1950 Census, Toronto Traffic Collisions, Colorado Reading Programs, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, April 1, 2022


Associated Press: ‘Gold mine’ of census records being released from 1950. “The records released by the National Archives and Records Administration will be indexed into a searchable website. The digitized, handwritten forms have information about household members’ names, race, sex, age, address, occupations, hours worked in the previous week, salaries, education levels, marital status and the country in which their parents were born. The website will include a tool allowing users to fix any incorrect names or add missing names.”

Toronto Star: Our most dangerous streets: Huge new collision database points to Toronto’s postwar suburbs. “A Star analysis of a huge new database of Toronto traffic collisions is shining a bright spotlight on a distinctly suburban problem. The new data set, much larger and more complete than any previously available records, offers a comprehensive account of nearly 500,000 collisions reported to Toronto police between 2014 and 2021, most mapped to the nearest intersection.”

Chalkbeat Colorado: Did this Colorado transparency law make it easier to understand how schools teach reading?. “Colorado has unveiled an online database showing what reading programs schools use in kindergarten through third grade, part of a broader state effort to improve how schools teach reading. At a time when lawmakers in many states want teaching materials publicly posted in order to limit what schools teach about race, gender, and history, the reading database is a very different example of curriculum transparency.”

University of Arkansas: Law Students Create National Survey of State Law Privileged Communications for Human Trafficking Service Providers. “[Savannah] Luna and [Alex] Millsap worked tirelessly to research and review existing resources and communications protected by state law privilege. The result is the National Survey of State Law Privileged Communications for Human Trafficking Service Providers, an extensive online tool accessible to all those who need it.”


Northeastern University: Panel: “Digital Archives, Anti-Racism, and Critical Metadata Practices”. “Please join us for a virtual panel hosted at Northeastern University on April 14, 12–2pm (Eastern), on the topic of antiracist metadata practices. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required, RSVP here. This two-hour virtual event brings together four leading scholars and archivists for a conversation on anti-racist metadata practices in digital archives.”


University of Wyoming: UW’s Global Vegetation Project Develops Online Educational Materials. “The Global Vegetation Project, started in 2020 by the University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute, recently published K-12 educational materials on its website. The Global Vegetation Project was developed to fill a need for more resources to teach vegetation ecology online. The vision for this project is to curate a global database of open access vegetation photos that can be used by educators around the world.”


High Country News: How a California archive reconnected a New Mexico family with its Chinese roots . “When I met Aimee [Towi Mae Tang] on Zoom for the first time in February 2021, she showed me a wrinkled notebook full of anecdotes about her family history, the fruit of more than a decade of research…. She wondered if I, a Chinese immigrant working as a journalist in Albuquerque, could help answer some of her questions. I was new to Albuquerque, a sprawling city of a half-million people, few of whom looked like me, and I often felt lonely and out-of-place. I agreed to help her; perhaps, I thought, I might find my own sense of connection in the history of this family and my city’s long-vanished Chinatown.” A wonderful read.

Reuters: Taiwan puppeteers look to NFTs to keep their art alive. “A group of Taiwanese puppeteers are looking to use non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, to help bring their traditional art form into the modern era and keep it relevant for a new audience.”


Bleeping Computer: Russian-linked Android malware records audio, tracks your location. “A previously unknown Android malware has been linked to the Turla hacking group after discovering the app used infrastructure previously attributed to the threat actors. Turla is a Russian state-supported hacking group known for using custom malware to target European and American systems, primarily for espionage.”


Food & Beverage: New study examines social media’s role in reducing food waste. “Social media campaigns can play a role in people’s food waste behaviours but work best when combined with other intervention tools, according to a new Fight Food Waste CRC report.”

Stanford Medicine Scope: Bringing principles of ethics to AI and drug design. “Over the years, researchers have used AI to analyze troves of biological data, scouring for differences between diseased and healthy cells and using the information to identify potential treatments…. But with AI’s potential in drug development comes a slew of ethical pitfalls — including biases in computer algorithms and the philosophical question of using AI without human mediation. This is where the field of biomedical ethics — a branch of ethics focused on the philosophical, social and legal issues in the context of medicine and life sciences — comes in.”


NASA: What Sounds Captured by NASA’s Perseverance Rover Reveal About Mars. “The result of the recordings: a new understanding of strange characteristics of the Martian atmosphere, where the speed of sound is slower than on Earth – and varies with pitch (or frequency). On Earth, sounds typically travel at 767 mph (343 meters per second). But on Mars, low-pitched sounds travel at about 537 mph (240 meters per second), while higher-pitched sounds move at 559 mph (250 meters per second).” Good afternoon, Internet..

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