Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

As the temperatures get cooler, you may be tempted to stay indoors and browse the Web. If so, use today's edition of Saturday Sharing to catch up on historical events at Google's Cultural Institute, look up records at the National Personnel Records Center, read about the 1918 American influenza epidemic, learn new ways to describe the moon, take stock of limited editions at The Folio Society, and find out how artificial intelligence combines with humans' "brassy voices" to produce a light-and-sound show.

✦ Google's Cultural Institute offers more than 40 online historical exhibitions that use digital images, first-person testimonials, manuscripts, and other documents to bring us the stories behind major 20th Century personalities and events, including Anne Frank's arrest, Auschwitz, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Nelson Mandela's life, post-Apartheid politics, the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, and the Steven Biko inquest. It's a wonderful resource. (My thanks to The Bigger Picture blog for the link.)

✦ Historians and genealogists, take note: the National Personnel Records Center is the central repository for civilian and military personnel records and archival holdings. The latter include the official military personnel files of presidents George H.W. Bush and John F. Kennedy, as well as files for General Douglas MacArthur, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson. This video explains what's held and accessible.

✦ This digital encyclopedia of the American influenza epidemic of 1918 is fascinating. Created by the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine and MPublishing, part of the University of Michigan Library, the database offers a timeline, articles and essays, images, and information about 50 U.S. cities that experienced the epidemic, which caused the deaths of 650,000 Americans. It's browsable by people, places, organizations, and subjects.  (My thanks to The Bigger Picture blog for the link.)

✦ If you've been looking for new ways to describe the moon, try some of these names from other cultures; they might help take your writing in a new direction. (My thanks to Kathleen Kirk for the link.)

✦ Joe Whitlock Blundell is production director of The Folio Society's Limited Editions program. His Joe's Blog is one to add to your reader's lists.

The Folio Society on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ What happens when artificial intelligence links up with the "brassy" human voice? You get a LED light display in surround sound. In this collaboration between artist Gloria Ronchi and IT "architect" and researcher Dr. Claudio Benghi, people discover their "brass voice" by speaking, singing, shouting, or whispering into microphones, each of which represents a type of brass instrument (trumpet trombone, tuba, muted trumpet, French horn). The sequences of sounds (notes) emitted through the speakers are synchronized with the colored LED lights to create a synesthetic experience. The installation was designed for the 2012 International Brass Festival in Durham in the United Kingdom.

1 comment:

Louise Gallagher said...

Love the brass voice video -- and the idea of it is amazing. I am so in awe of how much creative thought and action takes place in our world that you find and share.

Thank you!