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Here is an update on President Bush's proposed budget plans.
The Decade of Behavior initiative from the American Psychological Association (APA) recently announced the creation of FundSource, the first searchable website devoted exclusively to seeking funding opportunities across the gamut of behavioral and social sciences. FundSource offers a variety of search formats, including delivering either a description and contact information for funding sources, or performing a direct, full-text search of funding source web pages. Searches can be tailored by organization name, discipline, or topic, and they can be done separately for foundations, federal agencies, and international sources. As FundSource expands, it also will include tips on writing grants, links to fellowship sponsors, sabbatical support, and conference funding. The website was established with generous support from the National Science Foundation and the American Psychological Association. (From Patrice O'Toole in Federation e-News/February 2001)
A conference to promote new collaborations among researchers, imaging experts and science writers, at MIT June 13 - 16, 2001
Explore and discover powerful new ways of communicating science and technology through the visual expression of information within the science community and to the public. Speakers include visionaries from all fields of science, imaging technology, photography, science writing, information architecture, graphic arts and publishing.
Special Free public evening events:
Sponsored by The National Science Foundation, Eastman Kodak Company, American Chemical Society, The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Polaroid Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Lynch Family Foundation, Research Corporation, Boston Museum of Science.
The following article is reprinted with permission from Free Pint (ISSN 1460-7239) 15th February 2001 No.81
There was much media coverage of Australia in September, October and November 2000 due to the city of Sydney hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This article looks at a different Australia -- Aboriginal Australia -- and evaluates some useful websites aimed at promoting an understanding of Australia's indigenous people, their history and culture. It also gives examples of how some Aboriginal groups are using Internet technology to promote an awareness of their groups on the World Wide Web.
The Australian government's main indigenous agency is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission - ATSIC (http://www.atsic.gov.au/). The agency is "an important international resource for information on indigenous programs, activities and issues". Its website is a good starting point for anyone wanting to know more about Aboriginal affairs. The site is divided into five main areas -- Media, Programs, Issues, Fact versus Myth and Our People. The media section gives details of the material ATSIC has produced for inclusion in mainstream TV programs to highlight Aboriginal issues, whilst the Programs section is aimed at highlighting some of the Commission's projects, which play an important role in maintaining, protecting and developing the different cultures of Aboriginal Australians. One of the links in this section is to a Visual Arts and Crafts Resource Directory. The section on Issues gives information on the major issues which have affected Aboriginal people since the First Fleet arrived in 1788, including Native Title, Indigenous Rights and Law & Justice. A list of ATSIC's publications and fact sheets can be found in the Fact v. Myth section. The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (http://www.reconciliation.org.au/) was established in 1991 by the Commonwealth Parliament. It comprises 25 community leaders drawn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Upon formation, the Council set up a formal nine year reconciliation process, which culminated in National Reconciliation Week in May 2000. This website is clearly laid out and easy to navigate. It has informative sections on the Council's goals, the Coroborree 2000 Document (the formal Australian Declaration Towards Reconciliation) and the Roadmap for Reconciliation. The Roadmap is another good place to look for information on the history of Aboriginal people. Moreover, it also examines the present day national strategy aimed at sustaining this reconciliation process. A host of pictures showing events which took place throughout Australia during National Reconciliation Week have been posted on the website. For example there is a picture showing Cate Blanchett and Yvonne Goolagong-Cawley taking part in the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk. Seeing the pictures of the events in Alice Springs, Brisbane, Lismore and Adelaide brings the theme of reconciliation alive and underlines the importance of this movement in Australia today.
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/) is the place to start serious research on Aboriginal history and culture. AIATSIS is an independent Commonwealth government statutory authority dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. Although this is much more of an academic site, there are sections of it which are of interest to the casual visitor. For example, the section on Native Languages has a "Language of the Month" webpage. Here you can find poems and songs in different Aboriginal languages, with both a proper and literal English translation. The most recent addition to this section is a thought-provoking poem by Emily Walker called "Ownership". It is written in her native Gumbaynggir language, which is spoken around the north coast of New South Wales. Language enthusiasts should also visit David Nathan's aboriginal language resource webpage (http://www.dnathan.com/VL/AustLang.htm). Although this is not an official website, is an excellent place to discover which indigenous languages are still in use. When the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay in 1788, around 270 indigenous languages existed. Today, that number has been reduced to about 40 and these are all in danger of dying out. Thirty percent of the resources on this website are maintained by Aboriginal people. As land issues are an important theme in Australia, two sources providing useful information on this topic are The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) (http://www.ilc.gov.au/) and the Central Land Council (CLC) (http://www.clc.org.au/). The Indigenous Land Corporation was established in 1995 and has two main functions:
The ILC's website gives information on land acquisition policy, land management and land needs. The Central Land Council on the other hand, is a council of Aboriginal people, representing a number of communities in Central Australia. This website gives excellent information on land-related issues, from land acquisition and land use to mining and travel permits. There is a webpage on the Council's Rural Enterprise Unit, which provides a range of services to support the planning and execution of new Aboriginal tourism ventures. The Council's 16 page publication entitled "The Truth about Mining on Aboriginal Land" is also available as a free pdf download from the website. One last official website worth mentioning is that run by the National Native Title Tribunal (http://www.nntt.gov.au/). This is a Commonwealth Government body that facilitates "the making of agreements among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, government, industry and others, whose rights or interest may co-exist with native title rights and interests." One of the most useful parts of the website is the Fact Sheet section, where online visitors can download free fact sheets in pdf or html format. Some of the topics covered are:
The website also posts a list of its publications, most of which are available for free. An online order form is available for those publications which have to be purchased.
The National Indigenous Media Association of Australia (NIMAA) (http://www.indigenousaustralia.com.au/) has put together an indigenous portal to assist online visitors to access information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture in Australia. Through this portal, NIMAA aims to ensure that indigenous people are both the source and providers of the content. The website covers a whole spectrum of subjects and concentrates more on present day issues rather than the historical aspect of indigenous culture. There are interesting sections on Education, Womens' Issues, Mens' Issues, Elders, Kids, Teenagers, Tourism and Business. The most recent article in the Teenager section has a report on the first cyber café for indigenous youth, which has just opened in Brisbane. One of my favourite websites is Aboriginal Australia (http://www.aboriginalaustralia.com/). This website aims to offer Internet users "unique opportunities to discover and explore the history, culture and spirituality of Aboriginal people throughout Australia". Moreover, the website has significant Aboriginal ownership and offers direct web access to indigenous communities and enterprises. The homepage is clearly divided into nine main areas -- Shop, Travel, Postcards, Education, Arts Centres, Areas of Interest, Special Features, Forum and Businesses. All of these areas are fascinating, but particularly the section on Areas of Interest, which has sub-sections on spirituality, art and bush medicine. The sub-section on bush medicine requires online visitors to register with the site, but this is free. The section on education delves deeper into Dreaming and sensitive issues, providing visitors to the site with a good overview of these topics. For visitors who are primarily interested in Aboriginal art, the Art Centre section is a must. Here you can see and buy wonderful paintings by talented artists, for example the Warlayirti Artists, Iwantja or Warumpi Group artists. Before leaving the site, don't forget to send a postcard! Some great Aboriginal designs are available in postcard format for online visitors to e-mail for free.
Another interesting website concentrating mainly on Aboriginal art is the Tobwabba website (http://www.tobwabba.com.au/). This website promotes the Tobwabba artist collective, which provides employment and income for 22 artists and staff and advertises their paintings, which can be bought online in a secure environment in either Australian or US dollars! As well as being a showcase for some beautiful paintings, the website is informative, telling the history of the Worimi people, who were the original inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of coastal New South Wales, from where the Tobwabba collective now operates. Five years ago, Joanne Nangala, an Aboriginal artist originally from Papunya in Central Australia, started selling her work at a small stall at Mindil beach market in Darwin, where she now lives. Gradually she sold to galleries in Australia and now she is using Internet technology to reach potential buyers all over the world. Her website (http://www.gwarlinangala.com.au/) depicts authentic Aboriginal arts and crafts, ranging from boomerangs, carvings and digeridus to Top End paintings, bark paintings and prints. These are offered for sale on behalf of artists from the Northern Territory. Biographical details of the artists have been posted on the site too -- an easy way of learning something of the lives of Aboriginal people today.
"Dreaming" is an English word associated with Aboriginal culture for which there really is no good definition. Find out more about it by visiting Indigenous Australia (http://www.dreamtime.net.au/), which provides a good selection of stories, both in text and audio format. Turning to music, one of the most famous Aboriginal bands, Yothu Yindi, is making the World Wide Web work for them. The band has its own website (http://www.YothuYindi.com.au/) and is using it to promote itself as well as other aspects of Aboriginal life.
There are many, many different Aboriginal cultural groups in Australia today and each has its own history. Four such groups which have embraced Internet technology to promote an awareness of their history and culture are the Puerte Marnte Marnte, the Tjapukai and the Yarrabah and Wadeye Aboriginal Communities.
The Aboriginal Art & Culture Center (http://www.aboriginalart.com.au/) has been created by the Southern Arrernte Aboriginal Group -- the Puerte Marnte Marnte, whose homelands are in Central Australia, about 100 kilometres south of Alice Springs. The website is divided into a number of different sections, two useful ones being Culture and Tourism. The Culture section looks specifically at the Arrente culture, describing in detail their family systems, languages, music, ceremonies and religion. The Tourism section gives details of tours operated by the Group. Some examples are a two-day Uluru trip or a six-day Uluru and Simpson Desert tour, which no doubt will emphasize the Aboriginal aspects of the places visited. In the Digeridu section, traditional Aboriginal music is explained, as well as the history of this instrument and how to play one.
The Tjapukai, a people who originally inhabited the region around Cairns, Port Douglas and Kuranda in Far North Queensland run the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park near Cairns. This group is using the Internet to promote their Cultural Park, which includes 5 theatres, a museum, an art gallery as well as a traditional Aboriginal camp. Using the website, online visitors can also find out about different tour packages, book the tours online and even shop at their art gallery. There is an excellent section on Aboriginal Art too. See the Tjapukai website (http://www.tjapukai.com.au/). The Yarrabah Aboriginal Community (http://www.indiginet.com.au/yarrabah/) is another Aboriginal group of just over 3000 people, living near Cairns in Far North Queensland. This community's website describes their history, from a very traditional lifestyle to settlement on a mission station founded in the early 1900's by Anglican Ernest Gribble. There is a section advertising pottery made by community members, which is sold in local retail outlets and another webpage is very informative about the community's tea tree plantation. Situated on the western edge of the Daly River Aboriginal Reserve in the Northern Territory lives the Wadeye Community, also known as the Port Keats Community. The Wadeye Community (http://www.indiginet.com.au/wadeye/) has put together an interesting website covering the community's history, the role its Council plays in community life, languages and clans. literacy, paintings and crafts. Amongst the crafts made by this group are beautiful dilly bags and batik T-shirts, with original Aboriginal designs. Online visitors to this website can also send an e-mail to the community.
One of the best maintained resources on the World Wide Web for all things Aboriginal is Professor Ciolek's website (http://www.ciolek.com/WWWVL-Aboriginal.html). His website is divided into different subject areas. The second resource worth consulting is the Indigenous Australian Resource Directory (http://www.koori.usyd.edu.au/register.html), hosted by the University of Sydney. This website attempts to maintain a register of all current World Wide Websites for/about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Like Professor Ciolek's website, it is divided into a number of subject areas, such as Education, Music, Dance, Literature, Justice & Law, Government, Art & Artifacts.
The World Wide Web offers a large variety of resources on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, from official government and Aboriginal cultural organization websites to those privately run. Whatever angle these websites take, they all have the same fundamental aim -- to raise the profile of Australia's indigenous people. Online visitors to any of the websites mentioned in this article will find food for thought on one of the world's most ancient and fascinating cultures.
Helen Clegg is Market Analyst with RR Donnelley & Sons Company Europe, in Amsterdam. She holds an M.Sc. in Library and Information Studies and has worked for a number of organizations in Europe including Bain & Company, BNFL plc and AT Kearney Ltd. Helen is a member of the Special Libraries Association and has recently compiled a list of Internet marketing resources for its Business & Finance Division. One of her main interests is Australia -- its geography, culture, history and music. Helen can be contacted at Helen.Clegg@rrd.com. She writes here in a personal capacity.
Wiley Interscience is providing free trial access to the online version of Proteomics, a journal that aims to "integrate the various areas of this rapidly developing field, including methodological developments in protein separation and characterisation, advances in bioinformatics, and novel applications of proteomics in all areas of the life sciences and industry." Free registration is required for trial access, extending through April 2001. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
Six additional journals working with Stanford University's HighWire Press have begun to participate in the "Free Back Issues" program in February 2001. That program now has 82 journals participating, making over 235,000 full-text articles free to the community; two-thirds of all online full-text articles produced by publishers working with HighWire Press are now free. The new participating publishers and publications are these:
The Endocrine Society's four journals (http://www.endojournals.org/): Issues are free on a 12-month rolling basis
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution
Molecular Biology and Evolution
Articles free on a 6-month rolling basis
Assoc. of Amer. Medical Colleges
Articles prior to 2001 are now free
University of Illinois Extension: Schools Online
One of our past Blue Web'n winners, "The Great Plant Escape" came from this source. Now, there are units targeting different grades and disciplines. Need to know about Incubation and Embryology, The Adventures of Herman (the worm), and Apples and More. Let students Walk in My Shoes, as they participate in a variety of activities that increase awareness of aging, the human body, and the role of senior citizens in society. High school athletes will like the information found in Sports and Nutrition: The Winning Connection. (From Blue Web'N)
Forms from federal agencies are often hard to track down. This site provides easy access to the forms of the 500 most popular government services. Fedforms is searchable by title, agency, form number, or keyword. Includes IRS, social security, small business, passport, immigration, military, and more. - rms (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
National Academy of Engineering Webcast
From the National Acad. of Science Newsletter: "Draper Prize winners Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, and Lawrence Roberts -- honored for their individual efforts in developing the Internet -- led a discussion with middle and high school students at a forum sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering. Dialogue ranged from the early days of discovery to current issues surrounding copyright law, security, and the stability of the Internet. Listen to a recording of this audio Webcast. (Thanks to G Price)
Links to Science & Technology Timelines
If you are in to timelines, this site is for you. Everything from timeline of the Human Genome Project, to Galileo.
Eighth Grade Sci-ber Text
It's great when teachers collaborate. Teachers in the state of Utah have created this online resource for their Eighth grade science curriculum full of activities and links. Topics covered include matter, energy, forces, machines, and earth. Most of the activities can easily be used for other grade levels. (From Blue Web'N)
New Website for Federal Grants Information
“Late last week the GSA made a formal announcement of a new grant information portal, the Federal Commons. From the press release: ‘Now, there is one place where Federal grant applicants can access all of the information they need to act on Federal government grant opportunities. Federal Commons, an Internet grants management portal serving the grantee organization community, has joined with the General Services Administration's Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance to offer online access to information about Federal Grant Programs.’” (From BlogSpot). Well, I guess so, folks. However, if you are looking for something user friendly, look further. This portal has links to the websites, but once you get to the individual agency website you have to be prepared to do some surfing to find out where the actual grant information lies.
The expedition is almost over, but you can still hear the songs, see the pictures, and read the answers to questions about Humpback whales near Hawaii at this website. The Science Page gives you background to appreciate these magnificent creatures and their songs.
Digital Representations of Tree Species Range Maps from “Atlas of United States Trees” by Elbert L. Little, Jr. (and other publications) [.pdf, .zip, .tgz]
The Earth Surface Dynamics section of the USGS provides this excellent collection of graphics, depicting range maps for more than 100 common North American tree species. From _Abies amabilis_ to _Yucca brevifolia_, these color maps may be viewed or downloaded (.pdf, .zip, tgz). Most of the ranges depicted here were digitized by Elbert L. Little, Jr. (USDA Forest Service) for vegetation-climate modeling studies; graphics are best viewed as downloaded files. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)
"Protein three-dimensional folds can be complicated and difficult to interpret. Protein topology cartoons are a graphical form of simple two-dimensional schematic diagrams whose aim is to simplify folds so that they can be more easily understood and compared. They represent a fold as a sequence of secondary structure elements and hold information about their relative orientation and spatial position." This site is not for the casual surfer, but it is a well-laid out site for the initiated in this subject.
Airborne Fungal Spores
This well-designed site has brief descriptions and graphics, including sampling, culture, visual identification, and links to related sites.
A Sightseer's Guide to Engineering
This travel guide highlights engineering achievements throughout the United States. The database may be searched by keyword, engineering discipline (such as automotive, civil/environmental, or mining), category (such as amusement park, bridge, tunnel, or monument), or geographically by clicking on the image map of the U.S. Contact information, hours of operation, engineering details, a photo, and a "fun fact" are given for each sightseeing destination. From the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). - gd (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
Rocket and Space Technology
Orbital mechanics, propulsion, rocket hardware, space centers and missions are among the topics featured on Robert A. Braeunig's Rocket and space Technology page. Braeunig is a civil engineer whose hobby is learning about space flight. This page is well-researched, and all sources are credited. The text disseminates relatively simple explanations of the mechanics of rocket flight and includes definitions of important terms and black-and-white diagrams. Sample problems, tables, and formulas make the site useful to secondary educators and students. The science and mathematics behind everything from building a spacecraft to launching it are covered in this instructional site. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
Exploring Design & Innovation
"Exploring Design and Innovation is the result of a joint venture between the Design Department, at Brunel University and the Design Council.
It was first conceived because it was recognised that the Innovation stories behind the Design Council's Millennium Products were worth shouting about, and that they were of use to both students and lecturers." This website has some general discussion of the design process, and interesting brief individual case studies of newly designed products.
Tinfoil.com: Dedicated to the Preservation of Early Recorded Sound
Would you like to hear the sounds of the early 20th century? Visit this website to hear the music of the times originally preserved on wax cylinder recordings. Students can learn about the early technology used to record sound and hear bands, singers and statesmen of the day. The Cylinder of the Month Archive links to a variety of sounds, both in WAV and Real format. (From Blue Web'N)
EqNet has a nice set of links to news items about the recent Seattle quake, including the "IRIS Special Event Page: Seattle Earthquake", which has detailed information about the geology of the quake, sample seismograms, a virtual 3-D presentation, and a link to an impressive MSNBC video.
The GIS Primer
The GIS Primer provides an overview of how to implement and apply geographic information systems technology. It is intended to be an introductory text illustrating fundamental concepts of GIS applications. The Primer's target audience is users who have only limited experience with GIS technology. Of particular interest is the Developments and Trends subpage, which provides a short summary of the many innovations and emerging technologies that will profoundly effect how we manipulate, process, store, and deliver geospatial data. As its name implies, this website is THE place to start if you are new to GIS technology. (From Websurfer's Biweekly Earth Science Review)
National Severe Storms Laboratory
This website put up by NOAA provides a variety of information and links on severe storms -- tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, severe thunderstorms, etc. There are pages that provide educational resources, FAQs, descriptions of current research. It is a very "mixed bag" of web page type and content, but there is enough here that it is well worth a surf.
Coastal Ocean Modeling
This site from Wood's Hole has mpeg and FLC movies illustrating various coastal phenomenon: circulation patterns in various coastal areas, sea level changes over time, "fly-by" geography and more. Neat!
Submarine Volcanoes in Arctic Ocean Surprise Scientists
Until now, geoscientists believed that spreading ridges under the Arctic Ocean were too slow-spreading and cool to vent molten rock. An article published this month in _Nature_ details sonar data revealing two young volcanoes under Arctic waters. Dr. Marago H. Edwards of the University of Hawaii led the exploration team in which civilian scientists worked in cooperation with the Navy, using a nuclear submarine to take sonar readings of the ocean floor. A submarine was employed because the ice cover makes the Arctic seafloor unviewable by satellites and difficult for ships bearing seismic instruments to navigate. The two volcanoes were found at the Gakkel Ridge, the Earth's slowest spreading mid-ocean ridge. During August and September of 2001, Russian icebreakers and Mir submersibles will be employed to investigate the volcanoes, taking rock samples and looking for organisms living at the volcanic vents. This week's In the News takes a closer look at this discovery.
The first site (1), an article from the _New York Times_ (free registration required), gives a general overview of the find. The discovery of the volcanoes was made with SCAMP ("Seafloor Characterization and Mapping Pods") instrumentation. SCAMP (2) is a joint project of the Hawaii Mapping Research Group, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Tulane University, Arctic Submarine Laboratory, Raytheon Systems Company, Ocean Data Equipment Corporation, Electric Boat, and Johns Hopkins University. At the SCAMP site, users can view a bathymetry map of the Gakkel Ridge and sidescan images of its lava flows. The SCAMP Website provides photos and data, viewed via Java applet, from its Gakkel Ridge survey and other Arctic Basin projects. The next site (3) belongs to SCICEX (Scientific Ice Expeditions), a five-year program (1995-1999) during which the Navy made available a Sturgeon-class, nuclear powered, attack submarine for unclassified science cruises to the Arctic Ocean. It was under SCICEX that the original data were gathered in 1999 (it was not until this year that the analyses of Dr. Edwards and others showed evidence of volcanoes). The SCICEX site is not especially current, but the overviews of its previous expeditions are interesting, and selected data, such as nutrient and salinity readings from a 1996 expedition, and color maps are available. More information on submarines is available here (4) at the US Navy's Arctic submarine Laboratory. Users can browse color photos, movies (.avi) and a mission overview, along with FAQs and links. Also from the Navy, this 1999 press release (5) focuses on the USS Hawkbill, the submarine used to take the sonar readings for Edwards and her team. Deep Arctic mapping was pioneered by retired Navy submariner Dr. Alfred S. McLaren, who is president emeritus of the Explorers Club (6), a society promoting scientific exploration and adventure travel programs. The Explorer's Club will be sponsoring the August expedition to the Gakkel ridge. For more on the Arctic Ocean in general, have a look at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Arctic Theme Page (7) containing maps, photos, and science articles for general audiences. The Arctic Theme Page was reviewed in the September 29, 2000 _Scout Report for Science and Engineering_. For further information on seafloor spreading, marine geophysics, and other topics in earth science, see the homepage of University of Hawaii-Manoa's Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (8). Finally, readers with personal or institutional subscriptions to _Nature_ online can download the Edwards article (9) from the February 15, 2001 issue of _Nature_. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
Math Awareness Month
Get ready for Math Awareness Month! April 2001 will be Math Awareness Month, and the theme will be mathematics and the ocean, recognizing how mathematics enhances our ability to model and to gain insight about complex physical phenomena such as the ocean. Teachers and mathematics enthusiasts looking for ideas on how to celebrate Mathematics Awareness Month (MAM) can visit this Website from The Math Forum. An announcement, sample press release, theme poster, and a brief history of Mathematics Awareness Week/Month are up and running. Check back often to see forthcoming additions: listings of MAM activities by state and an essay on Mathematics and the Ocean. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
The monitoring of current space weather conditions is used to understand the sun-earth environment. SpaceWeather.com is an excellent source for monitoring this relationship through its offering of current space weather conditions and NASA news headlines. The topics and forecasts covered include solar storms, solar flares, auroras, solar winds, sunspots, and interplanetary magnetic fields. There are also several wonderful images to accompany the space weather phenomena. - lew (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
Virtual Science Center
The online presence of Chabot Space & Science Center, a joint powers agency that is also affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, includes the Virtual Science Center, featuring multiple and changing exhibits at Chabot; curriculum support materials for K-12 science teachers; a virtual planetarium offering quick information and links to data tables for various celestial topics; a collection of links to authoritative space science and technology Web sites around the world; and an online glossary for space science learners. - fg (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
"This site explores the complex history surrounding the invention of the atomic bomb - a crucial turning point for all mankind. AJ Software & Multimedia presents this site as an online companion to its CD-ROM, Atomic Archive.
Follow a timeline that takes you down the path of our nuclear past, from the 1920s to the present. Read biographies of A-bomb father Robert Oppenheimer and other key scientists of the nuclear age. See the Trinity Test through Enrico Fermi's eye as you read his first hand account of that history making event. Examine maps of the damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and summaries of arms-control treaties. You'll also find a gallery of exclusive photographs and animations of nuclear physics."
Links to Psychological Journals: The Journal Locator in Psychology and the Social Sciences
Created and maintained by Armin Gunther and Martien Brand, this impressive metasite indexes over 1,600 online psychology and social science journals published in English, German, French, Dutch, and Spanish. The format of the site varies at some of the nine mirrors (four in the US), but at the main site and most of the mirrors, users can search the index by keyword or browse by alphabetical listing, subject, and by type of information online (ejournals, selected articles, abstracts, tables of contents) via pull-down menus. Entries include a brief description, content offered online, and a link. An excellent resource for scholars and students in psychology, linguistics, and sociology. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Government's 50 Greatest Endeavors
The Brookings Institution, a D.C.-based think tank, ranks the last 50 years of U.S. federal government endeavors by evaluating how government time and tax-payer money has been prioritized since the end of World War II. Over 400 historians and political scientists ranked governmental successes and failures in a variety of public arenas. The top-10 list of greatest achievements is a fascinating subset of the 50 endeavors; it includes rebuilding Europe after the war, expanding the right to vote, reducing disease, and improving quality of life for elderly Americans. Bonus activities: take the survey yourself, or consider the ranking scores in relation to the respondents' demographics. (From Yahoo's Picks of the Week)
Stone Age Reference Collection (SARC)
"A guide to the typology, technology, and raw materials of the Stone Age," this is an illustrated compendium of topics belonging to the field of Paleolithic analysis. It contains short essays, definitions, and bibliographic references relating to tools used by prehistoric peoples. Geared toward college-level students and teachers, it's developed and maintained by the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Oslo, Norway and is also available in Norwegian. - dfs (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
Canadian Social Research Links
Maintained with almost obsessive thoroughness by an employee at Human Resources Development Canada, this Website is an excellent gateway to Canadian social science resources on the Web. The site offers collections of annotated links from government outlets, academic sources, policy institutions, and NGOs. Visitors can browse sites under regional and thematic categories as well use "quicklinks" to government sources for social science data, including social policy, economic, and employment data. The annotations are very helpful, usually including the date of a document or a Website's last update and a summary or quotation from the resource. Some resources are presented in a pro-and-con format so that researchers can immediately compare reports and arguments from credible sources on political and social issues. Theme lists include hundreds of links in disability, education, human rights, homelessness and hunger, election 2000, social research organizations, unions, UN links, women's social issues, and dozens more. Also, the author provides a free weekly email newsletter that includes the latest updates to the Website. There is much more here, but I think interested parties get the idea: anyone doing social research in or about Canada will definitely want to bookmark this one. The site is the sole property and responsibility of Gilles Seguin who maintains the site on his own time. And yes, the site is also available in French. [DC] (From the Scout Report)
Secrets of the Pharaohs
Brought to you by PBS as a companion to the series. The site includes a timeline, historical maps, modern scientific techniques being applied to archeology in Egypt such as DNA extraction from mummies, virtual tours of Khufu's pyramid and Tut's tomb, and links to additional resources.
The Internet Economy Indicators
Structured in report format, this site offers employment and revenue figures on the Internet economy going back to 1998. The economic indicators are divided according to the following layers of the Internet: Infrastructure, Application, Intermediary, and Commerce. From a study by the University of Texas' Center for Research in Electronic Commerce commissioned by Cisco Systems. The full studies issued in 1999, 2000, and 2001 are available the archive section in PDF (requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader). - lmr (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
Tax History Project
Established by Tax Analysts in 1995 "to provide scholars, policymakers, students, the media and citizens with information about the history of American taxation." Site draws documents from files at the National Archives, Roosevelt and Truman Presidential Libraries, the White House, Congress, and the U.S. Treasury, and includes tax returns for former presidents Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, and Franklin Roosevelt; posters about bonds and filing taxes; a comprehensive tax history virtual museum; and cartoons about paying taxes. Some features require Adobe Acrobat Reader or RealPlayer. - jm (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
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REPORT CALLS FOR RESEARCH ON TECHNOLOGY FOR ONLINE ELECTIONS
A new report from the National Science Foundation urges more research on Internet voting technology before states commit to it as a means of election reform. The report stresses the need for research on how Internet voting would affect voter turnout, what interfaces would be best for such systems, and how to test and certify such systems. The report included the work of academic social scientists, Internet security experts, voter fraud experts, and state election officials. Some of those who contributed to the report remain skeptical of the potential of Internet voting. "The drive toward Internet voting is really from middle-class people who want to have the convenience of voting whenever they want," says University of Maryland, College Park professor Paul S. Herrnson. He worries that states will spend a great deal of money on Internet voting systems before they have fully analyzed those systems. (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 7 March 2001)
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT PLANS 512-PROCESSOR LINUX CLUSTER
The U.S. Department of Defense will install a 512-processor Linux cluster built by IBM to be used for numerous DoD research projects. Academic institutions and other federal agencies will also have access to the cluster, which will reside at the Maui High Performance Computer Center in Hawaii. The machine will consist of 256 IBM eServer x330 thin servers with two Pentium III processors each, connected by Myricom clustering software and high-speed networking hardware. The cluster is expected to process 578 billion calculations per second. IBM's Dave Gelardi says the U.S. Forest Service will use the cluster to track and study wildfires in order to devise better firefighting techniques. The Maui cluster will also be used to simulate and calculate weather patterns, Gelardi adds, while the DoD plans to use the machine for war-fighting defense projects. The next few years will see Linux cluster technology "pervade the DoD's computing centers," predicts Frank Gilfeather, executive director of Maui's High Performance Computing Education and Research Center. The DoD-IBM project follows recent announcements of Linux-based supercomputing efforts by IBM and Compaq. (Computerworld Online, 23 February 2001)
U.S. DIGITAL DIVIDE PERSISTS BUT SHRINKS
A new report from the General Accounting Office (GAO) suggests that the so-called digital divide in the United States may be shrinking. The report did find that Internet access was more prevalent among whites than minorities. Also, those with Internet access have a better education and greater income than the average U.S. citizen. However, the report notes, "Since the Internet is still in a relatively early stage of commercial deployment, these socioeconomic and geographic differences in Internet usage are not surprising and may not be long lasting." The report mentions that Internet access among women and rural U.S. citizens is now equivalent to those groups' presence in the general U.S. population. In contrast, the report finds a widening gap between those who have high-speed, or broadband, Internet access and those who do not. Of those surveyed, 52 percent said they could get broadband access if they wanted, but only 12 percent actually have it. The others said the cost of broadband, which can be as much as three times greater than a dial-up connection, was too high. (Reuters, 22 February 2001)
NEW CONGRESS PITCHING BEVY OF BROADBAND BILLS
The new session of Congress has featured a slew of legislative efforts to extend broadband Internet access to rural communities. With old bills that failed to pass in the last Congress as well as some new bills with innovative approaches, members in both the Senate and House are eager to pass laws that would help eliminate the digital divide. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) proposed a bond and grant scheme, involving the National Science Foundation, to encourage companies to pioneer broadband in outlying areas. Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.) introduced a bill that would lift extensive FCC regulations that may keep smaller telecoms from entering rural areas, although it would keep the restrictions in place for the Baby Bells. Another bill, backed by Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), focuses on bringing broadband access to schools, public libraries, and community centers overlooked by a tax deduction program promoting corporate donations of computer equipment. (Cnet, 5 March 2001)
CONGRESS IS WASTING NO TIME IN ADDRESSING ISSUES RAISED BY WEB
Congressional lawmakers have been in a frenzy lately trying to draft legislation covering Internet issues. Observers say two issues most likely to get a bill passed in the short term are taxes and education, President Bush's favored themes. Several proposals specify that money be allocated toward increasing teachers' computer literacy as well as generally providing for more technology spending in schools. Focus has also been placed on eliminating the "digital divide" by setting aside hundreds of millions of dollars to wire schools in low-income areas. Lawmakers have also come up against the thorny issue of taxing Internet e-commerce, with arguments coming from the states that they are losing millions of dollars in tax revenue. E-commerce firms, on the other hand, say applying thousands of different tax rates to their operations is a practical impossibility. Congress is looking at several options before the current moratorium on Internet taxes expires in October. (Wall Street Journal, 27 February 2001)
PROFESSOR SAYS COLLEGES SHOULD ESCHEW COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE
In a recent interview, Brian Donohue-Lynch, the founder of the World Association for Online Education and an associate professor of anthropology and sociology at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Connecticut, argued that IT in the education sector should move toward open source software. He said the open source movement has an affinity of purpose with community colleges, because open source seeks to make software accessible, just as community colleges aim to make higher education accessible. He noted that "appropriate technology" theories, which argue for technology development based on the needs of a particular group of people, also apply to an educational setting because each institution has to make sure that software fits its needs. Open source allows for this level of customized attention, Donohue-Lynch argued, and can also be a big cost saver. As an example of a successful open source collaboration, he pointed to Nicenet, a program in which educators can set up an online course. (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 20 February 2001)
NCSA CREATES FASTEST IBM LINUX SUPERCOMPUTER IN ACADEMIA
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has built the fastest Linux supercomputer for academia out of a IBM Linux cluster. The computer will be used to aid in fundamental scientific research. NCSA director Dan Reed said, "The explosion of the open source community, the maturity of clustering software, and the enthusiasm of the scientific community all tell us that Linux clusters are the future of high-performance computing." Each cluster combines two teraflops of computing power with a single computing interface for systems ranging from single-user desktop workstations to terascale systems. IBM has installed the first cluster, which features IBM eServer x330 thin servers running Red Hat Linux on 1 GHz Intel Pentium III chips. A second cluster will be built this summer to operate TurboLinux on Intel's next- generation Itanium processor. Altogether, both clusters will consist of more than 600 IBM eServer eSeries running Linux and Myrinet cluster information network software from Myricom. (Mainframe Computing, March 2001)
INTERNET2 WILL EXPAND TO K-12
The Internet2 network, which provides high-speed access to nearly 200 research universities, may soon expand to include other colleges as well as K-12 schools. However, Greg Wood, spokesperson for the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, said the initiative is currently "just a series of discussions going on among a number of organizations in education and networking." He added, "A lot of other steps need to take place before teachers and students can use advanced applications." Those advanced applications could include digital video of teacher training practices, virtual tours of museums, and interactive musical exercises. Several states have also shown interest in connecting their networks to Internet2. Details of the new initiative will be available in the coming months, although the organizations involved have set no official date for its launch. Among the groups involved are EDUCAUSE, the Consortium for School Networking, and the International Society for Technology in Education. (Wired News, 5 March 2001)
REUSABLE, UNBREAKABLE CODE CAUSES CRYPTOLOGY STIR
Harvard University computer science professor Michael Rabin claims to have created, and proven mathematically, an unbreakable computer code. Rabin and Harvard doctoral student Yanzhong Ding designed a code that is created randomly and then decrypted with a mathematical formula. After someone has decoded the encrypted message, the code ceases streaming, preventing hackers from accessing it. Although cryptology experts say the code is not the first "unbreakable" code, they claim that it is the first that can be used more than once. "We are doing something that is seemingly impossible, and that is, of course, extremely exciting," Rabin said. Princeton University computer science professor Richard Lipton said he believed that Rabin's formula would work, adding that Rabin's mathematical proof was particularly notable. However, Lipton noted that he does not think Rabin's code will never be broken. (Associated Press, 1 March 2001)
INTERNET2 PROJECT WILL BROADEN ACCESS
Internet2, a project that involves some 180 research universities that together pay more than $80 million each year to belong to and receive upgrades to the high-speed network, is now reaching out to community colleges and even secondary schools. At the "Innovations" conference for the League for Innovation in the Community College, Steve Rappaport, the Internet2 director of network initiatives, said the project will seek "creative ways" to bring access to the high-speed network to institutions that lack the resources of the large research universities. "The practical applications for community colleges are enormous in many respects," Rappaport told conference attendees, noting that he believed that research universities can also benefit from the experiences of community colleges. The reaction among community college officials was largely positive, with several intrigued by the possible benefits Internet2 could bring to teacher education and distance education. Rappaport also mentioned that several states would like to attach their networks, which often incorporate higher-education institutions and public schools as well as government organizations, to Internet2. (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 2 March 2001)
COLLEGES MASTER ONLINE LEARNING
International Data forecasts that 2.2 million college students will take part in distance-learning courses in 2002, compared to 710,000 in 1998. "Demand for online courses is much greater than our ability to create and staff classes," said Bob Tolsma, executive director of the University of Colorado at Denver's Colorado Online program. University officials claim many of the students who are fueling this boom in online learning are returning students who have full-time jobs preventing them from being full-time students or who reside too far from campus to attend class regularly. However, America Securities analyst Howard Block predicted that eventually all students will be taking at least one online course. (InformationWeek Online, 26 February 2001)
AUTHOR SAYS COLLEGES MUST REALLOCATE MONEY TO ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGY
Professor A.W. Bates, the director of distance education and technology in the Continuing Studies Division at the University of British Columbia, recently published a book called "Managing Technology Change: Strategies for College and University Leaders" that discusses reallocating educational funds toward academic technology. In a recent interview, he elaborates his thoughts on the cost benefits of using the Internet in colleges and universities. He says technology will be hard to implement, in terms of funding as well as training. While the issue of adjusting to technology may remain, Bates argues that if universities can manage to reserve from one to two percent of their budgets for technology, it will provide many indirect benefits. For example, because many universities are hit hard with general overhead costs for maintaining classrooms and campus facilities such as parking, these costs could be partially eliminated if some courses or parts of courses were held online. Additionally, the Internet may even become a source of extra revenue if schools can market their expertise in a certain field to a global audience through specialized distance-learning classes. The cost effectiveness, he says, would be far greater than if that institution offered the class only in its own locale. (Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 27 February 2001)
DISTANCE EDUCATION BRINGS THE CLASS TO THE STUDENT
The past 14 years have seen vast changes in the distance education programs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y. In 1987, RPI offered satellite-based courses to only 50 students for one client. Now, the school offers five master's degree programs and eight certificate programs to over 1,200 students. RPI has two types of classes. In asynchronous classes, students can access course material at any time. In synchronous classes, the students must meet online or at a satellite center at the same time to take part in class. Students can make diagrams or signal for the instructor's attention. Distance education can attract a wide range of students. At Skidmore College, for example, 50 percent of the students in the University Without Walls programs are from outside the United States. Proponents of distance education argue that the programs can even save money by reducing the maintenance costs usually associated with having actual classrooms. Critics say the infrastructure costs necessary to set up distance education account for any cost savings. However, even at institutions with no intentions of having distance education programs, instructors now offer course material online, and students participate in Web-based discussion groups. (Capital District Business Review Online, 26 February 2001)
GROUPS ISSUE NEW TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
An early draft of the Technology Standards for School Administrators (TSSA), which is designed to give administrators of K-12 schools a better understanding of what they should know about technology and how to use it, was recently made available. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) brought together a number of groups that comprise national school leaders, including the Principals' Executive Program at the University of North Carolina and the Western Michigan University College of Education, to come up with the technology standards. A year ago, the ISTE put together a team of educators to help create the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), which are guidelines for integrating technology in classrooms. This year, the ISTE focused on schools as a whole. The six categories of the standards are leadership and vision; learning and teaching; productivity and professional practice; support, management, and operations; assessment and evaluation; and social, legal, and ethical issues. A public comment period will extend through June 30. ISTE will use this feedback to refine its standards before formally issuing them in October. (eSchool News Online, 5 March 2001)
JUDGES, STUDENTS PUT CYBERCOURT ON TRIAL
New technology is making its way into the courtroom, as a recent demonstration at the College of William and Mary showed. Through the "Courtroom 21" program experiment, a Portland, Ore., judge presided over videoconference testimony given by a witness in Orlando, Fla. Fred Lederer, director of "Courtroom 21," says new holographic technology, such as that displayed at NASA's Langley Research Center, is one example of the possible avenues that cybercourt initiatives could take. Lederer is also working on Michigan governor John Engler's proposal to use Web solutions to expedite disputes over intellectual property rights in the tech industry. Already, technology is playing an increasing role in courtroom operations. For example, the appellate judges in the Microsoft antitrust case used laptops to send instant messages to their clerks and research legal indexes during recent hearings. The District of Columbia Appeals Court required both sides to submit court filings in CD-ROM form, allowing the judges to access 15,000 links to case law, exhibits, and even videotaped testimony. (Associated Press, 1 March 2001)
THIS 'VIRTUAL U' HAS REAL BENEFITS
Compared to the cost of attending one of the nation's elite four-year universities, the cost of attending the University of Phoenix Online is a real bargain, argues columnist Christopher Byron. Byron says four years of tuition, room and board, and other expenses at a top institution would easily be more than $100,000, whereas four years at the University of Phoenix Online would be no more than $48,000. Although the University of Phoenix Online was developed for those 23 and older -- in other words, returning students -- Byron sees no reason why those who are considered traditional undergraduates cannot receive their degrees from the online institution. He notes that University of Phoenix Online has 18,500 students and a faculty of 11,500 but managed to operate at a profit margin of 26 percent for the quarter ending last November. In that same quarter, its revenue totaled over $34 million, a 64 percent increase over the same period last year. Meanwhile, because it is an online operation, its overhead expenses were far less than those at an institution with a comparably sized student body. (Bloomberg, 28 February 2001)
LEARNING FROM A DISTANCE
Of the more than 4,000 two- and four-year colleges in the United States, 70 percent provided online courses last year, a 22 percent rise from 1998, reported Market Retrieval Service. American Federation of Teachers vice president Bill Scheuerman stressed the need for institutions to approach e-learning with care, saying "If you're going to do it right, it's going to cost you money." Among the criteria e-learning should meet, Scheuerman suggested training for faculty and 24-hour tech support for both faculty and students. A recent survey by the AFT revealed that Web-based e-learning is the most common form of distance education, most often used for career or science and math classes, with humanities classes next. Education and child development classes were less likely to be online, the AFT found. However, not all e-learning classes meet only online. Joe Moran, who coordinates the adult education master's program at Buffalo State College, explained that his institution's program asks students to come to the classroom once a week. Moran said this arrangement lets students interact and work on cooperative assignments, two features that can be lost in a strictly Web-based operation. (Business First of Buffalo Online, 26 February 2001)
HIGH-TECH EXECUTIVES UNVEIL EDUCATIONAL REFORM GROUP
A group of Silicon Valley executives has unveiled EdVoice, an advocacy group for educational reform. Observers say the group's founding shows the growing power that high-tech leaders exert over public policy. EdVoice, led by John Doerr and NetFlix CEO Reed Hastings, will work to enlist regular California citizens in the effort to improve schools, focusing particularly on three issues: facilitating the opening of charter schools, reducing the licensing hassle that experts in certain fields must face before becoming teachers, and offering teachers financial incentives to work in low-performing schools. The group recently introduced its Web site, which features an e-mail listserv to provide regular updates on educational issues and assists citizens in contacting state officials concerning those issues. "EdVoice is not about CEOs and academics. It's about parents and teachers working with business leaders to get the job of reforming our system of education done," Herring said. (SiliconValley.com, 28 February 2001)
Picturing the Century: One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives
Based on an exhibition of photographs at the National Archives that runs through July of this year, Picturing the Century is an appealing online exhibit of historically significant photographs from both well-known and amateur photographers. The gallery features 70 photographs under the headings A New Century, The Great War and the New Era, The Great Depression and the New Deal, A World in Flames (World War II), Postwar America, and Century's End. Many of the images here are affectingly representative of their times, including the first Wright brothers flight at Kitty Hawk, immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, Lyndon Johnson meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., flower children placing daisies into the rifles of US soldiers, and Nixon's post-resignation departure from the White House. A portfolio section contains another several dozen images taken from the works of Walter Lubken, Lewis Hine, George Ackerman, Dorthea Lange, Ansel Adams, Charles Fenno Jacobs, and Danny Lyon. The photographs are offered in expandable thumbnails with context and photographer information (if known) provided. Best of all, the images are available for immediate printout. [DC] (From the Scout Report)
Strange and Unusual Dictionaries
If you're looking for a few odd dictionaries, look no further. Available on this site are the White Queen's Dictionary of One-Letter Words (over 700 entries), the Dictionary of All-Consonant Words, and the Dictionary of All-Vowel Words.
Unfortunately the dictionaries do not have search engines, but they're designed to be browsable. The examples are delightful and the dictionaries are a lot of fun to browse through (who knew that there was a difference between ooo, oooo, ooooo, oooooo, and oooOOOooo?) If you really like the dictionaries, they're available in a print version. The site also has links to other unusual dictionaries and some recommended books for those interested in words. Lots of fun; worth a look. (From ResearchBuzz)
A pendulum in Port Townsend created these drawings in the sand which illustrate earthquake motion. (Thanks to Debbie Lapeyre)
All items from the Scout Report are copyright Susan Calcari, 1994-2001. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The InterNIC provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation: NCR-9218742. The Government has certain rights in this material.
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Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this newsletter are those of the participants (authors), and do not necessarily represent the official views, opinions, or policy of the National Science Foundation.