The Scout Report
January 10, 2014 -- Volume 20, Number 1
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
NASA Wavelength Digital Library
The Annotated Newspapers of Harbottle Dorr, Jr.
New Jersey Institute of Technology: OpenCourseWare
Chicago History Museum: Civil War
Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys
A Mathematical Way To Think About Biology
Cambridge Public Libraries: Directories
Carleton Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge Initiative
The Janet A. Ginsburg Chicago Tribune Collection
Mathematics Assessment: A Video Library
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
San Francisco: From the David Rumsey Map Collection
Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections
WPA Architectural Survey: Census of Old Buildings in Connecticut
This Week at USDA
Smithsonian X 3D
With the continued success of anti-smoking efforts in the United States, global concern about nicotine addiction remains
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The NASA Wavelength website serves as a "pathway into a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels." These resources have been developed through funding from the NASA Science Mission Directorate and aim to answer some important questions like, "How do planets and life originate?" and "Are we alone?" From the homepage, visitors can use the Browse our Collections feature to find worksheets, classroom activities, and more. The site also includes an Image of the Day, which brings together a wonderful trove of images collected by NASA over the years. Moving on to Data & Images, visitors will find a fine annotated list of resources, ranging from AstroPix to the Solar Dynamics Observatory Gallery, that contains high-quality images and data sets for classroom use. The Strandmaps area should not be missed; the tools here provide a way to find resources from online collections that relate to specific science and math concepts. It's a great resource and one that warrants close attention. [KMG]
Boston merchant Harbottle Dorr, Jr. (1730-1794) was a noted merchant and member of the Sons of Liberty. He was also an avid newspaper reader. Beginning in 1765, Dorr spent more than a dozen years purchasing newspapers, writing comments in margins, inserting reference marks in articles, and assembling his own indexes. His papers of interest included the Boston Evening-Post, the Boston-Gazette, and the Boston Weekly News-Letter. This remarkable digital collection has been put together by the Massachusetts Historical Society in order to bring together these items for historians as well as the general public. Visitors can learn about Dorr and his process via the About the Website area and then move on to browse through the volumes at their leisure. The site is rounded out by the For Further Reading area, which features online news articles and essays about this most fascinating collection. [KMG]
The Open Course Consortium has many distinguished educational partners and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is among their number. Their OpenCourseWare page brings together dozens of courses from their College of Engineering, School of Management, and the College of Science and Liberal Arts. A short selection of these courses includes Documentary Studies, Introduction to Optical Science and Engineering, and Proposal Writing. One of the distinguishing touches here is that many of the courses have archived video from each class meeting. Visitors can search through the courses or even suggest future courses for inclusion. The site is rounded out by a feedback area for those who have enjoyed the various educational materials. [KMG]
How does one teach young people about the Civil War? 150 years later, this is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. The staff members at the Chicago History Museum have gathered all of their online classroom resources together on this site for use by educators and others. The items are divided into seven categories, including slavery, Abraham Lincoln, photography, and black soldiers. Each resource has a brief description, along with information about the appropriate grade level. The Abolitionist Movement and Northern Racism area is quite good and contains the resources "Living Under the Black Laws of Illinois" and "A House Divided: Slavery in the United States."
Created by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Muslim Journeys project "presents to the American public resources representing diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world." The cornerstone of this ambitious project is a carefully curated collection of resources recommended and reviewed by distinguished scholars across a range of fields. First-time visitors should look over the six thematic sections on the homepage that provide brief narrative essays on topics such as Literary Reflections and Pathways of Faith. The Bookshelf area contains links to 25 books and 3 films contributing to new and diverse perspectives. Additionally, the Conversation Toolkit area contains tools and tips for organizing, publicizing, and hosting information and respectful discussions based on the collection of resources found here. [KMG]
Created by David Liao, this site offers a way for scientists, educators and others to investigate biological systems using a physical sciences perspective. On the site, visitors will find video tutorials, classroom fact sheets, and a set of helpful illustrations. First up, is the section dedicated to providing resources for folks interested in pre-algebra, algebra, geometry and pre-calculus. Here they can find slides, videos, and resources dedicated to edifying people about variables, polynomials, and combinatorics. Moving on, the site also offers the same resources for subjects that include linear algebra, evolutionary game theory, and more. Given the weighty nature of the materials, the site is rounded out by a Digest for Busy People section that offers some concise meditations on the merger between mathematics and biology. [KMG]
The Cambridge Room at the Cambridge Public Library has a vast storehouse of material related to the history of this most historic American city. Recently, they have allowed the staff at the Internet Archive access to a variety of materials, resulting in a number of primary documents that now reside on this site. Here, users can access the annual Cambridge business directories which profile local business leaders, institutions, organizations, and much more. These very substantial volumes contain advertisements, address directories, and other pieces of information that document the ebbs and flows of the business community throughout the area. The dates range from 1884 to 1931 and users can search through each volume for key words, addresses, names, and dates. [KMG]
In an era increasingly awash with numbers, how can one parse it all out? How is it possible to separate the proverbial quantitative chaff from the valuable wheat? Carleton College has taken on this weighty matter with their Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge Initiative (QuIRK). On the site, visitors will find sections that include Curricular Materials, Quantitative Reasoning Assessment, and Program Design. Some key resources for educators include "10 Foundational Quantitative Reasoning Questions" and examples of assignments and courses designed to teach quantitative reasoning. [KMG]
The Chicago Tribune was quite the innovator when using color inks and printing techniques to bring a range of new and compelling visual materials to its readers. This digital collection from the Michigan State University Libraries brings together over 12,000 images from 5,500 Tribune pages collected from the 1880s to the 1940s. These items were brought to the library by Janet Ginsburg, a friend of the university's College of Communication Arts and Sciences. The About area offers some great insights into how the collection was created and first-time visitors will want to read through this area closely. Moving on, visitors can use the Browse feature to search for particular items of interest. For the casual user, starting with some basic searches, such as "Michigan Avenue," "airplanes," or "trains" is another great option. [KMG]
Mathematics educators will find much to enjoy on this clutch of video programs created to help illustrate the link between instruction and assessment. Created by WGBH Boston, this 11-part series includes case studies that involve animals in Yellowstone, fractions, and the geometry of a Ferris Wheel. The last program, Beyond Testing, is most efficacious as it offers background information on assessment issues along with some questions for further discussion. Additionally, the site contains links to related resources and other video series from WGBH and the Annenberg Learner Foundation. [KMG]
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources is dedicated "to the sustainable use and proper management of Nebraska's natural resources." From its website, the generally curious can learn about its integrated water management plans, animal conservation programs, and ongoing ecological studies. The homepage has an extensive series of news releases, public notices, orders, and updates, along with ten thematic sections that cover Groundwater, Integrated Water Management, and Surface Water. Policy folks and others will enjoy the Data Bank/Maps and Data area in particular. Here, they can find interactive maps of the state, soil maps, and demographic databases that track everything from ice status on the state's rivers to agrochemical contaminants. Finally, visitors can learn about Nebraska's ongoing compacts, decrees, and interstate agreements governing water use, conservation projects, and other initiatives. [KMG]
Visiting an airport can be a stressful endeavor, so it's always nice to have a few distractions. There's a rather fabulous one at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), currently, and it comes in the form of historic maps. Culled from the David Rumsey Map Collection, this in situ exhibit contains dozens of maps that document the city's development. On this site, visitors can view maps of proposed freeways across the city from the late 1940s as well as early maps of the Spanish colonization of the Yerba Buena peninsula. All told, the site has 12 images and visitors can continue on to the David Rumsey Map website to see each map in greater detail. [KMG]
Based at the University of New Mexico, the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections (CSWR) brings together interdisciplinary subjects relating to New Mexico, the southwestern United States, Mexico and Latin America. In the About the CSWR area, visitors can learn more about the collection's strengths, how to use the collection, and fellowship opportunities. Visitors can also look over the New Mexico's Digital Collections, which contain everything from digitized newspapers from the Land of Enchantment to information about New Deal era musicology research. Moving on, the LoboVault contains scholarly publications related to these matters crafted by University of New Mexico affiliates from 2009 to the present day. The site is rounded out by the Rocky Mountain Online Archive, which contains helpful links to related collections from around the region. [KMG]
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) sponsored a veritable raft of public projects during the Great Depression, including architectural surveys from San Francisco to Savannah. This digital collection from the Connecticut State Library offers up the Census of Old Buildings in Connecticut, which is often referred to as the "WPA House Survey." The survey grew out of the materials collected for the WPA Connecticut guidebook and after it was all said and done, WPA staffers had collected information on over 5,000 buildings throughout the state. Visitors to the site can browse the materials by town or by building type, such as cotton mills, barns, and log cabins. Each record contains a photo along with some brief historical information. [KMG]
What's going on at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) you ask? It's a good question and each week the communications team at the USDA shares some of the key announcements, activities, and current events related to their ongoing projects. In any given week, visitors might learn about how they are making air travel safer by helping to reduce bird-aircraft collisions or read about preparation equipment that's being distributed to schools. Visitors can look over the latest News Releases and also sign up for specific topical email newsletters. Additionally, the Reports and Publications area contains direct links to complete agency reports and some of its data sets. [KMG]
Would you like to explore a wooly mammoth skeleton in great detail? How about some ceremonial masks created by Pacific Northwest Native Americans? The Smithsonian X 3D project makes all of this possible for visitors from all over the world. This site was created by the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office and currently visitors can examine twelve digitized models, including a fossilized dolphin skull and the gun of noted explorer, David Livingston. The Video Gallery is a great addition as it contains short films that discuss the project's conservation work, along with a great film titled "What is 3D digitization?" Moving on, the Educators area contains a wonderful set of classroom resources that can be used in conjunction with some of the objects. Finally, the Tours area contains dozens of short films demonstrating these objects, including Seeing Around the Remnant of a Supernova, and Carving and Painting the Cosmic Buddha. [KMG]
Pixiclip is an online canvas that lets users communicate using a webcam or mic and contains several dozen tools that are easy to use. Visitors can also add audio messages, video messages, and static images. First-time users can check out "What is Pixiclip?" to get started. Additionally, users can sign in to save and modify their Pixiclips for future reference. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]
If you want to share any range of media files quickly with friends and others, MediaCrush can be quite useful. Visitors just need to drag and drop their images or URLS into the online box to get started. It's a completely open-source program and visitors don't need to worry about downloading any programs. This version is compatible with all operating systems and users may also wish to look over their "Blog" for helpful updates. [KMG]
Anti-smoking efforts have saved 8 million American lives
Study: U.S. tobacco control laws have saved 8 million lives over 50 years
New E-Cig TV Spot Comes Very Close to Making Health Claims
World Health Organization: Tobacco Free Initiative
Tobacco Cessation: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Reports of the Surgeon General: the 1964 Report on Smoking and Health
In the 50 years since the publication of the Surgeon General's landmark report "Smoking and Health," anti-tobacco initiatives have saved the lives of 8 million Americans. The numbers are impressive; since 1964, smoking rates have dropped from 42 percent of adults to 18 percent. Today 26 states and the District of Columbia ban smoking in indoor places and others limit smoking in a variety of other ways. The conversation of late has also turned to focusing on tobacco cessation initiatives in middle-income countries, such as Bangladesh, Armenia, and Russia. One country that has had success in this area is Mexico, which made tobacco control a priority in the early 2000s when tobacco advertising and smoking in public places was banned. Much work remains to be done and the highly addictive nature of nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes and related products makes it a vexing public health issue. [KMG]
The first link will take visitors to a piece from USA Today discussing the lasting legacy of the Surgeon General's report and subsequent health initiatives. The second link will lead interested parties to a similar piece by Healthline's David Heltz. This article also includes information on new state initiatives and ongoing tobacco cessation programs in other countries. The third link whisks users away to a recent piece from Ad Age that talks about a recent controversial TV ad from the e-cigarette brand, NJoy. The said controversy emerged as some noted the ad might appear to make health claims, which is verboten for marketers. The fourth link will take interested parties to the World Health Organization's Tobacco Free Initiative, which includes sections such as "Tobacco control economics" and "Quitting Tobacco." Moving on, the fifth link includes links to research on tobacco cessation programs sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The final link will take visitors to the official 1964 report from the Surgeon General, along with helpful links to information about the broader societal changes regarding smoking.
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