The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 20

May 20, 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

Penn Museum: Expedition [pdf]

If you have ever wanted to take a trip with some of the archaeologists and anthropologists affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, an exploration of the contents of their "Expeditions" magazine may satisfy that wish. Since 1958, the magazine has profiled the textiles of Southeast Asia, jewelry from Canaanite temples, and the 19th century world of Constantinople. The magazine is a full-color peer-reviewed popular quarterly that offers materials on findings from around the world. On the site, visitors can scan the archives dating back to 1958, and for older issues, the complete contents are usually available. The site also contains an index for all of the issues, and it may be the most efficient way to locate a particular subject of interest. [KMG]

Knitting Together

The East Midlands, UK, knitting industry is the subject of the fantastic virtual and physical museum called Knitting Together. The knitting industry has been in the East Midlands since the 16th century, and visitors interested in learning about the ever evolving, sometimes violent history of knitting manufacture will definitely want to check out the "Timeline" located on the right side of any page. The timeline is very thorough, and explains the social consequences of increasingly sophisticated knitting technology. Along with each segment of the timeline, visitors can view and learn about objects from the collection that relate to the events of the timeline, such as a piece of lace made circa 1769 that may be one of the oldest pieces of machine-made lace. Clicking on "Virtual Museum" and then "Town Tour" will lead visitors to a tour of Leicester, which offers visitors a chance to take a virtual tour of all the significant sites of the town. Visitors just need to click on the purple circles on the map to see recent, quality photographs of buildings that once housed knitting factories, along with an informational blurb about the building or location. [KMG]

WHO: Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 [pdf]

In April 2004, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution with the goal of "improving global road safety". Subsequently, the World Health Assembly was invited to assist with this endeavor and they worked with the UN to set up the UN Road Safety Collaboration. As part of their work, they created the Decade of Action for Road Safety, which will run from 2011 to 2020. Visitors to the site can read about some of their launch events around the world and they can also check out the "Advocacy Materials" area. Here they will find a road safety film, a PowerPoint presentation, several public service announcements, and web banners. In the "Highlights" area, visitors can read some of their informational pamphlets, including "Saving Millions of Lives" and the "Global Status Report on Road Safety". Moving on, the "Projects" area contains links to road safety manuals for implementation purposes and a legislative database that links up to risk factors for road traffic injuries in countries around the world. [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

Fenimore Art Museum: The Smith and Telfer Photographic Collection

The Fenimore Art Museum in New York has a wide-ranging collection that includes significant pieces of American Indian art, folk art, and thousands of photographs and negatives. Working together with other institutions, including the New York State Historical Association, they have digitized over 300 images from the Smith and Telfer Photographic Collection. The firm of Smith and Telfer documented the town of Cooperstown, NY for well over a century, and they took photos of circus animals, civic monuments, and prominent individuals. Visitors can browse through the images at their leisure, and they can also search the entire collection by keyword. A couple of images of note include the shot of a man holding a dog in his lap while sitting on a tractor ("Ainslie Cornfield") and the photo entitled "Balloon Ascension". [KMG]

Thomas B. Fordham Foundation (Last reviewed in the Scout Report on April 3, 2001)

The mission of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation is to "advance educational excellence for every child through quality research, analysis, and commentary." They also provide on-the-ground action and advocacy in Ohio, and they have offices there and in Washington, D.C. On their homepage, visitors can read through their latest briefing book, sign up to receive their weekly "Education Gadfly" newsletter, and connect with the Institute via a range of social media. The homepage also contains links to the "Education Gadfly" podcast and videos from events sponsored by the Institute. In the "Publications/Issues" area, visitors can make their way through white papers and briefing documents on charter schools, digital learning, standardized testing, and special education. Users in the Buckeye State will want to make sure and click on the "Ohio-Policy & Research" area to learn more about their work in the state. [KMG]

Online Instructional Resources: Faculty Development Programs at Michigan State University [pdf]

Michigan State University has two dedicated individuals in Lois Rosen and Maribeth Foltz and they have worked tirelessly to create this fine collection of instructional resources from across the web. These resources are aimed at university instructors, and after they were compiled, they were divided into fifteen major categories and subdivided into 125 subcategories. The three broad categories here include "Teaching and Learning Resources", "Resources for Teaching in the Disciplines", and "Resources for Teaching to the Competencies". Each of these sections is divided into more manageable areas, like "Social Sciences" and "Teaching for Technology". Each site featured here contains a brief annotation of its primary goal and activities, and instructors new and experienced will stumble on something new on the site. [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

HUD Archives [pdf]

Urbanologists and others will find that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) archives are quite a pip. In the past several years, HUD has been working to move much of their content over to this site. Here visitors can find budget proposals, affordable housing documents, and transcripts given by HUD officials. Users of the site can browse the materials by topic, and they include "Budgets and Congressional Justifications", "Publications and Newsletters", and "Testimony before Congress". For urban affairs scholars, the site offers a timeline of changing priorities and functions from the recent past. For comments from the former Secretaries of HUD, visitors need only look over comments from Mel Martinez, Andrew Cuomo, and Henry Cisneros. Finally, visitors can also look through the "Most Recent Additions" area on the homepage. [KMG]

Georgia Archives Home

Peering into the world of Georgia's past has become a little easier with the Georgia Archives. Created by the Georgia Secretary of State's Office, the Virtual Vault provides access to historic Georgia manuscripts, photographs, and maps. The R.J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation provided funding for this endeavor, and visitors can look over the topical headings on the left-hand side of the page to get started. First-time visitors should look at the Lamar Q. Ball Photograph collection, which documents military and civilian life in Georgia during World War II. Visitors can also use the document management tools here to create their own collections of images for later use. The other nineteen collections here include Georgia death certificates, historic postcards, colonial will books, and district plats. Finally, visitors can also learn more about the collection via the "Learn" area and sign up for updates. [KMG]

General Interest

National Jukebox

If you don't have a Wurlitzer handy, the National Jukebox website is the next best thing. Actually, it's probably the "first-best" thing, as it contains over 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925. It is a tremendous endeavor, and one that brings the sounds of another era into the life of anyone with an Internet connection. First-time visitors should click on the "Making the Jukebox" to get started. Here they can view a slide show of Library of Congress staffers at work selecting the items to be digitized and other shots documenting the entire process. Next, visitors can listen to the "Playlists of Recordings", which feature playlists compiled by Library of Congress curators and project partners. Currently they include "Early Tin Pan Alley", "The Fox Trot", and "Songs by Irving Berlin". The interactive "Victrola Book of the Opera" from 1919 is quite a pip, and visitors can use it to read stories of great operas while listening to period recordings. Also, it's a good idea to read up in the "How'd They Do That?" section, found toward the bottom of the homepage, for more behind the scenes information on the project. [KMG]

Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston

As Boston was once known as the "Athens of America", it will probably not be a surprise to learn that the metropolitan area has more arts and cultural organizations per capita than any other place in the United States. One organization that is dedicated to strengthen this vibrant arts community is the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston. They provide pro bono legal services for artists, training workshops to serve artists and art administrators, and they also train business professionals to serve on nonprofit boards of directors. The Council is also a chapter of the American for the Arts organization, and their homepage provides an event calendar, announcements, and talks. Along the right-hand side of the page visitors will find easy-to-use links such as "I need legal help" and "I want to be a more successful artist." Also, the site contains links to sign up for their Twitter feed and to join their Facebook network. [KMG]

NOVA: The Spy Factory

The Spy Factory documentary from NOVA examines the role of the National Security Agency "in the failure to stop the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent eavesdropping program that listens in without warrant on millions of American citizens." Visitors can watch the documentary in its entirety online for free. There is also a transcript available for the hour long video for those visitors who prefer to read the alarming tale uncovered by author James Bamford. Visitors interested in a list of "participants" in the film and their available contact information can find it listed below the "Transcript" link. There are also related resources and links on the homepage that expand on the topic of military and espionage, including "Spy Factory: Expert Q&A" with James Bamford and "Investigating 9/11", about pre-9/11 intelligence failures. The Expert Q&A is a real treat for visitors who are intelligence fans, as Bamford answers several dozen questions, some about Spy Factory and the NSA, and others about previous books he has written on intelligence. [KMG]

Bacteria Museum

Who knew that bacteria had their own virtual museum? Here, visitors will "learn that not all bacteria are harmful, how they are used in industry, that they belong to the oldest living creatures on Earth", and many more interesting facts to discover about the diverse world of bacteria. The "Bacterial Species Files" tab at the top of the page, allows visitors to look up information on 40 different specific bacteria, from Anthrax to Yersinia enterocolitica. The information provided for each bacterium includes photographs, consumer guides, fact sheets, and scientific links. Visitors will find that the "Main Exhibits" tab addresses the basics about bacteria, as well as "Pathogenic Bacteria", "Evolution", "How We Fight Bacteria", and "Food and Water Safety". Visitors will surely enjoy the "Good Bacteria in Food" link found in the Food and Water Safety section, as it explains how some foods benefit from good bacteria, such as Swiss cheese, sausage, sauerkraut, chocolate, and coffee. [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

Memorial University of Newfoundland Digital Archives Initiative

The history and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador are being preserved through digitization by the Digital Archives Initiative at Memorial University of Newfoundland. As visitors would expect, there are many collections related to marine life, such as "Marine Institute - Ship Drawings", "Mercantile Navy List and Maritime Directory", and "Among the Deep Sea Fishers". Visitors who enjoy boatbuilding will enjoy the dozens of audio interviews conducted by David Taylor with local boat builders and fishermen, which can be found in the "Boatbuilding" collection found under "Audio/Video/Images". Visitors can view the collections on the homepage by type, sponsor, and alphabetically. The "Showcased Collection" on the left side of the homepage is an ever-changing showcase of eye-catching collections. "Bonfire Night" is one such collection, and it features videos of Bonfire Nights in areas throughout Newfoundland, as well as audios of "Fire, Culture, and Festival: A Public Talk on World Fire Traditions" and locals talking about the history of Guy Fawkes Night. [KMG]

Farming & Countryside Education

Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) is a British not-for-profit organization whose website states that it is concerned about the "way children, young people, and their families, have become disassociated from where their food comes from." Through farm visits, research, and curriculum support, FACE's "aim is to educate children and young people about food and farming in a sustainable countryside." The "Resources" section of the FACE website has a lot to offer visitors of every age, profession, and education level. There are the printable "3D Model Farm Animals" and the "Tractor Puzzles" for young kids. Adult visitors will enjoy the thought-provoking BBC News article entitled "Farming Life: A Family Tradition", about the views of a family of farmers. Educators will find that the "Farm Behind the Food" online resource is packed with 50 classroom activities created by educators. These classroom activities address such issues as understanding food labels and children making choices about what they eat. [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

4-H Youth Development Organization [pdf]

With over 100 years of service, the 4-H Organization is committed to helping "young people and their families gain the skills they need to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy." Their work includes outreach to agricultural communities, teen leadership programs, and many other initiatives. On the site's homepage, visitors will find four primary areas, including "About 4-H", "Programs", and "Resource Library". In the "Resource Library" area, visitors can learn about 4-H curriculum materials, volunteer resources, and grant opportunities. Moving on, the "Programs" area includes information about their youth research programs that address climate change, community leadership, and childhood obesity. Also, visitors can sign up for the "Power of YOUth News" updates and other news bulletins. [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


Online flash cards held in the cloud? A way to mobilize study notes more effectively? StudyBlue can be used for both tasks and several more that will be most efficacious for students and others. First-time visitors will need to sign up for an account and then they can go ahead and get started. Among the other features is a "Set a Study" reminder, which will send users a text message to remind them to get back to their flash cards. This version is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux. [KMG]


Sometimes the clutter of a desktop can prevent any writing from getting done. PenZen offers a bit of a solution to that very vexing problem. PenZen is a blank slate, and it is just a place for people to write down their thoughts with no interruptions or unnecessary distractions. Visitors can write to their heart's content and then just save the document for later. This version is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux. [KMG]

In The News

After 58 years, an icon on the Las Vegas Strip closes

Once 'jewel of the desert', Sahara entertains last weekend guests before closing

Las Vegas' Sahara Hotel and Casino closing after more than 58 years

Las Vegas History

Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years

Vegas Tripping: Implosions

The Neon Museum

All that glitters is not gold, and when it comes to the glittering lights of the Vegas Strip, nothing is permanent. This weekend, the Sahara hotel saw its last guests leave as it ended its 58-year run on the Strip. The hotel was the brainchild of one Milton Prell, a former jewelry salesman who ran a bingo parlor in Montana. In 1952, he opened the Sahara, which he envisioned as a "jewel of the desert". The Sahara was the sixth hotel on the Strip, and with its fantastical Congo Room supper club and Casbar Lounge, it was a flourishing part of the "ring-a-ding-ding" 1950s and 1960s scene in Las Vegas. Characters who were part of the Strip's history included legendary entertainers Ray Bolger, Donald O'Connor, and Louis Prime, who performed there for years with his wife, Keely Smith. While plans for the site are in flux, it is hoped that some of the Sahara's iconic neon signs will end up in the nearby Neon Museum. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a nice article from this Saturday's Las Vegas Sun about the closing of the Sahara. The second link leads to piece from CNN's blog which also talks about the recent closing of this famed Strip stalwart. The third link will whisk users away to a terrific site from the Las Vegas Sun which chronicles the highs and lows of the Strip's history. Moving on, the fourth link leads to a nice digital collection from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas which documents the boom years of Southern Nevada through images, documents, and other archival items. The fifth link leads to a rather raucous and fun archive of Strip hotel implosions captured for posterity. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, which celebrates neon culture in all of its glory.

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