The Scout Report
July 11, 2014 -- Volume 20, Number 26
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization of US Children: A Systematic Review
Demos: Publications: Scouting for Skills
Lucullus V. McWhorter Collection
Papers of Governor C. Farris Bryant
Student Press Law Center
Elements of Calculus I
Serie Project Print Collection
Digital Learning Day: Math Toolkit
PLOS Blogs Network
French Canadians in the Midwest
West Virginia Department of Commerce
Digital Art Museum
Whales: From Bone to Book
Freedom Summer: Wisconsin Historical Society
Smithsonian American Art Museum: Lectures and Symposia Archive
As the Cupcake Empire Crumbles, Some Ask, "What's Next?"
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Concerns about child vaccines continue to rise and it's great to have objective and thoughtful analysis of this matter from medical professionals. This systematic review was originally published in the August 2014 edition of the Pediatrics journal and now has found its way to the RAND Corporation’s website. Authored by a team of medical professionals, the report looks at a range of existing medical works, including the 2011 Institute of Medicine consensus report on vaccine safety. Key findings include observations that the MMR vaccine is not associated with autism in children and that serious side effects associated with vaccines are extremely rare. [KMG]
What's a nation to do when the service sector continues to rise? How can various institutions respond to increased employer emphasis on "character" and "employability skills?” A number of political leaders have called for schools to change the way they approach this issue and this working paper from the Demos group (produced with the support of The Scout Association) suggests that participation in certain key extracurricular activities might be the answer. The study notes that "participation in Scouts provides a range of soft skills, opportunities and networks that improve young people's employment prospects in later life.” Visitors will find much to enjoy in this paper and it's worth sharing with folks in the fields of public policy, human development, and workforce training. [KMG]
Lucullus V. McWhorter happened to have a chance meeting with Nez Perce War veteran, Yellow Wolf, in 1907 that eventually led to his book, Hear Me, My Chiefs! Published after his death, the book offered a complex and nuanced take on the 1877 Nez Perce War. In its archives, Washington State University has a number of McWhorter’s primary sources collected throughout his research, including oral histories, newspapers, and a range of books. Visitors can look over McWhorter's own copies of The North American Indian, his photographs of various battle sites, and images of those who participated in the war’s various military battles and skirmishes. Those with an interest in American history and Native American affairs will find the site an excellent resource. [KMG]
Florida Governor C. Farris Bryant was an intriguing post-World War II politician who also served in the state legislature in the 1950s and 1960s. This digital collection brings together a range of his personal papers courtesy of the University of Florida Digital Collections Initiative. There are over 280 items here, including a fascinating 1962 video, Adapting the Atom to Florida Progress, and a range of campaign correspondence and promotional materials. Visitors can perform an advanced search across the materials or perform a full-text search. Interested visitors can also read through the complete finding guide for his papers. [KMG]
Created in 1974, the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) is the “nation's only legal assistance agency devoted exclusively to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment.” Based in Arlington, Virginia the Center provides free legal advice and information along with low-cost educational materials. On its homepage, visitors can make their way through sections that include Know Your Rights and Classroom Resources. In Know Your Rights, visitors can learn about the rights of high school journalists and educators, peruse an online law library, and check out an interactive map tracking the latest legal developments in student press rights nationally. Moving on, the Classroom Resources area brings together dozens of classroom handouts, presentations, and some fun short quizzes regarding libel, privacy, and other media-law issues. [KMG]
This OpenCourseWare course on calculus brings together the wisdom of long-time Professor Alex Himonas from the University of North Dame. Visitors can look over seven different sections, including Syllabus, Semester Projects, Resources for Students, and Exam Review Materials. The Calculus Applets is a fantastic feature as it offers up 35 different interactive graphs and tables that cover topics like Motion in the Plane, Average Value, and Equations of Motion. The How to Use This Course area is another great way to learn about the basic goals and methods of the course. Visitors can even download all of the materials in one fell swoop if they so desire. [KMG]
Based in Austin, the Serie Project is a non-profit organization that promotes the production of affordable fine art through a type of screen printing called serigraphy. This digital collection is offered by the University of Texas at San Antonio and it contains 250 of these most intriguing prints. First-time visitors might wish to start by looking at the wonderfully colorful "3 Fool Serenade" or the beautiful "Bajo Luz de Luna III.” Additionally, users can search around by keyword, artist, or type of artwork. As a whole, it's a thoughtful, compelling, and lovely compilation of work from the Southwest and beyond. [KMG]
Created by Digital Learning Day, the Math Toolkit includes a range of lesson plans, tips from teachers, and a variety of educational content designed for people teaching algebra, geometry, and related math subjects. On its homepage, visitors can read through the Tools to Use area for fun tools designed for both young and old. One notable item here is Voicethread, which allows students to post pictures or video clips while commenting and annotating on each slide. Moving on, Wikis for Math is a great way to have multiple teachers post a variety of materials that can be shared with different groups of students. Finally, Tips From Teachers brings together several hundred focused and practical tips from a range of mathematics educators from around the United States. [KMG]
Billed as the "world's most visited architecture website,” ArchDaily is a treasure trove of materials on new building projects, architectural trends, design matters, and competitions. Along the top of its homepage, visitors can delve into areas that include News, Articles, Materials, Software, and Interviews. This last area is a great place to start as it includes fabulous conversations with notables such as Jeanne Gang, Jean-Louis Cohen, and Andreas G. Gjertsen. Moving along, the Materials section offers specific technical information on equipment, finishes, installation techniques, and structural work. The Projects area contains information on new and compelling works, such as the Soundcloud Headquarters in Berlin and the Bagnoli Futura in Italy. [KMG]
The Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a wonderful project that brings high-quality scientific research to anyone with an Internet connection. On this site, visitors can explore three different drop-down menus: Staff Blogs, Blogs Network, and Community. Staff Blogs offer readers a variety of chatty and interesting internal blogs, such as PLOS Biologue, along with several dozen independent blogs, such as Mind the Brain. Next up, in Blogs Network, readers will find a plethora of blogs written or commissioned by members of the PLOS Journals editorial staff with topics ranging from DNA science to paleontology. There’s a little bit of everything here, and savvy visitors might opt for helpful word tags to focus in on posts of note. [KMG]
Starting in the 17th century, French explorers were wandering all over the Midwest looking for navigable rivers, lucrative trading resources, and native people to convert to Christianity. This exhibition from the Newberry Library in Chicago tells the story of French Canadians in the Midwest via maps, prints, and a range of other wonderful ephemera. The materials are divided into six primary sections, including Kaskaskia, Bourbonnais, Emigration to Chicago, and Language. This last area is fabulous as visitors can look at pages of historical documents discussing the French presence in the region and how their interactions with Native Americans were informed by their own linguistic exchanges. The Father Chiniquy area is another gem, as it provides information about this most interesting priest who toured the East Coast in order to fund his work with "starving French Canadian converts.” [KMG]
The West Virginia Department of Commerce works to promote the state as a destination for travel, business, and other commercial activities. This website provides access to information about the Department’s ten separate agencies (such as energy and forestry) along with in-house publications, and thematic areas that cover natural resources, tax incentive programs, and more. The Business and Work Force area has great information on available industrial parks and business locations across the state, complete with an interactive map. Additionally, visitors can learn about transportation options in the state, including railroads, freeways, and barges. Visitors to this well-designed site should also not miss the Recent Publications, which include a state parks brochure, information about the Main Street program, and the Department’s business magazine, Edge. Finally, perusing the Latest News area is a great way to stay abreast of important programs and initiatives throughout the state. [KMG]
The Digital Art Museum (DAM) is an "online resource for the history and practice of digital fine art.” On this dynamic site, visitors can look over sections that include Artists, Exhibitions, and Timelines. First-time visitors should start with the Featured Artist section to explore a new contemporary artist every week. Moving along, News for You presents information about upcoming art exhibits around the world, as well as ones that are coming specifically to the DAM site. Thoughtful meditations on digital art exhibits from Bruges to Birmingham can be found in Essays and the Exhibitions area contains an arresting series of plotter drawings by well-known contemporary artists, Vera Molnar and George Nees. Finally, links to institutions, galleries, and digital art festivals in Germany, France, and other countries can all be found in Resources. [KMG]
Smithsonian Libraries presents this remarkable exhibit that looks into the world of natural history via the largest mammals on the planet: whales. On this site, visitors can learn about how the bones and fossils of these amazing animals make their way from discovery on a beach or in rock strata into the museum's vast collections. The first stop should be the Kellogg Illustration Collection, which contains over 350 drawings of over 60 species of whales created by cytologist, Remington Kellogg. Next up, visitors should explore a collection of 13 books from the Biodiversity Heritage Library that deal with different species of cetaceans from around the world. A detailed bibliography of related works authored by Smithsonian affiliates, scientists, and fellows is also available. [KMG]
The Wisconsin Historical Society has one of the nation’s richest collections of items documenting the Civil Rights movement, particularly as they relate to the 1964 Freedom Summer Project. Visitors to the site can look over the Historical Essay to get started, as it contains a short summary of the importance of these events, then move on to Browse Related Topics. Here, visitors will find links to specific civil rights movements in Milwaukee and Madison. The Teacher Resources section is another great find and includes a helpful PowerPoint, educational plans, quizzes, and discussion questions. With over 30,000 items, including posters, radio announcements, oral histories, and more, it’s an incredible way to view primary documents and relive this important moment in American history. [KMG]
To broaden the reach of its on-site programming, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has compiled links to recordings of lectures, symposia, and performances going back to 2010. For example, from 2011, view a presentation by museum conservators Amber Kerr-Allison and Brian Baade on Henry Ossawa Tanner's painting techniques. Or, skip ahead to 2012 to watch a panel discussion of the book, Photography Changes Everything, with the book’s editor, Marvin Heiferman, visuals editor of the Washington Post, David Griffin, director of security studies at Georgetown University, Bruce Hoffman, and art and architecture critic of the Washington Post, Philip Kennicott. Jump further to 2014, to hear April Gornik discuss her American landscape paintings, several of which are in the collection of American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. [DS]
Revunote works with Evernote to boost your memory using "spaced repetition.” Users just need to add their own notes from Evernote to get started, then indicate the desired repetition for reviewing each note, e.g. 1, 3, 7, 14, 30, or 60 days. Revunote even has overdue indicators and a widget to help keep users more on track with their studying. This version is compatible with Android devices. [KMG]
At its essence, Penflip helps writers focus on writing. The markdown editor interface allows users to edit works themselves or share them with others, which is a nice touch. The Publish feature is also worth noting. This neat feature allows folks to download completed manuscripts into beautifully formatted ebooks. Users can even edit using their own browser, create footnotes, or complete new chapters for books. This version is compatible with all operating systems.
Crumbs' Downfall Shows Limits of Cupcake Addiction
The rise and fall of Crumbs, America's first public cupcake company
Crumbs Bake Shop closing all stores. Is the cupcake craze crumbling?
Top 10 Trends at the Fancy Food Show
Using Google Trend Reports to Predict Future Food Trends
AllRecipes: Cupcake Recipes
Foods come and go and the past few decades have seen the rise of everything from flavored waters to designer hamburgers. This week the food world saw the cupcake crumble as Crumbs Bake Shop dramatically shut all of its 48 stores. At its peak, the company was the darling of the culinary media and was acclaimed (or reviled, depending on who you ask) for its decadent $42 colossal cupcake and its cupcake-dispensing ATMs. Commenting on the nature of this fad, assistant professor of marketing Neeru Paharia noted, "When you see something that gains adoption so rapidly, that suggests it might also decline rapidly." Cupcakes are a bit of a speciality item, leading analyst Bonnie Riggs to note, "You're not going to be buying these discretionary purchases unless you're part of the 1 percent. It's not going to be middle America." [KMG]
The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Tuesday’s Bloomberg about the closure of the Crumbs Bake Shop chain, along with additional commentary from business analysts and others. The second link will take visitors to a fine piece from the Washington Post offering some additional remarks. The third link will take interested parties to a great piece from the Christian Science Monitor with a video clip featuring commentary from industry experts. The fourth link features a great piece from Advertising Age on the top 10 food trends revealed at the Fancy Food Show. Next is a thoughtful piece from the Houston Press on how Google Trend Reports might be used to predict future food trends. After all this talk about cupcakes, how could we resist the final link: a marvelous selection of cupcake recipes from the folks at AllRecipes.com.
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