The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 18

May 9, 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

C-Span: Lincoln 200 Years [Real Player]

February 12, 2009 will mark the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and the C-SPAN network will be ready with this website and a host of special programming to commemorate this important date. The materials on the site are divided into five sections including "Schedule", "Timeline", "Video", "In His Own Words", and "Gallery". The "Timeline" offers a brief overview of important events in Lincoln's life, and the "Video" area brings together programming from C-SPAN related to Lincoln, including interviews with scholars, performance artists, and others. Moving on, "In his Own Words" offers up transcripts of his most notable works, including his speech at Cooper Union, the Gettysburg Address, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Visitors can also watch a video "bio-vignette" of Lincoln and peruse some of the external links provided on the right-hand side of the page. Overall, this is a tremendous resource, and one that visitors will want to return to multiple times. [KMG]

Utah State OpenCourseWare

More and more universities are joining up to offer a variety of course materials through the OpenCourseWare project, and Utah State University is now one of the partner institutions involved in this laudable venture. This site is made possible by funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and visitors will be delighted to learn that they can make their way through course materials from over a dozen departments, such as anthropology, economics, electrical and computer engineering, and wildland resources. Within each department, visitors will also note that there are tabs that allow them to email a friend about the course and also link up to an RSS feed. There are some great course materials here, including those from "Introduction to Writing" and the "History of Utah". [KMG]

Eco-towns: Living a greener future [pdf]

The Brits usually have some fine ideas about town planning, and some of their innovations (such as the creation of enterprise zones) have jumped across the pond in past decades. This recent 57-page paper released in April 2008 looks at the potential of so-called "eco-towns". Eco-towns are intended to be "a combined response to three challenges: climate change, the need for more sustainable living and the need to increase housing supply." The paper contains five separate chapters which provide an introduction to the potential benefits of eco-towns and how the British government will continue to evaluate various development proposals for such forms of habitation. The report also contains five appendices which detail how the planning of such towns will work throughout Britain. Overall, it's a compelling read, and those in the fields of urban planning or sustainable development will want to forward this report to their colleagues and associates. [KMG]

International Poverty Centre [pdf]

Working with partner organizations to help alleviate poverty is a hallmark of the United Nations Development Programme. Over the past few years that have been working wit the Brazilian government to promote broad cooperation on applied poverty research and training. On their website, visitors can learn a bit more about the International Poverty Centre (IPC) which represents one of these most recent collaborations. The homepage provides access to their event calendar, their latest publications, and information on their social and economic policy programs. In the "Publications" area, visitors can look through their in-house magazine, "In-Focus", policy briefs on topics like land reform and public utilities, and their "One Pager" series. For persons with a general interest in policy matters, the "One Pager" series is a great place to start as these short papers are written in non-technical language for a wide audience. [KMG]

Frontline: Growing Up Online

The PBS program Frontline always asks good questions, and their question for this particular program is a complex and difficult one to unravel: "Just how radically is the Internet transforming the experience of childhood?" The program talks with experts in child psychology, teenagers who've created online personalities for themselves, parents, and others who are involved in this restructuring of the childhood experience. Visitors to the site can watch the program in its entirety, and also move on to additional web-only materials. One section of note is the "Inside the Revolution" area, which includes interviews with researchers looking at the role of the Internet in young people's lives and also additional interviews with the young people profiled in this program. Other areas of the site include updates from the participants and a place where visitors can leave their own comments on the program. [KMG]

Urban Archives [pdf]

How do people understand what goes on in cities? What types of communications take place in public spaces? These are a few of the questions that the Urban Archives group at the University of Washington is interested in exploring. Comprised of a broad range of scholars, the Urban Archives group hopes "to create a conversation between scholars, artists and activists interested in a variety of issues related to communication in public spaces." On their homepage they have assembled a number of resources for visitors, including links to their digital collections, their wiki, and their weblog. In the "Digital Collections" area, visitors can look at areas that cover yard art, electric signs, graffiti, windows, and "ghost signs", which are fading old advertising images and murals. Visitors can also perform keyword searches across these collections as well. Their weblog is worth a look as well and it seeks to document changes in the urban landscape of Seattle, and it does a good job through its thoughtful posts and accompanying images. [KMG]

Profiles in Science: The Alan Gregg Papers

During his life, Alan Gregg was one of the most influential men in the world of medical education and research. For many years he worked at the Rockefeller Foundation as the director of their medical sciences division, and he oversaw a budget that offered millions of dollars of support to institutions and individuals involved in medical training and research. The Profiles in Science Project at the National Library of Medicine has recently collaborated with the Rockefeller Archive Center and the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy to create this digital collection of documents related to Gregg's career and professional life. The materials on the site are divided chronologically, and they include "Director of Medical Sciences, 1930-1945" and "Postwar Work and Retirement, 1945-1956". The documents here include items of correspondence with different medical experts, institutions, and family members. Along the way, visitors will also learn about Gregg's keen interest in tracking the development of medical education in Ireland and Brazil during the early 20th century. [KMG]

The Trial of Sacco & Vanzetti

In 1927, Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for the armed robbery of two pay-clerks in South Braintree, Massachusetts in 1920. Their case became a cause celebre across the world, as many felt that their trial was prejudiced by the prevailing anti-immigrant and anti-anarchist sentiment of the time. This collection of documents related to their trial is offered as part of the "Famous Trials" site created by Professor Douglas Linder at the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Law. Visitors to the site can view a chronology of events, maps, biographies of the trial participants, and statements from the sentencing phase of the trial. Additionally, visitors can also read letters written from Sacco and Vanzetti during their incarceration and also look over a selection of images from their trial. The site is rounded out by a thorough bibliography and a short collection of additional websites. [KMG]

General Interest

Global Power Barometer

It's difficult to track the changing tide of global power, but the Washington Post has offered this rather intriguing resource for doing just that. Essentially, the Global Power Barometer (GPB) provides "a relative measure how well various nations, ideologies and political movements are exercising their power to move global opinion and events in the direction they desire." Part of this analytic process is provided by the Denver Research Group (DRGI), and the GPB gauges both "opinion and hard fact." On the GPB page, visitors can look at the "Today's Drivers" section to learn which nations or groups are influencing the GPB and also learn more about critical issues in the news. On the right side of the page, visitors can look at a visual representation of the GPB. Moving down the page, visitors can also chime in with their own comments and read the views of expert panelists on recent events affecting the GPB. Finally, visitors can also learn more about the methodology used to create the GPB. [KMG]

The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936

During August 1936, Adolf Hitler's Nazi government played host to the Summer Olympics and many international observers and commentators wondered whether the United States might elect to boycott the Games entirely. They did not, and the triumphs of runner extraordinaire Jesse Owens were a highlight of those rather dark times in Germany. This engaging online exhibit on the Summer Games of 1936 was created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to complement a recent in situ exhibit at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. Visitors can make their way through sections that include "Germany", "Sports", "Boycott", "To Berlin", and "The Aftermath". Each section contains brief essays on each subject, nicely complemented by period photographs, digitized documents, and other items of historical importance. Visitors should not miss the "Boycott" section, as it contains first-hand recollections from various athletes on the situation in Berlin, including the perspective of Jesse Owens. [KMG]

Leonardo da Vinci's Geometric Sketches

How do you solve a problem like solids, mathematically speaking? Well, you could use this rather fascinating resource provided by the Convergence magazine. Offered as an educational resource by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), this particular resource brings together the work of the Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli (c.1445-1509) and the geometric sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci. Both men were interested in geometry, and this piece offers up a number of plate facsimiles of illustrations created by Da Vinci. Here visitors will find an introduction to this educational resource, along with illustrations of cubes, octahedrons, and cylinders. The accompanying article was written by Frank J. Swetz, and it is easy to see how these materials could be incorporated into a classroom discussion about the history of mathematics. [KMG]

Exploratorium: Microscope Imaging Station

In the summer of 2004, the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco unveiled their very ambitious and interesting microscope facility. Over the past few years they've spent a considerable amount of time and money on this project, and they've also created this fine website to offer those far away from the Bay area some access to this project. First-time visitors will want to click on the "Features" area to get started. Here they can look at the cells of sea urchins, blood, zebrafish, and frogs. Each feature has images of the cells, along with complete background material on the work that is being done through the use of these high-powered images. The "Gallery" is a great place to stop next, as it contains dozens of high-resolution images and movies created with research-grade microscopes. Here visitors can learn about cell motility, development, and immune response through looking over this extensive gallery that covers the gamut of different cellular activities. Finally, the site also contains an "Activities" area that includes classroom activities, printable flipbooks, and desktop wallpaper. [KMG]

Chinese Rubbings Collection

Several scholars and collectors, such as Langdon Warner and Lawrence Sickman, have presented their extensive East Asian rubbings collection to Harvard University, and these materials have remained a valuable resource for decades. Persons working in the fields of Chinese history, biography, epigraphy, calligraphy, and fine arts have come to Cambridge to consult the rubbings, and now many of them are available on this site. Visitors can browse the rubbings by title, name, subject, or genre for starters, and then move on to perform detailed searches as well. Some of the more notable rubbings in the collection include those from Xiaotangshan stone chamber, Wu Liang Shrine, and the Buddhist grotto sites in Gongxian and Longmen in Henan Province. [KMG]

Old Sturbridge Village: Collections

Located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Old Sturbridge Village is a living museum which seeks to offer a portrait of rural life in New England from the 1790s to the 1830s. Their collection of archival materials contains over 60,000 artifacts made or used by rural New Englanders. A healthy selection of these items are available for viewing on this site, and visitors with a penchant for material culture, folkways, and American rural history will be find much to keep themselves occupied here. First-time visitors to the site may wish to read the brief overview offered here and then click on through to the "Online Collections" tab. Here visitors can perform searches across the entire collection or just view one of the 14 thematic collections offered in this area. These collections include "Ceramics and Glass", "Fine Art", "Foodways", and "Native American". The "Foodways" section is quite a find, as visitors can look over a nice selection of sauce pans, kettles, and a rather elaborate step stove. [KMG]

Marine Mammal Commission [pdf]

Established in 1972 under Title II of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the Marine Mammal Commission (MMC) is primarily concerned with "the protection and conservation of marine mammals." Visitors to the site can learn more about the MMC's work, read pending and recent pieces of legislation related to the protection of marine mammals, and also look over testimony proffered to Congress by members of the MMC. Most visitors will want to look over the "Species" section as it contains information on those particular mammals that are currently covered under the Protection Act. Researchers and policy analysts will most likely want to look at the "Reports" area as well. Here they will find annual reports, workshop reports, and timely publication like February 2008's "The Biological Viability of the Most Endangered Marine Mammals and the Cost-effectiveness of Protection Programs". [KMG]

Alison Watt: Phantom

The Rootstein Hopkins Foundation Associate Artist program at the UK National Gallery funds artists for a two-year period. During this period, the artist works in the National Gallery studio "with the brief of creating new work that relates to the Gallery's permanent collection." Alison Watt is the seventh Associate Artist, and has created a series of paintings titled Phantom, that explore reproducing fabric, and fabric-like forms, in paint. On the website, visitors can watch "Alison Watt on Film" which is a series of three short videos covering her time at the national gallery. The first video presents Watt speaking about what it's like to spend two years working at the National gallery, surrounded by paintings that have been an inspiration throughout her life. The second video, Fabric and Flesh, has Watt examining Ingres's 1856 portrait Madame Moitessier and the last is a silent video showing Watt at work. [DS]

Network Tools

Advanced WindowsCare Personal 2.7.2

Threats to personal computers everywhere are on the rise, and Advanced WindowsCare Personal 2.7.2 provides a bit of sweet relief from such matters. The program removes spyware and adware, fixes registry errors, and also cleans up temporary files. Additionally, the program contains a brief help file for consultation by users. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. [KMG]

Zabaidoo 1.1.804.25

Zabidoo is a jack-of-all-trades type web navigator application. It allows users to scan through various website to find bargains, keep tabs on their RSS feeds, and also organize important links and email accounts. The homepage for the application offers an interactive demonstration of how it works, along with information about its other features. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP or Vista. [KMG]

In The News

After 66 years, the University of Washington will confer honorary degrees upon Japanese Americans whose studies were interrupted by time in internment camps

For WWII internees, UW degrees come after 66-year wait

Man who helped inspire ceremony may not attend

Japanese American Exhibit and Access Project

Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project [Real Player, Quick Time]

U.S. Office of War Information: Japanese Relocation

Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar

Ryo Kumasaka is set to receive an honorary degree from the University of Washington in a few days, but he's not sure whether or not he'll show up to receive it. Kumasaka's situation is a bit different than most students today, as his studies were interrupted by a decision by the United States government to move thousands of Japanese Americans to internment camps several months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. A number of people moved to these camps happened to be students at the University of Washington, and after the war was over, some were able to return to finish their degrees and some were not. Several faculty members at the University of Washington have been working to make the degrees a reality, including Gail Nomura, who recently commented, "We don't want this story to be forgotten. Civil liberties are a special thing. Only when we lose them do we realize how important it is to protect and defend them all." While a number of Kumasaka's former classmates will be at the commencement ceremony on May 18th in Seattle, he remains a bit ambivalent about the honor, "I can take it or leave it. It doesn't matter one way or the other. It's too late for that to have any effect on my life." [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a news article from this Monday's Seattle Times about the upcoming honorary degree ceremony at the University of Washington. The second link leads to another article from the Seattle Times about Kumasaka, complete with an audio clip of him talking about his experiences on the way to the internment camp. Moving on, the third link leads to the Japanese American Exhibit and Access Project at the University of Washington Libraries. Here visitors can view images from the camps, read oral histories of the students who were moved to the camps, and also look over a number of historical documents from the period. The fourth link takes users to the Densho Digital Archives site, which provides access to many hours of interviews with Japanese Americans who spent time in the internment camps and a wide range of related educational resources. The fifth link leads to a film created by the U.S. Office of War Information in 1943 that attempts to offer a justification for the relocation of thousands of Japanese Americans into the internment campus. Finally, the last link will take users to a moving exhibit of photographs taken by Ansel Adams at the internment camp in Manzanar, California in 1943 offered by the American Memory project at the Library of Congress. [KMG]

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