The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 9

March 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

Central Florida Memory

The Central Florida Memory project was started in 2002 by The University of Central Florida Library, The Orange County Regional History Center, and The Orange County Library System. The intent of the project is "to provide an online platform and focal point for gathering, preserving, and disseminating the documents, artifacts, and stories of the history of Central Florida." Over the past few years, the project has been awarded with additional funding grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Currently, the project site contains over 80,000 images, along with maps, plans, and other documents. Visitors to the homepage will find three primary sections of note: "Collection", "Share", and "Learn". In the "Collection" area, visitors can make their way through postcards, maps, and the "most recent" additions to the site. For people looking for a more organized experience, there's the "Learn" area. Here they can find thematic collections like "Dreams and Schemes", "Roads, Rivers and Rails", and "Critters, Crackers and Cottages". For those looking for a sample search, words like "Deland", "Stetson University", "Orlando", and "pineapple" will return a host of compelling items. [KMG]

National Museum of American History: Stories of Freedom and Justice [iTunes]

In 1960, a group of four African American men sat at the lunch counter in the Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina and refused to leave when asked. It was an important moment in the growing civil rights movement, and it is the event which serves as the inspiration for this site created by the National Museum of American History. The theme of the site is "Freedom and Justice", and the site contains a frequently updated blog, webcasts, news updates, and an event calendar. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the Greensboro Sit-Ins may wish to look at a collection of images from that fateful day. In the webcasts area, visitors can watch archived programs like "Lincoln, Race and the American Presidency" and "Portrait of Invention: A Conversation with Lester Brown". In the "Learning Resources" area educators can take advantage of a 22-minute instructional video and several lesson plans and activities. [KMG]

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Gender and Land Rights Database [pdf]

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has created this helpful database for policy makers, government officials, and others interested in the relationship between gender and land rights. The database contains country level information on "social, economic, political and cultural issues related to the gender inequalities embedded in those rights." As their homepage notes, "disparity on land access is one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas." Visitors will note that the database contains information on six categories, including women's property and use rights in the nation's civil code, customary law, land tenure, and civil society organizations which work on such matters. On the site, visitors can view full country reports, compare two or more countries, or create reports on one distinct category. Also, visitors can perform a full text search across all of the reports. [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

Education & Learning: Asia Society [pdf]

The Asia Society works on a number of issues related to the relationship between Asia and the world. Their Education & Learning website is a top-notch resource for people who'd like to incorporate the study of Asian languages and other materials into their classrooms. A good place to start exploring the site is the "World Languages" section. Here visitors can learn about how to start a Chinese language program at their own school, read reports on language education in the United States, and also view videos that offer instructional resources on language education. Moving on, the "Learning from the World" area contains reports on best practices from high-achieving nations and international benchmarking of investments in education. The site also features a "For Students" area, which includes interactive games and quizzes which use pictographs, maps, and videos to teach students about global pandemics, early human writings, and so on. [KMG]

Bringing food chemistry to life

Blogging about food is very common, but blogging about food chemistry is less so. Professor Andrew Ross has the culinary and scientific chops to comment on such matters, as he teaches food science at Oregon State University and he was also recently trained in artisan-style baking techniques at the San Francisco Baking Institute. This blog started as a web-based resource for his students, and it has grown by leaps and bounds since then. Visitors can scroll through some of the recent entries to get a flavor of Ross's work, and they can also use the tags area to focus in on offerings that deal with enzymes, pizza, barley, bread, coffee, and antioxidants. Posts frequently include images, chemical equations, links to related scholarly works, and other musings. [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

Exploratorium: Science Snacks

The California Department of Education and the foundation of the electronics firm, NEC, developed this great website that has snack-sized versions of many of the experiments at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art and human perception, and the Science Snacks website has more than 50 experiments for kids, and curious adults, to learn more about the world. The experiments are listed in alphabetical order, and have a one-sentence description of them next to their name. But, the descriptions sometimes intrigue more than elucidate, as in "Wiggle where you're at," which is an experiment about "Proprioception." "The Condiment Diver," is an experiment showing "The world's simplest Cartesian diver." Teachers interested in having an actual book of snack-sized experiments should check out the link to the latest "Snackbook," called Square Wheels, at the top of the homepage. There are several sample pages from the book that can be viewed as PDFs, as well as a link to buy it from their online store. [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

British Museum: A catalogue of the Russian icons in the British Museum

The British Museum has been beefing up their online research catalog offerings as of late, and this particular work contains 72 of the Museum's Russian icons. To gain a sense of the context and history of this collection, visitors can start by reading the short "Preface". After this, a basic understanding of the Russian icon and its purpose can be found in the "Meaning and history of icons" essay. One sentence in that piece sums things up nicely, as it notes "at all times the icon remained an image of the eternal, a just and wonderful divine world, beckoning to itself all those who find within themselves the spiritual strength to perceive this world with their interior gaze." Moving on, "The British Museum Collection" area provides some perspective on the Museum's collecting philosophy for such works, along with some novel images of the icons. Finally, clicking on the "All objects" area will reveal thumbnail sketches of all the icons. Visitors should not miss "St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker" from the mid-16th century or "Sophia-Divine Wisdom". [KMG]

Project for Excellence in Journalism: Analysis: Our Studies [pdf]    

The Pew Research Center's Project For Excellence takes a broad view of news coverage, and this website contains their timely and empirical research studies. Visitors will find that the reports can be viewed by date, media sector, industry trend, or by a combination of sector and trend. The reports provide in-depth answers to questions like "How has the Internet and mobile technology changed the way people consume news?" and "What role do new media, blogs and specialty news sites play in the news cycle?" The reports date back to February 1998, and journalists and others who study the media will find materials to use in their own work or to share with friends and students. [KMG]

General Interest

The Ohio Channel: Remarkable Ohio: Marking Ohio's History [Windows Media Player, Real Player, Flash Player]

Many states have a historical markers program, and Ohio is one of them. The Ohio Historical Society created this delightful website in conjunction with Ohio Government Telecommunications, and it offers up information on the 1300 plus markers around the state. Visitors to the page will find a section titled "About the Markers" which talks about the purpose of this initiative. That's actually a good place to start, and then users can move along to the "Today's Featured Markers" to get a sense of the markers around the state. For each of the markers, visitors can read the inscription, find its exact location, and learn about the marker's sponsoring institution or organization. Users can browse the historical markers by county, propose a marker, and even create a list of markers of interest for future reference and consultation. Historical marker fans can also submit their own photographs of Ohio's markers for inclusion on the site. [KMG]

NYPL Digital Gallery: Turn of the Century Posters

Anna Palmer Draper collected hundreds of posters during her lifetime, and when she passed away in 1914, her will indicated that they would go to the New York Public Library. They did, and in the 1930s and 1940s Library staff members mounted the posters on card stock and bound them into large volumes, alphabetically by artist. Many of them are now available on this site, and they represent a broad pastiche of magazine, book, and newspaper posters from the 1890s into the early 20th century. Visitors can search through the collection headings, which include "Posters by Will Bradley", "American book posters", and "Newspaper posters". One good place to start here is the "Commercial Posters" area. Here visitors will find exquisite advertisements for Blue Seal birch beer, Sterling bicycles, and Arrow shirts for men. Students of illustration, design, and art history will find much to admire and enjoy here. [KMG]

Ordnance Survey: History of Maps [pdf]

The Ordnance Survey started life in Britain in the late eighteenth century, and its original purpose was military in nature. It traces its origins to 1746 when King George II commissioned a military survey of the Scottish highlands. Almost fifty years later, the Board of Ordnance (the defense ministry at the time) began a survey of England's southern coasts, which were vulnerable to attack from nations on the Continent. On this site, visitors can learn more about the history of the Survey via an interactive time line and the engaging essay that's on this site. The real gems here are the two full-length books that visitors can read at their leisure. They are "A History of the Ordnance Survey" by W.A. Seymour and "Ordnance Survey: Map Makers to Britain since 1791". Both works deal with the political and military implications of the Survey, along with providing information on the more technical aspects of surveying work. [KMG]

American RadioWorks: Rising by Degrees [iTunes]

As Latinos continue to be the fastest growing segment of the US population, more and more of them are attending college. One concern is that they are also the least likely to graduate from college. This latest documentary from the American RadioWorks group explores the challenges and opportunities faced by Latino students seeking a college degree in the 21st century. Visitors can listen to the radio documentary program in its entirety, read the transcript, or download the program to listen to while on the go. On the program's homepage, visitors can also look through mini-profiles of current students, former students, and those in student support. Each profile talks a bit about each person's experience in higher education, and they are a nice way for people who might have less time to get acquainted with the program. [KMG]

HotDocs Doc Library [Flash Player]

To find compelling documentaries from Canadians of all backgrounds and perspectives, one need go no further than the HotDocs Doc Library website. The library is entirely free, and visitors can get started by clicking on one of the four "communities" areas on the homepage. They include "YouthZone", "Educators", "Most Popular", and "Playlists". In the "YouthZone", visitors can view films by and for young filmmakers, such as the social critique found in "Everywhere, Advertisements" and a film on the high price of organic goods titled "Organic Matters". Teachers will appreciate the "Educators" area, which, along with various documentaries, also contains some study exercises titled "Why are Documentaries Worth Watching?" and "What Should We Look for in a Documentary?" Additionally, visitors can just go ahead and use the "Browse" area to look through over 200 films. [KMG]

Nickel Weeklies

A century or so, a nickel could buy a lot of entertainment. One such form of entertainment was the nickel weekly, which featured tales of detectives, Wild West characters, and evil villains. Bowling Green State University has created this thoroughly delightful digital collection of nickel weeklies for consumption by the general public. This collection includes 221 nickel weeklies, and visitors can browse these offerings by title, date, or author. Visitors can zoom in on the cover page of each weekly, or they may also download each title and view them at another more convenient moment. Users looking for a place to start might do well to look over "Adventures of Buffalo Bill from boyhood to manhood" by Colonel Prentiss Ingraham or "California Claude, the love bandit" by Captain Howard Holmes. [KMG] just may make it easier for actors to break into the business. However, this website is not just a place to find acting parts as it also offers a database of monologues and scenes. Visitors can search for different types of monologues, by clicking on "Monologues and Scenes" on the menu at the top of the page. The monologues can be browsed by whether the role is for a man or woman, or whether it's comic, dramatic, or serio-comic. The search function gives a few more options by which to search, such as where it's from, "Film", "Play", "Television" or "Book"; or time period, such as "Ancient Greek", "17th Century" or "Contemporary". In order to "Upload" the "Scene" or "Monologue", visitors must sign in (it's free) and then they can upload summaries, comments, and videos for any scene or monologue they desire. The "Casting Calls" link at the top of the page allows visitors to view casting calls or to post one. The casting calls listed are in the "United States", the "U.K.", "Australia", and "Canada". Detailed contact pages are given for each casting call. [KMG]

New Mexico Museum of Art [Flash Player, pdf]

Renamed in 2007, the New Mexico Museum of Art (NMMoA) has built a collection of more than 20,000 works of art in its 1917 Pueblo style building in Santa Fe. The building, designed by Chicago architects Rapp & Rapp, is often credited with establishing the Pueblo Spanish Revival style of architecture, prevalent in Santa Fe. The Museum's collecting focus has always been art of the Southwest in general and New Mexico in particular, by artists who have worked, lived, or been influenced by travel through the area. The museum's website highlights several strong collection areas, including political outlooks, landscape, defining New Mexico, aesthetic fusions, and famous New Mexico artists. The Southwest is widely known as an area of great natural beauty, inspiring artists from all over the world. A variety of cultures have collided and commingled in New Mexico; Native Americans, settlers of European descent, more recently established landowners and tourists - and this cultural heritage is all apparent in the NMMoA collection. [DS]

Network Tools

CrossLoop 2.71

If you're working on a project or you need to share timely information, you might want to check out CrossLoop 2.71. After installing this program, visitors can share a 12-digit access code with others to allow them to access their desktop. It's a good way to collaborate on a group presentation, share data, and there are a myriad of other uses. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 or later and Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

Darq Software Transmute 2.03

If you want to move around your bookmarks to a new and improved browser, Transmute 2.03 might be just the application for you. The user interface is quite elegant, and visitors just need to select the browsers they're transferring the bookmarks to and from, and the program makes it happen. The program supports a number of browsers, including Opera, Chrome, and Safari. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

After some soul searching, and a bit of controversy, Ole Miss considers a new mascot

Admiral Ackbar for Ole Miss mascot spurs backlash

Lucasfilm Addresses Admiral Ackbar's Mascot Prospects

Ackbar the best choice for new Rebel mascot

Letter to the Editor: Introducing Admiral Ackbar

Admiral Ackbar for Ole Miss Mascot

University of Mississippi Library: Digital Collections

College mascots have come under close scrutiny over the past several decades, and a number of institutions have changed their mascots after objections from groups who found the mascots offensive and distasteful. One mascot that has been receiving attention as of late is Colonel Reb, who has served as the University of Mississippi's official mascot for 24 years. Colonel Reb is a distinguished looking gentleman with Van Dyke style facial hair, and to some, he is also an unpleasant reminder of the traditions of the Old South. Since the student body voted to replace him on February 23, one leading candidate has emerged to replace him: Admiral Ackbar. Ackbar is a character from the film "Empire Strikes Back", and he is perhaps best known for his line "It's a trap". Ackbar bears a more than uncanny resemblance to an upright, humanoid type squid, and some people have commented that his candidacy is part of a new spirit at Ole Miss. An official decision has yet to be made, though it is worth noting that George Lucas, the man behind the "Star Wars" series has indicated that he supports the Admiral's candidacy, having done so in a humorous press release via Lucasfilm, his production company. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a news story from this Monday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the voting process for a new mascot at Ole Miss. The second link leads to a post from the U.S. News & World Report's "The Paper Trail" blog on Lucasfilm's official take on the Admiral Ackbar nomination. The third link will whisk users to an editorial piece from the pen of Matt Watson, a columnist for Mississippi State University's student newspaper, "The Reflector". Watson happens to like the idea of Admiral Ackbar as the mascot, and his piece is worth a look. The fourth site leads to a passionately written editorial from the Daily Mississippian endorsing Admiral Ackbar as the new mascot. The fifth link leads to the official homepage of the "Ackbar for Ole Miss Mascot" movement. Finally, the last link leads users to the homepage of the University of Mississippi Libraries Digital Collections. Here visitors can learn about blues history, the integration of the school in the 1960s, and student life in the 19th century.

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