign up to receive their free e-mail newsletter. [KMG]

California Climate Change Portal [pdf]

Global warming and climate change have been a top priority for a number of international organizations, and in recent years, a number of states have also become profoundly concerned about these transformations. Not surprisingly, the state of California has been interested in these subjects for some time, and this website is an initiative of the various agencies working in this area of research. On this site, visitors can learn about various initiatives sponsored by different agencies within the state and also peruse a list of FAQs on the subject. First-time visitors will want to start at the Background section; they may then proceed to the Policy & Program area, where they can learn what the state is doing to combat this situation. Some of these programs include a voluntary greenhouse gas emission registry for California companies and a research program to spur environmentally-friendly energy alternatives. Finally, the site also includes a very nice glossary of terms used in discussing global climate change. [KMG]

General Interest

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Preserving the Stories of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma

The web has facilitated the creation of a number of historical archives dealing with relatively recent events, including such notable efforts as those designed to preserve oral histories of September 11th. Another project of note is the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, developed and maintained by George Mason Universitys Center for History and New Media and the University of New Orleans. With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the project has collected first-hand accounts of these hurricanes, along with archives of blog postings, podcasts, and on-the scene visual documentation. From the homepage, visitors can browse an interactive map of images submitted to the archive and also add their own materials to the existing archive. One part of the site that should not be missed is the section that contains the personal stories submitted by those who experienced the effects of the hurricanes. All told, there are around 140 stories, some of which are just short reminisces, and others which offer greater detail. Overall, this is a fine site that could serve as a template for those persons or organizations seeking to create like-minded online projects. [KMG]

Hirshhorn: Hiroshi Sugimoto

This Web exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Hirshhorn Museum features series of photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto, from 1976 to the present, the entire span of his career. The majority of the photographs are black and white, with the exception of the series Colors of Shadow, which reveals, in the artist's words, "sublime variety in shadow hues." Another series in the exhibition is Architecture, which are photographs showing Sugimoto's "erosion-testing" of exceptional examples of modern architecture, such as the Chrysler or Seagram Buildings. This is accomplished by photographing the buildings using a large-format camera, so that the images are blurred; only the best examples of architecture hold up. Also fascinating is the Portraits series, recreating 16th century portraits of Henry the 8th and his wives in black and white photography. Although the digital images of Sugimoto's photographs are not presented in a particularly high-tech way, they are still worth a look. Visitors can also listen to Hiroshi Sugimoto podcasts, including an exhibition tour and meet the artist events. [DS]

San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection

In the 1936 film, San Francisco Jeannette MacDonald sings the films title song, which of course includes the Gus Kahn-penned lyric San Francisco, welcome me home again/Im not at home to go roaming no more. For those who might be pining for Baghdad by the Bay (or for images from the infamous earthquake in 1906), this online collection from the San Francisco Public Library will be most welcome. All told, the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection contains more than 250,000 photographs of San Francisco and California, although not all of these photographs are available online here. Visitors should begin their voyage through these images by using their search engine, which allows them to search by photographer, subject index, or by date. Perhaps the most novel way to search the images is to look through the photos by using an interactive map of the entire city. Here visitors can find photographs of the historic Moulin Rouge nightclub in the historic Barbary Coast area, or move on over to Sutro Heights over on the Pacific Ocean. For those who might be feeling a bit less adventurous, there are a number of thematic collections, including Picture This: Family Photographs of Everyday San Francisco. [KMG]

Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics [Real Player, pdf]

Based at New York University, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics is a rather unique consortium of various institutions, artists, scholars, and activists dedicated to exploring the relationship between expressive behavior and social and political life in the Americas. Equally interesting is the Institutes desire to move beyond a number of traditional disciplinary boundaries, such as dance and theater. With funding from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the Institute has created this very helpful site, which contains archived performances, and other materials, such as images, audio interviews, course syllabi, and bibliographies. The archived interviews and performances are quite worthwhile, and they include discussions on What is performance studies? with various NYU professors and short performances by Anna Deavere Smith. Finally, it should be noted that many of the materials on the site are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. [KMG]

The Great Family Cookbook Project

Some families pass down cookbooks across generations, often giving them the same importance as a piece of heirloom jewelry or a well-worn piece of furniture. As with many things, the family cookbook can now be passed down electronically, and websites like this one can be of great help in this type of endeavor. When creating a family cookbook using this site, it requires a modest fee, but visitors are most welcome to search through recipes submitted by hundreds of families for their own use. Here you will find such gems as peanut butter cookies from the Wilhalm family, walnut-crusted stuffed chicken breasts from the Sheerin family, and spicy hush puppies from the Marley clan. Of course, epicureans should also feel free to use the helpful search engine here to look for recipes for everything from appetizers to tasty desserts. [KMG]

Arkansas Arts Center [Macromedia Flash Player]

With a studio school and a childrens theater within its walls, the Arkansas Arts Center is certainly much more than just a rather fine art museum. Founded in 1961, the Center has expanded its mission to support a number of artistic endeavors within the broad range of visual and performing arts traditions. On the Centers website, visitors can learn not only about visiting the museum itself, but also about its extensive holdings and its community outreach programs. In terms of their online content, The Collection section is definitely the place to start. Visitors can view selections from their various special collections, which include contemporary baskets and pottery, and then continue on by searching their online collection. Currently, this collection contains several thousand works, which range from works by Will Barnet to pieces by the Post-Impressionist Paul Signac. Visitors looking for specific works can search the collection by date, object field, or artist. [KMG]

Network Tools

StumbleUpon 2.4

It can be difficult at times to find some shared communion on the web, particularly when it comes to shared interests and so on. This process is made a bit easier by the presence of StumbleUpon, which allows users to rate websites in order to form some type of shared consensus on the value of various sites. Visitors can join up and then select from over 500 topics that may be of interest to them, and then the stumbling begins. At this point, the application will lead users to sites in these topic areas that have been rated by users with similar interests. This application is compatible with computers running Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000 and XP and Mozilla Firefox 0.8 through 1.6a1. [KMG]

StudioLine Photo Basic 3.3

With more people using digital cameras, it seems that the number of photographs taken on a daily basis has grown exponentially. There are a number of applications designed to help individuals manage these burgeoning collections, and StudioLine Photo Basic 3.3 is one of the better ones available. The application allows users to utilize a variety of image manipulation tools, such as red-eye reduction. Additionally, users can send their photographs via email and also upload them as web galleries. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP. [KMG]

In The News

Craigslist Accused of Violating the Fair Housing Act

Craigslist Is Accused of Bias In Housing Ads [Free Registration Required]

Craigslist Disputes Fair Housing Lawsuit

Free classified ads not working well for newspapers

Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. v. Craigslist, Inc. [pdf]

Stanford Law Review: In Search of Fair Housing In Cyberspace: The Implications of the Communications Decency Act for Fair Housing on the Internet [Word]

Stanford Center for Internet and Society [pdf]

Over the past few weeks, a number of groups have seen fit to enter a growing debate that involves questions regarding potential online discrimination, cyberlaw, and the financial future of traditional newspapers. Much of the debate stems from a lawsuit filed against by the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which claims the well-known online commons has published a number of discriminatory advertisements, particularly in the area of their housing listings. The Lawyers Committee drew attention to a number of these listings, including ones that contained language such as No kids allowed and African-Americans and Arabians tend to clash with me. Specifically, the Committee is claiming that these postings are in violation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, a point that is being contested by a number of persons, most notably Jim Buckmaster, the chief executive of Craigslist. As advertisements that contain such language are illegal in newspapers and other publications, the Lawyers Committee says they should be banned online in their entirety. Buckmaster has replied to these remarks by stating that, Craigslist is absolutely a different animal. Its a user-controlled commons where users submit, at this point, eight million ads of unlimited length. So when the lawyers group says they want Craigslist treated exactly as if it were a newspaper, on the fact of it, that doesnt make any sense. Finally, the case is of great interest to numerous newspaper executives, as many of them have expressed concern about their declining classified ad revenues, a problem that continues to deepen, particularly in large media markets. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a recent article from The New York Times that offers some additional background material on the recent complaint filed against Craigstlist. The second link leads to the official response offered by Craigslist on their website. The third link whisks users away to a recent posting from The Editors Weblog, a site dedicated to providing editorial solutions for the newspaper renaissance. The posting addresses how newspapers are attempting to regain some of their classified advertisements by offering certain advertisements for free. The fourth link leads to the official complaint filed by the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law against Craigslist. The fifth link leads to an article from the December 2002 Stanford Law Review, authored by Jennifer C. Chang, which discusses the potential ramifications of the Communications Decency Act for Fair Housing as it applies to online settings. The final link leads to the homepage of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Here visitors can peruse a number of fine articles on a host of related topics, and also learn about their innovative cyberlaw clinic. [KMG]

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