Every day Document has an agenda: news from the underread corners of the world, and the web, that might not end up crossing your path. Discoveries, curiosities, essential cultural dispatches—with this information, go forth.


The World

Iran’s first and only female conductor plays on state television.

Nezhat Amiri has spent 38-years fighting for her right to be recognized as a female performer. Last month, she conducted a 71-member orchestra performing at Tehran’s most prestigious concert hall. In her home country of Iran, where it is considered taboo for state TV to show musical instruments and women are not allowed to sing solo, Nezhat spoke with The Guardian about her landmark show, and why she’s tired of fighting the regime.

“There’s a fatigue. How many times can you continue knocking on a closed door? How many years can you remain silent and not talk about your sorrow? When sorrow becomes public, it needs a public remedy, too.”


The Mind

Hospital dramas are warping the way people perceive trauma care.

Everyone knows life isn’t a movie, but why do we often think otherwise? People naturally veer towards resolutions, learnings, good versus evil and other obvious storytelling tropes, but it can lead to unrealistic expectations. In a new study published by the Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open, scientists compared the first twelve seasons of Greys Anatomy to the National Trauma Databank, to find out why real-life emergency care doesn’t always mirror what we have in our minds.

“The death rate was 3 times higher in Grey’s Anatomy than in real life (22% compared with 7%), and most (71%) of the TV patients went straight from emergency care to the operating theatre, whereas only one in four (25%) of the databank patients did so. Among the survivors of TV trauma, only around 1 in 20 (6%) were transferred to a long-term care facility—significantly lower than the proportion of actual patients (22%). Among the seriously injured, half of the fictional patients spent less than a week in hospital, whereas only one in five (20%) of real-life patients did so.”


The Future

The lost heat of small motion can be converted into energy with conductive paint.

Heat is a natural by-product of movement and friction. It is one of the largest underutilized energy sources in the world—and it is regularly unused. It happens when you exercise, when your laptop has been on for too long, and even when you draw a line with a pencil. Now, scientists have found a new way of turning this totally redundant by-product into energy, using conductive paint.

“These simple constituents might be able to be used in the future to print thermoelectric components onto paper that are extremely inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and non-toxic. Such tiny and flexible components could also be used directly on the body and could use body heat to operate small devices or sensors.”



President Macron of France signals a new era of returning heritage artifacts to its rightful owners.

France’s colonial past has littered the country’s museums and public collections with some of the world’s most ancient, important and beautiful objects. But is that where they rightfully belong? In a piece by Bénédicte Savoy, which originally appeared in Le Mode but has been republished in English by The Art Newspaper, the French academic looks at small act of penance being made by Macron and his returning  of African artifacts to the lands from which they were stolen.

“I am from a generation of the French people for whom the crimes of European colonialism are undeniable and make up part of our history,” Macron said, adding: “In the next five years, I want the conditions to be created for the temporary or permanent restitution of African patrimony to Africa.”



Sotheby’s buys image recognition technology so that who lack taste, but have a budget, can discover artworks.

It’s almost impossible to know every single piece of artwork out there, but art buyers have to get as close to that as possible. Now a new piece of technology can do that all for you. Thread Genius is a piece of image recognition software that asks you what you like and shows you similar pieces of work. The Telegraph has profiled the technology to see if it’s the future of taste.

“The super-rich get special one-to-one personal advice at Sotheby’s, but if you want something that looks like a Basquiat or a Warhol for 1/100th the price, then they want to help you too. By using artificial intelligence and image-recognition capabilities, it could also advise what kind of watch would fit your taste, or furniture for your living space, saving you the labor of trudging around galleries, or endlessly surfing the internet.”



A new bot attempts to determine if all of those insane tweets actually belong to Trump. 

With Twitter being the president’s primary mouthpiece to the electorate, it’s important to determine if his tweets are being written by him or one of his political aids. A new Twitter bot has been built to analyze the finger-tapping commander-in-chief. In this Medium post, the bot’s creator explains how he uncovered telltale signs of a trademark Trump tweet.

“Data science can sometimes be more art than science. To start off my model, I first thought about how I as a human would identify a tweet as Trumpian. I then did my best to translate these “feelings” into rule-based code. Some obvious quirks, for example, that can identify if Trump himself is behind the keyboard are an abuse of ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in his tweets, Randomly Capitalizing Specific Words, or gratuitous! use of exclamation points!!!!!

“In fact, one of the most influential features in my model was what I came to refer to as the quoted retweet. Trump, it seems, does not know how to retweet someone on Twitter. In the entire corpus of 33,000 tweets, there is only one single proper retweet that comes from an Android device. Instead, Trump copies someone else’s tweet, @mentions the user and surrounds the tweet in quotation marks, then posts it himself.”