The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 17

April 29, 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

AIGA Design Archives

The American Institute for Graphic Arts was founded in 1914, and today it is simply known as AIGA. The archives of the AIGA have thousands of images, including entries from their annual juried design competition, which started in 1924. Visitors can view a list of all the "Collections", or they can choose to "Browse" the archives. Visitors choosing "Browse are offered their choice of filters such as "format", "industry", "location" and "color". The color filter allows visitors to choose from 120 colors, and the results are beautiful; visitors will want to spend their time trying different selections here. Moving on, the discipline category covers thirteen areas, such as "Promotional Design and Advertising", "Environmental Graphic Design", "Package Design", and "Typographic Design". Visitors inclined to view by collection, should definitely look at "The Mental Menagerie: A Five Year Retrospective", which has contemporary animal images. Visitors with a certain humorous sensibility can decide if the designs in "The Humor Show" really are funny, and they may be pleasantly surprised by some of the material here. [KMG]

Housing Association of the Delaware Valley Photographs

In 1909, concerned Philadelphians and reformers looked around their fair city, and saw terrible slum conditions. That very year, the Philadelphia Housing Commission was formed, and over the years they would lobby to create a comprehensive housing code. In 1915, the enforcement of this code began, and the organization later became the Housing Association of the Delaware Valley. Their photographic archive became part of the collections at the Temple University Libraries. Recently, staff members there digitized over 3,100 photographs that document housing interiors, exteriors, streets, privy vaults, housing projects, and sanitation conditions from 1897 to 1972. Visitors can search the complete archive by keyword, or they can just browse around as they see fit. As a whole, the collection documents the story of Philadelphia's 20th century experience, and the images are quite eye opening. [KMG]

Future of Aviation Advisory Committee [pdf]

In April 2010, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced the creation of the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee. The focus of the Committee's work is to "provide information, advice and recommendations to the Department on ensuring the competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry." First-time visitors should note that the homepage contains links to the Committee's charter, committee member profiles, and their final report. Published in April 2011, the 85 page final report is something of particular interest. The document contains sections on the future of the aviation workforce, outsourcing, and aviation safety. Moving on, visitors can view minutes from each of their five meetings, and two of the meetings also have archived video coverage available as well. [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

Natural Resources Defense Council: Smarter Living [pdf]

These days more consumers want to buy smarter and greener, and they also wish to make informed decisions about the items they are purchasing. Environmental degradation is a concern, as is personal health, sustainable foodstuffs, and so on. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has assembled this collection of resources for smarter living, and they include tips on healthy lunches, eating local, controlling energy costs, and environmentally friendly flea and tick treatments for pets. One of the true highlights here is the "Chemical Index" section. Here visitors can find out which chemicals are commonly used in everyday products, including shower curtains, shoe polishes, and insulation materials. The site also includes some "How to" and "Top Ten" lists that cover topics like the most energy efficient laptops and "greening" your wardrobe. [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

New York Foundation for the Arts: For Artists

The mission of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is "to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives." Their website has many resources for artists, and the "About NYFA" link includes a list of prominent individuals titled "NYFA Names You Know" of artists who they supported in their early years. Visitors might recognize such artists as Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Julie Taymor, Michael Sorkin and Tony Kushner, who all appear on the list. The NYFA Podcast link has many topics of interest to artists, such as the current hour-long podcast, "Developing Project Narratives and Budgets". The "Podcast Archive" includes such topics as "Protecting Your Art With Paper", "Visa Application and Legal Issues For Immigrant Artists", and "Essential Tools For Grantwriting". The "Business of Art" articles link is an excellent free resource for artists of all disciplines. Visitors will find such business of art topics as "Fundraising", "Marketing", and "Web Site Development". The site is rounded out with a selection of interviews with visual artists, performing artists, and arts professionals. [KMG]

AARP Health Tools

The Health Tools portion of the AARP website addresses questions about Medicare, drug interactions, and where to find cheaper medicines. There is even a "Doughnut Hole Calculator" for those visitors with Medicare Part D who are worried about a coverage gap. The "Pill Identifier" tool helps visitors avoid medication mix-ups, by allowing for searches by "imprint", "shape", or "color" of the medicine. Each feature is streamlined and easy to follow. The "Drug Interaction Checker" allows visitors to choose from a list of common drugs, and they can also just type in the name of the drug. Once a drug is selected, the interactions, if any, are shown. Visitors can select to read all of the interactions, or by their severity, such as minor, moderate, or severe. The information given for each interaction is in easy to understand language, devoid of medical jargon, and intended for a general audience. [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

British Geological Survey: Learning [pdf]

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has a wealth of information about the earth sciences, and they are quite willing to share it with others. This page contains information and resources for anyone interested in geology for educational or leisure purposes, and it is contained with four sections. First up is "Popular geology", which includes "Britain beneath our feet", an interactive atlas of geology, resources, and land quality. This section also contains graphics about climate change and earthquakes. The second section is titled "Educational resources". Here visitors can ask scientists at the BGS specific questions and they can also download several free posters. The third section is called "Educational news and events" and it features upcoming events at the BGS and links to their free magazine, "Earthwise". The site is rounded out by the fourth section titled "From the BGS Archives". Here visitors can view historic geological photographs and also view field sketches and watercolors by Alexander Henry Green, the celebrated Victorian geologist. [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

Witness to the Early American Experience

What was the early American experience like in New York? How can anyone accurately tell such a story? The people at New York University's Fales Library, working in conjunction with the New York Historical Society have done quite a job via their extensive holdings. As the homepage states, "here you can explore the history of New York through the words of those who lived it." The materials on the site in the "Archive" area include dozens of letters, newspapers, broadsides, legal records, and maps that tell the story of New York from the early Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam up to the British occupation of the city during the American Revolution. Moving on, the "Tour" area offers some key documents from the period, including an early property deed from New Amsterdam and a letter from George Washington about sending 4,000 troops to New York in 1781. Finally, the site has a few lesson plans and related materials in the "Learn Resources" area that are worth checking out. [KMG]

General Interest

Nantucket Historical Association [pdf]

Founded in 1884, the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) has worked to preserve the cultural and historical artifacts of this unique island off the coast of Massachusetts for over 135 years. Their website contains information on their whaling museum, special events, and research library. First-time visitors will want to click on the "Exhibitions" area to get started. The digital exhibitions here include portraits of notable Nantucket women, a journal from the wife of a sea captain written in the mid-19th century, and a look at the Nantucket Art Colony. Historians will want to look at the "Research Library" area as well, as it contains an online database and information about their extensive oral history collections. Visitors should also look at the "Explore Nantucket History" area, as they can sign up to receive their quarterly magazine (there is a charge) and they can also look at select articles for free. [KMG]

James W. Schultz Photographs

James Willard Schultz was an Easterner who went west to Fort Benton, Montana Territory in 1877. At the age of 18, he became fascinated with the lives and ways of American Indians and he lived with the Blackfeet Indians for many years. To earn a living, he wrote books and articles about his experiences, and he also took many photographs. The University of Montana has digitized over 500 of these unique photographs for consideration by the general public. On the site, visitors can browse the collection by keyword, date, or title. The site includes a brief overview of Schultz's life, and visitors may wish to start by looking through his photos of the Arapaho tribe. It is a mesmerizing collection, and one that can be appreciated by historians and others interested in the interactions between American Indians and others. [KMG]

Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame [iTunes]    

Southern California artist John Frame has taken on a number of intriguing projects over the years, and this exhibit at The Huntington is as arresting as anything else he has done previously. This online exhibit is meant to complement an in-situ exhibit, and it profiles three dozen of his intricately carved sculptures. Visitors can start by watching an 8-minute film by filmmaker Johnny Coffeen which explores Frame's artistic process. The heart of this collection is really the cast of carved characters made from wood and found objects and they are placed both in small clusters and alone. The site also includes a blog, a link to the exhibition catalog (available for purchase), and a "Media" area. Here visitors will find a biography of Frame, select images from the exhibition, and information about the "cast of characters" in this collection. [KMG]

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife [pdf]

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is concerned with much more than fish and wildlife, and their website provides a cornucopia of material on conservation, wildlife management, and recreation opportunities. On the homepage, visitors can use the menu on the left-hand of the site to learn about ten different subjects, including materials for hunters, potential volunteers, and fishing enthusiasts. Visitors looking to experience a bit of the flavor of the state may wish to start by clicking on the "Photo and Video Gallery". Here they will find images taken by ODFW employees, along with video clips, such as "How-to-Demonstrations" and news reports. Scientists and policy types may wish to click on over to the "Conservation Strategy" area, as they can view the department's overall strategy, along with "Hot Topics" features on gray wolves and invasive species. [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

Flight Global

Perhaps you are interested in the projects that AirTran has going on? And maybe you'd like to know more about helicopters? These topics (and many more) are all covered on the Flight Global site. The homepage contains a briefing of global airline news, complete with related links, polls, and information from their breaking news blog. Curious parties should also look at the left-hand side of the page, as it contains a list of fourteen different topics, ranging from "Aircraft" to "Media Centre". Further down, the page also contains a "Jobs" area for people looking to enter the industry or to make a career move. The site also contains "cutaways", which feature the interior schematics of military and commercial planes. Visitors should also check out the "AirSpace Image of the Week", which highlights some beautiful and amazing photographs. [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

Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection

The United States government's Bureau of Consumer Protection works "to prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace." Their website provides information on simple ways to prevent fraud, like how to get on the National Do Not Call Registry in order to avoid telemarketing calls, avoiding online scams, or how to identify medical identity theft. Visitors interested in learning how to avoid job scams should definitely watch the video on the homepage. It gives some of the key language used by job scammers in their print, online, TV and radio advertisements so that consumers can more readily identify scams. At the end of the video, visitors are given contact details at the FTC for those who need to report a job scam. A link to more information about job scams is located below the video. The "Business Information" tab provides information to those visitors who own a business and want to stay on the right side of the law. How to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the CAN-SPAM Act, and the Credit Practice Rule is covered in this section. [KMG]

Children and War

Established in 2000, and based in Bergen, Norway, the Children and War group is "dedicated to improve childrens lives after wars and disasters." Their homepage has the latest news and results of the group's efforts, and visitors who have relationships with children will find advice on what to tell them about the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. The "Stories" link on the far left-hand side of any page allows visitors to put faces and names to some of the children of war and disaster. There is Luay, a 14-year-old boy from Iraq who was traumatized by helping bring dead bodies out of the ruins of his city after it was bombed. Miriam, an 11-year-old from Somalia, tells of seeing her pregnant mother being stabbed and killed by opposing clan members. Visitors interested in how children are assessed to determine the "effects of war, disaster and trauma" on them will find the "Measures" link helpful. Here they will find information on CRIES, a widely used assessment for post traumatic stress, a depression self-rating scale, and a "Post-Traumatic Cognitions Inventory". Additionally, many of the tests are available in multiple languages. [KMG]

The National Gallery: 30 Highlight Paintings

Vermeer, Seurat, Gainsborough, Rembrandt - the National Gallery in London presents this website with thirty "greatest hits" of their collection. Visitors to the site can zoom in on the details of any of the paintings, such as a close-up of Venus' elaborately braided hair in Sandro Botticelli's Venus and Mars, 1485, or get close enough to see the individual brushstrokes in Van Gogh's Sunflowers, 1888. Each painting is accompanied by commentary, for example, this version of Sunflowers is one of four that Van Gogh painted in 1888 (not counting several in other years), and "the various versions and replicas remain much debated among Van Gogh scholars." [DS]

Network Tools


This handy device is well named, as its primary function is to help visitors collect interesting videos online for later "consumption". First-time visitors will need to complete a short registration, and they can get started saving videos from a range of sources. Visitors can also organize playlists, and then email them to friends and colleagues. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


Who says making a "to-do" list has to be boring? Not the good people at the ZURB, who have created the Strike application to help people "knock down" their lists quickly and with a bit of fun. Visitors will note the bowling alley theme as they enter the site, and they have the ability to create a list that is stored on the web for easy access. Visitors can share their lists with others, and they can also break down more complex lists into smaller steps. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Inquiry into the Central Asia Institute's financials raises questions about oversight of charities

'Three Cups of Tea' questions remind donors to check up on charities

Greg Mortenson and our false ideals about social change

The Greg Mortenson Scandal: One University's Bitter Cup of Tea,8599,2066239,00.html

The Greg Mortenson We Knew

Greg Mortenson: 60 Minutes

Charity Navigator

Several weeks ago, author Greg Mortenson found himself in a bit of an unwanted media firestorm. Mortenson wrote the tremendously popular book "Three Cups of Tea" about his time spent in Central Asia in the early 1990s. The work has inspired others to donate to his organization (the Central Asia Institute), which is dedicated to building girls' schools in Pakistan. Unfortunately, it appears that Mortenson may have fabricated some of the details of his original trek to the region, and many literary commentators are quite upset. The other thread of the story belongs to the world of charitable giving, and a number of people are even more upset by the concerns raised about Central Asia Institutes finances than by any unseemly fabrications in Mortensons book. The USA Today's Sandra Block reported this week that Daniel Borochoff, founder of the American Institute of Philanthropy had requested financial information from the Central Asia Institute in 2009, and found out that the organization did not have any audited financial statements at that time. In a piece for the Christian Science Monitor, Courtney E. Martin and John Cary talk about the problems of "do gooder celebrity" which seem to have incredible influence on certain aspects of the non-profit world, including Mortenson's own organization. It is a story that is still very much playing out, and one that those in the non-profit world will be following closely. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to the piece mentioned above, from the USA Today's Sandra Block, about the investigation into the Central Asia Institute. The second link leads to the other aforementioned piece in this Monday's Christian Science Monitor regarding "do gooder celebrity". Moving on, the third link will take users to a piece from last week's Time magazine about an award given to Mortenson by the University of Louisville which is now under review. The fourth link will whisk interested parties to an opinion piece by Dennis Higman (writing for the New West literary website) about his relationship and encounters with Mortenson. The fifth link leads to a recent investigative piece from 60 Minutes on Mortenson and the controversy surrounding his book "Three Cups of Tea" and the Institute. For those who might be considering a gift to a charitable organization, the sixth link leads to the Charity Navigator website. Here visitors can search for information about charities of interest and view top ten lists such as "10 Highly-Rated Charities with Low Paid CEOs".

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