The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 42

October 20, 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

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum [Real Player, pdf]

Moving into a two-room apartment near the State House in Boston in 1946, many people wondered aloud how this bright, yet somewhat retiring, young man would do in the rough and tumble world of Boston politics. That 29-year old happened to be John F. Kennedy, and he would win his first campaign that year, as he made his way to the U.S. House of Representatives. He would of course become President of the United States, and later be assassinated in the fall of 1963 in Dallas. His presidential library and museum occupy one of the loveliest vistas afforded any presidential library, as they lie on Columbia Point along Bostons waterfront. For those who cant make a direct visit to the Bay State, this website provides a fine virtual experience. The site includes historical timelines of Kennedys life (along with those of other members of his family), along with an interactive White House diary feature, which offers detailed information on what Kennedy did on every day of his presidency. Interestingly enough, the Ernest Hemingway archive is also housed at the Kennedy Presidential Library, so visitors can also learn about their holdings and view selected digitized materials. [KMG]

Miller Center of Public Affairs [Real Player, pdf]

Housed at Jeffersons University (otherwise known as the University of Virginia), it makes sense that the Miller Center of Public Affairs would be located at such a distinct institution. With a mandate to gather new knowledge about the American presidency and our government, they have created six different initiatives to complete this task. They include a massive collection of oral history materials gleaned through presidential recordings and interviews as well as their substantial series of publications. While some of these materials have been transcribed and are available online, the real treat here is the archived editions of the Miller Centers Forum Program. While there are over 1900 programs available dating back to the start of the Forums in 1977, only the last one hundred or so can be viewed online here. There are some real gems here, including panel discussions on such topics as civil renewal and the legacy of Sandra Day OConnor. [KMG]

International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism

When it comes to the worlds of architecture and urban planning, the word traditional seems to be on everyones lips. In a move that would have seemed completely foreign in the period of high Modernism, there is a renewed interest in those more traditional building forms. One organization that is intimately concerned with such developments is the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU). With a patron of no less a stature than the Prince of Wales, the group is committed to bringing architects (and students) together with artisans and urban planners in an attempt to maintain and restore traditional buildings. On this site, visitors can learn more about the organizations day-to-day activities and also learn about some of their upcoming conferences and sponsored lectures. For some truly meaty discussions, visitors should move on to the Opinions section which feature essays such as The Loss of Identity in Mediterranean Architecture and Twentieth Century Architecture as a Cult. [KMG]

Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Started in January of 1942, the Library of Congress Information Bulletin was originally a short two-page mimeographed publication which provided pragmatic information for the Librarys staff. Many of the Bulletins published during World War II reflected many immediate concerns of the time, such as air raid watches and Red Cross war relief drives. These days, the Bulletin reports to an audience of more than 12,000 via their printed publication, and countless others via this website. Currently, their online archives date back to 1993, and visitors will want to look over some of their previous issues to get a feel for the organization and content of a typical issue. Its a great way to keep up-to-date with their latest exhibits and document acquisitions, as visitors can learn about such landmarks as the one millionth image digitized by the venerable Prints and Photograph Division of the Library or read profiles of distinguished guests who have visited the Library for events such as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. [KMG]

Johns Hopkins Medicine Podcasts [iTunes, QuickTime]

In recent years, a number of medical organizations and institutes have created sites that feature weekly podcasts, and this particular one from Johns Hopkins Medicine is a nice find. Started in October 2005, each podcast lasts from five to seven minutes and features a lively discussion of the weeks medical news and how it may affect you. Past topics have dealt with the risks of not immunizing children, the use of fish oil in people whove had a heart attack, and drug coated stents. As might be expected, visitors can subscribe to the podcast, so that they will receive each new edition as soon as it is released. [KMG]

Intute: Interactive Chemistry Tutorials

Entering the world of a college-level chemistry course can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when one considers that such courses are usually populated by rather competitive students bent on becoming doctors. Rest assured that there are resources to help students and teachers with the subject, and this lovely site presents some guidance in this area. Originally created at the California State University-Dominguez Hills by Professor George Wiger, this set of resources includes both unique problems and solution information for a wide range of subjects, including gas laws, kinetics, electrochemistry, and solubility. While the site doesnt contain a search engine, users can scroll through each subject to look at the available resources and problem sets. It is also worth noting that much of the material on the website will only work properly when viewed with Internet Explorer. [KMG]

Japans Pop Power [Real Player]

Not so long ago, young people in the United States borrowed extensively from European consumer fashions and tastes to create trends in a variety of areas. For a time in the early 1990s, all things that dealt with former Communist regimes were all the rage, and Anglophilia has been a common condition since the cult of people who have found Queen Elizabeth and the Beatles fashionable. These days, many young people around the world are flocking to countries such as Japan and South Korea for the latest trends in popular culture. This fun and intriguing radio documentary from the American RadioWorks group takes visitors inside the world of Japans pop culture products, with stops to visit an anime convention and such. Utilizing a visual interface that resembles a typical manga comic book, visitors can look through the available audio segments, or listen to the program in its entirety. The site is rounded out by a selection of links and resources that will be of interest to those who are seeking more material on the world of contemporary popular culture in Japan. [KMG]

Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education [pdf]

With a mandate from the American Statistical Association, the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) has a simple, yet daunting, mission: to support and advance undergraduate statistics education. They do so through an ambitious mix of professional development initiatives, coupled with sustained outreach efforts and research. Most educators and students will want to start by visiting the Resources area, which is divided into sections that bring together datasets, analysis tools, lecture examples, and for a moment of inferential humor, a number of cartoons, jokes, and songs, all informed by the world of statistics. The Teaching Methods area is well worth a look, as it brings together 35 resources such as a set of tips of teaching statistics to large classes and how to discuss causality in introductory statistics courses. [KMG]

General Interest

Celebrating 40 Years of Film in New York City [Macromedia Flash Player]

New York is home to many a movie first, including the first movie musical filmed on location, which happened to be On the Town, featuring Gene Kelly and a skinny twig of a crooner called Frank Sinatra. The city has long welcomed filmmakers, and in 1966 the city established the Mayors Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting. Recently, that same office created this rather engaging interactive map that allows visitors to learn more about the various films that have been shot in the city and in nearby environs, such as Long Island. With the browser in the right-hand corner, visitors can move through the boroughs, and specific neighborhoods, all the while keeping tabs on the little orange dots that mark the filming locations. Clicking on the dots brings up information from each film, along with other details. Also, visitors can view all of the film locations by notable directors, scene type, time period, and neighborhood. [KMG]

HGTV: Crafts [Windows Media Player],1788,HGTV_3352,00.html

As the cold weather begins to move in, many people might find themselves wondering: what can I possible keep busy inside my home or apartment? The answer may be found in one word: crafts. Crafts have made a significant comeback in the past few years, and a variety of online sites, such as this one, have made it possible to learn about this activity that encompasses everything from finger puppets to woodworking. HGTV has assembled a wide variety of how-to projects on this site, and some of the highlights can be found under the banner titled This Week on the homepage. For visitors looking for a more specific type of project the Crafts headline lists a variety of thematic sections, including dolls, mosaics, and sewing. [KMG]

The World According to Sesame Street

With over thirty years of experience in the United States, Sesame Street has become a much loved fixture on public television, and one that enjoys a broad base of support. For many young people from age 6 to 36, its hard to imagine a childhood without such familiar faces as Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, and of course, that lovely curmudgeon, Oscar the Grouch. As some visitors may already know, Sesame Street is on the air in over 120 countries, and in its many different versions, the program is modified to accommodate the different cultural traditions of those places, while always incorporating its primary themes of tolerance and mutual respect. This site, created by Independent Lens, explores that process, and is meant as a companion to their recent documentary on this subject. As with previous Independent Lens companion websites, visitors can learn about the filmmakers, along with offering their own inquiries. Finally, visitors will also get a chance to explore the different versions of Sesame Street around the globe, including programs in Kosovo, Bangladesh, and South Africa. [KMG]

The Genographic Project [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Alright, so you have a few relatives from Poughkeepsie who might be able to trace their ancestry back to a certain part of Sicily. But have you ever considered that all humans might be able to trace their origins back to a group of people residing in Africa some 60,000 years ago? Its quite a thought, and the National Geographic Society (working with a number of partners) has created this site to deal with such thought-provoking questions of our shared deep genetic and ancestral makeup. To start things off, visitors should read the About the Project area, which provides some background on the projects ambitious mission. After that, a look into the Genetics Overview area is a must, as it provides some of the basic scientific knowledge that serves as the basis for this project. Without a doubt, the highlight of the site is the Atlas of the Human Journey, which takes visitors on a tour of the great migrations of humans over the past 60,000 years. Along the way, visitors will learn about the changing genetic makeup of humans and how they moved around the earth. [KMG]

Academy of Achievement [Macromedia Flash Player]

Lets face it: economia to those great heroes of the past are nothing new, and some might believe that there are too many out there in the first place. The Academy of Achievement website disproves this idea with its well-thought out tributes to those truly unique individuals who have made substantive contributions in the arts, the sciences, and a number of other areas of human endeavor. As its site notes, it is a museum of living history, and a cursory glance over those they have honored would seem to bear witness to this statement. First-time visitors will definitely want to take a look at the Achiever Gallery, where they can view profiles and biographies of such personages as Jonas Salk, Rosa Parks, and Willie Mays. The real icing on the cake here is the interview section for each profiled member, as it truly allows for a number of interesting and evocative insights into their motivations and life trajectories. The site is rounded out with a For Teachers section, which offers a number of pedagogical tools specifically aimed towards those in the teaching profession. [KMG]

National Collegiate EMS Foundation [pdf]

Located on campuses around the country, emergency response teams that draw on their student populations and other professionals are growing in popularity. They also have a national organization to coordinate some of their educational outreach activities, the National Collegiate Emergency Services Foundation (NCEMSF). While much of the site is dedicated to providing information for member institutions, persons entering the field of emergency services (and those who teach them) will find several parts of the site germane to their work. First, the site has a number of electronic discussion areas where visitors can learn about updated techniques for dealing with scenarios including cardiac arrest and trauma. Additionally, the site contains a link to a set of standard operating procedures maintained at different colleges, including Brandeis University and Western Illinois University. [KMG]

Eye on Europe: prints, books & multiples / 1960 to now [Adobe Flash


This exhibition from MOMA makes heavy use of Flash animation to present a survey of European art, from the 1960s to the present. As the subtitle states, the focus of the exhibition is printmaking, including posters and silkscreen prints, artists' books, and other multiples, often employing techniques formerly used in the commercial sector, that many artists "borrowed" and began using in the 1960s. The exhibition itself is styled to look like newspaper pages or broadsides, with each theme - Mass Mediums, Language, Confrontations, Expressionist Impulse, British Focus, and Recent Projects - presented on its own front page. There is also an index browse, so that viewers can approach the works by name, selecting from the over 100 artists and studios represented. And, since a good number of the pieces have several parts, either a run of prints, or pages of a book, some of the individual artists' entries are animated as well - for example, there is a Gilbert & George postal sculpture that plays through several sets of images; two etchings from David Hockney's A Rake's Progress display sequentially; and four sheets from the late Martin Kippenberger's Courage To Print, a portfolio of 23 posters, flip by. [DS]

Rockefeller University: Information Technology

Getting started in the world of information technology or computer maintenance in general can be a daunting prospect. As computers have come a long way since the biggest problem was a broken cassette player hooked up to a brand new Commodore VIC-20. Fortunately, there are a number of websites designed to assist neophytes, and this one, provided by the Rockefeller University in New York is quite a find. Visitors to the site can read primers on computer viruses and how to protect their computers from such tactics. There are also links to tutorials on different email platforms and the world of real simple syndication, commonly known as RSS. [KMG]

Network Tools

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 7.1.4

Lurking around just about every virtual corner are viruses, waiting to bother high-functioning operating systems who are minding their own business. Interested parties will breathe a sigh of relief as they learn about this application, which provides a tool for scanning hard drives and email quickly and effectively. While the interface isnt the most visually stunning, it is easy to use. Additional features include a real-time shield which is designed to prevent recurrent infections. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP. [KMG]

OpenOffice 2.0.4

Designed as an open-source alternative to some of the mainline commercial office suite programs, the OpenOffice application contains a full-featured word processor (known as Writer), a spreadsheet tool, and an application for creating multimedia presentations. Additionally, visitors can also open and save documents in a number of formats, ensuring maximum compatibility with other programs. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP. [KMG]

In The News

Jumping online to social networking sites brings rewards and risks for politicians

Some profiles on not what they seem [Free registration required]

Politicians caught on Internet candid cameras

Politicians Try Out MySpace

2006 Politics Online Conference Magazine [pdf]

Declare Yourself

Herblocks Gift

Politicians have been taking advantage of reaching their constituents via the Internet for over a decade, and some have even been brave enough to create their own weblogs. Of course, there are still some esteemed elected officials who have referred to the Internet as a bunch of tubes, but most have begun to appreciate the key advantages of utilizing the web to reach certain groups of potential voters. Given the sustained and immense popularity of such social networking sites (like MySpace and their ilk), some politicians have created their own profiles, and in doing so, have gained the attention (and in a few rare cases, some admiration) from younger voters. Politicians have been rather outspoken about some of the results they have seen thus far. Peter Ashdown, who is running for a congressional seat in Utah this fall, remarked, Its the holy grail of politics. The amount of volunteerism was absolutely minimal compared to what we are getting now. Political scientists have spoken with interest about these virtual forays, and Professor Ray La Raja recently commented enthusiastically Anything that gets young people involved in politics is great. Of course, there are some merry pranksters who have created a number of fictitious profiles that have attacked some long-serving public officials, though few of them seem to be actively complaining about such hijinks. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a recent news article from the Boston Globe that reports on the ways in which various parties have attempted to create misleading profiles of different politicians on sites such as Moving along to the second link, users will be able to read about how various politicians missteps and malapropisms have been recorded and duly placed online for consideration by the web-browsing public. The third link leads to a fine article from the Wall Street Journal which reports on the forays of politicians into the sometimes-chaotic world of social networking websites. New voters (or those who havent voted in sometime) will appreciate the fifth site, as it allows them to find out how to register efficiently for the upcoming election. The final link will serve as a nice sanctuary for those looking for incisive and visual commentary on the political issues of the past seven decades. This of course means that this last site leads to a lovely retrospective on the career of legendary editorial cartoonist Herbert L. Block (or Herblock, as he was known to readers), who started his career in 1929, and published his last cartoon in August 2001. [KMG]

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