Accused Clergy, Civil War Drawings, Fuller Craft Museum, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, January 25, 2019


PR Newswire: Nationally-recognized Attorney Launches Comprehensive Database of Clergy Accused of Sexual Misconduct in the Diocese of Scranton (PRESS RELEASE). “Adam Horowitz, a nationally-recognized advocate for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, announces the launch of a new database of clergy and lay employees accused of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Scranton. The database, which includes 79 priests, 1 nun, and 5 lay employees as of today, is believed to be the most comprehensive list of accused offenders available. For the benefit of survivors and journalists alike, Horowitz and his team have painstakingly prepared individual profiles on dozens of accused offenders to consolidate available information about their backgrounds, alleged crimes, and, in the case of offenders who are still alive, their current locations.”

A press release from Boston College hipped me to a resource that launched last year but I had not heard about: The Becker Collection. From the front page: “The Becker Archive contains approximately 650 hitherto unexhibited and undocumented drawings by Joseph Becker and his colleagues, nineteenth-century artists who worked as artist-reporters for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly observing, drawing, and sending back for publication images of the Civil War, the construction of the railroads, the laying of the transatlantic cable in Ireland, the Chinese in the West, the Indian wars, the Chicago fire, and numerous other aspects of nineteenth-century American culture. These ‘first-hand’ drawings, most of which were never published, document in lively and specific ways key developments in the history of America as it struggled to establish its national identity.”

Fuller Craft Museum: Fuller Craft Museum Launches New Digital Archive of Permanent Collection. “The Permanent Collection at Fuller Craft Museum spans the major craft media of wood, metal, glass, ceramic, and fiber, and includes a diverse range of object classifications, from baskets and jewelry to furniture and outdoor sculpture. The Museum began collecting craft objects in the early 1980s with new works grants from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, and ramped up in 2003 when the Museum’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to shift the focus of the institution to contemporary craft. Now, with nearly 800 objects in our collection and close to 500 emerging, mid-career, and established artists and creators, Fuller Craft represents a wide range of talent and style in contemporary craft.” The archive will be updated over time.


BBC News: Microsoft’s Bing search engine inaccessible in China. “US tech giant Microsoft has confirmed that its search engine Bing is currently inaccessible in China. Social media users have expressed concern that the search engine might be the latest foreign website to be blocked by censors.”

TechCrunch: Facebook is shutting down Moments; here’s how to save all your photos. “Facebook Moments, the standalone mobile app designed to let users privately share photos and videos, is shutting down next month. Facebook confirmed the app’s services will end February 25. Facebook decided to end support for the app, which hasn’t been updated in some time, because people weren’t using it.”


Wired: Meet the Blind YouTubers Making the Internet More Accessible. “To be blind on the internet, at its worst, is to be told that you are a liar. ‘Every time I say I’m visually impaired,’ says Casey Greer. ‘someone will try to shut me down, saying “Well then how did you type this comment?!” It feels silly that in 2019, I always have to explain that blind people use and love the internet just as much as anybody else.’ The antidote? YouTube’s thriving community of blind creators, which includes Greer.”

Quartz: “In the Company of Trees” shows how Instagram is changing the way we write books. “The conversation between literature, publishing, booksellers, editors, writers and readers is going in all directions. People love taking photos of the books they are buying offline and posting about the texts on social media, so publishers are designing book covers that will appeal to them. Likewise, some bookstores, like the labyrinthine Last Bookstore in LA, are shops that readers want to be seen in and make for great #bookstagram. It’s only natural then—as social media influences which authors are published, what books people buy and read, and how they’re discussed—for technology to also affect how texts are conceived of, created, and designed, like [Andrea Sarubbi] Fereshteh’s work.”

Bloomberg: Google Urged the U.S. to Limit Protection For Activist Workers. “Google, whose employees have captured international attention in recent months through high-profile protests of workplace policies, has been quietly urging the U.S. government to narrow legal protection for workers organizing online.”


CNET: Google appeals $57M GDPR fine, defends privacy practices. “Google will appeal a fine imposed by the French government over European privacy rules, the company said Thursday. France’s privacy regulator said earlier this week that it’s fining the internet giant 50 million euros (about $57 million) for not properly disclosing to people how their data was collected and passed to advertisers.”

Mashable: Instagram get hacked? Good luck getting it back.. “Instagram has a growing security problem: As the service swells to more than 1 billion users, these accounts are also becoming popular targets for hackers. And if you’re one of the thousands of people trying to regain control of a hacked Instagram account, it’s often a long, frustrating process.”


EurekAlert: People think and behave differently in virtual reality than they do in real life . “Immersive virtual reality (VR) can be remarkably lifelike, but new UBC research has found a yawning gap between how people respond psychologically in VR and how they respond in real life.”

Ars Technica: Yes, “algorithms” can be biased. Here’s why. “Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently stated that facial recognition ‘algorithms’ (and by extension all ‘algorithms’) ‘always have these racial inequities that get translated’ and that ‘those algorithms are still pegged to basic human assumptions. They’re just automated assumptions. And if you don’t fix the bias, then you are just automating the bias.’ She was mocked for this claim on the grounds that ‘algorithms’ are ‘driven by math’ and thus can’t be biased—but she’s basically right. Let’s take a look at why.” Good morning, Internet…

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