The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 48

December 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

Harvard Public Health Review

Harvard Universitys School of Public Health has a number of online outreach websites that address such topics as alcohol use among college students and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the developing world. These topics and many others are covered in detail in the Harvard Public Health Review, which is available on this site. One of the more recent issues addressed public health concerns in China and India such as HIV/AIDS and these two countries respective national health care systems. Currently, visitors have access to issues that date back to Fall 1998. Another feature of the site allows users to sign up to receive the latest edition of the Review via email. [KMG]

Center for Christian-Jewish Learning [pdf]

The Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College is dedicated to the growth of new and mutually enriching relationships between Christians and Jews. To achieve this goal, the Center has established a wide range of outreach efforts, including lectures, seminars, and a number of publications and newsletters. On their site, visitors can learn about these events, and should also start their online journey by looking directly at the Center Archives section. Here visitors will find archived news bulletins from the Center and the splendid Documents Depository. The Depository contains a number of primary texts on Christian-Jewish relations, most of which are focused on the United States and the Vatican. Visitors can use a search engine to look over these documents, or they can browse around at their leisure. The site is rounded out by a collection of streaming videos that include panel discussions on such topics as German Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a noted Nazi resistor. [KMG]

Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion [pdf]

Law schools are known for their efforts to create online law journals, and the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion was the first online legal journal dedicated to the study of the dynamic interaction between law and religion. Started in 1999, the journal has published dozens of articles written by law students at Rutgers, and they have covered subjects such as the role of faith-based institutions in community development and the status of female refugees. Visitors can browse through their online archives to read these articles, and they may also wish look over their New Developments section. Here they will find brief summaries of current issues in law and religion. With its broad scope, this online journal will be of interest to those in the legal field, or those who might be looking for inspiration to start their own journal in this area. [KMG]

Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project [Windows Media Player]

With its diverse ethnic groups and civic-minded citizens, the city of Seattle has been a beacon for people seeking an open-minded urban experience for decades. The story of Seattles past is a complex one, and this well-thought out website explores some of the complex struggles for civil rights in the area over the past one hundred years. Based at the University of Washington, the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project has worked to document the stories of civil rights activists in the area, and also present reports on segregation in Seattle and the various newspapers that have represented the citys communities of color. Visitors to the site can listen to some of these activists talk about their lives and read some of their Research Reports, which include The Chicano Movement in Washington State, 1967-2006 and The 1920 Anti-Japanese Crusade and Congressional Hearings. [KMG]

Ask Philosophers

From time to time, all of us have wondered to ourselves any number of philosophical questions, ranging from What is love? to How can we know what is true? These are both very compelling questions, and most people probably would like to know a bit more about each one of these queries. Fortunately, the year 2005 saw the launch of this website, whose dictum is You Ask. Philosophers answer. Visitors can pose a question, and if it hasnt been answered in detail already, one of the participating philosophers will respond in a few days with an answer. Visitors can also just browse through previously answered questions on the left-hand side of the homepage, where they will find categories that include animals, business, children, feminism, and rationality. Visitors can also learn a bit more about the sites conception and purpose here, and they will be pleased to learn that there is a nice list of related sites offered, which includes links to the radio show, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Philosophy, complete with archives. [KMG]

Famous Curves Index

Throughout history, there have been many famous curves. In this case, the famous curves profiled here have names such as rhodonea, right strophoid, and the Kampyle of Eudoxus. These curves belong to the world of the mathematical sciences, and they are offered up for teachers and the generally curious by the staff at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St. Andrews. Visitors can scroll through the complete list of curves (there are over eighty here), and click on each one for an illustration and a listing of the equation that would create such a curve. The site is rounded out by an interactive map that lets users learn about the birthplaces of famous mathematicians from Leibniz to Babbage. [KMG]

Virtual Labs [Shockwave]

Over the past few years, the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Biointeractive website has garnered critical acclaim from a number of international organizations that evaluate various multimedia products that educate Internet users about science and technology. Most recently, their Virtual Labs area on the site has been well-received, and they are visually entrancing and easy to use. Currently, the site contains five full virtual labs, and they include those that allow students to learn how to identify various bacteria and another one that casts participants as a young intern who is learning how to identify heritable diseases of the heart. Each virtual lab contains resources for instructors, along with an interactive quiz. [KMG]

Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students [pdf]

Writing can be a formidable task, and at times, there can be few things more frightening than the emptiness of a blank page. The good people at the University of Vermont are aware of this fact, and this helpful website will be of use to both students and educators alike. The site is divided into sections that contain resources for students and instructors, and visitors will find the homepage easy to navigate. Some of the specific resources include short pieces on how to write for different audiences and how to design both presentation slides and scientific posters. After looking over these materials, visitors can also look at sample memos, letters, and resumes as well. Finally, the site is rounded out by several presentations that can be used by instructors in the classroom. [KMG]

General Interest

Novel Ideas [Real Player]

Writers block comes up on all of us, and at times, it can manifest itself at the most inconvenient times. The good folks at National Public Radio decided to ask a number of authors about their own experiences with both writers block and creating novels, and their findings are contained within the heart of this website. Visitors to the site can peer into the minds of Scott Turow, Blue Balliett, Geraldine Brooks, along with numerous others here. After reading their responses, visitors can also view a list of related web resources, including links to previous NPR stories on the author in question, or they can also chime in with their own questions and comments. Additionally, visitors can sign up to receive notifications of newly added author interviews via an RSS feed. [KMG]

Snowflakes and Snow Crystals

Professor Kenneth Libbrecht at Caltech University is very interested in crystal growth and pattern formation in ice. So interested in fact, he went ahead and created this lovely website that documents the very wide, and very interesting world, of snowflakes, snow crystals, and other ice phenomena. First-time visitors should look over the Snowflake Physics section, which includes a snowflake primer, crystal faceting, and of course, a set of musings on that much-discussed question: Is it really true that no two snowflakes are alike? The site also contains a section on Historic Snowflakes, which contains the thoughts and insights of Johannes Kepler, Rene Descartes and Robert Hooke (among others) on mysteries of snowflakes and snow crystals. The site is rounded out by clutch of snow activities, snowflake hot spots, and a snowflake image for users desktops. [KMG]

The Cornell Daily Sun Digitization Project [pdf]

College newspapers can be a veritable treasure trove of information about the cultural and social life of a given institution, and the Cornell Daily Sun is certainly no exception. Recently, the Cornell University Library and the Daily Sun embarked on a new digitization project to provide online access to previous editions of the paper dating back to the year 1880. First-time visitors to the site may want to start by just browsing through some of the back issues in all of their detail. Of course, visitors can also perform advanced and basic searches, but it should be noted that just typing in Ithaca will return many, many results. Other interesting searches include Stalin and Saul Alinsky, and no doubt there are others that will pique the interest of even the most casual user of this site. [KMG]

Digital Sheet Music Collection: University of Colorado

Do you know the enchanting song that begins with the lyric You may talk of golden strands, In the distant foreign lands? Perhaps not, but if you browse over to the Digital Sheet Music Collection at the University of Colorado you can learn all of the words to Colorado, My Own, a ditty which was all the rage in 1916. So far, several hundred pieces of sheet music are currently available, all of which have been selected from the Universitys own collection of approximately 150,000 items. Visitors to the site can learn about the digitization process, peruse a list of additional sheet music sites, and of course browse the complete archive of digitized songs by title or theme. [KMG]

Anselm Kiefer: Heaven and Earth [Macromedia Flash Player]

Heaven and Earth, a major exhibition by German artist Anselm Kiefer, organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, has traveled to Montreal and Washington DC. SFMOMA, Heaven and Earth's final North American venue, October 2006 - January 2007, presents this interactive web feature to accompany the show. The exhibition includes over 40 paintings, made from the wide variety of materials that Kiefer typically uses in his work - clay, lead, ash, sand, gold leaf, dried plants and bits of machinery, as well as techniques such as melting, rubbing with dirt, and burning. Kiefer's paintings tend towards the monumental - The Hierarchy of Angels, 1986-87, loaned by the Walker Art Museum, is roughly 10 x 20 feet - but the Web feature makes up for its size limitations by allowing you to study details of paintings up close. For example, you can zoom in on the rough hunks of lead that Kiefer calls meteorites in Angels, as well as examining the iconography of another painting, Osiris and Isis, 1985-87. You can also hear Kiefer speak about his work in excerpts of a videotaped interview conducted at the Tate Modern in London, June 5, 2005 [DS]

Project Matterhorn

Most people have heard of the Manhattan Project, but a great many have probably never heard of Project Matterhorn. Started under the leadership of Lyman Spitzer at Princeton University in 1951, this was the code name given to a controlled thermonuclear research effort. With support from Princeton and the US Atomic Energy Commission, Spitzer began to outline the basic concept for creating the stellarator, which was a device for confining and heating ionized hydrogen gas to release fusion energy for the production of power. Recently, the Digital Collections group at Princeton digitized many of the primary documents associated with this project, and this site represents their fine efforts thus far. On the site, visitors can view the documents that described the proposed stellarator, and other documents which discuss how various particles and bodies might interact within this device. [KMG]

20 voices [Macromedia Flash Player]

Over 85 years have passed since the Armenian Genocide of 1915, but the families of those that endured this event have not forgotten about this tremendous tragedy. This website, designed in conjunction with a recent documentary, tells some of the stories from that time, and it also offers an overview of Armenian life in the Ottoman Empire before and during 1915. First-time users will want to start by viewing the 8-minute video that provides a comprehensive introduction to these events. After viewing this film, visitors can view an interactive section that talks about Armenian life in Turkey. Overall, the website is visually engaging, and one can imagine that it could be well-suited for use in the classroom as part of a discussion on cultural geography. [KMG]

Restaurant Doctor

Most people probably dont want to hear the words restaurant and doctor in the same sentence, but for those seeking assistance with managing their own restaurant, hearing those two words together may be just the tonic they require. The restaurant doctor in question here is Bill Marvin, and he has created this site for those seeking free resources that address the mercurial nature of the restaurant business. Visitors can click on over to the Free Resources section and take a look at Marvins helpful electronic newsletter, which contains insights on everything from maintaining staff morale to dealing with changes in the industry. Additionally, visitors can pose queries on relevant topics on the restaurant forums that are available here. [KMG]

Network Tools


Creating online forms for everyday use can be difficult, and some may just throw up their hands and hire a programmer or consultant. But before making that call, users may want to try Wufoo. Wufoo lets users create all types of online forms quickly, including mailing lists, surveys, invitations, and event calendars. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

CallingID for the Internet

Caller ID was a novel feature that entered the world of telecommunications over a decade ago, and the more one thinks about it, it would make sense to have something similar for websurfing as well. This application automatically shows whether sites visited are real or not, and it also displays the site owners name and physical address. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, and 2003. [KMG]

In The News

Manholes, traffic lights, and tobacco barns intrigue curious explorers of the built environment

When Traffic Lights Make Us Stop and Think [Real Player]

Tobacco Barns: Stately Relics of a Bygone Era [Real Player]

Celebrate Tobacco Barns

Vernacular Architecture of the World: Great Buildings Online

Covers to Discover

Traffic Signal Museum

Around this time of year, most people are running around to meet up with family and friends for holiday gatherings and life is most certainly a bit more hectic. With all of these added responsibilities, it is no wonder that most people arent probably actively thinking about those facets of the human-built world that seem quite mundane. Fortunately, there are people out there who are interested in these tiny details, and they are continuing to document these interesting, and sometimes overlooked, aspects of our world. One such person is Brian Hayes, who happened to be interviewed on National Public Radio this past week. Hayes is a student of industrial landscapes, and he has spent the past fifteen years researching fire hydrants, power lines, and of course the ubiquitous manholes. Along with others who are concerned with the fate of vernacular buildings such as tobacco barns, Hayes and his like continue to work to understand the roles that these features of the landscape play in our daily lives. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a National Public Radio (NPR) piece on the work of Brian Hayes, and it contains a number of insights into the things that one might encounter in an industrial landscape. The second link leads to another NPR piece from this Tuesday that discusses the long decline of the tobacco barn (and the accompanying farms) in Kentucky. Moving along, the third link leads to the Celebrate Tobacco Barns site offered by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Office of Archives and History. Here, visitors can read about the different types of tobacco barns, and also view a map that indicates where the remaining barns in the state are located. The fourth link will take users to the Vernacular Architecture page at the Great Buildings Online site, where they can learn about everything from a yurt to the igloo. The fifth link leads to the Covers to Discover website, where visitors will learn about the great manhole covers of the world. Lastly, the final link leads to the Traffic Signal Museum, which serves as an online repository documenting the various traffic signals of the world, including such models as the four-way beacon and the stoic single face model. [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.