The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 20

May 22, 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

Children of the Atomic Bomb [Real Player, pdf]

The legacy of the atomic bomb and its development continues to be explored in a number of different settings, and this website from UCLA's Asian American Studies Center is a powerful reminder of the far-reaching effects of this technology. The site was developed by Dr. James N. Yamazaki and the Center, along with funding provided by the Paul I. Terasaki Foundation. Dr. Yamazaki was the lead physician of the U.S. Atomic Bomb Medical Team assigned to Nagasaki to survey the effects of the bomb, and the site contains a variety of his writings and observations, including the complete text of his 1995 book "Children of the Atomic Bomb". On the right hand side of the homepage, visitors can view images and video which discuss various aspects of the atomic bomb's legacy. Moving on, the "Images and Resources" area contains links to sites that deal with the nuclear disarmament and divestment movement both at the University of California and other institutions. Overall, the site is quite moving and may come in handy in a variety of classroom settings. [KMG]

Media College

A multimedia production company in New Zealand has website that offers free tutorials, references, resources, and forums on electronic media production. There are lessons on "Video", "Audio", "Photography", "Graphics", "Computer", "Internet", a "Glossary", and "Equipment" that offer operating manuals from 18 different brands of equipment. There are a number of free downloads, including a "Talent Release Form", "TV Production Application with Budget Summary", and "US Copyright Application Form PA" under Forms, in the "Downloads" link at the top of the page. In the "Misc" at the top of the page are various tutorials, such as "Journalism" and "Employment", which cover various job-hunting skills for film and television, as well as tips on writing press releases, interviewing, and the newsworthiness of stories. Visitors with questions for other electronic media production workers can go to "Forums", at the top of the page, to become involved with a community of like-minded individuals. Almost all of the dozen or so categories have current posts in them, so it appears to be a fairly active forum. [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

AgrowKnowledge: The National Center for Agriscience and Technology

Education [pdf]

Based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and housed at Kirkwood Community College, AgrowKnowledge "prepare[s] students for the workforce, ready to use emerging technology in agriculture, food, and natural resources." AgrowKnowledge is a national partnership between community colleges, but is also partnered with "business and industry, leading universities in agriculture education, secondary schools, and professional associations." Users can click on "Strategic Plan", near the top left hand side of the page, to read AgrowKnowledge's mission, vision, beliefs, and importantly, their key strategies, which are Capacity Building, Curriculum Development, and Faculty Development. On the right side of the homepage is a Calendar of Events, along with the latest issue of the "Newsletter". Found on the left side of any page are the "Educator's Corner", "Resource Teams", and "Employment Center". Visitors interested in learning about the career possibilities in agriculture in the 21st century will definitely be interested in clicking on the "Career Clusters" link in the top middle of the homepage. A career cluster "identif[ies] the knowledge and skills learners need as they follow a pathway toward their career goals." When a career cluster is chosen from the graph, an overview, active job openings, credentials, and employment outlook for that cluster opens in a new page. [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

Creative Heritage Project: Strategic Management of IP Rights and Interests [pdf]

The World Intellectual Property Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in the 1960s, and "is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property...system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest." This can be a very difficult balance to maintain, thus the need for a special agency. The protection of a culture's heritage is a hot topic right now, and a short video, entitled "Training Programming Video" near the top of the page, shows Kenyans learning how to operate video cameras, and edit their videos for the preservation of Maasai culture. The section entitled "IP and Handicrafts" in the middle of the page, explains how easily traditional handicrafts can be at risk of misappropriation and imitation, and what IP tools exist that can protect them. Additionally, some new intellectual property tools that aim to protect traditional knowledge and cultural expressions that are being employed in protecting handicrafts are addressed in the Resources section at the bottom of the "IP and Handicrafts" page. [KMG]

Introduction to Chemistry

New students of chemistry may have trouble keeping their ionic and covalent bonds in order, so they should feel free to consult this helpful site created by Eden Francis, a teacher at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon. The information on this site is divided into ten separate lessons, including "Lab Fundamentals I: Physical Properties", "Nature of Atoms: Atomic Structure", and "Chemical Nomenclature". Each lesson contains accessible explanations of each subtopic, along with useful graphics and illustrations. Each section concludes with a "wrap-up" area that will be helpful to students who wish to gain a sense of the overall thrust and focus of each section. [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

NOVA: Space Shuttle Disaster

After the 2003 Columbia tragedy, NASA launched a full-scale investigation into the events that unfolded that February day. Recently, NOVA produced this full-length documentary featuring interviews with a wide range of experts and scientists regarding these events. Visitors to the site can watch a preview of the program, and then make their way through the six sections of the site. The sections include "Force of Impact", "A Space Age Controversy", and "Rescue Scenarios". In "Force of Impact", visitors will learn how a lightweight piece of debris caused catastrophic damage, via a simulation of the shuttle launch. Moving on, John M. Logsdon of the National Air and Space Museum makes a case for retiring the shuttle program. Finally, "The Case to Save the Shuttle Program" presents an argument for retaining the program authored by structural engineer Allen J. Richardson. All in all, these sections provide a host of material related to the original program and will definitely inspire visitors to seek out the complete documentary. [KMG]

History of Maine Fisheries Database [pdf]

A number of institutions have begun to expand their digital collections in order to include lesser-known subjects, and the University of Maine's Raymond H. Fogler Library continues to expand their online offerings with this intriguing collection. Drawing on the holdings of institutions like the Machias Historical Society, the Maine Maritime Museum, and the Maine State Archives, their digital collections team has created this History of Maine Fisheries database. There aren't any subject headings or sample searches on the site, but it is still quite easy to use. Visitors can use the keyword search to locate materials of interest, and they can also set date parameters to look for materials from a given time period. To get started, visitors might try typing in words like "lobster", "fleet", and "Bangor". [KMG]

College Mathematics [Flash Player]

A number of educational publishers publish websites to complement their print textbooks, and Prentice Hall maintains this site as a way to highlight some of the materials found in their College Mathematics book. Authored by Bill Armstrong and Don Davis, the site contains eighteen different sections which cover topics like linear models, integral calculus, and game theory. Each section, found by clicking on the "Jump to " link at the top of the page, contains a brief list of objectives, several interactive quizzes, activities, and a chapter test. It's worth noting that while the website doesn't provide access to the entire print chapter, these activities can be used in conjunction with other courses that might be covering similar materials. Visitors can also search the chapters by using the "Search" button near the top of each page. [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

General Interest

EuroparlTV [Flash Player]

Created by the European Union, the EuroparlTV site is designed to bring information about their activities to a wide audience. Part of the focus here is on creating better access for young people, but the site can be used by persons of all ages. The video clips, interviews, and other materials are divided into four sections: "Your Parliament", "Your Voice", "Young Europe", and "Parliament Live". Visitors should also take a look at the "Discovering the European Parliament" area, which contains short films that cover the history of the European Parliament, and how the Parliament works on a day-to-day basis. Moving along, the "Latest Videos' area contains weekly updates, information on electoral campaigns, and debates on healthcare. The site is rounded out by a topical listing of videos that range from agriculture to women's rights. The site is available in all of the national languages of the European Union. [KMG]

Dissent During Crisis in America

Dissent during periods of crisis can be a difficult subject to discuss, even among reasonable people, and this thoughtful digital exhibit from the University of California at Irvine illuminates this subject quite nicely. The items in the exhibit are from their Department of Special Collections and Archives, and the focus of this particular collection is to examine "issues of war, peace, dissent and dialogue during critical periods in the 20th century." There are six sections of the exhibit which include "Protest during the Vietnam War", "The Internment of Japanese Americans during WWII", and "McCarthyism during the Cold War". Visitors can click on each of these sections to view digitized images of ephemera (such as artworks, pamphlets, and posters) that are representative of these times of dissent and debate. Visitors should not miss the "Conscientious Objectors in World War II" area, as it contains images from a pacifist handbook published in 1939 and items published by groups like the Quakers and the Mennonites. [KMG]

Internet Archive: Cornell University Libraries

The Internet Archive has worked to preserve important industrial films, Grateful Dead recordings, and other valuable recordings for the Internet-browsing public. One of their partnerships has been with Cornell University Libraries, and over the past several years they have managed to digitize over 1100 different texts. The digitization was sponsored by the Microsoft Corporation. First-time visitors can get started by looking at the "Spotlight Item", which can be found along the left-hand side of the site. Along the right-hand side of the page, visitors can look over the "Most downloaded items last week" and then move to browse the offerings by title or author. Also, the "This just in" area gives users the basic flavor of what's on offer here, as recently added titles include George McClellan's "Regional anatomy in its relation to medicine and surgery" from 1891 and "The turnpikes of New England and evolution of the same through England, Virginia, and Maryland" from 1919. Finally, visitors can download all of these texts as they see fit, and they can also sign up for the RSS feed offered here. [KMG]

Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward [Flash Player]

The Guggenheim Museum building on New York's Upper East Side is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most celebrated buildings, and it is truly one of the icons of an architectural career that spanned seven decades. This online exhibition complements an in situ exhibit designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this distinguished structure. Visitors to this online exhibit will be able to peruse four primary sections, including "Oral Histories", "Biography", and "Projects". In the "Projects" area, visitors can look through architectural drawings that depict Wright's Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, along with Fallingwater and his proposed "Mile High" skyscraper. With the skyscraper drawing, visitors can also click on an animation button that provides a 360 degree view of the proposed building. Moving on, the "Oral Histories" area provides excerpt of the master himself speaking about his work, along with commentaries from other distinguished architects, including Philip Johnson. [KMG]

Artists in Dialogue: Antnio Ole and Aim Mpane [Flash Player]

The website for the National Museum of African Art, a Smithsonian museum, has chosen an interesting way to present the artwork of two artists from central Africa. Each artist has been asked to make a new piece in response to the other artist's work. The artist Antnio Ole is from Angola and Aim Mpane splits his time between Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo. To go right to the exhibit, visitors can go to the bottom of the page and click on "Artists in Dialogue: Antnio Ole and Aim Mpane". The website includes older, as well as more recent, pieces from each artist, and by clicking on the thumbnails visitors will find a larger image, an explanation of each piece, and technical details. At the bottom of the page, visitors should also check out "Dialogues with", which include "Dialogues with the Curators", "Dialogues with Students", "Dialogues with the Public (Blog)", and "Dialogues with Time" which is a time lapsed video of the installation of the exhibition, over six days. [KMG]

Nuffield Council on Bioethics [pdf]

For those unclear on what exactly bioethics encompasses, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics website is a great place to become acquainted with this field. Visitors can click on "Further Information" at the top right hand side of the page to find the "Faqs" link, and then click on "What is Bioethics?" The study of bioethics includes topics such as xenotransplantation, which is an animal to human organ transplant, prenatal screening, genetically modified crops, and patient confidentiality. The Council's current work, found under the link "Our Work" at the top of any page, addresses online medicine and dementia. The Council's members include physicians, theologians, lawyers, philosophers, and scientists. Each bioethics issue the Council has addressed has an accompanying paper, which can be found under "Publications" near the top of the page. Each paper can be downloaded free of charge for one week after publication. [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

On the Edge: The Hidden Art of Fore-Edge Book Painting

Ready for something delightful? On this site, visitors can check out the first ever online exhibition of fore-edge painted books owned by the Boston Public Library. Formerly, books were not shelved with the spine facing out, but rather horizontally and with the opposite edge (fore-edge) facing out instead. Thus the desire developed to make the fore-edge aesthetically pleasing, and artists began to paint the fore-edge with scenes of an assortment of subjects. Some artists began painting scenes that could only be seen when the books pages were fanned out, and when they weren't fanned out, only the gilt on the fore-edge was visible. Visitors who want to read a little more about their history and the progression to double-sided painted fore-edge books, should click on "About Fore-Edge Painting", on the left hand side of the page. In order to watch the magic of the hidden fore-edge come to life, visitors can click on "Featured Works" to watch 15-30 second videos of hidden fore-edge painted books go from appearing to only having a gilt edge. Once they have seen how these remarkable works of art operate, visitors can browse by subject, painting title, or book title by using the "Browse" link on the left hand side of the page. [KMG]

American Centuries: History and Art from New England [Flash Player]

From Deerfield, MA, Memorial Hall Museum's American Centuries is an attractive, image-heavy gateway to a wealth of artifacts documenting American history. Online since 2001, the site is kept fresh with features such as "This Week in History", programmed to retrieve collection items dating from the current week, such as a letter from Thomas Williams Ashley (1894-1918) to his father, Charles Hart Ashley, on May 14, 1917, in which Thomas tells of his early days in the Marine Corps soon after the United States entered World War I. The rest of the site is organized into categories, including the collection itself; things to do - both online and at the Museum; the Turns of the Century exhibit; and classroom materials. The interactive chronologies feature allows users to select a topic - such as Technological History, Children, or even Deerfield, MA - and view a timeline of relevant events. Visitors can also set up an account and use MyCollection to save and tag artifacts they wish to return to for another look. [DS]

Network Tools

Smart Defrag 1.11

Disk fragmentation can cause computers to run at greatly reduced speeds, so it's nice to learn about the existence about Smart Defrag 1.11. This application will defrag users' hard drive and also help optimize disk performance. Visitors can also schedule defrag operations for certain times as well. This version is designed for Windows Vista, XP, 2000, and Windows 7. [KMG]

aTunes 1.13.1

If you're looking for an alternative to some of the major music audio players and managers, you might do well to take a gander at aTunes 1.13.1. The program uses a tabbed interface to keep things simple, and visitors can also customize its appearance by taking on one of its 27 different skins. Additionally, the application comes with built-in Internet radio station support and the ability to create metatags. This version can be installed on different platforms including Windows, Mac, and Linux. [KMG]

In The News

Survey reveals best places to work in the federal government

Strong Managers Ranked More Important Than Money in Federal Workplace Survey

OMB to use workplace rankings in 2011 budget process

Survey says NRC is still the best place to work in government

The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government 2009

FORTUNE: Best Companies 2009

Bright Ideas: Pink Slip Parties

Some people constantly complain about their workplace, while others may rave about theirs to anyone who will listen. As it turns out The Partnership for Public Service and American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation are very interested in listening to federal employees talk about their respective agencies. Every two years they talk to over 200,000 civil servants in order to learn about the best places to work in the federal government. This week, the biannual rankings were released and the findings were rather revealing. For the second consecutive time, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency finished first in the rankings, followed by the Government Accountability Office, NASA, and the State Department. Within the "Small Agencies" category, the top three agencies in terms of workplace satisfaction were the Surface Transportation Board, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Office of Management and Budget. Not surprisingly, many respondents indicated that the pay at their job wasn't necessarily the most important factor in terms of their overall satisfaction, but rather the leadership style of supervisors and the availability of training opportunities. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a story written by the Washington Post's Steve Vogel on the study of federal government workplace satisfaction. The second link will whisk users away to a news story from Government that notes that the Office of Management and Budget will ask agencies that scored poorly on these ratings to submit improvement plans. Moving on, the third link leads to another piece on the rankings from this Wednesday's Federal Times. The fourth link leads to the homepage of the Best Places to Work Rankings for 2009. Here, visitors can learn about the survey's methodology and view complete listings, and even compare agencies. The fifth link leads to Fortune's 2009 list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For, which also includes information about the best employers in each state. The last link leads to a set of suggestions from the Boston Globe about how to address these tough economic times by finding creative solutions in the workplace. [KMG]

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