Kansas in WWI, Occult Recordings, Women in Ad Agencies, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, February 28, 2018


Kansas State Library: Kansas State Council of Defense Circulars, 1917-1918. “100 years ago the United States was embroiled in a world war with thousands of troops overseas. On the home front people pitched in as they could, conserving food consumption, working harder to increase crop production for the troops and keeping up the spirits of neighbors, children and themselves. In Kansas Governor Arthur Capper formed the Kansas Council of Defense, akin to the Council of National Defense. The Council’s mission was to mobilize all the resources of the state for the support of the war. Circulars were published and distributed giving guidance to local officials, schools, farmers and the general public on varied topics that would contribute to the war effort.” Small but interesting collection, and I’m including it here because I don’t see a lot of “war effort” materials for WWI. Tons for WWII, of course, but not so much WWI.

New-to-Me, from Open Culture: A Big Archive of Occult Recordings: Historic Audio Lets You Hear Trances, Paranormal Music, Glossolalia & Other Strange Sounds (1905-2007). “We’ve all had our wits scared out of us by films, images, and the written word, but somehow few forms work their haunting magic quite so effectively as sound alone. Think of the snap of the twig in the woods or the creak of the staircase in the empty house — or, to take it farther, the sound of possessed children speaking in tongues. You can hear recordings of that and other unusual phenomena at Ubuweb, which hosts the collection Occult Voices – Paranormal Music, Recordings of Unseen Intelligences 1905-2007.”

The Drum: ‘Where are the boss ladies?’ Online database collects listing of female leadership at ad agencies. “An online database has been collecting the names of women in leadership from all facets of the industry. Titled, ‘Where are the boss ladies?’, this list has been answering the call for women in leadership after conferences such as CES couldn’t find women in executive roles to speak at conferences. For Mara Lecocq, the freelance creative director who led the creation of the list as an evolution of an Instagram account she created as a passion project earlier this year, the answer was more personal.”


TechCrunch: Despite backlash to the redesign, Snapchat downloads are up. “‘What’s all the fuss about?’ Curiosity over why people are protesting the Snapchat redesign seems to have inspired a new wave of users to try the app. Snapchat downloads in the U.S. went up 41 percent to 76 percent in the week following the redesign’s February 6th rollout compared to the week before, according to data provided exclusively to TechCrunch by Sensor Tower.”


British Library: Rising from the ashes: bringing a medieval manuscript to life. “The British Library’s major exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic, has featured a host of fascinating manuscripts, alongside a fire-damaged cauldron, crystal balls and a ‘real’ mermaid. It took several months to choose all the exhibits, but when it came to selecting an image of a medieval phoenix, the choice was relatively simple. We have some gorgeous illustrations of phoenixes in our collections, but the one that really caught the curators’ eye was found in Harley MS 4751, a decorated English bestiary. But choosing the manuscript was only the start. We were planning to digitise this bestiary as part of our digitisation project sponsored by The Polonsky Foundation. This blogpost explores the complexities of that process.”

Xinhua: Roundup: Kenya leaders embrace social media to showcase work. “Kenyan politicians, cabinet secretaries and other government officials have turned to social media to promote their work, in particular development projects, as the influence of the online sites grow in the East African nation. The politicians and government officials are blowing their own trumpets on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by posting photos and videos of the events they attend, the bursaries they give, the classrooms they are constructing, the roads they repair, relief food they are donating and whom they are meeting.”


Business Insider: Google not obligated to vet websites, German court rules. “Google is not obligated to ensure websites are free from defamatory content before displaying links to them in search results, Germany’s highest court ruled on Tuesday.”

Techdirt: ESA Comes Out Against Allowing Museums To Curate Online Video Games For Posterity. “A week or so back, we discussed the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) calling on the Copyright Office to extend exemptions to anti-circumvention in the DMCA to organizations looking to curate and preserve online games. Any reading of stories covering this idea needs to be grounded in the understanding that the Librarian of Congress has already extended these same exemptions to video games that are not online multiplayer games…. MADE’s argument is that online multiplayer games are every bit the art that these single-player games are and deserve preservation as well. Well, the Entertainment Software Association, an industry group that largely stumps for the largest gaming studios and publishers in the industry, has come out in opposition to preserving online games, arguing that such preservation is a threat to the industry.”


The Next Web: Google’s DeepMind teaches AI to predict death. “DeepMind wants to solve the problem of patient deterioration in hospitals. The Google sister-company fed its AI the historical medical records of about 700,000 US veterans in hopes it will learn to predict changes in patient condition that, unchecked, lead to death.”

Tubefilter: Insights: Can Twitter, Facebook and Google Evolve Fast Enough to Extract Us from The Mess They’ve Made?. “Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation just indicted 13 Russians and three organizations for social-media manipulation in the 2016 election. Most interesting and problematic. But other events this past week show just how little has been fixed at YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter since that long string of hostile acts by a foreign power became publicly known. Indeed, the question is whether the social-media giants can evolve what they do fast enough to protect their users, and our unsteady democracy, from the weaponized manipulation that may soon become a fixture of our future.”

Harvard Business Review: Do Academic Journals Favor Researchers from Their Own Institutions?. “Are academic journals impartial? While many would suggest that academic journals work for the advancement of knowledge and science, we show this is not always the case. In a recent study, we find that two international relations (IR) journals favor articles written by authors who share the journal’s institutional affiliation. We term this phenomenon ‘academic in-group bias.'” Good morning, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

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