The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 30

August 1, 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

The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science

Phrases like "biodiversity climate" and "ecosystems" are becoming ubiquitous on evening television broadcasts, yet some may still be unfamiliar with these terms and concepts. Fortunately, there is "The Habitable Planet" website, which was designed by Annenberg Media for teachers and adult learners who wish to learn more about current events in environmental science. The content on the site is divided into thirteen areas, which include oceans, water resources, energy challenges, and agriculture. Within each section, visitors can make their way through separate sections within the online textbook, and also view content that includes interactive labs, graphics, video clips, and specialized glossaries. Returning to the site's homepage, visitors will also note that they can view the content by type, which makes it a bit easier if they are looking for a specific video clip or visual feature. [KMG]

Derivative Matching Game [Macromedia Flash Player]

Once again, the Mathematical Association of America has struck instructional gold with this latest gem from their online collection of resources for mathematics educators. Created by Barbara Margolius, this derivative matching game presents users with a game board showing graphs of functions on cards. Essentially, the goal of the game is to match the functions with their derivatives. Visitors can begin by reading an overview of the game, along with some brief instructions, and then they should dive right in. The game can also be customized to match functions with just first derivatives or both first and second derivatives. Mathematics educators will have a lot of fun with this one, and even the mathematically uncertain can be drawn into the fold with this easy to use resource. [KMG]

United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region [pdf]

Headquartered in Bangkok, the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (UNIAP) was established in June 2000 in order to formulate a more coordinated response to human trafficking in this region of Southeast Asia. UNIAP has over 30 staff members and they work closely with a number of donor organizations that work in the region and in other areas, including South Asia and Europe. Policy wonks, scholars, and activists will find plenty of information here on the site, including a "Project Search" feature which allows them to refine their search in a geographic fashion. Those persons who might be wholly unacquainted with this phenomenon may wish to click on "About Human Trafficking" to read through a brief overview and also check out some basic statistics about trafficking in the region. Further along, visitors should definitely look through the "Publications and Resources" area. Here they can read full text versions of international conventions and protocols regarding human trafficking and training manuals for combating trafficking. [KMG]

Climate of the Past [pdf]

Climatologists, geologists, and others will be delighted to learn about the existence of the open access journal "Climate of the Past". Started in 2005, the journal is published under the auspices of the European Geosciences Union and it is "dedicated to the publication and discussion of research articles, short communications and review papers on the climate history of the Earth." It is certainly not a small order of business, and the journal succeeds admirably. First-time visitors will want to look over the "Aims and Scope" area for a bit of an introduction to their work. Afterwards, they can look at the "Recent Papers" area on the right-hand side of the homepage to get a better sense of their latest accepted submissions. Moving on, visitors can click on the "Online Library CP" area to search for articles of interest and also sign up for paper alerts and RSS feeds. Finally, those persons who wish to test their research mettle can click on the "Submission" area to learn about how to submit their own scholarly findings for potential inclusion in the journal. [KMG]

Evangelists of Empire? Missionaries in Colonial History [pdf]

The role of missionaries in the process of colonization has intrigued historians and others for decades, and this compilation of scholarly works on this subject is quite a find. This set of papers was published by the eScholarship Research Centre at The University of Melbourne in July 2008, and it contains fifteen works that look at "current concepts of gender, race and colonial governance." Drawing on a range of methodological and theoretical approaches, the works are divided into thematic sections such as "Consolidating the Missionary Project" and "A Global Mission". Within these sections, visitors will find papers that include "Imperial Critics: Moravian Missionaries in the British Colonial World" and "Missions, Colonialism and the Politics of Agency". For persons with an interest in these types of historical explorations, this site will prove quite indispensable. [KMG]

Web 2.0: The Future of Collaborative Government [Real Player, pdf],1002,cid%253D208669,00.html?WT.mc_id=USRSS

Many units of government have their own websites, though their quality varies widely. With that state of affairs in mind, the Deloitte Consulting Group and the National Academy of Public Administration teamed up in June 2008 as part of a group conference in order to take a critical look at developing a "road map to help the next administration navigate the work force and organization changes that need to occur to move to a more collaborative model of government." During their group meeting, the participants (which included the global director of public sector at Deloitte Research and the assistant director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence) engaged in a discussion about this timely topic, and some of their thoughts and ideas can be found on this site. Visitors can read profiles of those invited to the meeting and then scroll down the homepage to view webcasts from the event and also take a look at several documents which chart the potential future of collaborative government and how this plan might be implemented. [KMG]

The Hague Justice Portal [pdf]

Initiated by The Hague Academic Coalition and launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands in 2006, The Hague Justice Portal serves as the online presence of the Hague organizations and their work on issues related to international peace, justice, and security. On the homepage, visitors can get acquainted with their work by perusing the "News" area and also looking over the list of legal events which appears along the right-hand side of the page. The "International Justice Forum" section contains a series of interactive forums designed to facilitate discussion on topics related to international law, and it will be particularly helpful to legal scholars and journalists. Additionally, legal scholars will want to take a look at the current issues of the Hague Justice Journal, which contains articles on sovereignty, victim participation in the legal process, and other related matters. Visitors should also note that many of the materials on the site are available in French and Dutch. [KMG]


The "folding" in the title of this site refers to the process by which proteins fold themselves before performing various important functions. This process is critical to just about every aspect of biology, yet scientists still don't understand exactly how protein folding works. Additionally, when proteins don't fold correctly, it can lead to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and any number of cancers. The Folding project at Stanford University is a distributed computing project which was established in order to help better understanding protein folding by drawing on the collective power of thousands of computers across the world. First-time visitors may wish to read through the "FAQ" section and then move on over to the "Results" area to see what their work has reaped thus far. After that, visitors can download the software to their computer and become part of this compelling and worthy project. [KMG]

General Interest

Europa Film Treasures [Macromedia Flash Player]

From La Strada to L'Auberge Epsagnole, European cinema has delighted audiences for well over a century. This remarkably wonderful site brings together over 80 films from 15 different European countries, and while cineastes will be well served by the offerings, even casual visitors will find much to admire here. With substantial support from a number of organizations (including the MEDIA Programme of the European Union), this online film archive includes films held by institutions like the British Film Institute and Filmarchiv Austria. What is perhaps most impressive about the site is that visitors can search for films of interest by country of origin, genre, sound (silent, soundtrack, or other), and film archive. While the site warrants a number of visits, new visitors may wish to check out the 1947 French animated feature "Anatole la Tour de Nesle" and the 1958 "Once upon a Tram", a wistful look back at the Irish tram that linked the tiny villages of Howth and Sutton on the County Dublin coast. The site is rounded out by a clutch of educational resources designed for use in the classroom. [KMG]

Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Portraits

Shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War, Union veterans formed the Grand Army of the Republic, or the G.A.R. Through the Reconstruction era and the Gilded Age, the G.A.R. was a powerful organization that lobbied the federal government for federal and state Soldiers Homes for invalids, advocated for the creation of Memorial Day, and also provided support for soldier reunions. This digital collection created by the University of Washington Libraries peers into the faces of some of these veterans by offering up this photograph album originally created by the Stevens Post #1 of the G.A.R., based in Seattle. The album contains over 100 portraits, and visitors can browse through them at their leisure. Visitors can zoom in and out on each photograph and they can also use a number of other tools to get the best view of each photograph for their own purposes. Also, while many of the photographs have complete provenance information, some do not, and visitors are welcome to write in with any insights they might have. [KMG]

Mullahs, Money, and Militias: How Iran Exerts Its Influence in the Middle East [pdf]

Funded by Congress, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) works to prevent and resolve violent international conflicts and promote post-conflict stability and development. Part of their mission also involves providing high-quality research reports and fact sheets addressing current and ongoing political situations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. In June 2008, USIP Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin researched and wrote this report that details how Iran extends its sphere of influence across the Middle East. In this report, readers will learn that this includes developing and maintaining ties with Shiite clerics and providing financial aid for humanitarian and political causes. Additionally, visitors can listen to an audio recording of a public event held at the USIP headquarters featuring Slavin and three discussants who also work in this area. [KMG]

The Winterton College of East African Photographs: 1860-1960

The website of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University offers visitors to its site a digital feast of images of East Africa from 1860-1960. A portion of the Winterton Collection of East African photographs, acquired by the library at the end of 2002, has already been digitized, and the entire collection of photographs has been inventoried and is available in a PDF document, under the Inventory tab. The photographs currently available on the website are divided into album views and individual sample images from the collection. The sample images are a mixture of landscapes and portraits, both formal and informal. By clicking on a photograph, a visitor can see a larger image of the photograph, as well as a caption that includes a date, location, and description, if known. The album view, with its black background and white text, extremely high quality image scans, and excellent organization makes it easy to navigate and enjoy. The photographs were scanned directly from the albums' pages, so a visitor almost feels as if they are paging through the physical albums. The photographs' original captions are legible in the albums when the photograph is magnified, but are also reprinted underneath the albums, with no zooming required. [KMG]

The Nuclear Vault: 40th Anniversary of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [pdf]

Signed into law on July 1, 1968, the historic Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) was a major step towards creating a world that had the potential to be a bit safer from the threat of nuclear annihilation. This particular collection of documents related to the NPT was brought together through the diligence of staff members at the National Security Archive's Nuclear Documentation Project and released to the public in July 2008. The site starts off with a narrative essay which describes the backdrop to the signing of the NPT in 1968, along with offering a bit of additional context about the international political climate at the time. The site's real gems are the 34 documents which include State Department cables, internal planning documents, and other items that reveal the nature of the political machinations involved with this process. [KMG]

To Love the Beautiful: The Story of Texas State Parks

Like many aspects of life in the Lone Star state, the parks in those parts defy easy description and they include lands around the Rio Grande River and Palo Duro Canyon. This particular digital exhibit created by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission tells the story of the Texas State Park system through historical images, first-hand recollections, and short essays. The exhibit is divided into eight sections, including "The Texas State Parks Board", "Texas Parks Go to War", and "Contemporary Issues". If visitors look at nothing else at the site, they should check out the "Early Years" area. Here they can learn about the early struggle to preserve the Alamo and also look at the original foot print of the building on an old fire insurance map. Overall, the site is more than a bit fun, and it also does a nice job of putting some of the issues facing parks in Texas into a broader national debate about the administration of state and national parks across the country. [KMG]

Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Museum of Modern Art's multimedia exhibit, Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling offers a selective historical survey of prefabrication in architecture, including patent drawings and films about early prefab architects. The exhibit emphasizes the importance of prefabricated architecture, especially homes, due to its sustainability and affordability. It also demonstrates that the utility of prefab architecture is far from being exhausted. The most compelling components of the exhibit are the five prefabricated homes, built by five different individuals or architectural firms on a lot west of MOMA. In addition to the sample photographs of the projects, visitors to the site will want to read the entries in the installation journal written by the people involved in each project. Watching the videos of the installations of the prefab structures on the west lot complete the experience of this very stimulating exhibit. [KMG]

500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection

This lovely addition to the expanding universe of web-accessible, digital versions of primary sources, was created by the New York Public Library and includes color lithographs, engravings, and other types of prints documenting the history of dance in Italy, collected by Walter Toscanini (son of the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini). The collection is named for the younger Toscanini's wife, ballerina Cia Fornaroli. Visitors will find over 100 portraits of dancers and patrons of the arts, as well as 263 images of sets, ballet theaters, and dancers in various roles. For example, there are images of the Spanish dance the Cachucha as danced by Fanny Elssler, as well as her contemporary, Marie Taglioni, and other unidentified dancers. [DS]

Network Tools

AppCleaner 1.2.1

Unwanted applications can be a real nuisance, so it's nice to learn about AppCleaner 1.2.1. This small application allows users to completely uninstall unwanted applications as it searches around to locate such troublemakers. The interface for the application is easy to use and the application is compatible with all computers running Mac OS 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

Flock Browser 1.2.4

For those persons dedicated to the world of social networking, the Flock browser will prove to be most efficacious. The browser makes interfacing with social networking sites quite easy, and visitors can use the collapsible sidebar to access frequently visited sites. Additionally, the browser features hot links to some of the most commonly used blogging sites. This version is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. [KMG]

In The News

Colleges and universities continue to respond to students' concerns about sustainability by crafting environmentally-friendly policies and initiatives

Colleges grow more Earth-conscious to lure students

BU makes 'green' honor roll

UO makes honor roll for sustainability

Green Rating Honor Roll

Harvard Green Campus Initiative

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education [pdf]

Students entering college this coming academic year have grown up in a society that is increasingly concerned about the fate of the environment, and many of them have taken active steps to reduce their carbon footprint through a variety of means. Colleges and universities are following suit, and institutions from Harvard University to the University of Oregon are starting to offer "green-friendly" dormitories, solar energy initiatives on campus, and a plethora of compost piles. The Princeton Review acknowledged this welcome trend by offering up their first "Green Rating Honor Roll", which was released earlier this week. The honor roll rankings were developed in tandem with ecoAmerica, a non-profit environmental marketing agency, and the survey used to create these rankings drew on questions about energy use, recycling, transportation, and other metrics. This year's honor roll included Arizona State University, the College of the Atlantic, and Bates College in Maine. Commenting on this recent trend, Julian Dautremont-Smith of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education remarked, "The current generation of students wants to go to schools that take their environmental responsibility seriously. In the last two or three years, it's really picked up, past some sort of tipping point." [KMG]

The first link will take users to an article from this Tuesday's Boston Globe about the growing trend of environmentally friendly initiatives on campuses across the United States. The second link leads to a news piece from the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin's Tuesday edition about the recent inclusion of Binghamton University on the green honor roll created by The Princeton Review. Not to be outdone, the Eugene Register-Guard reported about the recent green honor roll nod received by the University of Oregon, and interested parties can read all about it by clicking over to the third link. Moving on, the fourth link will take users to The Princeton Review's Green Ratings Honor Roll. Here, visitors can learn about those institutions that received a "99 rating" in their rating tallies. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the Harvard Green Campus Initiative and visitors can learn about the many projects underway on their grounds in both Boston and Cambridge. The last link leads users to the homepage of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Here, visitors will find great case study materials, news on campus "green" initiatives, and information on professional development. [KMG]

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