The Scout Report -- Volume 18, Number 29

July 20, 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

Digital Teaching Resources Laboratory

Based at the University of Alberta, the Digital Teaching Resources Laboratory (DiTRL) is a computer lab for students and faculty designed to help undergraduates learn about biology. DiTRL's site contains instructional multimedia resources that will be useful to a wide range of people, as well as a database of lesson plans and such. Visitors can click on the Instructional Multimedia area to look through multimedia clips on a range of topics, including botany, ecology, and entomology. The Cell Biology section is quite well-developed, and includes interactive activities like "Animal cell mix and match" and "Nerve Action Potential." The Database link leads to an online collection that includes animations, video clips, and text excerpts. Currently, the entire database contains over 8,900 items, and visitors can browse around at their leisure or perform a full-text search. Finally, the site is rounded out by the option for visitors to provide their own feedback. [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

Teacher Resources-The Canadian Council for Geographic Education

The Canadian Council for Geographic Education (CCGE) is serious about geographic education. This site provides a range of educational materials for those with a passion for the spatial sciences. The materials here are divided into four areas: Canadian Atlas Online, Lesson Plans, Classroom Activities, and Teaching About Geographical Thinking. In the Canadian Atlas Online area, visitors can learn about "the stories that define all Canadians." Visitors to this section can create their own customized maps of Canada and read through a glossary of terms. Moving on, the Lesson Plans area contains over 100 plans that deal with the environment, cultural geography, oceanography, and international development. The Geomatics area is quite a find, as it brings together GIS-based activities to explore topics like Nunavut and crime mapping. Finally, the Classroom Activities area contains some great poster maps of the Mackenzie Delta and the South Gulf Islands. [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 Center for Teaching Excellence: Lansing Community College

Based at the Lansing Community College, the Center for Teaching Excellence helps to support instructors committed to expanding their own teaching capabilities. Visitors can click on the Teaching & Learning Resources area to get started. Here they will find resources like "Classroom Strategies for Fostering Student Retention," "Dealing with Classroom Incivilities," and additional links on Internet copyright issues and academic journals. The Teaching Tips area contains 14 different categories of tips, including "Active Learning Strategies," "Assessment, Evaluation and Testing," and "Creating an Inclusive Classroom." All told, there are over 40 different activities and fact sheets here. Some of the overall highlights include "Tips for Teaching to a Diverse Student Body" and "Developing a Good Syllabus." The site is rounded out by the Self-Paced Online Workshops area which features directed workshops on course planning, development, and other topics that are available for all. [KMG]

University of Washington: Center for Engineering, Learning, and Teaching [Last reviewed in the Scout Report on November 30, 1999]

The University of Washington's Center for Engineering, Learning, and Teaching (CELT) works on a range of projects designed to enhance and improve the world of engineering education. The Research area of the site includes information on CELT's research agenda, which is focused on student knowledge retention and the integration of research and teaching. After reading about this work, visitors should head on over to the Publications area. In this area, visitors can read some of CELT's referred journal articles and look over a few presentations. Additionally, visitors can learn more about the Center's funding sources on the site, along with reading about the staff members who make the Center a vibrant place. Finally, the site includes a list of links to like-minded research institutes committed to improving engineering education. [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 Renewable Energy Laboratory: Education Programs

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) believes that "educating students, teachers, and consumers is the other key to finding new renewable ways to power our homes, businesses, and cars." This site is full of important educational resources such as classroom activities, online quizzes, and fact sheets that deal with renewable energy technology and applied sciences. In the Educational Resources area, visitors can make their way through several dozen lesson plans, including "History of Solar Cells," "Teacher's Guide to Wind Energy," and "School Energy Audit." Moving on, the DOE Undergraduate Internships & Graduate Fellowships area gives interested parties access to application forms for the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program and the Graduate Fellowship Program. The site is rounded out by information on the annual Junior Solar Sprint & Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Competition. [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

Statistical Reasoning 1

Most people could probably use a bit of a refresher on statistical reasoning and its methods, and this free course from Johns Hopkins University is a great way to get started on the road back to statistical literacy. The course was originally taught by John McGready and provides "a broad overview of biostatistical methods and concepts used in the public health sciences." Users will find that the home page includes links to the course syllabus, schedule, lecture materials, readings, and additional assignments. The Lecture Materials area includes course notes from the seven modules here. The topics include "Describing Data," "An Introduction to Hypothesis Testing," and "When Time Is of Interest: The Case for Survival Analysis." Visitors can also take advantage of the assignments, which correspond to the readings and the lecture materials. The site is completed by the Other Resources area, which includes a special lecture on the software package Stata and a flowchart designed to help students learn how to choose the correct statistical procedure for the task at hand. [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

Indian Converts Collection

First published in 1727, the remarkable book "Indian Converts, or Some account of the lives and dying speeches of a considerable number of the Christianized Indians of Martha's Vineyard" is now available in full online. Written by Experience Mayhew, the book provides remarkable insights into the lives and culture of four generations of Native Americans in colonial America. This digitized version was created at Reed College, and visitors can look through all four sections of the work, which include "Indian Ministers" and "Pious Children." Throughout the work, Mayhew details the books that different age groups were reading, provides insights into early New England pedagogy and childrearing practices, and also describes each individual in terms of their own genealogy and personal history. The truly fantastic thing about the site is that it also contains an archive with over 600 images and documents that further contextualize the work. Also, the site contains study guides designed for classroom use that cover artifact analysis, genealogy, and reading gravestones. [KMG]

Army Geospatial Center

Based in Virginia, the primary mission of the Army Geospatial Center (AGC) is "to coordinate, integrate, and synchronize geospatial information requirements and standards across the Army." On the home page, visitors can learn about the AGC's ongoing initiatives via the How Can We Help You area. Here visitors can learn about different thematic projects dealing with civil works, terrain, imagery, and hydrology. Moving along, visitors can use the AGC Publications area to look through engineering manuals and reports. Some of the most intriguing works here are "Geographic Profiling Military Capabilities" and "El Nino-Its Far-Reaching Environment Effects on Army Tactical Decision Aids." Those persons interested in joining the AGC may wish to look over the Careers area. Additionally, the Press Room section features several dozen fact sheets which cover cultural mapping initiatives and electronic charting for navigation. [KMG]

General Interest

Clement Moran Photography Collection

Clement Moran became fascinated with photographs as a young man, though he came to New Hampshire College (now the University of New Hampshire) in 1914 to teach physics. Over a period of 70 years, he documented the changes around the campus in Durham, and also served as the institution's first official university photographer. His massive archive is housed at the university's library and this digital collection affords interested parties access to over 900 of these remarkable images. Visitors can browse through the images by date or category, but the images of the campus are the real highlights here. The archive contains wonderful photos of the 1917 football team, the university wood shop as it appeared in 1916, and the Delta Sigma Chi "Ski Jumper" snow sculpture from 1931. It's a nice slice of New England history and a wonderful way to learn about the school's history. [KMG]

Grassroots Feminist Political Posters in India

This wonderful collection of posters from India is part of the Gender and Women's Studies Collection at the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections. It offers an "exploration of politics, history, and society from a transnational and multicultural women's perspective." This collection brings together work from an archive physically located in the offices of the feminist organization Olakh, a word which means identity. The organization has worked to bring together items from dozens of women's groups and feminist organizations from all over India. The posters here are collected under six different headings, including Conflict Resolution, Education, Feminist Thought, and Health. The posters are all quite beautiful and moving, though visitors may wish to start with the Feminist Thought area. Here they will find documents such as "Mother and Child," "Fight Against Patriarchy," and "No Boundaries." Visitors can read a narrative statement about the collection and also learn more about the Gender and Women's Studies Collection. [KMG]

Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archive

Bobbie Hanvey is an award-winning photographer living and working in Northern Ireland. This digital collection brings together thousands of his photographs. The collection is made possible via the sustained efforts of the Boston College Parties, which has digitized 9 of the 13 collections in the series thus far. First-time visitors can click on the Series Listing area to get started. Here they will find titles for all of the series, which include Religious Leaders and Activities, Bombs and violence, and The Travelling People. This last area is particularly compelling as it contains over 500 negatives and transparencies taken by Hanvey chronicling these nomadic people in Northern Ireland. Visitors should also check out the Bobbie Hanvey area, as it includes a nice narrative description of his career and work. Finally, the site is rounded out by the Using the Collection section, which provides an overview of how best to search and utilize these materials. [KMG]

PBS: Arts

Recently, PBS redesigned the section of its main homepage dedicated to the arts programming featured on the network. The results are quite impressive and the hope is that this new site will "bring audiences directly into the creative process." The homepage has a Featured Art area that includes a digital remix of Mister Rogers singing, along with craft shows from the gifted Randall Darwall. The homepage also includes art submitted by viewers, along with a feed of "Chatter from the Art World" taken from a range of selected Twitter users. Next up, interested parities can use the Browse Genres area to view clips, demonstrations, and art-making activities that include juggling vases, edited and remixed music videos, and profiles of the art scene in places like Miami. Also, at the top of the homepage is a link to the Explore Exhibitions area, which features specially-created exhibitions on programs highlighting the Kansas City Symphony and Islamic architecture. [KMG]

USC Digital Library: The West Bank and East Jerusalem Searchable Map

Developed as part of a collaboration between the United States Institute of Peace, the University of Southern California, and the Cotsen Institute at UCLA, the West Bank and East Jerusalem Searchable Map site is a worthy find. This collection includes lists of archaeological sites that have been surveyed or excavated since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The data about each site here includes the site name(s), location on a GIS grid, a description of the site's major components, and details about the periods when the site was occupied. Visitors can get started by by clicking on the "view the searchable map interface" link. The map allows visitors to toggle different layers off and on, including "Time Period" and "Types of Sites." Additionally, visitors can download all of the data from the database, and look over a complete bibliography. The site is a tremendous resource for archaeologists and historians of the ancient world, and it's one that merits several return visits. [KMG]

Wyoming State Historical Society

Created in 1953, the Wyoming State Historical Society (WSHS) is an independent, non-profit organization with more than 21 chapters across the state. Interestingly enough, a predecessor organization started publishing a state history journal in 1924. Today visitors to the website can learn about the WSHS archives, public programs, and the history of Wyoming. For starters, users can click on the Publications area to learn more about some journals, newsletters, artwork, and digital collections. The "Annals of Wyoming" are here, and visitors can view volumes from 1923 to 1996. Moving on, visitors should click on the Historical Maps area to look over the L.C. Bishop Emigrant Trail Map Series. These maps were created by L.C. Bishop in the 20th century to keep a record of the state's earliest emigrant trails and stage, express, and freight roads. Visitors can click on the Wyoming History link to learn about the art, literature, geography, railroads, and politics of the state. Finally, there's a section on the site where visitors can sign up to become members of the WSHS. [KMG]

Aftermath of the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904

Many American cities were devastated by large fires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Baltimore was no exception, and this fine digital collection from the Enoch Pratt Free Library offers publications, photos, and other ephemera related to the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. The online collection includes over 250 images and 13 publications, including the final report of the Burnt District Commission, along with several initial draft reports. The fire was tragic, as it destroyed over 80 city blocks and hundreds of downtown Baltimore businesses. First-time visitors will want to start their journey here by perusing "The Book of the Fire," which can be found on the homepage. The photos are understandably quite dramatic, and they include images of the "New" Carrolton Hotel in ruins and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad central headquarters, which escaped the conflagration unscathed due to its fireproof construction. The image viewing software used here is quite good, and visitors can zoom in and out as they see fit. Also, visitors can perform an advanced search if they so wish. [KMG]

MoMA: Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan

The late artist Alighiero Boetti is probably most well known for his series of embroidered maps of the world, "Mappa," that he designed and handed over to Afghan craftswomen to stitch, resulting in intricate and finely crafted pieces. Why, then, does this quote from the artist open the exhibition website: "First of all I prefer thought. This is the basic thing. I really think manual skill is secondary"? Read on about Boetti to discover that his work explored opposites: "order and disorder, duality and multiplicity, travel and geography, time and space, and intention and chance," resulting in the varied body of work in the exhibition, ranging from the embroideries to more conceptual pieces. Boetti expressed this duality in his artistic persona as well, often signing his work "Alighiero e Boetti," twinned personas representing his opposite sides. [DS]

Network Tools

Google Maps 3D

Several major companies, including Google, are working on getting elaborate 3D maps online. This latest iteration of Google maps for Android-powered devices allows users to browse select cities in a 3D fashion. Utilizing aerial imagery, the buildings appear in a three-dimensional format, which can aid people navigating their way around an unfamiliar urban environment. Visitors can customize their own views with the "tilt" and "compass" mode features, which makes things a bit more fun. [KMG]


Looking to do some quick photo editing? PicMonkey can make that happen, and it's fun to use. The site allows visitors to check out some craft scissor frames, which can give every photo that "hand-made" look. First-time users can click on the "Edit a Photo" tab to start working on their own image. Some of the tools here include a crop feature, along with rotate, exposure, and sharpen. Also, the Create a Collage feature is quite fun, and a nice way to play around with a variety of photos. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Amidst a heat wave, a pause to remember the inventor of modern air-conditioning

Before Anyone Complained About the Air-Conditioning, an Idea

Summer Heat Wave Before AC: History of Air-Conditioning,8599,2003081,00.html

Gorrie's Fridge

John Gorrie Museum State Park

HowStuffWorks: How Air Conditioners Work

The Writings of Benjamin Franklin: Cooling by Evaporation

As much of the United States suffers through another heat wave, it seems like a good idea to pause and thank the inventor of modern air conditioning: Willis Carrier. On July 17, 1902, a rather momentous event took place on the second floor of a Brooklyn printing plant. Carrier, a junior engineer from a furnace company, had figured out that if you could keep humidity at a balanced rate, it would not seem so sweltering. Interestingly enough, the solution was developed to help print the humor magazine, Judge. The problem in the printing plant was that the ink on the publication would not dry quickly enough, and subscribers were anxious to receive this jocular weekly. Thinking on his feet, Carrier devised a solution that incorporated fans, ducts, heaters, and perforated pipes. He was able to force air across pipes filled with cool water from a well, and the following year, he added a refrigerating machine. Today the same building in Brooklyn is now the home of the International Studio and Curatorial Program, and appropriately enough, the building does not have central air conditioning. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a great piece from the New York Times' "City Room" feature about this most efficacious invention. The second link will whisk users away to a piece from Time magazine by Katy Steinmetz which recounts the history of air conditioning. Moving along, the third link celebrates the work of Dr. John Gorrie,a physician who pioneered early air conditioning advances in the sweltering heat of Florida's panhandle. The fourth link takes users to the homepage of the John Gorrie Museum State Park, which is located in downtown Apalachicola, Florida. The fifth link will lead visitors to a very informative site from the folks at HowStuffWorks about how air conditioners work. The final link will take users to a letter written by Benjamin Franklin in 1758 about his experiment "for cooling bodies by evaporation" (scroll down to find it).

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