The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 13

March 31, 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

Economic History Services [pdf] [Last profiled on October 7, 1997]

Despite its reputation as the dismal science, economics continues to attract new scholars in great numbers every year, and a number of websites provide high-quality materials for those interested in the subject. The Economic History Services website began life in 1994 as a mere discussion list, and since then has grown to include numerous resources that include book reviews, a collection of course syllabi, a directory of economic historians, along with the ever-popular How Much is That? service. The How Much is That? area is quite useful, as visitors can use it to determine historical prices for goods and services, interest rates, wage rates, and inflation rates. Budding economic historians will want to check out the Ask The Professor feature, which allows users to submit queries related to the subject. The section also contains an archive of answered questions, which include such enigmas as Is deflation bad for the economy? The site also includes a calendar of events for persons interested in learning about upcoming lectures, conferences, workshops, and the like. [KMG]

Electronic Frontier Foundation [pdf]

Started in 1990, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an organization that is dedicated to preserving the various freedoms and rights within the digital frontier, which includes blogs, online intellectual property, and so on. On their homepage, visitors can learn about news items of particular relevance, and also read about some of the cases they are currently working on. For those who might have an inkling of what they are looking for, a Topics section includes links to information about bloggers rights, file-sharing, e-voting, and surveillance. Other visitors might want to take a look at their white papers, which include such titles as Noncommercial Email Lists: Collateral Damage in the Fight Against Spam and Dangerous Terms-A Users Guide to End User License Agreements. Finally, visitors should also note that a number of the materials are available in Spanish, and that RSS feeds are available as well. [KMG]

The Eastman Project: Images of California Life

In 1921, one Jervie Henry Eastman set up a photographic studio with the intent of providing commercial photography services to residents of Northern California. Over Eastmans long career he took photographs of logging camps, dam construction, the construction of the University of California-Davis campus, and numerous other subjects. While the online collection does not have a detailed finding aid, visitors can search the contents with a search engine offered here. Each photograph is accompanied by detailed information on its provenance, along with an image description, and subject headings. The collection is quite extensive, as it features over 13,000 images that may be of great interest to those in the fields of urban history, historical geography, and the Golden State in general. [KMG]

Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction [pdf]

In recent years, community and technical colleges have quietly been developing a number of curriculum and instruction centers designed to provide a number of excellent resources for their faculty. The Maricopa Community College District has its own Maricopa Center For Learning and Instruction (MCLI) and their website is real find for those teaching at community colleges as well as those generally involved with teaching in institutions of higher education. Visitors can start by perusing their Programs section, which contains information about their teaching and learning assessment resources and initiatives. For most visitors, the Projects area on their homepage will be the most useful part of the site. This area includes an online weblogging workshop, information about creating a valuable creative writing assignment, and a template for creating web-based slide shows. Finally, the site also includes the Community College Web, which contains over 1200 links to various community colleges around the world. [KMG]

The Boy in the Bubble [Macromedia Flash Player, Real Player]

Those who are old enough to remember the tremendously complex case of David Vetter may know his story best through the overly melodramatic television movie from the late 1970s that starred John Travolta. Recently, PBSs own American Experience series created this very revealing and thoughtful documentary about the life of David Vetter and his struggle to live with severe combined immunodeficiency. This website was designed to complement the documentary, and it contains a number of special features that will be of great interest to many. Visitors can explore the suit that helped David live for twelve years and also view rarely-seen clips of him throughout his short life. As with many of the American Experience sites, visitors can also take a look at a detailed timeline of events in his life, along with a photo gallery. Overall, this is a fine site that complements the documentary in a number of helpful ways. [KMG]

The Tom Regan Animal Rights Archive [pdf]

Tom Regan has taught at North Carolina State University since 1967, and he is well-known for his work in the field of animal rights within the discipline of philosophy. In 2000, the North Carolina State University Libraries received a large gift to establish an archive of his personal papers and books, and since then, they have also created this online collection for the general public. First-time visitors can perform an advanced search on the documents contained here, or they may also want to browse through categories that include animal rights legislation, animals in the news, diet ethics, and farmed animals. Within each section, visitors can view a list of related web sites and also learn about other external resources. Additionally, visitors can also learn about research opportunities at the Center. [KMG]

General Interest

Paul Laurence Dunbar Digital Collection

Born in 1872 in Ohio, Paul Laurence Dunbar is generally recognized to be the first African-American poet to achieve world-wide recognition for the elegancy and honesty of his published work. This site, provided by the Wright State University Libraries, provides access to some of Dunbars lovely poetry, along with a selection of photographs of the poet himself. Visitors may want to start by reading the brief biography of Dunbar offered here, and then continue on to browse through some of his poetry. Visitors can also browse through some of his books, which include Majors and Minors and Howdy Honey Howdy. Several of Dunbars libretti are also included here, such as My Little Black Lamb and Who Knows. For those visitors whose interest is piqued by these offerings, there is also a section that contains suggestions for additional reading and a number of links to helpful websites. [KMG]

Hokusai: Mad About Painting [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery presents this Web interactive on the life and work of the Japanese painter and printmaker, Katsushika Hokusai (17601849), the creator of the woodblock print "The Great Wave", one of the most recognized images in the world. The Flash interactive consists of four main sections on Hokusai's art: Brush & Block, Color, Composition, and Subject, plus an introductory, biographical section. In the Subject section see a long handscroll with a wide range of subjects from a pampered house cat, fish, foxes, and a man and boy looking at a waterfall; a 27 page manga, or
Illustrated book; and a painting of a fisherman made when Hokusai was in his late eighties. In the Brush & Block section, compare painted and printed images of Mount Fuji, plants, and shellfish, to see Hokusai's expert use of both techniques. [DS]

Virtual Vaudeville [Shockwave, QuickTime]

Vaudeville lives and breathes again on this tremendously interesting website created with the support of the University of Georgia Research Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Utilizing a team of researchers and computer visualization experts, the project has created 3D simulation of a complete act by the vaudeville-era comedian Frank Bush. Of course, visitors should first watch this remarkable act, then proceed to other sections where they can learn about the technology used to develop this recreation, and of course, about the age of vaudeville itself. On the site, visitors can also learn about the Live Performance Simulation System, which is the prototype used to create this immersive experience. Given all of the fascinating material on the site, many visitors will want to make a few return visits to soak up the whole experience. [KMG]

Sacred Destinations

Around the world, there are thousands of sites that hold great importance to the worlds different faiths and religions. It would be quite a task to document all these sites, but Holly Hayes (a graduate student in religious history) has created this website to serve as a destination for those persons who might like to learn a bit about such places. Currently, the site contains information on more than 1500 sites, and visitors can peruse these locales at their leisure. The sites are organized by country and category, and of course, visitors can also search the entire site as well. The categories theme is a good way to start browsing, as it contains Buddhist temples, Jewish museums, sacred mountains, and Shinto shrines. No such site would be complete without a substantial offering of photos, and this site has visitors covered all the way from St. Davids Cathedral in Wales to the Hagia Sophia. [KMG]

Perfect Disaster [Macromedia Flash Player]

A good way to sum up this site might be as follows: Typhoons, thunderstorms, and hurricanes, oh my! The Discovery Channel has created this engaging and not-so-subtle website to complement one of their recent programs, and it certainly will hold users attention. The site is divided into a number of sections, including one that includes a number of historic disaster puzzles. Here, visitors can piece together the post-eruption locale of Pompeii and the mighty tornado that swept through Kirksville, Maryland in 1899. In an area of the site that is quite informative, visitors can learn about the Fujita Tornado Scale, which classifies tornadoes based on their estimated wind speeds. Finally, the Anatomy of A Disaster area allows users to enter a virtual tornado and learn about the dangers of solar-storms. Not for the faint of heart, this site brings heightened drama to some already hair-raising forces of nature. [KMG]

Poetry Magazines

Several years ago, Arts Council England funded a project to create an online digital archive of English 20th and 21st century poetry magazines, and this website represents their efforts. Visitors can search the entire contents of the archive from the homepage, or they may also wish to browse a list of the publications also available here. Several dozen magazines are featured on the homepage, and they include such creatively titled publications as Brandos hat, Smiths Knoll, and Dream Catcher. Of course, visitors will also find volumes from such venerable publications as The London Magazine and Poetry Wales. Those who are intrigued by what they find here may want to check out the subscription particulars for each journal, all of which are offered here as well. [KMG]

Network Tools

Chaos Manager 2.23

As any physicist will tell you, managing chaos is difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately, this type of chaos refers primarily to the chaotic nature of maintaining an orderly and logical desktop calendar on ones computer. With Chaos Manager, users can create their own organizer, which includes an Internet sync feature, a notebook, pop-up appointment reminders and so on. This particular version is compatible with all computers running Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP. [KMG]

Image Well 2.1

Within the world of image editing programs, there are a number of fine applications, and Image Well is definitely one that it is worth taking a look at. Image Well 2.1 allows users to resize, crop, shape, and rotate images. Visitors can also add a number of novel visual touches, such as a thought or word balloon for humorous or ironic effect. This version is compatible with all computers running Mac OS X 10.3.9 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Students through the West and Southwest continue to protest proposed immigration policy

Text Message, MySpace Roots of Student Protests

Day two of protests turn violent at Pajaro Valley High

Tarrant students take to the streets

Students protest immigration bill

Students see immigration issue as attack on families

As We See It: Better immigration debate needed?

As a nation, the United States has periodically evaluated questions of citizenship and who shall be offered the rights and responsibilities that come with that designation. In response to proposed changes to US immigration policy, there have been a number of massive marches and protests around major American cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago. More recently, there have been a number of dramatic actions taken by students in order to show their dissatisfaction with these proposed changes. This Tuesday, around 11,000 students cut classes in Los Angeles County, and there were numerous other like-minded actions taken in places such as Lake Tahoe, San Diego, Houston, and other cities across the West and Southwest. As with many other types of protest and group actions, the protests were aided by the use of certain emerging technologies, including the popular social networking website, and extensive text messaging. The technology certainly was quite useful in the demonstrations held around Fort Worth on Wednesday, as a number of students mentioned they received a text-message that read: Latinos, Tuesday is the day 4 u 2 wear ur white shirt 2 let them know we are against law HR 4437. Pass 2 all Latinos. One onlooker in Fort Worth, an immigration lawyer, remarked, Its just wonderful. If these kids figure out how to translate this action into influencing the Senate, then that is the American way. They are not doing it with money, they are doing it with feet. [KMG]

The first link related to this story leads to a link provided by National Public Radio station KQED that talks about the role of text-massing and MySpace chat rooms in coordinating some of these recent protests. The second link will take users to a news story from Wednesdays Santa Cruz Sentinel that offers coverage of the recent protests at Pajaro Valley High in Watsonville, California. The third link leads to a news story from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that offers coverage of the student-led protest at City Hall, complete with video clips of the event. The fourth link will take users to a news story from the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza about a smaller, but no less passionate, protest led by students at Incline High School. The fifth link leads to a story from the Houston Chronicle about student protests there this Tuesday. The article also includes the voices and opinions of students about the proposed immigration policy, and for that alone, it is worth reading. Finally, the last link leads to an equally passionate editorial from the Santa Cruz Sentinel that refers to both the immigration legislation and the protests as heavy-handed. [KMG]

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