Laura Poitras's Astro Noise: indispensable book and gallery show about mass surveillance

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Laura Poitras is the Macarthur-winning, Oscar-winning documentarian who made Citizenfour. Her life has been dogged by government surveillance and harassment, and she has had to become a paranoid OPSEC ninja just to survive. Read the rest

500 hours of random VHS recordings condensed to five minutes

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Bob Jaroc used to obsessive record long stretches of random TV on VHS cassettes. Read the rest

New York Public Library does the public domain right

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The New York Public Library is aggressively digitizing the public domain works in its collections, adding high-quality machine-readable metadata to each of the hundreds of thousands of assets, providing an API, offering residencies to remixers who do interesting things with the collection, and offering all those assets in high-rez with "No permission required. No restrictions on use." Read the rest

Walk through the incredible installation inside the Japan pavillion at Venice Biennale

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Last spring, we went to Venice to celebrate my wife's birthday and took a boat to the Biennale, which was pretty disappointing, with one notable exception: 'The Key in the Hand,' Chiharu Shiota's installation at the Japan pavilion, which took our breath away.

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Newly discovered WEB Du Bois science fiction story reveals more Afrofuturist history

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NAACP founder WEB Du Bois wasn't just a committed, effective activist for the rights of black people in America: he was also a prolific author of early 20th century science fiction and fantasy stories. Read the rest

Menus of the 1850s and 1860s

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The Hilton College of the University of Houston's Hospitality Industry Archives includes a wonderful selection of menus from the 1850s and 1860s. Read the rest

100 useful tips from a bygone era

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The Gallaher How to Do Its were a set of British 100 cigarette cards, each depicting and describing a 19th (?) century life-hack (the collection is undated). Read the rest

What happened to all the Star Trek hair? Shatner didn't take all of it home, did he?

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A 1968 memo from Paramount producer Robert Justman to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry reports on the sad state of the show's hairpieces, which had gone missing in great number. Read the rest

10,000 wax cylinders digitized and free to download

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The University of California at Santa Barbara library has undertaken an heroic digitization effort for its world-class archive of 19th and early 20th century wax cylinder recordings, and has placed over 10,000 songs online for anyone to download, stream and re-use.

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How TPP will clobber Canada's municipal archives and galleries of historical city photos

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Jesse writes, "Like you, I've been following the TPP news with much trepidation. My partner is a librarian-archivist, so I'm keenly away of how difficult copyright law can make the job of the average archivist. I put together a piece explaining how the TPP's copyright extension will hurt Canadian city archives, and the galleries of historical city photos we love so much." Read the rest

The next Librarian of Congress: a Librarian of Progress?

For the first time in 28 years, the Library of Congress is about to get a new Librarian, a person with enormous influence over the Internet and American life. Read the rest

1930s ice-cream parlour hidden in Cincinnati's art deco railway station

Cincinnati's gorgeous art deco Union Terminal houses many museums -- and a beautifully preserved 1930s ice-cream parlour serving locally made ice-cream. Read the rest

Apollo mission treasures from Neil Armstrong's attic

Spocko sez, "After Neil Armstrong's death his widow, Carol, discovered a white, cloth bag in a closet, containing flight and space related artifacts." Read the rest

Alan Turing's lost notes discovered as crumpled insulation in Bletchley Park huts

After the war ended, Churchill ordered all of Bletchley's work -- the computers, the notebooks -- destroyed, but some of Alan Turing's notes were discovered between the walls of Hut 6 during a recent renovation, and are now on display at Bletchley Park. Read the rest

Museums and the future history of the information age

Last spring, I gave the keynote address at the Museums and the Web conference in Florence, Italy, speaking in the glorious confines of the big room at the Palazzo Vecchio; the organizers were kind enough to put my talk online. It was very well-received at the time and lots of people have since asked where they could get it -- and here it is! Read the rest

$100K life-size T-Rex skeleton replica

It's 40' long from nose to tail, is composed of 190 bones, is billed as "museum grade" and comes with an assembly crew that will stage it in any "anatomically possible" pose. His name is Stan. Read the rest

UK cultural institutions leave their WWI cases empty to protest insane copyright

They want the term of copyright changed to life plus 70 years, instead of 2039 for unpublished works of uncertain date, a standard that makes it impossible to reproduce or display things like letters home from the front. Read the rest

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