The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 42

October 23, 2009

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

A Note to our Readers

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

A Note to our Readers

Introducing the AMSER Science Reader Monthly

Internet Scout is pleased to announce the monthly publication of the AMSER Science Reader Monthly. The AMSER SRM provides readers with a useful online collection of information about a particular topic related to applied math and science by combining freely available articles from popular journals with curriculum, learning objects, and web sites from the AMSER portal. The AMSER Science Reader Monthly is free to use in the classroom and educators are encouraged to contact AMSER with suggestions for upcoming issues or comments and concerns at This month's AMSER Science Monthly Reader topic is Carbon Trading. The AMSER SRM can also be found in the About section on the AMSER ( homepage.

Research and Education


This impressive portal (referred to in the shorthand as "BEN"), was created by the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) in order to bring high-quality educational resources to science educators everywhere. The entire project is managed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the resources here total over 14,000, and they cover 77 discrete biological sciences topics. First-time visitors to the site will note that will they are not required to register to access these resources, however they may wish to do so in order to maintain a thorough list of the resources they find most useful here. The homepage is simple and to the point, and it features a "New Resources" area, and a collection of browsing options that allow users to pick out resources by type, audience, or subject. Persons who haven't used BEN before may wish to look at the "Using BEN" area for a bit of guidance. [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 Printer and Publisher

Untangling the history of various trades and industries requires a keen eye and a great deal of patience. Some of these fields have a wide range of trade publications, and the Canadian Printer and Publishers periodical is a fine source of information about the development and growth of this industry during the late 19th and early 20th century. The talented folks at the University of Toronto's Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library have digitized the volumes of this publication dating from 1892 to 1911. Visitors can dive right in by clicking on the "Search/Browse the collection" area on the homepage. This link leads to a detailed search engine and an area where they can browse through each issue at their leisure. Also, visitors have the option to view thumbnail document images in their search results. The breadth of material here is tremendous, and visitors will find discussion of legal issues in the industry, biographies of leading figures and firms, and articles on the more practical aspects of the printing and publishing industry during this period. [KMG]

Online Archive of the Japanese American Relocation during World War II

From 1941 to 1946, Occidental College President Remsen DuBois Bird and College Librarian Elizabeth McCloy made it their mission to preserve articles, newspapers, pamphlets, and other items related to the forced internment of persons of Japanese ancestry along the West Coast. Several years ago, a beneficent grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation's Archival Grants Program made the digitization of these documents possible. The result is this engaging and important digital collection, which includes close to 300 items. At the heart of this collection are the 275 letters and papers from the correspondence of President Bird. As their website suggests "The correspondence offers a rich resource for learning more about the issues of higher education, civil liberties and actions of individuals during the forced evacuation of the Japanese Americans during World War II." Users can use the "Search Archive" tab to access the collection, and they will probably want to take a look at the topical headings here or just use the drop-down "Letters" tab to look through select letters. [KMG]

Hoover Digest

Started in 1996, the Hoover Digest is a quarterly publication that features writing on politics, economics, and history from the minds of scholars and researchers affiliated with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Visitors to the Digest's homepage will find an illustration of the current issue's cover, flanked on one side by a listing of the featured articles. Further down on the site, users will find a list of the "Most Viewed" articles, along with links to the "Most Printed", "Most Emailed", and "Most Saved" pieces. Along the right-side of the homepage, visitors can elect to browse by topic, date, or author. The topic list is exhaustive, and it includes areas such as "Flat Tax", "Constitution", "Law Enforcement", and "Arms Control". Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive a free print copy of the Digest. [KMG]

The Writing Center at Harvard University

The Writing Center at Harvard University is perhaps the oldest formal writing center at an American university, and their complementary website presents a valuable trove of instructional handouts for writers young and old. On this page, visitors will find over a dozen helpful handouts with titles such as "How to Read an Assignment", "Essay Structure", "Developing a Thesis", "Summary", and "Revising the Draft". Each piece is written in clear prose, and the advice offered is sound and practical. Also, visitors should note that the site also includes a link to Harvard's guide to citation and integration of sources, "Writing with Sources", and a selection of links to other related writing style guides. [KMG]

Art Through Time: A Global View

The Annenberg Foundation, that giant of media and philanthropy, has a wonderful website that aims to "advance the Foundation's goal of encouraging the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge." Available here are videos, along with companion web and print materials, to improve the teaching methods of K-12 teachers. One of the latest series is "Art through Time: A Global View" and it explores art, culture, and human history and how they impact each other. The series is suitable for adults, college and high school teachers, and includes "13 half-hour video programs, a website with art images, accompanying text, and course guide." Visitors interested in viewing the video segments, need only find the topic they are interested in, under "Individual Program Descriptions" on the right hand menu, and then click on the box icon with "VoD" under it. Some of the topics include "Converging Cultures", "History and Memory", and "The Urban Experience". [KMG]

American Museum of Natural History: Science

The website of the Science department at the American Museum of Natural History in New York has some great interactive features, including a video, entitled "Scientific Expeditions 2008". Visitors should click on "See the Video", which is located front and center on the Science homepage. To "download the transcript" click the link above the video. Also, the video is captioned for those who are hearing impaired. The section entitled Science at the Museum: Exploration and Discovery gives a good overview of the Science department at the museum, and the changes it has made over time. The department consists of the following sections, accessible by clicking on the menu on the right hand side of the page: "Anthropology", "Invertebrate Zoology", "Vertebrate Zoology", "Paleontology", and "Physical Sciences". Those persons interested in hearing talks at the museum, will want to click on "AMNH Podcasts", on the right hand side of the page, below the menu. The latest podcast, from May 2009, features author Michael Pollan. There are a number of ways to subscribe to the podcasts, including RSS and iTunes. [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 Sports Legacy Institute [Real Player]

Debate about the brain-injuring propensity of American football has been debated lately, and the website of the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) located outside of Boston aims to discuss the research that suggests that players in certain football positions are at increased risk of dementia, and at an earlier age than most average people might develop symptoms of the disease. Visitors should click on "About" to read the key people behind the founding of SLI and view the "SLI Timeline" called Changing the Mind of Sports, which highlights some of the events that were integral to the formation of SLI. In the middle of the homepage is an informational video for those athletes interested in donating their brain to the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) brain donation program. There are also several articles on SLI's military brain donor program, which aims to study brain injury in combat blasts. CTE can only be studied, at this point, on the brains of the deceased, so the brain donor program is important to SLI's mission. For coaches of young athletes in contact sports such as football and soccer, the section "Coaches Clinics" gives an overview of 3C, which is the Coaches Concussion Clinics for youth sports run by the organization. [KMG]

General Interest

Independent Lens: Butte, America [Flash Player]

Butte, Montana was a hard rock mining town that supplied the United States with much-needed copper, due to the electrification of the nation. The documentary created by Independent Lens of PBS shows the hardship the miners and their families encountered. The Independent Lens website has a multitude of interactive features that adds depth and increased understanding to the film. To find when and on what PBS station the film is playing, visitors can click the link "Check Local Listings". Under the "The Film" tab, three clips of the film are available, and under "The Making of " tab, visitors can find details the difficulties of the film crew in filming the underground mining tunnels. The filmmaker also addresses the challenges of working in 16mm film, and the painful decisions of what scenes to cut. "Related Links" can also be found at the bottom of "The Film" link and provides links to several articles on the town of Butte, as well as to the filmmaker's website. [KMG]

Challenger Expedition, 1872-1876

The University of Kansas Natural History Museum has an online collection of drawings, images, charts, station data, and specimen data from the H.M.S. Challenger expedition, which lasted from 1872-1876. It was deemed "'the greatest advance in the knowledge of our planet since the celebrated discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,'" by scientist John Murray in 1895. Images of the Challenger and some of the equipment used are available here. In addition, the Challenger Expedition created over 40 nautical charts and these charts can be accessed via the world map with the shaded boxes on it, or from the table below the map. The charts are available in small and large sizes, but it's recommended that the small ones be viewed on the web, as the large ones take some time to download. The small charts do have a magnifier feature, to enlarge the charts slightly. The station data can be downloaded as an excel spreadsheet, and the specimen data can be found on several other websites. There are also half a dozen "Links" that are available below the table of charts. [KMG]

Interactive Dig: El Carrizal [pdf]

Located in south-central Veracruz state, the El Carrizal site in Mexico is one of the latest archaeological excavation sites profiled on the Archaeology magazine website. Offered as part of their "Interactive Dig" series, this particular dig started in 2009, and the team leading the work here includes dedicated archaeologists from Mexico and other parts of Latin America, and a clutch of local high school students. The site includes updates in the "From the Field" area, an introductory section ("Beyond The Trenches"), and frequent posts on the progress of their work. One rather nice feature here is that almost all of the material is available in Spanish, as well as English. Visitors are encouraged to leave comments on the site, and there's also a search engine here on the left-hand side of the homepage. [KMG]

Mine Safety & Health Administration [pdf]

Created in 1978 as a part of the United States Department of Labor, the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) is dedicated to "protecting miners' safety & health". On the MSHA homepage, visitors can make their way through sections that include "Highlights", "Online Tools", "Quick Links", and "Data Transparency at MSHA". In terms of getting an overview of their work, the "Highlights" area is a fine place to start. Here visitors can view press releases, informational studies, and links to safety regulations and mine evacuation procedures. The homepage also features a brief statistical portrait of the nation's mines in the "MSHA by the Numbers" area, along with basic information on fatalities in mines. On the right-hand side of the homepage visitors with more of a technical interest in the nation's mines will appreciate the inclusion of various reports on mine safety compliance and training modules. [KMG]

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum [Quick Time, pdf]

Located in the town of Vergennes, Vermont, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum offers a lively interpretation of the maritime past and present in and around Lake Champlain. The materials on the site are divided into sections that include "Education", "Our Fleet", Shipwrecks & History", and "Ship's Store". The "Education" area is a good place to start, and it contains links to archived shipwreck webcasts and information for educators. Moving on, the "Shipwrecks & History" area features some of the Museum's Underwater Cultural Resources Survey Report and a brief narrative essay on the history of the Champlain Valley. Visitors with a scholarly bent may wish to check out the "Maritime Research Institute" area. Here they will find information about internships at the Institute and they can also read about the ongoing work at their conservation lab. [KMG]

McIntosh Cookery Collection

If you think you know New England cookery, you might want to take a gander at the Beatrice McIntosh Cookery Collection website. Located at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the collection contains almost 7500 books, pamphlets, and ephemeral items related to this aspect of New England culture. Visitors to the site can search the entire collection, or browse through the "Subjects" area, which includes works divided into topics like "seafood", "historical", and "ethnic". Moving on, visitors can browse the cookbooks by place or decade, and here they will find items that include a guide to preparing cranberries from the American Cranberry Exchange and a wine list from the Lafayette House in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Also, visitors can download "cookbookmarks" to use for their own reading pleasure. [KMG]

Design USA: Contemporary Innovation [Flash Player]

The DesignUSA exhibition from the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum celebrates ten years of the Museum's National Design Awards program. The National Design Awards program was founded in order to "celebrate contemporary American design and to increase national awareness of design through education and promotion of excellence and innovation." The exhibition is organized according to five themes: Craft, Experience, Technology, Materials, and Method, and award winners are arranged into these areas. For example, Nike is recognized in the Craft section - excellence at making things - for its 2006 corporate achievement award. Apple, and its industrial-design team leader, Jonathan Ive, is also recognized in the Craft section for their 2007 award for the iPod. Clicking on a past winner in any category will take visitors to a photo of the designer's work along with a brief description. The web exhibition itself was designed by a 2006 Communication Design Award winner, 24. [DS]

Network Tools

ManyCam Virtual Webcam 2.4.44

If you're the kind of person you has a need for being in several different places at once, the ManyCam application is worth a look. Essentially, the application allows interested parties the ability to use their webcam with multiple programs simultaneously. The application also allows users to customize their backgrounds with falling snow, flickering flames, or a pelagic view that gives the appearance of being 20,000 leagues under the sea. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer and Mac OS X 10.5 and newer. [KMG]

Download Accelerator Plus

Download Accelerator Plus works by splitting files into smaller pieces and looking for multiple versions of the same file. As a result, it is able to speed up download times significantly, and it also allows users to pause downloads. The program also gives users the option to blacklist certain suspect sites. Finally, the program also contains a media buffer that helps prevents streaming-video "hiccups". This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

As the World Monopoly Championships come to an end, a curious case involving the popular game is remembered

How A Fight Over a Board Game Monopolized an Economist's Life

Tourists, Vegas residents bring Monopoly game to Strip

Official Site for Monopoly


What's the significance of the Monopoly playing pieces?

Computers Generate Monopoly Game Strategy

The popularity of certain video games and other entertainment options seems to change with the seasons, but the board game Monopoly has remained tremendously popular with the American public for more than seven decades. One member of the American public, retired economics professor Ralph Anspach, continues to actively promote his own version of the game. It's titled "Anti-Monopoly", and the controversy surrounding the game has included a lengthy legal battle with the company Parker Brothers that has seen many twists and turns. Among other things, Anspach takes exception to the official company line regarding the original game's origins, which state that Charles B. Darrow developed the game during the Great Depression. Anspach refers to this creation story as a "corporate fairy tale". Parker Brothers remains less than thrilled about the "Anti-Monopoly" created by Anspach back in the early 1970s. He created the game in order to inform his son about the potential downside of monopolies, and several years afterwards Anspach received a letter from a Parkers Brothers attorney requesting him to stop selling his new game. Over the past three decades, Anspach has attempted to schedule events around past World Monopoly Championships in order to bring attention his cause. After a lengthy and very costly court battle, Anspach was, in a sense, victorious, as the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled in 1979 that the trademark "Monopoly" was generic, and using the name was not in fact a trademark violation. As of this writing, Professor Anspach had not made plans to attend the World Monopoly Championships, which are being held in Las Vegas this week. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Tuesday's Wall Street Journal that discusses the ongoing saga surrounding "Anti-Monopoly". The second link whisks interested parties away to a news article from this Monday's Las Vegas Sun that talks about an oversized Monopoly board that's all the rage on the Strip. Moving on, the third link leads to the official Monopoly site. Here, visitors can learn about the various officially sanctioned spinoff products, game history, and of course, Mr. Monopoly. The other side of Monopoly can be found at the fourth site, which is the official homepage of the "Anti-Monopoly" board game. The fifth link leads to a classic piece of reporting from the Straight Dope about the significance of the Monopoly playing pieces. Lastly, the sixth link leads to a 1987 article from the New York Times that profiles "Winning Monopoly", a popular paperback guide to succeeding at Monopoly created by Kaz Darzinskis.

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