The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 12

March 28, 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

Cholera Online: A Modern Pandemic in Texts and Images [pdf]

Cholera is a disease which can spread quickly and it has certainly presented some tremendous challenges for public health officials and experts in recent times. This fascinating online collection brings together 221 English language monographs dating from 1817 to 1900 which deal with the cholera epidemics of that period. This project was undertaken by the National Library of Medicine, and the selection of documents was informed and inspired by the 315-page "Bibliography of Cholera" compiled by John Shaw Billings in 1875. First-time visitors would do well to start by reading the "Introduction" section before jumping in to the remainder of the site. After that, visitors can click on the "Read the Books" section to peruse the offerings by author, subject, date, and even location. The "Images" area is even better, as visitors can take in images organized by such thoughtful themes as "Social Commentary", Patients and Victims", and "Urban Outbreaks and Hygiene". [KMG]

Stem Cells at the National Academies [pdf]

Stem cells continue to make news headlines on a daily basis, and for research scientists, journalists, and members of the general public, it's important to have access about developments in the field. One particularly fine resource is available on this site provided by the National Academies. Educators and the generally curious may wish to start exploring the site by clicking on the "Stem Cell Basics" area. Here they can download the booklet "Understanding Stem Cells", or just peruse the interactive online version. Moving on, visitors can then look at the amended document titled "Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research", which was first published in 2005, and then amended in 2007. Interested parties can also submit their own comments on these guidelines directly via an email link on the site. Finally, visitors can also sign up for email updates and look at the "Reports" area, which includes six substantive reports dating back to 2002. [KMG]

Memory Maps [Macromedia Flash Player]

The relationship between people and the places they inhabit has always been intriguing. While exploring this relationship, many have also considered the various objects associated with particular geographic areas, such as prints and paintings. This rather engaging project from the Victoria and Albert Museum serves as a way to explore some of these questions. Designed as a collaboration between Professor Marina Warner of the University of Essex and the Museum, the work here currently focuses on an exploration into the city of Essex. Visitors can begin by reading an essay titled "What are Memory Maps?" by Professor Warner and then proceed to read a series of pieces by contemporary writers on Essex. After that, visitors should move on to look over the selected paintings and drawings which depict the city through watercolors, sculpture, and other forms of artistic expression. The site is rounded out by a selection of weblogs created by artists and writers working on this project. [KMG]

Economic (In)Security: The Experience of the African-American and Latino Middle Classes [pdf]

As more policy analysts and academics express concerns about the faltering economy, a number of think tanks and like-minded organizations are offering up research reports on how these changes are affecting various segments of American society. This recent 24-page report released in February 2008 looks at the economic problems faced by African-Americans and Latinos. The report was created by the Demos organization and researchers at Brandeis University, and it finds that one in four African-American and fewer than one in five Latino middle-class families in America are financially secure. The team of researchers came to this finding by measuring the financial security of the middle class by looking at five core economic factors, including housing costs, budget, and health care. Along with describing this situation, the report also offers some significant policy recommendations, which include expanding access to higher education and helping to stop discriminatory lending practices. [KMG]

Kosovo: Guardian Special Report [Macromedia Flash Player]

Kosovo has certainly been in the news quite a bit as of late, as it declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008. Many people may be craving more information and thoughtful commentary on this new country, and they would do well to turn to this helpful site. Created by staff members at the Guardian, the site contains up-to-date news pieces on the country, along with long-form investigative pieces on the country's political climate. Visitors can also view short videos on the site, participate in online forums, and also look through a "Q&A" section. One can imagine that this site would be a fine resource for a political science or world geography class, and it may spark a new interest for some in the affairs of southeastern Europe. [KMG]

Social Watch [pdf]

Taken as a whole, Social Watch as an international network of citizens' groups concerned with the "fulfillment of internationally agreed commitments on poverty eradication and equality." These citizens' groups are also responsible for submitting national reports, promoting dialogue about these development priorities, and developing an inclusive strategy in order to bring other groups into the fold. For persons with an interest in these matters, this site will prove quite indispensable. Along the top of their homepage, visitors can view country reports, learn about development indicators through interactive maps, and also read up on the progress towards these goals. Visitors should also take a look at their annual reports, which provide both an executive summary and detailed regional reports on such matters as gender equity and poverty eradication efforts. The site also contains links to other relevant organizations and conferences, including the World Summit for Social Development and the World Conference on Women. [KMG]

Europa: Environment and Waste [pdf]

Over the past several decades, the European Union has grown increasingly concerned about their ever-growing amounts of trash and other assorted rubbish. Ever year, the European Union throws away approximately 1.3 billion metric tons of waste, along with approximately 700 million metric tons of agricultural waste. With that in mind, they established a unified approach to waste management and disposal. This site provides information both on this approach and details about related matters, including the dismantling of ships, sewage treatment, and the incineration of waste. After reading the brief introduction to this topic provided on the homepage, visitors can look over the thematic list of topics along the left-hand side of this page. In each area, visitors can read about various activities, including proposed legislation, working papers, and scientific reports. Two sections which should not be overlooked include the "Sustainable Use of Natural Resources" and the "Integrated Product Policy" area. [KMG]

East-West Center [pdf]

Started in 1960 by the U.S. Congress, the East-West Center's primary purpose is "to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States." To accomplish this purpose, the Center serves as a functional hub for education, cooperative research, and scholarly dialogue. On their homepage, visitors can look over the latest news from scholars at the Center, look over a list of upcoming events sponsored by the Center, and also learn about some of their most recent publications. Academics visiting the site may wish to click on over to the "Research" area. Here they will find information on their primary areas of interest, which include population and health, environmental change, and politics and governance. Finally, visitors should look at their "Publications" area, as it includes free downloads, abstracts, and access to ordering information. [KMG]

General Interest

National Register Travel Itineraries [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

It's a long and winding road from Indianapolis to Little Rock (and all the stops between), but if one is hoping to learn about the very diverse cultural traditions and history across the United States, the National Register Travel Itineraries are a stellar way to do so. Currently, the site contains over three dozen itineraries which highlight different geographic regions or important themes in American history. Visitors can browse the itineraries alphabetically or by state. Each tour contains a list of the sites covered, accompanied by a map, photographs, and usually a list of additional external sites and readings. While all of the itineraries are well-done, visitors should definitely start by looking over the Indian Mounds of Mississippi tour and the tour of World War II sites in the San Francisco Bay area. [KMG]


If you can't remember a particular aria from Gounod's "Faust" or a certain detail from the song contest at Wartburg, this site dedicated to opera may be just the ticket. Created and maintained by Rick Bogart, a research scientist at Stanford, the site provides access to libretti, source texts, performance histories, synopses, discographies, and so on. The site also contains an opera information directory, which features an opera composer index containing 4800 entries. Moving on, those who might be new to the wonders of opera will appreciate the "Opera For Everyone" CD's, which are offered here at no charge. Visitors can use the music here to learn about four classic operas, including "La Traviata" and "Madama Butterfly". The site is rounded out by a list of operas requiring six or fewer singers and a calendar of operatic commemorations. [KMG]

Citizen Milton

The influence of John Milton's writing remains quite powerful, and his ideas about citizenship remain quite relevant. While many may be only vaguely familiar with "Paradise Lost", certainly they have read snippets of the work paraphrased in other places, such as "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven". To celebrate the 400th anniversary of his birth, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University created this digital exhibition to complement their in situ exhibition. Curated by Sharon Achinstein, the site takes users on a tour of Milton's life through well-written narrative passages that are interspersed with digitized documents taken from the Bodleian's prodigious holdings. All told, there are fourteen different sections covering the "pastoral" Milton, freedom of the press, and Milton's relationship with the Bodleian Library. Overall, it's a splendid site and one that might make some visitors pick up a copy of "Paradise Lost" for the second (or first) time. [KMG] [pdf]

What is physiology exactly? It's a good question, and one that is answered quite thoroughly on this website provided by The American Physiology Society (APS). The homepage starts things off with a basic introduction to physiology, complete with a pronunciation guide for the actual word. Moving on, the site contains four primary sections: "What is Physiology?", "Current Research", "Milestones in Physiology" and "Research Issues". The first section expands on the site's introduction by offering information on the questions physiologist ask, along with links to some online experiments culled from physiologists around the world. The "Current Research" section offers white papers from the APS, links to relevant journals, and abstracts from recently published physiology papers. Visitors will also want to look over the "Milestones in Physiology" area, as they can browse the timeline of physiology and also read 46 classic research articles taken from the American Journal of Physiology archives. [KMG]

USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center [pdf]

Nutrition is very important, and coming across high-quality websites on the subject is a real treat. The United States Department of Agriculture created the Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) in 1971, and their work is designed to provide a broad range of resources of nutrition for health professionals, educators, government personnel, and consumers. As with many of the USDA's sites, visitors can perform a full search using the embedded search engine, or use the "I Want To..." area to look up calories or nutrients in a food or ask a question of their resource specialists. First-time visitors should also look at their "Spotlights" section, which includes a special food pyramid for pregnant and nursing moms, the "Healthy Meals" resource system for child nutrition professionals, and food safety information. For those who know more or less what they are looking for, they can take advantage of the subject headings on the left-hand side of the homepage. Here they will find resources on weight and obesity, dietary supplements, dietary guidance, and food labeling. [KMG]

Open Vault [Quick Time]

WGBH has been broadcasting out of Boston for decades, and they recently decided to create a site that would afford users access to some of their unique and historically important content. Currently, the site contains over 1500 different resources, including video excerpts, resource management tools, and searchable transcripts. Visitors can get acquainted with the site by browsing through the "Top Picks" on the homepage. Recent features have included an interview with Emmy award-winning poet Lucille Clifton and a snippet of Ros Barron's dramatic movement work, "Margritte sur la Plage". After this excursion, visitors can search the site's contents, or click on thematic sections such as "Business", "Social Science, "Arts", and "Massachusetts". The site is rounded out by an area where new users can sign up to create and maintain their own personalized list of resources drawn from the site. [KMG]


Operating under the motto of "Trust Us", ibiblio is a collaboration of the School of Information and Library Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Ibiblio is billed as one of the largest "collections of collections" on the Internet, as it contains links to sites that deal with arts and recreation, geography, history, natural science, and philosophy, along with other subjects. First-time visitors can look over their FAQ section, read their collection policy, and then take a look at their "Recent Additions" area. Moving on, visitors can also look at their collection criteria, and even submit a collection for their consideration. Along with their very impressive collections, they also have a wide range of RSS feeds which users can sign up for. [KMG]

Campana Brothers Select [Macromedia Flash Player]

This web exhibition features more than thirty objects dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries, selected from the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum by Fernando and Humberto Campana, founders of Estdio Campana in So Paulo, Brazil (an international furniture design studio). Objects in the show include book illustrations, jewelry, furniture, and wallpaper designs, on a theme developed by the Campana Brothers, that they call "Manufacturing Emotions". Online visitors are invited to browse the collection using tags provided by the brothers as an alternative way of organizing the objects in the collection. These unique tags include terms such as entwining, morphing nature, quizzical delicacy, and creating texture. Objects found by clicking on the entwining category range from a glass bowl by William Lequier made in 1984, to a set of bracelets and a necklace made of red-dyed horsehair, from around 1830.

Network Tools

Safari 3.1

This new iteration of the Safari web browser may intrigue those who haven't utilized previous versions, and it may bring some back to the fold. Visitors will note that they can take advantage of resizable text fields and significantly faster page load times. Also, the "Snapback" feature makes it quite easy to get back to the original page after spending sometime wandering through cyberspace. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4.9. [KMG]

Advanced WindowsCare Personal 2.71

Pesky security threats on one's computer can really ruin an entire day, or in some cases, a whole week. With that in mind, visitors will want to take a gander at Advanced WindowsCare Personal 2.71. This rather comprehensive PC care utility will help users fix register entries and clean up their operating system. Additionally, the program comes with an advanced menu that gives users fine control over repairs and optimizations. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. [KMG]

In The News

After almost fifty years, planners and citizens ask "What's next?" for World's Fair site

Seattle Center Redesign

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: 1962 World's Fair [pdf]

HistoryLink Essay: Century 21

See You in Seattle [iTunes, Quick Time]

Clips: World's Fair 1962

Century 21 Calling

While large-scale world's fairs may largely be a thing of the past, many cities have engaged in long and involved planning processes to decide what to do with the infrastructure left over from such affairs. After the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, many of the buildings on the fairgrounds burned to the ground, and today only the Palace of Fine Arts remains (It is now the Museum of Science and Industry). In Montreal, the legacy of Expo 67 included the forward-looking Habitat 67 residential complex, designed by internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie. Currently, the city of Seattle is engaging in a long-term plan to look at how they might go about renovating and reinventing the Seattle Center, which served as the home of the 1962 World's Fair, which was also billed as the Century 21 Exposition. Over the past several decades, a number of plans have been floated for the area, including a controversial proposal that would have allowed the Walt Disney Corporation to redevelop the grounds. The plan called for demolishing several prominent structures on the site (not the Space Needle, of course), and was met with significant resistance from Seattleites. This time around, a number of area institutions, including the Seattle Times, are soliciting proposals and ideas, so it promises to be a lively process. [KMG]

The first link will take users to the Seattle Times' "Design Your Own Seattle Center" site and weblog. Here visitors can submit their own renderings of what the new Seattle Center should look like and also browse through the many drawings already submitted. The second link leads to a fun and interactive feature, created by the Seattle Post-Intelligence, which allows users to learn more about the various cultural activities available at the World's Fair. Moving on, the third link will take visitors to an authoritative essay from History Link about the history of the World's Fair in 1962. The fourth link leads to one of the catchy theme songs of the 1962 Fair, "See you in Seattle". The fifth link whisks users away to quite a find, as it features a short home video taken at the Fair. Finally, the last link leads to a shameless bit of Fair promotion billed as "Century 21 Calling". The film takes in all of the Fair's glory, including the Monorail, the Space Needle, and a rather obvious plug for modern telephones and an early pager which resembles a medium-sized book. [KMG]

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