Graphic Medicine, Political Donations, Walmart, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, February 9, 2018


NLM in Focus: Ill-Conceived, Well Drawn-and Powerful: Graphic Medicine Exhibition Debuts at NLM. “Dozens of images are now online in Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well-Drawn!, a multi-formatted exhibition which explores this increasingly popular genre and showcases the National Library of Medicine’s growing collection of graphic medicine works. Curated by Seattle cartoonist and educator Ellen Forney, author of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, the new exhibition introduces the genre, discussing who creates graphic medicine, how it conveys meaning, and its impact on readers and creators.”

Fast Company: Find out if your coworkers or company gave money to Trump or Hillary. “Zippia just released a fun new tool that will help you while away the hours in your cubicle. They released a website that helps you figure out the favorite political parties of your favorite companies. For example, Apple and Walmart employees have both made big donations, but to opposing parties, proving that politics’ favorite color is not red or blue, but green.” It’s kind of weird; I put in some larger company names and this site had no data on political donations, but then I put in JBC Inc of Plano, Texas (which I’m sure is a lovely company but is small in comparison to, say, Monster Energy), and a ton of information pops up.


VR Scout: Walmart Acquires VR Startup to Develop ‘Immersive Retail Environments’. “The world’s largest company by revenue and the United States’ biggest supplier of jobs has just made a major investment in virtual reality commerce. Walmart has agreed to purchase a little-known VR startup called Spatialand for an undisclosed amount. Spatialand creates tools that let content creators transform their 2D work into immersive VR experiences.”

New York Times: Twitter Has Good News for Once: Its First Quarterly Profit. “Twitter often feels like the digital equivalent of a swamp. The Russians used the platform to disrupt the 2016 election. Famous people buy fake followers to make themselves seem more famous. Prominent members of the chattering class have been signing off for good. Sometimes it seems as if no one loves the service except for the president of the United States. As a business, however, Twitter might finally be starting to work.”

The Verge: You can now create your own custom face lenses on Snapchat. “Snapchat is rolling out new features today including a new tool to create custom face lenses and new text caption styles for your snaps. Lenses are AR masks that overlay your face with details like puppy ears, flower crowns, and the all important vomiting rainbow. The lenses start from $9.99 and go up depending on the size of the location you’ve chosen (covering anywhere from 20,000 to 5 million square feet), duration of the lens, and other factors.”


New York Times: How to Preserve Your Family Memories, Letters and Trinkets. “Recently, someone wrote to Mary Oey, a conservator at the Library of Congress, asking for help archiving her father’s personal papers. He was a Holocaust survivor, and he had used his diaries and papers as primary sources to teach schoolchildren about his experience. He had laminated them to keep them safe, and — Ms. Oey gave a mournful sigh as she told this story — lamination is a terrible way to preserve documents. There was no way to save this patron’s history.”


Wired: How religious extremists gamed Facebook to target millions of Britons with far-right propaganda. “From bases in Serbia and Hungary, a network of sites with links to Britain First and crusader organisation Knights Templar International has been filling Facebook with right-wing propaganda.”

Met Museum: Creating Access beyond The Met Collection on Wikipedia. “Spanning 5,000 years of human history, the Museum’s comprehensive collection is relevant to audiences across the globe. There is an artwork in the collection that could inspire any one of the 3.9 billion internet-connected people in the world. Our goal is to reduce the distance between each of those people and the artwork that would inspire them, and Open Access is one of the major tactics to move us closer to that goal. With the initiative now one year young, it is interesting to take a moment to note the impact it has had.”


Channel News: Google Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over Defective Pixel Microphone. “Google has found itself if in a class action lawsuit with two separate plaintiffs suing the search engine giant claiming they knew the Pixel and Pixel XL had speaker and microphone issues when they shipped the devices out. Patricia Weeks and Waleed Anbar have been named in the lawsuit as the plaintiffs with Gerard Gibbs as the attorney.”


TechCrunch: The real consequences of fake porn and news. “For a democratic society in which the presumption of truth is generally the default response to most content, we will quite soon live in a world where everything must be considered fake without evidence to the contrary. It’s as if we suddenly moved to an authoritarian country and needed to constantly dismiss the propaganda we see every day. When it comes to policy problems facing startups, tech companies, political parties and governments together, this challenge is about as thorny as they come.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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