The Scout Report -- Volume 22, Number 28

The Scout Report -- Volume 22, Number 28
July 22, 2016
Volume 22, Number 28

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

Research and Education

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ScienceOpen
Science

Launched in 2014, ScienceOpen is more than just an open access journal. Rather, this publishing network strives to facilitate open and public communication by connecting scientists, encouraging collaboration, and facilitating open-source peer review. To this end, ScienceOpen employs a unique "post-publication peer review process" that allows researchers to publish papers after a brief, one-week general review. This serves to ensure that the research meets basic ethics requirements. Once published, other researchers can provide feedback to authors. The original authors, in turn, are invited to post revised versions of their papers. ScienceOpen currently hosts almost 15,000,000 articles, which visitors may browse by discipline. In addition, ScienceOpen editors have compiled collections of articles by topic. Researchers are also invited to create a personal profile in order to participate in public forums with peers. [MMB]

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DC Digital Museum
Social studies

The DC Digital Museum offers a rich collection of over 800 items - including photographs, original film clips, and documentaries - that chronicle the history and culture of the District of Columbia. The website is maintained by the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, which has been building its collection since it's establishment in 1980. Site visitors can conduct a text search for items, browse items by subject tags, or explore the collection through an interactive map, where archives are geographically organized. The DC Community Heritage Project features materials that were part of an initiative to enlist individuals and communities to collect items - including high school yearbooks, interviews, and toys - that highlight the city's history. The diversity of artifacts displayed at the DC Digital Museum gives the site a broad appeal. For instance, history instructors will find primary documents while youth workers will find resources about engaging youth with community history. Members of the general public interested in the past and present of our nation's capital will also enjoy this abundant collection. [MMB]

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Woolf Online
Language Arts

English literature instructors, researchers, or enthusiasts may want to check out Woolf Online, a digital archive dedicated to Virginia Woolf's 1927 novel, To the Lighthouse. Compiled and edited by American and European scholars, Woolf Online is home to both contextual primary documents related to the novel, as well as more contemporary criticism, analysis, and biographical resources. Visitors looking for these contemporary resources will find them in the Bibliography section. In the Contextual section, readers will find original transcripts of the novel; photographs of the Stephen family (Woolf's family, who served as an inspiration for the Ramsey family in the novel); Woolf's notebooks where she brainstormed and drafted the novel; early newspaper reviews; and essays that Woolf penned while working on To the Lighthouse. Some of this material, including Woolf's notebooks, belongs to the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library and is too fragile to be accessible to the public. Thus, by digitizing them, the Woolf Online team provides contemporary readers across the globe with significant insight into Woolf's writing process. [MMB]

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Black Quotidian
Social studies

Maintained by historian Matthew Delmont, Black Quotidian is a digital project that commemorates "everyday moments and lives in African-American history." Sourced almost entirely from black newspapers, the articles featured here highlight events often overlooked by the mainstream press and that haven't made it into most history books. Delmont writes, "[b]y emphasizing the ordinary or mundane aspects of history I hope both to call attention to people and events that are not commonly featured in textbooks, documentaries, or Black History Month celebrations, while also casting new light on well-known black history subjects." Each day, the site features a single article (or advertisement) from major black newspapers providing a full citation of the article with accompanying commentary. Recent posts feature a 1933 Norfolk Journal and Guide article about the death of soprano Matilda Sissieretta Jones; a 1947 Cleveland Call and Post article about the wave of evictions impacting Cleveland's black community; and a 1977 Atlanta Daily World article about the formation of the African-American History Association, a group dedicated to helping African-Americans conduct genealogical research. [MMB]

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Lab Lit: Writing Fiction Based on Real Science
Language Arts

What can readers learn about science from fiction? "Lab Lit: Writing Fiction Based on Real Science," a series of lesson plans designed by the New York Times Learning Lab, has been designed to explore this question and others like it. Interdisciplinary in nature, Lab Lit may be of interest to science and English literature instructors alike. At the heart of this lesson is a 2012 Times essay by Katherine Bouton, in which she discusses "lab lit" - fictional stories that, as a website called LabLit.com puts it - "depicts realistic scientists as central characters and portrays fairly realistic scientific practice or concepts, typically taking place in a realistic - as opposed to speculative or future - world." Examples of lab lit include Ann Patchett's State of Wonder and Barbara Kinsolver's Flight Behavior. The Learning Lab team presents a series of lesson ideas to encourage students to critically consider how science and fiction can inform one another. In one suggested activity, students compose their own fictional stories based on science concepts explored in class. Check out the website for additional ideas and resources. [MMB]

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The Many Worlds of Logic
Philosophy

The Many Worlds of Logic is an online learning resource authored by Paul Herrick, a professor of philosophy at Shoreline Community College in Washington state. Herrick, who holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Washington and has published three books on the subject (including an Introduction to Logic text book published by Oxford University Press), has created this online resource as an instruction tool for educators and as a study tool for students. The website provides a clear overview of logic as a discipline, including the history of logic, the different branches of logic, key vocabulary terms, different types of arguments, and key debates in the field, including "the problem of evil" and "the mind-body problem." This resource is organized into thematic sections that allow visitors to quickly find material of interest. Additionally, in each section, Herrick provides lucid explanations and multiple examples of each key concept. Students, in particular, will be happy to find a number of practice quizzes designed to help with concept review. [MMB]

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OAPEN
Language Arts

OAPEN is an online library that currently holds 2,500 open-access scholarly books. The site is maintained by the OAPEN Foundation, a non-profit organization established by a coalition of Dutch universities and libraries that is based out of the National Library in the Hague. The OAPEN Foundation collaborates with 100 publishers from eighteen different countries, including many universes presses, in order to provide librarians, researchers, and the general public with peer reviewed books about a variety of subjects. Users can browse through books by subject or filter by language. (The majority of books on this site are in English, although many are in Dutch, French, and Italian as well. Twenty-three languages are represented in total). While OAPEN includes items across all academic disciplines, the majority of books available on this site are in the social sciences and humanities. The collection is continuing to grow and users can subscribe to a newsletter to receive updates. [MMB]

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ACRL TechConnect Blog
Educational Technology

The ACRL TechConnect blog is run by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Authored and peer reviewed by a group of academic librarians, blog entries covers technological tools that may be used in the academic library, examines the role of librarians in using and teaching new technology, and discusses technology-related concerns such as cybersecurity. The blog also provides updates on ACRL conferences and professional development opportunities. Topics recently addressed the uses of Python in libraries, online digital preservation, and whether librarians should continue to educate campus communities through the form of workshops. The ACRL TechConnect blog is regularly updated by a core team of authors (contributions are also welcomed), and each lengthy update provides detailed and thoughtful information and analysis. [MMB]

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General Interest

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Apollo 17 in Real Time
Social studies

Apollo 17 in Real Time is an engrossing interactive website that allows contemporary visitors to experience 1972's Apollo 17 mission, which marked NASA's final trip to the moon. To craft this website - a process that took over four years - creator Ben Feist compiled and made use of various archival material from NASA, including radio braodcasts, thousands of photographs, and over 22 hours of film. The result? A spectacular interactive experience. Upon entering the site, one can listen to the entire radio broadcast of the Apollo 17 mission (over 300 hours total) and simultaneously explore photographs and film from the shuttle's camera as this visual media corresponds with the audio narrative. As viewers listen to the radio communication between the space shuttle and ground control, they have the option to read the transcript verbatim or explore commentary that provides helpful context. Viewers can jump to various points of the mission by using a timeline that appears at the top of the page. [MMB]

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MoMA: Object:Photo
Arts

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is home to the Thomas Walther collection of photographs, a collection that dates from 1909 through 1949 and illustrates how the technology and aesthetics of photography evolved throughout the first half of the 20th century. This project, Object:Photo, introduces readers to the digitized Thomas Walther collection. MOMA has designed this website to facilitate the exploration of a variety of themes, including the development of photography as an artistic movement across space and time and the evolution of photographical technology and materials. Object:Photo may be explored in four different ways: by geography (through an interactive map and timeline); by the nature of the photographs (through a chart that highlights the emergence of themes, photographic techniques, and materials across a timeline); by artistic social networks (through an interactive graph that demonstrates artistic connections through cities, exhibits, schools, and publications); or by examining the geographic movement of individual artists throughout their lives (through an interactive map and timeline). All of these routes reveal the 341 photographs that make up the collection. [MMB]

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Stuff You Missed in History Class
Social studies

Stuff You Missed in History Class is a delightful podcast by Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey that explores the kinds of historical tidbits that one can break out at cocktail parties. Wilson and Frey, who are both part of the How Stuff Works podcast team, have a knack for exploring all historical subjects - including the obscure, the serious, the moving, and the scatological - in engaging, thirty- to forty-minute episodes. Recent episodes have discussed the life and career of Renaissance woman and Aviatrix Lillian Bland; the Victorian "manure crisis," the consequence of over reliance on horses for transportation; and the erroneous conviction of eighteenth century astronomers' that a planet laid between Mars and Jupiter. On this website, listeners can browse through dozens of past episodes using subject tags that include "Colonialism," "LGBTQ History," and "Jimmy Carter." Interested listeners can also subscribe on itunes. [MMB]

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Booknotes: One Book. One Author. One Hour.
Social studies

Between 1989- 2007, C-SPAN aired the series Booknotes, an hour long interview with a single author of a nonfiction book (the show's tagline: "One Book. One Author. One Hour"). The series was hosted by C-SPAN executive director Brian Lamb, who fastidiously read and annotated the entirety of any book featured on the show prior to interviewing each author. Recently, the staff of George Mason University Libraries has collected archival material related to the show. On this website, Booknotes fans can browse through photographs, listen to interviews; and examine Lamb's original book annotations. These annotations are especially intriguing, as Lamb often crafted questions for his guests alongside his notes (for instance, inside Mikhail Gorbachev's Memoirs, Lamb has scrawled "What do you think of Lenin now?") Visitors can also Browse Collections or peruse 9 themed exhibits. [MMB]

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Signal to Noise
Science

Signal to Noise is a new online science magazine designed to foster dialogue between scientists and non-scientists. Launched last February by a group of graduate students, postdocs, and young scientists representing a variety of disciplines, Signal to Noise has the stated goal of engaging the general public with scientific news and issues without glossing over the experimental process. Articles are sorted into three categories: Straight Up Science, Interviews, and Science in Art and Entertainment. In the first category, readers will find "ScienceShorts," brief (approximately 300-400 word) entries that succinctly explain scientific news or phenomena. In Interviews, readers can explore conversations with a variety of scientists about their work, while Science in Arts and Entertainment explores artistic depictions of science. [MMB]

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The British Museum: African Rock Art Image Project
Arts

In 2013, the British Museum and the Trust of African Rock Art (TARA) launched The African Rock Art Image Project. A collaborative effort, the Project has collected and catalogued about 25,000 digital photographs of African rock art. These spectacular images include a variety of petroglyphs (rock engravings and carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings), including the oldest known piece of art work: tablets from Namibia that archeologists have dated as 26,000-28,000 years old. On this website, visitors can browse this collection by country, learn more about the history of rock art itself, and explore the origins of archeological investigations. Readers will find detailed explanations about how rock art was produced, how archeologists date rock art, and how rock art varies across regions. Visitors can also check out three-dimensional diagrams and short film clips where project specialists provide insights into a variety of art pieces. [MMB]

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Women and the World of Dime Novels
Language Arts

This website takes a closer look at eleven selections from the almost 1,000-item collection of dime novels at the American Antiquarian Society (AAS). The sections of the site are organized around the tropes found in dime novels, the female characters, and there's also a listing of the titles. The Tropes section identifies six common figures found in dime novels, discussing example characters and the novels in which they may be found. For example, "ruined woman" Emeline Lawrence is a character in The Midnight Lamp; or, Life in the Empire City. The ordinary wife of a Boston businessman, Emeline is lured away to New York City by a young man named Martin Haley. The book ends badly for Emeline; believing she has stabbed Martin, she goes mad and is sent to an insane asylum. Librarians and archivists will be pleased to learn that this website grew out of a cataloging project. Brenna Bychowski, a cataloger in the North American Imprints Program at AAS, says that in order to properly describe the novels, she "immersed [herself] not only in their complicated publishing history, but also in the novels themselves." Also of interest to cultural heritage professionals, the website is powered by Omeka, the digital publishing software designed especially for scholars, museums, libraries, and archives. [DS]

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Network Tools

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Flamyngo
Social studies

Flamyngo is a free iPhone application designed to help travelers crowdsource suggestions when they visit new cities. To use Flamyngo, users select a city they plan to explore. Next, users can send an email, text, or Facebook message to friends in order to ask for suggestions of sites or restaurants to visit. Once messages are sent, the app will gereate a link where friends can add ideas (they will not need to download the application themselves). Flamyngo will then add these suggestions to your map, creating a personalized guidebook for your next trip. Flamyngo is compatible with Apple devices running iOS 9.1 or higher. Notably, Flamyngo is also available as a widget that can be added onto blogs. [MMB]

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Moo.do
Educational Technology

Moo.do allows users to import information from other organizational devices (including Google Tasks, Google Contacts, Workflowy, and Wunderlist) to create multi-pane to-do lists that indicate tasks to do, tasks in progress, and tasks completed. By adding hashtags and ampersands, users can tag their activities by topics or indicate when an activity needs to be completed. To-do lists can then be searched in order to identify items with common tags or due dates (e.g. "outreach project" or "tomorrow"). Once completed, the item may be automatically added to an archived list by selecting a check mark. This online to-do list application is currently available as a web application or as a phone application on Android devices. [MMB]

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In The News

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Uncharted Territory: New Study Maps 180 Distinct Regions in the Brain

Updated map of the human brain hailed as a scientific tour de force
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/20/updated-map-of-the-human-brain-hailed-as-a-scientific-tour-de-force

New Brain Map Doubles Number of Known Regions
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-brain-map-doubles-known-number-regions-180959869/?no-ist

A multi-modal parcellation of the human cerebral cortex
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature18933.html

Brain Cartography: Modern Day Explorers are Mapping the Wiring of the Human Mind
http://www.newsweek.com/2016/05/06/brain-mapping-human-connectome-project-brainprint-neuroscience-452121.html

The Many Ways to Map the Brain
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/07/new-directions-of-brain-mapping/491318

A First Big Step Toward Mapping the Human Brain
http://www.wired.com/2015/05/first-big-step-toward-mapping-human-brain

In 1909, German neurologist Korbinian Brodmann published a map of the human brain, identifying 52 distinct regions of its outer region, the cerebral cortex. Brodmann's model has since served as a basis for scientists studying the brain. This past Wednesday, a group of scientists from Washington University, the University of Minnesota, and Oxford University - together known as the Human Connectome Project - published a paper in Nature outlining 180 distinct regions of the cerebral cortex. In so doing, the team confirmed 83 previously classified regions and recognized 97 newly identified regions. To examine the cerebral cortex in more detail than ever before, the Human Connectome Project first collected hundreds of brain scans from volunteers and used these scans to identify 112 unique characteristics. Next, scientists programed a computer to use these 112 characteristics to analyze the brain scans of 210 adults. The resulting brain map provides new insights into what parts of the brain are responsible for a variety of functions, which will potentially help scientists learn more about conditions such as dementia. The Human Connectome Project is not the only contemporary research project dedicated to mapping the human brain. Scientists at Yale University recently published a study about how brain scans may be used to identify humans. Meanwhile, Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington is also conducting important brain mapping research. [MMB]

The first two links take readers to articles from The Guardian and the Smithsonian magazine, respectively, that provide lucid overviews of the Human Connectome Project's new study and its significance. Next, readers will find the complete article from the Human Connectome Project that was published earlier this week in Nature. The fourth link takes readers to a May 2016 Newsweek cover story by Susan Scutti that describes the Human Connectome Project as well as the Yale University Study referenced above. Readers interesting in learning more about the work of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which is creating a database of neuronal brain cells, will want to check out Greg Miller's July 14th Atlantic article and Katie M. Palmer's May 14th Wired article on the project.