The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 34

August 26, 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

Annenberg Learner: Monthly Update

Annenberg Learners mission is to "advance excellent teaching in American schools." In order to accomplish this goal they fund and distribute their fine educational video programs with coordinated web and print materials. The goal of these multimedia resources is to help teachers "increase their expertise in their fields and assist them in improving their teaching methods." Their site often includes helpful lesson plans, interactive exercises, and online extras. Here, visitors will find access to the Annenberg Learner Monthly Update, which helps interested parties keep tabs on their new video series, websites, and educational resources. Visitors can sign up to receive the monthly update, and they are also welcome to browse through the archives, which date back to January 2010. Special features in each update include "Notable Birthdays", "Connecting Learning with Special Days", and "Curriculum Focus". It's a great resource for educators, and for those who aren't familiar with the Annenberg Learner site, it's a nice way to catch up on their past endeavors. [KMG]

ARTStem [pdf]

The focus of this unique site is on "teaching and learning at the intersection of the ARTS, humanities, and the STEM disciplines." The ARTStem partnership was designed to bring together faculty from the University of North Carolina and public school educators to explore the relationship between learning and teaching in the arts and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Over the past several years, the ARTStem group has had an annual conference and their website provides some great videos from these proceedings, such as "Using Improv Theater To Help Scientists Learn to Communicate" and "Science as Story". Visitors can also explore one of the ten topical areas near the top of the homepage. They include "Creativity", "Dance", "Design", and "Math". On the right-hand side of the page, visitors will find the appropriately titled "Good Related Readin'" section and a clutch of related websites which explore the intersection of art and science. [KMG]

CAUSEweb Resources

The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) was part of an initiative created by the American Statistical Association, and their website was designed to "support and advance undergraduate statistics education in four target areas resources, professional development, outreach, and research." With monies from the National Science Foundation, they created CAUSEweb, where they provide this set of resources for members of the undergraduate statistics education community. The resources are divided into eleven categories, including "analysis tools", "datasets", and "curriculum". "Curriculum" has 350 resources, including searchable databases of 1000 test questions for an introductory statistics course and a demonstration site that addresses nonprobability sampling. The "lecture examples" shouldn't be missed, as visitors can use these resources to complement their existing lectures and class presentations. The site is rounded out by a listing of their review criteria and editorial standards for determining which resources make the cut for inclusion here. [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

SUNY Cortland Writing Resource Center [pdf]

As students return to college, many of them will have to become accustomed or reacquainted with the conventions of writing papers in the collegiate setting. The Writing Resource Center at SUNY-Cortland has some fine resources designed for their own students, and others are welcome to take a look. Students should look through the "Help with Your Writing" area, as it contains a list of detailed online resources that can be useful, including links to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, relevant reference books, and tip-sheets for writing particular types of assignments. Moving along, the "Faculty" area has a number of helpful resources. One in particular is the "Online Manual for Writing Across the Curriculum". Designed specifically for faculty, the manual covers some basic premises concerning different types of writing, and it is a good resource for new faculty in particular. [KMG]

American Geological Institute: Educational Resources [pdf]

Over the past few years, the American Geological Institute (AGI) has assembled a nice mix of resources for earth science educators, including promotional videos such as "Why Earth Science?" and a terrific world image bank. The image bank can be found at the "Earth Science World Image Bank" tab, and it contains over 6,000 images. Visitors can browse the images, or they can also type in keywords. The site also includes videos which originally appeared in the online version of "Earth" magazine. These short subjects cover "Black Gold Agriculture", "Platinum from the Deep", and "State of the Nation's Ecosystems". Visitors can also read their publication "Pulse of Earth Science Education", which offers an overview of the trends in the field. [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

Genomics in Education [pdf]

Created by Professor Sarah C.R. Elgin at Washington University, the Genome Sequencing Video Tour is "aimed at increasing the scientific literacy of biology students in the technology of genomic sequence." Here, visitors can watch the entire tour, which include segments featuring an exploration of current genomic research in a pathogenic bacteria and an animated explanation of the chemistry of cycle sequencing. The site also includes several key resources that have been developed in collaboration with Washington University biology students. Visitors will find four different bioinformatics lab demonstrations here including "Investigating Eukaryotic Genome: Cloning and Sequencing a Fragment of Yeast DNA". Also, science teachers shouldn't miss the research-based course "Research Explorations in Genomics" available here, and they should also be sure to check out the information about their Summer Research Fellows program, which gives high school teachers the opportunity to learn about new research projects in a faculty member's lab. [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

Completion Matters - STEM Earn and Learn

This website from the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) emphasizes the importance of completing some form of secondary education in order to compete in today's society. This section of their website focuses on STEM subjects, and includes articles, documents, news stories, and videos posted in chronological order. Visitors interested in learning about Energy Secretary Steven Chu's thoughts on STEM education should scroll down the homepage to watch the video "A STEM Education, Tools to Change the World". Here, Chu posits that STEM education enables people to understand the world better. Further down the homepage, visitors can view an online tour of the Minnesota Governor's Workforce Development Council slideshow, which shows the growing skills gap in the land of 10,000 lakes. Finally, visitors keen on discovering how successful learn and earn programs can be, should check out the article entitled "Learn and Earn Initiatives and Programs in Postsecondary Education", which was posted in March of 2011. [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

Discover Engineering

Turn up your computer's speakers if you want to really experience the homepage of Discover Engineering, as it has some rollicking music and graphics to emphasize how exciting engineering can be. Roller coaster design, the biomechanics of skateboarding, solar cooking, purifying water, and creating virtual computer worlds all involve engineering, and this site has "video activities" to explain them all. Visitors can check out the great video called "Extreme Enough", about a California skateboard shoe company that is using engineering to design skate shoes that "absorb impact and minimize injury" to skaters when they wipe out. The video activity entitled "Engineers for a Sustainable World" shows visitors how engineering is used to create water filtration systems for people who have access to only dirty water, in remote villages and rural areas. At the University of Iowa, local, unclean river water is used to demonstrate how a filtration system, much to the amazement of the three student participants, can make the river water fit to drink. [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

General Interest

George Handy Bates Samoan Papers

Born in Dover, Delaware in 1845, George Handy Bates was a lawyer who transitioned to Delaware politics by the early 1880s. In 1889, Bates was appointed by President Grover Cleveland as a special agent responsible for investigating the conditions in Samoa. He spent a great deal of time in there, and later in Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Tonga. His papers were donated to the University of Delaware Library after he passed away in 1916, and they include correspondence, documents, memoranda, and photographs. This digital collection brings together over 140 albumen print photographs of the people and scenic views Bates encountered during his travels. Visitors can browse the photographs by place or subject, and they may wish to start with those items from Tonga. Here users will find images of village life, early churches, and vistas that look out onto the nearby waters. It's quite a collection, and one that will be of interest to those with a passion for 19th century photography and the history of the Pacific Island region. [KMG]

Museum of the City of New York Collections Portal

The Museum of the City of New York has collected thousands of images that document the Big Apple from Aqueduct to Staten Island. Recently, they contracted with several website design companies to create this collections portal. First-time visitors will find orange-hued rows of images that represent a small fraction of their collection. Each row represents one of the five boroughs, and visitors can click on each image to get a flavor of the community. Each image comes complete with a detailed description, along with a tab where visitors can view related images. Also, visitors can add images to their own lightbox for future reference and use. The site also includes a basic and advanced search engine, and it is worth typing in terms like "bridges", "Central Park", and "subways" to get a flavor for the offerings here. [KMG]

Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives, 1885-1990s

Have you ever wondered what an old billboard for Campbell's soup might look like? If so (and even if you havent), you may find this digital collection from the Duke University Libraries quite intriguing. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives contain over 16,000 images which tell the modern history of the outdoor advertising industry in the United States. With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the metadata was collected and catalogued for this project, and the images were then digitized with the assistance of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. First-time visitors can browse the collection by company, product, date, place, subject, tone, or placement company. Browsing by product is a good way to get started here, and some of the more creative advertisements can be found in the "TWA airlines" and "gasoline" sections. Visitors shouldn't miss the "Traffic Safety" area, as there are massive billboards that feature slogans like "Don't be a HURRY BUG. SLOW DOWN and Live". [KMG]

A Walk Through Newark

The famous Walking Tour series on WNET, New York's public television station went to Newark, New Jersey, for the first tour outside of New York. Visitors who missed the show, or prefer a more interactive experience, will definitely enjoy the walking tour via the website. The two hosts of the tour, historian Barry Lewis, and former morning show host David Hartman, give visitors a multimedia tour which starts with a video clip in the "About the Program" link. Visitors will find that the "History of Newark" link is divided into four time periods, including "Colonial Founding", "Industrial Revolution", and "The Riots". The "See the Sites" link offers a more interactive approach for visitors to get to know Newark. There are 360-degree virtual tours of "Penn Station Newark", "Trinity Church" and "Military Park" on the left hand side of the page, and a map with 21 hotspots on it of Newark's "best landmarks and areas". [KMG]

World War II - Prisoners of War - Stalag Luft I

Begun as a tribute to their father Dick Williams Jr., a prisoner of war in the WWII German prison camp Stalag Luft I, this website has become a comprehensive record of what life was like at the prison camp. Some of the many links on the website include POW's stories, photos, poetry, art, roommates, newspaper, and account of the evacuation. There are also links on the guards and interrogators at the Stalag Luft I. Visitors interested in verse will surely want to browse the Poetry section, which has dozens of poems and quotes taken from the diaries of WWII prisoners of war, as well as a song composed by a member of the kriegie (prisoner of war) orchestra, called "Low is the Sun". Visitors should also be sure to check out the Newspaper link, which is about the paper called the POW WOW, Prisoners of War - Waiting on Winning. The paper had a circulation of thousands and traveled to as many as seven camps. Visitors can appreciate how lucky they are to be able to read the six issues known to be in existence, as the newspaper was meant to be destroyed immediately after reading. Interestingly, there was even a newspaper parodying POW WOW, called BOW WOW, which can be found below the issues of POW WOW. Overall it is a fascinating site filled with a trove of primary resources and information about the WWII POW experience. [KMG]

Mathematical Imagery

The American Mathematical Society has a section of its website devoted to the connection between mathematics and art, entitled Mathematical Imagery, which contains images of artworks from almost two dozen art exhibits. Visitors will find a quote on the right side of the homepage by G.H. Hardy that describes mathematicians and their relation to artists, as such: "A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas." Visitors will likely be impressed by the works of art from the 2011 Mathematical Art Exhibition in New Orleans at the Joint Mathematics Meetings. The piece entitled "Gaussian Wave Packet Sculpture" looks like mid-century modern furniture design. Visitors won't want to miss the piece entitled "MacDuff's Shield" which combines Shakespeare's Macbeth with the Mandelbrot set. Finally, visitors interested in seeing a piece that looks like a deconstructed watermelon, will want to check out "Flora #1 (time slice). [KMG]

William P. Palmer III Collection

This unique collection housed at the University of Maine represents a broad spectrum of pre-Columbian and Northwest Coast art collected between 1965 and 1970. The items here include 550 tomb figures from the Colima, Jalisco, and Nayarit cultures of Western Mexico, along with 1150 ceramic figures from the Michoacn and Chupcuaro cultures of Mexico. Additionally, the collection includes ceramics and gold items from Panama, jade objects from Costa Rica, and a small clutch of Mississippian ceramics. On the homepage, visitors can learn a bit more about the collection, and then they will want to surely start browsing at their leisure. There are a few thematically organized sections here, and visitors won't want to miss the "Images for Eternity: West Mexican Tomb Figures" section in particular. [KMG]

Network Tools


Paparazzi! is a small utility program that makes screenshots of webpages. Visitors will find that the program is quite easy to use and there's a very useful FAQ section here. Before selecting a webpage to capture, visitors can crop the desired area as they see fit and also select the desired file format. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3 and newer. [KMG]

Bean 2.4.4

Are you looking for a simple and easy-to-use rich text editor? This edition of the Bean program may be just the thing. The features of Bean include a live word count, an autosave feature, a floating windows option, and a find panel. Overall, it offers an elegant alternative to other more fussy text editors, and it is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer. [KMG]

In The News

Beloit College releases its annual Mindset List

The Beloit College Mind-Set List Welcomes the 'Internet Class'

Annual Beloit College mindset list will make you feel old

The Mindset List

LBJ Library & Museum

A Brief History of the Internet

Harvard Entrance Examination from 1869 [pdf]

For all of those young people entering college in the coming weeks, Amazon has never been just a river in South America, and video games have always had ratings. These are just two of the items on the annual Beloit College Mindset List, which has been published every August since 1998. The list was originally created by Beloit College staff members Ron Nief and Tom McBride to remind faculty to be aware of dated references in the classroom. Since then it has grown to serve as a catalog of the changing worldview of new generations, and thousands of people eagerly await the release of the list. This year's list contains 75 items, including such gems as, "Arnold Palmer has always been a drink". Professor McBride mentioned in a recent interview, "If you look at the jump from email to texting, or from email to Facebook, it's been faster than the jump from typing to computers. These generational gaps are getting smaller." Both Nief and McBride agree that the Internet is the integral difference for this "new" class, as there has "always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway." There's certainly a lot to talk about here, and the entire list is worth a close look. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education about the new Mind-Set List. The second link leads to an article from this Tuesday's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the List's origins, along with commentary from both Nief and McBride. Moving along, the third link leads to the official Mind-Set List homepage, which includes the complete list, along with past lists dating back to 1998. The fourth link will take users away to the homepage of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. This is relevant as this year's Mind-Set List notes that to many people entering college this year "LBJ" may be more closely linked to LeBron James than to the former president of the United States. The fifth link whisks users away to a rather fine and concise history of the Internet, courtesy of a team of experts assembled by the Internet Society. The final link will take visitors way back to an 1869 entrance examination for students hoping to enter Harvard College.

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