The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 38

September 26, 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

Basic and Clinical Neurosciences [Real Player]

Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons has been a leader in medical education for over a century, and this website is provided as public service for those in the field of medicine and neuroscience. The website provides a series of lectures and videos that provide a "comprehensive and concise review of the neurosciences." It's best to start by reading the executive summary, and then click on over to the "Topics and Speakers" area. Here visitors can look over several dozen lectures that include "Basic Mechanisms of Pain", "Molecular Genetics", and "Neurobiology of Schizophrenia". The lectures are all of very high quality, and visitors who are seeking additional information should look through the "References and Resources" area for external links to relevant medical organizations, research institutes, and academic departments. [KMG]

The James Koetting Ghana Field Recording Collection [Real Player]

Throughout the 1970s, Professor James Koetting of Brown University spent a great deal of time in Ghana recording traditional and popular music. Recently the Center for Digital Initiatives at the Brown University Library created this excellent online digital collection that brings together Koetting's field recordings, field notebooks, photographs, and recorded interviews. The collection affords a number of insights into the performances of musicians in Accra and others in the Kasena region of Ghana. Visitors can read through several essays before looking closer into the collection, which they can navigate by clicking on sections like "Gallery" and "Field Recordings". The "Field Recordings" section offers a fine introduction into Koetting's important work and this particular genre of music. Lastly, visitors can also look through the additional "Resources", which include a bibliography, a discography, and a glossary of relevant musical terms. [KMG]

BirdLife International: State of the World's Birds [pdf]

Concerns about the world's biodiversity are not new, but the BirdLife International organization has taken on an important challenge by documenting the state of the world's birds via the important research papers featured on this site. The news they offer is not terribly encouraging, but these documents will be important tools for anyone interested in these pressing issues. The primary work here is divided into four sections that includes an introduction, along with three additional sections that cover why birds are declining, the current state of information about bird populations, and what can be done to improve the status of birds around the world. Some visitors may also wish to utilize the "How to use this site" area if they are experiencing difficulty navigating the various features here. The site is rounded out by two very impressive reports from 2004 and 2008 on the state of the world's birds. Both reports are available in English and French, and the 2008 report is also available in Spanish. [KMG]

The Drost Project [pdf]

The Drost Project Visual Guides from Veterinarian Maarten Drost at the University of Florida provides stunning visual guides to theriogenology, which is the study of animal reproduction. The species the Drost Project focuses on presently are cow (bovine), buffalo (bubaline), sheep (ovine), pig (porcine), and horse (equine). A guide to dog (canine) reproduction is under development as well. The visual guides include photos from theriogenologists around the world, and the sections devoted to each animal are well laid out and easy to use. Each section provides photos for multiple topics, including "Female Reproductive System", "Male Reproductive System", "Accidents of Gestation", "Abortion", "Reproductive Management", and "Teratology" (birth defects). Additionally, a printable version of each photo is offered for educational use. Be forewarned that the photos on this site are very graphic and may be disturbing to a visitor unfamiliar with this area of veterinary medicine. Regardless, the site is a valuable one, particularly to those persons in veterinary science. [KMG]

A More United Kingdom [pdf]

How does a nation create a sense of community or national identity? It's no trivial query, and one that countries new and old have struggled with through the ages. The Demos organization's Liam Byrne recently tackled that question in regards to Britain via his thoughtful pamphlet, "A More United Kingdom". Released in September 2008, the 96-page work argues that, "shared standards are the secret to preserving harmony in a more diverse society." Bryne happens to be a British Labour Party politician, a Member of British Parliament, and the Minister for Borders and Immigration. In this paper, he offers three concrete ideas for strengthening shared standards and a "sense of fraternity for Britain." These ideas include a national day of celebration, a stronger defense of the Union, and "the Labour Party leading a renewal of civic pride and association as part of a broader, sustained effort to regenerate Britains poorest places." While readers may not agree with some or even all of his suggestions, the paper provides an interesting point of view into the politics of immigration, struggling economies, and changing social attitudes. [KMG]

The Radiology Assistant

Radiologists and others entering the field will want to make a beeline for this very fine website, developed as a public service by The Radiological Society of The Netherlands. The stated intention of the site is "to focus on common radiological issues in a problem-oriented way for radiology residents and radiologists." First-time visitors can get oriented to the site by looking over the "Latest Articles" area which contains recent offerings dealing with acute pancreatitis, wrist fractures, and brain tumors. Moving on, visitors can look at the "Cases" area where they will find radiograms with short quizzes that will test their diagnostic abilities. Additionally, all of the other materials on the site can be located via the search engine on the homepage or by perusing a list of categories. [KMG]

Microbial Diversity [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

Increasingly, a number of textbook companies are offering complementary access to materials related to their printed textbooks, and in a few instances, they offer users access to the entire textbook. Blackwell Publishing has created this website to offer students and others access to sections of Professor Oladele Ogunseitan's textbook, "Microbial Diversity". Professor Ogunseitan's book is a comprehensive look into the world of microbial diversity, and it spells out the impact of microorganisms on ecological and earth system phenomena. On the site, visitors can click on the "Contents" tab to look over selected chapters (such as "Environmental Evolution"), and then look at the complete "Glossary" area. Perhaps the best feature on the entire site is the "Student Resources" section. Here visitors can take advantage of helpful external links related to this area of study, interviews with researchers in the field, and other related matters. [KMG]

General Interest

Connie Martinson Talks Books [Quick Time, Real Player]

Connie Martinson has been in love with literature for her entire life, and she has parlayed that particular passion into the program "Connie Martinson Talks Books". Her long-running program has played host to Gore Vidal, Studs Terkel, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury and many others. The series is taped in Los Angeles, and over the past few years Claremont College has been actively involved in creating this digital archive of the program. The Drucker Institute and the Transdisciplinary Studies Program at Claremont College are directing this digitization initiative, and interested parties can take a look at the fruits of their labors on this site. Visitors can browse all of the talks and they can also look at a list of interviews organized by book title or subject. It's a very nice collection, and visitors will find that the site is worth several return visits. [KMG]

National Museum of the American Indian: Beauty Surrounds Us [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian has an engaging online version of their "Beauty Surrounds Us" exhibit. In addition to its beauty, the web exhibit also provides an activity for each section the exhibit is divided into, such as "Tools of Existence", "Recreation and Pastimes", "Design as Identity", and "Expressions of Identity." The activity tests a visitor's comprehension and memory of the objects' written descriptions given when you click on the object's picture. Once you've clicked on the object, you can then click on Map to see the area the object is from, and you can click on "Related" to see historic photos of the objects in use by Native peoples. The exhibit includes the Native peoples of both North and South America, and objects of indigenous materials, modern materials and a mix of indigenous and modern materials. The activity in "Design as Identity" tests your knowledge about several object's material composition. Sports fans will find some familiar items in the "Recreation and Pastimes" section, and they can even try their hand at shooting arrows at hoops to hone their buffalo shooting skills. [KMG]

Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Museum of Modern Art's online exhibition "Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night" is the first exhibit to organize his paintings around the theme of night and twilight paintings. Since Van Gogh could not work solely from memory or imagination, he created these paintings in the dark or near dark. Some of his paintings, however, were of indoor light at night, so he didn't always face the obstacle of complete darkness. This exhibit is very straightforward and well organized, and includes audio clips, drawings, pages from his journal, and extremely high quality images that let you see those thick swathes of paint he so successfully employed. The exhibit also clues you in as to his relationship with his brother and sister, to whom he sometimes sent drawings of his work, or descriptions of the colors he was planning on using in a piece. Visitors shouldn't leave without contrasting his traditional and somber "Early Landscapes" of the Netherlands, where he was born, to his later landscapes of France, that have strong uses of vibrant color. The "Sowers and Wheatfields" section has some good examples of this use of color. [KMG]

Hear HERE!: The Royal Philharmonic Society [Real Player]

"Hear HERE!" may sound like a rather demanding imperative, but it's more like an exuberant invitation. Created by The Royal Philharmonic Society (in cooperation with Classic FM), this website allows listeners to listen to musicians, conductors, and scholars talk about their work and how they listen to music themselves. For starters, visitors can listen to conductor Sir Colin Davis talk about the influence of time on his own listening and work and then move over to a conversation with pianist Mitsuko Uchida. The "Listen & Discuss" section includes interactive features on music and memory, along with pieces on the concert going experience and "Surrounded by Sound", which looks at how different environments impact listening. The site concludes with the "Resources" area which features a selection of additional links and the game "Beat the Clock" which asks visitors to test their musical memory and listening skills. [KMG]

Creating and Sustaining Urban Teacher Residencies [pdf]

Effective teachers are in high demand in many urban settings, and a number of organizations around the United States remain committed to finding such individuals and preparing them for their positions. Recently, the Aspen Institute and the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) released this 40-page report that speaks to that exact question. The report advocates for the creation of urban teacher residencies (UTR), which would allow for "screening, preparation, placement, induction, and teacher leadership for urban school districts." UTR's are distinct in that they (among other things) "tightly weave together education theory and classroom practice" and "establish and support differentiated career goals for experienced teachers." Specifically, the report looks at two UTR programs in Boston and Chicago and it contains eight sections including one on the effectiveness of these programs and their policy implications. [KMG]

Ocean Science [pdf]

The European Geosciences Union has been working on a number of open access journals over the past few years, and Ocean Science is just such an endeavor. The intent of the journal is to publish research articles, review papers, and short communications of all stripes. Visitors can sign up for RSS feeds, look over the "General Information" area, and also learn about their submission guidelines. In the "Online Library OS" area, visitors can view recently revised papers, complete issues, special issues, and also search past works by title or author. Also, visitors are welcome to comment on published works and they can also sign up to receive an email subscription to Ocean Science. [KMG]

University AlbUM: A Digital Collection of University of Maryland Images

The Old Line State has long been home to a number of fine institutions of higher education, and the flagship public university is the University of Maryland in College Park. Their library system has been involved in creating a number of digital collections, and the impetus for this particular offering was the University's 150th anniversary celebration. Drawing on their broad archive of historical photographs, they have created the University AlbUM website to intrigue and entice those who might wish to learn a bit more about the University's past. Visitors to the site can browse the photographs via a set of themes, including "Sports", "Agriculture", "Campus + Buildings", "Events", and "People". Those persons with a temporal bent may wish to browse the photographs by decade to find documents such as minutes from the campus literary society and illustrations from various campus publications. [KMG]

Kenosha County History: Images and Texts, 1830s-1940s

Tucked away next to the northern border of Illinois, Kenosha County remains one of the most vibrant and interesting places in the state of Wisconsin. Over the past 170 years, the area has been transformed from an outpost of the Michigan Territory into a regional industrial powerhouse that is part of the heavily urbanized area that stretches south all the way to Gary, Indiana. Persons with a penchant for American history, or Wisconsin history more specifically, will be delighted to learn about the visual cornucopia offered here, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections. Many of the photographs come from the C.E. Dewey Lantern Slide Collection, which documents the period from the 1830s to the 1940s. A good way to get a general feel for the site is to click through some of the topical headings, which include "People", "Churches", "Cityscapes", and "Local Government". The site is rounded out by ten full-text documents, including the 1879 work "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin" and 1925's "City Plan of Kenosha, Wisconsin" by Harland Bartholomew. [KMG]

Network Tools

ReminderCube 3.5

There are only so many hours in the day (24, to be exact) and it can be a tremendous challenge to manage and keep track of various comings and goings, birthdays, work commitments, and so on. Reminder Cube 3.5 is a fine way to keep abreast of such things, as it a fully functioning desktop calendar that allows users to set daily events and tasks to be noted with an alarm. Additionally, users can take advantage of the application's RSS reader and password manager. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

LilyPond 2.11    

If you want to add a touch of elegance to your chaconne, gavotte, or just a plain old ditty, LilyPond 2.11 is an application worth taking an interest in. Visitors can use the application to typeset popular music, or also have the program convert existing music notation into a format that is both crisp and elegant. The LilyPond site contains an introduction, a FAQ section, and a few testimonials. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Amidst a "green" movement, one Chicagoan lives a particularly green and sustainable lifestyle

Chicago's greenest person?,0,6678000.story

Portland Number One Sustainable City-Again

City of Chicago Climate Action [pdf]

SustainLane's 2008 US City Rankings

United States Environmental Protection Agency: Personal Emissions Calculator

ConsumerReports: Saving on energy costs

It's not easy going green, but a number of American cities are ramping up their efforts to provide incentives for the construction of environmentally friendly buildings, 'green' roofs, and other policy steps that will hopefully reduce their total carbon footprint. This week, the SustainLane group released their listing of the "greenest" and most sustainable U.S. cities. The results were not terribly surprising, as Portland, Oregon took the top spot for the second year in a row, though some might be interested to learn that Chicago (which was better known in the 20th century for its industrial grit) came out quite well in the rankings, coming in at number four on the list. On a related note, the Chicago Tribune also set out this week to find the "greenest" Chicagoan around. After looking high and low, they came across one Ken Dunn, who resides in the tweedy and diverse community of Hyde Park. Dunn rides his bicycle year round (no small feat during a Chicago winter), heats his very modest apartment with a wood furnace, and also air-dries his clothes. Where the average American produces around 44000 pounds of carbon dioxide, Dunn's total for the year is a mere 3800 pounds. Dunn remains fairly low-key about the recent news, and commented, "Much of our country had a very frugal attitude in the late '40s, when I was first aware of household practices, and I've been trying to stay true to that." [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a Chicago Tribune article from this Tuesday which reports a bit more on Kevin Dunn. The second link leads to a piece from Oregon Public Broadcasting which talks about Portland's recent first place finish in the annual SustainLane sustainable city rankings. Moving on, the third link will whisk users away to the city of Chicago's official climate action plan, complete with a "Climate Change 101" overview and helpful tips for residents and others. The fourth link leads to a complete list of the annual sustainable city rankings from SustainLane. For those who are interested in knowing about their own personal or household greenhouse gas emissions, the fifth link can help interested parties do just that. The last link leads users to a helpful set of recommendations on how to save on household energy costs, provided courtesy of Consumer Reports. [KMG]

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