The Scout Report
March 8, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 10
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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This remarkable collection was created to serve the illustrative and narrative needs of the students in the University of Buffalo Evolutionary Biology course. It is designed to "offer opportunities for unlimited interactive engagement with the laboratory content." Visitors can browse through the collection at their leisure, and may use the drop-down menu to look at the various species covered here. Some of the animals include mice, grasshoppers, sand dollars, snails, and earthworms. Each profile includes clear anatomical labels, a variety of cut-away shots, and additional details. First-time visitors shouldn't miss the crayfish, as it is well-photographed and exquisitely documented. [KMG]
The Department of Energy has created this unique area within their Office of Science website to highlight the exciting stories of discovery and innovation sponsored in part by the Department. On the homepage, visitors can browse through recent stories that address nanoscience's role in creating "lithium-air" batteries and efforts to recycle waste heat into electricity. Each story is accompanied by images and detailed and lucid explanations of the research behind the discovery. The site also includes a fascinating area called Brief Science Highlights. Here visitors can read profiles of work on drug discovery aided by supercomputers and the quest for new desalination technology. The site is rounded out by a section called Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Highlights. This area profiles recent innovations crafted by small businesses working in tandem with funds and partnerships via the Department of Energy. [KMG]
For students of radiology and related fields, this database will be a most welcome find. Created by the team behind MedPix, the site includes thousands of radiology images designed to be used as educational tools. Visitors can click on the Picture of the Day to get started, and then head on over to the Weekly Quiz to test their mettle. The Radiology Tutor section includes nine different tutorials that cover topics such as Trauma, Vascular, Technique, and General Principles. The Brain Lesion Locator can help visitors learn about identifying different brain lesions via radiological images. The site is rounded out by seven different practice exams that will help visitors strengthen their basic understanding of radiological images. [KMG]
Created and maintained by the fine folks at the University of California-San Francisco, the Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP) Lessons deserve to be well known by all science educators. The SEP was started in 1987, and represents a novel partnership between the university and the San Francisco Unified School District. The resources here are intended for use by K-12 students, but many of them can also be used in introductory college courses. First-time visitors should browse the About area and then move on to the Active Learning Lesson Plan Database. Here they can look for materials listed by grade level, subject, and type. To get a flavor for the materials here, visitors can look through the Recently Viewed area. Here they might find thoughtful lesson plans like "What factors affect the oxidation of apples?" and "Understanding Air Pressure." Finally, interested educators can reach out to the project leaders to learn about submitting their own lesson plans and materials for possible inclusion here. [KMG]
Housed at the Special Collections Department of the James Graham Leyburn Library at Washington and Lee University, the Robert E. Lee Papers document several key aspects of the military leader's life. Along with collections at the Library of Congress and the Virginia Historical Society, this offering represents the third key archive of personal letters from Lee to a host of political and military figures in 19th century America. Visitors can browse around the letters by date, author, title, or subject. Currently there are 188 letters available here, with plans to add more in the future. The letters cover matters mundane and monumental, ranging from an 1837 request for the construction of a steamboat and engine to an 1855 note to Secretary of War Jefferson Davis recommending Lee's relative for an Army appointment. [KMG]
This fine collection from the University of Florida's George A. Smathers Libraries documents the laws and legal heritage of Florida. It has digitized texts from the holdings of the University of Florida's Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center and the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History as well as other sources. This omnibus collection features the Journal of the Florida House of Representatives, a variety of general texts on Florida laws, and the Florida Water Law collection. This last collection is particularly fascinating as it brings together over 7,000 documents related to long-term water management plans across the Sunshine State. Moving on, the Florida Historical Legal Documents section of the site contains primary source materials that survey changes in Florida law from 1822 through 1845, when the area became a state. Finally, the House Journal section brings together the official record of actions taken by the House and its committees. [KMG]
Founded in 1947, the National Art Education Association (NAEA) is the "leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators." Their number includes student members, teaching artists, administrators, and others involved in the full palette of the visual arts. On the site, visitors can learn about grant activities, research, and advocacy efforts. In the Learning area, visitors can peruse a number of sections, including Lesson Planning, Professional Development, and Monthly Mentor. The Lesson Planning area includes a number of free resources, such as the guide "25 Places for Kids to Learn and Experiment With Art." In the Advocacy area, visitors can read some white papers, such as "What Excellent Visual Arts Teaching Looks Like" and "What High-Quality Art Education Provides." Finally, the Grants & Opportunities area features information about the National Art Education Foundation, which offers members the opportunity to apply for grants dealing with everything from classroom curriculum to research in art education. [KMG]
This wonderful archive was created by Florentine art connoisseur Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi to supplement his own knowledge and understanding of art and in support of his growing collection of paintings. After he passed away in 1955, the collection was acquired by another antiquarian, and later passed on to Vanderbilt University. Today it is used by a number of art historians, as it contains over 50,000 photographs of art objects created in Europe during the 13th through 20th centuries. Currently over half of the photographs reside on this site, their digitization made possible by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. It should be noted that the collection is particularly strong in Italian art, featuring works from well-known artists like Botticelli and Tintoretto. Visitors can use the search engine to look around by keyword or subject heading and view each object in great detail. Each record contains detailed descriptions, links to enlarged images and full subject headings. [KMG]
When many people think of Miami, they think of beautiful beaches and palm trees. Certainly the city have a surfeit of both things, but the area also has remarkable public art in great abundance. All told, Miami-Dade County has over 600 pieces of public art and visitors can learn about each and every single piece right here. The site has five primary sections, including About, News, Collection, For Artists, and Resources. Visitors can start by using the clickable map to learn about the artist of each piece, along with its exact location, date of installation, materials, and other germane details. Click on over to the Collection to learn about forthcoming works, repair projects, and the very interesting "Adopt an Artwork" program. Moving along, the For Artists area is replete with information on how artists can get involved with this amazing initiative. [KMG]
One can find a great deal of footage of Vandals in action on this site, but never fear: the Vandals in question are just the mighty members of the University of Idaho's athletic teams. The digitized materials here include over 160 16mm films held by the school's Special Collections & Archives. Visitors can browse the films by date, location or team. One standout is the 1925 film of the town of Moscow, Idaho, along with footage of the football contest between the Vandals at the University of Southern California Trojans. The materials span the years 1925 to 1997 and they include football and basketball games. None of the films contain audio, but they remain fascinating documents. The map feature is rather fun, as it gives users the ability to look around the entire country for athletic events of particular regional interest. Of course, the timeline shouldn't be missed either, and the clip from the football game between the Vandals and the University of Washington Huskies is worth a viewing. [KMG]
The National Museum of Natural History has a myriad of exciting resources for those who wish to help young people learn about natural history. On the site, visitors can make their way through three sections: Lesson Plans, Web-based Student Activities, and Resources for Teachers & Classrooms. In the Lesson Plans area, visitors can make their way through resources that include the Ocean Portal, which features lesson plans and fact sheets created by several partner organizations, including NOAA. Also, the area contains a great Measuring Biodiversity Across North America activity which uses state-of-the art interactive mapping technology. The Web-based Student Activities area includes a visually stimulating map titled "This Dynamic Planet" that allows users to explore 1,500 volcanoes, 44,000 earthquakes, and 170 impact craters. The area also includes a wonderful coral reef activity and a great encyclopedia of information of mammals in North America. The last area leads to external links such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium Online Field Guide and the popular AnthroNotes, which contains articles on current anthropological research. [KMG]
Located on the summit of Mount Hamilton in the Diablo Mountain Range, the Lick Observatory is a tremendous astronomical facility. This digital collection from the University of California-Santa Cruz offers up some of the records culled from this facility's history. Here visitors can find historical photographs that document life at the Observatory, along with images of telescopes, lenses, and some of the prominent scientists who have worked there. All told, there are 1,365 images here. First-time visitors will want to start with images of the "Great Lick Refractor," the 36-inch lens that has been part of many astronomical discoveries at the Observatory. Users can focus their search by looking around by date, subject, or geographical location. [KMG]
The University of California-San Diego has gone above and beyond with this marvelous collection of laboratory safety videos. Designed for use in academic settings, these short and informative videos provide a wealth of information. Currently there are twelve videos on the site and they include "Flash Chromatography 101," "Basic Fume Hood Air Flow and Operation," and "How to Handle Pyrophoric Reagents." One of the more fun videos here is "The Periodic Table of Videos," which offers a brief video on each of the elements. Visitors should also note that the site includes helpful information about general lab safety and chemical safety training. [KMG]
To know the Digital Library of South Dakota (DLSD) is to explore the wide world of this majestic state and its rich history. The DLSD is a collaboration of the libraries of the six Board of Regents colleges and universities, along with other educational partners around the state. On the site's homepage, visitors can elect to search across all of the DSLD collections or use the "Browse" feature. There are about three dozen collections available and they include Black Hills National Forest, Institute of American Indian Studies, and the Mahoney Music Collection. The Black Hills National Forest collection is a wonderful tour through the history of this regal national treasure, complete with dramatic historic vistas and the gorgeous Bridal Veil Falls. There's much more to explore here and overall it's a nice model of interinstitutional cooperation married to a wealth of diverse resources. [KMG]
This fluid, intuitive graphing calculator, compatible with Chrome browsers, makes graphing complex equations a snap. It includes all the functions of the large, rectangular model many high-school students are familiar with and produces easy-to read graphs with marked intercepts. Users can use the program to plot multiple graphs on top of one another, making this a great teaching tool. [CM]
Would you like to have an easily accessible scanner at your disposal? ScanMaster makes this a reality, and it's quite simple to use. The application gives users the ability to scan their documents, photos, or other items and then edit them as they see fit. This is made possible through a continuous capture mode and visitors can also transform these images into PDFs. This version is compatible with all devices running Android 2.2 and newer. [KMG]
Detroit: Motoring Towards Disaster
Fiscal emergency declared in Detroit
Detroit bankruptcy: state takeover begins as Gov. Rick Snyder taps city manager
Oakland County's L. Brooks Patterson on Detroit's Finances
Mayor Bing's Statement Regarding Gov. Snyder's Declaration of a Financial Emergency in Detroit
Detroit: City on the Move
Most of the cities in the United States that have teetered on or declared outright bankruptcy as of late have been relatively small ones. Central Falls, Rhode Island is one such municipality, though there have been a few others. Detroit's long range problems are the stuff of case studies in urban governance courses and it appears that things may continue to get worse before they get better. Last week, the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, announced that he would appoint an emergency manager to take over the operations of the city on March 12. Currently, there are five cities in Michigan under state oversight, and initial reports indicate that the Detroit City Council will fight the governor's decision. The Motor City is in rough shape, as the general fund has not been in the black at the conclusion of a fiscal year since 2004. Currently, the city relies on debt to pay for day-to-day operations. On the other hand, some prominent local leaders are relieved to hear about this decision, including Ronald Griffin, a prominent Detroit pastor. He noted that "New businesses, new families are not going to come back into a city that's ravaged with crime." [KMG]
The first link will take visitors to a piece from The Economist's blog titled "Democracy in America" which talks about these ongoing woes. The second link will take interested parties to a detailed Financial Times article about the recent decision. Moving along, the third link will take users to an article from this Saturday's Newsday about this recent move in the field of municipal management. The fourth link whisks users away to a thoughtful meditation on the subject from L. Brooks Patterson, the Oakland County Executive. The fifth link will take visitors to the official statement from the Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing, on the decision by Governor Snyder. The final link will take interested parties to a promotional film touting the merits of the Motor City from 1965. [KMG]
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Internet Scout Team Max Grinnell Editor Carmen Montopoli Managing Editor Edward Almasy Director Rachael Bower Director Andrea Coffin Information Services Manager Autumn Hall-Tun Internet Cataloger Sara Sacks Internet Cataloger Tim Baumgard Web Developer Corey Halpin Web Developer Zev Weiss Technical Specialist Evan Radkoff Technical Specialist Debra Shapiro Contributor Holly Wallace Administrative Assistant Michael Penn II Administrative Assistant
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