The Scout Report -- Volume 18, Number 34

August 24, 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

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Arguably the most famous government research laboratory in the United States, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by the University of California. Scientists associated with the laboratory have received a number of accolades over the years, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 13 National Medals of Science. The materials on the site are divided into five primary sections, including About the Lab, For Staff and Guests, and Visitor's Guide. First-time users may wish to start with the News Center. Here they can read press releases and features, and watch videos of scientists talking about their work. The Video Glossary contains wonderful clips of scientists talking about atmospheric aerosols, energy efficiency, and myriad other topics. The general public won't want to miss the "$ Ways to Save Money on Energy" section and the equally compelling area on Globally Transformative Technologies. The site is rounded out by a place where visitors can follow the Laboratory's activities via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. [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 atˇ

Chemical Reactivity Worksheet

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration has created the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet to help teachers, students, and the general public learn about the chemical reactivity of thousands of common hazardous chemicals. After downloading a free program, visitors will find that the datasheets contain information about the hazards of a number of chemicals, along with information on whether a chemical reacts with air, water, or other materials. Visitors can create their own custom chemical datasheets or virtually "mix" chemicals to find out what dangers might arise from accidental mixing. The site is rounded out by an excellent FAQ section, along with information about the technical specifications of the program and a development history. [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 atˇ

MIT Center for Materials Science and Engineering

The MIT Center for Materials Science and Engineering "is devoted to the design, creation, and fundamental understanding of materials that are capable of enhancing the human experience." Visitors to this site can peruse the eight primary sections here, which include Facilities, Research, Highlights, and Connecting to Industry. In the Research area, visitors can learn about the Center's ongoing research projects, including work on the design of nanomaterials for electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Journalists and others may find the Highlights area quite useful, as it contains updates on the Center's research accomplishments, such as the development of fibers that can detect and produce sound. The site is rounded out by a collection of related links which lead to other relevant research centers at MIT and the Lincoln Laboratory. [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 atˇ

UN News Centre

The United Nations works on hundreds of different projects and initiatives every year, and keeping tabs on all of their activities can be a bit overwhelming. The UN News Centre offers a nice and manageable way to stay in the loop with all of their work. On the site, visitors can look over fourteen thematic areas, including UN And Olympics, Sudan & South Sudan, Combating Terrorism, and Afghanistan. In each area, visitors can read about the latest developments regarding each topic, look over press releases, and read related publications and white papers. Each section is easy to navigate, but visitors can also use the search engine to fine-tune their quest for specific materials. Additionally, each area contains links to related UN sessions, videos, reports, and conferences that may have addressed related topics. [KMG]

Minneapolis Labor Review

Interest in labor history has continued to grow over the past several decades, and this recent digitization project is part of an ongoing project to make more materials dealing with this subject widely available. The Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council and the Minneapolis Labor Review worked together to create this digital version of the Labor Review Archive. This collection allows access to every issue of the Review from the years 1907 to 2006. The project was made possible via the efforts of 45 labor and community volunteers who spent five weeks in 2004 shooting images of these back issues. Visitors will find the interface used to view the issues is quite user-friendly, and it's a snap to print out select pages for offline consultation. [KMG]

Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies

How do we look into the world of germs? Or anything else for that matter? The dedicated scholars at the American Museum of Natural History have created this fine exhibit to complement an in situ exhibit at their institution. The exhibition was curated by Mark Siddal, in the division of invertebrate zoology. Visitors can browse the images, which were developed using infrared photography, scanning electron microscopes, and CT scanners. The images include a up-close-and-personal image of an Atlantic spotter mackerel, details of the wing structure of an Oriental hornet, and an amazing image of a troika of scorpions. Moving along, the Video Gallery area includes a nice preview of the exhibit which may inspire curious parties to make a special trip to the Museum. The site is rounded out by the inclusion of some resources for educators, such as lesson plans and an interactive quiz. [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 atˇ

Long Island Collection

The dedicated librarians at the Stony Brook University Library have created this most excellent research guide and digital archive that covers all things Long Island. On their homepage, visitors can use the Long Island Documents area to view recently acquired items from key figures in local (and national) history, such as George Clinton, James Jay, and Benjamin Tallmadge. Also on the site is the Books, Pamphlets, and Journals area. Here visitors can make their way through key documents, such as "Early Long Island: A Colonial Study" and "The Evolution of Long Island: A Story of Land and Sea." Also, the site pays tribute to a very exciting new acquisition: several letters from George Washington, purchased with funds donated by Dr. Henry Laufer, a history enthusiast. This site is a tremendously valuable resource and one that will serve as a model to other institutions seeking to do similar work. [KMG]

General Interest

Temple Sheet Music Collections

Over the past few years, more and more university libraries have worked diligently to digitize some of their vast sheet music holdings. Old chestnuts are being revived by vocal groups on campus and farther afield, which is certainly a good thing. This sheet music collection from the Temple University Libraries brings together 850 pieces of music for consideration by the general public. Visitors can search the collection as they see fit. They will find that most of the music here is from the Gilded Age and earlier. There are a number of melodic tunes in here; visitors might do well to consider "Drifting Leaves" from 1905 or 1852's "Dreams of Home" as a way to get started on their journey. The site will be of great interest to musicologists and to anyone with an interest in the history of American popular song and musical heritage. [KMG]

Civil War Washington

What was Washington, D.C. like during the Civil War? It's an arresting and interesting question, and the people at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Digital Research in the Humanities have created this digital archive to look into it. As their introductory statement notes, this collection "examines the U.S. national capital from multiple perspectives as a case study of social, political, cultural, and medical/scientific/transitions provoked or accelerated by the Civil War." On the homepage, visitors will find six sections, including Maps, Texts, Visual Works, and Data. For those with a spatial bent, the Maps area is a real find. Visitors can use the interactive GIS-enabled map to look at the layers of history throughout the city with a grain of detail that is remarkable. Moving along, the Interpretations area includes scholarly essays, such as "Washington, the Strategic Capital." [KMG]

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly started publication in 1897 and remains one of the preeminent journals about the history of Texas and the Southwest. The Texas State Historical Association has undertaken a vast effort to digitize the first 100 years of this publication, and the fruits of their labors are available here. Visitors can search through each of the issues as they wish, or just browse through the table of contents for articles of interest. The issues from 1972 and 1973 are both great places to start, as they contain pieces like "Internal Improvements in Texas in the Early 1850s" and "Pioneer Evaluation of Vegetation in Frontier Texas." Users can view the table of contents for issues after 1997, but they will not have access to the full text of the articles without a subscription. As a whole, this magisterial collection is a tremendous resource for anyone with an interest in the history of the region. [KMG]

Old Maps Online

The title of this website is most accurate: it is a collection of thousands of old maps. They are wonderful. The portal was created as part of a collaboration between the Great Britain Historical GIS Project, based at the University of Portsmouth, and Klokan Technologies GmbH, based in Switzerland. First-time visitors will note the site draws on GPS technology and other place-based location services to pull up local maps of interest. For example, if one is in Los Angeles, dozens of maps of the nearby area will appear on the right-hand side of the interface screen. Visitors can click on each map as they see fit, or move to another part of the world for more maps. On the top of the interface, visitors will see a timeline that ranges from 1000 CE to the present day. They can use this timeline to look for historical maps from a set period of time. There's also a blog to consider here, and visitors can learn more about the contributing institutions via the Collections tab. [KMG]

Richard and Dion Neutra Papers, 1925-1970

Richard Neutra is considered one of the 20th century's most important modernist architects, and he worked with his wife, Dion, on a number of key projects. Neutra was born in Vienna, came to the United States in 1923, and shortly afterwards settled in Los Angeles. This remarkable digital collection from the UCLA Libraries brings together his travel sketches, papers, drawings, rolled plans, blueprints, audio recordings, and photographs. Visitors can scan through the items by language, name, subject, or type. Some of the highlights here include his work on the Lovell House and a number of early drawings for architectural details and vistas. Also, the collection includes some of his most interesting work for the American Liquid Gas Company from the late 1930s. For architects and artists, this collection will serve to inspire and edify. Recommendation: use the beta image viewer link (in the upper right corner) in vertical view for the best look at the images. [KMG]

Computers and Composition Online

Based at Bowling Green State University, the Computers and Composition journal brings together critical reflections on using new media in the classroom, pedagogy, and other topics related to teaching English and other subjects. On the homepage, visitors can learn about the journal and its staff, and find a link to the archives. The left-hand side of the page has five sections, including Theory Into Practice, Virtual Classroom, and Print to Screen. Visitors can click through these sections to read pieces like "Composition Games for the Classroom" and "The Ethics of Digital Publishing: Do Online Texts Threaten History?" Moving along, visitors can click on the Submissions area to learn how to submit their own pieces for consideration. [KMG]

Urban Intervention

How can we think about transforming public spaces? It's an important question, and one that is of great importance to the folks at the Next 50 organization in Seattle. Recently, they put out a call to urban designers to offer their own "fresh version of environmental, social, and economic opportunities on and beyond a 9-acre site at the heart of Seattle Center." Visitors to the site can view all of the entries here and learn about the project's key themes, which include "renew the cultural campus" and "be a change agent." For people who might not be familiar with the centrally located site, the Site & Context area contains a brief summary of this corner of Seattle. Additionally, visitors can view the jury's report on the entries and learn more about the Seattle Center's master plan.

Treasures in Full: Renaissance Festival Books

If you're tired of waiting in a long queue for an ebook from your local library, the British Library offers this alternative - ebooks from the 15th century! Select from 253 digitized "Renaissance festival books ... that describe the magnificent festivals and ceremonies that took place in Europe between 1475 and 1700." These festivals were events such as coronations, betrothals, performances, marriages, and funerals. The return of a monarch also warranted a book. For example, view the book that documents the meeting of Charles V and Henry VIII in Calais in July, 1520. Another book, created for the betrothal of Mary Tudor, younger sister of Henry VIII, to Charles of Castille in 1507 or 1508, lists festivities spanning several days, including the betrothal ceremony, music, Mass, banquets, and jousting. This book also has a frontispiece showing two angels holding the Tudor arms, with a Tudor rose and the arms of Castile below. [DS]

Network Tools

ShowOrHide 1.0

Many Mac users have hidden files located on their computers that they might not know about. ShowOrHide is a utility designed to locate invisible files and folders so that users will have more knowledge about such items. This program is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.5 or later. [KMG]

Lucidchart: Diagramming

For all those who have wrestled with creating charts and diagrams in word processors, the Google Chrome application Lucidchart may be a long-awaited answer. Users can start using the intuitive drag-and-drop interface right away, although a free signup is required to save diagrams. By sharing a link with coworkers, project collaborators can work on the same diagram at the same time. This application is compatible with all computers running Google Chrome. [CM]

In The News

The number of wildfires in the West are down, but the effect on lives and tourism revenue remains significant

Wildfires Have Burned Nearly 7 Million Acres So Far, Up 6 Percent From Last Year

Northwest Wildfires Could Become More Common

Wildfires strain outdoor tourism business in western U.S.

National Interagency Fire Center

Wildfire: Are You Prepared?

Smokey Bear

Every summer, the American West prepares for wildfire season. In recent years, this situation has gotten more severe, with state and federal agencies finding that their resources are sometimes simply not enough to keep these conflagrations under control. This year, scientists are reporting that wildfires have burned nearly 7 million acres, which represents a 6 percent increase from 2011. On a positive note, there have been far fewer actual fires this year. One area of particular concern is the Pacific Northwest, which has seen some persistent wildfires in central Washington, central Oregon, and southern Idaho. Scientists and foresters attribute this in part to decades of fire suppression, logging and replanting practices that have left forests with a surfeit of small trees and underbrush. The situation has also presented a challenge to the outdoor tourism industry in the region this summer. Many groups have cancelled rafting trips in Idaho's Salmon River and visitor numbers to the National Parks, which are signature destinations throughout much of the West, are down significantly. [KMG]

The first link will take users to a piece from NPR's "The Two-Way" blog about the spate of wildfires over the past few months. The second link will lead interested parties to a news piece from KUOW in Seattle about the ongoing wildfires in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. Moving on, the third link will take users to a piece from this Saturday's Chicago Tribune about the deleterious effect the wildfires have had on the tourism business out West. The fourth link will lead visitors to the homepage of the National Interagency Fire Center, which is a great resource for persons interested in fire management and related topics. The fifth link will whisk visitors away to a very helpful document from the U.S. Fire Administration about how to prepare properly for a wildfire. The final link leads to the official homepage of Smokey Bear, who has been working to prevent wildfires for decades.

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