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  • 8 Jun 2022 2:06 PM | Anonymous

    A name from the past popped up today in my email in the form of a press release. It's nice to see Paul Allen is remaining active in business endeavors. The name Paul Allen appears about three-fourths of the way through this press release:

    The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) innovation fund, SHRMLabs, has chosen to invest in Soar.com, an up-and-coming leader in AI workplace solutions. SHRMLabs is a critical communication channel between leaders of tech, to HR professionals who lead culture and maximize talent across global organizations.

    Soar Logo

    Soar Logo
    Image Credits: Soar.com


    The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) innovation fund, SHRMLabs, has chosen to invest in Soar.com, an up-and-coming leader in AI workplace solutions. SHRMLabs is a critical communication channel between leaders of tech, to HR professionals who lead culture and maximize talent across global organizations. SHRMLabs is inspiring innovation by investing in innovative companies to create better workplace technologies that solve today's most pressing workplace challenges. According to Guillermo Corea, Workplace Innovation Lab & Venture Capital leader, SHRM chose to make one of its largest investments in Soar.com because “AI has the power to decode and improve workplace interactions and learning in ways never before possible, and Soar.com has assembled an impressive team and vision to do just that. SHRM Members will benefit through access to cutting edge AI innovations that may be implemented into existing SHRM workplace offerings.”

    As one example, SHRM selected Soar.com to provide a new powerful AI video search experience for SHRM members that will unlock the value of their video content from webcasts to conference presentations and keynotes. SHRM’s video archive will now be fully searchable so that members can quickly find and jump to specific segments or highlights within their video archive. Moreover, members can share clips with others to bring greater visibility to SHRM’s video assets. Nick Schacht, Chief Global Development Officer, believes this will “enhance the value our members receive from on-demand access to important knowledge, and make it easier to share their discoveries with others.”

    SHRMLabs joins the ranks of other early investors in Soar.com such as Sandler Training CEO, Dave Mattson, former Rackspace CEO & Chairman, Graham Weston, and BuiltBar Founder, Nick Greer among others. Mattson shared his decision to invest was based on his trust in Soar.com CEO & Founder, Paul Allen and the team he assembled. He is betting on their proven track record (Allen previously was CEO & Founder of Ancestry.com) and their mission to “help humans become better humans”.

    SHRM’s support of an AI workplace solutions company like Soar.com will add to SHRM’s ongoing effort to champion innovation in the workplace, by:

      • Helping personalize the learning experience

      • Enhancing workplace communication and culture

      • Help learning communities feel more connected

      • Revolutionizing the way learning translates into application and eventual mastery

    AI has the power to give rapid feedback to employees across all digital communication channels, assist in developing positive habits, and help each employee feel more connected and appreciated in the workplace.

    To learn more about SHRMLabs, please visit https://www.shrmlabs.com/.

    About SHRM

    SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener, and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally.

    SHRM is a global organization that empowers members to lead fulfilling workplaces where employees thrive. “HR champions culture, HR maximizes talent, HR accelerates performance and HR optimizes information,” said Nick Schacht, Chief Global Development Officer of SHRM on the AI To Uplift Humanity podcast, produced by Soar.com.

    “SHRMLabs is inspiring innovation to create better technologies that solve today's most pressing workplace challenges by supporting tech innovators and startup companies in the workplace technology industry,” explained Guillermo Corea, managing director of SHRMLabs speaking to SHRM Online. Learn more at SHRM.org and at SHRMLabs.com.

    About Soar.com

    Soar.com is the latest tech startup from Paul Allen and Clint Carlos. Allen was the founder and CEO of Ancestry.com and Carlos is a three-time HR tech founder and former volunteer member of AZSHRM state council. Soar.com is focused on uplifting humanity through AI. Its AI video platform fulfills that mission by giving frictionless access to learning insights when they’re needed most. “SHRM members who use the AI video platform will feel as if they have perfect recall,” Allen said. “When struggling with a challenging workplace situation or talent issue, an HR executive can search through every parallel experience to get the knowledge they need within seconds. We are thrilled to see how global HR leaders will transform their work cultures to uplift humanity.” Learn more at Soar.com.

  • 8 Jun 2022 10:24 AM | Anonymous

    Aided by advances in DNA technology, authorities in Florida say they have identified and charged the so-called Pillowcase Rapist accused of sexually assaulting multiple women in the 1980s.

    Robert Koehler, 62, is charged in six sexual assault cases that investigators say were carried out with "diabolical precision," according to a Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO) news release.


    "From the DNA that we were able to pull from our evidence, with 100 percent certainty Robert Koehler's DNA matches the DNA from every one of our victims," Cold Case Unit Sergeant Kami Floyd said.

    "BSO Cold Case Unit detectives worked with Broward State Attorney's Office prosecutors to bring charges against Koehler in a total of six sexual assault cases," BSO said, though it did not detail the specific charges he faces.


    Shortly after his 2020 arrest, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced DNA analysis used to charge him in the 1983 assault also matched DNA samples collected in several other assaults believed to have been committed by the Pillowcase Rapist.

    You can read more in CNN.com at:

  • 8 Jun 2022 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    George Gilbert, a sailor killed in the Pearl Harbor attack who remained unidentified for decades, was laid to rest Monday -- more than 80 years after his death, officials said. DNA played a major role in his identification.

    He was 20 years old when he died.

    A Fire Controlman 2nd class, Gilbert was stationed on the USS Oklahoma after joining the Navy from Indiana, according to a profile page on the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) website. The agency's mission is to recover US military personnel and identify them using a combination of forensic science technology and military records.

    Personnel at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) used procedures including dental, anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis to identify Gilbrt's remains.

    You can read more on CNN.com at: https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/07/us/george-gilbert-sailor-pearl-harbor-national-cemetery-pacific/index.html

  • 8 Jun 2022 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    NOTE: This article is off-topic. That is, it does not concern anything to do with genealogy, DNA, or related topics normally found in this newsletter. However, it focuses on one of my other interests: online privacy. I will suggest everyone who is online should be equally interested in this article. Big Brother is watching you in India, the USA, and elsewhere!

    Virtual private network (VPN) provider Surfshark is shutting down physical servers in India, in response to India's top cybersecurity agency's data demands. It thus becomes the second such company after ExpressVPN to pull out its servers in the country after CERT-In issued a directive on April 28 mandating VPN companies to maintain basic information about customers.

    You can read more at: https://bit.ly/3xjfPHX as well as in my earlier articles at https://eogn.com/page-18080/12787685 and at https://eogn.com/page-18080/12803622.


  • 8 Jun 2022 8:14 AM | Anonymous

    After a two-year hiatus, the St. Charles (Illinois) Public Library will resume its Genealogy After Hours from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. New and experienced genealogists will have exclusive use of the library’s materials and public computers, giving them access to many of the library’s services for genealogy research, according to a news release from the library.

    Participants can use available computers or bring a laptop and use the library’s WiFi network to search the library’s databases.

    Three professional genealogists and several volunteers will be on hand to assist with research or ancestry and family tree maker questions. Attendees can save images to a flash drive and take advantage of scanning, copying and printing during the event. Tours of the library’s genealogy collection will be available.

    Registration is required for this event and can be done by phone or in person at the library’s Research and Reading Desk. Details may be found at: https://bit.ly/3xemNhk and at: https://www.scpld.org/.


  • 7 Jun 2022 7:47 PM | Anonymous

    Historian Jessica Marie Johnson leads several teams tapping into the power of datasets to uncover new truths about Black history. Black Beyond Data is part of an occasional series that highlights Johns Hopkins faculty whose work examines issues around racial inequity, discrimination, and structural racism.

    On a spring day in 1751, Charlotte, an enslaved teenage girl, went on a quest to petition the wife of the governor of Louisiana to grant her freedom. Charlotte had become acquainted with a ship captain recently arrived from Martinique, Sieur Pierre Louis Batard. He had promised to help Charlotte arrange an audience with the governor's wife, Madame de Vaudreuil.

    On this May morning, Batard sent word to Charlotte that de Vaudreuil was willing to meet. Charlotte hurried to Batard's home, but he was not there. She spent the day awaiting his arrival in his house. But as evening arrived, so did a group of soldiers sent by Sr. d'Erneville, the man who both had fathered her and owned her. Charlotte hid under some mosquito netting in Batard's bedroom. When the soldiers discovered her, she asked them to look at the situation from her perspective; she just needed to wait a little longer for Batard to return. Charlotte explained that if they returned her to d'Erneville, he "would have her whipped unmercifully." She even offered them a sum of cash, 100 livres, that she had carried with her.

    "Charlotte did more than run away from her father and owner," Jessica Marie Johnson writes in her book, Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World. The book won the 2021 Wesley-Logan Prize from the American Historical Association. It also won the 2020 Kemper and Leila Williams Prize in Louisiana History, among other accolades. "She combined flight, appeal, allyship, and willfulness in her defiant bid to escape bondage. She demanded to be heard."

    Telling Black stories

    Johnson is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Johns Hopkins and a non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She discovered Charlotte's story buried in the Records of the French Superior Council of Louisiana and the Louisiana Historical Center. Charlotte's bravery, quick thinking, and confidence emerge from these records, much as the courageous young woman emerged from her hiding place in the ship captain's room.

    This is one of Johnson's passions as a historian. To tell the stories of Black people—particularly Black women—in the Atlantic African diaspora during the centuries of slavery. She highlights the relationships, warmth, and intimacy they created despite the harshest of circumstances, as well as the ways in which they wielded intelligence, creativity, and interpersonal skills to strive for freedom.

    But Johnson is equally committed to opening access to the myriad amounts of data that contain information about Black life and Black people, both historical and contemporary. Databases that contain information drawn from records as disparate as the manifest of slave ships, court records, and African American newspapers. She presides over and consults on numerous research projects in which other scholars are mining data sets. Their goal: to discover the lives of Black people who would otherwise be lost to time.

    The full story is much longer but you can find it in its entirety at: https://hub.jhu.edu/2022/06/02/black-beyond-data-jessica-marie-johnson/.

  • 7 Jun 2022 12:10 PM | Anonymous

    Google has become the primary tool for all sorts of online searches. I use Google every day for genealogy and other searches. I perform searches for several ancestors, searches for any information about a small town where my ancestors lived, searches for any information about the small town where I grew up, any mentions of my newsletter, any mention of my cousins with the unusual surname, and a number of other topics. I perform these searches daily, always looking for any new information that appears online.

    Of course, logging onto Google every day and manually performing such searches is tedious. Besides, I am forgetful. I don't always remember to perform the searches as often as I should.

    Luckily, Google provides a solution for me and for millions of others who wish to perform repetitive searches of Google's billions of links, looking for new information. In fact, Google will perform a search for me every day or every week and even send any newly-found results to me as email messages. Google remembers these tasks far better than I do. If I forget, Google still remembers and sends me an email message with the results, if any. Even better, Google only sends each new piece of information one time. I never see repeats. Each new email message contains only new results that Google has found since the last email message was sent.

    The service sends emails to the user when it finds new results—such as web pages, newspaper articles, blogs, or scientific research—that match the user's search term(s)

    Google Alerts will monitor almost anything on Google that you specify. You choose the search terms in exactly the same manner as a normal search on Google. You specify if you want to search only Google News, only blogs, only videos, only discussions, or the option that I use most of the time: search everything. You can also specify to search once a day, once a week, or "as it happens." However, if you search for popular topics, the "as it happens" option can generate a lot of email messages! I'd suggest starting with the DAILY option at first, then experiment later.

    You can enter your search terms and then click on PREVIEW to see an example of the results you'll receive. If you are overwhelmed with too many results, you can change the search terms and click on PREVIEW again to see the modified search. Once you are satisfied with the results, click on CREATE ALERT. From then on, you simply check your email messages occasionally to see the results.

    Should you later change your mind, you can modify the search terms at any time or even stop the email messages completely. You remain in control.

    Google Alerts are great for many purposes, including:

    • monitoring a developing news story
    • keeping current on a competitor or industry
    • keeping current on a company in which you have made an investment
    • getting the latest updates on a celebrity or event
    • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
    • searching for ancestral information
    • and probably a few thousand other uses.

    The best feature of Google Alerts? It is available FREE of charge.

    Here are some typical Google Alert search terms I use:

    "Washington Harvey Eastman" (That is my great-great-grandfather and I know little about him)

    "Eastman family"

    "Eastman genealogy"

    "Dexter, Maine"

    "Red Sox"

    MyHeritage.com

    "National Genealogical Society"

    RootsTech

    "Family Tree Maker"

    Eastman newsletter

    I'd suggest you use your imagination to create the search terms that interest you.

    To create your own Google Alerts, go to http://www.google.com/alerts.

    Comment: I always enjoy reading the engagement announcements and birth announcements of those cousins with the unusual surname. I also appreciate reading their obituaries, although I guess "enjoy" is not the appropriate word for obits. I often know about family news before the other family members do, thanks to Google Alerts. That even includes arrest records. (You'd have to know my relatives to appreciate that information.)

    Unfortunately, the search for relatives works best for unusual surnames. Don't try it for John Smith!

    However, I have had some success by combining common names with towns or occupations, such as:

    "John Williams" "Fountain Hills" Florida

    or

    "Peter Johnson" electrician

    I then receive occasional email messages from Google with alerts containing those words. However, many of them are "false hits" about articles containing all of those words but referring to someone other than my relative. Even though I have to throw away some of the references by "eyeball," I still often find mentions of my relatives in the alerts. You can experiment with such searches yourself easily. If it doesn't work out, you can always delete the search. With a few carefully created search phrases, you should be able to save a lot of time and keystrokes by regularly using Google Alerts for genealogy and other topics of interest.


  • 7 Jun 2022 12:09 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the (U.S.) National Genealogical Society:

    FALLS CHURCH, VA, 7 June 2022—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is pleased to announce the publication of two, new books as part of its Research in the States series, which now covers research in thirty-one states and the tribal records of Oklahoma’s American Indians. The newest volumes are Research in New Mexico by Karen Stein Daniel, CG, and Research in Oregon, 3rd Edition, by Connie Miller Lenzen, CG, FNGS. The books are available in the NGS store in both PDF and print versions.

    Both guidebooks offer family history researchers detailed information about each state’s many genealogical resources, including archives, atlases, and gazetteers; census, county, and court records; military, naturalization, and vital records; and more. The authors include the website address, physical address, and telephone number for each resource.

    In Research in New Mexico, author Karen Stein Daniel discusses where to find records of both indigenous and non-indigenous people. The state is home to three Apache tribes, the Navaho Nation, and nineteen Pueblo tribes. Since 1598, Hispanics including Crypto-Jews have settled in New Mexico. By the late 1860s, Black Americans began to arrive along with French, German, Greek, Italian, and Jewish immigrants; Los Árabes from the Middle East; and South African Boers. Research in New Mexico offers readers an extensive review of genealogical resources of the people who have populated America’s 47th state.

    In Research in Oregon, 3rd Edition, Connie Miller Lenzen introduces family historians to a wealth of repositories and other archival resources throughout the state. The book covers both Oregon’s many Native American tribes as well as its non-indigenous population, including White pioneers who settled in Oregon in the 1840s. Chinese began to arrive in the 1850s. They were followed by Japanese. By law, Blacks were excluded from the state until 1868 when the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution was ratified. Ethnic groups from Europe included Basques, Greeks, Irish, Swedes, and Volga Germans. Hispanic and Jewish Americans and later Iranians, Russians, and Vietnamese also settled in Oregon. Research in Oregon provides genealogists with a concise guidebook for researching their ancestors.

    Research in the States series is edited by Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FUGA, FVGS. Its newest books, Research in New Mexico and Research in Oregon, 3rd Edition, are available for purchase in the NGS online store.

  • 6 Jun 2022 9:55 AM | Anonymous

    The Cooper Union introduces Voices from the Great Hall, an extraordinary new public resource that tells the history of New York and the nation through the words of the people who helped to shape it from the stage of the storied Great Hall. Voices from the Great Hall is a digital archive, free and accessible to anyone, and generously supported by The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. This growing collection presents all known sound and video recordings made in Cooper Union’s historic Great Hall dating back to 1941 and continuing to the present, as well as 8,900 objects, such as photographs, tickets, and fliers, related to more than 3,000 Great Hall programs dating to 1859.

    “Our Great Hall, once the largest gathering place in New York City, has been an important destination where people from all walks of life have organized and presented their views on the pressing matters of their time, a legacy that continues today,” says Laura Sparks, President, The Cooper Union. “We are so grateful for the Gardiner Foundation’s leadership and commitment to preserving essential New York history. Their support has made this digital Great Hall archive possible. There is so much that we, as an engaged citizenry, can draw on and learn from these historical perspectives, and that is precisely our hope for the Voices from the Great Hall archive—that it will serve as a resource for shaping the future of our shared civic and cultural life.” 

    You can read more in an announcement in The Cooper Union web site at: https://bit.ly/3axCx7r.

  • 6 Jun 2022 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    23andMe, which has said it plans to hire hundreds of workers in coming years, confirmed that it will move from its longtime headquarters in Mountain View to a new under-development project in Sunnyvale, California.

    The company has created the world’s largest crowdsourced platform for genetic research, with 80 percent of its customers electing to participate. The 23andMe research platform has generated more than 180 publications on the genetic underpinnings of a wide range of diseases, conditions, and traits. The platform also powers the 23andMe Therapeutics group, currently pursuing drug discovery programs rooted in human genetics across a spectrum of disease areas, including oncology, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to other therapeutic areas.

    23andMe was named by Glassdoor as one of The Best Places to Work. CEO, Anne Wojcicki was also named one of Glassdoor’s top CEOs in 2019 and one of Comparably’s "Best CEOs for Women" in 2021.

    In other news, Anne Wojcicki also signed (some time ago) the Giving Pledge – a promise that 236 of the world’s super wealthy have made to donate at least half their fortune to charitable causes.

    Other notables who have signed the pledge include Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, Paul G. Allen (now deceased in 2018), George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, Elon Musk, T. Boone Pickens (deceased in 2019), David Rockefeller (deceased in 2017), Jeff and Marieke Rothschild, Ted Turner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.

    In still other news, Anne Wojcicki is the sister of Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube. Anne Wojcicki also is the ex-wife of Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.

    Anne Wojcicki also has frequently expressed interest in “revolutionizing health care” with DNA testing, as it could provide consumers with enough information to predict potential genetic illnesses.


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