The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 2

January 19, 2007

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

Tufts University OpenCourseWare [pdf]

The number of universities who are placing course materials online for the generally curious is growing, and the OpenCourseWare site provided by Tufts University is another fine example of this type of educational initiative. As with other OpenCourseWare sites, institutions can elect to include a wide range of materials, including lecture notes, syllabi, extensive bibliographies, and various media presentations. The materials here are divided in a number of ways, and most visitors will find it easy to navigate the entire site. First-time visitors will want to go ahead and click on the Courses heading, which will return a complete list of all the currently available course materials. Ranging from an introductory course on agricultural science and policy to a physics for humanists course, there are a number of real finds here. Finally, visitors can use the Help tab to learn more about the specifics of this initiative. [KMG]

Office of Sustainable Fisheries [pdf]

Seafood is becoming popular again. Very popular, it would seem. But there are a number of potential problems with this development, one of them being the fact that a number of oceans and seas across the globe have been depleted of some of the most popular species. Stepping in to address some of these challenges is NOAAs Office of Sustainable Fisheries. With an emphasis on domestic aquaculture production, the Office is interested in developing this production method as a way to reduce dependence on seafood imports, provide jobs for economically depressed coastal communities, and increase regional food supply and security. On their site, visitors can look over different policy documents (such as the National Aquaculture Act of 1980) and also browse through hundreds of resources regarding aquaculture. Visitors can also look over the proposed 10-Year Plan for Aquaculture and many a fact sheet. [KMG]

Northeast Document Conservation Center [pdf]

Founded in 1973, the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NDCC) was created to address the rapid deterioration of older paper-based documents in a number of institutions across New England. On their website, visitors can learn about their conservation and imaging services, and also examine some of their fine resources intended for members of the preservation community. The Resources area is a good place to start, as it contains a number of suggestions for preserving private and family collections and also contains a set of additional web-based resources and links. Beyond those materials, there are a number of digitized leaflets here, such as Assessing Preservation Needs: A Self-Survey Guide and Preservation of Library and Archival Materials. The site is rounded out by an excellent disaster assistance section that includes an online disaster planning tool called dPlan and a set of general guidelines for archival institutions that may be coping with such situations. [KMG]

Hearing America: A Century of Music on the Radio [QuickTime]

As one of the lyrics by the Brothers Gershwin goes: They told Marconi/wireless was a phony. Of course, the wireless world of the radio and its galaxy of musical choices has changed from the transmission of mere Morse code in its early decades to todays overwhelming choices afforded by different satellite radio companies. This recent documentary by the American RadioWorks program explores the history of American radio, and how it has been the site of many a cultural battle over the past ten decades. This site allows users to listen to the entire program, and it also includes a number of nice web features. These include maps that chart the growth of AM and FM stations from 1922 through 2006 and some engaging essays, such as Radio Fights Jim Crow and Sex, Race and Rock & Roll. [KMG]

Women Physicians, 1850s-1970s

For many decades, women who sought to become doctors were turned away at many institutions. This was not the case at the Womans Medical College of Pennsylvania. Beginning in 1850 the school trained thousands of women physicians who would later go on to teach in a diverse set of countries across the world. The story of these women and this institution is told in great detail through a set of primary documents on this website. Created by the Drexel University College of Medicine, this digital collection provides access to over 27,000 pages of materials. While visitors are free to use the search engine to locate specific items, they may do well by beginning their journey here by looking at one of the five thematic subject areas offered here. They include Student Life, Missionary Work & Public Health, and Early College Years. The Early College Years is quite a pip, as visitors can browse the materials by date range or by format, such as diaries, booklets, and satires. [KMG]

Travelers in the Middle East Archive

As Edward Said demonstrated in his landmark work, Orientalism, the ways in which the Middle East has been represented by outsiders (particularly those in the West) has had a tremendous influence on how this region of the world has been viewed by others. For anyone with an interest in Western interactions with the Middle East, this fascinating and engaging online digital archive includes travel guides written by Western visitors, photographic and hand-drawn images of Egypt, and some interactive GIS maps of both Egypt and Cyprus. With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA) includes over 15,000 pages of text, 800 images, and 150 historical maps. Visitors with an interest in how such projects are created and maintained will also appreciate their papers and presentations section, which includes pieces on their work. Along with other materials included here, one of the highlights of the site must certainly be a first-hand account of travels through Palestine and environs written by H. Rider Haggard, who is probably best known for his series of late 19th century adventure novels set in Africa. [KMG]

Research Channel [Windows Media Player]

Its quite a hike to listen to a lecture at Princeton and then take a long plane ride (or an even longer journey on a cruise ship) over to the University of Hawaii to hear a talk on globalization in the Pacific Rim. Never fear, gentle reader, as the Research Channel website is here. The Research Channel organization has been in existence since 1996, and with over 70 participating members, they have created this website to provide access to a prodigious array of talks, conferences, lectures, and so on. Visitors to the site can go ahead and get their feet wet by just joining their programming in progress at the Now Playing link, or they can look over some of their 3000 titles currently available for viewing. If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, one can just take a look at some of their newer programs, which have included presentations from Texas A&M University on using general chemistry principles and a talk by the Nigerian ambassador to the United States on oil production and drug trafficking. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive their monthly electronic newsletter, Think Forward! [KMG]

Political Database of the Americas [pdf] (Last reviewed in the Scout Report on January 13, 1998)

Georgetown Universitys dominance in the fields of international relations and political science is well-known, and they also have a number of compelling digital projects that draw on their expertise in these areas. One such project is the Political Database of the Americas, which was created and maintained by the Center for Latin American Studies. Working with the Secretariat for Political Affairs of the Organization of American States, they have created this database which includes a wide range of documents from countries located in the Americas. Within the database, visitors can look up national constitutions, judicial documents, and information on civil society. Its a tremendously helpful resource, and the materials are available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. As a resource for students (and teachers) of political science, political economy, or the law, it will definitely merit several return visits. [KMG]

General Interest

World Health Organization: Child and Adolescent Health and Development [pdf]

Along with groups such as the United Nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organizations Child and Adolescent Health and Development (CAH) division is concerned with the health and well-being of those who range in age from the newly born to age nineteen. It is, as they point out on their website, a rather large group of individuals, and all told, it comprises approximately 40% of the worlds inhabitants. From their homepage, interested parties can learn about their primary areas of focus, and also look over a thorough list of their recent publications. Other sections include those dedicated to providing data about nutritional portraits of infants in different parts of the world and neonatal care. Visitors will also be glad to learn that the site and its materials are available in Spanish, Russian, French, and English. [KMG]

Council on Library and Information Resources [pdf]

Based in Washington, DC, the mission of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good. Not surprisingly, they do an excellent job of fulfilling this mission, and persons interested in their work will appreciate learning about their website and its many offerings. The materials on their site are contained within four primary sections, including Publications, Activities, Awards, and News. The Publications area is a rich source of information for persons working in the fields of archive management, information science, and other related fields. Here visitors will find their annual reports, their in-house bimonthly newsletter, and full-length reports. Visitors can view a chronological list containing all of their reports, or they can look through thematic sections, such as Managing Economic Challenges and Perspectives on the Evolving Library. Aspiring scholars will also want to look over their fellowships and awards, as there may be one that may be used to further their own scholarly work. [KMG]

The Urban Age Institute [pdf]

Around the world, policy experts and concerned citizens continue to ask: What can be done about the problems of the worlds cities? Of course, the problems of cities differ widely, and simple answers are in short supply, if they are any to be had at all. Based in San Rafael, the Urban Age Institute has been exploring some of these issues over the years, and their website contains some of their various findings and musings on a number of pressing urban matters. On their website, visitors can learn about their various research objectives, some of the events they sponsor, and also consider an extensive list of complementary websites. Finally, clicking on the Articles section will take visitors to the current issue of their magazine, Urban Age. Additionally, visitors can browse through previous issues at their leisure. [KMG]

Mark Twains Mississippi River [RealPlayer]

In a very real way, Samuel Clemens cut his teeth on the Mississippi River as an apprentice steamboat captain in the late 1850s. Years later he would draw on these experiences for a number of the works he would write under the name, Mark Twain. This multimedia website created at Northern Illinois University explores his time in and around Big Muddy through a number of interactive maps, historic images, and audio content. By clicking on the Twains Life and Works section, visitors can read a number of essays written by Gregg Camfield of the University of the Pacific on such topics as the economic importance of the river during Twains life, as well as other pieces on related topics. Moving along, visitors can perform detailed searches across the entire database and also listen to songs from the period, such as Steamboat Bill. [KMG]


The Pacific Film Archives at Berkeley has been collecting all types of film ephemera for decades. Over the past few years, they have worked to place this material online for the use of film historians and persons with a general interest in cinema. The CineFiles site serves as a database of reviews, press kits, festival and showcase program notes, newspaper articles and other documents from their collection. On their homepage, visitors can perform simple searches, or also perform a filmographic search to search for films by title, subject, genre, and so on. To get visitors started, they have included several sample searches that will be most illustrative. From a 1927 Variety review of Buster Keatons masterpiece film College to an interview with John Cassavetes regarding his 1974 film A Woman Under the Influence, the CineFiles collection is quite engaging and useful. [KMG]

Oral History Project in Labor History [pdf]

Labor history is a field that has enjoyed a resurgence of interest, including significant attention from journalists, scholars, and curious members of the general public. This particular set of labor history documents is primarily concerned with oral histories compiled by Elizabeth Balanoff in the early 1970s. Three decades later, several librarians at Roosevelt University received a $10,000 grant from the Illinois State Library to digitize these interview transcripts. Interviews include Irving Abrams, who was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, and Joseph Keenan, who served as the secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This fascinating collection is rounded out by a number of interview transcripts from conversations with faculty members at Roosevelt University on the subject of faculty participation in university government. [KMG]

Buffalo Bill Historical Center

As a member of the Museums West consortium, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center is itself comprised of five separate museums, including the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum. For those who may not be able to make it to their location in northeastern Wyoming, there are a number of online features that will provide as a suitable substitute for the actual experience of being there. Visitors can feel free to browse the online guide to their research library, and they will most certainly want to look at some of the online exhibits. Some of these online exhibits include features on Buffalo Bill himself, and others (such as those within the Cody Firearms Museum section) feature information on Winchester collectibles and firearms-related sayings.

Louvre Atlanta: The Royal Collections [Macromedia Flash Player]
Great friendships can lead to wonderful partnerships, and the kinship between Michael Shapiro and Henri Loyrette is a fine example. As director of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Michael Shapiro had worked with Henri Loyrette, the director of the Musee du Louvre, on a presentation of Impressionist works in 1999. A few years ago, they proposed a collaborative partnership that would allow different pieces from the Louvre to be displayed in a new wing of the High Museum. Over the next three years, the Louvre Atlanta initiative will do just that, and this website offers some of the highlights from the first year. Visitors to the site can interact with some of the magnificent paintings and sculpture acquired by Louis XIV and Louis VXI, including a very lovely secretary from 1780 and an exquisite vase from the Sevres Porcelain Manufactory. [KMG]

Network Tools

OpenTalkLive 3.17

Software that allows users to talk with other distant individuals is not unusual these days, but some of these programs can be rather expensive. Fortunately, OpenTalk Live is free, and allows users to talk with up to 100 people at a time. While the program may seem to be suited for socializing, one can imagine that could be used for effective videoconferencing in either the worlds of businesses or higher education. This particular version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

jetAudio 6.2.8 Basic

Contained within a streamlined silver package is jetAudio 6.2.8 Basic. It presents a welcome alternative to other multimedia players, and it allows users to utilize a number of equalizers, speed controls, and of course, the cross-fade option. Additionally, for the truly brave, the application also includes a synchronized lyrics display for karaoke. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98, Me, 2000, and XP. [KMG]

In The News

Despite criticism from some quarters, anticipation and excitement about upcoming Olympic Games continues unabated

UNEP Reaffirms support to Green Olympics in Beijing

British Olympic official warns of Chinese superstate ahead of Beijing Games

Olympics Threaten City Projects Cash

Olympics race: Chicago vs. the world

Chicago 2016 [Macromedia Flash Player]

Back in 1896, Pierre de Coubertin and a number of physical culture devotees helped breathe new life into the Olympics. While these games in Athens certainly helped restore and recreate a number of palaces of sport from the world of ancient Rome, few of the other features we now associate with the modern games were in place. Today, even the bidding process to host either the Summer or Winter Games can be a contentious affair, and other skeptics continue to doubt the long-term benefits of hosting the Olympics. This past week, a number of news agencies began reporting on the excitement surrounding the 2008 Summer Olympics. The hubbub surrounding these games has started already as the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Olympic Committee reaffirmed their support for creating a green friendly environment for the 2008 games and those in the future. From other quarters, there was mention of other more immediate concerns. For example, the British Olympic Associations chief executive Simon Clegg expressed nervousness about the sporting superstate of China due to their very impressive showing at the 2004 Games in Athens. With a year and a half until the Games begin, there remains plenty of time to engage in a bit of fun speculation about how each nation will perform at what promises to be an exciting Summer Games. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a press release from the United Nations Environment Programme which talks about their interest in creating a green friendly Olympic Games. Moving along, the second link will take users to a piece from the International Herald Tribune that talks about the emergence of China as a sporting superpower. The third link leads to a piece from a daily newspaper in Bradford (UK) which voices concerns that government sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympic Games will threaten local community development funds. The fourth link leads to a piece from Mondays Crains Chicago Business which provides background information about Chicagos bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games. For a bit of speculative and informed commentary about future Olympic sites, the fifth link is a real find. Created and developed by Robert Livingstone, the GamesBids site provides in-depth coverage of cities efforts to host future Olympic Games. The final link leads to the official homepage for Chicagos 2016 bid to host the Games, complete with links to news and events surrounding their efforts. [KMG]

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

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