Russia & Ukraine Genealogy, Niche Music, British Museum, more: Sunday ResearchBuzz, December 26, 2021


Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family: New Ukrainian database breaks down a brickwall on Christmas morning. “For years, I have heard my grandmother’s brother was named after a brother who died as a baby. No one could tell me when this child was born, except he was born before 1927. On Christmas morning, I discovered a new database from the City of Kyiv archives. The archives has indexed more than 190,000 birth records for 1919-1936 here. Yes, it is in Ukrainian but it is a very simple database.” The site includes clear instructions for using the database even if you can’t read Ukrainian.

Boing Boing: A guy accidentaly made a gigantic repository of niche music. “A decade ago, when Spotify was two years old in the UK and had just become available in the US, Chris Johnson started a musical discovery project called TAPEFEAR. He ‘created a script to find new music on niche music sites, cross reference Spotify to see if it was available to stream,’ according to a Reddit post, and besides a bit of occasional tinkering, he largely forgot about it. In total, Johnson says the script ran for a decade amassing 42,000 songs.”

This is from earlier in December but the video I saw for it is so astounding I feel I must include it. The Drum: Vice Media highlights disputed artifacts in British Museum with interactive campaign. “Vice Media has created a campaign to highlight the origin of 10 disputed artifacts that are currently in the British Museum. The campaign, called ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’ and conceptualized together with Dentsu Webchutney, is focused on artifacts including Summer Palace (China), Gweagal Shield (Australia) and Amaravati Marbles (India). The stories of these artifacts will be told through an interactive mobile site and a 10-episode podcast series featuring experts from the homelands of these objects.”


Genealogy’s Star: Looking forward to RootsTech 2022 Virtual. “RootsTech 2022 is coming faster than you expect. This year it is 100% virtual and 100% free (if you already have an internet connection and a device to connect). I am involved as an ‘Influencer.’ I guess my perception of reality should begin adapting to linguistic changes. Most of my time during RootsTech from the 28th of February to the 5th of March is going to be spent helping people around the world with their genealogical questions.”


Los Angeles Times: A beginner’s guide to cryptocurrency. “The hype surrounding cryptocurrencies may be inescapable, but that doesn’t mean people understand how they work or why some of their values have gyrated so wildly. Here are some of the basics to help bring you up to speed. Do not interpret any of this as an endorsement of cryptocurrencies, which are not particularly useful today as currencies nor reliable as investments.”


Wall Street Journal: TikTok Diagnosis Videos Leave Some Teens Thinking They Have Rare Mental Disorders . “When teens watch TikTok videos and decide they have a mental-health affliction—even if they’re really only suffering from adolescence—it can pose a treatment challenge and cause frayed family relationships. Psychologists say there are things parents should and shouldn’t do when confronting their self-diagnosing teen, which I’ll discuss below. For its part, TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., is implementing changes that could minimize streams of single-topic videos.”

Associated Press: Russia blocks website of group that tracks political arrests. “A Russian organization that tracks political arrests and provides legal aid to detainees said Saturday that government regulators blocked its website, the latest move in a months-long crackdown on independent media and human rights organizations.”


Stars and Stripes: Congress extends deadline to replace Pentagon oversight reports. “The fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act had required that the documents, called Selected Acquisition Reports, be terminated after fiscal 2021. The new fiscal 2022 NDAA retains the termination mandate but extends the deadline by two years. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is working on a replacement reporting system that would make the information available in a database in real time instead of in quarterly or annual reports. But the new system is not yet ready, and its proposed elements are not clear to the congressional Armed Services committees, whose new NDAA requires reports from the Pentagon about the forthcoming system.”

If This Be Treason: Italian Courts Find Open Source Software Terms Enforceable. “In a first-time ruling by Italian courts on open source licensing, a software vendor has lost a civil case for failing to comply with open source license requirements.”


CNET: 5 trends to shake the world in 2022: Predictions for the year ahead. “Even before the momentous events of 2020 and 2021 shook up the planet, the tectonic plates of culture, society and technology were already shifting and reshaping the world. The pandemic took those changes and accelerated them, exacerbated them, and in some cases, threw them into chaos. As we speed into 2022, one question remains: where are we headed next?”

Harvard Business Review: Research: How AR Filters Impact People’s Self-Image. “New research suggests that AR apps designed to let customers virtually try on makeup or other products can have a significant, negative impact on psychological wellbeing. Moreover, that impact can vary widely depending on the customer. While people with lower baseline levels of self-esteem may feel better about themselves after using an AR filter, those with higher pre-existing self-esteem are more likely to feel worse about themselves after using AR.”


The Verge: Today I learned that the Death Star is the size of the Olympic Peninsula. “Park My Spaceship is the simple, extremely amusing app I didn’t know I needed. It allows you to superimpose to-scale images of notable spacecraft from sci-fi shows and movies over Google Maps. That’s it. It’s great. You can check to see if Serenity would fit in your backyard or if the Millennium Falcon could land in your neighborhood park.” Not new, but new-to-me. Good morning, Internet…

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