The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 28

July 20, 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

University of Delaware: Problem-Based Learning

Based at the University of Delaware, this set of peer-tested and vetted educational resources asks the important question: "How can I get my students to think?" Their educational philosophy places a premium on problem-based learning (PBL), which is an instructional method that asks students to work cooperatively in groups in order to seek solutions to real world problems. First-time visitors can take a look at some sample PBL problems. These sample problems include several group exercises that deal with everything from household wiring to a case study problem in molecular evolution. College instructors will want to definitely visit the "PBL Courses and Syllabi" area, where they can take a look at sample syllabi that draw inspiration from the problem-based learning perspective. Finally, visitors can also browse through the PBL Clearinghouse and look over a list of related educational sites. [KMG]

Engaging Students via In-Class Worksheets [Word]

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is creating a series of instructional materials for mathematics teachers, and they are drawing on the expertise of high-quality instructors from across the country. One such teacher is Cindy Wyels, who teaches math at California State University, Channel Islands. She recently created this useful set of materials that will help teachers with the use of worksheets in the classroom. As she remarks in her introduction to these materials, "Worksheets used in class can also help direct students' learning out-of-class." This site contains links to discussion and illustrative examples, and also offers tips on how to focus students' attention in class, delivering content efficiently, and teaching students how to learn from their textbooks. [KMG]

Evolution Resources From the National Academies (Last reviewed in the Scout Report on June 23rd, 1999) [pdf]

Science teachers at high schools and colleges will be glad to learn about the wide range of materials on the subject of evolution that are available on this very fine website. The site is maintained by the National Academies, and the resources here are divided into sections that include "Reports", "Statements", "Research Papers on Evolution", and "Academies' Articles". In the "Reports" area, visitors will find a handful of full-length topical reports that deal with evolution in Hawaii and the very popular, "Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science". Moving on, the research papers offered here include scholarly papers on the future of evolution and retrospectives on previous research done in the field of evolution. The site is rounded out by links to other relevant resources, such as the homepage of the National Center for Science Education and a PBS online course that addresses teaching evolution. [KMG]

Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity

How does one stir the pot of creative possibilities, so to speak? It is a daunting challenge, and UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity is interested in exploring "new ways to turn creativity in developing countries into sustainable cultural industries." The Alliance was launched in 2002, and they have recently embarked on a number of public-private partnerships that are designed to encourage job creation in fields such as cinema, music, and publishing. The site is quite user-friendly, and visitors will find a number of tabs on the homepage, such as "Focus on Members", "Projects", "About the Alliance", and "Info Centre". Visitors can dive right into the "Projects" area, where they can learn about recent projects such as the development of a national strategy for the Jamaican music industry and another project on professionalizing the publishing sector in Algeria. The "Info Centre" area is another spot that should be visited, and it features cultural statistics and studies, along with project progress reports and newsletters. [KMG]

European Association for International Education [pdf]

More and more organizations are concerned with the future of higher education, and one dedicated to examining this quickly changing area is the European Association for International Education (EAIE). The primary aim of the EAIE is "the stimulation and facilitation of the internationalization of higher education in Europe and around the world." On their homepage, visitors can learn about their annual conference and also read about their latest policy statements and press releases. Most visitors to the site will be interested in the "Publications" area. From the forum articles to their interviews with persons in the field of European higher education, there is a great deal that will be of use to people researching this area, or for those who are looking for comparisons with their own region. The site is rounded out by a membership section and a complete events calendar. [KMG]

An Integrative Curriculum Approach to Mathematics and the Health Professions Using Problem Based Learning [pdf]

The Allegany College of Maryland helped develop an approach to teaching mathematics to students in the health professions that has garnered a number of accolades. With a desire to let others know about their work, they created this site as a clearinghouse of information about their approach, complete several sample lessons, a presentation or two, and some additional links of interest. New visitors may wish to read the brief introduction to the project, and then continue on to view their online presentation. For many educators, the key section of this site will be the "Sample Lessons" area. Here, they will find topical lessons that deal with aspects of mathematics related to the health professions, such as determining exponential curves, systems of equations, and the world of mean, median, and mode. [KMG]

Department of Pathology-Case Studies

Students in the health sciences learn from case studies, patient histories, and a variety of other means. In recent years, a number of medical schools in the United States have contributed to medical education by placing slide collections, pathology reports, and other related materials online. The University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine is part of this delightful trend, and they have placed a number of case studies culled from their Department of Pathology's files here on this site. Visitors can look over these files by patient history or diagnosis, and all told, there are well over 100 cases offered here. Visitors can read the pathology reports, view selections of related medical images and scans, and also read the final diagnosis report. [KMG]

Urban Age [pdf]

The Urban Age group was initiated by the Cities Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society. The group's principal aim is "to shape the thinking and practice of urban leaders and sustainable urban development." To accomplish this, they have coalesced around four key themes, which include labour market and work places, public life and urban space, mobility and transport, and housing and urban neighborhoods. On their homepage, visitors can learn about the conferences they sponsor, learn more about their partner organizations, and also read about the project team members. For urbanologists and their ilk, the "Publications" section is a place to definitely visit. Here, visitors can read essays on the economic history of cities, perceptions of safety in cities, and how to best govern mega-urban regions. [KMG]

General Interest

Wisconsin Historical Images: Construction of the World Trade Center, 1969 [pdf]

In 1969, Wisconsin native Richard Quinney was teaching at NYU and living in Greenwich Village. During this time the World Trade Center was under construction, and Quinney made a number of trips down to the site with his camera and tape recorder. From these images, he produced 161 color slides that documented the construction process. Several years ago, he donated these images to the Wisconsin Historical Society and they recently digitized these powerful photographs and placed them online here. Visitors can browse through the images at their leisure, and they can also search the collection as they see fit. The site also includes a link to an article by Quinney that appeared in the Autumn 2002 edition of the Wisconsin Magazine of History. [KMG]

Burke & Wills Web [pdf]

Unless one has a penchant for the history of Australian exploration or the 1985 film "Burke and Wills", they may not be familiar with the personages of Robert O'Hara Burke and his third in command, William John Wills. In 1860, they set forth from the city of Victoria on their way to explore their way across the continent of Australia. While the expedition successfully crossed the continent, some of the party expired along the way back, including Burke and Wills. This site, created by historian Dave Phoenix, brings together an impressive array of transcribed documents from that expedition, including their letters, journals, and progress reports. Casual visitors can read "A Brief History", and then they may wish to proceed through the various sections of the site which describe the members of the expeditionary party, their camels, and a detailed map of the expedition. [KMG]

National Indian Gaming Commission [pdf]

The National Indian Gaming Commission is an independent federal regulatory agency, and along with regulating gaming activities on Indian lands, they are also responsible for "shielding Indian tribes from organized crime and other corrupting influences." The Commission's website is designed to inform interested parties about their ongoing activities, and visitors will find that the information here ranges from calendars of upcoming conferences to official decisions and actions taken by the Commission. First-time visitors may wish to start by looking over the FAQ section within the "About Us" area. Once there, they can find the answers to questions like "Do Indian tribes pay taxes?" and "What happens to the profits from Indian gaming operations?" Moving on, the "Laws & Regulations" area contains the text of such important documents as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the Johnson Act. The site is rounded out by the "Reading Room", which contains recent and past bulletins, gaming ordinances, and a list of tribal gaming operations. [KMG]

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation [pdf, iTunes, QuickTime]

Jerome "Jerry" Lemelson was, to put it simply, a born inventor. As a young boy growing up on Staten Island, he invented a lighted tongue depressor for his father, a physician. He continued his inventing ways for over forty years, as he averaged one patent a month during that time period. Before he passed away in 1997, he made a generous gift that helped create The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonians National Museum of American History. For those who can't make it to the Lemelson Center in person, their website is a great way to start learning about the history of invention and innovation. The homepage contains an embedded search engine, a selection of shortcuts for specific audiences (such as historians and teachers), and a featured invention. Visitors should definitely take a look at the "Centerpieces" area, which features interactive exhibits on industrial design, the Nobel Prize, and the invention of the electric guitar. Additionally, the "Video & Audio" area contains podcasts on puppets, women and invention, and the construction of robots. [KMG]

Bathing Beauties [Macromedia Flash Player]

In past decades, bathing beauties might have meant beautiful people on a beach, but these "bathing beauties" are actually a collection of new bathing hut designs. They are, of course, beautiful indeed, and visitors with a droll curiosity in the world of seaside architecture, leisure studies, or other seaside pursuits will certainly find this site useful. The impetus for creating such a site was a recent international beach hut design competition, which was held at the National Centre for Craft & Design in the United Kingdom. On the site, visitors can view both the winners of the competition and the other entries as well. Understandably, the other entries are just scale model designs, but there are some real pippins among their number. If beach huts aren't enough, there are also some beachfront restaurant designs and a few boathouse designs as well. [KMG]

The British Library Online Newspaper Archive

Old newspapers are engaging for a wide range of people, including historians and journalists. Access to digitized newspapers has been increasing in the past few years, and a number of specialized projects have popped up at institutions like the Library of Congress and the British Library. In fact, the British Library has created this rather excellent site to provide detailed access to papers like the Manchester Guardian and the Weekly Dispatch. Visitors can only access a limited range of years, but the visual interface for viewing the images is quite user-friendly, and visitors can navigate through each paper by column or complete page. It's a delightful selection of important British newspapers, and it may spark a new interest among readers. [KMG]

Public Opinion Research Reports [pdf]

People love opinion polls, and many researchers rely on them for any number of studies. Recently, the Canadian government decided to place a great number of the public opinion research reports they have created here on this site. These reports include work contracted by a wide variety of departments and agencies, such as the Department of National Defence and Health Canada. It is worth noting that the database only contains reports contracted from August 2006 to the present. Visitors can click on "Find a Report" to look for materials of specific interest, or they can also just use the "Whats New" button to glance over recent additions. Visitors will find hundreds of documents here, including recent works such as "Canadians' view on emergency management" and "Views on trans fats findings from focus group research". [KMG]

WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution [iTunes, QuickTime, pdf]

MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, uses blogging, podcasting and other Web technologies to create the WACKsite as a component of WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, a major show of feminist art created between 1965 and 1980. The WACKsite includes 42 Installation views of the exhibition, as well as a series of images from Walks Through the Revolution, a tour of the show held March 4, at which many of the artists spoke. There are also short audio tours, featuring individual artists talking about their work, such as Miriam Schapiro discussing Big OX No. 2, 1968, and downloadable podcasts of longer lectures by Angela Davis, Griselda Pollack, and Linda Nochlin. Visitors' comments are also posted; one recurring theme suggests that perhaps women would be more comfortable viewing imagery of nude women, if the museum guards were also women. [DS]

Network Tools

BottomFeeder 4.4

News aggregator clients are fairly common these days, and for users who haven't seen this particular client yet, it will be a most pleasant surprise. With BottomFeeder 4.4, visitors can view news in a three-pane or two-pane mode and they can also seamlessly add new RSS feeds as they see fit. BottomFeeder also lets users email posts to a friend or colleague, and they can also post to their own blogs from within the newsreader. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer. [KMG]

Ook Video Ook! 0.6.6

While the title of this application may be reminiscent of an experimental art installation project (or mere gibberish), one recent reviewer remarked, "It lets you go bananas with videos." That is quite accurate, as this application does in fact allow users to download embedded videos from a wide range of systems and sites. Some might just want to pick up a bit of entertainment, while educators might be able to use certain embedded videos for illustrative purposes in the classroom. Either way, this version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer, along with Firefox 1.5 through 2.0. [KMG]

In The News

Despite strong lobbying, congestion pricing falls short for the time being in New York City

Bloomberg Lashes Out at Lawmakers on Congestion Plan

Terror police to track capital's cars

Transportation Alternatives: Congestion Pricing

Implementing Road and Congestion Pricing-Lessons From Singapore (2005) [pdf]

Straphangers Campaign

Annals of Transport: There and Back Again

Congestion of the vehicular sort is a problem that continues to vex major cities across the world. Whether it be a long line of cars moving like slow-moving maple syrup off an exit from a so-called "expressway" or a phalanx of delivery trucks double-parked, congestion results in lost productivity and at times, even maddening frustration. Some cities, such as London and Singapore, have adopted congestion pricing schemes for vehicles entering certain roadways, districts, tunnels, or bridges during peak travel times. London has had a scheme in place like this since 2003, and Singapore has had one since 1975. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York was rather keen on starting one as part of the city's long-term sustainability plan, but it was shelved earlier this week. Appropriately enough, Bloomberg floated the congestion pricing idea on Earth Day 2007, but legislators in the state capitol of Albany said that Bloomberg didn't address a number of rather basic questions about his proposal. After the proposal failed to pass this past Monday, Bloomberg commented, "I heard a lot of talk about the politics of congestion pricing, and all I kept thinking about was some people have guts, and some don't." [KMG]

To enter the world of congestion pricing, visitors should start by reading through the first link, which happens to be a piece on the recent debate over introducing such a measure in New York which appeared in this Tuesday's New York Times. The second link will take interested parties to a piece from the Times of London which talks about how the congestion charge cameras in London will be used to address the "enduring threat" of terrorist car bombings. Moving on, the third link leads to a primer on congestion pricing offered by the Transportation Alternatives organization. The fourth link will whisk users away to a paper and presentation on the subject of implementing road and congestion pricing authored by Jeremy Yap, who serves as the deputy director for Singapore's Ministry of Transport. The fifth link leads to the homepage of New York's famed Straphangers Campaign, which has been advocating for the city's subway and bus riders since 1979. Here visitors can view awards as the "Pokeys" (slowest buses in the city) and lists of "The Unreliables", which are buses that tend to arrive in bunches or with big gaps during the day. Of course, there are also polls, reports, and a "Fun & Games" section. The last link leads to a very nice article from the April 16, 2007 New Yorker. This article documents, in great detail, what can only be described as "extreme commuting" on the part of stoic individuals in San Jose, Atlanta, and other regions around the US. [KMG]

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