The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 35

September 3, 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 Writing Project [pdf]

Writing is an important skill for everyone to possess, and the National Writing Project (NWP) "envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world." The NWP is a network of sites based at colleges and universities, and their work provides professional development resources, research reports, and practical classroom activities for students of all ages. Visitors will want to make a beeline for the "Resources" section of the site. Here they will find topical sections that cover "Teaching Writing", "Teaching Reading", "Standards and Assessment", and four other areas. Within each section, visitors will find well-organized groups of links to a range of helpful materials. Back on the homepage, visitors can read through the "Events & Opportunities" listings, and also check in with their "In the News" postings. Finally, visitors should also sign up for their free newsletter. [KMG]

Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years

This excellent collection from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries brings together a wide range of primary documents that narrate the history and social milieu of the famed boomtowns of southern Nevada. The collection brings together materials from a number of institutions, and all told, there are over 1500 items here. The most well known sections of this collection are the photographs and photograph albums which span the region in the late 19th and early 20th century. Additionally, the site contains business records, maps, surveys, and stock certificates. What is most compelling here may be the correspondence between officials of the Union Pacific railroad and their local agents. Visitors can view a list of boomtowns by county, look over the teaching resources here, and also learn more about the mining activities which transformed these places forever. [KMG]

Child Labor Coalition [pdf]

Formed in 1989, the Child Labor Coalition is a provider of informational and educational outreach about child labor in the public and private sectors. On their website, visitors will find sections on "Child Labor in the U.S." and "Child Labor Around the World", as well as a "Photo Gallery and Media Library". The Child Labor in the U.S. section provides history, causes, and results of child labor in the U.S. Visitors will also find a link to the report "Fields of Peril - Child Labor in U.S. Agriculture", which addresses the lack of rights of child farmworkers on commercial farms. Visitors with teenagers will be interested in the "Parents' Primer: When Your Teen Works" report that emphasizes the hours of employment governed by child labor laws, and provides information on how these laws "restrict teens from working in hazardous occupations or operating dangerous machinery." The photo gallery contains several albums, including heartrending stills from the documentary "Stolen Childhoods". Visitors will see a child working at a brick kiln in India, and a Kenyan coffee plantation where children work without protective gear from pesticides or the sharp spines of the coffee plant. [KMG]

The Journal of Electronic Publishing

The Journal of Electronic Publishing was founded in 1995, and it is published by a unit of the University of Michigan Libraries. The journal offers, "articles [that] present innovative ideas, best practices, and leading-edge thinking about all aspects of publishing, authorship, and readership." An "advanced search" feature is available to visitors on the left hand side menu, and the ability to "browse all issues", "browse by author", and "browse by title" is also available on the same menu. Recent issues of the journal have featured pieces discussing whether or not giving away free digital versions of books affects print sales of the book, and another titled "Our Blook" which discusses a website experiment that has the features of a blog and a book. Anyone with a penchant for the future of publishing in general will find this site to be a great resource. [KMG]

Mingei International Museum [Flash Media Player]

Mingei is Japanese for "art of the people" and is used to describe everyday items that are also wonderful arts and crafts. The arts of daily lives are represented at the Mingei International Museum, but the museum doesn't only highlight the everyday art of the Japanese, as there is art from cultures and countries around the world and from historic and contemporary artists. Visitors can see many of the objects in their digital form on their website. The artist in the current exhibition "Sonabai: Another Way of Seeing", is clay sculptor Sonabai Rajawar, and there are also some selections from four artists who studied under Rajawar. Her clay animals are whimsical, yet were born of her forced isolation in rural India for 15 years. She has since been honored in India and around the world. There are several other exhibitions visitors can view online, along with a calendar of events, a place to sign up for the museum's newsletter, and additional links to past and future exhibits. [KMG]

Ephemeral Films

Ephemeral films are those films that are made "for educational, industrial, or promotional purposes" and they are a specialty over at the Internet Archive. This delightful collection is both informative and amusing and contains over 200 of these films. Visitors can view the "Most Downloaded Items Last Week" to get a sense of the wisdom of the crowds, or they can go their own way by browsing by subject or keyword. The site has a number of sub-collections, including one dedicated to drive-in movie ads and public information films created by the British government. Visitors shouldn't miss the public service announcements by the U.S. Civil Defense office aimed at farmers (the "actors" are marionettes) or the "Beginning Responsibility: Lunchroom Manners" instructional film. [KMG]

Gordon Knox Film Collection

Gordon Knox was born in Greenville, Texas and during his long career he made a wide range of documentary films for the United States Armed Forces, state and federal government agencies, and private sector clients. In 1941, Knox formed the Princeton Film Center in Princeton, New Jersey, and over the coming years he would create profiles of Princeton ("University Town"), "Fortress in the Sky" (for Boeing), and "This is Macy's", which was an orientation film for new employees at this celebrated department store. Visitors can search all of the materials (including the films) in the Knox archive via the search engine here, and they can also look through the "Recent Additions" area to look at new photos, manuscripts, and other items of note. One film that should not be missed is the 1948 documentary "What is Modern Art", which explores the question of recent transformations throughout the art world. [KMG]

Profiles in Science: The Daniel Nathans Papers

Daniel Nathans was a molecular biologist whose work with restriction enzymes provided one of the keystones of "the new genetics". His work in this area quickly became one of the essential tools of molecular biology, and in 1987 he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this crucial work. This collection from the National Library of Medicine's "Profiles in Science" series brings together some of his research papers and related documents. The materials are divided chronologically into periods that include "Choosing Research, 1955-1962" and "New Directions: Growth Signals and Cellular Responses, 1980-1999". The site also contains a list of further readings and a glossary of terms. [KMG]

General Interest

Shots of War: Photojournalism During the Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War was documented quite well by a range of photographers, and some of the images have become icons of 20th century photojournalism. This particular collection contains 99 photographs that are part of the Spanish Civil War Collection held at Mandeville Special Collections Library at the University of California, San Diego. The photos were taken by photographers attached to various news photography agencies, and they can be browsed chronologically, geographically, or thematically by people or war damage. First-time visitors should read the extended introductory essay by Matt Crawford, as it provides some nice background on the war, the place of photographers during the conflict, and an emerging "photojournalism" sensibility. There are a number of compelling images here, and visitors might want to check out the photographs of political demonstrators to start their journey. [KMG]

Endangered Species International [pdf]

With a focus on interdisciplinary work, Endangered Species International has a set of core values that includes "passion for nature" and "optimism for solving the species extinction crisis." On their homepage, visitors can learn about their latest actions, see their latest photos from the field, and learn about their research projects. First-time visitors should click on the "Our Projects" area, to learn about their "Current Project" on saving endangered animals from the bushmeat trade in the Congo and coral reef protection. Moving on, the "Endangered Species" area features some fact sheets and overviews regarding extinct species, threatened species, and rediscovered species. Also, visitors will want to check out their "Support Us" area if they feel compelled to offer some type of assistance. [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

Rivers, Rails and Trails: Kansas City before UMKC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has created this rather novel online exhibit that explores the world of Kansas City before the creation of this educational institution. The exhibit was designed to appear with the installation of the automated book retrieval system at the UMKC library, which seems appropriate as the system's faade features a 1926 chamber of commerce map of the city. The interactive map portion of the site features the map, complete with postcards that illustrate various aspects of the city's development during the early 20th century. Visitors can click on a postcard of the city's beautiful Paseo Boulevard, the stock yards, and Swope Park. Along the way, users will learn about local history, urban transportation, and the "City Beautiful" movement. [KMG]

Magnificent Maps [Flash Media Player]

The British Library has a few maps in its collection, and it is an institution that is well-positioned to create an exhibition with the title "Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art". This digital exhibit is meant to complement an in situ exhibit that explores these main themes through 80 different maps. On this site, visitors can look over four of these marvelous maps in exquisite detail, and also watch and listen as the exhibit's curators talk about each work. The maps include the Psalter World Map from 1625, which is most likely a copy of the lost map which decorated King Henry III's bedchamber in Westminster Palace. "The Island" map shouldn't be missed either, as it satirizes "the London-centric view of the English capital and its commuter towns as independent from the rest of the country." The site is rounded out by a blog maintained by the curators, and it is worth a look. [KMG]

Australian War Memorial: This Company of Brave Men: The Gallipoli VCs

1n 1915, a group of Australians and New Zealanders (the ANZACs) made a landing on the Turkish Gallipoli peninsula. Over the next eight months these men displayed "courage, endurance, initiative, discipline, and mateship." Out of their number, nine were awarded the Victoria Cross, and this website from the Australian War Memorial pays tribute to their deeds. The website starts with a brief description of the Victoria Cross and its history, and visitors can move along to learn more about each of the nine recipients. A good place to start is by clicking on Lance Corporal Albert Jacka, and reading about his superhuman effort to attack the enemy soldiers who had occupied his trench. Their stories are quite amazing, and this site could be used in the classroom or for a bit of personal edification on World War I. [KMG]

The Drug Enforcement Administration Museum & Visitors Center

It may come as a surprise that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a museum, and that some of its exhibits are online. The DEA Educational Foundation is involved with the museum's exhibits and they are currently sponsoring several of note, including an exhibit called "Good Medicine, Bad Behavior: Drug Diversion in America". The exhibit is about the prescription drug abuse problem in the United States, and aims to inform and deter people from abusing prescription drugs. Once visitors have chosen to view the exhibit, by clicking on the link under "Initiatives", there are several different sections under the "Explore" link to choose from, including "The Science of Drugs", "Prescription Fraud", and "History of Prescription Drugs". [KMG]

The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today

The MoMA exhibit "The Original Copy" presents a "critical examination of the intersections between photography and sculpture, exploring how the one medium has been implicated in the analysis and creative redefinition of the other." The exhibition posits the theory that photography grew up documenting sculpture. Tracing themes such as "the marvelous in the everyday" and "the readymade as reproduction", the exhibition presents photographs of works by Marcel Duchamp, taken by Alfred Stieglitz and Man Ray; Eugne Atget's photos of classical antiquities in France; Bruce Nauman's photos of his studio floor; and Christo's 441 Barrels StructureThe Wall (Project for 53rd between 5th and 6th Avenues), 1968. There are many surprises to be found in the show, including the atmospheric views of Rodin's sculptures of Balzac emerging from the mist, taken by Edward Steichen, and a whole section of political images including a battlefield monument in Vicksburg, shot by Walker Evans. [DS]

Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool [Flash Media Player]

The Asia Society's Museum in New York City features an exhibition of paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, and large-scale installations by the Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. Although the name may not be familiar to some visitors, his style may be, as his work is "readily associated" with Japanese manga comics and animation. The images of children, with their extremely wide set eyes and large heads, and the ever present animals characterize his work. Visitors will find the "Exhibition" is divided into three themes, "Isolation", "Rebellion", and "Music", and in addition to the half dozen or so works featured in each section, several paragraphs are included about his work. The "Isolation" theme highlights the loneliness he felt in childhood and adulthood, which arguably influenced his paintings of children with knives, such as "Make the Road, Follow the Road". [KMG]

Network Tools

Google Earth 5

Google Earth has been around for a while, but this latest version adds oceans into the mix. Users are encouraged to use the various historical Earth maps included in this version, but visitors will want to take the opportunity to dive to the bottom of the ocean floor and also look over video content provided by the BBC and National Geographic. This version of Google Earth is compatible with computers running Windows, OS X, or Linux. [KMG]

In The News

A Pesky Pest Makes a Dramatic Comeback in the United States

Bedbugs Crawl, They Bite, They Baffle Scientists [Free registration may be required]

Bedbug Disclosure Law, Signed by Gov. Paterson, Forces Landlords to Reveal Apartment Infestations

New York, Darwin, and Cimex Lectularious


Bed Bugs: University of Kentucky Entomology

The Bed Bug Registry

Perhaps some of you remember the admonition "Don't let the bedbugs bite"; if recent reports are any indication, it would appear that bed bugs are biting quite a few people in the United States. These tiny creatures (whose Latin name means "bug of the bed") are confounding pest control experts, hotel owners, and even sage entomologists. Bed bugs have sought out humans for thousands of years, and they are also the rare insect that doesn't seem to transmit any disease as they move from host to host. Not much was heard about bed bugs in the United States from the late 1950s to the late 1990s, and some have attributed this to the successful use of DDT, though this explanation is quite problematic. Some scientists are now suggesting that the resurgence of these tiny creatures may be due to their importation from overseas visitors. Once a bed bug infestation starts, it can be very expensive to rid any dwelling or property of their presence, as such a treatment requires everything from ripping up carpets to dismantling furniture. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to an article from this Monday's New York Times about the curious bed bug and its dramatic return to cities big and small. The second link leads to a post from the Wall Street Journal's "Metropolis" blog, which talks about New York's efforts to compel landlords to reveal their apartments past bedbug infestations. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece from New York magazine about the recent increase in bedbug infestations around the city. The fourth link will whisk users away to a useful fact sheet from the Mayo Clinic about bed bugs. The fifth link leads to another helpful fact sheet from the University of Kentucky's entomology department. The final link leads to a public database of user-submitted bed bug reports from across the United States and Canada. Users can search for bed bug reports by hotel name, street address, or city, and they also have a Twitter feed as well.

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