The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 23

June 15, 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

State of the Salmon [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Salmon, like many other species of fish, know no political boundaries. In effect, this makes it hard for humans to craft detailed and meaningful policies for the survival and health of these important creatures. The State of the Salmon is an international consortium that is dedicated to improving understanding of salmon status and trends across the North Pacificand building a knowledge network that can inform salmon conservation and management decisions in the future. Given this broad range of cooperation, visitors will not be surprised to find that much of the material featured on the site is available in Russian, English, and Chinese. The materials on the site are divided into several sections, including Monitoring, Data & Maps, Status & Trends, and Collaborate. The Data & Maps area is quite useful, and it features a variety of interactive maps that document existing salmon populations and their movements. Moving on, the Status & Trends area provides updates on salmon population trends in Canada, Japan, Russia, and the United States. The site is rounded out by a glossary and information about the organizations basic operating principles. [KMG]

Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History [pdf]

While many people may be familiar with the impressive structure that houses the American Museum of Natural History at Central Park West and 79th Street, a much smaller number may be acquainted with their very fine series of anthropological papers. This respected series has been continuously published since 1907, and these works have also been made available on this site. Visitors can use the search engine offered here, or they can also browse the papers by title, author, or date. They will encounter works from such anthropology luminaries as Margaret Mead and others, and they will certainly enjoy passing along this information to persons with an interest in the field. In total, this archive contains over 350 works which provide a great deal of insight into the historical development of the practice and theory behind anthropology. [KMG]

Cambridge University: Digital Image Collections

Over the course of the past eight centuries, Cambridge University has come into the possession of more than a few important documents. Their online digital image collection may be seen as an important first stop for anyone interested in perusing some of these remarkable materials. These documents include The Portsmouth and Macclesfield Collection, which contains the writings and ideas of Sir Isaac Newton, and the sketchbooks of Conrad Martens, who accompanied Charles Darwin on board the Beagle. That is far from all, however, as visitors can also browse the pages of the 13th century illuminated volume, The Life of King Edward the Confessor. All in all, it is a lovely collection and one that scholars with any interest in English history will want to examine and recommend to their colleagues and students. [KMG]

Emergency Management: Status of School Districts Planning and Preparedness [pdf]

Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of unease about how well schools might be prepared for any number of emergency situations. Recently, the General Accounting Office (GAO) released this paper on the status of school districts planning and preparedness. The 25-page document was released in May 2007, and while the report features some positive findings, all of the news is not good in this particular area. The findings were based on interviews with federal officials and a number of surveys with state agencies that administer school emergency management grants and public school districts. Within the report, readers will learn that fewer than half of the districts with emergency plans involve community partners. Additionally, 62 percent of districts surveyed noted that there were significant challenges that stemmed from a lack of equipment and training for staff. The report is certainly a timely one, and one that will be of great interest to persons working in this area. [KMG]

Museum of History & Industry [pdf, Real Player]

Founded by a band of historically-minded Seattleites in 1911, the Seattle Historical Society would later go on to create The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) in 1952. Since that time, MOHAI has been intimately involved with preserving and interpreting various aspects of Pacific Northwest history for both the curious public and scholars. Their website offers a few very nice highlights of some of their collections, including a photograph archive that contains approximately 4000 images. Visitors should also take a look at one of the several dozen oral history transcripts here, which feature discussions with men and women who have been involved in the information technology and manufacturing industries in the region. Those who find themselves in or around Seattle will want to look over the information offered here about visiting the actual museum as well. The site is rounded out by a very fun selection of audio clips, including one of the official theme songs of the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair and another audio segment that features Bing Crosby waxing philosophic about his love for his native Washington state. [KMG]

The Yale Law Journal: Pocket Part

Most law students have heard of The Yale Law Journal, but they may not know about The Yale Law Journal Pocket Part. The Pocket Part supplements the scholarship and work of The Yale Law Journal by providing original essays and responses to articles printed in the Journal. Users of this site can read the complete contents of The Pocket Part here, and they can also search the archive by topic, including legislation, civil rights, and tort law. Of course, users are most welcome to submit pieces for publication consideration, and they can also contact the editors with more general queries and comments. Finally, there are also a number of relevant links offered here, including one to The Yale Law Journal. [KMG]

Probability Tutorials

When the Scout Report last visited the Probability Tutorials in 1999, there were just twelve tutorials on this site. Since that time, the tutorials offered here have grown both in number (from twelve to twenty) and in their overall scope and breadth. The site was created and is still maintained by Noel Vaillant, who received his PhD from Imperial College, London. Currently, the site contains twenty detailed tutorials that cover almost every aspect of the field of probability. Some of the topics covered within these tutorials include metric topology and Gaussian measures. These tutorials are complemented by an introductory essay, a set of clear definitions of various terms, and a discussion board.

Economics Lesson Plans [pdf]

Creating interesting and compelling lessons in Economics can present several unique challenges. Fortunately, the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning organization has brought together a number of fine instructional resources for use by educators. These lesson plans and other activities are divided into thematic areas, such as economic decision-making, goods and services, savings, along with fifteen other headings. The resources are culled from a variety of sources, including the National Council of Economic Education, community college professors, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. First-time visitors should definitely take a look at the Money Math: Lessons for Life section created by the Bureau of Public Debt and Climbing the Savings Mountain created by the National Council on Economic Education. [KMG]

General Interest

UME: The International Architecture Magazine [pdf]

What is an UME exactly? Well, in Japanese ume means plum, and in the world of architecture it is about the drawings architects make to build their designs. UME: The International Architecture Magazine offers all of their issues online here at this visually stimulating and informative website. First-time visitors should virtually thumb through some of their pages here and take a look at works by such architects as Henri Ciriani, Richard Rodgers, and Zaha Hadid. Visitors can also click on an individual set of drawings to see thumbnails of the actual pages. There are many glorious works here, and anyone with a penchant for interior design, architecture, urban planning or such pursuits will find reason to visit this site multiple times. [KMG]

Center for Gender and Refugee Studies [pdf[

Established in 1999 at the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) is primarily interested in supporting women asylum-seekers who are fleeing gender related harm. Additionally, they work to impact the development of law and policy to protect women fleeing gender-based violence. The Centers website is a great place to learn about many of the issues related to these subjects, and new visitors will want to take a look at their quarterly newsletter and then look over the results of some recent cases involving asylum law. The Country Conditions area is a fine way to get up to speed on the conditions involving these topical areas, and visitors can learn about conditions for women in countries including Mexico, Honduras, and Bangladesh. Within the Campaigns area, visitors can also learn about the Centers recent work, and on particular legal campaigns which have been completed. [KMG]

Mind Science Foundation

The potential within the human mind and its connection to the rest of the human body is a subject that has consumed many of the worlds brightest scientists. The Mind Science Foundation, founded by Thomas Baker Slick, is a place that is intimately concerned with such matters, and their website is a good way to learn about some of the issues surrounding their work and broader notions about how consciousness arises in human beings. Its a tall research order, and the website responds admirably by presenting a number of speeches from experts on the subject, along with links to the results of various research endeavors sponsored with funds from the Foundation. The site also contains an interactive database of researchers who are working in the area of consciousness and a library of books that might be of interest to those looking for additional resources. [KMG]

eLearning Africa [pdf, Real Player]

Bringing education to a wide range of persons throughout different countries in Africa presents an extensive set of challenges, and a number of organizations and corporations have made substantial investments in this area. One way to bring a diverse group of interested parties to the table is by having a conference, and that is precisely the focus on the eLearning Africa 2007 site. This particular conference was held in Nairobi in late May 2007, and visitors with an interest in distance learning initiatives in Africa will appreciate the resources offered here. On the site, visitors can look over summary documents, multimedia presentations, and abstracts from papers presented at this conference. Additional information includes links to their in-house newsletter and brief synopses of previous conferences. [KMG]

The Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life

Spirituality and religion have always played a key role in American society, and there are a number of centers dedicated to exploring the interactions between religion and public life. One such place is The Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, located at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. From the Centers homepage, visitors can learn about the events and conferences they sponsor and also read full-text versions of their publications, which include Religion on the International News Agenda. One key publication on the site is their in-house magazine, Religion In The News. Published continuously since 1998, visitors can browse around the archive and read various pieces, or take a look at the most recent issue. [KMG]

Bio-Link: Online Instructional Resources and Clearing House [pdf]

The Bio-Link consortium of centers was established in 1998 with funds provided by the National Science Foundation. The motivating factor behind creating this consortium was to improve and expand educational programs that prepare skilled technicians to work in the high-tech fields that drive the U.S. economy. Along with creating a series of bricks-and-mortar regional centers, they have also worked to develop this online clearinghouse of instructional materials related to biotechnology technician education. Visitors to the site can look over several primary sections at their leisure, including Curriculum Materials and Instructional Materials. Each section is essentially a list with links to the individual teaching aids, and some of these resources include the titles Basic Math for Biotechnology Technicians and Using Interactive Computer Technology to Teach Protein Purification. Visitors who wish to contribute materials can also do so via the website. [KMG]

Gizmo: Developmental Math [Macromedia Flash Player]

Students may not always learn in the same way, so teachers can help them by drawing on a diverse set of educational materials and techniques. Math teachers will appreciate learning about this set of developmental math gizmos offered on this site. Visitors can select interactive features that cover fractions, linear equations, roots, and geometry. Clicking on each topic will bring up a list of additional gizmos, and visitors can look over each one to see which is most appropriate for their students. Each small interactive feature is easy to use, and with the help of the explanatory text, they are all accessible for both teachers and students alike. [KMG]

Cornell University - Humanities [iTunes, Real Player, pdf]

This website, Humanities at Cornell, is a little different from the majority of academic websites that exist merely to inform visitors about the courses taught and majors offered at a particular university or college. The site sets out to explicate the humanities, by showcasing events, interviews, lectures, performances, publications, and readings related to the broad area of the humanities, which encompasses over 30 departments at Cornell. Some current highlights are: Buzz Spector's Big Red C Humanities Book Art Project, which is a sculpture of the letter C made from books written by Cornell authors; an audio interview with Jim Bell, Cornell Professor of Astronomy, talking about his book "Postcards from Mars", Bell's book contains over 150 images selected and edited from the hundreds of thousands sent back to earth by Nasa's Mars rover missions; and Beat Box Bard, which is William Shakespeare performed by beatboxer Adam Matta who uses his voice to create the sounds of almost any instrument, directed by Cornell theater professor Bruce Levitt. [DS]

Network Tools

SightSpeed 6

Despite the widespread availability of certain communication technologies, sometimes there is no substitute for being there. While this application cant bring people physically closer, it does allow users to make video calls and send video mails to anyone with an email address. Additionally, users can also make computer to computer voice calls, if they are so inclined. This particular version of SightSpeed is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, and Vista or Mac OS X 10.3.9. [KMG]

MM3-Web-Assistant-Proxy Offline Browser 2007

Even in an era of highly connected and online computers, sometimes one just has to go offline. For people who do choose to occasionally embark into this offline world, this helpful application might just make the transition a bit easier. Essentially, Proxy Offline Browser creates a copy of all webpages visited during any given browsing session and allows users to visit them later while offline.

In The News

Urban agriculture garners increased attention across the United States

Up on the Roof with Urban Agriculture

A food bill for San Francisco

Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Development

Food for the Cities [pdf]

Urban Agriculture News

Urban Agriculture: Real Food and the People Who Grow It [Quick Time, iTunes]

Humans have enjoyed green spaces in cities for millennia, and while not all of them have been as elaborate as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, they remain greatly appreciated as sites for quiet contemplation and nature-watching. In addition to green spaces of leisure, humans have also grown various crops and such close to their homes. This began to change in the past few centuries as land around cities became more valuable and most agricultural activities migrated some distance from the center city. Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest in the practice of urban agriculture, and a number of cities have made vigorous headway in supporting such initiatives. Cities that have recently started such initiatives include Denver and New York, and a number of other cities are positioned to create a number of working rooftop plant gardens as well. These projects have received support from many groups and organizations, and given the success of such projects in other parts of the world (including cities in Asia and Latin America), policy makers and those with a dedicated green thumb remain optimistic. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to an article from this Tuesdays New West online magazine, based in Missoula, Montana. Here they can read about the practice of urban agriculture and also connect with other sites on the web that provide details about creating a rooftop garden. Moving on, the second link offers some commentary from the San Francisco Bay Guardians Christopher Cook on Congresss Farm Bill, which could have major implications for the worlds of both urban and organic agriculture. The third link leads to a great document on urban agriculture and sustainable development written by Luc J.A. Mougeot for the International Development Resource Centre. The fourth link takes users to the homepage of the Food for Cities initiative, which is a project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The fifth link leads visitors to the homepage of Urban Agriculture, which is a news aggregating service that presents links to stories that deal with different aspects of this area. The sixth link will take visitors on a tour of As its name implies, the site features a cornucopia of material on creating green roofs and links to upcoming events and seminars related to this rather unique area of sustainable development. The last link leads to a great discussion with Michael Ableman, a noted urban agriculturalist, who offers comments on dry farming, urban green houses, and so on. [KMG]

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