Civil War Maps, DIY for Kids, Oregon Gray Whales, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, December 30, 2021


The Map Room: Hal Jespersen’s Civil War Maps. “Freelance cartographer Hal Jespersen has created more than 200 maps for various Wikipedia articles on battles in the U.S. Civil War.”

Click2Houston: Beat winter break boredom with free DIY activities. “Vanessa Raponi is a Product Development Engineer with Spin Master. She and her team has created a new website called the Future of Play with free activities that teach kids how their favorite toys are made through easy DIY activities. The website walks you through one of these fun at-home projects and explains the science behind each…”

Oregon State University: Meet some of Oregon’s most recognizable gray whales via new OSU website. ” Scarlett is known for the large scar on her back. Equal bears the mark of a boat propeller injury. Roller Skate’s fluke was damaged due to entanglement with fishing gear. Solé has a favorite foraging ground she returns to each year. Each of these gray whales was nicknamed by researchers in the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Laboratory at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute…. Now they want the public to get to know some of these whales, too.”


WWBT: Conservators recover books, coins, ammo from 1887 time capsule. “A portion of Richmond’s history was uncovered by a team of conservators at the Department of Historic Resources as they opened a copper box confirmed as the time capsule placed in the very Northeast corner of the Robert E. Lee monument on Oct. 27, 1887. On Tuesday afternoon, conservators finished opening the 36-pound copper box in their conservation lab. State Archaeological Conservator Kate Ridgway said they used a tool to cut open the top of the box and put blotter paper inside the box to reduce the water condensation.”

Google Blog: The year in review: Take a bite out of 2021. “Last year, as we wrapped up 2020, so many of us looked around and wondered what the world would be like now. Would many people return to the office? Would kids return to classrooms? Would we return to restaurants, concerts, football games? The COVID-19 vaccine helped move many of us in that direction, but as 2021 ends, we’re still grappling with many of those same questions.”


California Genealogical Society: Ancestry BMD records available free through December 31. “If you don’t already have a subscription to, you can search and view their entire collection of Birth, Marriage, and Death records for free through Friday.”

Make Tech Easier: How to Use Gboard: The Ultimate Guide. “Gboard (also known as Google keyboard) is one of the best keyboards for Android phones and tablets. It’s available for free and comes preinstalled on many Android phones, especially those running Stock Android. You can install it from Play Store on any Android phone. Let’s explore how to use Gboard on Android.”


Hawaii News Now: Influencer’s social media post prompts calls to respect Hawaiian culture. “A social media influencer’s post of rocks being thrown into a sacred body of water atop Mauna Kea has prompted calls to respect Hawaiian culture. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources shared screen shots of the now-deleted post, which went up last month.”

Baltimore Sun: UMBC students archive Highlandtown’s Latino immigration history and food culture. “Thirteen students from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, are working to fill a gap in history with the Highlandtown Immigration and Food Project. Through archival research and panel discussions with nonprofit groups’ leaders and business owners, the students created a timeline of Latino politics, history and food culture in Southeast Baltimore neighborhood from the 1980s to the 1990s.”

BBC: Alexa tells 10-year-old girl to touch live plug with penny. “Amazon has updated its Alexa voice assistant after it ‘challenged’ a 10-year-old girl to touch a coin to the prongs of a half-inserted plug. The suggestion came after the girl asked Alexa for a ‘challenge to do’.”


US Embassy & Consulates in Italy: Time capsules took off in 2021. “Perhaps because we live in dramatic times, people worldwide are thinking about their place in history. Many are creating time capsules so that their descendants may one day get a glimpse of life today. The number of time capsules created since the pandemic began equals the number from the previous 350 years combined, according to Adrienne Waterman, chairwoman of the International Time Capsule Society. Some individuals and families have created time capsules related to life (and in some cases the death of a loved one) during the pandemic as a cathartic gesture.”


Smithsonian American Art Museum: Capturing Humboldt in the 21st century using an 18th-century tool. “Meet Dean Howarth, a local high school science teacher and an interpreter on the history of science. He has presented ‘living history narratives’ based on the science of Charles Willson Peale and Alexander von Humboldt at Smithsonian Libraries, the National Museum of American History, and other regional museums. Howarth visited SAAM in nineteenth century dress during the summer to sketch the mastodon skeleton featured in the exhibition, Alexander von Humboldt in the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture. He used a ‘camera lucida,’ a small sketching tool used in the 1800s similar to a camera obscura but simpler and quicker to use—a favorite tool of 19th-century naturalists, like Humboldt. Enjoy the world of science, discovery, and Alexander von Humboldt through Howarth’s lens.” Good morning, Internet…

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2 replies »

  1. Greetings Tara, thank you so much for the link (through California Genealogical Society) led to free research at today and tomorrow. I found my paternal grandfather’s death certificate (including one that was hand written in Merano, Italy, where he died in 1955). My father had not told me that story, I thought grandpa died on a boat on the way to Italy. But your research efforts are wonderful. Thank you, and Happy New Year. Carl

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