The Scout Report
April 11, 2014 -- Volume 20, Number 14
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
World Food Clock
Howdy, Mr. President!
Imaging Technology Group
Minnesota Immigrant Oral Histories
Science in School
Fluid Interfaces Group: MIT Media Lab
Ethnomusicology Musical Instrument Collection
Stokes Collection of Florida Plant Railway Photographs
The Nam June Paik Archive
Cornell University: Digital Literacy Resource
National Digital Learning Resources Network: Mathematics
Advanced Seminar: Urban Nature and City Design
Dallas Museum of Art: Texas Art
Remembering the Rwandan genocide, twenty years later
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention TV site (CDC TV) offers up a range of videos created to provide expert commentary and news updates on a variety of health, safety, and preparedness topics. First-time visitors may wish to browse around through the Most Recent videos which include short meditations on "Healthy Snacking in Philadelphia" and "Smoke-free Multiunit Housing." The site also has topical collections that include Parents & Children and Flu. Videos range in length, but most are around 3 minutes long and a number are available in Spanish. For interested parties, the site also has some special multi-part features, including "The Story of Folic Acid Fortification." [KMG]
How much food is being consumed around the world right now? It's a vast question that can be answered by the World Food Clock. This interesting website draws on information provided by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and presents a streaming set of data on global food consumption, global food waste, and other informative topics. It's visually arresting and users can scroll down to look through different "clocks" that track statistics such as the land used to grow wasted food and the stages of food waste, which include production, processing, and consumption. This is a wonderful tool for folks with an interest in food security, environmental studies, public health, and international relations. It could also be used in any number of design courses to illustrate a range of techniques and visualization strategies. [KMG]
This fine digital collection showcases over 80 photographs taken by Fort Worth Star-Telegram news photographers of President John F. Kennedy during his fateful trip to Texas in 1963. It's part of a massive collection that includes over 200,000 photographs and this sampling provides a unique look into presidential and cultural history. Visitors can read the introduction to the site to get started, then navigate to the Photo Collection for eleven thematic areas. Late Night Arrival is a particular treat as it features photos of the crowds waiting for the president's arrival, along with some nice shots of him and Mrs. Kennedy. Encouraging collective history-making, the site also has a place where visitors can share their own memories of this memorable event in American history. [KMG]
The primary mission of the Imaging Technology Group (ITG) is "to provide state-of-the-art imaging facilities for researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign." Its work includes visualization projects designed to complement a range of scientific fields and endeavors. In the Communications area, visitors can learn about the groups work through a wonderful Image of the Week feature or explore a variety of Publications dating back to 1997. Additionally, the Microscopy Suite and Visualization Laboratory sections include detailed information about the two facilities supported by ITG, including an equipment inventory, contact information, and links to related facilities on the UIUC campus. [KMG]
Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Vox offers up a range of topical essays, complemented by videos and images, that illustrate the latest news and trending stories. Visitors can scroll down to Understand the News to get concise and pithy summaries of everything from Bitcoin to the recalls of major automobile manufacturers. The Today's Top Stories area is quite nifty and the Most Read section offers some insights into the wisdom of the crowd. Users can sign up to receive daily updates from the site and there's also a search engine for looking up items of particular import. It's worth nothing that the site's Twitter feed is a great way to stay current on news items and other topics. [KMG]
How can the Hmong history of Minnnesota be best understood? One good place to start is with oral histories of their own experiences. Various Hmong experiences, along with other ethnic groups, are told with a flourish on the Minnesota Immigrant Oral Histories site. Created by the Minnesota Historical Society, this site contains over 360 oral history interviews conducted between 1967 and 2012. Visitors can click on any of the groups listed to get started, then find detailed transcripts, streaming audio, and thumbnail sketches of participants. The Tibetan collection is quite a gem as visitors can learn about the U.S. Tibetan Resettlement Project from 1990. Overall, it's a wonderful way to learn about the diversity of the people who have come to call Minnesota home. [KMG]
Crafted by the EIRO Forum, the Science in School website aims "to promote inspiring science teaching by encouraging communication between teachers, scientists, and everyone else." Along the top of the page, visitors can look over the various categories of information offered here which include chemistry, earth science, education, and physics. Each of these areas includes fact sheets, classroom activities, and lecture outlines. Visitors can also dive into the Highlighted Articles, which offer up everything from "Bread-making: Teaching Science in Primary School" to "On Your Bike: How Muscles Respond." Additionally, the Scientist Profiles offer thoughtful interviews with scientists from across the European Union. [KMG]
Interested in spidervision? Or the possibilities of an augmented magnifier? You can learn about both of these new discoveries and many others at the Fluid Interfaces Group site. As part of the MIT Media Lab research group, its vision is primarily interested in "radically rethinking human-computer interaction with the aim of making the user experience more seamless, natural and integrated in our physical lives." On the homepage, visitors can look over sections that include People, Projects, Publications, and Press & Awards. The Publications area includes research papers and policy briefs on a variety of innovations and discoveries. Additionally, the site contains information about upcoming seminars and public events. [KMG]
The University of Washington Ethnomusicology Division houses over 400 musical instruments from around the world. Over the past six decades, the collection has grown substantially as musicians and collectors have donated all manner of instruments. First-time visitors should dive right in by clicking on the Idiophones section offered under Sample Searches. In case you are wondering, an idiophone happens to be any musical instrument that creates sound primarily by the instrument as a whole vibrating. Dozens of these instruments, including a dril-bu, a ghungru, and a range of gongs, are presented in this section of the collection. Visitors can also Browse Sound Files and Browse Video Files to hear and listen to some of these remarkable instruments. [KMG]
Professional photographer C.H. Stokes wandered his way around the old route of the Orange Belt Railway in the 1890s and took a diverse set of photos of all that he saw. He had a wonderful eye and, interestingly enough, these photographs were used to promote tourism and development. This collection contains over 90 photos of everything from alligators lazing about in the Anclote River to boaters on Lake Apopka. Visitors can peruse the photos by topic, geographic area, date, and other metrics. It's a wonderful look into the Sunshine State's history, particularly the development of its railroad system in the late 19th century. [KMG]
Sometimes referred to as the "Father of Video Art," noted artist Nam June Paik created a diverse body of work during his life, including video sculptures, installations, and television productions. This collection from the Smithsonian American Art Museum provides selected highlights from this extensive archive housed at the institution. Visitors can read a biographical piece on Paik and then dive into the selected highlights. The items here are divided into a dozen headings, including Toys, Robots, and Radios. Each area contains a brief discussion of why each item was important to Paik, along with a range of images. A good place to start is with Elvis & Beethoven, as it provides some insights into his fascination with all aspects of culture, high and low. [KMG]
What does it mean to be digitally literate? In short, it is the ability to find, use, share, and create content online. In this age of all things digital, this site from Cornell University is essential; it includes research tips for students, videos from Cornell professors on digital literacy, and a wide range of other materials. The Top Questions area is a great place to look over thoughtful answers to questions such as, "What makes an article 'scholarly'?" and "Do I have to cite the source of this information if I use it in my paper?" The site also contains sections like Research Guide for Students and Privacy and the Internet. The Research Guide for Students is invaluable and includes thoughtful discussions on finding and evaluating sources, citing sources, and much more. The site also includes a wonderful Technology Trends section and a place for visitors to ask questions. [KMG]
Crafted by the National Digital Learning Resources Network, this site is designed to offer access to high-quality educational resources on a range of academic disciplines. This corner of the site offers dozens of mathematics resources from Number and Algebra to Measurement and Geometry. Each area contains resources designed to be used in the classroom, such as counting activities, discussion questions, and hands-on activities that use common on-hand items. The materials here can be viewed by three different age classifications, including Early Years, Primary, and Secondary. [KMG]
Urban nature is discussed and explored in this set of course material offered online as part of the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative. The course was originally taught by Professor Anne Whiston Spirn in fall 2012 and, as the site notes, explores “the mutual influences of ideas of nature, theories of city design and planning.” On the site visitors can read over the syllabus to check out the list of readings as well as the assignments. Some of the readings are available as free downloads and there really are some great works here. The Assignments are sure to pique the curiosity of those with a penchant for urban affairs and the truly adventurous may complete them on their own. [KMG]
Many states are working to craft digital archives of their online activities, leading some committed states to even include tweets, Facebook pages, and other alternative sources. This site from the Alabama Department of Archives & History contains everything from the online activities of the Alabama Legislature to the Twitter feeds of selected political parties in the state. All told, there are 31 different groups chronicled here and visitors can search each groups' activities individually or via an omnibus search engine. Additionally, users can search the archive by creator, language, publisher, and subject keywords. It's a great initiative and one that will be of interest to librarians, cataloguers, and others with an interest in modern history. [KMG]
The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) has compiled a selection of resources for the study of Texas artists, on its mobile-friendly website. One such resource is a searchable joint digital collection, Texas Artists: Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper. Partially funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the database includes contributions from Southern Methodist University, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas Public Library, adding up to over 1,000 digital objects. There are also a couple of handy lists that can be used as searching aids for exhibitions at the DMA since 1909 and artists active in Texas who have work in the DMA collections. Finally, the section Supporting Texas Artists outlines the grants and purchase awards to Texas artists, given by the DMA since 1903. [DS]
Are you looking for a new email reminder? Reme.io can make this happen quite easily. The application allows users to create multiple reminders for up to a year in advance. Users don't need to create any special passwords to get started and there is a handy FAQ area. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]
Are you looking for a new keyboard experience? You might want to give Fleksy a try as it replaces your device's on-screen keyboard. The app uses a text prediction engine that helps even the most clumsy typists. A short video is offered on this site so users can learn a bit more; it's a nice introduction to its key features. This particular version is compatible with devices running Android version 4.0 or newer and iOS version 6.0 or newer. [KMG]
Rwandans mark 20th anniversary of genocide amid reminders that justice has yet to be done
Rwanda Genocide: The Art of Remembering and Forgetting
Rwanda: Twenty years after the genocide
Rwanda Honors Dead, Celebrates Progress, 20 Years After Genocide
Book excerpt: The Real Story Behind 'Hotel Rwanda'
This Monday, Rwanda began a week of official mourning in remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the killings of more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Commemorating events began with a number of elaborate and somber ceremonies at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center to both honor the dead and celebrate how far Rwanda has come in the past 20 years. The genocide began on April 7, 1994 when a plane carrying Rwanda's president, Juvenal Habyarimana, was shot down near the Kigali airport. Criticisms of the failed western response resulted in President Bill Clinton’s apology for the lack of United States intervention and assistance in the reign of terror that soon overtook the country. Today, the Rwandan government, in collaboration with a number of other organizations, continues to work with the Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit to locate additional perpetrators who fled the country after this dark period. Commenting on this effort, Honore Gatera, the director of the memorial center remarked that, "Justice hasn't been adequate, especially at the international level." Much remains to be done in the country as many families are still seeking answers and closure. [KMG]
The first link will take visitors to a meditative piece from the Washington Post about the commemoration and remembrance of the Rwandan genocide. The second link will take interested parties to an interactive feature from National Geographic, rounded out by a number of short video clips for visual reference. Moving on, the third link will take users to a thoughtful Al Jazeera piece on community reconciliation in Rwanda, written by Harry Verhoeven of the University of Oxford. The fourth link leads to a piece from NPR on the various ways in which Rwandans are looking back at these events. The final link leads to an excerpt from the book, Inside the Hotel Rwanda, courtesy of Newsweek.
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