The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 11

March 18, 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

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: Statway [pdf]

Created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Statistics Pathway (Statway) is focused on providing educational resources on statistics, data analysis, and quantitative reasoning. The hope is that the Statway program will help students "understand the world around them and the math they can use right now." On the site, interested parties can take advantage of resources related to this mission, including the "Problem Solution Exploration Papers". These papers are designed to measure student success in community college developmental mathematics and to help identify problems of practice for potential future work. Visitors can also view materials from their recent summer institute, including presentations made by content specialists and others. The site is rounded out by the "Readings, Reports, Essays" area which includes some primers on improving developmental mathematics education. [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

Freedom House Collection

In the annals of 20th century Boston history, the Freedom House stands out as a local community organization dedicated to stabilizing a community in transition, and their history is an interesting one. The Freedom House was established in 1949 by two African American social workers and they were dedicated to ensuring the Roxbury community's stability as a middle-class, racially mixed neighborhood. Eventually, Freedom House's archives came to Northeastern University, and the digitization of their materials was made possible via a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. On this site, visitors can look over some of the several thousands photos, negatives, and slides in their collection. The items are organized into several topical areas, including "People", "Groups", "Places", and "Topics". Some of the people featured in the collection include the Revered Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator Edward Kennedy, and Kitty Dukakis. [KMG]

Teaching Time Savers

The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) has a number of online materials designed for math educators, and their "Teaching Time Savers" feature is quite a pip. This series is edited by Professor Michael E. Orrison of Harvey Mudd College, and the articles are "designed to share easy-to-implement activities for streamlining the day-to-day tasks of faculty members everywhere." The feature started in 2006, and visitors to the site can look over the twenty or so pieces here. Some of the pieces featured here include "The List of Grievances and Special Requests", "Working for a Week", "Keeping Homework at Home", and "Activities That Make Every Minute Count". Faculty members are also encouraged to submit their own entries for possible inclusion, and details about getting in touch with Professor Orrison are made available here. [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

Environmental History Podcast

Environmental History Resources is a fantastic website, maintained by Dr. Jan Oosthoek, an environmental historian based at the University of Newcastle, that explores how "environmental changes, often the result of human actions, have caused historical trends." The website features the award-winning podcast and the podcasts are available for visitors to listen to for the years of 2006 to 2010, with the 40th podcast episode on the lost wetlands of England posted in mid-December 2010. Visitors will find that each podcast episode has a good written synopsis that accompanies it, including literature cited, websites mentioned, and music featured, when applicable. Moving along, visitors will find a podcast in the "Podcasts 2008" section which addresses "Disasters, history and the cultures of coping". It uses the example of the Philippines, which has more tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes than any other country in the world, to show how "persistent threat and reality of disasters shapes the history, social and cultural development of societies." [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

Speech Accent Archive

The George Mason University archive of speech accents is a tool for linguists, speech pathologists, phoneticians, engineers who train speech recognition machines, and even interested laypeople. Volunteers who are native English speakers and non-native speakers were asked to read an elicitation paragraph in English that "uses common English words, but contains a variety of difficult English sounds and sound sequences." Visitors will quickly have the paragraph memorized while exploring different accents. There are several ways for visitors to find accents to listen to, one of which is by clicking on a map of the world, labeled "atlas/regions", or by language, labeled "language/speakers". Once visitors have chosen a region or language, the gender, and birthplace of the speaker will appear. Age and other data, such as "other languages" and "age of English onset", are provided to visitors when the link to a speaker is chosen. The "Generalizations" section contains "general rules that describe a speaker's accent", and they are based on General American English (GAE). [KMG]

Kidney Disease of Diabetes

The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) is a service provided by a related department of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Visitors will find that the NKUDIC website has a special page on Kidney Disease of Diabetes which includes articles on the homepage about "The Course of Kidney Disease", "Preventing and Slowing Kidney Disease", and "Good Care Makes a Difference". On the left side of the homepage visitors will find some very interesting research timelines by the NIH, titled "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow". There is a timeline for "Chronic Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure", "Diabetes, Type 1", and "Diabetes, Type 2". The "Yesterday" section explain to visitors the past methods of treating the disease, as well as past statistics about death and diseases caused by diabetes. The "Today" section explains how the disease is treated presently, and how statistics have improved regarding survival and occurrence of diabetes-related disease. Finally, the "Tomorrow" section highlights research studies that aim to improve the lives of diabetics, and interested visitors will find links to relevant websites. [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

Exhibitions: Muse McCord Museum

The Muse McCord Museum is located in Montreal, right across from McGill University. Visitors who can't make the trek to Montreal can enjoy several of their virtual exhibitions right here. There are five online exhibits, which are "Where to Draw the Line? Editorial Cartoons in Quebec 1950-2000", "The Photographic Studio of William Notman", "Urban Life Through Two Lenses", "The Victoria Bridge", and "The Magic Lantern". Visitors shouldn't miss "The Urban Life Through Two Lenses" exhibit, as it contains 19th century photos of Montreal taken by William Notman, matched with photos "reshot" from the same perspective and same location, by contemporary photographer Andrzej Maciejewski. The photos are shown side-by-side in the exhibit, so visitors can see vividly the changes and similarities. The Editorial Cartoon exhibit is also worth checking out, as both Canadian events and world events are skewered in the cartoons. Canadian or not, this exhibit is enlightening and funny. [KMG]

The Nature website brings together important findings and discoveries from the world of science, with a particular focus placed on biology, genetics, and related fields. To celebrate their findings and materials related to genetics, they created the genetics@nature website. Here visitors can make their way through featured articles from a range of journals, including Cell Research, Genes and Immunity, and Gene Therapy. Some of the articles only contain an abstract, but full bibliographic details are always made available. Further down the site, visitors will find a selection of "gateways", including thematic sections on cell migration and neuroscience. Along the right-hand side of the page, visitors will find related job postings and information about collaborative open innovation challenges from a range of scientific organizations. [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

John Muir Photographs

John Muir was a wanderer, a thinker, and a tinkerer of great repute. This digital collection from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California brings together images of this great American for use by researchers, scholars, and anyone else with a penchant for Muir's life and times. The images come from their special collections, and they include items from the formal John Muir Papers collection and the James Eastman Shone Collection of Muiriana. There are 242 images in the collection, and visitors can look over them at their leisure, or perform their own detailed search. There's much to look at here, as the shots include Muir with Andrew Carnegie in Los Angeles, Muir at his home in Martinez, and a fair number of shots of Muir walking through the wilderness he loved so dearly. [KMG]

Mark Twain

What better way to know Mark Twain than through his writings? Well, a fine documentary film by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan is a good place to start. This website is designed to complement their film on Twain which originally appeared on PBS. First-time visitors should start by clicking on the "Interactive Scrapbook" area. Here visitors can take a look through texts, photos, illustrations, and clippings from Twains time that tell his own personal story and that of American in the late 19th century. Moving on, visitors can browse through some of his writings, take a look at a chronology of Twain's life, and look at a selection of related links. The educational resources here are top-notch, and teachers will find activities such as "A Writer's Inspiration" and "Tall Tales and Dark Sides" that can be used in a variety of history, journalism, or writing courses. [KMG]

Vivienne Westwood, 1980-1989

In the 1970s, Vivienne Westwood and her partner Malcolm McLaren gained attention for designing clothes that captured the zeitgeist of the punk movement. Later, Westwood struck out on her own, and in 1989 Women's Wear Daily Publisher John Fairchild crowned her one of "the six best designers in the world." This online exhibit from the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) explores different views of Westwood's work during the 1980s. The exhibit is divided into three sections, including "On the Runway" and "Streets and On TV". Here visitors can see some of her clothing ensembles, including her work for the pop group Bow Wow Wow. The site's "Extras" section includes several music videos that feature Westwood's clothing designs and a timeline of her various activities. Finally, the site also includes a digital version of the exhibit brochure and a list of related websites. [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

James H. Doolittle Collection

James H. Doolittle was born in Alameda, California in 1896, and during World War II he gained distinction for leading the first carrier-based bomber attack on mainland Japan in 1942. For this work, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, which was presented to him personally by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This digital collection is from the Eugene McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas, and it offers glimpses into Doolittle's life through a small, yet focused, series of images. Visitors can view a high quality photograph of his Medal of Honor, and then look through some of the photos of Doolittle and his raid bomber crew. [KMG]

First Person Arts - The First Person Museum

The First Person Museum is part of the First Person Arts organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and its goal is to "transform the drama of real life into memoir and documentary art." The First Person Museum exhibit, which debuted a physical gallery of "meaningful stories behind objects", gives people a place to display their objects and the stories that go with them. The online gallery of these stories is available to the visitor by clicking on "The Gallery", where a grid of pictures of objects can be scrolled over for a brief description. Each description includes information about who submitted the picture, when the picture was submitted, the pictures "Theme", and "Object Type". Some of the themes include "From the Heart", "Generation to Generation", "Good Times", and "To Remember You By". Visitors can also browse the Gallery by "Theme", "Object Type", and "Most Recent". Many of the stories about the objects are just a few sentences, some like "The Locket" are touching, while others are clever and funny such as "Squeaky Clean: How My Cat Became Clutter", about a cremated cat whose ashes are taking up space. All visitors are invited to submit a story for the online or future physical gallery. [KMG]

National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collections

Postcards are fragments of the past, like the postcard sent from a lonely son to a mother in Perth Amboy, New Jersey or a postcard from Niagara Falls written by a friend on a weeklong jaunt to Canada. These postcards and more can be found in the University of Marylands has digitized collection of historic postcards. The University Libraries initiated the project, and while only a selection of the entire collection is available online, it remains quite impressive. Visitors can look at a demonstration pillory from Dover, canoes on the Charles River, or the Belton Chalet in Glacier National Park. Most of the images date from the first several decades of the 20th century, and visitors can browse through the offerings here by state. They are also welcome to use the search engine here as they see fit. [KMG]

Institute of Transportation Studies: Videos

The Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) at UC-Berkeley was created in 1948 by the California state legislature in order to look into the situation of transportation facilities across the Golden State. Today, ITS has a wide range of specialists who research everything from transit planning to enhancing the pedestrian experience in cities. Their video collection offers ten videos of events held over the past several years at ITS, and they are all worth a look. Visitors can scroll down the list of available programs, and a good place to start is the March 5, 2010 seminar, which deals with crowd-sourcing real-time location data. This particular seminar looks at how an application designed for use with smart phones could effectively use location data for global map creation, navigation, and real-time traffic. The other program titles include "Clearing the Path for Hands-Free, Automated Driving" and "High Speed Rail: Challenges and Opportunities for California". [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

Network Tools

WordPress 3.1

Though commonly thought of as a type of blogging application, WordPress is much more than that. Recently, WordPress released a new version of their software that includes helpful new plugins (many created by their dedicated users) and themes. Visitors can use the tutorial on their site to learn about the many uses of WordPress, and they should also look through the "Extend" area to learn about the many different customizable options available here. This version of WordPress is compatible with all operating systems, including those running Linux. [KMG]


If you're the type of person who would just like to let the music play, then Grooveshark may be just the thing for you. This program allows users to go ahead and search for music they might be interested in, or they can also listen to a very wide range of stations, including those dedicated to classical, rock, indie, rap, pop, and electronica. Visitors can also sign up to become a member of Grooveshark, and they can also find out what staff members (aka "sharks") are listening to in their spare time. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

New York unveils a new plan to transform the city's waterfront

Tapping into NYC's most liquid assets

City Reclaims Waterfront as "Sixth Borough"

Staten Island's waterfront is getting a makeover

Waterfront Vision & Enhancement Strategy

The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge

A Brief History of the Gowanus Canal

Once upon a time, the waterways around New York City were teeming with oysters, aquatic life, and people could swim freely in the East River. Those days are long gone, but a new plan for the city's waterfront may bring about a dramatic transformation of the nearby waters, albeit with a great deal of work and several billion dollars. This Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an ambitious plan that envisions New York as a type of waterfront city that effectively opens up (and cleans up) the waters that surround the city. The plan stresses the restoration of the natural waterfront and making the waterways more attractive to canoes, ferries, and kayaks. Key elements of the plan include 130 projects that have been in the planning stages for some time, including the completion of 50 acres of waterfront parks. Another crucial element is the inclusion of ferry service to underserved areas, and the hope is that if pilot programs back and forth across the East River are successful, they will lead to additional services from Manhattan. Other groups have weighed in on the project, including the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's director, Roland Lewis, who noted, "A working harbor is good for the environment by getting trucks off the road". [KMG]

The first piece leads to an article in Crain's New York Business, which reports on this new plan and its various elements. The second link will take users to an article from WNYC's blog that talks about how the waterfront will be transformed over time as a result of this plan. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece from the Staten Island News about how that borough will be affected by this long-term plan. The fourth link leads to the official homepage of the waterfront plan, which is known as the "Comprehensive Waterfront Plan: Vision 2020". The fifth link leads to the homepage of the Waterfront Museum. Here visitors can learn about the museum's exhibits and their tours. The last link will whisk users away to a history of one of New York's most infamous waterways, the extremely polluted Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.

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