Ladino, Africa, Laughter, More: Short Monday Buzz, August 10th, 2015


Under development: a digital library of Ladino materials. “The Ladino collection is among the nation’s largest, second to the one housed at Yeshiva University in New York. Among the finds is a rare book of ethics published in Istanbul in the 1740s and a 1916 book of advice to immigrants to the U.S., which among weightier matters carries a useful explanation of how to eat ice-cream cones. (Ice cream, Sephardic Jews had seen before. Ice cream cones, not so much.)” I had to look up Ladino. Wikipedia describes it as “…a Romance language derived from Old Spanish. Originally spoken in the former territories of the Ottoman Empire (the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa) as well as in France, Italy, Netherlands, Morocco, and the UK, today it is spoken mainly by Sephardic minorities in more than 30 countries, most of the speakers residing in Israel. Although it has no official status in any country, it has been acknowledged as a minority language in Israel, Turkey and France.”

New-to-me: the vernacular architecture of Africa has an online database. “In 2014, [Jon] Sojkowski created the first online database of African vernacular architecture, using photos he’d taken during his research trips to Zambia, Malawi, and Swaziland, as well as photos from Flickr and photographer submissions. So far, his database includes photos for 48 countries.”


Snapchat now has a “travel mode”. “Snapchat is courting teenagers around the world who want to save their data plans with a new travel mode. When enabled, Snaps, Stories and Discovery content will only load if users tap them, rather than loading automatically when they open the app.”


From Ubergizmo: How to delete Google’s search history.

From Scholastic: 20 opportunities for students to participate in crowd-sourced science.

Nice! How to annotate videos through Vibby. (Three-minute video)


Is Dick Costolo going to leave Twitter’s board? “Dick Costolo, the former chief executive of Twitter, plans to leave the company’s board of directors by the end of the year or when a new chief executive is appointed, according to two people familiar Mr. Costolo’s plans.”

Apparently Google is indexing images from PDF files? Interesting.


Facebook has done some research on how we express laughter on the social network. “It transpires that 15 percent of people expressed some form of written laughter in a comment or original post during the last week of May. And while your specific friend-demographics will dictate what you see most often, Facebook’s numbers reveal that ‘haha’ is, on average, the most common expression of mirth, by a majority of 51.4 percent. ”

Google Glass, Medical: using Google Glass for toxicology consults. “In the study, emergency medicine residents at UMass Memorial Medical Center performed 18 toxicology consults with Google Glass. ER physicians wearing Google Glass evaluated the patients at bedside while a secure video feed was sent to the toxicology supervising consultant. The supervising consultant then guided the resident through text messages displayed on the Glass. Consultants also obtained static photos of medication bottles, electrocardiograms (EKG) and other pertinent information at the discretion of the supervisor. This was done in addition to the standard verbal consult available to residents. Consulting toxicologists reported being more confident in diagnosing poisonings using Google Glass. Additional data collected showed that the use of Google Glass also changed management of patient care in more than half of the cases seen. Specifically, six of those patients received antidotes they otherwise would not have. Overall, 89 percent of the cases seen with Glass were considered successful by the consulting toxicologist.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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