The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 25

June 23, 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

Harvard University: Center for Public Leadership [pdf]

Created in 2000 with funding from the Wexner Foundation, the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Universitys Kennedy School of Government is dedicated to excellence in leadership education and research. The Center serves those persons in government, business, and nonprofits by providing access to a number of publications and research reports, along with various courses, seminars, and public events. Of course, those who cannot make it to Cambridge, Massachusetts will certainly appreciate this site, as access to a number of their publications is included on this site. Visitors will want to take a look at their in-house journal, Compass, which contains articles on leadership and leadership studies. For those with a scholarly penchant for leadership studies and allied research, the site also features a working papers archive that contains material all the way back to 2003. [KMG]

Maps In Our Lives

The Library of Congress has many productive partnerships with peer institutions and affiliates, and their thirty-year partnership with the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) has been quite fruitful. Designed to complement a current in situ exhibit at the Library of Congresss headquarters, this online exhibit explores cartography, surveying, and geographic information systems in their full glory. The maps provide a broad overview of the history of surveying, as they begin with maps of George Washingtons farm created in 1760 and conclude with offerings created in 1999. The selection of maps is quite catholic in its scope, as it includes an intriguing map of the University of Oregon campus at night, a map from the popular board game Carmen Sandiego, and a relief map of Crater Lake. After all this, even the most casual visitor may find themselves with a renewed or newfound interest in the field of geography. [KMG]

Financial Access for Immigrants: Lessons from Diverse Perspectives [pdf]

Improving access to various financial institutions, particularly in inner-city neighborhoods, has been of great interest to policy makers and advocates for decades. In some cases, various groups have had moderate success extending the availability of basic services (such as bank branches) to impoverished areas. This recent paper, authored by Anna Paulson, Audrey Singer, Robin Newberger, and Jeremy Smith of behalf of the Brookings Institution, presents new research on the financial practices of immigrants, and also describes how various institutions have helped moved immigrants into the financial mainstream. In this 100-page report, the authors present a number of case studies that deal with this subject, and conclude their work with a number of policy recommendations as well. [KMG]

United Nations Population Fund [pdf]

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. Within their general mission, the UNFPA also promotes a variety of public health initiatives, such as HIV/AIDS prevention and education programs and the reduction of maternal and infant mortality. With a pleasing visual layout and a series of tabs for each thematic area, even first-time visitors should have no problem finding their way around. Visitors can get a sense of their mission by looking over some of these tabs, which include sections titled Making Motherhood Safer and Promoting Gender Equality. Within each section, visitors can read a basic prcis of their general policy approach to dealing with each population issue and also learn about their collaborative efforts with different non-governmental organizations around the globe. [KMG]

The Internet TESL Journal

English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculum continue to be refined for different audiences both in the United States and overseas, and new teachers in this area can find their task a bit daunting. Fortunately, there exist a number of websites such as this one that can help ease this transition. Started in 1995, the Internet TESL Journal has brought together articles, research papers, lesson plans, classroom handouts, and teaching ideas to this website. Published monthly, the journal can be viewed in its entirety here, and users can also browse through the contents by category, such as questions, techniques, and lessons. ESL educators have reviewed all of the materials featured in the journal, and visitors are also encouraged to submit their own teaching materials for consideration. Some of the more recent pieces contained within the journal include features on using newspaper articles in the ESL classroom and creating an effective group learning environment. [KMG]

LaGuardia and Wagner Archives

While some contend that the late Robert Moses had the greatest and most enduring effect on the landscape and built environment of New York, two other primary figures who loom large in the history of this megalopolis include Fiorello H. LaGuardia and Robert F. Wagner. Both men served the city as mayor during rather turbulent times, and their legacy to the city includes major road building projects, the development of public housing, and an increased effort to develop the city college system. It is quite fitting that their archives be located at the La Guardia City College, and that the staff there have created this interesting and rich website. There are a number of excellent photographic exhibits offered here, including one titled Public Housing: New York Transformed 1939-1967. Drawing on the collection of the New York City Housing Authority, this exhibit takes visitors through the areas demolished for public housing during the period and also into the housing created during the period. Returning to the subject of the two mayors, visitors can read extended biographical essays on both men, and also search an extensive archive of photographs that have been recently digitized. [KMG]

HyperStat Online [Last reviewed December 19, 1997]

Does the mere mention of the phrase sampling distributions bring a tingle to your spine? Visitors to this site will fear this basic concept of statistics (along with many others) no longer, as it does a fine job of explaining them in a fashion that is both lucid and jargon-free. Created and maintained by Professor David M. Lane of Rice University, the HyperStat Online site contains an online introductory statistics textbook, complete with sections on normal distributions, confidence intervals, prediction, and the logic of hypothesis testing. Each section contains a number of discrete subsections, and users can feel free to browse around at their leisure. Professor Lane has also included a number of external links to related resources, including a visual statistics site by David Krus of Arizona State University and a Stat Primer, authored by Bud Gerstman of San Jose State University. Overall, this site is tremendously helpful, and will be of great assistance to those entering the world of statistics for the first time. [KMG]

Virtual Skies: Aeronautics Tutorial

Drag, lift, and thrust are all seminal concepts in terms of understanding aeronautics, and they are explained in all their glory on this very edifying website. Created by the good people at NASA, this aeronautical tutorial will be useful to those persons studying the world of flight, or just those who want a bit of insight into the world of aeronautical engineering. The site itself is divided into eight sections, including The Work of Wings, Tools of Aeronautics, and The Forces of Aeronautics. Within each of the eight sections, visitors will find short text passages, accompanied by various diagrams and illustrations.

General Interest

Law Enforcement Technology

Serving as a sworn officer of the law continues to be one of the most demanding professions in the country, and those in the field will certainly appreciate the website of Law Enforcement Technology. This monthly magazine concentrates primarily on the emerging trends in the field of law enforcement technology, such as the use of computers, refined body armor designs, and of course, improvements in weaponry and forensics. On their website, visitors can read articles about new data management systems, mobile license plate readers, and innovative flashlights. Along with these feature articles, each issue contains information about funding opportunities for law enforcement technology initiatives and new developments in software technology. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive email notifications about job opportunities and promotional offers. [KMG]

NASA: Project Constellation [Macromedia Flash Player]

Over the past few years, NASA has been working on a number of creative and important projects, particularly in the area of new spacecraft construction and design. This website was created to serve as a place the public can learn about Project Constellation, which is the long-term project that will once again take humans back to the moon for a variety of scientific endeavors. From the homepage, visitors can view several Flash-enabled features that demonstrate some of the newly proposed spaceships and also how such vessels will return from the moon. Along with these related multimedia features, visitors can view information on what each of NASAs ten field centers is doing as part of this ambitious effort. Those seeking additional information should also browse around the Related Links area, which includes full resolution images, a Q&A section, as well as a basic fact sheet. [KMG]

Invincible Cities [Macromedia Flash Player]

Throughout history, cities have risen and fallen from prominence, and in recent times more attention has been paid to why this ebb and flow persists across the centuries. Documenting this process has increasingly been the province of historians, archaeologists, city planners, sociologists, and of course, photographers. Many photographers have been very interested in the world of post-industrial urban decay, and Camilo Jose Vergara is one of the best. With financial support from the Ford Foundation, this website brings together Vergaras photographic record of the cities of Camden, New Jersey and Richmond, California in exquisite geographic and visual detail. First-time visitors will want to read through the introduction to the project offered by Vergara, and then perhaps click on the question mark on the homepage for a brief primer on how to use the user interface for each city. At that point, visitors shouldnt be afraid to look over both cities, as they can zoom in and out around a number of interesting locales, including abandoned factories, old piers, and gated communities. Short of wandering through these cities in a peripatetic fashion, this website serves as an interesting introduction to some overlooked aspects of urbanity. [KMG]

After Welfare [Real Player, Macromedia Flash Player]

Over the past few years, the American RadioWorks has raised the bar for like-minded radio documentary programs, producing thought-provoking and insightful studies on topics such as, Congressional reform, intelligent design, and international adoption programs. In this recently released documentary, John Biewen has created this introspective look into the world of welfare reform in the United States, and how it has affected the lives of five different women and their families. The women profiled come from a host of different backgrounds, and visitors may be surprised at some of the findings that Biewen presents in the documentary. The site also includes an interactive feature that allows users to find out how their own state ranks in terms of welfare and foodstamp recipients, welfare check sizes, time limits, and unemployment rates. Visitors can also look over a list of additional external links of interest and also read the complete transcript of the program. [KMG]

Penny Illustrated Paper

In our own time, daily newspapers and other such materials provide news, entertainment, gossip, and other such items that seem to both delight and offend many segments of the populace. While it may be hard to believe, the media landscape was once rather devoid of such rags, and the Penny Illustrated was one of the first to hang its journalistic shingle out there, in a matter of speaking. Published between 1861 and 1913, the papers publication was With all the news of the week, and readers were certainly not disappointed, as it contained a number of sections dealing with sports, recreations, and Foreign News. Recently, the Collect Britain project at The British Library digitized the entire run of the paper, and placed it online at this website. Visitors can browse through the complete run at their leisure, or they may also wish to look over some of the paper selected as a Curators Choice. [KMG]

America's Art

This companion Web site to a new book of the same title from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) will serve many readers as well as the book itself. While the web site lacks the large-size, printed reproductions of artwork and introductory texts of the book, it never the less provides reasonable screen resolution images of all of the 225 works reproduced in the book. The web site is organized into 16 chapters, starting with "From Distant Shores", which contains artwork documenting the immigrant experience, and ending with Toward the Millennium, which is artwork created in the last 20 years of the Twentieth Century. In addition, the America's Art Web site links into SAAM's online permanent collection. This allows visitors to read caption information from the exhibition labels for each work of art, search on each artist's name to see if there is more of their work in SAAM's collection, use SAAM research databases, and even use the Museum's Ask-a service, Ask Joan of Art. [DS] [pdf]

It may be difficult for the average consumer to evaluate the sometimes grandiose claims that various supplements, vitamins, and other such products make on their labels and such. One way to learn about products is, which provides independent test results and information in order to assist consumers and healthcare professionals to evaluate such products. The casual visitor will want to begin by looking over the Latest Results area on the homepage, which provides some information on their recent tests on melatonin sleep supplements and other related nostrums. Visitors looking for information on specific products will want to direct their mouse to the Laboratory Test Results area. Here they can look through a list of product evaluations that include nutrition bars, ginkgo biloba, and the ever-popular echinacea. The site is rounded out by a very nice area on Recalls and Warnings, which (as its name suggests) includes information on recent notices posted by the Federal Trade Commission and other such agencies. [KMG]

Network Tools

StudioLine Photo Basic 3.4.13

Summer is upon us, and it is certainly a time to make a visual record of family gatherings, trips to the Atlas Mountains, or other such occasions. StudioLine Photo Basic 3.4.13 is a good way to organize such photographic memories, as users can sort their images into albums and folders, and also utilize some of their 30 image tools to modify their existing images. These tools can assist with exposure problems and the seemingly omnipresent specter of red-eye. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

NetVeda Safety. Net 3.62

The idea behind the NetVeda Safety Net application is a simple one: to allow users to control access to certain websites on their computer and to maintain firewall protection in the process. Users of the application can define user access based on the time of day and for content, if they so desire. As might be expected, the application also contains privacy controls that block the sending of personal information and that can also generate activity reports. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Survey reveals that New York residents have replaced the infamous Bronx Cheer with a friendly Hello.

Readers Digest: New York a Polite City

Town so nice, they named it twice,0,3206847.story

Mumbai disputes rudest city tag

Good Manners: World of Courtesy: Ranking of 35 Cities

Emily Post: Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home

Beginning to Date (1953) [Quick Time, Real Player]

Lists of best places, restaurants, haberdasheries, and the like seem to be almost ubiquitous these days, with any number of magazines creating such scientific (and unscientific) studies to determine and analyze such supposedly lofty manners. Of course, measuring the politeness of any given city is bound to be a difficult task, but recently Readers Digest embarked on a quest to determine just which city is in fact the place where gentility and decorum rule the day. This week, that very august publication released their list of the 35 most polite cities in the world, and although admittedly unscientific, the results were rather surprising to some, and downright upsetting to others. Readers Digest sent out a team of reporters to a host of different cities, and performed a number of experiments (such as seeing who would hold a door open and such), throughout different parts of the city. After they were finished with their work, they determined that New York, once thought of as a rough-and-tumble, take no prisoners urban jungle, now in fact contains urbanitys most genteel citizens. Other cities were not so fortunate, and a few residents of Mumbai were upset to learn that their city ranked last in the rankings. [KMG]

The first link leads to a feature from this Wednesdays Forbes about the results of this recent survey of politeness across the worlds great metropoles. The second link will take users to a piece from Anthony M. DeStefano of Newsday that includes commentary on the polls results from such notable New Yorkers as Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The third link leads to a news piece from the BBC that contains reactions from residents of Mumbai upon learning about the polls results. The fourth link leads to the actual report created by a team of experts at Readers Digest. For those who may need a brush up on their Emily Post, the fifth link leads towell, the 1922 version of Emily Posts famed etiquette guide. With chapters titled Salutations of Courtesy, The Debutante, and Cards and Visits, even the most uncouth cad can be transformed. For those souls seeking a bit of nostalgia, the sixth link may be a welcome trip down memory lane. Drawn from the Moving Image collection at, this educational film created in 1953 provides some very basic and fundamental information on how to enter the often-awkward world of teenage dating. With Studs Terkel taking a turn as a kindly, yet forceful, swimming coach, he delivers dialogue that compares asking a young lady out to taking the first dive off the high board. Certainly such sensible advice will steer teenagers in the right direction. [KMG]

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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

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