The Scout Report -- Volume 18, Number 28

July 13, 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

Nanotechnology Center for Learning and Teaching

The Nanotechnology Center for Learning and Teaching (NCLT) was conceived "to serve students, teachers, faculty, researchers, parents and professionals who are engaged in the learning, teaching, research & development of nanotechnology." On NCLT's well-designed homepage, visitors can take advantage of sections that include Higher Education, K-12 Teachers, and Events. In the Higher Education area, visitors can look through lesson plans, research posters, and seminars that deal with various aspects of nanotechnology research and development. The online lessons here are quite good and include subjects such as "Nanopatterning: The science of making things small from the top-down" and "Optical Tweezers." Visitors shouldn't miss the Featured News area which includes updates from the world of nanotechnology from the U.S. Army, Alabama A&M University, and other organizations. Finally, visitors can use the Community area to find out about resources developed by other partner 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

Physics World

Created by the Institute of Physics, Physics World brings together "news, views and information for the global physics community." First-time users may wish to wander through the site's blog, which contains compelling entries on how athletes could benefit from an understanding of the physics of their sports. The site is also a fast-moving place to get news from the field, via the Headlines area. Scholars and others should scroll down to the White Papers area, which features compelling new works from a range of institutes and professional organizations. The Multimedia section is quite a pip, as it contains reports on the hunt for the elusive Higgs boson and a report on how plasma applications are shaping the modern world. Finally, the In depth area collects reports from the world's leading physicists and professional science writers on topics from radioactive contamination to modeling the entire universe. Interested visitors can sign up for the Physics World RSS feeds on the site. [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

Teachers Homepage: National Geographic Education

The National Geographic Education website is a wonderful find, as it includes resources for educators who wish to incorporate spatial knowledge, cultural geography, and a wide range of related subjects into their classrooms. The Fast Fact on the top left-hand side of the page is a great place to start: it currently features information on how to make a simple compass and understand navigation. Moving along, the Teaching Resources area contains teaching units on political boundaries, the environmental conditions in the solar system, and extreme weather. One particularly fun area here is the Graphic Organizers Collection. Here visitors can download an assortment of blank, black-and-white graphic organizers that are designed to help students with problem solving, decision making, studying, planning research, brainstorming, and writing. The site is rounded out (appropriately enough) by the What is Geo-Literacy? section. Here visitors can look at cartoons, articles, and videos that talk about the importance of this subject. [KMG]

Spatial Thinking in the Geosciences

Spatial thinking is critical to the analytical work of the geosciences. Navigating unfamiliar landscapes requires a keen understanding of the lay of the land, as does constructing a cross-section through deformed rocks. This set of thematic resources from the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College provides teaching activities, visualizations, and print and online references for educators who wish to incorporate these ways of thinking into their classrooms. In the Teaching Activities area, visitors will find 33 different activities, including "Northwest Passage," which is an investigation of changes in polar regions using Google Earth. Visitors can also look through these activities by type, such as Field Activity or Writing Assignment. The Visualizations area includes data related to earthquakes, seafloor topography, and satellite images. Finally, visitors can subscribe to the spatial thinking email list, or browse through the list's archives. [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

Zachry Department of Civil Engineering Ethics Site

The Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University has created this most useful website for undergraduates enrolled in engineering ethics courses. Working with funds provided by the National Science Foundation, the department has created reports, essays, teaching materials, and case studies to help educators and students alike. The materials here are divided into nine sections, which include Collected Case Studies, Collected Essays, and Collected Links. The Collected Case Studies area is a good place to start, as it features important overviews of well-known (and some not-so-well-known) cases, such as "TV Antenna Collapse" and the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Moving on, the Collected Essays area features brief and thoughtful pieces on the basic concepts and methods in engineering ethics, along with pieces on professional rights and responsibilities. The site is rounded out by the Guest Contributions area. Here users will find guest pieces vetted by the site's administrators which provide additional perspective on everything from the advertisements in Consumer Reports to problems with military aircraft. [KMG]

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) digital collection is based at the San Francisco Public Library. It includes over 300 images, spanning 1887 to 1968, of significant events and projects such as the building of the Hetch Hetchy Railroad and O'Shaughnessey Dam, the construction of the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, and so on. These fascinating historic industrial photographs document the pipelines, tunnels, reservoirs, dams, powerhouses, and pumping stations that the PUC has built and maintained in order "to provide water, sewerage and municipal services to the City and County of San Francisco." Visitors can click on the link provided here to view the images, or perform their own detailed search across the entire collection. The views of the Calaveras Dam are quite dramatic and there are many photos documenting the Golden Gate International Exposition as well. [KMG]

Radical Women

Created as part of the University of Florida Digital Collections program, the Radical Women exhibition "documents the valiant history of women in the Gainesville Women's Liberation Movement." The collection consists of photos, oral histories, self-published newsprints, newsletters, brochures, notes from feminist organizations, and other original documents. Visitors can perform an advanced search across all the items, search via text passages, and also just browse the All Items section. The documents here include scholarly appraisals of the feminist movement in Gainesville during the 1970s, newspaper clippings that provide historical perspective on the subject, and opinion pieces published during this period on a range of subjects related to the struggle for equal rights. [KMG]

British Museum Channel

If you can't make it to the British Museum, why not peruse some of its great programs via this website? The materials here cover excavations of unique objects, ongoing play performances at the Museum, and audio recordings of talks and lectures. First-time visitors should look through the Events area, which contains talks about the life of Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion and the world of Antony and Cleopatra. Moving on, the Object Stories area contains the Talking Objects collection. These videos features young people talking about what some of the storied items in the Museum mean to them. Additionally, the Exhibitions area features previews of recent exhibits like "Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe" and "Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman." [KMG]

General Interest

Sophia Smith Collection: Women's History Archives at Smith College

The Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College was made possible under the guidance of its first director, Margaret Storrs Grierson. In 1946, it was named in honor of the founder of Smith College and it has grown to include over 650 different thematic collections. On this page, visitors can browse through their online image collections, oral histories, and exhibits. The oral histories are quite a treat, as they include 50 in-depth interviews which document the persistence and diversity of organizing for women in the United States. Additionally, this area contains interviews on population and reproductive health and conversations with student activists at Smith College. The Online Exhibits area includes nine thematic collections. One of the most interesting among them is the Girl Zines collection, which features independent magazines that address "third wave" feminism and sexuality. Finally, visitors can use the Finding Images section to look over 300 items that include political buttons, handicrafts, and cartoons. [KMG]

Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore

Based at the Louisiana State University, the Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore was started in 1974, and it remains the most comprehensive repository of recorded and transcribed materials in French in Louisiana. This digital collection from the Louisiana Digital Library project allows visitors to listen and learn about various ballads, folktales, and jokes in French, Creole, and English. Some of the most interesting items here are the copies of old 78RPM recordings by Pee Wee Broussard, Boogie Nathan Abshire, and Amedee Breaux. Visitors can create a list of their own favorites for future consideration, search all of the items, and also use the Help feature to get acquainted with the entire collection. Finally, the site includes links to the other Louisiana Digital Library projects. [KMG]

Images of Lake Tahoe

When Grace Greenwood encountered Lake Tahoe in the 1870s, she remarked that "Tahoe is the most beautiful lake I have ever beheld. It is an emerald on the brow of the mountain. Marvellously clear and sparkling, it is surrounded by the most enchanting scenery, and is altogether a surprise, a wonder, a delight." Generations of tourists and locals have enjoyed its charms since. and this remarkable digital collection provides over 1,000 images of the surrounding area. The collection was created by the University of Nevada-Reno's Special Collections Department. Visitors can search the entire collection by keywords and they may also wish to just use the "View All Images" link. It is amazing to think about the changes around the area that have occurred in the past several decades alone, and it is neat to see some of the early resorts that began to pop up on the lake's shores in the early 20th century. [KMG]

Anthropology Outreach Office: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

The Anthropology Outreach Office at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History serves "to promote the understanding of the field of anthropology and the research conducted in the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology." This office publishes AnthroNotes (a newsletter for educators), along with a range of leaflets, bibliographies, and packets of material for teachers. The AnthroNotes archive is a fine place to start, as visitors can browse past issues all the way back to 1996. Some of the subjects covered here include the documentation of endangered languages, the Egyptian afterlife, and animal mummies. One rather nice feature on the site is a great narrative essay titled "What is Anthropology?" that includes a discussion of the history of anthropological investigations performed at the Smithsonian from 1897 to the present day. Moving on, the Teaching Activities area includes several dozen activities, such as "Exploring Historic Cemeteries," "Maya Art and Writing," and "Resources on Mali." [KMG]

National Museum of the American Indian: Collections Search

The National Museum of the American Indian has thousands of items in its holdings, and this website provides a representative sample of their object and historic photo collections. First-time visitors can get started by using the Explore Collection Highlights area on the homepage. This area includes fantastic examples of contemporary Native American jewelry, historic bear masks, and photographs from eastern Canada taken by noted photographer Frederick Johnson. Also, visitors can use the Search feature to look around topical areas such as Peoples/Cultures, Places, and Object Specifics. The perfect entry point here is really the Explore section, which includes a featured item, like the remarkable dance staff from the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux tribe. It's worth noting that many of the items include their original catalog cards, many of which date to the early 1900s. For those persons with an interest in Native American history, culture, and art, this website will be indispensable. [KMG]

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: Statway

Launched in 2011, the Carnegie Foundation's Statway program is "focused on statistics, data analysis and quantitative reasoning." The program is designed as a one-year pathway for community college students concentrated on statistical content. Visitors to the site can take advantage of some fine resources, which include panel discussions, lectures, reports, essays, and information about the program's design principles. In the Readings, Reports, Essays area, visitors can read items like "Getting Ideas Into Action: Building Networked Improvement Communities in Education" and "Making Math a Gateway, Not a Gatekeeper." Moving on, the Videos area includes remarks by Carnegie President Anthony Bryk, along with information panel discussions on quantitative literacy, student success, and other topics. The site is rounded out by several documents that detail the philosophical and pedagogical principles that inform this ambitious project. [KMG]

Identifying Challenges to Improve the Investigation and Prosecution of State and Local Human Trafficking Cases

What can local governments and other entities do to ensure that human trafficking is not taking place within their boundaries? In an era of reduced budgets, there are no easy answers. This document from the Urban Institute takes a close look at how police, prosecutors, and service providers address this question. Released in April 2012, the report was authored by Colleen Owens, Meredith Dank, and William Adams. One of the report's findings was that "there was a significant lack of awareness about human trafficking among practitioners and the law enforcement community, as well as a focus on sex trafficking." The report is divided into eight separate sections, including "Characteristics of Human Trafficking Cases," "Investigating Human Trafficking Cases," and "Federal Prosecution of Human Trafficking Cases." Policy types and social scientists will find the appendices useful, as they include methodological information and information on state-by-state anti-trafficking laws. [KMG]

Network Tools


Have you ever wanted to create a bundle of links to share with friends, colleagues, and others with simpatico interests? Bundlenut makes this possible with just a few easy steps. Visitors can use the site to create a bundle of links and give the bundle a title. There's a "bundle browser" as well, and it's easy to share them. Some of the sample bundles on the site include "Food from Scratch," "West Coast Road Trip Itinerary," and "Mrs. Comstock's 11th Grade Reading List." This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

Tilt 3D 1.0.1

Have you ever wanted to see a website in 3D? Well, this is now possible with Tilt3D 1.0.1. Created by Victor Porof, the tool is "layers each node based on the nesting in the tree, creating stacks of elements, each having a corresponding depth and being textured according to the webpage rendering." It's a pretty fun little tool and it is compatible with all operating systems running Mozilla Firefox. [KMG]

In The News

Looking back into one magazine's online presence raises questions about the problems involved with creating web archives

Digital Archives: Difference Engine: Lost in Cyberspace

Survey Finds That Libraries Are Interested in Collaborating on Online Projects, but Don't Do It Yet

Neatline helps Map New World of Digital Humanities Scholarship


Internet Archive

Internet Memory Foundation

Many people might wonder: "Who is keeping track of old webpages?" It is a question that fascinates many information science specialists, policy types, and those with a penchant for the history of technology. Recently the "Babbage" column in The Economist took a look around to explore the history of that august publication's own webpages. As it turns out, their first website went live in early 1994, and it cost a mere $120. The piece goes on to note that no screen shots actually exist of the world's first web page, which went online on August 6, 1991. Of course, there are many worthy projects that serve to document the early days of the Internet, such as the well-known and rather fun Wayback Machine. It was founded by Brewster Kahle, and it allows users to view the library's archived webpages as they appeared when first published online. On a related note, a recent post on The Atlantic's homepage remarked that while 96% of all libraries surveyed by the Library of Congress wanted to be involved in various web archiving projects, only 23% were actually doing it. Many organizations have some type of archiving project for formal documents, but they lag behind when it comes to archiving social media activities, such as Twitter or Facebook posts. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to the very fine piece from The Economist which peers into that magazine's early online presence. The second link leads to the aforementioned piece by Robinson Meyer from The Atlantic which reports on collaborations between libraries. Moving on, the third link leads to a story from the University of Virginia about the new Neatline project, which allows interested parties to "merge maps, timelines, archives, and artifacts to create online narratives" for free. The fourth link will take users to the homepage of Neatline. Here they can view sample projects and download the software for their own use. The fifth link will whisk visitors to the homepage of the most remarkable Internet Archive, which contains digitized medieval manuscripts, Grateful Dead shows, and curious industrial films. The final link leads to the homepage of the Internet Memory Foundation, which "actively supports the preservation of the Internet as a new media for heritage and cultural purpose."

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