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  • 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: https://www.bc.edu/content/bc-web/bcnews/humanities/language/modern-greek-literature-resource.html.html

  • 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: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/06/senate-bill-would-ban-data-brokers-from-selling-location-and-health-data/.

  • 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: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-61820604.


  • 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 Wikipedia.org at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haggis:

    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".

    Yum!

    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 https://amzn.to/3aX9lGZ. 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: https://archive.org/details/b30333143

    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 read more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8180791.stm.

    Now somebody is going to tell me that kilts also were invented by the English. Oh, wait a minute… they were! See https://skilt.co.uk/2011/01/25/the-modern-kilt-was-invented-by-an-englishman/.


  • 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 Classmates.com, 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 Ancestry.com 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: https://bit.ly/3zHOTEn

  • 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 https://bit.ly/39u2a8W.

  • 14 Jun 2022 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    On a rainy spring afternoon, Denise Diggs visited the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She was in search of a family artifact.

    Wearing jeans and a blue windbreaker, she blended in with other Washington tourists, until she descended into a dimly lit exhibition area. There, Diggs began weaving in and out of visitors engrossed by the remnants of a slave ship, a wrought-iron slave collar and a six-foot statue of Thomas Jefferson standing in front of a wall of stacked bricks memorializing the hundreds of humans he owned.

    Diggs was on a mission — to find a Bible once owned by her family’s patriarch.

    A few steps down the hall, she discovered it, amid relics highlighting the experiences of enslaved people and the role faith played on the plantation. The 62-year-old grew teary as she stared at the Bible; it was opened to the first chapter of the Book of Exodus, which recounts the Hebrews being placed in bondage in Egypt. This was the first time she had seen the Bible on display, protected behind thick glass.

    Diggs turned and noticed a tourist wearing glasses was staring at her.

    “It belonged to my great-grandfather,” Diggs said, dabbing away tears as she pointed to the book.

    “Oh, my goodness,” the tourist replied. “Incredible.”

    You can read much more about this historical artifact in an article by Erin B. Logan published in the Los Angeles Times web site at: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-06-13/black-history-bible-smithsonian.

    My thanks to newsletter reader Jackie Feldman for telling me about this article.


  • 14 Jun 2022 12:23 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG):

    When is not finding a record nothing, and when does it signify something? Information that is not where you expect it to be may yield important evidence for your research question. Understanding the purpose of a source — who and what it records, and why — will help you determine if the missing person or event is negative evidence or merely a negative search. A series of examples demonstrate methodologies used to create something out of nothing.  

    Denise Cross, MSLIS, CG, is a community college librarian who enjoys research, especially digging deep for an elusive answer. Researching her family since the 1990s, she began formalized education in genealogy with the Boston University Certificate Program in Genealogical Research in 2015. The course opened up the world of methodology to extract indirect evidence from records. Her focus is writing and she has published several articles since 2016. She is a winner of the 2020 AGS Scholar Award and was granted the Certified Genealogist credential the same year.

    BCG’s next free monthly webinar in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree Webinars is “Negative Evidence: Making Something Out of Nothing” by Denise E. Cross, MSLIS, CG. This webinar airs Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

    When you register before June 21 with our partner Legacy Family Tree Webinars (http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=6793) you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Anyone with schedule conflicts may access the webinar at no charge for one week after the broadcast on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

    “We are pleased to present these high-quality educational webinars,” said President LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG, CGL, FASG. “The Board for Certification of Genealogists promotes public confidence in genealogy by supporting uniform standards of competence. We strive to provide educational opportunities to family historians of all levels of experience.”

    Following the free period for this webinar, BCG receives a small commission if you view this or any BCG webinar by clicking our affiliate link: (http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=2619).

    To see the full list of BCG-sponsored webinars for 2022, visit the BCG blog SpringBoard at https://bcgcertification.org/bcg-2022-free-webinars.  For additional resources for genealogical education, please visit the BCG Learning Center (https://bcgcertification.org/learning).
  • 13 Jun 2022 1:58 PM | Anonymous

    When Colleen Snyder researched her family history during the Covid-19 pandemic, she did not expect to discover a connection to the legend of Irish giants. Colleen, from Virginia in the United States, suffers from a rare genetic condition called acromegaly or gigantism.

    NOTE: According to the UK's NHS at: https://bit.ly/3aQQgpY:

    "Acromegaly is a rare condition where the body produces too much growth hormone, causing body tissues and bones to grow more quickly. Over time, this leads to abnormally large hands and feet, and a wide range of other symptoms.

    "Acromegaly is usually diagnosed in adults aged 30 to 50, but it can affect people of any age.""

    The gene caused Charles Byrne, born in 1761 near Cookstown and known as the "Irish giant", to grow more than 7ft 6in (2.3m) tall.

    Medical researchers have previously identified Mid Ulster as a "hotspot" where one in 150 people have the genetic mutation, compared to one in 1,000 in Belfast and one in 2,000 in the rest of the UK.

    Colleen first developed symptoms when she was eight, but the condition was not diagnosed until she was 20. Doctors in the USA told her it was rare to develop acromegaly at such a young age.

    "Through the years I kept trying to find somebody that had the same condition, get more information about it and I couldn't."

    That was until she began to research her family history during the lockdown. When she looked at her family tree she realised her ancestral home was in fact Clonoe, near Coalisland in County Tyrone, the centre of the giant gene "hotspot".

    You can read more in an article by Julian Fowler published in the BBC News web site at: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-61726811.


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