The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 23

June 11, 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

A Collection of 4th of July Speeches;cc=jul;tpl=home.tpl

The 4th of July brings out orators of all stripes, and over the past two centuries many distinguished Americans have seen fit to offer their own encomia on this day. This lovely collection from the University of Missouri's Ellis Library brings together published pamphlets made on Independence Day from 1791 to 1925. The speeches take a look at crucial topics from this time period, including civic duty, religion, national politics, and the Civil War. The majority of these pamphlets were published in New England, and the collection also includes pamphlets from Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana. First-time visitors may wish to start by reading Charles F. Adams' oration "before the city authorities of Boston on the fourth of July, 1872" and then move on to Oliver Wendell Holmes' talk before that same body in 1863. Visitors are encouraged to browse through the pamphlets, and they can also use the search engine as well. [KMG]

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory [pdf]

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tracked the national trend in greenhouse gas emissions and removals since 1990. This website provides access to the reports they have created since then, and the reports represent the collaborative efforts of hundreds of experts from academic institutions, consultants, and other government agencies. Visitors can download the reports, or take a look at their respective executive summary. Each summary contains "an overview of recent trends, anthropogenic sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, and an explanation of the relative importance of emissions and removals from each source category." Users of the website are also encouraged to look over the overviews for different emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane. The site is rounded out by a list of greenhouse gas inventories from other countries and global emission projections. [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

Webwise 2010: Imagining the Digital Future [Flash Player, Windows Media]

"Libraries and Museums in the Digital World" was the topic of the Webwise 2010 Conference in Denver, CO. The proceedings were faithfully recorded and offered as a webcast so that visitors who could not attend could still listen to all the lectures and discussions. Some of the topics that were covered at the conference include "interoperability, the future of collaboration, standards & best practices, technology and systems development, [and] training a 21st century cultural heritage information workforce." Visitors will find the webcast archive is at the bottom of the homepage, and it is divided up into "Pre-Conference #1", "Webwise 2010 - Day 1", and "Webwise 2010 - Day 2". Some of the Pre-Conference panels are "Digital Resources for Learning Spaces" and "21st Century Learners". "Webwise 2010 - Day 2" offers a lecture on the further education of librarians and information specialists, with "Skills for the Future: Educational Opportunities for Library and Museum". There's a great deal of material here for information technology specialists, librarians, and others. [KMG]

Global Drug Reference Online

The Global Drug Reference Online is a website that Olympic athletes and their support teams from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom can check to see if any drug they take is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The purpose, of course, is to make sure the athletes aren't taking any drug that would give an unfair advantage to the athlete. The site allows athletes to make sure any medication they are taking, even for routine health problems, i.e. allergies, doesn't contain any ingredients that are prohibited by WADA. Visitors can do a mock search to see that the "user type", "sport" and "nation of purchase" are all factors in whether the drug is prohibited or not. The "user type" includes "athlete", "coach", "medical professional", "sports administrator", and "parent". Many of the mistakes the athletes could make in regard to determining if the drug is prohibited are mentioned in the "FAQs" section, and the burden of proof is clearly on them. [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

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia [Flash Player, pdf]

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) was established in 1973 and it currently has 14 Arab member countries. In the "About Us" link, on the left side menu, a brief history of the five regional commissions of the UN can be found, as well as the specific "Objectives" of ESCWA, which include integration and cooperation between member countries, promotion of the "exchange of experience, best practice and lessons learnt", and "familiarizing the outside world with the circumstances and needs of the countries in the region." The "Publishing Resources" link, found at the top of any page, includes "Publications", "Documents and Reports", and a "Glossary". If visitors do a subject search in the "Publications" section for Environment, publications available include "Assessing the Potential for the Development of Second-Generation Biofuels in the ESCWA Region" and "Governance for Sustainable Development in the Arab Region...Moving Beyond an Environmental Management Culture". [KMG]

Southern Forests for the Future

This excellent website dedicated to the Southern Forests of the United States "seeks to raise awareness of the threats facing the forests of the southern United States and lay the foundation for increasing the acreage that is conserved or managed in a sustainable manner." First time visitors should watch the very informative four-and-a-half minute video titled "Tour Southern Forests" in the "Gallery" section of the website, as it explains the importance of these forests to humans and animals, the native bio-diversity of the forests, and their history. Additionally, the video explains that the future of these forests is in peril, mainly from suburbanization, but also from pests and diseases, mining, and climate change. The "Solutions" tab on the homepage allows visitors to see the solutions necessary to help conserve and mange the forests, which include the sections "Protected Areas", "Southern Forest Ownership", and "Ensuring Southern Forests for 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

Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections

The Polar Bear Expedition of 1918-1919 was a rather unique military intervention that took place in northern Russia at the end of World War I. Essentially troops from the United States ended up fighting Bolshevik revolutionaries for months, even after the Armistice ended fighting in France. This digital collection of the Expedition's activities was created by the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, and it includes cartoons, newspaper clippings, essays, letters, and group portraits. Visitors to the site may wish to read the brief history of the Expedition first, and then move on to browse lists of photographs, maps, and participants from the Expedition. Visitors are also encouraged to use the search engine available here. Finally, the site has a collection of audio interviews that offers some first-hand insights into this truly unusual military endeavor. [KMG]

College, Inc.

While some people might think "college" and conjure up images of a leafy quadrangle, there are many schools that might be best thought of as a series of elaborate network servers and a few physical offices in a more modest office suite in a suburban building. The sector of higher education that includes for-profit colleges and universities that cater to non-traditional students is one that has received relatively little scrutiny, and this recent Frontline documentary takes a closer look. Correspondent Martin Smith takes a look at "the promise of the for-profit higher education industry" through interviews with school executives and former students (among others), and visitors to the website can watch the program here in its entirety. Visitors to the site can also chime in with their own thoughts on the subject, read responses from the colleges profiled in the program, and read extended interviews with some of the people featured on the show. Finally, the website also features a podcast version of the program. [KMG]

General Interest

Digital Comic Museum

For well over a century, comic books have been the stuff of childhood pastimes. Some people never grow tired of comics, and this website might be just the tonic they are looking for. The Digital Comic Museum presents hundreds of unique comics in their original format, and visitors will need to complete a short registration form before they get started here. The works here were published decades ago by long-gone companies such as the Croydon Publishing Company and Key Publications. Visitors can make their way through 1950s classics like "Black Cobra" and other gems, including the war-time classic "Joe Yank" and "Sparky Watts", who was billed as the "World's Strongest Funny Man". Scholars of this commercial art form may also find the site quite useful, as it provides a look into a number of rather obscure comic book titles. [KMG]

Cincinnati Art Museum: The Collection

The Cincinnati Art Museum has a long and storied history, and their collection includes works by a variety of artistic masters, old and new. This website provides interested parties with access to items from their permanent collection, courtesy of a grant from the Harold C. Schott Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The works here are organized into ten different themes, including "Photographs", "Art of Africa", and "American Decorative Arts". The "American Decorative Arts" is worth a look, and it contains items from the Rockwood Pottery Company, which was established in Cincinnati in 1880, and is still in business. In the "European Painting & Sculpture" visitors shouldn't miss works like the portrait of Philip II by Titian. Visitors will also appreciate the easy to use search engine and the accession and provenance details which are provided for each item. [KMG]

"The Rockets' Red Glare": Francis Scott Key and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry

Back in 1814, Francis Scott Key set down a poem that began "O say can you see" Later this work became the Star Spangled Banner, and it is arguably the best-known part of the War of 1812. This installment of the Teaching With Historic Places Lesson Plans takes a close look at the circumstances at Fort McHenry surrounding the composition of this well-known number. Visitors will find that there is an "About This Lesson" area which provides a nice bit of background on these materials. After reading along here, visitors can review the inquiry question for this exercise and then use primary accounts of the bombardment of Fort McHenry and other items, including maps and drawings. Educators will appreciate the "Putting it Together" area, which includes activities like "Debating the War of 1812" and "Whose 'Star Spangled Banner'?" [KMG]

Entitled Opinions (about Life and Literature)

On this webpage, the following question is posed: "Is everyone entitled to an opinion?" Professor Robert Harrison brings his informed opinions and thoughts to a broad audience via his thoughtful radio program "Entitled Opinions (about Life and Literature)". The program is broadcast via Stanford University's own KZSU, and visitors are encouraged to browse through current and past programs. Professor Harrison is an expert on the works of Dante, and he is also interested in asking broad questions about the humanities and the human condition. For each program, Professor Harrison invites a fellow scholar onto the program to talk about anything from Heidegger to Pink Floyd. The program is a weekly one, and users can browse over 90 of these fine shows on the site. [KMG]

LaVie: The Penn State Life

College publications are a vital source of important information about student mores, campus life, traditions, and activities. Pennsylvania State University's (PSU) student yearbook, La Vie, is just such a publication. Over the past several years, the University Libraries Digitization and Preservation Department at PSU has worked to digitize all of the yearbooks from 1890 to 2000. Currently, visitors can browse all of the yearbooks here by decade, or perform a keyword search. Some of the earliest yearbooks have amazing cover art, and it is interesting to take a look at some of the various clubs during this period. Hopes and dreams are contained within these pages, and you don't have to be a historian of higher education to find at least a few compelling items within these digitized pages. [KMG]

The Asia Foundation: Multimedia

The Asia Foundation counts 21 countries as members of the Asia-Pacific region that it concerns itself with, to "build a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region." The "Multimedia" section of their website contains both slideshows and videos. There are many short videos that highlight the Asia Foundation's Books for Asia program, which provides books to schoolchildren whose schools and families have limited access. The video "Return to Khishig Undur: The Tale of Peter Rabbit" is worth watching, as it tells the heartwarming story of students in a 4th grade class in a remote village in Mongolia who each received a copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit from the Asia Foundation. This book was chosen as a result of the over 10,000 people who voted for a children's book in the "Choose a Book. Change a Life" campaign. [KMG]

The Allure of the Automobile,1,1,17,1

The High Museum of Art Atlanta has a very luxurious-minded and engineer-focused exhibit in its "The Allure of the Automobile." The exhibit is the " consider the stylistic development of automobiles in the context of prominent design movements like Art Moderne and Post-war Modernism." The website that accompanies the exhibit offers an online video, 18 examples of cars from the Golden Age of automaking, and the "Exhibition Highlight", where visitors can begin to "understand the breadth of automotive design from start to finish, from the inside out." The "Online Video" link on the homepage has about a dozen videos to view, many of them featuring the consulting curator, Ken Gross. Other videos include the "High Light Series: Ken Gross & the Allure of the Automobile", "The Allure of Porsche", and "Behind-the-Scenes: Arrival of the Automobiles", which is about the prepping of the autos before the exhibit opening. [KMG]

UWM Book Arts Collection 

Here's a chance to get a look at 31 artists' books, in digital form, without having to make a trip to the Special Collections Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Included in the collection are exampled of many different book and paper arts techniques, such as papermaking, different styles of hand-binding, and page design. Browsing the collection works better than searching, because it's a bit difficult to predict what terms will result in a successful search in a collection as varied as this. The books have been scanned carefully, so that it is possible to not only read every page but also to see the style of the covers and binding details. For example, "Book" by Brian Borchardt, consists of a series of short quotes related to books, including the well-known Jorge Luis Borges, "I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." [DS]

Network Tools

JetPhoto Studio 4.8

A number of photo software programs make bold promises, but JetPhoto Studio actually delivers the goods. The program is designed to help users manage their photograph collections, and some of the application's perks include GPS tracking, photo keyword tagging, and an interactive calendar feature which organizes photos by date. The program also features some basic editing tools, and the interactive online user guide is quite nice. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer and Macs running OS X 10.3 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

New evidence from Saturn's moon Titan suggests possibility of alien life and reveals new clues about early Earth as well

Saturn moon offers hints of early life on Earth

Titan: NASA Scientists discover evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon'

Astrobiologist tries to set the record straight about extraterrestrial life on Titan

Saturn's Beauty and Power

The Saturn System: A Feast for the Eyes

Eerie Sounds of Saturn's Radio Emissions

Windows to the Universe: Saturn

There has been quite a ruckus this week in the world of astroscience as three new studies were published about Saturn's moon, Titan. One study, in the journal Icarus, shows that hydrogen gas flowing throughout the planets atmosphere disappears at the moon's surface. This phenomenon led to the suggestion that perhaps alien forms were breathing hydrogen. In the Journal of Geophysical Research, a study found that there was a lack of hydrogen on the surface of Titan and also proposed the possibility of hydrogen being consumed by alien life. Chris McKay, a NASA astrobiologist who led the research, stated, We suggested hydrogen consumption because it's the obvious gas for life to consume on Titan, similar to the way we consume oxygen on Earth." The media commotion was perhaps started with the Telegraph's attention grabbing headline "Titan: NASA scientists discover evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon'". However, representatives from NASA were quick to put the brakes on the hysteria by noting that alien life on Titan is one of many possible explanations. The headlines may have jumped the gun by announcing alien life on Titan, but as McKay notes, "This is still a long way from 'evidence of life'. However, it is extremely interesting." [CMH]

The first link leads to an article from USA Today, which provides more details on the new studies published about Titan. The second link gives readers a chance to read the Telegraph's article that generated all the excitement. The third link leads to a blog entry from Scientific American where Chris McKay attempts to clarify the research and claims of extraterrestrial life. The fourth link will take visitors to a piece from the BBC on the beauty of Saturn. The fifth and sixth links are from NASA. The first is a wondrous slide show of Saturn with some amazing images and the second allows visitors to listen to radio emissions from Saturn. For the full effect, Scout recommends turning off the slideshow sound and listing to the radio emissions while watching the slideshow. The last link will take visitors to the National Earth Science Teachers Association's (NESTA) website, Windows to the Universe Saturn. Here, those wanting to know more about Saturn can find a wealth of information about the ringed planet including planetary facts, myth and culture, and space missions.

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