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The Scout Report -- November 23, 2012 (HTML)

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  • Sam Vaknin author of "Malignant Self-love
    The Scout Report -- Volume 18, Number 48 The Scout Report November 23, 2012 -- Volume 18, Number 48 A Publication of Internet Scout Computer Sciences
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 22, 2012
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      The Scout Report -- Volume 18, Number 48

      The Scout Report

      November 23, 2012 -- Volume 18, Number 48

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




      Research and Education

        Inventing a Better Mousetrap: Patent Models from the Rothschild Collection

        Learn Chemistry: Chemistry Resources for Teachers

        Solar System Exploration: Fast Lesson Finder

        The History and Nature of Science

        Social Media and Political Engagement

        BBC Science in Action: Podcasts & Downloads

        Futurity

        The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture

      General Interest

        A Tourist's Album of Japan

        From the Ground Up

        Oury Family Papers

        Spiritual Journeys

        International Association for Identification

        A Chronicle of the China Trade: The Papers of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877

        Knitting Industry

      Network Tools

        ScreenSnag

        WallSwitch 1.2.1

      In the News

        New study claims humans are evolving to become less intelligent




      Copyright and subscription information appear at the end of the Scout Report. For more information on all services of Internet Scout, please visit our Website: http://scout.wisc.edu/ If you'd like to know how the Internet Scout team selects resources for inclusion in the Scout Report, visit our Selection Criteria page at: https://scout.wisc.edu/scout-report/selection-criteria The Scout Report on the Web: Current issue: http://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/Current This issue: http://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2012/scout-{filedate} Feedback is always welcome: scout@...



      Research and Education

      Inventing a Better Mousetrap: Patent Models from the Rothschild Collection

      http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2011/rothschild/

      How does one build a better mousetrap? It's a recurring question that one might ask of many important objects and inventions. The folks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum are also quite curious about this subject, and they have created this online exhibition to look at a range of inventions patented in the nineteenth century. The remarkable models all come from the collection of Alan Rothschild, whose holdings of 4,000 patent models is the largest private assemblage of American patent models anywhere. The elaborate models here "illustrate not only the imaginative fervor of the era but also the amazing craftsma nship required to fabricate these often intricate works of art." On the site, visitors can view a slide show of some of the models, browse patent models recently acquired by the museum, and read several excellent articles about the exhibition. Visitors shouldn't miss the fabulous Mousetrap model from 1870 and the rather beautiful fence fabricating machine from 1888. [KMG]


      Learn Chemistry: Chemistry Resources for Teachers

      http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/listing?searchtext=&fcategory=all&filter=all&Audience=AUD00000001&displayname=teachers

      The Royal Society of Chemistry has created this most useful website to help teachers and students of chemistry learn about the field via interactive experiments, diagrams, animations, and so on. The site includes over 3,300 resources. Visitors can get started by using the Resource Type tab. Here they can browse through ten different headings, including Worksheet, Quiz, Tutorial, and Podcast. The Experiments area is quite wonderful, as it includes over 340 different experiments that can be conducted in the classroom. A few highlights in this area include "Challenging Medicines: Making Medicines," "The Salt Cellar Mystery," and "Which solution is which?" Overall, it's a tremendous site and one that visitors will want to share with friends. [KMG]


      Solar System Exploration: Fast Lesson Finder

      http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/educ/lessons.cfm

      How does one get around the solar system? Well, that's a tricky question unless you have a lot of time on your hands, but it's certainly easy to learn about the solar system with these useful lessons provided courtesy of NASA. Their Solar System Exploration website includes hundreds of lessons designed for grades K-12, which visitors can navigate by using the helpful tab menus to look for specific types of materials. The tabs include Grade Level, Solar System Body, Mission, and Topic. Visitors looking for high school materials will do well to look at the Globe Visualization Student Activities, which include close examinations of the Earth hydrology, including aspects of air temp erature, ozone, salinity, and so on. Additionally, visitors can use the Education section on the left-hand side of the site to learn about scientists' work in the "Through the Eyes of Scientists" features. [KMG]


      The History and Nature of Science

      http://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=49969

      The history of science is chock-full of fascinating stories and getting young people involved in this vast panorama of discovery and innovation can be quite easy with some of these resources. Created by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), this series of articles makes teaching and learning about science history a snap. Some of the articles are accessible only to NSTA members, but there's enough free content here to make this site worthwhile. First up is the excellent piece "Technology and Society: Their Impact on Each Other," which is designed to help students learn about the relationship between these two facets of human existence. "Making Things Vi sible" is a great meditation by Roxanne Greitz Miller and Robert C. Calfee on the importance of teaching science as a process, complete with experimentation, success, and failure. [KMG]


      Social Media and Political Engagement

      http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Political-Engagement.aspx

      How much do people use social media as a way to be politically engaged? This question has been posed by a team of researchers at the Pew Internet & American Life Project, resulting in this 13-page report. The report was authored by a team of scholars including Lee Rainie and Aaron Smith and found that 60% of adults use social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter and that approximately 39% of all adults have done at least one of eight civic or political activities with social media. The findings here are based on a nationally representative survey of 2,253 adults conducted in the summer of 2012. Visitors can view the report in its entirety online o r download the file. Additionally, persons with an interest in psychometrics and survey design can explore all of the survey questions here. [KMG]


      BBC Science in Action: Podcasts & Downloads

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/scia

      The BBC has gone above and beyond the call of duty with these wonderful podcasts that deal with various new developments in science from around the world. The series is called "Science in Action" and a new podcast is added every week. Recent episodes have dealt with theories of supersymmetry, climate records, Mayan civilization, and how different meteorological events have influenced the course of history. Each podcast is a neat and tidy eighteen minutes long, and the online archive contains episodes from the past month. Also, visitors can view a set of related links, which include the complete listing of podcasts from the BBC World Service and a link to the Science in Action homepage. [KMG]


      Futurity

      http://www.futurity.org/

      The Futurity website features "the latest discoveries by scientists at top research universities in the US, UK, Canada and Australia." Currently, some of the participating universities include Boston University, Duke University, McGill University, and the University of Sheffield. Visitors to the homepage will note that there are four areas on the site: Earth & Environment, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, and Society & Culture. Recently profiled news items include a compelling new discovery from New York University about the reality of a tractor beam that can pull microscopic particles. The Society & Culture section is a real find, as it contains engaging pieces like "Is zero tolerance too hard on students?" and "Big banks loom over finance 'eco system'." Also, visitors can browse news items by school or by topic area. Finally, the Week's Most Discussed area is a great way to learn about compelling new stories from around the globe. [KMG]


      The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture

      http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/

      The mission of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture is "to collect and disseminate information on all aspects of the state's history and culture and to provide a comprehensive reference work for historians, teachers, students and individuals for the purpose of promoting the study, understanding, and appreciation of Arkansas's heritage." First-time visitors should check out the This Day in Arkansas History feature, which provides easy access to the lore, culture, history, and geography of the state. Moving on, visitors can use the Browse Entries area to look around the material by category, type, time period, or race & ethnicity. Those persons looking for a bit of audio-visual in spiration will want to click on over to the Browse Media area. Here, they can find songs performed by sons and daughters of Arkansas (including the legendary Al Hibbler), maps, and video clips from films like "Emerson County Shaping Dream" and "Unhooking the Hookworm." [KMG]



      General Interest

      A Tourist's Album of Japan

      http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/getCollection.xql?pid=japanesetourist&title=A%20Tourist's%20Album%20of%20Japan

      If you are looking to explore Japan in the year 1909 via the eyes of an informed and thoughtful Western tourist, look no further. This engaging collection from the University of Vermont Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives brings together the photo album compiled by Katherine Wolcott and her uncle, Robert Hull Fleming. Fleming was a graduate of the University of Vermont and as part of a larger Asian trip, the two of them stopped in Japan and collected photos, postcards, and other printed ephemera. This collection contains nearly 40 leaves of collected items which depict daily life, landscapes, and pictures of the countryside. Visitors can browse the materials here by genre, topic, creator, format, or place. A good place to start here is with the photos of Mount Fuji, which are a real treat. [KMG]


      From the Ground Up

      http://www.groundsite.org/

      The From the Ground Up initiative is an ongoing collaboration between artists living in Lawrence, Kansas and scientists and teachers from the University of Kansas and the Kansas Geological Survey. The project "seeks to capture the imagination of students of all ages who are interested in the landscape around them and exploring the connections between human history, art, geography, biology and other disciplines." Currently, there are over 700 images here, and visitors can look through them at their leisure. The neat things is that each of these artworks has been mapped to a particular GPS coordinate, so visitors can locate each of them on a map. Visitors shouldn't miss the beautiful paintings by Paul Hotvedt which dramatically depict the l andscape around Lawrence via a series of perspectives on the local landscape in and around Lawrence. Other archival items here include photographs of Lawrence from the early 20th century and a selection of maps. Overall, it's a rather wonderful look at the artistic impulses that have emanated from this corner of the United States. [KMG]


      Oury Family Papers

      http://www.library.arizona.edu/contentdm/oury/index.php

      The Oury Family was an Arizona pioneer family, prominent in territorial political and military affairs. Their number included William S. Oury, who served as the first mayor of Tucson in 1864. He later purchased the "Arizonian" newspaper in Tubac and moved it to Tucson. Other family members contributed to the spirit and culture of the Arizona territory during the late 19th century as well. This site provides interested parties with access to their family papers, which are part of the University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections. First-time visitors should check out the Finding Aid area, as it will help them get acclimated to the breadth of the materials. The documents include family correspondence, diaries, photographs, deeds, articles, and speeches related to the Ourys' involvement in Arizona territorial military experience. It's quite a collection, and one that anyone with an interest in American history will find most edifying. [KMG]


      Spiritual Journeys

      http://libraries.slu.edu/a/digital_collections/spiritual-journeys/index.html

      The members of the Society of Jesus are commonly known as Jesuits, and their work in establishing scholarly institutions like Loyola University of Chicago and Seattle University is well-known throughout the United States. This rather contemplative online exhibition looks at books which document the first two centuries of the Society of Jesus, courtesy of St. Louis University in Missouri. The original in situ exhibit was curated by Paul Shore, who worked with rare books librarian Jennifer Lowe. Visitors should start by clicking on the Introduction area and reading a thoughtful essay by Shore on the early history of the Society, which began i n 1540. The piece talks about the important of spiritual journeys (which often had a strong literal travel component) and it sets the tone for the entire exhibit. The work goes on to describe nine key books, including works by Daniello Bartoli and Mathias Tanner. The site is rounded out by an afterwords and a bibliography. [KMG]


      International Association for Identification

      http://iai.lib.wvu.edu/

      The International Association for Identification (IAI) is the world's oldest and largest criminal identification organization. In 2005, the IAI selected the West Virginia University Libraries to house its priceless research library due in part to the institution's program in the field of forensic and investigative sciences education. The collection is rather fascinating, containing over 3,000 digitized images, along with a guide to researching the forensic sciences and materials on the celebrated Francis Galton. Galton dedicated his life to anthropology and genetics, and he was also interested in fingerprints. Staff members have digitized certain volumes related to Galton's life and visitors can access these volumes. O ver at the Digital Collection area, visitors can search or browse through the images collected as part of the IAI's work. The documents and images also include internal IAI documents, newsletters, and information about advances in the forensic sciences. [KMG]


      A Chronicle of the China Trade: The Papers of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877

      http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/heard/

      Albert Heard, the head of a prominent American trading house in China, once remarked that "Business is too important and interesting not to be chronicled somehow." As it turns out, his own firm, Augustine Heard & Co., chronicled its own activities extensively via a massive collection of descriptive letters and diaries. The company archives are part of the Baker Library collection at the Harvard Business School, and it remains one of the largest collections of business records relating to the nineteenth century China trade. All told, there are 800 volumes, 272 boxes, and 103 cartons in the collection. On this site, visitors can learn about the company's operati ons through eleven sections, which include "Clippers & Steamships" and "Influence of the China Trade." Each section contains thoughtful narrative essays, along with primary documents like trade agreements and other items that document these business relationships. [KMG]


      Knitting Industry

      http://www.knittingindustry.com/

      The knitting industry is a vast one, and this industry website is a great way to keep tabs on new and important developments in the field. The site is based in the United Kingdom, and it covers the knitting and hosiery industries by providing information about the industry's leading shows and exhibitions, along with offering a searchable buyer's guide and research reports. On the website, visitors can look at seven different key areas, including Information & Markets, Exhibitions & Shows, and Technology & Processes. This last area is quite fascinating, as it contains key updates on different facets of the history of the industry and new documents on fibers and circular knitting. Additionally, visitors can sign up to receive the ir free weekly newsletter via email. [KMG]



      Network Tools

      ScreenSnag

      http://www.wolfcoders.com/screensnag/

      Looking to grab a slice of your computer screen for later use? ScreenSnag has got you covered. This version allows users to capture the entire screen (or just a defined section) with a single click. Visitors can also use the Timer option to perform captures at select intervals. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer. [KMG]


      WallSwitch 1.2.1

      http://wallswitch.codeplex.com/

      Maybe you're growing tired of your desktop wallpaper. Never fear, as WallSwitch can prevent things from getting stale. Visitors can use their photo folders or other images as fodder for the WallSwitch program, which will cycle them through at various intervals. Also, there is a collage mode, which offers another way to display images. The program also has cross-fading transitions and the ability to apply color effects to the selected images. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. {KMG]



      In the News

      New study claims humans are evolving to become less intelligent


      Dumb and Dumber - Study Says Humans Are Slowly Losing Their Smarts
      http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/11/13/dumb-and-dumber-study-says-humans-are-slowly-losing-their-smarts?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

      Our Fragile Intellect, Parts I and II
      http://www.cell.com/trends/genetics/searchresults?searchText=gerald+crabtree&submit_search=Search&searchBy=fulltext

      17 Things That Make You Dumber
      http://www.businessinsider.com/17-things-that-make-you-dumber-2012-8?op=1

      The Movie Hollywood Doesn’t Want You to See
      http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/2006/09/the_movie_hollywood_doesnt_want_you_to_see.html

      Are Humans Getting Dumber?
      http://io9.com/5960176/are-humans-getting-dumber

      Synthetic Synapse Could Take Us One Step Closer to an Artificial Brain
      http://io9.com/5917334/synthetic-synapse-could-take-us-one-step-closer-to-an-artificial-brain

      In the 20th century alone, humans have invented aircraft, nuclear power, computers, video game consoles, and the World Wide Web. Yet a recent study by Gerald Crabtree, a gen! eticist at Stanford University, suggests that humans are evolving to become less intelligent. Crabtree claims that mutations affecting 5,000 genes in our DNA have negatively affected our intelligence over the last 3,000 years. Crabtree asserts that random, naturally occurring mutations have most likely occurred in virtually every human. The safer life gets for humans, the less important it is for us to have good judgment for survival and mating. No longer are we constantly wary of predators and environmental hazards, which has resulted in diminished survival instincts. So why have we accomplished so much over the last 3,000 years? According to Crabtree, our cumulative knowledge and ability to transfer knowledge has grown over the centuries; it is only our individual brainpower that has declined. [HW]

      The first link provides readers with US News’s summary of Crabtree’s findings. The second link offers parts 1 and 2 of Crabtree’s full stud y, published in "Trends in Genetics." The third link brings interested readers to a Business Insider piece, based on 17 studies, which lists modern human behavior that correlates with reduced ability on intelligence measures. The fourth link is a review of Idiocracy, a film referenced in several articles about Crabtree’s findings because of its portrayal of future humans as, well, idiots. The fifth link is a more critical review of Crabtree’s study, which claims that it doesn’t matter that our genes have mutated, because our ability to crowdsource knowledge has skyrocketed, and modern science can or will be able to manipulate genes. The sixth link offers readers evidence of this modern science, with the recently developed synthetic synapse.





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