Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup, don’t miss I Will always be there with you. If you teach Ethical Will writing or are thinking of composing your own, this letter from an American soldier is a must read.  Given the recent destruction brought on by Hurricane Sandy, you’ll find some timely advice in Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers. Finally, someone has touched on what is missing for me with an e-reader. If you feel the same, take a moment to read Out of Touch: E-reading isn’t reading.

  • Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook. “As a lover — and keeper — of diaries and notebooks, I find myself returning again and again to the question of what compels us — what propels us — to record our impressions of the present moment in all their fragile subjectivity. From Joan Didion’s 1968 anthology Slouching Towards Bethlehem (public library — the same volume that gave us her timeless meditation on self-respect — comes a wonderful essay titled “On Keeping a Notebook,” in which Didion considers precisely that.”
  • Social Media Isn’t Dead: It’s Boring. “Social media are a set of tools. They’re not all that interesting to talk about in and of themselves. The “gee whiz” has left the station. We want to talk about action– or if you’ll pardon the self-reference, impact. There are details and technologies you must master if you want to succeed. But that’s the keyboard-level and tactical part of what you’ll do. We wanted to give you something more encompassing.The strategies around and behind The Impact Equation boil down to 5 Cs.”
  • Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers. [National Archives] “During the mid-west floods of 1993, the staff of the National Archives developed some technical tips to guide individuals in emergency stabilization and salvage of damaged documents, photographs, books, and other personal papers. It is important to note that flood damage to some items may be irreversible. The treatment of objects of high monetary, historic, or sentimental value should only be performed in consultation with a conservator.”
  • New eBook: Bring Your Ancestors to Life Using Newspapers. “ has announced a new e-book by Paul Larsen called Bring Your Ancestors to Life Using Newspapers. The announcement for the new book states, “Archived newspapers allow you to tap into a reliable source of hundreds of years of history, and give you the remarkable ability to see it through eyewitness accounts. You can easily explore your family tree and bring your family history to life for free using historical newspapers… if you know where to look.”
  • Out of Touch: E-reading isn’t reading. “Amid the seemingly endless debates today about the future of reading, there remains one salient, yet often overlooked fact: Reading isn’t only a matter of our brains; it’s something that we do with our bodies.”
  • Google engineer builds $1,500 page-turning scanner out of sheet metal and a vacuum. “For the past eight years, Google has been working on digitizing the world’s 130 million or so unique books. While the pace of new additions to the Google Books initiative has been slowing down, members of the team have come up with a new automated scanner design that could both make the project much more cost efficient and give everyone with $1,500 and a little know-how access to a page-turning scanner of their very own. In the video below, Google Books engineer Dany Qumsiyeh presents the prototype design that he and other teammates created during the “20 percent time” that Google (and now Apple, among others) allocates for personal projects, showing the design challenges he overcame along the way.”
  • I Will always be there with you. On May 1st of 2003, just weeks after being deployed to Iraq, Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, of Springfield, Missouri was killed when his tank fell into the Euphrates river. He was 34-years-old. Shortly after his death, the following farewell letter was delivered to his bereaved wife, Melissa, and his 6-year-old stepson, Dakota (“Toad”).

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