The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 36

September 10, 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

Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills [pdf, iTunes]

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has an aggressive research program dedicated to providing cutting-edge information about the trends in library services and other matters. This timely 40-page report is intended to "support museums and public libraries in envisioning and defining their roles as institutions of learning in the 21st century." To achieve this goal, this report brings together case studies of successful 21st century projects at different institutions, along outlining a "vision for the role of libraries and museums in the national dialogue around learning and 21st century skills." Along with the main report and the case studies, the report also includes a self-assessment tool, which allows museums and libraries to determine where they fit on the continuum of 21st century skills operations and programming. [KMG]

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Digital Library

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM) has been quite the authority on this unique region of the United States for well over 50 years. With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), they have been able to create this extensive digital library which documents the area's landforms, animals, plants, minerals, and landscapes. On the homepage, visitors can search the entire collection, and they may also wish to browse the collections, which include sections like "Animals", "Minerals", and "Biotic Communities". The "auto-suggestion" feature is a nice touch, as it suggests possible species and names, such as "salamander" and "eagle". Each entry contains a high-quality photograph, a detailed description, and other relevant information. The site also includes a section of "Kids' Pages", a FAQ area, and an area for those who might wish to contribute to the project. [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 Test Ban Challenge: Nuclear Nonproliferation and the Quest for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty [pdf]

Over the past sixty years, a number of American presidents have attempted to craft a working comprehensive nuclear test ban. This digital collection from The National Security Archive at The George Washington University brings together a host of documents from the U.S. State Department and other agencies to illustrate how "nonproliferation goals shaped U.S. internal discussions of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) from the 1950s through the late 1970s." There are eleven key documents here, dating back to the 1957 draft background paper which identifies nuclear proliferation as the "fourth country" problem. The "fourth country" concept arose as the next country after the United States, Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom to obtain nuclear devices would be the so-called "fourth country". The collection was edited by William Burr and released in August 2010, and it is one that policy experts and diplomacy types will find very intriguing. [KMG]

America's First Illustrator: Alexander Anderson

America has produced many notable wood engravers, but Alexander Anderson is one of the first to have name recognition. Born in 1775, he spent his lifetime crafting illustrations for books, periodicals, newspapers, and other commercial ephemera. This delightful digital collection from the New York Public Library brings together sixteen scrapbooks containing almost 10,000 wood engravings by Anderson. Visitors can click on the "Browse Source Titles" area to view the various volumes, and the subjects covered here are quite diverse. Even a cursory search returns dozens of cat engravings, illustrations of slaves, and lottery advertisements. For anyone with an interest in 19th century material culture, this collection is truly wonderful. It is worth making several return trips to get a full sense of the offerings here, and it is one that will bring new rewards upon each visit. [KMG]

The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health [pdf]

The mission of the Gates Institute is "to build individual and institutional capacity in countries of the developing world to strengthen the effectiveness of population, family planning, and reproductive health policies and programs." The Institute is based in the Population, Family and Reproductive Health Department at Johns Hopkins University, and their work incorporates faculty from across the institution. The materials on the site are divided into sections like "Partnerships", "Education and Training", and "Reports and Publications". Scholars will want to head to the "Reports and Publications" area to look over works on voluntary HIV counseling and health technologies. Moving on, their "Research" area includes updates on their work in other countries, and visitors can search all of their materials here. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive their online newsletter. [KMG]

Southern New Hampshire University Academic Archive [pdf]

Over the past several years, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has continued to increase their digital offerings, and this collection is one of their more notable additions. This particular collection is focused on publications and documents created by some of their academic communities on campus, including the Faculty Center for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and their Community Economic Development program. In the "Community Economic Development" area, visitors can view thesis projects and dissertations from past years, and these works touch on everything from brownfield redevelopment and minority-owned businesses. While some of the documents in this collection are not publicly available, most of them are open-access. Visitors are also encouraged to submit their own comments on the site as well. [KMG]

McCracken Research Library: Digital Collections

It would be quite difficult to visit the Wild Wild West without a time machine, but this series of amazing digital collections from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming is perhaps the next best thing. Currently, visitors can browse around in seven different areas, including the Jack Richard Photograph Collection and the Buffalo Bill Online Archive. First-time visitors may wish to start with the Buffalo Bill section. Here they can look over great photographs of his Wild West show, view studio photographs of the man himself, and so on. Moving along, the "Great Plains People" area contains over 1600 photographs of Native Americans at play, work, and rest. Visitors can search the entire collection, or they can also search through separate collections at their leisure. [KMG]

Corning Museum of Glass [Flash Player]

The Corning Museum has a website that contains images from part of their 45,000 item historical and art glass collection. The collection spans 3,500 years, and includes "The Origins of Glassmaking", "Asian Glass", "Glass in America", and "Glass After 1960". Visitors can search or browse the collection by the name of the artist or maker, the date made, location made, or the name of the object. One of the "Current Exhibitions" that has some fantastic images of glass objects is the "Medieval Glass for Popes, Princes, and Peasants" exhibit that can be found via their homepage. Visitors interested in seeing images and reading about the history behind medieval glass, should click on the "Medieval Glass Story". The first image, of a cage cup, is a stunning piece from the early fourth century. The last image of the exhibit, entitled "Nef", is Venetian and looks like an elaborate ship with a spout on top of a conical base. Visitors who would like to hear an audio tour of the exhibit should click on "Audio Tour" to listen to any of the 20 short segments explaining the exhibit. [KMG]

General Interest

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Kansas City, Missouri, 1895-1957

It's great to check out the corner of 12th Street and Vine in person, but if you can't make it down there, this website offers up an interesting surrogate. These digital Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Kansas City are provided as a public service by the Kansas City Public Library, and they consist of over 1,200 individual pages. Visitors can use these maps to research the history of a building, learn little known facts regarding a church or school, and even get clues to help restore a building. The maps date from 1895 to 1957, and visitors can use the sample searches (such as "18th & Vine" and "Electric Park") to get started. The site includes a historical essay on the maps, a tutorial for guidance, and resources for students and teachers. [KMG]

San Antonio Museum of Art [Flash Player]

Created in 1925 as the San Antonio Museum Association, the organization later became the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) and also operated the Witte Museum of Science and History. Over its long history, the SAMA has become well-known for its collection of pre-Columbian art, along with its holdings in 18th through 20th century American and European paintings and sculpture. On their website, visitors can peruse their upcoming events, view highlights from their collection, and look over interactive features about their new and previous shows. Two of the archived highlights here include an exhibit on photography from the Mexican Revolution and their collection of Asian art. Teachers should make sure and look over their "Education" area, as it contains materials to use in the classroom, as well as information about special programs at SAMA. [KMG]

Music and the Deaf [Flash Player]

The Music and the Deaf organization was started in England by Paul Whittaker. Whittaker had applied to 12 universities to study music, but was turned down solely because he was deaf. After being accepted at Wadham College at Oxford, and studying at several others, Whittaker started the organization in 1988 in his parent's home. Visitors will find that the website for this one-of-kind organization has videos of performances under the "Projects" link, a schedule of "Theatre" performances in England that are signed by sign language interpreters, and a list of the many different ways to be involved, also under the "Projects" link. Visitors shouldn't miss the "SignBank" link under Projects, to watch two videos of songs, "Song of the Fish" and "The Jungle Song" being signed. The "Videos" link provides clips several features on the BBC, as well as on Telegraph TV. [KMG]

The Textile Collection

VADS is the Visual Arts Data Service that contains over 100,000 images that can all be used in learning, teaching, and research. The Textile Collection, from the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham, is one of 46 collections available on the website. There are two ways for visitors to peruse the 1051 image collection. There is the "View all images" link below the search box, and the browse method allows visitors to choose from such categories as "Function", "Maker/Designer", "Raw Materials", "Cloth Structure", and "Process". Process includes such categories as batik, knitted, machine woven, and wax resist. Visitors should check out the "blocks for printing" under the "Function" category, to see many beautiful blocks that were once inked up and pressed onto fabric. These blocks were then deployed to produce patterned fabric for clothing, linens, and other items. [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

PATH [pdf]

Started in the 1970s as an agency to assist men and women in gaining access to a variety of birth control methods, PATH has since expanded its focus to provide "sustainable, culturally relevant [health] solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health." The PATH website has more than a dozen videos and slideshows available to visitors at the "Our Multimedia" link near the bottom right hand corner of the homepage. A three-minute video entitled "Better Nutrition For Life" educates visitors about an innovative rice product that could bring greater nutrition to millions of malnourished people where rice is a staple food. The product is Ultra Rice, and is actually fortified pasta that looks, cooks, and tastes like rice, but is fortified with nutrients. The "rice" can be fortified with the needed nutrients the particular population being served is lacking. A slideshow about TB in the Ukraine, explains to visitors why there has been a resurgence of TB in Eastern Europe, and how PATH and its partners set out to help control it throughout the region. [KMG]

The Art of Ancient Greek Theater [Flash Player]

The Getty Museum provides this glimpse of Greek theater by utilizing both images and audio. Text at the website informs us that "Colorful characters, elaborate costumes, stage sets, music, and above all masks" were characteristic of Greek drama. Examples of images available to view on the site include sculpture and relief depicting actors. Many of these images feature actors wearing masks, such as Statue of an Actor as Papposilenos, dating from A.D. 100-199. In Greek myth, Papposilenos is the father of the band of satyrs that raised Dionysos. There are also over a dozen vessels to view; these vessels were used for various purposes including cooling wine, storage jars, and mixing vessels. The vessels are painted with scenes from the theater, and several are accompanied by audio of curators explaining the iconography. One of the featured items in the collection is a papyrus fragment from 175-200 A.D. with a few lines from a play by Sophocles. The exhibition closes with a reading, in ancient Greek, of an excerpt from this play, entitled The Trackers; a scene in which satyrs also appear, hearing music played on the then-newly invented lyre. [DS]

International Rivers [pdf]

International Rivers is an organization that opposes the construction of destructive dams on rivers, and they also support communities affected by dams. Their aim is to "protect rivers and promote just and sustainable water and energy development." Visitors will find most of their questions about dams and hydroelectricity can be answered under the "Learn More" tab's FAQ section. Along with each answer, there is most often an article, slideshow, video or other resource to explore further. Some of the pieces examine why there is opposition to large dams, the expense of hydroelectricity, the lack of local jobs produced when a dam is being built in a developing country, and the number of people displaced by dams. Under the "Get Involved" tab, there is a section called "Tools for Educators" that include lessons for introductory learners, intermediate learners, advanced learners, and a "River Educator's Toolkit", which contains lessons on the four major rivers in Asia, Africa, and South America. [KMG]

Network Tools

MindNode 1.5.3

Perhaps you have a thought you'd like to keep around? Maybe it's linked to several other thoughts? MindNode can help you out. Designed by Markus Mueller, this mindmapping application helps users develop thoughts new and old, and visitors can use them for to-do lists, brainstorming, and project management. The program can be customized to constrain node width and size, and also create multiple "mind-maps" on one canvas. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.5 and newer. [KMG]

Wise Registry Cleaner Free 5.54

The Wise Registry Cleaner provides a set of utilities that will help users clean up their registry. Visitors can set up the program so that it will check the registry automatically, and it will efficiently locate incorrect or obsolete information. The program is quite effective and it is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Concern over buckwheat shortage prompts panic, hoarding, and speculation

In Russia, a Shortage Triggers Soviet Habits [Free registration may be required]

Wheat price soars, Kremlin scrambles

Stockpiling as Russian food prices soar

Ask Food Network: What is buckwheat?

Buckwheat Information

Epicurious: Buckwheat recipes

Russians have had a difficult few months, what with the tremendous heat, extensive forest fires and terrible drought. To add insult to injury, the country is also facing a lack of buckwheat, a crop that is a staple for most Russians. Buckwheat is used in a myriad of dishes in the country, and it can be found in pancakes, as a side dish, and as hot cereal. This situation is not being taken lightly, as public complaints about foodstuffs have led to public unrest and riots since the time of the czars in Russia. Recently, President Dmitri A. Medvedev has addressed the shortage during his visits to various parts of the nation, and he also gave a strong admonition to those who would attempt to manipulate the market in this precious foodstuff for their own personal gain. The New York Times recently reported that officials from the Kremlin are now stating that they are sufficient quantities available for Russian consumers, and as a result, more people are becoming suspicious of speculators and their ilk. Commenting on the situation, Russian economist Irina Yasina noted, "The reaction to this is absolutely Soviet-it is a classic, Soviet-style panic." [KMG]

The first link will take users to an article from this Monday's New York Times about the buckwheat situation in Russia. The second link leads to a piece about the rising prices of buckwheat and wheat from the Financial Times' "Beyondbrics" blog. Moving on, the third link will lead users to a piece from the BBC about the rising trend of stockpiling food in Russia. The fourth link will take interested parties to a detailed answer to the question "What is buckwheat?" provided by the Food Network. The fifth link leads to an information page on buckwheat, created by Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. Here visitors can learn about this plant, and also check out a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that provides a lesson in humility. The final link will take visitors to a collection of recipes which celebrate the joys and possibilities of buckwheat in different dishes.

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