Pandora Papers, Plant Extinction, AI-Generated Art, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, December 7, 2021


International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: ICIJ releases new Pandora Papers data from two offshore service providers. “With the addition of more than 15,000 companies, foundations and trusts, ICIJ’s Offshore Leaks database now has information on more than 800,000 entities registered in secrecy jurisdictions coming from five different investigations.”

Scienmag: Global database of plants reveals human activity biggest driver of homogenization of plant communities. “In a study published December 6 in Nature Communications researchers have compiled a dataset of over 200,000 plant species worldwide to demonstrate the extent to which species extinctions and non-native invasive plants reorganize plant communities in the Anthropocene, the current geological age dominated by human activity.”

The Verge: This AI art app is a glimpse at the future of synthetic media. “If you’ve been hanging out on Twitter lately, then you’ve probably noticed a profusion of AI-generated images sprouting all over your timeline like weird, algorithmic visions. These pictures have been generated using a new app called Dream, which lets anyone create ‘AI-powered paintings’ by simply typing a brief description of what they want to see. It’s odd, often uncanny stuff — and extremely fun.” Warning: massive timesink.


CNET: YouTube Music rolls out 2021 Recap feature to rival Spotify Wrapped. “YouTube Music on Monday launched a feature called 2021 Recap, which shows users their top artists, songs, music videos and playlists from this year.”

Mashable: From pugs to plants, TikTok has been anything but predictable in 2021. “This year, we know people came for the recipes, nostalgic fashion trends, the myth-debunking, but data-wise, it’s tricky to pinpoint exactly what caught our collective attentions. TikTok’s 2021 trends report solves this conundrum, with the company showing their chosen numbers on what billions were watching, obsessing over, and sharing on the app this year.”

Flickr Blog: NOW OPEN – Your Best Shot 2021. “It’s that time of year again! We’ve just opened the Your Best Shot 2021 group to submissions and will be accepting submissions through January 4. Submit your single best shot of the year for a chance to win one of seven prizes.”


BBC: The ‘map nerds’ who are building a national archive. “When Anne Burgess isn’t skiing or flying a glider, you are likely to find her roaming around some of Scotland’s remotest locations, camera and map in hand. The retired tourism officer from Fochabers in Moray is one of an army of volunteers whose mission is to capture and document rural and urban locations and share free-to-use images with the public.”

PR Newswire: Announces “Allyship” as its 2021 Word of the Year (PRESS RELEASE). “, the leading online and mobile English-language educational resource, today announced its Word of the Year: allyship. The word carries special distinction this year as it marks the first time has chosen a word new to its dictionary as its Word of the Year.”

How-To Geek: The Most Popular Emoji of 2021 Fits This Year Perfectly. “Just like last year, 2021 has been a year filled with trials and challenges. The Unicode Consortium has analyzed the most used emoji for the year, and we all used the tears of joy face far more than any other one, which feels fitting for what 2021 was.”


CBS News: U.S. imposes first cybersecurity rules for rail transit, despite industry pushback. “The federal government imposed two cybersecurity mandates on ‘higher-risk’ railroad and rail transit systems, despite industry efforts to beat back regulations.”

Bleeping Computer: As Twitter removes blue badges for many, phishing targets verified accounts . “Verified accounts on Twitter refer to those possessing a blue badge with a checkmark. These accounts typically represent notable influencers, prominent celebrities, politicians, journalists, activists, as well as government and private organizations. The phishing campaign follows Twitter’s recent removal of the checkmarks from a number of verified accounts, citing that these were ineligible for the legendary status, and were verified in error.”


Boing Boing: Fakelish: generative English words. “Want some more words from the other English language? Ryo Ota’s Fakelish has them all. Unlike Thomas Dimson’s English word generator, it doesn’t use AI, preferring more mundrial generative techniques.” Good morning, Internet…

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