The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 5

February 5, 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

Cool Science [Flash Player]

Science is quite cool, but you don't need to tell this to the dedicated team at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Their website, Cool Science, entertains questions of all kinds, encourages young scientists to "get their hands dirty", and also provides educators with a range of resources, including interactive media features, lesson plans, and lab exercises. These materials are contained with six primary sections: "For Educators", "Biointeractive", "For Curious Kids", and "Ask A Scientist". Educators of all stripes can use the "For Educators" area to focus in on resources organized by type, topic, grade level, and also to sign up for the resources RSS feed. Moving on, the "Biointeractive" area features archived video lectures, virtual labs, and another series of animations on stem cells, cancer, and immunology. There's a great deal to explore here, and it's a site that anyone with an interest in science will want to share with others. [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

Wildlife Conservation Research Unit [pdf, Flash Player]

Oxford University has a very important website dedicated to its Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), that hopes to solve the "conflict between peoples' futures and wildlife conservation." There are several themes on the website, all of which can be found on the left hand menu. Visitors will find the following topics to explore: "Endangered Species", "Invasives", "Land Use & Biodiversity", "Fundamental Biology", "Wildlife Diseases", and "Wildlife as a Resource". The "Publications" link at the top right side of the page contains "Books", "Papers", "Reports", and "Theses" available to read online or find in a physical library. A multitude of animal issues are discussed in the documents here, including a paper called "The World Can't Have Wild Tigers and Eat Them, Too" and "State of Britain's Mammals 2008". The "Research" link near the top of the page, includes the dozens of research projects WildCRU is involved in, such as "Badger Genetic Research", "Transfrontier Conservation of Andean Cats" and "Towards Reducing the Total Environmental Impacts of Agriculture." [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

World Report 2010: Human Rights Watch [pdf, Flash Player]

Human Rights Watch is an organization whose goal is the following: "focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes." Every year over the past twenty years Human Rights Watch has published their World Report, which is an evaluation of more than 90 countries' human rights conditions. The staff of Human Rights Watch works closely with the human rights activists in each country, so as to get an accurate picture. The interactive map on the lower half of the homepage allows visitors to scroll over the map, which will highlight a country, and a dialogue box will open to reveal the country highlighted, and a link to read the chapter from the current World Report, reports from the prior year, and a multimedia feature on the selected country. As a note, only the blue colored countries have had human rights data collected on their human rights condition. [KMG]

Colorado State University Extension [pdf]

State university extension services have been helping farmers since the 1930s, as well as anyone who might need some help tending their gardens, canning vegetables, keeping a house in good repair, and a family in good health. Extension services still perform those functions, plus new ones. They have stepped up their knowledge of technology and reasserted their emphasis on conservation practices. The Colorado State University Extension Services website has materials on all these classic categories. Visitors should check out the left side menu, to see links to such topics as "Yard & Garden", "Nutrition, Health and Food Safety", and "4-H Youth Development", but there are also links to "Clean & Renewable Energy" and "Water". The "News & Events" links in the bottom right hand corner of the homepage gives dates for a lecture on "Introduction to Wind Energy" and also provides "H1N1 Resources". The "Multimedia Zone", on the right side of the page should not be missed. PlantTalk Colorado is one standout here, and it provides "reliable, timely information on more than 400 gardening and home landscaping topics." [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

The Frank A. Matsura Image Collection

After coming to the United States from Japan in 1905, Frank S. Matsura stopped in Seattle and then moved across the Cascades to the city of Okanogan, WA. As a photographer, he was involved in his own practice and in documenting the changes in the environment as the city expanded and the Conconully Dam was built nearby. Matsura was a very active member of the community, and he created a playground for local children and he was fond of dressing up in strange hats and costumes. This delightful digital archive of his work was created by the Washington State University Libraries Digital Collections, and it contains almost 1600 of his photographs. Users can look through the "Predefined Searches" section for a few highlights organized into areas like "automobiles", "children", and "Native Americans". Overall, the site offers a rather unique glimpse into early 20th century life in rural eastern Washington. [KMG]

UNM Live [iTunes]

If you can't make it to the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque, why not tune in to their events online? This is now possible, courtesy of the UNM Live website. The function of this site is to bring "educational resources to a wider audience", and their focus is quite catholic, with talks on student aid, podcasts on anthropology, and so on. Visitors can learn about the initiative via the "About UNM Live" section of the site, and for more general information, they can look over the "What is a podcast? How do I subscribe?" area. First-time visitors should start by listening to Professor Jerry Shea talk about the Swahili terms "Sasa" and "Zamani" for a good introduction to the site. The social networking media options are quite easy to use, and visitors can recommend various media clips and programs to friends and others. Also, visitors can use the "Categories" area to look for materials related to campus life, arts, business, education, and current affairs. [KMG]

Biofuels Information Exchange [pdf]

As biofuels grow in importance, there is more interest in finding places where professionals, scientists, and policymakers with a passion for the subject can come together and exchange ideas. CABI, a non-profit science-based development and information organization, has created this website to allow just that to happen. What can you do on the site? Well, for starters you can peruse the "What's in the News" area to learn about timely reports from different news outlets and scholarly sources regarding biofuels technology. Dedicated users should sign up on the site so that they can create their own group to discuss shared interests with other colleagues on the site and so that they may create a profile. The site also has a blog, a section dedicated to relevant publications, and a RSS feed of activities from registered users. [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

Running Barefoot [pdf]

How and why do humans run comfortably without modern running shoes? This is a good question, and it is a question that is under investigation by the talented folks at the Skeletal Biology Lab at Harvard University. The collaborators here include Daniel E. Lieberman, Madhusudhan Venkadesan, Adam I. Daoud, and William A. Werbel. Much of their research looks into the world of foot strikes. Specifically, this refers to the area where the foot lands when running in barefeet (or minimal footwear) as compared to when using modern running shoes. First time visitors should check out the "Why consider foot strike" section, which also contains a video and an annotated explanation of this research. Moving on, the "Foot Strikes & Running Shoes" area provides some information on how modern running shoes tend to create a heel strike among most runners. The "Biomechanics & Videos" area offers some information on why different foot strikes matter along with some helpful instructional videos. The site is rounded out by the "Running Barefoot & Training Tips" area. Here visitors can learn about some basic training tips and the potential disadvantages of running without footwear. [KMG]

General Interest

Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century [iTunes]

Before the days of the Internet, television, and the wireless radio, there was the Chautauqua. These massive meetings promised "uplift and education", and their heyday in the United States was from the late nineteenth century to the end of World War I. They went from state to state, and during a gathering, interested and curious patrons might see a play, listen to a Metropolitan Opera star, check out a glee club, and listen to a political pundit speak. Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt praised these gatherings, while philosopher and writer William James found it "depressing from its mediocrity." This collection from the University of Iowa Libraries brings together promotional materials, musical and spoken word recordings, and programs from the Records of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau. The Bureau was the largest booking agency for circuit Chautauqua, and visitors should start their visit here by reading the essay "What was Chautauqua". Afterwards, visitors can look over the sample searches they have provided here, or take a look at the finding aids. To get a sense of what it might have "sounded" like at one of these confabs, listen to Corinne Morgan sing "Old Folks at Home" or take in Princess Watahwaso's version of "By the Weeping Waters". [KMG]

U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library

Over its long history, the U.S. Geological Survey has taken many, many, photographs. In the course of their various geological studies and explorations, persons in their employ have documented volcanic explosions, mining projects, and dams. This website contains 30,000 photographs from 1868 to the present, and many of these images have never been published in any form. New users can get started by clicking one of the subject areas on the left-hand side of the homepage. These areas include "Earthquakes", "Mines, Mills, Quarries", and "Mount St. Helens". Visitors can also perform basic keyword searches, and they might wish to try out words like "dolomite", "karst", or "Colorado". Also, the site has an excellent "Portrait Gallery", which contains images of famed geological pioneers, such as Chares Van Hise. [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

Underground Rivers [pdf]

Professor Emeritus Richard J. Heggen of the University of New Mexico has a deep and abiding interest in underground rivers. As a professor civil engineering, he has performed many intricate studies of such systems, and from a diverse set of perspectives which include the humanities, natural history, philosophy, and of course, geology. In the introduction to this fascinating book, Heggen notes that "hydrology is more than science; it's the study of our relationship to water. We draw water to live, of course, but we as well draw upon water for intellectual sustenance." The book is presented into separate parts, and all told, it contains 25 chapters. Chapters in the book include "Greek Mythology", "Subterranean Engines", "Waters of the Hollow Earth", and "Groundwater Science". It is a fine read, and one that will complement any formal study of such matters. [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

Cultural Correspondence [pdf]

In the early 1970s, Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner began to think about creating a new and unique journal. They were both veterans of the journal Radical America, and they were both interested in popular culture. As August 1975 came around, they published the first issue of "Cultural Correspondence", a journal intended to serve as a critical review of popular culture. As the journal was published in Providence, it's not surprising to learn that the Brown University Library Center for Digital Initiatives (CDL) has created this most engaging archive of this publication. Visitors to the site can read the entire contents of each issue, browse around as they see fit, and also check out their virtual "Magazine Stand". First-time visitors may wish to start out by reading the Spring 1977 issue titled "Television". [KMG]

The Aleppo Codex Online [Flash Player]

As the oldest complete Hebrew Bible in existence, the Aleppo Codex is a sacred text for a number of key reasons. The Codex was written in the year 930 CE and it made its way through a number of places in the Near East before arriving in Israel in 1958. In the past few years, the Ben-Zvi Institute (working with funds provided by George S. Blumenthal) has digitized this remarkable document. On the homepage, visitors can read a brief introduction to the Codex, and also read articles that include "Testimonies on the Text" and "The Bible and Its Transmission". Visitors who click on the "View Aleppo Codex" button on the homepage can choose a book and chapter to view, and they also can zoom in and out around the page as they wish. The materials on the site are also available in Hebrew, and visitors can also contact the Institute with any queries they might have. [KMG]

The Gertrude and Robert Metcalf Collection of Images of Stained Glass

The Index of Christian Art at Princeton University is where the Gertrude and Robert Metcalf Collection of 11,000 Kodak slides of stained glass from Europe resides, and thousands of the slides have been digitized for the benefit of the scholarly community and the interested public. The Metcalf were scholars who had the foresight to travel to Europe at the start of World War II to attempt to capture images of stained glass before they could be moved for safe keeping, and in some cases, these works were later destroyed due to war-time activities. Visitors can start looking at the thousands of images by searching by country: "Austria", "England", "France", "Germany", or "Switzerland". Visitors can "Browse Entire Collection" or "Browse Collection by Country", and both links are located at the bottom of the homepage. The slides capture the enormity of the windows as well as the cathedrals and churches in which they are located. Some of the buildings have dozens of slides that were taken of them, whereas others have as few as one. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Amiens, France section offers a very impressive array of slides of the stained glass, as well as some of the architectural features of the building. [KMG]

Nature Online Video Streaming Archive

Nature is an international, interdisciplinary, weekly peer-reviewed journal of science that has an impressive website that conveys its information in written, audio or video formats. The video offerings here "feature interviews with scientists behind the research and analysis from Nature editors." Nature also has a YouTube channel that can be used to "upload and share our videos across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs and email." Visitors will note that most, but not all, of the videos in the video archive have "free access" next to the title of the video. Some of the pay videos are available via iTunes. When visitors click on a video in the video archive, they will find that they can choose to watch the video in high or low quality and they can download the required Flash Plugin, if needed. Additionally, visitors will find a section entitled "Background Information", which gives links to Nature podcasts and articles about the research presented in the video. [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

Whitney Museum of American Art: Watch & Listen

As 2010, the Whitney Biennial, approaches, the museum has mounted Watch & Listen, a collection of both current and archival online audio and video. There is a wide selection of material to browse, including previews of 2010, such as Ari Marcopoulos: FIFA 10 - a movie showing one of the 2010 curators, Gary Carrion-Murayari, visiting Marcopoulos at home, where they play FIFA 10, while ambient noise plays in the background. Other materials include a video of artist Aki Sasamoto talking about the ways in which Japanese fishcakes and donuts inspire her art, filmed at a Brooklyn coffee shop, Building on Bond and curators Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari announcing the artist list. Videos not related to the Biennial include interviews with photographer William Eggleston on the opening of his retrospective Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008, conducted between late 2008 and early 2009; and footage of recent events and performances at the Whitney Museum. [DS]

Network Tools

SlimBrowser 4.12

For a trimmed down browsing experience, visitors will want to give this latest version of SlimBrowser a try. This version has a few helpful new features, including several bug fixes, support for search suggestions prompts, and a number of new shortcut keys. The version still includes popular features such as a built-in popup monitor, URL alias, and a scroll button. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

CCleaner 2.28.1091

Getting rid of obnoxious programs on a computer can be an onerous chore, but CCleaner can help with that. The application effectively cleans up tracks left by Internet Explorer, Firefox, and a number of other Window systems areas. It also contains a registry cleaner, and visitors can learn about all of the features on their handy homepage. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

As more cities go "green", New York issues a new set of environmentally friendly recommendations

Panel suggests 100 Ways Buildings Can Be Greener [Free registration may be required]

HUD Announces the first Recovery Act Green Retrofit Grant for Multi-Family Housing

Urban Green Council [pdf]

Cities Go Green

U.S. Green Building Council: LEED

Charlottesville: A Green City

Designing buildings in a sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion continues to be an important issue for urban planners, architects, and public officials. With that in mind, a panel of experts convened by the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg of New York issued a set of substantive recommendations on how to make Gotham City's building codes more environmentally sound. Many cities have taken part in such initiatives over the past decade or so, and these recommendations included a set of rules for insulating skyscrapers and also placing temperature controls in individual apartments. Of course, this will most likely increase the cost of building renovations or new construction, and it is anticipated that there will be a significant outcry from various trade organizations and construction companies. Before starting this process, the city made sure that members of these industries were represented on the panel. The mayor and others have commented that these recommendations are crucial in terms of reducing the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a news article from this Monday's New York Times about the recommendations of this panel. The second link leads to a related press release from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) about an initiative to retrofit multi-family housing through the Green Retrofit Program. Moving on, the third link whisks visitors to the homepage of New York City's Green Codes Task Force Proposal. Here visitors can learn about their various proposals and code suggestions. The fourth link leads to the very helpful CitiesGoGreen website, where visitors can learn about different sustainability solutions for persons working in local government. The fifth link leads to a site provided by the U.S. Green Building Council, which provides information about the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. The last link leads to the city of Charlottesville's official "green" homepage. It's a great place to learn about their green initiatives and related matters.

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