WLOS: Blue Ridge National Heritage Area gets grants for craft trails project. “Craft artisans across the mountains are getting a big boost. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is getting $125,000 in grants to launch a system of driveable craft trails in 25 Western North Carolina counties.”
ScienceDaily: Pottery reveals America’s first social media networks . “Long before Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and even MySpace, early Mississippian Mound cultures in America’s southern Appalachian Mountains shared artistic trends and technologies across regional networks that functioned in similar ways as modern social media, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: New Carnegie Museum app shows threat to wildflower diversity in the woods. “Hikers and hunters have already seen changes in the woodlands of Appalachia in recent years, as deer overpopulation literally nibbles away at the many plant species that live under the trees. A collaboration of science and new media experts has introduced a new tool for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to educate people about the state of nature and inspire them as well. The tool is an app for smartphones and tablets, called AR Perpetual Garden, that gives even armchair nature lovers a way to compare two scenarios: the woodlands blooming with native wildflowers and the same scene stripped of botanical diversity because of too many deer.”
HV1: Preserving the Catskill folk songs of Grant Rogers. “Walton native Grant Rogers (1907-1979) didn’t consider himself a folksinger; in 1965 he told Folk-Legacy song collector Sandy Paton that folksingers were ‘fellers like Burl Ives or Pete Seeger,’ and that he was merely ‘a stonecutter that makes up songs.’ Ironic, considering that Rogers was exactly the sort of person whom Seeger would have honored with that description. He was a self-taught guitarist, fiddler, square dance caller, amateur historian and songwriter who made up tall tales about the Catskills and set them to music – among them ‘The Legend of Slide Mountain,’ which attributes the naming of that summit to an ornery, much-married homesteader who chased off her husbands with a shotgun whenever she tired of them, leading eventually to a human landslide when a sheriff’s posse abandoned an ill-considered effort to apprehend her.”
Greeneville Sun: Black In Appalachia Website Now Online. “Items on the site are sourced from a mix of local institutions and community members who lent digital copies of resources. Free and downloadable content on local black history is now available on the database compiled by East Tennessee PBS, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s School of Information Sciences, the Greeneville-Greene County History Museum and the George Clem Multicultural Alliance.”
RappNews: Hallberg set to make beautiful music at Sperryville dulcimer museum. “[John] Hallberg, 53, of Jenkins Hollow in Sperryville, had never played the dulcimer before then, but easily got hooked. He’s never taken lessons, but says the dulcimer is easy to learn to play and he’s learned to play by ear. Twenty years later he owns what he calls one of the world’s best collections of Appalachian dulcimers, numbering more than 60 instruments.” He is planning both an online and an offline museum.
Yale Environment 360: New Mapping Tool Visualizes 30 Years of Mountaintop Removal. “From 1985 to 2015, coal companies blasted an average of 21,000 acres of Appalachian land every year in search of coal — an area about half the size of Washington, D.C., according to a new satellite mapping tool that allows users to track mountaintop removal over the last three decades in 74 key coal-mining counties.”