Monday, January 26, 2015

technological attempt to read Herculaneum scrolls

Scientists are trying to "read" burnt scrolls from Herculaneum with advanced x-ray technology. "read" is a generous term. It is  easier to make out curved letters than square shaped ones, but they remain difficult to decipher. Various techniques have been tried unsuccessfully over the years because the scrolls are squished together and burnt to a crisp. Most attempts further ruin the scrolls. Coll images. Perhaps this will improve with time. I'm amazed they can decipher anything at all. Wouldn't it be cool if they deciphered a play or book there is only the merest citation of in ancient literature, or some dead Greek or Roman physician's remedy book? Read and see more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30888767

Friday, January 23, 2015

questionable teeth

Tests on teeth found in a Chinese cave in 1976 are different than the norm compared to both early humans and modern humans. Did they belong to a previously unknown species of early human or are they because of inter-breeding between the two? Nobody is positive. They need more teeth and bones to decide. The teeth are between 60,000 and 120,000 years old. Did you know for sure scientists now believe there were at least 4 early varieties of humans?  "The Neanderthals lived in Europe, the Denisovans in Asia and the "hobbit" Homo floresiensis in Indonesia: plus there was a mysterious fourth group from Eurasia that interbred with the Denisovans." Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150122-is-this-a-new-species-of-human

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Will France enact its own Patriot Act?

Will France develop and implement something like our Patriot Act? There are concerns about far-reaching collection of data allowed although the original intent of the act did not allow for it. There are also concerns of attacks that have not been prevented in the US while mass data collection was occurring. Read more about it here http://www.france24.com/en/20150116-french-patriot-act-anti-terror-laws-section-215-metadata-nsa-usa/

US infiltrated NK computers at least by 2010

The latest report is that the US infiltrated North Korean computers in 2010. Some think it would have been at least by 2010. Yet, with our experts in their computers, we remained ignorant of their attacking us, or did we let it happen so we could protest loudly? Hmm. I'm sure we are infiltrating lots of computers internationally all the time. I'm sure there will be more to come on this topic. Read about it here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30879637

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Update on/from my dear ex-student Andreah Grove



The League of Women Voters: An Exhibition at Indiana University’s Lilly Library by Andreah Grove

This past semester, I was able to embark on something I think a lot of students wish they could, but just don’t have the time for anymore-I was a researcher. This was possible through my program, Information and Library Science, and the course, Manuscripts. The final project was a one-case exhibition with a topic and usage of the manuscript collection(s) of my choosing at the Lilly Library.
The Lilly Library is a jewel among archives, and it houses about 7.5 million manuscripts. One of the reference librarians helped me narrow down my choice to the League of Women Voters (LWV) collection. This collection is currently 6,500 items and encompasses correspondence, financial statements, meeting minutes, newsletters, photographs, League publications, flyers, etc. of the LWV of Bloomington and Monroe County, Indiana.
Once I started going through the first box of eight, I noticed 100 years had passed since the first meeting. My proposal for a 100 year celebration theme for my exhibition was accepted. I spent about six hours per week for four months going through the boxes and noting historical events, changes and development within the league, and possible items for my exhibition. My biggest challenge was to narrow down my items to fit in the case.
Through my selected items I tried to tell a story, but I also aspired to grab the variety of visitors that would view my exhibition. I was lucky enough to work with the Conservator on installation, and he helped me with the aesthetics of mounting specific items. The exhibition was up for about two weeks. It was one of the most challenging and enjoyable experiences of my graduate work. I can’t imagine putting together a gallery of cases.
However, luck has struck me twice. I’m very excited to announce that this semester (Spring 2015) I will be continuing my coursework with my Manuscripts professor through an independent study. I will be processing Edith Grossman’s papers for the Lilly Library. Ms. Grossman is known as one of the most important Latin American fiction translators of today. Her translation of Don Quixote is considered one of the finest English translations of the novel. She has also translated Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s works, including Love in the Time of Cholera. I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunities my library science program has afforded me at Indiana University.

Dead Greeks-who are they?

Parts of 4 skeletons and cremation ashes of a 5th body have been found in the Alexander-era Greek tomb. Bones were of a 60 year old woman, a newborn, 2 men, one of whom died of a stab womb. Interesting! What will they find there next? http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30889162

Saturday, January 17, 2015

proprietary images versus free access for the public

The European Space Agency is now trying to deal with a conundrum. The ESA's Rosetta probe is tracking Comet 67P. There are numerous images from several cameras. Fascinated people and interested parties want to see and share the images. The best images have a 6 month delay before the public can see them because the scientists have first dibs on them to determine which are scientifically important so they can use them and report them in their published research. This is very important to the scientists who developed the research which led to the probe tracking the comet. The ESA has had complaints. People want to see better and more images than the ones they are allowed to see. ESA is now in a pull between the public and scientists about image access and timeliness and if they are free or not. A different approach was taken by ESA with a spacecraft platform called Sentinel-1a- the images are given free away - nobody has first dibs.  I can see how this is part of a larger issue of public access in so many ways not just for scientific exploration or research but also that archives have concerning which images are available online and what quality and what you charge, if anything to copy or download them. Read more about it here http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30859411