The Scout Report -- Volume 21, Number 20

The Scout Report -- Volume 21, Number 20

The Scout Report

May 22, 2015 -- Volume 21, Number 20

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




Research and Education

  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Education for Global Leadership
  The Great War: A Visual History
  The Edublogger
  iWASwondering.org
  Darwin Manuscripts Project
  40 maps that explain outer space
  The Voting Rights Act of 1965
  The Library As Incubator Project

General Interest

  Longform
  Northern Arizona University: Colorado Plateau Archives
  BBC World Service: The Fifth Floor
  American Revolutionary War Era Maps
  Freakonomics Radio
  EDN Network
  The Hamilton Project
  The Aspen Art Museum

Network Tools

  Plotly
  Wix.com

In the News

  Remembering B.B. King, the King of Blues



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Research and Education

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Education for Global Leadership

·http://www.ed.gov/stem

This page from the US Department of Education lays out the case for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. Readers will likely be interested to learn that some STEM fields are predicted to increase by a third and more this decade. Still, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in STEM careers, and the nation suffers from a paucity of qualified math and science teachers. These facts and others can be found here, in addition to a number of interesting links that will take readers around the web, from President Obama's plan to expand STEM education to the site for The Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education. For readers who are interested in STEM education, there is much to ponder on this interesting site. [CNH]


The Great War: A Visual History

·http://www.abmc.gov/sites/default/files/interactive/interactive_files/WW1/index.html

This attractive and edifying map-based interactive from the American Battle Monuments Commission will serve as a support to educators teaching the First World War, and to anyone with an interest in how the war began, how it developed, and how it finally ended. The history is divided into seven periods, including The Pre-War Period, each year from 1914 to 1918, and the Post-War Years. Clicking on any of these will redraw the World War I Timeline, detailing important events, campaigns, and the ebb and flow of the Allied and Central Powers. For instance, within the Prewar Years, selecting The Triple Alliance navigates to a portrait of Otto von Bismarck and a short explanation of the shaky alliance that was formed between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy in 1882 to fend off France. Short video clips accompany many of the Timeline items, bringing the history of the war to life. [CNH]


The Edublogger

·http://www.theedublogger.com

The Edublogger, which serves as the community blog for Edublogs and CampusPress, is designed to help educational bloggers with emerging technologies in education. For readers who don't blog about education, there is still plenty of usable content on the site. Recent posts have included a mini how-to course on infographics, tips for getting students engaged in their classes through blogging, and a story about standardized testing in Mexico. There is even a short video that introduces inexperienced readers to the wide world of blogging, as well as sections on Blogging Resources and Educator's Guides. This site is recommended for anyone who wants to stay up-to-date on how Internet technologies can be integrated into the classroom. [CNH]


iWASwondering.org

·http://www.iwaswondering.org/

This website serves as a companion piece to the Women's Adventures in Science biography series from the National Academy of Science. It begins with a short video featuring an upbeat and ever-curious character named Lia, and expands to provide the various and intriguing careers of some of today's prominent female scientists, including Inez Fung and Amy Vedder. While the website and series are designed for middle-school-aged students, educators and parents can get behind the message: let's get girls involved in science. In addition to 10 Cool Scientists, kids can ask their own questions and receive an answer from an expert, or play fun and interesting activities and games, like the AstroScope, an online astronomy game. [CNH]


Darwin Manuscripts Project

·http://www.amnh.org/our-research/darwin-manuscripts-project

This collection of full color, high resolution images on the American Museum of Natural History's website provides a truly extraordinary look into the world of Charles Darwin. Here readers may access 16,094 transcribed images of Darwin's sketches, letters, and scientific writings. The manuscripts are divided into four searchable categories, including Edited Manuscripts, Catalogues, Journal (Pocket Diary), and Featured Collections. Each of the categories also includes conveniently organized subcategories. For instance, readers may select Edited Manuscripts to Browse the Darwin Manuscripts Tree, a feature that offers a visual representation of Darwin's theories. Darwin's Pocket Diary, is a real treat and covers the years 1838 to 1881. [CNH]


40 maps that explain outer space

·http://www.vox.com/2015/3/9/8144825/space-maps

In another engaging compendium of resources from around the web, Vox brings readers 40 maps that explain outer space. As Joseph Stromberg notes in this mind-expanding exploration of the cosmos, space is difficult to grasp intellectually, because "it's bigger, by many orders of magnitude than anything we ever experience first hand, and involves processes that unfold over the course of billions of years." These maps try to tell the story in a way readers can understand. There are graphics here that visually represent the size of various objects in our solar system, show the surprisingly large distance between the earth and the moon, and illustrate the 300,000 pieces of space junk that currently orbit our planet, among many other fascinating representations. [CNH]


The Voting Rights Act of 1965

·http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_b.php

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice hosts an informative site dedicated to the history of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the law that finally overcame some states' resistance to voting rights for African Americans. The site provides details about the 1965 enactment of the law, and the amendments that followed in 1970, 1975, 1982, and 2006. It also provides insight into life before the Voting Rights Act, an introduction to federal voting rights laws, and the effect of the Voting Rights Act. For educators who are looking for online resources to supplement their lesson plans on this essential civil rights victory, this site will be a welcome find. [CNH]


The Library As Incubator Project

·http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org/

The Library As Incubator Project is one of those rare jewels that both inspires and informs. With a mission to ?promote and facilitate creative collaboration between libraries and artists of all types,? the site not only seeks to bring people together, but to fundamentally rethink - and dynamically expand - the way we view the library as an institution. Entries are updated daily in a number of categories, including Artists, Writers, Performing Arts, Essays, Libraries, Collections, and Librarian Resources. In addition, the homepage features a Latest Entries feed, where readers may peruse what?s new on the site. The Library as Incubator is a wonderful way for educators, parents, artists, and lovers of arts and libraries to garner ideas for projects, lessons, and other activities. It?s also just a wonderful site on which to spend a lunch break. [CNH]


General Interest

Longform

·http://longform.org/

Longform, which is sponsored by the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh, connects readers to new and classic non-fiction from around the web. The site gathers non-fiction articles that are longer than 2,000 words (i.e. long form journalism) and lists them on the homepage. Four or five articles are added every day, making for a virtual cornucopia of in-depth reading. The site provides a simple but effective search engine, as well as a "read later" function, where readers may save articles to read later using Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. The editors have also created an app that is available for both Android and Apple devices. Also of note is the Podcast section of the site, where readers may listen to conversations with writers covering a wide range of topics, from ISIS to the evolving media. [CNH]


Northern Arizona University: Colorado Plateau Archives

·http://archive.library.nau.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/cpa/

Cline Library at Northern Arizona University boasts a digital collection of "thousands of vintage and contemporary photographs, diaries and letters, oral history interviews, films, and maps" concerning the Colorado Plateau region. Readers can start with the short description of the collection, then select Browse to enter the archives. From there, scroll through the 51,366 (and counting) items, or use the basic search and advanced search functions for a narrower exploration of the collection. Some of the landscape photographs on the site are truly stunning. In addition, readers may like to link to other excellent collections at Cline Library, such as the Arizona Historical Society's archives and the archives of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office. [CNH]


BBC World Service: The Fifth Floor

·http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00mt9kd

The Fifth Floor presents "a fresh look at the stories of the week" with journalists from BBC's 27 language sections. Hosted by David Amanor, the podcast series is reminiscent of a British take on "This American Life" focused on stories from around the world. Episodes tend to focus on the idiographic details of larger issues. For instance, recent programs have explored the story of Rio de Janeiro through the lens of Bossa Nova, a view into the Egyptian court system, and the story of how a British journalist stopped an execution in Pakistan. The site also features galleries related to recent episodes and links to a variety of other BBC stations, categories, and programs. [CNH]


American Revolutionary War Era Maps

·http://maps.bpl.org/highlights/ar/american-revolutionary-war-era

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library boasts an impressive collection of American Revolutionary War Era Maps. All told, there are nearly 2,000 hand-drawn maps currently available in the Portal, all produced between the years 1750 and 1800. Locations mapped include Boston, wider New England, the rest of Eastern North America, and the West Indies. The collection, which has been called "the most outstanding, expansive, and renowned of the Boston Library's collections," can be viewed in full on the site. Each map is accompanied by a brief description, including the map's author, the date of its completion, the location the map represents, and the map's dimensions. In addition, readers may zoom in and out and download printer-friendly and full-size versions. All maps are searchable by keyword and filtered for a narrow examination by Subject, by Publisher, and by other categories. [CNH]


Freakonomics Radio

·http://freakonomics.com/radio/

The Freakonomics empire was born of reluctance - a journalist on assignment, an economist resistant to being profiled. But Steven D. Levitt (the journalist) and Stephen J. Dubner (the economist) hit it off, cowrote two bestsellers, started a blog, made a documentary, and founded a radio show. Readers will find much to titillate their imaginations in these weekly radio broadcasts. Recent hour-long episodes have focused on the ideas of behavioral economist Katherine Milkman, a breakdown of ideas that "must die," and the suggestion to think like a child. Readers may also like to sign up for the Freakonomics email newsletter or explore other sections on the Freakonomics site, including the blog, videos, and lectures. [CNH]


EDN Network

·http://www.edn.com/

The EDN Network, which functions as an "electronics community for engineers, by engineers," seeks to provide resources that professional engineers might need to expand their knowledge and to succeed in their careers. The site is organized into a few basic categories (Design Centers, Tools & Learning, Community, and EDN Vault). Within those categories, subcategories direct readers to the projects, articles, and community events that most interest them. For instance, Analog, Automotive, Consumer, and half a dozen other subcategories can be navigated to from the Design Centers tab. Each of these, in turn, opens up to detailed articles on the latest in engineering. The site also features EDN TV, where readers can find short videos on a variety of engineering topics, and EDN Blogs such as Brian's Brain and Eye on the IoT. For readers who are fairly well-versed in engineering, this site is a fantastic resource. [CNH]


The Hamilton Project

·http://www.hamiltonproject.org/

The Brookings Institute launched the Hamilton Project in 2006 in order to advocate for a vision of broad-based economic growth, enhanced individual economic security, and the effective use of government. The project?s website is loaded with information, including blogs, papers, links to media coverage, and much more. Readers might like to start with the Charts tab, where they can find dozens of visual representations of a range of subjects, from state-by-state employment evaluations to rates of food insecurity to freshwater use in California by sector and crop. The Multimedia tab features videos, audio, and photo galleries related to various Hamilton Project events, such as The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine and New Directions for U.S. Water Policy. Full Papers and Policy Briefs are also available on a variety of topics, and the site's search function makes finding information on education, tax policy, or employment and wages an easy endeavor. [CNH]


The Aspen Art Museum

·https://www.aspenartmuseum.org/

The Aspen Art Museum is a "non-collecting institution presenting the newest, most important evolutions in international contemporary art." The layout of the museum's website is clean and beautiful, and finding one?s way around is easy. The wonderful resources here will stimulate and engage audiences interested in art, culture, and society. For instance, readers may select any exhibition to view an artist?s work, and the photographs themselves are extraordinarily well lit and well framed. Many of the exhibitions include supplementary Educator Notes, which can be helpful to teachers or anyone who would like more information about the art and the artist. The Online Resources section, located under Learning, lets readers access Exhibition Activity Guides and other inspiring notes. [CNH]


Network Tools

Plotly

·https://plot.ly/

Plotly, an online service for creating and sharing data visualizations, wants to make graphics easy. Users can import data from Excel, CSV, TSV, MATLAB, ACCESS, and Goggle Drive spreadsheets. From there, they can easily visualize data as a line graph, scatter plot, area chart, bar chart, histogram, box plot, or heat map. Personalization is also largely intuitive, including changing colors, moving X and Y axes, and many other possibilities. Since the service is online, sharing with other team members is as simple as clicking a tab. Interestingly, Plotly also provides some relatively powerful statistical analysis software that allows readers to do everything from descriptive statistics up to ANOVAs, T-tests, and Chi-squared tests. Sign up for the site is free and easy. For readers who are looking for new, simple, beautiful ways to visualize data, Plotly might be just the thing. [CNH]


Wix.com

·http://www.wix.com/

These days, almost anyone can use a template service to put up an attractive, if relatively basic, website for their business, educational project, or personal use. Wix.com is one of the most popular website builders on the market. Its basic service is free, unless users need professional features such as their own domain name (in which case they can choose from one of five premium plans). There are a number of beautiful templates offered here; layouts are modern, animations are impressive, and it's easy to add photo galleries and other extras. To get started, simply click Start Now, enter your email address and a password, and then Wix.com will lead you through a customization process in order to select and personalize the ideal template for your particular needs. [CNH]


In the News

Remembering B.B. King, the King of Blues

B. B. King, Defining Bluesman for Generations, Dies at 89
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/16/arts/music/b-b-king-blues-singer-dies-at-89.html?_r=0

B.B. King And The Majesty Of The Blues
http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2015/05/15/406969376/b-b-king-and-the-majesty-of-the-blues

B.B. King Dead at 89: How He Defined the Blues
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/05/the-legend-of-bb-king/393383/

BB King, the King of Blues, dies at 89
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-32747861

Blues is King: A Tribute to B.B. King
http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=bbking&pageid=icb.page319966

The Official Website of the King of the Blues, B.B. King
http://www.bbking.com

When people today talk about the blues, B.B. King undeniably comes to mind. An icon of American music, King?s world-weary voice and soulful, responsive guitar playing carried him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to the world stage. This week, fans, friends, and loved ones mourned the loss of the King of Blues, who died last Thursday at the age of 89. King meant many things to many people, but is perhaps most noted for his ability to blend country blues with big-city rhythms, creating a sound instantly recognizable to millions. "I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions," King said in his 1996 autobiography, Blues All Around Me. Born in 1925, Riley B. King spent his early years sharecropping in the Mississippi Delta. At the age of 22, he hitch-hiked to Memphis where he picked up the nick name ?Blues Boy,? later shortened to B.B. ?Three O?Clock Blues? was his first big hit in 1952. From there his music career took off, spanning decades, garnering dozens of honors and awards including 15 Grammys, and inspiring generations of guitarists and musicians across multiple genres. [CBD]

The first link will take interested readers to an obituary of King written by Tim Weiner of the New York Times. From there, a tribute to King as the Majesty of the Blues is featured, courtesy of Mark Anthony Neal and NPR?s The Record. The third link, from the Atlantic, shares the legend behind King?s guitar, Lucille, while the fourth link, from the BBC, reports on King?s passing and the response from fellow musicians. Next up, is a wonderful site from Harvard University Professor Charles Sawyer. Originally created to supplement a 2007 tribute concert to King, the website features concert & interview videos, a collection photographs, and a timeline of B.B. King?s life through 2008. Finally, readers will enjoy exploring the Official Website of the King of the Blues at bbking.com. In addition to a full discography of King's music, a gallery, and a section paying tribute to Lucille, fans can compose and submit their own thoughts in memoriam of the blues legend.





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