The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 26

July 3, 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

Historical Thinking Matters [pdf, Quick Time]
The Historical Thinking Matters website is an excellent resource for teachers and students who hope to learn about the importance of the historical perspective. Created by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and their colleagues at Stanford University, the site will help students learn "to interrogate historical sources and use them to form reasoned conclusions about the past." New users may wish to start with the "Why Historical Thinking Matters" section, which offers a short film about the Battle of Lexington in 1775. Moving on, the "Student Investigations" area contains four investigations of topics from post-Civil War history, including the Scopes Trial, the creation of Social Security, and Rosa Parks. Finally, the site is rounded out by a solid set of resources for instructors, complete with examples of teacher and student work. [KMG]

Open Collections Programs: Expeditions and Discoveries [pdf]

Expeditions and discoveries from 1626 to 1953 are the topic of one of Harvard University's latest online collections. Maps, photographs, field notes, and letters are a few of the types of materials the website showcases. Scholars, researchers, educators, the general public, and "students of anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, botany, geography, geology, medicine, oceanography, and zoology" will find these resources to be useful and insightful. Visitors should start out with the "Scope" tab to learn what the site has, including "Featured Exhibitions", "Published and Unpublished Materials", and "Selections and Exclusions". The "Featured Exhibitions" are also listed with their date and location, on the left hand side of the any page. Visitors wishing to "Browse" the collection can choose from "Additional Expeditions", "Images", "Maps", "Notable People", "Topics and Disciplines", as well as a few other categories. Per the "Help" page, the three ways to search the site are Catalog, Full-Text, and Site. An explanation is given of the limits and benefits of each, and links to tips on the specific types of searches are also given. [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

Freedom of Information Act [pdf]

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) website, part of the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) has been making it easy for journalists, scholars, activists, or any interested party with the statutory right, to get U.S. government information in executive branch agency records. Visitors interested in getting some information, should first read the "FOIA Reference Guide", which can be accessed via the link in the menu on the top left side of any page. The "FOIA Reference Guide" provides the proper way to make a FOIA request. Users can learn more about "Other FOIA Resources" via the link in the menu on the left side, in the bottom corner. There are a couple of links to other government agencies' information on FOIA, as well as a link to a pamphlet called "Your Right To Federal Records" and a link to "A Citizen's Guide to Using the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act of 1974 to Request Government Records". [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 State University of New York Digital Repository [pdf]

The State University of New York (SUNY) system has created this digital repository (known as "DSpace") to facilitate access to the digital collections created by various schools in its system. First-time visitors may want to sign up to receive email updates and create their own personalized profiles where they can save items of note for future reference. On the homepage, visitors can peruse the "Communities in DSpace" area to look over the offerings from institutions like the Fashion Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University, and SUNY College at Oswego. Visitors may wish to look through the Fashion Institute of Technology's collection, as they will find excellent examples of student work from a variety of fashion-related fields. Moving on, the left-hand side of the homepage contains a series of links that gives users the opportunity to browse by author, title, subject, or issue date. [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

Western Soundscape Archive [iTunes]

You can get a good sense of the American West by reading authors as diverse as Sherman Alexie, Mark Twain, John McPhee, but can they really accurately describe the sounds of a resting short-eared owl? Perhaps, but if you're looking to listen to the natural world of the Western states, you should probably click on over to the Western Soundscape Archive website. This aural database is housed at the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library and features recordings contributed by state and federal agencies, conservation groups, and dedicated volunteers. Started in 2007, the archive continues to grow, and currently they have representative sounds from approximately 80% of the West's bird species and 90% of the region's frog and toad species. Visitors can get started here by taking a listen to the "Featured Sound" on the homepage and then move on over to the search engine. The site also has weekly podcasts, and a number of thematic sound collections, like the "Sounds of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge". Overall, it's a tremendously well-presented site, and one that will be of interest to naturalists, scholars, and many others. [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

Henry VIII: Man and Monarch

Henry VIII was a man of many passions and pursuits, and during his life he made maps, engaged in the sporting life, and was known to dabble in religious matters in a fashion that would have widespread ramifications. The British Library has created this fine online exhibit gallery to complement an in situ exhibit on this 16th century monarch. The materials on the site are divided into seven sections, including "The Great Matter", "Musician, sportsman, worshipper", and "Militarist and mapmaker". Visitors might do well to start with "The Great Matter", as it offers a nice selection of primary documents related to Henry's struggle to divorce Katherine of Aragon so that he might be able to marry Anne Boleyn. It's worth noting that visitors can zoom in and out within each digitized object. Moving on, the "Interactive" feature allows users to read notes that Henry himself added to three key documents created during his reign. [KMG]

Support for Students Exposed to Trauma [pdf]

Addressing the needs of students who are coping with the aftereffects of trauma can be most difficult, and this recent program manual from the RAND Organization may be useful those who work with such individuals. This 200-page manual was authored by Lisa H. Jaycox, Audra K. Langley, and Kristin L., and offers an overview of the Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET) program, which is "a series of ten lessons whose structured approach aims to reduce distress resulting from exposure to trauma." The manual starts with a discussion of how SSET works, and then goes to describe how group work with students might work, and various assignments that group members might undertake as part of the SSET program. The report continues with the ten lesson plans and a set of additional materials and worksheets. [KMG]

John Jacob Omenhausser Civil War Sketchbook

Civil War history buffs and others will be excited to learn about this latest addition to the Digital Collections at the University of Maryland website. This particular item happens to be the sketchbook of one John Jacob Omenhausser, who was imprisoned at the Union prison camp in Point Lookout, Maryland from June 1864 to June 1865. Omenhausser's sketches depict the full range of activities around the camp, and they are particularly noteworthy because of his humorous asides and watercolors. All told, the sketchbook contains 67 pages, and visitors can use the book viewer here to zoom in and out around each drawing. It's a rather engaging item, and visitors shouldn't miss the watercolor on page three depicting a rather risible exchange between a military officer and several others in the camp. [KMG]

General Interest

Environmental Protection Agency: Wetlands [pdf]

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created this site to inform the general public about their role in wetland preservation and restoration. At the top of their page, visitors can click on the "What are Wetlands?" area to get some basic definitions, look over some fact sheets, and learn about the recent history of wetlands in the United States. Also on the homepage are sections such as "Why Protect Wetlands?", "How are Wetlands Protected?", and "What You Can Do To Protect our Vital Resource". These sections are meant for general audiences, and they might be used in classroom settings as a way to illuminate the role of the EPA and some of the broader concerns surrounding different natural environments. The right-hand side of the homepage features "In the News" items about recent regulatory changes, interagency agreements, and public hearings and comment periods. Finally, on the left-hand side of the page contains thematic sections like "Monitoring and Assessment", "Restoration", and "Education". [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

Lianhuanhua: Picture Storybook

First created by a Shanghai publisher in the 1920s, lian huan hua (which means "linked serial pictures") were a series of popular children's books known for their simplicity and heraldic subjects. These short volumes fell out of favor during the time of the Cultural Revolution in China, though Premier Zhou Enlai revived their development in the early 1970s as a propaganda tool. This particular digital collection comes from the Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The collection here includes mostly items from the year 1971 to 1975, and visitors will be glad to learn that there are over 500 images in this database. On the collection's homepage, visitors can check out a featured book cover, and then move along to browse around or perform their own search. [KMG]

NJViD [Flash Player]

The Garden State has taken a most welcome step with the creation of NJViD. NJVid is a statewide video portal and repository that provides " a common online platform for presentation, storage and archive of digital works that educate and enlighten their audiences." It's a real cornucopia on this site, as visitors can look over a video that describes the rebirth of Newark from 1987 and an in-depth documentary about the state's Pine Barrens region. Visitors may wish to stop on by the "About" area to get answers to questions about NJVid, and after that, they should make a beeline to the homepage. Here they can browse the videos by subject heading (which run from "art" to "technology") and also browse by contributing organization. For institutions interested in creating a like-minded project, there's the "Documentation" section, which includes minutes from their working groups, project teams, and so on. Finally, visitors can also stop by their wiki in the "Contribute" area and also learn about submitting relevant videos for inclusion on the site. [KMG]

Libraries to the Rescue [iTunes]

The Institute for Museum and Library Services website has a great multimedia resources section that currently has a podcast series entitled "Libraries to the Rescue". There are five episodes, each featuring a different state librarian and a different topic. They discuss how libraries have helped their communities, and provide steps libraries can take to help their own communities. The podcasts can be listened to online or downloaded. Visitors may also read a transcript of the program from a PDF file. The multimedia center can be browsed or searched in a few different ways. Using the links on the left side of the page, visitors can browse dozens of publications via the following categories: "Publications A-Z", "Publications by Year", and "Publications by Type". A link to "Online Resources", also on the left side of the page, has more than half dozen websites, magazines, courses and programs, including "Digital Corner", "Project Profiles" and "Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action Initiative Website". [KMG]

The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 1860-1960

Northwestern University's collection of East African photos purchased from the British collector Humphrey Winterton has been digitized to allow greater access to scholars, educators, students, and the interested public. The Winterton Collection includes over 7,000 photographs, which depict life, primarily in East Africa, between about 1860 and 1960. Visitors should click on the "Collection" section of the homepage to browse or search the online collection. The collection can be searched by "People", "Places" and "Decades", as well as by "Keywords" and Subjects"; "Collection Browser" gives an alphabetical list of all the images in the collection. The "Winterton in the Classroom" section, accessible on the homepage, provides a very useful tool for K-12 teachers. Some of the topics to view are "East African Timeline", "Cultural Context of African Colonial Photographs", and "Links to K-12 Support in Teaching About Africa". In the near future, lesson plans will also be available on the site. [KMG]

Poets House

Poets House is an organization that focuses on modern poetry and is a "national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry." The website of this New York-based treasure is now in Battery Park City, and houses a 50,000 volume poetry collection of varied media, including journals, audio, video, and digital media. The "News" tab offers a slideshow of "Poetry Hard-Hat Tours" that has almost two dozen photos of the progress of the building of the new Battery Park City location. The "Programs" tab on the left hand menu leads the visitors to a "Calendar of Events", as well as descriptions of the events on the calendar, such as "Seminars and Workshops", "Showcase Events" and "Conversations on Poetics". The "Directory" tab on the left hand menu offers a free 20,000 title online database of poetry titles published between 1990 and 2008, and is searchable by numerous criteria, as well as sortable by author, title, or publisher. [KMG]

Mountain Stage [Real Player]

Mountain Stage, a famous Charleston, West Virginia, venue where folk musicians play, is broadcast on National Public Radio, and can be heard on the NPR website, simply by clicking on "Hear the Show", next to the artist's picture and brief bio. Visitors wishing to read more about the artist's musical history can click on the name of the artist next to their picture. Included in the history is their set list for the broadcast show. Having chosen an artist to learn more about, visitors will find a box marked "Web Resources", in the far lower right hand side of the page that contains any available sites or blogs about the artist, and in a few instances, direct links to their respective professional websites. Visitors can comment on each artist's show, or recommend it to other visitors, by clicking on the icons at the bottom of each brief bio on the homepage. [KMG]

SFMOMA: Kerry James Marshall [Flash Player]

Released in February of this year, SFMOMA presents this interactive feature on the work of Kerry James Marshall, an African-American artist born in 1955, known for his large-scale paintings and installations. Marshall's work uses imagery drawn from the urban experience, African-American popular culture, the civil rights movement, and his own personal geography. He says, You cant be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955 and grow up in South Central [Los Angeles] near the Black Panthers headquarters, and not feel like youve got some kind of social responsibility. You cant move to Watts in 1963 and not speak about it." The interactive feature provides in-depth analysis of several of Marshall's works. For example, visitors can use the hot spot function to hear Marshall explain the iconography of Souvenirs III, 1998, as well as watching a video explaining why he chose to use black & white for the "Souvenirs" series of paintings. There are additional videos in which Marshall explains the background of his "Mementos" series of paintings, created between 1997 and 2003; how he was inspired by the work of old masters such as Rembrandt; and also discusses depicting the Founding Fathers, Washington and Jefferson, in his work. [DS]

Network Tools

TeamViewer 4.1.6320

Various web technologies can help bring people together for business or pleasure, and TeamViewer is just one of the many applications dedicated to this mission. This application allows multiple users to screen-share and also transfer files across machines. The drop-down toolbar helps users easily maximize or minimize the other computer's screen, and the application's server remembers which computers users have connected to as well. This version is compatible with computers running Windows or Max OS X. [KMG]

Weather Watcher 5.6.51

Mike Singer has been working on his Weather Watcher application for sometime, and his hard work has paid off for those with a particular penchant for matters of an atmospheric nature. This version of Weather Watcher will automatically retrieve the current conditions, hourly forecast, daily forecast, and detailed forecast as reported by The Weather Channel. The application appears as an icon on the desktop, although users can also display weather maps as desktop wallpaper if they so desire. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

In an unusual reversal, China pushes back requirement for Internet filtering software indefinitely

China delays requirement Web-filtering software on PCs

China Software Filter Delay is Boon to PC Makers

Anger in China over web censorship

Green Dam and "The Great Cave-In of China"

China's Online Population Explosion [pdf]

Electronic Frontier Foundation [pdf]

The world has been closely looking into the role that Twitter has played in the recent social unrest and protests in Iran, and China has also been the scene of another related story as of late. In early June, the Chinese government announced that computer manufacturers who wanted to sell computers in China would have to install Internet filtering software on all of their machines. However, in a rather rare reversal, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reacted to the criticism they had received from the U.S. government, the computer industry, and its own citizens, by announcing that they would be delaying this requirement for the time being. China already has in place a sophisticated Internet filtering system, but civil rights groups, other governments, and technical associations have voiced opposition to this practice. It remains to be seen how all of this will play out, but for those with an interest in such matters, it's a story worth following over the coming weeks and months. [KMG]

The first link will take visitor to a piece from this Tuesday's San Jose Mercury News which reports on this recent decision by the Chinese government. The second link will take users to a similar article from the Wall Street Journal which offers some commentary from several large computer manufacturers. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece from the BBC which includes commentary from several parties which were quite critical about China's initial decision to require this filtering software. The fourth link leads to an editorial piece on the subject from PCWorld's own David Coursey. The fifth link will whisk users away to an interesting report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project about China's rapidly growing Internet user base. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is a civil liberties group concerned with defending rights in the digital world. [KMG]

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