Resilience of the Redwoods, New York City Genealogy, Black Railway Porters in Canada, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, December 9, 2021


Google Blog: Explore resilience in the face of the California wildfires. “Through detailed 3D models of famed redwood trees, archival photographs, and multimedia stories from Park employees, you can now explore Resilience of the Redwoods on Google Arts and Culture. Travel through time at California’s first park from the budding preservation movement to Park Rangers’ connections to the trees today. Through interactive 3D, explore centuries of scars and growth of some of the oldest trees in the park and learn about the increasing impacts of fire on the ancient redwood habitat.”

Columbia News: A Digital Map of Historical New York Offers an Extraordinary Level of Detail. “A glimpse into New York City at the turn of the 20th century can now be viewed at an exceptional level of detail: 6.5 million unique census records from 1850, 1880, and 1910 are pinpointed to residential addresses on the recently launched website Mapping Historical New York: A Digital Atlas. During these 60 years, New York City experienced a radical transformation due to an immigration surge and expansion into Brooklyn.”

University at Buffalo: UB professor’s book inspires digital exhibition. “Myseum of Toronto is hosting an online conversation with Cecil Foster, UB professor of Africana and American Studies, at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 to officially open a new exhibition based on his groundbreaking history, ‘They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada.’ ‘Derailed: The History of Black Railway Porters in Canada’ is a digital exhibit created in collaboration with Foster that builds upon his book’s illuminating narrative to present the porters’ story through dramatic monologues, articles, archival photographs, artifacts and discussion surrounding their push for civil rights across North America.”


CNN: Here’s what people Googled in 2021. “If 2020 was defined by a spike in people frantically Googling for everything related to the coronavirus, this year saw the old standards of sports and entertainment make a resurgence in online searches around the world.”

Bleeping Computer: Amazon is shutting down web ranking site “Amazon announced on Wednesday plans to shut down its global website ranking system and competitor analysis tool ‘’, which has been available for 25 years. is a subsidiary company of Amazon and it’s widely known for its global ranking system which uses web traffic data from its partners to list the most popular internet companies.”

Engadget: ‘Reading Rainbow’ will return in 2022 with an interactive component. “After more than 15 years off the air, Reading Rainbow will return to TV in early 2022. Per CBS News, this latest version of the classic children’s show will be known as Reading Rainbow Live. It will feature an interactive component that kids will be able to access through Looped. The platform will allow viewers to ask questions of the cast, and participate in games. Naturally, Reading Rainbow Live will also be available to stream online.”


Reuters: New online archive for Benin Bronzes to go live at end of 2022. “An online archive bringing together information on thousands of Benin Bronze artefacts in museums around the world is expected to go live at the end of next year, one of the organisers said on Friday. The Benin Bronzes, which are mostly in Europe, were stolen from Nigeria’s Benin City during colonialism and are among Africa’s most significant heritage objects.”

CNET: Wide-eyed kid from Popeye’s meme is now a state football champ. “You might not know Dieunerst Collin personally, but you still know Dieunerst Collin. In a Vine video shot back in 2013, he stands wearing a yellow shirt, holding a Popeye’s fast-food drink cup, side-eyeing the camera…. His image is still regularly pasted into plenty of reaction memes, whenever anyone wants a wary, alarmed face to go with a caption. And now Collin has a new, more impressive title for his resume: State football champ.”

Pennsylvania Pressroom: The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Awards More Than $2 Million In Grants To Museums, Historical Organizations, Local Governments And Academic Institutions. “The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) has awarded almost $2 million in Cultural and Historical Support Grants to 154 eligible museums and official county historical societies from 56 Pennsylvania counties. In addition, PHMC awarded more than $175,000 in Historical and Archival Records Care (HARC) Grants to 34 organizations in 24 Pennsylvania counties.”


New York Times: Cambodia Says Looter Helping It Reclaim Stolen Artifacts Has Died. “Cambodian officials say a reformed looter who directed a ring that pillaged Khmer-era temples for two decades, ending in the late 1990s, has died, but that they will continue to use the testimony he provided as they work to reclaim more stolen artifacts. The man, Toek Tik, 62, spent the last two years informing officials of his activities as he sought to help them reclaim hundreds of statues and other relics he said he had personally looted, many of which, Cambodia says, are now in private hands and museum collections.”

Ars Technica: The movement to hold AI accountable gains more steam. “New York’s City Council last month adopted a law requiring audits of algorithms used by employers in hiring or promotion. The law, the first of its kind in the nation, requires employers to bring in outsiders to assess whether an algorithm exhibits bias based on sex, race, or ethnicity. Employers also must tell job applicants who live in New York when artificial intelligence plays a role in deciding who gets hired or promoted.”


Wired: Jack Dorsey’s Twitter Failed African Countries. “To the West, Twitter under Dorsey’s reign from 2015 to 2021 often looked like an acidic, hate-fuelled, raging dumpster fire. But what westerners got was Twitter’s platinum version. It’s the version made by people who take their civic problems seriously because those problems are theirs too. Misinformation, hate speech, and manipulation on the platform is much worse in my corner of the world and Dorsey’s legacy in Africa is even more neglectful and hypocritical than his legacy in the Western world.”

KentOnline: Rochester Castle captured by drones to create digital model. “A detailed digital model for conservation work at Rochester Castle has been created from drone imagery. Commercial ‘pilot’ Geoff Watkins flew his craft over the historic building as part of a partnership scheme with English Heritage and Medway Council.” Good morning, Internet…

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