Ancient Egypt Portraits, Facebook, Fake Video, More: Friday Evening ResearchBuzz, March 19, 2021


Getty: See the Faces of People Who Lived in Egypt under the Roman Empire. “In Egypt, it was customary to mummify the deceased and create a likeness of them, often in the form of a mummy mask or an anthropoid (human-form) coffin. From the first to third centuries AD, after Egypt had become a province of the Roman Empire, the traditional practice of mummification continued but a new trend also arose: some individuals chose to be represented in portraits painted on thin wooden panels or linen burial shrouds that were affixed to their mummy wrappings. These mummy portraits were part of ancient Egyptian traditions and their preparations for the afterlife…. Discover more about these mummy portraits and the stories they tell, in the new Google Arts & Culture exhibition: Faces of Roman Egypt.”


The Verge: Facebook introduces a corporate human rights policy it will ‘strive to respect’. “Facebook is addressing the criticism it’s faced for its role in human rights abuses by putting its values on paper in a new ‘corporate human rights policy’ collecting ‘the human rights standards [it] will strive to respect.’ Under the policy, Facebook is committing to providing an annual report on its impact on human rights and a fund for human rights defenders.” I have no idea what “strive to respect” means.


Washington Post: How to spot a fake video. “Have you ever felt like you can’t trust all the video on your newsfeed? Videos are often misrepresented or manipulated these days, with few tools on how to determine what’s real versus fake. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker team put together a guide to teach you how to be your own video investigator.”

Make Tech Easier: How to Use Subscript and Superscript in Google Docs. “For most of your day-to-day writing, your text will sit on one line. This seems so obvious, it’s not worth noting. Though, there are many times you’ll use text either above or below the line. These are ‘subscript’ and ‘superscript’ characters, and through a quick couple of button presses, you can add these in Google Docs. We show you here how to use subscript and superscript in Google Docs. First, let’s talk more about what both are.”


Vice: Tracing the Sprawling Roots of Flash Preservation. “Once the platform for kooky animations and experimental games, Flash is no longer a staple for weird digital art, having just completed its stagger towards its end-of-life—with the long march towards its decline finally coming to a head.”


CNET: Google, Facebook, Twitter CEOs will face US lawmakers again: How to watch. “It’s not the first time that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai have been grilled by lawmakers about how they moderate content but the coronavirus pandemic and the election season has put a larger spotlight on the topic. The virtual hearing comes as US lawmakers consider new regulation that could put more pressure on online platforms to do a better job of combating lies.”

Ars Technica: One company wants to sell the feds location data from every car on Earth. “There is a strange sort of symmetry in the world of personal data this week: one new report has identified a company that wants to sell the US government granular car location data from basically every vehicle in the world, while a group of privacy advocates is suing another company for providing customer data to the feds.”


Missoulian: Caldera chronicles: Preserving the legacy of geologic mapping in Yellowstone. “Today, geologic mapping is done digitally and is easily accessible in a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database, like the Geology of Yellowstone map, which is made possible by the Wyoming State Geological Survey. But what of the old paper maps, made before digital mapping was possible? It is critical that these maps are preserved and digitized, so that the information we have gained in years past remains accessible to all. A part of that effort is to convert older printed maps, as well as unpublished field mapping and observations, into digital GIS database products.”

EurekAlert: Pretty gameful!. “To get children and young people interested in the topic of quantum physics, the research alliance is developing an entertaining mobile game that is intended to be played around the world. Based on a popular quantum mechanics thought experiment by Erwin Schrödinger, the players accompany ‘their’ cat through a crazy quantum world and solve attractive brainteasers along the way.” Good evening, Internet…

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