The Scout Report

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The following web sites and reviews appeared in recent issues of “The Scout Report,” a publication of Internet Scout sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. This project provides information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation.
You can request a free subscription to The Scout Report at
Two on W.H. Auden:

The Auden Society

Poets: W.H. Auden

After his death in 1973, W.H. Auden was feted in many quarters, and his

reputation as one of the most important poets of the 20th century remains

secure. The first link will take users to the homepage of the W.H. Auden

Society, which works to preserve his legacy and to inform curious readers

about his work in general. The helpful materials on this site are contained

with seven sections, which include "Books", "Poems", "Recordings", and

"News". The "Books" area contains a complete list of Auden's works, along

with his plays and libretti. "News" contains information about news stories

recently done on Auden, and the "Criticism" area contains a rather thorough

listing of introductory studies on Auden, biographies, and concordances. The

second link leads to brief, yet delightful collection of Auden's works

offered by the Academy of American Poets. The site starts off with a brief

biography of Auden, and continues on with the text of eleven poems by the

master himself. The real treat is that visitors can also listen to Auden

read three of his own works, such as "First Things First" and "On the


BBC: Witnessing the Holocaust

This online BBC archive, Witnessing the Holocaust: Personal Accounts of a

Crime Against Humanity, has radio and television programs from 1945-2005,

and documents from 1942-1945, that reveal the horrors and aftermath of the

Holocaust. Visitors interested in listening to or watching video or audio

programs can scroll down the page to view the 17 programs available. The

programs with a blue speaker icon next to the title denote a radio program,

and those with a right-facing arrow next to the title indicate that there is

a video available. Each program is accompanied by a written synopsis of the

program, as well as a section entitled "Did You Know?" that has little known

facts pertaining to the subject of the program. The radio programs range

from a 1945 four-minute broadcast from a Canadian reporter entitled "Gestapo

in Holland", to an almost hour-long 2003 broadcast called "Marianne Grant",

about the artist's heart-wrenching story of having to paint for Dr. Mengele

at Auschwitz. The video programs include a 1989 interview with "Simon

Wiesenthal" as well as a 2005 broadcast, "Grandchild of the Holocaust",

about a grandson and his grandmother who was the only Holocaust survivor of

her family.

Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian

Over half a century since his death, Edward S. Curtis's photographs of

Native Americans remain tremendously popular, and in some quarters, quite

controversial. One of his most notable projects was his limited edition

volume, "The North American Indian". Produced with the financial assistance

of J.P. Morgan, this limited edition publication contained over 2000

photogravure plates and narrative descriptions. Curtis's intent was to

document "the old time Indian, his dress, his ceremonies, his life and

manners." The American Memory Project at the Library of Congress has done a

tremendous job of digitizing this massive volume, and they have placed it

online here for the general public. Visitors can search the volume by

keyword, or browse its contents by subject, American Indian tribe, or

geographic location. The site is rounded out by a special essay presentation

titled "Edward S. Curtis in Context" which gives visitors a nice profile of

Curtis, his legacy, and his contributions to ethnography.

Exploring the Environment: Modules & Activities

The "Classroom of the Future" and "Exploring the Environment" are a

collaboration between NASA and Jesuit Wheeling University, and they are

responsible for this fine website that offers teachers unique ways to teach

students about weather systems. The activities are for grades 5-12, and

each activity indicates the applicable grade level, though most lean toward

the upper grades. The homepage has a jigsaw puzzle graphic with pieces

interlocking that compromise the topics, their grade ranges, whether they

are an activity or lesson, and whether they are "Basic", "Comprehensive" or

"Advanced". The two "Activities" available "Strangers in Paradise" and

"Mars Landing" are located on the homepage at the top of the jigsaw puzzle

graphic. Both are for grades 7-12, and each emphasizes working with digital

images, such as enhancing, saving, manipulating, etc. Detailed instructions

are provided, along with a bit of humor in each scenario. Each of the

lessons involves a situation that students must solve. Some of the lessons

include "Florida Everglades", "Water Quality", and "Tropical Poison". There

is also a "Glossary" provided in a link at the bottom of the page, specific

to each lesson.


Even though EXPLO.TV sounds like an edgy punk website, it's actually the

video component of the Exploratorium: Museum of Science, Art and Human

Perception in San Francisco. This website has some excellent ways to learn

about science--such as webcasts, podcasts, and video clips. At the top of

the page visitors will find several ways to browse: "Presentation Type",

"Program Type", or "Category". Within the categories section visitors will

find: "Everyday Science", "History of Science", and "Popular Science in

Action". "Upcoming Webcasts" is another feature on the homepage, and there

are a number of fine webcasts here. Because the webcasts are produced in San

Francisco, people who live in the area can go to the live audio or video

broadcast. They just need to click on the link "Attend the Live Event" to

learn how. Visitors can also subscribe to a monthly e-newsletter that keeps

them updated on the happenings and special events at the Exploratorium.

Google Earth 5.0

Google Earth has gone underwater with this latest iteration of their popular

Earth-roaming application. Along with traveling the usual roads provided by

previous versions of Google Earth, visitors can now visit the bottom of the

Mariana Trench, learn about ocean observations, and even discover new places

to surf and dive. On the Google Earth homepage, visitors can take a guided

tour of all these new features. This version is compatible with all

operating systems.

The Great Issues Forum

Big ideas are important, and the Graduate Center at the City University of

New York (CUNY) has created the Great Issues Forum in order to "explore

critical issues of our time through a single thematic lens." The program was

started in 2007, and the initiative includes free public conversations,

online seminars, and a number of other features designed to bring these

conversations to people around the globe. Visitors can get a sense of these

conversations by clicking on the "Online Audio/Video Archive" to view past

sessions. These sessions have included discussion on political power,

economic power, and the African-American church and American politics. After

checking one (or more) of these sessions out, visitors should then click on

over to the "Seminars" area. Here they can read and comment on online

discussions about subjects such as global natural resource conflicts and

depictions of power in cinema. Along the way, visitors can also view

participants' bios, and also learn about the upcoming seminar topics and

public presentations and forums.


Everything is going "green" these days, and more and more builders and

homeowners are actively seeking to incorporate energy efficiency elements

into their residences. The U.S. Building Council has sponsored this site to

provide expert know-how on how to create green information regarding

countertops, bathrooms, landscaping, stone & tile coverings, and flooring.

First-time visitors can get a sense of the site's mission by looking through

some of the recent "Ask A Pro" questions. This section provides interested

parties with the opportunity for concerned parties to ask experts questions

such as "How much will it cost to install solar panels on my 2000 sq. ft.

home in San Francisco?". In the "Know-How" area, visitors can browse over

sections that include "Furniture" and "Kitchens" to learn how to choose low-

toxicity finishes, energy-efficient appliances, and durable surfaces.

Finally, visitors can also use the "Search for a Green Pro" feature to look

for a professional in their area who adheres to such methods and principles.

Teaching Tolerance Magazine

The Teaching Tolerance magazine, which is put out by the Southern Poverty

Law Center to accompany its free Teaching Tolerance educational program, is

available online via the website dedicated to the Teaching Tolerance

program. The magazine is loaded with wonderful information and creative ways

to teach tolerance. Visitors should click "Go" next to the great article

entitled "I Didn't Know There Were Cities in Africa!" which is on right side

of the page. At the end of the article is a resource list of all the

materials mentioned in the article. To search issues of the magazine by

grade level, tolerance topic, and academic subject, simply click on any of

the links to articles on the right side of the page, or the "Perspectives",

"Grant Spotlight", or "Teaching Tools" links on the left side of the page.

These will take the visitor to the aforementioned search function, which

will appear in the lower left corner of the page. Clicking on "Advanced

Find", right below the search function, allows the visitor to also choose

the type of content, including classroom activity, lesson plan, parent guide

and magazine article, for which they are searching. If the thoughtful

content and depth with which the Southern Poverty Law Center supports their

Teaching Tolerance program isn't enough to convince visitors that it's a

superb program, check out this quote from their "About Us" section:

"Scientific surveys demonstrate that our programs help students learn

respect for differences and bolster teacher practice."

Victoria and Albert Museum: Medieval & Renaissance

Between their triptychs and impressive prints, the Victoria and Albert

Museum's Medieval & Renaissance collection covers a broad range of artistic

traditions and human history. First-time visitors will want to start with

the "Features" section. Here they can view interactive online exhibits that

deal with Leonardo da Vinci and the famed Raphael Cartoons, which were

commissioned by Pope Leo X. In the "Objects" area, visitors can learn about

individual objects in their holdings, including the Choirscreen from the

Cathedral of St. John in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. Their weblog,

"Past, Present and Future" is a real find, as it contains posts on upcoming

medieval exhibitions, touring exhibitions, conservation efforts, and

curatorship. The "Conservation Case Studies" offer details on the

conservation work on objects like the façade of Sir Paul Pindar's home (a

part of a London timber-framed house that predates the Great Fire of 1666)

and an altarpiece from 1428.

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