Nature: Can tracking people through phone-call data improve lives?. “After an earthquake tore through Haiti in 2010, killing more than 100,000 people, aid agencies spread across the country to work out where the survivors had fled. But Linus Bengtsson, a graduate student studying global health at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, thought he could answer the question from afar. Many Haitians would be using their mobile phones, he reasoned, and those calls would pass through phone towers, which could allow researchers to approximate people’s locations.”
Ars Technica: Mapping Notre Dame’s unique sound will be a boon to reconstruction efforts. “The acoustics of the cathedral—how it sounds—are also part of its cultural heritage, and given the ephemeral nature of sound, acoustical characteristics can be far trickier to preserve or reproduce. Fortunately, a group of French acousticians made detailed measurements of Notre Dame’s ‘soundscape’ over the last few years, along with two other cathedrals. That data will now be instrumental in helping architects factor acoustics into their reconstruction plans.”
KTIC: Gov. Ricketts Unveils New “Nebraska Strong” Relief Website. “On the website, Nebraskans who need relief can log requests for items ranging from housing to tools. Requests will then be reviewed by the Nebraska Preparedness Partnership before being posted. After they are reviewed, they will then be available for fulfillment by members of the public.” The article also includes phone numbers for specific needs – farmers who need feed stuffs, a general questions hotline, etc.
The Art Newspaper: Rain threatens recovery effort at Brazil’s National Museum. “As months of seasonal rain descend on Rio de Janeiro, researchers working in the rubble of the gutted National Museum fear that the dampness could imperil salvaging efforts after September’s devastating fire. ‘There is rain and heat soon after, which is not good at all’ for the objects, the researcher Cláudia Carvalho told Globo earlier this month. Ceramics, metallic objects and meteorites are particularly vulnerable, she adds.”
Google Blog: California fires: how we’re providing aid and ways you can help. “Over the last week, three wildfires have devastated communities in California, and there’s been a tremendous effort—on the part of firefighters, first responders, local officials and NGOs—to contain the flames and help thousands of displaced families. Since the start of the fires, we’ve deployed resources to help those affected in our own backyard. Here’s a bit more on that, and how you can help.”
Quartzy: The Cruelty And Kindness Of Social Media In The Midst Of A Disaster. “There was a time, long before social media was blamed for many of the world’s biggest problems, that digital communities were posited as the utopian replacement to the small-mindedness of staying close to home, close to what we know. Of course, that didn’t turn out so well. We know now that compassion, empathy, and community can’t be provided by a large tech company with a clear profit motive for winning our attention. In times of disaster as well as in times of normalcy, that part is up to us.”
Larry Ferlazzo: Resources On Terrible Camp Fire Near Here & How To Help Victims. “Our area of Northern California is becoming the site of regular and terrible wildfires. Last year it was tragic fire in Santa Rosa, where I had lived for over ten years, and which is an hour away from us (see The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About The Santa Rosa Fires (& How To Help Victims)). This weekend it’s the horrible Camp Fire – again, a hour away from us.” Quick annotated list.