The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 3

January 22, 2010

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

Notre Dame OpenCourseWare: Border Issues Seminar [iTunes, pdf]

This website features materials from a fascinating online seminar from the University of Notre Dame that addresses the issues surrounding the border between Mexico and the United States. Although much is online, including lectures, assignments and the final project, there is an immersion component in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico for one week. On the left hand side of the page are, among other things, links to the "Syllabus", the list of "Readings", "Lectures" and the "Final Project". There are six downloadable audio lectures available, several of which feature talks by guest speakers. The "Final Project" lists several options for students, and includes two sample projects. Finally, the "Additional Resources" link on the left hand menu has an "Immigration Information Resource Guide" in PDF that was developed for the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. The other categories of additional resources include general resources, "Catholic Social Teaching", "Economics" and "Fact Checking". [KMG]

London Datastore

Data is a type of gold to policy wonks, scholars, and others, and those with an interest in such matters will be delighted to learn about the London Datastore website. The intent of the site is to release all of the Greater London Authority's data, and visitors can get started by clicking on the "Data by Theme" link. Here they will find several dozen data sets organized thematically into headings such as "Business and Economy" and "Demographics". Some of the data sets are quite specific, such as the record of "Ambulance Call Outs to Animal Attack Incidents". A good introduction to the aims and goals of the site can be found in the "About" area. Here visitors can view several short films from the database launch. The site is set up for easy sharing of information via social media; there are links to Facebook, Digg, and Twitter here. Finally, visitors are also encouraged to join the London Datastore Google Group and to send in their own feedback. [KMG]

In Asia: Weekly Insights and Features From Asia

In Asia is the very informative blog of the Asia Foundation, which is a 50-year-old organization that aspires to create a just, prosperous, and peaceful Asia. The blog is published weekly and covers news regarding over 20 Asian countries, from Afghanistan to Vietnam, and with the insights of over 50 experts. On the right side of the page is the table of "Contents", which consists of "In the News", "Notes from the Field", which are features on the Asia Foundation's work, and "This Week". Visitors will find that the "Topics" section, on the right side of the page after a little scrolling, links to specific news by individual country. Some recent articles in the "Notes from the Field" include "Providing Psychosocial Services in Sri Lanka" and "From Cambodia: Survey Marks Improvement in Business Environment". The "Foundation Resources" section on the right side of the page provides reports, data, and surveys. Clicking on any of the links leads to well-organized and comprehensive information, such as "Afghanistan: 2009 Survey of the Afghan People". [KMG]

Palace of the Governors Library and Archives Digital Collection

With such an elegant title as Palace of the Governors, visitors will surely be impressed by this website from the New Mexico History Museum. The digital archives available on this site range from photographs to maps to documents and beyond. The About section on the homepage explains in great detail the holdings of the Collection, which covers 1850 to the present and "focuses on the history and people of New Mexico and the expansion of the West; anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology of Hispanic and Native American cultures; [and] Europe, Latin America, the Far East, Oceana, and the Middle East." Visitors should click on the link "Browse Chavez Library Maps" to see the 39 digitzed maps that include those of 19th century Mexico and the Southwest. The "Browse Chavez Library Graphics" link will take visitors to over 300 images of drawings, many in color, of life as it was seen in the Southwest by European explorers. [KMG]

Wisconsin County Histories

Whether you're interested in Reedsburg, Rhinelander, or Rubicon, the Wisconsin County Histories website will not fail those keen on the history of the Badger State. Created by the Wisconsin Historical Society, this archive provides access to more than 80 standard histories of Wisconsin counties, most of which were published between 1850 and 1920. The majority of the volumes are over several hundred pages long, and they include detailed passages on cities within their respective counties, along with sketches of prominent leaders. Visitors can use the drop-down menu available on the homepage to find specific volumes, or they can also perform a full text search across all of the histories. [KMG]

Google's Kevin McCurley on the Mathematics of Online Search [iTunes]

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) sponsors a slew of terrific talks and events each year, and recently they have begun to place digital versions of these online. This particular talk features observations from Google research scientist Kevin McCurley. In this talk from November 2009, McCurley focuses his presentation on the mathematics used to generate good search results and the more difficult task of coming up with "similar" results. Visitors to this site can read a brief description of the talk, and then listen to the complete lecture. Along the way, McCurley uses some illustrative examples, including discussing the results of a Google search on "mathematics". The site is rounded out by an interview with McCurley conducted by Ivars Peterson. [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

Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse (Beta)

Over the past several years, the National Science Foundation's Office of Integrative Research sponsored a project at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to create an Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse (ESENCe). The Clearinghouse "uses state-of-the-art digital tools to preserve and widely disseminate a variety of materials on ethics and the responsible conduct of research in science and engineering disciplines." On the homepage, visitors can check out the scrolling news updates ("Research Ethics News") culled from around hundreds of different sources, or scroll down the homepage to view an interactive clickable map of related news items from around the world. On the left side of the page, visitors will notice the "Paper of the Day" feature and the "At a Glance" area, which includes the top 10 downloaded items and recent additions to the site. The site is a tremendous resource for scientists, philosophers, and students who wish to stay on top of cutting edge work in these subjects. [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

Utah's Cambrian Life

What was going on in Utah 500 million years ago? Quite a bit, and this website provides an excellent overview of the diverse Cambrian life that flourished in an ancient sea that covered what is now the Beehive State. Interestingly enough, the website was created by the division of invertebrate paleontology at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, and it includes images of a wide array of fossilized materials from this period of geological history. On the left-hand side of the page, visitors will find four primary sections, including "Localities and Geology" and "Online Fossil Exhibits and Collections". The "Localities and Geology" area is a good place to start as it gives an overview (complete with aerial photographs and maps) of the Cambrian period in Utah. The "Online Fossil Exhibits and Collections" area features fossil representative images from groups like mollusks, algae, jellyfish, and lobopods. [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

General Interest

Documenting Our Past: The Teenie Harris Archive Project

For over four decades, Charles "Teenie" Harris spent his time documenting the African-American community of Pittsburgh for the highly influential Pittsburgh Courier newspaper. Harries was out with his camera from the 1930s to the 1970s, and he took photos of Little League games, church groups, and beauty contests, among other activities. Three years after Harris passed away, the Carnegie Museum of Art purchased his archive of nearly 80,000 photographic negatives. As only a few of the negatives are dated, the Museum has asked for help from the public in identifying them. To do so, they have created this online digital archive. "The Project" area is a great place to start, as it contains introductory essays from Harris's son and Associate Professor Larry Glasco of the University of Pittsburgh. The site also contains a biography and a guide to searching the photos in the collection. For persons with an interest in cities and African American history and life, this archive is a real treasure. [KMG]

Independent Lens: Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings

People may generally be familiar with the struggle for civil rights, but how many know about the racial injustices committed against entire black communities in Harrison, Arkansas or Pierce City, Missouri one hundred years ago? This thoughtful and troubling documentary on the forced removal of black residents was produced as part of the Independent Lens series on PBS. Visitors to the site can watch the documentary in its entirety, though it's helpful to look at the sections titled "The Families" and "The Places" to get a bit of context for understanding the film. In "The Places" area, visitors can explore the thirteen counties in the eight states which banished their black residents. For additional information about what might be done today to compensate the descendants of these persons, visitors can click on the "Reparations" section. [KMG]

URBZ: User Generated Cities

The User Generated Cities organization (URBZ) "facilitates the production and exchange of information, knowledge, ideas and practices towards better cities for all." With offices in Mumbai and Geneva, URBZ deploys a variety of web-based tools "for the production and sharing of information by residents and stakeholders." On their homepage, visitors can read postings from staff members on the construction of multi-story buildings in the developing world and sustainable architecture design charrettes. Moving on, visitors can learn more about URBZ by clicking on the "Workshops" section. Here they will find diagrams and explanations of URBZ's design philosophy and their work with local communities. Interested parties can also sign up here to receive email updates and to learn more about their upcoming events. [KMG]

World Bank: News & Broadcast [iTunes, pdf]

From logistics to international development, the World Bank's News & Broadcast website is worth bookmarking, particularly for public policy types, international affairs scholars, and anyone with a penchant for global matters. The homepage presents a "Latest News" area, complete with icons which indicate whether there is video or audio associated with each item. Not only is it a good way to learn about the World Bank's activities, it is another way to stay on top of economic development strategies, political unrest, and foreign investment patterns. Visitors to the site can search all of the media available here, look over the World Bank's YouTube channel, and sign up for their RSS feed. Those persons looking for specific types of information can move over to the left-hand side of the page where they will find a dozen categories, including "Speeches", "Commentaries", and "Issue Briefs". [KMG]

Ernest Bloch Legacy

Born in 1880 in Geneva, Ernest Bloch was a composer influenced by Richard Strauss and the Impressionist movement in art. This tendency found expression in many of his works, including his opera Macbeth and Schelomo, a work for cello and orchestra. Later in life, Bloch moved to the coast of Oregon, so it's not surprising that the Ernest Bloch Legacy organization is based out in the town of Newport. The organization's website is a treasure trove of material on Bloch's life and work, and visitors can wind their way through over a dozen topical sections, including "Collections", "Compositions", "Discography", and "Bloch in the USA". Visitors shouldn't miss the "Articles" area, which features specially written pieces on Bloch's composition style, his interest in humanism, and other facets of his life. The "Discography" is a great place for anyone hoping to find out the details of his oeuvre and recordings. [KMG]

She's Game: Women Making Australian Sporting History

The Australian Women's Archives Project has successfully challenged the dearth of coverage of Australian women athletes, from the past to the present, by creating this website. Visitors should definitely read the "Introduction" to gain a better understanding of why women's sports coverage is lacking or buried deeply in the sports section. The "Stories" section of the site should be required reading for all young girls interested in sports, whether Australian or Argentinian. There are over one dozen stories of Australian women athletes, from as far back as 1916 to the present. There are also several women's teams whose stories are presented. The "Medalists" section includes not only gold medalists at the Commonwealth or Empire Games, but by clicking on the "Switch to Olympic Medalists and Participants" link on the top left or bottom of the page, visitors can see that Australian women were taking medals in swimming as early as the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. [KMG]

Daphne Dare Collection

Daphne Dare worked behind the scenes, but her work was always on stage. Dare was a British costume designer for plays, movies, and TV and was involved in more than 60 productions. She even designed costumes and monsters for the first two years of Dr. Who. The Ohio Digital Resource Commons hosts the digitized collection of over 1100 images of Dare's costumes and set designs. Visitors should read the introduction about Dare on the homepage to see the depth and breadth of her work, which spanned from the late 1950s to the mid 1990s. At the bottom of the homepage, visitors should click on "See all records" to browse the collection. The browsing feature at the top of the page allows for visitors to view the entries by "Titles" "Issue Date" or "Series". Visitors should not miss the drawing "Costume and Set Design for Zorba: 'Men'" which looks like an artwork in itself. [KMG]

Exploratorium 40th Anniversary: Speaking of Music Rewind Podcasts [iTunes]

The Exploratorium is in San Francisco's Palace of the Fine Arts, and contains science, art, and human perception exhibits. It has long promoted museums, including its own, as informal learning centers. The 40th anniversary of the Exploratorium is, in part, being honored with monthly podcasts of the radio series Speaking of Music, that ran from 1983-1992. Prominent musicians were interviewed in front of a live audience, and some of the musicians even played some music on the show. The podcasts are called Speaking of Music Rewind and a new one will come out monthly until November 2010. The website has "Upcoming", "Recent", and "Featured" sections of podcasts from which to choose. Some of the prominent artists that were guests on the show include, Brian Eno, Phillip Glass, and Laurie Anderson. These podcasts can be found in the "Recent" section. In order to "browse full archive", simply click the link at the bottom the homepage. [KMG]

Network Tools

Transmute 1.67

As January turns into February, some people may be in the market for a new web browser. Of course, some may be wondering: What do I do about my bookmarks? That's easy enough to solve by making use of Transmute 1.67. This tiny program transfers bookmarks from one browser to another. The program is compatible with seven different browsers, including Google Chrome, Opera, and Chromium. The program provides automatic backups and the support site includes screen shots and support suggestions. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer. [KMG]

STOIK Imagic 5.0.4

Persons looking for a free graphics editor to brush up their New Year's celebration videos and photos should give STOIK Imagic 5.0.4. their full consideration. The application gives users the ability to preview and organize images, and it also indexes video files into a variety of collapsible folders that can be manipulated in numerous ways. The video editor allows users to mix various media files and transform sounds to create their own artistic (or more pragmatic) vision. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP or Vista. [KMG]

In The News

More than a century after his creation, Sherlock Holmes faces a new set of challenges

For the Heirs to Holmes, a Tangled Web [Free registration may be required]

British tourism hopes to cash in on Sherlock Holmes

The Official Web Site of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate

The Sherlock Holmes Museum of Baker Street

Works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London: Radio Programs [iTunes]

For years, Sherlock Holmes moved swiftly through the moors of England's West Country and the gas-lit streets of London, pushed along through the mind and literary sensibilities of A. Conan Doyle. Since Doyle's passing in 1930, Sherlock Holmes has popped up in various creative ventures, including films, comic books, radio plays, and video games. It appears that despite being 123 years old, Holmes may have encountered a type of Moriarty in the form of a complicated legal battle over rights to works derived from his original adventures. This week, the New York Times reported on an ongoing battle over the rights to Conan Doyle's literary properties that spans generations (and a stint under the direction of the Royal Bank of Scotland), and not surprisingly, the Atlantic Ocean. In brief, the guardianship of Conan Doyle's properties was handed down to the three children he had with his second wife, and after they had all passed away, the rights transferred to a charity, which sold them back to other Doyle heirs. But a wrinkle appeared in the form of one Andrea Plunket, who has claimed that because her family had purchased the Conan Doyle properties in the 1970s, and as such, she asserts that she is the administrator of the estate. Jon Lellenberg, the American literary agent for the Conan Doyle estate has commented that it is "enough to make lawyers' eyes roll up in their heads. Even British lawyers." Lellenberg also remarked that Sherlock Holmes will be under copyright protection in the United States through 2023, and that any new projects or ventures involving the famed crime solver would always need to be officially licensed by the estate. [KMG]

The first link leads to a piece from the New York Times on the ongoing situation regarding the literary estate of Conan Doyle. The second link will take users to an interesting article from CNN about the attempts to lift British tourism via the success of the recent Sherlock Holmes film. The third link will lead visitors to the official website of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate. One noteworthy highlight here is the very detailed biography of Conan Doyle. The fourth link will lead users to the homepage of the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London. The fifth link takes interested parties to a nice trove of online editions of Conan Doyle's most celebrated works, including "A Study in Scarlet", "The Lost World", and "The Valley of Fear". Finally, the last link leads to a clutch of Sherlock Holmes radio adaptations performed by the Old Court Radio Theatre Company. [KMG]

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