National Recording Registry, PowerPoint, Building Websites, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 25, 2021


Library of Congress: National Recording Registry Adds ‘Rhythm Nation’ Among 25 New Selections. “Janet Jackson’s clarion call for action and healing in ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ now joins other groundbreaking sounds of history and culture among the latest titles inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, including Louis Armstrong’s ‘When the Saints Go Marching In,’ Labelle’s ‘Lady Marmalade,’ Nas’ ‘Illmatic,’ Kool & the Gang’s ‘Celebration,’ and Kermit the Frog’s ‘The Rainbow Connection.'”

Pocketnow: Microsoft’s new tool turns Word files into PowerPoint presentation using AI. “Microsoft has announced a new feature that uses AI to turn Word files into a PowerPoint presentation. Called Export to PowerPoint presentation, the feature has started to roll out for Word and PowerPoint on the web, and users with an Office 365 subscription can now access it. All you have to do is open a Word file on the web, hit the Export button on the left sidebar, then tap on the Export to PowerPoint presentation, and you’re good to go.” Apparently this feature only supports text-based Word files, so we’re still at step one, but what a great start.


ZDNet: How to create a website: The 2021 step-by-step guide. “You don’t have to be a programmer, a geek, or a techie to do this. You also don’t have to be an illustrator or a designer. All you’ll need to do is take some time, make some decisions, spend a few bucks, and write your site’s content, and soon, you’ll have a shiny new website you’ll be proud to promote.”


BBC: Apple Music ‘saylists’ to help with speech issues. “‘Saylists’ are being launched on Apple Music to help young people with speech-sound disorders. The project, from Warner Music, uses algorithms to find song lyrics that repeat challenging sounds. The 173 tracks chosen so far include Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now, Lizzo’s Good As Hell and Right Here, Fatboy Slim’s Right Now.”

National Gallery of Art: New Undergraduate Paid Internship Program for Careers in Museums Announced by National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Partnership with Howard University and Supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “This four-year pilot program aims to create pathways to careers in museums and arts-related organizations for students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other institutions that serve populations that are underrepresented in the museum field. Following a planning phase focused on building an inclusive, equitable, and supportive infrastructure, the first cohort of students will join the National Gallery in the fall of 2022. Students may begin applying for the program in early 2022, with a specific deadline yet to be finalized.”

New York Times: E.P.A. to Review Attacks on Science Under Trump. “The Biden administration is taking the unusual step of making a public accounting of the Trump administration’s political interference in science, drawing up a list of dozens of regulatory decisions that may have been warped by political interference in objective research.”


KSNT: Kansas bill seeks to prevent social media sites from blocking political speech. “After the 2020 election and the controversies that followed, Hutchinson Senator Mark Steffen decided to sponsor a bill to address what social media allows. The new proposal specifically states that harassing and objectionable speech cannot include political information or expression.”


Mashable: Meet the chatbot that simulates a teen experiencing a mental health crisis. “In digital conversation, Riley is a young person who is trying to come out as genderqueer. When you message Riley, they’ll offer brief replies to open-ended questions, sprinkle ellipses throughout when saying something difficult, and type in lowercase, though they’ll capitalize a word or two for emphasis. Riley’s humanness is impressive given that they’re a chatbot driven by artificial intelligence to accomplish a unique goal: simulate what it’s like to talk to a young person in crisis so that volunteer counselors can become skilled at interacting with them and practice asking about thoughts of suicide.”

Next Web: My team experimented with ‘no screen mornings’ — it worked wonders. “Want to feel stressed, anxious, and/or completely exhausted before you even have breakfast? I highly recommend looking at your phone right when you wake up. I tend to look at Slack, email, and (*sigh*) Twitter right after I wake up. But sometimes I wonder if my head would be clearer if I just… didn’t. So I tried it out — and asked my coworkers at Zapier to join me.”


Reddit: Fantasia Archive – The free, offline, world-building software with a unique spin. “Fantasia Archive (or FA for short) is an offline, free software that was created as a reaction to the lack of proper offline world-building and writing tools as most of such programs focus almost entirely on just writing instead of on the world-building and all intricacies it brings. This is what sets FA apart: The focus on the structure of one’s works and relationships of all parts of it to each other instead of solely focusing on the writing experience itself.” Windows-only, unfortunately. Good afternoon, Internet…

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