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Beth's Blog

Social Media and Cultural Communication


  • NEW!Come to the Dark Side: Distinguished Lecture Explores Dark Matter
    The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe — from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars — constitute only 5 percent of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as … Continue reading →
    - 22 hours ago, 27 Aug 14, 11:56pm -
  • NEW!‘What’s wood glue doing there?’ Connecting the dots to repair an ancient join
    Hello again, and welcome to the third post in my series on the conservation of a Third-Intermediate-Period coffin lid at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. As our team in the lab has seen, many times repairs of ancient objects are not … Continue readin…
    - 2 days ago, 27 Aug 14, 12:02am -
    This post was written by Diana Birney, Supervising Marine Biologist for our upcoming SHARK! exhibit, opening August 29, 2015. We fear them, we love them, and we are fascinated by them. We have a whole week on television dedicated to them that … C…
    - 3 days ago, 25 Aug 14, 11:58pm -
  • Sunday Funday comes to HMNS with Mixers & Elixirs Pluto Pity Party
    Extend your Sunday Funday to the Houston Museum of Natural Science August 24 and raise a glass to the infamously demoted Pluto at our Pluto Pity Party! Come to Mixers & Elixirs and remember the good ol’ days when we had … Continue reading →
    - 5 days ago, 23 Aug 14, 3:23pm -

Electric Archaeology

Digitization 101

  • NEW!Monkeys, robots and copyright
    Yesterday I recorded the first lecture in my copyright class (IST 735: Copyright for Information Professionals).  During the lecture, I mentioned that an animal - in this case, a monkey - cannot hold copyright.  This fact has come to light because…
    - 2 days ago, 26 Aug 14, 1:15pm -
  • NEW!Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition
    As announced on the U.S. Copyright web site on Aug. 19: Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante has released a public draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition (the “Third Edition”). The first major revision in mo…
    - 2 days ago, 26 Aug 14, 1:00pm -
  • Article: Copyright Office Rejected My Attempt To Copyright A Tweet
    Gabriel Michael conducted an experiment and tried to copyright protect a tweet by registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office.  He did this to test whether a tweet - which is less than 140 characters - is copyrightable.  The answer?  No.  You c…
    - 23 days ago, 5 Aug 14, 7:33pm -
  • My summer & search committees (and some tips for you)
    Every year, summer goes by too quickly.  Even now, my memories of the end of the spring semester are still fresh, even though it ended in mid-May.  Summer doesn't feel as if it has arrived until the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference,…
    - 24 days ago, 4 Aug 14, 1:00pm -
  • Let's emphasize information acquisition across formats and platforms
    In this more digital world, where people can ingest information through a variety of different media, reading is still emphasized in K-12 schools.  Educators want to create book readers; however, we should be helping students access and learn from i…
    - 41 days ago, 18 Jul 14, 3:00pm -


  • The long-term impact of the new protest movements
    In early 2011, the Spanish blog entrepreneur Julio Alonso joined other netizens in switching his attention from internet issues to his country’s profound economic and political crisis. The story below recounts this transition as well as giving us A…
    - 4 days ago, 24 Aug 14, 3:48pm -
  • The five modes of self-tracking
    Originally posted on This Sociological Life:Recently I have been working on a conference paper that seeks to outline the five different modes of self-tracking that I have identified as currently in existence. I argue that there is evidence that the…
    - 21 days ago, 8 Aug 14, 5:08am -
  • We don’t know how to participate
    In this fourth episode of the freedom technologists series we hear from Margarita Padilla, another IT specialist active in Spain’s civil society, most recently in the indignados (or 15M) movement. The story below is once again translated and adapte…
    - 22 days ago, 6 Aug 14, 12:05pm -
  • How Spain’s indignados movement was born
    In this third instalment of the freedom technologists series we hear the extraordinary story of the IT specialist Daniel Vázquez, one of the original occupiers of Puerta del Sol square, in Madrid, where Spain’s indignados (or 15M) movement was bor…
    - 27 days ago, 1 Aug 14, 12:31pm -
  • Freedom technologists and their practices
    This is the second in a series of 42 blog posts devoted to exploring the connection between freedom technologists and the new protest movements. See the first post here, the next post here, the whole series as a document or as blog posts. In the firs…
    - 35 days ago, 24 Jul 14, 4:54pm -

Matt's Sci/Tech Blog

  • Book Review: The Road to Loch Ness
    The Road to Loch Ness  Lee MurphyDefining Moments, 2014 The last two years have been good for cryptozoology-themed fiction.  We’ve had high-octane thrillers like Hawthorne’s Kronos Rising, atmospheric novels like Willis’ The Daedalus and the…
    - 3 days ago, 25 Aug 14, 6:25pm -
  • Dunkleosteus - Old Bone-Face in Popular Culture
    Western popular culture loves prehistoric beasts, especially dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs crowd out almost everything else.  Exceptions are the mighty shark Megalodon, which has its own subculture of books, movies, and other stuff, and marine reptil…
    - 5 days ago, 24 Aug 14, 3:29am -
  • The Vaquita's Last Breath?
    Science was unaware the world’s smallest cetacean existed until 1950, when a single skull was found on the beach in the Gulf of California, aka the Sea of Cortez.  In 1958, Kenneth Norris and William McFarland formally described the Gulf of Calif…
    - 13 days ago, 16 Aug 14, 4:21am -
  • NOAA and NASA: It's not either-or
    This story on is getting a lot of sharing. It's misleading because the one fact being cited has nothing to do with exploration of Earth's oceans. The Europa project, which is $2B spread over many years, is part of the smallest budget (wit…
    - 13 days ago, 15 Aug 14, 5:08pm -
  • It's National Sea Serpent Day (seriously, it is)
    OK, NSSD is a creation of persons unknown, promoted by bloggers such as Jay Cooney (see his   blog Bizarre Zoology), and taking off in cryptozoology circles.  Sea and lake creature aficionado Cooney (Jay Bizarrezoo Cooney on Facebook and elsewher…
    - 21 days ago, 7 Aug 14, 4:43pm -


  • Gender role literacy: Girls in science?
    There are gender wars, and then there are casualties. It wasn’t until 2011 that the behemoth toymaker LEGO acknowledged girls’ desire to build with bricks, even though the company had long before made a seemingly effortless pivot to co-branding,…
    - 5 Mar 14, 6:35pm -
  • Challenges of crowdsourcing: Analysis of Historypin
    Crowdsourcing can build virtual community, engage the public, and build large knowledge databases about science and culture. But what does it take, and how fast can you grow? For some insight, we look at a crowdsourced history site: Historypin is an…
    - 9 Dec 13, 3:36pm -
  • Dinovember: Creative literacy starts young
    “Uh-oh,” Refe Tuma heard his girls whisper. “Mom and Dad are not going to like this.” It’s Dinovember, and his family’s plastic dinosaurs have been getting into mischief all month. Every year, Tuma and his wife devote the month of Novem…
    - 18 Nov 13, 5:01pm -
  • Drones put a face on nature and culture
    A new generation of small video cameras and consumer robotic helicopters make amazing video shots possible. Stick your phone on a drone for enchanting views of the natural world, architecture, museums, and more. Here’s a cool new video flying a dro…
    - 1 Nov 13, 4:38pm -
  • What are the most important articles in Wikipedia?
    Wikipedia has 4,362,397 articles in English.  But how many of those are seriously encyclopedic, and what are the most important articles? We’ve been looking closely at Wikipedia for an upcoming app. We wanted to know the most important articles.…
    - 29 Oct 13, 4:25am -

Chemical Heritage Foundation

  • This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick...
    This is a detail of a Puck cartoon drawn in 1896 by Frederick Burr Opper. It depicts Uncle Sam participating in the blue glass craze described in this audio clip. (Library of Congress)
    - 7 days ago, 21 Aug 14, 2:30pm -
  • Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James...
    Is blue-tinted glass good for your health? Augustus James Pleasonton, a general in the American Civil War, certainly believed so. In 1876 he  published The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky.In this audio cli…
    - 8 days ago, 20 Aug 14, 2:57pm -
  • The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: The Urban Archaeology Podcast
    Where can you find a teacup, the molar of a goat, and an arrowhead all in one place? At an urban archaeology site, that’s where. This episode of Distillations goes underground, and reveals the fascinating worlds beneath our city shoes.“The Te…
    - 15 days ago, 13 Aug 14, 1:58pm -
  • Archaeology Exhibit
    The photographs above are from an archaeology exhibit at the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington on July 17. These artifacts were found by Doug Mooney’s Digging I-95 project. The latest episode of Distillations podcast goes into more depth abo…
    - 16 days ago, 12 Aug 14, 4:54pm -
  • In a Philadelphia basement a family buried their pet dog and...
    In a Philadelphia basement a family buried their pet dog and hamster with a doll’s head. More than 200 years later, archaeologists excavated the basement and found the curious burial ground. Why did the family bury their pets inside their home? Wha…
    - 17 days ago, 11 Aug 14, 2:45pm -