The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 40

October 7, 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

Stem Cell Resources

The mission of the Stem Cell Resources website is "to provide timely, reliable, high-quality and scientifically credible stem cell information for the educational community worldwide." The website is a division of Bioscience Network which publishes online science education materials. On the site, visitors will find a stem cell image library, a multimedia area, and a special section titled "For Educators". In the "For Educators" area, visitors will find links to a primer on stem cells and links to educational resources on stem cells from curriculum to case studies to lesson plans from such trusted sources as the Australian Stem Cell Centre and the National Institutes of Health. Moving on, the "Multimedia" area includes videos that show how embryonic stem cell lines are made, along with other animations and graphics on the topic. Additionally, the site's "SCR Library" area includes the link to the Stem Cell Image Library, which provides dozens of photos of stem cells taken from researchers at the University of Cambridge and other institutions. [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

PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf

The Keystone State has a fascinating past, and to see it come alive in the digitized documents here at the PA's Past archive is quite nice. The site was created by the Penn State Library, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State Library in Harrisburg, the Free Library in Philadelphia, and the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. Visitors to the site can perform a keyword search across all of the titles, or they can look at a few of the subcollections. One of the rather noteworthy subcollections here is "The Johnstown Flood", which offers digitized versions of works dealing with that tragedy. The works here include James Herbert Walker's "The Johnstown Flood or Valley of Death" from 1889 and Gertrude Quinn Slattery's 1936 work "Johnstown and it's Flood". Other subcollections here include "PA Biographies" and "Regimental Histories". All told, there are 1,373 items in the entire collection, and it's quite a find for historians, geographers, and others with a penchant for PA. [KMG]

A Case Study of Memory Loss in Mice [pdf]

Based at the University of Buffalo, the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science continues to create compelling and extremely useful teaching materials for those in fields such as biology, engineering, genetics, and related areas. This is one of their latest additions, and it was crafted by Michael S. Hudecki of the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Buffalo. The case explores the scientific process involved in implementing an animal model in the study of Alzheimer's disease. Through this case study, students will learn how to demonstrate the scientific method in action and also explore the "workings of the nervous system in health and disease". In the materials here, students are asked to "identify relevant components of the scientific method" and the materials are suitable for both science and non-science majors. [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 Center for Biotechnology Information: Tutorials [Flash Player]

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) does a number of educational outreach programs, and their tutorials come highly recommended. In the "Web Tutorials" area, visitors will find nine different resources that cover DNA manipulation and the identification of disease genes. A good portion of these materials are collected from publications. Publications include "Comparative Genomics" and other documents, and they are available in their entirety via the "Bookshelf" section of the site. Moving on, the detailed "Problem Sets" are taken from other NCBI publications, and they cover disease genes and 3D protein structures. Finally, the "Video Tutorials" section of the site offers tutorials on how to quickly obtain specific materials from the NCBI website and PubMed. [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 BizWorld Foundation

BizWorld is a foundation started by venture capitalist Tim Draper in order to create financially literate kids, with the hope that they might turn into financially savvy adults. BizWorld inspires children to be innovative leaders by teaching them entrepreneurship, business and finance, and they have programs in the U.S., Netherlands, South Korea, India, and Singapore. Visitors might like to start with the two minute video on the homepage of the website, entitled "How BizWorld helps educators help students", to become more familiar with the programs available. Another way visitors can check out the programs offered by BizWorld is under the tab "Classroom Resources". There is "BizWorld", "BizWiz" and "BizMovie", that, respectively, focus on starting and running students' own companies, investing and mathematical operations, and company accounting, such as profit, loss, revenue and taxes. Each resource starts with a pre-assessment of students' knowledge on the topic, and a post-assessment for teachers to give their students. Additionally, the time it will take teachers to complete activities associated with preparation to start the program are also offered here. [KMG]


Miller-McCune is an online magazine, designed to complement their physical magazine which is published bimonthly. The magazine describes itself as "Smart Journalism. Real Solutions", and "draws on academic research and other definitive sources to provide reasoned policy options and solutions in a longer and more complete form." Some of their articles "may suggest a policy or solution associated with a particular party or ideology", but they strive to be nonpartisan and always direct readers to the research that underpins their articles and suggestions. The magazine covers all the typical subjects of a general news magazine, including "Legal Affairs", "Business" and "Culture", but with a more academic bent. Visitors who enjoy podcasts will like "Curiouser and Curiouser", a podcast about the research that is changing the world. Some of the topics visitors will enjoy include "Law of the Jungle: Powerful Men Have More Children", "Ecosystems Secretly Protect Against Lyme Disease", and "Greek Economic Collapse: Pulling Europe and U.S. Down?" Those visitors who enjoy blogs are bound to find one they like from the dozen blogs featured on the right side of the homepage, including "European Dispatch", "Skeptic's Cafe" and "Moving Pictures". [KMG]

Teaching and Research with Original Sources from the Euler Archive

This interesting resource comes courtesy of the "Loci" project at the MathDL initiative, and it is part of the "Original Sources" series. Math scholars Dominic Klyve, Lee Stemkoski, and Erik Tou have created this helpful educational resource for fellow mathematics educators who might be interested in using primary documents from the Euler Archive. The Euler Archive was created by the folks at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and it gives interested parties access to the amazing observations about mathematics from that rare genius, Leonhard Euler. The resource helps teachers understand how to best use the Archive, along with offering their "top 5 picks" from the Archive, and so on. It's quite a resource, and one that will fascinate and delight those who value these historical ruminations and their classroom applications. [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 Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service Education & Outreach [pdf]

The mission of the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) to provide "timely access to global environmental data from satellites and other sources to promote, protect & enhance the Nation's economy, security, environment & quality of life." Along with their regular research work, they also maintain this website which contains resources within NESDIS and NOAA that are of interest to students, educators, and others with a general interest in the "Earth-Sun environment". Under the "Educational Resources" area, visitors will find an online "weather school" for those interested in learning about the jet stream, a primer on estuaries, and nine other resources. Over in the "Educational Materials" area visitors will find several dozen NOAA Fact Sheets on coral reefs and other matters, along with printable posters for the classroom and visualizations of marine data. [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

Boston Streets: Mapping Directory Data

The ability to witness the streets of 19th century Boston would be quite a treat for those who love urban geography and history. This well-done set of documents from the digital collection from Tufts University makes that possible (in a fashion). The project was created with support from a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, along with funds provided by The Bostonian Society and other anonymous gifts. The project brings together photographs, maps, and city directories that let visitors explore the streets of Boston in the 19th and 20th century. First up is the "Cowpaths" area. Here visitors can use this map-based tool to discover image and directory information and then plot it on a map. It's an inventive and powerful tool that provides a greatly enhanced understanding of sociospatial change and relationships in the city during this period. Next visitors should look at the "Monuments" area to peruse almost 100 different maps, including historical maps of ward boundaries and such. Moving on, the "People" area provides access to nine different Boston city directories from 1845 to 1925. Also, there's a "Personal Paths" area, which uses this data to map out the lives of small business clerks in the 19th century, changing ethnic neighborhoods, and the life of Dr. George Parkman, who was killed by John Webster in what was called "The Murder of the Century". [KMG]

British Museum: Treasures of Heaven

The world of saints, relics, and devotional objects come alive in this remarkable online exhibit offered by the British Museum. Titled "Treasures of Heaven", the exhibit brings together over 150 objects from institutions like the Vatican and art museums across Europe and the United States. For visitors who can't make it to England, the site has plenty of materials for those across the pond. First up is the "Objects" area, which contains video clips of curators talking about a few of the objects in the exhibit including the statue reliquary of St. Baudime and the world of the medieval goldsmith. The exhibition blog (found toward the bottom of the homepage) is a real treat, as there are over 50 posts that deal with conservation practices, metalworking, and the lives of these artisans. In the "Multimedia Guide", visitors can listen to the wonderful Sir Derek Jacobi talk about some of the items on exhibit. [KMG]

Civil War Era National Cemeteries: Honoring Those Who Served

How do we memorialize and commemorate those who during the Civil War? It's an important question, and many soldiers and others were interred in cemeteries established after the conclusion of the war. Still more were buried in other local graveyards and in other places around the country, and we may never know the last resting places for many of them. The National Park Service's Heritage Education Services, Federal Preservation Institute, and several other agencies have worked together to create this Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary to "commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and remember those who served." As with the other itineraries in this series, visitors will find essays, maps, a list of sites, and a suggested reading list and a compilation of relevant links. First-time visitors will want to use the "Introduction" section to become familiar with the site's layout and it also offers a bit of historical perspective on these cemeteries. The three essays cover the design process for the first several Civil War cemeteries and the changing ideas about remembering the dead. The "List of Sites" provides easy access to webpages and profiles of each cemetery, and the "Maps" area can be used to plan a trip. [KMG]

The Warhol: Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross

Artist Alex Ross is known for his reinventions of classic superheroes as works of fine art painted in gouache paint. This website from the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh presents a dozen of Ross's paintings, and each work is zoomable and comes with commentary from the artist. Visitors can hear Ross discuss the difference between realistic and reality in his painting Superman #1, 1998, which was inspired by the cover of the very first Superman comic book, released June 1939. There's also a Ross portrait of Andy Warhol as a super hero, created especially for the exhibition, showing Warhol flying through a blue sky flanked by swans. If you can make it to Pittsburgh during the exhibition run, there are a host of special events, including a lecture by book designer and author Chip Kidd on December 7th. However, if a Pittsburgh trip is not in your future the online exhibition provides a hefty and satisfying sample. [DS]

Making the Macintosh

How does Apple do it? Visitors who ask themselves that question will certainly want to check out the online exhibit "Making the Macintosh: Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley" that draws heavily on the holdings of Stanford University Library's Department of Special Collections. The layout of the website is simple and well organized with "Archives" that include "Primary Documents", "Images" and "Interviews". The Interviews include designers of the Macintosh and the Lisa mouse, the designer of the Macintosh icons, and a member of an influential Macintosh users group, BMUG. The "Mouse" link under "Images" has several drawings of a mouse most consumers never saw, since initially computers were marketed to government, industry, and universities. The later images show a colorful ad for the Hawley X036X mouse, which has three buttons, from the Mouse House. The Mouse link also contains dozens of interviews, memos and reports of various key players in the development and the promotion of the mouse. [KMG]


Visitors to CareerZone website will notice right away that it was designed with teenagers in mind. It's "an innovative online career exploration and planning system designed... [to] mak [e] career exploration and planning fun and easy." This website from the New York Department of Labor doesn't just tell teenagers to study the STEM subjects to get a career in the STEM fields: it goes one step further it tells them why. First the website helps them determine their interests with the link "Assess Yourself". Visitors make three choices, from six broad interest areas, such as "artistic", "conventional" and "realistic". Scrolling over the interest areas will reveal the definition of each one, and once three have been chosen, the occupations that fit the interest areas will be available to view. Visitors can choose an occupation listed, and then read the job description, interests it utilizes, skills required, education needed, average wages for entry level and senior level, and job outlook. The "Resources" link has a host of links for "students", "teachers", "parents", "counselors" and "job seekers". [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

Royal Museum for Central Africa - Natural Sciences Collection

Founded in 1898, and located in Belgium, this museum is dedicated to Africa and "plays an active role in the sustainable development of Africa and aspires to be a centre for collaboration and reflection on today's Africa and the challenges it faces." The Natural Sciences Collection of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) is available only in English and is meant to be used as primary material for researchers. The collection is divided up between "Biology" and "Earth Sciences". Visitors will find the "African Geographic Pictures" under the Earth Sciences link to be interesting, as they provide the ability to search the collection or browse by feature or country. It should be noted that the stated master themes of all of the images are "sustainability in agriculture and forestry", "hazardous geomorphic events" and physical and human geography. If in the "African Geographic Pictures" section, visitors search by country and choose Ethiopia, for instance, 598 images will come up, and about one fifth of them are agriculture-related. One particularly compelling photo of the verdant Abyssinian highlands at the end of the farming season shows farm buildings of stone that would look like ancient ruins, were they in disrepair. [KMG]

Network Tools


Have you thought about creating your own website? Perhaps you feel that it might take too much time or be too complicated? Never fear, as Magnt is here. After signing up for a free account, Magnt will walk you through the creation of a personal website by using a number of existing templates and customized graphics. Also, users can bring together all of their social networks on their site, which makes communication with friends and potential business partners convenient. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


The Puush application allows users to take advantage of keyboard shortcuts or drag-drop gestures to quickly capture any portion of their screen or upload any file. The files are effectively "puush'd", which leaves a short URL in the clipboard, which means they can be easily shared with others. Visitors can also archive and embed their files for free, which is quite nice. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer and Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6. [KMG]

In The News

Tomas Transtromer awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature

Swedish Poet Wins Nobel Prize for Literature [Free registration may be required]

Swedish poet Transtromer wins Nobel in literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011: Press Release

Tomas Transtromer

Tomas Transtromer: Poetry

The Nobel Prize in Literature

In one of his best-known poems, Tomas Transtromer begins his piece with "After a black day, I play Haydn/ and feel a little warmth in my hands." This Thursday Transtromer may have felt a bit more warmth as he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. In awarding the prize to the Swedish poet, the committee remarked, "through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality." During his time as a writer, Transtromer has written more than 15 collections of poetry, many of which have been translated into different languages. His fame has increased steadily since the 1960s, and a number of scholars and editors have commented on the quality of his work in the intervening decades. Neil Astley, a British book editor, remarked that Transtromer's work is "both universal and particular." Transtromer was born in Stockholm, and after studying a range of humanistic disciplines at the University of Stockholm he spent time working as a psychologist at a correctional facility. Interestingly, a prominent British bookmaker had given odds that Bob Dylan might be the top contender for this year's prize. [KMG]

The first link will take users to an article from this Thursday's New York Times which provides a bit of background on the announcement from the Swedish Academy. The second link leads to an article from MSNBC Europe that includes a great quote about his work from the Swedish Academy's secretary, Peter Englund: "He's writing about big questions. He's writing about death, he's writing about history and memory, and nature." Moving along, the third link will whisk users away to the official press release from the Swedish Academy, along with a bio-bibliography. The fourth link will take visitors to a biographical profile of Transtromer from the Academy of American Poets. The fifth link leads to a site with eight of his poems, including "The Couple" and "After a Death". The last link leads to the official homepage for the Nobel Prizes in Literature. Here visitors can learn about past winners, such as William Golding, Elias Canetti, and Wole Soyinka.

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