The Scout Report -- Volume 26, Number 40 (fwd)

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The Scout Report
October 16, 2020
Volume 26, Number 40
-----
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
=======

General Interest
1. Technovation Families
2. Plainlanguage.gov
3. Big History Project
4. Shakespeare's First Folio
5. Digital Atlas of Ancient Life
Theme: Global Food Systems
6. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
7. MishtiDoi
8. Food Systems Feed the World
9. Item 13: An African Food Podcast
10. Indigenous Food Systems Network
Tech Tools
11. OpenSCAD
12. Ren'Py
Revisited
13. Harvest Public Media

If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to support
The Scout Report and the work of Internet Scout, please visit:
 http://scoutr.pt/donate

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:
 

For more information on all services of Internet Scout, please
visit our Website: https://scout.wisc.edu

The Scout Report on the Web:
 Current issue: https://scout.wisc.edu/report/current
This issue:
 

Feedback is always welcome: sc...@scout.wisc.edu

General Interest

1. Technovation Families

With several months of social distancing and sheltering in place underway,
parents and caregivers may be looking for a new family activity to engage
the young people in their lives. Technovation Families is a great option.
This platform does more than introduce users to the "core concepts of
artificial intelligence;" it invites users to "imagine a better world and
build it together." The program is free, but users will have to create an
account to participate. Under the AI Family Challenge tab, users will find
ten lessons that help "families learn foundational skills needed to utilize
and explore aspects of AI, while participating in hands-on activities where
they get to actually engage in building AI agents." These lessons culminate
in the creation of an AI invention that families can enter in a worldwide
competition. More information about the competition is available under the
About Us tab, on the World Summit and Important Dates pages. Looking for
additional opportunities to improve AI skills? Check out the Design
Challenges tab, where visitors will find more than 100 activities and
projects. These materials can be sorted by category (for example, "Art of
Science" or "Computer Science") for more manageable browsing. Technovation
is a "global tech education nonprofit," and receives support from corporate
partners, including Adobe, Google, and Uber. [EMB]

2. Plainlanguage.gov

Under the Plain Writing Act, a law signed in 2010, federal agencies must
"use clear government communication that the public can understand and
use." However, the benefits of clear writing extend far beyond the
governmental sector. At the site above, readers can learn more about the
Plain Writing Act and hone communication skills to assist in professional
and personal endeavors. Managed by the Plain Language Action and
Information Network, "a group of federal employees from different agencies
and specialties who support the use of clear communication in government
writing," and frequently updated since its launch in 1994, this site has a
wealth of reliable resources. The Plain Language Guidelines tab walks users
through steps for clear communication; for example, writers should always
"choose your words carefully," and "keep it conversational." Then, the
Examples tab further illustrates many of these principles (check out the
Before and After section for some quick fixes to eliminate ambiguity).
Looking for even more guidance? The Training tab highlights resources for
both federal agencies and the general public, and the Resources tab
includes a useful "Checklist for Plain Language." Happy (clear) writing!
[EMB]

3. Big History Project

"Where did everything come from?" This is a big question, so it is only
fitting that the answer is found in the Big History Project. This free
online course, designed for high school students, takes learners on a
journey through "13.7 billion years of history." With so much ground to
cover, the course divides its contents into five chapters: The Universe,
Our Solar System and Earth, Life, Humans, and The Future. Embedded videos,
quizzes, and activities keep students engaged along the way. While
registration is not required to access the course materials, creating a
free account does allow users to "take quizzes, track your progress, and
earn badges." Plus, instructors can provide their students with a unique
access code to keep track of each student's progress. The course is
recommended for social studies classrooms, and teachers can join more than
1,000 of their peers who have already implemented the curriculum. Big
History Project is a collaboration between Bill Gates and Professor David
Christian (from Macquarie University), with additional support from
educators and scientists. Readers should note the website is currently
migrating to a new platform (accessible via the Go to School Site box at
the top of the page); and, as a bonus, educators can also access Big
History Project's sister project, World History Project, at this link.
[EMB]

4. Shakespeare's First Folio

The University Library at Leeds Brotherton invites visitors to dive into
Shakespeare's First Folio, a resource highlighting "the significance of the
book and the history of this particular copy." The website is nicely set up
to allow viewers to page through a table of contents, where commentary
written by Shakespearean scholars is provided, along with the digital
version of the folio. For example, Section 1.1, "The significance of the
First Folio: the plays," points out that although many of Shakespeare's
plays had already appeared in smaller quarto editions, "without the Folio,
we would not have <i>Macbeth</i> or <i>Julius Caesar</i>, <i>Antony and
Cleopatra</i> or <i>Coriolanus</i>; we would be missing <i>Twelfth
Night</i> and <i>As You Like It</i>, <i>Measure for Measure</i> and <i>The
Comedy of Errors</i>; we would be without <i>The Winter's Tale</i> and
<i>The Tempest</i>." Other sections investigate aspects such as the
portrait of Shakespeare that is the frontispiece to this edition
(commentary by Jane Rickard, a professor of 17th-century English
literature) and the physical condition of the First Folio. Finally, those
wishing to dispense with commentary can jump to Section 5 and view the
high-resolution digitized version of the entire First Folio. [DS]

5. Digital Atlas of Ancient Life

The Digital Atlas of Ancient Life, a project of the Paleontological
Research Institution based in Ithaca, New York, is elevating fossil
exploration. The project serves as "a free resource to help individuals
identify and better understand fossil species from particular regions and
time intervals." Users can view the four existing Digital Atlases on the
Home page (under Regional Field Guides to Fossils) or by clicking on the
Field Guides tab. Users who prefer accessing the content on a smartphone
will delight in the Digital Atlas app. More information, including how to
download the app, is found under the Apps tab. These atlases are far from
the only tools available on the site. Educators of all levels will want to
check out the Teaching Resources page (found under Teach), which provides
lessons for elementary, middle school, and university students. Plus,
educators looking to simulate traditional lab environments in a virtual
setting will want to check out the Virtual Collection. Here, users will
find "interactive 3D models of fossil specimens," accompanied by a user
guide for easy implementation. Finally, expert and novice paleontological
scholars will find a wealth of resources under the Digital Encyclopedia
tab, which acts as "an open access 'textbook' about fossils and the history
of life on Earth." The site is frequently updated, and users can stay
informed of new additions on the Updates page. [EMB]

Theme: Global Food Systems

6. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development

October 16 is World Food Day, an annual celebration recognizing the
founding of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Many of
the holiday's themes, including sustainable food systems and
environmentalism, are represented in the <i>Journal of Agriculture, Food
Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD)</i>. This open-access journal
(as of 2018) "is the world's only peer-reviewed, transdisciplinary journal
focused solely on food and farming-related community development."
Scrolling down the Home page, readers will find recent articles
highlighted. Visiting the Archives page allows users to browse by volume
(from 2010 to present). Articles of interest can be easily downloaded or
printed. Readers interested in publishing with the journal should check out
the Submissions tab. <i>JAFSCD</i> is currently led by Editor-in-Chief
Duncan Hilchey (from the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and
Food Systems). Financial support is provided by the Johns Hopkins Center
for a Livable Future, the Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Institute for
Sustainable Food Systems, the University of Vermont Food Systems, the
Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and Clemson University Land-Grant
Local Food Systems Solutions. [EMB]

7. MishtiDoi

Inspired by a gastronomical data visualization on restaurant patterns in
the United States (published in <i>The Pudding</i> in 2018), Vivek Aithal
created this project to gain an "understanding of the food landscape in
India." Named after a popular Bangladeshi dessert, MishtiDoi transforms
restaurant data, primarily compiled from the Indian restaurant search
platform Zomato, into various interactive charts. The results are based on
more than 167,000 restaurants across more than 75 cities and paint a broad
picture of India's restaurant culture and cuisine preferences. What cities
have the most affordable cuisine? What city's cuisine receives the highest
customer ratings? And, where can restaurant goers find the greatest variety
of cuisine options? Scroll through the resource to find out. As an added
bonus, check out the comparison tool at the bottom of the page that invites
users to "pit cuisines against each other and see which one wins, across
India." Of course, Aithal recognizes there are limitations to his data
compilation. However, the project presents a fun introduction to India's
restaurant landscape. [EMB]

8. Food Systems Feed the World

Designed for middle school classrooms and meant to last an hour, this
lesson plan is the perfect introduction to a unit on agriculture and food
systems. The curriculum invites students to "explore the steps and
processes that create a food system and gain an understanding of hunger as
it relates to the physical well-being, culture, and geographic location of
all people." The lesson plan includes two activities (with links to all of
the materials needed), suggested questions to guide discussions, and a list
of "companion resources" for further exploration. The activities, which
explore food production and food insecurity, can be easily adapted for
virtual classrooms. Debra Spielmaker created this lesson for the National
Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix, a branch of Agriculture in the
Classroom (which longtime readers may remember from the 02-01-2013 <i>Scout
Report</i>). Educators may also enjoy other lesson plans in the matrix
(which can be searched by grade and content area). Additionally, educators
may find value in the other learning tools found on the Teacher Center
page. For example, the eLearning section has classroom activities for pre-K
through 12th grade. [EMB]

9. Item 13: An African Food Podcast

<i>Item 13: An African Food Podcast</i> introduces listeners to African
chefs and cuisine, from Uganda (Episode 37) to Liberia (Episode 36), and
many points in between. Yorm Tagoe, the founder of esSense 13, "a platform
dedicated to raising the profile of African food globally," hosts the show.
She named it after the Ghanaian slang term that "refers to food/snacks
usually following a meeting or program of events," because "refreshments
were typically the 13th item on a meeting agenda." Since its launch in
2018, the show has released more than three dozen episodes. The length of
each episode ranges greatly, from about 15 minutes to more than an hour;
and, based on the theme of the show, perhaps listeners can tune in as they
prepare a meal (whether it is a quick bite or a longer cooking process).
All installments are found under the Episodes tab of the site, and new
listeners may also enjoy a collection of "audience favorites" linked on the
Home tab (under Start Here!). New episodes are released every Tuesday, and
listeners can also find the show (and subscribe) on Apple Podcasts and
other popular podcast platforms. [EMB]

10. Indigenous Food Systems Network

Created by the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, the Indigenous
Food Systems Network website serves as a hub for Indigenous food and food
sovereignty related resources and research. The Network defines Indigenous
food sovereignty as "a specific policy approach to addressing the
underlying issues impacting Indigenous peoples and our ability to respond
to our own needs for healthy, culturally adapted Indigenous foods," and
devotes a section of the site to explore this topic. Other topics have
their own sections, too, which are listed on the left-hand panel. For
example, visitors can prepare a three-course meal using the Recipes
section, explore seasonal activities in the Events and Activities section,
and learn about Indigenous leaders and projects via the Profiles section.
The Explore by Resource Keywords box, found at the bottom of the Home page,
is a great way to browse content from across the site. These keywords
include: "Food Sovereignty," "Nutrition," and "Health." Readers should note
that some materials on the site are a decade old, but the What's New
section brings attention to "recent additions to the site." While all
readers can view the resources on the site, readers looking to share
resources will need to register an account. Instructions on how to do so
are found under the Help tab. [EMB]

Tech Tools

11. OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is an application for creating 3D models. In contrast to tools
like Blender, where users build 3D objects by means of an interactive,
graphical editing system, with OpenSCAD users instead create a script in
OpenSCAD's language that describes the object they want. The OpenSCAD
documentation describes it as working "something like a 3D-compiler that
reads in a script file," and "renders the 3D model from this script file."
As such, it is not terribly well-suited to creating artistic 3D animations
but is more designed for creating models where a high degree of precision
is required (the docs mention "machine parts" as one example). The OpenSCAD
documentation includes a tutorial that walks new users through the process
of creating their first object, a detailed user manual, a comprehensive
language reference, and a "cheat sheet" giving an at-a-glance overview of
the OpenSCAD scripting language. In the Downloads section of the site,
users can locate installers for macOS, Windows, and Linux systems. OpenSCAD
is also present in the package repositories for numerous Linux and BSD
systems. [CRH]

12. Ren'Py

Ren'Py is a game engine that can be used to create visual novels and
simulation games. Ren'Py uses its own "screen language" that is similar in
format to how screenplays are written. Using only this language, authors
can create interactive visual novels that incorporate images, videos, and
sounds. It even supports branching, non-linear plot lines. Blocks of Python
code may also be included to extend Ren'Py with additional features and
facilitate the creation of full-fledged simulation games. The Ren'Py front
page mentions that more than 1500 such projects have been created to date.
Ren'Py has been recommended as a platform for game creation by outlets such
as <i>MakeUseOf</i> and <i>The Guardian</i>. It has also been used in
University-level art classes. The Quickstart section in the Ren'Py
documentation outlines the creation of a simple visual novel and provides
links to detailed reference material. In the Download section of the site,
users can locate versions of the Ren'Py Software Development Kit for
Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. This SDK can be used to create games
that run on computers running Windows, macOS, or Linux/BSD, devices running
iOS or Android, or as HTML5 websites running in a modern browser. [CRH]

Revisited

13. Harvest Public Media

<i>Originally featured in the 03-01-2019 Scout Report, Harvest Public Media
continues to bring readers unique news stories "covering our food system
from the Heartland."</i>

Readers interested in issues related to food, agriculture, and energy may
enjoy Harvest Public Media. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, this resource
is a public media collaboration that aims to "provide in-depth and unbiased
reporting on complex issues for a broad, diverse audience, often connecting
the Heartland to the rest of the country." Recent topics covered by Harvest
Public Media include: fighting food insecurity during COVID-19,
horticultural experiments with growing hops, and how small businesses are
reacting to state fair cancellations. Multiple new stories are generally
added to Harvest Public Media each week, with most of their reports growing
out of radio stories that air on one of their many partner stations, which
are then expanded to include an online component. Launched in 2010 by a
grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Harvest Public Media is
largely supported by its partner stations operating throughout the
Midwestern United States. [JDC] [EMB]

For reproduction information about the Scout Report, please see:
 

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed
in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or the
National Science Foundation.

======                        ======

Index for October 16, 2020

======                        ======

1. Technovation Families
 
2. Plainlanguage.gov
 
3. Big History Project
 
4. Shakespeare's First Folio
 
5. Digital Atlas of Ancient Life
 
6. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
 
7. MishtiDoi
 
8. Food Systems Feed the World
 
9. Item 13: An African Food Podcast
 
10. Indigenous Food Systems Network
 
11. OpenSCAD
 
12. Ren'Py
 
13. Harvest Public Media
 

======                                ====

Subscription and Contact Information

====                                ======

To receive the electronic mail version of the Scout Report each week,
subscribe to the scout-report mailing list. This is the only mail you
will receive from this list.

The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published every Friday of the year
except for the Fridays after Christmas and New Years by Internet Scout, located in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer
Sciences. Funding sources have included the National Science Foundation and the
University of Wisconsin Libraries.

For information on contributors to the Scout Report, please see the Internet Scout staff page:
 

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October 16, 2020
Volume 26, Number 40

General Interest

Theme: Global Food Systems

Tech Tools

Revisited

If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to support The Scout Report and the work of Internet Scout, please visit our donation page.

General Interest

Back to Top
Technovation Families
Science

With several months of social distancing and sheltering in place underway, parents and caregivers may be looking for a new family activity to engage the young people in their lives. Technovation Families is a great option. This platform does more than introduce users to the "core concepts of artificial intelligence;" it invites users to "imagine a better world and build it together." The program is free, but users will have to create an account to participate. Under the AI Family Challenge tab, users will find ten lessons that help "families learn foundational skills needed to utilize and explore aspects of AI, while participating in hands-on activities where they get to actually engage in building AI agents." These lessons culminate in the creation of an AI invention that families can enter in a worldwide competition. More information about the competition is available under the About Us tab, on the World Summit and Important Dates pages. Looking for additional opportunities to improve AI skills? Check out the Design Challenges tab, where visitors will find more than 100 activities and projects. These materials can be sorted by category (for example, "Art of Science" or "Computer Science") for more manageable browsing. Technovation is a "global tech education nonprofit," and receives support from corporate partners, including Adobe, Google, and Uber. [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Plainlanguage.gov
Language Arts

Under the Plain Writing Act, a law signed in 2010, federal agencies must "use clear government communication that the public can understand and use." However, the benefits of clear writing extend far beyond the governmental sector. At the site above, readers can learn more about the Plain Writing Act and hone communication skills to assist in professional and personal endeavors. Managed by the Plain Language Action and Information Network, "a group of federal employees from different agencies and specialties who support the use of clear communication in government writing," and frequently updated since its launch in 1994, this site has a wealth of reliable resources. The Plain Language Guidelines tab walks users through steps for clear communication; for example, writers should always "choose your words carefully," and "keep it conversational." Then, the Examples tab further illustrates many of these principles (check out the Before and After section for some quick fixes to eliminate ambiguity). Looking for even more guidance? The Training tab highlights resources for both federal agencies and the general public, and the Resources tab includes a useful "Checklist for Plain Language." Happy (clear) writing! [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Big History Project
Science

"Where did everything come from?" This is a big question, so it is only fitting that the answer is found in the Big History Project. This free online course, designed for high school students, takes learners on a journey through "13.7 billion years of history." With so much ground to cover, the course divides its contents into five chapters: The Universe, Our Solar System and Earth, Life, Humans, and The Future. Embedded videos, quizzes, and activities keep students engaged along the way. While registration is not required to access the course materials, creating a free account does allow users to "take quizzes, track your progress, and earn badges." Plus, instructors can provide their students with a unique access code to keep track of each student's progress. The course is recommended for social studies classrooms, and teachers can join more than 1,000 of their peers who have already implemented the curriculum. Big History Project is a collaboration between Bill Gates and Professor David Christian (from Macquarie University), with additional support from educators and scientists. Readers should note the website is currently migrating to a new platform (accessible via the Go to School Site box at the top of the page); and, as a bonus, educators can also access Big History Project's sister project, World History Project, at this link. [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Shakespeare's First Folio
Arts

The University Library at Leeds Brotherton invites visitors to dive into Shakespeare's First Folio, a resource highlighting "the significance of the book and the history of this particular copy." The website is nicely set up to allow viewers to page through a table of contents, where commentary written by Shakespearean scholars is provided, along with the digital version of the folio. For example, Section 1.1, "The significance of the First Folio: the plays," points out that although many of Shakespeare's plays had already appeared in smaller quarto editions, "without the Folio, we would not have Macbeth or Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra or Coriolanus; we would be missing Twelfth Night and As You Like It, Measure for Measure and The Comedy of Errors; we would be without The Winter's Tale and The Tempest." Other sections investigate aspects such as the portrait of Shakespeare that is the frontispiece to this edition (commentary by Jane Rickard, a professor of 17th-century English literature) and the physical condition of the First Folio. Finally, those wishing to dispense with commentary can jump to Section 5 and view the high-resolution digitized version of the entire First Folio. [DS]

Comment on or rate this resource

Digital Atlas of Ancient Life
Science

The Digital Atlas of Ancient Life, a project of the Paleontological Research Institution based in Ithaca, New York, is elevating fossil exploration. The project serves as "a free resource to help individuals identify and better understand fossil species from particular regions and time intervals." Users can view the four existing Digital Atlases on the Home page (under Regional Field Guides to Fossils) or by clicking on the Field Guides tab. Users who prefer accessing the content on a smartphone will delight in the Digital Atlas app. More information, including how to download the app, is found under the Apps tab. These atlases are far from the only tools available on the site. Educators of all levels will want to check out the Teaching Resources page (found under Teach), which provides lessons for elementary, middle school, and university students. Plus, educators looking to simulate traditional lab environments in a virtual setting will want to check out the Virtual Collection. Here, users will find "interactive 3D models of fossil specimens," accompanied by a user guide for easy implementation. Finally, expert and novice paleontological scholars will find a wealth of resources under the Digital Encyclopedia tab, which acts as "an open access 'textbook' about fossils and the history of life on Earth." The site is frequently updated, and users can stay informed of new additions on the Updates page. [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Theme: Global Food Systems

Back to Top
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
Science

October 16 is World Food Day, an annual celebration recognizing the founding of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Many of the holiday's themes, including sustainable food systems and environmentalism, are represented in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD). This open-access journal (as of 2018) "is the world's only peer-reviewed, transdisciplinary journal focused solely on food and farming-related community development." Scrolling down the Home page, readers will find recent articles highlighted. Visiting the Archives page allows users to browse by volume (from 2010 to present). Articles of interest can be easily downloaded or printed. Readers interested in publishing with the journal should check out the Submissions tab. JAFSCD is currently led by Editor-in-Chief Duncan Hilchey (from the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems). Financial support is provided by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, the Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, the University of Vermont Food Systems, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and Clemson University Land-Grant Local Food Systems Solutions. [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

MishtiDoi
Social studies

Inspired by a gastronomical data visualization on restaurant patterns in the United States (published in The Pudding in 2018), Vivek Aithal created this project to gain an "understanding of the food landscape in India." Named after a popular Bangladeshi dessert, MishtiDoi transforms restaurant data, primarily compiled from the Indian restaurant search platform Zomato, into various interactive charts. The results are based on more than 167,000 restaurants across more than 75 cities and paint a broad picture of India's restaurant culture and cuisine preferences. What cities have the most affordable cuisine? What city's cuisine receives the highest customer ratings? And, where can restaurant goers find the greatest variety of cuisine options? Scroll through the resource to find out. As an added bonus, check out the comparison tool at the bottom of the page that invites users to "pit cuisines against each other and see which one wins, across India." Of course, Aithal recognizes there are limitations to his data compilation. However, the project presents a fun introduction to India's restaurant landscape. [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Food Systems Feed the World
Science

Designed for middle school classrooms and meant to last an hour, this lesson plan is the perfect introduction to a unit on agriculture and food systems. The curriculum invites students to "explore the steps and processes that create a food system and gain an understanding of hunger as it relates to the physical well-being, culture, and geographic location of all people." The lesson plan includes two activities (with links to all of the materials needed), suggested questions to guide discussions, and a list of "companion resources" for further exploration. The activities, which explore food production and food insecurity, can be easily adapted for virtual classrooms. Debra Spielmaker created this lesson for the National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix, a branch of Agriculture in the Classroom (which longtime readers may remember from the 02-01-2013 Scout Report). Educators may also enjoy other lesson plans in the matrix (which can be searched by grade and content area). Additionally, educators may find value in the other learning tools found on the Teacher Center page. For example, the eLearning section has classroom activities for pre-K through 12th grade. [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Item 13: An African Food Podcast
Social studies

Item 13: An African Food Podcast introduces listeners to African chefs and cuisine, from Uganda (Episode 37) to Liberia (Episode 36), and many points in between. Yorm Tagoe, the founder of esSense 13, "a platform dedicated to raising the profile of African food globally," hosts the show. She named it after the Ghanaian slang term that "refers to food/snacks usually following a meeting or program of events," because "refreshments were typically the 13th item on a meeting agenda." Since its launch in 2018, the show has released more than three dozen episodes. The length of each episode ranges greatly, from about 15 minutes to more than an hour; and, based on the theme of the show, perhaps listeners can tune in as they prepare a meal (whether it is a quick bite or a longer cooking process). All installments are found under the Episodes tab of the site, and new listeners may also enjoy a collection of "audience favorites" linked on the Home tab (under Start Here!). New episodes are released every Tuesday, and listeners can also find the show (and subscribe) on Apple Podcasts and other popular podcast platforms. [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Indigenous Food Systems Network
Social studies

Created by the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, the Indigenous Food Systems Network website serves as a hub for Indigenous food and food sovereignty related resources and research. The Network defines Indigenous food sovereignty as "a specific policy approach to addressing the underlying issues impacting Indigenous peoples and our ability to respond to our own needs for healthy, culturally adapted Indigenous foods," and devotes a section of the site to explore this topic. Other topics have their own sections, too, which are listed on the left-hand panel. For example, visitors can prepare a three-course meal using the Recipes section, explore seasonal activities in the Events and Activities section, and learn about Indigenous leaders and projects via the Profiles section. The Explore by Resource Keywords box, found at the bottom of the Home page, is a great way to browse content from across the site. These keywords include: "Food Sovereignty," "Nutrition," and "Health." Readers should note that some materials on the site are a decade old, but the What's New section brings attention to "recent additions to the site." While all readers can view the resources on the site, readers looking to share resources will need to register an account. Instructions on how to do so are found under the Help tab. [EMB]

Comment on or rate this resource

Tech Tools

Back to Top
OpenSCAD
Science

OpenSCAD is an application for creating 3D models. In contrast to tools like Blender, where users build 3D objects by means of an interactive, graphical editing system, with OpenSCAD users instead create a script in OpenSCAD's language that describes the object they want. The OpenSCAD documentation describes it as working "something like a 3D-compiler that reads in a script file," and "renders the 3D model from this script file." As such, it is not terribly well-suited to creating artistic 3D animations but is more designed for creating models where a high degree of precision is required (the docs mention "machine parts" as one example). The OpenSCAD documentation includes a tutorial that walks new users through the process of creating their first object, a detailed user manual, a comprehensive language reference, and a "cheat sheet" giving an at-a-glance overview of the OpenSCAD scripting language. In the Downloads section of the site, users can locate installers for macOS, Windows, and Linux systems. OpenSCAD is also present in the package repositories for numerous Linux and BSD systems. [CRH]

Comment on or rate this resource

Ren'Py
Language Arts

Ren'Py is a game engine that can be used to create visual novels and simulation games. Ren'Py uses its own "screen language" that is similar in format to how screenplays are written. Using only this language, authors can create interactive visual novels that incorporate images, videos, and sounds. It even supports branching, non-linear plot lines. Blocks of Python code may also be included to extend Ren'Py with additional features and facilitate the creation of full-fledged simulation games. The Ren'Py front page mentions that more than 1500 such projects have been created to date. Ren'Py has been recommended as a platform for game creation by outlets such as MakeUseOf and The Guardian. It has also been used in University-level art classes. The Quickstart section in the Ren'Py documentation outlines the creation of a simple visual novel and provides links to detailed reference material. In the Download section of the site, users can locate versions of the Ren'Py Software Development Kit for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. This SDK can be used to create games that run on computers running Windows, macOS, or Linux/BSD, devices running iOS or Android, or as HTML5 websites running in a modern browser. [CRH]

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Harvest Public Media
Science

Originally featured in the 03-01-2019 Scout Report, Harvest Public Media continues to bring readers unique news stories "covering our food system from the Heartland."

Readers interested in issues related to food, agriculture, and energy may enjoy Harvest Public Media. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, this resource is a public media collaboration that aims to "provide in-depth and unbiased reporting on complex issues for a broad, diverse audience, often connecting the Heartland to the rest of the country." Recent topics covered by Harvest Public Media include: fighting food insecurity during COVID-19, horticultural experiments with growing hops, and how small businesses are reacting to state fair cancellations. Multiple new stories are generally added to Harvest Public Media each week, with most of their reports growing out of radio stories that air on one of their many partner stations, which are then expanded to include an online component. Launched in 2010 by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Harvest Public Media is largely supported by its partner stations operating throughout the Midwestern United States. [JDC] [EMB]

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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published every Friday of the year except for the Fridays after Christmas and New Years by the Internet Scout Research Group, based in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Computer Sciences.

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