Fireburn, Sports Stats, Athol Shmith Photography, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, April 26, 2021


Virgin Islands Daily News: Historic prison records reveal more Fireburn queens — and kings. “Virgin Islanders celebrate three heroines of the 1878 labor rebellion on St. Croix known as Fireburn for the torching of plantations across the island in retaliation for Danish oppression. But prison records show there may have been as many as five queens and some men — kings — according to researchers of the Fireburn Files, a historic digital collection dedicated to the riot and its ripple effects.”

Milwaukee Magazine: Aaron Rodgers Just Launched the IMDb for Sports. “The platform went live with a complete roster of NFL, MLB and NBA athlete profiles. It also has an editorial arm, which will regularly publish content that’s exclusive to the site. In advance of its launch, [Online Sports Database] raised $2.5 million in funding that will help the platform expand its offerings in the coming months to include NHL, soccer, UFC, WNBA, PGA, LPGA, cricket and E-Sports, while adding features such as college, high school and retired athlete profiles, historical data and sports betting insights, as well as subscription services.”

National Library of Australia: Zimmermann + Athol Shmith: Fashion Photography. “Elegant and bold, Melbourne photographer Athol Shmith (1914–1990) worked in fashion, theatre and advertising on private commission for decades. He was undoubtedly versatile, and well known as a portraitist and wedding photographer. Yet fashion photography – for magazines, department stores and boutiques – was a speciality…. In 1979, Shmith gave the National Library of Australia a large collection of his prints and negatives, mostly fashion photographs. Some have a relationship to prints in other Australian collections. Others appear to be unique.” What I know about fashion would fit in a thimble but I found Shmith’s work to be mostly really good.

WTTW: Harold Washington’s Speeches Can’t Be Heard, But Now They Can At Least Be Read. “Despite Harold Washington’s reputation as a gifted orator, precious few audio recordings exist of speeches made by the groundbreaking reformer, who served as mayor of Chicago from 1983 until his sudden death in 1987. The Chicago Public Library has now filled a gap in Washington’s legacy by digitizing scores of the mayor’s written speeches, available to the public in a searchable online collection, library officials announced this week.”


NASA: NASA to Air Live Coverage of SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts’ Return to Earth. “The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, is scheduled to undock from the space station to begin the journey home at 7:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday, April 28. NASA and SpaceX are targeting 12:40 p.m. for the splashdown and conclusion of the Crew-1 mission. The return to Earth – and activities leading up to the return – will air live on NASA Television, the NASA App, and the agency’s website.”


Mashable: A centuries-old secret society is hanging out in Facebook groups. “Centuries ago, Rosicrucians were only able to maintain their society through their ability to be invisible. But over the past several hundred years, the world has changed — and, along with it, so has the need for Rosicrucians to stay shielded from the public. Now, like much of the rest of society, they’re finding new ways to connect, by pivoting to Facebook, Zoom, and YouTube.”

Jacobin Magazine: Fredrick Brennan Is the Founder of 8chan. Now He Wants to Take It Offline.. “Fredrick Brennan founded the 8chan image board that became home to QAnon conspiracists. Now he’s horrified by the site — and wants it offline. Brennan talks to Bhaskar Sunkara about free speech in the digital age, how 8chan became such a reactionary cesspool, and what we need to do to build a better internet.”

KCTV: Facebook removes page for French town named Bitche. “Sometimes, life can just be a Bitche. The residents of the French town carrying that name thought just that after social media giant Facebook removed Ville de Bitche’s official page from its site last month.”


New York Times: As Outbreak Rages, India Orders Critical Social Media Posts to Be Taken Down. “The new steps to muzzle online speech deepen a conflict between American social media platforms and Mr. Modi’s government. The two sides have tussled in recent months over a push by India’s government to more strictly police what is said online, a policy that critics say is being used to silence government detractors.”

Bleeping Computer: Google Alerts continues to be a hotbed of scams and malware. “While Google Alerts has been abused for a long time, BleepingComputer has noticed a significant increase in activity over the past couple of weeks. For example, I use Google Alerts to monitor for various terms related to cyberattacks, security incidents, malware, etc. In one particular Google Alert, almost every new article shared with me today by the service led to a scam or malicious website, with two of them shown below.” I’m not seeing that in my Google Alerts – but I am seeing a lot of Web spam.


FedScoop: USPTO chief information officer most excited about new search algorithms . “New search algorithms for relevant prior art most excite the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s CIO right now. USPTO created the machine-learning algorithms to increase the speed at which patents are examined by importing relevant prior art — all information on its claim of originality — into pending applications sent to art units, said Jamie Holcombe.”

The Atlantic: What Facebook Did for Chauvin’s Trial Should Happen All the Time. “Discussion about content moderation tends to focus on binary decisions concerning whether individual pieces of content are left up or taken down. But content moderation is much more about knobs and dials that regulate the overall flow of posts. An individual piece of content is a mere drop in the ocean of Facebook content; the underlying systems that move this content around are the tides. The public discussion about content moderation typically fixates on the drops—what should Facebook have done with Donald Trump’s posts?—but when you’re weathering a storm, what matters is the tides.” Good morning, Internet…

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