The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 29

July 27, 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

Open Architecture Network [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

The Open Architecture Network site starts things off with a bold and passionate statement: Le Corbusier had it all wrong. Its definitely a good way to get visitors attention upon entering the site. The Network is an online, open source community which seeks to improve living conditions through innovative and sustainable design. On the site, visitors can share their design ideas and plans, review and comment on posted designs, and also collaborate with each other. Visitors will no doubt get exited about the Projects section, which is both intellectually stimulating and well-designed. Visitors can search the projects by status, region, location, or theme, or they can also perform a keyword search as well. There are some wonderful finds here, including a childcare school in Sri Lanka, a day laborer shelter, and a Doc-in-a-Box, which is meant to serve as a mobile health care center. [KMG]

Random Thoughts [pdf]

Professor Richard M. Felder has been involved in teaching engineering for over thirty years, and his column has appeared in the journal, Chemical Engineering, since 1988. Professor Felder retired several years ago, but he has made a point of continuing with his rather timely and useful updates about the world of teaching in the college classroom. Visitors to this site can scan through some of his pieces, which cover everything from the importance of active learning to creating effective formats for small-group in-class exercises. Visitors can scroll through the site at their leisure, and for first-time visitors, the columns The Way to Bet and Death By PowerPoint are a good entry points into this nice collection. [KMG]

NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management [pdf]

In light of a number of recent events, there is increased concern about the management of Americas coastal and ocean resources. It is a pressing issue for economic reasons, along with the simple fact that over fifty percent of the U.S. population lives close to the coastlines of two oceans and the Great Lakes. Persons interested in these matters will appreciate the NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management site, which features newsletters, information about their strategic plans, and copious amounts of material on their initiatives, which include dock management and community development partnerships. A basic overview of the issues facing coastal regions can be found in the Coastal Issues section of the site which contains brief summaries on marine debris, coastal hazards, water quality, and aquaculture. The site is rounded out by a My state section. Here, visitors can utilize a clickable map of the U.S. to learn about coastal management activities underway in their state. [KMG]

KU Writing Center [pdf]

The University of Kansas has a number of fine academic programs, and they also provide writing support for students who might be having trouble getting started with their own assignments or term papers. While visitors may not be able to make the trek on over to Lawrence, they can certainly hop online here to take advantage of some of their writing tutorials and guide sheets. Most visitors will probably want to start at the Students section, where they can then click on sections specifically designed for undergraduates or graduate students. Some of these materials have been created specifically by the professionals at KUs Writing Center, including some very helpful guides to crafting an effective thesis statement and working on pre-writing strategies. Also, the Writing Guides section includes a sample writing gallery and an assignment planner. For a bit of fun, users can also check out their online photo gallery and also watch their short film, A Week in the Life of the KU Writing Center. [KMG]

Transplant Pathology Case

Pathology is a complex field, and persons who might be new to the field might appreciate a bit of assistance. Medical educators might also need a hand as they begin to teach others in the field, and this particular case study offered by the University of Pittsburghs Department of Pathology will be most useful in that regard. In this case, users will be exposed to slides, explanations, and relevant illustrations of a patient who was diagnosed with hepatitis C. Additionally, visitors can read descriptions of each microscope slide and look over the final diagnosis report. [KMG]

SustainLane Government [pdf]

Based in San Francisco, SustainLane Government was started in 2004. Their primary goal is to provide an online database of best practices in sustainability and environmental management. Currently, the database includes over 100 best practice documents which include coverage of land use activities, waste management practices, and green building and development. Visitors can browse through these documents at their leisure and they will also want to look at SustainLanes City Sustainable Rankings, which are available on the homepage. Another nice feature of the sites homepage is the Recent Uploads area, which includes recently uploaded documents that deal with local action plans for climate change, plastic bag reduction ordinance, and so on. Finally, visitors should also look over the Articles section, as it contains pieces such as Top Ten Alternative Fueled City Fleets and Top US Cities for Cleantech Incubation Clusters. [KMG]

Venn Diagrams [Macromedia Flash Player]

Unions, intersections, and differences: This can all be quite confusing to students trying to enter the potentially tricky world of Venn Diagrams. Fortunately, Alfredo Jiminez of Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton has created this handy Flash-enabled teaching application designed to provide students with an engaging way to learn about this subject. The project is party of the Digital Classroom Resources at the MAA Mathematical Sciences Digital Library, and visitors will find this particular learning activity quite easy to use. The interactive tool contains seven sections, including those dealing with the principles of union and intersection, distributive properties, and De Morgans laws. Within each section, visitors can try their hand with a series of short questions and then take advantage of some review materials and, of course, a few basic tests. [KMG]

International Journal of Environmental Research [pdf]

Based at the University of Tehran, the International Journal of Environmental Research (IJER) is concerned with all aspects of environment. On the journals homepage, visitors will also learn that some of the specific fields covered within the publication include natural disasters, environmental design, and risk assessment and management. The journal was started in early 2007, and the executive manager is Professor Karbassi. Currently, there are three complete issues of the journal available online, and visitors can also read about the journals editorial board. Interested parties may also wish to read up on how they can submit their own pieces of scholarly work for consideration. [KMG]

General Interest

Preserving My Heritage [Macromedia Flash Player]

Preserving an old family cabinet can be more than just wood restoration and elbow grease. Often, its about keeping a memory alive for future generations. The Canadian Conservation Institute is well aware of that, and thats why they have developed this website. Visitors can dive right in by clicking on the How To Care For section and taking the interactive tour of a sample home and some items which might be in need of preserving. While the suggestions arent tremendously technical, they will give users a general sense of how they can take steps at home to keep family documents, photographs, rugs, and other items in good order. Moving along, the Information On section provides thumbnail sketches of how to move artifacts and on how to have family heirlooms appraised. The site is rounded out by the Institutes newsletters, past and present, and a selection of links to other conservation resources. [KMG]

Chinas Online Population Explosion [pdf]

Readers may be aware that Chinas population continues to grow, but what they may be less aware of is that many millions more Chinese continue to gravitate towards various online activities. This report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project provides some insights into this trend. Authored by Deborah Fallows, this July 2007 report looks at the potential ramifications of this increasingly web-savvy populace. The report also suggests, An expanding Internet population might also increase domestic tensions that could spill over into Chinas relations with the U.S. and other countries. The rest of the report covers who exactly is using the internet in China, and also offers some analysis of how Chinas internet population will grow in the coming years. [KMG]

Library of Congress: Poetry [pdf, Real Player]

On a recent visit to the Library of Congress: Poetry website, the first line of a poem by William Stafford appeared on the top of the page. The poem in question was At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border, and it just one of many poems that can be found on this simple delightful site. Amidst this cornucopia of poems, visitors can also learn about the current poet laureate and take in a few webcasts from the Poet Vision series. It is an august group indeed, and some of the programs include those that profile Rita Dove, Louise Gluck, and Stanley Kunitz. Visitors can also look over a list of poetry news and events and breeze on through the related resources offered by the Library of Congress. Educators and students will want to pay close attention to the For Teachers & Students area, where they can find resources designed to bring poetry into the classroom in an experiential fashion. [KMG]

Society of Environmental Journalists [pdf]

Global warming, climate change, and other related topics are all covered by environmental journalists. For those who seek to learn more about the profession (or for those who might already be involved in this world), the Society of Environmental Journalists website will be a most welcome discovery. The objective of the Society is to build a stronger and more closely connected network of educated environmental journalists and editors, and their site is a testimony to that spirit. Here, visitors can sign up to receive the EJToday news updates, read their biweekly tip sheet, and also learn about their mentoring program. The Resources section is very much worth a visit, and it includes links to online resources dealing with hurricanes, teaching environmental journalism, relevant blogs, and a work in progress guide Climate Change: A Guide to the Information and Disinformation. [KMG]

Mystic Seaport [pdf]

Located in the peaceful town of Mystic, Connecticut, the Mystic Seaport is billed as The Museum of America and the Sea. Visitors to the actual Museum can take in some of the exhibitions, jump on a boat or two, and make quite a day of it. Visitors to their website can also find a great deal of seafaring type information, including several online art galleries, an interactive feature about Amistad, as well as learn more about their very impressive nautical collections. Some of the nautical materials are available through the site, including ship registries for Salem, Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut for much of the 19th century. Additionally, the site includes yacht registers from the late 19th century and selected dates of the American Lloyds Register of American and Foreign Shipping. [KMG]

The Mysterious Bogpeople [Macromedia Flash Player]

Despite the seemingly spooky title of this site, visitors should not be afraid of entering and exploring around the contents of this very interactive site. Created through a collaborative partnership between organizations such as the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Drents Museum, this site concerns itself with the artifacts and material world created by the so-called bogpeople of northwestern Europe who lived approximately 10,000 years ago. Visitors can explore their world through sections that include Science, Timeline, Profile and Mediatheatre. The Mediatheatre section is a good place to start as visitors can view short film clips that cover the mysteries of the bog, fishing with a harpoon, and the fabled Ubbena wheel. Moving along, the Timeline area gives some nice chronological context to the events and transformations covered by the site, and the Science area includes some insights into what archaeologists do in the field. [KMG]

Global Knowledge Partnership: Online Interactions [pdf, iTunes]

Formed through a worldwide partnership that includes the United Nations and a host of other international organizations, the Global Knowledge Partnership was created to apply knowledge and technology to address development issues in areas like poverty reduction and access to knowledge. To facilitate the exchange of ideas in these areas, the Partnership has created this Online Interactions site. Here, visitors can look over various blogs, podcasts, and video forums that focus in on these themes. Visitors can start by looking through the Latest videos area, which features everything from What is Web 2.0 Explained in under 5 minutes to a video on robotics programs in Costa Rica. Visitors can also search the sites contents and sign up to receive RSS feeds of material as it is posted to the site. [KMG]

Toledo Museum of Art [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Incorporated in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has a wide range of collections, including some rather fantastic items from the world of the decorative arts and American painting. Visitors who might be making a visit to that part of Ohio might wish to look over the Museum Information section for starters. One new feature of the Museum is their highly touted Glass Pavilion, which was designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. After viewing a selection of images of the Pavilion, users may then wish to peruse the Collection area. Here, they will find high-quality images of some of the Museums works of art, coupled with fine overviews of printmaking and the architectural renderings of Hudson River School master Thomas Cole. [KMG]

Network Tools

JAlbum 7.2

Photos are meant to be shared, and this latest release of JAlbum will help users get their images to those they care about. While the usual features remain the same (such as the ability to create new skins and online photo album publishing), this new version has a couple of additions worth mentioning. First, visitors have access to several new interactive tutorials and they can also upload entire projects to their website. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

Baseball Widget 2.5

From the Beloit Snappers to the Boston Red Sox, this powerful little widget can keep baseball aficionados in the know. After installing this widget, visitors can view the current scoreboard, check out results from previous days, and even look at the schedule for the upcoming week. This version of Baseball Widget is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4.3 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Searching for Gemutlichkeit and Gotterdammerung, the Wagnerian faithful travel to Bayreuth

Wagnerian storm as composers scion battles to be Bayreuth queen,,2134184,00.html

Scions Meistersinger Eagerly Awaited

Going Backstage With Bayreuth Festival Singers [Real Player],2144,2703690,00.html

Opera-less in the Realm of Wagner

Opera 101 [Macromedia Flash Player]

Opera Scores: Richard Wagner

Art, Life, and Theories of Richard Wagner

In his Autobiography, Richard Wagner remarked that when he was seven, his stepfather said to his mother, What if he should have a talent for music? Of course, Wagners own narrative in his autobiography seems to be a bit heavy on the foreshadowing, but his marvelous works and his ideas about Gesamtunkstwerk (or total art) remain tremendously important within the world of music and the arts more generally. Since 1876, Wagner devotees have made the pilgrimage to his beloved Festspielhaus in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth. The festival began this past Wednesday with a new production of Die Meistersinger von Nurmberg, under the direction of Katharina Wagner, the great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner. Katharinas work on this new production has also received a great deal of media attention, as some commentators believe she will take over the festival from her father, Wolfgang. Obtaining tickets to the Bayreuth festival is quite difficult, as the waiting list is over ten years long at present. This past year, approximately half a million people applied for the annual allocation of 55,000 tickets. Wagnerians are never easily deterred, and there have even been those without tickets who have journeyed to Bayreuth looking forlorn and held up signs that simply read Suche Karte, which means Looking for Ticket. [KMG]

At the first link, visitors can read Kate Connollys piece from this Wednesdays Guardian which discusses Katharina Wagner and the future of this celebrated music festival. The second link will take readers to a Washington Post article which elaborates on some of the additional controversies surrounding the succession of power at Bayreuth. Moving on, the third link will take visitors to an excellent piece from Deutsche Welle that includes audio interviews with some of the festivals singers, including Stephen Gould who is Siegfried is this years production of Der Ring des Nibelungen. The fourth link leads to a travel essay from the New York Times on what to do with (or without) a ticket to the festival while in the charming city of Bayreuth. For those who dont know their recitative from their Rheingold, the Seattle Opera has created the fifth site offered here, titled Opera 101. It includes sections on Wagner, a First Timers Guide, and a chronological history of the art form. Persons interested in getting a small group together to perform Parsifal will appreciate the sixth site, which contains vocal scores for a number of operas by Wagner and other composers, including Mozart, Handel, and Purcell. The last link will take users to a digitized version of some of Wagners better-known prose works, such as A Pilgrimage to Beethoven. [KMG]

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