The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 19

May 15, 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


Spatial data analysis is an important tool for geographers, planners, sociologists, and others, and this well-designed site by the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University will be a real boon to anyone with an interest in Africa. As the introduction to the project notes, this site helps interested parties "accumulate both contemporary and historical data supplied by researchers and make it permanently accessible online." First-time visitors will notice that there are a number of data layers that can be toggled on and off as desired. A good place to start is by clicking on the "Map Layers" to view a topically organized list of the layers that are currently available. These layers include environmental data sets, historical maps, governance data sets, and linguistic distribution layers. In the "Places" tab, visitors can toggle on and off data sets that display administrative divisions, farms, schools, and so on. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology

A number of organizations have created peer-reviewed journals to investigate the world of educational technology and learning in the past several years. The Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology is certainly one of the better journals on this subject, and they publish peer-reviewed pieces on topics that include online learning, gaming, and learning theory and technology. Over the past several years, the journal has been published three times a year, and their editorial board includes professors from Simon Fraser University, Queen's University, and Athabasca University. Visitors can browse through the articles by language, issue, title, or author. Additionally, visitors can sign up to receive their RSS feed and learn a bit more about the submission process. Recently published pieces include "Comparing students' perceptions of paper-based and electronic portfolios" and "Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic portfolios". [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

MIT History: Institute Archives & Special Collections

Incorporated in 1861, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the finest universities in the world, and they have done an excellent job in preserving their own institutional history through the work of their Archives & Special Collections group. This site contains a number of digitized primary documents that tell the story of MIT through the papers of its presidents, biographies of prominent educators, and the "Object of the Month" feature. A good place to start is the "An MIT Chronology" section, which provides a list of key events in the school's history, accompanied by images culled from their collection. Further along, the "MIT Reports to the President" contain reports from 1911 to the present day. Lastly, the site's "Special Exhibits" area includes thematic features that explore the founding of MIT, inaugural addresses of MIT presidents, and early maps of MIT. [KMG]


Researchers, professors, students and lawyers involved in transnational law and international business law will find Trans-Lex to be a valuable legal research tool. The "How to Use the Site" link at the bottom of any page gives detailed instructions on using this site, with its abundance of information. "The Materials" tab lists "National Legislation", "Conventions", "Principles/Restatements/Model Laws", "Arbitration Rules" and "Mediation Rules". Many countries are covered, including South Africa, Japan, and the United States, but the majority of the countries covered here are located in the European Union. Although visitors interested in the "Dutch Code of Civil Procedure", in the "National Legislation" section, can simply click on that title to be taken to the Dutch version of it, English speakers can scroll to the bottom of the page for an English version. The "Links" section of the website has an incredible array of resources, including topics and subtopics on "International Trade/Commercial Law", "Private International Law", and "International Commercial Arbitration". [KMG]

Documenting the Southeast Asian American Experience [pdf]

This comprehensive website on the Southeast Asian American Experience from the UC Irvine Libraries offers 1,500 images and 4,000 pages of text. Visitors to the site can get an introduction to the Southeast Asian American experience by clicking on "Read" on the left hand side of the page, with sections that include: "Definition of Terms", "Explore Key Topics", "Explore Ethnic Groups", and "Additional Readings". The "Find" section allows the visitor to search by Broad Topic, Ethnic Group, Format, and Keyword. Optional Subtopics are also available for more detailed searching in Broad Topic and Ethnic Group. Visitors should not miss doing an open search for Paintings, accessed in the Format section, to view almost 100 sobering and beautiful paintings that were done in or about refugee camps. [KMG]

The International Centre For The Study of Radicalisation And Political Violence [pdf]

The online presence of ICSR, the multi-institutional and multi-national effort to combat radicalization and political violence highlights their pragmatic approach to this growing worldwide problem. The "About Us" section is written in English, Arabic, and Hebrew, and explains that the ICSR aims to achieve their goals through the use of research, "outcome driven dialogue", leadership opportunities, and non-partisanship, "by bringing together the world's most innovative thinkers from academia, politics, and business."
The "Publications" tab offers "Papers" and "Newsletters", as well as the ability to sign up for the free bimonthly newsletter. Each paper, as well as the archived newsletters, is available as a PDF. A paragraph describing each paper is extremely helpful for those topics with which visitors might be unfamiliar. Under the "Projects" tab is a list of four projects which ICSR believes are the most effective for countering radicalization and political violence. Online radicalization and recruitment, radicalization and de-radicalization in prisons, opportunities for young leaders from Israel and the Arab world, and comparing radicalization pathways in North America and Europe. [KMG]

The National Archives: Ancient Petitions

These days, online petitions, missives, and other such documents are pretty much ubiquitous across the web. Centuries ago, petitions were a bit more difficult to draw up, and usually they would not involve a populist appeal, but rather one directed to an important figurehead, such as a king or a chancellor. This site from The National Archives in Britain presents over 17,000 images from petitions presented to kings, Parliament, chancellors, and other officers of state. For the most part, these fascinating documents fall into two primary categories: "some ask for the redress of grievances which could not be resolved at common law; others are more straightforward requests for a grant of favour." The petitions here date from the reign of Henry III (1216-1272 to the reign of James I (1603-1625). When searching through these petitions, visitors can search by places mentioned, petitioner name, occupation, or subject. Finally, visitors can also print out these petitions and share them with friends. [KMG]

Illustrated Quixote

First published in 1604, the work "El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de La Mancha" (better known in English as Don Quixote) represents the literary apogee of what is commonly referred to the Spanish Golden Age. This remarkable collection from the Brown University Library Center for Digital Initiatives presents a host of illustrations from various editions of Don Quixote from the 18th and 19th centuries. These illustrations were created by a wide range of artists, including John Vanderbank, Jos Brunete, Pierre Choquet, and Gustave Dor. Visitors will note that the illustrations here were created using a variety of techniques, including copper engravings, linocuts, and lithographs. After looking over the "About" section, users can go ahead and browse the illustrations by date or name. [KMG]

General Interest

The Editorial Cartoons of J.N. "Ding" Darling

Among the ranks of political cartoonists in the first half of the twentieth century, Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling certainly ranks near the top. As a young man, he started drawing cartoons for the Sioux City Journal and then spent periods of time at the New York Globe, the New York Herald Tribune, and the Des Moines Register. He won two Pulitzer Prizes during his career, and he was also instrumental in the early days of the conservation movement. As part of this work, he helped establish the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge in Florida in 1945. His work is held in the Cowles Library's Special Collections at Drake University, and this rather engaging digital archive contains over 5000 of his cartoons. First-time visitors can get started by browsing the collection by decade, and after a look around they may wish to use the search engine to look for specific topical illustrations. The "Advanced Search" area is quite advanced indeed, and visitors can search the text of cartoons, or look around by place name, people, year, subject terms, or events, such as the Battle of Britain or Thanksgiving. [KMG]

Birmingham Conservatoire Historical Instrument Collection

If you have ever had a penchant to check out an ancient flageolet or a historic bass horn, this delightful online collection from the Birmingham Conservatoire Historical Instrument Collection is just the ticket. The project was developed by Professor George Caird and his colleagues at Birmingham City University, and funding for the project was provided by Arts & Humanities Research Council. From the homepage, visitors can browse the catalogue of instruments by name or by maker, look over a host of images, and listen to some excellent audio samples of the instruments. The instruments are divided into categories that include "Trombones", "Plucked Strings", "Keyboards", and "Serpents, Ophicleides and Bass Horns". Each instrument is accompanied by information about its place of origin, its maker, its overall size, and numerous photographs. Moving on, the "Audio Resources" area is quite a pip, and visitors can listen to expert musicians playing everything from an 1836 piccolo to a folded coach horn making its way through Mozart's Post Horn Serenade. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

The Mannahatta Project [Flash Player]

Amongst old time residents of the island on Manhattan, talk can turn to what the Lower East Side used to be like 20, 10, or even 5 years ago. Some like to bemoan the gentrification of Harlem and others recall the "bad old days" in Hell's Kitchen. The folks at the Wildlife Conservation Society are interested in the long view, and they'd like to find out what Manhattan (or Mannahatta as it was called by local Indians) was like in 1609. Over the past decade they have been involved in uncovering and investigating the original ecology of Manhattan, and they have found a natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields, salt marshes, beaches, and streams. Visitors to the site can explore Mannahatta via the "Explore" page and even look at block-by-block species information. Moving on, the "Science" page gives visitors information about the science and technology involved in creating an ancient landscape. There's even a "Discuss Mannahatta" area where visitors can talk about Mannahatta-related issues with other interested persons. Finally, visitors can also go to the "News" page to find out about upcoming Mannahatta walking tours, talks, and exhibitions. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

The Economist: Audio and Video

The audio and video segments of the Economist online are plentiful, and free. There is no need to register to start listening or watching. Furthermore, there is a very handy feature that allows a visitor to add a segment to their playlist, if they are overwhelmed by all the great choices and don't want to forget to hear them all. On the left side of the screen, visitors can choose view their options by "video", "audio", or "subject". Subject includes categories such as "Asia", "The Americas", "Books and Arts", and "Science and technology". These topics can also be found in the link entitled "From the Audio Edition". The link entitled "Videographics" is a unique feature that should appeal to visual learners, as it uses animated graphics, charts or graphs, rather than photographs or film, to explain a newsworthy concept, such as "A short, recent history of Congo" or "Explaining the Money Markets". Visitors should not miss the video segments called "Kal's cartoons", the link to which is found on the left hand side menu. In these videos, the political cartoonist for the magazine explains various features of his cartoons. "Kal on Thatcher" explains how he drew the former Prime Minister and why. Same goes for "Kal on Bill" and "Kal on Reagan". "The Debate We'd Like To See" with Obama and Hillary Clinton as game show contestants and Regis Philbin as the host may no longer be current, but it is laugh out loud funny, nonetheless. [KMG]

A Nation Emerges: Sixty-five Years of Photography in Mexico

The Getty Research Library at the Getty Institute has over 600 digitized images of Mexico from its special collections by Mexican, American, and European photographers in a multitude of photographic formats. The earliest is from 1857, and these photographic images document the history of the nation from different perspectives. To get acquainted with a timeline of Mexico starting in 1810 and going through 1923, visitors should click on "Chronology" on the right hand side of the page. Throughout the chronology are photos and brief descriptions that can be viewed in more depth if users click on "View Full Record", beneath the photo. An extremely helpful and interesting glossary of terms and names can be viewed if visitors click on "Glossary" on the right hand side of the page. The "Glossary" contains the definitions of particular types of photographic images, or processes, as well as explanations of the many ethnic groups that inhabited Mexico at one time or another. Another very interesting section to peruse is of the "Photographers", which is also accessible on the right hand side of the page. With three-dozen photographers to read about including Wilhelm Kahlo, Frida Kahlo's father, visitors will find that some photographers made postcards from the images taken of the revolution in northern Mexico. [KMG]

World War I and II Poster Collection

War posters from World War I and II encouraged the people of the nations at war to buy war bonds, plant gardens, ration, enlist, or work extra hard for the sake of the war effort. A collection of these posters can be found in abundance on the library website of the University of North Texas. The library has over 600 war posters, and fortunately, 493 of them are digitized. Some are quaint by today's standards, but some, like the fifth record on the homepage, entitled "Deliver Us From Evil: Buy War Bonds," has an eerie haunting quality to it. More information about the artist, Harriet Naduea, can be found in the notes on the poster, accessible by clicking on "more info", underneath a partial description of the poster. In the search box underneath the introduction to the poster collection, type in Geisel to see a poster by a familiar artist and author, encouraging Americans to "Starve the Squander Bug." Visitors should click on the thumbnail to see those "squander bugs" in full detail. [KMG]

Network Tools


In terms of organization and fluidity, it might be hard to beat the Evernote application. With Evernote, users can capture information in any environment and effectively make it accessible and searchable at any time. Evernote can be used to jot down notes, clip entire webpages, and record audio. The desktop version of Evernote is compatible with computers running Windows Vista and XP and Mac OS X 10.5. [KMG]

True Crypt 6.2

Password encryption is very serious business, and True Crypt 6.2 can provide assistance to those who wish to remain vigilant in this area of computer operations. The application offers eleven algorithms to help users encrypt their private files in a password-protected volume. The application also helps erase signs of the encryption process, including mouse movements and keystrokes. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.5, Windows 2000/XP/Vista, and Linux. [KMG]

In The News

A new breed of racing car runs on vegetable oil and chocolate

Recycled Racer Runs on Veggie Oil and Chocolate

Recycling Masterpiece: British Racing Team Creates F3 Car That Runs on Chocolate

The Chocolate-Powered Car

World First Racing

Fuel Economy

Chocolate Recipes

Racing a car around a track isn't exactly the most environmentally friendly activity, but it may be getting a bit better with the arrival of this rather unusual car. Designed by a British team, this Formula 3 car is powered by vegetable oil and chocolate. The WorldFirstRacing car is constructed out of recycled carbon fiber, along with plastic bottles and other organic materials. The car is sponsored by Warwick University and the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Center, and their work is inspired by the general movement to "green" the technology used in racing cars. Interestingly enough, the lubricants used are all derived from plant oil and the radiators use a catalyst that reduces ground-level ozone by converting ozone molecules to oxygen. The team is still tweaking some aspects of the car, and it is scheduled to make a few test runs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Britain in early July. [KMG]

The first link will take users to an informative piece from Wired magazine's "Autopia" weblog that talks a bit more about this rather innovative racing car. The second link leads to an article from, which talks in greater detail about the Formula 3 car's particulars. Moving on, the third article is from BusinessWeek magazine, and it includes a video of the car in action. The fourth link will whisk users away to the homepage of the WorldFirstRacing car, complete with a photo gallery, flying carrots, and a list of events where the car will appear. The fifth link leads to the U.S. Department of Energy's Fuel Economy website. Here visitors can learn about the importance of fuel economy and read up on gas mileage tips and hybrid vehicles. Finally, those who wish to use chocolate for a more conventional use will appreciate the last link, as it leads to some rather fine chocolate recipes, offered courtesy of Godiva Chocolates. [KMG]

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