The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 11

March 23, 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

Online Resource: Geometry

Along with their substantial instructional resources, the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) has worked to place valuable mathematical materials online to aid both teachers and students. This particular site contains links discovered and vetted by George Alexander, who works on behalf of the AMATYC. Here visitors will find links to materials that can be used to teach students about the fundamentals of geometry, including plane motion, polyhedras, symmetry, and tessellations. In total, there are links to 33 resources here, and suggestions for new materials are always welcome. [KMG] [Last reviewed in the Scout Report on January 29, 1999]

Everyone likes polls, even if they dont always like the results. There are a number of ways to keep tabs on recent and informative polls, and is definitely one of the most comprehensive ways to do so online. From the homepage, users can look over the sites primary thematic areas, which include Elections, National Security, and In the News. Within each thematic area, visitors can look over the results of recent polls, read the questions asked of participants, and learn about each polls methodology and sample size. The site doesnt have a search engine, but it doesnt take much time to look through the contents of this useful site. The site has a number of subscription services as well, though it should be noted that these are not offered for free. [KMG]

Writing Resource Center: Empire State College [pdf]

Effective learning strategies for becoming a better writer are much appreciated resources on college campuses, and this site presents a cornucopia of just this type of material. Created by Empire State college faculty specifically for adult learners and faculty use, the site provides access to a very fine annotated resource list. The list contains documents from The Genesee Valley Center Writing Program and is divided into sections such as Grammar & Punctuation, ESL Resources, and Documenting Resources. The site contains over 150 specific resources that range from worksheets for faculty on how to conduct informal writing activities to a primer on when to write out numbers and when to use numerals in different types of documents. [KMG]

Seasoned and novice business reporters will enjoy learning about the existence of the website. Created by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University the site was launched in February 2004, and since then it has grown to include a host of instructional materials, including tutorials on how to cover financial markets and understanding financial markets. Along the left-hand side of the sites homepage, visitors will find the Covering Business area, which contains helpful articles on writing about the stock market, technology, minority business trends, and business ethics. The site also contains a glossary of business terms, information on relevant scholarship opportunities, and Dicks Picks, which contains links to recent business stories of note, as selected by the well-regarded journalist, Dick Weiss. [KMG]


Started in 1996, the SocioSite website is a project created by the social science faculty at the University of Amsterdam. During the past eleven years, the site has grown extensively, and it serves as a clearinghouse of important and relevant links to various disciplines within the social sciences. Contained within a simple template, visitors can look through sections dedicated to journals, libraries, news groups, search tools, institutions, associations, and weblogs. For each link, visitors can read a brief summary of its contents, and they may also wish to suggest links via the webform on the site. Visitors who have visited the site before may wish to go directly to the Whats New section for the most recent updates. The site is rounded out by a Funny Stuff section, which features sociological-related humor and wordplay. [KMG]

Philosophers Imprint [pdf]

A number of disciplines in the humanities have embarked on ambitious and lively forays into the world of online publishing, and philosophy is no exception to this trend. One rather noteworthy online journal is Philosophers Imprint, which was started in 2001. The journal is actually a refereed series of original papers edited by the philosophy faculty at the University of Michigan, and published by the University of Michigan Digital Library. First-time visitors should begin by looking over their mission statement, and then they should feel free to browse around the current volume, or those from the past few years. Recent works have included Benj Hellies The Phenomenological Status of Sense-Data, Stephen Finlays Value and Implicature, and Richard Holtons The Act of Choice. [KMG]

Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal [pdf]

From November 14th 1945 to October 1st 1946, many of the major civilian and military leaders of Nazi Germany stood on trial in what was formally known as the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal. This trial took place in the town of Nuremberg, and the proceedings of those trials can be found on this website. These 42-volumes were digitized by the Library of Congress as part of their Military Legal Resources initiative, and visitors to the site can browse through any of these volumes at their leisure. While many of these volumes are in English, they also include transcripts in French and German. For students of international law or world history, this site and its contents will prove invaluable. [KMG]

How The Heart Works

Figuring out how the heart functions in a metaphorical sense can be an unending and highly metaphysical process (just ask John Donne), so its nice to find a place online where visitors can learn how the heart functions in a literal sense. This website was created by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and begins by answering the basic question: What is the Heart? After reading this short and informative piece of writing, visitors can meander through sections titled Anatomy, Contraction, Circulation, Electrical System, and Heart Disease. Each section provides a brief summary of each topic, complete with graphic illustrations and several digital animations. Its a well-constructed and user-friendly introduction to this important topic, and one that will be of use to those entering one of the health care professions, or those who are intrigued with various body systems. [KMG]

General Interest

City Mayors

Drawing on the expertise of a team of editors who reside in Britain, Germany, Spain, Mexico, France, and a number of other countries, the City Mayors organization is an international network of professionals working to promote strong cities and good local government. Their website takes on all of the important urban issues of the day, including governance, affordable housing, sustainable development, transportation, and a number of other pressing issues. On their homepage, visitors will find links to recent news stories from cities around the world and direct links to thematic sections such as business, finance, environment, and development. One section that should not be missed is the City Rankings area, which includes helpful lists of the largest cities in the world by land area, population and density, along with a list of the most expensive cities in the world. [KMG]

USGS: WaterWatch

The United States Geological Survey pays keen attention to a number of physical processes around the country, and they are no less vigilant in their efforts to study water resources. Visitors to this site will first notice the map of real-time streamflow activity right in the middle of the homepage. The data is organized into seven percentile classes that draw on historical data to illustrate how the current streamflow activity compares to activity in the past. Using a series of drop-down menus on the top allows users to look for current flood and drought watches and also access historical maps and graphs that offer some perspective on monthly streamflow. Finally, the site also contains a thorough explanation of streamflow data and how such data is compiled and analyzed. [KMG]

Through Our Parents Eyes [Quick Time, Real Player, pdf]

How does an institution help tell the story of the community it is located in? This type of endeavor can take many approaches, and the University of Arizona seems to have found a fantastic way to do so. Working with a variety of organizations and individuals throughout the greater Tucson and Southern Arizona community. Through Our Parents Eyes: History & Culture of Southern Arizona was started in the mid-1990s. The project was designed to bring together the diverse human experiences of the region by drawing on a wide range of documents, oral histories, historic images, and video clips. The project and this website feature a number of teaching resources, regional histories, and primary documents for use by anyone interested in the region. Some of these resources have been collected into thematic presentations, including Words & Place: Native Literature of the American Southwest and War Relocation Authority Camps in Arizona, 1942-1946. [KMG]

Nanotechnology and Nanoscience

The world of nanotechnology and its related applications is growing quickly, and there are a number of websites that are dedicated to keeping up with the developments in the field. This site falls into that very category, as it contains links to recent news stories about the field, coupled with a database containing nanotechnology-related links to universities, research labs and institutes, and associations. Those who might be new to the world of nanotechnology will want to browse on over to the Nanomaterials Introduction section. Here they will find short pieces on the significance of the nanoscale, nanomaterial science, and its current (and future) applications. The site also contains a career center, where interested persons can look over job opportunities in the industry. [KMG]


Understanding how various concepts and processes in physics can be an exasperating experience for students beginning to study the field, so finding sites like this one can be quite a delight. These Java-based applets were developed at Davidson University by Wolfgang Christian, and they are a real delight. First-time visitors may wish to read through the introduction on using these physlets, and then move on to look through the different sections on the site. In total, there are over 100 physlets here, and they include those that illustrate (or animate) such processes as linear momentum, elastic linear collisions, and the movement of sound waves. [KMG]

Business Writers Free Library

Writing letters or memos in the world of business is an acquired skill, and those beginning to learn about this process will appreciate this site, which was designed by the Authenticity Counseling Company. The helpful resources offered here are divided into several sections, including General Resources and Advice, Basic Writing Skills, and Basic Composition Skills. One other section is worth noting as well, and this is the section titled Some Types of Correspondence. This is perhaps the section most relevant to business writing practices, as it includes sample memos, meeting minutes, and procedures for composing effective business emails. Overall, the site is quite a find, and visitors will enjoy making multiple visits to make the most out of the material offered here. [KMG]

Basic Accounting Lesson Plans

Are balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements keeping you up at night? Well, beginning accounting students (or others with an interest in such matters) will appreciate these basic accounting lesson plans, provided courtesy of the website. The first section contains a number of lesson plans and worksheets that include topics such as the fundamental concepts of accounting, transaction analysis, accrual accounting and adjusting entries. Moving on, the site also contains a number of useful articles on various topics within the field, such as bookkeeping, ledgers, and profit and loss reports. The site is rounded out by a selection of helpful accounting textbooks that students may wish to look for as they continue their journey through the world of accounting. [KMG] - Articles & Tips, Food Photography, Education was created by Lisa Golden Schroeder, a veteran food stylist and writer, who recognized the need for a website where practicing food stylists and photographers could exchange techniques and advice, that would also provide information for those looking to enter this specialty within the food business. A few of the features at are reserved for members or available by subscription, such as the Tweezer Times, a bimonthly online magazine, but valuable information is available entirely free. For example, weekly tips ranging from how to make perfect chocolate curls to "green" food styling; interviews and links to portfolios of featured artists; FAQs about food styling; and listings of upcoming food styling events and educational opportunities. [DS]

Network Tools

Songbird 0.2.5

Birds come in many shapes and sizes, and this particularly lovely Songbird application can be customized in ways that arent currently possible with say, a robin or the common barn owl. This open source application is part digital jukebox, part web browse mash-up. It allows users to play just about any media file available, and users can also customize with two unique skins, which the makers of the application refer to as feathers. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 2000, 2003, and XP. [KMG]

SeaMonkey 1.1.1

Moving around the web just got a bit more interesting with the latest release of the web-browser, SeaMonkey 1.1.1. With this release, visitors can manage their images, newsgroups, and mail seamlessly and without a great deal of fuss. The application also includes a full-featured chat client and the ability to edit HTML. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.2 and newer or Windows 95, 98, 2000, and 2003, as well as Windows XP. [KMG]

In The News

Grand Canyon Glass Skywalk creates excitement and controversy

Glass platform opens up Grand Canyon chasm

Skywalk at Grand Canyon making its debut

Grand Canyon National Park [pdf]

Hualapai Tribe

ASU Libraries: Native Americans Online

Grand Canyon Skywalk [Macromedia Flash Player]

Over the millennia, the Grand Canyon has been the source of wonder and amazement as it was traversed first by indigenous people and a host of other individuals, including John Wesley Powell, who surveyed the area in 1869. This Tuesday saw the formal opening of a recent man-made addition to the rim of the Canyon that generated plenty of commentary and controversy months before it opened. The Grand Canyon Skywalk, which resembles a massive horseshoe, extends 70 feet beyond the canyons edge. The Las Vegas developer, David Jin, created this project. Visitors to the Skywalk who pay $25 will get to look down through glass panels to the canyon floor some 4000 feet below, which could be both exhilarating and frightening, depending one ones temperament and tolerance for heights. The Hualapai Indians, who have aggressively defended the Skywalk as a form of effective economic development, approved the Skywalk and Sheri Yellowhawk who has been overseeing the project commented, When we have so much poverty and so much unemployment, we have to do something. Other individuals and organizations have voiced strong concerns about the Skywalk, and Kieran Suckling, policy director for the Center for Biological Diversity is one of their number. In a recent interview, he commented The tribe has repeatedly brought tacky, gross commercial ventures into the canyon, and its inappropriate. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a well-written piece from Devika Bhat of the Times which comments on the opening of the Skywalk. The second link takes users to another piece on the Skywalk, offered courtesy of the Arizona Republic. Moving along, the third link leads to the very authoritative and informative National Park Service site dedicated to the natural history and geography of the Grand Canyon. The fourth link whisks users away to the Inter Tribal Council of Arizonas site on the Hualapai Tribe. The fifth link will take users to the Arizona State University Libraries Native Americans Online site. Here, visitors can look over an extensive set of links that lead to a variety of online resources, such as digital collections and such. The final link leads to the official homepage of the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which is available in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and English. [KMG]

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