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Alexis Lloyd brings up a solid point with the unveiling of an archival tool she developed for The New York Times: "News publishing is an inherently ephemeral act." The tool itself is called Chronicle and it traces the usage of virtually any word or phrase one enters, as it appeared throughout the Times' now 162-year-old archive. You want to trace the history of, say, "war" and "peace"? Go for it. Hell, go crazy and specify the types of war. If the Times published the phrase, Chronicle will show you how many times.
Aside from tracking the history of viral dances, Chronicle is living, breathing virtual "first draft of history," as Lloyd puts it. It highlights the moments our cultural vernacular shifted from "football" to "soccer." When did rap really begin to take hold in pop culture? Chronicle knows that, and even when "hip-hop" started to overpower it.
Check it out for yourself here. It sure as hell beats whatever information those text books from yesteryear pandered to us. Plus, it's a minimalist's dream.