The Scout Report -- May 27, 2005

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The Scout Report
May 27, 2005
Volume 11, Number 21
A publication of the Internet Scout Project.
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

==   I N   T H E   S C O U T   R E P O R T   T H I S   W E E K  ========

====== NSDL Scout Reports ====
1.  NSDL Scout Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

====== Research and Education ====
2.  Building a Successful Palestinian State
3.  Statistical Abstract of the United States
4.  American Experience: The Carter Family: Will the Circle Be Unbroken
5.  Lightning and Atmospheric Electricity Research at the Global Hydrology
and Climate Center (GHCC)
7.  USGS Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program
8.  Global 3.0
9.  University of Minnesota Insect Collection

====== General Interest ====
10. World Learning for International Development
11. Cybercrime
12. Plant Cultures
13. Sustainable Table
14. The Skyscraper Museum
15. Extension 720

====== Network Tools ====
16. Weather Watcher 5.5e
17. Movable Type 3.1

====== In The News ====
18. Veterans' Issues Surface Before Memorial Day Celebrations

====== NSDL Scout Reports ====

1.  NSDL Scout Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences
The eleventh issues of the fourth volumes of the Life Sciences Report and
Physical Sciences Report are available. The Topic in Depth section of the
Life Sciences Report annotates sites on Urban Wildlife. The Physical
Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about
the History and Evolution of Physics.

====== Research and Education ====

2.  Building a Successful Palestinian State [pdf]

During the past 50 years, there has been much debate and hand-wringing over
how best to create a self-sustaining and independent Palestinian state.
While many attempts have been made, in some sense very little substantial
progress has been made. A team of researchers at the RAND Corporation has
created this 453-page monograph that contains a singularly comprehensive set
of recommendations for the success of an independent Palestinian state.
Released in April 2005, the report contains proposals for a number of
transportation links between the West Bank and Gaza that would hopefully
open the door for access to jobs, food, water, health care, and other such
public services. The report itself does not comment on how Israelis and
Palestinians can reach a settlement to create such a state, but rather
focuses almost entirely on what would happen in such a state were created.
Based on research conducted from 2002 to 2004, this report will definitely
be thought-provoking and compelling for persons with an interest in
political economy, development issues, and the future of this highly
contested region. [KMG]

3.  Statistical Abstract of the United States [pdf]

The US Census Bureau creates hundreds of products and publications for the
public, and one of their most popular publications is the often cited and
browsed Statistical Abstract of the United States. The 2004-2005 edition was
released quite recently, and persons with a love of demography and
statistics will want to visit the online version offered here numerous
times. On the site, visitors can view important information organized
thematically into areas such as agriculture, population, elections,
educations, transportation, and domestic trade. Visitors can also browse
earlier editions of the Statistical Abstract, and also download information
from versions dating all the way back to 1901. Also, the site offers
interesting state rankings in such areas as total population, infant
mortality rate, and doctors per 100,000 population. The site also includes
tables of information organized around different ethnic groups, such as
American Indians and Latinos. [KMG]



Folk music - sung during the days before there was a music
industry when the role of music was about your life -
about the life and times that most of us don't experience
anymore and when the music was sung because it helped
people through it and sustained them.


4.  American Experience: The Carter Family: Will the Circle Be Unbroken
[Quick Time, Real Player, pdf]

The long-running PBS program American Experience has recently turned their
attention to the Carter Family, and in the process they have created yet
another insightful and compelling portrait of one of American's most beloved
musical families. Their story began in 1927 when A.P, Sara, and Maybelle
Carter showed up at a recording studio in Tennessee to audition for a talent
scout. Over the following two decades, the Carter Family would record
numerous songs that drew upon their own musical upbringing in rural
Appalachia. On the site, visitors can learn about each member of the group,
and learn about important events in their own musical history, such as their
legacy and their early recording sessions. The "Special Features" section of
the site includes an online poll, selection of Carter Family songs as
performed by contemporary artists, and excerpts from an interview with
Gillian Welch about the influential techniques of the Carter family. [KMG]


Black History Month All Year Long

Classroom resources - slave songs, including stories of the people,
often passed from elders to the next generation, learn through the oral 
Find 2 original Anansi Folktale E-books. Download, read, and hear each
story narrated in both American Virgin Island Creole and Standard English,
plus find out how these stories survived in tact from the original
storyteller. The Virgin Islands Dutch Creole folktale below was collected
by a Dutch anthropologist, J. P. B. de Josselin de Jong, who visited the
Virgin Islands in 1923. De Josselin de Jong does not say who told him this
story. However, we do know that all of the people who told him stories
lived on St. Thomas and St. John and that they spoke both Dutch Creole and
Virgin Islands English.


5.  Lightning and Atmospheric Electricity Research at the Global Hydrology
and Climate Center (GHCC) [wav, gif, QuickTime, pdf]

The Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC) educates users about
lightning and the techniques involved in their lightning and atmospheric
electricity research at this website. To begin, users should visit the
Lightning Primer, where they can discover the history of lightning research,
the characteristics of storms, and types of lightning discharge, and the
many methods used to study lightning. Students and educators can then
explore the attributes of the Optical Transient Detector, the Lightning
Mapper Sensor, the Lightning Imaging Sensor, and additional space-based
sensors. Researchers can locate numerous lightning-related datasets and can
learn about lightning campaigns and ground validation. This site is also
reviewed in the May 27, 2005 _NSDL Physical Sciences Report_. [RME]

6. [pdf, RealPlayer]

There are many websites dedicated to providing the public with information
about the biological sciences, but may be one of the
best around. Started in 2000 by a group of concerned scientists and
educators, the site provides articles by scientists, science educators and
students on issues related to seven primary areas, including genomics,
biotechnology, evolution, and biodiversity. All of the pieces on the site go
through a peer-review process and are written with a keen eye towards
providing information in a way that is largely jargon-free and highly
accessible. From the homepage, visitors can look for articles in one of
seven thematic areas, look for materials in Spanish, and peruse materials
created just for educators. Visitors can also view lectures from the
American Institute of Biological Sciences from 2000 to the present in the
Virtual Library section of the site. The lectures deal with a host of
interesting topics, such as invasive species, bioethics, and agricultural
biosecurity. [KMG]

7.  USGS Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program [pdf]

Located within the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Geographic
Analysis and Monitoring Program (GAM) conducts various geographic
assessments around the United States with an eye towards fostering a greater
understanding of the causes and consequences of natural and human-induced
processes that shape the landscape over time. Currently, GAM is engaged in
dozens of projects, and this website provides summary information about the
focus of each specialized endeavor. Visitors can begin their search by
looking at an interactive map of the US. By clicking on each state, visitors
can learn about the ongoing work in each locale. Additionally, visitors can
also browse the current studies by theme, such as fire science, human
health, environmental hazards, and topographic science. For persons looking
for studies with a broader directive, the site also lists national and
international studies, such as those looking at Lyme disease and the status
and trends of the nation's transportation network. [KMG]

8.  Global 3.0  [RealPlayer]

Often the word "globalization" is thrown around rather carelessly, and many
people just associate it with the expansion of such familiar icons as
Starbucks and McDonalds into the far-flung corners of the world.
Fortunately, there are programs such as this one from American Radioworks,
which is sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio, with significant assistance
from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This program explores the
broad concept of globalization in three parts, beginning with a look at the
transformation of the famed "Rust Belt" region in the United States. The
hosts for the program are reporters Chris Farrell and John Biewen, and
visitors can listen to the program in its entirety and follow along with the
transcript provided on the site. The site is rounded out by a selection of
helpful resources and online links. [KMG]

9.  University of Minnesota Insect Collection [pdf, EndNote]

During the past 125 years, the holdings of the University of Minnesota
Insect Collection "have grown from a regional collection of 3,000 specimens
to a major national and international resource of almost 3,400,000
specimens." Specimen loans are available to researchers by request, and the
Insect Collection website provides a list of Loan Conditions. The site also
contains information about Collection holdings in separate pdf files listed
by order. In addition, the website provides information about faculty and
research associates and various projects in the areas of Revisionary and
Monographic Studies, Faunistic and Biodiversity Studies, and Phylogenetic
Studies. Collection databases include the UMSP Trichoptera Holdings Biota
Database and the Neotropical Trichoptera Literature EndNote Database. This
site is also reviewed in the May 27, 2005 _NSDL Life Sciences Report_. [NL]

====== General Interest ====

10. World Learning for International Development [pdf]

A number of international organizations have seen fit to engage in broad-
based projects in order to create and sustain social change in various parts
of the world. The World Learning for International Development organization
is one such entity, and for the past eight decades it has been involved in
programs that "are based on local partnerships with people who have an
active and respected role in addressing their own development challenges".
Currently, the organization's programs take place in more than 50 countries,
and are organized around the themes of education, civil society, and
training and exchange. From the homepage, visitors can view some of the
organization's timely publications and also read about its latest success
stories in place such as Albania and Malawi. [KMG]

11. Cybercrime [pdf]

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has been concerned about so-
called "cybercrime" for more than a decade, so it makes sense that the
agency would have a useful site dedicated to providing the concerned public
with information about its efforts to combat such crimes. Provided by the
Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the DOJ, this
site offers information about the recent activities of the CCIPS, along with
various documents, such as the current manual that lists guidelines for
electronic search and seizure investigations. First-time visitors may want
to start at the top of the homepage, as they can go ahead and search the
entire site by keyword, or look through a few thematic areas, such as those
dedicated to hacking, intellectual property crime, and information about
cyberethics. Finally, the "General Information" area of the site provides
details on how to report Internet-related crime and employment opportunities
with the CCIPS. [KMG]

12. Plant Cultures

With its radiant colors and well-thought-out design, the Plant Cultures
website's primary goal is "to convey the richness and complexity of links
between Britain and South Asia, through the story of plants and people". The
project covers both the historical and contemporary aspects of Britain and
South Asia through a wide range of resources, including historic images,
recipes, and other items. Through a series of tabs at the top of the
homepage (such as "Themes" and "Stories"), visitors can begin to explore the
diverse content offered here. The "Plants" area is a good place to start, as
visitors can learn about garlic, henna, holy basil, sugar cane, and 21 other
plants. One rather fun area of the site is the Story Library, where visitors
can place their own stories regarding the use of different plants, and read
those from previous guests. [KMG]

13. Sustainable Table

The sustainable agriculture and food movement continues to garner attention
from many quarters, and the focus of this site is to educate consumers about
the many aspects of supporting such efforts in their own homes.
Appropriately enough, the centerpiece of the homepage is in fact a dining
table. From this virtual table, the different sections of the site (such as
"An Introduction to Sustainability") may be accessed. Visitors may elect to
learn about the issues surrounding sustainable agriculture, view recipes,
learn about sustainable food in school lunches, and how they may choose to
get involved. The site's homepage also contains a "Features" section, where
visitors can access the Sustainable Table's blog and view articles on
different food preparation techniques, such as grilling. [KMG]

14. The Skyscraper Museum [Macromedia Flash Player]

Some regular Scout Report readers may be asking the question: "How do you
fit an entire skyscraper online?" Well, the people at the Skyscraper Museum
in Battery Park have done just that, and have even found room for a few
virtual exhibits and some great material on the World Trade Center Memorial
project. The museum itself was founded in 1996 and is an "educational
corporation devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and
future."  On the site, visitors can find out how to visit the museum, read
about its current exhibits, and peruse rather well-designed Web projects.
All told, there are four Web projects here, including the Banker's Trust
Virtual Archive, which contains important historic photographs of the
construction and demolition of a number of notable buildings in Manhattan.

15. Extension 720 [RealPlayer]

In a day and age where many radio programs rely on the powers of mere shock
value, Extension 720 offers discerning and insightful commentary on a very
wide range of issues. Based out of Chicago, the program is hosted by Milt
Rosenberg, who is a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago. Since
1973, the program has featured the likes of Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter,
Charlton Heston, William Safire, and Calvin Trillin, among others. On the
site, visitors can listen to the current program, or browse through the
extensive archives, which date back to 2003. Additionally, visitors can also
view highlights of interviews from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Some of the
more recent programs have focused their attention on the world of stand-up
comedy, organized crime in Chicago, and the current state of various Great
Books curricula in American high schools and colleges. [KMG]

====== Network Tools ====

16. Weather Watcher 5.5e

As a popular quip (incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain) goes, "Everybody
talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it." Well, Weather
Watcher may not allow users to "do" anything about the weather, but it may
help them keep track of weather conditions on their computer. With this
application, users can keep track of weather information for more than
77,000 cities worldwide, including such important locales as Bangor, Maine,
to Sheffield in the United Kingdom. This version is compatible with Windows
98 or newer. [KMG]

17. Movable Type 3.1

Movable Type has been around for some time, and users who may have not heard
of it before will appreciate its various features and applications. The
Movable Type publishing system allows individuals or organizations to
effectively manage and update weblogs, journals, and other content on
websites. With this demonstration version, visitors are not entitled to
support for the application, but it remains a powerful tool for online
publishing and other related uses. This version is compatible with most Web
servers and browsers. [KMG]

====== In The News ====

18. Veterans' Issues Surface Before Memorial Day Celebrations
Veterans Sue Over Care at D.C. Home
Veterans extract promise from VA
US Department of Veterans Affairs [pdf]
National Gulf War Resource Center [pdf]
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Bob Dole Recounts Life Story [RealPlayer]

As many communities around the United States plan tributes to those who have
given their lives in the service of their country for Memorial Day, a number
of veterans' groups continue to voice their concerns emphatically. In
Washington, D.C. a group of veterans living at the US Armed Forces
Retirement Home filed a class-action suit against Defense Secretary Donald
H. Rumsfeld and the operating officer of the home this past Tuesday. In the
suit, the veterans have alleged that they can no longer get prescriptions
and regular doctor checkups due to service cuts. One resident of the home,
Homer Rutherford, remarked that "These cuts are affecting our health. If I
could sit with Secretary Rumsfeld or Senator Warner, I would tell them:
'This isn't right'". In the Midwest, veterans in Illinois were able to
pressure Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson to set up a special unit
to take a closer look at old disability claims of veterans who feel that
their cases did not receive adequate appraisal. Many veterans in Illinois
were quite relieved, particularly since a recent report from the inspector
general released the week before showed that Illinois has ranked last in
disability payments to veterans for the past 20 years.

The first link will take visitors to a Washington Post news article that
details the recent lawsuit filed by the veterans at the US Armed Forces
Retirement Home. The second link leads to an article from Saturday's Chicago
Sun-Times which provides some details about the decision of the VA Secretary
to examine the claims of veterans living in Illinois. The third link leads
to the homepage of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, where visitors can
learn about various VA facilities and other services for veterans. The
fourth link leads the National Gulf War Resource Center webpage, which is
designed to provide resources for veterans who participated in these
military conflicts in the Middle East. The fifth link leads to the very nice
Experiencing War website, provided by the Library of Congress. Here users
can read personal narratives sent in by veterans from all wars and learn
more about the human side of these different military engagements. The final
link will take visitors to a special interview from Voice of America with
one of World War II's most celebrated veterans, Bob Dole. [KMG]

Copyright Susan Calcari and the University of Wisconsin Board of
Regents, 1994-2005. The Internet Scout Project (,
located in the Computer Sciences Department of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, provides information about the Internet to the U.S.
research and education community under a grant from the National Science
Foundation, number NCR-9712163. The Government has certain rights in
this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim
copies of the entire Scout Report provided this paragraph, including the
copyright notice, are preserved on all copies.


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