Showing posts from August, 2013

are you liable if you text a driver who has an accident?

Recently, in New Jersey, a young man whose car hit another car with a couple in it was found to be involved with texting. His girlfriend had texted him right before the accident. The couple settled with the man and are now going after the girlfriend. Are you in the car (in an e- kind of way) when you text, or not? Will those who text become liable for accidents caused by their texting? This is in the beginning stage, but it proves interesting. An e-letter is the same as a letter now. An e-signature can be accepted, through certain processes, as your signature.  Is a text message the same as having you in the passenger seat distracting the driver? How do I know for sure you are driving?  Why is that my responsibility as a texter to you the driver? Will lawyers say it is the driver's fault for answering any message? I would. If liability applies to texting, it will also apply to phones, don't you think? It will prove interesting to watch how this develops. To read more click her…

Digital Archivist job posting

Norwegian artifacts found as snow melts in mountains

Here's one good thing about global warming that I bet nobody expected: ancient artifacts are coming to light. Norway recently found arrowheads and a tunic, one of the earliest found dating from 230 to 390 AD. The tunic, made of wool for winter weather, shows connections in Roman and European clothing, meaning that people were borrowing fashion ideas even back then. Two papers have been published on the finds.  To read more about it click here


The latest in a long list of attacks, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) hacked the NYTImes, which is still unable to operate as of this morning. To read more about it click here SEA has recently also hacked the Washington Post, CNN, Time Magazine, and FB and Twitter accounts of the New York Post. The attack could have been used to install viruses or copy info to later pose as a visitor. It took the firm which checks link recognition 11 minutes to realize something was wrong with the CNN page and 1/2 hour longer to shut the link problem down.  What is the point? To mess with news media reporting on Syria and its president? What do they think they will really accomplish? They can't shut down all the news media outlets simultaneously.  I wish they spent as much time and money and brain power helping their own nation instead of messing with ours. To read more about it click here…

Job posting


circus elephant update

For those interested in circus news, I just read that Carol, a 39-yr-old elephant, shot in a drive-by shooting in Mississippi (culprit still unidentified) has recovered at the RBBB farm in Missouri for several weeks and is back with her circus family (RBBB), although not yet performing. What kind of a jerk would shot a performing elephant? $34,000 reward is still offered. I bet the vet about had a fit. (for more see The White Tops, July/Aug. 2013, p. 56)

Google study shows some interesting stats

The color coded map shows which states have the highest rates of Google use, and declares that "richer, smarter" people use Google more than others (those who are poorer and apparently not as smart as the smarter people.) This map shows that some states are apparently more economically vibrant and better educated or cannier than others. MI is in the middle range. Check it out. All states use Google about 50% of the time and Google has 67% of the market (I'm guessing Bing has the rest) To read more about it click at

Maori head to be repatriated

A real head of a Maori leader, venerated after death by special tattoos, was smoked and dried. Somehow it ended up in a British museum which is going to return it within the year. A mask of the face showing the intricate tattoos has been on display, but I bet originally the real head was as well. How disgusting. At least now it is being repatriated. I wonder if it will be buried or stored with other heads. I'm glad we do not have heads in the Clarke. I feel badly that someone had their head stuck in a museum away from their body and people. If that happened to someone you cared about or revered, wouldn't you be revolted? To read more click here

FB makes you feel bad

New tests have shown that Facebook affects FB users negatively the more they use it. They have fear of being left out, passed over, feeling inadequate compared to others. Some share good things, others bad. I share very little as I was brought up that some things are personal and nobody needs to know them. Yet, personal information is all over FB and the web now and increasingly people are sharing more and more that I (and I think most of us) really don't want to know. There is more to life than FB. People need to get a grip and prosecution for FB abusers needs to increase. Maybe someday FB will go away. Here's the link for an interesting read

US National Security Agency broke rules, overstepped its legal authority

Documents from Snowden released to the Washington Post show that the NSA illegally overstepped its authority and broke privacy rules while conducting surveillance on both Americans and foreign nationals. No surprise there. An audit done in May 2012 reported that  2, 776 unauthorized collections of information had occurred in the last year year. Violations increased from 2011 to 2012 from 546 to 865. Some of this happened due to errors but more is suspected of happening because a large group of Chinese visited the US in early 2012. Don't you wonder if they are collecting info on you? If so, why? and when will it end? How many of us are up to no good? My guess is not many. I have yet to hear anyone say the amount of info illegally collected or legally (under current laws) should be limited to cut costs, and protect Americans' privacy. And when are they going to talk about deleting the info? How long and where and how are they going to keep all this data? To read more about this …

where to bury Richard III argument now goes to court

Asking Richard III's relatives (who want him buried in York) and Leicester Cathedral supporters (who want him buried there so they can benefit from visitors to their yet-to-be built  Richard III Museum) to avoid an "unedifying tussle", a judge agreed that the case for burial in York should be heard in the courts. What a mess! Leicester won't get a museum of note if the guy is buried in York. Glad we don't have dead kings here to dig up and fight over. To read more about it click here

British Library blocks violence, porn

Under new rules from the UK government, UK internet providers are banning access to porn. If you want access, you have to sign up for it, therefore, obviously, your name goes onto a list of those accessing porn. I assume tracing will follow of some sort for an unlimited period of time. Now the British Library is blocking access not just to porn but to other "smut". Their reason is to keep public school children from accessing violent and pornographic sites, but this recently got in the way of a man writing a book trying to check a citation in Shakespeare. To read more click here

Vivien Leigh archives

The Victoria Albert Museum has just gained Vivien Leigh's archives, from one of her grandchildren, including sdome 7, 500  letters to her and hub Laurence Olivier (she did the indexing herself- a wannabe archivist) scrapbooks, etc. Interesting read. Click here to read more about it

2 internet services shut down due to Snowden

Very interesting. The full story isn't out but it is clear that 2 internet providers are shutting down and that there appears to be demands from the US government to access info and that perhaps Snowden used them? Loud and clear the message from the providers is that nobody should trust what you think is private to any type of communication the US government can access. So perhaps we will have to resort to just talking. To read more click here

people were making tools on the Thames 7,000 years ago

Archaeologists digging along the Thames in the UK, prior to a project to link several areas together for tourism purposes, have found some interesting bits of the past, including: Roman road remains, bones in the road foundations, 16th c. gold coins used for adornment, and, most recently, a 7,000 year old flint making site, where early people made stone tools. What a fascinating experience this dig must be! To read more about it click here

UK info requests

Since Snowden informed us all about the data requests and information that some people persist in thinking are private, and how many hundreds of thousands of us are monitored all the time for no good reason at all, for years, the UK has released information that in 2012 info requests of texting, online info, emails, and other e-info increased by over 500,000 from the previous year. The reality is that they admitted it before someone outed them. Some of the requests were to find missing people, solve crimes, catch criminals, and some to fight off terrorism.  To read more click here

Body plus one

It's Richard III and somebody else? Another coffin within a coffin has been found near the ground where Richard III's remains have been found. Who is it? 3 prominent men, a knight and 2 men who headed the friars who ran the church over the burials may be the lucky guy. Tests shall ensue. Sounds like the archaeologists are having a field day. Ha. Archaeological humor there. To read more about it click here

Meanwhile the questions now are how and where to bury Richard III.  According to the finders agreement, funded by the Rich. III Society, who think Rich. III was blacklisted inappropriately, his remains are to be buried in a major church found closest to his remains, in this case Leicester Cathedral (LC). He wanted to be buried in York. LC proposed burying him in the church with a simple flat stone above him. Not good enough said the Society. They want stained glass windows and …


Very interesting about Inca mummies of 3 children, 1 is an adolescent teen girl, sacrificed 500 years ago. Modern forensic tests on their hair show that all 3 were sedated with drugs and alcohol in the weeks before their deaths, the teen girl  notably ingested large amounts of drugs. She was probably the most important of the 3 being a teen versus a younger child. They were left to die high in the mountains in cold weather where they froze to death. Fascinating, but very sad. Having your children sacrificed was considered an honor. I bet their moms still cried. For more read

More recently in the news, a partial bog body was found in central Ireland, a beheaded girl, about 2000 years old. Further tests are pending. She may have been a sacrifice as well. I wonder what her mom thought about it. As nasty as the topic is, it is fascinating to have some of these remains, to run tests that science can now run, and understand at least par…

Boston College Archives IRA transcriptions

Dolours Price died in Jan. The transcripts of her oral testimony in which she admitted that she drove a car with Mrs. Jean McConville, a mother of 10, in it who was then killed by the IRA, have now been turned over to the Irish Police. I have not heard that they have accomplished anything with them yet. Mrs. Jean McConville's body has yet to be found. In April the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case to keep the transcriptions in the US. This is interesting. The police have sought access to the information for years. The fact that Dolours Price admitted her actions in print, when others had kept silent, increased the desire of police to have access to her transcriptions to try to find Mrs. McConville's body. The agreement was no access to the transcript until the interviewee died. The interviewers fought to prevent the police from getting the information. What a mess for interviewers who promise anonymity. Clearly, as with e-info these days, there is none. Read more about…

want an anglo saxon headstone?

An Anglo Saxon headstone found in a garage, previously purchased at an auction after being excavated from a building site, is up for auction again. It's from an area of England once ruled by the Danes (Vikings) before Alfred the Great united parts of what is now the England. What does one do with a headstone of that era? Alfred died in 899. It's not like you can leave it in your garden with that provenance and being of that vintage. To read more click here