19th Century Snowflake Photography, PFAS Analytics, Jot for Journal Selection, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, January 6, 2023


The Guardian: Snowflake Bentley’s 19th-century images of snow crystals put online. “For most farming families in 19th-century rural Vermont, winter snowstorms were dreaded and endured. But for Wilson Bentley, snow was a source of intense fascination that led him, at the age of 19, to produce the world’s first photomicrographs of snow crystals, which he described as ‘tiny miracles of beauty’. A stunning album of 355 of the original prints by the man who came to be known as Snowflake Bentley was bought by London’s Natural History Museum in 1899, and the collection has now been digitised and made available to view online.”

EPA: EPA Releases New PFAS Analytic Tool. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new interactive webpage, called the ‘PFAS Analytic Tools,’ which provides information about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) across the country. … The PFAS Analytic Tools bring together multiple sources of information in one spot with mapping, charting, and filtering functions, allowing the public to see where testing has been done and what level of detections were measured.”

Yale School of Medicine: Introducing Jot — a new open-source tool that help researchers with journal selection. “Say hello to Jot: a free, open-source web application that matches manuscripts in the fields of biomedicine and life sciences with suitable journals, based on a manuscript’s title, abstract, and (optionally) citations. Developed by the Townsend Lab at the Yale School of Public Health, Jot gathers a wealth of data on journal quality, impact, fit, and open access options that can be explored through a dashboard of linked, interactive visualizations.”

Denver Post: CDOT snowplow driver offers a glimpse behind the wheel. “The online COtrip map, which already gave users highway information from around the state, including camera images, construction information, electronic signs, road conditions and road closures, is now tracking CDOT snowplows in real-time. It’s the first season that the public is able to track snowplow locations and work areas on the map, and it includes the plows’ names, such as Darth Blader, Snowtorious B.I.G., and Eisenplower, which were submitted and voted on by Colorado kids from across the state in 2021.”

Business Insider: A new website compiles salaries for jobs at 700 top tech firms, from Amazon to Google — see what your job is worth. “The site aggregates salary ranges for jobs at 700 top tech firms and startups. Its software visits the careers sites of these employers everyday to update numbers daily as new job posts are added. The database is possible thanks to pay transparency laws that recently took effect in places like New York City, California, and Washington state, which are home to major tech hubs.”


Gizmodo: Elon Cuts Costs by Laying Off the People Who Make Twitter Money. “From a people-power perspective, Twitter is inarguably a husk of what it once was. Since Elon Musk took over the social media platform at the end of October 2022, the company has lost more than an estimated three-quarters of its staff to layoffs and voluntary departures. On Wednesday, the cuts continued.”

Foreign Policy: Après Twitter, the Deluge?. “On the day in mid-November when Elon Musk told Twitter’s remaining employees to commit to being ‘hardcore’ or leave, Mayank Bidawatka landed in San Francisco on a one-way ticket and checked into an Airbnb downtown. Bidawatka, the co-founder of Indian social media app Koo, was there to cash in on the disarray inside Musk’s Twitter. ”


Washington Post: Influencers outshine traditional media on coverage of FTX implosion. “All this coverage of the FTX implosion is the most prominent example of how so-called ‘citizen journalism’ is battling legacy publishers for online attention, catapulting a fresh class of independent journalists into the mainstream while also giving rise to a group of social media influencers who optimize for attention rather than accuracy.”

GrepBeat: New Raleigh-Based Social Media Platform Aims To Captures Your Legacy. “Three years ago Matt Phillips experienced an incident where he faced his own mortality. Being a single father to his 9-year-old son Cooper and 5-year-old daughter Piper, he felt there needed to be a way for him to remain present in their lives, even if he passed away. For Phillips and many others, losing someone means losing their stories, wisdom, and pure essence. That sentiment inspired his Raleigh-based startup, Project Transcend.”

GP Today: FIA Creates E-Library To Preserve Its History. “In order to preserve its rich heritage for future generations, the FIA will digitise its archives, creating an e-library that will be accessible to all in 2024, when the FIA celebrates its 120th anniversary…. The e-library will combine the 120-year-old Motor Sport and Mobility databases, making these facts and figures searchable and comparable. It will be an important tool for the FIA University’s work and by making it public, it will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of Motor Sport and Mobility.”


CNET: How Tesla, Google and Others Are Making Robots More Like Us. “Tesla is making AI-powered humanoid robots. Google wants to give its AI brain a bot body. Robotics are moving fast, and every day, droids are becoming more like us.”

Genealogy’s Star: Where is genealogy going in 2023 and beyond?. “I am not worried about being replaced by this or any other program but I appreciate the advances that make doing research possible. You are going to see a lot more AI involved in genealogy in 2023 and beyond and how we do genealogical research will continue to change just as rapidly.”

Scripps News: Organization says misinformation spread on Twitter following Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. “Damar Hamlin’s sudden cardiac arrest led to a rise in misinformation on Twitter, according to the Center for Countering Digital Hate. The organization notes that the anti-vax trope ‘Died Suddenly’ spiked by 328% a day after the on-field incident.” Good morning, Internet…

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