The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 46

November 20, 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

The Swingle Plant Anatomy Reference Collection [pdf]

Born in 1871 in Pennsylvania, Walter Tennyson Swingle grew up with little formal schooling, but he ended up working for well over half a century in the fields of tropical botany and Chinese literature. Created by the University of Miami Libraries and Professor Barbara Whitlock, this digital archive brings together primary documents, slides, and other items taken from the Swingle archives. On the homepage, visitors can look through four primary sections, including the "Plant Anatomy Digital Archive" and "Plant Anatomy Animations". In the "Plant Anatomy Digital Archive", visitors can browse over 1700 images from more than 250 species collected from all over the world. Also, visitors can learn about the challenges involved with maintaining such a collection. Moving on, the "Plant Anatomy Animations" are utterly fascinating, as they consist of transforming images of consecutive microtome sections, providing "a new perspective on how plants are constructed in three dimensions." The site is rounded out with a section on Swingle himself, complete with a biography, articles about his work, and a link to some of his publications. [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

eHistory at OSU: Multimedia Histories [Real Player]

Drawing on the power and abilities of the Internet, the eHistory website from Ohio State University offers multimedia portraits on topics that include immigration in the United States and the Louisiana Purchase. On the homepage, visitors can take a look at the "What is a 'Multimedia History'?" area to learn more about these features, and then move on over to the "Featured Multimedia History". The histories include interactive maps and images, along with narrative essays. Visitors can scan over the complete histories and also view one of their three video presentations. If they are interested, visitors can also sign up to receive Twitter updates or their RSS feed. Additionally, the site also contains links to the other areas of the eHistory site, such as their online books, timelines, and primary sources. [KMG]

The Economic Crisis and its Humanitarian Impact on Europe [pdf]

The economic crisis that continues to affect countries across the world has taken a hard toll on humanitarian organizations in Europe. In October 2009, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released this 20-page report on just that subject. The report looks at 52 countries across the region (including several in Central Asia), and it is primarily focused on presenting findings from long-form interviews, rather than large statistical data sets. The report has some troubling findings, including the observation that "there seems to be an increasing trend of insecurity, leading to increases in mental health problems, alcohol and substance abuse, social isolation and generalized stress." Visitors will appreciate the fact that the report draws on a number of case studies and the first-hand observations of social service providers and administrators. [KMG]

Dartmouth Flood Observatory

The Dartmouth Flood Observatory performs research and collects data on the space-based measurement of surface water "for research, educational, and humanitarian applications." On their homepage visitors are presented with a global map of current flooding, complemented by links to data sets related to historic flood levels from 1985 to the present. Visitors can also click on the "Active Archive of Large Floods" section for additional materials, such as an animation that depicts these mega-events. Moving on, the site also includes a link to the "Space-based Atlas of the Earth's Changing Surface Water". Here visitors can look over sample regional maps, and also look at detailed maps of the Mekong Basin from 2000 to 2006. The site is rounded out with some information about current staff members and a list of their publications. [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

Women's Parliamentary Radio [iTunes]

The function of Women's Parliamentary Radio is to report "fairly and accurately on policy issues of concern to women and their families." Visitors should perhaps begin with a visual of the lack of women in politics in Britain by checking out the map of the Electoral Reform Society of Britain. Click on "About WPR", which is midway down the left hand side menu, and then click on "View the ERS Map". Visitors interested in seeing the names of the Women MPs represented on that map, and a link to their website, should click on the "List of Women MPs", on the left hand menu. The latest audio reports from 2009 are on the homepage, and can be listened to online, or downloaded. The "2008 Audio Reports" and "2007 Audio Reports" are available on the left hand side of the menu. The "International Parliaments" link, again on the left hand menu, provides engaging stories from women in politics around the globe, including South Africa, Tibet, Swaziland, Zambia, and Ethiopia. [KMG]

UC Davis: Institute of Transportation Studies [pdf]

With over 60 affiliated faculty and researchers and a $6 million annual budget, the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) at UC Davis contributes to "public discourse on key transportation issues." Transportation scholars and others will find a cornucopia of research reports, conference updates, and news items on the site. Scholars may wish to look at the "Featured Publications" area first. Here they will find recent reports that include "Achieving Sustainability in California's Central Valley" and "Interactions between Electric-drive Vehicles and the Power Sector in California". Moving on, the "Outreach and Events" area is a great way to learn about upcoming events, conferences, and symposia sponsored by ITS. Finally, the site has links to some of its affiliated research centers listed under the "Quick Links" sidebar on the right-hand side of the page. [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

Horse Genome Project

What's in a horse? As it turns out, what's in a horse is quite important, and the Horse Genome Project at the University of Kentucky is currently defining the genome of this animal. The Project is a cooperative international effort which involves some 100 scientists working in 20 countries. On the left-hand side of the page, visitors can make their way through five sections, including "The People", "The Horses", "Genomics 101", and "Applications of Genome Study". "The Horses" area is a good place to start, as it gives an overview of the animals being used in the project. In "Genomics 101", interested parties will find an overview of some basic terms used in the field, such as gene, allele, and mutation. The "Applications of Genome Study" area focuses in on how their work will be used to benefit the health and welfare of horses. [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

This Week in the History of Psychology [iTunes]

Written and produced by Professor Christopher D. Green of York University, "This Week in the History of Psychology" is a delightful and engaging podcast series. Its intended audience is students in university level courses on the history of psychology, but a wide variety of persons will find the work here compelling. Each week Professor Green has an interview with an expert who talks about a key event from the annals of psychology. The interviews begin with a short overview of said event, along with a celebration of the week's birthdays and other related anniversaries from the world of psychology. Currently the site has several dozen interviews, including discussions on Freud's only trip to the United States and Emil Kraeplelin, the man behind the modern categories of mental illness. [KMG]

General Interest

The Erie Railroad Glass Plate Negative Collection

For many decades, the Erie Railroad served as a conduit for goods, travelers, and ideas across the Mid-Atlantic to the heartland of America. A number of glass plate negatives produced by the company for a variety of purposes found their way to Syracuse University, and this digital collection contains over 700 of these images. The images can be searched by keyword, image number, or Library of Congress subject headings. The photographs depict a bustling world of railroad-based activities, and they include compelling shots of stations in New York and Ohio. Students of transportation architecture and engineering will benefit from the wide array of images documenting overpasses, underpasses, track layouts, and bridges. It's a site with a broad appeal, and local historians may find the site useful for their work as well. [KMG]

UW Student Newspapers Archive

The recent past can often be overlooked by digital archive projects. Fortunately, that is not the case at the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections group. Recently, they digitized four student newspapers, including the Independent, the Ledger, the Daily, and the Commons. The papers come from the main campus in Seattle, and the other branches in Tacoma and Bothell. Visitors can search the collection via the search engine, or they can browse by year or newspaper. The subjects covered within these pages include student protests, union activism, local celebrations, and issues regarding education at these very different campuses. Additionally, visitors are welcome to offer their own contributions to the project via the "Donating to the Student Newspapers Archive" link. [KMG]

Caribbean Art and Visual Culture

The University of Miami's searchable website "As Far as the Eye/I Can See" is a collaboration of an English Professor in Caribbean Studies and their Digital Library Fellowship. The focus of the site is Caribbean artists and art critics, and includes audio and video interviews, photographs, biographies, and RSS feeds from Caribbean art critics. On the left hand menu are links to eleven "artist profiles", two galleries and art centers, as well as links to the perspectives of two art critics, "Annie Paul" and "Christopher Cozier". Links to "Art Events" and a "Bibliography" are at the bottom of the left hand menu. Visitors shouldn't miss the work and life history of the artist "Erman", whose "biography", "CV", and "galleries" of work are accessible by a link in the "artist profiles" section. His introduction describes his series of work called "Cocoon", and was informed by his time as a child laborer in textile sweatshops in Miami in the 1960s. His work honors piecework laborers throughout the world and it is also quite educational. [KMG]

World Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Images

Dr. Bowen of UC-Northridge created the California Geographical Survey with the aim of providing a multitude of vital geographic resources to the Internet community to facilitate better understanding of geographic concepts. Although the panoramas look very much like photographs, it is noted in the "Technical" section, that they are not. Rather, they are "mathematical simulations created from satellite data that have been interpreted by computer calculations." Visitors may feel like they are flying, when viewing the panoramas that offer the highest level of zoom. Clicking in the "N. America" section on the left hand menu, will take visitors to the selection of more than 70 breathtaking panoramas. The panorama entitled "San Rafael Swell, Utah", near the end of the choice of selections, is "picture perfect" with its evergreen trees, mountain ridges, and azure lakes. Visitors should definitely not miss the rippled sand dunes in the panorama of "Qilian Shan" found in "Central Asia". [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

Julia Morgan-An Online Exhibition

The website of the Robert E. Kennedy Library at California Polytechnic has an online exhibition of the work of California's first female architect, Julia Morgan. Visitors unfamiliar with Julia Morgan should check out the "Biography", "Education", and "Early Work" links on the left hand side of the homepage for an interesting lesson on her determination and desire to be an architect. William Randolph Hearst was one of her clients, and she designed his San Simeon estate. The section "Julia Morgan on the Central Coast", on the left hand menu, has links to five buildings she designed. Each link provides a description of each building along with a photo or drawing. Some of the buildings include "Milpitas Hacienda, Jolon", "Village House, San Simeon", and "Zegar Playhouse, San Luis Obispo". The "Related Links" section of the online exhibition has a lot of informative resources, including, "Julia Morgan Papers" and the "Julia Morgan-Sara Holmes Boutelle Collection". [KMG]

Amicus [pdf]

Amicus is a new online supplement to Harvard's Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review, and focuses on internet-based civil rights and civil liberties scholarship. It has an unfussy, attractive design that makes it easy to see what's new on the site. The site is divided up into "Recent Developments", "Policy Pieces", and "CR-CL Conversations". There is an online archive available to keep track of the latest articles and posts. The "Introduction" by John Palfrey, about new public spaces online, is an excellent and accessible article on why the privacy and speech problems of people's heavily digital lives should not be focused on to the exclusion of the "opportunities afforded by life in these new public spaces online." The "Policy Piece", "Making Employment Civil Rights Real" thoroughly explains the shortcomings of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and proposes several options that would help workers get the equal opportunity Title VII was supposed to provide. [KMG]

The Supreme Court Database

As important as the U.S. Supreme Court decisions are, accessing, reading, and deciphering them can be an arduous task. However, the Supreme Court Database can help relieving some of the difficulty with "SCDB Web 101". Visitors should click on "View the 101 Lessons" on the far right hand side of the page, to get started. There are four lessons, and they include "Running Your First Online Analysis", "Making Adjustments to an Analysis" and "Recalling a Previous Analysis". The database includes the decisions from 1958-2008, and visitors should click on "Analysis" to start their search. For those who know the name of the case, or the volume and page, the search function on the far right hand side, top of the page, will accommodate that. Those visitors looking for cases by "issue", "outcome", "type of party", "court era", or "writer of the majority or minority opinion" should use the form starting in the middle of the page. This website allows for some great results for those interested in trying to establish themes or similarities across Supreme Court jurisprudence. [KMG]

American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915

American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 17651915 presents the history of American vernacular painting from the Colonial era until the early 20th century. Most of the pictures in the earliest section, "Inventing American Stories, 17651830", are portraits of individuals or family groups, reflecting the taste of the time for commissioned portraits. But, there are a few scenes showing larger crowds, such as John Lewis Krimmel's Fourth of July in Centre Square, 1812. The next section, "Stories for the Public, 18301860", reflects the growing interest in genre painting in the US, these appear to be everyday scenes, but often were raised to the symbolic, an example is William Sidney Mount's Cider Making, 1840-41. "Stories of War and Reconciliation, 18601877", reflects the Civil War and Reconstruction, with pictures such as Winslow Homer's The Veteran in a New Field, 1865, showing a former soldier returned to his fields to thresh wheat. The final section, "Cosmopolitan and Candid Stories, 18771915", reflects America's growing taste for European art, and includes the works of prominent American artists who lived primarily in Europe, such as Mary Cassatt, or those who traveled widely, such as John Singer Sargent. [DS]

Network Tools

WordPress 2.8.6

WordPress is perhaps best known for blogging, but its highly customizable format makes it ideal for creating personal websites as well. The content management system is easy to use and visitors will find that there's plenty of support via their online forums. This version makes adding extensions and plug-ins a bit simpler, and these devices can be used to transform WordPress into an online store or an art gallery. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 or newer. [KMG]

FeedDemon 3.0.44

FeedDemon has embarked on some new changes in this latest release, and those who have enjoyed the application in the past will be most pleased. The application has been a popular RSS and Atom feed catcher for several years, and this version syncs up nicely with Google Reader to bring users the latest news from thousands of sources. In this version, users will also note that Twitter feed reading has been seamlessly added, and it's also easy to add tags and tag clouds. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer. [KMG]

In The News

40 years later, an apology for the Lost Innocents

Australian Leader Apologies for Child Migrants [Free registration may be required]

Painful memories surface during apology

It's a sorry state of affairs when forgiveness is not the main objective

House of Commons: The Welfare of Former British Child Migrants

Alliance for Forgotten Australians [pdf]

Home of the Forgotten Australians

Almost 40 years ago, a child migrant program that sent children from Britain to Canada, Australia, and other parts of the British Commonwealth ended. The program caused great heartache for many of these young people, and they became known in Australia as the Lost Innocents. On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a formal apology for that country's role in the program, remarking, "We come together today to deal with an ugly chapter of our nation's history." During this rather unusual policy initiative, the British government sent almost 150,000 children from single mothers and poor families in the hope that they would have a better life. Many of these young people suffered through difficult upbringings, and some of them reported horrendous physical and emotional abuse. Some within the Lost Innocents advocacy community continue the call for retroactive compensation, but the Commonwealth has ruled this out as a viable option. [KMG]

The first link will lead visitors to an article from this Monday's New York Times about the formal apology issued by the Australian government. The second link whisks users away to another article about the apology from ABC News in Australia. Moving along, the third link leads to a trenchant editorial from the Sydney Morning Herald, written by Hugh Mackay who suggests that an apology is "an appeal to the injured party to forgive us for what we did to them." The fourth link leads to the formal report on the Lost Innocents from the British Parliament. The fifth link features the homepage of the Alliance for Forgotten Australians, which is an advocacy group designed to promote the needs of these individuals through various publications and other works. Finally, the last link will take visitors to the site for another advocacy group, the Forgotten Australians. [KMG]

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