The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 46

November 21, 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

Policy Archive [pdf]

Policy institutions around the United States spend a staggering $1.5 billion on research each year. Many of them do an excellent job in terms of putting their policy papers, working papers, factsheets, and so on online for use by the public and scholars. Of course, it can be very difficult to locate some of them, and that's where the Policy Archive steps in. Sponsored by the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) and the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Library, the Policy Archive site brings together thousands of full text documents, reports, videos, and multimedia material generated by these various think tanks and institutions. First-time visitors can take a look at the "Featured Collections" on the right-hand side of the page, and then move on over to the topic quick links, which include everything from agriculture to technology. Additionally, policy institutions and the like can learn how to submit their own work to the archive. Visitors can also sign up to receive email newsletters about the latest research in the topic areas that are of interest to them. [KMG]

A History of the Crusades

The Crusades lasted several hundred years, and some historians have argued that certain expeditions from the 15th to 17th centuries might also be treated as part of this broader interest in recapturing part of the Holy Land for the Christians. In 1969, the University of Wisconsin Press began publishing a thorough and comprehensive study of the Crusades. After twenty years, the series ran to six volumes, all of which are included in this digital collection created by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections project. Volumes include "The Later Crusades", "The art and architecture of the crusader states", and "The impact of the Crusades on Europe", and visitors can browse through the entire collection here, and they can also change the viewing size of each document for a more detailed inspection. [KMG]

NASA: For Policymakers [pdf, Macromedia Flash Player]

Many people may be aware of NASA's fine educational resources online, but some may not be aware that they also maintain a fine website specifically designed for policymakers and others working in related fields. Upon entering the site, visitors will notice a series of well-designed icons on the right-hand side of the page. These icons, which include "Moon and Mars" and "Technology", can be utilized to delve into information on recent and forthcoming research projects in these various areas. At the center of the page, visitors will find recent news updates, along with direct links to budget information, transcripts of public meetings, Congressional testimony, US National Space Policy documentation, and so on. Finally, visitors can also look into the "NASA Leadership" area to learn more about the current administration team at the agency. [KMG]

The Assos Excavations

Located on the Aegean Sea in Turkey, the ancient city of Assos was quite a bustling metropolis thousands of years ago. It also happens to be the site where the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) had one of their very first excavations. Today, the site is overseen by archaeologist Nurettin Arslan of the University of Canakkale. This interactive online feature takes visitors inside their work, and it's a revealing portrait of this sometimes overlooked site. Visitors can start their tour by looking at an aerial image of the site, and they can then proceed to look over the other nine sections of the excavation. Along the way, visitors will be able to view photographs of a temple built to the goddess of Athena in the sixth century BCE and take in a 360 degree view from the acropolis at Assos. Additionally, the site also includes three other 360 degree views, including those of the area's primary theater and the monumental west gate. [KMG]

Evidence Based Medicine [pdf]

The Hayward Medical Communications group has developed this very useful set of web-based resources for medical professionals and others who might be interested in learning about the world of evidence based medicine (EBM). First-time visitors can click on over to one of the three primary sections on the left-hand side of the homepage: "What is?", "Gavel", and "Clinical issues in HIV/AIDS". The "What is?" area is a good place to start, as it contains over two dozen documents that answer important questions like "What is critical appraisal?", "What is clinical audit?", and "What is quality of life?", to name only a few. All of these documents explain basic EBM-related questions in clear and accessible prose. Moving on, the "Clinical issues in HIV/AIDS" area contains links to this particular bulletin, which features practical, up-to-date, and cogent research by key figures working in the field. [KMG]

National Archaeological Database

The National Park Service and its many partners have created over 350,000 reports on archaeological investigations over the past decades. Scholars and others will be delighted to learn about this database, which provides bibliographic information on all of these documents. While the database does not contain the full-text version, each record contains information about where to locate the document in question. After filling in some of the required fields (such as "worktype or "keyword"), visitors can look at either a standard or an expanded result for their search query. The standard result formats each citation or record in the style of the American Antiquity journal, and the expanded result also includes the location of the exact report and the name of the lead agency that sponsored the report. [KMG]

Animal Science Image Gallery

The National Agricultural Library, along with the USDA and the American Society of Animal Science are collaborators on this website of animal science images. The images, animations, and videos, which also have accompanying text, are intended for classroom and educational outreach. Additionally, the site also encourages the public to submit their own images relevant to animal science, and it also fully explains the process of selection, the criteria the image must meet to be suitable for classroom and educational outreach, and the copyright and use information for each submission. On the left side of the page are the categories of animals and topics included on the website. Some of the links include "Dairy Cattle", "Companion Animals", "Horses", "Poultry", "Genetics", "Reproduction", and "Nutrition". Although some of the categories have fewer images than others, such as Companion Animals, others such as "Nutrition" and "Horses" have over 100 images. For categories that do have images, the visitor can choose to view subcategories, or just view all the images in the category. Once you've chosen an image to view, you will initially see a thumbnail and a description of the image. If you click on "Image Details" at the bottom of each description, you will be privy to details such as the date created, image rights, how many times downloaded, and how many times viewed. Conveniently, you can download the image in different file and dimensional sizes to suit your needs. [KMG]

Doing What Works [Real Player, pdf]

The U.S. Dept. of Education sponsors this Doing What Works website, which focuses on pedagogy in order to assist this nation's teachers in finding what are likely to be effective methods of teaching. To see the areas of study that are covered on the website, look to the top left side of the page. You'll find "Early Childhood Education", "English Language Learners", "Math and Science", and "Psychology of Learning". Topics to be added to the site are also listed under "See What's Coming!" To always be up-to-date on new material the site has added, simply click on "Subscribe for Updates" on the right hand side of the page. By clicking on the "What Works Clearinghouse", found at the top right corner, visitors will be taken to the real heart of the site. By clicking on one of the topics of study, visitors can watch, listen, and read a short animated video overview of the topic that includes current research. If videos aren't your thing, you can just head straight to the other options, which are "Review the Research Base", "Understand the Essentials", "Find Recommended Practices", and "Access Planning Templates". It should be noted that the Department of Education makes sure to point out that it is not endorsing any of the commercial products that might be used in any of the teaching approaches. [KMG]

General Interest

MASS MoCA [Macromedia Flash Player]

Located in the quaint town of North Adams, Massachusetts, Mass MoCA is one of the United States' premier venues for viewing large scale contemporary artworks. The center opened in 1999 on the site of several former industrial buildings, and it has grown to include various performance spaces, a theater, and a space dedicated to arts education for the young. On their homepage, visitors can view sections that include "In the Galleries", "Performing Arts", "Calendar", and "Visit". A good place to start is the "In the Galleries" area, as one can get all the details about current and upcoming shows. Most of the shows have brief "preview" sites, which give visitors a sense of the work and so on. One exhibit that should not be missed here is the Sol LeWitt retrospective. Within this section, visitors can learn about the many works included in this show (it's up until 2033), view a time lapse video of the installation, and comment on the works. Overall, the site is very easy to use, and it just might inspire a trip out to these pleasant parts of New England. [KMG]

The UNESCO Courier

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) works across a broad range of thematic areas, including cultural heritage preservation, educational planning, and community capacity-building. Created in 1947, the Courier is their flagship publication, and it is designed to reflect the Organization's concerns and thoughts. Since March 2006, the magazine has been published once a month, and it can be read in one of six languages, including English, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese. Each edition addresses one of UNESCO's primary areas of concern, and recently the magazine has covered everything from the cultural patrimony of Ethiopia to women journalists who bridge multiple cultural and ethnic traditions. Visitors can browse back issues to 1996, and they can also sign up to receive new issues via email. [KMG]

C-SPAN: American Political Archive [Real Player]
C-SPAN has created this online archive as part of their general mission, and educators and politicos will find much to search through on this site. On the top of the page, visitors can look through the most recent programs, which include broadcast audio recordings from a number of the Presidential Libraries, the Smithsonian, and the Library of Congress. Further down the page, visitors can look through the "Past Programs" area. Here they will find links to interviews with figures such as Shirley Chisholm, Lady Bird Johnson, and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Along the right-hand side of the page, visitors can make their way through a host of important web resources, including a collection of oral histories with former Secretaries of Defense and an interview with Harry Truman. [KMG]

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection

The Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin has had an impressive online presence for many years. Geographers, historians, and others who enjoy and use maps will find much to admire and enjoy on this site. Perhaps one of the best features here is the "Online Maps of Current Interest". It's located front and center on the site's homepage, and it brings together maps from areas of the world that have been in the news in recent weeks. At any given moment, this area might have maps that deal with piracy in the Red Sea or elections in Europe. Moving on, visitors should take a look at the "Maps FAQ" section before diving into the other areas, which contain hundreds of thematic maps from around the world. The collection is particularly strong in terms of historical maps, and visitors with a penchant for the history of cartography will be well served here. [KMG]

EUROPE Gateway: Bulgaria

The European Institute is committed to providing high quality information about a wide variety of European Union countries, and this particular site deals with the nation of Bulgaria. On the site, visitors can view recent news highlights drawn from a wide range of media outlets, and then move on to the "Analyses" area. Here they will find editorial pieces and other items that address everything from human rights to the current state of economic affairs in Bulgaria. The "Interview" area includes talks and discussions with various policy leaders, journalists, and commentators on issues of the day facing Bulgaria. Finally, visitors can also use the "Navigation" tools along the left-hand side of the homepage to learn about the rest of the Gateway Europe site. [KMG]

Furness Image Collection

If you're a fan of Shakespeare, you're going to love the University of Pennsylvania Library's online Furness Image Collection. Composed of books, manuscripts, artifacts, and over 2,000 prints and photographs, this archive of material is not just about Shakespeare's works, but also about the history of Shakespearean theatrical presentations. The theatrical performers and performances of such works are documented via the images in the online collection, most of which date from the 19th century. On the homepage you can choose to "Browse All Collection," or do a simple or Boolean Search. You can also "Compare" images side by side, and ample information about the intellectual property rights of the images can be found in a link given at the end of the copyright notice in the section labeled Access. Clicking on "Browse All Collection" will take you to the beginning of the collection, and you can view the materials in three ways: "Text List", "Slide Show", and the default thumbnails. For pure viewing pleasure, slide show is the visitor's best choice. You get to see the image in its full glory, accompanied by a title - some lyrical, some simply descriptive. The "Simple Search" is easy to follow and via a drop down menu, offers many criteria by which to search, including notes, medium, collection, and created/published. [KMG]

International Center for Journalists [pdf]

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is a non-profit organization that has the unique goal of using "independent, vigorous media" to better the human condition. Under the "Our Work" tab at the top of their website, you can view their "Programs by Topic," or by region of the world, such as "Latin America/Caribbean", "Eastern Europe/Central Asia", and "Sub-Saharan Africa". Under the "Resources" tab at the top of the page of the site, visitors shouldn't miss clicking on the "Manual: Fighting Words" to peruse the free downloadable copy of the organization's book that sprung from a three day conference about the misunderstanding and misinformation in Arab and U.S. media. The 133-page book is available in both English and Arabic as well as in multiple downloadable formats. Another free downloadable publication, also under the "Resources" tab, is the recently created Chinese-English glossary of financial terms and acronyms, created through a collaboration between Merrill Lynch and the ICFJ Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University. A much-needed common business vocabulary between the Chinese and English languages makes up the 345-page glossary. For those journalists who are interested in interacting online with their peers, the ICFJ offers them the opportunity to join a network of international journalists. Every week there is a discussion question to get some debate, or agreement, started. [KMG]

1000 Journals [Adobe Flash Player]

Last mentioned in the July 9, 2004 Scout Report, 1000 Journals is a Museum 2.0 project (where the audience participates in as well as views the project) from SFMOMA. Organized by Someguy, a San Francisco-based artist and designer, 1000 journals were circulated beginning in August of 2000, initially only to people who asked for them, these people then added something to the journal - writing, painting, photographs - and then sent them on. Journals were also left in public places such as bars, cafes, and on park benches, and later a sign up function was added to the project so journals went from person to person on a list. The online exhibition features page spreads from 235 journals, as well as covers from roughly 25. There is also a book and a movie about the project, and links to purchase the book or to find out when and where screenings of the movie are scheduled can be found here as well. [DS]

Network Tools

Fast Blog Finder 2.50

As its name indicates, the Fast Blog Finder helps users look for weblog posts that have a particularly high ranking in Google for a given phrase. It can be useful for research purposes, and visitors can also make use of it if they wish to attract more traffic to their own websites. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

Family Cyber Alert 4.16

Many people are concerned about the content that their children might encounter on the web, and this helpful program might be just the thing for them. The Family Cyber Alert program records everything that is done on a computer, including email messages, chat sessions, screen views, and file access. Here, a fourteen day trial is available and this particular version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Tiny primate (re)discovered in the mountains of Indonesia

Scientists rediscover pocket-sized primate

Tiny primate rediscovered 80 years after it was thought to be extinct

Anthropologist Discovers Long-Lost Primate

"Extinct" Primate Found in Indonesia

Primate disease field guide covers critical gap in global health

Philippine Tarsier

Scientists around the world are still attempting to catalog thousands of species of insects and plant life that remain little known, and in many cases, poorly understood. By the 20th century, it became increasingly rare to discover new species of primates. Interestingly enough, a team of researchers located a seemingly lost species of tarsier this week, which hadn't been seen since the 1920s. The team of researchers from Texas A&M University was doing work in and around the mountaintop forests of Indonesia when they came across several pygmy tarsiers. It would be more accurate to say that they didn't so much come across these tiny creatures, as much as they were able to trap two males and one female using mist nets. The animal is a tremendously odd looking creature, as it has huge eyes, very dense fur, and a facial expression that seems to indicate a permanent smile. The hope now is that the Indonesian government will step up its efforts to protect these very curious and very rare creatures. [KMG]

The first link will lead visitors to a piece from this Tuesday's Globe and Mail about this recent exciting discovery. The second link leads visitors to additional coverage on this find, courtesy of this Tuesday's Daily Mail. Moving along, the third link leads to a press release from Texas A&M University that includes a short video clip of the pygmy tarsiers in their native environment. The fourth link leads to another nice piece from National Geographic that talks a bit more about the pygmy tarsier. For a look at the broader picture, the fifth link leads to a news release from Emory University, which talks about new work being done on the study of primate infectious disease. It is hoped that such work will inform humans' ability to predict epidemics. Finally, the last link will take users to information about the Philippine tarsier, which is an equally curious animal that resides on several of the Philippine's larger islands. [KMG]

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