Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finding Humor in Books


It was a horribly tense week here in Boston that started with the senseless loss of several lives and that ended, yesterday, with two more families mourning the loss of their loved ones. I'm thankful that members of my husband's family living near and in Watertown were able to sleep soundly last night, but am grieved for all whose lives will never be the same. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

I finally turned off the television and went searching for something to lift my spirits this a.m. and found this awesomely nerdy TED Talk given by two Harvard scholars, Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel. They discuss Google's mass digitization of the world's books and documents and how their historical record chronicles cultural trends (culturomics) through the number of times a word or phrase (n-grams) appears in text through history.

Although it made me chuckle, I was left wondering how what happened at the Boston Marathon and in Watertown this week will trend into the future.