The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 29

July 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

Textbook: Key Concepts in Geomorphology

With funding from the National Science Foundation and other organizations, a group of dedicated geomorphologists based at the University of Vermont are working on a new type of geomorphology textbook. The goal of this project is create a textbook that is "extensively vetted by the community" and which also "includes all new, pedagogically-focused art work, and is linked to freely accessible collections of community-authored electronic resources and photographs." Visitors to this site can click on the "See all the Vignettes" link on the homepage to learn about some of the case studies that will be included in the book. These vignettes cover a range of topics in the field, and they include in-class activities and lesson plans. Moving on, visitors can click on the "Find an image" look through their image database. Educators will also appreciate the "Reconsidering the Textbook" which contains findings from a 2006 workshop on the future of the science textbook. Finally, visitors can also learn about upcoming geomorphology workshops sponsored by the group. [KMG]

To find more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at


Started over ten years ago, eFluids is a "specialty web portal designed to serve as a one-stop web information resource for anyone working the areas of flow engineering, fluid mechanics research, education, and directly related topics." The primary editors behind the site include professors from Arizona State University, Tufts University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. On the homepage, visitors can check out the "Who's Who in Fluid Mechanics" to get up to date on the field's key participants. The "Publications" area is a nice find, as it contains listings of the most important journals in the field. Down near the bottom of the homepage, visitors shouldn't miss the gallery of flow videos and images. Here they will find several dozen videos that demonstrate the principles behind a vortex and the world of patterned coating. Also, educators will be delighted to see their "Gallery of Experiments", which features 23 experiments that address viscous flows and static equilibrium. If that isn't enough, the site is rounded out by a section on bicycle aerodynamics. [KMG]

To find more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

National Weather Service: Weather Education [pdf]

The National Weather Service's Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services has a strong outreach component. This "Education" page offers a range of materials for educators and young people which includes lesson plans, brochures, satellite image collections and career information for the fields of meteorology and climatology. The site doesn't have a search engine, but visitors can scroll through eight topical sections, including "Classroom Materials", "Careers in Weather", and "Graphics, Photos, Images". Science teachers won't want to miss the "Classroom Materials", as they can find materials on the "One Sky, Many Voices" project designed to bring together meteorology projects from around the United States together in a collaborative learning environment. Moving on, the "Graphics, Photos, Images" area contains a range of lightning photos and satellite images organized into categories like "Ocean Events", "Severe Weather", and "Tropical Cyclones". [KMG]

To find more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

University of Michigan Population Studies Center: Survey Methodology Paper Series [pdf]

The National Survey of Family Growth Survey Methodology Paper Series "includes pre-publication reports and published articles on research conducted by affiliates of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan." On this site, visitors and public policy types can scan through these past papers at their leisure. The series is partially supported by a contract with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, and some of the papers have a strong bent towards biostatistical research methods. Recent paper titles here include "A Practical Technique for Improving the Accuracy of Interviewer Observation: Evidence from the National Survey of Family Growth" and "A Management Model for Continuous Data Collection: Reflections from the National Survey of Family Growth, 2006-2010". The site also includes links to their "Elderly in Asia" reports and additional works on aging in the United States. [KMG]

Mississippi Freedom Summer Project [pdf]

The Mississippi Freedom Summer Project website, from Miami University of Ohio, documents the history of 1964's "Freedom Summer", which was when volunteers gathered at the former Western College for Women in order to be trained to register African-American voters in Mississippi. Three volunteers were subsequently murdered in Mississippi, and "these events called attention to racial inequality and served as a catalyst for change." The collection was created by a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council, the Miami University Libraries, and a generous grant from Catherine Ross-Loveland, a 1952 graduate of the Western College for Women. The materials here include over 765 documents related to the Freedom Summer, including reports from the FBI about those involved with the activities around this form of civil rights activism and articles from the Ohio press about the civil rights movement in the South during that time. There are also 27 videos here from conversations and tours held on campus in 2004 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Summer. The videos include walking tours of the Western College for Women and panel discussions about faith and activism. Overall, it's a tremendous collection and one that merits several visits. [KMG]

Lee Family Digital Archive

Housed at Washington and Lee University, the Lee Family Digital Archive (LFDA) was established to create a comprehensive annotated edition of all the known papers of the immigrant founder Richard Lee (who lived in the 17th century) and his offspring. Support for the project comes from the Lee-Jackson Educational Foundation, the Society of the Lees of Virginia, and the Harlan R. Crow Library. To most people, the best known "Lee" will be Robert E., and his papers are available here. First-time visitors can dive in by clicking on the "Explore the Lees" link. Here they can look over letters, books, essays, and other writings as they see fit. There are some really great books here include the 1904 book "Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee" and the 1871 volume "Journal of a Young Lady" by Lucinda Lee Orr. In the "New and Noteworthy" area, visitors can view project updates and also read their blog. [KMG]

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science

Do energy drinks "give you wings", as is claimed by a popular energy drink advertisement? That's one of the featured case studies on this National Science Foundation-supported website hosted by the University at Buffalo. Using case studies is relatively new to science education, as compared to their extensive history of use in medicine, law, and business education. Visitors interested in finding out the answer to the energy drink question should check out the case study, "A Can of Bull?" All of the case studies here are available for download and provide an "Overview", "Teaching Notes", "Answer Key", and "Comments/Replies". The answer key is password-protected for registered instructors (which is free but requires that the registrant be an instructor with an educational institution). If visitors are not interested in registration, they will find the comments/replies from secondary and post-secondary teachers, to be useful in learning what worked and didn't work in the teaching of the case studies. In addition to the "Case Collection", visitors will find the "Teaching Resources" helpful to find publications on case study literature, a directory of teachers who wrote cases for this site, and assessment of the impact on learners of using case studies to teach science. [KMG]

To find more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

PEPNet Northeast at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf - RIT

This very helpful website documents the activities of PEPNet, the Postsecondary Education Programs Network, which is funded through the US Department of Education. The goal of PEPNet is to "assist secondary and post-secondary institutions to improve educational access and enhance educational opportunities for students who are deaf or hard of hearing." PEPNet Northeast covers 14 states and territories, and is housed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Visitors should definitely check out the "Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing" link to read short bios of people in a wide range of industries, including post-secondary teaching, law, engineering, software development, and the list goes on. There are also a few video clips, as well. Visitors can also check out the link to current and past issues of "Perspectives", the PEPNet newsletter, via the homepage. [KMG]

General Interest

Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian

Based in New York, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) "houses one of the world's great cultural resources, with collections representing the Native peoples of the Americas from their earliest history to the present day." Housed in the museums George Gustav Heye Center, the Infinity of Nations exhibit presents several hundred works from the NMAI that are culturally, historically, and aesthetically important. The objects include a Din (Navajo) first phase chief blanket and a pottery plate, complete with candleholders from the mission church at the ancestral A:shiwi (Zuni) village of Hawikku. On the exhibits website, visitors can explore some of these items via a series of geographical headings on the right-hand side of the homepage. Each of these headings includes a brief profile of each broad group of Native American peoples (such as those in the Southwest), along with a grid of 27 images. Visitors can click on each image to learn more about the item, and taken as a whole, each heading offers a tantalizing bit of information on these different societies. [KMG]

Walter Gordon Collection of Photographs

In the first half of the 20th century, the well-known African American attorney Walter L. Gordon had his office next to the African American newspaper, the California Eagle. The photographers for the paper often shot pictures of Black social life in Los Angeles, and once printed these photos were often discarded. Gordon saved many of these photos and began collecting the images, which often depicted leading members of the Black community in Los Angeles. His collection made its way to UCLA, and their digital collections group digitized over 800 of his photographs. Here visitors will find images of black resorts such as Val Verde, local political figures, and a range of jazz legends, such as Count Basie and Billie Holliday. Currently, visitors can view almost 300 of these items, and they can browse the photos by language, name, subject, or type. There are some real gems in here, including a great photo of Lionel Hampton on the stage and a cast photo of the members of "Carmen Jones" at an informal gathering. The image viewer here is quite impressive, as visitors can add a grid of select photos for comparative viewing and also manipulate each image as they see fit. [KMG]

Daily Egyptian Diversity News Index

Developed as part of the online collections at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale's Morris Library, the Daily Egyptian Diversity News Index provides historical insight into the campus climate at this unique school. In 2006, Dr. Seymour Bryson, the associate chancellor for diversity, teamed up with several other colleagues to identify articles in the Daily Egyptian (the Universitys student newspaper) related to the university's historic minority campus populations. The project entailed surveying microfilm and creating searchable transcripts for online access. Currently, the online archive contains over 1,400 items from the Daily Egyptian, and content includes pieces on African American members of the homecoming court, student activists, musical groups, and student government. [KMG]

Center for Civic Education

The Center for Civic Education is a non-partisan educational corporation started in 1969 in Calabasas, California, to educate America's citizens about democratic principles. Their website's "About Us" section has a powerful quote by Thomas Jefferson that sums up their rationale and goals for starting the Center: "I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion." Visitors will definitely enjoy learning a few civics lessons by answering the questions in the "60 Second Civics" podcasts that can be found on the homepage. Once a visitor answers the multiple choice daily quiz question, the podcast offers an explanation of the right answer. Archived 60 Second Civics podcasts can be accessed by visitors clicking on the date stopwatch on the homepage, or by clicking on the "Multimedia" link on the far right side of the page. Additionally, visitors will also find videos and slideshows to peruse under the multimedia link. [KMG]

Harvard Family Research Project

Since 1983, the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) has focused their work and research on complementary learning, which acknowledges that "children need multiple opportunities to learn and grow at home, in school, and in the community." Visitors will definitely want to check out the "Webinar Series", which can be found on the homepage. The archive consists of seven webinars consists that have been released monthly over the past year, and cover topics such as "Data Driven: Making Student and School Data Accessible and meaningful to Families" and "Ensuring School Readiness Through Successful Transitions". The learning doesn't stop with the webinars, as each webinar provides additional resources including research-based definition and framework, data use, and professional development. Many of these supplemental resources are from the HFRP website, and the combination of the webinar and reading materials can provide visitors with an in-depth introduction to the subject presented. [KMG]

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Corporate Document Repository

Founded in 1945, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) works on four main areas that inform their mission: access to information, sharing policy expertise, meeting space for nations, and bringing knowledge to the field. Although they work in both developed and developing countries, as well as rural and urban areas, the FAO has concentrated their efforts on rural areas, as that is where the majority of poor and hungry people reside. Visitors interested in the current state of such topics as "Food and Agriculture", "Food Insecurity in the World", and "World Fisheries and Aquaculture" should click on the link entitled "The State of..." on the far right hand side of the homepage. There, visitors can download the publication on the subject, as well as see a table of contents and a basic overview of the contents of the publication. Back on the homepage, visitors can check out new document releases, including a teaching toolkit on "Setting Up and Running a School Garden", which aims to promote lifelong healthy eating habits. Visitors can download the toolkit as a PDF. [KMG]

To find more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

This website from the Metropolitan Museum accompanies their retrospective exhibition of the work of couturier Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide at age 40 in 2010. McQueen was known for his lavishly staged runway shows, for example his spring 2003 collection, Irere, featured a recreation of a shipwreck complete with pirates and amazons, and models falling overboard. It's only a game in 2005, was a human chess game, with models dressed as chess pieces, such a knight in a horsehairs skirt. On the exhibitions website, visitors can view selected objects including McQueen's extremely low-slung trousers, "bumsters" or the Spine Corset, a silver exoskeleton, worn over a dress. Narration is provided by Andrew Bolton, the British curator of the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute, Michelle Olly, who wore one of the dresses, and McQueen himself. There is also a section of online videos available here, where visitors can watch a model in a chiffon dress drop into the ocean, and see the chess pieces move. [DS]

Network Tools


Those persons looking for a way to quickly move their Facebook photographs to another social network or location will enjoy Photograbber. This application can be date to download all tagged photos, albums, and even comments. Visitors can read the FAQ section for more details, and this particular version is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux. [KMG]


Have you ever wanted to enter an online lab of beats and music? If so, your wish will be fulfilled by this fun and energetic exploration of online beats and sounds. There are fourteen different sounds (bass drum, high hat, "PolyArp", etc.) that visitors can add to their beat. Also, they can adjust the speed of each sound and save their beat to share with their friends. Finally, visitors can explore the Beatlab community and learn what other users are doing with their beats. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Continuing cost overruns on the F-35 Strike Fighter raise questions about the aircraft and its production

The last manned fighter

Air Force to start operational testing of F-35

F-35 Lightning II Program

GAO: Joint Strike Fighter-Restructuring Places Program on Firmer Footing, but Progress Still Lags [pdf]

United States Senate Armed Services Committee

National Museum of the USAF

Over the past twenty years, there has been significant concern over the rising cost of certain military projects in the United States, and in times of fiscal austerity the Department of Defense has had to defend certain projects vigorously. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was a public outcry over the cost of the B-2 Spirit (or "Stealth") bomber, as each one cost over $900 million. Today, there are similar worries surrounding the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which as a whole, will be the most expensive military-industrial program in history. The original contract for these planes was signed with the contractor Lockheed Martin in 2001 and the basic idea was that all of the aging tactical aircraft in the United States would be replaced with over 2400 F-35s. The hope was that the construction of this tremendous number of planes would benefit from manufacturing economies of scale and the involvement of eight foreign partners who would also purchase some of the aircraft. Critics of the plane have argued that the design of the aircraft is entirely too complicated and that using the same aircraft to fulfill a wide range of roles is unnecessary. The most recent cost estimates from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) from May 2011 indicate that the average price of each plane in what are known as "then-year" dollars had risen from $69 million in 2001 to $133 million today. Given the high cost of the F-35 Striker, some military analysts have remarked that it may be the last manned strike fighter aircraft built in the West. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to a good piece on the F-35 Strike Fighter from last week's Economist. The second link leads to a piece from the Air Force Times about the initial testing of the F-35 Strike Fighter. Moving on, the third link leads to the official homepage for the F-35 Strike Fighter program, complete with photos, videos, and news updates. The fourth link leads to an official report from the Government Accountability Office from April 2011 on the progress of the Strike Fighter program. The fifth link leads to the official homepage of the United States Senate Armed Services Committee. Here visitors can view live webcasts of their hearings, along with looking over their publications and press releases. The final link leads to the homepage of the National Museum of the US Air Force on the Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Ohio. Looking over the site may inspire a trip to the Museum, and visitors can read about their exhibits, learn about their operating hours, and also check out some of their collections.

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