March 13, 2009
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.
- Reclaiming the Everglades: South Florida's Natural History, 1884-1934
- World Bank: Biodiversity
- Brookings Institution: Initiative on Business and Public Policy
- Freedom House: Freedom of the Press
- No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century
- Virginia M. Kline Collection: Ecological Communities of Wisconsin
- Harvard College's Computer Science 50
- Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
- Iowa State University Extension
- Jewelry at Historic New England
- Japanese Fine Prints, Pre-1915
- International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing
- National Institute on Aging
- National Portrait Gallery: Presidents in Waiting
The Everglades are a complex ecosystem, and over the past 125 years humans have tinkered with the operations of this area in ways that have had far-reaching effects. This remarkable digital archive brings together sixteen different collections held by the special collections of the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. Taken as a whole, these collections explore the role of the federal government in the creation of the Everglades National Park, the growth and development of the modern conservation movement, and the treatment of Native Americans. A good place to start on the site is the interpretive essay, and then move on over to the timeline area, which covers the pre-Columbian period to the present day. After that, visitors can move on to looking through each of the individual collections, which contain original documents, photographs, historical maps, and other pieces of ephemera. Finally, there's a "Research Assistance" area for visitors who have more questions about how to locate items throughout these collections. [KMG]
Many people are familiar with the World Bank's work in the areas of international finance and economic development, but they may not be aware of their work in the area of biodiversity. The World Bank happens to be the world's largest financier of biodiversity, and their work includes supporting the sustainable use of biodiversity outside protected areas, eradication of alien species, and land conservation. First-time visitors may wish to start their journey through the site by clicking on the "What's New" area. Here they will find reports on biodiversity, the role of indigenous peoples in biodiversity conservation, and a review of the World Bank's conservation projects during the past twenty years. Another way to look through the materials on the site is by using the drop-down menus that read "Topic", "Country", and "Region/Income". Visitors can also read overview statements that cover the Bank's work on biodiversity and poverty, biosafety, and mountain ecosystems. [KMG]
The focus on the Brooking Institution's Initiative on Business and Public Policy is to provide "analytical research and constructive recommendations on public policy issues affecting the business sector in the United States and around the world." The Initiative is primarily concerned with working in the areas of financial reform and competitiveness. Scholars, policy analysts, and others can click through the site to look at their latest policy briefs, op-ed pieces, and conference proceedings. In terms of thematic offerings, visitors shouldn't miss the "Fixing Finance" series of papers, which include documents such as, "The Origins of the Financial Crisis" and "Regulating Insurance After the Crisis". Also, visitors should look through the "Top Topics" area and sign up to receive their periodic Economic Studies Bulletin via email. [KMG]
Advocacy, action, and analysis are the tenets of Freedom House, a democracy organization founded in 1941 in the United States. Their website is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, Korean, Russian and Spanish, and is loaded with analysis.
One of the focuses of Freedom House is to monitor the freedom of the press available in countries around the world. Each year they publish a survey of 194 countries' degree of free press. The report includes country scores, draft reports, an overview essay, and methodology employed in gathering the data for the survey. To view any of the editions from 2002-2008 simply click on the drop down menu "Select a Year" next to Edition, near the top of the homepage. Once visitors have selected a year, an interactive, downloadable map will appear, allowing the visitor to choose a region on the map, and then choose any of the countries in the region. A press-oriented biography of the country is given, along with how the country scored in various measures of general freedom. Links to such information as "Methodology", "Survey Team", "Tables & Charts", and "Essays" are accessible at the top of the page once a visitor chooses a country to explore. [KMG]
In the winter of 2008, the Council on Library and Information Services (CLIR) convened a group of 25 leading librarians, publishers, faculty members, and information technology specialists to look into the following question: "How should we be rethinking the research library in a swiftly changing information landscape?" As part of this discussion, the participants discussed "the challenges and opportunities that libraries are likely to face in the next five to ten years." The 81-page report is divided into two sections. The first provides a basic overview of the ways in which research libraries might transform themselves in the near future and the second section contains eight short topical essays from some of the participants. These essays include "Co-teaching: The Library and Me", "The Future of the Library in the Research University", and "The Role of the Library in 21st Century Scholarly Publishing". [KMG]
Dr. Virginia M. Kline was a plant ecologist who worked at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum for many years. She was an enthusiastic educator, and she also helped to develop the field of restoration ecology. For eleven years, she also team-taught the course "Vegetation of Wisconsin" with Professor Grant Cottam. As part of this work she created a series of slides designed to reflect the natural history of Wisconsin, past and present. Visitors to this digital collection can view these slides and also listen to a series of audiotapes from the course. All told, there are 1200 items in this collection, and visitors can view sets of images in galleries or perform more detailed searches across all of the items. Some of the photographs are quite beautiful and taken as a whole this collection offers a good overview of the plant life in southern Wisconsin. [KMG]
Computer science can be a tricky subject, so it's fortunate that Harvard College has created this lovely resource designed for neophytes and everyone else. Taught by David Malan, this course is designed to teach interested persons "how to think more methodically and how to solve problems more effectively." On this site, visitors can view all of the course lectures, take a look at some problem sets, and look over lecture notes and slides. All told, there are 12 weeks of course materials here which cover algorithms, parameters, dynamic programming, and buffer overruns. Also, visitors can review the entire syllabus and take several different quizzes. Overall, it's a great resource and it's one that can be used in a variety of settings. [KMG]
Finding new and important works from academic journals can be challenging, and winnowing out the free offerings can be even more taxing. The JURN site brings together humanities and social sciences articles that are made available from the Directory of Open Access Journals and the Intute: Arts & Humanities website. Additionally, the site brings together pieces from 13 fine-arts magazines and full-text proceedings from conference proceedings. First-time visitors may wish to get started by clicking on the "blog", found under the search bar. Here they can read the "About" section and then move on to the rather helpful free guide to performing academic searches via websites such as Google Scholar and the University Digital Library. Overall, the site is fairly easy to use as visitors can use the search engine on the homepage to look over terms like "gender studies" or "Old Masters". [KMG]
Created by the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), the purpose of the America website is to deliver information about current U.S. Policy an d U.S. life and culture to international audiences. The site brings together video programs, radio broadcasts, interviews with officials, and other media to accomplish this feat. First-time visitors can take a look at the six primary sections on the site to start their explorations, or they can also click on the section titled "World Regions" to look at materials that deal with the United States' involvement in Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe. The site also contains interactive quizzes and information about travel and visa information and U.S. embassies around the world. [KMG]
Founded in 1966, the Kauffman Foundation was the brainchild of Ewing Kauffman who displayed a great curiosity about the world and who also happed to be a great believer in the importance of philanthropy. Over the past forty years, the Foundation has worked on a variety of initiatives, including work on supporting early education, entrepreneurship, and school reform. On the homepage, visitors will find five primary sections, including "Advancing Innovation", "Education", and "Research & Policy". The first place to start is the "Research & Policy" area. Here, visitors can find data reports and analysis papers on national entrepreneurship trends and technology innovation strategies. In each section, visitors can also view media clips featuring commentary from Kauffman Foundation scholars and experts. Moving on, the "Grants" area is a great way to learn about grant opportunities and recipients listed by date and name. Finally, the "Stay Connected" area contains a place where visitors can sign up to receive their various e-newsletters. [KMG]
The Iowa State University Extension, like many state university extension services, concerns itself with almost every aspect of life a person will encounter from birth to death. Even though this website is geared towards Iowans and the unique problems and opportunities they face living in a heavily rural state, this website has a lot of practical research-based information that would be helpful to people living elsewhere as well. For visitors who want to learn more about Iowa, this website will give them a unique perspective. Visitors shouldn't miss the Extension's newly launched interactive learning website by clicking on "Check ISU's Extension's Managing Tough Times Website" on the homepage. The categories covered are "Families and Households", "Businesses and Communities Surviving Economic Uncertainty" and "Farming in Today's Changing Economy". For community information, visitors should check out the Extension Information heading on the left side of the home page. Links to "Disaster Recovery", "Hotlines," "Markets", "Publications" and "Weather" are available, where visitors can listen to the latest futures market report, watch segments of a video conference on flood recovery, and find numbers for hotlines concerning teens, new farmers, horticulture and problem gambling. There are numerous publications that are available from the Extension, some of which can be purchased as hard copies and some of which can be downloaded for free. Visitors can click on the "Publications" on the left side of the page, under the "Extension Information" heading. [KMG]
The online exhibition of jewelry, from the organization Historic New England, features pieces from a collection of over 2000 items. The collection was started in 1913 when a Massachusetts resident gave a gift of early 19th century jewelry to Historic New England. The collection represents the jewelry fashion among New Englanders in the past 300 years, and highlights the jewelry makers of New England. There are two different ways the exhibit can be explored. Visitors can choose "Style & Design" or "Themes", both located in the middle of the homepage. "Style & Design" divides the jewelry up into seven date ranges, beginning with 1730-1775 and ending with 1940-1970. The "Themes" include "Marriage & Sentiment", "Mourning", "Female Adornement", "Male Adornment" and "Societies & Institutions". Some of the pieces of jewelry are accompanied by a photo or painting that helps give context to the piece of jewelry by, for instance, showing a photo of the original owner of the piece, or showing a painting of the original owner wearing the piece. For those interested in more depth and breadth, visitors can click on "Checklist", "Glossary" or "Resources", also in the middle of the homepage, to learn more about the collection and the history of jewelry. [KMG]
The online division of Prints and Photographs from the Library of Congress has digitized approximately 70% of their more than 2500 Japanese woodblock prints and drawings that date from the 17th-20th centuries. For visitors interested in accessing some of the collection that has yet to be digitized, click on the link "Access to Unprocessed Materials" located at the top of the homepage. To become familiar with the print traditions in Japanese art, visitors should click on the link in the middle of the page, entitled "Background and Scope". To view examples of some of the types of subjects in the prints, visitors can click on "View Examples" next to the various subjects, such as actors, women, landscapes, scenes from Japanese literature, daily life, and views of Western foreigners. To access descriptions of these prints, visitors can click on the links in the middle of the page, with the aforementioned titles, or scroll down to the bottom of the page to read them. [KMG]
This website addresses one of the more pressing issues in healthcare worldwide: the nursing workforce. The website of the International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing (ICHRN) addresses the shortage of nurses, the underemployment of nurses and the migration of nurses, as well as the challenges of nursing education availability and poor workforce planning. Visitors can click on "Knowledge Library" at the top of the page to download many of their publications. The library can be browsed by subject or searched by keyword. Some of the subject areas include "Workforce Assessment, Planning and Policy", "Work Environment" and "Good/Promising Practices in Nursing Recruitment and Retention". The "Helpful Links" tab at the top of the page will take the visitor to over two dozen links concerning the nursing crisis in world healthcare. To subscribe to the free ICHRN e-newsletter in English, French or Spanish, visitors should click on "Newsletter" under the "News & Events" tab at the top of the page. Current and previous issues of the newsletter are also accessible to visitors via a link on the same page where they can also find the information about subscribing. [KMG]
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is the research arm of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) that focuses on aging research. Their website is geared both toward researchers and laypeople, particularly seniors. Visitors can click on the links, such as "Publications", "Alzheimer's Disease Information" and "Clinical Trials" next to the "Health Information" heading, on the right side of the homepage. For a brief description of what the links are about, visitors can click on the "Health Information" heading to be taken to the links and their descriptions. The "Clinical Trials" link would be of interest to those seniors who have particular medical conditions that may be being studied by the NIH. To see the numerous publications the NIA has available to order or download free, visitors can click on the "Publications" link on the homepage to browse the categories of publications available, including, "Caregiving", "Conditions & Diseases", "Medications/Supplements" and "Safety". Spanish language versions of the publications, can be found by simply clicking on "Spanish Language Materials" in the same section. For researchers, the "Research Information" heading on the right side of the page leads to the descriptions of the links that are also featured in the middle of the homepage. Two links that are concerned with current research are "Research Conducted at NIA" and "NIA Sponsored Research". [KMG]
The National Portrait gallery presents this exhibition on U.S. Vice Presidents. The web site consists of two major sections: a gallery of Vice Presidents who became president, and a set of videotaped interviews of four of the five living former Vice Presidents (missing is Al Gore - scheduling conflicts prevented his participation). The gallery begins with John Adams, George Washington's Vice President, and ends with George H. W. Bush. In between are former Vice Presidents as well known as LBJ, and as little known as Chester Arthur. Each entry in the gallery is illustrated with photographs, campaign posters, and cartoons, with explanatory text. For example, the text accompanying a photograph of Harry Truman playing a piano with Lauren Bacall perched on top watching him points out that a Vice President's duties often consisted of social events. Text alongside a photo of John F. Kennedy with a shadowy Lyndon Johnson behind him quotes LBJ, "The vice presidency is filled with trips around the world, chauffeurs, men saluting, people clapping ... but in the end it is nothing. I detested every minute of it." [DS]
If you're new to the world of disk cleaning utilities, you'll appreciate the easy-to-use interface and flexibility of Wise Registry Cleaner. This application helps users select which drives or folders they wish to clean, and then they can customize their cleaning options to delete cookies and temporary files. Additionally, the program includes a help wizard to keep new users on the right track. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]
If you're looking to share videos of onscreen action or screen shots with friends or business associates, the latest version of Jing will be most welcome. This edition allows users to capture screenshots, and then add captions, highlights, or directional arrows. Also, users can add their own voice to the onscreen action and then they can also upload the image or video. After uploading the image or video, they can also send a URL for the newly created document to anyone they choose. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer or MAC OS X 10.4.11, or 10.5.5 or later. [KMG]
Is This a Shakespeare Which I See Before Me?
Why is this the definitive image of Shakespeare?
Shakespeare's first theatre found
William Shakespeare at the National Portrait Gallery
William Shakespeare Quiz
William Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Complete Works of William Shakepeare
Earlier this week a heritage group announced that it had uncovered the only portrait of William Shakespeare made during his lifetime. Until this discovery the best available likeness of Shakespeare was of a solemn-faced, balding man best known from the famous 1623 engravings that graced the cover of the First Folio collection of Shakespeare's plays. In comparison, this portrait shows a dark-eye, handsome figure dressed in Elizabethan finery. Paul Edmondson, director of learning at the Shakespeare Learning Trust, stated, "This is Shakespeare alive, with fresh blood pumping through his veins, painted in his lifetime. The copies look dead by comparison." Scholars are convinced that this is a portrait of Shakespeare because so many copies of the painting were made, including one held at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Incredibly, the portrait had been held in private hands for centuries by the Cobbe family, as the owners were unaware that it was a portrait of Shakespeare. Three years ago, a member of the Cobbe family walked into the National Portrait Gallery to see the exhibit "Searching for Shakespeare" and one of the first things he saw was the famous Folger portrait, a copy of the portrait held by the family. The Cobbe collection curator spent three years researching the painting, and performed several sophisticated testes, including X-ray and infrared imaging to determine the portraits age. Although there is no doubt that this newly discovered portrait is an original, there will always be some question as to whether or not it is a portrait of Shakespeare. Edmondson believes that the portrait is of the Bard, but admits, "We're 90 percent sure that it's Shakespeare, you'll never be entirely certain. There will always be voices of dissent." [CMH]
The first link will take you to a piece from the New York Times about the discovery of Shakepeare's portrait. The second link leads to a piece from the BBC that further discusses the difficulty in determining the actual subject of a portrait. The third link will take users to a video and article about another Shakespeare discovery made this week, as remnants of Shakespeare's first theater were discovered. The fourth link will take users to the National Portrait Gallery's Shakespeare Collection, which includes over 48 images of the famous Bard. The fifth link will test users on their knowledge of all things Shakespeare. Interested in visiting England and learning more about Shakespeare? Well, the sixth link will take you to the website of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which has information on events and celebrations held throughout the year. Last, in case all this talk about Shakespeare leads to a desire to read a bit from the Bard, a link to the compete works of William Shakespeare. [CMH]
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