Weir Family Papers, Nachmanides, Internet Archive, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 17, 2020


Smithsonian Magazine: A Hudson River School Legacy: The Weir Family Papers Now Fully Digitized. “‘It was a great pleasure for us to have your entire family under our roof. I delighted to talk of old times and of old fellows-comparing the Past and the Present and weighing in the scales of experience. New schools, old schools and No schools.’ These words were penned by Frederic Edwin Church in a letter to John Ferguson Weir on October 12, 1888. Written from Olana, Church’s beloved home and arguably his masterpiece on the Hudson River, the letter forms part of the Weir family papers (1809–circa 1861) which are now fully digitized and available on the Archives of American Art’s website. The collection, although small at 0.8 linear feet, houses a surprising number of detailed and enlightening letters from a host of prominent artists and scholars of the nineteenth century.”


Jerusalem Post: Recently discovered 13th-century prayer by Ramban goes online. “A recently discovered poetic prayer written by the Ramban, or Nachmanides, the 13th-century Spanish rabbi and renowned author of commentaries on the Bible and the Talmud, has been translated into English and is now available on the website of the National Library of Israel.”

BetaNews: Cloudflare and the Internet Archive are working together to help make the web more reliable. “The Wayback Machine has been archiving much of the web for over 20 years now and has cached 468 billion pages to date, with more than a billion new URLs being added every day. As part of this new tie up, sites that make use of Cloudflare’s Always Online service will have their content automatically archived, and if the original host isn’t available, then the Internet Archive will step in to provide the pages.”


At Home With Tech: How to Turn your Zoom Recording into a TV Talk Show. “Recording a Zoom conversation is easy. It’s a one-click process. But if you’re looking to create a more controlled visual product that follows the traditional structure of a professional video interview or TV talk show, you’ll need to put on your MacGyver hat and use the Zoom interface a little differently. It’s all about finding the best way to control which webcam feed is being recorded at any given moment.”


Zee News: India all set to get back 15th Century idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana from UK . “India is all set to get back fifteenth-century idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana from the UK. The idols were stolen from a temple, built-in Vijayanagara period, in Tamil Nadu in 1978.”

Book Forum: Going Postal: A psychoanalytic reading of social media and the death drive. “The main purpose of social media is to call attention to yourself, and it was hard to think of a worse time to be doing so. It wasn’t like you were going to get a job thanks to a particularly incisive quote-tweet of President Trump; in the midst of a lockdown, your chances of getting laid based on your Instagram Story thirst traps plummeted. The already paltry rewards of posting disappeared, while the risks skyrocketed. And yet: people kept on going.” A grim – I would almost say techno-nihilist- article, but thought-provoking enough that I’m putting it here.


Dark Reading: Research Finds Nearly 800,000 Access Keys Exposed Online. “When AWS keys were exposed in GitHub repositories, GitHub responded by invalidating those keys. Researchers at Digital Shadows have found that this proper action doesn’t end the issue of exposed keys as they have found almost 800,000 keys available on the Web.”

The Register: GCHQ agency ‘strongly urges’ Brit universities, colleges to protect themselves after spike in ransomware infections. “GCHQ offshoot the National Cyber Security Centre has warned Further and Higher Education institutions in the UK to be on their guard against ransomware attacks as the new academic year (sort of) gets under way.”

HuffPost: Senators Introduce Last-Minute, Bipartisan Bill To Prevent A Census Disaster. “Senators unveiled bipartisan legislation on Tuesday to give the Census Bureau more time to finish the 2020 census ― an eleventh-hour effort to prevent a potentially severe undercount of the U.S. population, particularly in Native, minority and rural communities.”


Humanities Commons: Passenger Pigeon Manifesto. “Even though most of our tangible cultural heritage has not been digitised yet, a process greatly hindered by the lack of resources for professionals, we could already have much to look at online. In reality, a significant portion of already digitised historical photos is not available freely to the public – despite being in the public domain. We might be able to see thumbnails or medium sized previews scattered throughout numerous online catalogs but most of the time we don’t get to see them in full quality and detail. In general, they are hidden, the memory of their existence slowly going extinct. The knowledge and efforts of these institutions are crucial in tending our cultural landscape but they cannot become prisons to our history. Instead of claiming ownership, their task is to provide unrestricted access and free use. Cultural heritage should not be accessible only for those who can afford paying for it.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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