USCT Pension Files, Public Schools, Philippines Archives, More: Off-the-Rails Buzz, May 31, 2018

My schedule and situation has been very disrupted for the last 36 hours or so. Getting back to business today. Enjoy yesterday’s afternoon buzz, which with said disruption did not get posted.


New from the IAAM Center for Family History: USCT Pension Files. “As Bernice Bennett notes in her article USCT Pension Files: A Rich Resource for African American Genealogy, pension files can reveal many biographical details about ancestors who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT). Because events in USCT veterans’ lives before the Civil War were seldom recorded in the documentary record, veterans had to go to great lengths to prove their identity, their service in the Civil War, their dates of marriage, names and ages of children, and other biographical details that had to be documented in order for them to draw a military pension. ”


Forbes: U.S. Public Schools Have Lost Nearly 20% Of Their Librarians Since 2000. “The shortage in public school librarian employment — which saw the most dramatic drop following the Great Recession of 2008 and hasn’t recovered since — has hit districts serving minorities the hardest. Among all the districts that have retained all their librarians since 2005, 75% are white, Education Week reports. On the other end of the scale, student populations in the 20 districts that lost the most librarians in the same time comprised 78% students of color.”

Manila Times: No paper records lost in Land Management Bureau fire, only ‘digitized copies,’ official says. “NO records were lost at the Land Management Bureau (LMB) in downtown Manila, which was razed by fire, along with three other buildings, on Monday, an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Tuesday. Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the records that were housed at the LMB at the Plaza Cervantes Building in Binondo were ‘digitized copies’ that had back-up files and were forwarded to its various offices.”


Huffington Post: We Built A Twitter Ratio Bot That Tracks All Your Terrible Tweets. “Whatever Twitter was originally intended to be, it certainly wasn’t this. Nazis roam free, celebrities melt down daily, entire news cycles run their course in a matter of minutes, and you can’t figure out why 200 people with rose emojis in their username keep calling you a cop. Not only is the constant noise just generally overwhelming, but it can also bury one of the platform’s few perfect uses: watching other people dunk on terrible tweets. Those days are behind us now, thanks to a new Twitter bot built by HuffPost in collaboration with Adam Pash (who in real life is a director of engineering at Postlight).” I had no idea what the rose emoji means. Mashable clued me in.


Dorset Echo: Divers remember sunken First World War ship. “As part of the centenary of the First World War, different projects have been set up to commemorate those involved in the war effort. One of which is a four-year project by the Maritime Archaeology Trust. The project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, coincides with the centenary to raise the profile of the fallen ships in and around our seas, rivers and estuaries. South coast wreck sites, which include merchant and naval ships, passenger, troop and hospital ships, ports, wharfs, buildings and foreshore hulks, have often been unrecognised…. The final result of this project will be an accessible database which will provide all the information regarding the shipwrecks.”

Evening Standard: YouTube deletes half of ‘violent’ music videos flagged by Scotland Yard. “YouTube has removed more than half of the music videos Scotland Yard asked to be deleted because they incite violence in London, police figures reveal. Cressida Dick, the Met Police commissioner, blamed social media for fuelling a surge in murders in the capital, singling out the drill genre of rap music for glamourising violent crime.”

Egypt Today: First Arabic citation index worldwide to be launched in Egypt. “The Ministry of Education has taken several steps to enhance education in Egypt, which is part of Egypt’s 2030 vision to cultivate economic and social justice and reviving the role of Egypt in regional leadership. Launching the first Arabic Citation Index (ARCI) worldwide comes at the top of these efforts.”


ITNews: ICANN files suit to protect WHOIS database. “Domain overseer ICANN is mounting a legal test case against a German registrar as a last-ditch attempt to protect the WHOIS master database, which identifies who owns what internet domain. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has filed suit against EPAG – part of the Tucows Group.”


Futurism: New Facial Recognition Software Tracks and Protects Endangered Primates. “Facial recognition tech doesn’t have to be creepy or dystopian. We can actually use it for good. Case in point: Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) developed a facial recognition software program that could help save the lives of endangered primates.”


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