Google search’s next phase: context is king – The Verge

Google says search is still far from solved

By Dieter Bohn@backlon Sep 29, 2021, 1:42pm EDT

Google Lens will let users search using images and refine their query with text.
Image: Google

At its Search On event today, Google introduced several new features that, taken together, are its strongest attempts yet to get people to do more than type a few words into a search box.

By leveraging its new Multitask Unified Model (MUM) machine learning technology in small ways, the company hopes to kick off a virtuous cycle: it will provide more detail and context-rich answers, and in return it hopes users will ask more detailed and context-rich questions.

The end result, the company hopes, will be a richer and deeper search experience.

Source: Google search’s next phase: context is king – The Verge

Opening the Treasure Chest: National Silent Movie Day | Now See Hear! | Library of Congress

September 29, 2021 by Stacie Seifrit-Griffin

Mary Pickford, Library of Congress

Today we celebrate National Silent Movie Day by opening the treasure chest and sharing some of the resources that the Library of Congress offers to research and expand your interest in these classic and iconic motion pictures.

The American silent feature film era lasted from 1912 to 1929 with nearly 11,000 feature films produced, but sadly today, more than 70% are believed to be completely lost and gone forever.

The Library of Congress has the largest single collection of American silent feature films in the world, although many important titles are also held at other national institutions and universities.

Source: Opening the Treasure Chest: National Silent Movie Day | Now See Hear!

Battleship N.C. turns 60, looks ahead to more decades in Wilmington | Wilmington StarNews

By John Staton, Wilmington StarNews, September 29, 2021

From article…

In 1961, the struggling, railroad-abandoned town of Wilmington, North Carolina, was a vastly different place than the growing, film-industry-saturated city we live in in 2021.

Charting all of the changes in the Port City over the past six decades would be a story unto itself. As steeped in history as Wilmington is, however, in that time there have been plenty of constants, and one has been the enduring presence of the Battleship North Carolina.

Since it first arrived, to much fanfare and more than 100,000 onlookers, on Oct. 2, 1961, the Battleship has been moored in its current spot on the west bank of the Cape Fear River across from downtown Wilmington.

It was dedicated on April 29, 1962, as a memorial to the more than 10,000 North Carolinians who died fighting in World War II. For the past 60 years, the 728-foot, de-commissioned Navy vessel has been not only a vital part of the downtown Wilmington skyline, but also its economy, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year, including nearly 200,000 since Oct. 1 of last year.

Source: Battleship N.C. turns 60, looks ahead to more decades in Wilmington

The Superstars Align for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ Opening Gala | Vanity Fair

A set by Lady Gaga, toasts by Tom Hanks and Nicole Kidman, and more make for a night to remember in L.A

By Britt Hennemuth, Photography by Greg Williams, September 26, 2021

Lady Gaga, Photograph by Greg Williams / courtesy Academy Museum Foundation.

After nearly a decade of anticipation, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open on Thursday, September 30, in Los Angeles.

To toast the occasion on Saturday night, a room of Covid-compliant Oscar winners, history-makers, and hopefuls took a trip down the green carpet, a right past Dorothy’s ruby slippers, and a left under a massive fiberglass shark from Jaws, before crossing over the Barbra Streisand bridge to the top floor of the Renzo Piano-designed glass dome for the Opening Night Gala.

Creative director Lisa Love and Artistic Director Raul Ávila transformed the 360 degree vista into a modern Cocoanut Grove complete with 30 palm trees, a band stand, and a fleet of horns.

The evening recalled the Golden Age of Hollywood, and included toasts by Tom Hanks, Laura Dern, Bob Iger, Annette Bening, Ava DuVernay, Nicole Kidman, and Ted Sarandos. Admission (seats sold for upwards of $50,000) raised money for the museum’s access, education, and programming initiatives, and honored the Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima and Italian supernova Sophia Loren, with help from co-chairs DuVernay, Jason Blum, and Ryan Murphy.

The host committee included industry titans Spike Lee, Brian Lourd, Ralph Lauren, Barry Diller, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Vanity Fair’s own Radhika Jones, as well as the museum’s director, Bill Kramer, and its Chief Artistic and Programming officer, Jacqueline Stewart.

Source: The Superstars Align for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ Opening Gala | Vanity Fair

Monarch butterflies are being wiped out. These combat veterans are trying to save them | NBC News

Guardian Grange looks to provide a safety net for veterans while teaching them about conservation, sustainability and regenerative agriculture.

Sept. 25, 2021, 3:00 AM PDT / Updated Sept. 25, 2021, 6:08 AM PDT
By Denise Chow

Sebastian Schell, Joe Sarapochillo, former Navy SEAL Mark Matzeldelaflor and Ole Schell on Ole’s ranch in Bolinas, Calif., on Sept. 12. Part of the 206-acre ranch is dedicated to a butterfly preserve.Clara Mokri for NBC News

When Mark Matzeldelaflor left the military more than a decade ago, he spent years searching for something that filled him with the same sense of purpose as being a Navy SEAL.

After serving a couple tours in Iraq, including as an elite sniper, he returned home and took up odd jobs — “just wandering and doing random stuff to make some money to pay the rent,” he said. Then, on a whim, he said that he tried “magic mushrooms” for the first time with a friend and that the psychedelic awakened in him a new resolve.

“I just reconnected to nature and my past, where I was like a kid in the woods,” Matzeldelaflor said. “And I realized there’s so much healing in being outside in nature, getting your hands in the dirt and doing good work.”

. . .

One of the organization’s first major initiatives is to help construct a preserve for Western monarch butterflies, a pollinator species that has been pushed to the brink of extinction in recent years due to habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change.

Source: Monarch butterflies are being wiped out. These combat veterans are trying to save them.

Times Are Changing: COVID-19 and Library Late Fees | Book Riot

By Tika Viteri, Sep 24, 2021

From article…

Almost any reader with a library card will be familiar with the concept of library fines.

Developing the ability able to return my books on time and not incur a fine was basically the only reason I ever learned to read a calendar as a child. Here is where I confess that despite having a calendar of my very own, I was still terrible at returning books on time and often spent my entire allowance on fines.

Libraries have been collecting fines since at least the late 1800s, originally using them to generate revenue for the library and also, in an example of strict father morality, to punish those who cannot adhere to arbitrary timelines.

When researching for this article, I was surprised to learn that research on going fine-free has been published since as far back as the 1970s. Similar to other movements involved with equality and equity, it took several decades — and in this case, a global pandemic — to put the idea across the finish line.

Source: Times Are Changing: COVID-19 and Library Late Fees