Theater Diversity Data, Kansas City Roses, Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, June 21, 2021


Backstage: Exclusive: Years of Theater Diversity Data Now Housed in 1 Place With Launch of Counting Together Website. “What is the racial and ethnic makeup of actors hired in theater? How many female playwrights have been produced on Broadway? Previously, if a person wanted the answer to those questions, they would have to use Google and ask other industry professionals. Now, a new website called Counting Together is gathering theater industry reports around gender, race, and disability in theater dating back to 2006 and putting them in one place.”

Fox 4: Kansas City’s famous rose garden goes high tech to celebrate 90th anniversary. “Visitors to the rose garden in Loose Park may notice something new as they stop to smell the flowers. The Kansas City Rose Society launched a new website that categorizes every variety in the garden by name, color and classification.”

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Songs, stories, pottery: Refugees preserve their heritage in digital archives. “Solima Khatun has been a refugee six times in her long life. She first left her home in Myanmar during the Second World War, and most recently in 2017 – when relatives had to carry her as they fled to Bangladesh with nearly one million other Rohingyas…. Khatun’s story – along with pictures of her and her loda – are among scores of exhibits featured in the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre (RCMC), a new digital archive of the art, literature and treasured belongings of refugees in Cox’s Bazar.”


TechCrunch: Facebook officially launches Live Audio Rooms and podcasts in the U.S.. “In April, Facebook announced a series of planned investments in new audio products, including a Clubhouse live audio competitor as well as new support for podcasts. Today, Facebook is officially rolling these products with the launch of Live Audio Rooms in the U.S. on iOS, starting with public figures and select Facebook Groups, and the debut of an initial set of U.S. podcast partners.”

Mashable: Google Assistant debuts new Black history feature for Juneteenth . “On Saturday morning, Google unveiled the addition of a Black history function, available to users of any Assistant-enabled smart speaker, smart display, or phone. Just ask ‘Hey Google, what happened today in Black history?’ and the voice assistant will recite daily history content curated by Google with the help of civil rights activist and scholar Dr. Carl Mack.”

Search Engine Journal: Google Announces New Ads Creative Studio. “Google announced the launch of a new tool for creative advertising tools, called ‘Ads Creative Studio’, which aims to unify multiple creative tools.”


Europeana Pro: Curious, smart and resourceful: the BnF’s new digital roadmap. “The National Library of France (BnF) has recently launched a new digital strategy – we speak to Céline Leclaire, Strategic content production officer, to explore the strategy and what it means for the organisation’s digital transformation.”

Getty: Archive of Celebrated Stage Director Peter Sellars Comes to the Getty Research Institute. “For over 40 years, Peter Sellars has pushed boundaries within the theater and performing arts communities—from unconventional reimaginations of classic plays to politically charged operas, to festivals that celebrate art around the world. The acclaimed stage director, UCLA Distinguished Professor and MacArthur Fellow has donated his vast personal archive to the Getty Research Institute. Along with a related donation—the Los Angeles Festival records—his papers will greatly enhance the Research Institute’s holdings related to developments in the history of perform­ing arts.”

Fashion United: When virtual fashion stands up to the physical world. “In the press and across social networks, the subject of virtual fashion is becoming increasingly more popular. But are these non-physical clothes the future of fashion? And where exactly can you find them? To find answers, FashionUnited took a look at the latest collection of Amsterdam-based digital fashion house The Fabricant.”


CBC: Why an Italian museum unleashed bacteria on Michelangelo’s marble masterpieces. “When it came time to clean sculptures by Michelangelo at the Medici Chapels in Florence, Italy, conservators knew they needed a new approach. For nearly a decade, teams have been working to clean the marble works in the New Sacristy — searching for solutions that wouldn’t damage the fragile stone Michelangelo worked with to sculpt the room’s elaborate tombs. So rather than applying chemicals or using abrasives, the experts made a ‘bold decision’ to use bacteria-infused gel to clean away centuries worth of dirt and grime.”

Monga Bay: What’s the cost of illegal mining in Brazil’s Amazon? A new tool calculates it. “Illegal gold mining caused an estimated $429 million (2.2 billion reais) in social and environmental damages on the Yanomami Indigenous Reserve in Brazil’s Roraima state last year, according to a new impacts calculator launched this week by the Federal Public Ministry in partnership with the Conservation Strategy Fund Brazil (CSF-Brazil), the nonprofit organization responsible for the creation of the tool.”

Tech Xplore: Facebook to launch NetHack Challenge at NeurIPS 2021. “Due to its unforgiving nature requiring players to start an entire game over in a new dungeon once their characters die, many regard NetHack as one of the most challenging games out there. In fact, even at the expert level, successfully completing the game requires an average of 25-50 times more steps than a typical StarCraft II game. Furthermore, as players’ engagement with their environment and related objects are wholly intricate, users must often think outside the box or consult an outside source such as NetHack Wiki in order to win.” Been playing this game on and off for ~30 years and I’ve yet to win. Good morning, Internet…

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