About Jenny Bleiholder

Senior GIS Specialist, Office of Safety Operations, Alabama Department of Transportation

Scientists Show Humans May Share a ‘Musical Grammar’

From Smithsonian Magazine by Theresa Machemer

“No matter where you are, a bop is a bop. Whether a melody makes people get up and dance, soothes their sadness, fall in love, or lull them to sleep, similar rhythms and tones make music a universal language, as the saying goes. Now, there might be science to back it up.

 

To better understand the similarities in music that could provide insight into its biological roots, a team of researchers focused on music with lyrics. They started by looking at ethnographic descriptions of music in 315 cultures worldwide, all of which featured vocal music, before analyzing musical recordings from 60 well-documented cultures, according to a study published in the journal Science.”

 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scientists-show-humans-may-share-musical-grammar-180973653/

 

New Google Earth Feature Lets Users Listen to Endangered Indigenous Languages From Around the World

From Mental Floss by Michele Debczak:

According to UNESCO, at least half of all languages spoken around the world are on track to disappear by the end of this century. Most of these languages are spoken by indigenous populations whose number of native speakers get smaller with each generation. New technology can help preserve these native tongues: A social media campaign launched in 2013 aimed to preserve the Sami language of northern Europe, and a 2016 interactive web game focused on the Marra language of aboriginal Australians. The latest of these efforts comes from Google Earth, and it promotes not one, but 50 threatened languages.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/596927/google-earth-lets-users-listen-to-endangered-indigenous-languages

‘Many people can’t find themselves on a map,’ laments Alabama meteorologist

From the Washington Post by Jason Samenow:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/04/15/many-people-cant-find-themselves-map-laments-alabama-meteorologist/?fbclid=IwAR11cWbA6GoaE7-pLMJgMjJ0tcrDWh1syF3NW3ovb04vWjJXLhGUxHEY5ak&noredirect=on&utm_term=.ce2c24c4c1eb

Down here in the Southeastern part of the United States we are often at the mercy of tornados. Our local weatherman, James Spann, and many others are trying to keep the communities safe. Their primary concern is geographical awareness – Can you find your current location on a map? This is critical knowledge when people often have less than a minute to find shelter. My question to all of our readers of Jugraphia Slate is – Do you see a lack of geographical awareness in your part of the world? — Jenny

How First Ladies on Opposing Sides of the Civil War Forged an Unlikely Bond

From Atlas Obscura by Hadley Meares:

They were both former first ladies. But the similarities between Julia Grant and Varina Davis didn’t end there. The two elderly widows were both born in 1826 to slave-owning Southern families. Both had keen intellects and literary aspirations, and spoke in soft, low voices. They had spent their lives following and supporting their high-ranking husbands, subsuming their identities in the expected fashion throughout their marriages.

Now that their respective husbands had died, each widow was experiencing a personal renaissance. But their unexpected meeting in 1893 sent shock waves through Gilded Age America. For Varina and Julia had publicly–and iconically–represented opposite sides of the recent and raw American Civil War. “

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-first-ladies-on-opposing-sides-of-the-civil-war-forged-an-unlikely-bond

Pompeii Had Some Intense Rush Hour Traffic Too

From Forbes by Sarah Bond:

“In a new book out this month, Pompeii archaeologist Eric Poehler uncovers the traffic patterns within the ancient Italian city. By examining the small scratches, ruts and potholes along the streets of the city, Poehler has brought new knowledge of how carts, wagons and people used and interacted with the streets of the classical city every day. The historic growth of a city’s roadsystem is itself a reflection of the ideas, ideals, laws and people that pulsed within a community and the economy that underpinned it.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/drsarahbond/2017/10/16/pompeii-had-some-intense-rush-hour-traffic-too/

Giving Dead Migrants a Name

From Scientific American by Barbie Latza Nadeau:

“By pushing forensics to its limits, a courageous scientist is attempting to identify the badly decomposed remains of 700 people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.”

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/giving-dead-migrants-a-name/

 

A Fantasy Subway Map of Ancient Roman Roads

From The Atlantic CITILAB by John Metcalfe:

“They say all roads lead to Rome, but they also lead outward to a number of intriguing places. There’s Antinoopolis in northern Africa, Londinium in what we now know as the U.K., and—should funding from the mighty Emperor Hadrian arrive—the yet-built Panticapaeum station along the Pontus Euxinus, or Black Sea.

Or so says this wonderfully thought-out fantasy transit map from Sasha Trubetskoy, showing the major thoroughfares of the Roman Empire circa 125 A.D. as dozens of stops along multicolored subway lines. Trubetskoy, who when not dabbling in history has explored the judgmental cartography of the Bay Area, started poking into the idea after noticing there was a dearth of good maps of Rome’s old road network, let alone train-themed ones. So he decided to go for it, pouring about 50 hours of research and design work into his sprawling “Roman Roads.” ”

https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/06/a-fantasy-transit-map-of-the-roads-of-ancient-rome/529404/?utm_source=nl__link6_060817

Thank you, Duane, for pointing out this article. — Jenny

 

Indonesia’s Trying to Figure Out How Many Islands It Contains

From Smithsonian Magazine by Erin Blakemore:

“How many islands are in Indonesia? You might think that the answer “a lot” is a bit glib, but it turns out that the Republic of Indonesia itself doesn’t really know, either. The nation of many islands consists of so many small land masses that they have never been officially counted. Until now: As the BBC reports, Indonesia is embarking on an ambitious island census.”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/indonesias-trying-figure-out-how-many-islands-it-contains-180963606/

New Online Database Catalogues 20,000 Threatened Archaeological Sites

From Smithsonian Magazine by Brigit Katz:

“The endangered archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa Database includes an interactive map and a detailed search function.”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-online-database-catalogues-20000-threatened-archaeological-sites-180963451/