The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 40

October 6, 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

Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

From the tones of the viola da gamba to the mellifluence of the lute, seventeenth-century music (and its instruments) is considered a premier subject of inquiry by musicologists and others around the world. Published by the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music is dedicated to studying all aspects of music from this era, including performance practice and theater. The Journal was started in 1995, and visitors with a penchant for such topics can utilize this website to look over past and current issues of the Journal as they see fit. Along with looking over the past articles, book reviews, and commentaries, visitors can also learn about the guidelines for submitting items for review. [KMG]

Public Policy Institute of California [pdf]

In the early 1990s, a group of concerned Californians (including William R. Hewlett) decided that there should be a policy research institution dedicated to providing both wise counsel and expertise on the issues and events that were of great concern to the residents of the state. With a sizable gift of $70 million, the Public Policy Institute of California was formally created in 1994, and since that time they have continued their research with great vigor, along with disseminating their findings to the broader public. Visitors to the Institutes homepage can look over their reports listed by topic area, such as demography, education, or political participation. Scholars and policy analysts will appreciate the Data Depot area which includes information on the natural resource budget over the past three decades and information on the federal transit grants provided to different parts of the state. [KMG]

French in Action

For those people who embarked on a program of instruction in French in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the phrase These people speak French. In this course, everybody speaks French may remind people of a very well-regarded television program designed to get students speaking French quickly. This program is French in Action, and on this website, educators and students can partake of all 52 half-hour programs at their leisure. Originally created by master teacher Pierre Capretz, the presentation of this program is made possible by the Annenberg Media Foundation. Over these episodes, users will learn French in context through the experiences of one French family (and a visiting American) as they go on trips, make their way around Paris, and visit with friends and strangers alike. [KMG]

Advanced Papyrological Information System

Writing from the ancient world frequently appears on papyrological materials such as papyri and wood tablets, and many of these important artifacts are in far-flung locations that may be difficult for researchers to access. The Advanced Papyrological System (APIS) has stepped in to provide a virtual location to house digitized images of many of these materials, along with English translations. The funding for the project has come from a variety of sources, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and participating institutions, such as the University of Chicago, Duke University, and the University of Toronto. Visitors can perform any number of elaborate searches using keywords, collection, date, and so on. For the more casual user, there is also the option of just browsing by subject word, writing material, or language. [KMG]

Mouse Atlas Project

The past decade has seen a number of innovative mapping projects emerge, and some of these initiatives have also migrated to the web along the way. Recently, the Mouse Atlas Project (MAP) was released to great acclaim, and so far, a number of researchers have reported that they are tremendously satisfied with the results. Located at UCLA, the MAP is designed to empower researchers with the ability to compare gene expression patterns with a conveniently accessible inventory of digital brain maps. Its an ambitious project, and visitors can learn more about the project on the homepage, and then begin to browse through the various atlases. To view some of the atlas volumes correctly, visitors will need to download the SHIVA software application, which allows interested parties to load and manipulate various 3D image volume file formats. [KMG]


With endorsements from such respectable institutions as the New York Times and the BBC, NationMaster presents a formidable amount of data for the general public in a way that is both accessible and at times, downright addictive. The website brings together data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, the United Nations, as well as other such organizations. On the left-hand side of the page, visitors can peruse areas such as Top Stats, Whats New and Stats in the News. The Top Stats presents information on the countries with the greatest life expectancy, the highest median income, and so on. Journalists may find the Stats in the News area particularly helpful as it presents data on topical areas of interest such as statistics on bird flu infection rates and oil consumption. Additionally, users can offer comments on some of the data sets, and at any given time, there tends to be a great deal of commentary on almost all of the items featured on the site. [KMG]

The Physics Front [pdf]

Richard Feynman was one of the great communicators and scholars within the field of physics, and his very accessible lectures remain the stuff of legend today. While Professor Feynman is no longer with us, physics teachers can avail themselves of the very nice resources offered at The Physics Front. Created by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the National Science Foundation, the site contains lesson plans, activities, labs, and other pedagogical tools for physics teachers. The site also is notable for its First Time Physics Teachers section which contains a bit of information about the nature of teaching physics and how these resources might be best used in the classroom. The Activities area of the site is a real treat, as educators can find activities by subject, which include optics, energy, momentum, and wave energy. [KMG]

Internet Resources for the Mathematics Students [Last reviewed on September 1, 1999]

Back in the late 1990s, the Scout Report first reported on this site, which was a collection of useful mathematics resources intended to serve both students interested in college-level mathematics and their teachers. Since that time, the site has grown substantially, and they have redesigned their site with an emphasis of graphical economy and simplicity of use. The resources were compiled by Langara College in British Columbia, and they remain responsible for the maintenance of the site. The database contains over 800 different educational tools, and visitors can browse through them by topical headings which include statistics, calculus, and the history of mathematics. From each of these topics, visitors can continue to narrow their search. If they so desire, visitors can also revert to the previous incarnation of the site, which may be easier to use for some. [KMG]

General Interest

National Association of School Psychologists: Crisis Resources [pdf]

Helping young people deal with crises can be a difficult task, and is something that should not be taken lightly. The National Association of School Psychologists has brought together a set of valuable resources on this site for professionals who work with children. The resources are divided into eight different sections, and they include links to other online resources, and those that deal with specific subjects, such as suicide, trauma, and natural disasters. The natural disaster section includes fact sheets on how to help children after a wildfire and in the aftermath of a tsunami. Moving on, the suicide section contains like-minded materials on how to address teen suicide and preventive measures. The site is rounded out with a selection of crisis resources in Spanish. [KMG]

Building Musical Instruments

Not many people go around wishing to be the Stradivarius of the hurdy-gurdy, but this websites instructional materials might just make this dream a reality for some lucky individual. The staff at have brought together a set of resources for the aspiring musical instrument craftsperson that will be a source of delight, inspiration, and potentially, future innovation. Within categories that include flutes, guitars, and keyboard instruments, visitors can learn how to make wind chimes, banjos, a tinwhistle, and a dulcimer. Most of the instructional materials are quite easy to follow, and in no time at all, visitors can realize the joy of creating their own instruments from such basic materials as plumbing pipe, wine boxes, and nylon string. [KMG]

Small Business Video Seminar [Quick Time, iTunes, ppt]

Starting a small business can certainly be a risky proposition, but with a little assistance from those who have embarked on such an entrepreneurial venture in the past, the whole process can be made a bit smoother. The New York Public Library has teamed up with the Partnership for New York City to create this collection of how-to seminars and podcasts. While the sessions relate to doing business in New York specifically, much of the material and suggestions could apply to persons interested in starting a business just about anywhere in the United States. Currently there are eleven broadcasts available, and they include such presentations as How to Start a Fashion Line in Todays Market, Legal Strategies for Small Businesses and A Quick Guide to Building a Successful Export Business. [KMG]

Listening To Our Ancestors: The Art of Native Life Along the North Pacific Coast

Over the past several years, members from eleven native communities along the North Pacific Coast of North America came to visit the National Museum of the American Indian. They came with a purpose, and it was to work with museum staff members to select ceremonial and everyday objects to feature in an exhibit that would explore the relationships between these items and their cultures. The exhibit is currently on display at the Museum, and also exists in a virtual form on this website. On the sites homepage, visitors can click through an interactive map of the region, moving around to learn more about the items created by such groups as the Haida and the Tlingit. Within each of these sections, visitors can view the community gallery which presents items such as ceremonial dishes, masks, and copper carvings. The zoom feature is quite remarkable, as it allows users the ability to follow the patterns and designs on these objects in great detail. [KMG]

Take Five [Quick Time, Real Player]

What if you could learn about how to prepare for emergency situations, explore the legends of the Alamo, and the rise of wireless communications all in one place? Sounds like a pretty good deal, and it is all possible via the Take Five website. Presented by the University of Texas at Austin, the Take Five website presents videos of various faculty members talking about their areas of expertise in an accessible and engaging format. Since the spring of 2003, the Take Five project has presented five new lectures each semester (hence the name of the project), and visitors to the site have access to all of these materials. The presentations are uniformly quite good, and along with the previously mentioned topics, they also cover such areas as minority entrepreneurship and the role of technology in addressing the worlds major health problems. [KMG]

Justice Talking [Real Player]

Produced by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvanias Annenberg School for Communications, Justice Talking has been bringing insightful conversations and dialogues about important legal issues to public radio listeners since 1999. The program is hosted by Margot Adler, and a quick survey of the programs she has recently hosted reveals the variety of topics covered, including nuclear energy, the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act, and the debate over the ways in which Hurricane Katrina affected the justice system in New Orleans. The site contains a number of extra features, including an area where visitors can sign up to receive updates about the program, debate forums, and information about attending a future taping of the program in Philadelphia. [KMG]

County Waterford Image Archive

Using volunteer help and a locally written image management system, the Waterford County Museum in Ireland has created this collection of close to 3,000 historical images that document Waterford County and its parishes from the late 1890s to the present. The Web interface to the collection includes a number of helpful features - for those familiar with Waterford county and its place and family names, there is a search box, but for those less familiar there are several ways to browse the collection, by selecting photographer, location, image format, or subjects from drop down lists, as well as selecting parishes from a map to see the pictures associated with each. A photo of the week is posted on the site, and visitors can sign up to receive an RSS feed or, alternatively, an email message when new images are added. There are also easy ways to submit photographs for inclusion in the archive, and for locals to contribute identifying information. [DS] [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

As part of the Asia Societys continuing efforts to educate the public about the world around them, they have created this website which is meant to put the world into world-class education. To accomplish this goal in the United States they are primarily interested in developing resources that will help Americans learn more about the geography, history, culture, and languages of other regions around the world. First-time visitors will appreciate the visual legibility of the homepage, and they can move around to sections that are designed to provide them with information about the world of international studies. There are a number of concrete, hands-on activities for young people and educators available in the Network section of the site. Here, visitors can learn about upcoming pedagogical workshops, browse the online library of lessons plans, and also partake in a discussion forum for fellow international-studies aficionados. [KMG]

Network Tools

HandyFind 2.0.3

Are you searching for Kazakhstan? With HandyFind 2.0.3 you can find the word Kazakhstan and any other words you might desire in Word documents, webpages, and many other places. Visitors utilizing this program will find that as they are typing in any of the above (Word documents, webpages, etc.), the application will look for the word or phrase currently being typed, relieving them of the responsibility of relying on the normal Find feature. Additionally, there are a number of keyboard shortcuts provided. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and XP. [KMG]

Winamp 5.3

Long-time Winamp users will appreciate this new release, and those unacquainted with the program will be glad to learn of its existence. Visitors can customize this multi-faceted media player with a number of skins, and they can also view many different types of media, including streaming video and podcasts. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98, 2000, and XP. [KMG]

In The News

In Wisconsin, a state renowned for its cheese, competition arises from the farms and factories of California

A wedge issue of pride for the cheese state

The Big Cheese

Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development [pdf]

Cheesemaking in Wisconsin: A Short History

Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association

Real California Cheese [Macromedia Flash Player]

Cheddar cheese prices

People in Wisconsin take cheese seriously. While always remaining generally good-natured about their well-known nickname (cheeseheads), the states residents hold everything from limburger to cheddar close to their collective hearts and stomachs. There has been some potentially disconcerting news revealed over the past week or so, as reports from both the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the California Milk Advisory Board indicate that Californias annual cheese production may soon surpass that of Wisconsin. In the past fifteen years, Californias production of cheese has more than tripled, and currently the states farms are producing 2.14 billion pounds of cheese compared with Wisconsins 2.4 billion pounds. Many in Wisconsin find this possible takeover unfortunate, for as Terese Allen, a former president of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin remarked, Cheese really is part of our identity. Some in the Wisconsin cheese-making community have also countered that Californias rise to cheese producing prominence has been achieved by relying heavily on enormous factories, rather than more intimate cheese producing facilities. The subject remains a contentious one around Wisconsins core cheese manufacturing counties. In places like Green County, home to the famed biennial Cheese Days, the cheese making espirit de corps remains s a vital force, and fortunately shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. [KMG]

The first link will gently take users away to an article on the recent news of Californias rise in cheese production offered by the Star Tribune in the Twin Cities. The second link leads to a story from the Portsmouth Herald about the recent successes of the Sartori Foods Companys numerous forays into the world of Wisconsin cheese making. The third link leads to the homepage of the Babcock Institute for International Diary Research and Development, housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Here visitors can read about some of their recent research findings and also examine their Weekly Dairy Fact. The fourth link leads to a digitized version of the 1924 publication, Cheesemaking in Wisconsin: A Short History. Along with presenting a number of photographs of cheese farms of the period, it also offers a brief overview of the development and growth of this sector of the states economy and identity. The fifth link leads to the online home of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, where visitors can learn about such perennial events as the World Championship Cheese Contest. In the interest of providing fair and balanced coverage, the sixth link will take interested parties to the homepage of the California Cheese Makers Association, which contains a virtual cheese making tour and other such diversions. Agricultural economists and other such types will appreciate the final link which leads to a chart created by the National Agricultural Statistics Service that tracks the price of cheddar cheese in the United States over the past calendar year. [KMG]

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