The Scout Report -- Volume 12, Number 49

December 8, 2006

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

A Note to our Readers

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

A Note to our Readers

An Announcement from The Scout Report

Internet Scout is proud to unveil its new project AMSER at AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Education Repository, is funded by the National Science Foundation and serves up information about applied math and science resources in an easy-to-use format. Though specifically created for teachers and students at community and technical colleges, AMSER is free for anyone to use and is part of NSF's larger National Science Digital Library initiative. Users can find a wide assortment of materials at AMSER, from large web sites focusing on an individual applied science or math topic to Flash animations that demonstrate specific science or math principles in action. AMSER also offers users a variety of features including rating and commenting on resources and having new resources recommended to them. We hope that you, our Scout Report readers, will stop by AMSER, take a look around, and provide us with any feedback you may have on its features and resources.

Research and Education

U.S. Census Bureau: Facts for Features & Special Editions [pdf]

The U.S. Census Bureau is known for its diverse set of publications that speak to the demographic conditions that exist throughout different regions of the country. Many of these publications are used by policy specialists, planners, and other such types. The Bureau also does a rather fine job providing press releases for news organizations, independent journalists, and the general public. One set of these press releases can be found on this special section of their main website. These Facts for Features provide interesting statistics directly related to such holidays as Grandparents Day, Veterans Day and certain themes, such as Hispanic heritage, African-American history, and baby boomers. Visitors to the site can browse through archives of the press releases all the way back to the year 2000. [KMG]

Poverty & Race Research Action Council [pdf]

Created in 1990, the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) was designed to generate, gather and disseminate research on the relationship between race and poverty. They have done so with great determination and vigor with significant financial support from a wide range of donors, including the Rockefeller Foundation and Fannie Mae. First-time visitors will get a good sense of their activities by looking over the homepage, which includes links to sections that deal with economic and community development, homelessness, and immigration. The homepage also contains links to recent research briefs and reports from the PRRAC, including the titles Housing Rights in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Improving Education for Mobile Students. One section that is a real treat is a special 40-year retrospective on the Chicago Freedom Movement, which was designed to offer a chronology of the events of that year, and also to discuss some of the social problems that were targeted by civil rights groups in the city at that time. [KMG]

World Meteorological Organization [pdf]

Founded in 1950, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is one of the oldest specialized agencies of the United Nations. With information available in Arabic, English, Spanish, French, and Russian, their website brings together information on weather, climate and water that will assist researchers and members of the pubic interested in meteorology and related fields. From their homepage, visitors can look over drop-down menus titled Programmes and Topics. While the Programmes area contains more specialized information, the Topics section contains links to thematic pages on over four dozen areas of interest from aerosols to women in meteorology. Of course, theres plenty of information on weather conditions themselves, and visitors should move to the Official Weather Forecasts and Warnings area to be redirected to the WMOs Severe Weather Information Centre which contains a real-time interactive map of the world. As an additional suggestion, visitors should take a look at their online art gallery, which contains an exhibit that features artistic impressions of different weather conditions from around the world. [KMG]

Germans from Russia [pdf, Windows Media Player, QuickTime]

A number of online digital projects have taken on the challenge of documenting the experiences of immigrants and this particular website deals with this very subject quite nicely. Through the use of primary documents and detailed oral histories, this website illustrates the experiences of Germans from Russia who immigrated to Colorado in the 19th and 20th centuries. Drawing on work done by Professor Heitman at Colorado State University in the 1970s, visitors to the site can examine transcripts and listen to audio excerpts of interviews of these immigrants (and their descendants). They may also wish to view the online photo gallery which contains images of agriculture work, German-inspired architecture, and home life. Finally, visitors can use a search engine offered here to look for specific materials, if they wish to do so. [KMG]

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania [pdf]

Established in 1994, the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on a variety of topics, including political communication, journalism, and the role of the media in the lives of developing children. With offices in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., the Center is well poised to also disseminate its research findings to various governmental organizations and other policy groups. The sites homepage provides direct link to some of their more recent work, which includes excerpts from a talk by National Intelligence Director John D. Negroponte and Geneva Overholsers compelling report, On Behalf of Journalism: A Manifesto for Change. While visitors can just scroll down through the homepage to review these documents, they may also wish to click on the tabs near the top of the page to move directly to a thematic area of interest. The site is rounded out by a number of links to other Annenberg-sponsored sites, such as Justice Learning, which is a joint project sponsored by National Public Radio and the New York Times Learning Network. [KMG]

The Center for Cultural Understanding and Change [pdf]

For some, the field of anthropology may seem to be most closely associated with the study of rituals and practices in social and cultural worlds that are far removed from our own. The field has always been interested in casting a critical eye upon local worlds as well, and the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change (CCUC) at the Field Museum is very interested in such work. For those who might be curious, their site contains information about their work within Chicagos local Mexican community and another section intended to provide answers to the question, What is diversity? This particular section is titled Cultural Connections, and contains tips for educators on how to explain diversity and explore culture. Additionally, interested visitors can also download a number of working papers from a series titled Perspectives on Civic Activism and City Life. [KMG]

Latino Voices in American Art [Quick Time, pdf]

Some artists, cultural theorists, and others who are equally curious have asked: How does culture change as it moves from place to place? While there is some disagreement on the subject, some say that cultures continue to express universal experiences, regardless of where they may end up. The Smithsonian American Art Museum has taken on this subject with this online exhibit, which uses photographs, videos, and other resources to examine how various Latino artists speak through their different artworks. In the sites four primary sections, visitors can listen to artists such as Maria Brito and Pepon Osorio talk about their work, and then move on to examine their artwork in detail in the online gallery. The site is also designed with educators in mind, as there is also a section that provides detailed lesson plans on such topics as using art to express the process of assimilation. While these materials are not available in Spanish, much of the sites materials are available in both English and Spanish. [KMG]

Human Development Report 2006 [pdf]

Every year, many policy specialists and government officials eagerly await the annual Human Development Report issued by the United Nations Development Programme. Released in early November 2006, this years report was primarily focused on the issue of water, and they remarked that, unclean water is an immeasurably greater threat to human security that violent conflict. Within its 440 page, the report investigates the underlying causes and consequences of this crisis, along with arguing for a concerted drive to achieve water and sanitation for all through national strategies and a global plan of action. Along with significant appendices, the report also contains special contributions from President Jimmy Carter, Gordon Brown, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. [KMG]

General Interest

Cartoon America: A Library of Congress Exhibition

For decades, James Arthur Wood Jr. collected original cartoon art, and he also was an editorial cartoonist as well during his long career. After amassing a large collection of original drawings by various cartoon artists, he kindly donated his collection to the Library of Congress. Recently, staff members at the Library created this very nice online collection that contains a selection of these materials. The exhibition is divided into six sections, including Imaginary Worlds: Illustration and Punch Lines: Gag & Single Panel Cartoons. Each one of these sections contains a dozen or so illustrations, complete with an explanatory paragraph and bibliographic information. Some of the many gems include a very humorous illustration by Peter Arno depicting a group of middle-aged socialites and a very fine gem by Bill Maudlin depicting Nikita Kruschhev berating a group of artists. [KMG]

The Flex Your Power Challenge [Macromedia Flash Player]

With the guidance of animated host Les Power, visitors to this site are greeted by his voice intoning Hello Cali-forn-i-a! Its an energetic beginning to this website that is primarily designed to help visitors learn about how they can work to better manage their energy consumption their homes and at work. Mr. Power takes visitors on a rather fun and interactive quiz, and visitors who find themselves seeking more information can click on titled tabs near the top of the screen. While the site is focused on how energy consumption affects the state of California, much of the information can be applied to a myriad of places around the country. It is also worth noting that the site is made available in Spanish and Chinese. [KMG]

Surface Transportation Policy Partnership [pdf]

In the past few years, there has been a renewed interest in looking at any number of viable transportation options ranging from enhanced carpooling systems to building pedestrian-friendly communities. One coalition that has spent a considerable time examining these matters is the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership (STPP). The homepage provides quick access to a number of helpful publications, including A Guide to Transportation Opportunities in Your Community, which reviews how federal surface transportation law can be used to support local and statewide efforts to build more livable communities and expand travel options. Visitors may also enjoy the Key Reports area, which includes such titles as Aging Americans: Stranded Without Options. The site is rounded out by the Stats for Your State section, which includes an interactive map of the 50 states. Here, visitors can click on each state to view statistics that indicate the level of federal funding for transportation there and regional congestion data. [KMG]

Air Quality Movies [Macromedia Flash Player, Windows Media Player]

The Scout Report has reported on several aspects of the AIRNow website before, but this is the first time that weve noticed that they have a very fine selection of short movies on their website. These short films are designed for the general public, and they deal with such topics as air quality control, how ozone is formed, and a special presentation for children on ozone. The films range in length from 13 to 21 minutes, and one can imagine that these multimedia presentations could be used in a variety of classroom settings as they are quite accessible and jargon-free. Additionally, the air quality presentation is available in Spanish, and the rest of their website is definitely worth looking over. [KMG]

Alvin Lustig, Modern American Design Pioneer [Macromedia Flash Player]

Alvin Lustig's designs for office and domestic interiors, furniture, books, magazines, and textiles have a look - George Jetson's living room - that anyone who grew up in the US in the 1950s and 60s will instantly recognize as modern. The Kind Company created this site, a Brooklyn based graphic design firm, out of their sheer admiration for Lustigs designs. The web site currently features more than 425 examples of Lustig's work, which are simply a lot of fun to look at. For example, browse Lustig's book jacket designs for modern literary works, from his first, the 1941 edition of Henry Miller's "Wisdom of the Heart", to his 1944 edition of Gertrude Stein's "Three Lives", up to his 1953 "Selected Poems" by Garcia Lorca. Be sure to stop by the Architecture and Interiors, to see the low coffee tables, skinny-legged chairs, and pendant and pole lamps. [DS]

The Oxford Book of American Essays

Many a literary theorist and critic have wondered: What is American literature? Others have gone so far as to wonder whether such a thing can be defined and this area of academic inquiry has delighted many for several centuries. Late in the 19th century, one Brander Matthews was called upon to do just that-create an edited volume for the Oxford Press that would represent a variety of essays from different Americans of the time. All told, this volume published in 1914 contained 32 essays, including John Bull by Washington Irving, Buds and Bird-Voices by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Dante by the Bowery by Theodore Roosevelt. Other selections include inquisitive essays by Edgar Allen Poe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Walt Whitman. Thanks to the folks at, users can read each of these essays and decide for themselves if American literature can be defined. [KMG]

A Journey Through Time [Macromedia Flash Player]
Noted photographer Frans Lanting opens the website dedicated to his most recent ambitious project with these words: Seven years ago I stood at the tide line of an estuary and began a personal journey through time. Auspicious words indeed, and this lovely exploration of what he found on this journey takes visitors on a lyrical interpretation of life on Earth from its earliest beginnings to its present diversity. As visitors click on the words Start Journey they will be taken through eighty six photographs which document the various physical landforms and processes from the Hawaiian Islands to the heights of the Himalayas. After clicking on each photo, visitors will be presented with an interactive timeline that locates the photo within a timeline of geologic history. Interested parties can also peruse the More about LIFE section to learn more about the equipment Lanting uses in his work, and how the project came to life. [KMG]

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System [pdf]

Those users who are looking for all things related to the Federal Reserve System will need to look no further than this well-designed and thorough website. Visitors will find a number of links on the left-hand side of the homepage that will take them directly to information about monetary policy, payment systems, economic research and data, and basic consumer information. One rather fine feature is the Beige Book, which is a report published eight times per year. In the Beige Book, users will find a collection of anecdotal reports on current economic conditions culled from interviews with key business contacts, economists, and market experts. A great deal of additional information can be obtained on the homepage, including a complete listing of recent statistical releases and information about job opportunities at the Fed. [KMG]

Network Tools

Geotagger 1.1

The holiday season usually brings a flurry of new photographs, and some users with a keen interest in spatial analysis (and a few of these photographs) will find this application most efficacious. With Geotagger 1.1and Google Earth, users can take these digital photographs and insert GPS coordinates into these various images, and then of course, go ahead and place them online. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X. [KMG]

Active Web Reader 2.46

RSS feeds are a common feature of more and more websites, and it can be a chore at times to keep up to date with all of them. With Active Web Reader 2.46, users can download the application and use their auto discovery feature to find new RSS feeds while browsing new websites. Additionally, users can use an instant email feature to send articles of note to friends and others. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

The smell of freshly baked cookies arrives in a most unlikely location

Bus riders sniff out shelters

Milk board debuts cookie-scented ads in bus shelters

Get a whiff of the latest trend in advertising

Hot Stuff: Smells Like Faux Cookies

Hot on The Cookie Trail


Watson and Crick. Laurel and Hardy. Sam and Dave. These are the type of duos that are seemingly inseparable, and a number of such pairings exist within the world of foodstuffs as well. When most people think about cookies, they probably think about reaching for a glass of milk. This popular pairing has been turned on its head most recently in the fair city of San Francisco, where an advertising company has recently paired cookies with an object that probably doesnt come to mind: bus shelters. Though some would associate bus shelters with entirely different (and rather pungent) smells, the individuals behind this marketing campaign installed devices to emit the scent of freshly baked cookies in five bus shelters. Given the strong opinions that residents in that fair city tend to have about most everything, the reaction has been mixed thus far. A number of critical comments have come from animal-rights advocates who oppose the dairy industry, and even more from activists in the scent-sensitive community who are more than a bit annoyed by this most unwelcome intrusion. In the classic man on the street interview, a journalist from the San Francisco Chronicle asked local night watchman Joe Broulliette what he thought of this smell-enhanced bus shelters. His reply? A simple Id rather eat chocolate chip cookies than smell them. [KMG]

This first link will lead to Rachel Gordons news article from this Tuesdays San Francisco Chronicle, where she investigates this most unusual trend in smell-based product promotion and placement. Moving along, the second link will take users to another news article on this subject from Mondays San Jose Mercury News. The third link will take users to a piece from Jim Stingl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who explores the topic of whether or not the city of Milwaukee should venture into such territory and other such marketing schemes. The fourth link leads to a nice bit of commentary on the whole cookie-scent infused bus shelters debate from Mary Ladd, who writes for SFist, a weblog dedicated to all things by the Bay. Visitors who find themselves in San Francisco and craving actual cookies will appreciate the fifth link, as it contains some expert testimony on where to find the best cookies in the city. Finally, the last link provides a bit of historical information on that ever-so brief marriage of film and piped-in smells from the 1950s that was known quite appropriately as Smell-O-Vision. [KMG]

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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2006.

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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.

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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

Internet Scout Project Team
Max GrinnellEditor
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For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout Project staff page.