The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 5

February 4, 2011

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

MIT OpenCourseWare: Introduction to Solid State Chemistry

Looking to delve into the world of solid-state chemistry? Why not check out this excellent introduction to the subject, provided courtesy of MIT and their OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative. This is not just an introduction to chemistry class; it's a "chemistry-centered class that integrates examples from the world around us, in the arts and humanities, the human stories behind the science, and applications to engineering and emerging technologies." The materials provided here are from Professor Donald Sadoway's college course and visitors can view a complete set of lecture videos, read detailed course notes for most of the sessions, check out the homework problems, and also view a collection of external links for further study. This course is a MIT OCW Scholar course, designed specifically for independent learners, and as such is "substantially more complete than typical OCW courses, and include new custom-created content as well as materials repurposed from previously published courses." One of the custom features of this particular course is the online study group that allows users to interact directly with other persons using the course site. Visitors can also read brief session overviews and download all of the course materials at one time. [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

NOAA Ocean Explorer: Lophelia II 2010: Oil Seeps and Deep Reefs [pdf, Flash Player]

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been documenting the field mission of its ship, the Lophelia II, since 2001. In the fall of 2010, the Lophelia II went to cruise around the Gulf of Mexico conducting important experiments and analyses looking into the world of the deep-water coral communities there. The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement sponsored the project. On the site, visitors can read their exploration and research logs, take a look at their mission plans, and also view a slide show of images from their work. In the November 3rd log, visitors can read about the final dive of this expedition, which took the scientists over to an area near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The site is rounded out by the "Ask an Explorer" section, which features answers to questions posed by curious visitors to the site. [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

National Archives: Teachers' Resources [pdf]

The National Archives has developed this site to give teachers an array of resources to use in their classroom, and their offerings range from first-hand accounts of the Civil War to information about summer teaching workshops. The three main sections on the homepage include "Featured Activity", "Featured Exhibit", and "Professional Development". The "Featured Activity" includes collections of primary documents, accompanied by teaching guides, discussion questions, and other helpful items. One such collection includes "The Constitution at Work", which helps students learn how to analyze a number of key documents and then determine their connection to the U.S. Constitution. On the right-hand side of the page, visitors can find the "News, Events & Notices" area, which includes links to social media, regional events and programs, and information about National History Day. [KMG]


The goal of ReliefWeb is to provide "reliable and relevant humanitarian information and analysis" and "help [people] make sense of humanitarian crises worldwide." ReliefWeb is administered by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and was started in 1996. The "Countries & Emergencies" tab across the top of the page allows visitors to choose countries on a map or from a list, and get many pieces of information. Once they have clicked on a country, visitors will find the latest updates on the situation from "NGOs", "News", "Gov'ts", and the "Academic World". In addition, they will find "Background Information" on the country, the "Latest Maps" that might show road conditions or shelter/home conditions; and job "Vacancies" available in the area for humanitarian professionals. Back on the homepage, the "Policy & Issues" tab takes visitors to a large list of topics and thematic documents. Malaria, water scarcity, food insecurity and land mines are just some of the many issues addressed in these documents, which are produced by many different non-profits, non-government groups, and humanitarian organizations. [KMG]


Radiolab is a lively website with a retro look from public radio station WNYC. The Radiolab show is described in the "About" section as a place where "the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow." The focus is science and technology, but it's certainly not filled with cold, dry, unfeeling stories, as evidenced by the tags visitors can use to explore the Radiolab site, which include "gut-wrenching", "heart-swelling", "knee slapping", and "mind-bending". The "Explore Radiolab" box also allows visitors to search by podcasts, episodes, and shorts or sort by "Latest", "Most Comments", or "Most Liked". One of the "heart-swelling" podcasts is "The Luckiest Lobster", about a live lobster rescued from a supermarket, and another is "The Bus Stop", a podcast about those with Alzheimer's or dementia who wander away from home. Visitors interested in keeping up with Radiolab can subscribe to their episode podcasts via iTunes or RSS, read the Radiolab blog, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. [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


Ouch! is a BBC website by and for disabled people, and it is also for those who hold an interest in the disabled, such as family, friends, and professionals. There are articles, podcasts, blogs and a message board. The Ouch! talk show podcast is an award-winning half hour show, and a new episode is broadcast about twice per month. The topics range from DadaFest, the world's biggest disability arts festival, dating websites, live musical performances by disabled musicians, and the Blind Football World Cup. Tech-interested visitors will enjoy Adrian Higginbotham's regular feature on accessible technology devices, such as the "Ouch! guide to audio description" and "TV help". Visitors can subscribe to the "Newsletter" to get a weekly brief on what's new in disability news and what's new on the site. The link to subscribe is on the bottom left side of the homepage. Visitors will want to check out the "Play" link, with its humorous drawings, comics and articles. The "Motley Zoo" comic depicts disabled animals, such as a shy peacock or the owl and the pussycat that can't go out to sea because they have hydrophobia. [KMG]

The HistoryMakers Digital Archive

The History Makers organization and the Carnegie Mellon University Informedia Project came together to bring this trove of 310 African American video oral history interviews to the general public. The HistoryMakers group started their oral history interviews in 1999, and over the next six years they interviewed Marian Wright Edelman, Julian Bond, and other prominent individuals in the African American community. Along with support from Carnegie Mellon University, this archival project was made possible through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). On the right-hand side, visitors can view interviews by category (which include "CivicMakers" and "LawMakers") and also look over a complete list of all the interviews. Additionally, the site includes a "Help" section and a FAQ area, which offers a few more details about their work. [KMG]

Delaware: Digital Archives

Delaware is, of course, the "First State", so it makes sense that they would have some rather fine historical materials available at their disposal. This website was created by the state of Delaware to bring together some of their vast historical holdings, including many materials from the Delaware Public Archives. First-time visitors can get oriented by looking at their 360-degree panoramic view of the state's Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room. The "100 Stories" area is a must-see, as it celebrates the Delaware Public Archives with stories using photographs, maps, original legislation, and more. Further along, the site also includes a photograph archive, important 17th century documents from the state's time as a colony, and a clutch of audio clips. These clips include interviews with NAACP leaders on civil rights in the state and a clip from the 1961 Delaware Music Camp. [KMG]

General Interest

FRONTLINE: Are We Safer?

In this special investigative program from the long-running Frontline series, the Washington Post's Dana Priest reports on "the sprawling post-9/11 terrorism-industrial complex." The program was designed to look into the expansion of various governmental agencies into the lives of ordinary Americans, and through hundreds of hours of detailed and delicate research, Priest and her colleagues have created a thoroughly engaging portrait of this current state of affairs. Visitors can watch the entire program, and then look through interactive features that include "Suspicious Activity-Really?" and "Reporting the Story". Also, visitors have access to related reports, including "Flying Cheaper" and "The Spy Who Quit". Visitors also have the ability to offer their own comments on this presentation as well. [KMG]

Oberlin's Namesake

Founded in 1833, the town of Oberlin, Ohio and its college were named in honor of John Frederick Oberlin. Oberlin was a pastor who served the Lutheran church in Alsace, France until his passing in 1826. The founders of the town in Ohio were inspired to name their new community after him after they read a biography on his life. This website was created by the people at Oberlin College to celebrate his legacy. Visitors can click on the image of Oberlin on the homepage to view items that he collected during his life, including maps, prints, silhouettes, and religious texts. Moving on, visitors can view lithographs and illustrations of Oberlin's original parish, the Ban de la Roche in Alsace. [KMG]

College Goal Sunday [pdf]

Finding money for college can be tough, and this website is a good way to link up with a program can help students and families. Designed to coincide with a certain large football game held in the United States, the primary sponsor of this program is the Y, and they help liaison with a range of community partners to make this event a success. The materials on the site are divided to sections that include "Students & Families", "Volunteers", "Partners", and "State Coordinators". Users can also view a calendar of events that lists all of the College Goal Sunday events, most of which are held in February and March. In the "Partners" area, users can learn about getting more involved in their work, and they can also look over training materials and information about becoming a partner. [KMG]

American Humane Association

Most people know of the American Humane Association (AHA) from the "No animals were harmed" disclaimer at the end of a movie or television show, but the AHA has been protecting children, as well as animals, since 1877. According to their website, they aim to end the abuse and neglect of children and animals, and are at the forefront of "understanding the human-animal interaction and its role in society." The "How do I Help a Child?" link on the left side of the "Protecting Children" page of the website, provides guidance on what to do if visitors see child abuse or neglect. Visitors learn "Steps to Help", which include evaluating the situation, reporting child abuse (including common questions), understanding child abuse laws, and preventing child abuse via the AHA's "Front Porch Project". The "Training" link, also found on the left side, offers "Training", "Conferences & Roundtables", and "Teleconferences and Webinars" for communities, professionals, supervisors, and other child welfare workers. The Training link even offers a PDF to their "Child Welfare Training and Professional Development Catalog". [KMG]

Program for Torture Victims

The Los Angeles-based Program for Torture Victims (PTVLA) was started by Chilean physician, Dr. Quiroga, who was beaten and tortured during General Pinochet's coup in the 1970s. The other founder of the PTVLA was Ann Deutsch, a psychologist tortured in Argentina's "Dirty War". The website explains to visitors the uniqueness of the "Services" they offer, such as "Medical", "Psychological", "Social Services" and "Legal Support & Training", which are provided by a network of organizations that understand the special issues survivors and asylum seekers face. The "Learning & Research" tab near the top of the homepage contains a bibliography of "Staff Publications" published in the last three years by PTV, and includes a few that visitors can read online or in PDF, such as "The War on Terror's Youngest Victims" and "Torture in Children", both by Dr. Quiroga. The "Informational Reports" contains seven articles that educate visitors about torture in general. Lastly, the "Client Stories", that can be found on the homepage or under the "Community" tab, are absolutely heartrending, and a testimony to the value of PTVLA to the community. [KMG]

Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist

The Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist website (and accompanying book and exhibition) represents an experiment by Princeton University to explore the intersections of fine art and engineering, as well as provide opportunities for student research. Nineteen graduate and undergraduate students spent the summers of 2006, 2007, and 2008 building models, both physical and digital, based on Candela's unique construction techniques. In addition, about half a dozen students wrote papers based on the work they did on Candela, some of which became chapters in the book. Candela was a pioneer in the construction of thin shell concrete structures. The website presents several of his major works, including Chapel Lomas de Cuernavaca (1958), the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, located in Narvarte, Mexico City (1955), and Bacard Rum Factory in Cuautitln, Mexico, which Candela completed in 1960. [DS]

David Rumsey Historical Maps Collection: Featured Maps

With over 21,000 maps online, the David Rumsey Historical Maps Collection is so vast that it can be hard to keep tabs on all the great new maps that make it to the site. Thus, the Featured Maps area is quite a welcome find for cartographers, geographers, and the just plain curious. Visitors can view all of the recent additions here, which have included collections of map cartouches (or decorative map titles), 19th century maps by children, and maps from the National Survey of France. After a quick look around, visitors can also add their own comments, and sign up for their RSS feed. The site also contains links to special video features, news updates, and a clutch of related map sites. [KMG]

The Margo Duggan Collection

Margo Duggan served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, and after the war was over she started working as a civilian employee of the United States Trust Territories Administration in 1949. Over the next five years, she worked on a number of the Marshall, Mariana, and Caroline Islands and over at the Trust Territory headquarters in Hawai'i. She took a number of photographs during her time, and they document an important moment in the history of Micronesia. The University of Hawaii at Manoas Library created this site, and visitors can view over 1,000 of the images she created. Curious visitors can read a brief biography of Duggan here and also look over the "About" page to learn more how the collection came to the university. The majority of the images here document life in Micronesia, and visitors can look through them via title, category, date, location, or reference number. [KMG]

Network Tools

Minus 1.21

Who doesn't love to share pictures, documents, and music with friends? The Minus site makes that all possible, with just one simple step. Users can use the Minus site to drag files from their desktop and folders into their browser, and then get started. Visitors will find a helpful FAQ area on the site, and they can also learn more about the company's work. This version is compatible will operating systems and it works best with browsers such as Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. [KMG]


If you are looking for a simple and flexible online drawing tool, look no further than Cacoo. This handy application can be used to create a variety of diagrams, including site maps, wire frames, and network charts. Visitors can take a tour in order to get acquainted with some of the features. Cacoo also allows for real-time collaboration, which can be a very valuable asset. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Film music composer John Barry passes away at 77

John Barry

BBC News: John Barry talks about his memories working in cinema

David Arnold pays tribute to 'governor' John Barry

Cutting Edge Tries New Model for Film Music [Free registration may be required]

Film Score Monthly

John Barry Interview

As a young boy, John Barry helped work at his father's chain of movie theaters in England, and years later he would become one of the movie industry's most celebrated film composers. Many filmgoers know him best for his work scoring many of the James Bond films. This Sunday, Barry passed away in New York, and he is remembered as a composer who could work deftly with the requirements of a blockbuster-style action movie (a la the Bond films) and more subtle period films, such as "The Lion in Winter" and romantic fantasy films, like "Somewhere in Time". Barry started out his musical career with a jazz combo in 1957, and he then he teamed up with singer Adam Faith to score a few pop hits, including "Poor Me". Barry started his career as a film composer by scoring "Never Let Go", a 1960 film starring Peter Sellers. His relationship with the Bond films began with "Dr. No" in 1962 and continued until 1987's "The Living Daylights". During his long career, Barry won five Oscars for his compositions, including those for "Born Free" in 1966 and "Out of Africa" in 1985. [KMG]

The first link will take users to an obituary for John Barry which appeared in this Monday's Telegraph. The second link leads to a revealing clip of Barry talking about his earliest memories of his father's cinema and the time he spent there. Moving on, the third link whisks users away to a tribute from David Arnold, who was mentored by Barry in his own musical career. The fourth link leads to a thoughtful piece from this Monday's New York Times about a rather intriguing development in the way that music for films is distributed, purchased, and so on. Movie score buffs will love the fifth link, which leads to the homepage of Film Score Monthly. Here they can check out newly issued soundtracks, classic scores, and read commentaries on a range of subjects related to the world of film music composing. The final link leads to a great interview with Barry that originally appeared in Soundtrack Magazine in 1996.

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