The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 45

November 10, 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

The Cost of Living and the Geographic Distribution of Poverty [pdf]

The Economic Research Service division of the United States Department of Agriculture has published a number of insightful and thoughtful studies in its long history, and this study by Dean Jolliffe lives up to those exacting standards. Released in September 2006, the paper takes a critical look at the location of poverty across urban and rural areas in the United States. Drawing on a variety of data sources, the report finds that federal funds for social programs for the needy and community development have favored non-metropolitan areas. The report also notes that cost-of-living differences play a significant difference in this phenomenon. Visitors can read the entire 26-page report, or they may also wish to take a look at the 2-page summary document. [KMG]

Documents Online: Domesday Book [pdf]

William the Conqueror had a considerable interest in the property holdings of his subjects, and around Christmas 1085 he decided to commission a great survey to discover just what resources were out among the boroughs and manors of England. The massive document that came out of this lengthy process was the Domesday Book. It has fascinated historians for centuries, and recently The UK National Archives created this online guide to the work. Visitors can take a look through the book via interactive features such as Discovery Domesday, which provides a bit of background on the work, complete with images from its pages. Additionally, the World of Domesday feature provides some contextual background for understanding what life was like for the people of 11th century England. Visitors can search across the Domesday Book in its entirety by place name, person, or other keyword. [KMG]

Join Together [pdf]

Started in 1991, Join Together is a program that operates under the direction of Boston Universitys School of Public Health. Working with financial support provided by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the program was designed to provide information on community-based efforts to advance effective alcohol and drug policy, prevention, and treatment. The site contains numerous resources aimed at a number of different audiences, so it is perhaps best to start at the What Can I Do? tab, which features a drop-down menu that will help guide family members, health care professionals and others to the most pertinent and appropriate materials. The Key Issues area is another good way to learn about the groups work, as it contains information on treatment medications and intervention techniques that they promote. Finally, the Resources area is definitely worth a look, as it features working papers and books that deal with the subjects of alcohol and tobacco addiction. [KMG]

Close to Home: The Development Impact of Remittances in Latin America [pdf]

For many immigrant families, sending money back to relatives and friends in their country or region of origin is an important part of ensuring their success, along with increasing the possibility that they may be able to bring over family members in the future. Examining these payments, sometimes referred to as remittances, is of interest to a number of international organizations and think-tanks. Recently, the World Bank published a long report which looks at the practice of sending remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean from migrant workers living abroad. The report notes that in 2005 migrant workers from these two regions sent a total of $48.3 billion back to their home countries, but they also observed that their impact on the region has, in some cases, been overestimated. The report also notes that some positive effects of remittances include higher savings, better access to health and educationand reductions in poverty and social inequality. [KMG]

Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment and Design [Macromedia Flash Player]

Upon the most casual glance through this lovely and visually stimulating online exhibit, one might think that an equally appropriate title for such a venture might well be da Vinci Comes Alive! Designed to accompany an in situ exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this multimedia tribute to da Vincis work includes a section where visitors can look over the Forster Codices in all of their exquisite detail. All told, they contain five notebooks filled with drawings and illustrations, all of which were eventually bequeathed to the Museum by John Forster in the late 19th century. Another feature on the site is the Canal Challenge, which lets users attempt to design a canal inspired by the work of da Vinci, and most importantly, to see if it works properly. The site is rounded out by a selection of electronic cards, the opportunity to win a trip to Italy, and a timeline of his life. [KMG]

Electionline [pdf]

Produced and maintained by the Election Reform Information Project, the Electiononline website details the latest news surrounding various issues surrounding election reform, whether its "absentee ballots or touchscreen machines, legislation or commission reports. While most visitors may not be surprised that their headquarters are in Washington, DC, they will certainly be pleasantly surprised to find full-length reports in their Publications section on election reform (in all its many forms) and their Resource Library, which includes links to materials on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the election reform legislation database. Finally, as with most such civic-minded organizations, they also have a weekly electronic newsletter, which users can sign up to receive or they can just browse away through their archives. [KMG]

Pumas: Practical Uses of Math and Science [Last reviewed November 14, 1997]

Getting students interested in applied and practical uses of math and science can be easier than having students just learn basic principles, although those remain very important to be sure. Almost ten years ago, NASA began their own online journal of just such examples for students, and titled it Practical Uses of Math and Science, or PUMAS. The project continues to be going strong, and educators and other members of the general public will appreciate looking over their archive of 64 examples currently available. On the sites homepage, visitors can click on the PUMAS Examples area to read (and hopefully use) these pedagogical materials, which include such titles as Coastal Threat: A Story in Unit Conversions and How Now, Pythagoras?. [KMG]

Teaching and Training Modules on Trends in Health and Aging [pdf]

The fields of gerontology and aging studies continue to grow quickly, and educators working in these fields will appreciate this particular set of instructional resources. Developed and maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the American Society on Aging (ASA), these modules deal with trends in health care utilization, health-related behaviors, and health care expenditures of the United States population. Each module has been tested by a variety of professional educators, and currently there are eight modules available on the site. Based on data from the NCHS Data Warehouse on Trends in Health and Aging, the titles include Life Expectancy and Mortality, Trends in Chronic Diseases among Aged Population, and Disability Trends Among the U.S. Aged Population. [KMG]

General Interest

Air Force Link

Appropriately enough, this website is dedicated to the men and women who made the U.S. Air Force what it is today. As an official website of the United States Air Force, the Air Force Link Heritage website presents a wide range of materials that detail the history of this division of the Armed Forces. Here visitors will find a This Week in History feature which presents summary details of important events in the organizations past, such as the dates of important test flights and important air battles. Within the Categories area, visitors can delve into Air Force history. Neatly divided into decades, each section allows visitors to view photographs of important persons in the Air Force during the period, along with documents that relate various aspects of the groups history. Finally, the site also contains a set of links to other useful sites, such as the American Airpower Heritage Museum and the National Museum of Naval Aviation. [KMG]

Just-In-Time Teaching [pdf]

The very notion of just-in-time (JiTT) teaching may seem to some to sound like a phrase adopted from the world of corporate culture, but in fact, its actually a teaching and learning strategy based on the interaction between web-based study assignments and an active learner classroom. All told, it sounds pretty compelling, and this website, created by Professor Gregor and his colleagues at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has been designed to provide fellow educators with materials that will help them adopt such an educational stance and approach in the classroom. After reading the introductory section titled What is JiTT?, visitors may wish to proceed to look over the resources area, where they can look over JiTT resources that may be used with a variety of disciplines, including physics, psychology, and chemistry. [KMG]

Ohio History Central Online Encyclopedia

From William Howard Taft to Toledo, the Ohio History Central Online Encyclopedia is a veritable cornucopia of material about the places, events, and other elements of the Buckeye states history and lore. As noted on the sites homepage, this encyclopedia is an evolving, dynamic online encyclopedia that includes information about Ohios natural history, prehistory and history. That is certainly a tall order to fill, and the site does so admirably. Visitors can click on over to the built-in search engine on the homepage, or just browse along through such broad categories as History, Natural History, and State Symbols. Visitors to this last category may be intrigued to learn that the states beverage is tomato juice, or that the states official insect is the ladybug, a peaceful creature best known for its voracious appetite for aphids. [KMG]

World Wide Web Consortium [pdf]

Founded in 1994, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been primarily concerned with developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web. To do so, they draw on a set of international professionals and experts throughout the field of computer science and related fields. The W3C is led by Tim Berners-Lee, who directs the project and who was also responsible for inventing the World Wide Web. First-time visitors should take a look through the New Visitors area, which includes a basic overview of where to find certain materials, such as their technical reports and how to sign up for their mailing lists. Another way to look over some of their materials is by browsing their A to Z section on the homepage, which covers everything from accessibility to XML encryption. [KMG]

Waterford Area Local History Collection

Located west of Racine and southwest of Milwaukee, the town of Waterford, Wisconsin sits along the Fox River. In addition to its scenic location, Waterford also happens to have a vibrant public library that has worked with other local organizations to create this elaborate digital local history archive. Working in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections, they have created this digital home for an array of maps, photographs, books, manuscripts, and other printed ephemera. The thematic headings include community, maps, and people and portraits. As the town served as a popular resort for decades, visitors will be delighted to learn that the archive has several dozen photographs of the various leisure pursuits that were popular throughout the town and its outlying areas. [KMG]

Painted Prints: The Revelation of Color in Northern Renaissance and

Baroque Engravings, Etchings & Woodcuts

Adapted from an exhibition shown at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2002 and 2003, the online version of Painted Prints explores the use of color in Renaissance prints. The idea for the exhibition began in 1996, when curator Susan Dackerman first saw a 16th century Dutch print The Triumph of Patience, by Dirck Volkertsz Coornhert. The research project that led to the 2002-2003 exhibition is featured as a section of the Web site, where visitors can read about Dackerman's investigations, and see the results of conservator Thomas Primeau's analysis of the pigments used in the colored prints as well. Primeau used X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) to identify the pigments used to color a painted impression of Albrecht Drer's print Christ Presented to the People from The Large Passion. On the Web site there is an interactive example where rolling over the image brings up details of the pigments and their chemical makeup. In addition, there are sections about the makers of the prints, their purpose, lesson plans for teachers, and a gallery of a dozen painted prints. [DS]

Science Animations: Movies & Interactive Tutorial Links [Macromedia Flash Player, Shock Wave]

Many students appreciate visuals in the classroom, but in some instances, practical demonstrations of various scientific principles may be difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately there is this nice site, provided by North Harris College. The site functions as a clearinghouse for science animations created by a wide range of institutions from the University of Hawaii to Cambridge University. There is no search engine offered here, but visitors can just scroll down through the entire list, or jump around to such topical areas as microbiology, geology, ecology, and physics. Additionally, visitors can also avail themselves of the General Collections area, which feature broad animation collections, such as the General Collection in Biology site, created at the University of California-Irvine. [KMG]

Cane River National Heritage Area

Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Louisiana, the Cane River winds its way through a primarily rural and agricultural landscape. Over the past several hundred years, the many groups of people who have lived and worked by the river have transformed this landscape. Created by the National Park Service, in partnership with the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, this website serves as a virtual tour guide to the Cane River National Heritage Area. First-time visitors should click on the interactive map offered here, as they can get the lay of the land, and also utilize this feature to learn about historic landmarks in the area, such as the Cherokee Plantation and Fort Jesup. Along with this mlange of photos, maps, and descriptive passages, visitors can also take a look at three concise essays that provide answers to such questions as Who are Louisianas Creoles? [KMG]

Network Tools


With the release of such programs as Google Earth, computer users have access to a rather diverse set of geographical data tools. One program that has recently been released in a new edition is the Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS). With this program, users can perform a number of tasks, such as spatial modeling, visualization, and image processing. The program may be a bit complex at first for some users, but its uses are very diverse. The site also includes a FAQ section and a newsletter. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer. [KMG]

StudioLine Photo Basic 3.5.8

As the holidays approach, some users may be looking for a photo album software program that is helpful, easy to use, and most of all, available at no cost. The latest version of StudioLine Photo Basic is a good bet, as it includes 30 professional image editing tools and the ability to create on-screen slide shows. Additionally, this latest version features some significant improvements to the printing menu. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Orson Welles and his work continue to draw the attention of filmmakers, critics, and devotees

Searching for Orson!-522630548&&rid=6767

Let us not see it all,,1941161,00.html

The Mercury Theatre on the Air [Real Player]

The Magnificent Ambersons [Windows Media Player]

Interview with Orson Welles by Peter Bogdanovich [pdf]

Making Magic with Orson Welles: A Conversation with Mike Caveney

Internet Archive: Orson Welles [Real Player, Macromedia Flash Player, Quick Time]

When he passed away on October 10th, 1985, young people who knew Orson Welles (if they knew him it all) may have remembered him for his promotional efforts on behalf of a certain wine or for his all-too brief appearance as director Lew Lord in The Muppet Movie. The back story of Welles life included a rich mix of film, television, documentaries, stage production, and one of the most enigmatic personalities that ever wandered from New York to Hollywood to Europe and back. While Welles never really left the sights of those with a keen interest in cinema, a number of new projects have recently been completed that cast a critical and introspective gaze upon his life and artistic endeavors. This past week, the American Film Institute premiered a new documentary about Welles titled Searching for Orson and Simon Callow recently released the latest installation of his three volume work on Welles. Perhaps these reconsiderations of Welles work will undo the very concise remark he once offered on his own struggle with fame, acceptance, and recognition: I started at the top and worked my way down. [KMG]

The first link will take users to an article from the Hollywood Reporter discussing the recent biographies and the documentary about Orson Welles. The second link will take users to an article from The Guardian discussing the abundance of movie festivals and how they may be diminishing the romance of the hard to find movie. The third link leads to the website of The finest radio drama of the 1930s, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a show featuring the acclaimed New York drama company founded by Orson Welles and John Houseman. The show is famous for its notorious War of the Worlds broadcast, but the other shows in the series are relatively unknown. The site contains many of the surviving shows, and will eventually have all of them. The fourth link leads to a site dedicated to Welles Magnificent Ambersons which provides insights in the making, filming and editing of the movie and its effects on Welles later career. The fifth link leads to an interesting interview of Welles by Peter Bogdanovich. The sixth link leads to another interview with Jim Steinmeyer, a close friend of Welles. The last link takes users to the Internet Archive which contains many of Welles radio broadcasts. [KMG]

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