The Scout Report -- Volume 18, Number 22

June 1, 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

Instant Anatomy

Created by Professor Robert Whitaker, this website was designed to teach medical students about anatomy. Visitors to the site will find a range of materials, including diagrams, illustrations, quizzes, tips, mnemonics, and so on. On the homepage, visitors will find a What's New area, which includes podcasts that deal with subjects such as the small muscles of the hand and the anatomy of the posterior forearm. Other sections on the homepage include Head & Neck, Thorax, Abdomen, Arm, and Leg. Each of these sections includes dozens of illustrations, along with some useful Brain Training Games. These games are designed to increase comprehension of the materials covered in each area. Moving on, the Lectures area includes talks such as "Parasympathetic Supply of the Head," "Cortical Control of Cranial Nerves," and several others. The site is rounded out by a collection of iPhone and iPad apps, along with a set of detailed flash cards. [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

Writing Across the Curriculum: George Mason University

The impetus for the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) initiative at George Mason University was part of a national media discussion in 1977 about a "literary crisis" in the United States. Three decades later, the WAC continues to thrive, and its website is full of resources for people who teach college English courses and related subjects. The mission of the WAC is to focus on writing as "a pedagogical tool that enables students to develop critical, analytical, and imaginative thinking to address complex social issues." On the Program Info page, visitors can learn more about the structure of the WAC and how it operates. Moving on, the Faculty Resources section contains sections such as Teaching With Writing, Guides in the Disciplines, Writing Center Resources, and so on. The Teaching with Writing area has great resources such as handouts titled "Writing to Learn," "Creating Clear Assignments," and "Evaluating and Grading." Further along is the Guides in the Disciplines section, which features writing guides for different subjects crafted by people at George Mason, along with national writing guides from Carleton College, Colorado State University, and Columbia College. [KMG]

Reproductive Physiology Animations

These illustrative animations were crafted by staff members at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and can be used by any number of medical professionals and students in the allied health sciences. On the homepage, visitors can get acquainted with the materials by looking through the Recent Submissions area. Here they can find animations that include a brief listing of goals, objectives, and a brief narrative description. Visitors can also perform a full-text search across all of the items here. Currently, there are over 60 animations on the site, including "Origins of Cholesterol," "Steroid Synthesis," and "Chromosomal Sex Determination." One nice feature of these animations is that some of them also have sound. Finally, visitors can browse though collections created by other units of the University, such as the Conservatory of Music and the German Studies department. [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

Mean and Median Applet

The concepts of median and mean are key to understanding statistics, and this rather novel applet from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Mathematical Sciences Digital Library is quite a find. The applet was created by Kady Schneiter of Utah State University and it consists of two windows. In the first, the user fills in a grid to create a distribution of numbers and to investigate the mean and median of the distribution. The second window enables users to test their knowledge about the mean and the median. In this window, the applet will display a hypothetical distribution and an unspecified marker. The user will then determine whether the marker indicates the position of the mean of the distribution, the median, both or neither. It's a well-designed instructional tool, and one that can be used in the classroom with ease. [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

Living without Oil

The Open University is well-known for its decades-long commitment to distance learning, and is always adding new courses to its website. One of the recent additions is "Living without Oil." The course materials include a brief introduction, a statement of intended learning outcomes, summaries of each subtopic, quizzes, and an FAQ area. The materials here are divided into nine areas, including Oil as a source of modern materials, Future sources of oil, and Oil and anthropogenic global warming. Along the way, visitors will learn about possible energy sources that might complement the use of oil in the future, along with some of the basic scientific terminology associated with this field of scientific inquiry. Visitors may wish to create their own free Open University account to access additional materials and provide feedback. [KMG]

Alcohol, Temperance & Prohibition

The temperance movement in the United States gained steam in the late 19th century, and by the early 20th century, many political candidates would be asked "Are you 'dry' or 'wet?'" This single issue led to the creation of the 18th Amendment in 1919, which effectively prohibited the manufacturing, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors. After fourteen years, the 21st Amendment was passed, and the country went back to imbibing beer and spirits (legally, anyway). This fine collection from the Brown University Library Center for Digital Scholarship brings together over 1,600 pieces of ephemera, such as broadsides and pamphlets, that document the quest to make prohibition a reality during this period in American history. First-time visitors may wish to start by reading the narrative essay titled "Temperance and Prohibition Era Propaganda: A Study in Rhetoric." Moving on, visitors can browse and search their way through this remarkable collection. Items of note include a 1913 informational handout titled "Abstainers have less sickness" and the 1928 Women's Christian Temperance Union publication "American Youth Under Prohibition." [KMG]

Teaching with Maps

Staff at the State University of New York's University at Buffalo's Map Collection have worked to bring the general public this top-notch guide to teaching with maps. The resources are culled from the University at Buffalo, digital collections from other institutions, and the Internet. The materials are organized into 14 thematic categories, such as Gazetteers, GIS Maps and Sites, and Satellite and Remote-Sensing Images. Visitors will note that each resource has a brief annotation along with a direct link to the resource. Locating Maps on the World Wide Web is a great resource, as it features high-quality links to collections at the University of Texas at Austin, the United Nations, and the US Geological Survey. Moving on, the Teaching Resources and Other Materials area is another great find. Here visitors can make their way through over two dozen resources, including the Using Historic Maps in College and University Courses site from the Newberry Library in Chicago. [KMG]

General Interest

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

For its Spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition, the Met presents Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. The exhibition points out the similarities between these "two Italian designers from different eras." Elsa Schiaparelli worked in Paris from the 1920s through the 1950s, and is associated with the Surrealist movement, creating, for example, lobster dresses and skeleton dresses inspired by Dali. Miuccia Prada took over her family's Milan-based house in 1978, producing designs that reflect "the eclectic nature of Postmodernism." On view at the Museum from May 10 - August 19, the website features videos of simulated conversations between Schiaparelli and Prada directed by Baz Luhrmann. View "The Surreal Body" to hear the two designers debate whether or not fashion is art. There is also video of Gallery Views, narrated by Costume Institute curator, Andrew Bolton and highlights from the Met Gala Red Carpet, held on May 7th. See fashion luminaries and special guests like Anna Wintour, Jeff Bezos (Amazon is a sponsor of the show), Miuccia Prada herself, Sarah Jessica Parker, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Rihanna, and Marc Jacobs. [DS]

Knox County Black History Archives

Knox County, Ohio has had a significant black population for several hundred years, and historians and others have documented their activities in journal articles, books, and other printed materials. This remarkable digital collection from the Digital Resource Commons at Kenyon College provides access to photographs, documents, and other items that tell the story of this unique community. This collection was made possible, in part, by funding from the Ohio Humanities Council, along with support from the Rural Life Center. Currently the collection includes 200 items, which visitors can browse alphabetically or by performing a keyword search. Each item has a preview feature and visitors can click through to zoom in on each item. The handwritten history of Mt. Cavalry Baptist Church is particularly fascinating. [KMG]

Teachers' Place: Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has long had an ambitious outreach mission. As a result, its Teachers' Place is a fine resource for educators around the world. On the homepage, visitors will find sections such as Teacher Programs, Field Trips, and Classroom Resources. In the Classroom Resources area, visitors can take advantage of lesson plans and interactive media features that include Rocky Shore, Kelp Forest, Sea Otters, and Mission to the Deep. The Games & Interactives area includes downloadable posters, fact cards, and a virtual dive into Monterey Canyon that provides visitors with a truly immersive experience, minus the actual water, of course. This same section also has some pretty great tunes, such as "Hold On or Go With the Flow," which is a paean to surviving the rough and tumble world of the rocky shore. [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

Lincoln Park Neighborhood Collection

Today, the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Chicago's North Side is a relatively affluent area, complete with Victorian mansions and rather tony elevator apartment buildings. By the late 1940s, the area was experiencing the same type of urban disinvestment as other inner-city neighborhoods throughout the United States. In the early 1960s, the city of Chicago, working with funds from the federal government, began an ambitious urban renewal program designed to reduce the density of the built environment in the community and to remove "blighted" properties. This excellent collection from the DePaul University Libraries Digital Collections contains over 400 documents related to this ambitious project, including maps, zoning documents, policy statements, neighborhood organization planning documents, and photographs. First-time visitors may wish to start with the first document here, "A Brief Explanation of the Urban Community Conservation Act." Moving on, visitors can view the rest of the documents by title, thumbnail, subject, and brief description. [KMG]

North Carolina Humanities Council

Created in 1972, the North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities that works to make the humanities "a cornerstone of public life." The Council's bright and well-designed website contains information about grant-making initiatives, upcoming events and talks, and publications as well as a gallery of images. First-time visitors may want to start by browsing through the latest issues of "North Carolina Conversations," found under Publications. One recent issue included a profile of downtown Greensboro, a short story by John York, and information on traveling folklife exhibits. The Programs area contains vibrant information on the Council's "Road Scholars" initiative, which brings speakers to audiences around the state. Also, this area contains the "Museum on Main Street," which provides information on the traveling exhibit jointly sponsored by the Council and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition. The Publications area contains the Council's annual reports and its newsletter, "Crossroads" [KMG]

Interactive: Locating American Manufacturing

Where are America's manufacturing jobs located? It's a timely question for policy makers, politicians, and other wonkish types. This interactive feature from the Brookings Institution provides interested parties with a way to explore the geography of manufacturing in the United States. The materials on the site are divided into eight sections, including Why It Matters, Basic Geography, Industry Specialties, and Wage Variations. Visitors will want to read the brief introduction on the site, and then go ahead with using the interactive map to look around. The map allows visitors to zoom in and out around different metropolitan areas, look up quick facts about manufacturing, and access additional resources. Some of these resources include reports such as "Locating American Manufacturing: Trends in the Geography of Production" and "Why Does Manufacturing Matter? Which Manufacturing Matters." [KMG]

The Countryside Transformed: The Railroad and the Eastern Shore of Virginia, 1870-1935

Railroads changed the landscape of the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries as they traversed swamps, mountains, and fruited plains. This digital archive from the University of Virginia looks at the ways in which the coming of the railroad to the isolated counties of Accomack and Northampton "profoundly changed the physical and mental landscapes in which the people of the region lived, worked, and traveled." The archive contains maps, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, public documents, and other media divided into sections that include Vessels, Geography, and Chronology. The Chronology area is a great place to start, as it offers an interactive way to tour all of the hundreds of items in this collection. Visitors will note that there is a description of each item here, along with additional data. Finally, visitors can use the Source section to look through items by type, such as photographs, maps, and first-person accounts. [KMG]

Network Tools

Page Stickies

Looking for a way to create helpful visual reminders on a webpage? You may find Page Stickies most useful and it's available for free on this site. Visitors can use the program to create stickies for any webpage and also save them to the cloud. It's a compelling way to create notes about items of interest and it is compatible with all operating systems running Google Chrome. [KMG]


Everyone knows that it is easy to go down the proverbial rabbit hole while working online. One minute you could be checking on some higher education statistics and you might end up at for a solid hour. BringFocus helps users stay on task by helping them stay focused on one task at a time. Visitors can view screenshots of the program and also view a short demonstration video for more information on how BringFocus works. This version is compatible with Windows operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

As summer travel ramps up, there is hope and some uncertainty for the peak travel season in the United States.

Location is key to sting of summer gas prices

Summer leads to shifts in economy

Orlando tourism businesses look ahead to summer vacation travel season

Jack Darin: Hope for Illinois State Parks and Great Outdoors

Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary Series

U.S. Travel Association

The summer travel season is officially underway, and millions of Americans and international visitors will be trekking across the country to visit Plimoth Plantation, Balboa Park, and thousands of other destinations. Industry data from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, a division of the Department of Commerce, shows that approximately 22 percent of all international travel to the United States occurs in July and August. One key factor predicting how much people will travel is, of course, the price of gasoline. The national average price of gas has been declining in the United States for the past six weeks, which bodes well for the tourism sector this summer. Most states are still coping with tremendous budget cuts to their parks and recreation budgets, which may make it hard for tourists to visit their favorite destinations. Writing this week for the Huffington Post, Jack Darin (the director of the Sierra Club in Illinois) noted that "the last decade has been devastating for the professionals charged with protecting our water supply, restoring our natural resources, and maintaining our beautiful state parks." [KMG]

The first link leads to a piece from MSNBC that discusses how gas prices have fluctuated across the United States in recent months and the implications this may have for summer travel. The second link will take interested parties to a fine piece from Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle about shifts in the economy during the summer months. Moving along, the third link will lead parties to a piece from the Orlando Sentinel about how prominent attractions in Central Florida are preparing for the season. The fourth link will take users to the previously mentioned article by Jack Darin about funding for state parks in Illinois. For those looking to plan a fun and thoughtful summer trip, the fifth link will be quite useful. Here visitors can read about the dozens of Shared Heritage Travel itineraries created by the National Park Service and its partner organizations. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the U.S. Travel Association. The site features facts sheets, reports, and video spots for its new tourism campaign.

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