The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 7

February 22, 2008

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

National Criminal Justice Reference Service [pdf]

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) is a federally funded resource "offering justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide." They have an ambitious mission and their sponsors include the Office on Violence Against Women, the National Institute of Corrections, and the Office of Community Oriented Policy Services. Visitors who know what they are looking for may wish to start with the "A-Z Topics" area and may also wish to sign up for their biweekly email newsletter, JustInfo. The homepage is chock-full of helpful resources, including the Community Policing Newsletter, new reports on improving responses to people with mental illnesses in mental health court, and special thematic reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Those persons looking for grants and funding opportunities will definitely want to look over a special section dedicated to providing information on hundreds of different programs. [KMG]

Explore Art [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Getty Museum has long been a leader in online exhibitions and educational resources, and their "Explore Art" feature is one that will delight anyone with a penchant for the visual arts. On the homepage, visitors can browse artists by name, or they can also look over the collection by object type or subject. The "Natural World" theme is well-worth a look, as it contains hundreds of offerings such as a Roman sculpture of a bear and a meticulously carved bee that appears on a four-drachma coin from the 4th century BC. On the right side of the page, visitors can browse through the "Getty Guide" area. Here they can watch videos of artists at work, explore the modern outdoor sculpture collection, and learn about the painting technique of Lucas Cranach, the noted Old Master painter and printmaker. Finally, visitors can use the Getty Bookmarks feature to collect and save their favorite artists and works from the collection via their own customized bookmarks page. [KMG]

NC State Physics Demonstrations

The physics department at North Carolina State University has created this very fine list of online physics demonstration manuals that will be quite a boon to physics educators in high schools and colleges. Visitors can search 28 online demonstration manuals simultaneously or they can also choose to look over a demonstrations bibliography that contains over 7500 references. Those who just wish to browse around can scroll down the page to look within each manual separately. Also, visitors may also wish to check out the public lecture demonstration shows offered on the site, along with a collection of links to professional organizations, including The American Association of Physics Teachers. [KMG]


The Missouri Botanical Garden Library has many lovely examples of 18th and 19th century botanical literature from all around the world. While they began digitizing some of these works in 1995, they recently decided to expand their collection to include non-illustrated works of significant importance to taxonomic botany. Drawing on support from the W.M. Keck Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, their database has been expanded to include over 280 books and journals with a total page count that exceeds 790,000 pages. On their homepage, visitors can click on an interactive list of subjects in order to locate items of interest, or they can also search the database by title, an author list, or year of publication. Interested parties may wish to also sign up for their RSS feed or just read through their latest news updates. [KMG]

Writings of Thomas Wentworth Higginson

During his long life, Thomas Wentworth Higginson was an outspoken critic of slavery, military conflicts, and many other issues that dominated conversation in 19th century America. Higginson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1823 and after attending Harvard Divinity School he became a Unitarian minister. Over the course of the next five decades, Higginson would find time to play a leadership role in the women's movement and speak out against the fugitive slave act. This particular digital collection from the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln contains some of Higginson's correspondence, along with a selection of his other writings. These writings include "Does Slavery Christianize the Negro?", "Massachusetts in Mourning", and "The Results of Spiritualism". Visitors can also browse a topical list which will guide them to specific writings that address the Civil War, John Brown, Kansas, and the Woman's Suffrage Association along with many other fascinating topics. [KMG]

USDA: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [pdf]

The watchword of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is "protection". The APHIS is primarily considered with improving agricultural productivity and also ensuring the health and care of animals and plants. First-time visitors may wish to click on the "Hot Issues" section to learn more about some of the most pressing issues that the APHIS addresses. Here they will find fact sheets and news updates on avian influenza, the pesky light brown apple moth, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Moving on, visitors can also browse a list of subject headings that include animal health, biotechnology, plant health, and wildlife damage management. Finally, the site also contains an area where concerned visitors can report a pest infestation or suspected instances of agricultural smuggling. [KMG]

Contagion: Historical Views of Disease and Epidemics [pdf]

With this rather remarkable collection, the dedicated staff members at Harvard University Library's Open Collections Program have brought together Philadelphia's yellow fever epidemic of 1793, London's Great Plague of 1665, and six other notable epidemics from world history. The collection provides general background information on diseases and epidemics worldwide, and as previously suggested, is organized around significant "episodes" of such diseases. Visitors to the collection will find historical pamphlets, serials, books, and manuscripts totaling over 500,000 pages. The "General Materials" area is worth a look as it provides access to brief overviews of important concepts such as germ theory, public health, vaccination, medical geography, and humoral theory. Overall, it's a tremendous set of offerings, and visitors with a penchant for the history of medicine, public health, or diseases will find that this site is well worth many visits. Also, visitors can share resources on the site via Google Bookmarks and Facebook. [KMG]

A Global Map of Human Impacts to Marine Ecosystems

Many people may wonder what happens in the vast stretches of the world's oceans. For some, it is simply a matter of "out of sight, out of mind". Fortunately that is not the attitude at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For one of their latest projects, they decided to estimate and visualize the global impact humans are having on the ocean's ecosystems. Visitors to the site can view the map, learn about the methodology used to create the map, and also read about their datasets. Their findings were also recently reported in Science magazine, and users can view supplementary findings which appeared in that piece. As it stands, this map provides "critical information for evaluating where certain activities can continue with little effect on the oceans, where other activities might need to be stopped or moved to less sensitive areas, and where to focus efforts on protecting the last pristine areas." [KMG]

General Interest

Canadian Architectural Archives

The Canadian Architectural Archives were established in 1974 as a joint venture between the University of Calgary Library and the Faculty of Environmental Design. The site contains a great deal of information about their holdings and collection, but most visitors will want to click directly over to their "Online Collections" area. Here visitors will find the Panda Digital Image Bank, the Donovan & Williams Canadian Church Collection, and the Calgary Modern Site Survey. The Panda Digital Image Bank collection contains over a million images from the twentieth century. Visitors can search the Image Bank as they see fit, or they may wish to look over some of the thematic headings as well. The Church Collection contain over 500 images of Canadian churches taken during the early 1990s and the Modern Site Survey offers up several hundred architectural images taken in 2004. [KMG] [pdf]

The federal government is attempting to make finding information about business a bit easier with this website, and they have certainly succeeded. is managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which is working in partnership with 21 other federal agencies. Along the top of the homepage, visitors will find sections that include "Small Business Guides", "State & Local Info", and "Government Forms". In the "Small Business Guides" area, visitors can read over topical guides that address everything from e-commerce to occupational safety and health. The "State & Local Info" section allows users to click on an interactive map to find state and local regulations that pertain to businesses. Finally, the "Government Forms" area contains links to frequently requested forms, such as the I-9, the SS-4, and the W-2. Visitors should also check out the "Spotlight" area which features information on free tax training, managing small business credit, and an assessment tool for new businesses. [KMG]

Distinctive Voices@ The Beckman Center [iTunes]

At the Beckman Center in Irvine, California they certainly leave no scientific stones unturned. Through their "Distinctive Voices" public events series they bring in experts to talk about the science of chocolate, the causes of obesity, and the transposable elements sequences of DNA. While many visitors may be unable to make it to these events in person, they are encouraged to listen and watch via the online archive provided here. Currently, the archive contains several dozen lectures, and they include such intriguing offerings as "What is the Scientific Method?", "Ghost Hunters: Can Science Explain the Supernatural?", and "The New Industrial Revolution". Visitors should also wander over to "The Sounds of Science" podcast, which is produced by The National Academies. It is quite a delight, and visitors who get hooked may wish to subscribe here. [KMG]

The Encyclopedia of TV

How exactly does one create an encyclopedia about television? It's a formidable task, and one that Dr. Horace Newcomb of the University of Texas at Austin took on with great relish. He worked to assemble an advisory committee that would reduce the vast array of topics to around 1000. They did so, and in 1997, The Museum of Broadcast Communications published the fruits of their labor. Visitors to the site can browse through thoughtful and thorough entries alphabetically, and they will find entries that cover specific programs, historic moments and trends, important policy disputes, tabloid television and the quiz show scandal that rocked the industry in the 1950s. Many notable personalities are covered here, including Phil Silvers, Dan Rather, and Hugh Downs. [KMG]

Pew Internet: Online Shopping Report [pdf]

Shopping online for any number of products and services is quite ubiquitous, but some individuals are still concerned about the security of performing online transactions. This 32-page report released in February 2008 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project looks at what Americans think about online shopping. Authored by John B. Horrigan, the report is based on surveys conducted in September 2007. The report notes that while 78% of Americans find that shopping online is convenient, 75% of them also remarked that they do not like sending personal or credit card information over the Internet. Visitors can read the report summary offered here, or they can make their way through all three chapters, which include sections on trends in online shopping and low-income Internet users. [KMG]

Claremont Colleges Photo Archive

Located east of Los Angeles, the Claremont Colleges include: Claremont College (now, Claremont University Consortium), Claremont Graduate University, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, and the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences. Each school has its own interesting history, and this extensive digital collection offers visual insight into the personality and development of each one. Over 6700 images were digitized with financial support from The Ann Peppers Foundation and visitors can browse around the contents at their leisure. The photographs cover topics that include student life, building construction, campus planning, administration, and special events. Visitors can use the search engine on the homepage to look for specific items of interest. Additionally, they can also look at an index of terms and subscribe to their RSS feed. [KMG]

Florida's Shipwrecks: 300 Years of Maritime History [Macromedia Flash Player]

It is not an exaggeration to say that the coastal waters of Florida are littered with shipwrecks. Humans have been making their way around those waters for well over 6000 years, and during that time many a vessel has found its way to the bottom as a result of difficult weather and other maritime difficulties. This delightful National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary will take visitors all the way to Davy Jones' Locker and back, in a matter of speaking. Visitors can use the diver icon to look over a list of sites, view a map of all the featured shipwrecks, and even learn about additional itineraries. The sites profiled here include the USS Massachusetts, the SS Tarpon, and the fabled Half Moon, which was a racing yacht constructed of chrome-nickel steel. After looking over the site's materials, more than a few users may want to get their diving certification and take a trip to the warm waters off of the Sunshine State. [KMG]

Glaswegians Photo Archive

The Glaswegians Photo Archive is a byproduct of the Cranhill Arts Project, the largest documentary photography project in Scotland; 30,000 photographs taken between 1989 and 1992. This online archive provides a selection of these photographs that are "a record of Glasgow through photographs of its people - their lives, habits, quirks and cultures." The images are organized into topical albums, such as "Things You Don't See Anymore" where aspects of Glasgow that have disappeared or been altered in the sixteen years since the photographs were taken are displayed. These lost Glaswegian sites include orange and black buses, smoking in pubs, and drinking alcohol in the street. Another album, "Deep Fried", portrays the Glaswegian diet: a baker with a tray of scones and women factory workers making sausages, filling meat pies, and packing ground meat into trays. In the set are also shots of men in the street eating chips from paper cones, and schoolboys queued up to buy sweets. Visitors can sign up for an account in order to tag photos, and with or without an account, it's possible to search or browse by existing tags. [DS]

Network Tools


Skype is an effective free way to stay in touch with relatives and friends who might be in distant lands for an extended period of time. With this application, users can make free conference calls, transfer files, and also just talk to a friend one-on-one. This latest version of Skype also features higher video resolution for people making video calls. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3.9. [KMG]

Weather Watcher 5.6.25

Few cities' climatic conditions will be out of reach for users who choose to use Weather Watcher 5.6.25. This application can call up daily and detailed weather forecasts for over 77,000 cities worldwide, and users can even elect to have weather data retrieved at set time intervals. Additionally, visitors can also display the current temperature in a customized tray icon and also display a weather map as desktop wallpaper. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

New York Philharmonic Readies for a Command Performance in North Korea

Concert in North Korea to Be Broadcast Live [Free registration may be required]

US Nuclear Envoy Meets N. Korean Counterpart Amid Declaration Impasse

Japanese woman to sponsor NY Philharmonic's N. Korea Visit

U.S. Concerts and Korean propaganda

Why We'll Play Pyongyang

NPR: Dizzy Gillespie's Cold War Jazz Diplomacy [Real Player]

Cultural diplomacy has always been lauded as a way to create dialogue between nations with significant ideological differences. During the Cold War, musicians from the United States made a number of important trips abroad to spread the gospel of jazz and classical music, and in doing so, they made more than a few friends and might have even brightened relations between Russia and the United States, albeit temporarily. On February 26th, the New York Philharmonic will give a command performance in North Korea, and the trip has already garnered both significant praise and criticism. Recently, the New York Times announced that the North Korean government has given permission for the concert to be broadcast live. In a recent editorial published in the Wall Street Journal, the Philharmonic's music director, Lorin Maazel, had this to say about their forthcoming concert in Pyongyang: "If all goes well, the presence of the New York Philharmonic in Pyongyang might gently influence the perception of our country there. If we are gradually to improve U.S.-Korean relations, such events have the potential to nudge open a door that has been closed too long." [KMG]

The first link will take users to an article from this Tuesday's New York Times which talks a bit about the Philharmonic's upcoming concert in North Korea. The second link leads to a bit of reporting from Voice of America about the ongoing nuclear weapons talks between the United States and North Korea. Moving on, the third link leads to a news article from The Hankyoreh about Yoko Nagae Ceschina. Ceschina happens to be a Japanese millionaire who is helping make the trip possible via her support of the Philharmonic's activities. The fourth link will lead visitors to an interesting editorial on the subject of cultural diplomacy from The News Journal's (Wilmington, DE) own Harry F. Themal. The fifth link will whisk users away to an equally impassioned and thoughtful editorial by Lorin Maazel which appeared in this Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. Those persons who appreciate their cultural diplomacy in the form of flattened sevenths and ninths will appreciate the audio portrait of Dizzy Gillespie's trips abroad in the 1950s to be found in this last link. Visitors will also get to hear some rare recordings from the trip, including a performance of "I Can't Get Started". [KMG]

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