The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 37

September 18, 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

MIT OpenCourseWare: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming [iTunes]

If you're hoping to test your mettle in the world of computer science, you'd do well to check out this informative and erudite course offered as part of the OpenCourseWare initiative at MIT. The course was created by Professors Eric Grimson and John Guttag, and it includes a syllabus, readings, lecture videos, assignments, and exams. The materials here are "aimed at students with little or no programming experience." Visitors might want to start out by looking over the syllabus, and then move on to the "Readings" area. Here they can find selected excerpts from key texts, including "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist". Even better are the lecture videos from the course, such as "Binary search, bubble and selection sorts" and "Divide and conquer methods, merge sort, exceptions". The truly ambitious will also want to look over the assignments and exams offered here. [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

Geology and Human Health [pdf]

The link between geology and human health may not seem obvious, but it many ways geology can affect public health in a variety of crucial ways. Certainly, the relationship between geological factors and water and air quality is one that continues to interest policy makers and others. This site explores these issues, and it was created by the people at Carleton College's Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty initiative. Here visitors can make use of a wide range of educational and supporting materials, including classroom activities, key visualizations, and collections of external links. First-time users may wish to start at the "Resources for Educators" area, which includes a brief overview titled "Essential components of geology and human health" and several helpful posters. The remaining materials can be viewed in sections that include "Bookshelf", "Visualizations", and "Internet Resources". [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

American English Dialect Recordings [iTunes, Real Player]

The American Memory Project at the Library of Congress has struck gold again with this most excellent digital collection. The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) Collection features approximately 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. These recordings were made from 1941 to 1984, and they reveal "distinctions in speech related to gender, race, social class, education, age, literacy, ethnic background, and occupational group." Visitors to the site can read the final report created by the CAL after the completion of this project, and they view an interactive map of the survey locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Browsing the collection is a snap, and visitors can look through the offerings here by title, name, subject, and place. Some of the subjects covered here include rabbit hunting, racial discrimination, tall tales, and Halloween. [KMG]

Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center

Interested parties who care about their own heart, or the heart of a loved one, will find that the Texas Heart Institute website has a wealth of information in the "For Patients and Consumers" section on the homepage. Researchers and doctors will also find much to love about the Texas Heart Institute website, with its "For Medical Professionals" section, also on its homepage. Patients interested in enrolling in the Stem Cell Center's clinical trials, can click on the "Enrolling Patients" tab near the top of the page on the left hand side. Patients interested in finding out if they have the ten classic risk factors that lead to an unhealthy heart, can click "How healthy is your heart?", near the bottom of the page, to take the quiz. Doctors can read a guide to the website by clicking on the link "Resources for Physicians" at the top of the section of the homepage designated "For Medical Professionals". Information on Continuing Medical Education (CME) is available on the left hand side of the page, as well as the upcoming Texas Heart Institute "symposia" topics. Clicking on one of the topics will take the medical professional to an online registration form for the symposia, along with a synopsis of the topic that will be discussed. [KMG]

Advertising Law and Ethics

The University of Texas at Austin's College of Communication devotes a section of its website to law and ethics about advertising. It's an important topic that is often misunderstood by consumers. This site will help explain to consumers how they are protected, or left unprotected, under state and federal law, when it comes to advertising and visitors will find more than fifteen topics to peruse, including "First Amendment", "Children", and "Subliminal Appeals". There are many regulations that govern particular types of advertising, and this site offers the actual statutes from which the regulations are informed, as well as a very readable analysis of what the statute means. A few of the heavily regulated areas of advertising include "Tobacco & Alcohol", "Sweepstakes, Contest & Lotteries", and increasingly, "Telemarketing". Visitors shouldn't miss the link "Recent Examples", in the middle of the list of topics, to read summaries of advertising that has caused companies to rethink their violent, sexist, or repugnant strategies for luring customers. [KMG]

ArtsConnected [Last reviewed in the Scout Report on September 22, 1998]

Art education teachers and those majoring in art education will definitely find this website useful for their work. The ArtsConnected website combines the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center. There are over 100,000 images, texts, audio, video, and interactive resources available to visitors to the site. A newly added feature is "Ask an Educator", which allows users to ask questions of the museum educators at both the Institute and the Walker Art Center. Also, visitors can view the questions and answers to past questions submitted by other interested parties. Once visitors have registered, they can search and find all the resources they need using Art Finder, then use Art Collector to "save, combine, annotate and present" the selections. Finally, they can go to the "Recent Activity" tab to see what fellow art educators are saving in their Art Collector. [KMG]

Profiles in Science: The Adrian Kantrowitz Papers

In 1967, Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz performed the first human heart transplant in the United States. Throughout this life he was both a surgeon and a prolific inventor, developing devices such as cardiac pacemakers, mechanical left heart devices, and the intraaortic balloon pump. Dr. Kantrowitz passed away in 2008, and his papers were donated to the National Library of Medicine shortly afterwards. As part of its Profiles in Science Project, the Library has digitized a portion of these papers and included a finding aid and a biographical essay. Users can click on the "All Documents" area to look through all the printed papers, or move along to the "All Visuals" area to view photographs of Kantrowitz at work in a surgical setting and at leisure. The other areas are divided up chronologically, and they include "Expanding Technological Possibilities, 1955-1970" and "Replacing Hearts: Left Ventricle Assist Devices and Transplants, 1960-1970". [KMG]

British Newspapers, 1800-1900

The British Library has done historians a tremendous service by creating this extensive and thoroughly engaging collection of British newspapers from 1800 to 1900. The site contains over two million pages of 19th century newspapers, though it is worth noting that many of them require the payment of a fee. Visitors can browse complete articles from the "Penny Illustrated Paper" and "The Graphic" free of charge, and they should also click on the "Topical Articles" area. This area contains thematic essays on matters such as the Sepoy Mutiny, the Napoleonic Wars, and the abolition of slavery. Each essay also includes access to relevant articles from the newspapers of the day. This area also includes detailed information on how best to use the search engine in order to locate items of interest. [KMG]

General Interest

Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O'Keeffe Archive

Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe first met in 1916 and they soon developed a personal and professional relationship that would last until Stieglitz's death in 1946. After his passing, O'Keeffe collected much of his personal and professional correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, and other items from his career. In 1949, O'Keeffe decided to donate these items to the Yale University Library. Today, visitors can look through this glorious digital collection of these items, including photographs of and by Stieglitz and his circle of friends, along with paintings, drawings, letters, and various awards. The item on the homepage is worth a closer glance, as it features O'Keeffe and Stieglitz in an embrace. Visitors can search the entire collection by keyword, and they can also just browse through the works here. For anyone with an interest in American arts and letters, it is a most noble and worthy find. [KMG]

University of Mississippi Visual Collections: John Elon Phay Collection

In 1953 the Mississippi State Legislature called an extraordinary session in order to rewrite the laws governing the public school systems throughout the state. As a result of this session, the legislature created the State Educational Finance Commission. One of their mandates was to make sure that each county submitted a plan for the reorganization of its school system. Part of the documentation created as part of this process included photographs of every school across the state. This digital collection offers selected Kodachrome images taken during the mid-1950s in Benton, Clay, Grenada, and Jones Counties. Interested parties can view the slides via the "School Index" or the "Slide Index" area. The images feature students at play, in science labs, home economics classes, and other settings. Overall, it's a fascinating and troubling document that looks at the phenomenon of segregated educational facilities during this historical period. [KMG]

C-SPAN: Economic Stimulus

Who is receiving money from the stimulus package? What are the concerns of various watchdog groups as the stimulus money is being distributed? These are but two questions addressed in this balanced website created by C-SPAN. On the homepage, visitors can learn more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) through video clips, Congressional debates, conferences, and a selection of links to various organizations. The "Recent Programs" area is a good place to start, and it includes video clips and full programs that include commentaries by the director of the Council of State Governments and a panel discussion from the Brookings Institution. Along the right-hand side of the homepage visitors can make their way through lists of important links under the headings "News Resources", "C-SPAN Resources", and "Congressional Budget Office". [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

American Experience: We Shall Remain [Flash Player]

Whether watching their TV shows on television or on the computer, PBS always provides a worthy presentation. With an extensive collection of PBS programs available online, the number of topics they cover be fully appreciated. The American Experience series titled "We Shall Remain" consists of five episodes "spanning three hundred years [that] tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective." The "Reel Native" and "Beyond Broadcast" tabs offer Native Americans telling their experiences and also provide activities for teachers. In addition to viewing the full episodes online, visitors to the website can go "Behind the Scenes" by clicking that tab, and can see such features as the "cast and crew", "featured videos", and "photo gallery". Furthermore, the "Get Involved" part of "Behind the Scenes" informs visitors of "native organizations and tribes, libraries, historical societies, museums, schools and other groups to plan and sponsor activities that promote understanding of local Native history and contemporary life." This area also provides an interactive map that allows a visitor to plot "shoot locations", "tribal colleges", "coalitions", and "native radio stations", by clicking on each corresponding tab. [KMG]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Vermeer's Masterpiece: The Milkmaid [iTunes, Flash Player]

The 400 year anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage to Manhattan from Amsterdam is being commemorated by the loan of Vermeer's The Milkmaid, from Rijksmuseum to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA). It was last in the United States for the 1939 World's Fair. The MMA website provides many ways to enjoy the painting, as well other important works from the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. There is a download available that lets visitors listen to the curator Walter Liedtke discuss Vermeer's "unique patronage and its influence on the artistic and psychological aesthetic of The Milkmaid and other works by Vermeer." Younger visitors to the site can download a TweenCast episode that helps them imagine the life of a young maid in 17th century Holland. The links near the top of the homepage include "Learn more about this exhibition" and "View images from this exhibition", as well as a link that leads visitors to the Timeline of Art History. The timeline provides visitors with a good foundation on the Dutch Golden Age. [KMG]

The Textile Museum [Flash Player]

The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. and its website offer a great look into an oft-ignored medium. Historic textiles, functional textiles, and art textiles can all be found on this museum's website, thanks to the collecting savvy of George Hewitt Myers, who founded the museum in 1925. Visitors will enjoy learning about the Textile of the Month when they go to the "Collections" link, found under "Exhibitions and Collections". Scroll down after reading the introductory paragraphs to "Collections", to learn about almost 60 textiles that have been featured as a textile of the month. There is a sock, (possibly from Egypt) from the 12th century, a 19th Century Bhutanese Throne Cover and an intriguing raffia skirt from 20th century Zaire. Visitors can click on the title below the thumbnail image of the textile to see it expanded in all its glory. Visitors can also read about what the textile is made from, how it was made, and how it was worn. As with any type of art work, its conservation is of utmost importance. In the "Care & Display" link at the bottom of any page, visitors can read the techniques employed by the museum to combat cloth-eating bugs, store Oriental carpets, and hang textiles appropriately. [KMG]

Who Speaks for the Negro?

In 1965, the writer Robert Penn Warren wrote a thoughtful book titled "Who Speaks for the Negro?" To prepare for the writing of this volume, Warren traveled across the United States to interview dozens of people involved with the civil rights movement, including James Baldwin, Stokely Carmichael, Ralph Ellison, Vernon Jordan, and Malcolm X. This wonderful resource created at Vanderbilt University features some of these conversations, digitized from their original reel-to-reel recordings. Visitors can get started by clicking on the "Listen to Interviews" area. Here they can search the interviews by keyword, or just browse the collection by interviewee or subject. For people looking for insights into American history, the civil rights movements of the 1960s, or the African-American experience, this site is one that will warrant numerous return visits. [KMG]

Motley Collection of Theatre & Costume Design

The digitized version of the Motley Collection of Theatre and Costume Design is based on originals housed in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Motley Collection consists of over 5000 costume and set designs, sketches, notes, photographs, prop lists, storyboards, and swatches of fabric. The collection documents 150 productions of Shakespeare and modern classics, dating from 1932 to 1976, staged in England and the United States, from the West End of London to Broadway in New York City. The majority of the collection has been digitized, and can be searched by play title, theater name, actor and director names, as well as medium. In addition, production notes have been compiled for selected plays; for example, a researcher interested in a 1954 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream can view excerpts of reviews, commentary from the set and costume designer, Margaret Harris, and a cast list including Vanessa Redgrave who played Helena.

Network Tools

JAlbum 8.4

If you haven't put all of your Labor Day photos online yet, you might want to amble on over and take a look at the JAlbum application. The popular web-based photo album generator now features a red-eye removal feature, along with more adept cropping tools and several additional skins for unique visual customization. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

Comodo Internet Security 3.11

Internet security is serious business, and the Comodo application will allow users to feel a bit more at ease. First-time users can use their help files to learn a bit more about the various uses of the application, and others will note that the different sections (which include "Firewall" and "Defense") are fairly intuitive. This latest version includes DNS protection and it also checks the integrity of every file and application which asks for access to users' computers. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP or Vista. [KMG]

In The News

After the passing of Norman Borlaug, commentators offer assessments on his legacy and work

Against the grain on Norman Borlaug

Our View: Learn from the legacy of Iowa's Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug Obituary

Norman Borlaug: Biography

Ag BioWorld: Norman Borlaug Articles and Interviews

The Atlantic: Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity

Last week, Nobel Prize recipient and father of the "Green Revolution" Norman Borlaug passed away. To many in the developing world, his work on creating high-yield crop was viewed as a tremendous blessing, as it stemmed widespread starvation. Others found his legacy to be a bit more mixed. In some ways, his work laid the groundwork for decades of monocrop agriculture, genetically modified food, and exponential growth in the use of pesticides and other fertilizers. Borlaug himself remained skeptical of the rising tide of organic farming, even noting in an interview from 2000, "Don't tell the world that we can feed the present population without chemical fertilizer." Even a cursory glance over the online comments on articles about Borlaug reveal a wide range of opinions about his legacy. Commenting on a recent piece from the Guardian, one reader noted, "He undoubtedly did a lot of good-the green revolution was desperately needed and it delivered." Others remained less than enthusiastic, including a reader's thought, "Against the grain on common sense, common decency, compassion and shared humanity."

The first link will whisk users away to a piece of commentary on Borlaug written by Leo Hickman for this Tuesday's Guardian which provides a number of external links to other timely resources. The second link leads visitors to an editorial piece from the Iowa City Press Citizen on Borlaug, who was a native son of the Hawkeye State. Moving on, the third link leads to an obituary on Borlaug, which appeared in this Saturday's Telegraph. The fourth link leads to Borlaug's official Nobel Prize biography, along with his presentation speech and a photo gallery. The fifth link leads to a compendium of interviews and articles related to Borlaug, compiled by the AgBioWorld organization. Finally, the last link leads to an excellent profile of Borlaug written in 1997 for The Atlantic Monthly by journalist Gregg Easterbrook. [KMG]

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