The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 10

March 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

United Nations Global Issues

Understanding issues such as atomic energy, AIDS, and human rights can be tremendously difficult. The United Nations (UN) is involved in addressing many of these weighty global issues, so it is fitting that they have established this website to provide summary overviews of these pressing matters. Over two dozen topics are covered here, including demining, atomic energy, family, and water. Within each topic area, visitors will find an essay that includes links to other United Nations publications and materials that provide more details on the subject in question. Each essay also includes a separate "Related Links" area that includes links to resources like project overviews and working papers from UN affiliate organizations. [KMG]

Evolving English: Podcasts [iTunes]

The British Library knows that the English language is far from a static entity, and in their exhibition "Evolving English" they have gathered a number of guests to talk about the world of English and its contemporary usage. There are five podcasts available and they present a cornucopia of material on the evolution of the English language, including: "How do jokes work?", "English: the World's Language?", and "Voices of Rap and Hip Hop". The "How do jokes work?" podcast is a good place to start and the panelists include C.P. Lee, Barry Cryer, and Tim Vine. The material is insightful, although visitors should note that the podcast on rap and hip hop occasionally uses rather strong language. [KMG]

Voices From The Future

The National Science Foundation's "Voices From the Future" is a lecture series designed to honor the Foundation's 60th anniversary. The anniversary lectures were all recorded and then archived and placed here for the general public, scientists, and anyone else interested. The site has three lectures, including talks by Professor Luis von Ahn of Carnegie Mellon University and Paul Y. Oh, the director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at Drexel University. Each lecture is quite engaging and covers topics that include human computation and the reasons why earthquakes occur. Educators in a range of science fields may wish to also use these videos in their classrooms to inspire and educate students. [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

Cornell Modern Indonesia Collection

In 1956, the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project (CMIP) published its first title. Since then, the modern nation of Indonesia has seen numerous transformations and this digital collection houses works published by the CMIP, which document these changes. Early on, the first documents created were called "Interim Reports", and they dealt with the 1965 coup, foreign policy, and the state of Chinese citizens in Indonesia. The monographs in the collection focus primarily on Indonesian politics, but they also include anthropological and social analyses as well. Currently, there are over four dozens titles here, and visitors can browse them by title or author. One item that should not be missed is the 1965 update of the 1936 study "Mythology and the tolerance of the Javanese". Southeast Asian scholars and those with an interest in the history of this region will not be disappointed. [KMG]

Wabash Valley Visions & Voices: A Digital Memory Project

Based at the Indiana State University Library, the Wabash Valley Visions & Voices website is designed to document and preserve the history and cultural heritage of the Wabash Valley region in west central Indiana and east central Illinois. Many local cultural and historical institutions have contributed items to the collection, and visitors can peruse all of these items at their leisure. A good place to start is the "O Miners Awake" area which brings together photographs, journals, and other items of ephemera related to the lives of Indiana coal miners and their communities. Users can search this particular collection by document type or county of origin. Visitors can also use the "My Favorites" area to create their own mini-collection where they can compare items and also save them as web pages. [KMG]

Fiji Museum

The Fiji Museum website has a light, airy feel about it, and visitors will find the exhibits are easy to browse through. The "Museum History" link on the website dates the origins of the museum back to the early 1900s, but even as late as the 1960s there was little local interest in the collections and exhibitions of the museum. As a result, the museum flourished as a research center and publishing program, but eventually a lack of funding inhibited that function. Promoting greater community interest in the museum is the goal of the current museum staff, and visitors can see photos from a recent children's fun day under the "Activities and Events" link. The "New Galleries and Photos Added" link on the left side of the page above the main menu, offers nine galleries, including a "Maritime Gallery", "Masi Gallery" and "Art Gallery". Visitors should click on "Click to Enter" to see photos of the gallery, and "Next Screen" to go to the other eight galleries. The "USP Gallery" shows the museums collection of display birds and mammals, as well as preserved reptile and amphibian specimens, many of which are set in recreated natural settings of beaches and forests. [KMG]


The Edutools website offers a unique service for the education community. They provide "independent reviews, side-by-side comparisons, and consulting services to assist decision-making in the e-learning community." Visitors to the site will find that Edutools compare reviews of "CMS" (Course Management System) and "OCEP" (Online Course Evaluation Project), as well as look at "Projects". Looking at the OCEP section of the website, visitors can choose to view the course by type (such as AP or college) or by discipline, or provider. Alternatively, visitors can look at all the courses at the same time. Once a method is chosen, visitors will be able to view several pages of information about the course, including "Course Developer and Distribution Models", "Scope and Scholarship", "User Interface", "Assessments and Support Materials" and "Communication Tools and Interaction". Each category has subcategories, and comments by OCEP. The CMS section has undergone a more community-oriented revamping, and now users of the products may submit reviews of the products if one hasn't already been given. [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

History, Art and Biography: National Agricultural Library

The National Agricultural Library is enormous, and its website has many things to recommend it. A great place to start on the site is the NAL Collection, found at the top of the page. Visitors interested in the food-themed posters from the two world wars that encouraged Americans to plant Victory Gardens or to eat potatoes instead of wheat will enjoy the "Beans are Bullets" and "Of Course I Can!" War-Era Food Posters exhibit. Not only will visitors find excellent examples of the posters, but the curator, Cory Bernat's, explanations provided for each type of poster, and the differences between the posters from each war are informative and insightful. Clicking on Special Collection, visitors who like fruit will find the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection, which illustrated the new varieties of fruits that were being bred in the mid-1800s. Watercolorists were hired to paint the fruit, since scientific photography was not in use until the late 1800s. Visitors can read the biographies of the 13 USDA watercolorists and search, by fruit type, 300 digitized images, out of a collection of 7,700. The fruits painted include peaches, citrus, apples, and grapes, and each image includes the artist, where the fruit was grown, and the date of the watercolor. [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

General Interest

Independent Lens Strange Fruit

The accompanying website for the Independent Lens film "Strange Fruit", about the famous protest song, allows visitors to hear a clip, or the entire song, of a famous rendition sung Billie Holiday. Strange Fruit is a phrase that actually comes from a poem that was turned into a song, and the song became the most renowned protest song of the 1940s. Visitors unfamiliar with the song will find that the link, "The Film", on the homepage gives an informative several paragraph synopsis and history. It also explains the unusual turns the life of the poet/songwriter took. Visitors should not miss the "Protest Music Overview" link, which provides clips of other protest songs. These protest songs are grouped by time period and the topic of protest for the period. Visitors should start at the beginning with 1776 and slavery, and then just wander through the centuries of music. Some of the clips featured within the different time periods include "Fight The Power" by Public Enemy, "Ohio" by Neil Young, and "We Shall Overcome" sung by Mahalia Jackson. [KMG]

O*Net OnLine

This is a fine website dedicated to career exploration and the art and science of finding a new job. Interestingly, it doesn't list available jobs, rather it gives the visitor the tools to find where the jobs are, or aren't, what jobs are up-and-coming, and which are dying out. This site helps jobseekers, or students looking for a career path, look for careers that play to their skills, preferences, strengths, geographic location, education level, and many other criteria. There are three tools that visitors can use to find what they are looking for. The "Find Occupations" tool allows visitors to browse for careers in categories such as "Job Family", by "STEM Discipline", or that have a "Bright Outlook". The "Advanced Search" allows visitors to search for careers by certain skills or abilities that are required, such as knowledge of a software program or how to use certain tools. The "Crosswalks" feature enables visitors to enter a job code from an industry such as the "Military", "DOT", or "Education", and get the full description of the job, including what's needed, such as knowledge, abilities, interests, as well as the growth of the industry, average salary, and education level. [KMG]

Sarasota History Alive!

Many communities have website designed to tell their story, but none may be as compelling as this very nice site created by Larry A. Kelleher for the town of Sarasota. Designed as a place to celebrate and explore the history of this corner of Florida, the site includes historical marker listings throughout the town, oral histories, video profiles, and photographs from a different time. First-time visitors should start out at the "Journals of Yesteryear" area. Here they can look at professional essays on Sarasota's architecture, fishing history in the area, and the Bee Ridge Turpentine Camp. The "Historic Buildings" section contains profiles of the 113 buildings that have been designated as such by the city. Also, the site contains video profiles of unique neighborhoods like Bungalow Hill and another on Charles Ringling, the brother of circus impresario John Ringling. [KMG]

South Dakota Cooperative Extension Services [pdf]

The goal of the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Services (SDCES) is to "provide practical learning resources to address complex problems of youth and families, communities, agriculture, business, and industry." The SDCES is based at South Dakota State University, and their work includes creating fact sheets, reports, and educational materials on community development, Native American life, 4-H programs, and natural resources. Visitors should start by visiting the "Extension Library", where they will find the publications database, the mobile apps section of the site, and the websites for "On Call" and "Garden Line". The last two websites include interactive content such as archived shows, which in the case of "Garden Line", includes topics like nursery plants and how to plant to effectively attract songbirds. In the "Publications" area visitors can make their way through hundreds of publications from the SDCES. [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

Outside Online

Exploring the great outdoors can be charming, exciting, and peaceful, and the Outside Online website can be quite helpful with planning such an adventure. Designed to complement the print magazine, the website contains blogs, videos, podcasts, photos, and an "Ask the Experts" section. Mind you, that's just the homepage, and there's much more to explore here. The main blog on the homepage offers up a potpourri of some of the highlights, including product reviews, outdoor writing contests, and information on a range of active sports. On the left-hand side of the page, visitors can go ahead and "Ask the Experts" about anything from trail nutrition to survival tips. Visitors can also view select articles from the print magazine, including interviews and pieces on walking across the Amazon on foot. [KMG]

University of Washington Digital Collections: Panorama Photographs Collection

Washington is a state chock-full of fine vistas and panoramic views, so it stands to reason that they would have some great panoramic photographs. The University of Washington Libraries has created this collection to pay tribute to such items, and they have included sweeping city views of Seattle, University of Washington campus scenes, and Japanese American organizations. First-time visitors should read the highly informative essay, "History of Panoramic Photography" to become familiar with the nuances of this artistic and documentary tradition. After this, they can look at over 100 panoramic photographs that include a dramatic shot of battleships docked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in 1910 and an early image of the town of Kent, Washington. The site is rounded out by links to two additional essays from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Divisions. [KMG]


NGC@MOCCA is a three-year partnership between the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). The two museums will co-organize a series of exhibitions in the galleries at MOCCA, using artwork selected from the NGC's collections. The current exhibition, Cabinet, starts from the premise that "Today's museums are derived from the 'cabinet of curiosities', or Wunderkammer, that emerged in sixteenth-century Europe." Cabinet includes work by Jenny Holzer: three bronze plaques from her Living Series; fluorescent light icons by Dan Flavin, and work by artists Eric Cameron, Walter S. Allward, Michel Campeau, Franois Bonvin, the Toronto-based group General Idea, Michael Morris, Ron Mueck, Richard Gorman, Emanuel Hahn, and Murray Favro. A previous exhibition, November to December 2010, featured two Canadian artists: Kim Adams and Geoffrey Farmer, along with German Thomas Demand. [DS]

Network Tools


The name Zamzar comes from a character in the book "The Metamorphosis", and it is a fitting name as this program is a way to effective transform songs, videos, and so on into different formats. The program is quite seamless, and users need to just select files or URLs to convert, inset them into the form on their website, and select a file type. Zamzar will convert the file and send it to the user's email address. This version is compatible with computers running all operating systems. [KMG]


For a quick and efficient computer scan, visitors should consider looking over Eset. This online scanner does not require any downloads, and it will scan computers as it looks for infiltrations and infected files. Visitors can also select certain files or folders for scanning, and this iteration of Eset is compatible with computers running Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, or NT. [KMG]

In The News

The Battle Over Sidewalks Continues Across the United States

Bruised Feelings and Skinned Knees Litter Suburban Sidewalk Politics

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks

Menasha residents speak out against sidewalks in Woodland Hills|topnews|text|APC-News

How to Turn Your Streets into Sidewalks

Street and Sidewalk Design

Ten Principles for Rebuilding Neighborhood Retail [pdf]

Sidewalks serve many purposes. Children ride their bikes on them, people walk their dogs on them, some folks sell handbags and books on them, and still others use them as places to display their art. As municipalities find their budgets strained for a variety of reasons, some of them have held back on creating new sidewalks or maintaining existing ones. One place where the battle over sidewalks has come to a head is the town of Elmhurst, Illinois. Local residents in the Chicago suburb couldn't agree on whether there should be a sidewalk on Gladys Avenue, the compromise resulted in a sidewalk that ends in the middle of a block. This compromise annoyed many in the community, and it points to an ongoing debate about who should pay for these improvements-developers, communities, or homeowners. Local Elmhurst resident Susan Rose noted, "You have a lot of tension between people who have lived here forever and folks who have not. It's been fought block by block and on Gladys by half a block." [KMG]

The first link will take users to an article from this Tuesday's Wall Street Journal about the sidewalk brouhaha in Elmhurst. The second link leads to a piece from the Daily Gleaner in Canada about a local debate regarding who should be on the sidewalks as the weather improves in the coming months. Moving on, the third link will whisk users away to a piece from the Appleton Post Crescent about a local movement to keep sidewalks from being built in a nearby Menasha subdivision. The fourth link leads to a fine piece from the Good website about reclaiming streets for other uses. The fifth link will take users to a nuts-and-bolts type feature from the Conversation Tools website about how to create good streets and sidewalks that work well for a variety of purposes. The last link features a guide to rebuilding neighborhood retail from the Urban Land Institute.

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