The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 16

April 22, 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

Creative Placemaking [pdf]

A number of scholars and public policy analysts continue to research the ways in which members of the "creative class" are transforming cities and small towns around the United States. This 77-page paper by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa explores the possibilities of what they call "creative placemaking." For the purposes of this paper, creative placemaking is defined as the process by which "partners from public, private, non-profit and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city or region around arts and cultural activities." The paper includes an executive summary, and continues on to examine strategic case studies in Buffalo, Portland, and San Jose. The body of the paper contains six chapters, including "Challenges for Creative Placemaking" and "Creative Places As Incubators of Arts and Cultural Enterprise". Anyone working in the field of arts management, urban planning, or public policy will find much grist for their mill within these pages. [KMG]

Science at Burning Man

Recently, the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco sent a dedicated crew to check out the activities at the Burning Man festival in Nevada. The results of their journey and explorations can be seen here, and interested parties can learn about pyrotechnics, flight, dust devils, and rainbows. The site contains several dozen short films that feature Exploratorium scientists like Paul Doherty investigating the properties of alkali and a rare double rainbow sighting. One of the most impressive videos is a bird's eye view from an 88-NV plane over the Burning Man site. Finally, visitors are also encouraged to share these resources with others via social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook. [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

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works - Publications

The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) is the professional organization for the people who restore and conserve works of art, historic interiors and exteriors, and significant documents. They also keep these items from falling into disrepair through various preservation measures. The website for the AIC has photographs of the work of these conservation professionals, and visitors will find these photos worth a look. The publications of the AIC include the award-winning Journal of AIC (JAIC), "AIC News", "Health & Safety Guides" and the newly created "Conservation Wiki". The Conservation Wiki contains the AIC Conservation Catalogs in digital format. The catalogs are "a compendium of working knowledge on materials and techniques used to preserve and treat works of art and historic artifacts." One of the topics covered is textiles, and visitors can read through sections such as "Temperature and Relative Humidity", "Air Quality", "Light", and "Biological Attack". [KMG]

Joint Committee on Atomic Energy [pdf]

From 1946 to 1977, the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JAEC) was responsible for making "continuing studies of the activities of the Atomic Energy Commission and of problems relating to the development, use, and control of atomic energy." Over three decades, the Committee looked into peacetime uses of atomic energy, international agreements regarding atomic energy, and various mutual defense agreements. The good people at the Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) have created this text archive of over 144,000 pages of source materials from the hearings of this committee. Visitors may wish to start with the "About the Collection" area, as it provides a bit more information on the scope of the materials here. After this, visitors are welcome to perform a simple search across the collection, or they may also wish to browse around at their leisure. The site is rounded out by a list of additional sites and resources. [KMG]

Cities and Climate Change: Global Report on Human Settlements [pdf]

Planners and others continue to explore how the world's cities will be affected by climate change in the coming decades, and this 62-page report released by the United Nation's Human Settlement Programme takes a close look at the subject. This abridged version of the full report argues, "local action is indispensable for the realization of national climate change commitments agreed through international negotiations." Visitors will find that the report is divided into six chapters, including "Urbanization and the Challenge of Climate Changes" and "The Impacts of Climate Change on Urban Areas". The report draws on a wide range of scholarly data taken from UN reports, along with others working in the field of climate change and environmental science. [KMG]

Explorations@scripps [iTunes]

Based at the University of California at San Diego, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has created the Explorations site to educate the public about their projects and research. On their website, visitors will find a trove of multimedia features, magazine articles, and information about conservation activities designed to protect the world's oceans for future generations. Clicking on the "Multimedia" tab will take visitors to featured short videos of research explorations to the Arctic to look into climate change. Visitors will also find an archive of videos, podcasts, slideshows, and more. There is also a "Voyager for Kids" area that contains material specifically for the younger set. Finally, users can also use the "Easy Share" button to share Scripps news with friends or colleagues. [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

Locating information about U.S. government regulations just got much easier with the website. Visitors can use the site to find regulations from almost 300 federal agencies, and they can also search for proposed rules, final rules, and also submit comments on pending regulations. First-time visitors can get a feel for the site by looking at the "What's Hot" area, which features some of the most visited regulations. Other sections include "Newly Posted Regulations", "Your Voice in Action", and "Regulations with Comment Periods Closing Soon". Searching for regulations and related materials is made quite easy by the simple keyword search tool and visitors are also welcome to browse everything from "Abandoned Mine Reclamation Programs" to "Zones". Visitors can also sign up for the sites RSS feed and they may also wish to share this site with others via a host of different social media networks. [KMG]

Mississippi History Newsletter [pdf]

Are you interested in Civil War history? Tales of Biloxi? If so, then you will not be disappointed by the Mississippi History Newsletter. This publication of the Mississippi Historical Society features pieces on upcoming events and programs, and also features articles on grants, exhibits, and new books related to the history of the Magnolia State. On this site, visitors can view past issues of the newsletter dating back to May 2001. The newsletter is a great source of material on the activities of the Historical Society, and scholars of Southern history and related topics will not be disappointed. The site also contains links to books published by the Society and information about doing research at the Society's headquarters in Jackson. [KMG]

General Interest

International Center for the History of Electronic Games

With an auspicious name like "The Strong", you know there's something interesting cooking on over in Rochester, New York. The Strong is a "highly interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play." One of its programmatic "arms" is the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG). On the ICHEG section of The Strong website, visitors can make their way through 17,000 different items related to the history of gaming. The images of these items are divided into seven categories, including "Console Games", "Handhelds", and "Arcade Games". Each item contains a brief description, along with information about the games manufacturer, materials, and country of origin. The "Arcade Games" section is quite an exercise in compelling nostalgia, as visitors can investigate the physical appearance of arcade classics like Donkey Kong, Popeye, and Dug Out. [KMG]

Nutrition and healthy eating [pdf]

The Mayo Clinic is known around the world for their medical facilities, and they also have a number of public outreach programs and health tips available on their website. This particular section of their site addresses nutrition and healthy eating concerns, and it is a valuable resource with information that has been vetted by their professional staff. The materials here are divided into six sections, including "Basics", "In-Depth", and "Expert Answers". The "Basics" section contains information about healthy diets, cooking, and shopping strategies. This section also includes topical pieces, such as "Sodium: How to tame your salt habit now" and "Water: How much should you drink every day?" Moving on, the "Multimedia" area includes interactive graphics such as "Reading food labels", and images that include "cuts of beef" and "functions of water in the body". Visitors shouldn't miss the "Expert Blog", as it features tips by registered dieticians and nurses on topics like kitchen organization, meal planning, and ideas for healthy salads. [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

U.S. Census Bureau: Random Samplings

The U.S. Census Bureau provides a wealth of data about the population and economy of the United States, and certain aspects of their work are covered in this eminently engaging blog, "Random Samplings". The intent of this blog is "to describe the objective of their work and explain census and survey results". The blog began in September 2010, and visitors can search the archive of previous posts by category or date of publication. Some of the categories include "business ownership", "income", and "poverty". Visitors are encouraged to offer comment on each post, and there is complete information on the posting policy here as well. The posts are a great way for journalists, sociologists, and members of the general public to get basic facts about "green" developments in the housing industry, Women's History Month, and Native American businesses. [KMG]

Sheepherders of Northern Nevada

What is the life of a Nevada sheepherder like? Well, this remarkable multimedia exhibit from the University of Nevada, Reno provides some insight into this rather interesting group of people. Sheep were first brought to Nevada to feed and clothe miners, and were well suited to the harsh climate of this part of the state. First-time visitors should start by clicking on the "Exhibit Guide" to see a list of all the materials within the site. They include interviews with sheepherders, historic photographs, maps, musical numbers, and a chronology. Visitors should not miss the "arborglyphs" section, which detail the carvings on the bark of aspen trees in the area crafted by sheepherders. Overall, the site provides many insights into a little-known aspect of American history and culture. [KMG]

To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America

This web exhibition from the Smithsonian's American Art Museum features the work of painter George Ault (1891-1948). Ault's "precise yet eerie pictures" chronicle the 1940s, a time when the United States was struggling to get out of the Great Depression and fighting World War II. Ault's subject matter is primarily rural, such as Brook in the Mountains, 1945, a depiction of a small waterfall near Ault's home in Woodstock NY, or several paintings he made of a crossroads nearby, Russell's Corners. A slideshow on the website includes 25 images, fourteen by Ault, and eleven by his contemporary artists. A recording of a lecture given March 11, 2011 by curator Alexander Nemerov about George Ault is also available for viewing online. [DS]

Santa Fe National Forest

The Santa Fe National Forest is in north central New Mexico, covering 1.6 million acres and offering over 1,000 miles of trails. Their website contains useful information for future and current park visitors. On the homepage visitors can find the number for the Fire Information Hotline, which is "designed to share information with the public about Wildfires, Prescribed Fires, Fire Use Fires, and Wildfire Prevention Tips." The "Projects and Plans" link near the bottom of the left hand menu will be of interest to visitors who are interested in forest projects, and the environmental impact assessments and statements that accompany them. Visitors will also find "Forest Plan Monitoring Reports" from 2001 to 2009, which include "Management Indicator Species Assessment Report[s]" in the appendices. The "Respect the Rio" program employs education, restoration, and empowerment to improve fish habitat and protect endangered fish species while reducing the impacts of recreation in riparian areas". [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

Hmong Cultural Center

The Hmong people came to the United States as refugees after the Vietnam War, and they were mainly resettled in California, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The Hmong Cultural Center was established in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1992, and their website has a wealth of resources "that enhance cross-cultural awareness and understanding between Hmong and non-Hmong persons." Visitors in the healthcare field will find value in one such resource, "View the Hmong History and Culture Presentation for Healthcare Providers", which can be found on the menu on the left-hand side of the page. Visitors will learn that some Hmong beliefs about the body conflict with Western medicine, such as the belief that drawing blood may weaken the physical body and that surgery may hinder reincarnation or allow evil spirits to enter the body. Visitors interested in doing research on the Hmong people should click on the "Research Data and Publications" link to find a "Hmong Studies Journal", "Tutorial on How to Access Hmong Census Data", and "Hmong Studies Research Bibliographies". [KMG]

Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing

Johns Hopkins School for Public Health established the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) in 1981. Although the concept of devising alternatives to animal testing is controversial, the CAAT website dispels the myths about the efficacy of using animals in testing everything from pharmaceuticals to cosmetics to medical procedures. Visitors interested in listening to or watching presentations about alternatives to animal testing should check out the "Media Center" for the link to the "CAAT Youtube Channel". Visitors interested in taking a free online course offered by CAAT entitled "Humane Science Course", should check out the "Resources" tab. The course consists of 12 audio lectures, slides, resource lists, and study questions presented by Johns Hopkins School for Public Health faculty. The course addresses experimental design, pain management, post-surgical care, environmental enrichment, and the impact of animals' stress levels on the quality of data. [KMG]

Network Tools


Do you have a complicated trip you need help planning? Trying to figure out to get from Florence to Dublin perhaps? The Plnnr tool can offer some sage wisdom on such an itinerary. Visitors can select from one of eighteen cities, and Plnnr will help them plan a trip with various dates, themes, and luxury levels. The themes include "outdoors", "culture", "with kids", and "The best of". Plnnr is a fun way to find a number of possible vacation options and this particular version of Plnnr is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a "not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. " Designed as a type of educational tool and a living archive, the site contains over 2100 videos that include algebra lessons, calculus sessions, cosmology, and developmental math. The "tool" function comes in when visitors discover that they can create their own playlists of these videos for use after signing up for an account. It is a remarkable collection, and other subjects are covered here as well. [KMG]

In The News

With the release of Google Map Maker, users can contribute their own spatial knowledge

Google: Map your own neighborhood

Google Wants You To Complete its U.S. Map

Now Users Can Help Edit Google Maps

Google Map Maker

Railroad Maps Collection

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

In the previous millennium, those folks who wanted a high-quality map of their area might have had to go purchase or borrow an actual physical map. In recent years, online mapping tools and resources have sprouted like mushrooms after a hard rain. With all of that in mind, it is not so surprising that on Tuesday Google announced that it is allowing users to contribute changes to their very popular maps. This tool is called Google Map Maker, and it has already been used in some 183 countries and regions around the world. With this tool, users can add names and descriptions of areas in their community, and they can also add various features such as pedestrian trails, parks, and so on. Google employee Lalitesh Katragadda said that the goal of the project is to make "living and breathing" maps, and that users with full editing privileges and approval will see their updates go live "in minutes". It's an exciting project, and while it does mean that Google is essentially getting free labor for this project by dedicated individuals, it also means that Google will have to keep a close eye on disputed areas from Pismo Beach to Portland, Maine. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a CNET news article that includes commentary from Google employees about the new Google Map Maker tool. The second link will whisk users away to a piece from this Tuesday's Wired "Epicenter" column about this intriguing new initiative and how Google hopes to use this information. The third link leads to piece by Jennifer Valentino-Devries, writing for the Wall Street Journal's "Digits" blog, about this new development on the user-generated data front. The fourth link leads directly to Google Map Maker and visitors should feel free to start contributing to this project. Moving on, the fifth link leads to an old-school collection of wonderful 19th century railroad maps from the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress. The final link leads to the David Rumsey Map Collection homepage, and this will be quite a treat for cartographers, historians, and geographers everywhere.

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