Medical Research History, University of Michigan Collections, WordPress, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 12, 2019

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Center for the History of Medicine: Preliminary Opening of the Vernacular Archive of Normal Volunteers, 1940-2018. “The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the first portion of the Vernacular Archive of Normal Volunteers (VANV), 1940-2018 is now open to research. VANV is a collection of oral histories, associated archival documents, and project records created and collected by Laura Jeanine Morris Stark to explore the lives of the first ‘normal control’ research subjects at the Clinical Center of the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland who were recruited through NIH’s Normal Volunteer Patient Program. ” I didn’t have a good handle on what a “normal volunteer” is — the medical section of the Free Dictionary helped me out.

University of Michigan Libraries: New Digital Collections: Completed July 2018 – June 2019. “The Digital Content & Collections (DCC) department grows and maintains nearly 300 digital collections that contain images, texts, and more. The digital collections receive upwards of 60 million hits each year.” There are so many collections listed here I don’t want to even try to summarize them. Just hit the link; I’d be really surprised if there wasn’t SOMETHING here to pique your interest.


CNET: WordPress outage floods premium blogs with images of succulents. “Succulents were front and center Tuesday after a WordPress outage led some sites to revert to default themes. The outage, which occurred on WordPress’ VIP Go platform, caused premium blogs to show 503 errors or go back to WordPress’ default themes. In many cases, sites featured artsy shots of succulents before a fix was issued.”

RAWG: Launching Public API for the Largest Video Game Database in the World. “RAWG is the largest video game database in the world with 300,000+ titles, 2M screenshots, 425,000 user ratings…. We got plenty of requests for API access to our database. We shared our API on an ad hoc basis and some of our community members even created language-specific wrappers for it. Today, we are opening our public API to the world.”


New York Intelligencer: Five Signs a Viral Story Is Fake. “The benefit to stories like these popping up so frequently is that they become easier to spot. Once you know the formula, it’s hard to read past a tweet or two before checking out, knowing full well what you’re reading is just fiction. And not particularly nuanced fiction at that. Here’s a checklist for what you should be keeping an eye out for.”


LiveMint: Archiving the sound of music. “The noise of NH48 gets left behind as soon as you enter the institutional area in Sector 32, Gurugram. On either side of leafy avenues are tall glass-panelled towers. Amidst these high-rise buildings a compact, pristine structure stands out—exposed bricks, green domes and terracotta sculptures scattered on the front lawn. This structure is home to the American Institute of Indian Studies, which has two centres — the Centre for Art and Archeology, and the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (Arce). I am here to visit the latter.”

Ozy: Distrusting The Press, Arab Youth Turn To Social Media. “Ahmad couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the headline. It was December 2017 and Mada Masr — Egypt’s last independent outlet — published an investigation detailing how a front for the Egyptian intelligence agency bought seven of the country’s most prominent media outlets. ‘I knew never to trust mainstream Egyptian media again,’ says Ahmad, a 23-year-old activist who asked not to disclose his last name for fear of reprisal. ‘From then on, Facebook became the only place where I could get my breaking news, but I also check Mada Masr.'”


Motherboard: The Biggest Data Breach Archive on the Internet Is for Sale. “The well-known and respected data breach notification website ‘Have I Been Pwned’ is up for sale. Troy Hunt, its founder and sole operator, announced the sale on Tuesday in a blog post where he explained why the time has come for Have I Been Pwned to become part of something bigger and more organized.”


EurekAlert: Behind the magic: Making moving photos a reality. “People moving in and out of photographs used to be reserved for the world of Harry Potter. But now computer scientists at the University of Washington have brought that magic to real life. Their algorithm, Photo Wake-Up, can take a person from a 2D photo or a work of art and make them run, walk or jump out of the frame.”

The Getty Iris: An International Conservation Partnership Is Preserving Herculaneum, Ancient Roman Town Buried by Vesuvius. “Herculaneum began to be formally excavated in 1738, mainly via tunnels in the volcanic tuff (rock made from ash and other debris from an eruption). In the late nineteenth century, open-air excavation began, followed by a more systematic approach from 1927 until 1961 led by archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri. In decades following, the site’s rapid deterioration and lack of resources for its maintenance had many crying in alarm. Historical images taken during Maiuri’s time at the site—compared with later conditions—clearly illustrate the disturbing rate of deterioration and loss.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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