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Genealogy This Week - 5 December 2009


Our weekly compilation of interesting new tools, resources and stories for genealogists:

Use a Map to Navigate the News – Some days it feels like there is so much going on in the world. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a map to help you navigate through all that news? Well, it turns out that there is a really cool website that can do exactly that for you. Called Newsmap, this is a great one-stop news site that is definitely worth checking out. Newsmap takes all the current news gathered by Google that is available on the internet, runs it through some sophisticated algorithms and visually maps all the top news of the day. A sample screenshot can be seen below.

image of a newsmap

The size of each box is proportional to the amount of coverage the news story is receiving in the media. Essentially, the larger the box appears then the more important the news story has become. You can click on any news headline to read the underlying story. You can also customize the news by country (the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a host of other countries is supported). You can even customize the news by category (business, sports, entertainment, etc.).

Everything on this site is done in real time so you never have to worry about missing the latest headlines. So, why not see some amazing technology in action and check out this site. It can be addictive! [Link]

How to Stay Safe on Facebook – The New York Times has written a great article on how to protect your privacy and stay safe on Facebook. Even if you don’t use Facebook, this is a good article to read to understand the risks of using social networking sites like Facebook. [Link]

Interesting Statistics About Facebook – If you are a Facebook user, this is a must read. This article provides a fascinating set of statistics about Facebook users such as how many fans you need to be popular (the answer is over 1,000) and what categories are the most popular. [Link]

Rare Chance to Look at the Culture of Old Europe – When you ask most people to list the great ancient civilizations, they will often say Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia, China and India. Did you know that Old Europe once had an ancient civilization that predates most of them? Not many people know about this forgotten civilization. You can read about it in this New York Times articles. [Link]

How the US Once Tried to Bail Out Thanksgiving – Here is a great genealogy trivia question: In what year did the US actually change the date of Thanksgiving to try to help bail out the economy? The answer is 1939 when President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving back an entire week. The objective was to allow merchants more time to try to sell more stuff before Christmas. And who thought the commercialization of Christmas was a recent phenomena? You can read all about the history of how the US government tried to bail out Thanksgiving in this interesting article. [Link]

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