The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 19

May 18, 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

Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular [Macromedia Flash Player]

A number of electronic journals talk about being truly dynamic, but this very fine offering from the University of Southern Californias School of Cinema and Television lives up to that billing in fine form. The journals intent is to propose a thorough rethinking of the dynamic relationship of form to content in academic research, focusing on ways technology shapes, transforms, and reconfigures social and cultural relations. Visitors can start by drawing their own vector, and then clicking their way into the latest issue of the journal. Each article is more accurately titled a project, and after reading a bit about each author and some background on their project, visitors can then enter each visually dynamic project at their leisure. Some of the recent project titles include Unmarked Planes and Hidden Geographies and Public Secrets. Additionally, visitors can take part in online forums and also browse through the journals archive. [KMG]

Sound Junction [Macromedia Flash Player, Shock Wave]

Its hard to learn about music without listening to it closely, and this multimedia website created by a group of organizations in Britain (including the Royal Academy of Music), provides a surfeit of music from all genres. Through interactive games, musical excerpts, interviews, and other such devices, the SoundJunction site is a great way for anyone to learn about music. A good place to start is the What can I do on SoundJunction? overview feature, which walks users through the layout of the site. After that, visitors may wish to look at the left-hand side of the homepage and click on through such areas as Explore Music, How Music Works, Music in Context, and Composing and remixing. For budding Beethovens, there is the Composer Tool, which allows users to create their own music. Music educators and those who are just generally curious will find that this site merits numerous return visits, and it may prove to be quite habit-forming, in the best possible sense of the phrase. [KMG]

United States Military Academy Digital Library [Windows Media Player]

The United States Military Academy Library is the oldest federal library in the United States. Recently, they have placed hundreds of rare items online on their very well-organized site. The site includes over twenty thematic collections, and visitors can also browse the collection by document type, such as books, manuscripts, maps, and photographs. There are some real gems here including an eighteen-minute silent movie on Army football, a collection of college yearbooks from the academy (the yearbook is appropriately named the Howitzer), and audio lectures from the West Point Distinguished Lecture Series. Finally, the site also includes 40 Civil War maps and a 21-minute film titled, The MacArthur Story. [KMG]

We All Use Math Everyday [pdf]

Whether we find ourselves counting change at the grocery store or figuring out how much the price of gas has gone up in the past several weeks, it is certainly true that we all use math everyday. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in collaboration with Texas Instruments, has created this site to bring together a number of resources for mathematics educators and those with a growing interest in fractions, exponents, and other such matters. Each activity has a fun title, and while there isnt a search engine, visitors will find it interesting to look through the different activities for something that meets their needs. [KMG]

Share the Perspective of Genius: Leonardos Study for the Adoration of the Magi [Macromedia Flash Player]

Some have called Leonardo da Vinci a polymath, while others have simply called him a genius. His prodigious output over his life included conceptual drawings of what appears to have been an early helicopter, hundreds of other detailed drawings, and a fairly well-known painting that resides in Milan. Recently, the Library of Congress and the Uffizi Gallery collaborated to bring da Vincis 1481 study for the Adoration of the Magi to the United States. Regrettably, the work only stayed there for several days, but the Library of Congress created this lovely online feature that allows visitors to examine this work up close. First-time visitors should start by reading an introductory essay on the work, and then they can make their way into the Flash-enabled feature which walks them around the various nuances and details of this study. The site is rounded out by a link to a film from the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence that talks about the creative process that led to this work of art. [KMG]

Institute of Development Studies [pdf] (Last Reviewed in the Scout Report on September 9, 1999)

Created in 1966, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is housed at the University of Sussex. Their primary interest is in the field of international development, and along with offering a variety of degree programs; they also maintain a rigorous and broad research agenda. Visitors to the site can look over information on their research teams, and they should also examine the Research Gateway in close detail. Here they can explore a variety of topical sections (such as climate change and gender) and look over the latest research reports, working papers, and other documents for each topic. Within each section, visitors can also look at news updates from a wide range of sources, and also look over key documents and discussion forums. Finally, visitors can also subscribe to Yellow Monday, which is the weekly newsletter about the IDS. [KMG]

Kitchen Chemistry [pdf]

There is a great deal of chemistry going on in every kitchen, even though most cooks may not be cognizant of the various interactions going on in the pot, wok, or oven. MITs popular OpenCourseWare Initiative has recently made the contents of Dr. Patricia Christies course on kitchen chemistry available on this site. Visitors to the site can download the syllabus, take in some assigned readings (and recipes), and look over the assignments. The assignments include investigations that involve emulsifiers, ice cream, peer teaching, and pancakes, among other things. The site also includes links to helpful readings, such as those on chocolate, the health benefits of capsicum, and the world of gluten. For people who wish to bring back the frayed connective tissue between chemistry and the culinary arts, this site is absolutely essential. [KMG]

National Heath Lung and Blood Institute: Information for Health Professionals [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

Health care professionals and educators will be delighted to learn about this site, provided that they havent heard about it already. Created by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, this site brings together a number of interactive tools and online resources that will be of great use to those in these fields. The site includes such materials as asthma mortality maps of the United States, BMI calculators, and a variety of other health assessment tools, such as menu planners and a ten-year heart attack risk calculator. Additionally, the site contains slide shows and downloadable slide sets on asthma, cholesterol, and high blood pressure that can be used by health care educators. [KMG]

General Interest

The Middle East in Early Prints and Photographs

The New York Public Library has plenty of material on the Middle East, and in fact, they have created this very fine digital collection which brings together early prints and photographs of the region. With over 8800 items online, the collection contains engravings, lithographs, and salt prints, along with a number of complete photograph albums and archival compilations. Visitors can perform a general search of these materials, and they may also wish to read the background essay offered here as well. Clicking on the Collection Contents section will bring up a list of the works that make up the digital collection, which include Francis Friths 1862 work, Upper Egypt and Ethiopia and an ordnance survey executed by Colonel Sir Henry James in 1865. [KMG]

Two on Wagner

Wagner and his Operas [Quick Time]
The Ring in A Day [Real Player]

In September 1876, Karl Marx found the time to complain in a letter to his daughter Jenny: Wherever one goes these days one is pestered with the question: What do you think of Wagner? In his life, Richard Wagner was the subject of great discussion and admiration, and his works remain immensely popular today. Taken together, these two sites represent a nice introduction to both the man and his body of work, and visitors will enjoy visiting both of them. The first site is maintained by Wagner enthusiast Vincent Vargas, and here visitors can learn about various productions of Wagners operas, his life, and also get a glimpse into the world of famous Wagnerians throughout history, including Herbert von Karajan and Birgit Nilsson. Of course, visitors can also listen to sound clips from some of their performances as well. The second site was created by the BBC and it provides some basic information about Wagners Ring Cycle, complete with plot synopses and material on the various leitmotifs utilized throughout these works. Visitors can also listen to an interview with conductor Daniel Barenboim about his involvement with his production of the Ring. [KMG]

American Association of University Women [pdf]

Founded in 1881, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been advocating on behalf of its members for over 125 years. Their work has included developing voter education programs, diversity initiatives in higher education, and hosting the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. To get some sense of the AAUWs history, visitors may wish to visit their Online Museum area, which covers some of their accomplishments over the years. Most visitors will want to visit their Research area as well, as it contains links to the full-text of reports like Behind the Pay Gap and Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus. Moving on, the Fellowships, Grants, and Awards section provides links to a wide range of scholarship opportunities and grants sponsored by the AAUW. The site is rounded out by their Community Programs area, which includes information on the National Girls Collaborative Project and their leadership development programs. [KMG]

University of Wisconsin Energy Institute [Windows Media Player, Real Player]

The University of Wisconsin consistently ranks among the top university recipients of Department of Energy research funding, and their interdisciplinary work brings together faculty researchers and other scientists from engineering, chemistry, life sciences, and other related disciplines. Their Energy Institute website provides timely and compelling information about some of their work, along with offering archived webcasts and audio features from their various lecture series and presentations. A good way to get a sense of these presentations is by clicking on the Events tab and looking through their recent lectures and talks, which in the past have included Geothermal 101, Beyond Ethanol, and The Future Landscape of Geofuels. Visitors will also want to look at their outreach programs, which include information on the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute and The Midwest Rural Energy Council. [KMG]

Guardian Unlimited Podcasts [iTunes]

Manchester, England has given the world many things, including parts of the Industrial Revolution, their famous soccer team, and of course, the Guardian newspaper. The Guardian has distinguished itself over the years with its breadth of reporting, and they were also one of the first newspapers in the United Kingdom to offer podcasts. This website brings together all of their podcasts in one convenient location, and visitors will enjoy looking over the different thematic areas, which include Science Weekly, Media Talk, Bookclub, and Guardian Weekly. Programs in the past have included pieces on John Donne, investigations into the workings of British politics, and overviews of the current theater scene. Overall, its a nice way to stay abreast of important events going on in both the United Kingdom and the world. [KMG]

Reproductive Health [pdf]

BioMed Central contains hundreds of important online journals in its archives, and Reproductive Health is certainly one that visitors will want to look over when they have a few moments. Reproductive Health is the official journal of the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research, and was started in June 2004. It covers all aspects of human reproduction, and recent pieces have dealt with cervical cancer, maternity care, and other related topics. Visitors can view the ten most accessed articles from the journal, sign up to receive an RSS feed of the latest articles, and also email articles to friends and colleagues. For those who might be interested in submitting an article for consideration, they can also do that via this site. [KMG]

Sea Your History [pdf]

This website was created through a partnership between the Royal Naval Museum and other partners in Britain, and it gives a nice portrait of the British Navys history throughout the twentieth century. The site is divided into several primary sections, including The Navys People, The Navy at Home and Abroad, and Conflict and Change. The Navys People will delight first-time visitors, as they can learn about the incorporation of women into the Navy in the 1990s and the role of discipline and punishment in the modern Navy. The Oral History Gallery is quite nice as well, and visitors can listen to soldiers talking about their work onboard and the changing role of technology in their daily experiences on different military vessels. [KMG]

Edward Hopper: The Artist [Macromedia Flash Player]

The exhibition web site for Edward Hopper, from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, features a slideshow of a dozen of Hopper's paintings, and a digital version of one of the artist's sketchbooks. Some Hopper paintings, for instance Nighthawks, 1942, have been reproduced so many times and in so many formats - posters, prints, t-shirts, coffee mugs - that they have become iconic and these are included in the slideshow. The sketchbook offers a more uncommon glimpse of Hopper's work: the pencil studies that led to his paintings, meticulously annotated by his wife, Josephine Nivison Hopper, his only female model. Another plus of the sketchbook is the ability to turn the pages online, and zoom in on details. [DS]

Network Tools

Pidgin 2.0

With a logo that resembles a purple version of a certain urban-dwelling bird, the Pidgin messaging client is a great find amidst all of the sometimes bland options in this area. Pidgin 2.0 allows visitors the ability to streamline different messaging services into one device, and it works with services offered by Yahoo!, MSN, and Google Talk (among others). As with most other programs, visitors can transfer files, check their spelling, and engage in tabbed conversations. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP. [KMG]

PhpWebGallery 1.7.0

If you have taken hundreds (or thousands), of digital photos as of late, you will want to take a look at this latest version of PhpWebGallery. Visitors can place their photographs online with this application, and also filter their collection by tags, start a slideshow, and even let users subscribe to an RSS feed to get the latest images. The program comes with good documentation, and visitors should also check out their wiki and their various forums. This version is compatible with all computers. [KMG]

In The News

Death of honeybees continues to baffle scientists

Surging honeybee deaths creating a buzz

Mysterious disorder puts S.D. bees at risk

Queen Bees-In Hive or Castle, Duty Without Power

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

Youve saved whales and dolphins-now save the bees

Nature: Bee Anatomy [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Beekeeping Portal

Apiarists throughout the United States and the rest of the world have been asking one pressing question over the past several months: What is killing millions of honeybees? A number of theories have been proposed as of late, and the mysterious ailment known as colony collapse disorder is something that is puzzling both entomologists and those who derive their livelihood from honeybee-related activities. Bees have been leaving the hive and never returning, so researchers cant perform necropsies in many cases. While some people may just associate honeybees with their most popular product, namely honey, these tiny creatures are also responsible for pollinating over ninety different crops, including almonds, apples, cranberries, watermelon, and cucumbers. One potential explanation that has been advanced is that extensive radiation from mobile phones could be interfering with bees navigation systems. An apiarist in South Dakota, Brad Folsand, remarked that You always lose a few, maybe 10 percent or something like that. But there are guys who have lost 90 percent in some places. Apiculturists from the University of Illinois to the University of California, Davis are continuing to research this vexing situation, and it is hoped that they will be able to get the bottom of the situation in the near future. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a piece from this Tuesdays News-Herald about the difficult situation faced by beekeepers in northeast Ohio. Moving along, the second link leads to a similar story from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. The third link will take users to a nice piece of science reporting from this Tuesdays New York Times about the world of the queen bee. The forth link leads to an article from the Independent which talks about the potential link between these recent honeybee deaths and mobile phones. The fifth link leads to a passionate editorial from the Nashua Telegraphs own Mike Morin about the importance of saving the honeybee population. The sixth link leads to a great interactive feature from the Nature program that provides details about the bees anatomy, from the stinger all the way up to the antennae. Finally, the last link leads to the very exhaustive and interesting Virtual Beekeeping Gallery, which contains information on bee-keeping equipment, related associations, laboratories, and so on. [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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