Each 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 first Britains were actually black.
Contrary to the closely-held beliefs of Britons, their forebears were migrants. New analysis of a 10,000-year-old Somerset skeleton called “Cheddar Man” reveals the original British man was black with dark curly hair and even blue eyes. In an interview with the Telegraph, Dr Yoan Dieckmann, from University College London, who took part in the project, described why our perception of history is always changing.
Dr. Dieckmann said: “This historical perspective tells you that things change, things are in flux, and what may seem as a cemented truth that people who feel British should have white skin, through time is not at all something that is an immutable truth. It has always changed and will change’.”
“The Machiavelli of nonviolence” has died at age 90.
The intellectual god-father of the international peace movement was known for transcending academia and becoming the political backbone for many an uprising, including the recent Arab Spring in 2011. The Washington Post’s obituary looks at the life of a peacemaker.
“Dr. Shap saw himself as a pragmatist who advised specific actions such as “sick-ins,” mockery of authoritarian rulers and declining to use officially sanctioned currency.”
Holographic light beamed directly into the retina is the latest advance in augmented reality.
Where Google Glass failed, Intel has picked up the pace by painting images in front of your eyes. In this video from The Verge, technology journalist shows us how the company’s new augmented reality glasses use a low-powered laser to directly beam information into your retina.
“They look normal and feel light, and they’re designed to one thing – beam a holographic light into your eye. And if you’re not looking slightly down, you wouldn’t even notice it.”
Director Agnès Varda sends cardboard cutouts of herself to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The 89-year old director, whose film “Faces Places” is nominated for Best Documentary Feature, sent 2-D renderings of her visage to the academy. One of these cut-outs includes her pet cat. In an additional interview with the Press Association, she said it was nice to be nominated but it was “nothing to be proud of”.
The Guardian’s satirical daily briefing on news event Pass Notes, explains why everyone should love the veteran filmmaker, and advises how one should act, on the off chance you were faced with the bizarre situation:
“Do say: ‘It was really great to meet you, Agnes! You’re such an amazing listener. Don’t say: ‘That’s lovely, Ms Varda. Now let’s try one in profile.”
A visual guide to the West Village’s slowly-disappearing past.
Photojournalist Ben Fractenberg wanted to understand why there were so many empty stores in New York’s West Village, despite the sky-high rents suggesting landlords should be batting businesses away. Part photo essay, part oral history, this Medium post chronicles the demise of independent businesses.”‘Amazon, that’s the biggest attack on every store,’ one store owner said. ‘Now we’re threatened because of the Internet.’”
Facebook’s algorithms are stamping out underground music culture.
The British music site The Quietus investigates the independent music scene’s struggles with the social media titan. Mollie Zhang interviews various artists on the new reality of creating music in an algorithmic system and if they’ve found themselves chasing likes instead of making music.
“’But these platforms only offer you free access to their networks because your participation is where their profits come from,” says William Osiecki who helps to run the Stack Your Roster label. “Paying Facebook amounts to an approval of their dangerous centralization of internet traffic. It’s been difficult [to gain traction without using it], but I don’t think Facebook is particularly useful for reaching people’.”
Daily Critical Dictionary
Coined by the author Eli Kintisch, it refers to a group of North American scientists engaged in geoengineering research who are suspicious of the UN and despise regulation.