LGBTQ Characters, Ethnobotany Field Work, Latino Culture, More: Monday Buzz, September 11, 2017


Spotted by Esther S. on a Reddit Thread: a database of LGBTQ characters in Fantasy fiction. From the Reddit thread: “For the Mark I, I am only accepting purchasable novels. No web serials, no short stories, no poetry, no songs, no anthologies (unless it is all one world/series. Think Side Jobs by Jim Butcher or Spirit Caller by moi). For the Mark I, do not enter subgenres. If you aren’t 100% sure about the overall genre, feel free to ask below or enter the question into your form (more on that below). My hope is to have the Mark I database ready for linking into the Find Books list by the end of the month. The form will still exist for future entries, and I’ll do another update thread in a few months time if there is a need (and maybe do things like anthologies, subgenres, etc).” At this writing, there are over 250 entries.

Biodiversity Heritage Library: A “Botanist’s Botanist” : The Field Books of Timothy Plowman. “The Field Museum Library has recently digitized and added to the Biodiversity Heritage Library Timothy Plowman’s entire field book collection, which spans his career from 1969, when he worked for the botanical museum at Harvard, through his years as a curator of botany at the Field Museum from 1976-1987. Timothy Plowman was an ethnobotanist and the world authority on the taxon Erythroxylum (coca). This genus of tropical trees and shrubs is best known for the species Erythroxylum coca L., a sacred leaf of the Andes, and also the source from which commercial cocaine is derived.”

Engadget: Google adds US Latino art and culture to its online museum. “You can explore virtual 69 exhibits and 2,500 pieces of art that showcase culture, art, and influential figures throughout the history of Latinos in the US. Gina Rodriguez discusses being a Latina role model and the importance of representation, while one exhibit takes you through almost 50 years of the cultural institution Ballet Hispánico. You can also explore Diego Rivera’s Detroit murals or take a look at efforts to document queer Latinx history. All in all, it’s a comprehensive look at the influence of Latino, Latina, and Latinx culture on the US and how our experiences are intertwined.”


US Department of State: Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Foreign Relations Volumes . “The Department of State today announces the release of newly digitized versions of thirty-two volumes from the Foreign Relations of the United States series, the official documentary record of U.S. foreign relations. These volumes cover events that took place between 1920 and 1941 and were originally published in print between 1935 and 1943….”

BetaNews: Want to switch from Windows 10 to Linux? Download Zorin OS 12.2 with Microsoft Office support. “If you want to switch to Linux, there is no shortage of operating systems based on the kernel. With that said, many of them aren’t very user friendly. If you have lived your life using Windows, it is wise to choose a Linux distro that caters to your habits and expectations. One such operating system with a very inviting user interface is Zorin OS, and today, version 12.2 sees release. If you have been on the fence regarding Linux, now might be your time.” I used Zorin at work a lot because it was the most friendly distro for those used to Windows XP. I recommend it, with the disclaimer that this is not paid advertising/shilling and the Zorin people probably have no idea who I am.

TechCrunch: Facebook adds a dedicated ‘Movies’ section offering showtimes and ticket sales. “Some Facebook users have noticed a new section called ‘Movies’ appearing in the mobile app’s main navigation. The feature, which has just appeared for many U.S. Facebook users, offers a way to see which movies are playing nearby, available showtimes and a list of local theaters and their movie selections. The section is powered through an integration with Fandango’s and Atom Tickets’ booking services, which means you can also buy a movie ticket right from the ‘Movies’ section itself.”

Business Insider: Snapchat is tapping college newspapers to make campus stories and letting them sell ads. “Snapchat is tapping college newspapers to make campus stories for students, the company announced on Friday. A handful of colleges across the US will begin publishing stories this weekend in the app’s dedicated section for publishers. Schools participating in the initiative include Berkeley, Texas A&M, Syracuse, and The University of Wisconsin–Madison.”


Gizmodo: Google Employees Organise Their Own Study Of Gender Pay Gap. “In April, the US Department of Labor accused Google of gender pay discrimination. The tech behemoth denied the allegations, and when the DoL requested historical salary records from the company, Google argued that the endeavour was too expensive. Lucky for Google, good samaritans at the company have led efforts to compile the wage data.”

Reuters: U.N. aviation agency to call for global drone registry. “The United Nations’ aviation agency is backing the creation of a single global drone registry, as part of broader efforts to come up with common rules for flying and tracking unmanned aircraft.”


Ars Technica: Why the Equifax breach is very possibly the worst leak of personal info ever. “By providing full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some cases, driver license numbers, it provided most of the information banks, insurance companies, and other businesses use to confirm consumers are who they claim to be. The theft, by criminals who exploited a security flaw on the Equifax website, opens the troubling prospect the data is now in the hands of hostile governments, criminal gangs, or both and will remain so indefinitely.”


Fortune: How We Can Fix Facebook Before the 2020 Election . “Social media audiences benefit from knowing the source of an ad or post. Presumably, Facebook users would be better able to judge the veracity of a political message if they knew it came from George Soros, the Koch brothers, or a Putin-friendly troll farm in Russia. If we want to avoid similar problems in 2020, the law needs to update political advertising disclosure rules for the digital age.”

Cornell: Twitter followers use friendships to fight fake news. “New Cornell University research offers hope that fake news and false rumors that reverberate around the Internet can be quashed. When Twitter users tweet a false rumor, they are more than twice as likely to accept correction if it comes from a mutual follower – someone they follow who also follows them – compared with when they are corrected by someone with whom they have no Twitter relationship, according to a study published this week in Political Communication.” Good morning, Internet…

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