The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 2

January 16, 2009

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

Native American Journalists Association [pdf]

The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) is based on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. NAJA was started in 1984 in order to improve the communications among Native people as well as between Native people and the public. Visitors can click on the "Resources" tab near the top of the page to view, among other things, links to "Job Opportunities", "Internships/Fellowships", and "Publications". Free downloadable versions of "The Reading Red Report" from 2002, 2003, and 2007 can be accessed in the "Publications" link. The 2007 Report gives the visitor the opportunity to see some of the research that NAJA has done on how Natives are depicted in the mainstream newspapers of areas with the highest population of Native peoples. The "Media Links" link, also under the "Resources" tab, has a wealth of information regarding media that would be helpful for any journalists or aspiring journalists. Some of the links include "Journalism Centers", "Journalism Libraries", "Job Sites", and "News Research". Under the "Programs" tab, there is a link to "Students" that has various resources for those pursuing scholarships, internships or finding student chapters of NAJA. [KMG]

National Science Foundation: Classroom Resources [pdf]

The Classroom Resources section of the National Science Foundation's website has a collection of materials for school teachers, students, and parents of students. The lessons are suitable for grades K-12, higher education, and lifelong learners, and they are drawn predominantly from the National Science Digital Library. Visitors can choose from the range of research topics by clicking on the links in the middle of the homepage. The available topics range from "Astronomy & Space" to "Chemistry & Materials" to "Nanoscience". Visitors interested in the issue of educating girls in science and math, or the history of women in the sciences would do well to take a look at the "Computing" and "Physics" topics for links to such information. In all of the twelve research topics, there is a link at the end of the list of resources to an overview of the research that the National Science Foundation is doing in the selected area. For instance, in the "Earth & Environment Research Overview" link, the major questions that are being studied by the NSF are posed in the form of clickable links, such as "How can organisms live without sunlight?" or "What part do we play in the Earth's changing climate?". [KMG]

National Geographic: Endangered Species Photo Map [Macromedia Flash Player]

The National Geographic website has an interactive photo map of animals in the United States that are on the Endangered Species List. The map accompanies their January 2009 print and online article entitled "Countdown to Extinction," and also includes a photo gallery and the story of the successful rebound of the white rhinoceros in southern Africa. By clicking on the photo of the pygmy rabbit or "View Photo Map" on the homepage, the visitor will be taken to a map of the United States with clickable locations of 20 animal species that are endangered or threatened. Visitors should not miss taking a look at the photo and accompanying facts about the "Alabama Beach Mouse" in Alabama and the "Ocelot" in Texas. In order to learn more about the Endangered Species Act under which the creatures on the map are protected, visitors should click on the "Feature Article" link above the photo map. The "Photo Gallery" link, located above the photo map will take visitors to some arresting and elegant photos of various animal and plant species, some of which were not on the photo map. The photo of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle is beautiful, and not to be missed. [KMG]

Bulletin of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity [pdf]

Published by The Institute for Antiquity and Christianity at the Claremont Graduate School, The Bulletin of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity is primarily concerned with studies that investigate aspects of Christianity and its practice in the ancient world. The Bulletin comes out periodically, and interested parties can click on the "Browse items in this collection" to get a sense of the broad range of topics that they have covered. Visitors with a dedicated interest in this field can perform a more detailed search across the Bulletin by terms that include title, author, creator, date, keywords, and publisher. For students of divinity, theology, religious history, and ancient history, this site will be one to pass along to like-minded friends and fellow scholars. [KMG]

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Sitting on the banks of Lake Erie, the city of Cleveland has been an industrial powerhouse for over a century, and its history is a fascinating one. This online encyclopedia of Cleveland history was created with the cooperation of the history department at Case Western Reserve University, along with the assistance of other scholars. David D. VanTassel and John J. Grabowski compiled the encyclopedia, and visitors can perform a full-text search across all of the articles here as well as the image gallery. Visitors may wish to start by taking a look at the "Foreword" and the "Readers' Guide", both of which can be found in the "Supplementary Text" area. Visitors who wish to browse around in a thematic fashion will want to consult the "Subjects" area, which organizes the articles from "African American History" to "Zoo". [KMG]

Chandra Chronicles [pdf]

Since its launch on July 23, 1999, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory has been NASA's flagship mission for exciting and new X-ray astronomy projects. The project is overseen by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and visitors can start by clicking on the "About" area to learn about Chandra's mission, and also learn about the man behind the Observatory's name, Nobel-Prize winning physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. Visitors can click on "Where's Chandra" to learn about the latest position of Chandra in relation to the surface of the Earth. In the "Interactive Chandra" area, visitors can learn about all of the parts of the Chandra spacecraft and see how they work together to take various x-ray images. The site also features the "Chandra's Blog", which is a video weblog which brings together scientists and others talking about their work as it relates to Chandra. The site is rounded out by a search engine, and a photo album organized by calendar year. [KMG]

Occupational Safety and Health for Public Safety Employees: Assessing the Evidence and the Implications for Public Policy [pdf]

What kinds of injuries do public safety workers suffer? And how might the tracking of such injury incidents help improve prevention efforts in their workplace? These were some of the questions that motivated RAND organization researcher Tom LaTourrette and his colleagues as they set out to research this subject. Their work can be found in this 157-page report released in December 2008. The report includes some interesting findings, including the observation that little tracking of non-fatal incidents occurs within many public safety job settings, and that better data tracking could also help monitor potential abuses of the disability retirement system. Visitors will note that the report is divided into seven chapters, along with two appendices, and a complete list of references. Overall, it's a rather thorough review of this particular policy area, and one that will be useful to a number of different groups, including public policy scholars and civic officials. [KMG]

China Heritage Quarterly [pdf]

Published under the direction of the China Heritage Project at Australian National University, the China Heritage Quarterly offers articles on all aspects of China's heritage. The Quarterly has been published since 2005, and each issue contains feature articles, reports on recent books and conferences, and news items on recent developments in archaeology and museology. Each issue has a theme, and recent issues have focused in on "the aqueous heritage of China's capital city" and "China and Korea: A Shared Heritage". Visitors can easily navigate the contents of each issue by clicking on one of the topical headings, which include "Editorial", "Features", "Articles", and "New Scholarship". A number of the articles are complemented by visual materials, including photographs, plans, and other documents. [KMG]

General Interest

Pictures of Science: 700 Years of Scientific and Medical Illustration

Brought together originally in 1999 for an exhibition held at the New York Public Library's Gottesman Exhibition Hall, this set of intriguing images covers the fields of astronomy, chemistry, geology, medicine, and physics taken from different engravings, lithographs, and manuscript illuminations. The images here range from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and they are culled from works such as the 1798 volume "Elemens de la philosophie de Neuton" and the important 1830 volume "Principles of Geology" written by geologist Sir Charles Lyell. All told, visitors can browse through ten crucial texts in their entirety, and they are all wonderful meditations on the skills and talents of unique scientists (and artists) throughout the ages. Finally, visitors looking for specific materials can also search through the entire collection, or even click on the "See all Images" button. [KMG]

The MacKinney Collection of Medieval Medical Illustrations

Medievalist scholar Loren C. MacKinney spent much of his academic career at the University of North Carolina, and long before he passed away in 1963 many of his peers were quick to acknowledge his preeminence in the field of the history of medicine. MacKinney was also renowned for his impressive slide collection which documented key moments in the history of medical illustration. With funding from UNC alumnus Howard Holsenbeck, the University Libraries were able to digitize over 1,000 of these unique materials. First-time visitors will want to look closely at the rather haunting and eerie image on the site's homepage, which is an illustration of two men confronting a standing skeleton. After that, they can click on the "About the Collection" section to learn more about the nature of the collection and the digitization process. Moving on, visitors can browse through the items here by illustrator, date, language, and subject. The site is rounded out by a collection of related resources including other digital collections of note and a chronological breakdown of the Middle Ages. [KMG]

SFMOMA: Explore Modern Art [Macromedia Flash Player]

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art website has a wonderful feature that aims to help visitors of the online exhibits (or the physical museum) understand what was going on in the mind of the artist, the curator, or art historian when they created, chose or studied a work of art. The "Explore Modern Art" link provides a multimedia resource which helps visitors better understand this often misunderstood mode of artistic endeavor. Visitors can click on "Interactive Features" on the left side of the page to go to the archive of multimedia presentations released by SFMOMA, which covers more than 50 artists, such as Sol LeWitt and Betye Saar. To hear the musings of curators on exhibits at SFMOMA, visitors should click on the "Audio" link on the left side of the page. If you are not familiar with the artwork featured in the audio, most of the audio features provide a link to a biography of the artist featured, as well as to a few of their works. Visitors shouldn't miss watching the time-lapse video of "SFMOMA installs Ann Hamilton's indigo blue", which can be found in the "Video" link on the left said of the page. [KMG]

International War Veterans' Poetry Archives

Created by and for war veterans, this website contains poetry and short stories that are not only written about war veterans, but they are also written by them. The submissions can be from veterans of any nation, but must pertain to war, veterans, or the consequences of war. The website also includes resources for veterans who want to connect with other veterans and for those saddled with the unique challenges associated with being a veteran. "The Index of Authors" section at the top of the page will lead visitors to author pages and their writings. Some have photos, and others have extensive biographical essays. Visitors can find everything new added to the site, by month and year, going all the way back to 2001, by clicking on "Recent Additions" at the top of the page. The "Writing Resources" link at the top of the page has some great links to general writing sources, and to specific veteran writing resources, such as "Voice of the Vet: Veterans Writing Project", which takes place weekly at the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago. "Recommended Links", found at the top of the page, offers a slew of sites that honor veterans, help veterans, inform veterans, remember veterans, and tell the stories of veterans. [KMG]

Natural England [pdf]

Natural England has a very comprehensive website which explains not only the goals of the environmental conservation organization, but also provides a slew of scientific data, maps, free downloadable publications, and images that have been produced from their research and work. As the amount of information available can be overwhelming, the website offers the option of viewing the information based on the category of visitor, such as farmer, teacher, volunteer, and so on. On the far left side of the page, under the "Information for..." section, visitors can click on links for information that is relevant to "Farmers and Land Managers", "Researchers, Students & Teachers", "Local Authorities and Policy Makers", "Countryside Visitors", and "Volunteers". In the center of the homepage, there are links to the nine environmental regions of England. Clicking on any of the region's links will take the visitor to a menu that includes links to a "Map of the Region", "Nature on the Map", an interactive feature that allows one to see the nature in any area in England, "State of the Natural Environment", and "National Nature Reserves In Your Area". Clicking on the "Publications, Data & Forms" link on the far left side of the page will take the visitor to the "Publications Catalogue" link that can be browsed or searched, and offers well-written, appealing, and free downloadable publications about a dozen environmental topics of England, including "Wildlife Species", "Farming", "Habitats", and "Coasts & Seas". [KMG]

Illinois Fire Service Institute

Over the past 150 years, almost 800 Illinois firefighters have died in the line of duty. This remarkable and thorough online database provides historical background information and digitized images related to this subject. The funding for this project was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and first time visitors can get started by reviewing the online tutorial offered here. After that, they can use the customized search engine to search the records by last name, first name, agency, gender, rank, age range, and year of death. While the information for each firefighter varies, many of the records contain details about the cause of death, the location, and other relevant details. On the right-hand side, users can look at the "Today's Line of Duty Deaths" and check out photographs of the Illinois Firefighter Memorial and provide feedback on their experience using the site. [KMG]

Journal of Issues in Collegiate Athletics [pdf]

Created as an initiative by the College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) the Journal of Issues in Collegiate Athletics is "intended to foster an atmosphere that encourages personal and intellectual growth for faculty and students, demands excellence and professional integrity from faculty and student affiliates, supports independent critical college-sport research, and advocates for college athletes' rights and education." Visitors to the site can look over information about their editorial board and staff, their complete mission statement, and then make their way to the actual journal. The publication was started in 2008, and visitors can view articles such as "Collegiate Sport Chaplaincy: Problems and Promise" and "Can the Faculty Reform Intercollegiate Athletics? A Past, Present, and Future Perspective". The site is rounded out by a listing of links to related organizations, conferences, and online resources. [KMG]

The Art of African Exploration

Especially for the armchair explorer, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries has selected materials for this web exhibition from its Russell E. Train Africana Collection. Documenting European explorations of Africa from the late 18th through the 19th century, some of the artifacts pre-date photography. At that time, it was important for expeditions to include an artist, who could record what was seen. For example, Samuel Daniell was the artist for a British expedition into the Cape interior in 1801. The web site includes printed plates from a book based on his field drawings of the African rhinoceros, in contrast with examples that look quite different, drawn by Dutch naturalists who had never been to Africa. In the 19th century, David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley became celebrities for their African adventures, and a section of the web site includes items produced for armchair explorers of that era - a souvenir teacup, lantern slides, book jackets, and photographic cartes de visite (photographs mounted card stock that were popular in the 1860s) - with images of Dr. Livingstone and Mr. Stanley. [DS]

Network Tools

MailStore Home

People who need to backup their emails with little fuss will want to give MailStore Home a whirl. The programs works with a variety of email account types (including Thunderbird and Outlook) to provide a complete backup of all email files. After the backup is created, users can leave it in the MailStore application or export it as a file. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

Canaware NetNotes 5.0

If you use the Web quite a bit, you'll want to take a closer look at Canaware's NetNotes application. This handy tool allows users to save various webpages into their own knowledge base for easy access. The application has some nice tools, including the ability to capture select portions of webpages, such as specific paragraphs and images. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Research posits that Victorian novels may have aided the cause of altruism and fairness in society

Victorian novels helped us evolve into better people, say psychologists

Victorian novels like Pride and Prejudice teach us how to behave

Hierarchy in the Library: Egalitarian Dynamics in Victorian Novels [pdf]

Believing in 19th century novels

Gruel served up to hungry public

Medieval Food and Cooking: Gruel Recipes

Most people would not associate Bram Stoker's (in)famous character Count Dracula with the transformation of Victorian-era society, but the work of a group of evolutionary psychologists may bring these seemingly disparate things close together. In the most recent edition of the journal, Evolutionary Psychology, Joseph Carroll at the University of Missouri and his colleagues make the claim that the values espoused by works like Middlemarch, Dracula, and Pride and Prejudice "helped to uphold social order and encouraged altruistic genes to spread through Victorian society." In an effort to apply Darwin's theory of evolution to literature, Carroll and his colleagues asked 500 academics to fill in questionnaires on characters from 201 classic Victorian novels. As part of the questionnaire, the respondents were also asked to define characters as protagonists or antagonists, rate their personality traits and comment on their emotional response to the characters. In essence, the researchers claim that the effect of such moralizing literature was to "uphold and instill a sense of fairness and altruism in society at large." It's an intriguing idea, and one that will probably be discussed in academic circles at great length. On a seemingly unrelated note, yet curiously coincidental, the Royal Society of Chemistry served up free bowls of that common Victorian workhouse staple, gruel, this week at their headquarters. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to piece from the Guardian's Wednesday edition. Here visitors can read a bit more about the work of Professor Carroll and also check out links to other relevant articles. The second link leads to a similarly oriented article from Richard Alleyne, the science correspondent for the Telegraph newspaper. Moving on, the third link will whisk visitors away to the complete text of the recent scholarly article which appeared in Evolutionary Psychology. The fourth link will take visitors to a compelling and thoughtful bit of commentary on this recent research by John Sutherland from the Guardian's Books Blog. The fifth link leads to a news article from the BBC that reports on the recent gruel-based generosity of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Finally, the last link leads to a spot-on recipe for gruel, compliments of the Medieval Plus website. [KMG]

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