The Scout Report -- Volume 19, Number 28

The Scout Report -- Volume 19, Number 28

The Scout Report

July 12, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 28

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison




Research and Education

  Methods in Biostatistics I
  Strategies for Effective Teaching: A Handbook for Teaching Assistants
  Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Data and Indicators
  Base-Sixteen: Resources for teaching and learning computer science
  Ohio Journal of Science
  USGS Science Resources for Undergraduate Education
  Team Nutrition: Educator Resources
  The Sourcebook for Teaching Science: Periodic Tables

General Interest

  United States Holocaust Museum: Some Were Neighbors
  Chicago History Museum: Flickr
  Recollection Wisconsin
  Julia Morgan: An Online Exhibition
  Circulating Now
  Jane Addams Hull House
  Folger Shakespeare Library Online Resources for Teachers
  82nd & Fifth

Network Tools

  Padlet
  Electric Slide

In the News

  After a major oil train explosion, Canada begins to ask tough questions



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Research and Education

Methods in Biostatistics I

·http://ocw.jhsph.edu/index.cfm/go/viewCourse/course/MethodsInBiostatisticsI/coursePage/index/

The field of biostatistics, which combines a number of different disciplines, is one that more people seek to enter. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health's Brian Caffo created these course materials for his Methods in Biostatistics I class. As the site notes, these materials present "fundamental concepts in applied probability, exploratory data analysis, and statistical inference, focusing on probability and analysis of one and two samples." Visitors can look over the syllabus here, check out the original course schedule, peruse the lecture materials, and look over the readings. The lecture notes cover set theory basics and probability, expected values, random vectors, distribution, and confidence intervals. The site is rounded out by the Other Resources area, which includes links to free statistical software programs and other supplemental items. [KMG]


Strategies for Effective Teaching: A Handbook for Teaching Assistants

·http://www.engr.wisc.edu/services/elc/strategies.pdf

The difficulties of being a first-time teaching assistant can be legion, particularly if one is new to the given field. This accessible guide was created by teaching assistant fellows at the University of Wisconsin's College of Engineering. The helpful materials here include twelve resources, such as Making Students Think Deeper, Organizing the Flow of Thought, Reversing Student Roles, and Moving Students Away from Memorization. While some of the examples and didactic exercises here are based squarely within the fields of engineering, many of the materials might be also used in other disciplines, including the social sciences and the health sciences. One of the best sections in the guide is the Encouraging Student Participation area, which gives some focused tips on how to cultivate a spirit of openness in the classroom and in discussion sections. [KMG]


Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Data and Indicators

·http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/data_indicators/

Each of the Federal Reserve Banks has its own outreach efforts, which include public lectures, discussion groups, and a panoply of materials related to financial reports, manufacturing trends, and topics both far-ranging and quite focused. This section of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's website brings together key reports and data sets divided into areas such as Dynamic Data and Maps from the New York Fed, Tools and Indicators from the New York Fed, and Key Data from the New York Fed. The reports here include quarterly trends for consolidated U.S. banking organizations, the indexes of coincident economic indicators, and the Empire Manufacturing Survey. This last one is quite important, as it includes a money survey of manufacturers across the state. Policy makers and other folks will appreciate the regional economic indicators charts and the very important real-time data set for macroeconomists created by the Philadelphia Fed as it includes time series snapshots of major microeconomic variables. [KMG]


Base-Sixteen: Resources for teaching and learning computer science

·http://cse4k12.appspot.com/

Base-Sixteen is "a community-edited catalog of computer science resources that can be used for either teaching or learning." The entire site is set up like a wiki, and anyone is welcome to sign in and edit the entries. Visitors are also encouraged to add their own comments or contribute reviews as well. First-time users should click on over to the Whom is this site for? area. Here visitors can look over areas for Teachers, Students, and Parents. The most important resource here is the Beginning Programming Languages link, which presents a list of visual and text-based programming resources. The languages covered include Scratch, Alice, StarLogo, Greenfoot, and BlueJ. Additionally, users can browse by tag or by list, which is most useful. The Update area allows visitors to add new resources, edit existing ones, or create new lists of resources for general consumption. [KMG]


Ohio Journal of Science

·http://kb.osu.edu/dspace/handle/1811/686

The Ohio Journal of Science has been published since 1900, and the Ohio State University's Knowledge Bank offers interested parties access to the wealth of information provided by the scientists who have contributed to this learned journal for well over a century. Visitors to the site have access to all of the back issues of the journal, and they are encouraged to browse around by issue, author, title, or subject. It's not a bad idea to start with the first issue of this august publication, which contains the articles The Baum Prehistoric Village Site and A List of Hemiptera Collected in the Vicinity of Bellaire, Ohio. In the Recent Submissions area, visitors will find items like “Research Overview: Holocene development of Lake Erie.” Visitors should also check out the FAQs for information on submitting their own work for possible inclusion in a future edition of the journal. [KMG]


USGS Science Resources for Undergraduate Education

·http://education.usgs.gov/undergraduate.html

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has brought together a unique blend of materials designed to complement and enhance the experiences of teachers and students seeking to understand the wide world of geology and other sciences including biology and ecology. These items are designed for use in collegiate settings, and each resource is here marked by a symbol that indicates the type of resource, such as a data set, teaching module, or classroom activity. Visitors can scroll through the thematic areas, which include Amphibians, Climate Change, and Maps and Geospatial Data. The Land Use History and Changing Landscapes area is a real pip, and it includes a document on the land use history of North America and a link to "Urban Growth in American Cities," an online publication that illustrates the spatial history of urban growth in 16 areas around the United States. [KMG]


Team Nutrition: Educator Resources

·http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/educators.html

How do we help young people learn about nutrition? It's not an easy task, but the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created this page as part of their Food and Nutrition Service to help educators do just that. Their "Team Nutrition" staff members have brought together a range of fact sheets, classroom activities, and web applications for K-12 students. New visitors can click on the Empowering Youth with Nutrition and Physical Activity online modules to get high-quality online resources that help young people learn about the food pyramid and crafting a positive food environment. Moving along, the Elementary Schools area contains fun activities such as "Dig In!" and "The Great Garden Detective Adventure." Finally, visitors can also click on over to the Healthy Meals Resource System and the homepage of the National Food Service Management Institute. [KMG]


The Sourcebook for Teaching Science: Periodic Tables

·http://www.csun.edu/science/chemistry/periodic_table/

What is this thing, this periodic table? It's a crucial part of chemistry, and millions of students encounter this fine and elegant visualization of substances every year. Professor Norman Herr has created this helpful trove of resources and links that can be used by both teachers and students. The items here are divided into four sections: Online Periodic Tables, Tables for Printing, Periodic Table Powerpoint Presentations, and Classroom and Laboratory Activities to Build Understanding of the Periodic Table. The first section here offers five great dynamic versions of the periodic tables, complete with helpful links to outside resources and related materials. Also, the Classroom and Laboratory Activities area includes two fun activities, one presents the colors of the periodic table and the other is a chapter from the book “Hands-on Chemistry.” [KMG]


General Interest

United States Holocaust Museum: Some Were Neighbors

·http://somewereneighbors.ushmm.org/#/exhibitions/friends/un2649

How were so many people murdered in the Holocaust? It is a grim question, and it is explored with great sensitivity and insight in this digital exhibition created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Designed to complement an in situ exhibit, the materials here include photographs, oral histories, and other documents that look at the different roles played by teachers, workers, policemen, and teenagers during this period in world history. The Religious Leaders area contains moving newsreel footage about the role played by Ukrainian Orthodox bishops during this period. The site also includes a For Educators area, complete with lesson plans and resources, such as links to the Holocaust encyclopedia and bibliographies. Additionally, the site contains a glossary and a detailed timeline. [KMG]


Chicago History Museum: Flickr

·http://www.flickr.com/groups/chicagohistory/pool/with/7938537088/

The Chicago History Museum has a "big tent" approach to their fine Flickr account where they ask visitors to offer up their own Chicago photographs to supplement their own exhibits. On the homepage, visitors can look through some of the tags to get started, such as "urban", "CTA", and "architecture." Currently, there are over 6600 photographs and visitors can search at their leisure and contribute images as they see fit. The real treasure here is the neighborhood collection, which brings together over one thousand photographs that document the areas outside the Loop, with images of ethnic parades, religious ceremonies, and general exuberance. Overall, it's a great resource for people with an interest in Chicago and its dynamic urban culture. [KMG]


Recollection Wisconsin

·http://recollectionwisconsin.org/

The Recollection Wisconsin website is "a place to discover and share your Wisconsin story." The site includes over 127,000 historical resources from Wisconsin communities, including photos, postcards, maps, letters, diaries, books, and oral histories. It's not just a site for viewing digital resources; visitors are encouraged to contribute their own memories, images, knowledge, and thoughts. The entire program is sponsored by WiLS, with support from the Milwaukee Public Library and the Wisconsin Historical Society. In the Recently Added Collections area, visitors can learn about new high school yearbooks, the Senator William Proxmire Collection, and maps of the Badger State. In the "Share" area, visitors can add a story or a photo and help contribute to the state's collaborative history via their own personalized memories. Additionally, visitors can also search through the Tumblr to get a sense of what other people are contributing to the effort. [KMG]


Julia Morgan: An Online Exhibition

·http://lib.calpoly.edu/specialcollections/architecture/juliamorgan/

In 1904, Julia Morgan became the first woman licensed to practice architecture in California. She was a trendsetter and a very prolific architect, and she is most well-known for designing the truly sprawling grounds of San Simeon, which was the estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. During her long career, she designed over 700 buildings and was heralded for her generosity of spirit. This digital collection from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo presents a detailed biography of her life, along with information about her education and work at San Simeon. For architectural historians, the Julia Morgan on the Central Coast area provides details on five of her projects, including the rather quaint and tiny Zegar Playhouse. Additionally, the site contains a detailed description of her personal papers and their contents, which are held at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. [KMG]


Circulating Now

·http://circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov/

Let us ask: What is circulating now? It's a general invitation and a conversation stated by the folks at the U.S. National Library of Medicine. For over 175 years, the National Library of Medicine has offered a range of historical collections to interested parties and this site offers up an impressive selection of these materials. First-time visitors should read the "Welcome to Circulating Now" essay by Jeffrey S. Reznick, which provides an introduction to the goals and aims of this initiative. Visitors can scroll down through the right-hand side of the site to check out some of the tags here, topical headings, and the collections, which include Jefferson Makes a Declaration and Franklin and the Nation's First Hospital. The site also includes a place where visitors can sign up to receive email updates when new materials are added. [KMG]


Jane Addams Hull House

·http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html

Located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Windy City’s West Side, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum serves as "a dynamic memorial to social reformer Jane Addams." Addams was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and she worked to transform the lives of immigrants and others through her social service work. Visitors to the site can look through four primary areas: Home, Learn, Program & Events, and Museum. These formal areas contain key materials about the House's activities, and visitors should also look through over areas like Stories as Resistance, How Do We Build Peace and Create More Justice in Chicago?, and Chicago Amplified. One key area is Immigrant City-Chicago, which brings together 94 works that respond to the topic of immigration. Visitors can view poems and works of art around themes such as Our Home and Solidarity. Additionally, the site also contains the Women's History Bus Tour, which is a pdf guidebook that focuses on "women's imprint on the social fabric and life found on the Near West Side and in Pilsen." [KMG]


Folger Shakespeare Library Online Resources for Teachers

·http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=618

What can one of the world's most famous institutions dedicated to the Immortal Bard teach us? Quite a bit, and the Folger Shakespeare Library website offers a cornucopia of resources for teachers. On this site, visitors can browse sections that include Lesson Plans, Audio & Video, For English Language Learners, and Teaching Sonnets. This last area is quite a gem, as it includes ten different lessons for teaching these most beloved pieces of writing. In the Audio & Video area, visitors can look through the Teaching Shakespeare podcasts, the fascinating Arms and Armor video podcasts, and the Insider's Guide podcasts. Playwrights and their ilk will love the "Making a Scene" blog, which provides some insights into crafting an exciting and dynamic scene within any production. [KMG]


82nd & Fifth

·http://82nd-and-fifth.metmuseum.org/

We're about halfway through the Metropolitan Museum's online and ever-changing exhibit, 82nd & Fifth, so it’s a good time to take a look. Taking its name from the Museum's address, 82nd & Fifth is a collaboration between 100 curators from different departments across the Museum and 11 photographers, to produce 2 minute videos presenting "100 works of art that changed the way they see the world." From the menu, browse all the entries at the site, explore them on a timeline from 2250 BCAD to 2011 AD, see the smiling faces of the contributing curators, or investigate an individual object. For example, start by watching episode #7, by curator Chris Lightfoot, on an Imperial Roman silver spoon and fork from the 3rd century A.D. Proceed to the full record for the object for a little more information and another image, then explore the episode's tags - daily life, decorative arts, or the name of the photographer who worked with Lightfoot - to find related episodes in 82nd & 5th. [DS]


Network Tools

Padlet

·http://padlet.com/

Are you looking for a blank wall? This online application can give you that blank wall for your own personal entertainment, edification, and general bemusement. Padlet offers visitors the opportunity to drag and drop just about anything onto a virtual wall, and share that wall with others while additions, deletions, or changes are tracked in real-time. Additionally, users can embed their wall on a blog or website and create their own background. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


Electric Slide

·http://www.electricslide.net/

To some the electric slide may just be a novelty dance. Astute readers of technology blogs will know that this Electric Slide happens to be a application that allows visitors to wirelessly present their PowerPoint slides, documents, and videos using just their iPhone or iPad. First-time visitors can watch an instructional video and then go ahead and get started. The Features area contains details on the operations of the program and the Help section offers up some useful suggestions. This version is compatible with all operating systems running iOS 5.1.1 and newer. [KMG]


In the News

After a major oil train explosion, Canada begins to ask tough questions

Fatal train wreck fuels debate over oil transport
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23833-fatal-train-wreck-fuels-debate-over-oil-transport.html#.UdzVaY7Wet8

After Quebec explosion, oil transport by rail leaves questions
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/After+Quebec+explosion+transport+rail+leaves+questions/8634170/story.html

Safety rules lag as oil transport by train rises
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/07/08/f-lac-megantic-oil-rail.html

Ten years of highs and lows for Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway
http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/09/business/ten-years-of-highs-and-lows-for-montreal-maine-and-atlantic-railway/?ref=latest

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/rail/index.asp

The Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Railway, Inc.
http://www.mmarail.com/

Last Friday, a major oil train explosion rocked the small Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic, leaving a trail of carnage in its wake. While investigators from Canada's Transportation Safety Board are trying to figure out exactly what happened, other commentators and critics are wondering if oil might be better transported via pipeline. Rail shipments of oil have gone up dramatically in Canada in recent years, and over 12,000 carloads of crude have been shipped out this year. Some have cited problems with the actual tanker cars used, which have a flawed design that is responsible for the "high incidence of tank integrity failure" during accidents. Another criticism is that Transport Canada, the government agency responsible for overseeing these trains, has not moved quickly enough to add train inspectors to offer adequate oversight to these trains. The railroad industry is offering its solid safety record as defense, with the Association of American Railroads notes that 99.9977 per cent of hazardous material carloads moved by railroad are accident free. This has done nothing to deter the pipeline industry, which is lobbying aggressively to continue the construction of additional pipelines across Canada and into the United States. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to a New Scientist article from this Tuesday about this recent train accident in Quebec. The second link will whisk visitors away to a Vancouver Sun article that provides additional background on this accident. Moving along, the third link will lead users to a solid piece from CBC on the aftermath of the accident, complete with additional inks to related stories and information about Transport Canada. The fourth link leads to an informative piece from the Bangor Daily News (ME) about the history of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. The fifth link will take visitors to the official homepage of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. The final link leads to the homepage of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. Here visitors can learn about the company, their rolling stock, their partners, and read their official statement regarding the tragedy.





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