The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 16

April 27, 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

Green Atlas

Based in New York, the people behind the Green Atlas have been going green since 1995. The Green Map system is an adaptable framework for charting nature and culture in hometown environments. Recently, they published the Green Map Atlas, and now visitors can access the entire publication on this site. The Atlas includes maps of Jakarta, Kyoto, New York, Milwaukee, Toronto, and six other areas around the world. Visitors will find all types of interesting information on each of these maps, including the locations of community gardens, green spaces, bike trails, and other environmentally-friendly aspects of the built environment. Its certainly a novel and new way to think about communities, and these maps could also be used in courses on environmental science or urban planning. [KMG]

Futurelab [pdf]

Based in Britain, Futurelab is primarily interested in developing innovative learning resources and practices that support new approaches to education for the 21st century. Working in tandem with government and industry groups, they have created a wide range of resources for people interested in bringing new technologies to the classroom. Most of these materials are contained within the Showcase and Research sections of the site. In the Showcase area, visitors can learn about their more recent projects, which include a mobile-phone based activity that teaches young people about physics and La Piazza, which focuses on intergenerational learning in public places through the use of technology. Moving along, the Research area includes literature reviews and their Innovation report series, which includes such titles that address the role of technology in preschools and the developing field of emotion technology. [KMG]

International Polar Year [pdf]

During the International Polar Year, which started in March 2007 and runs through March 2009, a team of thousands of scientists from 60 nations will be examining a wide range of physical, biological, and social research topics that deal with the Arctic and the Antarctic. The project is sponsored by a number of organizations, including the World Meteorological Organization and the International Council for Science. Visitors to their homepage will find that they can look over such thematic sections as Atmosphere, Ice, Land, Oceans, and so on. Within each of these sections, visitors can look over news items, events, blog listings, and of course, a set of links and resources. Educators should not pass up the Educators area, as it contains a selection of classroom tested activities and links to the International Polar Year Youth portal which is designed for both students and educators. [KMG]

MFA Boston: Interactive Tours [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has always put forth a top-notch effort when it comes to their online exhibits for touring shows, and recently they have revamped many of their in-house online exhibits, and the results are well worth looking at. On this page, visitors can view collection highlights from their African, Ancient Near Eastern, and Etruscan holdings, as well as other thematic areas. Each online collection allows visitors to take a close look via a zoom feature and read about each works details, such as particulars about materials used in its creation and its dimensions. Visitors looking for a place to start should look over the Watercolors by Homer collection and the Musical Instruments audio tour. As if that wasnt enough great material, the site also has a number of thematic online exhibits, including ones that cover American history, Boston, florals, and portraiture. [KMG]

Journal of Statistics Education [pdf] (Last reviewed in the Scout Report on July 19, 2002)

Published since 1993, the Journal of Statistics Education (JSE) is a publication of the American Statistical Association. Given the wide range of material found within its pages (both virtual and print), it can truly be considered one of the most important resources available for those who wish to make the world of statistics lucid for their students and others. Visitors can wander through the current issue and view full-length peer-reviewed articles and also check out some of their departments, which include Teaching Bits and Datasets and Stories. Recent articles have included Critical Values and Transforming Data: Teaching Statistics with Social Justice and Probability in Action: The Red Traffic Light. Those who feel up to the challenge may wish to contact the editors and submit their own work for inclusion in a forthcoming volume, or just to send along suggestions and comments. [KMG]

Exploring Magnetism on Earth [pdf]

Understanding the power of magnetism on Earth isnt always easy, and students and teachers alike will be glad to find out about this handy guide to the subject. Created by experts at NASA, this 15-page teachers guide was designed in partnership with other educators at Berkeley as well as several other participating institutions. The guide contains problems which examine Earths changing magnetic field in time and space, and how these changes can impact navigation on Earths surface. In terms of specific activities, the guide includes exercises on navigating the earth with a compass, the declining magnetic field, and the reversal of magnetic polarity. Each of these activities is explained in detail, and they all include relevant illustrations, graphs, questions, and an answer key. [KMG]

Northwest Center for Sustainable Resources [pdf]

Drawing on material support from the National Science Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges, and Chemeketa Community College this site provides access to a number of instructional items for those who are teaching classes about the world of sustainable resources. As one might guess, the Instructional and Educational Materials is a fine place to start. This area has complete course materials for such subject as environmental ethics, aquatic field and lab methods, environmental science, and principles of wildlife conservation. There are also a number of instructional modules, such as those that teach students how to evaluate media coverage of an environmental issue and the impact of land use on water quality. The site is rounded out by a listing of community colleges that offer programs in various natural resource disciplines. [KMG]

PSU Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization [pdf]

As part of a collaborative effort between the National Science Foundation and a number of other institutions, the Penn State Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization is designed to incorporate nanotechnology into all levels of education and into industry applications. The materials on the site are divided into sections such as Education, Industry, News, and Resources. A good place to start is the Education area, as it contains information on different outreach programs, and most importantly a set of educational tools. These tools include video segments on various aspects of nanotechnology and a Flash-based introduction to nanoscale properties that can be used in the classroom. Visitors can also sign up to receive their bi-monthly bulletin as well. Finally, the site also includes information about upcoming workshops and conferences that may be of interest to educators and people in the nanotechnology industry. [KMG]

General Interest

Smithsonian Jazz [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf, Real Player]

National and International Jazz Appreciation Month happens to be April, but this shouldnt stop visitors from celebrating the richness of this form of musical expression during any of the other eleven months of the calendar. The Smithsonian Jazz initiative has created this very fine website that brings together oral histories from jazz greats such as Artie Shaw, information about the Smithsonians own Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and a very fun This Day in Jazz History feature. Amidst all these gems, the interactive exhibit on the very real and enduring musical brilliance of the late Duke Ellington should be looked at in close detail. Here, visitors can listen to clips of some of his musical compositions, and learn about his work as a composer, bandleader, and pianist. [KMG]

National Academy of Sciences: Webcast Archive [iTunes]

With their numerous publications, working papers, and other research materials, the National Academy of Sciences contributes mightily to the vast body of scientific research that grows with each passing day. Their Office of News and Public Information is responsible for assisting in the dissemination of these findings through public briefings, news conferences, and other meetings. Many of these events have been placed online here as part of their webcast archive, and visitors can listen to material from 1999 to the present. Some of the recent events posted to the archive deal with the importance of second-language acquisition, progress in preventing childhood obesity, and the future of emergency care. Additionally, visitors can click on the link to the Offices homepage to learn more about upcoming webcasts and to read recent press releases. [KMG]

Not Just A Number [Macromedia Flash Player]

Along with cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore, Oakland has struggled with an outbreak of homicides in the past year, and many residents remain frustrated and troubled about this situation. Bringing together a set of video interviews, online message boards, and stories from different people affected by the violence, this interactive site was created by staff members at the Oakland Tribune. Visitors will get the chance to learn about one mans struggle to come to terms with his sons involvement with gang violence, another womans mission to help others who have dealt with the murder of a loved one, and the ripple affect of a single homicide. Overall, the site presents an interesting and multidimensional portrait of the ongoing struggle in Oakland, while also providing a human and personal perspective to this difficult subject. [KMG]

Computer Graphic News

The world of computers graphics is a fast-moving one indeed, and for those in this line of work (and those who would like to be), the Computer Graphic News website is a good place to go for the latest developments in the field. Starting with the News area, visitors will find stories about innovative film trailers and the ongoing work of innovative graphic studios around the world. The Features area primarily contains interesting interviews with computer graphic designers and their work on films, cartoons, and other media. The Reviews area looks at the use of different design packages and their application in films such as Spiderman Returns, Charlottes Web, and others. Finally, the site also offers a job board and different training events and seminars. [KMG]

World Health Organization: The Department of Gender, Women and Health [pdf]

The World Health Organizations Department of Gender, Women and Health (GWH) brings attention to the ways in which biological and social differences between women and men affect health and the steps needed to achieve health equity. On their homepage, visitors can look at the right-hand side to get quick information about upcoming events sponsored by the GWH, read their monthly update, and also click on a link that will take them to the latest publications from the GWH team. On the left-hand side of the page, visitors can learn more about some of their specific areas of interest, including work on gender-based violence, gender and HIV/AIDS, and gender mainstreaming. Additionally, the Gender and other health topics area includes information sheets on gender and blindness, gender and mental health, as well as many other topics. [KMG]

Workshop of the World [Macromedia Flash Player]

The West Midlands region of England has been an important center of commerce and industry for well over five hundred years. The city of Coventry was a dominant center of wool and clothing manufacturing in the Middle Ages, and Birmingham was a prime location of industry during the Industrial Revolution. Drawing on the collections of museums in Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent (and others), the Workshop of the World website brings together some of the compelling inventions that came out of the West Midlands region in the 19th century. Visitors can look over several dozen of these inventions, including an automatic wood screw making machine, a button shank making device, and a rotative steam engine. Each object is accompanied by a photo or illustration, and a short essay gives detailed background information about the objects importance and use. [KMG]

The Sir Henry Dryden Collection

Like many of his peers who were "to the manor born", Sir Henry Dryden was a 19th century Brit who was fascinated with archaeology and the world of antiquity. Before his death in 1899, he produced thousands of architectural and archaeological drawings based on the things he saw and studied during his travels around Britain and Europe. Recently, a consortium of institutions including the University College Northampton digitized a number of Drydens drawings, and subsequently placed them online here. Visitors can browse the materials by date, or by topics that include archaeology, arms and armor, and church architecture. The heraldry area within arms and armor is worth a look, as it contains some highly detailed renderings of various coats of arms and heraldic shields. Overall, the collection provides an interesting look into one mans passion for the built environment and the world of 19th century Britain. [KMG]

On the Cutting Edge: Contemporary Japanese Prints from the 50th College Womens Association of Japan Print Show

On this web site from the Library of Congress, over 200 modern Japanese prints, known as hanga, are on display. The prints were collected by the College Womens Association of Japan (CWAJ) for a juried exhibition to celebrate the Association's 50th anniversary, and have been donated by the CWAJ to the Library of Congress. The prints in the show run the gamut from figural, such as "White Clover" by Yasuko Enjyoji, to abstract, such as Hidehiko Gotou's "Another Night", an image that recalls Georgia O'Keefe. Although most of the prints were created since 2003, there are some that look quite traditional, for example, "Nanzenji in Snow" by Masao Ido - a woodblock print showing village roof lines in the snow; as well as other examples that apply traditional techniques to non-traditional subjects such as Masahiro Kurita's "Night at the Train Station I" - a woodcut depicting commuter rail station. [DS]

Network Tools

Orbit Downloader 1.5.4

Looking for a faster way to download large research papers or massive audio file? Well, both situations can be addressed by utilizing Orbit Downloader 1.5.4. This application is a download manager that helps facilitate downloads of just about every type of media, and it can also be used to resume broken or interrupted downloads. This particular version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

Wikyblog 1.4.9

A number of people have been intimately involved in blending the worlds of the wiki and the blog together into one efficient and engaging application, and Wikyblog is one of the very fine results of those ruminations. Designed as a piece of open source software, Wikyblog allows users to create their own different data types, and to arrange various fields and variables as they see fit. Visitors can download this software, and also take advantage of the how-to section offered on the Wikyblog homepage. This version is compatible with all computers. [KMG]

In The News

David Halberstam, American journalist and author, passes away

Journalist chronicled the culture of America,0,3800317.story?coll=bal-news-nation

David Halberstam: A Teller of Hard Truths

Poynter Online: How David Halberstam Changed My Life

NPR: A Reporters Memories of Writer David Halberstam [Real Player]

Nashville was my graduate school

American Writers: David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan & The Vietnam War Writers [Real Player

Mass Humanities: David Halberstam Interview

In the early 1960s, a number of journalists began to document the changing and shifting values of American culture, and David Halberstam was right there at the forefront of this important movement. Halberstam passed away this past Monday as the result of injuries he sustained during a car crash in the city of Menlo Park, California. True to his dedication to reporting, Halberstam was on his way to interview Y.A. Tittle, who played football for the New York Giants in the 1950s. Halberstam cut his teeth as the managing editor of The Harvard Crimson as an undergraduate, and then he moved on to write about the early years of the civil-rights movement for both the West Point Daily Times Leader and later for The Nashville Tennessean. He later went on to report on the war in Vietnam, and in 1964 he shared in a Pulitzer Prize with his colleagues at the New York Times. He went on to write over twenty books which explored the 1950s, the world of Michael Jordan (and by extension, the world of professional basketball), and perhaps his most well known work, The Best and the Brightest. Perhaps Orville Schell, the dean of Berkeleys graduate school of journalism, said it best when he was asked how he felt about Halberstams sudden death, and remarked that: What can one say? The fragility of life sometimes just intrudes with a kind of savageness. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to an excellent obituary of Halberstam written by the Baltimore Suns own Larry Williams. The second link leads to a piece from Newsweek written by Evan Thomas who remembers his own encounters with Halberstams work and sphere of influence. The third link will take visitors to another touching piece from the Poynter Institutes David Shedden on his experiences with Halberstam as a source of inspiration. The fourth link leads to an interview from NPRs All Things Considered with his friend, colleague, and fellow writer, Neil Sheehan. Moving along, the fifth link leads to Halberstams memories of his time as a reporter for the Nashville Tennessean. The sixth link leads to a marvelous two-hour program featuring Halberstam and Neil Sheehan as they talk about their writings on the Vietnam War. Finally, the last link leads to an insightful interview conducted with Halberstam in 2004 for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. [KMG]

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