Black History, Documentary+, Sea Shanties, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, February 1, 2021


The Hill: How VR is bringing Black history to life for middle schoolers across America. “It’s a lot easier to bring down a statue than it is to put one up. But the Movers and Shakers of NYC found a way to cut through some of the red tape using a piece of technology most Americans have in their pockets. Using augmented reality, a new app allows students, teachers and the general public to learn Black history and pay tribute to the people who are often left out of textbooks. In addition to a catalog of monuments to women, people of color and the LGBT community, the Kinfolk app contains a digital archive of Black, Indigenous and Latin history.”

Mashable: Everything to know about Documentary+ . “Documentary+ features a range of docs in categories like music, politics, culture, true crime, science & nature, icons, sports, comedy, and cults. The streaming platform houses everything from Academy Award-winning films to festival favorites. While you can catch classic documentaries like The Imposter, Born into Brothels, Cartel Land, My Best Fiend, and Life, Animated, you can also find movies created by filmmakers including Spike Jonze, Terrence Malick, Brett Morgen, and Davis Guggenheim.” The service is 100% free. As in, “You don’t even have to create an account to watch content,” free.

Spotted via Reddit: Mainsail Café, a database of sea shanties and traditional nautical songs. The site contains information on almost 400 songs and over 120 albums. There’s also a collection of 47 printed items here. I get the impression this site is still filling out, but there’s already a lot to explore here, and there’s a great feature to pull random entries from the categories you’re exploring. One thing I noticed: no ads at all. Not even affiliate links in the album/book lists. Recommended.

Oklahoma Welcome: Digital Outdoor Oklahoma Archive Arrives! Outdoor Oklahoma Journal Blog Also Online. “This new digital archive includes every issue of the magazine’s entire 75 years, beginning as the Oklahoma Game & Fish News, then renamed Oklahoma Wildlife, and finally becoming Outdoor Oklahoma.”


TechCrunch: Facebook News launches in the UK, the first international market for its curated news portal. “As the United Kingdom prepares to sharpen its focus on how it regulates big tech companies, Facebook is taking a big step up in the role it plays in presenting media to the U.K. public, and into how it works with the country’s media industry. Today it is launching Facebook News in the U.K., Facebook’s first market outside of the U.S. for its dedicated, curated news portal — accessed, like the U.S. version, through a tab in the Android or iOS app menu.”

BBC: Silver surges as Reddit army turns to commodities. “Silver prices leapt to a eight-year high on Monday, amid social media calls to buy the metal and emulate the frenzy that drove up shares in US video games retailer GameStop. Shares in a handful of smaller Australian mining firms surged as small-time traders bought en masse.”


Reuters: As Google eyes Australia exit, Microsoft talks Bing with PM. “Software giant Microsoft Corp is confident its search product Bing can fill the gap in Australia if Google pulls its search over required payments to media outlets, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday.”

NPR: Unwelcome On Facebook And Twitter, QAnon Followers Flock To Fringe Sites. “The QAnon universe has two stars. There’s Q, the mysterious figure whose cryptic, evidence-free posts on anonymous online message boards spawned the baseless claim that a satanic cabal of pedophiles runs rampant in government and Hollywood. The other star is Trump, who was supposed to expose and defeat that cabal. But both figures have gone silent online…. And yet, even as the big social media platforms try to squash harmful misinformation and hate speech, the conspiracy has survived in the darker corners of the Internet.”


New York Times: A Vast Web of Vengeance. “Outrageous lies destroyed Guy Babcock’s online reputation. When he went hunting for their source, what he discovered was worse than he could have imagined.”

The Verge: Amnesty International calls for a ban on facial recognition in New York City. “Amnesty International has launched a new campaign against facial recognition titled Ban The Scan — and is launching with a demand for New York City to halt police and government use of the technology.”


BBC: Like a good deal? Maybe a hagglebot can help. “Earlier this month, the Olympics for hagglebots was held: the 11th annual competition for artificial intelligence (AI) that has been trained to negotiate. Called the Automated Negotiating Agent Competition, it pits more than 100 participants from Japan, France, Israel, Turkey and the United States against one another, in five leagues.”

ScienceBlog: Space Music: Data Sonification Turns Images From Space Telescopes Into Tunes. “In a new project to make images of space more accessible, Kimberly Kowal Arcand, a visualization researcher from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and a team of scientists and sound engineers worked with NASA to turn images of the cosmos into music. The team uses a new technique called data sonification that takes the information captured from space telescopes and translates it into sound.” Good morning, Internet…

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