The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 9

March 7, 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

In Their Words: The Story of BC Packers [Macromedia Flash Player]

Labor history is rather fascinating, and this site offers up a serving of just this subject in the form of profiles and interviews with the men and women who worked in the Imperial Cannery factory in British Columbia during the twentieth century. The site opens up with a dynamic map that zooms in on the cannery's original location in southwestern British Columbia. After the introductory animation, visitors can click on sections that include "Fishing & The Fleet", "Canning & Processing", and "Company & The People". Visitors may wish to start with the "Fishing & The Fleet" area. Here they can learn about life as a fisherman through historic photographs, short films, and descriptive passages that discuss the various trials, tribulations, and joys that were part of this vocation. The "Products & Promotion" section is a real treat as well, and visitors can listen to radio advertisements designed to showcase everything from fish fillets to fish sticks. Finally, there is also a section of "Learning Resources" for educators. [KMG]

Race, Immigration and America's Changing Electorate [pdf]

Many scholars and pundits continue to wonder and discuss what the effects of America's changing demographics will have on future election cycles. Recently, the Brookings Institution's own William H. Frey discussed this very topic in a paper released at the end of February 2008. In the introduction to this work, Frey notes that "The rise of immigration from Latin America and Asia, the higher fertility of some minorities and the slow growth of America's aging white population will have profound impacts on the nation's demographic profile, with important implications for the electorate." The paper goes on to examine the magnitude of new minority population growth and the lag that immigrant minorities experience in translating their growth into actual voting power. It's an important report and one that will be of interest to political scientists, sociologists, and members of the general public. [KMG]

Center for Applied Linguistics [pdf]

Founded in 1959, the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is "dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of research-based information, tools, and resources related to language and culture." Their site is a real pleasure to use and explore, and while some of the materials are only accessible to registered members, there are enough free resources available here to warrant several visits. From the homepage, visitors can browse a list of topics that include foreign language, testing and assessment, literacy education, and refugee integration. In each of these topical areas, visitors will find executive summaries of recently released research reports and information about ongoing research projects and educational initiatives. Additionally, the "Resources" area contains the CAL Digests, which are short reports that highlight current topics of interest related to language learning, cultural orientation, and linguistics. Recent titles have included "Foreign Language Immersion Programs: Features and Trends Over 35 Years" and "Cultural Orientation for Refugees". [KMG]

NOW Adventures in Democracy: Election 2008 [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

Democracy is, at times, a type of adventure, so the title of this website is rather appropriate. Created by staffers at PBS's long-running program "NOW", this website serves as a clearinghouse of high-quality news coverage and analysis dealing with the 2008 presidential election campaign. First-time visitors can browse through the recent news headlines on the homepage and then take a look at their recent reports. Recently, these documents have covered everything from private developers' interest in public lands and explorations into the ways candidates use the web to solicit donations. The "Democracy Toolkit" is quite a find, and visitors can use the online resources here to learn about campaign finance reform, voting machines, congressional election reform, and ballot initiatives. [KMG]

Breathing Earth [Macromedia Flash Player]

Visual simulation and representation programs and applications have been popping up online in greater numbers, and this recent find is one that will pique the interest of scientists, policy makers, and others who are concerned about carbon dioxide emission rates across the Earth. The Breathing Earth site was created by David Bleja, and he draws on a number of resources (such as the World Factbook and the United Nations) for the data that is utilized to create this site. Visitors can scroll over different countries to learn about their population, their emissions, and their birth and death rate. This interactive map and educational resource also contains a legend in the right-hand corner which explains the various symbols in use here. [KMG]

The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive

Created and maintained by John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson of the University of St. Andrews, this site contains a cornucopia of materials related to the history of mathematics and well-known mathematicians through the ages. Users can start by clicking on the biography index and diving right into short biographies of noted mathematicians arranged alphabetically and chronologically. Moving on, the history topics index provides brief overviews of mathematics in the Indian, Mayan, Arabic, and Babylonian cultures. Additionally, this same area provides access to pieces on the history of algebra, analysis, mathematical physics, and number theory. Visitors should not miss the "Famous Curves" index either, as those who have wondered about Pascal's Limacon, Newton's Trident, or the Witch of Agnesi will wonder no longer after reading up on these notable curves. [KMG]

Biology Animation Library

The good folks at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory provide a number of helpful and well-designed educational materials on their site, and this Biology Animation Library is a real find. Visitors to the site can view one of a dozen animations offered here, and they can also download them for their own use. The animations include a brief overview of cloning, several on DNA, gel electrophoresis, and polymerase chain reaction. One can imagine that utilizing these animations in a genetics classroom would be quite easy, and students could even use these materials as a way to review basic genetic concepts. The site is rounded out by a section on the left-hand side that contains links to other educational resources created by experts at the Dolan DNA Research Center. [KMG]

Western Waters Digital Library

From the earliest European explorers to the time of modern engineers and hydrologists, the vast reserves of water within the Western United States have been the cause of both great excitement and concern. This compelling digital library brings together a wide range of documents (including legal transcripts, water project records, and personal papers) that document the Columbia, Colorado, Platte, and Rio Grande river basins. The project was completed with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and twelve university libraries in eight western states. On the homepage, visitors can perform advanced searches, or just elect to browse through the available materials. Browsing is a good option actually, as all of the materials are contained with one of four sections: subject, people, places, and signature collections. The signature collections are a real find, and visitors can look over troves that include "Native American Water Rights in Arizona", "The Platte River Basin in Nebraska", and "Las Vegas: Water in the West". [KMG]

General Interest

Arts & Crafts Movement: 1880-1920 in Europe and America;id=7015

Skeptical of the machine age, members of the Arts & Crafts movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries espoused a belief in the work of the individual craftsman and a continual search for that which was authentic and spiritually uplifting. Some of the movement's members included William Morris, Charles Rennie MacKintosh, and Frank Lloyd Wright. This wonderful collection from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art pays homage to their spirit and their work by offering up this digital collection of their various aesthetic creations. Visitors can browse the items by major themes (such as "Art & Industry), country, and even by artists' colonies. Clicking on "Germany", visitors can learn about the elegant dinnerware created by Gebrder Bauscher and the chairs designed by Richard Riemerschmid. Each section contains high-quality images of each item, along with short narrative pieces which reveal a bit about each region's contributions to this movement. [KMG]

British Museum: The Americas

Over the past few years, the British Museum has continued to expand their online offerings. In their "Explore" area, they have created a number of online tours that explore Asia, Africa, ancient Greece, Egypt, and Japan. This particular online tour covers the Americas through a number of thematic collections culled from their vast holdings. Visitors might wish to start by looking over the tour that includes images of kayak clothing from Greenland, as it provides some nice images and a number of insights into how kayakers past and present cope with the bone-chilling cold of the Arctic region. Moving on, the site also includes a tour titled "Unknown Amazon". Here, visitors can learn about the people who have inhabited the Amazon River basin over the past several thousand years. [KMG]

National Archives Experience [Macromedia Flash Player]

After a dynamic introduction, visitors will be more than a bit intrigued by this new site created by the National Archives. Designed to give users the unique ability to create their own cache of historical documents and other ephemera, the site offers sections that include "Collect", "Backtrack", "Pathways", and "Create". The "Collect" section allows users to drag historical documents into their own collection profile and the "Backtrack" area keeps tabs on which items visitors have used so far during their exploration of the site. The "Pathways" area is quite fun, as it offers users a series of clues that reveals relationships between photographs, documents, and other records. Visitors can create their own "pathway" or take a look at the three provided here. With more than 1200 documents contained within the site, visitors will definitely want to plan several return visits. [KMG]

Diseases of the Mind: Highlights of American Psychiatry through 1900

The National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine site has plumbed the various corners of American medicine for years, and this latest offering takes a look at the history of early American psychiatry through primary documents including photographs, biographies, and other items. The sections offered on the site cover early psychiatric hospitals and asylums, 19th century psychiatrists of note, and Benjamin Rush, who is known as "the father of American Psychiatry." The section on hospitals and asylums provides a timeline of important dates and activities, including the creation of the first asylum in America by Quakers in 1752. Visitors should also not miss the section on 19th century psychiatric debates as it covers debates about patient restraint and European influences on American psychiatry. [KMG]

British Empire Exhibition 1938 [Macromedia Flash Player]

The sun was certainly beginning to set on the British Empire in 1938, but that certainly did not stop the six month Empire Exhibition that was held in Glasgow from being a rousing success. Designed specifically to showcase British industry and technology, the Exhibition was held in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park. In order to create a permanent resource dealing with the Exhibition, the Digital Design Studio at the Glasgow School of Art began working on creating a 3D model of the principal buildings and structures that comprised the Exhibition along with a detailed 3D map of Bellahouston Park. Visitors can make their way through the grounds by clicking on the "3D Resource" section of the site. Additionally, visitors should definitely take a look at the "History" area as well. Here they will find interviews with scholars and architects about the lasting legacy of the Exhibition, along with information about why Glasgow was selected to host this event. The site is rounded out by a selection of rare films taken at the Exhibition and other selected ephemera, such as advertisements, textiles, and ornaments designed for purchase. [KMG]

Ecology, Art, and Technology [Macromedia Flash Player, iTunes, Quick Time]

The intersection between ecology, art, and technology is a complex one, and one that provides the inspiration for the EcoArtTech organization. The organization was created in 2005 and they are primarily interested in "working with digital, networked, and sustainable technologies and contemporary environments to create art about the environmentality of modern life." Their work is funded by Colgate University, the Turbulence Commission, and the Pine Lake Environmental Campus of Hartwick College. From the homepage, visitors can learn about some recent projects, view video podcasts of installations, and learn more about upcoming events and exhibits. The projects include "Frontier Mythology" which is a mobile, solar-powered environmental digital video and FM radio installation made of recycled shipping pallets. Visitors can watch the Quick Time documentary that profiles this installation, and they may want to mention it to friends and colleagues. Overall, it's a fine site and one that is quite thought provoking. [KMG]


There are recipes, there are bazaars, and then there is Recipezaar. Recipezaar is a fun and lively site that brings together thousands of recipes. This means that just about any food or beverage cravings will be covered here, and spending a few minutes on the site can be a good way to find a new arrow to add to one's culinary quiver. First-time visitors can look at the "Recipe of the Day" feature on the homepage, and then browse recipes by ingredient, cuisine, occasion, course, and preparation. The truly adventurous may also wish to browse a number of top categories, which include ground beef, Irish soda bread, Mexican, vegan, and casserole. Finally, visitors with tough culinary questions can submit them to the online forums, where everything from wasabi to Worcestershire sauce can be debated, diced, and discussed. [KMG]

Finnish National Gallery: Art Collections

At its web site, the Finnish National Gallery presents over 33,000 artworks by more than 6,000 artists. The site is arranged for easy browsing or searching. For example, browse by themes including Abstract, Non-representational Art; Religion and Magic; Nature; or History; as well as time period, or types of art from Painting to Textile art. In addition, searches can be conducted by artist name or work of art, limited by type of work, and, since the search encompasses several museums, location. There are also a couple of "Routes" through the collection - prearranged paths, one of animal images, fourteen works of art and/or paired works to "give you a brief insight into what artists at different times have thought of ... animals", and another called "To the forest", featuring 19 artworks inspired by the woods. [DS]

Network Tools

RSS Bandit

RSS Bandit is an RSS reader that will help users keep track of their various feeds through the inclusion of a number of novel features. Visitors can view news items in customizable newspaper views and also "expire" items so that they will be automatically deleted after a set number of days. Additionally, visitors can view comments directly in the reader and also maintain fine-grained control of how often items are downloaded. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and XP. [KMG]

Desktop Flickr 1.0.14

For those individuals who can't wait to see their friends latest pictures on Flickr, the popular online photo-sharing website, this desktop client will be a real find. With this application, users will be notified as soon as any of their contacts uploads new photos to the site. Additionally, visitors can also upload photos to their own Flickr account. This version is compatible with all operating systems, and of course, visitors must also have a Flickr account. [KMG]

In The News

After return and restoration, paintings by Edvard Munch to go back on display

Munch's Scream to go back on show

Munch's Scream, Madonna set for summer return in Oslo

Edvard Munch: The Dance of Life Site

Edvard Munch Online

Munch Museum [Macromedia Flash Player]

Federal Bureau of Investigations: Art Crime Team [pdf]

Four years ago a troika of armed men made their way quickly into the Munch Museum in Oslo in order to snatch a few paintings by Edward Munch. One of the paintings stolen was "The Scream", a masterpiece of psychological torment and anguish. Members of the art community were quick to respond (as were a group of criminologists) and fortunately both works were recovered two years later. This week, there was another bit of excellent news as officials at the Munch Museum announced that the two paintings will be displayed for four months, beginning in late May. Over the past several years, art conservators have been working tirelessly to repair the damages made to the two works. The canvas of "Madonna" was ripped, while "The Scream" still has a humidity stain in one corner. Munch executed several versions of each work, but the ones held in the collection of the Munch Museum are generally considered among the most complete. High-profile robberies of important (and valuable) works of art are nothing new, as museums around the world can attest. On a related note, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and the FBI's Art Theft Program are still actively searching for the priceless art works (including several items by Rembrandt and Degas) that were stolen eighteen years ago. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a news article about the paintings which appeared on the BBC's website this past Monday. The second link leads to a CBC feature from this Tuesday which discusses the upcoming exhibition at the Munch Museum. Moving on, the third link leads to a site created by Roman Jaster which explores Munch's haunting painting "The Dance of Life". The site also contains several short essays on Munch and a gallery of his other works. The fourth link will whisk users away to the Artcyclopedia entry on Munch. Here visitors can look over online collections dedicated to Munch's work, along with articles and reviews. For those planning to make a journey to see "The Scream" in Oslo this summer, the fifth link will be most helpful as it leads directly to the English language version of the Munch Museum website. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the FBI's Art Crime Team. Users can learn about their recent recoveries and also learn the facts behind the theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. [KMG]

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