The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 44

November 3, 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

African Union [Macromedia Flash Player, Real Player]

As visitors enter this site, they will be presented with a collage of African nations coming together to form the entire continent, accompanied by the words Africa must unite. It is a visually stimulating image, and one that sets the tone quite nicely for the content within. The site is the homepage of the African Union (AU), which was created in 1999 as part of a declaration from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). While their mission is complex to say the least, their primary goal is to promote the accelerated socio-economic integration of the continent, which will lead to greater unity and solidarity between African countries and peoples. The site presents a cornucopia of material on their work, contained within sections titled Member States, Conferences & Events, and Documents. One of the best places to start is the News and Events area, which contains a sampling of information on their recent work on gender equity, sustainable development, higher education systems, and so on. As might be expected, visitors can also browse through many of these materials in Arabic, French, and Portuguese. [KMG]

Demos [pdf]

Many policy think tanks and advocacy organizations are formed to respond to a broad set of issues, and the Demos group is just such an organization. Based in New York, Demos was founded in 2000 and is dedicated to a democracy that is robust and inclusive. Getting down to specifics, visitors can look into their four primary issue areas, which include economic opportunity, public works, long-range challenges and their democracy program. Along with these specific sections, visitors should definitely look into their Publications area, which include their briefing paper series, and their commentary pieces which have recently appeared in a host of newspapers, such as the Boston Globe and The New Republic. One rather nice highlight is the area titled Democracy Dispatches, which track and analyze democracy issues across the United States such as redistricting, voting regulations, and campaign spending. For those visitors who are looking for specific materials, there is also a search feature on the homepage, and an option to sign up for their RSS feed. [KMG]

Committee of Concerned Journalists

In the summer of 1997, a group of well-regarded journalists and editors gathered for a meeting at the Harvard Faculty Club. They met because they had concerns about the future of journalism and about the publics general impression towards journalists. Over the following two years, they examined the state of journalism throughout the country, and they began to call themselves the Committee of Concerned Journalists. After publishing a well-received book on their research, they developed this elaborate website which contains commentaries on the state of contemporary journalism, blended with rather relevant information for the general public, such as the Citizens Corner and their J-Tools. In the Citizens Corner, visitors can read suggestions on how to get an issue covered by the local media or how to write a letter to the editor. The J-Tools area is quite splendid, as it provides an A-Z index that covers journalism topics such as standards for education reporters and a very fine primer on understanding polling. [KMG]

The University of Chicago Martin Marty Center [pdf]

The idea for establishing an institute for the advanced study of religion at the University of Chicago originated in the early 1970s, and it seemed to be a natural fit for the school. After all, the oldest part of the University was the Divinity School. Just such an institute was established in 1979, and in 1998, it was renamed after Professor Martin Marty, who had served as a professor in the Divinity School since 1963. On the site, visitors can learn about their various programs, including public conferences, publications, and faculty research projects. Within the publications area of the site, there are two important initiatives that should not be overlooked. The first is Sightings, which is a bi-weekly email report on the role of religion in public life. Visitors can view the current edition here, or peruse the archive all the way back to April 30, 1999. Also, there is the Religion & Culture Web Forum, which presents a series of online dialogues with scholars about such topics as the religious identities of Latin American immigrants and intelligent design. [KMG]

Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives [Macromedia Flash Player]

Its hard to get close to General George Washington or peek inside the mind of President Harry S. Truman, and not just for the obvious reasons. Fortunately for the web-browsing public, there is this interactive exhibit, which is designed to complement an in situ exhibit at the National Archives. Simply titled Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives, the exhibit allows visitors to explore remarkable photographs and primary documents from the massive collections held by the National Archives. Currently, visitors can view just over a dozen such documents and photographs on the site, but there are plans to expand in the near future. Within the General Washington section, visitors will learn about his concern with a potential smallpox infection during the Revolutionary War, accompanied by scanned letters in his own hand and several pieces of visual ephemera. The site is very well-designed and users will enjoy looking through the first-hand accounts offered by other personages, including George H.W. Bush and John Lewis. [KMG]

National Geophysical Data Center [pdf]

To say that the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) brings a wide range of scientific materials together in one location online would perhaps be a bit of an understatement. This site brings together over 300 digital and analog databases, which include those that deal with marine conditions, lake cores, seismic reflection, and ecosystems. Visitors can feel free to browse around in this list of databases via the Data and Information tab located on the top of the sites homepage, or they can also perform a more detailed search as well. It is worth noting that there are six featured types of databases on the homepage, which include solar events, geomagnetic data, and natural hazards. Additionally, a good way to keep abreast of new materials on the site is by looking at their News and Features area, which profiles data sets of note. [KMG]

Online Journal of School Mathematics

Since its creation in 2002, the Online Journal of School Mathematics (ON-Math) has strived to offer high-quality, peer-reviewed articles on teaching mathematical concepts and principles to a wide range of students and their varying skill levels. With an editorial panel of eight members, ON-Math considers submissions on a regular basis, and visitors can view those articles selected for publication on this site. Visitors to the site can read a brief introduction to the journal, and then begin by browsing the contents of the current issue, or just moving on to some of the back issues. There truly are a number of very fine pieces here, including Transforming Spreadsheets into Dynamic Interactive Teaching Tools from the Winter 2003 issue and Going Around in Circles: Connecting the Representations from the Winter 2004-2005 issue. [KMG]

The Electronic Clearinghouse for Exemplary Engineering Technology Resources [pdf]

The Electronic Clearinghouse for Exemplary Engineering Technology Resources (or NETEC) is a site created with substantial funding from the National Science Foundation. Drawing on the teaching experiences and resources developed by many concerned persons in industry and academic settings, the Clearinghouse contains everything from course materials for material engineering to journal articles that deal with the science (and art) of teaching in the subfields of engineering. First-time visitors may wish to register on the homepage, and then proceed to browse through the Clearinghouse Resources area. Here they can click on an alphabetized list of terms, such as digital electronics and skill standards, and look through the available materials. Of course, there is a great deal more available here than the very fine educational resources, as visitors can also look over online job boards and mentorship opportunities. [KMG]

General Interest

The Human Factor

Inspired by the courage, industry and intelligence required of the American working man, two colleagues from the Harvard Business School (Donald Davenport and Frank Ayres) sent out a call to leading businesses in order to develop a visual collection that could be used in the classroom. During the 1930s, they received over 2,100 photographs that documented the human factor embodied in the interactions between worker and machine. Recently, the Baker Library at the Harvard Business School created this online exhibition to showcase a selection of these remarkable images. Visitors should begin by reading the introductory essay; they should then proceed to the exhibition, which is divided into nine sections. Each section begins with a short preface, and then continues on to a sampling of images, which include workers monitoring massive wheels of Swiss cheese in 1933 and a photograph of women assembling parts for Philco radios in 1926. Each photograph can be viewed in great detail, and it is worth noting that the site also contains an exemplary bibliography. [KMG]

William James

Created by Professor Frank Pajares of Emory University, this site serves as an omnibus of information about the 19th century philosopher William James. Visitors only need to scroll down the site to examine all of the materials available here, which include a detailed chronology of James life, an essay on James time at Stanford by Albert Bandura, and of course dozens of essays and transcribed speeches by James himself. Perhaps one of the best features on the site is the complete text of James much-celebrated work Talks to Teachers. Of course, visitors will also find such favorites as The Principles of Psychology and The Meaning of Truth. [KMG]

ARTscape [Macromedia Flash Player]

Located in Salem, the Peabody Essex Museum is well known for its very diverse collections which include 18th century American decorative art, Korean paintings, and their wide selection of maritime art, including scrimshaw. With over 2.4 million pieces in their collection, it is no surprise that they also have developed ARTscape, an online multimedia tool that allows visitors to create their own themed collections. After registering, visitors can begin to browse through the different collections (or perform a keyword search) and pick out objects as they see fit. Its also worth noting that these collections include video and audio clips as well, so visitors will truly be able to create a unique collection of their own. [KMG]

Frank Loesser [Macromedia Flash Player]

Frank Loesser was able to use his remarkable songwriting talents to create such classic Tin Pin Alley songs as Once in Love with Amy, Standing on the Corner, and of course, Luck Be a Lady Tonight. His career spanned four decades, and he was responsible for crafting a number of fine musicals (including Guys and Dolls) and songs for film and television. This website, which features some of Loessers music, provides a nice introduction to his work and legacy, complete with a biographical sketch and a listing of his awards and nominations. The site is rounded out by a Fan Community area, where visitors can talk about the late composer and also look over some related show souvenirs and products. [KMG]

Poetry Daily

Some might say that a poem a day isnt nearly enough, while the skeptical might say that it is quite enough already, thank you very much. Regardless of that debate, Poetry Daily is a splendid resource that brings visitors new poems from books, magazines and journals currently in print. Visitors to the site will find themselves looking straight at Todays Poem, which of course features the daily poem, along with links to other works by the author. If one poem is simply not enough, the site also contains an archive that goes back approximately one year. Additionally, the site also contains a News, Reviews, & Special Features section, which digests recent news stories about the world of poetry. [KMG]

American Routes [RealPlayer]

In the past year or so, it would seem that many musical artists and impresarios are making quite a show of coming back to support the Big Easy in its time of need. One particular two-hour radio show has been doing just that (and other things) since 1998, American Routes. The shows website was created and is hosted by Nick Spitzer. Each show truly runs the gamut of American music, and in any given week one might find gospel, soul, roots rock and rockabilly featured during their program. Visitors can make their way through the online archive here and listen at their leisure, or learn about upcoming shows and guests. Its quite easy to see how the program might be incorporated into a musicology course, and educators may wish to consider using some of the shows in the classroom. While not all of the music from each show is available (due to copyright restrictions), the delightful interviews with people like Les Paul. Abbey Lincoln, and Rosanne Cash may be listened to in their entirety. Finally, visitors will want to view Spitzers multimedia lecture, Rebuilding the Land of Dreams: Expressive Culture and New Orleans Authentic Future. [KMG]

National Recreation and Park Association: Sports & Health Network

The restorative powers of Americas parks, byways, and wilderness areas are of course well known. One rather frail young man entered into this world in the late 19th century, and came out the other side as a confident politician who would assume the office of the chief executive. That man was President Teddy Roosevelt, and countless others have had other transformative and therapeutic experiences as a result of various outdoor activities in Americas parks. Practicing recreation therapists and others cut from the same cloth will appreciate the resources provided within the virtual pages of the Sports & Health Network online newsletter. Created by the National Recreation and Park Association, the various issues contain updates about how to apply for free (or low-cost) recreation equipment and also offer suggestions for new and innovative outdoor programs. While it is not possible to perform a full-text search through the archive, visitors will enjoy looking through the newsletters as they see fit. [KMG]

The Rehab Guide: Roofs

Anyone who has been on a roof on a hot day can attest to the difficulty of performing basic maintenance on that particular part of a building. Fortunately, this time-consuming process can be made simpler with this handy online guide to rehabbing a roof. Created by the PATH Group, this 99-page document covers major roofing systems, as well as protective strategies, energy and air filtration issues, roofing materials, and gutters and downspouts. Throughout the document, users can rely on drawings and photographs that illustrate various rehabbing techniques. Much is revealed here, including timely information on low-slope and metal roofing, along with suggestions on installing moisture barriers. [KMG]

Network Tools

Loki for Firefox

With Wi-Fi networks popping up like earthworms after a heavy rain, more and more people want to get out and use their laptops anywhere they can. And with the use of Loki, they can also turn their Wi-Fi enabled laptops into a type of global positioning device, effectively integrating their current location into Internet searches and communication. Some uses for such a program include locating the nearest blues club, public library, and perhaps the town hall. This program is compatible with computers running Windows XP and Mozilla Firefox. [KMG]

Activism Network 3.1.2

Getting together with old friends and new online is relatively easy these days, what with all the various social networking sites out there. Not many of the sites give users the leeway to create their own activist networks, but this application does just that. With this application, visitors can create different online event resources, email updates, and profiles, all of which can be used for a wide range of organizational purposes. Additionally, the site offers documentation for the program and examples of groups that are currently using the program. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

To reduce its carbon emissions, a Vermont college draws on the power of cows

College taps the power of cow manure

Green Mountain Becomes First Campus Powered by Vermont Dairy Cows

Local farm leading way for green power

CVPS Cow Power [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy

Vermont is a state that is known for its passion in developing alternative farming methods and independence in its political thought. Now it can lay claim to another important recent development in its long history. As of this week, Green Mountain College in the town of Poultney is believed to be the first college in the United States that will be powered by cows. To be accurate, however, it should be noted that the energy that will be shipped to Green Mountain via the Central Vermont Public Services Cow Power program. Power will be created from burning biogas created from cow manure. Initially, the college will derive approximately fifty percent of its energy needs for the main campus from this new energy source. It is estimated that this will allow the college to reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 3500 metric tons per year. Theres a great deal of interest in this program, and the schools provost, Bill Throop recently commented that We want our students learning how to support sustainable communities right here in Vermont and this helps us lead by example. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a CNN news article on this recent development in creating a sustainable energy source on the campus of Green Mountain College. Moving along, the second link leads to a press release from the Green Mountain College Journal which provides some nice details on this new initiative. The third link leads to an article from this Mondays Addison Independent, which reports on the efforts of the Foster Brothers Farm in Middlebury, Vermont to create a new company that will allow them to sell electricity produced, on farms across the United States. The fourth link will take users to a very fun and informative site provided by the Central Vermont Public Service which explains the niceties of their Cow Power program, and also includes a great segment on How Energy Happens. The last and final link leads to the homepage of The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. Here, visitors can learn about these rather interesting awards, which honor organizations that have made commitments to developing practical sustainable energy technologies. [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.