The Scout Report -- Volume 20, Number 21

The Scout Report -- Volume 20, Number 21

The Scout Report

June 6, 2014 -- Volume 20, Number 21

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




Research and Education

  United Nations: Human Rights
  Mobile Apps from the Library of Congress
  NOVA: Journey of the Butterflies
  Making a Scene: Shakespeare in the Classroom
  FRONTLINE: United States of Secrets
  Discovery's Edge
  Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions
  Biointeractive: The Origin of Species

General Interest

  University District Oral History Project
  Turning the Pages at the Art Institute of Chicago
  The Granite State in Maps
  Math and Logic Problems
  Cincinnati Subway and Street Improvements Records
  Harrisburg Car Manufacturing Co. Photographs
  Buffalo Museum of Science
  Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Network Tools

  (UN)WHITEBOARD
  FlipQuiz

In The News

  The last original Navajo Code Talker dies at age 93



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Research and Education

United Nations: Human Rights

·http://www.un.org/en/rights/

How does the United Nations work to protect human rights? This subject-specific website provides information on the various offices, officials, policy initiatives, and actions related to this important agenda. There are five main sections to the site: UN Bodies, Thematic Issues, International Courts and Tribunals, Other Resources, and Past Conferences. The UN Bodies section contains information about the UN Human Rights Council, its various charters, treaties, and more. Thematic Issues is another great feature, offering detailed information on the Secretary-General's Campaign to End Violence Against Women as well as the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. News items from around the world can be found on the right-hand side of the page, effectively covering everything from Sri Lankan ethnic minority groups to ongoing conflicts in Pakistan. [KMG]


Mobile Apps from the Library of Congress

·http://www.loc.gov/apps/

The Library of Congress has been working on crafting a series of mobile apps for the past few years and this site represents the fruit of their labors. On this site, interested parties can look over five different apps, including the Congressional Record, Virtual Tour, and Aesop for Children. This first app provides iPhone or iPad users with the daily edition of the Congressional Record, complete with a search engine and the ability to share documents with others. Virtual Tour allows visitors to wander through a selection of exhibits from this august repository, along with links to fact sheets about the Library's holdings. Finally, the Aesop for Children app is a great illustrated and interactive book for children of all ages. Designed for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, the app showcases over 140 of the classic fables. [KMG]


NOVA: Journey of the Butterflies

·http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/journey-butterflies.html

Where do butterflies journey each year? Many in North America end up in a sanctuary in the highlands of Mexico and NOVA has the complete story on this remarkable migration. To capture this story, NOVA's filmmakers used a helicopter, ultralight, and hot-air balloon for amazing aerial views along the transcontinental route. Visitors can watch the entire program here, including a number of great bonus features as well. Near the bottom of the site, visitors can make their way through fun activities, including Pick the Pollinator, and an interview with filmmaker Nick de Pencier about how this documentary was made. [KMG]


Making a Scene: Shakespeare in the Classroom

·http://folgereducation.wordpress.com/

The Folger Shakespeare Company can help readers brush up on their Taming of the Shrew and much, much more. This lovely blog is designed to help teachers utilize Shakespeare in the classroom via posts on suggested activities and conversations about scenes from Romeo and Juliet, the Merchant of Venice, and many other works by the Immortal Bard. The posts are written by teachers from all around the United States and recent posts include "Finding a Shakespeare Hook" and "Hamlet's Ophelia: How Imagery Supports Characterization.” Users can add their own comments and also look through posts by topic. A useful word cloud of search items is also presented on the site and will help with exploration of possible topics. [KMG]


FRONTLINE: United States of Secrets

·http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/united-states-of-secrets/

FRONTLINE doesn't shy away from difficult topics, as demonstrated by “United States of Secrets” a recent documentary on the activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States. On this site, visitors can view both parts of the documentary, explore interviews with tech industry experts, learn about journalistic guidelines, and also look over a raft of extra features. In The Latest section, visitors can look over meditations that include "How the NSA Can Get Onto Your iPhone" and "Inside the NSA the Day After 9/11.” Additionally, visitors can view related programs, such as "Top Secret America" and several others. [KMG]


Discovery's Edge

·http://www.mayo.edu/research/discoverys-edge

The Mayo Clinic is one of the most well-respected medical facilities in the world, so it makes sense for them to have a great online publication to celebrate their work. Designed as a general interest publication, Discovery's Edge offers "insight into the process and progress of medical science in support of the world's largest group medical practice." Visitors can explore the user-friendly site by clicking through recent stories such as, "Putting the hurt on tobacco addiction" and "Genomics: The dawn of a new medical era.” In the Features Archive users can browse through some recent triumphs, including reports on asthma triggers and the future of biomechanics. Visitors can also browse the complete online archive or sign up to receive each new edition via email or RSS feed. [KMG]


Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions

·http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/pickyourpoison/

Over a century ago, it was not uncommon to find cocaine in treatments for asthma, cannabis offered up as a cure for colds, and other contentious substances offered as medical prescriptions. This engaging collection from the U.S. National Library of Medicine brings together sections on tobacco, alcohol, opium, and marijuana. Visitors can learn about how these substances were marketed and also view a selection of digitized items culled from its voluminous holdings, including advertisements, doctor's prescriptions, and early government documents. In the Education section, educators can look over lesson plans, check out online activities, and explore online resources from the National Institutes of Health, such as, "A Guide to Safe Use of Pain Medicine" and "College Drinking: Changing the Culture.” [KMG]


Biointeractive: The Origin of Species

·http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/origin-species

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) produces a range of free resources for science education as part of its BioInteractive series. This recent addition is called The Origin of Species and it deals with two primary questions: How do new species form? and Why are there so many species? On this site, visitors can look over three excellent short films that address these matters. The first is a 30 minute exploration into the epic voyages of Charles Darwin and his initial period of discovery and revelation. The second film, "The Beak of the Finch,” looks at four decades of research on finch species that live only on the Galapagos Islands. The final work looks at the ways lizards have adapted to several common habitats with rather interesting results. [KMG]


General Interest

University District Oral History Project

·http://cdm200301.cdmhost.com/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15015coll7

The Seattle Public Library has been embarking on some ambitious projects as of late and this oral history initiative is one of the best. Working with students in the University of Washington Museology Graduate Program, a number of oral history interviews were conducted with residents, businesspeople, and others in the city's University District. All of the interviews were conducted in 2011 and each interviewee provided a unique viewpoint of life on "The Ave,” which is shorthand for the main street that runs north and south through the neighborhood. There are twelve interviews here, including one with a University of Washington student, a Seattle Police Department officer, and the director of a teen outreach group. [KMG]


Turning the Pages at the Art Institute of Chicago

·http://www.artic.edu/aic/resources/resource/1965

How can you turn the pages at the Art Institute of Chicago if you aren't there in person? The gentle digital experience offered on this site is a fine surrogate if you can't make it to the Windy City. Currently, there are over 35 items here that are organized into four categories: Sketchbooks, Manuscripts and Paintings, Printed Items, and By Date. One place to start is with the work of James Castle, who happened to be a self-taught artist who was deaf and mute from birth. He brought together paper advertisements and soot and spit ink drawings to create vast creative landscapes. Picasso's "Unknown Masterpiece,” a wonderfully illustrated rendition of Honore De Balzac's short story about the power and potential tragedy of artistic creation, is another great item of note from the collection. [KMG]


The Granite State in Maps

·http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/digital/collections/maps/granitemaps/index.html

New Hampshire has roots in British colonial history, beginning as part of Massachusetts before it became its own state in 1788. Over the past three centuries or so, explorers and others have seen fit to map the Granite State for purposes political, cultural, and otherwise. This great digital collection from Dartmouth College brings together over 125 maps dating from the early 1770s all the way up to 2003. Visitors can search through the maps as they see fit or they can scroll through all of these cartographic gems. First-time visitors may wish to start with the remarkable 1773 map and then move on to the engaging 1860 township and rail road map of the state. It's an amazing collection and one that will delight geographers and anyone with an interest in New England history. [KMG]


Math and Logic Problems

·http://www.barcodesinc.com/articles/math-logic-problems.htm

This cornucopia of math and logic problems is provided at no charge courtesy of the folks at BarCodes Inc. Designed to serve as a type of one-stop destination for those who love such activities, the site serves as a thoughtfully curated collection that deals with math in the real world, logic puzzles, and much more. Visitors will find four different thematic areas, including Math and Logic Problems for Kids and Math and Logic Problems for Mathematicians and Logicians. The site doesn't have a search engine, but it's easy enough just to browse around for items of interest. First-time visitors will want to start by looking over the Interactive Fun Puzzles and the very cool Daily Translation Problem. [KMG]


Cincinnati Subway and Street Improvements Records

·http://digitalprojects.libraries.uc.edu/subway/

As part of its ongoing commitment to making local records available to the general public, the University of Cincinnati Library has digitized these rapid transit records from the Cincinnati City Engineer Office. Photographs and other items cover the ill-fated attempt by the city to construct a subway system, along with various street improvement projects that took place between the 1920s and 1950s. Visitors can look over the fascinating story of how Cincinnati got started with this proposed subway in the Story section or use an interactive Map to locate individual photographs from this arresting trove. [KMG]


Harrisburg Car Manufacturing Co. Photographs

·http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/rbm/photos/harrisburgcar/

The Harrisburg Car Co. was established in 1853 and made passenger, mail, baggage, box, cattle, and coal cars for the railroad industry. The University of Pennsylvania maintains this collection of over 45 early photos of company train cars and products. The items here are in excellent shape and visitors will enjoy looking over these unique documents. While each item doesn't have complete provenance information, users with some familiarity with railroad history will be able to place each item within a fairly neat time frame. This collection provides a remarkable trip through this unique company's history and it's one that will fascinate and delight visitors with a particular penchant for railroad engineering and other related matters. [KMG]


Buffalo Museum of Science

·http://www.sciencebuff.org/

If you are heading to Buffalo, you might want to pay a visit to the Buffalo Museum of Science. This website is a great way to learn about the physical museum, including ongoing education programs, research facilities, and various digital collections. In the Exhibits area visitors can explore 12 different ongoing and temporary exhibits, including highlighted exhibits on nanotechnology and mummies of the world. Moving on, the Publications section of the site includes three decades of past Museum publications, including academic works and fact sheets. Users can also learn about visiting the museum in person, complete with information about special hours and special member days. [KMG]


Charles James: Beyond Fashion

·http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/charles-james-beyond-fashion

The inaugural exhibition at the newly renovated Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents the work of designer Charles James (1906–1978), known for creating architectural ball gowns for the ultra rich. The website image gallery features period photographs of some of James' most famous gowns as worn by their owners or by models, such as Austine Hearst in Charles James "Four Leaf Clover" Gown, ca. 1953, or "Butterfly Gown,” 1954. These images in turn link to full descriptions and more images from the Met’s The Collection Online database. Visitors can also read a blog post by David Byrne about attending the 2014 Costume Institute Gala or watch a selection of related videos, including First Lady Michelle Obama at the exhibition opening ribbon cutting ceremony and 6 minutes of star-studded red carpet arrivals at the Gala. [DS]


Network Tools

(UN)WHITEBOARD

·http://www.unwhiteboard.com/

Looking to transform those whiteboard photos into PDFs? (UN)WHITEBOARD has you covered. All you need to do is email your whiteboard photos to the provided email address and you’ll receive some rather nice PDFs for your convenience. Before getting started, a sample converted document can be viewed on the site. This version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]


FlipQuiz

·http://flipquiz.me/

FlipQuiz was designed to help educators create helpful gameshow-style boards to complement traditional flash cards. The features of the program include several easy to use templates, along with the ability to save the boards to the cloud. A Jeopardy-style demo board reveals the fun and interactive features this tool can provide. This version is compatible with all operating systems, though it is worth noting that FlipQuiz comes in free and PRO versions with both requiring visitors to sign up to use the materials. [KMG]


In The News

The last original Navajo Code Talker dies at age 93

Chester Nez, last of original Navajo code talkers of World War II dies
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/04/us/navajo-code-talker-obit/?hpt=hp_t1

Last of the Navajo 'Code Talkers' Dies at 93
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/06/04/318873830/last-of-the-navajo-code-talkers-dies-at-93

Navajo Code Talkers: Interviews, Videos & More
http://navajocodetalkers.org/

Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq61-4.htm

Navajo Nation: History
http://www.navajo-nsn.gov/history.htm

NMAI Codetalkers
http://nmai.si.edu/education/codetalkers/

This Wednesday, a rather remarkable era in American history came to an end as the last original Navajo “Code Talker" passed away in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Chester Nez was a Navajo speaker recruited by the Marine Corps to help develop the legendary code used for vital communications during World War II. The United States military selected Navajo as a code language largely due to the fact that its syntax and tonal qualities were almost impossible for a non-Navajo to learn and its written record was quite scarce. All told, there were 29 Code Talkers involved in this ambitious and amazing initiative. Yet it wasn’t until 1968 that their work was declassified and their story told. The original 29 were presented with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001 by President George W. Bush. [KMG]

The first link will take interested parties to a piece from CNN on Chester Nez and the Code Talkers, complete with an interview with Nez by Larry King. The second link will take visitors to a piece from NPR's The Two-Way blog about this remarkable individual and his colleagues. Moving along, the third link features a wonderful site documenting interviews with a number of the original Code Talkers, as well as great short videos, such as “Saved By Our Language- The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers.” The fourth link will take the generally curious to a declassified dictionary of Navajo code words used in 1945. The official site of the Navajo Nation is next up, providing a brief history that touches on the story of these remarkable men. The last link will take visitors to a lovely site from the National Museum of the American Indian about the Code Talkers, complete with interviews, photographs, lesson plans, and even audio samples of select Navajo words.





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