The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 31

August 6, 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

National Geographic: In the Field

From tigers to lions to unknown archaeological sites in Mongolia, field researchers working for National Geographic are working around the world on a variety of important expeditions. Their "In the Field" site includes a number of projects, which can be found under "Projects A-Z". Projects include the Genographic Project and the work of Alexandra Cousteau, the noted environmental advocate, and each of these features photos, video clips, and descriptions. In the "Explorers" area, visitors can learn about explorers like Robert Ballard (of "Titanic" fame), Wade Davis, and Zahi Hawass. Aspiring scientists and the like will want to click on their "Grants and Programs" area to learn more about available opportunities offered via the National Geographic Society. [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

Junior Achievement Student Center [pdf]

Junior Achievement is an organization that is more than 90 years old and "dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs." The Junior Achievement Student Center website focuses on "money management", "work readiness", and "business ownership". Visitors can play online "Games", such as "JA Titan", "JA Banks in Action", "JA Money Might", and JA Count on It". "JA Titan" promotes the visitor to CEO of a business, and tests the skills needed to defeat competitors; "JA Money Might" tests financial skills in an online simulation of real life situations. The "Learn" tab teaches visitors about "Money", "Work", "Business", and "The Economy". There is also an "Ethics" section in the "Learn" tab, and it includes 40 downloadable classroom activities, a case study, and an essay contest. [KMG]

Alliance for Aging Research

Founded in 1986, to "promote medical and behavioral research into the aging process", the Washington D.C.-based Alliance for Aging Research has a website that covers many different "Topics". Visitors can explore general topics, such as "Caregiving", "Longevity", "Medical Innovation", and "Policy", as well as "Focus Areas". The focus areas include "Access to Breakthroughs", "Drug Development", "Persistent Pain" and "Vision Loss". On the homepage visitors can take "Surveys & Quizzes", like "Understanding Persistent Pain" and "Valve Disease Quiz - How Much Do You Know?" Related to the valve disease quiz is the recent podcast of a valve surgery patient, who discusses the symptoms she felt that resulted in her recent visit to the doctor, how she was diagnosed, her growing knowledge of the surgical procedure, and how she felt after surgery. Visitors can find that podcast and others, at the "Media" link near the bottom of the homepage. Also in the "Media" link, visitors can find videos, such as "Will Science Cure Aging?", and a rich archive of videos and podcasts. [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

International Development Association [pdf]

The International Development Association (IDA) is a program of the World bank, and since 1960 has aimed to help the very poorest countries, by "help[ing] people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors." At the same time, the World Bank is working to engage in development that produces results, reform unsuccessful ways of operating, and secure capital resources. The most recent project, which visitors can find under "Projects & Operations" on the bottom half of the page, is additional funding of $326.775USD for construction of state feeder roads in Brazil. The project description, terms of the loan, and the contact at the World Bank are given. A recent project involving "Economic & Sector Work" is "Zambia - Impact Assessment of the Fertilizer Support Program: Analysis of Effectiveness and Efficiency". An official 87-page report on the project is available as a pdf file; related documents can also be found under the "Related Links" heading. [KMG]

This Emotional Life

How are we happy? Is adolescence the most difficult stage of life? These are but a few of the questions explored in the PBS program "This Emotional Life". The three part series was produced by the NOVA/WGBH Science Unit and Vulcan Productions, and visitors to the site can discuss current news regarding emotional health and also "participate in the ongoing exploration of mental health and wellness." The materials on the site are divided into "Topics", "Perspectives", and "People & Blogs". The "Perspectives" area is a good place to start, and visitors can listen to people like Larry David and Chevy Chase give their own insights into the meaning of happiness, stress, and falling in love. The "Topics" area provides resources that help people with conditions like addiction, depression, bipolar disorder, and autism. The site is rounded out by the "Resource Finder", which can be used to locate mental health and well-being support organizations around the United States. [KMG]

WPA/TVA Archaeological Photographs

Before many major projects, archaeological teams are brought in to investigate the area for any important finds and traces of past cultures. Before the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) started its major dam building projects and related works in the 1930s, teams of university archaeologists combed these areas, and along the way they helped formulate new techniques, methods, and theories. This tremendous digital collection from the University of Tennessee's Libraries and the Frank H. McClung Museum documents their work during this time. The collection was made possible through a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and first-time visitors may wish to start by looking over the "About this Project" summary. After looking this over, users should delve into the "Browse" area where the materials are divided into dam construction sites in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Here, visitors will find photographs, diagrams, and artifact documentation of items recovered at the sites. The site is rounded out by a collection guide, maps of the excavation projects, and contact information. [KMG]

Mordecai Gorelik Papers

Mordecai "Max" Gorelik was a well known set designer, and during the 1920s and 1930s he worked with colleagues such as Norman Bel Geddes and Cleon Throckmorton. His work included pieces for the Provincetown Players and the Group Theatre, and he rendered his work in a range of media and styles. Later in life, he went to teach at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, and he donated much of his work to the school. This digital collection of his works was made possible by a grant from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. It contains over 800 scene designs, costume renderings and illustrations by Gorelik, and visitors can browse around at their leisure. There are some beautiful renderings here, and some particularly noteworthy items include his sketches for the sets of "A Distant Bell" and "Days of Glory". [KMG]

General Interest

Sam Houston Memorial Museum

Located in Huntsville, Texas, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum pays homage to this celebrated American and first President of the Republic of Texas. Their homepage provides interested parties with information on his life in the "Sam's Life" area (including a timeline), along with a calendar of events and updates on their annual folk festival. It's worth nothing that the "Sam's Life" area also includes a FAQ area, quotes from the man himself, a family photo album, and a bibliography. Moving on, the "Virtual Tour" area is a bit of a treat as visitors can use the graphic to wander around the grounds. Finally, the "Fun Stuff" area includes information about the six flags of Texas, the Republic, and a few regional recipes, including one for molasses pie that sounds delicious. [KMG]

Great Buildings Collection

The good people at the Great Buildings Collection also publish ArchitectureWeek, and this site provides photographs and essays on thousands of renowned buildings around the world. There are several main sections here, and they include "Buildings", "Architects", and "Places". Each entry includes information about the architect, the date of construction, building type, construction system, and style. The real novel feature is that many of the buildings also have a 3D model that allows visitors to get a sense of the building's different forms, shapes, and context. While there are many highlights here, first-time visitors might start by looking at the entries for the Brooklyn Bridge, the Case Study homes in Southern California, or the Seattle Public Library. The site also contains a timeline of architects from 1400 to the present. [KMG]

Pilgrim Hall Museum

Located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Pilgrim Hall was built in 1824 to preserve the memories and the objects of those intrepid Pilgrims who helped colonize the region beginning in 1620. Some of their treasures include William Bradford's bible, Myles Standish's sword, and the earliest sampler made in America. On their website, visitors can use the "Pilgrim Story" area to read first-hand accounts of the first Thanksgiving and find thoughtful answers to questions like "Who were the Pilgrims?" There's even more detail in the "Beyond the Pilgrim Story", which combines artifacts with historical information to illuminate the Pilgrim and Native American story up to 1692, when the Plymouth Colony came to a formal end as an independent entity. The area features a number of wills from those who came over on the Mayflower, along with biographies. The site is rounded out with information about those wishing to visit the Hall. [KMG]

Dr. Walter Lindley Scrapbooks

Living in Los Angeles during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Dr. Walter Lindley was privy to many interesting changes throughout the region. Dr. Lindley created 33 scrapbooks from 1861 to 1922 and they document everything from his candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles to his work in founding a tuberculosis sanitarium in Idyllwild. The scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and booklets related to his many interests. Created by the Honnold/Mudd Library for The Claremont Colleges, this digital collection allows users to peer into selections from these fascinating scrapbooks. Currently, visitors can look at three of the scrapbook series, and the others will be digitized over time. Visitors can use the search feature here, which can be used to look around by subject, or they may just wish to type in various terms. [KMG]

Immigration Advocates Network [iTunes]

The mission of the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is "to enhance and unify the work of the nation's immigrants' rights organizations by providing an online resource and communication site to support joint work." On the site's homepage, visitors can learn about their excellent selection of resources, which include a library of materials for legal advocates, podcasts, calendars, videos, and news alerts. Visitors must submit a short registration form to access these materials, but the process is not terribly onerous. The site also includes links to the IAN's partner organizations, including the American Immigration Council, the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. The site is quite well organized, and it is one that will warrant several visits. [KMG]

Charter for Compassion

The idea for the Charter for Compassion came from Karen Armstrong, who is a former Roman Catholic nun who left a British convent to pursue a degree in modern literature at Oxford. In 2008 she won the TED Prize, and as part of this prize she wished for help starting the Charter for Compassion. Essentially, the Charter is "a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life." Visitors to the site can read the Charter, and then add their name to the list of those who have affirmed its principles. On the site, visitors can also read reflections from people who have signed the Charter and also learn more about "Acts of Compassion" performed by various people around the world. [KMG]


Great Nonprofits is a website that those with an interest in non-profits will find most useful. Great Nonprofits describes itself as the Zagats, Trip Advisor, or Epinions of the nonprofit world, as it encourages the employees, volunteers, and donors of charitable organizations to give reviews of them. There is a tab in the menu at the top of the page entitled "Find Reviews", where visitors can search for nonprofits by "Name", "Location", "Highest Ratings", "Most Reviewed", and "Most Recently Reviewed". Visitors can also browse using keywords, such as "arts", "environment", "mentoring", and "youth". Many of the reviews are by those who were drawn to the organization because they needed help from them, such as a reviewer of the American Bladder Cancer Society and Earl's Place, a support organization for homeless men. Visitors can "Write a Review" of a nonprofit that is already in the directory of almost 5500 organizations, or add their own listing for a new nonprofit. At the bottom of the homepage, interested visitors can also subscribe to an e-mail of "biweekly tips on volunteering, giving and innovation in nonprofits." [KMG]

Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917 [Flash Player]

The Art Institute of Chicago website has a wonderful online interactive feature that complements its in situ Matisse exhibit, called "Matisse: Radical Invention 1913-1917". The focus of the exhibit is the aforementioned time period, but the Art Institute of Chicago, in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, takes it one step further by using technology to uncover how Matisse's painting, Bathers By a River, and the sculpture, Back, evolved. To understand the technology used to uncover the evolution of Matisse's work, visitors should check out the "Glossary" in the menu at the top of any page. There, x-radiography, infrared reflectography, and overlays are concisely explained to visitors interested in learning about this x-ray approach to art. Finally, visitors interested in seeing Matisse working on an actual painting, will definitely want to check out the 26-minute film from 1946, "A Great French Painter, Henri Matisse". Some of the film is even shot in the Issy studio where he created many of his works from 1913 to 1917. [KMG]

Network Tools


If you're looking to work with colleagues who might be located in different places, TitanPad might be just the application you require. The application can be customized for a number of different uses, but at its essence it provides a shared space for visitors to coordinate work on documents and to also discuss their work via a specialized chat window. Visitors don't need to sign up, and the site also includes a blog for information about updates and so on. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Designed to alleviate poverty, interest in the conditional-cash transfer program grows

Brazil's Bolsa Famlia: How to get children out of jobs and into school

Conditional cash transfer helps Pinoys beat poverty trap

Anti-poverty programmes: Give the poor money

Conditional Cash Transfers,,contentMDK:20615138~menuPK:282766~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:282761,00.html

Conditional Cash Transfers: A Global Perspective [pdf]

Oxfam GB

Solving the problems of the world's poor is an issue that has consumed the attention of many non-governmental organizations (NGO's) for decades, and there is much debate about the most effective methods involved in combating this situation. One idea that has been garnering increased attention is conditional-cash transfers (CCT). CCT's are distributed to poor families on the condition that they make sure that their children are attending school, receiving medical checkups, and so on. Policy-makers are intrigued by the findings in the favelas (slums) of Sao Paulo, where these programs have been in place for several years. While they seem to be fairly effective in urban settings, they seem to work best in rural areas thus far. The program is not without its critics, as some think that it may erode incentives to work, and that it has failed to reduce child labor in cities. Interestingly enough, the program is slowly being adopted in the developed world, and there are now similar initiatives in large American cities, including the "Opportunity NYC" program in New York.

The first link will take visitors to a recent article from The Economist that reports on the possibilities and pitfalls of the CCT program in Brazil. Moving on, the second link leads to a piece from ABS/CBN News that discusses the use of the CCT program in the Philippines. The third link leads to another recent piece from The Economist that discusses potential improvements to the CCT program. The fourth link leads to a webpage from the World Bank website which offers a host of details about how the CCT program functions. The fifth link leads to a thoughtful reflection on the use of CCT's by Gaspar Fajth of UNICEF and Claudia Vinay of the United Nations' Development Programme. The final link leads to the homepage of the Oxfam GB organization, which has been working on a variety of anti-poverty initiatives since 1942.

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