The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 6

February 11, 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

Open Studio [Flash Player]

The Open Studio Project was conceived by Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford, and is the inaugural effort of the Getty Artists Program, an extension of the Museum's education department. The Open Studio Project makes it possible for more schools to have an artist-in-residence, virtually. Any K-12 art classroom with an Internet connection can bring in art-making activities created by a roster of international artists. For example, students can work with Australian photographer Jon Cattapan to create a "Personal diorama", or explore color with painter Amy Sillman, who suggests going on a color tour of your town. Mark Bradford's three-part assignment on "recreating the familiar" is designed to "help you to see more clearly how you feel and relate to the immediate world you live in." Students work with text, rearranging the lyrics of a familiar song that they get to choose, draw a map of the school lunchroom, and create self-portraits with their eyes closed. [DS]

Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project: Trend Data [pdf]

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has created this terrific site which brings together many of their data sets, charts, and graphs in one convenient location. Here visitors can look over ten different data sets, including "Who's Online", "Online Activities", and "Daily Internet Activities". Some of these data sets are available as Excel files, and they will be of tremendous benefit to journalists, educators, and public policy scholars. Visitors are encouraged to use this data for a variety of reporting purposes and other needs, and they may also wish to click on the "Research Toolkit" as well. Here they will find experts, additional data sets, and survey questions from previous surveys. [KMG]

Earth Science Teaching Plans and Classroom Activities

Teachers looking for materials to help out in the classroom will find this well-organized site most useful. Created by the folks at, the site's materials were compiled by Christy Pratt, and they are organized into nine thematic areas. These areas include "Volcanoes", "Water", "Weather", "Erosion", and "Plate Tectonics". The resources featured within each section are taken from high-quality institutions and organizations, including the Smithsonian, Harvard, and the National Science Foundation. Each area also includes a "News" area, which features topical news updates and briefs. Visitors can share these sites with other colleagues and friends via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. [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

Children's Library

Drawing on materials from the New York Public Library, the National Yiddish Book Center, and the University of California Libraries, the Internet Archive has created this trove of digitized children's books. Currently, there are over 2,700 books available here and they include works like "Infant's cabinet of birds & beasts" from 1820 and "What the Moon Saw: And Other Tales" from 1866. On the left side of the page, visitors can take a look at the "Spotlight Item" and there is a tag cloud available here as well. Those persons looking for the most popular items can view the "Most Downloaded Items Last Week". Not surprisingly, some of these items include "Pinocchio" and "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." Visitors are also welcome to receive updates from their forum here, and they can also chime in with their own questions. [KMG]

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food [Flash]

With all of the talk about the demise of the family farm, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has decided to step in to create this campaign to inform citizens about their own local farmers. The basic idea behind this initiative is to "create new economic opportunities by better connecting consumers with local producers." On their homepage, visitors can check out profiles of farmers in their area and learn about how support for such individuals helps strengthen rural communities and protects natural resources. The "Promote Healthy Eating" area is quite useful, as it contains links to other sites that address community food projects and a farmers market promotion program. The "Sights and Sounds" area includes images and videos from the USDA's campaign along with farmers talking about their work. [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 Economist: The World in 2011

The Economist has been doing a special issue at the conclusion of each calendar year for sometime, and it is full of interesting and provocative materials about various political, economic, and technological trends around the world. The site includes a brief introduction to the 2011 edition, and a link to their "Cassandra" blog, which includes a series of predictions and the like. The other sections on the site include "Leaders", "United States", "Europe", "Britain", and "The Americas". Topical areas of note include "Business" and "Finance", which features articles like "China's balancing hand" and "What China and Israel will teach the world". The site also includes a calendar of important world events in 2011 and links to past "World" issues. Finally, the site is rounded out by the "World in Figures" area, which includes a list of key economic indicators broken down by country and industry. [KMG]

Alcohol Studies Database

Since 1987, staff members at the Rutgers University Center of Alcohol Studies have been collecting citations of documents related to alcohol. Today, they have over 80,000 citations and much of the material is related to research and professional materials that deal with the subject. Additionally, the database contains a small collection of educational and prevention materials designed for use by educators, parents, and public health workers. The site is maintained by the Scholarly Communication Center, the Center of Alcohol Studies, and the Rutgers University Libraries. Visitors to the site can search by subject, or perform a more advanced search as well. The site also includes a "Help" area, which includes information on limiting searches, links to full text, and suggestions on using Boolean techniques. [KMG]

General Interest

Philip Elwood Films

Philip Elwood was born in New York in 1884, and after he took his degree in landscape architecture from Cornell University, he worked in New York City and eventually ended up working as a professor of landscape architecture at Iowa State University. He had a long and productive career, and his accomplishments include service on the National Resources Planning Board and working as a site planner for Boys Town outside of Omaha. He enjoyed using his 16mm camera to document his travels, and this online collection created by the Iowa State University Libraries brings together seventeen of his short travelogues. The films are silent, and Professor Elwood inserted title cards so viewers will know what they are seeing as they watch. Visitors shouldn't miss the "California to Ames" film as it features great footage of the Mesa Verde National Park, a Zuni Indian village near Gallup, New Mexico, and the annual Shrine picnic on the ISU campus. [KMG]

The American Colony in Jerusalem, 1870-2006

This tremendous collection from the Library of Congress brings together over 10,000 manuscripts, maps, and visual materials from about a hundred years of the American Colony in Jerusalem. These materials were gifted to the Library of Congress in 2004, and the collection consists of photographs, pamphlets, telegrams, letters, book manuscripts, diaries, and ephemera that talk about the colony, along with addressing the broader history of Palestine and the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the highlights of the site is a special feature on the Bertha Vester diaries. Vester was the principal leader of the American Colony from 1923 to 1968, and her 48 diaries make for fascinating reading. The site also includes a timeline of events, and essays like "The Vester Diaries" and "A Community in Jerusalem". [KMG]

Oklahoma Historical Society [iTunes]

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is "to preserve and perpetuate the history of Oklahoma and its people by collecting, interpreting and disseminating knowledge of Oklahoma and the Southwest." The Society maintains over 20 museums and historic sites, and they are also responsible for maintaining this website. On the homepage, visitors can learn about the sites they maintain, including the Pawnee Bill Ranch and the Pioneer Woman Museum. In the "Publications" area, visitors can read back issues of "The Chronicles of Oklahoma" dating from 1921 to 1962, and they can also find the "Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture". The Societys "Found in Collections" blog is a great way to learn about their current archival work, and visitors can read about textile preservation techniques and the Civil War. Also, the site includes podcasts created to profile various aspects of the state's history. Finally, visitors can sign up to receive email updates on new additions, programs, and exhibits. [KMG]

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum Museum is in Amsterdam and their elegant website has many multimedia features of note. Visitors should definitely start by going to "The Masterpieces of the Rijksmuseum" link. Once there, visitors can view the Masterpieces of the Golden Age in several different ways, such as on a "Timeline", via a 3D interactive panorama of the Philips Wing (QuickTime is required) or through an online presentation. The online presentation offers visitors a "Golden Age Quiz", zoomable artworks in the "Look Closer" tab, and an audio tour of an exquisite 17th century "Dollhouse" commissioned by the wife of a wealthy silk merchant. The "Restoration" link in the "Collection" tab provides those visitors interested in the process of restoring and conserving with a look at six artworks that are to be ready for the 2013 opening of the new Rijksmuseum. The works include a Vermeer, two portraits by Mattheus
Verheyden, and a silver table ornament from 1549 by Jamnitzer. Visitors who are visually impaired can also listen to any of the webpages read by a digitized voice. [KMG]


DiversityRx is a program that aims to provide culturally and linguistically sensitive health care services to "minority, immigrant, and indigenous communities." An iteration of the program began in the mid-1990s, and resulted in the creation of the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (CLAS) standards, which is supported by various government agencies. DiversityRx's website gives visitors plenty of opportunities to learn about cultural competence, from the "Topics" tab in the menu across the top of the page. The "Cultural Competence 101" link lists all the material on the website related to cultural competence. Visitors should not miss the blog entry entitled "Diversity Training vs. Cultural Competency Training", a video entitled "Faces of Disparity Video", and "'I Speak' Language Identification Cards". The "Resources" tab has a link to the "Resource Database", which can be searched or browsed. Once a visitor becomes a member - it's free to join- they can add to, comment on and mark as a favorite, any of the resources in the database. [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 National Trust for Historic Preservation has a lively, colorful website called One look at the "History" section of the "About Us" tab and visitors will appreciate the work that the Trust has accomplished by getting more and more types of sites deemed historically valuable. Visitors can check out some of these designated sites in the History section of About Us: "Rural Heritage", "Main Streets", "Historic Hotels of America", "Historic Artists' Homes and Studios", "Historic Houses of Worship", and "African American Historic Places". The "Resources" tab allows visitors to peruse historic properties for sale, with search functions for price, property type, location and even number of bathrooms. The "Issues" tab alerts visitors to the historic preservation issues that affect them. Some that are listed include "Teardowns", "Chain Drugstores", and "Community Revitalization". Visitors shouldn't miss the "Travel & Sites" tab to learn about Gozaic, the travel planning resource for the cultural and heritage traveler. [KMG]

Energy Savers: Your Home

Energy-saving activities are on the rise in the United States and around the world, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Savers for "Your Home" website provides helpful guidance to apartment dwellers and homeowners. The Department of Energy believes that all energy-saving efforts make an impact, so they encourage visitors to look for those changes that are feasible for their living situation and income level, rather than opting to do nothing, because it seems small. Visitors will find that the website divides energy-saving measures into several categories, including "Appliances & Electronics", "Insulation & Air Sealing", "Landscaping", and "Windows, Doors & Skylights". In the Windows link, information is provided to visitors who want to buy new energy-efficient windows or how to make existing windows more energy efficient. Along with each category link there is a right hand side menu with the headings "Learn More", "Features", and "Energy Savers Blog" that provide the visitor with links to other websites that would be of use, such as a map of appliance rebate states or the financing and incentives available for energy efficiency measures. [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

Open Society Foundations

Started by the philanthropist George Soros in the mid-1980s to help countries make the economic and social transition from communism, the Open Society Foundation aims to "implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media." Asia is the focus of this portion of the website, and the material is divided up into "News & Announcements", "Events", and "Publications & Articles". Visitors can keep up with the happenings of the site via an RSS feed or by subscribing to their newsletter. One of the featured stories on the homepage is a recording of a discussion about the book "A Rope and a Prayer", by an American journalist who was kidnapped and taken around Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are several videos visitors can watch that are highlighted on the homepage, including "Cambodia A Quest for Justice", "India and Europe Trading Away Access to Medicines", and "Russia's HIV Care Must Center on Drug Users". Finally, visitors can read "Dining with Dictators" a blog entry about the European Union's "willingness to meet with Central Asian Tyrants." [KMG]

Network Tools


People who use social networks for business or leisure will find that Tuppy may be a good thing to know about. Represented by a rather happy looking sheep, the Tuppy interface is a tool designed to unify and organize accounts from different social networks. Visitors can manage their accounts by adding new entries to blogs, updating status messages, or uploading photos or video clips. Tuppy is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Owner of the Washington Redskins Intent on Continuing His Lawsuit Versus D.C. Weekly

Dan Snyder's Odd Case Against Washington City Paper [Free registration may be required]

Could Dan Snyder's lawsuit threaten Redskin's return to D.C.? Snyder says club is exploring relocating Redskin Park

The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder

ALA: Notable First Amendment court cases

The Helmet Project

The NFL season is over, and the Green Bay Packers have triumphed in Super Bowl XLV. Players and coaches can now take a well-deserved break, media wonks can discuss the commercials from the game, and baseball fans can start thinking about the world of spring training. However, intrigue and drama continues to surround some teams, including the rather intriguing situation regarding Daniel M. Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins. In November, Snyder was the subject of what has become a legendary tirade, which appeared in the Washington City Paper, a D.C. weekly. Snyder responded by having the general counsel for the Redskins contact the owners of the newspaper and letting them know that he had "more than sufficient means to protect his reputation and defend himself and his wife against your paper's concerted attempt at character assassination." Snyder filed suit against the papers owners in New York courts, but many wonder why Snyder did not just ask for a retraction or other form of redress. Snyder is seeking $2 million in damages, though it is worth noting that many courts and judges might find it curious that he filed this suit in New York, which is not where he lives, nor is it where the Redskins play football. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to a news article from this Sunday's New York Times which reports on the situation with Snyder's lawsuit. The second link leads to a piece from a blog written by the Washington Post's Mike DeBonis which looks at how the lawsuit might affect the Redskins proposed move back to D.C. proper. Moving on, the third link will whisk users away to an article from the NFL's website about the potential relocation of the Redskins in the future. The fourth link will lead users to the original article from the Washington City Paper that has been at the center of this controversy and the ensuing lawsuit. The fifth link leads to a resource from the American Library Association (ALA) which offers brief summaries of key First Amendment cases. Finally, the last link will take football fans and everyone else to The Helmet Project site. Here visitors can view historic and current helmets for NFL teams, college teams, and even those from the defunct United States Football League (USFL).

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