The Scout Report
October 3, 2014 -- Volume 20, Number 38
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Writer: Advice and Inspiration for today's writer
WTC Disaster Study
WHO: Global Health Observatory: Mental Health
Education for the 21st Century: UNESCO
IceCube Neutrino Observatory
Presidential Job Approval Center
Archaeological Survey of India
UT Knoxville: Forensic Anthropology Center
Calisphere: Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives (JARDA)
Backwards in High Heels: Getting Women Elected, 1842-1990
Musee d'Art Classique de Mougins
ooVoo Video Chat
Third Time's a Charm: New Revelations About Da Vinci's 'Lady with an Ermine'
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The Medina Aquarius Program at Florida International University is home to the world's only undersea research laboratory. Deployed in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in 1993, the lab has hosted more than 120 missions and facilitated research that has led to over 600 scientific publications concerning essential issues like climate change, biodiversity, reef conservation, and ocean acidification. While teachers will appreciate lesson plans (listed under Education and Outreach), such as "If Reefs Could Talk 2010" and "Adventure Beneath the Sea," other readers may enjoy the Mission Updates and Latest News offered on the homepage. The TEDx Talk by scientists Michael Heithaus and Deron Burkpile entitled, "Reimagine Possible: The Case for Manned Sea Exploration," should also not be missed. Published on December 4, 2013, it can be found in the News section of the site. [CNH]
The Writer is not only the oldest continuously published magazine for authors in the country, it is also one of the oldest continuously published magazines in America, period. First established in April 1887, the periodical has seen the comings and goings of editors and staff, slogans and themes. It has won the Folio magazine Editorial Excellence Award nine times. Although full content is only available to subscribers, there is plenty on the web page for the rest of us. From the homepage, click on Articles. From there, browse by Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Freelance Writing, and half a dozen other freely accessible topics. There are also loads of Writing Resources and Writing Prompts that are free, open, and available to any writer. [CNH]
On the morning of September 11, 2001 two commercial airlines were steered into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in a coordinated terrorist attack. Within two hours, both towers collapsed. They fell straight down, in a matter of 15 to 20 seconds, sparking a wave of speculation by conspiracy theorists, who were convinced the buildings must have been systematically bombed. Not so, according to this extraordinarily thorough report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which set out to determine exactly why and how WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 collapsed. Readers may want to start with the Overview, before moving on to About, which outlines the study and presents a copious "Summary of Findings." [CNH]
WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is your ticket to the skies. From the comfort of a PC, WWT allows access to data from the world's best ground- and space- based telescopes, blending terabytes of images and stories into a "seamless, immersive, rich media experience." While much of the material is available on the site, the entire Windows application can also be downloaded for free. Teachers will appreciate Educator Resources (from the home page click Educators, and then WWT Ambassadors), where they can link to Getting Started in the Classroom, Classroom Resources, and WWT Tours with Lesson Plans. All readers will enjoy the boundless opportunities to tour distant galaxies, examine star explosions, and generally gawk at the majesty of the distant universe. [CNH]
While more than 800,000 people die from suicide globally each year, the median amount of the health budget allocated to mental health in 2011 was 2.8%. In Afghanistan, six out of every 100,000 men committed suicide. In the United States, that number was 19. These and other data can be gleaned from the age-standardized suicide rates interactive graph on the World Health Organization's Global Health Observatory website dedicated to issues of Mental Health. Additionally, the page provides links to reports on Policy and financing of mental health, Human resources (in terms of the number of psychiatrists available per 100,000 people in a given country), and Mental health care delivery. [CNH]
The Smithsonian National Museum of History's paleobiology department is celebrating 50 years as one of the world's top resources for information about the biological and environmental history of Earth. From the homepage, where historical photographs of Smithsonian researchers grace the screen, click Blog & News, where you can read about recently arrived dinosaur bones and newly discovered fossils. Features opens up a number of different specialized web sites, such as FossiLab, Geologic Time, and Blast from the Past! The paleobiology Collections section of the site brings readers to renowned collections such as The Cushman Collection and The Springer Collection. [CNH]
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded in 1945 on the premise that, in addition to political and economic agreements, "peace must be established on the basis of humanity's moral and intellectual solidarity." UNESCO's goals include advocating for quality education for every child on the planet, building intercultural understanding, pursuing scientific cooperation, and protecting freedom of expression. This site, which provides an overview of Education in the 21st Century, bursts with informative articles. Start with Latest News, where you can read up on initiatives, conferences, and progress reports. Take a look at the Publications list for access to full academic articles on the topic of 21st Century Education, including "BRICS: building education for the future; priorities for national development and international communication" and "Harnessing the potential of ICTs for literacy teaching and learning." [CNH]
A neutrino, for those of us who might not immerse ourselves regularly in the world of very small things, is a nearly massless sub-atomic particle that travels at just about the speed of light. Born in the cauldron of exploding stars, they can move through lead like you and I move through air. Hence, their nickname: "ghost particles." IceCube, a particle detector planted in the barren wilds of the South Pole, measures neutrinos in hopes to contribute to the scientific understanding of dark matter and other universal mysteries. From the homepage, have a look at About Us, which explains IceCube and includes interviews with drillers, scientists, and support staff. Check out the Science section to read All About Neutrinos and other linked articles. If you're interested in what it might be like to live at the world's largest neutrino detector, click Life@Pole, where you can read about Daily Life and other interesting tidbits about Life at the South Pole. [CNH]
As of this report, President Obama enjoys an approval rating of 42%. Fifty-two percent of Americans disapprove of his leadership. His all time high of 69%, which he reached in January 2009, days after being sworn into office, seems like a distant dream. But it's a modicum above his all time low of 38% from several weeks ago. All these facts and more can be gleaned from the gallup poll's Presidential Job Approval Center, which tracks presidential ratings daily. After you've thoroughly explored Obama's tenure in the oval office, have a look at the ratings the previous eleven presidents received and explore Historical Trends. Best of all, the site allows you to Compare Presidents using an accessible, interactive graph. [CNH]
Most visitors to Tallahassee, Florida probably don't realize they're standing only miles from the largest, highest-powered magnet laboratory in the world. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, housed near the Florida State University campus and funded by the National Science Foundation since 1990, brings together more than 900 scientists and engineers every year. The work provides insights into physics, biology, bioengineering, chemistry, geochemistry, and materials science and engineering. From the homepage, click About and then Overview for insight into the center's history and current experiments. Next, have a look at the Education portal, which features mounds of resources, from Interactive Tutorials to links to the MagLab's very own YouTube Channel. [CNH]
The Taj Mahal. Hawa Mahal. Mysore Palace. Sanchi Stupa. The historical monuments of India are some of the grandest and most beautiful in the world. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which oversees India's ancient monuments and archaeological sites, hosts a useful page for exploring India's methods of preserving its cultural heritage. After reading About Us, where you can learn about the organization itself, have a look at Monuments, Excavations, Conservation and Preservation, each of which provides important insights into the managing of essential subcontinental sites. Site visitors should also peruse the beautiful Photo Gallery, providing numerous images of both World Monuments and Excavations. [CNH]
Consider this: A hunter finds what she believes is a human skull deep in the woods. She calls the police. Who do the police call? A forensic anthropologist, of course, who comes to the site and examines the skull to determine whether the skull is, indeed, human, whether it is male or female, and how old the person was upon death. The Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville trains forensic anthropologists for just this sort of work. Start with the homepage, where you can read up on the department, started in 1987 by Dr. William M. Bass. Next, follow a quick link to What is Forensic Anthropology? for an informative overview of the field. Also of interest, are the Short Courses, News, and, for those feeling philanthropic, Body Donation sections of the site. [CNH]
In the four years between 1942 and 1946, the United States government "evacuated" and interned more than 120,000 Japanese American citizens as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066. The U.S. government has since admitted that there was little evidence for the disloyalty of the internees, and that the entire affair was based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership" (100th Congress, S. 1009). This poignant online exhibit from the University of California chronicles the experience of the incarcerated men, women, and children. Click on People, Places, Daily Life, and Personal Experiences to view paintings and photographs or read primary texts and historical analyses of this most unfortunate government overreach. A variety of lesson plans aligned with California Content Standards are also available and include such topics as "Are We American Again?" and "Beauty Behind Barbed Wire." [CNH]
The official Gershwin Music site provides some wonderful Gershwin memorabilia in a snappy, entertaining package. Born to Russian Jewish immigrants in 1890's Brooklyn, Ira and George Gershwin (nee Israel and Jacob Gershovitz) lived the quintessential American Dream, moving from poverty to riches and obscurity to renown. The homepage opens with a classic, rotating Gershwin tune and clicking on Menu will take you to the options bar. From there, navigate to Two Brothers Make History and Time Line for the Gershwin's story to read all about Ira and George. Shows, Films, and Songs highlights the full spectrum of the brothers' work together, complete with songs playable straight from the site. Eight issues of Words Without Music: The Ira Gershwin Newsletter are also available within the Resources section. This compilation is a real treat for those with an interest in music and theater. [CNH]
Incorporated as the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1839, Austin didn't elect its first female council woman until the middle of the 20th century. The first female legislators didn't find their way into office until the 1970s, and it wasn't until 1990 that Texas elected a female governor. This exhibit by Austin's Public Library tells the story of women in the city's politics through photographs, essays, and old newspaper clippings. Categories include Women's Work, Political Pioneers, and A Foot in the Door, among many others. Of particular interest, the biography of Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas, contextualizes her famous quote: "Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels." [CNH]
This small-town museum in the south of France specializes in ancient art (including one of the world's largest private collections of arms and armor) but with an eye to relate the ancient to the modern. Works by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Dufy, Cezanne, Rodin, Dali, Andy Warhol, Marc Quinn, Antony Gormley, and Damien Hirst are interspersed with the antiquities. Alas, the show of chocolate sculptures, which included works in chocolate inspired by classical marbles, Egyptian sarcophagi, and Roman armor has closed, but there is still a lot to see at Mougins. Choose any of the collection galleries to see selections: Egypt; Greece & Rome; Classical Art; Armory; Greek and Roman coins. The modern stuff is lurking in Classical Art, including a terra cotta vase by Keith Haring, inspired by Greek redware, or Andy Warhol's print, Birth of Venus, both created in the 1980s. [DS]
ooVoo may just be the ultimate video chat app. Besides allowing you to chat with up to twelve of your closest friends simultaneously, you can also send video messages, film and upload to YouTube, instant message, and record 1,000 minutes of conversations for playback. ooVoo requires Android 2.3+ or iOS 7.0+. [CNH]
If the fact that most of us now carry high-powered computers in our pockets isn't wild enough for you, try downloading Google's ubiquitous Translate app. All of a sudden, you'll be able to say "where's the bathroom?" and "that's not the fare we agreed on" in over 50 languages. This app is iOS (6.0+) and Android (2.3+) compatible. [CNH]
Leonardo Da Vinci 'painted three Ermine portraits'
Scientist Reveals Secrets Behind 550-Year-Old Leonardo Da Vinci Masterpiece
Leonardo da Vinci's 'Woman With an Ermine' reveals its secrets
Leonardo Da Vinci - The complete works
Leonardo da Vinci
Da Vinci Restoration Project Reignites Conspiracy Theories
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer has been dead for just shy of 500 years. But he still makes headlines. In fact, this week the internet was abuzz with news of a fresh discovery. French engineer Pascal Cotte, who spent three years using reflective light technology to analyze da Vinci's masterpiece, The Lady with an Ermine, revealed that the artist had significantly altered the painting not once, but twice. Beyond the excitement of unlocking some of the secrets of this particular painting, experts believe they now grasp more clearly the way da Vinci worked as an artist. As Martin Kemp of Oxford University put it, "Leonardo is endlessly fascinating, so getting this intimate insight into his mind is thrilling." [CNH]
Follow the first link to the BBC's excellent coverage of the revelation, including photographs of the three versions of the painting and a video expose. The second link will take readers to Time's pithy coverage of the event, while the third link offers a more comprehensive look from the Los Angeles Times. For background on da Vinci, visit the informative fourth link, which offers biographical notes and numerous images of the artist's paintings. The Boston Museum of Science, featured fifth, offers history and a multimedia zone, where readers can explore past and present exhibits related to the "renaissance man." Last, have a look at a related article in which experts and amateurs argue about whether da Vinci really painted The Adoration of the Magi.
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|Internet Scout Team|
|Catherine Dixon||[CBD]||Managing Editor|
|Debra Shapiro||[DS]||Contributing Editor|
|Kendra Bouda||[KAB]||Metadata and Information Specialist|
|Elzbieta Beck||[EB]||Internet Cataloger|
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|Corey Halpin||[CRH]||Software Engineer|
|Yizhe (Charles) Hu||[YH]||Web Developer|
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