The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 48

December 4, 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

Imaging Cell Biology [pdf]

In November 2008, noted chemists Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie, and Roger Tsien were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Their work dealt with experiments that identified green fluorescent protein (GFP) and also showed that it can be used as a tool to study a wide range of cellular processes. The Trends of Cell Biology journal decided to commemorate the one year anniversary of this recognition by creating this special issue devoted to state-of-the-art imaging processes. Available online here, this issue provides "a snapshot of some of the most exciting work being done in cell biology using GFP, its relatives and derivatives, and other innovative tools and techniques." Here visitors can browse through the articles, and the introduction contains a narrative discussion of each article's main points and scientific processes. [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

20 Years After: Life Beyond Communism in Central & Eastern Europe [Flash Player]

What was life like for people twenty years ago in Eastern Europe? Certainly it was a time of great social upheaval, and the Transitions Online (TOL) organization has created this website to collect articles, essays, and videos related to the revolutions that unfolded in 1989 in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. The six primary sections on the homepage include "Features, "Recollections", "Where Are They Now?", "Countries", "Video", and "Timelines". The interactive "Timelines" area is a great way to start looking around on this site, and it includes chronological listings of key events in both the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Visitors can click on tags related to each event, and they may be curious to learn of lesser-known policies, like the so-called "Sinatra Doctrine", which was announced by Mikhail Gorbachev on October 25, 1989. Moving on, the "Recollections" area contains fascinating first-hand remembrances from people who were part of this historical milieu, like Michael Horacek, a ground-breaking journalist who experienced and wrote about the Velvet Revolution first-hand. Finally, the "Where Are They Now?" section offers written and visual updates on publishers, politicians, activists, and others associated with this period of revolution. [KMG]

Open Congressional Research Reports for the People [pdf]

Each year, the American taxpayers provide $100 million for the operating costs of the Congressional Research Service. The Service crafts hundreds of timely research papers and reports, but they can be hard to locate. The Open Congressional Research Reports (OPEN CRS) initiative makes this process much easier. The initiative is a project of the Center for Democracy & Technology, and they work with partner organizations such as the National Library for the Environment and the Thurgood Marshall Law Library. On their homepage, visitors can view the "Recent Reports", which include reports dealing with federal employee's retirement system and Medicaid. Visitors can also use the search engine to look for reports of particular interest, and they may also sign up for their RSS feed as well. Finally, visitors can also look through their "Featured Report Collections" area. [KMG]

The Digital Locke Project

The influence of John Locke on human thought is hard to overstate, and scholars continue to mine his substantial corpus for insights into the ways that humans interact. This delightful website brings together a scholarly text edition of many of his works. The project is being overseen by Professor Paul Schuurman, and the database here includes multiple drafts of some of Locke's most powerful works, such as the seminal "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding." Visitors can get started by clicking on the "Texts" button to find the text of his works, along with an "About" area that gives some background material on each work. Those persons who might not be familiar with Locke might also appreciate the "About Locke" area of the site. [KMG]

Biomedical Search

Wading through the tremendous online resource that is the BioMed archive can be a bit tricky at times. This process just got much easier through the creation of the BioMedSearch feature. The goal of this work is "to make these important works available to the community in a way that is fast and easy, while still offering the advanced features demanded by power users such as portfolios, collaboration features, bibliographical citation export, alerts, and more." Their search engine contains all of the data in Pub Med/Medline, along with additional full-text documents, and a large database of theses and dissertations. Many users will find the "Clusters" section of the site most useful. Here, visitors can view "clusters" of documents grouped together thematically into topics such as clinical trials, exercises, diet and cholesterol, and medical imagining. The homepage contains a basic search engine, and visitors may also wish to use the "Search Tutorial" to gain a better understanding of how best to use the archive. [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

Australian Antarctic Magazine [pdf]

The online version of the Australian Antarctic Magazine is part of an Australian government website that supports and informs the public, scientists, researchers, and lawmakers about the involvement of Australia in the Antarctic region. The guiding principle of the Australian Antarctic Division is "Antarctica-valued, protected and understood". The magazine comes out twice yearly, and archived issues dating back to Autumn 2001 are available on the site. Visitors can read the issue online or in a full pdf version. The covers of the magazines are often exceedingly beautiful, and the photographs that accompany the articles capture the frigid beauty of Antarctica. Some of the sections of the magazine include "Science and Policy", "Marine Mammal Science" and "Working in Antarctica". First-time visitors may wish to look over the June 2009 issue, which has a fascinating article on right whales. [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

National Portrait Gallery: Sitters, artists and photographers talking [pdf]

The National Portrait Gallery in Britain has a great digital collection of artists and photographers speaking on the process of creating specific portraits, as well as a collection of sitters speaking about their experience of being the subjects of those portraits. Visitors interested in reading about the sitter, the artist who painted them, and the actual portrait, need only choose from the list of "Contemporary Sitters", and read the transcript of an audio recording, a video recording, or both. Then look at the list of "Artists", and choose whichever artist painted the portrait, and read an audio or video transcript, or both. It's interesting to compare the artist's perspective on the sitter, and the sitters own perspective. The transcript of what Germaine Greer described as a sitter contrasts greatly with what the artist Paula Rezo said about the experience of painting Greer. Visitors interested in seeing the result of what the sitter and artist were talking about, can look in the far right hand column of the homepage, entitled "Related Portraits", to view the actual painted portrait. The sitters' names are not in alphabetical order, so look at the whole list.

Dance Magazine

A website is the perfect complement to a magazine about dance, and Dance Magazine includes some excellent visuals that narrate the world of Terpsichore. The homepage features a rotating series of videos, some of which are rehearsals that exemplify the effort required to flesh out the vision of a choreographer; some are previews of new dances, lectures about dance, and dance competitions. For more dance videos, visitors should click on "More DM Videos" to the right and bottom of the video feature. There are two blogs highlighted on the homepage of the website, one of which, "Daily Dance", focuses on dancer fitness. Visitors should check out the "Resources" featured on the homepage, which includes a guide for dancers headed to college. The guide can be searched online, or purchased in print. The "Magazine Supplements" at the bottom of the homepage are pdf's that cover such topics as "Teacher Training", "Beyond Performance", and "Secrets of a Successful Studio". [KMG]

General Interest

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940

How do you tell the life of a country through its people? It is a difficult task, to be sure, and in the 1930s and 1940s the Federal Writers' Project sent hundreds of interviewers out across the country to talk to people about their lives and experiences. These interviews touch on the Great Depression, slavery, political views, the role of the federal government, local folklore, and a myriad of other topics. First-time visitors to this Library of Congress website should read over the "Voices from the Thirties: An Introduction to the WPA Life Histories Collection" section. Visitors can search the interviews by keyword or state, and visitors may wish to start by reading the interview of Louis Larsen, a farmer, social activist and singer in Nebraska, who the interviewer noted "feels the masses are victims of a planned exploitation by a vicious class of legal bandits." [KMG]

University of Nebraska Libraries Digital Collections: Government Comics Collection

If titles such as "Adventures of the Garbage Gremlin" and "Adventures on Space Station Freedom" sound like comic book titles, it's because they are. These titles weren't produced by Marvel or DC however, but rather by the federal government. This digital collection of these works is the result of a two-year scanning and research project initiated by Richard Graham, assistant professor and digital media librarian at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. All told, the collection contains 180 comics, posters, and transcripts from congressional hearings on comics. Visitors can search through the entire collection and they will also quickly get a sense of the pedagogical function of these rather curious documents. There are a few "classics" here, including the legendary "Bert The Turtle Says Duck And Cover", which was intended to provide instruction on what to do in case of a nuclear weapon attack. [KMG]

Route 66

Even though Route 66 hasn't formally existed in twenty years, it is part of America's love affair with cars, travel, and getting lost. This excellent travel itinerary created by the National Park Service's Heritage Education Services "aids the public to visit the historic places that recall those images and experiences that are reminders of our past and evidence of the influence of the automobile." The homepage features historic images of old motel facades and long-gone department stores along Route 66, mixed in with images of the Route today. To get a sense of the road's genealogy, visitors would do well to look through the illustrated "Essays". Here they can learn about the road's origins, its rise, decline, and renaissance over the past 85 years. Moving on, users can click on the "List of Sites" area to read about featured sites in each of the eight states that the road passes through. Finally, the "Learn More" area is a glorious cornucopia of related websites that tell the story of the places and people associated with the road, including Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket in Hinsdale, Illinois and the Seligman Historic District in Arizona. [KMG]

Boston Symphony Orchestra Podcasts [iTunes]

If you can't make it out to Symphony Hall on Huntington Avenue in Boston, the next best thing might be to check out this musically diverse and engaging website. Here visitors can watch and listen to the Boston Symphony Orchestra as they make their way through Beethoven, Bartok, and Honegger. The archive of performances dates back to 2007, and visitors can read program notes from each performance and also sign up to receive their latest offerings via RSS feed or iTunes. The site has a number of fun surprises, such as "The Complete Symphonies" guide to the symphonies of Beethoven. First-time visitors may wish to start their journey through the site by clicking over to the March 5-7th, 2009 podcast which features a discussion of Jean Sibelius's tone poem "Night Ride and Sunrise" and Charles Ives's Symphony Number 4. [KMG]

Chinese Anti-Malaria Posters

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has digitized their collection of Chinese anti-malaria posters that were disseminated throughout China from the 1950s to the 1970s, when over 30 million people were afflicted with malaria. Visitors should check out the "Introduction" link to learn about the focus of the posters, most of which dealt with prevention techniques, such as eliminating mosquito breeding grounds, using bed nets, and residential spraying. The "Introduction" also includes statistics on the high success rate of the community-oriented approach to malaria control that China used, and how other affected countries can learn from the Chinese. Visitors should click on "Gallery of Images" to view the well-drawn posters, some which explain methods and benefits of prevention using multiple cartoon-style panels within the poster, and some which use just one panel. The poster entitled "Do Away With Superstition And Believe In Science" presents one of the complexities of tackling the malaria problem in China, where some believed that prayer would help them avoid succumbing to the evil spirit of malaria. [KMG]

Photographs of Frank B. Snyder

For over five decades, Frank R. Snyder documented the life and times of Miami University, and the city of Oxford, Ohio from the late 19th to the middle of the 20th century. Snyder was under the employ of the university during much of this time, and after his death in 1958 his son Frank King Snyder donated over 4,000 of these photographs to the school. Visitors to this site will enjoy access to a photographic archive that provides a pictorial portrait of Oxford, campus life, organizations, and Oxford College and Western College, which were eventually merged into Miami University. A good way to get started is by using the "Browse Categories" area. Here visitors can look through a dozen sections, including "Women's Education" and "Campus Buildings". [KMG]

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Digital Archive at Bowdoin College

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a Civil War general, governor of Maine, and the president of Bowdoin College. Visitors interested in learning about Chamberlain's life from a spatial perspective should check out the "Biographical Map" feature accessible from the link near the top left hand side of the page. Using Google Maps or Google Earth, visitors can choose a place on the map that was a point of interest in Chamberlain's life, and learn more about it by clicking on it. The map is coded with a yellow house to indicate places he lived, a yellow thumbtack for notable places he went, a blue flag for Civil War events he was involved in, and a circle for the notable events or periods in his life. Visitors more interested in viewing his life in pictures, should click on the link "Photographs" near the top left hand side of the page. For more information about the photographs, visitors should click on them. The "Documents" section offers over two dozen pieces of correspondence, mainly from Chamberlain, and span from 1848-1911. [KMG]

The Pullman State Historic Site

Planned communities have seen their fortunes rise and fall over the past century or so, and places such as Celebration, Florida seem to represent a more benign form of community planning. Of course, a century or so ago, there was a real belief that planned industrial communities could knit a fabric of work, family, and efficiency. One of these communities was the town of Pullman, located south of Chicago. The Pullman State Historic Site webpage provides information about visiting what remains of this community, along with their research facilities and their virtual museum. The site includes sections dedicated to the town's founder, George Pullman ("The Man"), "The Town", "The People", "The Company", and "Labor & Race". "The Pullman Company" area provides a detailed essay on the company's history and on some of its key products, like the legendary Pullman sleeping car. The "House Histories" area provides information on who lived or worked in the town of Pullman during the early 20th century. Finally, the "Images" area provides historic photographs of the company plant, surrounding houses, and workers. [KMG]

Network Tools

Zimbra Collaboration Suite 6.0.3

The Zimbra Collaboration Suite is designed to be used in settings such as higher education, government offices, and various enterprising types. The main part of the Suite is an interactive email and calendar server that allows users in many different physical locations coordinate meetings, conferences, and even lets people link-up different email accounts. This particular version is compatible with computers running Linux or Mac OS X 10.5 and newer. [KMG]

Wise Registry Cleaner 4.83

A good registry cleaner is always something nice to have around, and this latest version of Wise Registry Cleaner doesn't consume much memory and it works quickly. The Cleaner can be set up to check the registry automatically, and it also offers an undo option. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

After a bit of a slump, the art market regroups and benefits from the global expansion of wealth

Suspended Animation: A Special Report on the Art Market

Basel: Bigger, better, busy as ever

Stephanie Adamowicz: An Artist-Direct Auction and Its Art Market Implications

Art for whose sake?

Artnet: The Art World Online

ArtTactic [iTunes]

In the fall of 2008, as the United States economy was falling on difficult times, phrases like "subprime mortgages" and other such phrases began entering the popular lexicon. Over in the well-heeled art world, an auction of works by noted contemporary artist Damien Hirst fetched over $100 million that September. Shortly afterwards, the high end art market continued to drop, and some analysts have wondered if this may be the worst downturn in the art market since the Japanese stopped purchasing Impressionist works in 1989. This past week, The Economist reported that the tide may be turning, and they attributed this potential renaissance to globalization. Part of this transition is the wealth continues to spread across the globe, a fact commented on in the latest edition of the World Weath Report, which is published by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch. Other changes that have transformed the art world in the past several decades include the fact that many collectors buy their work directly through auctions, as opposed to dealing with dealers. One major art event that will be worth watching this week is the Art Basel Miami Beach, which starts this Thursday and finishes up on Sunday. Prices may not be reach the heights of several years back, but it'll be worth checking in to see how things turn out. [KMG]

The first link will whisk users to the special report by The Economist published this past week. The report includes several interviews, and articles like "The globalization of art" and "China reclaims its treasures". The second link leads to a preview of the Art Basel Miami Beach show from this Monday's Miami Herald. Moving along, the third link will take visitors to a piece by an art market professional, Stephanie Adamowicz, about a recent artist-direct auction held by Ryan McGinness. The fourth link leads to a meditation on the seemingly unseemly relationship between art dealers, museums, and prominent collectors. The piece originally appeared in the Financial Times this past Saturday, and it was written by Georgina Adam. The fifth link leads to the Artnet homepage. Billed as "The Art World Online", the site offers access to information about gallery shows, online art auctions, and data from the art market world. Finally, the last link leads to ArtTactic, which contains free podcasts on the art market, along with a newsletter and other information. [KMG]

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