The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 27

July 8, 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

Biodiversity Heritage Library: Charles Darwin's Library

Charles Darwin was a man of science and letters, and his library was impressive. This digital project created by the Biodiversity Heritage Library offers interested parties a virtual reconstruction of the surviving books owned by Darwin, and it includes over 330 titles. First-time visitors will want to read the introductory essay titled "Darwin's Virtual Library: History & Scope" before jumping into the items here. After this excellent introduction, they should feel welcome to browse through the available titles in the "Current Book List" area. The real treat here is the fact that they have included the books that were most heavily annotated in Darwin's own hand, and visitors can look at all of his notes at their leisure. The site also includes a detailed bibliography and a link to the most recent additions. [KMG]

Woman of NASA [Last reviewed in the October 14, 1998 Scout Report]

There are many women working at NASA in a variety of settings, and this website tells the story of 32 such talented individuals. As the site notes, visitors will "hear stories of women overcoming almost every obstacle imaginable to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the world." This particular site was relaunched in response to the Executive Order signed on March 11, 2009, which established the White House Council on Women and Girls. Visitors to the homepage will find a grid of the womens stories, and each comes with a brief description. Each video features one of these individuals discussing their own background, personal career trajectory, and time at NASA. The site is informative and inspirational, and it's one that can be used in a variety of educational settings. [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

Worm Atlas

You may be asking yourself: "What exactly is a worm atlas?" It is a fair question, and the answer is that a worm atlas is a database of the behavioral and structural anatomy of Caenorhabditis elegans, or a transparent roundworm. The website was created in conjunction with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. Nematode neophytes may wish to read over the "What is C.elegans?" area and then continue their journey through the site. The "Handbook" area contains slides of the various roundworm types (such as male and embryos), complete with detailed images of their various body systems, such as alimentary, excretory, and muscle. Moving along, the "Resources" area includes the "Slidable Worm", which allows visitors to view slides that document the sections of the roundworm. Also, visitors can look over a glossary of terms, information about cell lineages, and short videos. The site also contains a "Worm Literature" area, which features key published studies on the structural and developmental anatomy of C. elegans. [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

Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as

The effective mathematics education of Latinos and Latinas is the focus of the Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as (CEMELA), and their website gives a more in-depth explanation of the importance of their work, in "About the Center". Their research has found that "given the unique language, social, and political issues associated with Latino/a students and communities, a multidisciplinary approach [can] be used to adequately and appropriately address their needs." Visitors can read research studies, working papers, and publications as well as view presentations that fortify CEMELA's findings on how to teach Latinos/as mathematics, and why. The "Research Studies" are divided up into the subjects of "Research on Teacher Education", "Research with Parents", and "Research on Student Learning". Visitors will find that the two studies on Research with Parents look at the use of Latino parents' use of mathematics in everyday contexts, and parents' perceptions of teaching and learning mathematics. [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

In Search of Shakespeare: Shakespeares Sonnets Lesson Plan

PBS has created a wonderful lesson plan on Shakespeare's sonnets that addresses students' most common complaint about the Bard: the inaccessible language. This website for educators has videos and other technology for students, as well as academic articles for educators that are meant to help them better understand how to teach Shakespeare. Visitors should not miss the updated "translation" of Sonnet 18, the classic that starts out "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Another gem of a lesson plan that visitors should check out is the "Soliloquies Buster" under "Professional Development" on the right hand menu of the website. It includes a handout that gives the step-by-step process on making the dreaded soliloquy not just accessible, but engaging and fun. [KMG]

The Works STEM Education

The Works is a museum in central Ohio that was created by local citizens in the 1990s who were "interested in preserving Licking County's industrial past." The museum is an official affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers. Visitors will find that the "Educator Info" link has many resources for teachers, such as "Literature Links", with book lists for various ages that build on the educational programs at the museum. The "STEM Education" link will be of particular interest to those who are interested in holding their own STEM activities for the kids and adults in their community. Some of the activities highlighted for visitors to the website are STEM Industry Tours, STEM Science night to "show kids the WOW factor of science through a variety of hands-on demonstrations and experiments", and a festival to engage high school students, called STEMfest. [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


Starting in February 2001, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) began publishing "Findings" magazine. The publication features research and findings from scholars doing work with funding from the NIGMS. Visitors can browse the archive of the publication by topic or date, and they can also check out the sample articles from the latest edition on the homepage. Recent pieces have included "Drugs from Deep Down", "Mesmerized by Metals", and "Just Found", which talks about potential sunburn treatments. The site also has the "Find More" area, which contains an image gallery, school resources, free slide kits, and interactive games. Also, the "Watch" area contains interviews with scientists like Dr. Kevin Tracey talking about his investigations into sepsis. Finally, visitors can also sign up to receive Findings via email. [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

Teachers' Domain: Biotechnology

Funded by the Amgen Foundation, the Teachers' Domain Biotechnology website provides resources on this broad field for educators to use in their classrooms. The materials are divided into four primary areas, including "Applications", "Careers", and "Tools and Techniques". In the "Applications" area, visitors will find over fifteen activities that include "Animal Cloning 101" and "DNA Extraction". Each resource contains an interactive component, and visitors are free to use them as they see fit. In the "Careers" area, visitors can listen to scientists like Andres Berrio talk about his work in biotechnology. The "Tools and Techniques" area contains some rather useful links on how to prepare agarose gel for use in gel electrophoresis and an interactive activity about gene cloning. The site is rounded out by the inclusion of a lesson plan that will help students learn how biotechnology can be used to detect and treat disease. [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

The Tulsa Race Riot

In 1921, the city of Tulsa experienced one of the most troubling race related incidents in American history, yet most are unfamiliar with the event. On the night of May 31, 1921 a racially motivated attack occurred as a number of white residents assaulted the African American community of Greenwood over a 16 hour period. Afterwards, the community was largely destroyed, and for decades the event was largely ignored. Recently, it has been the subject of several documentaries and books, and this digital collection from the University of Tulsa provides dramatic documentation of this event. The collection includes almost 100 photos taken from a variety of sources, including several scrapbooks and other donations from local residents. It is worth noting that there are some intense images within this collection, and not all of them may be suitable for younger viewers. [KMG]

Kansas Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1883-1922

The staff members at the University of Kansas Libraries have worked long and hard to create this trove of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, and it's quite a collection. Working with funds provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, these maps date from 1883 to 1922 and are now available on this site. Visitors can read a brief introduction to these unique documents, and then they can jump right in. The documents contain details about the streets of many cities throughout the Sunflower State, and it is remarkable to look at the footprints of buildings, along with information about railroads, public improvements, and parks. First-time visitors may wish to start by looking at maps of Atchison and the small town of Tonganoxie, which is northeast of Lawrence. [KMG]

Historic Stockton Photographs

Founded in 1849 in the Central Valley of California, Stockton's prime location on the edge of the San Joaquin Delta has made it a major shipping port. This particular collection from the University of Pacific's Holt-Atherton Special Collections brings together approximately 500 photographs that document the history of this unique city. Most of the items here document the waterfront and city center, and for the most part they date from the mid-1860s to the late 1960s. Some of the most interesting photos in the collection are of the city's historic county courthouse, along with the harbor infrastructure, including the docks, bridges, and so on. For those with a penchant for the history of American cities and California more specifically, this collection is quite a find. [KMG]

New England Chowder Compendium

Chowder is a dish commonly associated with New England, and in certain quarters, debates over its creation can be quite heated. Over the past several centuries, church groups, cooks, and others have created hundreds of variations on this comfort food. The University of Massachusetts recently created a New England Chowder Compendium with the hope of investigating "the hows and whys of chowder's rise to its place as an essential part of New England regional cuisine." Drawing on the archives of the Beatrice McIntosh Cookery Collection, the Compendium site brings together dozens of chowder recipes, along with advertisements related to chowder and other items. Visitors can browse by decade, and they can also submit their recipes for inclusion here. The "1920s" area is a good place to start, and it contains recipes for baked chowder, lima bean chowder, and corn and crab chowder. Each section also contains a "Did you know?" tab with a fun fact. [KMG]

The Pulitzer Prizes

The Pulitzer Prizes were first awarded in 1917, and they are given for excellence in a variety of categories, including musical composition, fiction, and a wide range of reporting categories. The Pulitzer Prize website contains the complete list of prize winners from 1917 to the present day, along the full text of winning entries in the Journalism categories from 1995 through the present, along with brief biographies of winners. On their homepage, visitors can look over the "What's New" area to learn about changes at the Pulitzer Board and other announcements. On the left-hand side of the site, visitors can search through all of the past winners and also look over the winners by year. The site also includes an interactive timeline of past winners, along with links to sites that provide additional details on various works and accomplishments of past winners. [KMG]

Digital Library of Indigenous Science Resources

The Digital Library of Indigenous Science Resources (DLISR) is a library collection of online text, video, audio, and image files of Indigenous science. According to the DLISR, Native or Indigenous Science "involves Native persons learning about and understanding the natural world (or non-Native persons learning about and understanding the natural world in the same ways Native people do)." The library includes knowledge about the natural world as well as methods of teaching and learning about the natural world. All the resources found in the DLISR are authored or produced by Indigenous persons or organizations, or are "approved for inclusion in the library collection by an elder or other Indigenous person with the expertise to assess the resource." Visitors will note that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of the supporters of this digital library, and they can find more information on Indigenous or Native Science by checking out the "Introduction" tab at the top of the page. The overarching categories available in the library are "Climate Change", "Education", "Law", "Sovereignty", "Traditional Knowledge" and "Traditional Foods". There are approximately two dozen subtopics for visitors to choose under the categories. For example, under the "Traditional Foods" category visitors will find five resources, including one entitled "Alaska Traditional Knowledge and Native Foods Database", which contains measurements of contaminants found in the animals harvested by Alaska Natives. [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 Cultural Landscape Foundation

What is a cultural landscape? This website answers that question, and gives hundreds of wonderful examples for visitors to consider. The link "What are Cultural Landscapes?" explains to visitors that there are four types of cultural landscapes, and they also offer a brief definition of each one. They include "designed" which is intentionally laid according to design principles; "vernacular", where people have shaped the land by cultural patterns or activities; "ethnographic" which contain natural and cultural resources that the "associated people define as heritage resources" and the "historic site", which is self-evident. In order to view examples of cultural landscapes, visitors should click on the "What's Out There?" link to go to the database of the same name. There is a basic search function, as well as an "advanced search" that allow visitors to search by design type, such as "Plaza", "Parkway" or "Contemporary Earthwork" or by landscape style, such as "Italianate", "Mission Revival" or "Prairie Style". Most entries have photos, and some have more than one. Visitors should also check out "Abbott Park" for some glorious photos. [KMG]

Network Tools


Klout is a handy application that helps users measure their social media influence. The mission of Klout is "to help every individual understand and leverage their influence." Visitors can sign up here, and receive their own "Klout Score", which is based on 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure things such as "True Reach" and "Network Score". This program is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


Chirbit is a program that allows users to record, upload, and share audio with friends and others. Visitors will need to sign up with a username and they will need a microphone or webcam for recording purposes. Visitors can watch the demonstration video here to get started, and after they are done, they can share the audio files with friends via Twitter and Facebook with shortened URLs. Chirbit is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Amidst a spike in crime, the subject becomes a major issue in Mexican elections

Crime and politics in Mexico: A turning tide

Mexico vote takes pulse for presidential race

Mexico arrests Zetas leader 'connected to attack' against ICE agents

United Nations Human Rights: Mexico [pdf]

Mexico: Brookings Institution [pdf]

Mexican American History Guide

Mexican politics has been dominated by talk of the economy over the past few years, and many Mexicans are encouraged by the recent growth of the country's GDP. In 2010, the GDP rose by 5.5% and job growth was quite robust. Unfortunately, another issue has continued to dominate the conversations around the recent elections in the country and that issue is crime. In the past year, the Mexican government recorded more than five times as many mafia-linked murders as in 2007. To be sure, the majority of these crimes have occurred within 3% of the country's municipalities, but it has been an issue that has risen to national importance with politicos and candidates across the country. Mexicos current president Felipe Calderns has seen a drop in his popularity and new political players are trying to move in. This week, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Eruviel Avila won the governor's race in the most populous state in the country. This PRI victory is seen as a political barometer for next year's presidential election, as it gives the party a chance to retake the presidency. In addition, many of the potential front-runners are increasingly positioning themselves as the "tough on crime" candidates, and with violence on the rise it should make for an interesting year in Mexican politics. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a piece from last week's Economist about the escalating drug cartel situation in Mexico along with an interactive map that documents drug traffic routes in the country and cartel areas. The second link will whisk visitors away to a piece from this Monday's Boston Globe about the recent elections in the country. The third link leads to a news piece from CNN on the recent arrest of the drug cartel leader Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar, who was connected with the killing of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in February 2011. Moving along, the fourth link leads to the United Nations Human Rights page for Mexico. Here visitors can learn about the status of human rights in Mexico and also read about recent developments throughout the country. The fifth link will take interested parties to the Brookings Institution's page dedicated to Mexico. The page contains recent op-ed pieces on Mexico from Brookings affiliates and research and commentary reports on Mexico's drug policies, immigration, and other related matters. The last and final link will take users to an excellent set of resources on Mexican American history from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at the University of Houston.

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