The Scout Report -- Volume 18, Number 17

April 27, 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

The Guardian's Science Weekly Podcast

Would you like to go around the world on a hunt for a lost rubber duck? How does learning about language sound? These are but a few of the topics covered in the Guardian's Science weekly podcast. Visitors will be delighted to learn that they can explore this vast buffet of science topics at their leisure. New visitors to the site can look through the Recent Shows area or move on down to the subject headings, which include climate change, energy, and space exploration. The site also features a lively blog that is updated frequently, and visitors are encouraged to leave comments. Some podcasts that shouldn't be missed are "The Joy of Science Demonstrations" and "The Festival of the Spoken Nerd." Also, visitors can learn more about the host of the program, the funny and interesting Alok Jha, by clicking on the link to his profile included in each podcast summary. [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

MathDL: Capsules for One-Variable Calculus

The dedicated folks at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) have created this handy compendium of learning capsules as part of their online digital library. This compendium contains fifteen different areas, ranging from General Tools to Antidifferentiation. These resources have been contributed and vetted by mathematics professors, learning specialists, and others actively involved in the fields of mathematics and mathematics education. Many of these resources appeared in reputable sources like the College Mathematics Journal or as part of other publications. Visitors can search these materials by title, author, subject matter, or keyword, and they can also look through the Tips for Searching area for additional assistance. [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

NOVA: Hunting the Elements

After watching this erudite (and fun) program from NOVA, you'll never again wonder "Where's selenium?" This two-hour program is hosted by David Pogue (the host of NOVA's "Making Stuff" program) and it "spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, the universe's most abundant elements, and the rarest of the rare." It's a fascinating way to learn about the history of the periodic table, and the discovery and properties of the elements. The site also contains fourteen additional features, such as the Name That Element! quiz, an iPad app, a chemical bonds quiz, an interactive periodic table, and an exploration of the "amazing atomic clock." It may make chemistry junkies out of neophytes, and the already-converted will find much to keep them occupied 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

Natalie V. Scott Exhibit

The name Natalie V. Scott may not ring any bells today, but she was a decorated war hero, a celebrated newspaperwoman, a wilderness explorer, and a graduate of Newcomb College and Tulane University. This digital collect from the Tulane University Library celebrates her many accomplishments through a series of short essays and digitized documents that capture some of her talents. The sections of the exhibit include The Best Newspaperwoman in America, The French Quarter Renaissance, and Promoting Creole Cuisine. Visitors should not miss The French Quarter Renaissance area, which contains details on how Scott helped create a resurgence of interest in the area during the 1920s by assisting with the creation of the Petit Theatre du Vieux Carr, a literary magazine (the Double Dealer) and the Arts and Crafts Club. The site is rounded out by a finding aid database of her papers, which are held at the library. [KMG]

Online Curriculum for Science and Engineering Ethics

Created with funds provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the International Dimensions of Ethics Education in Science & Engineering (IDEESE) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides high-quality online and classroom-based materials for science and engineering disciplines. This site allows users to access a set of different curricula, complete with cases and related resources based on real events with international ethnical dimensions. There are five online cases here, and they deal with the a variety of controversies, including the SARS virus outbreak and the recruitment of egg donors by South Korean stem cell researchers. Each of the cases comes with a case-situation summary and supporting materials such as interviews, discussion questions, and classroom activities. Engineering students and teachers will find that the breadth of these materials offers a thought-provoking experience designed to complement the more formal scientific materials that are traditionally part of this field of study. [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

Inside the Cell

The National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences is committed to "basic discoveries for better health." Part of their work includes reaching out to the public through science education publications and online resources. This particular resource allows interested parties to explore the interior design of cells. The electronic booklet contains five chapters, a glossary, and a few bonus interactive features. The chapter titles include "Cells 101: Business Basics," "The Last Chapter: Cell Aging and Death," and "An Owner's Guide to the Cell." Each chapter contains prose that is witty and erudite, accompanied by everything from detailed digital photographs of meiosis to colorful diagrams. Moving on, the Extras area includes an interactive tour of the cell and a crossword puzzle. [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

Teaching Videos: University of Exeter

While nothing will ever replace the face-to-face experience of direct medical care and training, certain skills can be gained by reviewing high-quality instructional and training videos on such topics. This resource from the University of Exeter's College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences was designed to help interested parties learn about patient-centered care and the psychology involved with patient care. In the section titled Psychology in Patient Care, visitors can view six different videos that deal with topics such as first impressions, assumptions, boundaries, and managing aggressions. The material here follows Emma, a student radiographer, on her first clinical placement. Moving along, the second section (The Patient's View) presents Vera, "a remarkable and courageous lady," talking in clips titled "A question of dignity" and "Going the extra mile." [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

Pew Internet & American Life Project: The Rise of E-Reading

How many people are reading e-books? How often do they read them? These are but a few of the queries that animated this recent research study by a team of five staff members at the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The 68-page report was released in April 2012, and visitors can read the document in its entirety, or peruse the overview offered here. Based on their polling, the authors found that 21% of American adults have read an e-book in the past year. Additionally, some 43% of all Americans age 16 and older say that have either read an e-book in the past year or have read other long-form content such as magazines, journals, and news articles in digital format. The full report is divided into six chapters, along with a section on methodology. [KMG]

General Interest

The Map Room: Digital Initiatives-The University of Idaho

The University of Idaho's Map Room has taken digital mashups to an entirely new level with this ambitious project. Their staff members utilized a Google Fusion Table to allow patrons to browse, via location, over 8,000 historical photographs from the University of Idaho Library's digital collections. So far, they have included football programs from their sports collection, the Dworshak Dam collection, and 1,200 images from the Idaho Aerial Photograph collection. First-time visitors will notice that each collection has a different colored marker on the map, and users can zoom in and out to look for items of note. There's a sophisticated and user-friendly interface here that allows users to look for photographs by decade as well. The majority of the images are from Idaho, but there are some intriguing outliers, such as the photograph of the Washburn-Wilson Seed Company plant in Ralston, Nebraska. [KMG]

R.C. Maxwell Company Records, 1904-1990s and undated

Outdoor advertising in the United States has been going on for well over 300 years, and one can find curious and compelling examples on just about any roadway or other venue. This remarkable digital collection from the Duke University Libraries brings together over 10,000 images from the R.C. Maxwell Company. Started in 1894, the company was in business until 2000, when it was sold. During its long history, the company was careful to retain thousands of 8" x 10" professional photographs of its billboards, which were located all over the East Coast. This collection brings together images from New Jersey, along with a clutch of images from Pennsylvania and other localities. Visitors to the site can read the collection guide and they may also wish to use the Company, Product, Date, Place, and Subject categories to browse selections of photographs. Some of the highlights here include ads for the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and some rather creative billboards for Pillsbury products. [KMG]

American Experience: Grand Coulee Dam

Among many great national achievements during the Great Depression, the Grand Coulee Dam remains one of the most impressive. This fine website from the American Experience program complements a documentary that was first aired on PBS in 2012. The construction of this dam would, in the worlds of President Franklin Roosevelt, be part of a "planned promised land" that would transform the lives of farm families. The site includes a great interactive timeline, a photo gallery, and a short preview of the entire film. Additionally, the site includes two nice bonus videos, including one that deals with the processes of closing the spillway. The blog on the site includes several interesting posts on the history of the dam. Also, visitors have the opportunity to share their own stories about their own favorite iconic structures in the United States. [KMG]

Advertising Age

Advertising Age is one of the most well-known advertising industry publications, and their website is an important place for those interested in the industry, whether they be new to the field or whether they have decades of experience. Along the top of the homepage, visitors will find nine different sections, including Global News, Hispanic Marketing, and Digital. Each of these sections features news updates, commentary, and opinion pieces covering their respective topics. On the right-hand side of the homepage, visitors can make their way through the "Most Read" pieces, along with the "Most Commented" and "Most Emailed. Also, visitors can make their way through special reports such as Hottest Global Brands and Agency A-List. [KMG]

Virtual Laboratory

The website for the Virtual Laboratory contains a bold and direct statement: "Conventional teaching all too often accepts memorization and pattern recognition as true learning" After reading this statement, it makes sense that the goal of this site is "to help students to recognize, confront, correct, and expand their understanding of subject or a technique." The site contains five different sets of course materials that use interactive materials, short quizzes, and embedded demonstrations to assist students and teachers alike. One set of materials that should not be missed is in the Teaching & Learning Biology area. Here visitors will find links, fact sheets, and pedagogical suggestions for teaching a college-level biology course. Moving on, the Chemistry, Life, the Universe and Everything section contains a new perspective on how to reform the garden-variety general chemistry course. [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 Museum of Printing History

When most people think about the history of printing they might think of a typeface or two they enjoy and perhaps the work of Gutenberg. There's much more to this field of human endeavor, and the Museum of Printing History in Houston provides a wealth of material at their institution and right here on their site. On the homepage, visitors can learn about current exhibitions and events, classes, and upcoming talks. In the Exhibitions area, visitors can learn about exhibits currently on display (such as the recent The Art of the Book) and those that will be coming to the museum in the future. Moving on, Our Collection features selected materials, including colonial documents and eyewitness accounts of the struggle for Texas independence. Finally, visitors can also learn about opportunities for visiting artists. [KMG]

BAD Times

The Black Americans for Democracy (BAD) Times started publication in 1971, growing out of the activist efforts and movement started in the late 1960s on the campus of the University of Arkansas. The BAD organization started life in 1970 in the old student union building on campus, and became well known for their activism and calls for greater integration of student life, university programs, and athletics. The newspaper can claim at least one student who became very well-known, the author E. (Everett) Lynn Harris, who was the BAD treasurer. This digital collection offers interested parties access to twenty issues of newspapers published by the group from 1971 to 1977. Visitors can make their way through the issues here, and they can search by keyword as well. [KMG]

Truth vs. Twilight - Burke Museum

The Truth vs. Twilight, a collaboration between the Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture (located on the University of Washington campus in Seattle) and the Quileute Tribe, exists to inform Twilight fans and others about the ways in which the story of the real Quileutes differs from their portrayal in the Twilight Saga. The website focuses on several broad areas: economic disparity, the "fictional, misappropriated views of Quileute people and culture," and cultural theft. Although the huge popularity of Twilight, as books, movies, and associated merchandise, has earned billions of dollars for author Stephenie Meyer, movie studio Summit Entertainment, and retailers who sell Twilight merchandise, such as Nordstrom's or Hot Topic, none of these profits have come back to the Quileute Tribe. Perhaps the most egregious act of cultural theft, in the Tribe's eyes, is the origin story that Meyer presents in "Eclipse," book three of The Twilight Saga; although both stories contain the wolf, Meyer's version is quite different from the Quileute's own origin story. The wolf tattoo "seen on the sculpted shoulders of all the wolf pack boys" including Taylor Lautner, is another example of such theft. The design draws on Quileute Tribe iconography and that of other Northwest Coast tribes, but no royalties were ever paid to the Quileutes. In fact, a Google search on "Quileute wolf tattoo" retrieves only Twilight-related examples; nothing from the Quileute Tribe itself. [DS]

Network Tools

Walk Score

If you're looking for a walkable community, is there a way to determine which neighborhood might be best for you? Interested parties might use the Walk Score to get a basic sense of nearby amenities, such as grocery stores, parks, restaurants, and so on. Visitors can type in a street address or neighborhood, and they can find out the location's cumulative Walk Score. Also, visitors can use the site to find out about potential nearby rental properties, if they are so inclined. This site is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

Notification Control

Tired of getting so many emails from your various social networks and the like? Perhaps Notification Control is worth a quick look. With this program, visitors can reset their notification preferences quickly. Visitors can just use this site to click on various services (such as eBay or Facebook) and a new tab will open, allowing them to change notifications from this single screen. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

After a long period of decline, the travel agent makes a comeback

Are Travel Agents Back? [Free registration may be required]

Travel Agents Make A Return Trip

Is the Best Travel Search Engine Around the Corner?

Shared Heritage Travel Itineraries

American Journeys

Better Bidding

In another time (before the late 1990s, let us say), going to a travel agent was quite an experience. You might enter a large office suite replete with colorful posters from Pan Am and Lufthansa, and there might even be a model of a 747 on the travel agent's desk, along with some other travel-related knick-knacks. Today, most trips are booked with a series of clicks online, and many wags predicted that the travel agent would soon go the way of the dodo. Part of the resurgence of the travel agent is due to an uptick in high-end travel and corporate bookings, while others just find the deluge of online material regarding hotel ratings, airline options, transportation connections, and so on to be just a bit overwhelming. Interestingly enough, a recent survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value confirmed that this is a real problem. The survey noted that it took the average person more than two hours to search and book travel online. Another thing that has aided the cause of real-life agents is the ability to connect with their clients via email, text messages, Twitter, and so on. For some posh travelers, this type of personal connection seems to make all the difference. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to a piece from this past Friday's New York Times about the rebirth of the travel agent, along with a few profiles of this new breed of travel expert. The second link will whisk visitors away to a piece from TIME's Kate Springer about the resurgence of the traditional travel agent. The third link will take users away to a great piece from the New York Times' own "Frugal Traveler," Seth Kugel. In this lively article, he talks about going to brick-and-mortar travel agents to see if they can get him the best prices on tickets to Croatia, So Paulo, and other destinations. The fourth link leads visitors to a wonderful collection of heritage travel itineraries created by the National Park Service that might inspire a future journey. Moving along, the fifth link will take users to the American Journeys homepage. Here they can look over 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, and will almost certainly decide to take several return visits. The final link will take the informed traveler to the Better Bidding website, which provides information about strategies and information about bidding for hotel rooms around the United States.

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