The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 18

May 11, 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

Teaching Engineering [pdf]

Purdue University has one of the strongest schools of engineering in the United States, and they remain committed to providing new and interesting materials about the art and science of teaching engineering to their students. Professors Phillip C. Wankat and Frank S. Oreovicz recently created this very helpful textbook to aid engineering educators in the classroom, and it is exciting to see that it is available online here for free. Visitors can download the entire book, or they can just browse around through some of the seventeen chapters. These chapters include Problem Solving and Creativity, Lectures, and Learning Theories. Additionally, there are several helpful appendices, such as Obtaining an Academic Position and Sample Teaching Course Outline. Overall, its an exemplary resource, and one that will be most useful to engineering educators. These materials can be used in a variety of engineering courses, including those that deal with chemical and mechanical engineering. [KMG]

The Mathematical Association of America: Innovative Teaching Exchange

The Mathematical Association of America has developed the Innovative Teaching Exchange in order to facilitate the exchange of interesting and compelling teaching resources from a wide range of educators. As their site indicates, The intention is to encourage more experimentation with more methods than the traditional lecture/questions method. Currently, there are about a dozen articles available for consideration here, and they include titles such as Flowcharting Proofs, Engaging Students via In-Class Worksheets, and In Search of the Elusive Matrix. Each article contains information on how to use each exercise in the classroom, and these materials will hopefully inspire readers to submit their own classroom-tested modules or activities. [KMG]

European Commission: Public Opinion [pdf]

Some Scout Report readers might be wondering How do Europeans feel about the euro? or even What do Europeans think about the effectiveness of different energy policies? All of the answers to these questions (and many more) can be found on the European Commissions Public Opinion site. The site contains the results from surveys conducted with Europeans on their attitudes towards alcohol, the role of the European Union in formulating security policy, and a number of other topics. Visitors will definitely want to make their way to the Eurobarometer Interactive Search System, which allows them to choose a subject or country which is of interest to them. Visitors should also take a look at their very fine Qualitative Studies section, which includes reports such as The Future of Europe and Integrating Gender Mainstreaming into Employment Policies. Needless to say, summaries of the reports are available in a wide range of languages, including Dutch, German, Italian, and French. [KMG]

Online Historical Population Reports

Hosted by the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex, the Online Historical Population Reports comprise a rather impressive set of historical data that should be of interest to historians, demographers, and anyone with an inkling to learn more about various aspects of life in the British Isles from 1801 to 1937. All told, this online archive contains 200,000 pages of census and registration material. First-time visitors may wish to click on over to the Help section, as this area provides information about how to create an effective search and the use of various terms within each search. Along with the actual published census report and those on the registrar general, there are around 200 essays offered here authored by Edward Higgs and Matthew Woollard which cover topics like the cholera report of 1850 and the religious worship census of 1851. [KMG]

African-American Band Music and Recordings [Real Player]

By the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a number of African American musicians and bandleaders had garnered the attention of the music-going public, and names such as Eubie Blake and Scott Joplin remain familiar to this very day. This rather fine online collection offered by the Library of Congresss Performing Arts division brings together a number of so-called stock arrangements for bands or small orchestras written by African Americans during that period. Visitors to the site should start by reading one of the four informative essays offered here, and then search through the actual music. There are over 206 pieces of music here, including After the Cake Walk from 1901 and the 1905 number, Banana Man. Additionally, visitors can read any number of composer and bandleader biographies. [KMG]

The Center for International Earth Science Information Network [pdf]

The very productive Earth Institute at Columbia University has a number of centers within its ambit, including The Center for International Earth Science. Their specialty happens to be on-line data and information management, along with spatial data integration and training and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment. From their homepage, visitors can learn more about some of their programs and projects, which include Geoinformatics for Geochemistry and their collection of climate change resources for the New York metropolitan area. Most users will also want to take a look at the Educational Resources area, as it contains information sheets that provide overviews of their online data resources, which include a wetlands database and thematic guides to human dimensions of global environmental change. [KMG]

National Clearinghouse on Academic Worklife [pdf]

The world of higher education is very much in transition in the United States, and there has been a great deal of soul-searching and heated conversation regarding the increase in non-tenure track faculty, just to name one of many areas of pressing concern. A number of organizations and clearinghouses have been set up as of late to provide resources and commentary on these subjects, and the National Clearinghouse on Academic Worklife (NCAW) is one of them. Created in 2005, the NCAW is located at the University of Michigans Center for the Education of Women and they have created this online bibliographic record of materials that cover such subjects as benefits, tenure, career development, and business models in higher education. Visitors to the site can search the clearinghouse archive, or also look over the Features area, which includes recent additions to the NCAW database. Also, they may wish to suggest resources for inclusion in the database and sign up to receive the NCAW email newsletter. [KMG]

Silencing Genomes [Macromedia Flash Player]

While we may have complete genome sequences for humans and some animals, scientists are now entering the post genome era. The challenges of this era include determining the physiological functions of the thousands of new genes for which little is known beyond their sequences. The use of RNAi, along with bioinformatics, can provide scientists with the tools to determine these functions in living organisms. This interactive and informative site, created by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, allows visitors to learn about the ways in which RNAi functions. Visitors can make their way through the seven interactive features here, which include Inducing RNAi by Feeding and Creating an RNAi Feeding Strain. Additionally, the site has a Resources area which contains more materials on RNAi (such as interviews with scientists and such), along with videos of different strains in action. [KMG]

General Interest

40 + Years of Earth Science: The Landsat Program

A variety of man-made objects have been sent into outer space for decades, and as a very large and distinguished group, they have sent back important data. NASA has been at the forefront of these efforts here in the United States, and the Landsat Program has certainly been quite successful since its inception in the early 1970s. This website provides a wealth of information on the Landsat Program, and visitors can learn about its work in remote sensing. Visitors can use the right-hand side of the page to learn about different Landsat missions ranging from the original Landsat all the way up to Landsat Seven, which was launched in 1999. Each section contains information on Landsats orbit, its instruments, and its vital statistics. Finally, a Did You Know section provides some key facts about some of the accomplishments of the Landsat program. [KMG]

International Childrens Digital Library [pdf]

The mission of the International Childrens Digital Library is to have every culture and language represented so that every child can know and appreciate the riches of childrens literature from the world community. Its a lofty goal indeed, and by looking over their website, visitors will find that they are well on their way to achieving this goal. So far, they have placed hundreds of books online, and visitors can click on Read Books to check out the fruits of their labors. Here they will find a selection of featured books, along with a drop-down menu that lets users look for books in dozens of languages. Of course, visitors can also click on a range of thematic listings, such as real animal characters, picture books, and kid characters. Visitors can also learn how they can contribute to the ongoing work of the Library, and they may also wish to sign up for a free account while they are here. [KMG]

Napoleonic Period Collection

Napoleon Bonaparte never visited the part of North America that would later become Washington State, but he probably would have been intrigued by this online collection created by the good folks at the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collection project. This latest collection brings together 83 satirical drawings from the Napoleonic period, and there are a number of real gems amidst this visually arresting collection. As might be expected they all offer a variety of political commentary on various events during this period. The site includes information about the Napoleonic Era, complete with a nice timeline, and a comparison between the French and English drawings is included in this trove of visual ephemera. Finally, the site also contains a brief piece on the publishing scene of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, along with a very nice bibliography of additional resources. [KMG]

16th-20th Century Maps of Africa

In 1948, Melville J. Herskovits established the African Studies program at Northwestern University. It was the first of its kind at a major research university in the United States, and since its creation, it has also been actively involved with collecting historic maps of Africa. This particular online collection draws on this legacy of preservation and acquisition, and all told, it contains 113 antique maps of Africa dating from the middle of the sixteenth century to the early twentieth century. Visitors can utilize a search engine to look through the maps, or they may also browse by title, cartographer, or date. There are a number of real finds here, including Frederik de Wits 1708 map of North Africa (titled Barbaria) and an early map of Zanzibar from 1740. [KMG]

Las Vegas Architectural Guides and Collections

The Las Vegas Architectural Guides and Collections website is a fine collection of online resources created by the staff members at the architecture studies library at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The amount of material here is truly impressive, and it ranges from information on campus buildings to some recent mapping studies done on the famed Strip in Las Vegas. One highlight amidst all of this is the Architects and Buildings Database. Here, visitors can look up information on buildings in Las Vegas via their search engine, or they can browse through lists of architectural firms, architects, project types, and awards. [KMG]

Materials Engineering [pdf, Quick Time]

The Gateway Engineering Education Coalition consists of a group of universities that are concerned with providing high-quality educational resources in the field of engineering education. Their site contains a number of topical sections that deal with the different branches of this field. This particular section deals with educational resources in the area of materials engineering, and visitors will be glad to learn that there are interactive features here that cover the corrosion of metals, electrical conductivity, fracture mechanics, and ten additional topics. These materials can be used in the classroom to illustrate different principles and processes within materials engineering, and students may also wish to return to them as reference points during their studies. [KMG]

Bill Moyers Journal [Macromedia Flash Player]

Among the many fine names associated with public television, Bill Moyers is one that frequently comes up in conversation. Moyers recently decided to return to public television after a brief hiatus, and if this website is any indication, he appears to be back to stay for some time. The goal of this new show is to feature analysis of vital issues, strong interviews with unique voices on politics, the arts and letters, science, religion, and the media. Visitors to the site can listen and watch recent interviews from the program, take a look at the shows blog, and delve into complete transcripts. Finally, visitors can sign up to receive new podcasts from the program as soon as they are released. [KMG]

Oudry's Painted Menagerie [Macromedia Flash Player]

In 2001, the Getty Museum and the Staatliches Museum, Schwerin, Germany, began a collaborative project to restore two enormous paintings by French artist Jean-Baptiste Oudry (16861755). Each canvas is around 10 feet tall; Lion was painted in 1752, and Rhinoceros in 1749. Oudry was known as one of the finest animal painters in 18th century Europe, and was commissioned to paint life-size portraits of animals owned by Louis XV, the King of France. The online exhibition presents digital versions of the animals from the King's zoo, as well as highlights of the 4-year conservation process, including a 30-minute video. In addition, there is also a blog and the "Menagerie Madness" game where players are given 45 seconds to spot altered details by comparing two similar images. [DS]

Network Tools

Lepidopterology 3.1

Its pretty safe to say that if Nabokov were alive today, he might be a fan of this latest tiny widget. The widget is called the Widget, and for those with a love of butterflies, it will be considered an essential item. When properly installed, the widget will allow users to learn about the latest content from the site. This particular device is compatible with all computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

myWIFIzone Internet Access Blocker 4

Its important to remain vigilant about potential wifi freeloaders, as some persons will do anything to access an open network. This application will help users do just that, as it will prevent unscrupulous persons from accessing your Internet connection. This particular version will function properly with computers running Windows 2000 and XP. [KMG]

In The News

Famed budget travel guide celebrates fiftieth anniversary

Frommer brought Europe to everyone

Traveling with Frommer

Arthur Frommer on a Half-Century of Travel

Lonely Planet: Travel Stories


Fifty years ago, Americans traveling abroad in Europe wasnt anything new. Hemingway had done it with great panache thirty years prior with a host of literary companions. Even earlier, those with sufficient means would have embarked on their own version of the Grand Tour, complete with visits to prominent art collections and perhaps a moment of respite at Geneva. What changed in 1957 was that Arthur Frommer published his now famous Europe on 5 Dollars a Day for a new class of traveler, namely those who wished to travel on a modest budget. Frommer had first seen Europe in 1953 on his way to perform military service at a US base in Germany. As he found himself frequently traveling during his weekends off, he decided to put some of his thoughts on the subject of budget travel in a short guide. The book was immensely popular, and it provided inspiration (and practical advice) to those persons of average means who wished to see London, Paris, and Rome. In a recent interview, Frommer remarked that You go to a party nowadays and people say Shall I go to Miami or London? Shall I go to San Francisco or Shanghai? The whole emphasis has become international travel, which was not the case 50 years ago. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a recent piece in the San Jose Mercury News about the world of Frommers classic budget travel book, along with a few recent comments from the man himself. The second link will take users to another article from the Mercury News which offers some of the wit and wisdom from that first edition of Frommers Europe on 5 Dollars a Day. Moving on, the third link will take users to a podcast from the website which features an interview with Arthur Frommer and his daughter, Pauline Frommer. The fourth link leads to, which contains a trove of classic travel narratives and journals, including Charles Dickens Pictures from Italy, Oliver Wendell Holmes Our Hundred Days in Europe, and a number of musings from that unapologetic explorer and man about continents, Sir Richard Burton. The fifth link will whisk users away to the Lonely Planets online collection of travel stories, which feature dozens of compelling travel narratives, such as Barcelona By Bike and I (Almost) Ran Iran. The last link leads to the homepage of the Jetlag Travel Guides, which can accurately be described as funny parodies of the travel guidebook genre. The site includes samples from the actual books that may make readers wish that places like Molvania and Phaic Tan actually existed, or perhaps not. [KMG]

Below are the copyright statements to be included when reproducing annotations from The Scout Report.

The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format:

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

The paragraph below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing the entire report, in any format:

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.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the National Science Foundation.

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

Internet Scout Project Team
Max GrinnellEditor
Chanda HaldermanManaging Editor
Rachael BowerCo-Director
Edward AlmasyCo-Director
Debra ShapiroContributor
Andrea CoffinInternet Cataloger
Michael GrossheimSystem Administrator
Kyle MannaTechnical Specialist
Christopher SpoehrWeb Developer
David MayerWeb Site Designer

For information on additional contributors, see the Internet Scout Project staff page.