The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 6

February 13, 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

Crossroads to Freedom [Macromedia Flash Player]

Hosted by Rhodes College, the purpose of the Crossroads to Freedom site is to promote and support conversations about the civil rights era in Memphis focusing on the years 1950 to 1970. The site has some very fine oral histories, newspaper articles from the Memphis World, and the transcripts of the 1962 Hearings of the Commission on Civil Rights. Visitors can dive right in by clicking on the "Collections" tab. Here they will find all of the available oral history interview videos from the project, along with a special set of interviews related to the importance of musicians in the struggle for civil rights. Also, users can use the "Browse" tab to look over the documents here by date, name, place, and subject. [KMG]

The Early Chinese-Canadians

This bilingual website offered by the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) explores Canada's early Chinese immigrants, covering the period 1858 to 1947. To learn why the Chinese immigrated to Canada, visitors should click on "The History" on the far left side of the page. Once there, visitors can choose from several specific sections to read about, including "Working in B.C.: Gold, Railway, Mining and Salmon", "Racism and Law in Society", and "Communities for Canada and China". Additionally, each contains suggestions for further reading on the subject for both adults and children. Visitors who desire to browse photos and documents can click on "Historical Photographs and Documents" on the far left side of the page. There are three sections, "Research Guide", "Gallery of Documents", and "Gallery of Photographs". The Research Guide provides a thorough explanation on how to research the "photographs, artwork, published books, personal archives, and, in particular, government records" of Chinese Canadians, which are dispersed throughout the LAC collection. The documents and photographs galleries allow visitors to view, and even order, a print or digital copy of the historic materials. Finally, the "Head Tax Records" link located on the far left side of the page, allows visitors to search for Chinese immigrants to Canada that were recorded in the General Registers of Chinese Immigration. Visitors can search these registers online by the person's name, arrival year, or certificate number. [KMG]

The Nuclear Vault: U.S. Nuclear Detection and Counterterrorism, 1998-2009 [pdf]

The National Security Archive at The George Washington University is always on the lookout for new and compelling government documents, and this latest addition to their Nuclear Vault is quite an astonishing find. This collection of documents was compiled by researcher Jeffrey T. Richelson and released in late January 2009. Richelson came across these compelling documents while doing research for a book on the United States' Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) and its activities. This particular collection contains 22 documents related to NEST's activities during the period 1998 to 2009. The documents cover the various operations NEST has been involved in, along with information about their relationship and interactions with over government agencies. It's an engaging clutch of materials, and one that will be fascinating for anyone with an interest in national security. [KMG]

Asian Development Bank [pdf] [Last reviewed in the Scout Report on April 9, 1998]

Created in 1966, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is headquartered in Manila. Their operations extend across 67 countries, and their primary mission is "to help its developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people." In order to achieve this goal, ADB offers loans, technical assistance, grants, advice, and knowledge. Along the top of their homepage, visitors can make their way through the following sections: "Projects", "Countries", "News & Events", "Topics", and "Publications". The "Topics" area is a good place to start, as it contains information about some of their signature programs, which range from work on preventing bird flu outbreaks to law and policy reform throughout the region. Moving on, the "Publications" area is a real treat for policy types, and visitors can look at recent documents like "Revitalization of Historic Inner-City Areas in Asia". [KMG]

Afghanistan Analyst

Finding high-quality online resources about Afghanistan can be a struggle, and that's why it's refreshing to learn about the Afghanistan Analyst site. Created and maintained by Christian Bleuer, a PhD student at The Australian National University, the site contains collections of links and resources arranged into headings such as "Listservs", "Blogs", "Experts and Researchers", "Libraries", and a dozen others. Clicking on each heading will take users to a list of external web-based resources, all of which have been vetted by Bleuer. Many of the resources come from international sites, and Bleuer has noted when a certain site might contain information in another language, such as French or Arabic. The site will be particularly useful to scholars and journalists, and for anyone who hopes to keep up on current affairs in Afghanistan. [KMG]

Celebrate Diversity with Dream in Color [Macromedia Flash Player]

Working together with a host of non-profit organizations (including the National Museum of Mexican Art), the Target Corporation and Scholastic Books have created this set of educational materials that help young people learn to "embrace and celebrate diversity." On this site, visitors can click around sections that include "Digital Storytelling", "Latino Heritage", and "Asian Pacific Heritage". In the "Digital Storytelling" area, teachers and students can use the instructional resources and lesson plans as they learn how to create a multimedia video clip and conduct research using a variety of sources. The other sections feature activities arranged by grade level and subject material. Also, visitors can look at lesson plans from past years and also offer feedback on the lesson plans and activities. [KMG]

Evolution Resources from the National Academies [pdf]

In 1859, Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species", and in doing so, he introduced the concept of evolution by natural selection to the world. To honor the 150th anniversary of this event, the National Academies recently redesigned their evolution resources website. In doing so, they created a number of new sections for educators, businesspeople, and attorneys. The "Introduction" area is a fine place to start, and here visitors can find brief summaries of evolution in agriculture, industry, and medicine. The "Definitions" area offers up some short and incisive definitions of relevant evolutionary terms including "adaptation", "DNA", and "trait". Students and teachers alike will want to peruse the "Books and Reports" area. Here they will find full-text reports such as "Science, Evolution, and Creationism" and "Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins". The site is rounded out by a list of upcoming events. [KMG]

Charles Olson's Melville Project

Noted poet and literary theorist Charles Olson began investigating the life and work of Herman Melville during his time as a graduate student at Wesleyan University in the 1930s. Olson began to realize then that there were hundreds of Melville's former books scattered around the country. He began to locate these books and transcribe information about each volume (including Melville's original marginalia) onto 5 x 7-inch note cards. Unfortunately, many of the note cards were damaged years later, but the University of Connecticut later purchased Olson's papers and set to work on repairing and conserving the cards. This most welcome digital collection is part of their work, and visitors with a penchant for Melville will want to browse through the hundreds of cards offered here. Each note card features a text transcription, a pdf of each card, and a zoom feature. Visitors can also manipulate the image to look at different segments, and they may also wish to perform a full-text search across all of the transcriptions. [KMG]

General Interest

Umbrella 1978-2005

In 1978, Judith Hoffberg began publishing the art journal Umbrella. Over the next three decades, the journal would offer up reviews and news regarding artist books, mail art and photography tradebooks. The journal ceased print publication in 2005, but permission was granted to the Herron Art Library of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) to digitize the entire print run. Visitors to the collection can browse by issue, or they can also perform a keyword search across the entire collection. For art historians and those with an interest in tracking the development of different artistic traditions in late 20th century America, this is a tremendous resource. [KMG]

The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Researchers are only now beginning to uncover important family archives that tell of life in Russia during the reign of Joseph Stalin. One team from the Memorial Society in St. Petersburg was able to successfully recover family archives that included letters, personal papers, memoirs, and photographs. Led by Orlando Figes, this team of researchers has created this website to offer the public a selection from these powerful documents. The materials on the site are divided into sections such as "Family Histories", "Interviews", "Sound", and "Photographs". The "Interviews" area contains dozens of interview transcripts, but the majority of them are offered only in Russian. Fortunately, visitors can click on the "English" tab to review extracts from four of the interviews in English. Moving on, the "Photographs" area contains photos culled from the various family histories. Finally, the "Family Histories" area contains brief profiles of each family's history and their experiences in Stalin's Russia. [KMG]

Federal Eye

It can be hard to keep tabs on the activities of the federal government, so it's nice to know that Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post is available to offer some assistance. O'Keefe is responsible for this website, which provides up-to-date coverage of various governmental activities, such as economic stimulus legislation, efforts to develop high-speed passenger rail, and cabinet level appointments. On the site, visitors can sign in to ask O'Keefe questions, view recent and archived posts, and also offer their own comments on the different posts. The site also contains a selection of links to other Washington Post websites that report on the various goings-on within the United States government. [KMG]

Music and the Brain [iTunes]

What is the relationship between the brain and music? That very question animates the Library of Congress' Music and the Brain series, and their website allows interested parties to listen in on some of the conversations, lectures, and symposia. Noted psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison chairs the initiative, and the programs bring together physicians, theorists, composers, and performers. Visitors can listen to some of these recent conversations via this website, and they can also sign up to receive new podcasts via iTunes. Currently, there are five different podcasts available. They include talks with Dr. Charles J. Limb ("Your Brain on Jazz"), Jessica Krash ("Dangerous Music"), and Dr. Aniruddh D. Patel on "The Music of Language and the Language of Music". [KMG]

National Yiddish Book Center [pdf]

The motto of the National Yiddish Book Center is "Rescuing Books, Inspiring Readers". It's quite appropriate, as they have digitized over 10,000 books and placed them online here. Of course, that's not all they have done, and visitors to the site can read about their new facilities, their leadership, and membership opportunities. First-time visitors can click on the "About the Center" section to learn about their work, and after that, mosey on over to "The Jewish Reader" to learn about books that might be of interest for a book group, complete with reviews and study questions for each selection. Moving on, visitors can click on the "Yiddish Books Online" area to look over a wide range of out-of-print Yiddish titles. One facet of the site that will be especially useful for educators is the "Explore and Learn" section. Here visitors can click on a list of topical headings (such as "Linguistics" or "Translation") to view online resources from the Center and other reliable sources, including the New York Public Library and their in-house magazine, Pakn Treger. [KMG]

Cotsen Children's Library: Virtual Children's Books Exhibits

Princeton University's virtual exhibit of past exhibits of children's book illustrations offers visuals and brief explanations geared towards children and adults. The easy-to-use website is divided into four virtual exhibits, that contain a portion of what the physical exhibits at the Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton University displayed. The four exhibits can be accessed by clicking on their links on the homepage. The "Water Babies" exhibit contains illustrations of swimming, and was meant as a respite for kids who couldn't escape the city's heat. Each illustration in the virtual exhibit is accompanied by a short synopsis of the book or publication it came from, and often a web link or reading suggestion for more information on the author, illustrator, or subject matter of the book.
The "Magic Lantern" virtual exhibit contains illustrations of magic lanterns, a type of projector widely available for home use, that were the precursors to film and television, and which enthralled children and adults alike. The "Creepy-Crawlies" exhibit highlighted the many illustrations of insects in children's books and natural history. The insects in children's books were most often portrayed as evil or villainous. But, if visitors can put those feelings aside, they will find many beautifully rendered drawings. The physical "Beatrix Potter" exhibit coincided with the publication of the Beatrix Potter Collection of Lloyd Cotsen in 2004, and the virtual exhibit contains illustrations by Potter, and others, with whom the visitor can use for comparison, to see Potter's unique style. [KMG]

Academic Earth [Macromedia Flash Player]

Academic Earth provides videos of lectures by top scholars in "Subjects" that range from Astronomy to Entrepreneurship to Religion, from "Universities" as celebrated as MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford. Visitors must register to view the lectures, but registration is free. There are over 1500 video lectures available, with more being added everyday. In addition to viewing the lectures available by subject or university, visitors can choose by "Instructors" or by "Playlists". When visitors click on "Playlists" at the top of the homepage, they will see a list of lectures by theme, by several different instructors, and a grade given to the lecture series. A good example is the 6-part lecture entitled "Understanding the Financial Crisis" by four different instructors. The series is given a grade overall, in this case, an A-, and when visitors click on "See all 6 lectures" at the bottom of the series' description, they will be taken to the page with the links to the individual lectures, as well as shown the grade given each individual lecture. Visitors can even keep a playlist of their favorite lectures or download the lectures. Visitors should definitely check out the Frequently Asked Questions page, accessible by the "FAQ" link at the bottom of the website. [KMG]

Captured Emotions: Baroque Painting in Bologna, 1575-1725

This web exhibition from the Getty Museum traces the influences of the Carracci family of Bologna, Italy, thought by some art historians to have revitalized painting in the late 16th century, after the passing of the great Renaissance artists. The Explore tool provided by the Museum allows visitors to see and read about all 43 paintings in the exhibition, including works by the Carracci themselves, brothers Annibale and Agostino, and their cousin Ludovico, as well as some of their followers and students, Guido Reni, Domenichino, and Francesco Albani. Works can be sorted by theme, artist, or lending museum using the tool. For example, sorting by portraiture creates a set of portraits: a young boy, possibly Antonio Carracci, who was Agostino Carracci's illegitimate son, shown with cherries and a lute; Giulio Mascheroni, a lute player; and two important religious leaders: Pope Gregory XV and Cardinal Roberto Ubaldino. [DS]

Network Tools

Zemanta 1.2

Those individuals with a weblog (or those who might be thinking of starting one) will want to take a close look at this latest edition of Zemanta. With a simple point and click action, visitors can add tags, URL links, photos, and related articles to each post. Their site also includes a demonstration video of all of the program's features and a place where visitors can ask questions. This version of Zemanta is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

Floola 4.7

Those persons looking for an alternative to iTunes might find Floola worth a look. This portable music playing software package allows users to take notes and download photos quickly. Visitors can also use the application to keep their Google calendars updated. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

In response to a lawsuit filed by the Associated Press, artist Shepard Fairey countersues

Artist Files Lawsuit Against the Associated Press Over Image of Obama

Fair Use Project Files Suit Against The Associated Press on Behalf of Artist Shepard Fairey [pdf]

Artist questions police's timing of his arrest on graffiti charges

Lawrence Lessig: Remix

Banned in Boston

Obey Giant [Macromedia Flash Player]

Last Friday, contemporary artist Shepard Fairey was in Boston to celebrate the opening of his new gallery show at the Institute of Contemporary Art. He was probably not expecting to get arrested by the Boston Police Department, but that was exactly what happened on his way to the Institute's home in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood. Fairey was arrested on graffiti-related charges, and he later pled not guilty. It was the end of a busy week for Fairey, as The Associated Press sued him on Thursday for copyright infringement. The Associated Press (AP) has made the claim that he appropriated a 2006 AP photograph taken by Mannie Garcia for his iconic "Hope" poster, which became a popular image during President Barack Obama's campaign for president. This Monday, Fairey countersued the Associated Press, asking a judge to declare that he is in fact protected from copyright infringement claims as regards his use of the photo in question. The whole situation gets a bit more complicated as Garcia has recently stated he holds the copyright for the photograph. It remains to be seen how things will turn out for all the parties involved, but in a recent interview Garcia remarked, "I don't condone people taking things, just because they can, off the Internet. But in this case I think it's a very unique question." [KMG]

The first link will take readers to an article from this Tuesday's New York Times which talks about Fairey's current situation and the countersuit he recently filed against the AP. The second link leads to the text of the suit filed against the AP in support of Fairey's case by the Fair Use Project at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society. The third link will take users to an article from this Tuesday's Boston Globe. The article takes a look at both Fairey's arrest and the reaction of Boston residents to his art. Moving on, the fourth link leads to a talk by Professor Lawrence Lessig on how copyright law might be transformed and modified for the 21st century. The fifth link leads to a delightful list from the Boston University Libraries about things that have been "banned in Boston" during the past several centuries. While Fairey's work wasn't banned per se, many other things have not been so lucky, including plays, pamphlets, and books like Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy". The final link will take users to Fairey's own homepage, where they can view some of his works and learn more about his background. [KMG]

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