Bowed String Instruments, Visual Propaganda Database, Diversity in Music, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, February 5, 2021


The Strad: New website displays images of bowed string instruments from all periods of history. “Founded by the researcher Barry Pearce, the Bowed Strings Iconography Project is intended as a historical research tool for musicians, luthiers, bow makers, students, researchers, academics, and teachers. It provides an extensive database of information on sources of bowed string instrument iconography and associated images dating as far back as the 9th century – when bowing is believed to have originated (the earliest iconographic evidence is from c.920-930 CE Iberia).”

MisinfoCon: An introduction to Propwatch — the world’s first visual database of propaganda techniques. “Propwatch uses its pioneering web platform to initiate the inoculation process. Our unique platform catalogs and cross-references embedded video segments, so visitors… can see propaganda techniques being executed in real-time, and not only learn to identify the techniques, but to understand how and why they work.”

Music Ally: Jonathan Azu launches Diversity in Music employment database. “Culture Collective managing partner Jonathan Azu was one of the speakers on our NY:LON Connect ‘label evolution’ panel last year. Now he’s starting a new project that aims to help the wider music industry evolve. It’s called Diversity in Music, and is a talent database of Bipoc (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and women music professionals looking for jobs in the industry.”


Smithsonian: Smithsonian Associates Streaming Offers World Art History Certificate Program. “Smithsonian Associates—the world’s largest museum-based education program—offers its popular World Art History Certificate Program online for the first time. Under the guidance of expert teachers, participants can expand their knowledge and appreciation of art through programs presented on Zoom year-round that examine the major creators, movements and historical periods that shaped art across civilizations and centuries.”


The Verge: Chrome is blocking popular extension The Great Suspender, but there’s a way to recover your tabs. “Google has apparently blocked The Great Suspender extension from Chrome, with existing users now receiving a message that it has ‘been disabled because it contains malware.’ It’s also been removed from the Chrome Web Store, with any links to it now leading to a 404 page. Some are worried about losing their tabs, but Reddit users have found a way to recover them (via XDA-Developers’ Mishaal Rahman).”


The News Minute: Mia Khalifa responds to ‘regains consciousness’ Google Translate gaffe. “Two days after former adult actor Mia Khalifa expressed her solidarity with the farmers protesting in India against the contentious farm laws, a pro-Hindu group staged protests against her, burning her photographs and holding up a rather puzzling placard that read, ‘Mia Khalifa regains consciousness.’ It was later revealed that it was an instance of Google translate going wrong, as the protesters were reportedly asking Mia to ‘hosh mein aao,’ which ideally translates to ‘come to your senses.'”

Voice of America: New Generation of Russian Protesters Harnesses Social Media. “Some 80 journalists are included among the thousands of people who have been detained across Russia during protests over the arrest and sentencing of opposition politician Alexey Navalny…. The strong tactics used by security forces to contain protests, and the retaliation against independent journalists covering them, were no surprise to Russian politicians, analysts and journalists interviewed by VOA. What was less expected was Russia’s inability to stem the flow of information about Navalny’s case and the rallies in his support.”


Slashgear: 3D printers may become standard equipment for operating rooms. “Scientists from UNSW Sydney have developed a new ceramic-based ink that could allow surgeons to 3D print bone parts complete with living cells. The 3D printing bone could be used to repair damaged bone tissue during surgery. The 3D printer uses a special ink made of calcium phosphate, and researchers on the project call the ink ceramic omnidirectional bio printing in cell-suspensions or COBICS.”

Rest of World: Silicon Valley’s double standard. “Populists don’t gain power in a vacuum. They build it using all the advantages that social media gives those who are not constrained by facts and are willing to make open calls for violence. The problem is not freedom of speech— that is sacrosanct. The problem is that, in the pursuit of profit, social media giants will amplify incendiary voices, giving them the freedom to reach more followers. It’s a systemic risk that governments need to tackle with emerging legislation.”

Big Think: How your social media data can become a ‘mental health X-ray’. “The results of a recent study, conducted by Feinstein Institutes researchers and IBM Research, suggest that social media activity can provide useful insights into who’s at risk of developing mental illnesses like mood disorders and schizophrenia spectrum disorders.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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