The Scout Report -- Volume 15, Number 49

December 11, 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 New York Academy of Medicine: Current Grey Literature Report [pdf]

The New York Academy of Medicine has been around since 1847, and they have had a distinctly urban mission since their founding. Their online library contains a number of resources for medical doctors and other health care professionals, and the Grey Literature Report is one of the most compelling offerings on their site. The Report was started in 1999, and it was initially intended for internal research purposes. Currently, the Report is now published bimonthly by the Academy Library, and it contains "unindexed materials that are not produced by commercial publishers and are unavailable through normal, commercial distribution channels." The documents include case studies, conference proceedings, fact sheets, government documents, research reports, and white papers. Recent editions of the Report have included timely works from the AARP, the Commonwealth Fund, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy. [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

Cartography 2.0

Professor Mark Harrower at the University of Wisconsin Madison's Department of Geography was frustrated with the "inability of traditional textbooks to keep pace with Web technologies." So he and his colleagues set out to create Cartography 2.0, which is a "free knowledge base and e-textbook for students and professionals interested in interactive and animated maps." First-time visitors might want to look over the "Purpose" section before diving into the separate "Chapters" of the book. All of the chapters can be found on the homepage, and they cover topics such as map animation, virtual globes, elements of design, and map interaction techniques. Each chapter contains descriptive essays, along with maps and diagrams that illustrate key principles. The "New Content" section on the homepage features the latest additions to the site, and overall this work is a model for educators who might be interested in crafting an engaging and dynamic online textbook. [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

Chicago History Museum: Blog [Flash Player]

The Chicago History Museum has mounted a number of popular initiatives and exhibitions in the past several years, and their new blog is something that historians, young people, and anyone with an interest in Chicago will want to check out. While the site is organized like a traditional blog, each entry contains interesting insights into Museum's holdings, along with commentaries on the city's cultural, social, and historical landscape. The posts are written by Museum staff members, and from time to time, there will be guest bloggers with a special insight into some subject. Recent posts have included information about tamale vendors in the city, the history of Chinatown, and the refitting of 19th century socialite Bertha Palmer's elaborate gown from 1892. Visitors can browse through previous posts by category (which include "Film" and "Multimedia") and also look at their Web 2.0 features, which include YouTube videos, Flickr photo galleries, and so on. [KMG]

Ed Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonn

This very attractive website catalogs the work of the Nebraska-born artist, Ed Ruscha. The site is elegant in its simple scheme of gray text on a cream background, red hyperlinks, and floating menu at the top of each page. Visitors unfamiliar with the paintings, drawings, photography and artist's books of Ed Ruscha should check out the "Biography" link to learn about his work that "combine[s] the cityscape of his adopted hometown with vernacular language to communicate a particular urban experience." A link to the "Chronology" of his life and work can be found underneath his picture, on the same page as the biography. The link to his "Work" is on the right hand side of the menu, and when clicked, visitors will be transported to a page of search options. The titles can be searched via keyword, or a year can be chosen from a list of years ranging from 1958 to 1992. Each year provides thumbnails of his work that can be enlarged by a click. Visitors interested in viewing his bright, colorful paintings, which are also still quite mysterious, should check out his earlier works from the 1960s to early 1980s. [KMG]

Digital Horizons: A Plains Media Resource

The Digital Horizons website "provides, maintains, and preserves a wide range of historical and significant content related specifically to Fargo-Moorhead and broadly to North Dakota and Minnesota." In the "About Digital Horizons" link, visitors can read the foregoing purpose of the project, as well as the vision statement. The goals of the project, the audiences it's intended for--students, educators, internal staff, commercial users; and how to become a member of the project, are also in the "About Digital Horizons" link. The homepage has sections on "Managing Your Collection", about preserving or donating the photos, film, audio and textual materials one might have in one's home, and "Contributing Organizations", the list of which institutions have contributed to the project, which include Concordia College Archives, Prairie Public Broadcasting and the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Visitors can browse by "General Subject", "Collection", or "Popular Searches", via the homepage or the right hand side of any other main page. [KMG]

Brecht's Works in English: A Bibliography

In the United States, Bertolt Brecht is perhaps best known as the composer of the Threepenny Opera with Kurt Weill, which gave birth to the popular song known in English as "Mack the Knife". He is generally regarded as a tremendously prolific playwright, poet, and theatre director, and his works have been translated into a host of different productions and settings during the 20th and 21st centuries. This bibliography of Brecht's works in English contains over 2600 bibliographical entries and is a cooperative project between the International Brecht Society and the Bertolt-Brecht-Archiv in Berlin. The bibliography is hosted by the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections, though it should be noted that the database is not a record of the holdings of the University of Wisconsin Libraries. Visitors can scan down the homepage to access specific citation sets for Brecht's journals, essays, interviews, letters, plays, poems, and songs. The site is rounded out by a list of links to related materials, including the German Studies collection at the University of Wisconsin and the International Brecht Society. [KMG]

Helping Each Other in Times of Need: Financial Help as a Means of Coping with the Economic Crisis [pdf]

Susan Rohwedder of the RAND Corporation recently asked an important question: "How are U.S. households coping in these difficult times?" The results of her investigations were published in the Fall of 2009 as part of the RAND Labor and Population group's Occasional Paper series. Her work was based on two Internet surveys conducted by the RAND Corporation in late 2008 and in early 2009 which sought to probe the extent to which U.S. households have been affected by the crisis and patterns of giving and receiving financial help during this period. The findings included the observation that many more households are giving financial help than receiving it and that help most frequently flows from parents to children. All in all, the paper will be most useful for policy scholars and others working in related fields. [KMG]

General Interest

Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Urban historians, geographers, architects, and others always appreciate visual records of a city's transformation over the decades, and this digital collection offers just such a portrait of Pittsburgh. The collection was created by the University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library, and it draws on materials held by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. In particular, the collection is focused on images that "exemplify themes of rebirth, modernization, and quality of life improvements for the Pittsburgh region during the post-World War II Renaissance period." All told, there are over 1100 images for visitors to look at here, and a search engine makes it easy to find specific items. Some of the highlights in the collection include photographs documenting the construction of Three Rivers Stadium and the significant urban renewal projects which took place throughout the city in the 1950s and 1960s. [KMG]

Waddesdon Manor: The Rothschild Trade Card Collection

Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild was a man of exquisite taste, and his penchant for eighteenth century life and society manifested itself in several Continental shopping sprees. In 1891 the Baron acquired a significant collection of printed paper ephemera related to various trades. These volumes contain over 700 trade cards, or early shop advertisements, and in 2004 Waddesdon Manor and the University of Warwick teamed up to create a research project that would digitize these trade cards. The site doesn't contain any topical collections per se, but visitors can use the "Sample Searches" area to look over such queries as "Who sold silver items?" or "Who provided accommodation?" After this, visitors should consult the "Field Notes" area for helpful information about the fields included with each item. Finally, visitors are encouraged to join their mailing list for updates. [KMG]

The New York Real Estate Brochure Collection

For persons with an interest in the always topical subject of New York real estate, this collection will be very welcome and worthy of numerous return visits. The New York Real Estate Brochure Collection was donated to the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library by Yale Robbins, Henry Robbins, and David Magier in 1986. Currently, the Columbia University Libraries are in the process of digitizing all 9200 residential brochures, floor plans, price lists and related materials from this substantial collection. For the time being, visitors can access all of the materials from Brooklyn, and other boroughs will come online in the future. On the homepage, visitors can search the collection, or elect to browse around by address, name, neighborhood, architects, or owners. Also, users are welcome to leave their own comments on each building's page, and no doubt this feature will constitute an interesting body of user-generated content over the coming months and years. [KMG]

FRONTLINE: The Card Game [Flash Player]

Credit card companies have been the subject of renewed interest by the general public and regulatory agencies in the federal government, and this program by Frontline investigates "the future of the massive consumer loan industry and its impact on a fragile national economy." The program is hosted by correspondent Lowell Bergman, and represents a joint endeavor with The New York Times. As with most Frontline programs, visitors can watch the full program online, though before doing so, they may wish to take a look at the informative "Seven Things You Need to Know" section. Here they can breeze through helpful reminders, including "Cardholders Have New Protections" and "Free Traps Are Still Out There". The site has a number of extras, including additional interviews, a podcast with Bergman, and a discussion board for viewers to chime in with their appraisal of the program. [KMG]

Fore-Edge Paintings at the Lilly Library

Indiana University's Lilly Library has a wonderful online exhibit of the always beautiful fore-edge paintings. The fore-edge paintings in the exhibition are the "vanishing" type, which means they are only visible when the book is fanned open. The exhibit also limits its works to those "vanishing" fore-edge paintings from the late 18th century to the 20th century which began in the shop of Edwards of Halifax, a bookbinder. The menu on the left hand side of the website divides the works up into several different types, such as "Highest Quality", "Individual Artists", "The Picturesque", and "Vertical Paintings". Within "The Picturesque" category, are such subcategories of "Castles", "Cities", "Water Scenes", and "Foreign Scenes". In the "Vertical Paintings" category are three paintings, the first of which is not a "vanishing" type of fore-edge painting at all. Visitors should not miss the second painting, not only because it is lovely, but also because it is a Chinese scene from the 1500s, which is radically different from the other European inspired works. [KMG]

Ernest Clayton Collection of California Wild Flowers

Ernest Clayton's watercolors depicting California wildflowers are the subject of this online gallery from the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). There are 200 paintings in the complete collection, created from 1942-1952, and all are owned by the SFPL. The gallery of images can be viewed several ways, the first of which can be accomplished by clicking on "Browse the gallery of selected images", underneath the title of the collection. The two pages of images are composed of thumbnails and the index numbers of the paintings, which can be enlarged simply by clicking on them. Visitors shouldn't miss checking out the painting of the Common Trillium (SFP41-0100), which is rich and lovely. Other ways to view the collection are by the "numerical index", or alphabetically by the "common name" or the "botanical name". The links to the aforementioned sections can be found in blue in the second paragraph of the collection's homepage. [KMG]

Centre for Performance Science: Music and Science Online [pdf]

This website from the Royal College of Music in London and the University of London's Institute of Music Research "aims to facilitate understanding and discourse between those whose work lies at the crossroads of music and science." By registering, visitors can add resources that may have been missed to the site. The website contains numerous resources, including a section on "Conferences" that are upcoming, throughout the world. A comprehensive list of "Societies" is also offered, and each entry links to that society's webpage. A link to a large list of music and science related "Journals" can be found on the right hand side menu. A brief description of the journals is given underneath the journal's title, and the title can be clicked on to be linked to the journal's webpage. The journals range from "Cognition and Musical Arts" to "Medical Problems of Performing Artists" to "Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy". "Research Groups", also found on the right hand side menu of the homepage, shows the geographical locations of the groups, as well as offering a direct link to the webpage of each "Research Group". [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

Drawings by Rembrandt and His Pupils [Flash Player]

This interactive website from the Getty Museum feels almost like a game that teaches players to distinguish the work of the master, Rembrandt, from that of his pupils. Pairs of drawings are presented for viewers to compare, for example, Rembrandt's Daniel in the Lions' Den, 1649, is matched with a drawing of the same subject by Constantijn Daniel van Renesse. Viewers can zoom in or out, for closer examination of the works, and expand and collapse item information. There is even a cheater's button, titled "show point of interest", that will reveal the major differences between the drawings. Clicking this button for the Daniel pair brings up the differing details - the master depicts the lions as ferocious beasts with open jaws and shaggy manes, while the pupil's animals are smaller and less menacing and are drawn with "regular, even" lines. [DS]

Network Tools

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.42

This version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware only takes around eight minutes to complete a scan, and it also supports multiple drive scanning. The application has proved to be capable of determining the difference between false positives and dangerous applications, and users can also set up the program to scan individual files. For visitors who wish to have real-time protection, there is also a paid version which is available. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

Nocturne 1.0.4

Night vision can be a very helpful thing, and it can be quite useful when working on a computer. This tiny application helps Mac users switch their computers to night vision mode, and it contains a few bonus features. These features include the ability to toggle the window shadow and proper color correction, effectively preserving distinctive blues and piercing reds. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

The Second City celebrates 50 years of comedy and theater

Second City celebrates 50 years of funny,0,4273586.column

Fifty Years of Second City

The Second City: 50 Years of Funny [Flash Player]    

Chicago Humanities Festival: The Second City's Museum Pieces

Make 'Em Laugh

Since its formal incorporation in 1837, the city of Chicago has seen it all: two World's Fairs, Al Capone, the Great Fire of 1871, and a series of colorful elected officials, including Michael "Hinky Dink" Kenna and "Bathhouse" John Coughlin. In 1959, another future piece of the city's storied cultural and social fabric was added when the Second City Theater was started in the city's Old Town neighborhood. Since then, it has proved to be a celebrated training ground for actors and comedians of all dispositions, including Alan Arkin, John Belushi, Amy Sedaris, Harold Ramis, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, and Severn Darden. This week, the theater celebrated their 50th anniversary, and a number of alumni and special guests returned for a series of talks, discussions, and of course, some very focused comedy. The theater's inspirations and roots can be traced back to an ensemble known as The Compass Players, which was started in the early 1950s by a group of people associated with the University of Chicago. One of their muses happened to be Viola Spolin, the noted author of several tomes on theatre games, including "Improvisation for the Theatre". [KMG]

The first link leads to an article from this Sunday's Chicago Tribune about Second City, written by Tribune arts critic Chris Jones. The next link leads to an article from the Wall Street Journal on the group, which includes some observations from alumni like Fred Willard and Paul Sand. The third link will whisk users away to a very engaging interactive timeline of the past fifty years of Second City history. Moving on, the fourth link leads to a series of videos from activities at this year's Chicago Humanities Festival. These videos include clips of Second City alumni performing at the Festival, and a panel discussion on improvisational theater. The fifth link leads to a homepage dedicated to SCTV, which was a rather funny sketch show on television that featured Eugene Levy, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, and Martin Short. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the PBS documentary series, "Make 'Em Laugh". Here visitors can learn about the history of American comedy through interviews and video clips from the program. [KMG]

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