The Scout Report -- Volume 14, Number 48

December 5, 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

Listening to Students About Learning [pdf]

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has been working on a number of reports on how to strengthen pre-collegiate education in community colleges, and this compelling work represents part of their most recent findings on the subject. Authored by Andrea Conklin Bueschel, this 24-page report draws on interviews with students, community college leaders, teachers, and others to look into what is most effective in terms of working with these students to achieve their educational goals. The report draws on research performed at a variety of community colleges in California, and anyone with an interest in the continued success of students in these institutions will find this report very helpful. The report is rounded out by a detailed bibliography. [KMG]


Using the National Science Education Standards as their benchmark, the Learning Science organization has developed this site to bring hundreds of science-based learning tools to the general public. The LearningScience organization is a collaborative project created by individuals at the College of Education at Temple University, George Mehler, and teachers at the Central Bucks School District in Pennsylvania. Visitors to the site will notice that the materials are divided into seven primary sections, including "Physical Science", "Life Science", and "Science & Society". Within each section, visitors can browse through the teaching resources, which include interactive web-based lessons, pedagogical tools, and links to external resources created by organizations such as PBS and Rice University. One section is worth singling out for special attention: "Tools to Do Science". Here visitors will find printable rulers, a printable protractor, a stop watch, and printable graph paper. Finally, visitors can search the entire site via a convenient search engine and also send along their own comments. [KMG]

Newseum: Today's Front Pages

The Newseum, housed in Washington D.C., has an online feature that involves the voluntary participation of hundreds of newspapers around the globe. Each morning, newspapers with the requisite technology, send the front page of their newspaper to the Newseum and get posted online. Many of these front pages are also displayed in the physical museum. Near the top of the "Today's Front Pages" link of the website the visitor can choose to view the front pages as a "gallery", "list", or "map". The gallery view is the default view. Viewing them as a list shows the papers alphabetically by state, and the list continues alphabetically by country. When the visitor rolls over the name of a paper, a small image of the front page appears on the right side of the screen. Clicking on the name of the paper brings the front page into a larger view. Clicking on "Readable PDF" at the top of the page, makes it readable, and "Print Page" allows you to print the front page out. Also at the top of the page is a "Web Site" link to the newspaper's website. Clicking on map view allows the visitor to see maps of nine regions of the world, which have orange dots on them indicating a paper is available. Rolling over the dot will show the front page for that city. Visitors should not miss checking out the "View Archived Pages" link near the top of the page, to see the front pages of events of historical significance. Some of the front pages offered here include those that deal with the presidential election of 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies recent World Series victory, and the 2008 Summer Olympics. [KMG]

Meeting of Frontiers

The Library of Congress has a section on its website called the University of Alaska Fairbanks: Maps, which happens to be a digitized collection of maps of Alaska and the polar regions from the Rare Map Collection at the Rasmuson Library. The website is in both Russian and English. The maps range in age from 16th century speculative map making to the era of the gold rush, and provide a good look at what mapmakers' and explorers' (mis)perceptions were about the region. In the middle of the page is the link, "Browse Collections" which goes to the list of the maps in the digital collection. Although some of the map titles are in French, especially in the first part of the list, once the visitor clicks on the title and is taken to the details about the map and the actual map itself, the translated title is given. Additionally, the author/geographer of the map is indicated under the title, and if this name is highlighted and underlined, it can be clicked on to see all the other maps in the digitized collection by that same author/geographer. Clicking on the image of the map will allow the visitor to choose the size of the map they want to see. The images are high-quality, and can be navigated in more detail as well. [KMG]

International Atomic Energy Agency [pdf]

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE), an organization related to the U.N., has the admirable goal of promoting the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology. The IEAE website has an abundance of nuclear-related resources, news and scientific information. To become familiar with the history of nuclear energy, there is a timeline that can be accessed by clicking on "The IAEA in Time: Decisive Years" or "Interactive Timeline", both located in the top third of the homepage. Many of the items on the timeline link to a further explanation of an event, and some have accompanying images that can be expanded. Clicking on the "News Centre" tab at the top of the page will take the visitor to a menu on the left hand side of the page that includes "Feature Stories", "Transcripts", "Media Advisories", and "Multimedia". Visitors shouldn't miss clicking on the Multimedia link to choose from several links, including "Imagebank", "Photo Essays", "Podcasts", as well as IAEA Films and Video Clips that date back to 1928. The Photo Essays offer slideshows on such topics as how nuclear applications are used in art preservation and restoration; how sterilizing Medflies with x-rays in the Middle East reduces their population and thus allows farmers to use fewer pesticides on their crops; and how the IAEA is helping developing countries, like Nicaragua, set up cancer treatment centers. Under the "Publications" tab at the top of the homepage, visitors can find a multitude of publications, some for the layperson, and some for scientists, policymakers, and educators. Some of the publication categories include "Scientific and Technical Publications", "International Standards, Guides and Codes", "IAEA Documents and Conventions", and "Booklets and Topical Articles". [KMG]

Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian has a beautiful online exhibit, Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian which is meant to accompany the in situ exhibition in Washington D.C. and New York. Scholder's work is the subject of much debate in the world of Native Art, as his work has no obvious Native American imagery in it and he oftentimes denied he was Native American. By clicking on "Biography" near the top of the page, a list of links, "The Early Years", "The IAIA Years", and "The 70s and After" will appear. Below these links a clickable timeline also appears which advances when rolled over with the mouse. Another way to get an introduction to Scholder's life and the exhibit is to click on the "Podcasts" link near the top of the page. The first podcast listed is "Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian". Visitors should also not miss looking at his bold and sometimes disturbing paintings and sculptures, under the "Works" tab near the top of the page. They can be viewed by either D.C. or New York displays, as well as by "Curator's Choice", which is the default view. Each piece of work is also accompanied by commentary offered by the curators. Just click on the artwork, and under the bottom right hand corner of the image is a speaker to click on, complete with the name of the curator doing the commentary. [KMG]

Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. [pdf]

The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) was created in 1988 with the goal of facilitating discussion of important arctic research initiatives, and also producing science reports with research community recommendations for arctic science priorities. Visitors to the site can learn more about their work by clicking on the "About ARCUS" section. After that, visitors should look through some of their research publications, such as the Sea Ice Outlook Summary Report or their very fine Internet Media Archive area. Here they will find photos, graphics, videos, and presentations generated by ARCUS in the course of their work in and around the Arctic. Specialists and scientists in the field will definitely want to sign up for "ArcticInfo", which is their moderated mailing list which contains job announcements, information about newly released reports, and funding opportunities. [KMG]

Inside Islam: Dialogues and Debates [iTunes]

Under the banner of "Challenging Misconceptions, Illuminating Diversity", the University of Wisconsin-Madison's National Resource Centers and Wisconsin Public Radio's Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders have created this very thoughtful and probing website. The site contains links to the various broadcasts of Inside Islam from Wisconsin Public Radio, a weblog, a set of helpful external links, and a link that allows visitors to sign up for their RSS feed. Visitors can view previous weblogs by category, or they just scroll down the site at their leisure. The radio program is also quite good, and visitors would do well to start by listening to "Young Muslims and New Media" or "Women and Sharia". Finally, there's also a place for visitors to offer their own feedback on their weblog posts and the radio program. [KMG]

General Interest

National Park Service Centennial Initiative [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

It's never too soon to plan for a centennial, and the National Park Service is getting things started early with this rather delightful and immersive website. First-time visitors should start their journey through the site by clicking on the interactive report titled "The Future of America's National Parks". The report will teach visitors about the future direction of the Park System and also let them learn about some of the feedback provided by American citizens on various parks across the country. Moving on, the "Listening Sessions" area lets visitors hear the suggestions offered by various citizens about how to improve the Park System over the next century. Near the top of the homepage, visitors can also read up on approved projects in each state, read the basics of the Centennial Goals, and also check out a summary page of statistics regarding the Park System. [KMG]

Perry Visits Japan

Upon opening this website, visitors will be treated to an image from an anonymous Japanese scroll which depicts a steam locomotive and several Japanese onlookers. It's an excellent way to start a digital collection dedicated to Commodore Matthew Perry's visit to Japan in 1854. The collection is part of Brown University's Center for Digital Initiatives, and it was created as part of a project by Professor Susan Smulyan and her students. On the site, visitors can peruse three different sets of images, including those created by the American artist William Heine and a set of broadsides by anonymous Japanese creators. The subject matter is the same for all of these works (Commodore Perry's visit to Japan), and visitors can take a close look at each image, and also read accompanying essays by students. That's far from all, as visitors can also read accounts of the expeditions written by Commodore Perry and William Heine. The site is rounded out by a detailed bibliography containing scholarly works, journal articles, and web sources. [KMG]

World Bank: Global Challenges [pdf]

The World Bank works to combat poverty and to increase development opportunities around the world, but they also have selected six strategic themes that focus in on global development. First-time visitors to the site can listen to World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick talk about these themes, and they may also wish to follow along with the accompanying slideshow. Themes include global public goods, the Arab world, and middle-income countries. By clicking on one of these themes, visitors can read comprehensive reports, working papers, or take a look at presentations that explore these areas in greater detail. Many of these information sources are contained within a "Highlights" area. Visitors with a penchant for economic development, international political economy, or international affairs will find this site very useful. It's also easy to see how these materials might be used in a classroom setting to spark discussion or debate about some of these very timely matters. [KMG]

Ben Gray Lumpkin Digital Folk Music Collection

For two decades, Ben Gray Lumpkin travelled around the state of Colorado collecting folk songs. Lumpkin was a professor of English at the University of Colorado, and over this time period he recorded approximately 2000 performances by 192 individuals. This delightful digital collection created by the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries offers curious visitors a sampling of these performances. Visitors can browse the collection by song title or performer name. Additionally, visitors can perform detailed searches across the entire collection. There are a number of real gems here, including performances of "Babes in the Woods", "Hand Me Down My Walkin' Cane", and "Farmer's Boy". The site is rounded out by a brief biography of Professor Lumpkin which talks about how he came to work on this particular project. [KMG]

Campaign '68

The legacy of the 1968 presidential campaign and election continues to resonate with many Americans, and this radio documentary produced by American RadioWorks takes a close look into that fateful year. Visitors can get introduced to the candidates by clicking their photographs on the website. Further down the site, visitors can learn about some of the basic issues that informed that year's elections, including racial unrest, the powerful force of television, and the continued controversy over the conduct of the Vietnam War. Of course, visitors will also want to listen to the entire radio documentary and follow along with the transcript provided here. The site is rounded out by a listing of songs featured in the program and a timeline of the 1968 campaign season. [KMG]

Halta Definizione

This website aims to get fine art into people's homes. The fine art medium happens to be photographs of the originals, but they are really good photographs. For each painting, there is a very detailed explanation of the work, which can be found by clicking on the painting. Clicking on "View this artwork in detail", near the top of the explanation of the painting, will let you zoom in, and underneath the work you will also be able to read the "Technical Details" of the work, as well as other related information, such as artist, location, and the period. Fitting music also accompanies each viewing, giving it a multimedia quality. Information about the composer, and a link to the musicians can be found under the "Photo Credits" or "Credits" section. If viewing on the computer is not enough, each artwork can be purchased, in a variety of formats, such as poster, canvas, or photographic print. The works here include da Vinci's "The Last Supper" and Guadenzio Ferrari "Life Stories of Christ". There is a lot of great information on each painting, and the music and great quality make it a joy to view them. [KMG]

Oxfam International: Video

Oxfam, the British aid organization that banded together with a dozen other organizations in 1995 to form Oxfam International, has a website loaded with resources, one of which is a video library. There are many issues covered, such as climate change, tsunami survivors, AIDS, and many videos include celebrities, including Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Helen Mirren, and Annie Lennox. To increase their reach, many of the videos are also available on Youtube. To view the video in fullscreen, click on the screen icon next to the speaker icon. One of the more heart wrenching videos is the one titled "Our Home After Sidr-Documentary from Oxfam." It is the abridged version of a documentary, but conveys, nonetheless the dire situation of these Bangladesh survivors. Visitors should also not miss short animated video "Face the Music" about climate change, which uses only music and animation to show how climate change hits the poor "first and worst." [KMG]

Japanese Old Photographs of the Bakumatsu-Meiji Periods

Last mentioned in the July 30th, 1999 Scout Report, the current database represents a redesign and standards upgrade of the inherited data. The collection now includes approximately 6,000 hand-colored photographs, taken at various locations all over Japan, during the Bakumatsu-Meiji period, 1860 - 1920. In addition to searching by photographer, category, keyword, or location, it is now possible to browse by a variety of categories from making tea or housekeeping, to scenic spot or battlefield. In addition, from the full record display, visitors can link to related images. For example, the photo "Girls having a meal", dated 1880-1905, shows two young women wearing the long-sleeved kimonos of unmarried women, seated with a maid for a meal. Related photographs retrieved are additional views of groups of young women, dining, with cups, bowls, platters, and teapots. [DS]

Network Tools

Media Monkey 3.0.6

Despite its seemingly jocular name, the Media Monkey performs a very crucial task: wrangling together one's digital music collection. Developed as an alternative to other music management software, Media Monkey gives users the ability to create detailed tags for each song, sync tracks, and also link up to various portable music devices. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

Sage 1.4

A number of RSS feed aggregators might be too cumbersome for some users with basic needs. Fortunately, Sage 1.4 offers just enough for the more casual user, as it allows users to integrate RSS feeds from other browsers and it integrates quite effectively with Firefox's bookmark storage. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer in conjunction with Firefox 1.0 and 2.0.0. [KMG]

In The News

After proposition to ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts passes, some express concern about the fate of the dogs, while others voice concern about racetrack workers

What will happen to race dogs?

Track employees racing against unemployment

Adopt a Greyhound

Greyhound Care Manual

Greyhound Club of America

The Greyhound: Its History, Points, Breeding, Rearing, Training, and Running

On November 4th, 2008, the residents of the commonwealth of Massachusetts voted to ban dog racing, effective January 1, 2010. Over the past year, arguments were made on both sides of the question, and the debate on the question became quite intense in the months and weeks leading up to Election Day. Broadly speaking, this issue has embroiled other states in the past few years as animal rights organizations have continued to speak out against dog racing in other states. During the debates and now that the ban has passed, many people have wondered what will become both of the dogs and the people employed at the racetracks. Recently, the Boston Globe reported that various greyhound rescue groups are having trouble placing greyhounds with families and others who might be interested in taking in one of these animals. Many greyhound placement organizations already have too many dogs, and some organizations continue to receive race dogs from as far away as Ireland. But the dogs arent the only ones feeling the effects of the ban, as people employed by the greyhound racing industry in Massachusetts stand to lose their jobs as well. Many employees are openly appealing to Governor Deval Patrick to push back the closing date of the racetracks. Commenting on the situation, dog trainer Mike Curran voiced his objection to the ban by remarking, "The only abuse I can see is 1000 people out of work." [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Sunday's Boston Globe about the problems faced by greyhound adoption agencies. The second link leads to an article from the Raynham (MA) Call that talks about the situation faced by racetrack employees as the state prepares to cease greyhound racing in 2010. Moving on, the third link leads to the Adopt-A-Greyhound organization's website. Here visitors can learn about the greyhound adoption agencies in their environs, view a greyhound gallery, and donate to their cause. Visitors who might have a greyhound (or who might be planning to get one) will appreciate the fourth link, as it contains some very helpful advice on the care and maintenance of these rather regal creatures. The fifth link leads to the very useful website for the Greyhound Club of America. Here visitors can learn about upcoming greyhound shows, healthcare, and also check out some additional web-based resources. Finally, the last link will lead visitors to an important 19th century text on the life and times of greyhounds titled "The Greyhound: Its History, Points, Breeding, Rearing, Training, and Running". [KMG]

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