The Scout Report -- Volume 13, Number 47

December 7, 2007

A Publication of Internet Scout
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

Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery [Real Player]

With its use of alliterative verse and rousing subject matter, the epic poem Beowulf has been adored and analyzed for over a millennium. The poem was originally composed in Old English, and it has been translated into dozens of languages over the centuries. Generally, translators have attempted to reproduce one or more of its features or qualities at the expense of others. This particular translation offered by Dirk Ringler of the University of Wisconsin is intended for "oral delivery", that is, to be read or recited aloud. Visitors to this site can listen to the poem in its entirety or access different sections at forty-three separate locations within the text. Additionally, visitors can search for keywords and phrases within the entire poem. Those with a penchant for this masterful work will likely want to share this site with like-minded friends and colleagues. [KMG]

Oceanus [Quick Time, Windows Media Player]

Impending coral catastrophes, digitally tagged manatees, and natural gas "eating" microbes are but a few of the topics covered between the pages of the magazine "Oceanus". Published by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), this nice publication features the work of researchers at WHOI via the use of photographs, interviews, and feature articles. Along the left-hand side of the homepage, visitors will find sections such as "Research News", "Features", "Interviews & Quotes", and "Students at Work". The "Features" area is a fine place to start, and visitors will no doubt want to look over pieces on "Will the Ocean Circulation Be Unbroken?" and "Fertilizing the Ocean with Iron". Persons looking for specific topics can click through areas that cover ocean chemistry, natural hazards, and twelve other thematic sections. Finally, visitors can sign up to receive email alerts about newly added materials. [KMG]

Interactives: Garbage [Macromedia Flash Player]

With a heading that includes the phrase "How can my community reduce waste?", this educational site provided by the Annenberg Media group is one that's hard to ignore. This resource is one of their "Interactives", and educators can use these various tools to help students learn "how to improve next year's environmental record." Educators and students can choose between one of five topical areas, all of which include various interactive components and activities. These sections cover solid waste, hazardous waste, sewage, global efforts to reduce solid waste, and links to related resources. Along the way, users will get the opportunity to test their knowledge about hazardous waste in their home, and they can even step up to try their hand at shrinking a landfill. [KMG]

Scottish Natural Heritage Information Service [pdf]

From John O' Groats to Aberdeen, the Scottish Natural Heritage's Information (SNHi) site provides detailed information on many aspects of Scotland's diverse regions, flora, and fauna. The materials on the site are divided into six sections, including the "Facts & Figures" area, which is a great place to start exploring the site. Here, visitors can learn about SNHi's work by reading their annual reports from the past several years. From there, visitors should feel free to make their way to the "What's in my backyard?" (WIMBY) section. In this section, users can type in geographic place names to learn more about any given region, city, or district within Scotland. Finally, the site's "Trends and Indicators" area includes reports like " The Seas Around Scotland" and "Land Cover Change in Scotland". [KMG]

McGill Life Sciences Library: Resources for Teaching and Learning [pdf]

McGill University's Life Science Library has created this very fine online resource for medical educators, students, and other health care professionals. On the left-hand side of the page, visitors can peruse a list of thematic categories that include "Publishing in the Life Sciences", "Reference Manager", and "Health Statistics" that are worth looking at in detail. The core of the site consists of a long set of links that lead to medical databases, and most importantly, the "ABC of Teaching & Learning in Medicine" articles. These articles cover everything from creating teaching materials to learning and teaching in the clinical environment. [KMG]

Linking Research and Teaching in History: Case Studies

There are many resources online designed to help educators teach about various aspects of history, but relatively few on teaching students how to practice and research history. This fine site from The Higher Education Academy at the University of Glasgow begins to fill that gap with a number of case studies and classroom activities. First-time visitors should read an introductory essay here by Alan Booth that offers some perspective on research-teaching relationships in history before looking over the other offerings. Looking through the offerings on the site, they include pieces titled "Introducing History Students to Research Techniques", "Encouraging Collaborative Learning and Student Research on a Computing History Module", and "Teaching Your Research: The Special Subject in History". [KMG]

Positive Prevention: HIV Prevention with people living with HIV [pdf]

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance works to support "community action on AIDS in developing countries" through advocacy efforts, research, and outreach programs. Over the past several years, they have also released a number of papers designed to assist non-governmental organizations and service providers with providing quality health care to those living with HIV. This 36-page guide was released in September 2007, and is divided into four sections, including "Community Mobilisation" and "Individually focused health education and support". Each section contains concrete suggestions, along with examples drawn from case studies in Mexico, Senegal, and other places. After reading through this publication, visitors are welcome to offer their own comments and feedback on the International HIV/AIDS Alliance website. [KMG]

National Human Genome Research Institute [pdf, Real Player]

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has many accolades to its credit, not the least being their work on sequencing the human genome. They have made substantial contributions to every sector of genomic research since their founding in 1989, and their website is one that will be very useful to researchers looking for grant opportunities, medical professionals, and members of the genome-curious public. Visitors who might be less familiar with the Institute's work should start by browsing through the "Newsroom" area on the homepage just to get a sense of their mission and general focus. Moving on, just about everyone will find something of interest at the "Educational Resources" area. This area of the site is particularly strong, and it includes an online educational kit for understanding the human genome project, National DNA Day, a "talking" interactive glossary of genetic terms, and genetic education modules for teachers. [KMG]

General Interest

Mapping The Pacific Coast [Real Player]

Maps of the Pacific Coast from the earliest period of European exploration continue to interest cartographers, geographers, and antiquarians. The maps in the Quivira Collection date from 1540 to 1802 and include early depictions of California as an island, Russian cartographic interpretations of the Pacific Coast, and overland maps across the continent westward to the ocean. All told, this online collection includes forty-five maps, books, and illustrations organized into six thematic galleries. Visitors can start by listening to an audio introduction, and then look around through the thematic galleries, which include such intriguing headings as " In the Wake of Captain James Cook" and "Secret Russian Explorations in the Pacific". Of course, visitors must click their way into the "California as an Island" section, if not just for a taste of six examples of what is perhaps one of the best-known cartographic mistakes in the world. [KMG]

ChicagoAncestors [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

The quest to document one's family tree is one that stretches back across the human experience, and it can be done through the use of government records, obituaries, and so on. Recently, the Newberry Library in Chicago created this site for persons looking to trace their roots within the Windy City. First-time visitors to the site can just go ahead and type in a street address or browse through the online collections which are culled from a variety of local institutions. In the "Tools" area, visitors will find address conversion tools, Chicago City Directory street guides, and a tutorial on researching Chicago in the period before the fire of 1871. Visitors also have the opportunity to add content information to this interactive resource, which it should be noted is open source. [KMG]

Department of Statistics: Kingdom of Jordan

Created in 1949, the Kingdom of Jordan's official Department of Statistics has created this website to provide broad access to important information about the country to audiences around the world. In the "About Us" area, visitors can learn about their census techniques and also take in a bit of additional information about their organization and the services they offer. The tabs on the left-hand side of the homepage give users access to economic reports, agriculture surveys, environmental statistics, and e-government. One particularly compelling report included in this area addresses the subject of the Iraqi population in Jordan, and it is a document which will interest political scientists and others. The site also contains a "What's New" section and statistical reports and the like in Arabic. [KMG]

NOVA: Pocahontas Revealed

Who was Pocahontas? It's a question that has puzzled historians and archaeologists for centuries, and this recent documentary from NOVA takes a nuanced and in-depth look into both the reality and the myth surrounding her. The program draws on a wide variety of perspectives, and this complementary website could be used as an educational tool in the classroom or just as a means for personal edification. Visitors can watch a short video preview of the program, and then take a look through the "Images of A Legend" area, which provides twelve different visual interpretations of Pocahontas from the early 17th century all the way up to her recent portrayal in a popular animated film. Other areas of the site include "The Science of Jamestown", "Touching the Past", and "Bold Endeavor", which features an essay by historian David Silverman on the clash of cultures between Jamestown's colonists and Pocahontas' people. [KMG]

Baker's Student Encyclopedia of Music

Noted country artist Roy Acuff and modern American composer John Adams dont often find themselves in close musical company, but in the Baker's Student Encyclopedia of Music they are only separated by four entries. Offered as part of the eNotes site, the Encyclopedia is a good resource for both students and others who wish to brush up on any number of composers, musical terms, performers, and so on. Visitors can browse on through alphabetically, and they may wish to read the brief "Foreword" offered as a way of establishing the focus and intent of this publication. From Sun Ra to the Sabre Dance, visitors will want to dip into this encyclopedia on multiple occasions. [KMG]

Center for Civic Education [pdf]

With offices in Calabasas, California and Washington, D.C, the Center for Civic Education is "dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles." The Center functions as a nonprofit, non partisan educational corporation and the materials offered on their site for educators and those wishing to brush up on everything from representative democracy to the Constitution will be pleased to wander around the site. While the Center does publish some commercial textbooks and the like, visitors will find a number of free educational materials in the "Resources" area that are worth considering. Here, visitors can download lesson plans, view an extensive set of related external links, as well as additional resources on civic education. The site is rounded out with a nice "Multimedia" area, complete with podcasts on civics and videos that examine civil rights. [KMG]

Context Rich Problems Online Archives

New physics teaching resource sites continue to pop up every day, and this one from the University of Minnesota's Physics Education Research Group is a good find. The site is divided into two areas, one covering mechanics problems, and the other covering electricity and magnetic problems. Within these two areas, visitors can look through examples of linear kinematics problems, force problems, conservation problems, and so on. For instructors, each problem begins with a list of the specific principles necessary to solve the context-rich problem. Visitors are also welcome to submit their own problems for potential inclusion on the site. [KMG]

Symbols of Power: Napoleon And The Art of The Empire Styles, 1800-1815 [Macromedia Real Player]

Want to know why statues of emperors are crowned with laurel wreathes? Symbols of Power: Napoleon And The Art of The Empire Styles, a web exhibition from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston has the answer for you. At the web site you will find explanations of the iconography - Roman mythological figures, the laurel wreath, butterflies, swans, bees - used on objects made for Napoleon and his first wife, Josephine, who were crowned emperor and empress in 1804. For example, a stool designed for one of Napoleon's generals has legs in the shape of crossed sabers, decorated with Mars and Minerva, the Roman gods of war. The stool was also purposefully designed with no arms, so that a soldier with a sword on his belt could sit in it without removing his weapon. Why the laurel wreath? It is another classical symbol used in ancient Rome to celebrate military victory. [DS]

Network Tools

CCleaner 2.02.527

The road to a smoothly running computer can be paved with unused files and all types of extraneous items. This version of CCleaner can help users with such matters, as it cleans up temporary files, recycled items, log files, and other such pesky items. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

Photo Organizer 2.34b

Photo Organizer 2.34b goes above and beyond the call of photo gallery duty by offering users the opportunity to not only store their images, but to also create detailed annotations for each image. The program is capable of handling thousands of images and users can also print, tag, export, and search images as they wish. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Study shows that honey can help a child's cough

Honey 'is better for children's coughs'

Study: Honey better than drugs for kids' coughs

Honey Gives Kids Sweet Relief From Coughs

National Honey Board: Recipes

Guide to Bee-Friendly Gardens

Humanity to Honey-bees

Honey has been used for millennia for both medicinal purposes and as a foodstuff. This week, researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine published findings that seem to indicate that small doses of honey may in fact be more effective at treating children's coughs than a chemical ingredient commonly found in several popular cough medicines. Lead researcher Dr. Ian Paul noted that darker honeys may be more effective as a form a treatment, and he also noted that the use of honey seems to have none of the side effects commonly associated with over-the-counter cough treatments. Pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown commented on the findings by affirming the potential benefits of such a treatment and also stating, "The authors admit that the improvement in symptoms may simply be attributable to the length of time a child has symptoms of cough and that the common cold will improve over time anyway." Finally, other medical professionals noted that honey should not be given to children under the age of one due to the potential of botulism spores that may be present. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to a piece about this recent discovery from this Tuesday's Telegraph. The second link will whisk users away to another related article from this Tuesday's Houston Chronicle. Moving on, the third link leads to a good piece from ABC News about the recent honey-related research and the uses of honey throughout history. The fourth link leads to some rather delicious-sounding recipes from the National Honey Board. If you were thinking about making honey carrot soup or apricot honey bread, this site has recipes for those two items and many more. The fifth link leads to a site on creating a bee-friendly garden from the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. The final link leads to a digitized version of Thomas Nutt's 1832 tome, "Humanity to Honey-bees", in which he offers up a very detailed "humane plan by which the lives of bees may be preserved, and abundance of honey of a superior quality may be obtained." [KMG]

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