The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 15

April 14, 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

History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web [Real Player, pdf] [Last reviewed on September 22, 1998]

Since the History Matters website was first profiled in the Scout Report close to eight years ago, they have expanded their reach to include a host of lovely new features. All the while, still maintaining their key strengths in providing access to high-quality teaching resources for high school and college students and teachers of American history. Arriving on the site, visitors will find three primary sections: Many Pasts, Making Sense of Evidence, and www.history. In Many Pasts, visitors can explore over 1000 primary documents, including photographic images and audio interviews. Making Sense of Evidence provides material on how historians approach resources as they attempt to craft intelligent and erudite narratives. The final section, www.history, contains brief reviews of over 800 websites that address various aspects of American history. The site also contains a number of other gems, including Secrets of Great History Teachers, which features interviews with those who impart the knowledge of the ages with wisdom and insight. [KMG]

The Lost Gospel of Judas [Macromedia Flash Player]

Recently, a team of international experts in the field of archaeology came across a rather remarkable find when they located the Gospel of Judas, which was written on a 1700 year-old leather-bound papyrus. Part of this team included experts from the National Geographic Society, and armed with this material, they have created this fine website, which allows users to explore the document at their leisure and to learn more about the potential importance of such a find. First-time visitors to the site will want to stop by the About the Project area. Here they can learn about the persons working on this project, review a list of FAQs, and learn more about Coptic, which is the language in which the Gospel of Judas was written. Proceeding from there, visitors can explore the document online and they can also download the entire work, translated into English, or in the original Coptic. Visitors seeking additional context for understanding this piece of writing will want to peruse the timeline offered here, which includes background material on early Christian history and Gnosticism. The site is rounded out by an area that contains information about the complex and painstakingly detailed process by which the document was brought back to life and subsequently conserved for future generations. [KMG]

British History Online

British history to some might be thought of as a dense thicket of county records, complex lineages, and other such foibles that make the story of these modestly-sized islands all the more delectable. Fortunately for those interested in these histories, there is the British History Online website. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, the site contains a rather staggering array of material, ranging from the journals of the House of Commons to ordnance survey maps from across the nation. Apart from browsing through these resources, visitors can also utilize a series of tabs running across the top of the homepage that compartmentalize the materials here into such categories as places and subjects. Some of the subject headings include agriculture history, historical geography, and social history. One additional nice feature is the Recent Journal Entries section, where visitors can learn about recent and upcoming additions to the already impressive selection of primary historical resources offered here. [KMG]

American Journalism Review [pdf]

Published under the careful hand of staff members at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, the American Journalism Review comes out six times a year. The print magazine is available here for the general public in an electronic format, and contains articles ranging from the changing media landscape in the United States and to discussions about whether newsrooms should use the names of illegal immigrants in their reporting on various events. If visitors so desire, they may also browse the archives of this publication all the way back to 1991. Those in the field of journalism (or those who are just curious about the field) should browse on over to the Resources area. Here they can learn about journalism fellowships and look over a list of helpful Reporters Tools, which are essentially links to like-minded sites. For those looking for a break from the normal supply of stoic headlines, there is the Take 2 area of the site. With just a click of the mouse, users can read a number of funny errors and clever headlines culled straight from the wide world of the American media. [KMG]

Environmental Impacts of Hurricane Katrina [pdf]

Over the past few months, a number of government agencies have worked diligently to assist those affected by Hurricane Katrina, often working in tandem with other units of government throughout the region. One agency that is working to assess the marine environmental impacts of Katrina is the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The site is fairly simple to navigate, as it essentially contains a number of links to some of the projects they are currently working on throughout the region. Some of these projects include assessments of the marine mammal and turtle health and monitoring the area for harmful algal blooms. Visitors may also wish to learn about the currently deployed vessels that are out working in the area, or they may also want to take a look at their links section. [KMG]

The Research Library of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis [pdf]

Maintained by the staff at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, this website provides a host of thoughtful papers on economic policy, along with offering links to a wide variety of related resources, such as those dealing with the state of global economic affairs and economic history and price indices. From the homepage, visitors can browse through international, national, and regional research papers that include works titled Income Taxes: Who Pays and How Much? and The United States: Still the Growth Engine for the World Economy? Moving down the homepage, visitors will come to a brief listing of helpful economic indicators, such as the consumer price index and new housing starts. Finally, visitors can read issues of the Regional Economist, a quarterly publication which addresses national and regional economic trends. [KMG]

General Interest

Darwin [Real Player]

While many may know that Charles Darwin was quite happy to keep company with his notebooks and his telescopes, there are many more fascinating things to learn about this remarkable scientist on this engaging and visually appealing website created by the American Museum of Natural History. Designed to function as an online counterpart to a recent in situ exhibition, the site is divided into small sections that contain information on some of his activities, including his voyage on the HMS Beagle and his initial thoughts about a theory of natural selection. What is truly remarkable about this site are the audio and visual features that are woven seamlessly into the essays and photographs. Visitors can listen to a simulated soundscape from the HMS Beagle voyage, and then view a tortoise cam in another section (appropriately titled Tortoise Cam).

The Aaron Copland Collection

Along with Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland may be considered one of the most well-known and regarded American composers of the 20th century. Coplands accolades were many throughout his long life, and the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress has seen fit that the web-browsing public will be able to learn a great deal more about Coplands works and life. Currently, this online collection contains approximately 1000 items, including photographs of Copland at work, some of his writings, and a host of his wonderful personal correspondences with the likes of Nadia Boulanger and Benjamin Britten. Some brief highlights of his career may be gleaned through perusing the timeline offered here, and even more may be learned about the man himself by reading some of the essays written by his friends and colleagues on the occasion of his 75th birthday in 1975. [KMG]

Early Modern Culture: An Electronic Seminar

As their mission statement notes, Early Modern Culture is dedicated to creating an online space that recreates, in the virtual sense, the active and on-going inquiry of a good seminar. A lofty goal indeed, and their laudable results are available here for the consideration of those who are drawn to the milieu of dialogue and dissent as mediated through the keyboard and the glare of a computer monitor. Edited by Crystal Bartolovich of Syracuse University and David Siar of Winston-Salem State University, the journal contains commentaries on early modern women and the often-lively Electronic Seminar area, where various learned persons trade informed and compelling remarks on their works. Visitors should also note that previous issues of the journal are available here in the archive. [KMG]

Curating the City: Wilshire Blvd [Macromedia Flash Player]

To die-hard urbanistas, viewing the various parts of cities as discrete objects to be examined and celebrated is as natural as breathing in and out. There are many who like to look at a citys primary arteries, such as Chicagos State Street, or in the case of this website, Los Angeless storied Wilshire Boulevard. Stretching across 16 miles and moving through three municipalities, Wilshire Boulevard is known for such signature landmarks as Palisades Park in Santa Monica and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Visitors will find the interactive map of the Boulevard quite a treat, as they are free to browse around by moving their mouse across a visually appealing map that offers highlights of the built environment on and around the area. Those who have their own personal memories of the Boulevard may wish to submit them in the sites Memory Book, which currently contains personal memories offered by Angelenos and others. [KMG]

IT Conversations [Real Player]

For those who might see the words IT Conversations, and think: Oh no. A website dedicated to conversations about IT, think again. This delightful website started life in June 2003, under the careful direction of Doug Kaye and it currently contains dozens of compelling interviews, discussions, and heated debates with a number of fascinating individuals. The first-time visitor might want to begin by looking through some of the series listed on the homepage. Some of the themes addressed by these sessions include social innovation, technology development, and global security. Each interview can also be rated, so visitors may want to listen to some of the highest rated programs first, depending on their faith in such ratings. Of course, users may also wish to use the search engine offered here, as they can use this application to quickly locate different programs of interest. [KMG]

A Victorian Anthology, 1837-1895

Back in the salad days of the British Empire, there was a Queen named Victoria. She defined an age in a way that few could do today, and certainly not for sixty years. While her writings are not represented in this fine online collection, it contains writings of many who flourished during her long reign. recently placed the complete A Victorian Anthology, 1837-1895 here, and visitors will be most delighted when they browse through its contents. Edited by one Edmund Clarence Stedman, this magnum opus contains 1274 works by 343 authors. It should be noted that the entire work is comprised of poems, so those seeking lines from Lord Jim or Martin Chuzzlewit may need to look elsewhere. Of course, those who are temped by the quatrains of Yeats, Arnold, or Rossetti will want to linger awhile. [KMG]

Network Tools

Magellan Metasearch 1.3.0

Like the noted explorer for which this program is named, this application demonstrates a rather impressive ability in the areas of discovery and exploration. Truth be told, the application doesnt actually discover far-off lands and such, but it will help users find the information they require online quickly. With Magellan, visitors can query a host of search engines all at once. Visitors can enter in complex search terms, and also take use a number of standard boolean and proximity operators. This version of the application is compatible with all systems running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

K9 Web Protection 3.0.23

Parents and those concerned about young people surfing the Internet may want to take a close look at this particular application. With this application, users have the ability to block adult sites and other potentially offensive content from the eyes of children and other impressionable persons. K9 Web Protection 3.0.23 can also be configured to stop spyware or gambling programs. This particular version is compatible with all computers running Windows 2000 and XP. [KMG]

In The News

Noted for his bold use of simple materials, Brazilian architect is awarded Pritzker Prize

Paulo Mendes da Rocha Wins Pritzker Prize

NPR: Da Rocha Receives Pritzker Prize for Architecture [Real Player]

Humaniser of the modern megalopolis

The Pritzker Architecture Prize [pdf]

International Architecture Database

Chicago Architects Oral History Project [pdf]

In the past few decades, architects have increasingly garnered attention from the mainstream media, and some have attracted quite a cult following, including such starchitects as Norman Foster and Frank Gehry. The best-known prize for outstanding achievement in this field of human endeavor is the Pritzker Prize, established in 1979 by the Hyatt Foundation. This week, the Foundation announced that this years honoree was Mendes da Rocha, a Brazilian architect known for his own creative interpretation of the brutalist style of architecture. While some may associate this style of architecture with the cold and seemingly distant works of Walter Netsch and others, the citation offered by the award committee noted that his work was guided by a sense of responsibility toward the residents of his buildings and the broader society. His work does show a great fondness for the use of concrete, as he has constructed stadiums, houses, and even a chapel of this sometimes harsh material. Commenting on the award, Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic for The New York Times, remarked that Theres a strain of brutalism in his work, but theres also a sense of nature and the relationship between indoor and outdoor space, but he stayed true to those values all the way through. [KMG]

This first link takes users to an article from this Tuesdays Architectural Record about Rochas architectural vision and the Pritzker Prize. The second link leads to a piece from National Public Radio about Rochas architectural philosophy, offered by Edward Lifson. The third link will take users to an article from the Financial Times, which provides some material on how Rochas work interacts with changing sensibilities about contemporary urbanism. The fourth link leads to the homepage of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Here visitors can learn about the history of the award and read the complete citation for this years award. The fifth link leads to the rather tremendous and helpful International Architecture Database, which contains material on 14,000 different architectural projects. The final link leads to the homepage of the Chicago Architects Oral History Project at The Art Institute of Chicago. With a click of their mouse, visitors can read engaging interviews with such notable Windy City architects as Carter Manny, Bertrand Goldberg, and Stanley Tigerman. [KMG]

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