Preventable Covid Deaths, Kansas Food Pantries, Missouri Drug Overdose Deaths, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, May 20, 2022


Fast Company: How many preventable COVID deaths happened in your state? This map will tell you. “As the United States passes the somber milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19, a new analysis and interactive dashboard visualizes how many of those deaths didn’t have to happen. The analysis, led by researchers at the Brown School of Public Health, looks at total deaths from the virus in each state and then calculates how much lower the figures would be had the pace of vaccination not slowed down from its peak.”

KSAL: Statewide Website Launched For Food Insecure Households. “According to the Kansas Food Bank, a new website… is designed to help people in need of food assistance find pantry locations in their areas. The website also features a link for help applying for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or food stamps, along with a link for upcoming summer food sites for children.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri launches data dashboard to track rising drug overdose deaths. “In addition to an online COVID-19 data dashboard showing the seriousness of the pandemic, the state of Missouri has launched another public dashboard to track the increasing number of drug overdose deaths. Drug overdose has become the leading cause of death among Missouri adults age 18 to 44, state health officials say. More than 70% of the deaths involve opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.”


TechCrunch: YouTube’s player gains new features including Most Replayed, Video Chapters, Single Loop and more . “YouTube today is launching a new feature designed to help users identify the most popular parts of a video they’re watching, along with other changes for its video player. The company says it’s adding a graph that people can use to easily locate and watch the most replayed parts of a video — something that could be particularly helpful for longer videos or those that haven’t broken down their various sections using either timestamps or video chapters.” I’m a premium YouTube user, so I had access to this feature while it was in testing. Surprisingly useful.

Search Engine Land: Vimeo adds structured data to all public videos to improve Google Search visibility. “Vimeo, a popular video hosting platform (obviously not as popular as YouTube), has added structured data to all of its publicly available videos on its platform. Vimeo said the SEO changes they made to the videos will give ‘your videos the best opportunity to appear for relevant searches.'”


University of Hawaii News: $350K to digitize decades of Hawaiʻi’s history at ʻUluʻulu. “The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded a $350,000 grant to ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu in support of its project titled, ’20th Century Hawaiʻi: Moving Images from Territory to Statehood.’ The project will preserve and make accessible the stories of the Nisei and Hawaiian struggles and achievements through the digitization of audiovisual recordings of oral histories, documentaries, festivals, conferences and live performances.”

Mathrubhumi (India): Go straight, said Google Map; Driver takes family into a stream in Kottayam. “The family from Karnataka was travelling to Alappuzha from Munnar. They relied on Google Maps for directions since the beginning of the journey. When they reached Kuruppanthara Kadavu, the Map recommended going straight. The driver, without noticing the big curve of the road, went straight and ended up in the stream. The car entered the stream even as the locals screamed at the driver but it was no use. As it has been raining in the area, the stream was full of water.”


CNN: New York Attorney General to investigate social media platforms after Buffalo shooting. “New York Attorney General Letitia James is launching an investigation into the social media platforms allegedly used by the Buffalo shooting suspect. The probe, disclosed Wednesday by James’ office, focuses on the livestreaming platform Twitch, the messaging service Discord and the websites 4chan and 8chan (now known as 8kun). Other unnamed companies could also be drawn into the investigation, James said.”

The Verge: Anonymous bulletin board app Yik Yak is revealing its users’ exact locations. “Yik Yak, an app that acts as a local anonymous message board, makes it possible to find users’ precise locations and unique IDs, Motherboard reports. A researcher who analyzed Yik Yak data was able to access precise GPS coordinates of where posts and comments came from, accurate within 10 to 15 feet, and says he brought his findings to the company in April.”

Missouri Independent: Appeals court hears arguments over Greitens’ use of self-destructing text message app. “A panel of state appeals court judges heard arguments last week over whether former Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff used self-destructing text-message apps in 2017 to illegally circumvent Missouri’s transparency laws. While Greitens was still serving as governor, it was revealed he and his staff were using a text-messaging app called Confide. The app allows someone to send a text message that vanishes without a trace after it is read. It also prevents anyone from saving, forwarding, printing or taking a screenshot of the message.”


Governing: Maps That Can Fight a Housing Crisis. “This is the second installment in a two-part series describing how a constantly evolving mapping technology called geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to improve the two pillars of U.S. urban land use: housing and transportation.”

Utah State University: Poll the Audience: Using Data From Citizen Science to Keep Wild Birds in Flight. “Using the eyes and ears of public volunteers can stretch the reach of science, according to a new analysis from Erica Stuber from the Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center. Stuber and a team of researchers examined the accuracy of information produced by citizen science apps for monitoring bird populations. They compared publicly-produced data with officially tracked numbers from monitoring programs and found that, with some refinement, data from citizen scientists could offer a lot of utility for researchers.” Good morning, Internet…

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