The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 18

May 7, 2010

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

A Note to our Readers

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

A Note to our Readers

Network Tools and the AMSER Science Reader Monthly

Internet Scout will be shifting the focus of the Scout Report's Network Tools section in order to deliver a wider variety of online services to our readers. In an increasingly Web 2.0 environment, many tools are often available entirely online and no longer require downloads. Accordingly, the Network Tools section of the Scout Report will reflect this change by highlighting more web-based services. In addition, readers should find these tools more accessible whether using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. We hope that this new focus will continue the Scout Report's tradition of delivering valuable online resources to our readers.

Internet Scout is pleased to announce the latest issue of the AMSER Science Reader Monthly. The AMSER SRM provides readers with a useful online collection of information about a particular topic related to applied math and science by combining freely available articles from popular journals with curriculum, learning objects, and websites from the AMSER portal. The topic of this month's AMSER Science Reader Monthly is Food Chemistry and can be found by visiting the AMSER site here: Those wishing to view all of the past issues of the AMSER Science Reader Monthly can click here:

Research and Education

Online Conference: Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts [Flash Player, pdf]

Are there other worlds out there? What can science tell us about American history? These are but a few of the important questions asked by the people at the Smithsonian's Online Conference on problem solving. The conference was convened twice during April 2010, and it was sponsored in part by the Microsoft Partners in Learning organization. The experts asking and answering these questions are all from the Smithsonian Institution, and the website offers access to all of the sessions in question. First-time visitors should feel free to dive right into the "Program" area to view the welcome message from Betsy Broun, the director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. After that, visitors are free to view the programs at their leisure, and they may also wish to check out the "Exhibit Hall" section of the website. Here they will find highlighted resources from across the Smithsonian community relating to the conference topics. All in all, this is a tremendously valuable resource that can be used in the classroom, or just to expand one's horizon for personal edification. [KMG]

The West Bank and East Jerusalem Archaeological Database Project

The West Bank and East Jerusalem Archaeological Database forms part of "an Israeli-Palestinian dialog initiative concerning the standing of archeological sites and materials." The project is based at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies at Tel Aviv University, and this website affords interested parties the opportunity to learn about their current projects, publications, and research initiatives. An amazing part of this website is the database which offers access to information on close to 6,000 archaeological sites identified by their team of researchers over the past forty years. The sites have been plotted on GIS maps, and they include information about the exact site coordinates, periods of existence, major finds, and survey references. While visitors can't access all of this data currently online, they can see examples here on the website. Additionally, visitors will want to look at the "Publications" area. Here they can peruse full-text versions of publications like "Israel's Relations with the Third World" and "Lyndon Johnson and Israel: The Secret Presidential Recordings". [KMG]


Those persons with a penchant for public policy, coastal erosion, and estuaries will sing the praises of the OzCoasts website. Formally launched in 2008, OzCoasts represents a collaborative effort between more than 100 coastal scientists from a range of government agencies and universities across Australia. The materials on the site are divided into six primary areas, including "Coastal Indicators", "Habitat Mapping", and "Landform & Stability Maps". Within each section, visitors will find graphs, maps, charts, and short essays that document a wide range of natural and man-made phenomena including beach erosion, beach geomorphic models, and sea level rise. Visitors can also make their way to the "Glossary" area to get caught up relevant terms and then wander around the "What's New" area for the latest and greatest updates to the website. [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

MIT OpenCourseWare: Ethics

This OpenCourseWare offering from MIT begins fittingly, with an architectural detail of Libra the Scales from the Autun Cathedral in France. This course was originally taught in the fall of 2009 by Professor Julia Markovits, and the course is a seminar on "classic and contemporary work on central topics in ethics." Some of the questions addressed by these materials include "What makes our actions right or wrong?" and "What is virtue?" Visitors to the site will find the course syllabus, readings, lecture notes, and some assignments. The lecture notes include sessions on moral explanations, moral judgments, and utilitarianism. Also, visitors can look over the reading lists and offer their own feedback on the course. [KMG]

Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next [pdf]

Some might ask: What is a millennial? The short answer is "the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium." The Pew Research Center first started looking at this group in 2006, and this 149-page report released in February 2010 was edited by Paul Taylor and Scott Keeter. The report notes that the millennials are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults, and that they are less religious and on track to become "the most educated generation in American history." On this site, visitors will find the complete nine-chapter report, along with the survey methodology and appendices. Visitors can also read an executive summary of the report here, view video from the Pew Research Center regarding the report, and also take a short quiz on millennials. [KMG]

Greendex: Survey of Sustainable Consumption [Flash Player]

National Graphic and GlobeScan have teamed up on a research project called the Greendex, and it provides a multitude of useful ways for visitors to learn how well consumers are "going green". The map in shades of green, yellow, and gray on the homepage allows visitors to see which of seventeen different countries are the most environmentally sustainable in their practices and policies. Visitors will find this a fascinating and informative website, and may find some of the results to be surprising. There are four indicators used to determine the rank of the countries, which are transportation, food (imported), goods, housing (how many rooms per house). The "Knowledge Quiz" gives visitors the opportunity to take a seven question quiz to test their knowledge of environmental issues, and then compare their results to those of people in other countries. The "Greendex Calculator" provides visitors with the chance to find out their own level of greenness by the indicators used for the Greendex map. [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

WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center [pdf]

Not only is Washington in the primary fruit producing region of the world, Washington State University (WSU) also has a website dedicated to the tree fruit sciences through their research and extension center, TFREC. The site highlights the "cooperative, multidisciplinary approach to tree fruit production in the 21st century" that the center features. Visitors will find multiple topics covered on the right hand menu, such as "Plant Breeding", "Integrated Pest Management", and "Orchard Management". "Popular Links", also found on the left hand side of the page, includes "Popular Tree Fruit Links", "Washington State University Web Sites", and "Other Washington Sites". Visitors can read tree fruit news featured on the homepage of the site, such as the release of the first apple cultivar from the WSU apple breeding program and a brief article on how the appearance of a new fruit pest, from the fruit fly family, is affecting Washington fruits, and how it differs from other pests in that it attacks healthy and ripening fruit. [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 Avenue: The New Republic

For those with an interest in urban affairs, city planning, and related policy matters, this venture from The New Republic and the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program will be a most welcome discovery. The Avenue is set up primarily as a blog that brings together current news stories, policy reports, and other forms of analysis from across a very diverse set of sources. No urban policy stone (or region of the United States) is left unturned on this thoughtful blog, as recent posts have covered the future of the Hampton Roads region in Virginia, the future of the "innovation economy", and funding for state and federal highways. The site is very friendly to social networking media, and visitors can post comments via Twitter, Google, and Facebook. [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

Historic sites and people of Greenville

Upstate South Carolina is full of interesting places and people, and this digital collection from Clemson University documents some of this tremendous heritage. The original materials are held in the Greenville County Library System's South Carolina room. All told, there are over 320 items in the collection, and visitors will be interested to learn that the items highlight facets of African-American life, educational facilities, mansions, and scenes of people at work. Additionally, visitors can sign up to create their own "favorites" folder for future reference, and they can perform more detailed searches within this collection. For persons with an interest in the history of the American South and other matters, this collection is a visually compelling record of one of its most storied corners. [KMG]

The Cornell Daily Sun

The Cornell University Library and the Cornell Daily Sun have teamed up to offer access to the complete run of this student newspaper. The paper was first published in September 1880, and over the intervening years it has served as a repository for the hopes, dreams, activities, and general milieu of the members of the Cornell community. Currently, visitors may browse issues dating back to 1880 in their entirety, and the project will eventually allow users to search the entire Sun archives for articles by subject, writer, or date. Visitors can use the "Search" section to type in sample searches like "Ithaca", "sports", or "library". It's an ambitious project, and one that could serve as an ideal model for other student newspapers and related publications hoping to take on a similar challenge. [KMG]

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Audio Tours [iTunes]

Going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and wandering around can be a great experience. But what if there were also some audio podcasts to enhance this experience? This site provides visitors access to short podcasts that can be used while in the museum, or just while sitting in front of one's computer screen. The podcasts are organized into thematic categories that include "Arms and Armor", "Modern and Contemporary Art", and "Constantine Tapestries". Many of the podcasts include digitized images of the object in question, along with information about its provenance and country of origin. It's easy to see how an assemblage of these podcasts could be organized for use by an art history class or someone who's just developing an interest about a certain aspect of art. [KMG]

Citizens' Council

The Citizens' Council was the official newspaper of the white supremacist Citizens Council of Mississippi from 1955 to 1961. The purpose of this website and the digitization of the entire run of the quarterly paper is to "aid in the understanding of the modern Civil Rights Era." This white supremacist organization and many others like it were opposed to the anti-segregation of schools, which was enacted into law by Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 by the Supreme Court. These groups used states' rights versus federal powers to bolster their argument constitutionally. But most of their arguments were based on morality and religion, which were steeped in racism. Visitors can view issues of the paper by clicking on "Click Here to View the Citizens' Council Newspaper" printed in small type above the very informative introduction on the homepage. [KMG] [Flash Player, pdf]

What exactly is the significance of the number 350? To learn about what it means, and why this website was created, visitors should click on "What is 350?" near the top of the page. On the homepage are some wonderful photos of events with the goals of 350. The site can be viewed in 13 different languages, with the five most common being featured across the top of the page. Hit the "+" at the end of the list for the rest of the languages, including Swedish, Arabic, Danish, and Thai. The "People" tab gives visitors a list of the types of people involved in the organization, such as "Athletes", "Musicians", "Islanders", "Schools", and "Faith". The "About" tab has a link to "Animations and Videos" with a wordless 90 second animated video that "boils down the science of global warming and vision of the 350 campaign." Why wordless? Because there are over 4000 languages spoken in the world, and their message is too important to be lost in translation. There are two other videos for visitors to check out in that link: The Day the World Came Together and In Every Corner of the Globe. [KMG]

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology

One of the goals of the University of Rhode Island's Museum of Underwater Archaeology (MUA) is to help "underwater archaeologists present their research to the general public by creating web based museum style exhibits as well as announce their latest projects." Exploring the website "by map" allows visitors to see the locations of projects. Visitors can then click on an anchor, which will give a brief description of the project, and this also provides a link to see the corresponding journal, or just to read more about the project. The featured exhibit, under "Exhibits" on the homepage, is "ECU's [East Carolina University] Shipwrecks in Bermuda The 2008 Field School". The students can be seen in a photo slideshow on the introductory page of the exhibit. In the "Findings" section of the exhibit is a link to "Underwater Jigsaw Puzzle", which sounds like a game, but is the outline of all the debris at a ship breaking site. When more than one ship is found at a ship breaking site, the site plan helps maritime archaeologists decipher which pieces belong to which ship. It can be confusing and challenging, and is not always successful. [KMG]

NHS Videos: Media Library [Flash Player]

The NHS is the National Health Service for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. On this site they note that, "Since its launch in 1948...[it] has grown to become the worlds largest publicly funded health service. It is also one of the most efficient, most egalitarian, and most comprehensive." Their website provides informative video and audio files that address everything from "Asthma: an animation" to "Self-harm" to the "Seasonal Flu". Both videos and audio files can be shared, and the videos can be added to one's website. Visitors will find that the "Tools" featured in the tab next to the "Video" and "Audio" tabs, on the homepage, include such tools as "Depression self-assessment test", a "Downloadable quit smoking widget", and a "Birth-to-five development timeline". The quit smoking widget gives 30 days of support to those trying to quit, and includes a calculator that tells how much money the quitter is saving, and how long they have been smoke-free. [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

Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917

This website is the online version of the current blockbuster exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917. The exhibition is a curator's delight - an in-depth examination of a specific, productive period in Matisse's long career. The exhibit is an opportunity to bring together works never seen before in the same place and many of the paintings in the exhibit were conserved before the show, dark varnishes removed, and colors brightened. Twenty-one works have been selected for the online exhibit, including Bathers by a River, one of Matisse's largest paintings. There is also a video of the installation of this large painting in the new modern wing at AIC, as well as a curators' overview. [DS]

Network Tools


Books are meant to be shared, so why not share your personal favorites with others around the world? LibraryThing makes it easy to do just this, and visitors can catalog their books online here after creating a profile. After entering their books, visitors can offer their own sage wisdom on each title, and cross-reference their thoughts with others on the network who have read similar titles. Visitors can take a virtual tour before signing up, and there's also a series of discussion boards. Users can catalog their first 100 books at no charge, and LibraryThing is compatible across all platforms, including Linux. [KMG]

WinZip 14.5

The WinZip Computing organization recently released the latest iteration of their utility program, and it has some noteworthy additions. This version is aimed specifically at establishing complete Windows 7 compliance, and it also adds previews for certain file types. Additionally, the automatic wiping feature assures that the temporary file created by WinZip will be "shredded" after the unzipping process is completed. This version is free to try for 45 days, and it is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7. [KMG]

In The News

The United-Continental airline merge raises questions and concerns for a range of travelers

In United-Continental Deal, Birth of a Behemoth [Free registration may be required]

How the Continental-United merger will affect business travelers

United Airlines CEO's turbulent journey ends in triumphant touchdown with Continental,0,3737695.story

Workers, passengers wary over airline merger

The World's Airlines. Past, Present & Future

Airline Meals

Large mergers in the business world are quite common occurrences, and this week, consultants, travelers and those in the airline industry saw a doozy of a merger announced. This Monday, Jeffrey A. Smisek, the chairman of Continental Airlines, and Glenn F. Tilton, the chairman of United Airlines, gathered in Manhattan at a news conference to announce that United would be purchasing Continental. It is a landmark deal, and one that is valued at well over $3 billion. Two years ago, the airlines had entered into talks of a merger, but Continental was initially nervous due to United's rather marginalized financial condition. While industry analysts see this as a sign of increased strength and financial resiliency of the American airline systems, there are some who are concerned abut what this might mean for the average traveler. Certainly, this merger will give this new airline the ability to compete more effectively for the frequent business traveler, but it could also mean that others may lose out, hubs are relocated, and certain routes are eliminated. The merger still has to go through federal review, and it will not be completed entirely until the year 2013. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a news article on the merger from this Monday's New York Times. The second link leads to a helpful article from this Tuesday's USA Today from the pen of David Grossman, who reports on the ways in which the merger might affect business travelers. Moving on, the third link will take interested parties to a story from the Los Angeles Times about Tilton and his time at United Airlines. The fourth link leads to an article from Sunday's Houston Chronicle about how the merger will affect Continental's employees in Houston and the general quality of service at that airport. The fifth link offers a fun journey through the world of airlines, past and present. Visitors can browse around the site to learn about long-gone airlines and also the history of different airline hubs. The sixth link leads to what can only best described as the "world's largest and leading website about nothing but airline food!"

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