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University of Michigan School of Information


Fun Size for 1/6/23: Google’s top local searches for 2022

Taxonomist for the Times

Jennifer Parucci, senior taxonomist for The New York Times, shares some of her favorite finds in her job indexing the Gray Lady’s 171-year-old archives. Even the Times can’t resist quirky human interest stories like a lemonade-sipping burglar or a child who tried to mail the family cat to Santa.

There’s life in the old dog yet

Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. At least, that’s the goal of a U.K. start-up developing video games for dogs in hopes of keeping those aging dog brains active and avoiding canine dementia. While the games are still in prototype, Axios reports Joipaw’s founder is dreaming big: “I can totally imagine dog esports,” he says.

More best things are free 

Each January, another collection of copyrighted material enters the public domain. The Internet Archive welcomes a selection of new material published in 1927 and now free to copy, alter and share. Notable works include the first “talkie,” The Jazz Singer; the complete Sherlock Holmes; and sheet music for “The Best Things in Life Are Free.” Mark your calendar for January 19 and celebrate Public Domain Day online.

LOC’s classic movies 

Each year, the Library of Congress adds 25 films to its National Film Registry. Films are selected based on their cultural, historic and/or aesthetic importance, and must be at least 10 years old. This year’s winners include The Little Mermaid, Hairspray and an 1898 Mardi Gras parade. The video announcement, well worth watching, includes Billy Crystal’s background on that scene in When Harry Met Sally.

What you need, Google’s got it 

Google can meet almost any need, even if you just need an entertaining distraction, like an interactive tool that identifies Google’s top searches by location in 2022. This is where you’ll learn that Chicago and Detroit tied in looking for Happy Hour Near Me, and the good people of Cedar Rapids, IA, topped everyone seeking dogs for adoption. Pick your own favorite city and see what they wanted most in 2022.

Tiny desk concert 

Here’s a neat little collaboration between Google’s Arts & Culture and Deutsche Grammophon. Using machine learning, scientists analyzed the rhythms in Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas so that any rhythm tapped on a keyboard is matched to a snatch of sonataTry it here. If you like your composition, you can listen to how Beethoven finished it.

TikTok takedown? 

In July, the FCC commissioner asked Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores (they didn’t), claiming the Chinese-owned company was harvesting swathes of consumer data. Now the U.S. Congress has the popular app in its sights; some members have drafted legislation to ban TikTok in the U.S. for goodaccording to ArsTechnica. And not just TikTok, but any social media owned by perceived foreign adversaries to the U.S. Thank goodness Twitter is safe.

Data science: Its promise and perils 

The state of data science today is the subject of a book recently published by four prominent data scientists, including two from Columbia University. The Columbia News interviewed Jeannette Wing and Chris Wiggins about the origins of Data Science in Context and what they consider to be the single biggest promise of data science today.

Bot or not?  

Creative writing MFAs, unemployed actors, opera singers with rent due, despair not. Perhaps you, like Laura Preston, can find employment as a real estate chat-bot’s human backup, or as Laura says in her (well-written) Guardian essay, “a human pretending to be a chatbot pretending to be a human.”

A feast for the eyes 

Here’s a site likely to test those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or bolster resolutions to try something new. TasteAtlas has compiled the 100 best traditional dishes in the world for 2022. How did they determine the best? Who cares? Just dig in and enjoy.