The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 27

July 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

Imagining the French Revolution [Macromedia Flash Player]

Any good historian knows that to create a multifaceted and thorough portrait of any historical event or process it is important to draw on a multitude of primary and secondary sources. For example, if one merely relied on Edmund Burkes Reflections on the French Revolution, he or she would certainly craft a rather one-sided portrait of this monumental event in world history. For more diverse opinions, this project, created by the Center for History & New Media at George Mason University and the Department of History at UCLA, takes on the popular images of the French Revolution. Visitors to the site can read essays by various scholars that analyze differing depictions of the Revolutionary crowd. There are some real gems here, and visitors can also view the actual images themselves, which are contained on the site in the Images area. Additionally, the site contains an archived discussion area, which contains comments on the power of images, the relationship between text and images, and appropriately enough, the advantages and disadvantages of online collaboration. [KMG]

Science as Storytelling [pdf]

Science has many compelling and fascinating stories, and thinking about teaching science through the use of narratives can be a rewarding idea for educators. This particular classroom exercise was peer-reviewed by participants at the 2007 Preparing Teachers to Teach Earth Science Workshop at Carleton College, and was authored by B.R. Bickmore and D.A. Grandy of Brigham Young University. The exercise is designed to help students gain a more sophisticated conception of the nature of science as well as to help students become more able to critically and insightfully address science-religion conflict. The site contains further teaching notes and tips, learning goals, and the actual essay that is used in this particular exercise. [KMG]


For students in college-level math courses, revisiting algebra can be a challenge, and learning for it the first time can prove to be tricky as well. This website, created by Professor John Miller of the City College of the City University of New York (CUNY) contains a very helpful tutorial application that can help students master different aspects of algebra. This application features explanations of 320 different aspects of algebra, step-by-step sample problems, and even hints to help students along their way. Visitors will also appreciate the fact that the website contains several demos and a set of resources for instructors. [KMG]

Higher Education Research Institute [pdf]

Founded in 1973, the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) is located within UCLAs Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Researchers at the HERI are interested in examining leadership development, institutional transformation, faculty performance, and educational equity. First-time visitors should check out the HERI Surveys & Services area first, as it contains information about some of their very well-known longitudinal surveys, such as the Freshmen Year Survey and the College Senior Survey. Most visitors with a general interest in higher education trends will want to look through the Research & Publications section, as it contains reports on spirituality in higher education, the gender gap in colleges, and the impact of single-gender high schools on students transition to college. Additionally, at the top of the HERI homepage, visitors can view a set of quick links designed for institutional researchers, higher education scholars, and members of the media. [KMG]

The Loss Prevention Management Bulletin Database

Loss prevention is a serious matter, particularly to those in the retail and hotel industries. With that subject in mind, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation has provided funds to create this online archive of the past and present editions of the Loss Prevention Management Bulletin. Professor Raymond Ellis started the Bulletin in August 1997, and it covers a wide range of topical areas within the field of loss prevention, with a particular emphasis on the hotelier community. Visitors can look through past editions at their leisure, and instructors working in the field will find that they can utilize these materials as teaching aids within their classrooms. Some of the recent topics covered by the Bulletin have included securing loose inventory products, creating an effective security management plan for offices, and dealing with heat stress. [KMG]

Program on the Global Demography of Aging [pdf]

Among the multitude of research programs and centers at the Harvard School of Public Health, there is one that gerontologists and persons with an interest in aging issues will want to explore further. It is the Program on the Global Demography of Aging (PGDA), and it is primarily concerned with themes related to global aging and health, with an emphasis on issues in the developing world. First-time visitors should look over the subject headings on the left-hand side of the page. Here they will find People, Seminars, Pilot Projects, Data, Working Papers, and several other sections. The Pilot Projects section offers brief synopses of recently-approved faculty projects within the GPDA and the Data area contains some very helpful links to relevant data sites, including those maintained by the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Labor. The site is rounded out by the Working Papers section which features several dozen reports, including The Role of Health in Economic Development. [KMG]

The Galapagos Collection

Access to the Galapagos Islands has become very limited in recent decades, and currently only three museums have permission from the Ecuadorian government to collect, preserve, transport, and maintain scientific anatomical specimens from the Galapagos Islands. One of these museums is the University of Wisconsins Zoological Museum (UWZM) and they have made ten expeditions to this remarkable group of islands since 1969. Over the past few decades, these expeditions have produced many papers and reports, and some of these documents may be found right here at this collection which was created by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections group. Visitors can read works like Ecology of Giant Tortoises in the Galapagos Islands by Linda Jean Cayot and classic texts such as A.L. Kroebers Floral relations among the Galapagos Islands from 1916. All told, there are 37 digitized documents here, and visitors can browse through them or perform text searches as well. [KMG]

Propeller Safety [pdf]

With over 412,000 members, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) continues to work for the issues that are important to its members. One area that they are very concerned with is providing educational materials and opportunities for those persons who would like to enter the aircraft maintenance field. They are continuingly updating their online collection of technical primers and general overviews. One particular noteworthy publication is their Propeller Safety manual. Within the documents 12 pages, visitors can learn the basics about working around the propeller, prop mechanics, and key maintenance matters. Along the way, interested parties will find helpful graphics, photographs, and visual aids that will help them identify various problem areas. [KMG]

General Interest

World Monuments Watch [Macromedia Flash Player]

Whether from civil unrest or environmental degradation, many of the worlds great cultural and historical landmarks remain threatened. Fortunately, there are groups like the World Monument Watch who keep close tabs on the state of these important resources. Recently, the group released their list of the 100 most endangered sites for 2008, and for people with an interest in cultural heritage management and related topics, this site will certainly merit several visits. On the site, visitors can traipse on through an interactive map of the world to learn about each site. For each site, visitors will find a photograph of the landmark, a short essay on the history of each landmark, and some explanation of the reasons for its inclusion on the list. [KMG]

National Taxpayers Union & National Taxpayers Union Foundation [pdf]

Established in 1969, both the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), along with its research arm, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), were designed to explore and research the various aspects of taxation, government spending, economics, and regulation. From their homepage, visitors can learn about their latest works and read about the organizations activities in the About section. For persons with policy interests, the Research section will be a place to spend some time in, as it contains commentaries, full research reports, and issue briefs. The site also has several special features, including their official blog and the NTUs own generated rankings of members of Congress. The site is rounded out by an area where visitors can sign up to receive news briefs and updates from the NTU. [KMG]

Identity by design: Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Womens Dresses [Macromedia Flash Player]

For many generations, Native American women have crafted dresses that are both aesthetically pleasing and also tell important stories. These stories incorporate different visions about their respective tribal values and family status. This online exhibit, curated by Colleen Cutschall and Emil Her Many Horses, pays tribute to these creations. After reading a brief introduction to the site, visitors can make their way through sections that include 19th-century style, Indigenous Innovation, and Forming Cultural Identity. Each section contains explanatory captions, primary documents (including photographs and drawings) and some very nice interactive features, such as a feature that shows how a side-fold dress was made and worn. Perhaps the most admirable aspect of this site is that it illuminates both past traditions and current practices of Native American dress making. [KMG]

WTO Seattle Collection

Few were prepared for the events of November 30th, 1999 in the usually peaceable town of Seattle. As the World Trade Organization (WTO) began its opening conference ceremonies, protestors began to coalesce around the doors of the Washington State Convention Center. The protestors were there to protest many of the actions of the WTO, and by the end of the day this situation was quite chaotic as the Seattle Police Department ran low on tear gas and Seattle Mayor Paul Schell declared a state of emergency. The protest received wide national and international coverage, and this digital collection from the University of Washington brings together some of the ephemeral printed material that was generated around the time of the demonstrations. Users can perform a keyword search on the database, or they can search the materials by category headings, which include photographs, planning documents, and environment. For students of international protest movements, social action, and other related matters, this site will be quite interesting. [KMG]

Historical Postcards of New York City from the Picture Collection at Mid-Manhattan Library

From Van Cortland Park in the Bronx down to the bucolic stylings of Staten Island in the late 19th century, this very fun online exhibition from the New York Public Library will sate the desires of those persons with a penchant for historical postcards. Recently, the Library placed five hundred postcards depicting views of all five boroughs in the late 19th and early 20th century within the much larger NYPL Digital Gallery. This exhibition offers a brief introduction to these depictions of New Yorks past, and visitors can get a taste of the images by looking through sections that include A Record of Time, A Record of Place, and A Record of the People. Visitors can look at promenades in Central Park, the early days of Riverside Drive, and the Astor Library. After that, they can perform their own postcard searches, and purists will note that the back of every postcard has also been scanned for this project. [KMG]

The CIAs Family Jewels [pdf]

The National Security Archive at George Washington University has been bringing important documents to the general publics attention for years, and they recently finally received a copy of the CIAs family jewels report from the 1970s. They had originally filed a request for the document in 1992, and on June 26th, 2007 CIA officers finally brought the document to their headquarters. James Schlesinger, director of the CIA at the time, started the actual family jewels operation in 1973. Noted journalist Seymour Hersh reported on the story of this illegal domestic operation in 1974, and his investigation also revealed that the CIA had been involved in wiretapping and various break-ins since the 1950s. The document can be viewed in its entirety here, and interested parties can also search the entire document by keywords. [KMG]

State of World Population 2007 [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

In terms of human settlement patterns, the worlds population is undeniably becoming more and more urbanized. By 2008, over half of the worlds population will be living in urban areas, and by 2030, it is estimated that 5 billion people will live in urbanized areas. This is but one of the aspects of the worlds population that is discussed within the interactive pages of the 2007 State of World Population report. Released in June 2007, the report can be viewed in its entirety on this site, and it is available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Russian. The website also includes a youth supplement, titled Growing Up Urban. Here, visitors can learn about the experiences of young people in Taijin, China, Mumbai, Caior, and San Salvador. A multimedia presentation is also made available here, and visitors can listen to those who have recently moved to cities talk about their experiences, opportunities, and challenges. [KMG]

Dan Flavin: A Retrospective - Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA)

To accompany the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of light artist Dan Flavin's work, LACMA presents a number of Web features, including several essays and articles remembering Flavin (1933 - 1996), by Jay Belloli and Michael Govan. There is also a video interview of Flavin, "Dan Flavin . . . in daylight and cool white" where he says that thinking about light is his art, and he in fact once turned down the Skowhegan Medal for sculpture, since he did not regard himself as a sculptor. There is also a lengthy slideshow covering the works in the retrospective, with examples of the main types of Flavin's works: Corners, Monuments, Circular fixtures and Barriers; and a recreation of Flavin's first exhibition of artwork made from fluorescent lights, held at the Green Gallery in New York City, in 1964. [DS]

Network Tools

ProVoc 4.2.2

Learning a new language can be daunting, but this handy application can make this process a bit friendlier. With ProVoc, users can download existing vocabulary sets for English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, and dozens of other languages. After that, they can run through these words at their leisure on their computer or their iPod for convenience. Finally, the site also includes a FAQ section that answers any number of topical questions about the application. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3 and newer. [KMG]

SUPER AntiSpyWare Free Edition 3.9.1008

In an age where spyware and other such vexing problems are fairly ubiquitous, it can be a relief to know about different free applications that can help with such pesky matters. With this latest version of SUPERAntiSpyware, visitors can take advantage of features like complete hard drive scans, the removal of various spyware and adware threats, and their process interrogation technology which locates threats anywhere on a given operating system. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, 2003, and Vista. [KMG]

In The News

Even with substantial challenges, wind farms continue to grow and expand in the United States

Alternative Energy Hurt By a Windmill Shortage

Local man envisions small turbines taking wind power to the people

Wind may carry jobs to N.C.

Cape Wind: Americas First Offshore Wind Farm on Nantucket Sound [pdf]

Save our Sound [pdf]

EERE: Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program [pdf]

In Europe, wind power has been a viable alternative energy source for several decades, and environmentalists, green capitalists, and others are jumping on the wind farm bandwagon in significant numbers. Some remain skeptical of wind farms and their ilk, and certain parties have protested the creation of additional wind farms on the grounds that they are dangerous to migratory birds and others argue that they have a deleterious effect on property values and the aesthetic appearances of certain unique natural areas. Despite all of the new advances in technology, efforts to build more wind farms in the United States are now hampered by another rather pragmatic issue: There just arent enough windmill parts. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that there remains a worldwide shortage of wind turbines and related devices, and as a result, a number of new wind-power projects in the US are relying on European companies to secure the necessary parts. Wind turbines are tremendously complicated devices, and they often contain more than 8000 components. Despite this dearth of materials, the future of wind power utilities continues to look bright throughout the United States, and Xavier Viteri (who happens to be the head of a Spanish utility) recently remarked that wind energy in the US is like Europe was years ago. Theres a lot of room for development there, and there is a lot of expertise here. [KMG]

The first link leads to the Wall Street Journal article mentioned above from this past Monday. The piece also offers a brief overview of major wind power initiatives in Europe. The second link will take users to a news article from the Lancaster New Era which talks about one Pennsylvanians efforts to bring wind power to individual property owners in that part of the state. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece of reporting from The Charlotte Observer. The piece observes that while wind turbines are difficult to build in North Carolina, local residents may benefit from turbine manufacturing plants which will soon open up nearby. The fourth link leads to the homepage of the Cape Wind Company, which is hoping to open up a major wind farm many miles off the coast of Cape Cod in the future. On the other side of the debate sits the fifth site, which happens to be the homepage of the Save Our Sound group, which opposes these plans. The last link will take users to the U.S. Department of Energys Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program site. Here, visitors can learn about the technology behind both wind energy and hydropower, and they can also read up on the federal governments efforts to encourage research and development in these areas. [KMG]

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