The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 21

May 26, 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

Archive of European Integration [pdf]

The creation of a so-called common market and throughout the European countries has taken decades, and this valuable scholarly resource created by a team of academics will be of great interest to anyone with a penchant for this subject. The idea for this archive of European Integration was devised by Phil Wilkin (who now serves as its editor), and over the years, his efforts have been aided by a team of other dedicated individuals. Simply put, the Archive of European Integration (AEI) is an electronic repository and archive for research materials on the topic of European integration and unification. As such, it is primarily concerned with collecting official European Community/European Union documents and certain independently-produced research materials. First-time visitors to the site can search the archive by six different methods, view a list of the latest additions, and also register at no charge for an account that will let them submit items to the archive. All told, the archive currently contains over 4800 documents ranging from working papers on topics such as the common agricultural policy as well as cultural policy. [KMG]

The Earth Institute at Columbia University [pdf, Real Player]

Under the very able direction of Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, The Earth Institute at Columbia University is dedicated to addressing a number of tremendously complex issues, including the vexing question of sustainable development as well as the needs of the worlds poor. To this end, the Institute supports a number of creative projects in the biological, engineering, and health sciences, along with inculcating a spirit of cooperation across various disciplines. The homepage of the Institute is rather delightful, largely due to the fact that its general layout is quite simple and user-friendly. Visitors can start their journey by looking at their news releases, and then taking a gander at the Reports from the Field area which brings to light some of the recent investigations by Institute affiliates in an engaging and informative fashion. Those looking for some of their scholarly work should take a look at the Research section of their site where they can learn about the various initiatives that are in progress at the Institute. The site is rounded out by a detailed calendar of events. [KMG]

Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

Edited by Professor Mary Ann Beavis of the University of Saskatchewan, the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture is a web-based, peer-reviewed journal committed to academic exploration, analysis and interpretation, from a range of disciplinary perspectives, of the interrelations between religion and religious expression and popular culture, broadly defined as the products of contemporary mass culture. It is quite a broad area to cover, and they do so admirably, and members of the public and those in the world of higher education will want to look over their site closely. Published three times a year, visitors can browse through the online archive offered here, or take a look at their most recent issue. Some of the articles that have appeared in recent issues include The Apocalyptic Imagination and Popular Culture, Seeking the Roots of Terrorism: An Islamic Traditional Experience, and Under the Influence? The Bible, Culture and Nick Cave. [KMG]

Two on J.S. Bach

Bach Cantatas [pdf]
J.S. Bach: Texts of the Complete Vocal Works with English Translation and Commentary

Deciding which one of J.S. Bachs vocal works was his greatest compositional triumph may be impossible, but those seeking high quality online resources on his remarkable accomplishments need look no further than these two sites. The first is dedicated to his cantatas, and visitors are presented with a wealth of material here, ranging from English translations of these works to a list of upcoming concerts featuring these works. Given the number of those who are tremendously passionate about these masterpieces, the site also features discussion boards for select cantatas. Here, visitors can opine about their favorite recordings, or merely offer pointed criticisms of less-than-worthy performances. The second site was created and maintained by Professor Z. Philip Ambrose of the University of Vermont, and it contains English translations to the vocal works of Bach, along with introductory information on the sources and on performance history of each work. Visitors can browse a list of headings on the left-hand side of the homepage which offers a list of relevant abbreviations, texts for lost works, and a complete listing of Bachs various vocal works, organized by composition type. [KMG]

A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way

Born in 1857 in Nashville, Edward Emerson Bernard started his long career as an apprentice to a photographer at the age of nine. Over the following decades, he would become one of Americas most famous observational amateurs, a position that would lead him to create his noted atlases of various regions of the Milky Way. The atlases were finally published in 1927, Barnard passed away in 1923, and regrettably they fell into obscurity. Fortunately, staff members at the Georgia Institute of Technology Librarys Digital Initiatives Department decided to digitize this remarkable creation and place them online at this site. Visitors can search the collection galactic longitude or latitude, or just by browsing through such regions as the Pleiades and others. The site also contains a number of biographical essays on Bernard and a brief glossary of astronomical objects. [KMG]

Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age

The process by which Puerto Rico became a modern nation is a complex one, and visitors interested in learning more about this subject would do well to examine this website created by the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress. As with many collections in this series, this particular archive contains historically important writings from a variety of notable personages, such as a clutch of well-known Puerto Rican political activists and historians from the early 19th century to 1929. Visitors who might be a less familiar with the contours and general historical development of Puerto Rico would do well to read the extensive essay offered here by Marisabel Bras, who is a senior analyst at the Department of Defense. The archive also contains a nice selection of historic maps of the general Caribbean region and Puerto Rico. Finally, visitors can also search the materials here by title, author, or subject. [KMG]

General Interest

Faces of the Fallen

As the United States continues to operate two different military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a number of magazines and newspapers have created thoughtful and interesting sites dedicated to the men and women who have given their lives for such efforts. One very compelling site is Faces of the Fallen, developed by staff members at The Washington Post. Utilizing information from various news services, military releases, and family members, they have created this photographic database of the servicepersons who have died in these conflicts. Visitors can browse through the database as they see fit, or also view service members by age, year of death, home state, or military branch. The site also contains a section titled In their Own Words, which contains some video clips of veterans talking about their experiences, along with links recent news stories on these men and women that appeared in the Post. [KMG]

Mathematical Imagery

Artists throughout the millennia have shown a strong affinity for creating works of art that incorporate patterns derived from areas of mathematical inquiry such as representations of infinity, symmetry, and tessellations. Recently, the American Mathematical Society created this website to let the general public view materials related to the relationship between mathematics and art, and it is quite a find. The site is divided into a number of areas, including those that contain articles on the subject written specifically for the site and links to galleries and museums that celebrate the connections between these two disciplines. Many of the articles are quite delightful, and they include pieces on the world of hyperbolic geometries (which are perhaps best known through the work of M.C. Escher) and the visualization of geometric principles through geometry. [KMG]

MooTube [Macromedia Flash Player]

The world has long been familiar with the phrase a birds-eye view. Well, as a result of this website, the web-browsing public may become intimately familiar with the phrase a cows-eye view. Developed as part of the Texas Ranch House television program on PBS, this website offers a first-hand look into how cows view the world. Basically, a number of cows (including Two Night Beauty and Chastity) were outfitted with a series of cameras that allow the viewer a glimpse into their world as they move about during the day. First-time visitors to the site can skip through to some of the Cow Cam Archive, which highlights some memorable bits of activity, as well as browse through the blog created for this rather unique endeavor. [KMG]
Email: webform

Selling the Computer Revolution: Marketing Brochures in the Collection [pdf]

Those who study the history of technology and science have long been interested in exploring the ways in which various products become wide-spread, and in recent years, there has been a rather focused interest in the promotion and marketing of devices such as the computer. The good people at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California have created this intriguing online collection and exhibition dedicated to computer marketing brochures from the years 1948 to 1988. This period marked an exponential growth in the power of such machines, particularly in terms of those marketed for personal use. All told, the site contains over 261 items, and visitors can use a very detailed search engine to look for specific documents of interest. From the collections homepage, visitors can also browse around by decade, company, or application type. There are some real gems that should not be missed, including the brochure for the Atari 800 from 1980 and the promotional materials for the Pace 231R Analog Computer, which looks suspiciously like a massive control terminal that one would find at the dramatic conclusion of a James Bond movie of the same era. [KMG]

One More Once: A Centennial Celebration of the Life and Music of Count Basie

Despite the regal title that would later become his calling card, William Count Basie grew up in the fairly regular world of Red Bank, New Jersey at the turn of the 19th century. His seven decade career saw him as a featured player in the wild and wooly world of Kansas Citys thriving jazz scene in the 1920s and as an internationally known pianist and band leader who had ensembles named after both the Old and New Testaments. This loving tribute to the man and his music was created by staff members at the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University for jazz fans everywhere, and it is a tremendous trove of material on this most beloved musician. The sites contents can be accessed along the left-hand side of the homepage, and they include fine photo essays by another noted jazz musician, Milt Hinton, and by Dan Morgenstern, noted jazz historian and critic. The Speaking of Basie feature is quite a treat, as visitors can listen to recollections of the man himself from such peers as Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, Frank Wess, and Helen Humes. The cherry on the top of this site is a video of a memorable performance by Ray Brown, Jimmie Smith, and the Count as they wind their way through the aptly-named Trio Blues at Montreux in 1977. [KMG]

Yale Center for the Study of Globalization [pdf, Real Player]

The study of globalization has gained great currency over the past decade, and a number of private organizations and institutions of higher learning have moved to create centers and institutes where individuals can come together to discuss and research this phenomenon and process. The Yale Center for the Study of Globalization (YCSG) was created in 2001, and it is dedicated to enriching the debate about globalization on campus and to promote the flow of ideas between Yale and the policy world. First-time visitors will want to take a look at one of the thematic areas, which include those dedicated to global trade reform and climate change. In both locations, visitors will find a number of helpful research papers and related materials. The real treat here is the YaleGlobal Online Magazine, which contains compelling articles on the effects of globalization in Europe as well as special reports on the Avian flu and SARS. [KMG]

Network Tools

Trail Runner 1.0

For those who enjoy a run of some distance across a variety of terrains, this application is definitely worth a look. With Trail Runner, users can create a geographic display of their workout area, plan routes interactively, and also export route descriptions onto their iPod. While the application does not actually contain digital maps itself, it does offer ample directions and instructions on where to obtain such maps online. This version of Trail Runner is compatible with all computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

KlipFolio 3,download

Dashboards on a car are essential. Dashboards on ones computer screen arent always essential, but they can certainly make monitoring different sets of information quite a bit easier. Essentially users of this program create a collection of klips, which collect and display weather information, email notifications, and stocks. And in an age of user-interface customization, it is not surprising to find that the program also contains a number of skins which can be used at the users discretion. Finally, the program can be used in a variety of different languages, including German, Dutch, and Spanish. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and XP. [KMG]

In The News

Annual Eurovision Song Contest Selects Unique Finnish Band as its Winner

Eurovision: Finally, Finland Finishes First

Finnish square named after Lordi

Eurovision Song Contest [Windows Media Player]

The axemans serious side,,1781044,00.html

Lordi be, Europe!

Molvania Disqualified from Eurovision [Shockwave]

Theres nothing quite like the Eurovision Song Contest in the United States, though some might claim that the popular television program American Idol might be the closest analogue to this long-running contest that resembles a musical exploration of Europes constituent nations. Over its fifty year history, Eurovision has elected a number of memorable songs to the top of its contest, including ABBAs Waterloo, Celine Dions performance of Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi, and that perennial favorite, Ding Dinge Dong, sung by the Netherlands own Teach-in. This year, amidst the usual fierce competition that everyone has come to expect, Finlands own hard-rocking group Lordi came in at number one in the competition with their song Hard Rock Hallelujah. Distinguished primarily by their distinctive outfits, which resemble costumes cast-off from the 1986 film Masters of the Universe, the band has caused quite a stir in their native Finland. Some had claimed that members of the band were nothing but Satanists, but lead singer and band spokesman Mr. Lordi dismissed all such claims in a recent interview, stating This is entertainment. The masks are like our calling card and well never perform without them. It would be like Santa Claus handing a child his gifts at Christmas time and then pulling off his beard and saying, By the way, Im your father Needless to say, the Finns are already talking excitedly about pulling off a repeat in 2007, but skeptics note that such a feat is a rarity in the history of this highly animated contest. [KMG]

The first link will take users to the homepage of Billboard, where they will find an article on the recent victory of Lordi at the Eurovision Song Contest last weekend in Athens. The second link will take users to a news story from the BBC that announces that the Finnish city of Rovaniemi is going to name a square after their hometown heroes and their recent monster victory. The third link leads to the well-designed homepage of the Eurovision Song Contest. The site contains an impressive blend of multimedia features, ranging from retrospectives of previous contests and videos from some of the featured artists. The fourth link leads to a piece of commentary on the whole business of high-brow versus low-brow music by the Guardians Pascal Wyse, complete with commentaries offered by those who decided to enter the whole fractious debate. The fifth link leads to an impassioned piece on the whole Eurovision business by the Belfast Telegraphs own Gail Walker, who refers to the pan-European songfest as the Contest of Kitsch. The sixth link leads to the uproarious entry offered by the fictional country of Molvania in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. Titled Elektronik-Supersonik, the whole bizarre performance will give some viewers a slight Iron Curtain-infused tingle. Others may not be similarly amused, but its all in good fun. [KMG]

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