The Scout Report -- Volume 18, Number 5

February 3, 2012

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

Chinese Historical Society

Archaeological digs can tell us much about ancient civilizations, but what about more recent periods of human habitation? This fine collection from the USC Digital Library presents over 1,100 images of artifacts excavated from two sites in Southern California. The Chinatown section features 1,040 color images of artifacts from the original Los Angeles Chinatown. These items were recovered during the construction of the Metro Rail Red Line by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The online collection includes photos of wine bowls, ink stone boxes, and other fragments of items from daily household life. The second segment includes items excavated in 1992 from an old adobe structure in Santa Barbara that housed a Chinese laundry from the mid 1880s to 1905. The collection can be searched via keyword, and it is quite a resource for historians, archaeologists, and others. [KMG]

Science Friday (Last reviewed in the Scout Report on October 31, 1997)

As their tagline notes, "Every day is Science Friday." With a deep archive of past programs and video clips, the website for NPR's Science Friday program is quite a find. The program is hosted by Ira Flatow, and each week he and his colleagues "focus on science topics that are in the news and try to bring an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand." Recent segments on the show have covered space weather, magnetic soap, and stem cell eye therapy. The video segments are remarkable, and visitors shouldn't miss "What's So Cool About Frozen Water?" for a wonderful film exploration of the elusive properties of ice. Interested in the intersection of science and art? Click on over to the SciArts tab to read and listen to pieces on a variety of topics, including the beauty of a lobster brain or "science ink," which features photos the tattoos of people in love with 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

Conjugate Fractures form in Clay [pdf]

Understanding certain aspects of structural geology can be challenging for undergraduates, and the good people at "On the Cutting Edge" have worked to create this useful resource to help students and educators. This particular lesson plan was created by Paul Kelso of Lake Superior State University, and it was designed for students who have a bit of background knowledge of structural geology. The activity will help students learn about the concept of Mohr-Coulomb failure and also afford them a physical understanding of conjugate fracture/fault systems. As with other plans offered in this series, the piece provides information on the necessary materials (such as clay) required for the activity, along with teaching tips, assessment tools, and techniques. [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

Council on Undergraduate Research on the Web

The mission of the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) is to "support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship." CUR disseminates some of its work and findings through the Council of Undergraduate Research Quarterly (CURQ) and this site provides access to some of the articles from that publication. Currently, visitors can search past articles back to 2008, and visitors can browse through articles like "Putting Undergraduate Research on the Map for Women," "Peer Mentoring in an Introductory Biology Laboratory," and "Undergraduate Research on Writing: Benefits to Faculty and Curriculum Development." All told, the site provides a cornucopia of articles related to making the undergraduate research experience a bit more meaningful, and educators will find much to enjoy here. [KMG]


The Credo online repository contains over 40,000 items held by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries' Department of Special Collections and University Archives. During the launch of Credo in June 2011, the organizers digitized and released the complete papers of noted African American intellectual and activist W.E.B. Du Bois. This project was made possible with support from the Verizon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visitors can browse Du Bois' papers here and also look over the Halpern photograph collection. These photographs were taken by noted anthropologist Joel M. Halpern and they document his extensive visits to the Arctic in the 1950s. Visitors looking for a bit more orientation to the entire Credo repository should look over the "How To Use Credo" guide. [KMG]


The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) was formed in 1972 as a result of a meeting sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council. CAST's mission is to "assemble, interpret, and communicate credible science-based information regionally, nationally, and internationally to legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media, the private sector and the public." Visitors will find the Education tab near the top of the page to be particularly helpful for those who want to pursue agricultural careers or learn about agricultural education, such as 4-H or Future Farmers of America. The CAST Videos section has a number of PowerPoint presentations on current topics of importance in agriculture, such as "The Science and Regulation of Food from Genetically Engineered Animals," "Food Safety and Fresh Produce," and "Probiotics in Human Health." A number of the papers that accompany the PowerPoint presentations are available for free. [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 Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Lessons & Resources

This website is an excellent resource for math teachers teaching any age and level of students. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), "support[s] teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students through vision, leadership, professional development and research." Visitors interested in making math fun will certainly want to read the lead article on the homepage of the Lessons and Resources section, "Learn Ways to Evaluate Math Games," as it not only helps with game evaluation, but also provides links to good free games. Below the lead article are categories for Elementary, Middle School and High School math. Each category has a publication especially for those grade levels, with current and archived issues available. Also on the homepage of the Lessons and Resources section, visitors will find Family Corner, Teaching Tips, and Lessons and Teaching.

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

Canada's Economic Action Plan

This website outlines the steps Canada's government is taking to recover from the recent economic crisis. It addresses jobs, communities, education, and Canada's fiscal advantages. Visitors interested in seeing short videos that aid Canadians in obtaining federal grants should click on the Video Vault link at the top of the page. A video entitled Apprenticeship Grants explains how federal grants encourage training in the trades, and another video informs people how they can get up to $5000 to make their homes more energy efficient. Moving on, visitors can also see the number of projects the action plan has started on the Projects Map link, located on the bottom of the homepage. This interactive map enables visitors to click on different locales to read about each project, and is searchable by province, city and project title. [KMG]

General Interest

The Tinkering Studio

The Tinkering Studio website from the Exploratorium in San Francisco is billed as "Experiments with art, science, technology, and delightful ideas." It does not disappoint, and visitors may wish to make a special trip to San Francisco to see the Exploratorium in action after some time on the site. A good place to start is the Artists area. Visitors can learn about artists who've been inspired by the Tinkering Studio, such as Ana Serrano, who works with discarded cardboard and Andrew Lyndon, an Oakland-based videographer and animator. Visitors young and old must visit the Activities section as well. Here they can learn about marble machines, circuit boards, and light painting. Finally, interested parties shouldn't miss the site's fun blog, which includes entries on how to make your own potato head toy at home. [KMG]

National Music Museum

What do Tom Brokaw and the National Music Museum (NMM) have in common? The University of South Dakota! It happens to be Brokaw's alma mater and the home of this fine museum, which has more than 15,000 musical instruments in its collection. Visitors interested in the spaces housing the instruments will enjoy the Virtual Tours link, which has at least a dozen tours of the galleries, including a tour of the outside of the NMM building. There are photos of how it has changed from 1910 to the present, complete with a wonderful photo taken on a cold winter's night in 1987. Visitors keen on seeing some of the collections, not all of which are online, should check out the Collections and Archive link in the Collections section. Here visitors will be able to read about the acquisition of the collections, who collected each item, and why items were selected for inclusion. Finally, curious parties can see the instruments in the collection by clicking on the links in the text. [KMG]

Supercourse: Epidemiology, the Internet, and Global Health

Created by dedicated staff members at the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center at the University of Pittsburgh, Supercourse is "a repository of lectures on global health and prevention designed to improve the teaching of prevention." The group's network of experts includes over 56,000 scientists in 174 countries who have produced well over 5,000 lectures in 31 languages. It's quite impressive, and first-time visitors may wish to click on the Lecture of the Week on the homepage. Visitors can also search the lectures, where they will find a range of topics from "Urbanisation and spatial inequalities in health in Brazil and India" to "A Simple Model for Improving Global Health Education." Researchers and others can use the Publications area to find out where some of the work offered here has been published over the years. Visitors shouldn't miss the Special Lectures area. Here they can look over some of the Supercourse Golden Lectures, which include talks in Chinese, Arabic, Croatian, and Albanian. [KMG]

The Walters Art Museum

Bequeathed to the city of Baltimore in 1931 by Henry Walters, the Walters Art Museum now contains 28,000 works of art spanning 55 centuries. Henry's father, William, started the collection, and first brought his art to the public in the spring of 1874 by opening his home every Wednesday for two months, charging the public 50 cents for admission, and giving the proceeds to charity. The Works of Art tab near the top of the homepage provides multiple ways of viewing the thousands of works of art from the museum that are available online. Many of the pieces are accompanied by detailed descriptions. The Artwork of the Day allows visitors to read about the details of a highlighted piece simply by clicking on its image. Visitors may also view past artworks of the day by clicking on the back arrow above the image. Another way for visitors to see the collection, through the eyes of public curators, is by checking out the Community Collections feature, which shows the collections that people have created themselves from the works of art online. Diamonds, babies, and pointing fingers are some of the themes. [KMG]

Chicago Examiner

William Randolph Hearst was a titan of the 20th century newspaper world, and he purchased and started papers in dozens of American cities. One of his morning papers was the Chicago Examiner, which began its run in 1902. The Chicago Public Library has an impressive archive of the Examiner from 1908 to 1918. Although the collection is incomplete, it remains the longest run of the paper still available. First-time visitors should take a look at the Highlights area. Here they will find images and newspaper articles that cover the Plan of Chicago, the Chicago Cubs, and the Eastland Disaster. Visitors can also use the Images By Subject area, which features thematic collections about labor issues, Jane Addams, and mayoral elections, among other subjects. Urban planners and historians should not miss the Plan of Chicago area, as it features the beautiful renderings by Jules Guerin that dramatized this masterful work from the City Beautiful moment in urban planning history. [KMG]

Beauties of America: Staffordshire Pottery

On a September day in 1822, Staffordshire Pottery owner John Ridgway left Liverpool on a ship bound for Boston, Massachusetts. The purpose of his visit was to view major American cities and also to start new business relationships with American ceramic merchants. During his two months in the United States, he kept a detailed journal of his activities. Upon his return to England, Ridgway began creating his Beauties of America dinner service. The dinner service was produced between 1825 and 1829 and soup bowls, cups, and plates featured views of places like the "new" State House in Boston and the Custom House in Philadelphia. This delightful site, created by the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), gives interested parties the opportunity to view twenty-two pieces of Ridgway pottery, look at photographs from a talk on the collections, and read an introduction Ridgway's journey by site curator Ruth Ann Penka. [KMG]

Sid Lapidus '59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution

In 2009, Sid Lapidus, an alumnus of Princeton University, gifted over 150 books, pamphlets, and prints related to the intellectual origins of the American Revolution to the Princeton University Library. The items here also cover the early years of the republic, efforts to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain and the United States, and the Revolution itself. These materials have been digitized and are available on this site. On the left hand side of the site, visitors will find listings of these documents organized by topic, creator, genre, and language. Visitors should not miss the exquisite edition of Thomas Paine's celebrated "The age of reason: being an investigation of true and fabulous theology," printed while Paine was imprisoned in 1794. It is a remarkable collection, and the site also features a link to additional supportive materials for school curricula offered courtesy of the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History. [KMG]

City of New York Parks & Recreation

New York City's Department of Parks & Recreation oversees 29,000 acres of land, and more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities located throughout the five boroughs. Their website provides a great starting point for a virtual visit undaunted by weather. Take a virtual tour along the Bronx River, watch video clips from "It's My Park" (also aired every weekday at 11:00 a.m. on NYC life (channel 25)), and browse the photo gallery, which includes selections from the Parks Photo Archive, dating back to 1856, and the Parks' Flickr Group, with visitor-contributed photos. There are also seasonal features: for February, Black History Month, there's an events listing, an inventory of permanent sculptures honoring African-Americans in the Parks, AfricanAmerican Namesake Parks, and a photo gallery entitled The African American Experience. And of course, there's a Groundhog Day page, presenting the history of weather prediction by rodent in the NYC Parks. [DS]

Network Tools


Looking for a way to centralize all of your crucial backup files? It's worth giving Joukuu a look. Visitors can sign up for a free account here, and they will find that they can bring together all of their documents and other files in the cloud. Currently, Joukuu can be used with Google Docs, Dropbox, Huddle, and several other applications. Visitors can also sync Joukuu to their desktops and search for files across a number of different accounts. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

Pulse News

It can be quite fun to read the news, but about what the beauty of viewing a clutch of colorful news sites? Pulse is an "elegant news reading application" designed for the iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices. The application uses colorful panning story bars and populates them with content from sources (such as CNN, the BBC, and so on) selected by the user. Visitors can sign up for a free account, and they will also want to read over the FAQ section on the site. [KMG]

In The News

After nineteen years, the last trove of secret Kennedy tapes is released to the public

New Air Force One tapes give insight on Kennedy death

Last of secret Kennedy tapes released,0,6198450.story

Post JFK Assassination Air Force One Flight Deck Recording

The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection

The National Security Archive: The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962: Audio Clips (iTunes)

JFK 50 Years: Celebrate the past to awaken the future

In the last three months of his presidency, John F. Kennedy dedicated a dam in Heber Springs, Arkansas, signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and spoke with his advisers about the War on Poverty preparations for 1964. During this period, many hours of tapes secretly recorded Kennedy's interactions with his advisers, his family, and others, on a variety of topics including domestic policy and the space race. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston has reviewed and released over 248 hours of taped meetings and 12 hours of phone conversation since 1993. Not until this past week, however, were the final 45 hours of tapes from the final months of Kennedy's presidency released. Many historians and members of the public have been eagerly waiting to listen to them. Those who have heard the tapes thus far have remarked that the tapes demonstrate Kennedy's facility with a wide array of policy concerns. In one session, after hearing vastly different stories from top aides who had traveled to South Vietnam to assess the country, Kennedy remarks, "You both went to the same country?" The last meeting was taped on November 20th, 1963, two days before he was assassinated in Dallas. [KMG]

The first link takes visitors to a piece from this Tuesday's BBC News about the tapes that document the minutes on Air Force One immediately after President Kennedy's assassination. The second link leads to a Los Angeles Times article from last Tuesday, which discusses a larger selection of tapes. The third link leads to the previously mentioned Air Force One audio tape that was released this week. Moving on, the fourth link whisks users away to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, which is maintained by the National Archives. First-time visitors to the Collection page should start by perusing the FAQ area, as it is quite helpful. The fifth link takes interested parties to the very well-known and fascinating audio tapes of President Kennedy talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. The last link leads to a great site celebrating the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's inauguration and his legacy in the arenas of foreign diplomacy, the arts, and civil rights.

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