The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 44

November 6, 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

Harvard Stem Cell Institute [pdf, Flash Player]

The Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) was formed in 2004 to "draw Harvard's resources together by establishing a cooperative community of scientists and practitioners, by developing new ways to fund and support research, and by promoting opportunities for open communication and education." Their website features videos of HSCI scientists speaking about their selected disease programs. Visitors can click on a video as it appears, or they can wait for one of the next videos in the rotation. To read about the disease programs, visitors can click on the "Research" tab near the top of the page, and then select the "Research Programs" link to read about the different programs and the lead researcher. Research programs include the "Blood Disease Program", "Cancer Program", "Cardiovascular Disease Program", "Kidney Disease Program", "Nervous System Diseases Program", and the "Translational Research Program". The "Resources" tab near the top of the page has video of a great series of education sessions that are held quarterly by HSCI, and which address the medical, religious, economic, and public policy concerns that stem cell research presents. There are eight sessions to watch, and each runs longer than an hour, so each topic is covered in exquisite detail. [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

Science of Sound in the Sea

The University of Rhode Island's Office of Marine Programs website offers interested parties a primer on the science of sound in the sea. The main topics covered here are "Sound", "Sound Movement", "Sound Measurement", "Sounds in the Sea", and "Advanced Topics". Visitors who are unfamiliar with the basics of sound should start out with "Sound" to learn about such subtopics as "How do you characterize sounds?" and "How are sounds made?" "Intensity", "Frequency", and "Wavelength" are also explained in "Sound". Visitors should note that within the subtopics, the words or phrases that are highlighted in green can be clicked on to read the definition. A menu on the left side of any page of a subtopic lists all the main topics, and scrolling over a main topic reveals all the subtopics available to peruse. Visitors shouldn't miss the "Sounds in the Sea" topic to learn about such concepts as "People and Animal Use", "Sonar", "Echolocation", and "Underwater Sounds". [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

Genetics Selection Evolution [pdf]

The Genetics Selection Evolution journal was created by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in 1960, and this site offers scientists and others online access to its contents. The primary focus of the journal is to present "original research on all aspects of genetics and selection in both farm and experimental animals." The journal is part of the BioMedCentral network of open access journals, and the homepage offers easy access to its latest peer-reviewed articles. Visitors to the journal's homepage can view a list of its current editorial board members, sign up to receive the journal's RSS feed, and also review manuscript submission guidelines. A sidebar on the left-hand side of the homepage includes a list of the most accessed articles, promotional devices (such as posters and leaflets), and a FAQ 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

Film Literature Index

This very ambitious project from Indiana University was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and it continues to be updated on a regular basis. The Film Literature Index (FLI) annually indexes 150 film and television periodicals from 30 countries in their entirety, along with 200 other periodicals selectively for articles on film and television. The FLI database can be searched by subject headings, names, production titles, or by corporate names. Visitors can browse around, or perform advanced searches as their needs require. More information about the project can be found in the "About FLI" section, which can be accessed at the top of the homepage. Here visitors can learn about the history of the FLI, and also read about various papers and presentations that document the creation of the FLI Online site. [KMG]

ChemPod [iTunes]

The journal Nature has started a number of science-themed podcasts, and this particular site features their "Chempod" series. The series got underway in March 2006, and the podcasts are designed specifically for the chemistry community. Currently, the site features over a dozen podcasts, and the topics covered in recent installments include DNA 'circuit boards', protein sensing with gold nanoparticles, and applications for mass spectrometry. Visitors are encouraged to download each podcast, and teachers may wish to share these insights with their students in the classroom. Within the "Site Resources" area, visitors can sign up for their newsletter and their RSS feed. The site also includes listings for job opportunities in the "NatureJobs" area along the right-hand side of the homepage. [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

Oregon Explorer: Natural Resources Digital Library

If you have an interest in natural resource policy and management, you'll want to spend some quality time on the Oregon Explorer's Natural Resource Digital Library website. The purpose of the Explorer is "to use the power of today's cutting edge information technology to create a state-of-the-art-web accessible natural resources digital library." Their project team has accomplished this by creating a variety of "explorer" tools that allow concerned parties to learn about land use patterns in the state, along with providing interactive and customizable maps of natural hazards, wetlands, and wildlife. Along with these features, the site also includes sections such as "Maps", "Charts and Tables", "Data Collections", and "Photos and Videos". Visitors can get a handle of the resources here by taking a tour through the "Featured Tools" near the bottom of the homepage and the "What's New" area. The site is rounded out with a glossary and a place for users to submit queries. [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: Interactive Features [Flash Player]

Amidst many strong and detailed government websites, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) site always presents a rich variety of material for the space-curious public. Their "Interactive Features" area is embedded in their larger "Multimedia" site, and it's a fantastic kaleidoscope of sweeping views of Saturn, fun with the X-15 spacecraft, and more than a few (several dozen, actually) interactive timelines. First-time users can browse through the archive of features at their leisure, or they can also use the search engine to look for specific items. Some of the more noteworthy features here include a timeline which explores the history of "planet hunting" ("PlanetQuest Historic Timeline") and the trip through space in the "Virtual Lunar Outpost". It's easy to while away a few hours on the site and it is one that budding space scientists will want to bookmark. [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

Hidden Histories of Exploration [Flash Player]

Columbus, Hudson, Polo, and Stanley, are all names known far and wide to those who hold an interest in the history of exploration. But how about Juan Tepano, Mohammed Jen Jamain, and Nain Singh? The role of these individuals (and many others) from the annals of world history deserves to be better known, and it is quite appropriate that the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is the one to tell their tales via this website. The site is meant to complement an exhibition at the RGS that highlights "the role of local inhabitants and intermediaries in the history of exploration." Visitors can learn about these persons and the process of exploration by clicking on the "Exhibition" section. From there, visitors will be guided through a series of narrative essays (such as "Local Knowledge" and "European Dependence"), accompanied by historic photographs, drawings, maps, and diary pages. After taking the online exhibition tour, visitors can click on the "Gallery" section to peruse well-illustrated collections like "French Maritime Expeditions" and an eleven-minute film from 1922 titled "Climbing Mount Everest". [KMG]

General Interest

Public Art In the Bronx [pdf]

From Norwood to Mott Haven there's plenty of public art to keep curious visitors satisfied when wandering around the Bronx. This exemplary website created by the Lehman College Art Gallery and the City University of New York provides an overview of artworks in public places, complete with descriptions of the major art installations, teacher resources, walking tours, and maps. On the right-hand of the page, visitors will find topical sections such as "Artists", "Sites", "Biographies", "Neighborhoods", and "Walking Tours and Maps". The geographically minded may wish to click on "Neighborhoods" to get started. Here they will find brief profiles of each neighborhood, and it's a good way to get a sense of each community's historical development. Moving on, visitors can use the walking tours and maps to help students in art appreciation, urban studies, or geography courses get a feel for the resources of these areas. The site is rounded out by the Bronx Public Art Inventory and a direct link to the Lehman College Art Gallery homepage. [KMG]

Florida Digital Newspaper Library

With generous funding from Florida's Library Services and Technology Act Grants Program, the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and other organizations, the Florida Digital Newspaper Library exists "to provide access to the news and history of Florida." On this site, visitors can browse through over 800,000 pages of historic Florida newspapers dating back to the early 19th century. Currently the archive contains current Florida newspapers digitized from 2005 to the present, dozens of historic newspapers, and the "Historic News Accounts of Florida", which features articles from newspapers published outside the state which deal with life in Florida. On the site's homepage, visitors can use a simple search engine, perform an advanced search, or look through the "New Items" section. Some of the papers in this archive include the Alachua Advocate, the Apopka Chief, and the Wakulla County News. [KMG]

Animate Projects [Flash Player]

Based in the United Kingdom, the Animate Projects site is designed to "explore the relationship between art and animation, and the place of animation and its concepts in contemporary art practice." With support from the Arts Council England and Channel 4, they have created this delightful site featuring over 100 films that "explore ideas around animation." On the homepage, visitors can view a rotating selection of these projects, and they are also encouraged to click on the "Films" section to browse through films dating back to 1991. Moving on, visitors can click on the "Events" section to learn about relevant screenings around Britain, lectures, and workshops. Cineastes will want to delve into the "Writing" area, which includes critical responses to some of the works which can be viewed elsewhere on the site. To get a taste of the offerings here, first-time users may wish to view "Amnesia" by Cordelia Swann or Alex Schady's work, "Everything Must Go". [KMG]

Art & Architecture

This website was created by the Courtauld Institute of Art, a British institute created for the study of Western art. The website is "designed to be explored," and with over 40,000 images and a network of over 500,000 links, there's a great deal to explore. Because of the vast amount of content, visitors might find it helpful to first check out the link at the bottom of the page, entitled "About A&A". From there, click on the "How to Use the Art & Architecture Web Site". This extremely useful link has over a dozen categories of instruction, from "Basics" to "Search Tips" to "Profile and Preferences". The "Quizzes, Polls and Discussions" section on the left hand side of the page is a clever section with quizzes, such as those on the value of watercolors and polls. On the right hand side of the page the "Stories" area contains transcripts of fascinating interviews with artists and architects. [KMG]

New Mexico's Digital Collections

The University Libraries of the University of Mexico is the host of this website of digital collections from five New Mexico repositories, including the Institute of American Indian Arts, the Palace of the Governors, Silver City Museum, and the University of New Mexico. As visitors make their way across the headings on the left hand side they can view the collections from which the images on the site are drawn, or the subjects covered within. Visitors can view the collections by clicking on "View by Repository" or "View by Subject". The subjects include "Architecture", "Arts and Crafts", "Land", and "Water". When visitors find an image they want to keep or come back to later, they can click on "Add to Favorites", located at the bottom of the page of any image chosen. To view the image later, simply click on "My Favorites", near the top of any page. Each image also has the information needed to obtain copies of images. The information is next to "Ordering Information". [KMG]

Sanora Babb, Stories from the American High Plains [Flash Player]

This excellent website from the University of Texas at Austin sets the tone for its stories about Anglo settlers headed to the High Plains for free land by starting their website off with an old recording of a Western song. When visitors are ready to move on from listening to the gentle, lilting song, they can just click on the picture of the man with the guitar, to be taken to the "Introduction", which will tell them about the Babb family. The two Babb daughters are highlighted, as they each documented their journey in their own style. Sanora became a novelist and journalist, and wrote about the experience while Dorothy took over 250 photographs of the Dust Bowl refugees. Descriptions of Sanora's works, which range from novels to poetry to a fictionalized memoir, can be found under the "Career" tab near the top of the page. The "Image Gallery" has 221 digitized black and white photos taken by Dorothy Babb, and they cover such subjects as "Camp Life", "Migration", and "Weather". [KMG]

Thirteen: Sunday Arts

Thirteen/WNET is New York's celebrated public television station, and their website has a section devoted to their series called Sunday Arts. The half hour program is on Sundays at noon, and visitors can check out what's coming up by clicking on "Program Schedule" near the top of the page. The website provides information on art exhibits, and music, dance, and theatrical performances that are going in NYC, in their SundayArt News video segment, which can be viewed via the "News" tab near the top of the page. The videos available to watch here are impressive, and a menu of all the offerings can be found on the right hand side of the page in the box labeled "SundayArts Video". The types of videos include "Dance", "Literature" "Music", "Opera", and "Young Opera". Visitors shouldn't miss reading the "Blog", accessible via the link near the top of the page. One can get fast reading reviews of theatre, art exhibits, dance performances, and any other type of art. The contributing bloggers offer their opinion on what they think will be good performances, events or exhibits, so art enthusiasts living in, or planning a visit to, New York can decide on what to attend. [KMG]

Network Tools

Opera 10.01

The Opera browser continues to offer new innovations with this latest release, and its relatively small size is always a major benefit. The visual features here are quite nice, and they include theme previews embedded within the interface and new widgets, like a sketchbook and an interactive solar system simulation. Of course, the browser still has favorite features such as a feed preview, speed dial browsing, and a resizable search field. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer or Mac OS X 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

Signature995 9.0

If you're looking for a way to securely transmit and digitally sign PDFs, look no further than this application. Using Microsoft Cryptographic technology, Signature995 features a multi-tabbed interface that is easy to use. Visitors can also encrypt other file types (such as doc and zip files), and they can also limit file access to certain users. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Iceland says "Bless" to McDonald's

McDonald's Gone from Iceland

In the Field: A Wake in Reykjavik for McDonald's

McDonald's Successor in Iceland Off to a Good Start

Introduction to Icelandic Cooking and Recipes

Icelandic Online

Roadside America: McDonald's Museum and Store No. 1

Iceland is known for many things, including its sophisticated multilayered pop tunes and geothermal energy. The island nation is not particularly well-known for having many outposts of the Golden Arches, so some might be surprised to learn that the last McDonald's closed there this Saturday. Some commentators attributed this closure to the fact that Iceland has been caught in a horrible economic collapse over the past year, while others pointed out that it's always been expensive to operate a chain restaurant in Iceland. In fact, Iceland's McDonald's would have had to start charging $6.36 for a Big Mac in order to remain open. In an interview with a local teen in Reykjavik, CNN producer Neil Curry noted that the teen commented, "I don't really care. Never touched the stuff. Good riddance as far as I'm concerned." The former McDonald's are not going to waste, however, as all three locations are now full up with branches of Metro, an Icelandic fast food chain. [KMG]

The first link leads to a commentary piece on the departure of McDonald's, written by Alda Sigmundsdttir. The second link will whisk users away to a piece by CNN producer Neil Curry about his conversations with locals about the departure of the Golden Arches, and their ambassador-of-fun, Ronald McDonald. Moving along, the third link leads to a short piece from this Tuesday's Iceland Review about the new fast-food chain, Metro. The fourth link leads to a fine collection of Icelandic recipes, compiled by a native of Hafnarfjrur. For those planning a visit to Iceland, the fifth link will be quite a find. Created by the University of Wisconsin and the University of Iceland, the site offers an introductory course in Icelandic (available after creating a login). The final link leads to a profile of the first McDonald's, located in the quiet environs of Des Plaines, Illinois.

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