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November 11 2019

The Internet Archive Is Digitizing & Preserving Over 100,000 Vinyl Records: Hear 750 Full Albums Now

There seems to be widespread agreement—something special was lost in the rushed-to-market move from physical media to digital streaming. We have come to admit that some older musical technologies cannot be improved upon. Musicians, producers, engineers spend thousands to replicate the sound of older analog recording technology, with all its quirky, inconsistent operation. And fans buy record players and vinyl records in surprisingly increasing numbers to hear the warm and fuzzy character of their sound.

Neil Young, who has relentlessly criticized every aspect of digital recording, has dismissed the resurgence of the LP as a “fashion statement” given that most new albums released on vinyl are digital masters. But buyers come to vinyl with a range of expectations, writes Ari Herstand at Digital Music News: “Vinyl is an entire experience. Wonderfully tactile…. When we stare at our screens for the majority of our days, it’s nice to look at art that doesn’t glow and isn’t the size of my hand.” Vinyl can feel and look as good as it sounds (when properly engineered).

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While shiny, digitally mastered vinyl releases pop up in big box stores everywhere, the real musical wealth lies in the past—in thousands upon thousands of LPs, 45s, 78s—relics of “the only consumer playback format we have that’s fully analog and fully lossless,” says vinyl mastering engineer Adam Gonsalves. Few institutions can afford to store thousands of physical albums, and many rarities and oddities exist in vanishingly fewer copies. Their crackle and hiss may be forever lost without the intervention of digital preservationists like the Internet Archive.

The Archive is “now expanding its digitization project to include LPs,” reports Faye Lessler on the organization’s blog. This will come as welcome news to cultural historians, analog conservationists, and vinyl enthusiasts of all kinds, who will mostly agree that digitization is far better than extinction, though the tactile and visual pleasures may be irreplaceable. The Archive has focused its efforts on the over 100,000 audio recordings from the Boston Public Library’s collection, “in order to prevent them from disappearing forever when the vinyl is broken, warped, or lost."

“These recordings exist in a variety of historical formats, including wax cylinders, 78 rpms, and LPs," though the project is currently focused on the later. "They span musical genres including  classical, pop, rock, and jazz, and contain obscure recordings like this album of music for baton twirlers, and this record of radio’s all-time greatest bloopers.” The method of rapidly converting the artifacts at the rate of ten LPs per hour (which you can read more about at the Archive blog) serves as a testament to what digital technology does best—using machine learning and metadata to automate the archival process and create extensive, searchable databases of catalogue information.

Currently, the project has uploaded 1,180 recordings to its site, “but some of the albums are only available in 30 second snippets due to rights issues,” Lessler points out. Browse the "Unlocked Recordings" category to hear 750 digitized LPs available in full: these include a recording of Gian Carlo Menotti's ballet The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore, further up; The Begetting of the President, above, a satire of Nixon's rise to power as Biblical epic, read by Orson Welles in his King of Kings' voice; and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1 in B-flat minor, played by Van Cliburn, below.

The range and variety captured in this collection—from fireworks sound effects to Elton John’s second, self-titled album to classic Pearl Baily to 80s new wave band The Communards to Andres Segovia playing Bach to the Smokey and the Bandit 2 soundtrack—will outlast copyright restrictions. And they will leave behind an extensive record, no pun intended, of the LP: “our primary musical medium for over a generation," says the Archive's special projects director CR Saikley, "witness to the birth of both Rock & Roll and Punk Rock... integral to our culture from the 1950s to the 1980s." Vinyl remains the most revered of musical formats for good reason—reasons future generations will discover, at least virtually, for themselves someday.

via Kottke

Related Content:

How Vinyl Records Are Made: A Primer from 1956

An Interactive Map of Every Record Shop in the World

25,000+ 78RPM Records Now Professionally Digitized & Streaming Online: A Treasure Trove of Early 20th Century Music

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

The Internet Archive Is Digitizing & Preserving Over 100,000 Vinyl Records: Hear 750 Full Albums Now is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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November 09 2019

NPP 188: Blockchain und Nachhaltigkeit

Manchmal sieht man den Wald vor lauter Blockchains nicht mehrKönnen Blockchains Bäume pflanzen? Gemeinfrei-ähnlich freigegeben durch Daniel PetersDas Thema Blockchain bietet ähnlich viel Projektionsfläche wie die Nachhaltigkeit. Es gibt aber Menschen, die daran forschen, beides miteinander zu verbinden. Genau darüber haben wir mit Marcus Dapp gesprochen, der an der ETH Zürich die Chancen von Blockchain-Technologien im Bereich Nachhaltigkeit erforscht.
Reposted fromnetzpolitik netzpolitik

November 07 2019

Unearthing slavery in the Caribbean, and the Catholic Church’s influence on modern psychology

Most historical accounts of slavery were written by colonists and planters. Researchers are now using the tools of archaeology to learn more about the day-to-day lives of enslaved Africans—how they survived the conditions of slavery, how they participated in local economies, and how they maintained their own agency. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about a Caribbean archaeology project based on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and launched by the founders of the Society for Black Archaeologists that aims to unearth these details. Watch a related video here. Sarah also talks with Jonathan Schulz, a professor in the Department of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, about a role for the medieval Roman Catholic Church in so-called WEIRD psychology—western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic. The bulk of psychology experiments have used participants that could be described as WEIRD, and according to many psychological measures, WEIRD subjects tend to have some extreme traits, like a stronger tendency toward individuality and more friendliness with strangers. Schulz and colleagues used historical maps and measures of kinship structure to tie these traits to strict marriage rules enforced by the medieval Catholic Church in Western Europe. Read related commentary. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Meagan Cantwell/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

October 31 2019

How measles wipes out immune memory, and detecting small black holes

Measles is a dangerous infection that can kill. As many as 100,000 people die from the disease each year. For those who survive infection, the virus leaves a lasting mark—it appears to wipe out the immune system’s memory. News Intern Eva Fredrick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a pair of studies that looked at how this happens in children’s immune systems. Read the related studies in Science and Science Immunology. In our second segment this week, Sarah talks with Todd Thompson, of Ohio State University in Columbus, about his effort to find a small black hole in a binary pair with a red giant star. Usually black holes are detected because they are accruing matter and as the matter interacts with the black hole, x-rays are released. Without this flashy signal, black hole detection gets much harder. Astronomers must look for the gravitational influence of the black holes on nearby stars—which is easier to spot when the black hole is massive. Thompson talks with Sarah about a new approach to finding small, noninteracting black holes. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Alissa Eckert; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

October 24 2019

A worldwide worm survey, and racial bias in a health care algorithm

Earthworms are easy … to find. But despite their prevalence and importance to ecosystems around the world, there hasn’t been a comprehensive survey of earthworm diversity or population size. This week in Science, Helen Philips, a postdoctoral fellow at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and the Institute of Biology at Leipzig University, and colleagues published the results of their worldwide earthworm study, composed of data sets from many worm researchers around the globe. Host Sarah Crespi gets the lowdown from Philips on earthworm myths, collaborating with worm researchers, and links between worm populations and climate. Read a related commentary here.  Sarah also talks with Ziad Obermeyer, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, about dissecting out bias in an algorithm used by health care systems in the United States to recommend patients for additional health services. With unusual access to a proprietary algorithm, inputs, and outputs, Obermeyer and his colleagues found that the low amount of health care dollars spent on black patients in the past caused the algorithm to underestimate their risk for poor health in the future. Obermeyer and Sarah discuss how this happened and remedies that are already in progress. Read a related commentary here.  Finally, in the monthly books segment, books host Kiki Sanford interviews author Alice Gorman about her book Dr. Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the Future. Listen to more book segments on the Science books blog: Books, et al. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quanmen; MEL Science Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

October 17 2019

Trying to find the mind in the brain, and why adults are always criticizing ‘kids these days’

We don’t know where consciousness comes from. And we don’t know whether animals have it, or whether we can detect it in patients in comas. Do neuroscientists even know where to look? A new competition aims to narrow down the bewildering number of theories of consciousness and get closer to finding its biological signs by pitting different theories against each other in experimental settings. Freelance journalist Sara Reardon talks with host Sarah Crespi about how the competition will work. In our second segment, we talk about how we think about children. For thousands of years, adults have complained about their lack of respect, intelligence, and tendency to distraction, compared with previous generations. A new study out this week in Science Advances suggests our own biased childhood memories might be at fault. Sarah Crespi talks with John Protzko of the University of California, Santa Barbara, about how terrible people thought kids were in 3800 B.C.E. and whether understanding those biases might change how people view Generation Z today. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quanmen; Bayer; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Andrea Kirkby/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

October 10 2019

Fossilized dinosaur proteins, and making a fridge from rubber bands

Have you ever tried to scrub off the dark, tarlike residue on a grill? That tough stuff is made up of polymers—basically just byproducts of cooking—and it is so persistent that researchers have found similar molecules that have survived hundreds of millions of years. And these aren’t from cook fires. They are actually the byproducts of death and fossilization. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel about how these molecules can be found on the surface of certain fossils and used as fingerprints for the proteins that once dwelled in dinos. And Sarah talks with Zunfeng Liu, a professor at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, about a new cooling technology based on a 100-year-old observation that a stretched rubber band is warm and a relaxed one is cool. It’s going to be hard to beat the 60% efficiency of compression-based refrigerators and air conditioning units, but Zunfeng and colleagues aim to try, with twists and coils that can cool water by 7°C when relaxed. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Twila Cheeseborough/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

October 03 2019

An app for eye disease, and planting memories in songbirds

Host Sarah Crespi talks with undergraduate student Micheal Munson from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, about a smartphone app that scans photos in the phone’s library for eye disease in kids.  And Sarah talks with Todd Roberts of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, about incepting memories into zebra finches to study how they learn their songs. Using a technique called optogenetics—in which specific neurons can be controlled by pulses of light—the researchers introduced false song memories by turning on neurons in different patterns, with longer or shorter note durations than typical zebra finch songs. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Jim Brendon/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

September 26 2019

Privacy concerns slow Facebook studies, and how human fertility depends on chromosome counts

On this week’s show, Senior News Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis talks with host Sarah Crespi about a stalled Facebook plan to release user data to social scientists who want to study the site’s role in elections. Sarah also talks with Jennifer Gruhn, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Copenhagen Center for Chromosome Stability, about counting chromosomes in human egg cells. It turns out that cell division errors that cause too many or too few chromosomes to remain in the egg may shape human fertility over our reproductive lives. Finally, in this month’s book segment, Kiki Sanford talks with Daniel Navon about his book Mobilizing Mutations: Human Genetics in the Age of Patient Advocacy. Visit the books blog for more author interviews: Books et al. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; The Tangled Tree by David Quammen Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Jennifer Gruhn; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

September 19 2019

Cooling Earth with asteroid dust, and 3 billion missing birds

On this week’s show, science journalist Josh Sokol talks about a global cooling event sparked by space dust that lead to a huge shift in animal and plant diversity 466 million years ago. (Read the related research article in Science Advances.) And I talk with Kenneth Rosenberg, an applied conservation scientist at Cornell University, about steep declines in bird abundance in the United States and Canada. His team estimates about 3 billion birds have gone missing since the 1970s. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

September 12 2019

Studying human health at 5100 meters, and playing hide and seek with rats

In La Rinconada, Peru, a town 5100 meters up in the Peruvian Andes, residents get by breathing air with 50% less oxygen than at sea level. International News Editor Martin Enserink visited the site with researchers studying chronic mountain sickness—when the body makes excess red blood cells in an effort to cope with oxygen deprivation—in these extreme conditions. Martin talks with host Sarah Crespi about how understanding why this illness occurs in some people and not others could help the residents of La Rinconada and the 140 million people worldwide living above 2500 meters. Read the whole special issue on mountains.  Sarah also talks with Annika Stefanie Reinhold about her work at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin training rats to play hide and seek. Surprisingly, rats learned the game easily and were even able to switch roles—sometimes playing as the seeker, other times the hider. Annika talks with Sarah about why studying play behavior in animals is important for understanding the connections between play and learning in both rats and humans. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste campaign Download a transcript (PDF)  Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

September 05 2019

Searching for a lost Maya city, and measuring the information density of language

This week’s show starts with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade, who spent 12 days with archaeologists searching for a lost Maya city in the Chiapas wilderness in Mexico. She talks with host Sarah Crespi about how you lose a city—and how you might go about finding one. And Sarah talks with Christophe Coupé, an associate professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Hong Kong in China, about the information density of different languages. His work, published this week in Science Advances, suggests very different languages—from Chinese to Japanese to English and French—are all equally efficient at conveying information. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste campaign; KiwiCo Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast  

August 29 2019

Where our microbiome came from, and how our farming and hunting ancestors transformed the world

Micro-organisms live inside everything from the human gut to coral—but where do they come from? Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the first comprehensive survey of microbes in Hawaii’s Waimea Valley, which revealed that plants and animals get their unique microbiomes from organisms below them in the food chain or the wider environment. Going global, Meagan then speaks with Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, about a project that aggregated the expertise of more than 250 archaeologists to map human land use over the past 10,000 years. This detailed map will help fine-tune climate models. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this show: Science Sessions Podcast; Kroger Download a transcript (PDF)  Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Chris Couderc/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

August 22 2019

Promising approaches in suicide prevention, and how to retreat from climate change

Changing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK) to a three-digit number could save lives—especially when coupled with other strategies. Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Greg Miller, a science journalist based in Portland, Oregon, about three effective methods to prevent suicides—crisis hotlines, standardizing mental health care, and restricting lethal means. Greg’s feature is part of a larger package in Science exploring paths out of darkness. With more solutions this week, host Sarah Crespi speaks with A. R. Siders, a social scientist at the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware in Newark, about her policy forum on the need for “managed climate retreat”—strategically moving people and property away from high-risk flood and fire zones. Integrating relocation into a larger strategy could maximize its benefits, supporting equality and economic development along the way. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this show: KiwiCo; Kroger Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Scott Woods-Fehr/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

August 15 2019

One million ways to sex a chicken egg, and how plastic finds its way to Arctic ice

Researchers, regulators, and the chicken industry are all united in their search for a way to make eggs more ethical by stopping culling—the killing of male chicks born to laying hens. Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel talks with host Sarah Crespi about the many approaches being tried to determine the sex of chicken embryos before they hatch, from robots with lasers, to MRIs, to artificial intelligence, to gene editing with CRISPR. Also this week, Sarah talks with Melanie Bergmann, a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, about finding microplastic particles in snow all the way up at the Fram Strait, between Greenland and the Svalbarg archipelago in Norway. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Ads on this week’s show: Science Sessions podcast; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: fruchtzwerg’s world/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

August 08 2019

Next-generation cellphone signals could interfere with weather forecasts, and monitoring smoke from wildfires to model nuclear winter

In recent months, telecommunications companies in the United States have purchased a new part of the spectrum for use in 5G cellphone networks. Weather forecasters are concerned that these powerful signals could swamp out weaker signals from water vapor—which are in a nearby band and important for weather prediction. Freelance science writer Gabriel Popkin joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the possible impact of cellphone signals on weather forecasting and some suggested regulations. In other weather news this week, Sarah talks with Pengfei Yu, a professor at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, about his group’s work using a huge smoke plume from the 2017 wildfires in western Canada as a model for smoke from nuclear bombs. They found the wildfire smoke lofted itself 23 kilometers into the stratosphere, spread across the Northern Hemisphere, and took 8 months to dissipate, which line up with models of nuclear winter and suggests these fires can help predict the results of a nuclear war. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Download the transcript (PDF)  Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast

August 01 2019

Earthquakes caused by too much water extraction, and a dog cancer that has lived for millennia

After two mysterious earthquake swarms occurred under the Sea of Galilee, researchers found a relationship between these small quakes and the excessive extraction of groundwater. Science journalist Michael Price talks with host Sarah Crespi about making this connection and what it means for water-deprived fault areas like the Sea of Galilee and the state of California. Also this week, Sarah talks with graduate student Adrian Baez-Ortega from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom’s Transmissible Cancer Group about the genome of a canine venereal cancer that has been leaping from dog to dog for about 8000 years. By comparing the genomes of this cancer from dogs around the globe, the researchers were able to learn more about its origins and spread around the world. They also discuss how such a long-lived cancer might help them better understand and treat human cancers. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Science Sessions podcast from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast

July 25 2019

Breeding better bees, and training artificial intelligence on emotional imagery

Imagine having a rat clinging to your back, sucking out your fat stores. That’s similar to what infested bees endure when the Varroa destructor mite comes calling. Some bees fight back, wiggling, scratching, and biting until the mites depart for friendlier backs. Now, researchers, professional beekeepers, and hobbyists are working on ways to breed into bees these mite-defeating behaviors to rid them of these damaging pests. Host Sarah Crespi and Staff Writer Erik Stokstad discuss the tactics of, and the hurdles to, pesticide-free mite control. Also this week, Sarah talks to Philip Kragel of the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado in Boulder about training an artificial intelligence on emotionally charged images. The ultimate aim of this research: to understand how the human visual system is involved in processing emotion. And in books, Kate Eichorn, author of The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media, joins books host Kiki Sanford to talk about how the monetization of digital information has led to the ease of social media sharing and posting for kids and adults. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF)  Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Steve Baker/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

July 18 2019

Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors, and the secret to dark liquid dances

Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors? Studies of behavior and biomarkers have suggested the stress of harsh conditions or family separations can be passed down, even beyond one’s children. Journalist Andrew Curry joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a possible mechanism for this mode of inheritance and mouse studies that suggest possible ways to reverse the effects. Spiky, pulsating ferrofluids are perpetual YouTube stars. The secret to these dark liquid dances is the manipulation of magnetic nanoparticles in the liquid by external magnets. But when those outside forces are removed, the dance ends. Now, researchers writing in Science have created permanently magnetic fluids that respond to other magnets, electricity, and pH by changing shape, moving, and—yes—probably even dancing. Sarah Crespi talks to Thomas Russell of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst about the about the applications of these squishy, responsive magnets. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast

July 11 2019

The point of pointing, and using seabirds to track ocean health

You can learn a lot about ocean health from seabirds. For example, breeding failures among certain birds have been linked to the later collapse of some fisheries. Enriqueta Velarde of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what these long-lived fliers can tell us about the ocean and its inhabitants. Also this week, Sarah and Cathal O’Madagain of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris discuss pointing—a universal human gesture common to almost all children before age 1. They discuss why pointing matters, and how this simple gesture may underlie humans’ amazing ability to collaborate and coordinate. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on the show: Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: C. O’Madagain et al., Science Advances 2019; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
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