State Court Records, Fish Scans, Nuclear Tests, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, July 20, 2016


TechCrunch has a writeup on a new site called Legalist that sounds like it’ll save a lot of leg work. ” Founded by Eva Shang and Christian Haigh, two current Harvard undergrads, the startup is trying to become a Google for state court records. They are doing this by scraping these databases and aggregating the documents into one main searchable database. This takes a while – most counties and states have records going back to 1989. For example, the startup is currently scraping 10 different states – a process that is providing them with 400,000 new documents a day.”

In development: a database of 3D fish scans. “Nearly 25,000 species of fish live on our planet, and a University of Washington professor wants to scan and digitize them all. That means each species will soon have a high-resolution, 3-D visual replica online, available to all and downloadable for free. Scientists, teachers, students and amateur ichthyologists will be able to look at the fine details of a smoothhead sculpin’s skeleton, or 3-D print an exact replica of an Arctic alligatorfish.”

Hoover Institution has released audio recordings from 1940s nuclear tests. “The recordings, part of Hoover’s United States Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service records, detail the preparation, process, and aftermath of the nuclear testing known seventy years ago as ‘Operation Crossroads.’ Since the first detonation on July 1, 1946, the Bikini Atoll tests have become emblematic of the dawn of the nuclear age and the beginning of the Cold War.”

A Felicia Browne archive has been added to AnnoTate. “Discover the archive of Felicia Browne, a London-born artist who was the first British female combatant to lose her life in the Spanish Civil War. As we mark the 80th anniversary of the conflict’s outbreak, delve into Browne’s letters in which she articulates her political views, her stance against fascism, her journey from London to Barcelona and her experiences in Franco’s Spain.”

The Louisiana Department of Health has launched an online data tool. “Are you interested in learning more about the health of your community or a researcher looking for health data? A new site developed by the Department of Health can provide you with information like the number of uninsured Louisianans, the rates of those with chronic illnesses or obesity, environmental statistics and even which communities have access to healthy foods. The Department of Health’s (LDH) Center for Population Health Informatics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Tracking Network have partnered to create Health Data, a public data portal that provides longitudinal analyses of Louisiana health data.”

Back issues of Winston-Salem North Carolina newspaper the Winston-Salem Chronicle are now available online. “The Winston-Salem Chronicle is the city’s oldest community newspaper. The first issue was published in 1974 and it has since been a well-respected, weekly news source that focuses on the African American community in the city.” The digital archive has issues from 1974-1996.

NASA is launching a new teaching-oriented science blog. “Science starts with a question, and so does ‘Science WOW!’ Each week’s post kicks off with a science question and a link to where you can find the answer. ‘Science WOW!’ also highlights an awesome science education tool each week. These featured resources will include NASA apps, interactive games, 3-D printing templates and more!”


Now you don’t have to be a famous human – or even Miss Piggy – to request a verified Twitter account. “Starting today, the company will let users request a verified account on its website by filling out a form with a verified phone number and email address, a profile photo, and additional information regarding why verification is required or helpful. In defining who will get approved, Twitter still says ‘an account may be verified if it is determined to be of public interest.'” Which gives Twitter a nice subjective easy out if they decide you should be kept a joyless prole without a blue checkmark.

Twitter has permabanned Milo Yiannopoulos. “Following backlash for encouraging harassment against Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones, Twitter has permanently suspended notorious rightwing writer and internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos, better known as @nero.” It doesn’t matter what his wing was. His behavior was the problem. I’m glad of this, but I wish that Twitter took harassment in general more seriously.


Is Google going to develop its own job board? That would punch a lot of sites right in the head. “Even though we can’t confirm it, the reports got us wondering: What would a Google job board look like and how would it impact the recruitment classified business? No one’s sure. Views are mixed. We asked a number of classified executives for their thoughts.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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