The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 3

January 23, 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

Doris Ulmann Photograph Collection

Doris Ulmann, born in 1882, became known for her photographs of the people of the rural South and Appalachia. At the age of 50 Ulmann fell seriously ill, and just before her death she established the Doris Ulmann Foundation, which transferred the entire contents of her studio to the Columbia University Library. The large photograph collection eventually ended up at University of Oregon Library's Special Collections, the New York Historical Society, Berea College, and the University of Kentucky. Here, visitors can find the University of Oregon's Ulmann collection, which represents a bulk of the material originally held at Columbia. Those interested in browsing the collection can click on "Browse & Search" near the top of the homepage, and select "Browse All Items", "Browse by Theme", or "Advanced Search". The themes to browse by include, Berea College, Craftswomen, Rural Portraits, Rural Scenes, and Still Life. Visitors can even save their favorite photographs under the "My Favorites" tab, accessible once a theme has been chosen, or if in the "Browse All Items" or "Advanced Search" sections. Under the "About the Collection" link near the top of the homepage, visitors can click on "Special Collections: Doris Ulmann Collection" to read more about her field assistant and music composer, "John Jacob Niles", to which a link is located above her portrait. To learn more about one of the instrumental trustees of the Doris Ulmann Foundation, and an advocate and expert on American folk arts, visitors should click on "Allen Eaton". [KMG]

Marine Mineral Studies [pdf]

The U.S. Department of the Interior's website on marine mineral mining on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), is primarily concerned with providing information about the environmental impact that dredging activity has on marine life. If visitors want to learn about the federal regulations and laws that govern the prospecting, leasing, and production of marine minerals from the OCS, they can click on "Legal Framework" on the menu on the left side of the page. There are links to the full text of the various government documents that govern marine mineral mining. For visitors who want to read about the use of sand from the OCS to nourish beaches and restore coastal areas, click on "Projects" on the menu on the left side of the page. The visitor can click on "Summary of Leases Issued by the MMS Marine Minerals Program" to see a state-by-state chart of some of the projects, which include when the project was completed, the amount of shoreline involved, and what was accomplished. For teachers or parents interested in teaching kids about the ocean's sand, erosion, and sedimentation, click on the "Kid Connection" link on the left side of the page. There are several projects and experiments listed to allow kids to see erosion and sedimentation in action. At the bottom of the page are more than a dozen links to careers in marine minerals. [KMG]

Reversing the Decline: An Agenda for U.S.-Russian Relations in 2009 [pdf]

Over the past few years, there has been increasing concern about the nature of US-Russian relations, and this policy paper, published in January 2009, takes a closer look inside how renewing the spirit of cooperation between these two nations might be achieved. The 38-page paper was written by Steven Pifer, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center on the United States and Europe. The report is divided into four chapters, including "What Does Russia Want?" and "Implementing the Agenda". Among other recommendations proffered by Pifer, he suggests that the new presidential administration might offer a revived nuclear arms control dialogue and also work on expanding commercial links between the two countries. Overall, it's an intriguing paper that contains some interesting possibilities, and it's one that will engage the minds of public policy experts and others with an interest in such matters. [KMG]

Open University: The Politics of Devolution

The notion of devolution may be a foreign concept to some, but essentially devolution is the granting of powers from a central government to that of a state at a smaller and more localized level. One can see this process at work in the United Kingdom in regards to different powers granted to Scotland in recent years, and in the United States, within Washington, DC. This particular online course offered by the Open University provides interested parties with the opportunity to learn more about devolution. The course is divided into eight discrete sections, including "The making of the UK", "When was Britain?", and "The politics of devolution". The site also includes an online forum, and visitors can also choose to look at the materials via an RSS feed. Visitors will also need to complete a free registration, and then they will have the ability to discuss the course online, write a journal entry, and even complete an online quiz. [KMG]

Codex Sinaiticus [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Codex Sinaiticus is certainly one of the most important books in the world, and this delightful website provides users with a way to view the book in its entirety. The goal of this project is "to reunite the entire manuscript in digital form and make it accessible to a global audience for the first time." The project partners include The British Library, the National Library of Russia, St. Catherine's Monastery, and Leipzig University Library. First-time visitors may wish to click on the "About" area to learn more about the document's tremendous significance (among other things, it includes the oldest complete copy of the New Testament) and to read answers to several frequently asked questions about the Codex Sinaiticus. Anyone with an interest in conservation, digitization, and transcription will want to check out the "About the Project" page. Here they will find information about all of these subjects, and information about translations of the Codex. Finally, visitors will obviously want to head on over to the "See The Manuscript" area. Here they can read a side-by-side translation of each page, zoom in and out on the Codex, and even browse around by passage. [KMG]

Mathematics Illuminated [Macromedia Flash Player]

Everything (mathematics) is illuminated in this excellent thirteen-part series created by Annenberg Media for adult learners and high school teachers. As their website notes, the series "explores major themes in the field of mathematics, from humankind's earliest study of prime numbers, to the cutting-edge mathematics used to reveal the shape of the universe." First-time visitors can read a brief introduction to the series, and then look over some of the thirteen units, which include "Game Theory", "Other Dimensions", and "Geometries Beyond Euclid". Each unit includes a relevant video segment (free registration required), a video transcript, and a different interactive feature designed to complement the material within. Also, visitors can take advantage of a glossary and a "Math Family Tree", which highlights major mathematical discoveries from the year 25000 BCE to present-day Fields Medal winner, Grigori Perelman. [KMG]

The Dynamic Earth [Macromedia Flash Player]

The history of the Earth from the perspective of the physical sciences is a fascinating one, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History brings it alive in a unique fashion with this site. After a dramatic introduction, visitors can explore the Earth's history in four sections: "Gems and Minerals", "Rocks and Mining", "Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes", and "The Solar System". Each section uses interactive graphics, demonstrations, photographs, and other rich visual materials to take the geologically curious into the world of the inner Earth, plate tectonics, meteorites, and a host of related topics. Moving along, the "GeoGallery" area lets users explore the database here for records of various gems, minerals, rocks, and volcanoes. Visitors can look around via an interactive map or they can just even click "Random Slide Show". The site is rounded out by several fun offerings, including screen savers, screen wallpapers, and some e-postcards. [KMG]

Gateway to Philosophy [pdf]

Based at Boston University, the Gateway to Philosophy project provides users with access to papers presented at the World Congress of Philosophy, as well as other initiatives of a philosophical nature. The site is divided into five primary sections, including "Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy", "Existenz", and "Paideia". Visitors may wish to start their journey through the site by clicking through the World Congress section, where they can read all of the papers presented at the World Congress of Philosophy and learn about the media coverage of this event. Moving on, "Existenz" contains the full-text of their online journal, which is inspired by the writings of Karl Jaspers and his "notion of philosophizing on the grounds of possible Existenz, by which he meant philosophical thinking that might elucidate the meaning of human experience and existence." Additionally, visitors also have access to a detailed search engine on the site and information about their upcoming conferences and publications. [KMG]

General Interest

Folger Shakespeare Library [Macromedia Flash Player]

The Folger Shakespeare Library opened in 1932 as a gift to the United States from Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger. Located in Washington, DC, the Library continues to be administered by a board of governors from Amherst College, Mr. Folger's alma mater. As one might imagine, the site has a great deal to offer those looking for materials related to Shakespeare, and the "Discover Shakespeare" area is a good place to start in this regard. In this area, visitors can learn about Shakespeare's life, his works, and even view images from some of his rare folios held by the Library. Scholars and others will find that the "Use the Collection" area is invaluable as well. Here visitors can learn about fellowship programs offered by the Library, and more importantly, they can also browse through their digital collection, which contains over 20,000 images. These images include books, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, and letters. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive electronic news updates and also learn about their upcoming theatrical productions. [KMG]

Nixon Tapes [Real Player]

A number of organizations have offered the general public selections from the secret tapes made by President Richard Nixon between 1971 and 1973, but the Nixon Tapes project under the direction of Professor Luke A. Nichter at Texas A&M University-Central Texas aims to bring together a complete online audio archive of all the tapes in question. The project is well under way, and the site contains a tremendous number of full-length tapes and transcriptions. It's no small task, as the sound quality on the tapes ranges from unintelligible to acceptable. Visitors can click on the "Audio & Transcripts" area to listen those tapes that are currently available. The project is an ambitious one, and it will certainly warrant several return visits. [KMG]

Taking Liberties [iTunes, Real Player, Macromedia Flash Player]

Britain has a rich and divergent set of traditions when it comes to freedoms and rights, and this highly interactive and well-designed online exhibit lets users explore some of the events, issues, and debates involved with such matters. The exhibit is meant to complement an in situ exhibit that ends in March 2009, and visitors can get started by looking over the "Star Items" section of the site. In this section, visitors can look over 40 "key icons of liberty and progress, from the Magna Carta to the Declaration of Human Rights." The documents are arranged chronologically and by theme, such as "Rule of law" and "Parliament and people". Moving on, the "Audio & Video" area includes a four-minute introduction to the exhibition, a lecture on the Magna Carta, and a "virtual curator". The site is rounded out by the "Taking Liberties" interactive feature, which allows users to learn how they stand in regards to current debates on freedoms in society, detention without charge, and the right to privacy. [KMG]

Digital Resource Commons

The Ohio Digital Resource Commons (DRC) is a place to learn about the historic, instructional, cultural, and creative works of those in the Ohio University system, as well as the liberal arts colleges of Ohio. Although not all of the Ohio schools save material with the DRC, many of them elect to do so. Higher education institutions, as well as K-12 institutions are allowed to save their work via the central network, as long as the work has archival merit. Visitors will want to click on "Communities and Collections" on the left hand menu to browse the vast resources available. Some of the communities included are "Art and Architecture", "Multi-Subject Video", and "OhioLINK Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Center". Within each community are some notable collections including, "Archaeological Atlas of Ohio", "Encyclopedia of Physics Demonstrations", and the "Kent State Shootings Oral Histories". In order to see a list of the archives available to search, visitors should click on "Advanced Search", under the blank search box near the top of the page. The scrollable box next to the archives category includes such choices as "Oberlin Digital Commons", "Scholarly Commons at Miami University", and "Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives". [KMG]

Australia Dancing [pdf]

For those who are enamored of dance or looking to learn more about it, the Australia Dance Collection: a Directory of Resources should prove eminently interesting. This sleek-looking directory of resources provides links to dance education and training, dance performances, dance history, dance news, and the list goes on. For information specifically on dance in Australia, the links at the top of the page, entitled "People", "Companies", "Performances", and "Oral Histories" are the gateways to the dance contributions to the cultural heritage of Australia. Ausdance, Australia's professional dance organization, is also represented on this website, and has links entitled "Profession", "News", "Resources" and "Events". Ausdance has eight different state and territory organizations that can be accessed by their abbreviations, i.e. NSW, Vic, Qld, and are listed at the bottom of each section of the Ausdance website. The Related Links menu, found back on the homepage of the Australia Dancing Website, contains a selection of dance sites that are divided up into the categories "Portals", "Directories", "Resource Collections", and "Reference Texts". Each category has a dozen or more links to visit, including one under Reference Texts entitled "Mir iskusstva: Serge Diaghilev's Art Journal" with drawings from an art journal conceived by the man behind the Ballets Russes companies. The drawings are lovely and rich, and promote the Russian arts and craft movement, rather than Realism, which was the style dominant in Russia at the time. [KMG]

Tulia, Texas [Macromedia Flash Player]

The PBS series Independent Lens features documentaries and dramas by independent filmmakers. The documentary, TULIA, TEXAS, which will air in February 2009, is about a small town in Texas that experienced a rash of arrests by an undercover narcotics agent ten years ago. The arrests were for cocaine sales, and were mainly of the town's African American residents. On the homepage for the film, visitors can click on "Watch Preview", on the top right side of the page, to see a trailer. To learn about the people in the film, visitors can click on "Read More About the Film" in the middle of the page. There are several short clip provided, which can be viewed by rolling over still pictures from the clips, and clicking on the "Watch Video" prompt as it appears. For visitors interested in seeing a screening of the documentary in their community, click on the "Get Involved" tab near the top of the page. In addition to a list of locations throughout the United States where the film will be screened, there are also links to PDFs of a "Discussion Guide" and a "Facilitator's Guide". [KMG]

International Indian Treaty Council [pdf]

The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) is "an organization of indigenous peoples from North, Central, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific working for the sovereignty and self determination of indigenous peoples." To achieve their broad goals, the IITC works to support networks of indigenous peoples around the world through their policy work in areas that include global trade, women's rights, reproductive health, and the environment. On their homepage, visitors can browse through thematic headings on the left-hand side of the page, such as "Treaty Conferences", "Cultural Rights", "Health/Toxics", and about a dozen additional listings. Visitors should also click on the "Web Content" tab to read flyers, United Nations resolutions, and draft declarations. Also, visitors can sign up to subscribe to the IITC's electronic news updates here. [KMG]

University of St. Andrews Photographic Archive

At this website, visitors can enjoy selected digitized images from the collections of St. Andrews University Library, which, in its own words, "holds one of the largest and most important collections of historic photography in Scotland", due in part to the friendship between Sir David Brewster (Principal at St. Andrews from 1838 to 1859) and pioneering photographer William Henry Fox Talbot. The digitized collection includes over 1000 images created by Talbot, including portraits of David Brewster, and plates from Talbot's book, "The Pencil of Nature". Other early photographers in the collection are Dr. John Adamson, David Octavius Hill, Robert Adamson (Dr. Adamson's younger brother and student), and Thomas Rodger. The web-accessible portion of the collection is currently a small percentage of the 300,000 items in the collection; however, St. Andrews plans on adding to it "until virtually the whole collection will be searchable from remote sites." [DS]

Network Tools

TinEye Reverse Image Search 0.4

TinEye is essentially a reverse image search engine that allows users to submit images in order to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions. The site includes a FAQ area and a demonstration video. Visitors will need to sign and create a password, and afterwards they will be able to use the search engine. This version is compatible with computers running all operating systems. [KMG]

Mailplane 2.0.1

Mac users who are looking to integrate Gmail into their daily routine will find Mailplane to be quite useful. This application integrates Gmail into the Mailplane application in order to allow users to send optimized photos, send screenshots instantly, and also drag and drop files and folders. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS 10.4 and newer, and can be used for thirty days for no charge. [KMG]

In The News

Hollywood and the movie-going public learn this year's Razzie nominations

'Guru' finds love at Razzies

Myers 'Guru' up for year's worst

Spirit-Bashing Trailer Spearheads 'Worst Movie' Campaign

A Brief History of The Razzies,8599,1872798,00.html

The Razzies

Village Voice: 100 Best Films

While movie industry insiders and others begin the big media build up to the annual Academy Awards show at the end of February, John Wilson gets ready for his annual movie award program: The Golden Raspberry. Wilson first got the idea shortly after he graduated from film school at UCLA in 1980, and it has garnered more and more attention over the past three decades. This Wednesday, the annual Razzy nominations were released by the Golden Raspberry Foundation with categories that include Worst Picture, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Career Achievement, and Worst Actor and Actress. Although some individuals who have received this dubious distinction in the category of "Worst Actor" have shown up to the awards ceremony in the past, it is generally not considered an honor just to get nominated. As the nominations were announced this week, a number of big "winners" were already shaping up. The "Worst Picture" nominees this year included the parody flick "Disaster Movie" and Mike Meyers' rather unflattering comedic outing, "The Love Guru". In an interview with Time magazine, Wilson summed up the basic mission of his organization and the Golden Raspberry awards thusly: "It's all about taking Hollywood's favorite pastime-congratulating itself-and turning it on its head." [KMG]

The first link will take users to a piece from this Wednesday's Variety about those films nominated for a Razzie this year. The second link leads to an article from CNN's Alan Duke about "The Love Guru" and its impressive set of Razzie nominations. Moving on, the third link will whisk users away to a reimagined trailer for the less-than-notable film "The Spirit" which was designed to garner a Razzie nomination for "Worst Film". The fourth link will take interested parties to a nice piece from this week's Time magazine about the history of the Razzies. The fifth link leads to the Razzies homepage, where visitors can learn about this year's nominees and read up on past winners. Finally, the last link provides a bit of antidote to all of this by offering up a list of the "100 Best Films of the 20th Century" as calculated by The Village Voice at the end of the last century. [KMG]

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