The Scout Report -- Volume 17, Number 50

December 16, 2011

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

A Note to our Readers

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

A Note to our Readers

Scout Holiday Publishing Schedule

The Scout Report will be on vacation December 23rd and 30th. We will return with the January 6th, 2012 report.

Best Holiday wishes and see you next year,
Chanda Halderman
Managing Editor

Research and Education

Planet Earth

How does the Earth work? What is its relationship to the other planets? These are but a few important questions answered by this creative instructional series created by WQED in Pittsburgh, in association with the National Academy of Sciences. The series was designed to present information about "our solar system and Earth's oceans, climate, and mineral and energy sources." The Annenberg Media group has placed this entire series online, and visitors can view all seven installments here. The programs include "The Climate Puzzle", "Gifts from the Earth", and "The Solar Sea". Teachers will note that the site also contains links to other educational resources, reviews, and related resources from the Annenberg Media organization. [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

Energetics, Structure, and Kinetics [pdf]

Based at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), this particular course website offers a "detailed analysis of three of the four classes of biological molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids) and the forces that shape them." Visitors to the site will note that they can view a description of the course here, and also look over the syllabus, lecture notes, course policies, and lecture references. The materials here are set up a bit like the courses offered via the OpenCourseWare initiative. The "Lecture Notes" area contains links to all nineteen in-class lectures, and the topics covered here include peptide bonds, DNA/RNA structure, protein interactions, and membrane protein synthesis. Also, visitors can learn about different molecular modeling programs and related materials. [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

Research Techniques Workbook Modules [pdf]

The people at the biology department at Hunter College in New York City have created these different primers on creating and maintaining a scientific workbook for college students and others. Visitors can start their journey here by clicking on the "Synopsis" area to learn about what is covered in the first ten primers. The subjects include "Keeping a Research Lab Notebook", "Using a Balance", and "Water Quality". The other nine primers here cover making effective PowerPoint presentations and electrophoresis gels. While some of the primers require outside material, most of them are stand-alone documents that can be used in a variety of introductory laboratory settings. Overall, the site should prove quite useful for science educators. [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

Using Genetics Mini-lectures and Podcasts to Make Time for Active Learning [pdf, iTunes]

The goal of the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching is "to enhance undergraduate biology education by training a new generation of scientific teachers." The hope is that these future faculty and researchers will also become quite adept at teaching a range of undergraduates. The Program's work includes creating instructional tools and teaching materials for the classroom, and this particular tool is designed to help educators create mini-lectures on genetics and podcasts in order to encourage and make time for active learning. The primary goals of these lectures and podcasts are to help students learn about the mechanisms of mitosis and meiosis, along with providing some background on genetic variability. Visitors will note that there are worksheets provided here, along with podcasts and teaching instructions. [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

Cryogenic Treatment Database

The Cryogenics Database is a website created by the Cryogenic Society of America that contains "scientific and informational articles pertaining to the cryogenic treatment industry", and is updated quarterly. Visitors curious about cryogenics, but only aware of the "misinformation about cryogenic treatment of materials in the public domain" can become familiar with cryogenics by checking out the "Resources" tab, near the top of any page. The "Cryo Central: Cryogenic Treatment of Materials" document gives examples of some of the types of raw materials that are treated with cryogenic processing, and their applications in the everyday world. Some of the examples given are brakes, racing cars, stereos, industrial tooling, and sporting goods. [KMG]


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a multi-pronged approach to remedying the lack of academic emphasis on the STEM subjects, from preschool through college, as well as the lack of interest in STEM subjects on the part of youth in the United States. Visitors can read about the University's four goals under the "Goals" tab at the top of any page. The "STEM Ed Projects" tab contains a directory of externally funded projects divided into four categories, and which are then further divided into subcategories. Visitors will find such projects as "Improving Supply and Demand Data for the Preparation of Secondary Science and Math Teachers" and "Clean Energy Education Workshop", under the category that aims to shape policy and advocate for STEM education. The "Resources" tab contains half a dozen categories under which visitors will find Outreach Resources, Teacher Development and Resources, and Policy and Advocacy for STEM Ed. [KMG]

Health Affairs [pdf]

Health Affairs was created in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. The peer-reviewed journal "explores health policy issues of current concern in both domestic and international spheres." Their website provides free access to all journal articles three years or older, along with all of their blog content. Visitors are encouraged to sign up for email alerts and their Twitter feed. On the "Web First" area, visitors can get free previews of full-length articles and information about other forthcoming works. Moving along, the "Health Policy Briefs" section includes timely and brief discussions of key health care issues, including recent postings on "Legal Challenges to Health Reform" and "The Independent Payment Advisory Board". Finally, the "Blogs" area is a real find, as visitors can read posts from experts on Medicaid, global health care funding projects, and grant projects for health care professionals and researchers. [KMG]

General Interest

Center for the Book

Created in 1984, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress has been dedicated to creating affiliate centers in the 50 states. These affiliates (and the Center, of course) work together to "sponsor programs that highlight their area's literary heritage and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries." On their website, visitors can learn about the affiliate centers in each state, and also learn about the annual "Idea Exchange Day". Visitors to the site can read their annual report, learn about their staff members, and also check out their annual newsletters. Along the left-hand side of the page sit the "Resources". Here visitors can wander through author webcasts, booklists, local resources organized by geography, and their upcoming literary contests. [KMG]

Aerial Photography: Florida

Millions of people fly over Florida each year, but how many of them really see anything? The University of Florida Map & Digital Imagery Library contains over 160,000 aerial photographs of the Sunshine State, and it is a tremendous resource for agronomists, ecologists, geographers, and historians. These particular aerial images were originally created to assist farmers in accurately assessing their farms and to provide information on soil conservation. This collection contains 120 maps that range from 1937 to 1990, and visitors to the site can use a Google Maps interface to search the maps by location. Alternately, visitors can use the Flights By County to look through the maps in places like Hillsborough and Alachua County. [KMG]

Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar [pdf]

The concerns surrounding the protection of cyberspace as a function of national security are rather serious, particularly in light of recent acts of cyberterrorism against various government agencies and the like. This document from the RAND Corporation's Martin C. Libicki offers a look into how a "cyberwar" might affect various networks, counterattack strategies, the value of deterrence, and how the United States might defend against such an attack. The 213-page paper has nine chapters, including "Strategic Cyberwar" and "Operational Cyberwar". Additionally, the report has three appendixes, include the "The Dim Prospects for Cyber Arms Control". For persons studying international relations, security studies, and related fields this report will be most useful. [KMG]

Iran Chamber Society

In 2001, the Iran Chamber Society was created in order to provide a non-partisan, non-commercial, comprehensive source of information on Iran. The website's "About Us" section states that their aim is to "create a global awareness about Iranian society and eradicate the misunderstandings and misconceptions about Iranian society, and to play an educational role as well." Visitors will find the website divided up into "Art and Culture", "History", "Society" and "Iran's Guide". The "Exhibitions and Conferences" link on the right side of the homepage leads visitors to a number of exhibitions, including the fascinating "Artistic Murals of Tehran's Metro Stations", which offers a dozen pictures of the beautifully handcrafted murals made of pottery, metal, cement and other materials. The "History" section offers pictures and documents, including some disturbing graphic photos from the Iran-Iraq War in 1980-1988 that appear at the end of the Historic Periods and Events section. [KMG]

Try Engineering

Admittedly, Dilbert and his fellow engineers haven't boosted the image of the engineering profession, but the website "TryEngineering" succeeds at making engineering seem a little cooler. Visitors will note that the site is sponsored by IBM, IEEE, and TryScience, and it provides information for parents, students, teachers and counselors. The "Lesson Plans" link "provides tips on how lessons can be integrated with other subject areas and offers background information on engineering and engineering careers." Visitors can search the lesson plans by age range, category or keyword, and there are over 100, so there is bound to be more than one that is of interest. Some of the lessons include "Can You Canoe?", "A Century of Plastics", and "Build Your Own Robot Arm". The "Play Games" link offers visitors such fun as "Solar Car Racing", "Roller Coaster Designer" and "Design a Parachute". [KMG]

American Cetacean Society

Cetaceans are the marine mammals whales, dolphins, and porpoises, and the American Cetacean Society (ACS) protects all of them and their habitats. The "About ACS" page on their website reveals that the founders of the organization were originally looking to harvest whales for their meat in the hopes that they could eradicate world hunger. Instead, they found the whale population in dire straits, and started ACS in order help protect these gentle giants. Visitors to the site will be met with heart-stopping photos of different species of whales, as well as photos and info about whale-watching trips and tours, and a link to the ACS newsletter called "Spyhopper". Visitors should be sure to check out the article in December's issue entitled "Bubblenet: Encounters with a Humpback Feeding Frenzy". It's artfully and intelligently written, and describes every detail of the encounter, down to the gusts of horribly bad breath these leviathans emit when surfacing for air during their herring feasts. [KMG]

Kansas Collection Photographs

The Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas has a vast cornucopia of materials related to Kansas history. Some of their collections deal with the state's native wildflowers, maps, and aerial photographs of Kansas City. On this site, visitors will find over 250 images that document the history and peoples of the Sunflower State. The offerings here are part of a much larger collection, and over time the collection will grow to include several thousand digitized images. Visitors can click on the Category Pages to look for items by "what", "where", or "when". The offerings here include images of harvesting machinery, home life, urban streetscapes, and political figures from the 19th century. [KMG]

Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards

Established in 1967, the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) award program "is intended to honor the individual achievements of innovative Bay Area artists who have not yet received substantial recognition." SFMOMA celebrates 50 years of SECA awards with this exhibition. On the website, visitors can browse the full list of SECA awardees, from 1967's Mel Henderson to 2010's Mauricio Ancalmo, Colter Jacobsen, Ruth Laskey, and Kamau Amu Patton. You can see more works by Ancalmo, Jacobsen, Laskey and Patton featured in the 2010 SECA Award section, and there is a video interview with Patton included in a group of 16 short recordings by artists who have received the SECA award. The videos provide a good way to see more artwork by SECA artists, such as David Best, talking about the temples he constructs for the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada that are burned at the end of the event, or Rigo 23 discussing his work using lost bird flyers he's found posted around San Francisco, which he believes are "very romantic and incredibly optimistic". [DS]

Network Tools


What exactly is a Stixy? In short, it is an interactive and intuitive way to share information with friends and family that's a bit like a 21st-century online bulletin board. Visitors can sign up for an account and use one of their online tutorials to get started. Users will find that they can organize their family's schedule, drag and drop websites, graphics, and photos of note onto their Stixy board, and also share files. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

Quick Screen Share

Quick Screen Share is pretty much the easiest way to share a screen, and it doesn't require registration or installation. The program allows visitors to also remotely control the mouse and keyboard, and it is a great way to share information on a range of projects. This version is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux. [KMG]

In The News

As the 49ers search for a new home, questions abound about the future of the Hunters Point community

Days are numbered for San Francisco's Candlestick Park

Santa Clara lines up financing for 49ers stadium

49ers stadium: S.F. mayor has slim hopes

San Francisco Redevelopment Agency: Bayview Hunters Point

San Francisco Cityscape

San Francisco Historic Images

With a name that references the Golden State's most "golden" historical moment, the San Francisco 49ers have been part of San Francisco's sports landscape since 1960. However, they may soon be on the move, as they are seeking to find a new stadium deal to replace Candlestick Park. Candlestick is located in the Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco, a section of town that has seen tremendous transformation in the past few years as the San Francisco transit system has built a new streetcar line there and developers have begun work on a range of new residential projects. In the meantime, the nearby city of Santa Clara has put together a plan involving three major banks that have pledged a total of $850 million to pay for a new stadium. Ed Lee, the mayor of San Francisco, has noted that the only hope may be if the Oakland Raiders (who are also in search of a new home) might be able to work together with the 49ers on a new stadium project. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Tuesday's San Francisco Examiner about the future of Candlestick Park and the 49ers. The second link will take users to a recent entry on the "Niner Insider" blog about Santa Clara's work on setting up financing for a new 49ers stadium. Moving along, leads to a piece from the San Francisco Chronicle about the attempts by San Francisco officials to keep the 49ers in the city. The fourth link will whisk users away to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency's page on the Bayview Hunters Point community. Here they can learn about the long-range redevelopment plans for the area and peruse crucial planning documents. The fifth link will take interested parties to the San Francisco Cityscape homepage. This site is a great place to look over transit maps of the Bay Area, download great scenic photos, and check out bike maps. The final link leads to a tremendous collection (almost 38,000 images) of historic photos of San Francisco, including a number of former sports stadiums in the city, such as Kezar Stadium.

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