The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 36

September 9, 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

National Institutes of Health: Science Education: Research & Training [pdf]

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have created high-quality digital content for scientists, teachers, and the general public for over a decade. This particular area of their website brings together some of their ambitious projects, including the Microscope Imaging Station and materials from their Office of Science Education. First up is the Microscope Imaging Station (developed in part with assistance from the Exploratorium in San Francisco) where visitors can use the virtual "station" to learn about immune cells and sea urchins that are "bent on destruction". In the "Office of Science Education" section of the site, visitors will find fact sheets, lesson plans, and posters that deal with 41 different topics, including bioethics and the digestive system. There are six other sections here, including "Environmental Health Science Education" and "Health & Education". The site is rounded out by an inspiration message for high school graduates by the current NIH directory, Dr. Francis Collins. [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

Sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Education, the STEMResources website brings together materials for teachers interested in STEM education. First-time visitors will want to take a look at the "STEM Apps" section. Here visitors will find sections that include "Lesson Builder Collection", "Unit Builder", and "Content Clarifications". Each area includes a brief description of each subtopic, along with suggestions for incorporating these materials into the classroom. Moving on, the "STEM Teacher Resources" area includes a set of related web links that can help teachers effectively integrate digital resources into their professional practice. It's worth noting that visitors can also sign up for an account on the website so that they can save their links and materials for future visits. [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

Chemical Engineering: Process Dynamics and Controls

As part of the OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative, the University of Michigan is offering this course as part of their generous contributions to the OCW archive. The course uses an open textbook, and all of the materials here were written by senior chemical engineering students, and subsequently reviewed by graduate students and faculty associated with the course. Visitors can click on one of four sections here: "Overview", "Highlights", "Materials", and "Sessions". The "Overview" provides a bit of introduction to how the course is structured, and "Highlights" talks a bit about the open textbook used in the course. The site has some great bells-and-whistles, including a "Live Study Group" area. In the "Sessions" area visitors can listen and watch all of the lectures from the course, and they can also download them for future reference. [KMG]

Inner Body (Last reviewed in the Scout Report on August 8, 1997)

The Inner Body website is designed to help visitors find everything they want to know about the human skeleton, including everything from a "single blood vessel out of the other 60,000 miles of vessels in the human circulatory system." The folks at Inner Body have been working on these types of helpful anatomical renderings since 1997, and visitors can begin their tour through the site by clicking on one of ten different body systems. After clicking on one of the systems, visitors can navigate around each diagram to find labels that provide additional information about each part, such as the thoracic duct or the intestinal trunk. Also, each area contains a brief text passage that describes each system. Overall, the site is a welcome addition to the bevy of related sites that tell the story of human anatomy. [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

Project for Excellence in Journalism: Ethics Codes

For those persons teaching journalism students, this selection of ethics codes from a range of news organizations will be indispensable. Brought together by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, this page contains ethics guidelines and codes from fifteen different news organizations from around the globe. Visitors can scan through the list at their leisure, and the codes here come from organizations such as the Detroit Free Press, the BBC, the U.S. Department of State, and National Public Radio. There are a few extra features here, including a link to a piece titled "What are the ethics of online journalism?", direct from the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review. The site is rounded out by the inclusion of some additional links dealing with "Advice to Students" and "Journalism Schools". [KMG]

WhyCTE: Career Technical Education

The goal of this website is quite straightforward: "to promote Career Technical Education, (CTE) jobs, college education, and life long learning." The site is supported by business, industry, education, and government entities. Visitors interested in hearing why CTE is important can watch a three-minute video of an interview with a high school teacher from Redwood City, CA, in the link entitled "Why Career Technical Education". Although the "Teacher Resources" link within the "Why CTE" link is still a work in progress, visitors should definitely check out the "Curriculum Standards" link next to it. The "National Model from Career Cluster Initiative" is an excellent resource for visitors who are students, teachers, career counselors and college advisers. The Career Cluster Initiative gives downloadable PDF and Excel templates of sample class plans, that can aid high school and college students in choosing classes that will prepare them to enter more than a dozen different career clusters, such as "Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security", "Health Science", and "Architecture & Construction." [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


The University of Washington's award-winning DO-IT Center (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) collaborates with AccessSTEM, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation since 2002. AccessSTEM, aims to "broaden participation in STEM fields and improve those fields with the perspectives and expertise of people with disabilities." Visitors to the site who are disabled students, faculty, employees, or just the interested public will find much to peruse or read in-depth. There is the longitudinal transition study link in the "For Faculty and Employees" section that tracks the college and career paths of students with disabilities who used the DO-IT program. Visitors will find the "Promising Practices" section, also in the Faculty and Employees section, to be filled with useful articles and innovations. There is "A Smart Board in the Classroom: A Promising Practice for Engaging Students", which addresses how the use of a Smart Board can aid students with attention deficits, visual impairments, and other disabling conditions without bringing the whole class' attention to them. [KMG]

CENSHARE - Center to Study Human Animal Relationships and Environments

Established in 1981 at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, the Center to Study Human Animal Relationships and Environments (CENSHARE) is an umbrella organization that supports groups that aim to educate about the human animal relationship and the environment they share. This mission of this education is to improve the quality of life for both, encourage scientific study of such relationships, and also serve as a resource for the community on these relationships. Visitors should check out the thorough explanation of "Animal Assisted Therapy" (AAT), and learn how it differs from, say, Animal Assisted Activities (AAA). As animal therapy can be stressful on the animal if it is not properly trained for such demanding work, the AAT link gives helpful tips to visitors on how to get an animal ready to be a therapy animal. Visitors will also learn from the AAT link that such animals have been evaluated and registered by national groups that specialize in therapy animals, but are not given the federal protections that specially-trained service dogs are, such as access to public transportation and public buildings. Finally, visitors should check out the "Companion Animals in Care Environments" link. Here they can read a bittersweet story titled "Lessons to be Learned from the Saga of Mae" which addresses the considerations that should be made when deciding whether to allow a resident animal in a care facility. [KMG]

General Interest

Historic Houston Photographs

Before there was the modern Houston replete with financial headquarters and oil-related industries, the city was dotted with horse-drawn buggies, lush parks, and olde-timey swimming holes. Now interested parties can experience this long-ago urban environment courtesy of the digital collection created by the University of Houston Libraries. Visitors to this site will find over 230 photos of 19th and 20th century Houston culled from the George Fuermann Texas and Houston Collection. These materials were originally gathered by Houston Post newspaperman, and local historian, George Fuermann, and they reflect the city's urban transformation via the construction of new public facilities, changing technologies, and so on. It's quite a collection, and visitors can also create their own slideshows with these images and perform detailed searches across the collection. [KMG]

Educational Comics Collection

Are you interested in reading about "Adventures in Electricity"? Perhaps you'd like to peruse "All Aboard Mr. Lincoln"? These fascinating titles (and 76 others) are available here, courtesy of the University of Nebraska Libraries. This compelling collection contains educational comics created by a raft of different government agencies and other organizations, and they present a rather diverse portrait of the ways in which various topics were addressed in words and pictures over the past seventy years. Some of the more curious items here include "Dragons Visit Earth To Study Food and the Land" (sponsored by the Soil Conservation Society of America in 1984) and "Mark Steel Fights Pollution!" [KMG]

Sophia Smith Collection: Voices of Feminism

Based at Smith College, the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project "documents the persistence and diversity of organizing for women in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century." The women interviewed here include labor, peace, and anti-racism activists, along with anti-poverty organizers and lesbian rights advocates. The project was funded by the Ford Foundation from 2002 to 2008, and visitors will find that they can also read transcripts of the interviews as well. The "Narrators" page features biographical profiles of each interviewee, along with links to the transcript of each interview. As a bonus feature, there are video excerpts for six of the women interviewed as part of the project. [KMG]

Wings and Seeds - The Zaagkii Project

The Cedar Tree Institute, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the United States Forest Service have collaborated to create a greenhouse, build bee and butterfly houses, and plant dozens of native species in Upper Michigan since 2008. The Cedar Tree Institute, which works specifically with Native American communities, describes this project on this website as "an intentional connection between the restoration and healing of the earth with the renewal of the human spirit." This specific project, entitled Wings and Seeds, is a reference to the fruits and vegetables that need to be pollinated by bees, butterflies, and other insects. Visitors will find the videos of children and youth participating in the projects to be quite informative and engaging. The "Recent Zaagkii News" section on the right side of the homepage has a link to a PDF of the "Zaagkii Booklet", which explains the motivations of the Secrets of the Monarch project. The site is rounded out by an article on the Ethnobotany Project that also includes 24 recorded interviews of Ojibway elders discussing traditional plants. [KMG]

Neue Gallerie: Online Collection

The mission of the Neue Gallerie is "to collect, preserve, research and exhibit fine and decorative art of Germany and Austria from the first half of the twentieth century." Their collection covers a range of media, including painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and photographs created in both countries from 1890 to 1940. On their website, visitors can view some of these works by clicking on areas that include "Fine Arts" and "Decorative Arts". The collection is quite remarkable, and first-time visitors may want to start by looking over works by Max Beckmann, Emil Nolde, and the Gustav Klimt study titled "Two Standing Woman Holding Sheet Music" from 1899. Each viewable item also contains a provenance record and other additional information. Visitors can also view each section as a slideshow, which is a nice way to pass a few minutes. [KMG]

University of Illinois at Navy Pier Photographs (1945-1948)

Until the creation of the University of Illinois at Navy Pier in 1946, the city of Chicago did not have a formal public undergraduate school. The location was an interesting choice, as the Navy Pier had been used for three decades for a variety of purposes. The school was later nicknamed "Harvard on the Rocks", and until the campus moved to the Near West Side in 1965, it acquired quite a bit of character. This fine photograph collection documents the Navy Pier campus, and is housed at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Visitors can scroll through the photos at their leisure, and they can also add photos to their own personal collection via the "lightbox" feature. Visitors should be sure to note how the photos show the transformation of the site from a naval facility into an institution of higher education, complete with a vast ballroom, curiously shaped classrooms, and a trolley line. [KMG]

Smart About Money - National Endowment for Financial Education

The National Endowment for Financial Education is a non-profit that aims to educate and prepare Americans to successfully face financial challenges throughout all stages of life, In order to accomplish this goal, they have crafted this website called "Smart About Money", and it is chock-full of interesting resources and materials. First-time visitors will note that there is an excellent "Resource Library" link that contains articles, online courses, curriculum, and tools from NEFE and other unbiased sources. Visitors can choose from almost two dozen topics, including "Home Ownership", "Bankruptcy", "Investing", "Hiring a Financial Planner", and "Buying a Car". Other users who enjoy their financial advice on the fly can have financial tips sent directly to their phone by signing up in the blue box with the light bulb in it. News and free financial tips by e-mail can be accessed simply by signing up for them via the "Email Newsletter Signup" box. The "Life Events and Financial Decisions" link has a host of topics, including the "Crises & Emergencies" section, which contains information on such subtopics as "Natural Disasters" and "Emergency Preparedness". [KMG]

Belligerent Encounters: Graphic Chronicles of War and Revolution, 1500-1945

If you were starting to think that the 21st century has exclusive rights to violent imagery, this exhibition from the Art Institute of Chicago provides a correction. Dating back to the 1500s, the show includes both inspirational and terrifying visions of war, violence, and patriotism. One of the earliest works, by Master with the Mousetrap, c. 1512, The Two Armies at the Battle of Ravenna, depicts armies on the field of battle; douard Manet's Execution of Maximilian, 1867-68, shows Maximilian dying in front of the firing squad; and an American poster from the World War I era encourages citizens to "Buy a little present for the Kaiser" by purchasing a liberty loan. Visitors to the site can view the exhibition by themes, illustrated with eponymous artworks. For example, there is a theme entitled "The Cripples Portfolio", which includes a work by Heinrich Hoerle, The Married Couple, plate 2 (which is from Hoerles The Cripples Portfolio (die Krppel), 1920). This specific work shows a woman embracing a man who has come back from war with a hook in place of his left hand. Visitors who want to view all of the works can just click on the selected works section on the homepage to see all 31 items in the online show. [DS]

Network Tools


The Prey application is quite invaluable and it is a fine way to locate a missing phone or computer. After downloading Prey, users can gather information regarding the device's location, hardware, and network status. Also, users can grab a screenshot of what the device is doing at that moment and they can also even take a picture of the potential thief with the device's webcam. This particular version is compatible with those computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer, Windows 2000 and newer, and Linux. [KMG]

Mixtab 1.3

Would you like to keep tabs (literally) on some of your favorite topics and interests? With this highly visual RSS feed aggregator, it is quite easy to do. Mixtab allows visitors to pick from thousands of pre-existing topics and they can use the visual interface to reorder these topics as they see fit. The site for Mixtab has a FAQ area, along with a primer on how to use the application most effectively. [KMG]

In The News

Out in the Pinwheel Galaxy, a rare event takes place

Astronomers forgo sleep; eyes fixed on star's explosion

How to See a Supernova From Your Backyard this Weekend

A Stellar Explosion In The Big Dipper

The Hubble Space Telescope

The Pinwheel Galaxy

White Dwarfs

Astronomers and others who peer into the night sky are getting quite excited about a rather rare event this Friday. A supernova (an exploding star) out in the Pinwheel Galaxy is expected to peak in brightness, and at only a mere 21 million light years away, it is the closest of its kind to be seen in 40 years. In a recent interview, Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory summed up the sentiments of many when he said "I'm running on adrenaline right now. A good night is four hours sleep." A number of observatories around the world are casting their telescopes out into the Pinwheel Galaxy to observe and document this rather unusual and fascinating event. This particular supernova is part of the "Type 1a" group, born from a runaway thermonuclear combustion from a white dwarf star. While the blast is quite "close" (cosmically speaking), if it had occurred in the Milky Way galaxy, the light from such an event would be visible during the daytime. Those individuals without their own personal high-end space observatory should not dismay, as a 6-inch telescope or a powerful set of binoculars will let them see part of this magnificent event. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a piece from Thursday's USA TODAY about this rather unusual and rare event. The second link will whisk users away to a great video clip from Universe Today that features astrophysicist Peter Nugent talking about how amateur astronauts can best view this event. Moving along, the third link will take users to a nice piece from NPR's Weekend Edition that provides a bit more insight into this supernova. The fourth link leads to NASA's homepage for the Hubble Space Telescope. Here visitors can learn about this technological triumph, and also read about its work examining the Pinwheel Galaxy. The fifth link leads to an amazing photograph of the Pinwheel Galaxy, courtesy of the Isaac Newton Telescope. The last link will take users to a page created by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center that provides some background on white dwarfs.

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