The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 27

July 10, 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

Florida Law Collections

The Florida Law Collections document the laws and legal heritage of Florida through a wide range of texts digitized from the holdings of the University of Florida's Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center, the State Library, and Archives of Florida, and several other key institutions. Specifically, the collection includes issues of the Journal of the Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Historical Legal Documents collection, a Florida Water Law collection that is particularly noteworthy, as well as other general texts on Florida laws, the legislative process, and government. Given the debates over water rights and usage throughout the state, the Water Law collection is a real find, and visitors can search over 7300 documents within the collection. From the homepage, visitors can perform advanced searches and also look over recently added items. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive their RSS feed and contact the site administrators with any additional queries they might have. [KMG]

The Interactive Nolli Map of Rome [pdf]

Born in 1701, Giambattista Nolli was an architect who was enamored of Rome in a way that few people have ever experienced. He spent thousands of hours creating his La Pianta Grande di Roma ("the great plan of Rome"), which became his remarkable 1748 map of the Eternal City. The actual map consists of twelve engraved copper plates that measure six feet high and seven feet wide when combined. Nolli was very careful to record the streets, squares, and various other public spaces throughout the city. This website, created by a team of dedicated scholars at the University of Oregon, allows users to examine the map in all its glory, along with a number of interactive layers that document specific building types and census data. First time visitors can launch the map engine from the homepage, and after that, they may wish to look at some of the thematic sections, which include "Natural Features", "Architecture", and "Cartography". The site also includes some fine articles on the map and its legacy, including "The Walls of Rome" and "The Nolli Map as Artifact". [KMG]

The Nuclear Vault: "How Much is Enough?": The U.S. Navy and "Finite Deterrence" [pdf]

The National Security Archive at The George Washington University is well-regarded for their Electronic Briefing Book series, and this particular entry edited by William Burr is yet another fine addition. This particular work looks at the question of "how much is enough" as regards the necessary number of US nuclear submarines in the early 1960s. It was a subject of the utmost concern to military leaders, particularly the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Arleigh Burke. Burke's primary argument was that a small force of mainly nuclear-launching Polaris submarines was enough for effective deterrence. This engaging collection of formerly classified documents and other materials takes a close look at how the US Navy tried to take responsibility for this situation by effectively supporting a minimum deterrent force that could destroy a targeted list of significant urban-industrial and command centers in the Soviet Union. All told, this book contains nineteen documents, including the record of Burke's conversation with the Secretary of the Navy and his own "Dope" newsletter to top Navy commanders where he noted that preemptive nuclear strategies were "dangerous for any nation". [KMG]

Archival Collections of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library [Real Player, pdf, Quick Time]

Known as one of the most important centers for oceanographic research in the world, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was founded in 1903 as the Marine Biological Association of San Diego. The Institution became part of the University of California in 1912, and this digital collection from the University of California-San Diego offers a wide range of primary and secondary materials that relate the history of this important research institution. On the site, visitors will find documents that detail the history of Scripps, such as the 1966 paper "SIO: First Fifty Years" by Helen Raitt and Beatrice Moulton, along with hundreds of photographs in the Still Image Collection area. Moving on down, the "Panoramas" area contains Quick Time movies of the Scripps campus in 1916 and 1927, along with movie clips of a sea spider and a fangtooth deep-sea fish. Visitors shouldn't miss the audio and video clips, as they can listen to a number of renowned scientists talk about their work at Scripps from the 1950s to the 1990s. [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

NASA: Home and City [Flash Player]

This site attempts to answer a question everyone has probably asked themselves: How does space exploration impact their daily life? NASA has provided this website dedicated to help answer that query. To start, visitors can click on the drawing of the house, on the left side of the screen. Once selected, visitors will hear realistic birds chirping, dogs barking, and birds coming out of the leafy tree to alight on the lawn. The two tabs that appear that say "Rotate", on either side of the screen, can be clicked on to rotate the house, to discover the rooms in which space exploration has had an impact. Visitors can pick a room, such as the kitchen, bathroom, or living room, and will find a list of items that have been invented or improved upon due to space exploration. The kitchen boasts "Enriched Baby Food", "Water Purification", and "Freeze-Dried Technology". Visitors can choose one of the items and listen to a brief video about it. After the video, a tab entitled "Click Here to Learn More" allows the visitor to read official documents relating to the discovery or enhancement, from NASA's Scientific and Technical Information website. [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

C. Szwedzicki: The North American Indian Works [pdf]

The University of Cincinnati Libraries has compiled a digitized collection of work by 20th Century American Indian artists that was originally published from the years 1929 to 1953 in Nice, France. The digitized collection is composed of 364 images and six texts. There are a few ways to search or browse the collection, including utilizing an introductory essay written by Janet Catherine Berlo, Professor of Art History and Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York. In addition to providing an excellent introduction, the "essay includes links to images and can be used as a navigational tool to the collection." On the left hand side of the page two additional viewers visitors can use to browse the collection, the "Insight Browser" and the "Insight Java Client". The former is a basic viewer, and the latter is a more advanced viewer which requires a one-time download. Both have a "Click Here For Details and Help" link below their description, for those visitors who may need further assistance. Many of the images in the collection are of people and activities, depicted in bright colors, but there is also a set of images of ceramic jars and canteens that show the many patterns in which they were decorated. Important images and documentation of the Battle of the Little Big Horn can also be found within the collection, in the reproductions of the now lost ledger art of Amos Bad Heart Bull. [KMG]

American Veterinary Medical Association Media Library [iTunes, Quick Time, Real Player]

The American Veterinary Medical Association's Media Library website is filled with free audio and video media on different topics. The categories under which the topics are organized are "Podcasts", "Timely Audio News", "PSAs", and "Latest Videos". The topics range from highly technical to suitability for a layperson, from livestock concerns to "America's Top Ten Cat Cities". Visitors can see a lengthier list of each of the categories by clicking on "More Podcasts", "More News", etc. at the bottom of the page. In the "Timely Audio News" category are several Spanish Language versions of basic pet care articles, such as "The Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pets" and "Does Your Pet need a Rabies Shot?" At the bottom of the homepage is the section called "Audio Features" that contains over 50 audio files on topics that include equine, pet safety, dog bites, birds, and exotic pets. [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

Pesticide Alternatives Laboratory [pdf]

The Pesticide Alternatives Laboratory of Michigan State University is on the cutting edge of pest control in the Upper Midwest, whether on agricultural or non-agricultural lands, public or private. Visitors interested in seeing the pesky adversaries of the lab, should click on "Bugs of The Lab", on the left hand side of the page, then click on the subcategory "Research Subjects". Along with photos of a dozen pests, including the "Plum Curculio", "Mites", and the "Oblique-Banded Leaf Roller", visitors can read a description of the pest, learn about and see images of the damage they do to specific crops, and discover where they are found on the plant. The Resistant Pest management Newsletter section on the left-hand side of the page has numerous subsections that should be of interest to visitors. Visitors can "Subscribe to the Newsletter" and peruse "Archives of Past Issues". Also interesting is the "Ask an Expert About Resistance Issues" section, which lists ten regions of the earth, and when one of the regions is clicked on, several experts' names pop up with their area of expertise, e-mail, and location. Additionally, anyone who is an expert and qualified, but is not on the list, may have their name added after filling out the "Expert Application", available on the "Ask an Expert..." homepage. All of the experts are volunteers. [KMG]

General Interest

Seattle Photographs

From its origins as a small town on Elliott Bay, Seattle's transformation throughout the 19th and 20th centuries has mirrored that of other conurbations with a waterside orientation. The staff members at the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections have created this fine online database which documents this transformation, and it is available to all interested parties. The database contains over 2900 photographs which effectively tell the story of Seattle's neighborhoods through shots of businesses, street scenes, streetcars, movie palaces, and restaurants. Visitors to the site can browse the collection at their leisure, or they may also wish to browse a list of Library of Congress subject headings. The site also has a listing of sample searches, which include some of the city's most well-known neighborhoods, such as Ballard, Capital Hill, Eastlake, and Wallingford. [KMG]

Historic Baseball Resources [Real Player]

The Library of Congress is ready to take die-hard baseball fans out to the (virtual) ballgame with this cornucopia of digital resources related to America's favorite pastime. Visitors can get started by looking through the "Baseball History" facts on the right-hand side of the homepage, and then dive on in to some of the featured collections, which include "Baseball Cards, 1887-1914", the informative "Did You Know?" area, or a feature on the old chestnut, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Other materials can be found in the sections "Collections", "Images", and "Audio/Video". The "Audio/Video" area has some nice treats, including an 1898 film of a baseball game recorded by Thomas Edison and a talk by author Stephen Borelli about baseball broadcasting legend Mel Allen. [KMG]

Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System [Flash Player]

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, and it was completed in 1959. This website details the activities of the Seaway System, and visitors with an interest in transportation and public policy will find the site both useful and interesting. At the top of the homepage, visitors will find the five primary sections of the site, which include "Management of the Seaway" and "Commercial Shipping". First-time visitors should start at "The Seaway" section. Here they will find the interactive "Gateway to North America" tour, along with information on the System's locks and channels and a nice "Facts and Figures" area. The site also contains thematic collections of information designed for business people, students and educators, and the media. Visitors who wish to stay abreast of System activities can sign up for email updates on the homepage. Francophone users will be glad to learn that the entire site is also available in French. [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

Frontline: Digital Dumping Ground

As the United States moved to move to an all-digital television signal, millions of analog television sets became obsolete. Many of these televisions, along with other forms of electronic waste, have ended up in places like Ghana. They are poised to create a tremendous environmental hazard, and this recent program from Frontline takes a sobering and critical look into this phenomenon. Visitors to this site can watch this recent profile in its entirety, and then they will want to look at the other features on this site. The site also includes an interactive map documenting the global trade in electronic waste, along with a FAQ on recycling, and an interview with Jim Puckett, who is a leading campaigner against the electronic waste trade. [KMG]

Internet Archive: Universal Newsreels [Flash Player

From 1929 to 1967, moviegoers got some of their news from Universal Newsreels, which played right before they saw the feature film. In addition, there were theaters that were exclusively devoted to showing newsreels. All of the newsreels are now in the public domain, and many are available on this website, as well as at the National Archives and Record Administration. The newsreels can be viewed numerous ways, including "Browse Collection", "Browse Subject/Keywords", or "Browse by Title". Perhaps a more interesting way for a visitor to check out the films on the website are by the "Recently reviewed Items", "This Just In", and "Most Downloaded Items Last Week". Not all of the newsreels were of a serious nature, as there were ones about sports, fashion, and odd events. Visitors get a written description of the scenes of the film, once they've chosen one to view, plus download options. There are also reviews of the film given by recent viewers, some of which invite debate by other reviewers. [KMG]

Carnegie Reporter [pdf]

The Carnegie Reporter is the magazine of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the website for the magazine has the full-text of the print edition. The purpose of the magazine, in addition to Carnegie Corporation's grant making, is to be "a hub for ideas and a place where we could share ideas and strategies we are exploring." Not only is the magazine freely available online, a free subscription to the print edition is also available if visitors click on "Request", on the far lower left hand side of the homepage. The past seventeen issues, published in the spring and fall since 2000, are accessible online on the far left hand side of the page. The biannual publication focuses on projects the Carnegie Foundation is involved in funding, in part or in whole. Visitors shouldn't miss the condensed version of Colin Powell's speech on immigration, in February 2009, at the City College of New York's Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. It is the feature on "The Back Page" of the current issue. [KMG]

Boston Gas Photos

For almost one hundred years, the Boston Gas Company documented their various infrastructure and maintenance projects by employing local commercial photographers to document everything from laying gas pipes to the construction of company facilities in and around Boston. The Boston Gas Company photographs are in the collection of the Boston College Libraries, and visitors to this site can check out almost 400 images which date from 1882 to 1972 here. As a whole, the collection offers a rather diverse portrait of urban life, with shots that include men at work, neighborhoods like Dorchester and East Boston under development, and street signage. Visitors can peruse the photographs by Library of Congress subject headings, geographic area, or by corporate name. Of course, visitors are also most welcome to create their own customized search via the search engine. [KMG]

Network Tools

Smart DeFrag 1.20

Users looking for a free and effective defragging application should look no further than this handy device. Smart DeFrag 1.20 doesn't use up a great deal of RAM, and it has an automated system that continually defrags the files that are used most frequently. The program also comes with a scheduler and several other customization features. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

Postbox 1.0

There are email clients, and then there is Postbox. Postbox certainly offers a turn towards Web 2.0, and it includes interface devices for social networking programs like Facebook and so on. Essentially, Postbox catalogs every piece of information in one's email, including text, addresses, links, photos, documents, and so on. When users click on an email, a preview pane pops which shows not only the email text, but all the other relevant information within the email. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and Vista as well as Mac OS X 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Trafalgar Square becomes the site of an intriguing public art installation for the next three months

Trafalgar Square plinth Antony Gormley

London Journal: Briefly Ascending to the Spotlight, Britons Take Their Place Among Giants [Free registration may be required]

Fun, but is it art?

The Fourth Plinth: The Story So Far

Plinth highlights in 40 seconds

One & Other

Antony Gormley [Flash Player]

Trafalgar Square in London is arguably one of the most well known public spaces in a city that has a surfeit of rather fine public spaces. The Square is surrounded by a host of landmarks, including the National Gallery and the St Martin-in-the-Fields church. Within the Square, visitors often are attracted to the four enormous plinths which hold only three statues. The fourth plinth was intended to be the site for an equestrian statue of William IV, but the monies for such work never materialized. For the next three months, that empty fourth plinth will be occupied by a wide range of Britons as part of a rather intriguing public art experiment. The work was designed by noted artist Antony Gormley, and essentially it consists of Britons getting up on the plinth for an hour and doing more or less what they want. So far, people up on the plinth have drawn attention to various charities and causes, read sections from the Arabian Nights, passed out chocolate, and so on. One participant, Dr. Stephen Roser, noted, "It's a bit like being Prince Charles for an hour-having the position to be heard without any actual power." [KMG]

The first link will take readers to an article from the Bristol Post which talks about the various residents from Bristol who have found themselves on top of the plinth in Trafalgar Square thus far. The second link leads to a New York Times article from this Tuesday that talks about the installation in greater detail. The third link will whisk users away to a piece from the Sunday Times that asks the important question in regards to this new installation: "Fun, But is it Art?" Moving along, the fourth link leads to a special section from the Guardian Online about the first couple of days at the fourth plinth. Those persons seeking a quick overview of the goings on at the fourth plinth will appreciate the fifth link, which features a short video clip of the "performances" thus far. The sixth link leads to the official homepage of the project (titled "One & Other"). Here visitors can watch the proceedings atop the fourth plinth, and it should be noted that "this is a live webstream that may contain offensive content." Finally, the last link leads to the official homepage of the artist Antony Gormley. [KMG]

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