The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 11

March 19, 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

Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific [pdf]

This United Nations Development Programme website about women in Asia and the Pacific reveals some sobering statistics about the gender gap in that area of the world, and between the regions in that area. For instance, there was found to be less gender inequality in East Asia than in South Asia. Visitors can get a get a quick overview of the depth and breadth of the disparity between men and women from the photo essay on the homepage which illustrates some of the key information about gender equality in Asia. The report, "Power, Voice and Rights," can be found under the "Download Report" tab, and visitors can choose to either download the full report or an overview. The report focuses on three key indicators of gender inequality: "economic power, political decision-making and legal rights". On the right hand side of the page is a link entitled "Gender Films", which features a two-part series originally broadcast on BBC World called Silk Ceiling. Narrated by a young Indian TV journalist, the series explores different examples of gender inequality in Asia. The program also reports on a few women in Asia who have defied the status quo, and hold positions traditionally held by men, such as village head or auto-rickshaw driver. [KMG]

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Propaganda

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. has created an excellent exhibition here on this site to complement the one at their headquarters about the role of propaganda in World War II. The exhibition and accompanying "Features", including a "Poll and Online Forum" and "Student Activity", explore "how the Nazi Party used modern techniques as well as new technologies and carefully crafted messages to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany." Visitors will find that the exhibit goes beyond just images of propaganda posters, and starts by giving a detailed explanation of the history of the definition of propaganda under the heading "What is Propaganda?" on the homepage. The three image galleries, which can be found at the top of the page, are "Timeline", "Themes" and "Gallery". In the "Themes" section, visitors should scroll over the white-framed images to see the name of the theme that can be accessed by clicking on that image. There are seven themes here, including "Indoctrinating Youth", "Rallying the Nation", "Deceiving the Public", and "Defining the Enemy". [KMG]

National Park Service: Dry Tortugas

The website for the Dry Tortugas, a group of seven islands 70 miles off the coast of Key West, and a National Park site, will warm visitors instantly with its photos of the blue and green waters and sun-kissed lands. The website also offers visitors lots of background on these islands that are "near-pristine natural resources including sea grass beds, fisheries, and sea turtle and bird nesting habitat." On the left hand side of the homepage are links to "History and Culture", "Photos and Multimedia", "Nature and Science", and "For Kids". The "History and Culture" section called "Places" provides the Tortugas' history as a "ship trap" with the subcategories "Windjammer Shipwreck", "Fort Jefferson" and "Lighthouses". Visitors shouldn't miss checking out the "Preservation" category, which includes "Submerged Cultural Resources". Visitors can view a short slide show of the underwater cultural treasures on which archaeological survey crews conduct condition assessments. Some of the treasures include cannons and anchors that now reside in the South Florida Collections Management Center. [KMG]

A Roma Journey

The European Library, which is affiliated with the National Library of the Netherlands, has created a website to exhibit the Romani culture in the Balkans and beyond. Here, the rich oral tradition of the Roma culture is highlighted. Visitors might want to watch a one minute video from the exhibit's curator, called "The Curator Explains", that provides an overview to some of the difficulties in researching the Romani, sometimes referred to as gypsies. Although the video is not in English, English subtitles are provided. The exhibition is divided up by the source of the collection, such as the National Library of Serbia, numerous European libraries, and the "Curator's Collection". Visitors can also browse the exhibition by type of material, such as "Books", "Manuscripts", "Postcards", "Videos", and "Audio". The links to each appears across the top of the page. [KMG]


Volunteered computing projects have been around for several decades, and theMilkyWay project is certainly one of the more interesting projects in that arena. Using the BOINC platform, the MilkyWay project is designed to create a "highly accurate three dimensional model of the Milky Way galaxy using data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey." The project is a joint effort between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's departments of computer science and physics, applied physics and astronomy. Visitors can look over the homepage to read the latest updates, research papers, and even sign up to take part in this initiative. Interested parties will need to install the BOINC software, and then can also create an account or even join one of their existing teams. Also, visitors can donate funds to their cause from the homepage. [KMG] Management & Organisations [iTunes]

Organizations and management strategies might help make the world go round, but how do they work? This thoughtful website created by the BBC and the Open University provide some helpful answers to that very question. The site contains a blog, a section dedicated to the use of technology in providing management solutions, and a podcast. "The Virtual Revolution" is a section that provides interviews, commentary, and research on how the virtual world will continue to reshape social interactions and business transactions in the future. In "The Bottom Line" BBC commentator Evan Davis sits down with various business leaders each week to talk about topics, like the old adage "the customer is always right" and business cost-cutting measures. Overall, the site is well designed and it's one that is aimed towards both a general audience and those who might be studying these matters in academia. [KMG]

Center for International Security and Cooperation [pdf]

Based at Stanford University, the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) is part of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Their focus is on "addressing some of the world's most difficult security problems with policy-relevant solutions." On the homepage, visitors can learn about CISAC's latest research projects, scan their calendar of events, and learn about fellowship and employment opportunities. Scholars and others will want to click on the "Research" area for an overview of their thematic research, which includes work on nuclear security, counterterrorism, global governance, and international relations. Within each subsection, visitors will find research papers, briefing documents, and information about staff members. The "Publications" area is a good way to review these documents as well, as visitors can view publications by author or publication type. Additionally, visitor can sign up for the Center's RSS feed here or opt to receive their electronic newsletter. [KMG]

Evanion Collection of Ephemera

Illusionist and conjurer Henry Evans, or "Evanion" (his stage name), was quite a force to be reckoned with in the second half of the 19th century. During his long career, he used his theatrical experience to collect a vast amount of printed ephemera related to entertainment and everyday life in Victorian England. Evan's collection was purchased by the British Museum in 1895, and recently the Museum has created this online trove of over 2000 items from the original 5000 or so pieces. The items include trade cards, shop catalogues, restaurant menus, and handbills. First-time visitors can check out the "Curator's Choice" area, which contains favorite items as selected by Museum curator Helen Peden. Her favorites include a trade card created to promote the work of pyrotechnist James Pain and an advertisement for cocoa products. Finally, visitors are encouraged to use the search engine to look for items of particular interest. [KMG]

General Interest

Wilbur "Buck" Clayton Collection

For over fifty years, Wilbur "Buck" Clayton brought his special brand of trumpet magic to audiences around the world. Born in Parsons, Kansas, Clayton was a prominent member of Count Basie's orchestra and he went on tour for the State Department as well. This digital collection from the Miller Nichols Library at the University of Missouri-Kansas City presents over 1500 photographs from this collection documenting Clayton's life and career. Visitors can browse the collection, and there are some great photos of Clayton as a small child and of course, some excellent photos of him collaborating with other jazz legends like Pee Wee Russell, Joe Turner, and Buddy Tate. Visitors with an interest in specific images can use the search feature to look for items using each photograph's details. [KMG]

AdViews: A Digital Archive of Vintage Television Commercials [iTunes]

While watching television commercials might seem like a form of torture to some, this amazing archive is a treasure trove for those with an interest in media studies and popular culture. The AdViews digital archive consists of several thousand vintage television commercials from the 1950s through 1980s, and it is part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke University. First-time visitors should check out the "About" area for a bit more background on the project, and then type in some keywords like "peanuts" or "toothpaste" into the search engine. The results are returned in a grid format, and the commercials are played back via iTunes. The "AdViews Expert Interviews" area contains talks with former advertising executives, professors of marketing, and media studies experts. The site also has a nice blog that highlights new items in the collection and a quiz to "Test Your Ad Knowledge." [KMG]

The Portent: John Brown's Raid in American History

John Brown's place and portrayal throughout American history has swung all over the ideological map. Some have sought to portray him as a radical madman, and others have claimed he was just a peaceful man pushed to the edge. This thoughtful exhibit from the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is designed to complement an in situ exhibit which took place in early 2010. Drawing on images in their extensive archives, the VHS has created an exhibit that explores John Brown's life and actions at the Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry. Each section contains a brief essay, accompanied by images that talk about the raid itself, Brown's execution, and the aftermath. Visitors are also encouraged to leave their own thoughts on Brown here via an email form. [KMG]

Hawaii War Records Depository Photos

The Hawaii War Records Depository was established in 1943, and it contains over 880 photographs taken by the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the U.S. Navy during the Second World War. The Depository also holds around 1000 newspaper photographs from the Honolulu Star Bulletin and 330 photographs identified as being from the Honolulu Advertiser. These unique items depict various Army and Navy activities throughout Hawaii during this period. The University of Hawaii was able to digitize these items via a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and they are now available for perusal by the web-browsing public. Visitors can browse the collection at their leisure, and they can do so by photo number, agency, category, or date. Browsing by category is a good way to start, and some of the headings include "Boy Scouts", "Civic Events", and "Religion". Additionally, visitors can use the "Search" section to explore the collection via keywords. [KMG]

StoryCorps: Recording The Lives of Everyday Americans

StoryCorps' mission is to provide "Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives". Since 2003, 50,000 Americans have taken that opportunity, and some of their stories can be heard on NPR's radio show, Morning Edition. The StoryCorps website has links to over a dozen stories on its homepage, along with photos of those key to the story. To "Read the StoryCorps Blog", visitors should go to the menu on the right side of the page, under "Follow Us Online, On The Road". The stories of these Americans range from heart-rending to humorous. Some of the titles include "A Boy Raises a Man-And Becomes One Himself", about a 16-year-old who raises his son as a single dad; "Boy Scout Tells Leader Why He Stayed 25 Years", about a Boy Scout troop for special needs scouts; and "Coping With Memory Loss as it Spans Generations", about a 55-year-old woman who has early onset Alzheimer's disease, and is dealing with her mother, who also has Alzheimer's. [KMG]

Heritage Preservation [pdf]

The Heritage Preservation: The National Institute for Conservation is a 30-year-old non-profit in Washington, DC, that is concerned with preserving the treasures of the United States that are already in institutions, such as museums, historical societies, and libraries, as well as those historical treasures that are in people's homes, basements, and attics. Their website is comprehensive, and lists the programs they run to help accomplish this monumental task. Under the "Programs" tab visitors will find links to the "Conservation Assessment Program" and "Heritage Emergency National Task Force", which is like FEMA for historical objects. "Rescue Public Murals" and "Save Outdoor Sculpture!" are also programs the Heritage Preservation runs. Visitors can see photographs of "Murals That Have Been Lost" and "Murals That Have Been Saved". Finally, the link under "Programs" to the "Heritage Health Index" provides a full online report of the "first comprehensive survey to assess the condition and preservation needs of U.S. collections". [KMG]

Bible Geocoding

Religious scholars and others have always been interested in the place names found in the Bible, and this site will be a delightful find for anyone who shares this interest. This site, created by a graduate of Wheaton College, features interactive maps of every place mentioned in the Bible. For its main data source, the site uses the Morrish Bible Dictionary, which contains the coordinates for many place names listed in the Bible. Drawing on this material, the site also uses satellite imagery along with shaded relief details from the United States Geological Survey. It's easy to get started; visitors can just click on the "Complete Bible" link at the top of the homepage to look around. It might be more interesting and less overwhelming to use the "Individual Books" area to look around via discrete sections, such as "Genesis", "Matthew", and "Psalms". [KMG]

2010 Whitney Biennial

Your portal for all things related to the Whitney Museum's signature exhibition, 2010 Whitney Biennial features video, images, an events calendar, how to purchase the catalog, and links to download audio tour guides, playable on whatever device visits the show with you. Begun as an annual exhibition in 1932, the 2010 Biennial is the 75th anniversary edition of the show. Although most prior biennials had themes (the theme in 2008 was time), "'simply titled 2010' embodies a cross section of contemporary art production rather than a specific theme." Clicking any image in the slide show on the main page takes you to that artist's full entry, including biographical information and links to background articles. Caption text tells you exactly where in the Whitney each piece of art is on view. [DS]

Network Tools

Sharp World Clock 4.55

What time is it in Nairobi? Or Iowa City? And who can forget St. Petersburg? All of these pesky timekeeping problems become a thing of the past with the help of the Sharp World Clock application. The program allows users to set up any number of digital or analog clocks in a row or grid, and visitors can also customize the clocks to show different national flags and backgrounds. The program also gives users the ability to show sunrise and sunset times, lunar phases, and day or night indicators. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. The program offers a free 15-day trial version, and then visitors can elect to purchase the program. [KMG]

Opera 10.50

Opera has been around for a few years, but this latest iteration offers a few helpful additions. Perhaps the most compelling feature in this addition is its new JavaScript engine, which makes loading times quicker and more efficient. The browser is also completely compatible with Windows 7 and the newly redesigned browser contains translucent window frames. [KMG]

In The News

Japan's whaling policy and practices receive close scrutiny

Not whaling but drowning

The fight over whaling

Japanese media express frustration at NZ activist

Abduction of Aboriginal Whaling Rights

International Whaling Commission [pdf]

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society: Species Guide

For the most part, commercial whaling came to a halt in 1986 when the International Whaling Commission imposed a moratorium on this practice. Some nations, including Japan, have continued to conduct limited whale hunts for what they term "research" purposes, but this is a practice that is frowned on in some quarters. Whaling has received new attention in recent weeks as the American film "The Cove" won an Oscar for Best Documentary. The film deals with a related topic, namely the annual dolphin slaughter in the village of Taiji. Japan's practices would appear to have international political effects, as Australia's prime minister Kevin Rudd has mentioned that he would sue Japan in the International Court of Justice if it does not give up whaling in the near future. The situation became more hostile this past week when anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune was arrested in Tokyo. Back in February, Bethune had boarded the Japanese vessel Shonan Maru II with the intent of arresting the ship's captain. Bethune claims that the captain had attempted to murder his crew members as they were trying to halt whaling activities by disrupting ships by using lasers and various chemicals. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to an opinion piece by The Economist's Banyan on the current state of whaling agreements. The second link leads to a follow-up piece by Banyan that includes responses to his first piece. Moving on, the third link will lead users to a news article from the March 15th New Zealand Herald which talks about the Japanese media's reaction to Peter Bethune's recent activities. The fourth link leads to a thoughtful piece by Chris Butler-Stroud, the chief executive of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation society, on how commercial and political interests have worked to abuse the historical whaling rights of indigenous people. The fifth link whisks users away to the homepage of the International Whaling Commission. Here visitors can learn about treaties governing commercial whaling and other related materials. Finally, the last link leads to a fun and informative guide to identifying whales and dolphins, courtesy of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. [KMG]

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