The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 39

October 12, 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


It seems like there is a never-ending flow of sites about digital media, and it times it can present an overwhelming challenge to decide which ones might be most useful. MediaShift is certainly one of the best, and it is led by Mark Glaser, noted journalist, critic, and media expert. With support from PBS, this site and weblog looks at how new media such as podcasts and citizen journalism are changing society and culture. On the site, visitors can start by looking through The Weeks Top 5, which offers a short list of things that have been particularly prominent around the web. Visitors looking for specific topics can look through a topical list that includes Legal Drama, Online Video, Satellite Radio, and several dozen other topics. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive a RSS feed and also elect to receive updates via email. [KMG]

Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families [pdf]

Based at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families (CJC) is a nonprofit program administered by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. The CJC is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Freddie Mac Foundation, and a number of individual donors. The CJC provides numerous fellowship and training opportunities for new and experienced journalists, and visitors with an interest in such programs can look over their offerings in the Fellowships/Training section. The CJC also gives out an annual award for meritorious journalism, and visitors can read each years winning investigative pieces on the site as well. As might be expected, the site contains a Resources section for working journalists who write on topics like child neglect, violence, and public support systems. Visitors to these respective areas will find links to statistical sites, brief summaries of relevant data, and links for locating experts and external resources. [KMG]

Introduction to Technical Communication: Perspectives on Medicine and Public Health [pdf]

Various OpenCourseWare initiatives at institutions like Kyoto University and the University of Notre Dame have been met with many a huzzah from around the globe. MITs own OpenCourseWare initiative is quite well known from Peoria to Pretoria, and this particular course is a nice addition to their roster of existing materials. This course was developed and taught by Professor Cynthia Taft, and it addresses the full range of writings by physicians and other health practitioners. Their number includes Richard Selzer, William Carlos Williams, and Danielle Ofri. Visitors can look over the course syllabus, check out the reading list, and look at the assignments. Persons interested in the work and art of writing about medicine and public health will derive a great deal of enjoyment from these materials. [KMG]

Pre-assessment: Gauging students preparedness for sedimentary geology [pdf]

The site, Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty, continues to receive high marks and a great deal of praise, and this resource follows in that established tradition. Created by Lawrence D. Lemke of Wayne State University, this exercise helps educators assess the current state of students educational background as it applies to sedimentary geology. As Lemke notes in the introduction, he uses this pre-assessment quiz as a way to gauge their knowledge, and it has been quite successful in the classroom. Visitors can read a description of this activity, and they can also download the student survey and a short quiz. For persons working in the field of geology education, this resource will be most useful. [KMG]

Bracton Online

If you are not a student of medieval law, you might not be familiar with the work of Henry of Bratton (Henricus de Brattona or Bractona). Bratton was a judge of the court known as coram rege, which later became known as the Kings Bench, in the 1250's. He is best known for writing the extended treatise, De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliae, which translated means, On the Laws and Customs of England. This work is referred to in some quarters as the crown and flower of English jurisprudence, and it is available here in both Latin and English. Interestingly enough, it is now thought that most of the work was actually written in the 1220s and 1230s by persons other than Bratton himself. Here, visitors can browse through the work as they see fit. The work was digitized by staff members at the Harvard Law School Library, and for persons with an interest in legal history, this work will be useful for research purposes. [KMG]

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [pdf]

A number of research institutes are concerned with issues of social and economic justice, and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) is perhaps one of the best known institutes working in these fields of endeavor. Founded in 1980, the Centre works to enrich democratic dialogue and ensure Canadians know there are workable solutions to the issues we face. A good place to start exploring the sites contents is at the New from the CCPA area on the homepage. Here, visitors will find recent policy statements and reports on everything from Canadas health care system to the regulation of chemical emissions into the environment. Visitors may also wish to look through the Research & Publications area, as it contains editorials, news releases, and selected articles from their monthly magazine, The Monitor. [KMG]

Mathematics for Economics: Enhancing Teaching and Learning [pdf, Real Player]

Working at the University of Nottingham, Dr. Rebecca Taylor and her colleagues have created this very fine set of resources designed to assist teachers who seek to utilize mathematics in the service of teaching economics. Visitors can learn more about their work in the "About the Team" section, and they can also view a summary of the project's work so far. The real heart of the site is contained within the "Resource Room", which contains streaming videos, teaching and learning guides, and a question bank. Visitors may wish to start with the question bank, which contains files that can be used in problem sheets, assessment exercises and tutorials. The exercises include those drawing on algebra, number theory, and differentiation. Moving on, the site also includes teaching and learning guides that address linear equations, finance growth, and either other topics. [KMG]

Perspectives on U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology [pdf]

For people interested in the continued dominance of the United States in the worlds of science and technology there is one crucial question: Is the United States in danger of losing its competitive edge of science and technology? This was the primary question on the minds of those convened by the RAND Corporation to a meeting in November of 2006. At the request of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, RAND brought together experts in academia, government and the private sector to this meeting. The papers presented at this conference addressed issues such as science policy, globalization, the rise of Asia, and technology diffusion. Edited by Titus Galama and James Hosek, this 162-page document presents these various papers, and for persons interested in the potential policy implications of these matters, this report will be most timely and helpful. [KMG]

General Interest

American Nuclear Society [pdf]

Since 1954, the American Nuclear Society (ANS) has served as an organization that brings together a broad range of persons and institutions together in the interest of nuclear science and technology. Its members include 11,000 engineers, scientists, administrators, and educators representing over 1600 different institutions and government agencies. Persons in this field will want to look at sections on this site which cover membership information, honors and awards programs, and a very nice Career Center section where users can browse through employment opportunities. While these sections are geared for persons in these fields, the Public Information area is quite a find for the general visitor to the site. Here, visitors can take a look at valuable pieces of information, such as a radiation dose chart and a very timely Ask an Expert section. Visitors will also want to look at Reactions, which is the ANSs newsletter. Finally, the site is rounded out by the Nuclear Links area which features press releases from the International Atomic Energy Agency and links to news updates from the Uranium Information Centre in Australia. [KMG]


If you are looking for a wealth of recipes that include everything from spinach to figs, youve come to the right place when you browse on over to the VegCooking site. Developed as a service by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), this very comprehensive site offers up a wide range of vegetarian recipes, products, and even information about worthy vegetarian restaurants around the country. Visitors can start by looking at the VegCooking Blog area, which includes such fun sounding titles as Isnt That Just Pumpkin and Peace, Love, and Cosmic Oatmeal. For those seeking a bit of visual stimulation, there is also a link to VegCooking TV on the homepage. Here, visitors can learn first-hand about how to make items like spinach-asparagus wraps and kale with portobellos and almonds. Additionally, visitors can look over some vegan recipes and read a piece titled Intro to Veganism. [KMG]


Founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry magazine continues to flourish in the 21st century. When the magazine was first published, Monroe remarked The Open Door will be the policy of this magazine-may the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut, against his ample genius! Strong and meaningful words indeed, and the magazine and its accompanying website live up to them today. On the site, visitors can look through the contents of the current issue, and they can also read selected works as well. On the homepage, visitors can learn about each months Featured Poets, and also take a look at the Featured Prose piece. Clicking on the Featured Stories link will take users to articles about poetry slams, the work of the Persian poet Rumi, and The Poem as Comic Strip. The site is quite a delight, and it is worth returning to multiple times. [KMG]

China's Looming Crisis-Inflation Returns [pdf]

Inflation is serious business for any nations economy, and in the case of China, it is a growing area of concern for policymakers, economists, and other such types. This very topic is the subject of a recent policy brief written by Albert Keidel on behalf of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Published in September 2007, this eight-page policy brief takes a critical look at the potential for an inflation crisis in China. After a brief narrative introduction, Keidel proceeds to offer a number of thoughtful recommendations. These recommendations include suggestions that the Chinese government should raise key deposit rates and enable farm diversification by increasing wheat and rice imports. The paper also notes, The next fifteen months will be especially crucial for China. Foreign criticism has already been severe, thanks to imbroglios over food and toy safety, dollar-holding scares, and Olympics-related activism. [KMG]

American Council on Science and Health [pdf]

Founded in 1978, the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is an education consortium that is primarily concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. Along with this broad thematic focus, the ACSH is also interested in providing a sound scientific basis for various public policies through their research programs. First-time visitors will want to start by looking through some of their recent reports, which include Irradiated Foods and A Primer on Dental Care. After considering some of these works, visitors can click on through sections such as Health Issues, Publications, and Events. One rather intriguing area of the site is titled Facts and Fears. Edited by the ACSHs Director of Publications, Todd Seavey, this publication reports on a wide range of public health topics, including tobaccos use by high-profile media celebrities and vaccine litigation. [KMG]

Preservation News [pdf]

The history of historic preservation in the United States is a fascinating one, even if it contains a few moments of devastating tragedy, such as when the historic Pennsylvania Station was demolished in 1964. Scholars and preservation activists will appreciate learning that Cornell University has digitized the archives of Preservation News. Published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this archive contains every issue from 1960 to 1995 (minus two issues), and is replete with interesting editorials, photographs, and news about significant restoration projects during this period. Visitors to the archive can browse through the issues chronologically, or they can also perform a full-text search. Overall, its a great resource, and one that is worth telling friends with an interest in such matters. [KMG]

Tate Etc. [Macromedia Flash Player]

Tate Etc. is the online and off-line magazine of the Tate Collection, Britain's national collection of British art from 1500, and international modern art. The Tate Collection is housed in four museums in England: the historical collection is at the Tate Britain, on the banks of the Thames in London; modern art at Tate Modern, in a former power plant; Tate Liverpool, and Tate St. Ives, on the beach in Cornwall. Tate Etc., published since 2004, is the follow-on publication to Tate Magazine, which published 8 issues between October 2002 and December 2003. Every article from Tate Etc. will eventually available online. Although the Tate Collection spans a huge period in the history of art, the focus of these magazines is primarily modern. The current issue features articles on a variety of artists and their work, including Piero Manzoni's Merda d'artista, an edition of 90 signed and numbered works that Manzoni said he made from his own excrement; Salvador Dali's films; and a look at how Andy Warhol was inspired by his mother, Julia Warhola, with links to what the author calls the "Julia Warhola sub-industry" - such as podcasts from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh of Julia singing the Carpatho-Rusyn folksongs of her childhood. [DS]

Network Tools

Joost 1.0

Some people may appreciate having a break from television while they are on the Internet, but this latest version of Joost offers no such rest to those potentially weary souls. Joost allows users to watch thousands of shows online, provided that they have a high-speed Internet connection. Along with popular programs, visitors can also search through the genre list to locate documentary and news channels. New users may also wish to look through the Selected Picks section as well. This version of Joost is compatible with computers running Windows XP Service Pack 2. [KMG]

Dugg-Digg Widget for Dashboard 1.1.5

Digg is perhaps one of the webs best known sites, and it contains various content submitted by users from all over the world. Dugg 1.1.5 is a tiny widget that can help Digg devotees (and Digg neophytes) search and find content on Digg quickly. Visitors can view stories for specific topics or users and also check out what friends might be digging. This version of Dugg is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3. [KMG]

In The News

Satellite tagged walruses help scientists answer climate change questions

Over and out from tagged walruses

Thousands of walruses abandon ice for Alaska shore

In a Warming Bering Sea, Whither the Walrus?

Walruses Prefer Right to Left Flipper

Toothwalkers: Giants of the Arctic Ice

The Walrus and The Carpenter

This past April, scientists attached satellite tags to eight walruses in West Greenland in an effort to learn more about the effects of climate change. There is a definite connection between walruses, ice and climate and scientists hope that by continuing to track walruses via satellite more can be discovered. While the scientists tagged eight walruses, a few tags failed almost immediately but a few were sending signals through the summer. This past month the last working satellite tag stopped signaling. In addition to learning more about the effects of climate change, scientists involved in the study hoped to uncover where walruses migrate. Walruses need thick ice and as temperatures rise in the spring and summer they head north to colder climates, but the exact location of their summer hideaway has long been a mystery. The information gleaned from this study could also impact walrus hunting quotas. Walrus hunting is still allowed in Greenland and Canada where they are hunted for their ivory and meat. Scientists hope to gain information about the connection between walrus populations as well as to better understand what is necessary to maintain a sustainable population. Despite the early loss of some tags and the difficulties in tracking walruses, the team was pleased with the results and hopes to run the tagging experiments over a number of years. Dr. Born, a member of the team, added "When you look around the world, there are not a whole lot of walrus researchers, and I think one reason is that walruses are just such a difficult animal to study." [CMH]

The first link will take users to an article from BBC News which talks about the last of the satellite tagged walruses and the research accompanying the project. The second link leads to a piece from the USA Today which discusses how climate change may be affecting Alaskan walruses. In the third link users will find Alaska Public Radio's Annie Feidt's fine piece on climate change in the Bering Sea and its effects on walruses. The fourth link is from Discovery News and discusses the recent science behind determining whether walruses (as well as other creatures) are primarily righties or lefties. Moving on to the fifth link, users will be taken to's complementary website to their Nature program "Toothwalkers: Giants of the Arctic Ice". Here visitors can watch walrus videos, peruse a plethora of walrus photos and learn more about their habitat, survival and even walruses in captivity. Finally, users can click on the last link to read and enjoy Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter". [CMH]

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