Empathic Cultural Maps, Myanmar Legislation, Air Pollution, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, May 4, 2018


University of Calgary: Nursing researcher’s storytelling tool brings together small stories and big data. “An empathic cultural map offers detailed, qualitative insights into individual and group experiences of living and working in a particular area. In that sense, with ECM, users can navigate geographical maps on the interactive pages and discover spatial and numeric data, from walkability scores in Calgary neighbourhoods to immigration rates across the globe. But they also encounter audio interviews, scanned journal entries and stories about the new immigrants to Calgary and their personal anecdotes. The juxtaposition encourages users to see links across data which might not always be traditionally evident, with the aim of making connections and seeing key facilitators, blockers or constraints relevant to health.”

The Irrawaddy: New Website Lets Public Track Legislation, ‘Vote’ on Bills. “I AM A BILL, a new website that tracks legislation and monitors Parliament, was officially launched on Tuesday. The site provides the full history of every piece of legislation — from the date a bill is submitted to the lawmakers who submitted it and every debate it faces until it is pulled, rejected or approved…. Peace & Justice Myanmar, a local NGO, has been developing the site since May 2017 and by August hopes to have uploaded all bills introduced since February 2016, after the NLD was voted into power.”

Mint Press News: New Air Pollution Database Maps World’s Most Polluted Cities. “The world’s most comprehensive air pollution database has been updated again, mapping out a picture of a global health crisis that is disparate, changing and in some places just obscure. Compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the statistics on 4,300 cities reveal annual levels of particulate matter, miniscule particles in the air that can lead to health conditions such as asthma, lung cancer or heart disease.”


The Register: Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata. “The company formerly known as Cambridge Analytica shocked the media today when it announced an immediate shutdown and liquidation of its business. That ‘shutdown,’ however, may be short-lived as official documents indicate those behind the controversial analytics company will be launching as a new firm with a less-toxic brand.”


The Guardian: Obama martial law scare was stoked by Russian bots, say ex-director of CIA. “Speculation about a US armed forces exercise that led some Texans to fear that the Obama administration was plotting martial law was stoked by a Russian disinformation campaign, according to a former director of the CIA. Russian bots were so successful in planting wild ideas during a military exercise called Jade Helm in 2015 that Russian social media bandits launched another offensive the following year, attempting to influence the presidential election itself, Michael Hayden told MSNBC.”

AKIPress: Kazakhstan creates database of war prisoners. “The Ministry of the Interior of Kazakhstan has created the database of war prisoners of the Great Partiotic War and former USSR citizens repatriated from Germany. The database includes more than 60,000 war prisoners, most of them died in German captivity.” This is in “Around” and not “New Resources” because there’s no URL. Also I could not find information when I visited the Ministry Web site. The “Great Patriotic War” refers to part of the period of WWII. The Marxists Internet Archive has an overview.

OpenGov: How the National Library of Australia is preparing for the digital age. “OpenGov caught up with David Wong, Assistant Director-General of Information Technology and CIO at the National Library of Australia, to learn about the final stages of the program to replace the digital library infrastructure, and how the Library is building on the foundations laid by the program.”

Cosmopolitan: Every Single One of Kylie Jenner’s Social Media Posts Is Worth $1 Million. “When Kylie Jenner posts a new Instagram, everyone pays attention, poring over it for any new details about her personal life—or to just find out new lip kit shades. And it turns out all that attention is worth a ton of money. According to new research, Kylie is now the most valuable influencer on social media, topping even Beyoncé. And every single post on her social media channels is now worth a staggering $1 million.”


Zee Business: Google Street View can estimate travel patterns in cities: Study. “Google Street View has the potential to estimate how common cycling is in cities, and potentially other travel patterns too, a study has found. The analysis of 2,000 Google Street View images from 1,000 random locations in each of 34 cities in the UK found strong agreement with data on cycling, and public transport and motorbike use, said researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK.”


Some Friday fun from AI Weirdness: D&D character names – generated by a neural network. “I’ve trained neural networks to invent new Dungeons & Dragons spells (part 1, part 2) and also trained them to name new D&D creatures. It worked very well (Shield of Farts, anyone?), thanks to the spellbooks and monster manuals I could use as datasets. But there weren’t any datasets for another big aspect of Dungeons & Dragons: all the characters who populate these worlds. So, over the past few months, readers have been helping me to build a dataset – which has now reached a staggering 20,908 entries.” I think my favorite is The Cowben, whose race and D&D class is noted as “Human Opera”. Good afternoon, Internet…

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