Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup has its usual eclectic mix of items from pH pens to Mark Twain. My two favorites this week are How Your PR Can Seize the Day and 50 Fancy Words. The New York Times compiled a list of the words that stumped their readers most. You’d be surprised at what turned up. Do you know what “cynosure” means? Neither did I. To find out, head over to 50 Fancy Words.

  • pH Testing Pen. “Genealogists are advised to record information destined for long-term storage onto acid-free paper. One question: how can you tell if the paper is acid free?…Luckily, a pH Testing Pen can answer all those questions. Best of all, it only costs $3 to $6 or so.”
  • 50 Fancy Words. “…for our [New York Times] online readers, help is readily available. Double-click any word in an article and a question mark appears; click the question mark and you get a definition from the American Heritage dictionary… my colleague James Robinson, with help from Jeremy Safran, once again compiled a list of the 50 words that most often stumped the world’s most brilliant newspaper readers.”
  • Preserving their voices: S.L. County hospice records patients’ stories. “Since the Memory Catcher program started earlier this year at Silverado, a handful of volunteers have recorded the stories of terminal patients for about 15 families, said volunteer Eileen Allen, who interviewed the Pruitts for their father’s history. It’s a free service offered by Silverado, which houses the hospice center for Alzheimer’s patients.”
  • Group Genealogy Is Fun! 5 Upcoming Conferences. “Where can you combine family history research, learning and socializing into one neat and satisfyingly exhausting package? Genealogy conferences, of course—just ask the people still basking in the afterglow of last weekend’s Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree. Consider attending one of these upcoming events:”
  • How Steve Jobs beats presentation panic. “Steve Jobs had a serious and embarrassing Wi-Fi problem to deal with. It was plain to the thousands in attendance and the tons more people watching online: On Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs was struggling with wireless connectivity while attempting to demonstrate the new features of Apple’s iPhone 4.”
  • How Your PR Can Seize the Day. “The best PR programs often leverage a company’s best assets, its subject matter experts, by seizing and capitalizing on the news of the day. I call this Carpe Diem PR. Absent new company developments, the key for any company is to secure frequent, meaningful media mentions and buzz, by finding natural ways to make the company part of an already existing news cycle or trend.” [Thanks to Catherine McCrum of Heartistic Reflections for alerting me to this item.]
  • Mark Twain’s Tribute to Daughter Sells for $242,500. “The unpublished Family Sketch was a 64-page, handwritten manuscript that Twain wrote around 1896 or 1897 for Olivia “Susy” Clemens, who inspired some of his stories and even wrote her own biography of her father. The document also reminisced about his own childhood and was described as the missing chapter of his autobiography.”

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