Hawaii, Facebook, Rat Brains, More: Tuesday Morning Buzz, April 7, 2015

(I was a doofus on Sunday and didn’t get the link to the 80s/90s dance mixes right, and boy howdy did y’all let me know about it. Who knew you were such dance enthusiasts? GROOVE OUT! Anyway the post is fixed and here’s the link: . Read the FAQ.)


The state of Hawaii has launched a sustainability dashboard. “The Aloha+ Challenge Dashboard is a new online tool designed for the public and decision makers to track state and county progress towards achieving sustainability targets. The dashboard initially features indicators for two of the six targets—clean energy and solid waste reduction. Indicators for all six shared targets will be available by 2017.”

Berkeley National Laboratory has launched a database containing the elastic properties of over 1100 inorganic compounds. “Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have published the world’s largest set of data on the complete elastic properties of inorganic compounds, increasing by an order of magnitude the number of compounds for which such data exists…. While there is previously published experimental data for approximately a few hundred inorganic compounds, Berkeley Lab scientists, using the infrastructure of the Materials Project, have calculated the complete elastic properties for 1,181 inorganic compounds, with dozens more being added every week.”

The Shaker Museum of Mount Lebanon has launched a new database of historic photography. “The museum’s catalog records and presents the richest historical information, including scenes of Shaker villages from the mid-late 19th Century, as well as a collection of stereograph images from this early period by James Irving, a Troy, NY-based photographer.” I found over 2200 images at .

Microsoft has launched Microsoft Lens, a document scanning app for iOS and Android. “Like most scanner apps, Office Lens identifies the text on the images it captures using optical character recognition (OCR), which allows you to later locate the file in question using keyword search in OneNote or in Microsoft’s cloud storage site, OneDrive. You can also convert the images you scan of paper files and whiteboards into Microsoft Office formats and more, including Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and even PDFs and JPGs. These can be inserted into OneNote as images, the company says.”

Yes, it’s a database of rat brain connections. Don’t hate. “Lead author Mihail Bota of USC Dornsife created the database from more than 16,000 reports of connections, which he weighted both on the strength of the connection and the reliability of the methodology used to discover it. The process took more than 4,000 hours to complete, yielding a database that is free and available. Olaf Sporns of Indiana University subsequently performed a network analysis of the connections. In addition to finding the local networks, the team also discovered hubs — highly interconnected and crucial centers of neural traffic linking local networks together. Previous research has shown that the regions the team identified as hubs can be, when damaged, the source of neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy.”

Singapore theater is getting a new digital archive. “The portal will offer basic information on the productions. It also has a search function to allow user to sift through what’s expected to eventually be a sizeable database, However, those interested in viewing the entire digital version of the programme booklets will have to physically visit the centre’s library at its Waterloo Street premises.”


Not sure I should be filing this under useful, but there’s a Web site that provides news based on the expression on your face. (At least there was; going to the site now gives me a 502 error.) Since my habitual expression is bewildered, I’m not sure how well this would work for me.


Google has updated its Course Builder product. “This new version enables instructors and students to understand prerequisites and skills explicitly, introduces several improvements to the instructor experience, and even allows you to export data to Google BigQuery for in depth analysis.”

Facebook has launched a new way for parents to tag photos of their children. “…Facebook is launching a new service that can be described as a digital, customizable scrapbook. Parents can create special tags for their children and then add those tags to their photographs. Photos tagged with the special tags can be shared with both parents’ friends on Facebook.”


Social network Ello has raised $5 million.


The Blanton Museum did a comparison between Meerkat and Periscope. by test-broadcasting a gallery tour.

Apparently some Yale researchers have done research and discovered that the more you do online searching, the more you overestimate your own abilities. I know it’s hard to objectively observe your own behavior, but I feel in my case it’s the opposite; the more searching I do online, the more I realize I don’t know. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Good morning, Internet..

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