Tag Archives: photography

Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

In this Monday’s Link Roundup, I really identified with Bibliocide. If you’re like me and have an old encyclopedia gathering dust, you’ll want to read this article. And have you ever wondered about whether e-mail sign offs  make sense in today’s electronic universe? Then check out You Say “Best.” I Say No.

  • What Happens to Publishers and Authors If a Used Ebook Market Becomes Legal? “Amazon has a patent to develop a market for used digital content. Apple has filed for a similar patent and ReDigi, a self-styled marketplace for used digital content, is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Capitol Records over the resale of digital music files. Basically, it looks like a used ebook marketplace might become a reality. For consumers, this could be very good news indeed. Imagine seeing on an ebook’s Kindle page a link that will take you to a sell page for the exact same product for half the price. Same ebook, same user experience, even lower cost. For publishers, this would undoubtedly be very bad news.”
  • Bibliocide. “They were mouldy, unread and long out of date. So why did I feel so bad about burning my Britannicas?”
  • You Say “Best.” I Say No. “Email signoffs are holdovers from a bygone era when letter writing—the kind that required ink and paper—was a major means of communication. The handwritten letters people sent included information of great import and sometimes functioned as the only communication with family members and other loved ones for months. In that case, it made sense to go to town, to get flowery with it. Then, a formal signoff was entirely called for. If you were, say, a Boston resident writing to his mother back home in Ireland in the late 19th century, then ending a correspondence with “I remain your ever fond son in Christ Our Lord J.C.,” as James Chamberlain did in 1891, was entirely reasonable and appropriate. But those times have long since passed.”
  • A Vanishing Past? “Can science save the daguerreotype, the first successful medium of photography?”
  • Clare Boothe Luce’s Advice to Her 18-Year-Old Daughter. “On November 24, 1942, Luce penned a letter to her 18-year-old daughter Ann, at the time a sophomore at Stanford, found in Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children (public library)– the same wonderful collection that gave us Sherwood Anderson’s timelessly poetic advice on the creative life to his teenage son. Amidst counsel on Ann’s first romantic relationship, Luce offers the following advice, which in some ways squarely contradicts and in others subtly seconds F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous advice to his daughter, and is at its heart the same manifesto for living with awareness and presence that Jackson Pollock received from his father.”
  • The loss of you lingers. “In 1989, 52-year-old Long Island resident Joan Cook Carpenter passed away after succumbing to breast cancer — a battle which she had chosen to keep from her loved ones until her final days. In 1999, a decade after Joan’s death, her 29-year-old daughter, Karin, wrote her the following letter.” [Thanks to Francie King of History Keep for alerting me to this item.]

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

In this Monday’s Link Roundup I want to introduce you to Aeon, a wonderful site I’ve just discovered. I’ve included two of its articles, Mortal remains and Sing the body unelectric. I think you’ll see why I’m excited by my discovery. And for some stunning photography, be sure to take a look at The 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.

  • The 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. “The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organisation, has recently announced its shortlist of winners. This year’s contest attracted more than 122,000 entries from 170 countries. The photographs are being judged in six different competition categories, including Professional, Open, and Student Focus. The organizers have been kind enough to share some of their shortlisted images with In Focus, gathered below. Winners are scheduled to be announced in March and April. “
  • Mortal remains. “The dead are no longer welcome at their own funerals. So how can the living send them on their way?”
  • Sellfy.  “…an e-commerce platform that enables anyone to sell digital products directly to their fans and followers using just a link. Whether it’s an e-book, music, video, photos, software, or any other type of digital content, just upload your product, enter the price and start selling on Twitter, Facebook or your own website. Sellfy takes care of file storage, payment processing and product delivery to the end customer.
  • Swabbing My Cheek For Deep Ancestry. “There’s family history and then there’s family history. I’m going deep. I just swabbed the inside of both my cheeks, put the swabs into a vial, and stuck them in a package, ready to zip it off to National Geographic’s Genographic Project.”
  • Sing the body unelectric. “No matter how much we like computers, consumerism, and sitting motionless in front of the TV, the human hand is our biggest love. Not to see anything made by hand, on a human scale, is a kind of death — like the prospect of never being touched again.”
  • People of Timbuktu save manuscripts from invaders. “For eight days after the Islamists set fire to one of the world’s most precious collections of ancient manuscripts, the alarm inside the building blared. It was an eerie, repetitive beeping, a cry from the innards of the injured library that echoed around the world.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

In today’s Monday’s Link Roundup, a must-read is Amnesia and the Self That Remains When Memory Is Lost. It’s a poignant recounting of the power of the self despite the ravages of a brain tumor. For book lovers, I can’t think of a better vacation than visiting The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World.  Care to join me? ;-) And for photographers, don’t miss 25 Amazing Things That Happened in Photo This Year.

  • The Darkling Thrush. “Hope is not an easy word to use well, in poetry or out of it. Evoking hope too easily can feel kind of glib or damp; saying there is none, though the opposite, can feel sentimental in a similar way. The right shade of belief and doubt can seem impossible to express. In his great poem for a new year, “The Darkling Thrush,” Thomas Hardy gets that kind of meaning right, I think. Hardy says he “could think” of a “blessed hope” of which he is “unaware.”
  • The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World. “With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world and bookstores closing left and right, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers of the world. After all, why would anyone leave the comfort of their couch to buy a book when with just a click of a button, they could have it delivered to their door? Well, here’s why: bookstores so beautiful they’re worth getting out of the house (or the country) to visit whether you need a new hardcover or not.”
  • Amnesia and the Self That Remains When Memory Is Lost. “Tom was one of those people we all have in our lives — someone to go out to lunch with in a large group, but not someone I ever spent time with one-on-one. We had some classes together in college and even worked in the same cognitive psychology lab for a while. But I didn’t really know him. Even so, when I heard that he had brain cancer that would kill him in four months, it stopped me cold.”
  • Ted Hughes on the Universal Inner Child, in a Moving Letter to His Son. “The analogy between the artist and the child is that both live in a world of their own making,” wrote Anaïs Nin in her diary in 1945. Four decades later, 23 years after Sylvia Plath took her own life at the age of 30, Ted Hughes (1930-1998) wrote to their 24-year-old son, Nicholas. The letter, found in Letters of Ted Hughes (public library), is superb in its entirety and a worthy addition to history’s finest fatherly advice,..”
  • The Best Google Features You’re Probably Not Using. “Google is a vast machine with all types of apps, programs, and tools. A lot of these—like Gmail and Google Docs—are clearly useful and beloved by many. But hidden inside Google’s network are some awesome, lesser-known gems that can make your life easier.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup, do yourself a favor and read My 6,128 Favorite Books.  It gives a whole new meaning to “avid reader”And for those of us who are trying to improve our marketing abilities check out How to Generate Attention and Interest. Forget the “elevator speech”.

  • Leo Baeck Institute Launches DigiBaeck German-Jewish History Archive. “Leo Baeck Institute (LBI), the premiere research library and archive devoted exclusively to documenting the history of German-speaking Jewry, has completed the digitization of its entire archive, which now provides free online access to primary source materials encompassing five centuries of Jewish life in Central Europe.”
  • Dropbox makes the easiest way to send photos. “Dropbox (site) adds a higher level of automation to digital-image sharing. All you have to do is snap the picture; if you’re connected to the Internet, Dropbox immediately uploads the image to its servers, then downloads it to a folder on your computer and to other Dropbox-capable devices. Once the photos are on your computer, sharing them with friends and family can be just as automatic.”
  • How to Generate Attention and Interest. “Someone asks you what you do and you respond with your best “elevator speech” but nobody seems to be interested. You write emails and marketing materials that seem to say the right thing, but very few people respond. You’re confused because you’ve targeted your market, talked about all your benefits and value and still you don’t get the response you want.”
  • 100 Ideas That Changed Photography. “[a]…concise and intelligent chronicle of the most seminal developments in the history of today’s most prevalent visual art. From technical innovations like the cyanotype (#12), the advent of color (#23), the Polaroid (#84), and moving pictures (#20) to paradigms like photojournalism (#66) and fabrication (#93) to new ways of looking at the world like aerial photography (#54), micro/macro (#55), and stopping time (#49), each of the ideas is accompanied by a short essay contextualizing its history and significance.”
  • My 6,128 Favorite Books. “I started borrowing books from a roving Quaker City bookmobile when I was 7 years old. Things quickly got out of hand. Before I knew it I was borrowing every book about the Romans, every book about the Apaches, every book about the spindly third-string quarterback who comes off the bench in the fourth quarter to bail out his team. I had no way of knowing it at the time, but what started out as a harmless juvenile pastime soon turned into a lifelong personality disorder.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Encore! Act Now to Save and Store Your Old Photos.

If you’re like me, you’ve inherited old photo albums with the pictures held down on so called magnetic pages. The trouble with these albums  is that the adhesive used and the plastic liners damage the photos over time. Removing the photos is a priority. I went looking for help and boiled my research down to these seven essential steps…Read more.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup don’t miss Can a photograph be true or false? It’s a a thought-provoking  interview with filmmaker Errol Morris. And if you want to improve your website’s credibility, and who doesn’t,  check out How to Improve Your Website Trust Factor.

  • The Ultimate History Project. “In recent years, an academic job crisis has led many highly trained historians to leave their profession.  The Ultimate History Project draws on the skills of many of these scholars, providing them with an opportunity to publish and promote their scholarship.  The Ultimate History Project also encourages faculty members to write for the general public and it provides a forum for academically trained historians to work alongside avid genealogists, independent historians, and collectors, enabling them all to collaborate and learn from one another.” [Thanks to Francie King of History Keep for alerting me to this item.]
  • Dead Again. “Two decades ago, the Book Review ran an essay, “The End of Books,” in which the novelist Robert Coover questioned whether print could survive the age of “video transmissions, cellular phones, fax machines, computer networks, and in particular out in the humming digitalized precincts of avant-garde computer hackers, cyberpunks and hyperspace freaks.” Was the book as “dead as God”? …Every generation rewrites the book’s epitaph; all that changes is the whodunit.”
  • Hints for Memoir Writers from Woody Allen. “A few months ago, I pulled a page from Bloomberg Businessweek. The article was called, “The Woody Allen School of Productivity” and the author was John Lopez. The premise was that there are valuable lessons in examining a career that has been as successful as Woody Allen’s. Between 1965 and 2012, 47 years, Allen has directed 43 films. Just about one a year…John Lopez researched Allen and came up with eight points. I’ve turned five of these into tips for memoir writers. With thanks to Lopez for this inspiration.”
  • The Last Pictures: A Time-Capsule of Humanity in 100 Images Sent into Space for Eternity. “Inspired by cave paintings, Sagan’s Golden Record, and nuclear waste warning signs, MIT artist-in-residence Trevor Paglen set out to create a collection of 100 images, commissioned by public art organization Creative Time, to be etched onto an ultra-archival, golden silicon disc and sent into orbit onboard the Echostar XVI satellite this month — at once a time-capsule of the present and a message to the future.”
  • How to Improve Your Website Trust Factor. “Is your website harming the trust and credibility of your business? Are people worried or put off when they visit you online? Could your site be working against you rather than working as a business asset? I’m sad to say that this is more common than we would like…The GOOD news is, a lot of the problem areas that cause mistrust or unease in your visitors are easy to fix. Check out these factors and see if improvements can be made in your own site:”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

If you’re looking for some good summer reading, this Monday’s Link Roundup has several suggestions. Be sure to check out ‘When Women Were Birds’ by Terry Tempest Williams and 10 of the Best Memoirs About Mothers. If you’re a Mad Men fan, and who isn’t, you’ll want to read Mad Men and Wonder Years: history, nostalgia, and life in The Sixties.

  • Carl Sagan on Books. “The love of books and the advocacy of reading are running themes around here, as is the love of Carl Sagan. Naturally, this excerpt from the 11th episode of his legendary 1980s Cosmos series, titled “The Persistence of Memory,” is making my heart sing in more ways than the universe can hold:”
  • Black history ‘undertaker’ loses treasures. “Nathaniel Montague spent more than 50 of his 84 years chasing history, meticulously collecting rare and one-of-a-kind fragments of America’s past. Slave documents. Photographs. Signatures. Recordings.”
  • Arnaud Maggs: One of the most remarkable careers in Canadian art. “It was when Maggs started fishing around in French flea markets in the 1990s, however, that his obsessive collecting and arithmetic ordering found their richest raw material in the shape of domestic and industrial ephemera from the 19th century. In this show, curator Josée Drouin-Brisebois includes the lovely Les factures de Lupé, photographs of the pastel-coloured household invoices of an aristocratic French couple from Lyons. Who were the Comte and Comtesse de Lupé and why did they keep all their bills for furniture, jewellery, perfumes and linen? We don’t know, but these pristine photographic enlargements of their mundane household papers read as an emotionally gripping act of historic retrieval.”
  • ‘When Women Were Birds’ by Terry Tempest Williams. “After her mother’s death, Terry Tempest Williams opens her mother’s journals – and finds that they are all blank. This book is a meditation on what information they could have contained, as well as a fragmented memoir of Williams’ own life, mixed in with reflections on womanhood, her Mormon upbringing, and environmentalism. It contains 54 short pieces, labeled as “variations on voice” – her mother was 54 when she died, and Williams is 54 years old now.”
  • Oral history’s quiet heroes. “Over the past few weeks I have been eavesdropping on private conversations. I heard a homeless South African tell a charity worker how moved he was to be offered a sandwich and a cup of tea after walking 20 miles through Lincolnshire; and an elderly Hull woman, reminded by her daughter how much of her life she had spent pregnant with her 10 children, concluding she “must have been bonkers”. The Listening Project has been harvesting these intimate gobbets and broadcasting them before the Radio 4 news. The launch of the Listening Project by the BBC and the British Library coincides with the return next month of another pioneering work of oral history: 56 Up, the latest in Michael Apted’s now eight-part series stretching over almost half a century, following a group of ordinary Britons from the age of seven into what is now deep middle age.
  • Mad Men and Wonder Years: history, nostalgia, and life in The Sixties. “Mad Men and The Wonder Years share many of the same overarching historical themes of political, social, and cultural change during 1960s America.  Specifically, both shows illustrate how the everyday lives of people at the time intersected with the events and trends that have become engrained in popular memory of the decade.  The civil rights movement, feminism, the Vietnam War, and the emerging counterculture – to name a few of the major forces of the era – serve as subtext for both series.”
  • 10 of the Best Memoirs About Mothers. “This week saw the release of cult cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s second work of non-fiction, Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama, a graphic memoir that investigates her relationship with her mother in all its fraught, tender weirdness…After we zipped through the book, we felt a hankering for more memoirs about mothers, so in case you feel the same way…we’ve collected a few of the best examples in recent memory here.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup can start your week off with a good chuckle. Check out Fumblerules of Grammar. Fans of William Safire won’t be disappointed. And for another delightful distraction, hop on over to Whimsical Photographic Abstractions of the Joy of Reading.

  • The Birth and Decline of a Book: Two Videos for Bibliophiles.”Why Do Old Books Smell? Produced by Abe’s Books, and drawing on research from chemists at University College, London, this video looks at the science behind the aroma of used books…When you’re done watching the video, you might want to spend time with a second clip that deals with another part of the lifecycle of the book — the birth of a book. Shot by Glen Milner at Smith-Settle Printers in Leeds, England, this short film lets you watch firsthand a book — Suzanne St Albans’ Mango and Mimosa – being made with old school printing methods. Enjoy.”
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? “In the world of digital documents, you might ask do we really need brick and mortar museums? Not quite the same as man and machine, but it is a question of digital versus “the real thing” and a topic that must be discussed among archivists today.”
  • Whimsical Photographic Abstractions of the Joy of Reading. “As a lover of books and advocate for reading, I was instantly enthralled by photographic artist Joel Robinson’s whimsical visual abstractions of the reading experience and the joy of books that capture with equal parts imagination and reverence the familiar mesmerism of getting lost in a great book, the pleasure of curiosity tickled, and the explorer’s wonder of discovering new worlds.”
  • Nostalgia As A Drug. “Nostalgia is seductive. We yearn and yearn for bygone days, when life was simpler, or more creative, or more exciting, or more…whatever. Whatever we need at the moment. Are those good old days really that much better, or is it just easier to imagine they are because we can “remember” only what we choose to?”
  • How to Open a Memoir. “I’m honored to provide a guest post by multi-published author and writing instructor Sara Mansfield Taber, whose latest memoir, Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter, has just been published by Potomac Books. I first met Sara when taking a workshop taught by her at The Writer’s Center, and I’m flattered she’s willing to share some of her wisdom here today, a post relevant to any creative writer.”
  • Fumblerules of Grammar. “Late-1979, New York Times columnist William Safire compiled a list of “Fumblerules of Grammar” — rules of writing, all of which are humorously self-contradictory — and published them in his popular column, “On Language.” Those 36 fumblerules can be seen below, along with another 18 that later featured in Safire’s book, Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup has a couple of useful articles that’ll improve your website. After reading Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page?,  I realized that I’ve got some work to do on my About Page. And How to Write is a pithy 10-point list that all bloggers need to take to heart. If you’re a personal historian and unfamiliar with Cowbird, you owe it to yourself to read Cowbird Debuts New Saga on Valentine’s Day. It’s another innovative way of collecting stories.

  • My Memoir Helped Me Reconnect With My Family. “The writing of Man Shoes was a legacy exercise for my sons that turned into a therapeutic exercise for myself. The healing and understanding that has come about through the writing of Man Shoes is miraculous. At fifty years of age, I am now a much stronger, more secure, happier, and more productive individual than I have ever been. Hopefully Man Shoes continues to inspire others in the coming months and years–just as it did me as I wrote it.”
  • Graphic Atlas. “…a new online resource that brings sophisticated print identification and characteristic exploration tools to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators, and general public.”
  • Cowbird Debuts New Saga on Valentine’s Day. “Email and text messaging have left many of us accustomed to instant gratification when it comes to communication, though impulsive tweets and status updates often lead to regret. Our methods of communication have evolved so rapidly, many of us can now tweet about anything (or nothing) within a few seconds. In the era of 140-character updates, when the lingo has become so foreign that you may need a translator to follow Twitter conversations, have our messages lost their depth? Jonathan Harris thinks so – and says his new project, Cowbird, houses personal, searchable storytelling – and may someday be the one-stop shop for an inclusive public library of human experience.”
  • How to Write. “On September 7th of 1982, advertising legend David Ogilvy sent an internal memo to all employees of his advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather. The memo was entitled “How to Write,” and consisted of the following list of advice.”
  • A Way with Words. “Public radio’s lively language show.” [Thanks top Wendy Ledger of VoType for alerting me to this item.]
  • Best of the Blogs: Old School and New Skills. “Don’t have time to keep up with design and photography blogs? Keep calm and read on. In this blog round-up you’ll find the most popular fonts of 2011, an amazing type book from 1912, a Herb Lubalin video from the 1980s, and a Photoshop cooking demonstration from 2007. Plus, there are plenty of Photoshop how-tos, digital photography tips, and design ideas.”
  • Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page? “…lots of website owners have an easier time proposing marriage than they do writing a solid About Page. If that’s you, you’re probably overcomplicating things. A good About Page is simple, straightforward, and it communicates just a few key things.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.

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.”

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.