The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 46

November 19, 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

Institute for Strategic Dialogue [pdf]

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) is an independent think-tank working with leaders in government, media and the private sector. Their goal is to "challenge long-range threats to international and communal peace and to enhance Europe's capacity to act strategically in the global arena." The ISD was started in 1996, and lately their new work has included creating a network of Muslim professionals across Europe and sponsoring scholarships and leadership conferences. Scholars and other policy-types should click on over to the "Publications" area. Here they will find recent works that include "Muslims in the European Mediascape: Integration and Social Cohesion Dynamics" and "Exploring New Vehicles for a Strategic European Engagement with Russia". On the homepage, visitors can find a list of recent events sponsored by the ISD and also watch some media from their talks and conference gatherings. [KMG]

Science 360 [Flash Player, Real Player, pdf]

With a mix of interactive features, social media, and other bells and whistles, the Science 360 Knowledge Network "immerses visitors in the latest wonders of science, engineering, technology and math." The Network website is maintained by the National Science Foundation, and it draws on work by the Foundation and other institutions around the world. On the homepage, visitors are presented with a scrolling six by three matrix of items that cover everything from the science of football kinematics, the biology of jellyfish, and the search for extra-terrestrial life. Visitors can browse the "Topics" area at their leisure, or also play the "Featured Videos". Also, visitors can submit their own content for potential inclusion, and also share information with others via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and so on. [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

MAA Online: Classroom Capsules and Notes

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) provides a range of high-quality educational resources for educators all across the United States and the world. Recently, they completed digitizing over 114 years of their short classroom materials, and they are now available right here. On the homepage, visitors can look over "Featured Items" to get started, and then they can type in keywords to look for specific items. Recently featured items have included "Proof without Words: Geometric Series", "Museum Exhibits for the Conics", and "The Birthday Problem Revisited". Visitors should also check out the "Tips on Searching" area to help out with their exploration of this archive. Educators will find that the site is worthy of several visits, and this material can be used to illuminate a wide range of mathematical topics and concepts. [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

Oklahoma Today

Published since the 1950s, Oklahoma Today is a production of several state agencies, and it is designed to showcase various cultural, historical, and social aspects of Oklahoma. Over the past several years, Oklahoma State University has digitized back issues of the magazine, and visitors can now read all the way back to the first issue from 1956. Visitors can browse back issues by decade, and they can also perform key-word searches. First-time visitors should start by reading through the spring 1960 issue, which contains pieces on rattlesnakes, Oklahoma wildflowers, and the Washington Irving Trail. While the name Washington Irving may not be commonly associated with Oklahoma, the author spent part of 1832 wandering through the state with a Native American guide. More recent issues feature profiles of singer Vince Gill and Route 66. [KMG]

National Gallery of Art: The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British Photograph and Painting, 1848-1875

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has an intriguing online exhibit about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which was formed by three painters, J.E. Millais, W.H. Hunt, and D.G. Rossetti in the 1840s, as a response to the establishment of photography as a popular medium. The Brotherhood and their followers aimed to "return to the purity, sincerity, and clarity of detail found in medieval and early Renaissance art that preceded Raphael (14831520)." The images in the exhibit are of both photographs and paintings, and many of the paintings are such fine interpretations of natural scenes that they look much like photographs. The John Ruskin painting of a clump of birch and ferns on page three is stunning in its own right. The photograph by John Payne Jennings on page six includes not only an image of the natural setting, but also a painter who is painting the same scene. The caption states that such occurrences were common at the time, which also makes such items even more interesting. [KMG]

Yale National Initiative

The goal of the Yale National Initiative is to "strengthen teaching in public schools", which it tries to do by encouraging the formation of new Teachers Institutes throughout the United States. Their website includes a link to the "League of Teachers Institutes", as well as their "League News". The newsletter of the Institute can be found under the link "On Common Ground", and it includes an archive of back issues that dates back to 1993. Some of the topics in the most recent issue are about planning a San Francisco Teachers Institute, and some of the 2008 national seminars and curriculum units. The "Curricular Resources" link on the website offers the curriculum units that each teacher that is a National Fellow in the national seminars is required to prepare. The teachers then use the curriculum in their school, and share it with other teachers in the school and district. The curricula for 2010 include such topics as "The Mathematics of Wallpaper", "Nanotechnology and Human Health", and "Evolutionary Medicine". [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

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science: Exhibits

There are two informative and fun online exhibits at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science's website. One of the exhibits is called "New Mexico's State Fossil". In the exhibit, visitors will find answers to "Common Questions" about the Coelophysis (the state's official state fossil, an extinct dinosaur) including where it ate, lived, roamed, what it looked like, and how it eventually became extinct. There are also several PDF documents that relate to the discovery of the fossil, how it was named, and the process involved with how it became the state fossil. The other online exhibit is called "New Mexiquest", and "is an interactive look at a dozen specimens from the paleontology, biology, and mineralogy collections" of the Museum. Visitors start by picking an image of a specimen, clicking on it, and then deciding how to explore it once it's been enlarged for better viewing. There are eight choices in the boxes to the left of the image, and visitors can scroll over to see both the question and the answer. Also, the exhibit can be read in English or Spanish. [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

Harvard Map Collection: Digital Maps

Not surprisingly, Harvard University has one of the largest map collections in the United States, with over 500,000 items. While not all of these items have been digitized for this site, visitors can take advantage of hundreds of the items here. First-time visitors should read the "Introduction" area and then browse through some of the map indexes. The site also includes technical information on the collection, and a selection of "Search Strategies". Some of the maps here document 17th century London, maps of the Revolutionary War, and towns in Massachusetts. The detailed search engine allows users to search by collection, keyword, and those records that have digital objects. Finally, the site also includes links to the Harvard Geospatial Library and the Harvard College Library. [KMG]

General Interest

The Tech Museum of Innovation: Exhibits

Based in San Jose, the Tech Museum was designed to inspire people through documenting the world of science and technology through hands-on, interactive activities. If visitors can't make it down to their headquarters in California, this online series of exhibits is a nice surrogate for an in-person visit. The site always highlights three exhibits, and the most recent exhibits have included a "MPG Marathon" and "The Satellite Site". In the "Satellite Site", visitors can use graphics and interactive images to learn how satellites work, what they do, and also peer into the anatomy of these remarkable devices. In the "MPG Marathon", visitors can create their own energy-efficient hybrid car and then race it against two opponent cars to see how it performs in real-time. Finally, the site also contains eight archived exhibits that cover earthquakes, lasers, and a "robot zoo". [KMG]

American Precision Museum

Housed in the historic Robbins & Lawrence Armory in Windsor, Vermont, the American Precision Museum "celebrates the ingenuity of our mechanical forebears, and explores the effects of their work on everyday lives." Interestingly enough, some of the tools and methods that made mass production possible were developed at this very armory, and the concept of precision manufacturing provides "the foundation for modern industry around the world." First-time visitors should start by viewing the 8.5-minute introductory film on the homepage, as it provides a good overview of the museum. Next, visitors should look over the "Machine Tool Hall of Fame" area. Here they can learn about various inductees, including Frank Lyman Cone, Edward P. Bullard, and William L. Bryant, who developed the technology that made the rapid production of bearing races possible. The site is rounded out by information about visiting the museum, along with a link to their mailing list. [KMG]

The Labor Trail

Created by the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies, the Interactive Labor Trail documents 140 significant locations in the history of labor, migration, and working-class culture in Chicago. Visitors to the site can use the information here to learn more about the history of labor activism and related matters in Chicago, and visitors are also encouraged to add sites for inclusion on the map. First-time users can use the map by just clicking on sites of interest (like Hull House or the Pullman community) and they can also listen to audio features, such as "The Haymarket Affair", narrated by William J. Adelman. In the "Resources" tab, visitors can watch video clips, look over a photo gallery, and check out a detailed bibliography and external resources. [KMG]

The Museum of Connecticut History Home Page

Located in the historic Connecticut State Library and Supreme Court Building, the Museum of Connecticut History documents the political, cultural, technological, and urban history of the Nutmeg State. On the site, visitors will find six primary sections, including "Museum Exhibits", "Colt Collection", and "About the Museum". The "Colt Collection" section provides information about the famous gun manufacturer, which made weapons in Hartford for well over a century. In the "Museum Exhibits" area, visitors can preview collections that tell the story of the state's governors and the Freedom Trail quilts. Also, the "Education Services" area features helpful educational materials for educators and students, including lesson plans and thoughtful activities. [KMG]

Rodale Institute

J.I. Rodale was into organic farming for many decades before it became a bit more "hip". The Rodale Institute has been doing research on organic farming versus conventional farming for over 60 years, and their website is aimed at farmers, gardeners, and the general public alike. The "New Farm" link is the online incarnation of their print publication that has been providing "farmer-to-farmer resources, articles and personal stories" for over 29 years. Under the "Tools" menu in New Farm, visitors and farmers can find a "Crop Conversion Calculator", "Organic Price Report", and "NewFarm Forums". The Crop Conversion Chart gives five choices of crops, soybeans, oats, corn, wheat, and barley to compare, and shows how many pounds of CO2 will be saved based on the number of acres planted organically, and how many cars would be removed from the world as a result. The "Nutrition" link presents visitors with "Research", "Organic News", and even book reviews. There is also an "Advocacy" heading with a request to support Farm to School funding "to boost health, students, farms". [KMG]

Alexander Allison's New Orleans

An engineer who worked for 59 years at the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, Louisiana, Alexander Allison was an avid and skillful photographer who donated hundreds of his photographs and negatives dating from the 1890s to the 1950s to the New Orleans Public Library's Louisiana Division. Visitors can view all of the negatives online, though this exhibit is akin to a "best of" feature. It contains shots of New Orleans, as well as photos related to Allison's family at home, throughout Louisiana, and in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where his parents resided. The "Images of the City" provides visitors excellent shots of New Orleans that would be unfamiliar to most residents of the city today. Several photos, "High River at Carrollton, 1900" and "Flooded Wharves, Sand Bag Levees--near Canal Street, undated" reveal the city's history of flooding. Visitors will find it hard to believe that "The Windmill before the Football Game, 1904" is a photograph of a windmill-driven water well on the Tulane University campus that likely supplied water to the school, since the city's water supply wasn't in operation until 1909. [KMG]

Japanese and Chinese Prints and Drawings donated by Gillette G. Griffin

Gillet G. Griffin donated these delightful Japanese and Chinese prints and drawings to the Princeton University Library. Griffin is the curator emeritus of graphic arts at the institution, and all told there are 282 pages of material here. Among the materials here, visitors will find several small notebooks and a range of exquisite drawings. The first image is a rather artful and lovely seated horse done by artist Aoyama Seizan in the 1920s. As with the other collections from the Princeton University Library, users will be able to zoom in and out on each image, and they can also view archival details and provenance information. Other items here include drawings of courtesans, pearl divers, swallows, and a young woman drinking tea. [KMG]

Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art

Organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, and presented online by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Grass Roots is a history of 300 years of African basket making, brought by African people to the American South. The grasses that grow in the marshes along the Atlantic coast in the Southern United States, where African slaves were brought to work on rice plantations, were ideal for making coiled baskets, similar to the ones they'd made in Africa. The plantation system of rice growing required large numbers of several particular shapes of work baskets, including flat trays for winnowing, or removing chaff from the grain, and carrying baskets. The web resource includes an 86-page teachers' guide with activities for students from grades 3 - 12, and additional images of the baskets. [DS]

Network Tools


SlideShare is billed as the "world's largest community for sharing presentations", and if you are looking for a way to join their community, this is the place to visit. Visitors can use the program to share their own presentations and documents, and it lets users embed slideshows into a blog or website, synch audio to slides, and also market their events on the website. The site also includes some video demonstrations that show users what they can do with the program and a very active online forum of fellow Slideshare enthusiasts. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


For those people who want to use their smart phone to record and upload audio for friends, family, or countless others, Audioboo is well worth a look. After watching a short video introduction to the application, visitors can move on over to the "Let Us Show You Around" section to find out how the recording and uploading process works. Visitors can also create their own profile and check out the work of other Audioboo users. This version is compatible with all operating systems and users will also need a smart phone. [KMG]

In The News

As tensions mount, there is growing concern about the unrest in Western Sahara

Diplomacy over Western Sahara: Morocco v Algeria

U.N. asked to investigate violence in Western Sahara

BBC: Q&A: Western Sahara clashes

Morocco defends raid on Sahrawi camp

BBC: We Are Saharawis

Human Rights Report: Western Sahara

Examining the northwestern corner of Africa on a globe or map will reveal a country with a name that might seem curious: Western Sahara. Previously known as Spanish Sahara, the king of Morocco, Hassan II, moved the Moroccan army into the region in 1976, and Spain ceded its claims to the area. Conflict continued in the region for 16 more years, as the separatist Polisario movement fought the Moroccan government for control of Western Sahara, drawing on the support of the Algerian government. The people behind the Polisario movement continue to claim that the town of Laayoune should serve as the capital of the independent Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), much to the consternation of the Moroccan government. Things have become tense as of late, as Moroccan authorities bulldozed a temporary encampment last week that housed 12,000 to 20,000 Sahrawi protestors outside of Laayoune. Political talks are talking place in New York under the auspices of the United Nations regarding the situation in the region, and there is the hope that the UN will send a peacekeeping mission over to the Western Sahara to monitor human rights violations. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a piece from The Economist which talks about the current state of affairs in Western Sahara. The second link leads to a piece from the Washington Post's Colum Lynch on the recent disputes between the Moroccan government and protestors in Laayoune. Moving on, the third link whisks users away to a helpful Q&A fact sheet from the BBC on recent activities in Western Sahara. The fourth link leads to a news article from this Tuesday's BBC Africa website that discusses Morocco's intent in their raid on the protest camp mentioned above. For those looking for a bit more insight into the world of the Saharawi people, the fifth link provides access to a 22-minute documentary on them, directed by Marta Fernandez. The last link leads to a 2009 human rights report on Western Sahara written up by the U.S. Department of State.

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