The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 18

May 6, 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

HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series [pdf]

The Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) at Harvard University has scholars working on housing conditions, international policy issues, and dozens of other areas related to government. This site offers works-in-progress for scholars and others, and visitors are encouraged to search the database, view abstracts of papers, or download the complete paper. The papers found here date back to 2007, and sample titles include "Building Social Capital Through Microfinance", "Female Employment and Fertility in Rural China", and "The Dynamics of Capitalism". Visitors should also take a look at their quarterly Faculty Research Digest, which showcases recent works organized by publication title and research topic. Finally, visitors can also read the user's guide which will help them navigate the contents of the site more efficiently and effectively. [KMG]

SkyView Virtual Observatory

NASA's SkyView is the Internet's virtual telescope, and "generat[es] images of any part of the sky at wavelengths in all regimes from Radio to Gamma-Ray." Those individuals without much of an astronomy background need not fear, as NASA's got it covered with their "Non-Astronomers Page". The "SkyView FAQ" answers such general visitor's questions as "What is SkyView?", "What Do I Need to Use SkyView?", and "Can I Freely Reprint Images Obtained in SkyView?" The "SkyView Blog" has been keeping visitors in the know about the latest SkyView happenings since April 2008. The latest blog entry makes reference to the unusual images that can be generated in SkyView, and the "Image Gallery" contains over 10,000 images submitted by users of SkyView. Finally, the link at the bottom of the homepage titled "Where Do I Find?", offers visitors valuable information from NASA, including materials on rockets and space travel, planets, stars, constellations, and homework help by a "high energy astronomer". [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 Louisiana State University Agricultural Center [pdf]

The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (LSU AgCenter) is one of the eleven institutions within the Louisiana State University System. The stated mission of the LSU AgCenter is "to provide the people of Louisiana with research-based educational information that will improve their lives and economic well-being." The main headquarters are in Baton Rouge, and their work is also disseminated through this comprehensive website. As with many other state agricultural extension agencies, their website provides a "Topics" area, a news feed, and a set of feature articles written by staff members, including extension agents. The "Features" area is a good place to start, as it contains everything from information on flood maps to materials on bee removal. Further down on the homepage, visitors will find the "On Demand" multimedia area. Here they can view video clips on caterpillar infestations and radio spots on cotton crop planting and rice. The site is rounded out by the "Services" area, which includes social media links, an RSS feed, and materials on their facilities and laboratories. [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

Idaho Yesterdays [pdf]

Idaho is a state of many different moods and climates, and since 1957 Idaho Yesterdays has documented the state's history and transformation through articles, book reviews, and commentary. In 2009, the journal switched to life as a digital peer-reviewed publication. Today, visitors can read the digital issues of the journal, and they will find a range of articles here. Visitors can find full-length articles like "Idaho and the Development of the JCPenney Chain" and "Virgin Forest to Modern Farm: Picturing Ecological Change in Northern Idaho's Cutover Land". Finally, visitors can also register on the site, read announcements, and learn about the Idaho State Historical Society. [KMG]

Digital Archive @GSU [pdf]

Georgia State University has scholars working on educational policy matters, applied economics, and biostatistics, to name only a few. The Digital Archive @GSU website brings together research and scholarship from various members of the university community, and visitors can browse around the materials by collection type, discipline, or author name. The six primary sections here include "Faculty Publications", "Conferences", and "Theses and Dissertations". Musicologists will enjoy the "Conferences" area, as it features works on the popular songs by Johnny Mercer, a Tin Pan Alley tunesmith. Moving on, the "Journals" area includes links to the Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Journal and the Georgia State University Law Review. Visitors are also encouraged to sign up for their RSS feed and email updates. [KMG]

Colorado Plateau Archives

Northern Arizona University has four separate digital collections, and this particular collection brings together items related to the broad expanse of the Colorado Plateau. The materials here cover the past century, and they include photographs of rock formations, Native American celebrations, and family portraits. There isn't a formal guide to the collection on the page, but visitors can perform a detailed search using the digital collections homepage. All told, there are over 32,000 items here, and the site will be best appreciated by historians, geologists, and art historians. Visitors can start their journey by searching for terms such as "riverbeds", "railroads", and "bridges". A delightful site, and one that warrants several return visits. [KMG]

Slavery in America: Image Gallery

This digital archive created in part with funding from New York Life is dedicated to documenting the American slave trade and its history. The site is part of the larger Slavery in America website, which includes teaching resources such as lesson plans and quizzes. Here visitors will find ten different photo collections, including "The Underground Railroad", "Sugar and Cotton: The Paintings of Steele Burden", and "Political Cartoon of Slavery: The Defense of Slavery". Most of these collections have complementary lessons, and they can be used in the classroom setting or to supplement other classroom materials. One highlight here is the collection featuring works by Johnnie Mae Maberry-Gilbert. She is a professor at Tougaloo College and has been creating images based on slave narratives for well over a decade. Visitors can read an interview with her, and also look over a lesson developed in conjunction with the conversation. [KMG]

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Congress established the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 1992 to "target effectively substance abuse and mental health services to the people most in need." SAMHSA also administers a number of block grant programs and data collection activities. On their homepage, visitors can get started by clicking on the "Data" link at the top of the page and reading through the "What We Are Doing" section. Here interested parties will find highlights of recent reports, state-level data on these topics, and a series of mental health statistics reports. The top of their homepage contains additional sections of interest, including "Grants", "Publications", "Data", and "Newsroom". Visitors should also take a look at the "Featured Resource", which is also on the homepage. In addition, many of the site's materials are available in Spanish. Visitors can follow SAMHSA on various social networks including Facebook YouTube, and Twitter, and they can also sign up for their mailing list if they wish to keep up with this valuable organization. [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

Dallas Museum of Art - Program Recordings

Do you like art? If so, you'll probably love the Dallas Museum of Art's program recordings. You can listen to them anywhere you have Internet access, and the offerings provided here include artist talks, lectures, gallery talks, and discussions of archaeology. The recordings are divided into thematic areas, and starting with the "Artist Talks" is as good a place as any. Here visitors will find talks by Rene Stout, Luc Tuymans, and a historic talk by Roy Lichtenstein from 1995. Further along, the "Exhibition and Other Lectures" area includes talks on the American Arts & Crafts movement by Professor Martin Eidelberg and the word of African masks by Professor Christopher Roy. Moving on, the Boshell Family Lecture Series on Archaeology includes a talk on "The True History of Chocolate" and "How to Build an Empire: Performance and Spectacle as Inca Expansion Strategy". [KMG]

Design : Talkboard

The graphic design world is a big one, and for those who may be looking to get started in the field, it can be a bit daunting. On the Design : Talkboard homepage visitors can look over "Design resources" such as "Starting a graphic design business", "The history of desktop publishing", and "Web hosting". These are all nice primers for people entering the field and include some rather helpful pointers on the business side of graphic design. Moving on, the homepage also includes other sections, including "Design Links", "Design Listings", and "Design News". One area that is particularly useful is the "Features & reviews" area. The curious visitor will note that it has omnibus reviews of font management tools, Photoshop alternatives, and materials on 3D design applications. Finally, the site also has a "comment" area where visitors can read articles on which digital cameras that are best for graphic designers and other relevant topics. [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

Costume History Collection

Four books make up the rather elegant digital Costume History Collection at the Western Michigan University Library, and to pore through their pages is to experience the world of 18th and 19th century fashion. The books include designs from a Parisian women's magazine, color drawings of clothing of people of Persia, and a series of pattern diagrams. The Persian items are taken from the rather intriguing 1843 work, "A Residence of Eight Years in Persia, Among the Nestorian Christians: with Notices of the Muhammedans." The other three books offered here in their entirety include "L'Art de la Lingere" and "Parisian Fashion, 1827-1832". This last volume is also supplemented by a glossary and annotated bibliography. Moving on, the site also includes a section on the digitization particulars of this project. [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

Blair House: The President's Guest House

The Blair House has been the next-door neighbor of the White House in Washington, DC since 1824 and it is the President's official guest house. The house is named after Francis Preston Blair, who served in President Andrew Jackson's "Kitchen Cabinet" and he was the consummate political insider during the administrations of Martin Van Buren and Abraham Lincoln. Today, the house also serves as a home for the president-elect in the days before the inauguration. This marvelous website from CSPAN provides visitors with video clips of the house, and it's quite a tour. There are ten short profiles that include views of the principal suite, the drawing room, and the Lincoln Room. The site also has interviews with people who have spent time getting to know the Blair House, including Ambassador Nancy Brinker and Deputy Chief of Protocol Raymond P. Martinez. [KMG]

The American Library Association (ALA) has created the site to get out the good word about becoming a librarian. The site contains four sections, including "Me, A Librarian?" and "What You Need to Know". The "Me, A Librarian?" area contains information about the skills needed to be an effective librarian, along with information about the profession's core values. Moving on, the "What You Need to Know" area includes answers to questions like "Do I need a library science master's degree" and another area on "Choosing a library school". The site also has a section of videos that highlight different academic librarians and a compelling "Ten Best Reasons to become a Library Media Specialist in a high needs school". Finally, the site also has a "Trends & Statistics" area which offers statistics about the profession from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other organizations. [KMG]

Oklahoma Forestry Services [pdf]

The mission of the Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) is "to conserve, enhance and protect the forest resources of Oklahoma for present and future generations." As part of this mission the OFS website contains information about fire reports, tree and forest health, and water quality. First-time visitors should start their journey through the site by clicking on the "Oklahoma's Forests" section. Here they will find information about Oklahoma's major forest types, the ecoregions of Oklahoma, and several Trees of Oklahoma fact sheets. Back on the homepage, visitors can learn about upcoming workshops and events, read a list of forestry bulletins, and find out about the Forest Heritage Center Museum. Residents of Oklahoma may also wish to look through the "Home and Community Trees" area to learn more about planning their own trees and Arbor Day related activities. [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

Health on the Net Foundation

The Health on the Net Foundation (HON) is based out of Switzerland, and is endorsed by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Its aim is accurate and useful health information on the web for medical professionals, patients, and web publishers, and its website can be read not only in English, but also French, German, Spanish, Polish and Chinese. Once visitors have chosen their "status" (patient, medical professional, etc.), they will be able to choose from "HONtools", "HONsearch", "HONtopics", or "HONcode". The HONcode is a code of ethics for site managers to set up "a minimum set of mechanisms to provide quality, objective and transparent medical information tailored to the needs of the audience." Visitors can read the eight principles of the HONcode that are required of websites to become certified. Although visitors can search for trustworthy websites in the HONsearch link, there is also an HONcode toolbar that can be easily downloaded, and it will alert visitors if a health website they visit is accredited by HON. HON can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter and they also publish a newsletter that any visitor can subscribe to should they want to keep up with HONs ongoing activities and services. [KMG]

Museum of Art-Rhode Island School of Design

The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is the largest art museum in Rhode Island, and one of the largest in the United States. Founded in 1893, the Museum's collection, like its parent organization RISD, reflects the fact that after the Civil War Rhode Island was the most industrialized state in the country. As stated on the Museum's website, the region's prosperity was based on the manufacture of goods from silverware to steam engines, resulting in a desire to better educate the population in industrial design and fine art. Today, the Museum's collection consists of over 84,000 objects, with particular strengths in costume and textiles, 19th century American decorative arts, and photography. The Museum is also the home of the Aaron Siskind Center for the Study of Photography. On the website visitors can browse collection areas, explore the Grand Gallery, "A salon-style picture gallery displaying European paintings from the Renaissance through the early 19th century", listen to curators, and read about current exhibitions. [DS]

Network Tools


The ArtSnacks site is designed to be a tool for teachers who hope to give their students access to a broad range of artworks. Currently, the site has over 21,000 artworks posted, and along the way students learn to give feedback in a polite constructive way to other students, while learning about science, history, and other topics. Visitors to the site can sign up for an account, and then they will be able to post materials and also offer comment on other pieces. This version of ArtSnacks is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

English Companion

Where do English teachers go to ask questions and get help? Well, one online destination is the English Companion site. Visitors can sign up, and look through online groups that include "Digital Collaboration", "AP Lit and Language", and "Teaching Shakespeare". They can also participate in the online forums, which include forum threads like "Themed Units for Middle School" and "Interactive Notebooks". There are also a number of instructional applications and even a Twitter feed here. This site and its applications are compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

The recent seizure of the assets of online poker sites raises a number of questions

Poker players protest government seizure

Poker websites' actions were risky, experts say

Poker Black Friday: An online poker ponders how he'll make a living

Time to legalize, tax online gambling

The official rules of card games: Hoyle up-to-date

Frontier Gamblers

Last week, the US Department of Justice moved to shut down three major online poker sites. The government alleges that these companies engaged in bank fraud, money laundering, and broke a number of anti-gambling laws. For those who played online poker for a bit of diversion, it is a minor inconvenience, but for those who did it as part of their livelihood, it has become quite frustrating. Professor Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School uses the game of poker to teach legal strategy and has spoken out on this subject recently. Nesson has encouraged the government to legalize online poker, and for Nesson it isnt about the money, rather it is about freedom. "It's actually the liberty of playing. That's a true way of exercising a freedom on the net. Its a form of internet liberty I happen to value considerable and think replicates too many other things." Nesson is not alone, and there are some interesting legal questions involved with this recent move by the government. The government shut down these companies using a 2006 law that bans all financial institutions from dealing with illegal Internet gambling. However, there is no federal law that bans people from playing online poker, and so far no federal court has ruled on whether this activity is in fact illegal or not. It's a curious situation, and one that people with an interest in the ways of the Internet and matters of the law will want to follow. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a piece from last Thursday's CNN website about the recent government action taken against three major online poker sites. The second link will whisk users away to a piece from the Las Vegas Sun that provides more details on these recent developments in the world of online gambling. The third link will lead visitors to a piece from last Friday's Slate from Shane Schleger, a self-employed online poker player. The fourth link takes users to an opinion piece by Chris Flood, a defense attorney who represented a major online gambling company, which appeared in the Houston Chronicle on this past Saturday. The fifth link leads to the digitized version of the 1922 tome, "The Official Rules of Card Games: Hoyle up-to-date". Within these pages, visitors can learn about dozens of card games, including "Canfield" and "Misery Bridge". For those who like their card games and gambling up close and personal, the sixth link is quite a treat. The "Frontier Gamblers" site provides information about living (and dying) by the cards in the Old West.

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