The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 42

October 24, 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

Molecular Movies: A Portal to Cell & Molecular Animation [Quick Time]

The Scout Report is always on the lookout for new and compelling instructional materials in the sciences, and this new website of cell and molecular animations is a worthy find. The Molecular Movies site presents an organized directory of various animations, along with original tutorials for life science professionals who are learning 3D visualization techniques. These materials are divided into the following sections: "Showcase", "Learning", "Toolkit", and "News". The "Showcase" area contains animations listed by scientific area or individual animator or design studio. Currently, there are well over fifty animations offered here which demonstrate everything from cell invasions to DNA replication. Next up are the visualization tutorials (located in the "Learning" area), which allow users to learn about the techniques used in making such lovely animations. Visitors can browse these tutorials by skill level, software type, or topic area. Before leaving the site, visitors should also check out the site weblog for further updates and links to other related works. [KMG]

Global Strategy and Organization [pdf]

There's no time like the present to learn about global strategy and organization, and such edification is possible via this nice set of resources offered courtesy of MIT's OpenCourseWare initiative. This particular course is titled "Global Strategy and Organization" and it contains materials offered by Professor Donald Lessard's Spring 2008 version of this course. The primary goal of the course is "to provide the foundations for taking effective action in the multi-layered world of international business." On the course page, visitors will find a syllabus, readings, lecture notes, and various assignments. Of course, visitors who know they want all of these materials can just click on the "Download Course Materials" to download all of the above files. [KMG]

Podcasts from the Society for Applied Anthropology & the University of North Texas [iTunes]

The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) has moved into the world of podcasts quite nicely with this fine set of talks, lectures, and discussions culled from their annual meetings. The site was created and is currently maintained by Jen Cardew, a master's student in applied business anthropology at the University of North Texas. Those individuals who've never listened (or heard about) podcasts or weblogs may wish to first visit the "About Podcasts & Blogs" area on the homepage. After that, visitors can click on the "Short Cut to Podcasts" area to move directly to the podcasts, which include "Working with Governmental Agencies", "Mobile Work, Mobile Lives: Cultural Accounts of Lived Experiences", and "Embodied Danger: The Health Costs of War and Political Violence". All told, there are over two dozen podcasts currently available here, and more are on the way. Finally, visitors can sign up for their RSS feed here as well. [KMG]

The Bidding Game [pdf]

At a big auction, most people expect to see fine rugs, statues, and many other high profile items. In 1994, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began to auction off something a bit more abstract, yet just as important: a section of the electromagnetic spectrum for a new generation of cell phones, pagers, and other such devices. That particular auction is the starting point for this interesting article on the world of game theory created for the "Beyond Discovery" website. Offered as an educational resource, courtesy of the National Science Foundation, the article takes an interactive look into how game theory has been applied in a variety of settings, including auctions of all shapes and sizes. The article is divided into six thematic sections, including "The Rules of the Game" and "The Winner's Curse". Each section contains an explanation of a different aspect of game theory, written in lucid and jargon-free prose. At the bottom of each explanation, visitors are directed to other relevant online resources. Overall, it's a fine resource, and one that could be used in any number of courses, including economics, statistics, or finance. [KMG]

Pure and Applied Chemistry [pdf]

Established in 1960, the journal Pure and Applied Chemistry is committed to publishing notable research papers arising from various international scientific events and projects that are sponsored by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). First-time visitors can view the "News" area to learn about the most recent work published in the journal, and then they may wish to move on to the embedded search engine displayed prominently on the homepage. Other sections on the site include "Editorial Board", "Notes For Authors", and "Publication Policy". Visitors with a deep and abiding interest in the journal may also wish to consult their RSS feeds, which include those related to the publication of new articles and reports from the IUPAC. Finally, the site also contains a drop down menu titled "PAC Archives" where visitors can browse the contents of each volume. [KMG]

Stereoviews of the French Second Empire, ca. 1855-1870

Emperor Napoleon III cast a great shadow over France during his reign in the middle of the 19th century, and he brought a tremendous amount of change to the nation. Not all of that change was welcome, and some of it took the form of massive urban projects, such as the rebuilding of Paris. This lovely online collection created by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections group brings together 201 remarkable stereoviews from the Second Empire period. For those who might not be acquainted with such matters, stereoviews are created through the use of stereoscopy, which is a technique used to create the illusion of depth by presenting two images to the eyes. Each image is taken from a slightly different perspective, and the resulting images, when viewed through a stereoscope, appear three-dimensional. Visitors to the site can browse through the images at their leisure, and they will find documentation of Notre Dame, the Arc De Triomphe, and the Boulevard de Strasbourg here. Those persons with an interest in urban infrastructure and the creation of modern Paris will find much to admire and enjoy here. [KMG]

Cultivating Demand for the Arts: Arts Learning, Arts Engagement, and State Arts Policy [pdf]

How can governments stimulate interest and demand in the arts? This compelling report from the RAND Corporation takes a close look at how well institutions in the United States cultivate demand for the arts and whether they should make this a higher priority item in the future. Authored by Laura Zakaras and Julia F. Lowell, this 151-page report was released in September 2008 and it contains six chapters that include "The Support Infrastructure for Youth Arts Learning" and "Enabling Individual Engagement with Works of Art". In the report the authors argue, "arts policies have long focused on supporting supply and expanding access while neglecting demand, which calls for cultivating the capacity of individuals to have engaging experiences with the arts." By the conclusion of their work, the authors conclude that "greater investment in comprehensive arts learning, particularly for the young is the most effective strategy for building demand." It's an intriguing proposition, and one that will be of great interest to arts administrators, policy analysts, and education specialists. [KMG]

UNdata [pdf]

The United Nations (UN) website contains a tremendous amount of data, and for some new users (and even those who are more experienced), it may be a bit overwhelming. Recently, the UN created this fine website designed to assist those who might need a bit of assistance with this whole process. On the UN Data site, visitors can simply type in their search terms, look over a list of popular searches, and even take a look at their "News" section, which offers up a selection of helpful recent additions. Further down on the homepage, visitors can look through the "Database Coverage" area. Here they can take advantage of some specially culled statistics, including data sets related to the World Health Organization (WHO), refugees, industrial commodities, and children. The site is rounded out by a "Glossary" section, which offers a nice summary of each term that might be encountered while utilizing the site. [KMG]

General Interest

Great Conversations in Music [Real Player]

Before he died in 2003, the late classical musician Eugene Istomin sat down with some of his musical compatriots to record a series of programs titled "Great Conversations in Music". These four wonderful programs are included here on this website, which is maintained by the Library of Congress. The programs were produced and directed by Peter Rosen, and visitors may wish to start their travels through the site by reading a bit about Istomin in the short essay titled "Remembering Eugene Istomin". Moving on, visitors will find the full-length programs "The Pianists", "The Composers", "Chamber Music", and "The Virtuosos". Each program contains performances and conversations with people like Emmanuel Ax, Leon Fleisher, Charles Rosen, Lynn Harrell, and Yo-Yo Ma. [KMG]

SoundAboutPhilly [iTunes]

Some Scout Report readers may know about "The Sound of Philadelphia", but have they ever encountered the "SoundAboutPhilly" site? If they haven't, they will want to do so at their earliest convenience. This series of "sound-seeing" tours are told by real-life Philadelphians, and dynamic mapping features, audio, text, and photographs accompany these lively tours. This whole project is sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The tours present a heady brew of Philadelphia lore, past and present, and visitors can wander through offerings like "History Unplugged", "Philly Noir", and "My Philly". Anyone who knows anything about Philadelphia will not want to miss "Philadelphia Flavorhoods", as it will take them through the flavorful haunts of Chinatown, the Reading Terminal Market, and the famous corner of 9th and Passyunk. [KMG]

Tarahumara People: National Geographic Magazine

The Tarahumara people of northern Mexico are well known for their long-distance running ability, and they have survived a variety of challenges over the past five hundred years, including the influx of Spanish conquistadors into their region. Recently, National Geographic sent Cynthia Gorney and photographer Robb Kendrick to take an investigative look into this unique group of people. Visitors can read their account here on this interactive feature, which contains both the published text and the accompanying photographs. The article looks at how the Tarahumara are coping with the increasing pressures of modernity, along with offering some commentary on their own cultural and social milieu. Additionally, visitors should not miss the GeoPedia article on the Tarahumara, as it features other online resources about them and an extensive bibliography. [KMG]

Le Garde-meuble

The Smithsonian Institute Libraries has placed their ten-year collection of Le Garde-meuble, a bi-monthly periodical interior decoration publication from France, online here. The collection covers the early years of the periodical, 1841-1851, and consists of more than 400 images. Clicking on "Explore the Collection" at the top of the homepage takes visitors to a search page that allows them to browse by "Style/Period of Furniture," "Type of Furniture" or "Volume". The type of furniture search feature is divided up into the broad categories of "Floor Plans", "Window Treatments", "Furniture-Casework", and "Furniture-Seating." Clicking on a broad category of furniture, such as "Sofas", under "Furniture-Seating", will allow you to choose a specific type of sofa, like "Chaises Lounges" and "Loveseats," or you can just choose "Show All." Once you've chosen the specific category you would like to see, click on it to see thumbnails, and then click on an individual image to see a beautiful color illustration that is so detailed and exquisite that even the shadows the furniture would cast are present in the drawings. Visitors shouldn't miss the "Beds (furniture)" category, under "Furniture-Casework," to see elaborate beds with canopies and curtains galore. Clicking on "Show All" will lead you to these sleep thrones. [KMG]

USDA: Animal Welfare Information Center [pdf]

The USDA's Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) was mandated by the Animal Welfare Act, and the website contains everything from current animal issues to workshops for those in industries that utilize animals to licensing forms. Specifically, the AWIC is designed "to regulate and improve care of animals in research, testing, teaching, and exhibition." The site includes the proposed government rules about animal welfare that are in their public comment period, and how and where to submit your comment. Visitors can click on "In The News" to see all the animal-related rules that are in their public comment period. If visitors want to learn about the origins of veterinary medicine, they can click on "Companion Animals" on the left side of the homepage to find a link to "Veterinary History Resources at the National Agricultural Library". Finally, AWIC provides very important information and resources on alternatives to animal testing, under "Alternatives," on the left side of the homepage. Here visitors will find links to websites that explain the principles of alternatives to animal testing, as well as several papers from conferences that address the issue. [KMG]

Zorba Paster on Your Health [Real Player]

Family doctor Zorba Paster's Wisconsin Public Radio show is healthcare's answer to Tom and Ray Magliozzi's Car Talk. Zorba Paster and his sidekick Tom Clark answer calls from listeners about healthy living, with a big shot of humor. Dr. Paster's website links directly from its host's site, Wisconsin Public Radio. To listen to his current show click on "Listen to show," on the left side of the page, to see a link to the current show and the three most recent shows. To listen to older broadcasts, click on "Browse Show Archives" and check out an archive of his shows beginning October 27, 2007. If you want some heart healthy recipes to savor, click on "Recipes" on the left side of the page to see recipes sent in by listeners, as well as from the good doctor himself. Each recipe includes complete nutritional information as well. Visitors shouldn't miss the "Resources" link on the left side of the page, for a slew of health-related web links plus articles by and about Dr. Zorba, such as "Vitamin D FAQ" and "Dr. Zorba Goes to Washington". Visitors should also check out "Past Featured Resources" for entries like "Tips for Condensed Soy Milk" and "Workplace Ergonomic Links". [KMG]

Caribbean Views: Personal Selections by Mike Phillips [Macromedia Flash Player]

In this online gallery of the British Library, they have taken an interesting approach to highlighting one of their collections. They asked Mike Phillips, an author and historian born in Guyana, to comment and react to their large British West Indies collection.
There are illustrations, maps, and pages of text from books written during the period of colonization, all with explanations and responses from Phillips. Although the images are interesting, Phillips' narrative is far more so, and it's like having your own curator walk you through this exhibit. And a curator, no less, who knows firsthand the painfulness of what the images represent. Interestingly, in his narrative in the section titled "A Personal Journey" he points out that while the illustrations of the slave trade in the books in the collection, are rather "sanitized" and don't depict the brutal reality of the treatment of slaves, the text of the books is very honest in its description of the brutality toward the slaves. Visitors can zoom in on each image as well as navigate with great ease within the image. Each image is of excellent quality, and can be printed out at full size. Finally, visitors who are interested in reading a brief description of Mike Phillips can click on a link at the bottom of the homepage. [KMG]

Face-to-Face blog - Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (NPG)

Online for less than a year, Face-to-Face is written by a team of National Portrait Gallery staff members with diverse responsibilities, from web design to curatorial. The blog is "dedicated to art, history, and the telling of American lives." There are four categories on Face-to-Face: Biography, Events, Exhibitions and News. "Biography" currently features an article series on presidential trivia, just in time for the election and "Exhibitions" provides coverage of current and recent exhibits, including "RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture", "KATE" - celebrating Katherine Hepburn's 100th birthday, and the saga of the reinstallation of the painting Grant and His Generals by Ole Peter Hansen Balling, oil on canvas, 1865, when NPG re-opened in 2006 after 6 years of renovation. And of course, since it's a blog, interested readers can sign up for the RSS feed of Face-to-Face, so as not to miss a thing. [DS]

Network Tools

AltMove Manager 2.1.4

AltMove Manager doesn't reinvent the mouse, but it certainly enhances its general functionality. With AltMove Manager, users can quickly and easily minimize and restore windows, grab screenshots, and even magnify a window under the mouse. Visitors can also consult the Actions menu to add a few more functions, if they wish to do so. This version is compatible with computers running Windows NT and newer. [KMG]

Express Scribe 4.26

If you're hoping to transcribe a speech for an upcoming project, you'll want to look over Express Scribe 4.26. With this transcription player, users can adjust the playback speed, manage various audio files, and even use a set of multi-channel controls. This particular version of Express Scribe is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Study documents dramatic rise in the incidence of food allergies among children

Study: Food allergies on the rise in kids

WebMD: Food Allergy in Kids Up 18%

Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations [pdf]

Kids With Food Allergies [pdf]

The Food Allergy Research and Resource Program [pdf]

The Food Allergy & Anaphlyaxis Network [pdf]

If you have a young child, you may be aware of the rising concerns about food allergies. This public health concern was well documented this week by the release of a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics, which look at a wide range of recent studies, including the National Hospital Discharge Survey and the National Health Interview Study. Overall, the researchers found that the number of children with food allergies has increased approximately 18% in the last ten years. Among those foods causing allergies, milk eggs, peanuts, walnuts, fish, and shellfish were some of the items that can bring on reactions such as a rash, wheezing, or vomiting. Researchers are quick to point out that they aren't entirely certain as to why American children seem to have higher incidences of allergies. Dr. Hugh Sampson, director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, commented, "This seems to be primarily a phenomenon of Westernized countries, among people who have our kind of lifestyle and our kind of diet. You dont see similar things in countries in Asia or in Africa." [KMG]

The first link will whisk users away to a news article from this Wednesday's USA Today about these recent findings. The second link leads to a like-minded piece from Daniel J. DeNoon, reporting for WebMD Health News. Moving on, the third link leads to the full text of the data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on the rise in documented food allergies in American children. The fourth link will take visitors to a site designed for parents of children with allergies. Here, visitors will find high-quality fact sheets, support forums, and allergy alerts. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP), which is based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This site is another fine resource for people with questions about food allergies, and it features include an allergen database and a selection of informative videos. The last link will take users to the homepage of The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, which contains information for those newly diagnosed with food allergies and information about their advocacy work. [KMG]

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