The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 35

September 1, 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

Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinicians Guide [pdf]

Alcohol abuse and related problems continue to be issues of great concern to the government, employers, health care professionals, and of course, to family members of those struggling with these issues. This particular document was written for primary care and mental health clinicians, and addresses the subject of how to help patients with alcohol problems. Created by qualified professionals at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), is divided into several sections designed to help such practitioners with the process of screening for alcohol problems and, if necessary, conducting an intervention. Along with these materials, users will also find screening support materials in Spanish, and a number of materials on the brief intervention model. Finally, the site is rounded out by a FAQ document which answers such questions as What can I do to help patients who struggle to remain abstinent or who relapse? [KMG]

Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project [iTunes]

After a long day, it can be nice to take a few moments to listen to a bit of music. Perhaps you are in the mood for John McCormacks 1904 recording of Green Isle of Erin? Maybe you would like to listen to a few humorous anecdotes of Scottish humor from the first couple of decades of the 20th century? Both of these selections, and thousands of other enticing recordings can be found at this archive of cylinder recordings offered by the Department of Special Collections at the University of California, Santa Barbara. With the kind assistance of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, they have created a digital collection of over 6000 recordings taken from cylinders, which were the first commercially produced sound recordings. Visitors can learn about the history of cylinder recordings, search the collection at their leisure, and also browse around by genre, instrument, or topical subject. For those who find themselves overwhelmed by this musical cornucopia, there is also the option to just go ahead and play the Featured Cylinder offered on the right-hand side of the page, or also listen to their in-house Cylinder Radio. [KMG]

Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research [pdf]

Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) is located at the State University of New York at Buffalo. MCEER draws on the expertise of many researchers and industry partners from across the United States, as they are dedicated to the discovery and development of new knowledge, tools and technologies that equip communities to become more disaster resilient in the face of earthquakes and other extreme events. The Center receives funding from a wide range of institutions, including the National Science Foundation, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security. Along with the usual conference announcements and newsletters that one might expect to find on a homepage of this sort, visitors can also peruse their archive of webcasts, which include such past presentations as Seismic Analysis of Woodframe Structures and Structural Control Technologies. Visitors will not be surprised to find that there are also a number of special reports on Hurricane Katrina that are worth taking a look at here. [KMG]

Critical Social Work

Many individuals committed to social justice and equity have found inspiration in the social work field, even if some have expressed some regrets about having to work from within the system. A number of social work journals have expressed a concern for the current and future potential of a critical perspective on their work, and the good folks at the University of Windsors School of Social Work have decided to do something about this situation. They have created the journal, Critical Social Work, which exists solely as an electronic publication. Interested parties can browse through each volume of the journal dating back to the first issue, which was issued in 2000. Since then, the journal has taken on a wide range of topics, such as spirituality in social work and global justice, making this online journal worth a visit. [KMG]

Collaboratory for Research on Electronic Work [pdf, Quick Time]

Everyone is pretty familiar with the technologies that have developed over the past decade that have allowed organizations to collaborate together across wide distances. Email, videoconferencing, and other such tools have led to a number of creative and mind-expanding collaborations. But a number of questions remain, namely How do these new and emergent technologies make possible new forms of working? It is an intriguing question, and one that is of great interest to the University of Michigans own Collaboratory for Research on Electronic Work (CREW). Drawing on a wide range of faculty and graduate student talent, CREW is primarily concerned with researching these various processes in the field through such research projects as the Science of Collaboratories. In this project, researchers are looking at the ways in which scientists use various communication technologies in their work. Visitors will want to look at this project and others on the homepage, and then proceed to look over some of CREWs recent publications, which date back to 1992. Finally, visitors can also view video recordings of some of their previous seminars, which include talks on micro-enterprise development in urban settings and camera phones in Japanese life. [KMG]

Dioramas: American Museum of Natural History [Real Player]

Many decades ago, the diorama reigned supreme in the world of natural history museums. After a long period of decline, there was a recrudescence in these seemingly simple and straightforward pedagogical tools. Paying tribute to their historical origins and development, this online exhibit created by the American Museum of Natural History focuses on, well, their own series of elaborate and precise dioramas. Through video introductions offered by senior project manager Steve Quinn, visitors will become intimately familiar with those dioramas that replicate the domains of the lion, the mountain gorilla, the mountain goat, and several others. After these vignettes, visitors can take some of the Virtual Tours offered here, and then download some of the audio files for use during their own visit to the museum. As a coda, visitors can learn about some of the artists who worked on creating both the background and foreground paintings of these dioramas over the past one hundred years. [KMG]

Uncle Toms Cabin & American Culture [Real Player, QuickTime]

While it is fairly easy to find electronic full-text versions of Harriet Beecher Stowes tremendously important work Uncle Toms Cabin online, visitors will want to first take a look at this very thorough exploration not only of the book itself, but also of American culture in the 19th century. Created and maintained by Professor Stephen Railton of the University of Virginia (with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities), the site allows users to browse through such materials as editorials from the period that respond to the book along with information about how the book has been transformed into a childrens book and various plays. Beyond this helpful information, visitors can also look at the covers of different editions of Uncle Toms Cabin through the years, including one that was published in Yiddish in 1911. For students of American literature or culture, this site could prove to be quite an invaluable resource. [KMG]

Hunger in America 2006 [pdf]

With significant assistance from the Mathematica Policy Research firm, Americas Second Harvest recently completed their Hunger in America 2006 report. The study was very ambitious in scope, as all told, they talked to 52,000 individuals and received survey questionnaires from 31,000 local emergency hunger-relief agencies. Users can choose to read the entire report, but they may also wish to just look over the Key Findings area, which includes tables and information on such topics as how many clients received emergency food from the national network of food banks and where these food banks obtain their food. The Snapshot Comparisons area allows visitors to look at comparisons between income levels, urban areas, and other such variables. While some of the findings may more than a bit discomforting, this important work will be of great use to people working in the areas of human services, social work, and related fields. [KMG]

General Interest

Blackbird: An Online Journal of Literature and the Arts

Started in 2002, the online journal Blackbird brings many literary and artistic traditions together in a format that is both appropriate for the digital age, and one that will delight those interested in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The journal is a joint venture between the department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and the New Virginia Review. Published twice a year, the journal takes a breezy journey through the arts with interviews with Rodney Jones and Lorraine Adams and short pieces by such up-and-comers as Misty Urban and Kathy Flann. The poetry section is quite well-developed, and highlights here include Jennifer Changs Estuary and Terri Witeks Right Over Left. Overall, Blackbird is a very pleasant find and a model that might serve as an inspiration for other groups seeking to start their own online humanities journal. [KMG]

TEDTalks [iTunes]

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and this acronym is familiar to those in the know as an annual conference that brings together talented persons from each of these fields every year to Monterey, CA. The price of attending the conference is a bit steep, but never fear, as this site will give users access to some of these provocative and enlightening sessions presented at their various gatherings. Through a partnership with BMW and New York Public Radio, the talks can be viewed in their entirety, or visitors can just listen to the audio portion if they so wish. Currently, there are several dozen presentations, including those by Jimmy Wales (the founder of Wikipedia), Nicholas Negroponte, and Al Gore. The wide range of persons selected for the annual TED conference is rather appealing, and overall, there area number of intriguing ideas presented throughout their number. [KMG]

Family Violence Prevention Fund [pdf]

Started two decades ago, the Family Violence Prevention Fund works to provide the general public with information about their programs that are designed to prevent violence within the home and in the community. One of the groups landmark achievements was helping develop the Violence Against Women Act, which was passed by Congress in 1994. In their well-designed site, visitors can browse through some of their online resources such as fact sheets, or look over their Hall of Fame, which gives information about well-known individuals who have spoken out against domestic and family violence. The Public Policy program area offers users access to information about currently pending legislation on workplace and domestic violence and other related subjects. The site is rounded out by an area that allows users to donate to the organization if they feel compelled to do so. [KMG]

Facing East: Portraits From Asia [Macromedia Flash Player]

How do we understand the individual? And perhaps equally importantly, how does the world of portraiture provide insight into individuals? These are thorny questions that have occupied the minds of some of the worlds philosophers and artists for millennia. Across the continent of Asia, this meditative and artful process has created thousands of interesting portraits. A few of them have been placed on display by the curators at the Freer & Sackler Galleries in this online exhibit, which also has a real-life analog currently on display. In this exhibit, visitors can move around various parts of Asia as they examine various images of people (both well known and unknown), accompanied by brief text passages. Additionally, visitors can view thematic introductions to the objects featured here that include Likeness & Identity and Portraits & Memory. [KMG]

The Eubie Blake Collection [QuickTime]

While jazz pianists such as Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and others may be more well-known today, Eubie Blake predates them all. Born in 1887 in Baltimore, James Hubert Blake would become known the world over as one of the most prolific and talented ragtime pianists, and he would go on to pen such classics as Memories of You and the Charleston Rag. Created by the Maryland Historical Society, this lovely tribute to Blake and his life includes sheet music for some of his compositions, a number of music programs, and some audio clips of Blake playing such gems as the Novelty Rag and Baltimore Buzz. As might be expected, the site includes a nice biographical essay, a discography, and a bibliography of additional primary and secondary sources. [KMG]

Foundation Coalition: Active/Cooperative Learning [pdf]

In some disciplines, particularly those with an applied component, cooperative education has been standard operating procedure in the classroom for over a century. Engineering is one such discipline, and this insightful website provides a number of resources for educators looking for some helpful modules to use in their own classrooms. Appropriately enough, the sections on the site include Preparing, Planning, Implementing, Assessment, and Lessons and Activities. The Preparing section offers a good selection of activities that help instructors create a productive classroom environment, and the Lessons and Activities section contains very useful content-specific lessons that address such topics as steady state open-system devices and database management. Additional lessons include those on aerospace principles, freshmen engineering projects, and engineering statistics. [KMG]

Exercises in Math Readiness

Arriving at college, many individuals may find themselves in the need of some instructional tools to refresh their memories on various mathematical concepts. Fortunately for those individuals (and their teachers), the Exercises in Math Readiness website contains materials that will ease this process. Created by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Saskatchewan, the site contains exercises of varying difficulty that will take users through such topics as geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and exponential functions. Teachers will also want to look at the section that offers them some specific instructions on how the site might best be used with students. Additionally, the materials here are available in French, Georgian, and Russian. [KMG]


From charettes to ateliers, architectural education is dedicated to collaborative learning environments. In recent years, some of these activities have migrated to the web, and along the way a number of forward-thinking individuals have seen fit to create online resources that might be of use to students working in this field. Created by the Design Machine Group at the University of Washingtons Department of Architecture, the entourage 3D database includes building blocks, complete models, and finishing touches for users to download and use. Visitors will appreciate the fact that they can browse these resources by such categories as building component, lighting element, office furniture, or street furniture. Visitors will need to complete a free registration before looking at the various designs and plans available here, but this only takes a few moments. [KMG]

Network Tools

JetPhoto Studio 3.2.1

As the summer draws to a close, some people may find themselves with the heavy burden of cataloging and organizing their digital photographs. Fortunately, JetPhoto Studio 3.2.1 will make this process a bit easier. With this application, users can add keyword tags to each photo and also use a GPS-drive photo locator to add great geographic specificity to each item. Of course, the application makes it easy to send along the albums to friends and family via email. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and XP or Mac OS X 10.3 or higher. [KMG]

CatsCradle 3.5

Many websurfers enjoy going to sites that might be based in other countries, and as such, they might very well encounter a different language. With CatsCradle 3.5, these persons need worry no more, as this application can be used to translate entire websites in such languages as Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows XP or 2000. [KMG]

In The News

As people remember Hurricane Katrina, mental health issues remain a concern

After Katrina, a mental resiliency is found

The Human Cry in New Orleans

Our Views: Mental Health issue of storms

NPR: Mental Issues Surge, Suicide Rates Flat Post-Katrina [RealPlayer]

Mental illness and suicidality after Hurricane Katrina [pdf]

U.S. Hurricane Disasters in the Gulf/National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [pdf]

This week there are dozens of events planned to both celebrate and memorialize the post-Katrina landscape throughout the region affected last fall by this traumatic event. Along with these events, several studies released this week reveal the current state of mental health throughout the region. Researchers at the Harvard School of Medicine conducted one such study, and their findings are in some ways quite encouraging. Published jointly in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the study concluded that while mental health problems roughly doubled in the months after the disaster, those persons with existing mental health problems had fewer thoughts of suicide. In addition, Professor Ron Kessler observed that some 400,000 people in the region may have mental health problems as a result of the storm. Interestingly enough, the study also found that eight out of ten survey respondents reported that had found a new sense of inner strength as a result of their experiences with Hurricane Katrina. Of course, others remain unconvinced of certain positive findings of the study, particularly because some long-term mental health problems may take years to be fully realized in the general population of the region. Though it may take the country years to grasp the total ramifications of Hurricane Katrina, this study looks beyond the more obvious and well-publicized physical and financial impacts and sheds some important light on the mental toll of catastrophes. [KMG]

The first link takes users to a well-written piece on this recent report on mental health in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast region offered by Joseph P. Williams of the Boston Globe. The second link leads to a piece from that offers some first-hand perspectives by those struggling with mental health problems in the region. The third link leads to a discerning piece on the mental health situation in the area, from Channel 2 in Baton Rouge. The fourth link will take users to an audio story from National Public Radio that includes an interview with the mental health researchers that worked on this recent study. The fifth link leads to the full-text report of the mental health study, which was also published as part of the World Health Organizations online series. The last link leads to a very nice set of mental health resources created by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. [KMG]

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2006.

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2006. The Internet Scout Project (, located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the National Science Foundation.

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

Internet Scout Project Team
Max GrinnellEditor
Chanda HaldermanManaging Editor
Rachael BowerCo-Director
Edward AlmasyCo-Director
Debra ShapiroContributor
Andrea CoffinInternet Cataloger
Michael GrossheimSystem Administrator
Kyle MannaTechnical Specialist
Christopher SpoehrWeb Developer
David MayerWeb Site Designer

For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout Project staff page.