Samford University, Silk Road Textiles, Google Photos, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 17, 2022


Samford Library News: Our NEW Digital Archive… is LIVE!. “Alongside collections containing hundreds of photographs of Alabama churches and religious life, the digital archive also includes the William E. Hull Sermons Collection, which is comprised of over 500 sermons, notes and presentations by Hull, a world-renowned theologian and former provost, university professor and research professor at Samford University.”

UNESCO: Publication of Textiles and Clothing Volume of the ‘Thematic Collection of the Cultural Exchanges along the Silk Roads’. “UNESCO is pleased to announce the online publication of the ‘Textiles and Clothing’ volume of the ‘Thematic Collection of the Cultural Exchanges along the Silk Roads’…. Aimed at a broad general audience, this volume on ‘Textiles and Clothing along the Silk Roads’ takes the reader around the world, from Java to West Africa, Scandinavia to the Philippines. It charts a fascinating history, from the ways in which patterns and dyes were elements of cultural imitation, hybridization and exchange, to how particular motifs and symbols were adopted across cultures and used as means to influence.”


Droid Life: Bring In That New Year With a Sick Google Photos Collage. “Google Photos has a few updated collage options to bring in that new year, so if you’re feeling festive and have some photos you want to share, now might be a good time.”


WIRED: How to Use Tech to Create an Ethical Will . “With no formal rules or requirements, ethical wills can reflect your personality. They allow you to impart wisdom, beliefs, and family history and celebrate life’s most meaningful moments while sharing blessings and future dreams through letters, video messages, audio recordings, scrapbooks, and artwork. You can convey life lessons through old photos, favorite quotes or prayers, cherished items of clothing, secret family recipes, lush lullabies, or treasured stories with signature punch lines. The trick is to speak from the heart.”


Farnham Herald (England): Peeps into the Past: Project to digitise 130 years of Herald history ready for lift off. “A project to digitise more than 130 years of local history immortalised in the pages of the Herald – and make it free to access for the public online – is set to take off in 2023 after a frenzy of activity behind the scenes by a dedicated band of volunteers over the past 12 months. The Herald Digital Archive Project was first launched in November 2019 and quickly attracted a flurry of support from potential volunteers, local history groups and other organisations. Unfortunately the pandemic stalled the project’s roll-out.”

Los Angeles Times: Huntington Library acquires the papers of Thomas Pynchon. “The Huntington Library has acquired the archives of Pynchon, 85 — a collection of typescripts and drafts of each of his novels, handwritten notes, correspondence with publishers and research — which were prepared by his son, Jackson Pynchon, the museum announced on Wednesday. In all, 48 boxes packed with Pynchon’s writings will be archived and available to scholars at the library in San Marino by the end of 2023.”

MIT Technology Review: How to live-tweet the Cultural Revolution, 50 years later. “I confess, I’m deeply addicted to Twitter, and amid all the speculation about whether it would collapse under Elon Musk’s leadership, I found myself thinking about what’s made this platform special. It’s not just about talking to celebrities and politicians as if we were in the same room, but also about connecting with strangers because you’re both interested in the same random thing.”


Reuters: Israel to Crack Down on Social Media Companies to Tackle Offensive Content. “Israel said on Wednesday it plans to regulate social media companies such as TikTok, YouTube, Meta’s Facebook and Twitter, following in the steps of the European Union in tackling illegal and offensive online content.”

Associated Press: Oregon city drops fight to keep Google water use private . “Residents of The Dalles, Oregon, are learning how much of their water Google’s data centers have been using to cool the computers inside the cavernous buildings — information that previously was deemed a trade secret.”


Ars Technica: Meet Ghostwriter, a haunted AI-powered typewriter that talks to you. “On Wednesday, a designer and engineer named Arvind Sanjeev revealed his process for creating Ghostwriter, a one-of-a-kind repurposed Brother typewriter that uses AI to chat with a person typing on the keyboard. The ‘ghost’ inside the machine comes from OpenAI’s GPT-3, a large language model that powers ChatGPT. The effect resembles a phantom conversing through the machine.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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