The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 14

April 13, 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

International Center for Tropical Agriculture [pdf]

From cassavas to papayas, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture is concerned with the viability of crops across the world. Specifically, their stated mission is to reduce hunger and poverty in the tropics through collaborative research that improves agricultural productivity and natural resource management. From their homepage, visitors can read press releases and statements about their most recent findings, and also look over timely documents such as Integrated Soil Fertility Management in the Tropics as well as their annual report. The Research section is another good place to wander around, as it contains reports on two of their primary areas of interest: agrobiodiversity and the interaction between people and agroecosystems. Finally, it is worth noting that many of the materials here are also available in Spanish. [KMG]

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development [pdf]

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development was started in 1987 by Professors Stephen Cornell and Joseph P. Kalt. The Projects primary goal is to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained, self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations. To accomplish this goal, the Project has sponsored a number of conferences and events, and as also offered advisory services to interested persons and tribal leaders. The Publications area is a good way to take a look at the fruits of their labors, as it includes the archives of the Joint Occasional Papers on Native Affairs and a variety of field reports, such as Renewing Beauty: Options for Navajo Land Management and Decision Making. [KMG]

PBS Teachers: Math [pdf]

PBS has developed a number of websites for educators, and their PBS Teachers site has received a number of accolades and high praise from diverse quarters. First-time visitors to the site may wish to first use the drop-down menus here to select a grade range and a topic that interests them. After doing so, a set of relevant materials will be offered to them, organized by topic and intended grade level. Also, visitors who sign up can customize their searches and sign up for reminders and newsletters. The site also provides definitions of the general topics, such as applied mathematics, discrete mathematics, and statistics. If visitors find themselves a bit overwhelmed, they can also just click on some of the Featured Educational Resources to get a feel for the materials contained within the sites archive. [KMG]

Structural Geology Resources [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

The Cutting Edge group at Carleton College has created a number of fine teaching resources for college-level instructors working across the geological sciences, and this website is no exception. This particular area of their larger site is primarily intended for educators who teach structural geology. As visitors scroll through the site, they will find thematic areas that include links to computer applications, geologic maps that can be used for instructional purposes, and specific classroom activities. Some of these activities include Using Field Lab Write-ups to Develop Observational and Critical Thinking Skills and Analysis of Sidewalk Fractures. Additionally, visitors can sign up for their listserv discussions and view presentations from different workshops they have conducted in the past. [KMG]

Portraits of Scientists: Increase Laphams Cartes-de-visites Collection

Increase Lapham came west to Wisconsin via New York and Kentucky in 1836, and he soon established himself as one of the states premier experts on the natural history of the Badger State. In fact, he was the states first scientist, and by the time he died in 1875, he had created the first accurate maps of the state, made investigations into local effigy mounds, and provided his services in a host of different ways to the betterment of Wisconsinites. During these years, he also maintained correspondence with the leading geologists, botanists and other scientists of his day. He kept an album of photographs of these individuals, and this forms the basis of this online collection offered by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Merely by browsing throughout the collection, visitors will be able to view images of noted geologist, Sir Charles Lyell, botanist Asa Gray, and Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz. The collection is rounded out by an essay on these cartes-de-visite and hyper-text links to some of Laphams seminal works, such as his 1855 book, The Antiquities of Wisconsin. [KMG]

US National Virtual Observatory

While obtaining astronomical data can be an expensive endeavor, locating this data online can be a time-consuming task. Fortunately, the US National Virtual Observatorys website makes that process much simpler. The Observatory and the website are funded the National Science Foundations Information Technology Research Program, and seventeen astronomy and computer science organizations in the US and Canada have been involved in its development. Most visitors will want to browse through the FAQ section, which gives specific details on what can be found here. Additionally, visitors will want to look over the Getting Started section, as it uses screenshots and annotations to lead users through the operation of five key applications that are available through the Observatory. [KMG]

Repairing the Economic Ladder: A Transformative Investment Strategy To Reduce Poverty and Expand Americas Middle Class [pdf]

How can the United States work to alleviate poverty and create work opportunities for its residents? This is by no means a simple problem, and this area of public policy was recently taken up by the United States Conference of Mayors. Under the direction of Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, the Conferences Taskforce on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity created this 28-page document. Released in January 2007, the document draws on the observations of mayors around the country and their colleagues. The report notes that there are a number of opportunities, such as the fact that the globalization of trade and commerce has spurred demand for highly skilled labor and accountability in the educational systems of large cities. The document also spells out three primary investment strategies for the short and long term, including making substantial investments in the life-long education and skills development of tomorrows workers. [KMG]

Bentley Historical Library [pdf]

Since 1935, the Bentley Historical Library has been providing interested parties with timely and insightful materials about both the history of the state of Michigan and the esteemed University of Michigan. Currently, the library includes more than 30,000 linear feet of archives and manuscripts, 60,000 printed volumes, and over one and a half million photographs. Those who might be planning a visit to use their collections may wish to start their browsing by looking through the Researcher Services area, which includes copious amounts of material on their holdings, their fellowship program, and their hours of operation. More casual users may wish to move along to the Digital Publications section, which includes articles and papers on the history of Ann Arbor, a searchable history of the University of Michigan, and a searchable full-text version of the Universitys Proceedings of the Board of Regents. The site is rounded out by a number of online exhibits, including a historical tour of campus and a special area that explores the long standing athletic rivalry between the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University. [KMG]

General Interest

Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal

Captain Pearl R. Nye was a man cut from a bit of different cloth, and his life and the music he loved so dearly are celebrated as part of this wonderful online collection created by the staff members of the Library of Congresss American Memory Project. Nye was born in 1872 and raised on a canal boat on the Ohio and Erie Canal. He was committed to preserving the songs and stories that were part of the Canals very essence, and this website features recordings of 75 songs sung by Nye. First-time visitors should look over the timeline of related events that span both Nyes personal history and that of the Canal. Then they can also read through the two informative essays offered here, including An Informant in Search of a Collector: Captain Pearl R. Nye of Ohio, authored by Rebecca B. Schroeder. Visitors should then listen to the songs, which include such ditties as Lord Vanifords Life and Mr. Frog. [KMG]

Campus Technology

Campus Technology is a print magazine that has been tracking changes in the ways technology is harnessed on college campuses for years, and their website complements the magazine quite nicely. Here, visitors can read through sections that address current news items related to campus technology, take a look at their latest newsletter, and read articles from the print edition. One section that is particularly useful for those in the world of information technology is the Resources area. Here, visitors can look over white papers on distance learning advances, and sign up to take part in webinars that deal with data protection, web-based classrooms, and digital authentication. Its a helpful website for anyone dealing with a host of technology-related issues in campus settings, and those who teach in college settings may also pick up a few technology tips for the classroom. [KMG]

Five Steps to Multimedia Reporting

Novice journalists who hope to follow in the footsteps of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite or even Maria Shriver may find themselves puzzled about how to start in the world of multimedia reporting. This lovely site, sponsored by the Knight Media Center, offers a number of tutorials that will help such persons learn about choosing a story, doing fieldwork, editing their piece, and even offer a few tips on shooting video. The site is divided into sections that provide tips on picking the right video camera for the assignment and those that give some useful information on the various audio recording devices that might come in handy. Students of multimedia journalism will want to let friends know about the site, and instructors working in this area can point students to this site as well. [KMG]

Two on Virginia Woolf

The International Virginia Woolf Society [pdf]
BBC Four: Virginia Woolf [Real Player]

During her life, Virginia Woolf distinguished herself through her novels and her excellent essays. She is counted as an important influence by many of todays preeminent writers, and there are a plethora of websites dedicated to her. The first website offered here leads to the homepage of the International Virginia Woolf Society, which is an allied organization of the Modern Language Association of America. On their site, visitors can learn about the events they sponsor, look over their annual bibliography of Woolf studies, and join up to receive the postings of the Virginia Woolf listserv. The next site is a real treat, as it leads to a seven minute excerpt of a radio feature recorded by the BBC in 1937. Here visitors can listen as Woolf gives a eulogy to words. Its rather delightful, and those with a passion for Woolf will enjoy both websites. [KMG]

National Youth Development Information Center

The National Youth Development Information Center (NYDIC) was created with generous support from the John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, and a number of other charitable organizations. The site is designed to function as a place for youth workers to look through information on funding, programming, research, policy, and job training opportunities. These materials are divided into sections that include Funding, Programming, and Policy & Advocacy.
The Funding section is quite well-developed, and interested parties can scroll through a list of available grants that include those that deal with crime prevention, youth education, and teen driver safety. The Staffing & Training section is a great resource for individuals who may be looking for a new position, as it features jobs in the field of youth development from across the country. [KMG]

Free Online Broadcast & New Media Courses

The BBC has provided various distance-learning opportunities for listeners for decades, and this set of online materials reaches across the globe to provide anyone with an Internet connection a set of multimedia training exercises and tutorials. These particular guides and modules were originally designed for in-house use with BBC staff, and few editorial changes have been made in the interim. Visitors can browse through such sections as Television, Radio, Broadcast Technology, and Journalism. While some of the materials can bit a bit technical, there are many that provide basic operating procedures on creating effective radio interviews and editing existing video segments. Overall, its a fine site, and students and educators will benefit from the sage advice contained within these various teaching documents. [KMG]

The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century

The field of geography is undergoing something of a renaissance, and more and more schools are including it in their basic curriculum. Educators (and the generally curious) will be delighted to learn about this informative series created by the Cambridge Studios in 2003. It has since made its way online to the Annenberg Media website, and it can be viewed in its entirety here. The series includes academic commentary from various scholars, maps, illustrative animations, and it covers a wide range of topics. Some of the individual episodes include The Transforming Industrial Heartland, Global Interaction, and Ethnic Fragmentation in Canada. Visitors can watch any of these twenty-six episodes after completing a free online registration form, and they can also look at a separate website created just for this particular program. [KMG]

Yiddish Sheet Music

The Center for Digital Initiatives at Brown University has produced a number of excellent digital collections over the past years, including strong collections of digitized sheet music. The Yiddish Sheet Music collection continues in that tradition by offering a wide range of pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors can browse the collection by creator, title or even thumbnail images of the first page of each piece of music. The collection offers an inside glimpse into the world of Yiddish music that dominated many a stage in places like the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and for persons with an interest in cultural history or ethnomusicology, this site is a real find. [KMG]

Network Tools

Yahoo Widgets 4

Some readers may be wondering: What can widgets do for me? These little tools have come a long way from their days as fictional products used in business school textbooks, and they are generating a great deal of attention on computer desktop settings. Yahoo has developed a number of new and helpful widgets and placed them on this site. Visitors can look over widgets that display a full year calendar in one column, streaming television, and countless news feeds. Visitors can also browse various widget categories, including System Utilities, Cam Viewers, and Search Tools. These widgets can be used with computers running Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. [KMG]

MagiCal 1.09

With its elegant and simple design, MagiCal 1.09 is at once both a menu-based clock and a calendar. As the permutations it affords for displaying how time and date are displayed range in the thousands, visitors can tinker with this application to their hearts content. This version is compatible with all computers running Max OS X 10.3. [KMG]

In The News

Code of conduct proposed for blogs

Web pioneers say code of conduct needed to clean up manners online

Bloggers disinclined toward suggestion of Net civility

Bloggers code of conduct

Blog 100


Electronic Frontier Foundation: Legal Guide for Bloggers

Internet Scout Project Weblog

The modern blog evolved from the online diary, and reasonable estimates of the number of blogs approximate that there are over 60 million blogs. While most of the discourse and commentary on blogs remains civil, there have been a number of recent events that have caused some to wonder whether there should be an official blogging code of conduct. This past Sunday, Tim OReilly who is both a conference promoter and a primary figure in the Web 2.0 world posted some initial suggestions for just such a code. Of course, shortly after Reilly posted these suggestions, there was a veritable snowstorm of responses posted within the blogosphere, some of which were quite vitriolic, and others which were a bit more detached, but still upset. Jeff Jarvis, a professor at City University (and an active blogger), responded after hearing about this proposal by stating Im rather resentful of someone who has the temerity to tell me how they think I should behave. Some of Reillys initial suggestions included banning anonymous comments, and he also called on bloggers to not post material that harasses others or is knowingly false. Not surprisingly, Reillys own blog was quickly filled with a variety of comments, including one user who quoted Benjamin Franklin and another who referenced the Council of Nicea and its attempt to reform the Christian church in the 4th century. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to an insightful piece about this proposed code of conduct offered in this Tuesdays online edition of the Scotsman. On a related note, the second link leads to a fine piece by the San Francisco Chronicles Verne Kopytoff on the reaction of bloggers to this proposed code. The third link whisks users away to the proposed code of conduct, which is referenced as a starting point for discussion on the whole matter. Given the sheer number of blogs, the fourth link will be most welcome. It is a listing of the top 100 blogs as determined by CNET, complete with a smattering of recent posts. The fifth link leads to the very compelling blog of Jeff Jarvis, who is the director of the interactive journalism program at the City University of New Yorks Graduate School of Journalism. The sixth link is definitely worth a visit, as it contains a number of helpful sections on the legal liability of bloggers, and a FAQ on both intellectual property and defamation. Finally, the last link leads to our very own blog here at the Internet Scout Project. [KMG]

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From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2007.

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Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2007. 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

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