The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 8

February 26, 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

Afghanistan Conflict Monitor

Afghanistan Conflict Monitor is a product of the Human Security Report Project, based at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. The website for the Monitor "focuses on a broad set of related issue-areas, including health, development, displacement, governance, gender, small arms, landmines, human rights and transitional justice." On the left hand side of the page, visitors will find a large menu of "Facts & Figures" that includes "Drugs Trade", "Fatality Data: Civilian", "Fatality Data: Military", and "Security Incidents". On the menu section titled "Categories" on the right hand side of the page, visitors can browse more than 100 categories where they can learn about various aspects of each conflict and its consequences. Visitors can click on the category "Alternative Livelihoods" to read an article from November 2009 entitled "Pushing Alternative Crops in Afghan Opium Fight". Other articles going back to 2007 that address the opium/alternative crops situation in Afghanistan are available by scrolling through the pages in that category. The "Related Articles" section that follows the article presents further information from other reputable news outlets. Visitors will definitely be able to gain in-depth knowledge of the Afghan Conflict by spending some time on this website. [KMG]

BioEd Online: Podcasts Plus Lessons[iTunes]

Baylor College of Medicine is responsible for creating this educational online resource for students, teachers, and parents. The podcast feature of the website is a new one and offers "supplementary standards-based educational activities, research information, and links." The currently available podcasts are by produced by scientists from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), and they address such topics as astronauts' sleep, astronauts having to diagnose their own injuries while in space, the hazards of lunar dust, and how astronauts exercise in space. Visitors will find that each podcast has a short version and long version that can be played or downloaded. Each podcast also links to lessons for grades K-12, including ones from NOVA Science, NASA, Neuroscience for Kids, and NSBRI. Visitors will also find that there are numerous activities to supplement each podcast, such as "Additional Activities/Extensions", "Additional Resources" and "National Science Standards" for grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. [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

Throwaway History: The Broadside in American Culture

Although broadsides may seem like a thing of the past, this Tennessee Virtual Archive mentions they are used still to this day, and have broadsides in their collection that are from the 1980s. Visitors should go to the "About the Collection" link to read some background on what broadsides were used for and how they were distributed. The information disseminated via broadsides was varied, including everything from a recruitment announcement to help fight the Creek Indians in Tennessee to a lecture on the perils of school desegregation to a promotion for an African-American radio station--the very one where Oprah Winfrey got her start. Visitors can view the 90 digitized broadsides by clicking on the "View Collection Images" link. A thumbnail of the broadside is given, along with the title, subjects, and description. Visitors can sort the images by the aforementioned categories simply by clicking the desired heading. Visitors should check out the very well-illustrated broadside, "Columbia Gives to Her Son the Accolade of the New Chivalry of Humanity, World War I", which is dedicated to a fallen soldier. The Historical Note in the full record explains when and how broadsides were used to memorialize fallen soldiers. [KMG]

Lewis & Clark College Digital Collections

It's impossible to say what noted explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark would think of any digital collection, but they would be probably be generally pleased to learn of this particular online treasure. Created by library staff at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, this site contains all of the school's completed digital collections. All told, there are over a dozen thematic collections, and they cover East Asian pamphlets, early drawings of Native Americans, and Lewis & Clark College yearbooks. One collection here that should not be missed is the one dedicated to the works of Gordon Gilkey. Gilkey was a printmaker who taught at Lewis & Clark College during the 1930s, and his work included commissions for the 1939 World's Fair in New York and museums around the world. Visitors looking for something specific can also search the entire digital holdings by keyword. [KMG]

Encouraging Critical Thinking Online [pdf]

Students spend a great deal of time online, and teachers may wonder how they can best teach students to use -- or disregard -- the information they find. Created by the Intute organization in the UK, "Encouraging Critical Thinking Online" consists of two teaching units for use in classroom settings. Visitors will note that the exercises can be used individually or consecutively. The resources "encourage students to think carefully and critically about the information sources they use," and the lessons learned are broadly applicable to range of humanities disciplines. Here visitors will find a teacher's guide and the two units that ask students to use the Internet to explore a question with multiple possible answers and also to gauge public opinion on a controversial topic. [KMG]

Envisioning Climate Change Using a Global Climate Model

How do climatologists and others model climate change? It's a good question, and one that students of the physical sciences and members of the general public will find interesting. This particular educational activity is offered as part of the Earth Exploration Toolbook, which is an initiative of the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. This interactive "chapter" from the Toolbook was added in January 2010, and it allows users to "visualize how temperature and snow coverage might change over the next 100 years." After installing some basic software that is included here, visitors will run a "control" climate simulation to establish a baseline for comparison. Visitors then run a second "experimental" simulation to compare and contrast the potential changes in temperature, snow, and ice coverage that might occur due to increased atmospheric greenhouse gases. Visitors can then choose a region of their own interest to examine, and through these activities, will "gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the process and power of climate modeling." The site also contains notes for educators, step-by-step instructions, and a "Going Further" section that contains helpful external links and more. [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

Ecology of Infectious Diseases

With a dramatic image of a bustling city superimposed over a peaceful forest, the National Science Foundation's homepage on the ecology of infectious diseases is quite intriguing. After clicking on the image, visitors will be treated to an overview of this special report that asks: "Is our interaction with the environment somehow responsible for the increases in incidence of these diseases?" The report is divided into five sections, each exploring a different facet of the National Science Foundation's work on this problem. The sections include "Medical Mystery Solved" and "Lyme Disease on the Rise". Each of these sections includes helpful graphics, well-written text, and links to additional sites. Overall, the site will be most useful for science educators and members of the public health community. [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

Everyday Equality [pdf]

The Demos group in Britain works on a number of pressing issues affecting that nation, and their work has resonance and application beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. Recently, they began a series of papers that deal with the state of governance in Britain, and this paper released in February 2010 is well worth a read. The paper was written by Max Wind-Cowie, and the work argues that conservatives in the country should reconsider the issue of resource distribution and inequalities in British society. The paper includes a foreword and three substantial chapters, including "One nation?" and "The conservative approach". The paper concludes by noting, "it is important that the Conservative Party lives up to its increasingly progressive rhetoric and, at least, reduces the inequalities for which the state is responsible." [KMG]

General Interest

Willard Stewart WPA and HABS Photographs of Delaware

Born in 1915, Willard S. Stewart worked for the Federal Writers Project in Delaware as a photographer during the 1930s. Stewart also worked as a project photographer for the Historic American Building Survey (HABS), and he documented a significant portion of the state as part of these two very ambitious projects. The University of Delaware Digital Collections project has created this online archive of his work for use by the general public. The photos document various businesses, factories, streetscapes, farms, and historic buildings throughout Delaware. Visitors can search the collection or just browse the works here by city, subject, or HABS number. A good place to start would be the "Wilmington" images, which include period shots of buildings like the Banning House, WPA art projects, and the Old Swedes Holy Trinity Church. [KMG]

Playing to Win: American Sports & Athletes on Stamps [Flash Player]|eid=411|s1=6|

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum has profiled a wide swath of American life on stamps over the years, and this latest online exhibit from their busy minds looks at American sports and athletes on stamps. The collection was created by Alexander Haimann, and it features dozens of unique and compelling stamps, including the 3-cent stamp issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the creation of baseball by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York. Each page of the site has a different thematic focus, including "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (featuring notable ballparks) and "American Boxing: From Dempsey to Marciano". There is complete information for each stamp, including material on when the stamp was issued. Also, visitors can zoom in and out on each stamp to look for creative details. [KMG]

U.S. Department of State Media Center [iTunes, pdf]    

The U.S. Department of State is responsible for maintaining diplomatic relations with countries around the globe, and also informing the U.S. public about their activities and diplomatic affairs. An important part of this mission is fulfilled through their recently redesigned website. On the homepage visitors can peruse one of nine primary sections, including "Policy Issues", "Democracy & Global Affairs", and "Countries & Regions". Visitors are encouraged to view featured video presentations on the homepage, such as "Internet Freedom and 21st Century Statecraft". Moving along, the "Stay Connected" area includes direct links to the State Department's presence on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. Also, visitors can learn more about the Department of State staff members under the "Who We Are" area. [KMG]

Nano Magazine

Billed as "the magazine for small science," Nano Magazine has an impressive online presence. Published in Britain, the magazine covers all aspects of nanotechnology and its various applications. Along the top of the homepage, visitors will find a "Hot News" area that scrolls important news developments in the field. Visitors can move on to look through the "Latest Issue" area, which contains interviews with experts in nanotechnology, its role in environmental sustainability, and editorial pieces. For professionals working in this area, the site also has a thorough listing of industry and scholarly events and a list of accredited degree programs for those seeking additional formal training. Finally, visitors can browse through the magazine archive, where past thematic issues include "Nanomedicine" and "Cars of the Future". [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 War Memorial: Of Love and War

The Australian War Memorial's online version of their exhibit Of Love and War illustrates how war impacts the availability of potential partners (especially from other countries), courtship, the sense of romantic urgency that war creates, and marriage. A reader's comment on the blog "Wedding Dresses, Part 3" sums up well what this exhibition is about in his comment regarding the display of wedding gowns in the exhibit: "Not the sort of item you usually associate with war, but on reflection at that time many sweethearts got married before the men went off to war and it helps paint a balanced picture of the times." Visitors should explore the themes the exhibit, which are divided up into: "First Glance", "Separation" and "The Future". Each theme has a multitude of sub-themes, including "Romance and Recruitment", "Loneliness" "Farewell and Fears" and "We Regret to Inform You". Visitors shouldn't miss the "Letters" sub-theme under "Separation", as there are several delicately embroidered silk greeting cards that were made in France in World War I. [KMG]

The Radical Designist [pdf]

This online journal is "a journal about Culture, in general, with a Design motto". The Golden-age of Designism, the 1950s through the early 1990s, is the period on which this journal focuses. That period in the Portuguese-speaking countries is of particular emphasis in the journal. Although many of the articles of the four issues on the website are in English, the annual paper publication, The Reader's Designist Magazine, is bilingual. The first issue, which is named "Issue 0" states in "Foreword 0" that those associated with the project "had in mind a journal that could publish different kinds of papers focused on the subject Design, although, outside the well-grounded Design Research Areas." The articles of the first issue do just that, with such entries as "Shakespeare on Design" by Eduardo Crte-Real, "Thingly Cosmopolitanism: Caring for the Other by Design", by Cameron Tonkinwise, and "How to Make our Ideas Obscure, in Art & Design", also by Crte-Real. [KMG]

Looking Glass for the Mind: 350 Years of Books for Children

The University of Washington Digital Collection of children's books starts off with a wonderful piece that touches on the beloved memories children's books bring back for so many, but also on the reasons why a university library would collect children's books. Several of the reasons given regard what children's books can teach us: printing and book illustration history, the "study of the gradual changes in familiar tales to reflect changes in societal acceptance and sensibilities," social and ethnic history, the historical role of women, and shifting views on education. After the homepage is the index to the exhibit with an introduction, a brief history of the first children's book publishers. To the left is the "Index" of topics that the books cover. Visitors will find a multitude, including "Fables", "Grammar, Spelling, Elocution & Rhetoric", "Math & Money", "Activity Books", and "Prejudice & Bigotry". Under the topic "Fables", visitors should check out The Baby's Own Aesop, illustrated by Walter Crane, who began an illustrating apprenticeship at the age of fourteen. [KMG]

Tate Channel [Flash Player]

The Tate Museums in England - Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, as well as the Tates in Liverpool and St. Ives - are experimenting with this Web channel as a method of presenting contextual information about artists and performers beyond what can be seen on the walls of the museum. Media presented through the channel includes "Videos", "Artist interviews", "Talks and symposia", "Work in focus", "Exhibitions", "Performance", and "Films by artists". Visitors can also select from playlists, such as "Editor's picks", "In the galleries", or "Artists' studios". It's all a good example of using the Web to re-shuffle and re-display content in multiple ways to appeal to multiple audiences. In just a few minutes of Tate Channel switching, it's possible to view David Byrne talking about his recent London exhibition (August 2009) "Playing the Building," see and hear comic book artist and singer Jeffrey Lewis sing the stories he has drawn, and watch Jeff Koons' giant silver balloon version of Rabbit inflate to be displayed as part of "Pop Life: Art in a Material World," shown at Tate Modern, October 2009 - January 2010. [DS]

Network Tools 3.2. 0

If you're looking for an alternative to more traditional office suites, you may wish to look at this version of OpenOffice. Their interface is similar to that of other programs, and it contains a spreadsheet application, a word processor, and a presentation manager. OpenOffice also features blog publishing assistance and compatibility with other applications and file types. This version can be used with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer or Windows 2000 or newer. [KMG]

Download Accelerator Plus 9.40.5

Files will download a bit faster for those users who wish to give this version of Download Accelerator a try. The program splits files into smaller pieces, and it also automatically seeks out mirror sites in order to increase download speeds. Visitors can also create a blacklist of sites they never want to accept downloads from, and the program can also preview some media files during the download process. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

The official logo of the Vancouver Winter Olympics gains new fans while also irking some

Vancouver Olympic Logo: A Smiling Marker Of Death?

Michelin Man Meets Stonehenge to Birth an Olympic Rock Star

This stacks up as art -- with a functional side too

Olympic Heights School Inukshuk

History of the Minute: Inukshuk

Canadian Museum of Civilization: Places of Power

The flag of the Nuvanut nation in Canada features a field that is half yellow, half white, decorated with a blue star in the upper right-hand corner. A powerful looking pile of rocks, known as an inukshuk, dominates the middle of the flag. These items are built by the Inuit peoples of the Canadian arctic, and as it is the official logo of the 2010 Winter Olympics, they have been garnering a great deal of attention lately. The logo has found its way onto all types of promotional materials, clothing items, and so on. Many tourists to Vancouver have also been making informal inukshuit (the plural of inukshuk) out of materials along beaches in and around the area. Of course, some have raised questions about the nature of this particular inukshuk. Peter Irniq, who has built many of these symbols over the years, says that the logo looks suspiciously human. Irniq says that an inukshuk would almost never take this form unless it was being used to indicate that someone had committed suicide or murdered someone at that particular location. Regardless, the building of inukshuit continue, and the Vancouver Aquarium recently unveiled a 10-foot high inukshuk made out of 4368 cans of sustainably fished salmon and tuna. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a National Public Radio segment from last week about the inukshuk's different variations. The second link leads visitors to a Wall Street Journal article from February 22 about the traditional and non-traditional forms of the inukshuk. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece from the Los Angeles Times which reports on the inukshuk-building style of one Zdzislaw "Ziggy" Groszek, an unemployed Polish maintenance man. The fourth link leads to a project on the Inuit offered up by the Olympic Heights School in Calgary done in the spirit of intellectual inquiry and in tribute to the Winter Olympics. The fifth link leads to a "History by the Minute" feature from the Canadian government on the inukshuk. Finally, the last link leads to an online exhibit from the Canadian Museum of Civilization that talks about "Places of Power" in Inuit society. [KMG]

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