Monday’s Link Roundup.

Happy New Year! And another year of Monday’s Link Roundup with connections to stuff I like and I hope you’ll like too.  My selections are loosely based on items that I think will be of particular interest to those of you professionally involved in personal history, genealogy, and memoir. Enjoy!

  • Grierson: A Documentary About the Filmmaker Who Coined “Documentary” “Grierson is a 1973 documentary about the father of documentary by Canadian filmmaker Roger Blais, now free online in its entirety courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada. Through archival footage, interviews with people who knew him, and footage of Grierson himself, Blais paints a lively and fascinating portrait of a man who was concerned not only with documentary film as an art form but also as a powerful tool of democracy.”
  • VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Scanner. “The Wand [is]a portable scanner—one of the most portable available. If you need to scan on the go, and don’t want to be weighted down with hardware, that alone makes it worth considering.”
  • Top 10 Photoshop Tricks You Can Use Without Buying Photoshop. “You can do just about anything to an image with Photoshop, but if you don’t have the cash to shell out, free program the GIMP—available for Windows, Linux, and OS X—can take you pretty far. Here are our favorite Photoshop how-tos that also work in the GIMP.”
  • Errol Morris: Two Essential Truths About Photography. “In this video created by the Guardian, writer and award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris talks about the nature of truth, art, and propaganda in photography. He draws examples from the photographs of Abu Ghraib and the Crimean War, both cited in his book Believing is Seeing, and he asks the viewer to consider a most fundamental question: how does a photograph relate to the physical world? Unlike a verbal or written statement, a photograph cannot be true or false. It simply is.”
  • 12 Tips for the Year of the Memoir! “During breaks in your holiday celebrations, get ready for the Year of the Memoir–2012! Here’s a tip for each month, or you can try one a day for the 12 days of Christmas.”
  • The New York Times “The Lives They Lived”. ” The Lives They Lived is not a greatest-hits issue. Instead, we gravitated to those lives with an untold tale. For storytelling expertise, we enlisted Ira Glass and his team from “This American Life” to edit a special section devoted to ordinary people. And through social media, we put out a request to readers for pictures of loved ones. Samples of the hundreds of submissions we received are beautiful evidence that every life is a story worth remembering.”
  • How to Increase Your Focus. “I confess to being as prone to the distractions of the Internet as anyone else: I will start reading about something that interests me and disappear down the rabbit hole for hours (even days) at a time. But my ability to focus on a single task has dramatically improved, and that one habit has changed my life.”

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