The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 45

November 14, 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

Latino Settlement in the New Century [pdf]

The Pew Hispanic Center offers timely commentary and research on a wide range of issues related to the Hispanic population within the United States. Over the past few years, they have put out working papers on immigration, economic forecasts, employment, and pending legislation. This report by their senior research associate Richard Fry was released in October 2008 and it offers a detailed demographic portrait of the growing Hispanic community in the United States. Throughout its 35-pages, visitors will find detailed statistical information on the transformation of the Hispanic population over the past decade, along with material on which counties are experiencing the greatest statistical increase in the number of Hispanics. Finally, the report is greatly enhanced by its use of tables, graphs, and county-level maps of the US. [KMG]

French Revolutionary Pamphlets

As of late, the University of Alabama Library system has been working on a thematically diverse set of digital collections. Currently, their collection includes papers from wealthy planters, University of Alabama history, and this fine mix of over 170 pamphlets from the French Revolution. The pamphlets were used to "spread the word of revolution", and they are taken from the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library's Rare Books Collection. The pamphlets include writings by many of the well-known participants, including Desmoulins, Danton, and of course, Robespierre. Visitors can choose to browse through the collection at their leisure, or they may also wish to perform a more detailed search for specific items of interest. It is worth noting that the pamphlets are in French only. [KMG]

UN Institute for Training and Research Operational Satellite Applications Programme [pdf]

Satellites are used for just about any purpose imaginable, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNITAR) is one that is meant to help out in "the life of communities exposed to poverty, hazards and risk." On their site, visitors should first take a look at the "About" area to learn about their recent achievements and work. Moving on, they can view their latest satellite maps of places such as Vietnam and Cambodia. The maps are entirely free, and they cover such topics as flood hazards, environmental degradation, and active fire locations. After a quick look, visitors can move on to read up on their satellite image services, technical assistance, and ordering information (for those who desire physical copies). The site also contains a glossary of terms, and a sign-in area for those users who wish to compile and maintain a record of the maps they will need to use most frequently. [KMG]

Antique Maps: The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library

Created by the Special Collections Department at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, this fine collection of digitized antique maps will pique the interest of geographers and historians alike. The collection contains over 230 maps, charts, pictures, books, and complete atlases produced by European cartographers from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The collection serves as an interesting record of the cross-cultural exchanges between China and the West, and visitors can sort the list of maps by title, mapmaker, or year. There are many highlights here, but visitors should take a look at the work of Edward Belcher, who is responsible for maps of both Canton and the Canton River. Also, there's a rather intriguing 1851 map by one J. Rapkin titled "China and Burmah". [KMG]

The Online Corpus of Old English Poetry

It's never too late to learn Old English poetry, and this site is just the place to delve into this fascinating subject. Created by Murray McGillivray at the University of Calgary, the site presents a wide range of Old English poems and poetic lines in a very simplified and easy to use fashion. The purpose of this project is "to make useable and reliable texts of Old English poems available in convenient form for students and scholars." Visitors can click on the "Old English Poetry" section to review a list of all the poems by title. Also, visitors can view a list of the poems by original manuscript, and they can also learn about the project's history as well. [KMG]

BioEd Online: Symposium for Space Life Science [Real Player]

BioEd Online continues with its fine tradition of crafting high quality science education materials with this clutch of materials related to life science in space. This series is sponsored in part by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) and the resources here include slide sets and streaming video presentations designed for classroom use. One of the key presentations deals with sleep and human performance and it looks into questions such as "How much sleep do people need?" and "Why do adolescents want to stay up late at night and sleep away half the day?" and that's not all, as the site also contains presentations on the effects of radiation and maintaining muscle mass in space. [KMG]

Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation [pdf]

The Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation has the worthy goal to foster "creative and effective government problem-solving." The Institute uses research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards to affect such problem solving. The homepage is divided up into four sections, "Innovations in American Government," "Global Network," "Knowledge Building," and "Teaching and Training." To read some of the publications the Institute puts out, click on "Institute-Wide Publications" at the bottom of the "Knowledge Building" section. Along with the "5 Year Report" and the "2008-2009 Course Guide", "The Ash Institute Resource Guide" and "Communique: Ash Newsletter" are in PDF format here. In the "Innovations in American Government" section on the homepage, clicking on "Innovations News" will lead you to a three-part documentary that shows the presentations of the finalists for the 2008 Innovations Awards in front of the National Selection Committee. Just click on the link to "Part 1, Part 2, Part 3" at the bottom of the 2008 Innovations Winners section. It's sure to have you on pins and needles! [KMG]

The Royal Society: Podcasts [iTunes]

The Royal Society, based in the United Kingdom, is not only 350 years old, but is also not about the royal family. Rather, The Royal Society is all about science--influencing science policy and debating scientific issues, with other scientists and the public. Their website is loaded with resources, such as their "News" section which has articles on science, education, industry and the environment culled from the major daily newspapers. Click on the "Library and Archives" section to be catapulted into a virtual room of resources such as the "Science Policy Collection", "Digital Journal Archive", "Biographical Information on Fellows", and "Picture Library". The Library events podcasts are easy-to-listen-to and wide-ranging, though many are about the history of science, and include video and audio podcasts. Podcasts about scientific failure, apothecaries, and the taming of electricity are just some of the titles available from the past two years of library events. Visitors shouldn't miss using the unique search feature called "Select an Audience" at the bottom of any page of the site that allows them to choose what information is viewed based on who they are, i.e. teacher, student, policymaker, researcher, media, scientist, or fellow. Such a feature really helps to make a large website, such as this, much more accessible and easy to navigate. [KMG]

General Interest

First World War

Almost all of the remaining veterans of World War One have passed on, but the "Great War" remains a subject of considerable interest for the general public and historians alike. This intriguing site created by the Guardian newspaper in Britain features slideshows, articles, and a set of external links to additional websites of note. First-time visitors may wish to click on the "Series" section to read the four part set of articles that delves into topics such as "The western front" and "The road to war". The site also does a nice job of weaving in modern commentary and editorials on the current state of European affairs and armed conflicts both throughout the Continent and in other regions of the world. Additionally, the site also contains video clips of veterans talking about their time in the trenches and historians commenting on the legacy of this tremendous conflict. [KMG]

World Architecture Community

The World Architecture Community website is the genuine article, and even a cursory look reveals that people are posting items to this site from Bangalore to Buffalo. New users can go to the left-hand side of the site to register, and then they can look through the various architectural directories, which include architects, buildings, critics, and theorists. In the buildings area, the buildings available for consideration are divided into more detailed thematic categories, including "Work Places", "Public Buildings", and "Public Infrastructure". Moving on, the site also includes an excellent section dedicated to "Theory and Issues". Here visitors can read about sustainable development, semiotics, design, and urban issues. All told, this site is a tremendous resource for architects, urban planners, and students of cities in general. [KMG]

The State of the World's Children 2008 [pdf]

UNICEF has been intimately involved with the wellbeing of the world's children since its founding, and the release of their annual report on such affairs is a highly anticipated event. This heavily detailed 164-page report looks into the world of children in five chapters that include "Child Survival: Where we stand" and "Lessons learned from evolving health-care systems and practices". Within each chapter visitors will also find information on child mortality rates around the globe, community public health partnerships, and health care systems in the developing world. Visitors who might be pressed for time can read the summary at the beginning of the document, though most persons with a direct and immediate interest in this subject will probably want to read the entire report. [KMG]

MacWorld: Tricks and Tips

Who doesn't want to know about important new tricks and tips for their Mac? For those who would like to know about such useful information, this site offered by MacWorld is a real find. First-time visitors can check out the top row along the homepage to check out the latest tips, and then they can navigate down a bit to the "Most Recent" and "Most Popular" tips areas. Visitors looking for specific types of tips can use the category headings to look for help with video, audio, graphics, web publishing, and programming. That's not all, as users can also take advantage of timely tips for iPods (and related accessories), digital cameras, scanners, and printers. [KMG]

Tipatshimuna-Innu stories from the land [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Canadian Heritage Information Network, along with Virtual Museum Canada, has created an excellent online exhibit about the Innu people of Labrador and eastern Quebec, focusing on their activities before the settlement of the Europeans. On the homepage visitors will be asked to select a language, English or French, then they will be able to navigate throughout the online exhibit. To get an overview of the Innu people, click on "Introduction" in the menu at the top of the page. For a unique look at two typical journeys by two different families, click on "Travel" in the menu. From there, visitors can choose the journey they want to follow, by either clicking on the map itself, or choosing from the menu at the side of the map. Each journey is composed of episodes that describe what is going on in that leg of the journey. Visitors shouldn't miss listening to the short recordings of some members of the tribe describe various materials, tools, and activities in their native language, Innu-aimun. The underlined words in the text are those that have the audio feature, as well as a more comprehensive written description of the object or concept and footnotes are also provided for unfamiliar words. Short films are included in some of the episodes that were taken in the 1920's to '40s. By clicking on "Exhibit Gallery" visitors can view a plethora of Innu objects from various museum collections, and each object is accompanied by text, photos of the objects being used, and audio clips. The "Collections" tab on the menu will lead to the site's search engine. Finally, the "People and Places" tab on the menu provides a look at the artwork of Innus, the stories of Innu youth, the biographies of the elders of the community, and information on the "Communities and Institutions" of the Innu. Some of the information available on each of the communities includes their website address, statistical information, and general information. [KMG]

Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting, 1927-1937 [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's online exhibition: Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937 is a great-looking website. Miro's work can be viewed in several different ways. Click on "Chronology" at the bottom of the page, and you'll see a timeline with paintings, collages, assemblages from the exhibit, as well as ones not in the exhibit. Roll over a work and you'll get the title, click on the work and you'll get a description of it, and be able to zoom in on the image of the work. With the high quality close-up you can see the brush strokes on the canvas. By clicking on "Series," at the bottom of the page, you can see his works divided up by series, and by rolling over the works you can see the series titles, such as "Paintings Based on Collages", "Constructions and Objects", and "Small Paintings on Masonite and Copper". Visitors shouldn't miss looking at the collages, and the paintings based on them, side-by-side in "Paintings Based on Collages". Another approach to categorizing Miro's works is by "Relative Size." Laid out much like a timeline, but neither in date order or ascending (or descending) size, the visitor can click on each work to read its description. Finally, at the bottom left of the page, you'll find "Filter", where you can choose within Methods, Supports, Mediums, and Materials, the filters you want for the content of the site. For instance, you can choose to see only "collages", done on "masonite" using "tempera" and "printed paper". After you choose the filters, click again on "Series", "Chronology", "Relative Size", or "Index", and see only those works that fit the criteria of the filters you selected. [KMG]

Voices on Antisemitism [iTunes]

Created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the "Voices on Antisemitism" podcast series provides a "broad range of perspectives about antisemitism and hatred today." With funding from the Oliver and Elizabeth Stanton Foundation, this series contains over 50 conversations with Holocaust survivors, judges from South Africa, and German scholar Matthias Kntzel. Visitors can browse through the podcasts, subscribe to the RSS feed, and even offer comments on each program. Along the right hand side of the homepage, visitors can view a collection of "Related Links", which include articles from the Holocaust Encyclopedia and detailed subject bibliographies. Additionally, there are guidelines for educators who wish to discuss the Holocaust in their classrooms. [KMG]

The Divine Art: Four Centuries of European Tapestries

This exhibition from the Art Institute of Chicago showcases the Museum's impressive tapestry collection, primarily acquired by donation from Chicago's wealthy merchants and industrialists, who purchased European artifacts in volume during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The website is divided into several sections, including "Tapestries in Context", with information on the uses and major periods and styles of tapestry production, from the Golden Age (most of the 16th century) through the Industrial Revolution. There is a tapestry technology section, "Tapestry Design and Weaving", that explains the collaborative nature of tapestries, from artist's design, to cartoon, to actual weaving. The website also includes digital images of about 15 selected works, such as A Falconer with Two Ladies and a Foot Soldier, c. 1500, a Golden Age tapestry in the millefleur style. [DS]

Network Tools

Capture .NET Free 6.4.3183.23689

You might have thought it impossible to get easy access to lunar phases on your desktop, but Capture .NET makes this very possible. Capture .NET is a small desktop utility that includes a screen capture function, a clock, a file shredder, and a dozen other handy tools. The application is available in a number of different languages, and it's quite easy to use. This version is compatible with computers running Windows NT and newer. [KMG]

EndNote X2

Crafting bibliographies for academic works can be tricky work, and this application can help anyone from dissertators to undergraduates working on a short term paper. Some of the features of EndNote X2 include a full text locator for references, smart groups for instant reference sorting, and full compatibility with a number of word processors. This trial version is completely free for 30 days, and the full version may be purchased after that point. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4 or Windows Vista. [KMG]

In The News

Google makes a new foray into the world of public health

Google predicts spread of flu using huge search data

Google tool uses search terms to detect flu outbreaks

Google Search Trends Reveal Flu Outbreaks

Google Flu Trends

CDC Influenza Flu [pdf]

Flu Center: Mayo Clinic

Google has been working on a number of innovative projects over the past few years, such as Google Scholar and Google Books. This week, a number of media outlets have been reporting on their foray into public health, Google Flu Trends. Google decided to partner with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on the initiative. Essentially, the program looks at flu-related searches across the country. The CDC provided five years of flu-tracking data to complement Google's real-time tracking of various flu-keyword searches. Dr. Joseph Bresee, the chief of the CDC's epidemiology and prevention branch commented, "We really are excited about the future of using different technologies, including technology like this, in trying to figure out if there's better ways to do surveillance for outbreaks of influenza or any other diseases in the United States." The tool does have some notable limitations, especially in regards to tracking influenza outbreaks among the elderly, as they may be less likely to use the Internet. Also, some people who look for flu-related terms via Google may have viral infections that are not in fact influenza. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to a piece from this Thursday's Guardian newspaper about Google's Flu Trends site. The second link leads to a detailed piece from CNN about the focus of this new site, along with commentary from several CDC officials and other experts. Moving on, the third link leads to a fine piece from National Public Radio that includes a discussion with Miguel Helft, who recently wrote an article on Google's Flu Trends for The New York Times. The fourth link will whisk users away to Google's Flu Trends website. Those persons concerned about the flu will definitely want to check out the fifth link, which leads to the CDC's flu website. Here visitors can look over flu prevention tips and basic information about the flu. The last link leads to the Mayo Clinic's Flu Center site, which has additional information on how to cope with the flu and its symptoms. [KMG]

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