The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 6

February 16, 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

Handel [Real Player, pdf]

Jointly maintained by Brad Leissa and musicologist David Vickers, this site is designed to serve as a valuable resource for both Handelian scholars and enthusiasts. They have done a splendid job, and the site contains copious information on the latest recordings of his works, along with timely reviews of these recordings. The site also features a thorough discography of both Handels operas and his oratorios, dramas, and odes. Moving on, visitors will also find a updated list of upcoming Handel concerts and festivals, supplemented by another list of related conferences and workshops. Additionally, the site has a number of web-exclusive interviews with the director of the Handel House Museum in London, the baroque trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins, and countertenor David Daniels. Rounding out the site is a section titled Potpourri, which features images of Handel on tobacco trading cards and a selection of his most memorable busts. [KMG]

Virtual Courseware [Macromedia Flash Player]

As part of a collaborative project between faculty members at the California State University-Los Angeles and the National Science Foundation, the Virtual Courseware website brings together a number of thematic instructional resources for science educators. Some of the resources include activities that deal with earthquakes and global warming. Within each module, visitors will find a number of self-guided tutorials and explanatory materials for instructors to use in their classrooms. One real gem here is the Virtual Dating section, as students and educators will get the opportunity to learn how geologists and archaeologists determine the ages of rocks and ancient artifacts. The site also makes the module on earthquakes available in Spanish, titled Terremoto. With a mix of activities, assessment exercises, and instructor materials, this website will be a great find for science teachers working with college or high school students. [KMG]

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor [pdf]

With offices in Paris and Washington, DC, The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is a consortium of 33 public and private development agencies working together to expand access to a variety of financial services for the poor in the developing world. The agencies involved with this project include The World Bank, the European Commission, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For those who are less well versed in the world of microfinance, the About Microfinance section is a great place to begin, as is its counterpart, Key Principles of Microfinance. Included in the other sections (such as Financial Transparency and Poverty Outreach) are well-written briefs and reports that explain a wide range of related matters, including their poverty assessment tools, microfinance regulation, and documents on how to train people in the nuances of microfinance lending. Rounding out the site is a link where visitors can offer feedback or also just ask questions. [KMG]

Ending Oil Dependence [pdf]

Concerns about the United States dependence on oil are nothing new, and various policy solutions have been around for decades. A number of scholars and experts have been attempting to address the subject, and one recent paper from The Brookings Institution offers a number of thoughtful ideas on this important concern. Released in January 2007, this 25-page paper written by David B. Sandalow offers a number of ambitious proposals aimed at reducing oil dependency in the US. Some of his proposals will sound familiar, as he includes references to the inherent possibilities in widespread adoption of biofuels, the adoption of smart growth policies, and the potential benefits of plug-in hybrid engines. Sandalow also offers some more specific details on how the auto fleet might be transformed over time, and also how the fuel supply might be transformed as well. Its a thoughtful work, and one that will be of interest to policy analysts and others who are concerned with this vexing issue. [KMG]

Stagework [Macromedia Flash Player]

The National Theatre has a rather stellar pedigree, especially when one considers that its first production featured Peter OToole as Hamlet, who was under the direction of Sir Laurence Olivier. Distinguished for their commitment to crafting new and innovative productions of various plays, they have recently created the Stagework website, which works to unpack the complex process of making theatre performances. It does this admirably, and visitors will enjoy looking through the interactive features on the site. In the Productions area, users can learn about the process and steps that went into creating recent stagings of Henry V, The Crucible, and UN Inspector. The People section really gets down to the nitty-gritty of the theater world, as visitors can read detailed descriptions of positions including artistic director, composer, and production manager. Visitors to this section will also find an interactive model of the National Theatre. The site is rounded out by the very nice Issues section which includes interviews and discussions with the individuals involved in making these productions come alive, including various directors, playwrights, and novelists. [KMG]

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum: Educator Resource Center [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has come up with a new resource for educators that go beyond a number of the traditional disciplinary boundaries. With interactive modules and learning activities that place a premium on inquiry and project-based learning and critical thinking skills, these resources make it easy to see how architecture, graphic, and media design can enhance the teaching of subjects that include mathematics, language arts, and environmental studies. These resources are designed for use by grades K-12, and visitors can search all of the lesson plans by subject or grade. The Resources section also contains links to external resources, curriculum guides, and videos from public programs. Additionally, educators can also offer their own ratings and assessments of the various educational materials they find on the site. [KMG]

The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923

Around midday on September 1, 1923, Japan experienced its most devastating earthquake. It is estimated that over 110,000 persons died around the Tokyo metropolitan area, and 90 percent of the buildings in Yokohama were damaged or destroyed. As a witness to this devastation, William Dana Reynolds and his family arrived in Yokohama Bay eight days after the earthquake occurred. Reynolds elected to make his way through the area, and he compiled a photographic record of what he saw during his time there. Brown University has digitized this album and a number of other primary and secondary resources for use by historians and the general public. First-time visitors should read over the About section, and then read a few of the very fine historical essays on the disaster and the Reynolds family contained in the History section. Of course, visitors should not miss looking over the actual digitized materials, which are contained in the Browse area. Here they will find the complete 1923 photographic album created by Reynolds, supplemented by brochures, newspaper clippings, and postcards. [KMG]

European Academy of the Urban Environment [pdf]

Europe is a heavily urbanized continent, and over two-thirds of its population resides in urban areas. With these concentrations come a number of challenges, including providing public services such as transportation, community planning, and housing. In 1992, the Berlin Senate and the European Parliament established the European Academy of the Urban Environment (EAUE) to facilitate the exchange of experience between various decision-makers in cities, including town councils, local officials, and so on. On their website, visitors with an interest in these subjects can look over information on their workshops, seminars, and publications. The publications section contains reports from urban specialists on topics including urban noise pollution, prefabricated housing estates, and even loftier titles, including The future of the metropolis. Finally, most of the material offered here is also made available in German. [KMG]

General Interest

Turn of the Century Posters

This digital exhibit begins with an illustration of a group of urbanites all in a state of advanced concentration as they consider the latest issue of Harpers magazine. Created sometime in the 1890s, this particular poster by Edward Penfield was one of the first art posters published in America. This online collection from the New York Public Library is full of such images, and visitors will enjoy looking over the hundreds of art posters from the turn of the century offered here. Visitors can view posters created by dozens of artists, and they can also search the entire collection, if they so desire. There are a number of gems here, including the poster advertising the novel The Involuntary Chaperon by H.R. Boehm and Edmund Henry Garretts poster for Romance and Reality of the Puritan Coast. [KMG]

Take One Step for a Healthy Heart [Windows Media Player, QuickTime]

Theres been a great deal of talk regarding the prevalence of diabetes and cancer in the United States, but theres at least as much concern regarding heart disease. Working with WGBH and PBS, the noted producer Elizabeth Arledge has created an insightful documentary about the state of heart disease in America. This website is designed to complement the television program, and it does so with a mix of helpful fact sheets, suggestions for keeping the heart healthy, and some heart-healthy recipes. Visitors may also elect to view the entire program, which is contained here in ten segments. The site is rounded out by a very well done audio and video podcast which features Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Larry King. [KMG]

Met Archives: The Metropolitan Opera

It is regrettably decades too late to hear Ezio Pinza sing Deh, vieni alla finestra live from the Metropolitan Opera or Caruso offer his splendid version of Questa o quello from Verdis Rigoletto, but these lovely recordings are alive again on the Mets very enchanting Met Archives website. First-time visitors may wish to read over the introductory essay on the history of the Met, and then proceed to the interactive timeline, Sights & Sounds of Met History. As mentioned, there are many wonderful audio excerpts available within the Sounds of the Met section, and the Met Opera Database allows visitors to search for information on various productions throughout the Mets past. Here you can learn a great deal, including that La Boheme has been performed a total of 1178 times at the Met, while Die Lustigen Weiber Von Windsor by Nicolai-Mosenthal has been performed only once there. Additionally, users can peruse the Stories of the Operas area to read brief summaries of such works as Cosi fan tutte, Lulu, and Gotterdammerung. [KMG]

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

After the death of his father in 1893, Webb C. Hayes (the second son of President Rutherford B. Hayes), began an effort to build an appropriate memorial to his father. To accomplish this, he began by deeding the late Presidents estate to the state of Ohio and by offering the Presidents personal papers and possessions to the Ohio State Historical Society. Located in Fremont, Ohio, the Center includes the Presidents residence, a historical museum, and the first presidential library ever constructed. On the Centers website, visitors can view the diaries of the President, learn about his time as president, and browse through the librarys online catalog. Visitors who are so inclined may also wish to learn more about opportunities to visit the Center either as part of a research expedition or a family vacation. [KMG]

Online Mathematics Textbooks

More and more instructional materials in the field of mathematics can be found online today, though for several years, it was difficult to find high-quality textbooks in their entirety. Fortunately Professor George Cain of the Georgia Institute of Technology has created this website to remedy that situation. As Professor Cain notes on his site, The writing of textbooks and making them freely available on the web is an idea whose time has arrived. Here he offers links to sixty-five different textbooks, including those that deal with multivariable calculus and several introductory texts on probability. Overall, the site is a fine resource, and it will be of use to both budding math scholars and those who teach them. [KMG]

Geriatric Nursing Resources for Care of Older Adults: Assessment Tools [pdf]

For nurses interested in keeping up to date with developments in geriatric treatment, this set of resources created by expert practitioners will be quite a find. The entire site was developed as part of the Nurse Competence in Aging initiative created by the American Nurses Association. Here, visitors can read over twenty-five two-page assessment tools that include such helpful titles as Assessing Nutrition in Older Adults, Predicting Pressure Ulcer Risk, and Immunizations for the Older Adult. Written in clear and direct language, these resources will also be of assistance for nursing educators and those who are responsible for professional development workshops. It is also worth mentioning that these short tools are designed as screening tools, and are not for diagnosis. [KMG]

The Basics of 3D/4D Ultrasound

Created as part of General Electrics Healthcare website, this online tutorial addresses the basics of 3- and 4-dimensional ultrasound. This resource is particularly useful for students who wish to become ultrasound or sonography technicians, and the tutorial is divided into ten separate sections. Dr. Nirvikar Dahiya wrote the tutorial, and users will learn about the basic principles of 3D sonography, and also have the opportunity to take a short quiz. Along the way, users will have important operating principles illustrated by figures, drawings, and examples of completed sonograms. Finally, the tutorial also contains a bibliography for future reference. [KMG]

Armando Revern

Armando Revern (1889 - 1954) was an artist who only became known in his native Venezuela in the 1950s, shortly before his death, and has remained largely unknown outside of Latin America. In fact, the current Armando Revern exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art is the first retrospective of his work in a North American museum. The accompanying Web site is organized into 8 sections providing examples of his landscape and figurative paintings, painted both from models and life size dolls. There are also images of the dolls that Revern created to be the subjects of his painting, and three self-portraits, 2 of which show Revern with his dolls. Many of his paintings were done on untreated burlap, and, especially in his landscapes, the paint sinks into the fabric to become ghostly and almost invisible; in Hija del Sol, 1933 it is possible to see printing that was on the burlap before it was painted. The website also includes pictures of El Castillette, the compound Revern constructed and lived in for most of his life, near the town of Macuto on the Caribbean Coast. El Castillette became the Museo Armando Revern in 1974, but was washed away in a mudslide in 1999. [DS]

Network Tools

Rendezvoo 1.0

There are many fine ways to get the good word out to other like-minded individuals on the web, and Rendezvoo is certainly one of the best new entries. Billed as the word-of-mouth platform, users can come here to post materials for other guests, connect with other members, and also rate the posts as they see fit. Another feature allows users to find posts by looking through a list of tags that include such headings as politician, teacher, and foodie. This version of Rendezvoo is compatible with computers running Firefox 1.0+, Internet Explorer 6.0+ and Safari 2.0+

Trailfire Toolbar 1.0.978

With all the talk about user-generated content out on the web, theres been less interest in what people are talking about as they browse around. Trailfire may create more discussion about such material, as it allows users to leave electronic notes on various webpages for other visitors. Its quite a bit of fun, and visitors can also view different guides posted by other users to the Trailfire homepage. A basic tutorial will help new users get started, and there are also a number of support forums here as well. This version of Trailfire is compatible with all operating systems running Windows XP or Vista. [KMG]

In The News

Restoration Project Celebrates George Washingtons Time in Barbados

Barbados: Washington Slept Here

The Diaries of George Washington: Voyage to Barbados 1751-1752

George Washington House Restoration Project in Barbados

George Washingtons Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

The Portrait: George Washington, A National Treasure [Macromedia Flash Player]

George Washington Slept Here

Contemporaries of George Washington always praised his keen military abilities, and none other than Americas most beloved Renaissance man, Thomas Jefferson, remarked, He was indeeda wise, a good, and a great man. As Presidents Day approaches, these various facts and findings about Washington begin to appear on television, newspapers, websites, and a myriad of other places. What many people may not know is that Washington only visited one foreign country in his entire life. That country happened to be Barbados (a colonial possession of Britain), and like many after him, he came for the hospitable climate. To be more specific, his half-brother Lawrence came to the island because his doctors recommended that he would help him recover from tuberculosis and Washington came along for two months. During his time there, Washington found that he developed a taste for the Pine Apple and also found the opportunity to take in several plays. Regrettably, Lawrence died soon after returning to Virginia. In keeping with the tradition of Colonial-era inns that hang out a shingle stating, George Washington slept here, a home in Barbados has done just that. With a growing interest in heritage tourism, a number of historic preservation groups have worked to restore the yellow home where Washington and his half-brother resided in 1751. The museum and house director Penelope Hyman said, Barbados had an incredible effect on the young George Washington. It was like a kid from the mountains going to Paris for the first time. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a news article from the site that reports on the recent restoration of the home that played host to George Washington in 1751. The second link leads to the section of George Washingtons personal diary that discusses at length his time in Barbados. Here visitors can read more about his half-brother and Washingtons taste for the avagado pair. The third link leads to the homepage of the George Washington House in Barbados, and it includes historical information about the home its surroundings. Moving along, the fourth link leads to the website created for Washingtons Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, which contains a number of virtual tours and a fine rendering of a bust of Washington by Jean-Antoine Houdon. The fifth link leads to an interactive exhibit from the National Portrait Gallery which allows visitors to explore the highly regarded full-length portrait of Washington created by Gilbert Stuart in 1796. The last link leads to the text of the rather funny play George Washington Slept Here, which was produced at the Lyceum Theater in 1940. Penned by those two always-do-wells of Broadway, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the play concerns itself with the doings of a displaced New York couple who are attempting to fix up a rather rickety farmhouse where Washington supposedly once slept. [KMG]

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