Free Genealogy, Oregon Public Health, HIV Prevention, More: Sunday Buzz, July 2, 2017

Fold3: Access Revolutionary War Records for Free* The asterisk means you’ll need to register for a free account. “Do you have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War? Now is the perfect time to learn more about them, as Fold3 is giving free access* to our Revolutionary War Collection July 1–15.”

Also, from GeneaPress: NEHGS Grants Freedom to Search. “Family historians and genealogists—declare your independence this holiday week from an incomplete family tree. Search and browse free among 1.4 BILLION names on, the award-winning website of NEHGS.” This is through Thursday, July 6 – and of course NEHGS stands for New England Historic Genealogical Society.


From the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Library: Now available from OHSU Library: Digital collection of primary sources and legacy data on public health in Oregon. “OHSU Library is pleased to announce the completion of its digitization project, Public Health in Oregon: Accessing Historical Data for Scientific Discovery, funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The project provides public access to digitized rare and unique materials related to public health in Oregon, as well as open access to the structured datasets they contain. The library is presenting the results in a digital collection of 351 items, as well as a narrative exhibit of original research on the history of public health in Oregon.” If this is ringing a bell it’s because I mentioned the launch of this project in March 2016..

Emory University: Emory develops national database of clinics that prescribe HIV prevention drug PrEP. “By now, many people who are at risk for contracting HIV have heard of PrEP. They know pre-exposure prophylaxis is extremely effective in preventing the spread of the virus. What they often don’t know is where to get it or how to navigate the insurance paperwork to pay for it. Aaron Siegler has just made that job easier. A research assistant professor in epidemiology at Rollins School of Public Health, Siegler developed the PrEP Locator, the first national database of clinics that prescribe PrEP.”

University of Nevada, Las Vegas: A new research tool created by University Libraries helps the world discover more connections among the region’s Jewish community.. “Navigator is an online research browser that uses linked data embedded in the Libraries’ Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project digital collection to create visualized links between people, organizations, and communities; allowing users to physically see relationships as well as observe how those connections have evolved over time.”


The State Archives of North Carolina Web site will be getting an update. “This summer our staff will begin working with IT professionals to get our website ready to move to a new platform. While we are moving content, you will see some changes to our current website including warning banners.” Very brief blog post, no details yet.

TechCrunch: Facebook News Feed change demotes sketchy links overshared by spammers . “Technically, Facebook can’t suspend people’s accounts just for sharing 50-plus false, sensational or clickbaity news articles per day. It doesn’t want to trample anyone’s right to share. But there’s nothing stopping it from burying those links low in the News Feed so few people ever see them.”


University of Iowa: Iowa Geological Survey ‘rock library’ full of stories
. “The IGS warehouse, located at the UI Research Park, is filled with an estimated $250 million worth of rock and soil samples collected during the drilling of roughly 40,000 borings across the state, mostly for water wells…. This summer, core samples such as the one from the Manson Impact Structure are being photographed and logged by UI students to create an online GeoCore database. The digital database will complement the warehouse, a repository of the local geological past that’s shaping Iowa’s future.”

Wired: Twitter’s Meme War Isn’t About Civility, It’s About Money. “IF YOU’RE A fan of online music journalism, Tuesday was not a great day. Twitter, never adept at evading controversy, went on a suspension spree, freezing the accounts of popular music outlets Fader and Pigeons & Planes, along with more than 20 other smaller accounts. The crime wasn’t posting graphic content, or doxxing people, or the targeted abuse or harassment of others, or any of the truly toxic terms-of-service abuses Twitter lists. It was posting short clips of the BET Awards, a four-hour telecast that had happened two nights prior.”


TorrentFreak: New Lawsuit Demands ISP Blockades Against ‘Pirate’ Site Sci-Hub. “Shortly after Sci-Hub was ordered to pay $15 million in piracy damages to Elsevier, the American Chemical Society filed a lawsuit of its own against the ‘Pirate Bay for Science.’ The scientific society would also like to see a cut of the loot. In addition, it asks the court for a broad injunction which would require ISPs to block the site.”


University of California: Hey Siri, an ancient algorithm may help you grasp metaphors. “Ask Siri to find a math tutor to help you ‘grasp’ calculus and she’s likely to respond that your request is beyond her abilities. That’s because metaphors like ‘grasp’ are difficult for Apple’s voice-controlled personal assistant to, well, grasp. But new UC Berkeley research suggests that Siri and other digital helpers could someday learn the algorithms that humans have used for centuries to create and understand metaphorical language.”

NYU News: Messages with Moral-Emotional Words Are More Likely to go Viral on Social Media. “Tweets about political topics that include moral and emotional language are more likely to spread within the ideological networks of the sender, a team of researchers has found. Its study, which examined Twitter messages related to gun control, climate change, and same-sex marriage, points to both the potential and limits of communicating on social media.” Good morning, Internet…

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