Natural Disaster Risks, Art History Dissertations, Internet Archive, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, December 11, 2021

I finished this yesterday before all the tornadoes happened; the first resource is unfortunate timing. Thinking of Kentucky this morning.


NOAA: New NOAA tool pinpoints natural disaster risk down to county level. “Developed by NCEI with data from NOAA, FEMA and academic institutions, this interactive NOAA mapping tool provides detailed information on a location’s susceptibility to weather and climate hazards that can lead to billion-dollar disasters—such as wildfires, floods, drought and heat waves, tornado outbreaks, and hurricanes. The tool expands upon FEMA’s National Risk Index to provide a view of a location’s risk for, and vulnerability to, single or multiple combinations of weather and climate hazards for every county and county-equivalent in all 50 states, and the District of Columbia.”

Penn State: University Libraries publishes ‘Art History Dissertations’ online bibliography. “The bibliography represents more than a year of collecting, collating, amending and researching art history Ph.D. dissertations submitted to CAA [College Art Association] since 1980. With more than 6,000 dissertations from more than 80 North American institutions, the data set presents a rich area of study for the ways in which the art history field has evolved over the last 40 years.”


Internet Archive: Three Ways to Celebrate the Public Domain in 2022. “Due to the recently enacted Music Modernization Act in the U.S., approximately 400,000 sound recordings from the pre-1923 era will join the public domain for the first time in our history. That’s why this year our theme is a Celebration of Sound. Join us for a virtual party on January 20, 2022 at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern time with a keynote from Senator Ron Wyden, champion of the Music Modernization Act and a host of musical acts, dancers, historians, librarians, academics, activists and other leaders from the Open world!”


InfoWorld: GitHub previews enhanced code search. “Among the enhancements is a new code search engine built in Rust, oriented toward searching code and speed. In the technology preview, the search index covers more than five million of the most popular public repositories. Searches also can be made on private repositories if a user has access.”

CNET: Our favorite TikTok trends of 2021, from couch guy to bones day. “Those trends can be fleeting. But oftentimes their intensity — and the opportunity they offer for random people to collaborate on making something entirely silly — can be a joyful reprieve. Even if that reprieve unintentionally lasts 3 hours. (Happiness comes at a price.)”


Make Tech Easier: 6 Free Alternatives to Google Forms. “Many people love Google Forms because it’s an easy-to-use, free online form builder that makes polling your audience simple. However, its simplistic design and lack of features can make it difficult to customize to your exact data collection needs. If you’re looking for an alternative to Google Forms that offers more flexibility without breaking the bank, check out these alternative online form builders.”

MakeUseOf: 6 Website Malware Scanners to Check If Your Website is Clean . “Building and managing a website is easier than ever before. But no matter what, you will always have to deal with malware now and then. Even if your website remains unaffected, it is a good idea to regularly scan for malware to make sure your website does not get blacklisted by security solutions and other services.”

Smashing Magazine: Free Christmas Icon Sets And Vector Elements. “Everybody loves a nice freebie, right? To get you in the mood for the upcoming holidays, we collected some winter- and holiday-themed icon sets and vector elements that you can use in your projects for free. Enjoy!”


New York Times: A 21st-Century Emily Dickinson Finds a Home in the Archives. “The Apple TV+ series ‘Dickinson’ is donating scripts, props and other artifacts — including painstaking replicas of the poet’s manuscripts — to the Emily Dickinson Museum and Harvard University.”

France24: France to open classified Algerian War archives 15 years ahead of schedule. “France will open classified police files from the Algerian war 15 years ahead of schedule in order to ‘look the truth in the eyes’, the government announced on Friday. The files cover judicial proceedings by the French police and military forces during the 1954-1962 war of independence. They are likely to confirm widespread use of torture and extra-judicial killings by French forces.”


Arizona State University: Innovative brainstorming method created by ASU staff for staff expands to public. “Starting in the spring semester, students can take a one-credit course in the ASU Spark Method through University College. And people outside ASU can take a professional-development certification course online. The next session begins Jan. 11. The ASU Spark Method, developed in 2018, is a conversational design tool that’s not only intended to encourage brainstorming and ideation from every team member, but also work through the tangled issues of how to throw away processes that don’t work and start a new way forward.”

EurekAlert: UTA civil engineer developing app, database of Texas bridges for TxDOT. “TxDOT’s Fort Worth District has awarded Nur Yazdani a two-year contract worth more than $600,000 to develop a database and mobile app that will catalog the GPS coordinates and features of Texas bridges, making information easily accessible from an office or cellphone. Quick access and sharing of data among engineers, surveyors, construction crews, maintenance crews and planners are key aspects of the project.”


BBC: Finnish teacher who secretly taught IS children in Syrian camps by text. “Every day at 09:00, Ilona Taimela greeted her students and explained their assignments. Her daily routine lasted about a year from May 2020 and in common with many other teachers she was working remotely. Except Ms Taimela’s students were being taught in a detention camp in north-eastern Syria – a world away from her desk in Finland.” Good morning, Internet…

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