The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 10

March 10, 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

Archaeology Magazine [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

In early spring, some peoples hearts turn to thoughts of love and ardor. For some, their hearts may turn to thoughts of archaeological digs in Albania, ancient Cyrene, and even Bolivia. For those in the latter category, the website of Archaeology Magazine should be a most welcome find. The site has a number of fine features, including interactive digs of George Washingtons distillery and the city of Sagalassos in modern-day Turkey. The online essays offered here are all quite interesting, and they run the gamut from extended pieces on the ongoing antiquities trials in Rome to critical reviews of recently-published works on Crete and other well-known sites. Visitors who are looking for back issues of the magazine will not be disappointed, as the site contains selected articles from issues dating back to 1996. For those who want to stay abreast of the most recent archaeological news, the homepage has a Latest News section, which is updated every weekday. [KMG]

Stephen Fosters Sketchbook

Raised in and around Pittsburgh during the 19th century, Stephen Foster grew up singing in an all-male secret club and receiving some modest musical training from a local German immigrant, Henry Kleber. He soon became intensely interested in song-writing, and his first published song, Open Thy Lattice Love, appeared when he was 18. Of course, he went on to write around 285 songs, including such old chestnuts as Beautiful Dreamer, Camptown Races, and of course Oh! Susanna. The University of Pittsburghs Digital Library has digitized his sketchbook and placed it online for the general web-browsing public. Visitors can search the sketchbook by song title, or simply browse the pages at their leisure. There are a number of real finds here, including drafts of While the Bowl Goes Round and Thou Art the Queen of My Song. [KMG]

A Switch in Time: A New Strategy for America in Iraq [pdf]

During the months of November and December 2005, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution brought together a group of experts on Iraq to engage in a critical discussion about US policy. Upon the completion of their work, the Centers Director, Kenneth M. Pollack, created this intelligent and thoughtful paper that details an alternative approach to the current US policies in Iraq. Released in February 2006, the paper contains three primary chapters, and for those pressed for time, there is also an executive summary at the beginning of the report. The report makes a number of interesting recommendations, including noting that providing basic safety for Iraqis must be the primary priority of US policy. Perhaps the most intriguing observations are in the realm of economic development and reconstruction. Some of these recommendations include rehabilitating Iraqs agricultural sector and also assisting Iraq with its numerous structural problems. [KMG]

Public Library of Science [pdf]

In 2003, the Public Library of Science (PLOS) began a rather ambitious and most welcome project that would effectively offer unlimited access to the latest scientific research by creating a number of high-quality, open access journals. The first journal, PLOS Biology was launched three years ago, and since then, PLOS has created several additional journals dealing with medicine, computational biology, and genetics. Visitors should feel free to browse through back issues of each journal, and download various articles that might be of interest. Along with access to these peer-edited journals, users should also take a look at their News & Events area, which contains information about upcoming conferences and events sponsored by PLOS and other scientific organizations and professional groups. [KMG]

National Womens Hall of Fame [pdf]

In 1848, a group of women and men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York in order to convene the first Womens Rights Convention. 121 years later, a like-minded group of citizens established the National Womens Hall of Fame in a historic bank building located in the citys downtown. Over the past several decades, the organization has seen fit to induct 217 distinguished women into the Hall of Fame, and this site provides information about each of them. Visitors can search the members of the Hall of Fame by last name, or just by browsing a complete list of all inductees. Each entry contains a brief biographical sketch, and a photograph of the inductee. Visitors may also wish to learn about nominating a woman to the Hall of Fame, or even take a look through their online shop. [KMG]

Negroes With Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power [Real Player]

Even for those who are quite knowledgeable about the history of the civil rights movement, the name Rob Williams may not be quite as familiar as others associated with this era of American history. This fine site, designed to accompany a recent Independent Lens documentary, will allow visitors to learn about his activities within this turbulent period. Williams is perhaps best-remembered for his efforts to encourage African-Americans to arm themselves against violent racists and his controversial radio show Radio Free Dixie, which was broadcast from Havana. First-time visitors may wish to view the documentarys trailer, and then they should definitely take a look at the section dedicated to Radio Free Dixie. Here they may listen to music and speeches from those influential and ground-breaking broadcasts. As with the rest of the Independent Lens sites, visitors can also learn about the filmmakers of the documentary, and offer their own feedback on the program. [KMG]

General Interest

How Products Are Made

In a world that has the capability to create infinitesimally tiny machines, it may be hard for some to understand how the most basic products are created. This website attempts to answer some of those questions, beginning with information on how accordions are made, and ending with a discussion on the creation of zirconium. For each item, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the processes involved with their manufacture and assembly. Perhaps users have wondered how the tiny candy corn is manufactured? They need wonder no more after taking a look at this site. The site also takes on more complex items, such as the camera lens and the nicotine patch. Overall, the site contains dozens of such detailed descriptions, and can be enjoyed by persons of all ages and interests. [KMG]

The Renaissance Connection, from the Allentown Art Museum [Macromedia Flash Player]

Using 37 pieces selected from its Samuel H. Kress and European Art Collections, the Allentown Art Museum has created this sometimes silly, but consistently appealing introduction to the art, thought, and society of the Renaissance period in Europe. Start with the Art Explorer section to view works arranged on a timeline, map, or alphabetically, from Andrea del Sarto Madonna and Child, ca. 1510 to Heinrich Yselin Saint Margaret with the Dragon, ca. 1478. Individual images are linked to the site's six thematic sections - Quest for Knowledge, Arts and Architecture, Patrons and Lifestyles, Everyday Life, Trade and Exploration, Science and Technology. For example, selecting Hans Maler's Portrait of Anton Fugger painted in 1525, links to the Patrons and Lifestyles section, where you can discover that Anton Fugger was a member of one of the richest families in Europe. A Maler portrait of Ulrich Fugger, painted the same year and now housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is also included on the site, as well as an image of Jakob Fugger, a wealthy banker. Although geared to middle school students, The Renaissance Connection will be fun for all ages. [DS]

Hay in Art
To be quite honest, a great deal happens around hay, whether it be in the realm of landscape painting or the more salacious encounters one may find in risqu novels of the 19th century. Of course, if you were Alan Ritch, the creator of this rather intriguing website, you would probably confine yourself to the rather broad world of hay as it appears in various artistic endeavors, ranging from paintings to poetry. Visitors seeking some background on this rather novel field of inquiry might wish to begin by reading one of Ritchs background essays, which include Resting in the hay, 1592-1900, Introduction to the poetry of hay, and Montana wedding bales. Even the more casual visitor should not miss the area dedicated to hay poems of the late twentieth century, which includes such works as John Kinsellas Wrapping the Hay and Tom Montags visually arresting Making Hay. One thing is most certain: Visitors will most likely find themselves increasingly enjoying the nuances of hay after looking through the images and poems offered on this site. [KMG]

National Public Radio: Live Concert Series [Real Player]

Since February 2005, National Public Radio has been presenting live concerts that highlight a wide variety of bands, including those that play in the idiom of alt-country and hard-edged classic soul. If one didnt hear these concerts when they were originally broadcast, they can take advantage of this fine archive offered on this site. The most recent concert offered here (in its entirety) is that of the rather popular group, Belle and Sebastian. All told, there are twenty concerts currently available for users listening pleasure. They include performances by James Brown, Sinead OConnor, Death Cab for Cutie, and Lucinda Williams. As a nice addition, each concert offering also includes links to related coverage from National Public Radio, along with the occasional photo gallery and such. [KMG]

Ray Bradbury [Quick Time]

From the unsettling (yet tremendously effective) story telling of Something Wicked This Way Comes to the prescient work of The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury has given readers much to think about for the past fifty years or so. This website, developed by Harper Collins (Bradburys publisher), contains a great deal of informative and entertaining material about Bradbury, and it certainly merits several visits. From the sites visually appealing homepage, visitors should start with the About Ray Bradbury area. Here, visitors can read a brief biography of the author, which is complemented by a list of his literary awards. Perhaps the most interesting part of the site is titled At Home With Ray. This section contains short video clips of Bradbury where he discusses the world of metaphors, his work Fahrenheit 451, as well as censorship. [KMG] The Culture of Science in Fiction & Fact

Some might be asking themselves: What is LabLit? is dedicated to real laboratory culture and to the portrayal and perceptions of that culture-science, scientists and labs-in fiction, the media and across popular culture. Edited by the researcher Jennifer Rohn, the site contains a cornucopia of material ranging from humor pieces about laboratory life and culture, interviews with scientists and novelists, and a number of surveys and quizzes. From the homepage, visitors can delve right into some of these materials, which also include a number of online forums where lively debates take place on topics such as the perception of science on television and the stereotypes about those working in the field. The site is rounded out by the Lab Lit List, which contains an extensive list of novels, films, plays, and television programs that fall squarely into this particular genre. [KMG]

Network Tools

Winamp 5.2

The Winamp applications have been around for sometime, and this newest version adds a host of helpful features that may be quite tempting to those who might have forgotten about this media player. With this latest version, users can burn CDs, manage their audio files efficiently, and watch live concert footage through the Internet TV feature. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98, 2000, and XP. [KMG]

Kronolith 2.1

When working on a project for work or for school, it can be nice to have a calendar to keep one on task. When working on a group project, such a calendar, particularly a web-based one, can be invaluable. The Kronolith application will help users do just that, as it is a web-based calendar that supports shared calendars, alarms, recurring events, and a simple interface system. Kronolith was developed to run on Unix, and should work on any system that one can run the Apache webserver with PHP support, such as Linux or Mac OS X. [KMG]

In The News

Discovery in Turkey may hold clue to human evolution

Family may provide evolution clue

Walking on all fours with the ancestors,,3-2072832,00.html

Family Walks on all Fours, May Offer Evolution Insight, Experts Say

Becoming Human: Paleoanthropology, Evolution and Human Origins
[Macromedia Flash Player]

Understanding Evolution [Macroemedia Flash Player, pdf]

The Paleoanthropology Society [pdf]

Over the past few years, a group of scholars from a number of institutions (including the London School of Economics) have been researching a rather unusual family living in Turkey. Based on their observations, it would appear that all five siblings in this family walk on all fours almost exclusively as a form of ambulation. The family may in fact reveal important information about how previous hominids made the transition from four-legged to two-legged animals. All of the siblings appear to have been born with a form of brain damage, which affects both balance and coordination. Professor Humphrey from the London School of Economics has noted that these siblings put their weight on the wrists as they move about, as opposed to chimpanzees and gorillas, who walk on their knuckles. Humphrey also remarked that, These kids have kept their fingers very agile, for example, the girls in the family can do crochet and embroidery. Scientists continue to study the family as they may represent an important step in the transition to bipedalism utilized by modern-day humans. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a news story from the BBC that talks about the recent research on this family in Turkey. The second link leads to another piece of reporting from The Times, which discusses the cultural and genetic influences, which may have played a role in this familys particular adaptation. The third link leads to a very good piece from the National Geographic online news service, which also contains links to a number of evolution-related stories. The fourth link whisks users to a fine site, which provides an interactive introduction to the nature of paleoanthropology, offered by Arizona State University. The fifth link leads to a site that provides high-quality information about evolution. Designed by a team of scholars at the University of California-Berkeley, visitors can peruse this site to learn about evidence for evolution and the impact of evolution more generally. The final link leads to the homepage of The Paleoanthropology Society, where visitors can learn about their work and also peruse back issues of their fine journal. [KMG]

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