News from the Internet Archive 0003: BitTorrent, Radiators, and The Atom Strikes!

No. 3, 7 August 2012

Brewster’s Report

The Internet Archive is now offering over 1,000,000 torrents including our live music concerts, the Prelinger movie collection, the librivox audio book collection, feature films, old time radio, lots and lots of books, and all new uploads from our patrons into Community collections (with more to follow).

BitTorrent is the now fastest way to download items from the Archive, because the BitTorrent client downloads simultaneously from two different Archive servers located in two different datacenters, and from other Archive users who have downloaded these Torrents already. The distributed nature of BitTorrent swarms and their ability to retrieve Torrents from local peers may be of particular value to patrons with slower access to the Archive, for example those outside the United States or inside institutions with slow connections.

For more information, read the full story.

—Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian

From the Archive’s Mailbox

I really appreciate the work that you’re doing, most notably, in the approach that you’re taking to digitizing historic books. The high quality reproductions of the illustrations in these titles are incredibly valuable for the research and writing that I’m doing. There’s a lot of material  I wouldn’t have if not for the Internet Archive. Further, there’s quite a bit more where I’d have something, but of much lower quality, if not for your work.

—Christopher Busta-Peck

Selected Collection: Global Lives Project

The Global Lives Project is collaboratively building a video library of human life experience that reshapes how we as both producers and viewers conceive of cultures, nations, and people outside of our own communities.

For example, this recording documents one day in Edith Kaphuka’s life. We see the thirteen-year-old student from Ngwale Village, Malawi fetching water, cleaning the dishes, and gardening. For those of us who don’t understand Chichewa, Malawi’s national language, many details are lost. In a way, the mystery is part of the charm of this glimpse into what for most of us is a very different way of life. And because of the work’s Creative Commons license, there’s nothing to prevent anyone from adding subtitles in another language.

Other Picks from the Archive

The Atom Strikes! (1945)

This film by the US Army Signal Corps Pictorial Service was filmed months after the first atomic bomb was used in warfare sixty-seven years ago yesterday.

For the most part, The Atom Strikes! looks like an engineering film examining the effects of the bomb on different types of structures. It’s almost surreal in that there are very few references to any human injuries. A German Jesuit in Hiroshima at the time was interrogated to find out how the Japanese people reacted to the attack(!). He explains, ” … we began to admire the skill of the Americans, and especially since the majestic B29s appeared over Tokyo, practically every Japanese admired the technical skill of the Americans.” The film contains actual footage of the nuclear explosion  over Nagasaki, apparently filmed from the B29 that dropped the bomb.

Of course, no one would expect dispassionate objectivity from military filmmakers months after the end of WWII. Similarly, you’ll find equally heavy-handed propagandizing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki: What People Experienced. Fast-forward through the first twenty minutes of punditry from 1985 and you’ll discover deeply disturbing imagery (you were warned) of radiation poisoning and worse from 1945.

— recommended by Roger Petersen

Half Hours in the Far North, Life Amid Snow and Ice

Dodd, Mead and Company published Half Hours in the Far North, Life Amid Snow and Ice in 1870. With arctic wildlife chock full of industrial pollutants and Greenland’s ice sheet melting at the fastest rate in recorded history, this book is even more distant than the chronological years would suggest. It also features great engravings from the days before photographic reproduction was commercially viable.

— recommended by Kathleen Hansen

Radiators Live at Parrish Room on 21 April 2006.

If there’s such a thing as the New Orleans sound, it might be described as a mashup of the hear blues, jazz, Zydeco, soul, swamp rock, swing, with perhaps s splash of gospel. That’s also a fairly accurate description of what the New Orleans band the Radiators played for a third of a century. The group disbanded last year, but this 2006 recording captures them in fine fettle.

— recommended by Sarah Jefferson

What are your Archive favorites? Please suggest a link or two and a few words about why you appreciate your recommendation to:

—David Glenn Rinehart

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David Glenn Rinehart is an artist in residence at the Internet Archive as well as a cartoonist, composer, filmmaker, musician, and writer. His work is at and elsewhere.

One thought on “News from the Internet Archive 0003: BitTorrent, Radiators, and The Atom Strikes!

  1. Pingback: Libri, audio e film: un milione di file in più da scaricare legalmente grazie all’Internet Archive |

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