Showing posts from November, 2017

Michigan Division of the Women's National Farm and Garden Association.collection update

Jake Thompson is approaching the end of processing the Michigan Division of the Women's National Farm and Garden Association.collection.  Here is how it looks today.  Now he's composing the finding aid.


FB's artificial intelligence (AI) is working very successfully to identify and remove terrorism-related posts. In the past, FB relied on people to identify the material. Once something is identified as terrorism-related, it can later be quickly compared to any future shared copies and the newly shared copies can be removed within an hour. FB is still working to improve its speed and effectiveness. Read more about it here

Beachy Head Lighthouse construction images

Here are some wonderful images of the construction of Beachy Head Lighthouse in the UK, 1900-1902. The images are from 71 slides of the construction going up for auction. An engineer is believed to have photographed these scenes. The images are dramatic and well framed. Clearly the engineer had a good eye. Enjoy the images here thanks to the BBCNews

Uber and Imgur in the news

Welcome back from Thanksgiving break. In the news today two companies were hacked, Imgur (an image sharing website) and Uber (the ride share company). Hacking and exposing people's private data s is becoming so common place it is pathetic.

A security researcher discovered over the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend that in 2014 Imgur's encryption system was hacked and the emails and passwords of 1.7 million of its users were compromised. Imgur doesn't record real names or phone numbers or other personal data. Read more about it here

Meanwhile, Uber announced that it was hacked in 2016 and the names, emails, phone numbers of 57 million customers were available to hackers.  Additionally within the 57 million, 600,000 drivers  names and  drivers' license information was  put online. Uber paid hackers $100,000 to delete that info from online. Uber is providing drivers with free credit monitoring but not Uber users. As a result of the 201…

a few more historic Thanksgiving postcards and manuscripts

Here are a few more Happy Thanksgiving postcards to enjoy. Today you do not see Uncle Sam with a turkey on Thanksgiving decorations, but it is a federal U.S. holiday.
We also have 5 manuscripts collections that document or have an image of a past Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving weekend in them:
J.C. Whitney Diary, 1862, 1863 describes his travels during the Civil War and a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. He served in Company C, 96th Illinois Volunteers
 Matted newspaper clippings from Central Michigan University (CMU) President Leonard Plachta's administration, 1998-1999 include a color image of the CMU percussion ensemble in the 1999 Thanksgiving Day parade, and the ensemble in 1998 in front of Cobo Hall during the Thanksgiving Day parade.
Diary of our Grandmother, 1869-1901 of Geesje (Vander Haar) Visscher describes Thanksgiving 1877.  In 1845 the Visschers sailed for the U.S. with Rev. Van Raalte, eventually settling in Holland (Mich.) by 1846. Geesje’s diary discusses family, fai…

historic Thanksgiving postcards

Here are some examples of Thanksgiving historic postcards in our collections. Happy Thanksgiving!

American Geographical Society collection

More than a million artifacts and the records of the American Geographical Society (maps, atlases, globes, records, images, travelogues, remnants of failed Arctic expeditions, images of mountain climbs) are housed and available to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library. AGS was located in NY State but after funding dried up in the 1970s and they sold their building, a search to find a new home began. Geographers at UWM expressed great interest in the collection. Its a sad statement that no institution in NY State offered to take the collection. The AGS collection was donated with the caveat that UWM take the entire collection and maintain it. 16 trucks were required to transport the collection. Globes in the collection date from 1613 forward, the largest was made for Pres. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill during World War II and is 50 inches in diameter. A signed copy of Lindbergh's navigation map of his flight NY to Parks, 1927; hand drawn m…

Salvator Mundi

A da Vinci painting, Salvator Mundi, Savior of the World,  was found, identified as having been painted by Leonard da Vinci (although some still doubt it is a da Vinci), and underwent a major restoration. It was then exhibited, sold in 2013, and then auctioned in November 2017 for a record setting $450.3 million, more than four times its estimated value, breaking the auction record previously set by Van Gogh's Sunflowers. During the restoration process, which occurred from 2005 to 2011, the original was discovered under layers of garish paint. It was only during the restoration that scholars determined it was discovered to be an original and not a copy.  This was because they found  that the thumb of the raised hand clearly showed that the artist had painted it in one position, changed his mind, and painted the final version in another position. This shows it was the original, not a copy. (I learned the thumb fact while watching a brief Netflix video about the painting. The video…

Twitter verification rules change

An addition to one of my recent posts on Twitter verification. Twitter has revised its guidelines for verification. It has removed the verification status of two far white supremacists it recently verified. Their hate promoting actions are in violation of Twitter rules, which now include behavior on and off Twitter. Their original verification was inaccurately interpreted as Twitter endorsing their hate activities. Twitter had intended, to verify that the persons generating the accounts were actual people. Read more about it here

China ahead of US now supercomputers

China has surpassed the US and now has the most super computers on the list of the world's fastest computers. It is now the world leader with supercomputers. China now has 202, the US 143. This is a major change since June when China had 160 and the US had 169. Why does this matter? Faster computers solve problems faster, putting China ahead of us with information research and development and technology. Read more about it here

Changes in social media

The sad aspect of social media and freedoms of speech and press is that extremists can use them to their advantage while the rest of us debate theoretically the morality and societal impact of censorship. Parts of the ongoing, and not completely successful, efforts of social media to control and censor extremism on social media that made the news recently are:

YouTube just removed from its site nearly 50,000 videos of a certain radical Islamist, leaving only factual and news pieces on its site. People can flag a video on YouTube to have it reviewed for removal. Since 2009 there have been multiple, continuing requests to remove videos encouraging violent extremism. Even thought YouTube has removed many extremist videos, there are other sites that continue to host these videos, Read more about it here

On Friday of last week Twitter authenticated a white nationalist as a verified account holder. This caused a lot of upset. The man, whose name …


I am very delighted to just receive a Panasonic DV (digital video) camcorder from Jason Kiley in our IT unit. They do not use it anymore. With its cords hooked to a tv I can view DVs. I have 240 micro DVs from CMU. University Communications. I don't have the time to view all of them, but I can't trust the labels. I'm not sure until I sample view some of them how long they are and which are worth retaining in the archives. Then I need to figure out which format to retain them in which will be accessible in the future,  how much storage it will take to store them, and whether they should go on a server.

Russell Kirk collection rehousing, updating of finding aid complete


Archival postings for conferences: MAA, MAC, IN