The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 30

July 28, 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

UC Atlas of Global Inequality

Researchers attempting to wade through the murky and volatile waters of globalization can sometimes find the going rough. For the general public, even grasping the mere tenets of what globalization entails can be equally confounding. The Center for Global, International and Regional Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz has stepped in to help with their UC Atlas of Global Inequality. Drawing on a wide range of data sets, their online Atlas explores the interaction between global integration (globalization) and inequality. Some of the themes visitors can explore include economic globalization, health, and income inequality. Along with these interactive features, visitors also have access to time series maps of the world that show patterns of inequality and a database that allows tables and graphs to be generated and downloaded for selected data and countries. [KMG]

American Association of State Colleges and Universities [pdf, Real Player]

With diminishing monies from their state governments, it makes sense that Americas public colleges and universities would benefit from a large organization such as the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). With over 400 members, the AASCU provides a host of services on their website that will be of interest to those following the world of American higher education. On their homepage, visitors can look over their in-house magazine, Public Purpose, which contains articles with such titles as The Changing Landscape of the Presidential Search and What is the Future of Federal Education Financing? Parents, students, and higher education professionals will all appreciate the State Budget & Tuition section, which provides details on each states average tuition and fees, along with funding per student numbers, and total funding of public higher education systems. The site is rounded out with a selection of podcasts that deal with leadership and policy issues. [KMG]

Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence [pdf]
The worlds oceans are tremendously complex ecosystems, and to those persons beginning to learn about these places, the process of getting started can seem a bit daunting. Fortunately, the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) has assembled a wide range of educational resources that address such as online learning exercises dealing with invasive species and summary fact sheets about each ocean. COSEE maintains different geographically discrete research centers (such as COSEE Great Lakes, COSEE Mid-Atlantic, etc.), so visitors looking for educational resources for these areas should proceed to these respective areas of the site directly. Students and teachers alike will appreciate the job and career exploration area of the site titled OceanCareers, as it includes specific information on how to prepare for careers in oceanography and related fields. [KMG]

Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades [pdf]

Who could you count on in an emergency? Do you have a network of people to talk with about relationships, family issues, and the like? These are some of the thorny questions that some sociologists consider of the utmost importance when peering into the heart of contemporary society. According to this study, released in June 2006, Americans circle of close friends has shrunk rather dramatically, leaving many to wonder why this might be the case. Researched and written by sociologists at Duke University and the University of Arizona, this provocative 23-page report compares data from 1985 and 2004 in an attempt to determine the depth and extent of social contact across a cross-section of American society. While visitors will want to read the report in its entirety, one finding is particularly troubling: the number of people who said they had no one with whom to discuss important matters doubled to nearly 25 percent from 1985 to 2004. [KMG]

Dino Directory

Do you know your Gallinimus from your Barosaurus? If not, it may be high time to take a close look at The Natural History Museums Dino Directory. Updated regularly, the Dino Directory provides basic information on 229 of the most well described dinosaurs. Complemented by 933 images, the dinosaurs can be searched by scientific name, body shape, or by time period. One very nice feature of the site is the Living Together area, which allows users to discover which dinosaurs could be found on different continents during each era. For those concerned with locating dinosaurs by the contemporary boundaries of such countries as Argentina, Brazil, and others, that option is also available. For each dinosaur, visitors can look at various speculative renderings, and also learn about their diet and habitat. [KMG]

The Math Forum@ Drexel University [pdf]

In the vast pantheon of websites dedicated to providing high-quality educational materials in the field of mathematics, interested parties have a wide range of sites that might be useful. Visitors will be delighted to learn about the existence of The Math Forum at Drexel University, which has been online since 1992. Given the amount of material here, visitors may wish to start by going to the About section of the site, and then looking at the site map. Here educators and students can look at the Who are You? area, which will direct them to the appropriate resources for their purposes. One resource that should not be passed over is the Math Forum Electronic Newsletter. Published weekly, visitors can sign up to receive the Newsletter, or just browse this well-written publication at their leisure. Additionally, the Math Tools area of the site is a real gem, and can be used by educators to learn about new methods of teaching various mathematical concepts in the classroom. [KMG]

Milman Parry Collection [Real Player, pdf]
Part musicologist, part just plain curious, Milman Parry embarked on a quest to document and record the musical traditions of South Slavic song in the 1930s. Along the way, he came up with a provocative thesis: The epic tradition of storytelling and narrative present in the Iliad and Odyssey were not originally literary in nature, but rather part of the tradition of an archaic Greek oral tradition. After he passed away in 1935, his rather impressive collection found its way to Harvard University. Over the past few years, the staff at the Widener Library at Harvard have worked to place many of his field recordings and notes online, and their work has culminated in this fine website. Visitors to the site will want to listen to a few of these songs, and then perhaps also read some of the essays that explain the importance of his work, and that of his colleague, Albert B. Lord. [KMG]

Islamic Manuscripts from Mali

In 2004, the Library of Congress and the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library in Timbuktu began a project that would help digitize some of the marvelous Arabic manuscripts located in the Commemorative Librarys home in Mali. This recent online collection is part of the fruits of their collective labor, and is a good resource for those who wish to know a bit more about West African Islamic manuscripts. All told, the collection features 22 manuscripts from the Library, all of which are written in various styles of the Arabic script. Visitors can search the collection by keyword, or browse the materials by title or subject. The site also contains three presentations that provide insight into the landscape of the ancient city of Timbuktu and its importance as an Islamic center of culture and scholarship from the 14th to 17th centuries. [KMG]

General Interest

European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia [pdf]

The European Union has a number of initiatives and organizations that are meant to deal with issues of human relations and creating a culture of tolerance. One such organization is the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). The EUMC studies various manifestations of racism and xenophobia. A basic overview of their more recent work can be found in the Activities section of the site. Here users will find information about their networking activities, their budget, and their mission statement. Specific work reports and helpful policy statements can be found in the RAXEN section, which contains topical documents such as Policing Racist Crime and Violence and Migrants, Minorities and Legislation. Visitors looking for the most recent documents issued by the organization should also consult the Publications area, which is contains the newsletter archives, annual reports, and discussion papers. [KMG]

The Blues, Black Vaudeville, and the Silver Screen, 1912-1930s

African-American owned enterprises in the South were not unusual phenomena in the early 20th century, but their records are often scattered and fragmentary. Keeping that in mind, this website is made all the more intriguing and useful, both for scholars and the web-browsing public. Created in cooperation with the Digital Library of Georgia and the Middle Georgia Archives, this collection consists of selected correspondence, financial records, contracts, and advertising materials from the Douglass Theater in Macon, Georgia. Among the documents visitors can look at here are advertisements for sporting events and vaudeville shows. For perspective, first time-visitors will want to take a look at a very thorough and well-researched background essay here that talks about the history of the Douglass Theater. Visitors should also take advantage of the browsing features, which will allow them to look at documents by author, date, subject, or subject. [KMG]

U.S. South Pole Station [Macromedia Flash Player]

The National Science Foundation sponsors thousands of research endeavors every year, and the general public may not be aware of the tremendous breadth of work they underwrite. In recent years, their website has featured special reports on some of their work, and this latest presentation on the U.S. South Pole Station is both visually stimulating and substantive. Some visitors may not know that the Station sits directly at the Earths axis, and that a third station will be completed in 2007. On this site, visitors can learn about this new station, and also take a video tour of the current facilities. Appropriately enough, visitors can also learn about the previous two stations, which include the Navy outpost constructed during 1956 and 1957. Finally, visitors can also peruse a timeline that tracks the important dates in South Pole exploration. [KMG]


In recent years, people in the fields of business and technology have developed a keen interest in creating products that are socially responsible. As a partnership between two nonprofit organizations (Business for Social Responsibility and the Green Business Network), the ClimateBiz website is a place for such persons to come together and learn from each other. The section titled ClimateBiz 101 is a good place to start, as it offers an overview of the interactions between the world of business and climate change, and also provides insights into how to best utilize the entire site. Other sections are more self-explanatory, and include background articles (such as Whos reviving the electric car?) and an Ask the Climate Expert feature. [KMG]

Association for Death Education and Counseling: Newsletter Resources [pdf]

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be a difficult process, and one that confounds even the most prepared individual. It can be equally difficult for those who work in the funerary industry, particularly those who are relatively new to the profession. Both groups will find this online resource to be very helpful. Created by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), this newsletter, The Forum, provides articles about such sensitive topics as bereavement rituals, perinatal loss, the grief of grandparents, and group methods in thanatology. In total, visitors can browse over twelve complete newsletters at their leisure. Additionally, users may also wish to share these resources with those dealing with similar issues. [KMG]

Dada [Macromedia Flash Player]

MoMA presents this web site on the style of art known as Dada to accompany an in situ exhibition at the museum. One of the main components of the site is a selection of Dada art from the museum's permanent collection, with works by artists such as Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters, and Jean Arp. There are some interactive features as well - visitors can make a Dadaist poem, by following Tristan Tzara's recipe: cut all the words out of a newspaper article, put them in a paper bag, and shake. Pull the words out one by one and write them down in order to finish the poem. There is also Fauxtogram, a web near equivalent of Man Ray's photograms, photographs that were made without a camera, by placing objects on light sensitive paper. Finally, visitors can travel virtually to see the Dada exhibition's previous installations at the National Gallery of Art, and the Muse National d'Art Moderne-Centre Pompidou. [DS]

Indiana Historical Society: Digital Images

From the steel mills of Gary to the nooks and crannies of French Link, theres a great deal to learn about in the Hoosier State. Compiling, archiving, and disseminating through all of it is the very fine Indiana Historical Society. Few self-respecting state historical societies are without a polished website these days, and Indianas provides over 17,000 digital images for the historically-minded visitor. Housed in the William Henry Smith Memorial Library, these images include a number of well-regarded individual collections, including the one dedicated to Notable Hoosiers and Indiana Through the Seasons, which brings together printed ephemera that highlight the states appearance during the vibrant autumn to the bitter winters. One thematic collection that should not be missed is the Panoramic Photograph Images. Here, visitors can view panoramic images of the early days of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race along with photos of military encampments, conventions and sprawling company picnics to name a few. [KMG]

Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone [Windows Media Player]

In recent years, it has been difficult for journalists to report stories from areas involved in civil war, armed conflict, and general conditions of despair and hardship. Despite these adverse conditions, a few journalists have set out to document some of the stories that can be found in these places, and Kevin Sites is one such journalist. Beginning in 2004, Sites set off to document stories in Iraq, Somalia, Uganda, Cambodia, and about a dozen additional places. Drawing on a wide range of technological resources, Sites has documented the sex trade in Southeast Asia, the struggles to establish a democratic state in Myanmar (Burma), and the lives of students in Syria. On this site, visitors can watch video clips from each region, learn about the equipment he uses to document these stories, and also read about his mission and goals for this project. Reading Sites diary entries is a particularly valuable experience, and visitors are encouraged to leave their own comments. Overall, this is a fine site, and one that might serve as a model for others hoping to do similar work. [KMG]

Network Tools


Have you ever found yourself in Wichita searching for the best Thai restaurant? Stranded in New York looking for the closest kosher deli? Users of this application will need to look no further for such assistance. Essentially, Loki turns Wi-Fi enabled laptops into a GPS device, and integrates their location into Internet searches. Visitors can also use the Find Me feature, if they are in fact not completely sure where they are. If they so desire, visitors can also share their locations with others, along with directions on how to reach them. This version of Loki is compatible with all computers running Windows XP and Internet Explorer. [KMG]

OmniWeb 5.1.3

New browsers are about as common as celebrity weddings (or divorces, come to think of it), but there are a few that are worth some serious attention. One such browser is the latest incarnation of OmniWeb. With Omniweb, users can utilize their novel approach to tabbed browsing, auto-save browsing sessions, and even zoom in on text passages. Which computers can use this fine application you may ask? All computers running Mac OS X 10.2 will be in good standing with this particular version. [KMG]

In The News

The Late James Scotty Doohan to Make a Space Journey, But Not Quite to the Final Frontier

Star Trek James Doohan Set for Space in October

Space date set for Scottys ashes

Celebrating the Legendary James Doohan

An Interview with James Scotty Doohan

Space Services

Star Trek: New Voyages

The television show Star Trek, while not tremendously popular during its initial run in the early 1960s, soon garnered a following that could, at the very least, be described as thoroughly devoted. Over the past forty years, the show has been shown in syndication almost continuously, and has also served as the inspiration for a movie franchise, several additional television series, dozens of books, and the requisite merchandise and memorabilia industries. Many famous characters were created as part of the original series, including Montgomery Scotty Scott. James Doohan, who played the chief engineer of the crews hardy vessel, the Starship Enterprise, passed away last July at the age of 85. He had always expressed a strong desire to travel into space, and it seems that he will now get his wish, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale. Earlier this week, it was announced that several grams of Doohans ashes would be placed on a 15-minute suborbital flight that will leave from southern New Mexico this coming fall. His widow commented, Its a way to honor something he would have loved to have done. As of this writing, it is not known whether William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, or any of the other original cast members have a similar wish for their own ashes. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a news article from this Wednesdays New York Post detailing the general plan to take a small amount of Doohans ashes into space. The second link leads to a like-minded piece from the BBCs online news service, complete with links to previous articles, including Doohans obituary from last year. The third link leads to a nice article on Doohan from, and includes a recap of some of his most famous lines of dialogue and some home movies. The fourth link leads to an interview with Doohan that appeared amidst the pages of InfiniteEnergy, the magazine of new energy science and technology. Moving on to the fifth link, users will find the homepage of Space Services, Inc. Its an interesting way to learn about their unique services, particularly when one considers their mission to honor the dream and memory of your departed loved one by launching a symbolic portion of cremated remains into Earth orbit, onto the lunar surface or into deep space. For those looking for an additional Star Trek fix, this last website will be most welcome. Created by Star Trek enthusiast (and Elvis impersonator) James Cawley, this site presents new adventures of the Star Trek crew. Cawleys mission is to finish the original series five-year voyage, which of course was not completed due to the concerns of this world. Those concerns were largely that CBS cancelled the program. Visitors can view the new episodes here at no cost, and some of them are rather well done. [KMG]

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