Congressional Voting, Getty Research Institute, Google Blogging, More: Monday Evening Buzz, October 3, 2016

A rare evening Buzz as I catch up on what I missed late last week while I was gallivanting.


A new Web site lets you check the voting records for US Congress representatives since 2009 and hopefully fact-check claims made in races for Congressional seats. “The iCheck database contains votes for every member of the House and Senate since 2009, spanning more than 2.5 million votes and tens of thousands of bills. The site integrates data from multiple sources, including and a legislative tracking service called Congressional Quarterly. Visitors to the iCheck site can look up a specific senator or representative from their state and see how often their legislator voted with the president’s position or the majority votes for each party, as well as how those alignments compare with other members of Congress.”

The Getty Research Institute Library has a new blog. “Focusing on providing timely news and helpful tips about the library’s broad array of research collections, resources, activities, and services, this new library blog supplements the information about the GRI that you may already receive via the GRI’s website, News, Facebook, and the Getty-wide blog, The Iris.”


Google has aggregated 19 of its most popular blogs into one big frankenblog, The Keyword. “The first post on the Official Google Blog was written more than 12 years ago, before Chrome, before Android, before YouTube. Mobile phones looked like this. Since then we’ve published thousands of posts across a large number of blogs, spanning dozens of countries and languages. But we wanted to make it easier for people to find news from Google about what we’re up to.” Interesting it’s not Google Keyword or Google’s Keywords or something like that.

The PURL (Persistent URLs) service is now being run by the Internet Archive. “OCLC and the Internet Archive today announced the results of a year-long cooperation to ensure the future of The organizations have worked together to build a new service hosted by the Internet Archive that will manage the persistent URLs and sub-domain redirections for, and Since its introduction by OCLC Research in 1995, has provided a source of Persistent URLs (PURLs) that redirect users to the correct hosting location for documents, data, and websites as they change over time.”

Twitter has released a Terms of Service update. (I’m noting this because as Twitter appears to be for sale, I want to note this now in case the TOS radically changes after the sale.)


Arizona State University will be archiving digital archaeological data from the US Army Corps of Engineers – thanks to some student veterans. “The four veterans, who are ASU students, will train and work at ASU’s Center for Digital Antiquity, which houses the nation’s largest archive of digital archaeological data. Center director Frank McManamon said Army Corps frequently encounters relics while working in the field but has sometimes struggled to process the finds quickly.”

Joe Wikert: Google experiments with book discovery…and fails. “I assumed Google would look at my Play ebook library and base some assumptions on what I’ve bought and read over the years. I figured they’d let me recalibrate their assumptions to better suit my interests; for example, they know I like hockey books but my Google purchases haven’t focused on my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lastly, since Google monitors my Gmail inbox and search requests, I also assumed they’d use that info to fine tune their book recommendations in their new Discover service.”


Published last year but I just found it in DASH: Beyond the Wall: Mapping Twitter in China. “In this paper, we map and analyze the structure and content found on Twitter centered around users in mainland China. This study offers a rare look at the activity of Chinese Internet users on a platform that is largely unregulated by the state and only reachable through the use of tools that circumvent state-mandated Internet filters. For Internet users that reside in mainland China, Twitter offers access to news from around the world and a wealth of ideas and perspectives that might otherwise be unavailable there, as well as a platform for building online communities that is not under direct control of the government.”

Penn State: Actually University of Pennsylvania. Apologies! Penn Researchers Mine Twitter for Cardiovascular Disease Research. “For years, marketers and other commercial data-miners have been using Twitter’s vast database of ‘tweets’ to gauge consumer attitudes and track events. Now medical researchers are getting in on the trend. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania completed a pilot analysis of archived tweets on cardiovascular disease. In a study published today in JAMA Cardiology researchers sifted through a sample of approximately ten billion tweets posted between 2009 and 2015, and found more than 500,000 English-language, U.S.-originating tweets that related to cardiovascular disease.” Good evening, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

3 replies »

  1. I LOVE your blog, and thank you for the excellent work you do to highlight resources. After reading this installment, as a librarian at the University of Pennsylvania, I have to mention that University of Pennsylvania is NOT Penn State. Thanks!

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