The Smithsonian has started a project to digitize the joke cards of Phyllis Diller. I did a bunch yesterday; I am a big Diller fan. “Phyllis Diller’s groundbreaking career as a stand-up comic spanned almost 50 years. Throughout her career she used a gag file to organize her material. Diller’s gag file consists of a steel cabinet with 48 drawers (along with a 3 drawer expansion) containing over 52,000 3-by-5 inch index cards, each holding a typewritten joke or gag. These index cards are organized alphabetically by subject, ranging from accessories to world affairs and covering almost everything in between.”
I think I remember hearing about this, I can’t find it in the firehose, so here it is, new-to-me (or at least newly remembered): a database of urban sounds. “Since the late 1990s, the London artist Stanza has been mapping sounds from cities across the globe—from New York to Berlin to Tokyo—and asking the public to contribute. ‘I realized that the whole value of putting it online is sharing it with everybody, so I made the database open sourced,’ he says. His online database, Soundcities, launched in the early 2000s; now, it includes thousands of sounds from dozens of cities.”
A new Web site aims to be a Wikipedia-like resource for women’s health around the world. “The concept of Gynopedia is simple: It’s an online, open-source, nonprofit health care database in the style of Wikipedia that offers women free information on a range of issues as they relate to different locations across the globe. You can search by city—say, Los Angeles, or Mumbai—and get specific pages with details on where to go for gynecological exams, emergency contraception, STI tests, and where to find abortion clinics.”
Harvard Business Review: Why Some Crowdsourcing Efforts Work and Others Don’t. “Organizations strive to tap into the potential of crowdsourcing by asking people around the world to come up with ideas. But what makes crowdsourcing work? We conducted a large-scale research project to understand why some organizations succeed to attract crowds and others fail.”
Berkeley is gearing up to crowdsource images of the August 2017 solar eclipse. “The Eclipse Megamovie Project is seeking more than a thousand amateur astronomers and avid photographers to record the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse and upload their photos to be stitched together into a movie documenting the path of totality from landfall in Oregon until the moon’s shadow slips over the Atlantic Ocean off South Carolina.”
NASA is doing some crowdsourcing to help explore space. “For this project, participants are asked to look through data collected by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and help to separate real objects from system artifacts that can look like real objects (false positives). Citizen scientists will look for spots of light that move across the sky, signaling that those points of light are objects relatively close to Earth compared to the background stars.”
Phys.org: How social media data mining could shape the products of tomorrow . “Researchers at Nottingham Trent University have developed a way to analyse online consumer reviews and social media to help designers create better informed products.
Led by design engineering expert Professor Daizhong Su, a research team used data mining techniques and produced an algorithm which identifies the most liked and disliked features of existing products, according to thousands of consumer comments on websites like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, YouTube and online stores.”