The Scout Report -- Volume 20, Number 10

The Scout Report -- Volume 20, Number 10

The Scout Report

March 14, 2014 -- Volume 20, Number 10

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




Research and Education

  The Society of Women Engineers
  Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond
  GAO: Fiscal Outlook & The Debt
  University of South Florida Libraries: LGBT Collections
  Birmingham Public Library Cartography Collection
  Inside Science TV
  USGS: Education Resources for Paleontology
  Amherst College: Digital Collections

General Interest

  National Historic Sites of Canada
  Irish in the American Civil War
  The University of Iowa Libraries: Patrobas Cassius Robinson Collection
  Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archive
  Anti-Social Media
  Innovation District
  Crain's Chicago Business
  The EY Exhibition: Paul Klee

Network Tools

  TypoWeather
  Spotliter

In the News

  A stellar start for the 2014 'Cosmos' series



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Research and Education

The Society of Women Engineers

·http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/

Formed in 1950, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) works to give "women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry." Its website offers visitors access to a range of resources via headings such as Membership, Learning, Scholarships, and K-12 Outreach. This last area features a range of items including podcasts and webinars that explore mechanical engineering, gender equity in college engineering programs, and other interesting topics. Within the Learning section of the site, visitors can learn about the SWE's free online courses, career opportunities, and relevant conferences and events. Moving on, visitors should not miss the SWE Magazine, featuring articles such as, "Technology as Workplace Differentiator" and "Redefining the Workspace." A subscription-based newsletter is also available for interested parties. [KMG]


Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond

·http://www.loc.gov/collection/finding-our-place-in-the-cosmos-with-carl-sagan/about-this-collection/

What happens up in the sky? Astronomers know, as do physicists, and they love to tell people about it. This collection from the Library of Congress brings together hundreds of items from the papers of the late Carl Sagan. The collection includes three primary sections that present models of the cosmos throughout history, the history of the possibility of life on other worlds, and information about Sagan's life and contributions to science and society. The Life on Other Worlds area is a real delight as it features early science fiction books as well as pop-culture items that include sheet music and movie posters. Within Articles and Essays, there are elegant pieces including, "Astronomical Innovation in the Islamic World" and "Galileo and the Telescope." All told, there are 331 items in this collection ranging from periodicals to audio recordings to wonderful home movies documenting Sagan's boyhood. [KMG]


GAO: Fiscal Outlook & The Debt

·http://www.gao.gov/fiscal_outlook/overview

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has created this useful body of work to help citizens, journalists and others "understand the federal debt, how the federal deficit is measured, and the fiscal outlook that federal, state, and local governments face." First-time visitors should watch the short video "What is the Federal Debt?" and also look over an archived web chat on state and local fiscal outlook, featuring a range of experts. It's also worth taking a look at the Background section to learn about the broader context of this mounting problem. From the main page, visitors can also explore The Federal Fiscal Outlook. This section contains key reports, data sets, and information about why the current fiscal policy is unsustainable over the long term. [KMG]


University of South Florida Libraries: LGBT Collections

·http://www.lib.usf.edu/special-collections/lgbt-collections/

How can you tell the story of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Florida and beyond? The scholars and archivists at the University of South Florida have been collecting historically significant LGBTQ materials for years and while its scope is global, the collection also includes materials specific to the Tampa Bay region. There are finding aids and digitized materials from ten different collections offered here, including Queer Literature, Equality Florida, and the LGBT Oral History Project. Visitors should make sure to explore the Rex Maniscalco Collection of Bobby Smith Photographs which features a set of images taken by Bobby Smith from the 1950s to the 1970s, along with videos of GLBT events during the late 1990s. [KMG]


Birmingham Public Library Cartography Collection

·http://bplonline.cdmhost.com/cdm/search/collection/p4017coll7

The Birmingham Public Library has a marvelous trove of maps in their collection and this site is the perfect place to explore almost 1,000 cartographic gems. As might be expected, the maps housed here depict various sections of Alabama, along with maps and atlases from Europe, Africa, and other regions of the world. First-time visitors might start by giving close attention to the Persia sive Shahistan map, which depicts the Middle East as it was in 1740. Visitors can scan around the maps by title, subject, type or date. It's remarkable to see how the field of cartography has progressed just by looking over these maps by date. This collection is a great way to explore the world and perhaps will inspire a new passion. [KMG]


Inside Science TV

·http://www.ams.org/news/discoveries/discoveries

The Inside Science TV program produces news segments that depict "the impact of recent advances in science" and is part of a nice partnership between the American Institute of Physics and the American Mathematical Society. On this site, visitors can watch these short and eminently watchable programs which include "How to Design a 51-Star Flag" and "The Science Behind Movie Magic." Currently, there are two dozen short films here and visitors are encouraged to submit their own suggestions for future programs. Additionally, users can follow Inside Science TV on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. [KMG]


USGS: Education Resources for Paleontology

·http://geology.er.usgs.gov/paleo/eduinfo.shtml

The United States Geological Service (USGS) has crafted this website to bring together high quality education resources in the field of paleontology. The "General Information and Teaching Sources" area of the site is a great place to start. Here, visitors will find guides to fossils and fossil collecting along with the Learning Web. This last feature is a very helpful portion of the USGS website that includes classroom activities specifically created to provide students with a basic understanding of geologic time and how fossils are made. The site also includes a number of general interest publications, such as This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics and Fossils, Rocks, and Time. The site is rounded out by a number of non-USGS resources, such as a site on the fossil record from the University of California at Berkeley. [KMG]


Amherst College: Digital Collections

·http://clio.fivecolleges.edu/amherst/

Offered as part of the Five College Archives Digital Access Project, many key documents from the history of Amherst College are contained within this remarkable collection. The site consists of four smaller collections: Annual Catalogues, 1822-1900; Coeducation Collection, 1870-1998; Edward and Orra White Hitchcock Papers; and Snell Family Papers. In this last collection, visitors can look over the papers of Ebenezer Snell, an alumnus from the first graduating class of 1822 who went on to teach Natural Philosophy and Mathematics at the institution for decades. Visitors can read some of his travel diaries and his letters to colleagues near and far. The Annual Catalogues contain complete lists of faculty, student enrollment information, and committee records, while the Coeducation Collection is a great place to read about the long-standing debate between traditional, all-male education and coeducation. Official documents housed here include 1974's "Committee on Educational Policy" and the "Select Committee on the Quality of Undergraduate Life" from 1980. [KMG]


General Interest

National Historic Sites of Canada

·http://www.pc.gc.ca/progs/lhn-nhs/index.aspx

The National Historic Sites of Canada has designed this website as a way for historians, geographers, and tourists to explore the unique heritage of Canada. Currently, over 1,500 places, persons, and events have been formally commemorated by the Canadian government. These dedications fall into five broad themes, including Peopling the Land and Governing Canada. Visitors can use the Explore feature on the site to browse through the register of historic places or learn about ongoing archaeological digs at some of these sites. Within the National Historic Sites section, detailed information on over 160 of the unique sites dotting the landscape from Newfoundland to Yellow Knife can be found. Additionally, visitors can learn more about the nation's historic lighthouses and sites that are under consideration for addition to this impressive list. [KMG]


Irish in the American Civil War

·http://irishamericancivilwar.com/

What was the role of the Irish in the American Civil War? Many served on both sides of the conflict, and for young and old it was a formative experience. During the war, over 150,000 Irish-born fought for the Union and 20,000 fought for the Confederacy. This site provides topical articles on matters that include slave ownership among Irish Confederate officers and a curious piece titled, "How 'Irish' was Phil Sheridan?" Visitors can look through the Spotlight posts to get a sense of the different offerings on the site and really shouldn't miss the Resources area. Here, a number of helpful resources are divided into sections that include Books, Generals, and Regimental Losses. An accompanying book is available for purchase and site visitors can sign up to receive periodic updates, including relevant events and new additions. [KMG]


The University of Iowa Libraries: Patrobas Cassius Robinson Collection

·http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/pcr/

Patrobas Cassius Robinson was a student at the University of Iowa from 1923 to 1927 and his accounts of his experience offer a rare glimpse into African American student life at Iowa in the early 20th century. His scrapbooks and papers were digitized by the University of Iowa Libraries and are available for general perusal here. Visitors can look through his 38-page scrapbook, along with his reunion photograph from 1982 and his convocation program from 1927. This is a tremendous collection, featuring humorous illustrations, formal and informal portraits, and reminiscences from friends and associates scattered throughout. [KMG]


Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archive

·http://www.library.georgetown.edu/krogh

This fine collection from the Georgetown University Library brings together over two hundred episodes from three television series moderated by Dean Peter Krogh between 1981 and 2005. The goal of this collection is "to illuminate? foreign policy issues that figured prominently toward the end of the 20th century and to preserve the content for future generations." These engaging conversations include talks with Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brezinski, and King Hussein of Jordan. After viewing the introduction from Dean Krogh, visitors can go on to explore the archives by person interviewed, geographic region, or topic. The word map here serves as another great way to look for certain topics of note. [KMG]


Anti-Social Media

·http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/antisocialmedia

What is the anti-social media? It can be many things, but this particular study from the Demos group "aims to inform the discussion over free speech and hate speech by examining specifically the way racial, religious and ethnic slurs are employed on Twitter." This 51-page paper from February 2014 looks into how various terms are deployed on Twitter via in-depth analysis. It's quite fascinating as the team looks at a wide range of terms and also offers some substantial analysis of their findings and the possible broader implications of their work. For fans and critics of social media alike, this is a great trove of information. [KMG]


Innovation District

·http://www.innovationdistrict.org/

Many cities are working to create innovation districts in the vein of the Silicon Valley and it can be an up-hill battle. Boston is currently working just such a district in its Seaport neighborhood and has been the recent subject of many articles, blog posts, and general discussion. As the city's official website for the district, visitors to this site can learn about physical headquarters in the District Hall building, along with details on long-term strategy, and upcoming events. Some recent posts deal with co-working spaces, networking, and more. In the Resources area visitors can learn about the various innovative businesses that are already in the neighborhood, along with others in and around Boston. [KMG]


Crain's Chicago Business

·http://www.chicagobusiness.com/

Crain's Chicago Business is the go-to site for the latest information on business matters in the Windy City. They also do a nice job of covering other topics, such as culinary adventures, public policy, and architecture. On its homepage, visitors can read over Headline stories (some are available at no cost, some require registration) or browse a list of the Most Popular stories as well. Visitors can also look over the Crain's Lists area, which contain topical lists such as "Chicago's largest public companies" and "Chicago's largest hospitals." For the job-hunter, the "Best Places to Work 2013" is a great feature providing full articles on the 20 top workplaces in Chicago. [KMG]


The EY Exhibition: Paul Klee

·http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/ey-exhibition-paul-klee-making-visible

"Paul Klee ? Making Visible" at the Tate Modern in London is the first exhibition to be put on as a result of the Tate's partnership with financial giant, EY. Two more major exhibitions are planned over the next two years. The show at the Tate ran October 16, 2013 - March 9, 2014, but visitors to the website can still enjoy online features such as the blog, Paul Klee A - Z, written by curator Matthew Gale. In the post C is for Cat, Klee tells artists what to do when a cat runs across their work. In 1931, when an American collector, Edward M.M. Warburg, visited Klee's studio, a cat started to run across a still-wet water color, alarming Warburg. Klee said to let the cat walk where it wanted, because, ?Many years from now, one of you art connoisseurs will wonder how in the world I ever got that effect.? Gale links to the full story related in an issue of the Tate, Etc. newsletter from fall, 2013, by Nicholas Fox-Weber. Other blog posts, not part of the A - Z series, provide a behind the scene look at the process of installing the exhibition (October 9, 2013) and Klee's rules of Bauhaus. There's also a 4 minute video that provides an overview of the show with Matthew Gale. [DS]


Network Tools

TypoWeather

·http://www.typoweather.com

The TypoWeather application is a great way to stay on top of the latest weather conditions. This handy device presents users with a five day outlook and an hourly breakdown that is updated based on data from the National Meteorological Service. Visitors can customize their layout to include alerts about certain meteorological conditions, such as wind patterns, humidity, and more. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


Spotliter

·http://spotliter.com

Are you looking to customize your photos and videos before sending them out to friends and family on various social networks? You can do just that with Spotliter using various features that give you the ability to add effects such as Horizon, Dots, Overlay, and twelve others. It's easy to learn with the provided FAQ and there's also an introductory video as well. This version is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. [KMG]


In the News

A stellar start for the 2014 'Cosmos' series

'Cosmos' dazzles in debut with Neil deGrasse Tyson
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/10/showbiz/tv/cosmos-show-reaction-tyson-fox/

'Cosmos' Reboot Starts With a (Big) Bang
http://www.universetoday.com/110187/cosmos-reboot-starts-with-a-big-bang/

'Cosmos' review: making science cool again
http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/9/5485162/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey-review

Old 'Cosmos' vs. new 'Cosmos': Who's the king of the universe?
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/entertainment2/57665057-223/cosmos-data-hide-true.html.csp

Flickr: 'Cosmos' - NASA Images of a Space-Time Odyssey
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/sets/72157642013369213/#

COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey
http://www.cosmosontv.com

After much anticipation, "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" premiered on Sunday, drawing in 8.5 million domestic viewers. Hosted by the iconic astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the updated series pays tribute to Carl Sagan's original 1980 series that enticed millions of young minds to consider the grandeur of space. While the new series differs quite notably from the original with its use of the latest advances in visual effects and computer-generated imagery (CGI), the series retains a certain familiarity with its impassioned explanation of the hows, whats, and whys of the universe. As stated by Tyson, "One of our mission statements in 'Cosmos' is to present science with all of its glory and the majesty and the mystery and the wonder- the things we all take for granted as children." In its entirety, the 13-episode series is anticipated to reach 40 million viewers in more than 180 countries. With 12 episodes remaining there is still much to see and digest, but one thing is for sure: new and old fans alike will be eagerly tuning in. [CD]

The first and second links provide detailed reviews of Sunday's premiere from CNN and Universe Today, respectively. The third link offers another review of the series from The Verge's Bryan Bishop, paying special attention to differences between Tyson and Sagan as hosts. This debate is explored in even greater detail in the next link, via Chris Taylor's quirky examination of how the two series compare. NASA's collection of stunning photos, used throughout the first episode, can be found by following the fifth link. These breathtaking images are just the thing to get viewers excited about the wonders of space. Last but not least, the complete first episode can be found via the final link. Along with time-sensitive offerings of each episode, the site offers helpful episode summaries for educators, production diaries, and sneak peak videos.





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