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  • 16 Jun 2022 7:52 PM | Anonymous

    The following press release was written by the U.S. Congress:

    Washington, D.C. (June 15, 2022)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the Committee voted favorably to approve the Honest Census Communications Actas well as several other good government bills:

    “Today, Oversight Committee Democrats took a critical step to rein in deceptive communications intended to delay or prevent an individual’s participation in a U.S. Census.  In recent years, we’ve seen politically motivated efforts to exclude or intimidate people from being counted.  Anything less than a full and complete count has serious implications for the way in which the federal government targets resources and allocates political representation.  I am proud of the work the Committee has done to protect the integrity of the Census by getting the Honest Census Communications Act one step closer to a vote on the House floor.”

    Prohibiting Deceptive Practices Relating to the Census

    The Committee favorably reported the Honest Census Communications Act, a bill introduced by Rep. Anna Eshoo, with an amendment offered by Chairwoman Maloney.  The bill would prohibit efforts to intentionally relay communications about a census that are materially false and intended to prevent or delay a person’s participation.  The bill would establish civil penalties for such conduct in alignment with the False Claims Act.  

    Maximizing the Use of Technology in the Federal Government

    The Committee approved the Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act, a bill introduced by Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, to update current telework law for the federal workforce to improve work-life flexibility for employees and create reporting requirements that measure the cost savings to the federal government associated with telework.  The bill would broaden the current statutory definition of telework to include periodic or full-time telework arrangements and remote work and also provides for annual review and policy improvements by the Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    The Committee also approved the District of Columbia Electronic Transmittal of Legislation Act, a bill introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, which would permit the District of Columbia to transmit legislation to Congress in electronic form. 

    Additionally, the Committee passed several postal naming measures for Postal Service facilities across the country.

  • 16 Jun 2022 7:16 PM | Anonymous

    MyHeritage has added a LOT of more genealogy-related records in the past few weeks. Quoting from the announcement:

    "We are delighted to announce the publication of 1.3 billion historical records in 37 collections from all over the world including: USA, UK, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, and Ukraine. The collections include birth, marriage, death, military, census, newspaper records, and more. Many of the collections include high-quality images alongside the index. With this update, the total number of historical records on MyHeritage has now reached 18.2 billion."

    The complete list may be found in the MyHeritage Blog at:

  • 16 Jun 2022 7:10 PM | Anonymous

    23andMe updated its report on an inherited condition characterized by mild to profound hearing loss.

    The update to 23andMe’s Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss and Deafness, DFNB1 (GJB2-Related) Carrier Status report adds six variants that improve the coverage of the test for people with East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian ancestry.

    “We are extremely excited about this report update, which allows us to provide new and meaningful genetic information to tens of thousands of our customers,” said 23andMe Product Scientist Ruth Tennen. “This is one step forward in our efforts to make our health reports more equitable, and to work toward a future in which people of all ancestries can access, understand, and benefit from the human genome.”

    The drive behind this update was to add variants that would make the report more relevant to people of diverse ancestries. Because being a carrier for DFNB1 is quite common in people of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent, we prioritized adding variants that are commonly found in those populations. With the addition of the new variants, up to 15 percent of our East Asian and Southeast Asian customers will receive an update indicating that they have a variant detected. More than 1 percent of our South Asian customers will receive a similar update. In total, more than 100,000 Health + Ancestry Service customers across all ancestries will receive an updated report with a new variant detected.

    You can read (a lot) more in an article in the 23andMe Blog at:

  • 16 Jun 2022 6:58 PM | Anonymous

    The CENSUS of Modern Greek Literature, which provides references to all English-language translations of modern Greek literature and all modern Greek-related studies in English as far back as the 12th century, was formally unveiled last month at an event featuring remarks from the Consul General of Greece in Boston Stratos Efthymiou. Through CENSUS, researchers will be able to search for free for information and to access texts and original sources directly, where copyright allows.

    CENSUS was conceived in 1981 and originally housed at Harvard University but underwent most of its development at BC from 1986-2018. From 2016 to 2018, CENSUS collaborated with Boston College Libraries on the initial development of the website, and a workshop of BC undergraduates engaged in data entry and correction. Since 2020, CENSUS has worked in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam.

    Dia Philippides, professor emerita in the Classical Studies Department, has directed the project since its inception.

    First posted on the CENSUS website is the “Greek Authors 19th-21st centuries” section —available via Open Access. It includes references to 800 Greek literary authors (approximately 7,000 entries). This most recent phase of the project was completed with the support of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.

    You can read more in an article published in the Boston College web site at:

  • 16 Jun 2022 6:50 PM | Anonymous

    A bill introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would prohibit data brokers from selling Americans' location and health data, Warren's office said Wednesday.

    "Largely unregulated by federal law, data brokers gather intensely personal data such as location data from seemingly innocuous sources including weather apps and prayer apps—oftentimes without the consumer's consent or knowledge," a bill summary said. "Then, brokers turn around and sell the data in bulk to virtually any willing buyer, reaping massive profits."

    Citing the draft Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Warren said "it is more crucial than ever for Congress to protect consumers' sensitive data."

    You can read more in an article Ars Technica web site at:

  • 16 Jun 2022 8:53 AM | Anonymous

    Researchers believe they have discovered the origins of the Black Death, more than 600 years after it killed tens of millions in Europe, Asia and north Africa.

    The mid-14th Century health catastrophe is one of the most significant disease episodes in human history. But despite years of research, scientists had been unable to pinpoint where the bubonic plague began. Now analysis suggests it was in Kyrgyzstan, central Asia, in the 1330s.

    Details may be found in an article written by Malu Cursino and published in the BBC News web site at:

  • 15 Jun 2022 1:59 PM | Anonymous

    Haggis is a well-known dish all throughout Scotland. I have been to Scotland several times and had heard of haggis previously but had never tried it primarily because I couldn't find it available anywhere near my home. On my first trip to Scotland, I decided to try it for myself.

    According to at:

    Haggis (Scottish Gaelic: taigeis) is a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal's stomach though now an artificial casing is often used instead. According to the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique: "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour".


    From its reputation, I had assumed I would not like the taste of haggis. After trying a few bites, I found it was rather pleasant. I’m not going to eat haggis every day but I am willing to try it again someday. In fact, I have tried it again on each of my later trips to Scotland.

    NOTE: I have since learned that haggis is available in the USA (and elsewhere) from Amazon at In fact, Amazon also sells Haggis and Cracked Pepper Potato Crisps at the same address.

    Later, I was shocked… yes, SHOCKED… to learn that haggis was not invented by the Scots. In fact, it first appeared in a cookbook published in England! Well, there goes another belief I held.

    Historian Catherine Brown says a recipe for haggis was published in an English book almost two hundred years before any evidence of the dish was found in Scotland.

    Catherine Brown said she found references to the dish inside a 1615 book called The English Hus-Wife. The title would pre-date by at least 171 years Robert Burns’ poem “To A Haggis,” which brought fame to the delicacy. The first mention she could find of Scottish haggis was in 1747.

    NOTE: The English Hus-Wife may be found at:

    Ms. Brown reports, “It was popular in England until the middle of the 18th Century. Whatever happened in that period, the English decided they didn’t like it and the Scots decided they did.” That probably is because the ingredients of haggis were readily available to common folks in Scotland. Haggis has a reputation of being commonly-eaten by lower-class citizens of Scotland, not so much by the moneyed gentry.

    You can

    Now somebody is going to tell me that kilts also were invented by the English. Oh, wait a minute… they were! See

  • 14 Jun 2022 10:56 PM | Anonymous

    A federal judge won’t stop a class of Californians from going after PeopleConnect for using their yearbook photos without permission.

    PeopleConnect, a Washington based company that runs the social networking site, had urged U.S. District Judge Edward Chen to issue a judgment in its favor following the dismissal of a similar class action against genealogy giant by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler.

    Beeler found Ancestry immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act because while it used the decades-old photos to attract subscribers, it did not create the content on its site.

    The same lead plaintiffs Meredith Callahan and Lawrence Abraham also went after PeopleConnect for doing the same thing, but PeopleConnect argued that Chen should nix the action in light of Beeler’s ruling.

    While Chen tossed the plaintiffs’ claim that the company intruded on private information, he advanced the bulk of the lawsuit last year, concluding that it should proceed because the plaintiffs were never paid for the use of their yearbook photos and because those pictures seem to have some advertising value for PeopleConnect.

    You can read the full story at:

  • 14 Jun 2022 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    If you like to "improve" digital photographs, such as old family photos, you will be interested in this announcement from Adobe:

    Adobe has started testing a free-to-use version of Photoshop on the web and plans to open the service up to everyone as a way to introduce more users to the app.

    The company is now testing the free version in Canada, where users are able to access Photoshop on the web through a free Adobe account. Adobe describes the service as "freemium" and eventually plans to gate off some features that will be exclusive to paying subscribers. Enough tools will be freely available to perform what Adobe considers to be Photoshop's core functions.

    "We want to make [Photoshop] more accessible and easier for more people to try it out and experience the product," says Maria Yap, Adobe's VP of digital imaging.

  • 14 Jun 2022 6:51 PM | Anonymous

    The US military has begun disinterring the remains of eight Native American children in a small cemetery on the grounds of the US Army War College in Pennsylvania to return them to their families.

    The disinterment process, which began during the weekend, is the fifth at Carlisle, Pennsylvania since 2017. More than 20 sets of Native remains were transferred to family members in earlier rounds.

    The children had lived at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where thousands of Native children were taken from their families and forced to assimilate into white society as a matter of US policy – their hair cut and their clothing, language and culture stripped.

    More than 10,000 children from more than 140 tribes passed through the school between 1879 and 1918, including famous Olympian Jim Thorpe.

    “If you survived this experience and were able to go back home, you were a stranger. You couldn’t even speak the language your parents spoke,” Rae Skenandore, of the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin, told The Associated Press news agency.

    You can read more in an article published at

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