Tag Archives: United States

Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

In this Monday’s Link Roundup there’s some practical advice. If you’re considering offering clients a newsletter, you’ll want to read The Benefits of Offering an Email Newsletter for a Freelancer.  For eBook publishing don’t miss eBook Formatting: Possibilities and Limitations. And if you’re struggling to attract clients, then you’ll want to take a look at The 6 Fundamentals of Client Building.

  • A U.S. History of People with Disabilities. “A Disability History of the United States pulls from primary-source documents and social histories to retell American history through the eyes, words, and impressions of the people who lived it. Throughout the book, Nielsen deftly illustrates how concepts of disability have deeply shaped the American experience—from deciding who was allowed to immigrate to establishing labor laws and justifying slavery and gender discrimination.”
  • Adorable Miniature Houses Built of Books. “Ever wish you could live inside a book? Well, you can’t quite live in Dutch artist Frank Halmans’s stacked vintage book houses, but you can tell he’s had the same idea. The works in Halmans’s series Built of Books, which we recently spotted over at My Modern Met, are adorable odes to the worlds created by literature — complete with windows and doors to see through. Take a vacation in some tiny book homes after the jump, and then be sure to head on over to Halmans’s website to check out more of his work.”
  • eBook Formatting: Possibilities and Limitations. “While we are well into the eBook revolution–far enough in so that it’s pretty safe to say eBooks and eReaders are not a fad and have become a permanent disruption to print books–there are still significant limitations on how eBooks can be presented to the reader.”
  • The 6 Fundamentals of Client Building. “The kind of influence needed to acquire clients doesn’t require money or status. Social psychologist Robert Cialdini has pinpointed six key elements of influence or persuasion. We all use them. Once they’re on your radar, you’ll spot them everywhere. You can apply them to make a connection, strengthen a bond, stand out, or even navigate tricky situations.”
  • The Benefits of Offering an Email Newsletter for a Freelancer. “Email may be a fifty-year-old technology, but it’s still an incredibly useful marketing tool. Billions of people use it not only for communication, but to subscribe to news and other information. It’s incredibly inexpensive to create and send, especially compared to other types of marketing. Done correctly, email can help you build a close relationship with your clients so that they’re willing to trust you with more freelance work on a regular basis.”
  • See your Family Tree in 3 Dimensions! “Progeny 3D Family Tree™ is the only program that can display your family tree in 3 dimensions. The 3D Family Tree gives you a whole new insight into your roots. 3D Family Tree builds pedigree and descendant trees in three dimensions. Photos of your relatives really make the tree come alive.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

If you’re a fan of documentary films, you’ll want to check out The Best Documentaries of 2012 in this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup. And with all the severe weather experienced in many regions of  North America, be sure to take a look at Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery. You’ll find excellent advice from the Library of Congress on saving precious family collections.

  • Speak, Memory by  Oliver Sacks. [The New York Review of Books] “We, as human beings, are landed with memory systems that have fallibilities, frailties, and imperfections—but also great flexibility and creativity. Confusion over sources or indifference to them can be a paradoxical strength: if we could tag the sources of all our knowledge, we would be overwhelmed with often irrelevant information.”
  • The clues to a great story. [TED talk] “Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning.”
  • Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery. “Mitigating the impact of emergencies and disasters is essential to preserving collections and family heirlooms. Whatever the disaster or emergency may be, water exposure is one of the most common problems and though not necessarily catastrophic, can result in total loss. Sound emergency planning, response, and recovery reduces this risk.”
  • Robert B Silvers. “As the New York Review of Books celebrates its 50th anniversary, its editor for all those years explains why a world without long, serious reviews is ‘unthinkable’.”
  • How To Stay Sane: The Art of Revising Your Inner Storytelling. “How To Stay Sane (public library; UK), [is] part of The School of Life’s wonderful series reclaiming the traditional self-help genre as intelligent, non-self-helpy, yet immensely helpful guides to modern living. At the heart of Perry’s argument — in line with neurologist Oliver Sacks’s recent meditation on memory and how “narrative truth,” rather than “historical truth,” shapes our impression of the world — is the recognition that stories make us human and learning to reframe our interpretations of reality is key to our experience of life.”
  • The Best Documentaries of 2012. [PBS] “From Sundance to the Oscars — and every festival, critics list and industry awards show we can find in between — we’re continually updating our list of lists of the “best” documentaries.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

Monday's Link Roundup

On the eve of a new year, my wish is that 2013 brings you much happiness and peace.

This is the last of Monday’s Link Roundup for 2012. Don’t miss A vested interest in palimpsest. I must confess I didn’t know what palimpsest meant. Now I can’t wait to use it. ;-) For another wonderful word to add to your vocabulary, check out 19 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately. There you’ll find out  what whoopensocker means.

  • Biographies That Defy Expectations. “This year brought us some brilliant biographies of world-famous leaders .., but this list focuses on books that chronicle the lives of some true originals from many different walks of life…the subjects of these biographies spent most of their lives well off the beaten path and gained fame for their stubborn refusal to conform to other people’s expectations. You could say the same thing about the biographers. These books are written with extraordinary style and originality, by masters of the craft who can spin a tale as adroitly and memorably as any novelist out there.”
  • 12 communication basics everyone should know. “You know that saying about not getting a second chance to make a good first impression when you meet someone? Well, when you’re communicating with someone, especially if it’s electronically or by phone, you get even less slack—particularly when it’s for work. That’s when lost opportunities can have bottom-line consequences. If you want the prospect to open your email, the client to return your call, or the journalist to read your pitch, you’ve got to communicate impeccably. Here are some of my favorite basics:”
  • 19 Regional Words All Americans Should Adopt Immediately. “When traveling across the United States, it sometimes feels like the locals are speaking a whole different language. That’s where the Dictionary of American Regional English comes to the rescue. The last installment of this staggering five-volume tome, edited by Joan Houston Hall, was published last month, and let me tell you, it’s a whoopensocker. In celebration of slang, here’s a list of 19 delightful obscure words from around the U.S. that you’ll want to start working into conversation.”
  • I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why. “If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.”
  • Reading Habits by Place. “The latest survey from The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project focuses on how residents of different communities (ie: urban, suburban, rural) read and use reading-related technology and institutions.”
  • A vested interest in palimpsest. “The English language contains certain meaning-rich words that command attention and stir controversy. “Paradigm,” for instance: When Thomas Kuhn used it in 1966 to describe accepted scientific theories, and gave us the phrase “paradigm shift,” he launched a thousand articles, several hundred books and quite a few careers, some just distantly related to science.That kind of word raises curiosity and pries open the imagination, encouraging us to think about what we might otherwise ignore. My favourite is “palimpsest.”

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Encore! Personal Historians, Are You LGBT Language Sensitive?

The following article is reprinted with the kind permission of Personal Historian, Sally Goldin.  She is a member of the Association of Personal Historians and can be contacted here. 

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As a lesbian mother and personal historian, I’ve been thinking about the issue of LGBT invisibility in regards to preserving life stories.

Even though LGBT issues have become more visible and acceptable in this society, there are still situations where you can be fired, harassed, or physically attacked for being an LGBT person. I was clearly reminded of this because of the harassment and discrimination a teacher friend of mine experienced in the Houston Independent School District. In this YouTube presentation to the Board of the H. I. S. D. he describes the harassment he encountered.  (The picture clears up at 30seconds). This is a person who had previously been named Teacher of the Year twice in 5 years… Read more.

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

For Ken Burns fans,  this Monday’s Link Roundup includes a terrific 5 minute video,  Ken Burns on the Art of Storytelling. In Skepticism About Stories: The “Narrababble” Critique,  you’ll find a challenge to the popular view that people’s lives are a collection of stories.  And find out if you live in one of America’s well- read cities by checking out What Are The Most Well-Read Cities In America?

  • Alzheimer’s Patients Turn To Stories Instead Of Memories.[NPR] “Storytelling is one of the most ancient forms of communication — it’s how we learn about the world. It turns out that for people with dementia, storytelling can be therapeutic. It gives people who don’t communicate well a chance to communicate. And you don’t need any training to run a session.”
  • Life Writing. [pdf] “This special virtual edition of Life Writing presents eight articles that have a clear connection with the themes of the upcoming conference of the International Auto/Biography Association, to be held in Canberra, Australia, in July 2012. The conference is called ‘Framing Lives’, and its title signals an emphasis on the visual aspects of life narrative: ‘graphics and animations, photographs and portraits, installations and performances, avatars and characters that come alive on screens, stages, pages, and canvas, through digital and analogue technologies’ (www.iaba2012.com).”
  • The Colossal Camera that will capture Vanishing Cultures. “One photograph, no retakes, no retouching, just a pure honest photograph and a giant camera that will travel 20,000 miles across the US to photograph American Cultures. Vanishing Cultures is an astounding and completely unique concept…This one of a kind monumental camera will be transported by a huge truck trailer, due to it’s extremely large size. His [Dennis Manarchy] aim is to capture cultures that are rapidly fading from society and to feature their portraits on 2-story sized prints displayed in stadium-sized traveling outdoor exhibitions along with the amazing negatives and the stories behind the people and cultures.”
  • Skepticism About Stories: The “Narrababble” Critique. “…it is a very popular idea in psychology, philosophy and various social sciences that people experience their lives as a story or collection of stories. For example, the philosopher Dan Dennett explains the mind as a master novelist: “We try to make all of our material cohere into a single good story. And that story is our autobiography,” he has written. Moreover, says the philosopher Galen Strawson, there’s a parallel claim in the air that this is A Good Thing: that each person should be able to understand his/her life as a meaningful story, with an arc and a recognizable end. Strawson, though, is having none of it. He thinks these ideas, which he’s called “narrababble,” are a fad.”
  • What Are The Most Well-Read Cities In America? “Amazon has released their second annual list of the most well-read cities in the country, based on their book, magazine and newspaper sales data in both print and digital, since June 1, 2011. The statistics are per capita, and only include towns with more than 100,000 residents.”
  • What’s so special about biography? “It is my contention that biography has a unique way of helping us to understand what we are like as people. There have been true Golden Ages and Reigns of Terror in the fabric of human history; but, by examining the lives of real, flesh-and-blood human beings who inhabited those places and times, we can see the similarities and the constancy of human nature throughout that history. So, how does biography accomplish this in ways that other genres cannot?”
  • Ken Burns on the Art of Storytelling.[Video] “In explaining his own view on filmmaking, Burns rolls out that old quote from Jean Luc-Godard, “Cinema is truth at twenty-four frames a second.” But he has his own response to the famous proclamation: “Maybe. It’s lying twenty-four times a second, too. All the time. All story is manipulation.”

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The Best of Monday’s Link Roundup.

Over the past year Monday’s Link Roundup has brought you 336 links to articles of particular interest to personal historians, genealogists, storytellers, and memoir writers.  In case you missed some of these articles,  here are 7 of the best.

  • The art of bookplates – in pictures. “A bookplate, or ex libris, is a small print for pasting inside the cover of a book, to express ownership. By the late 19th century, bookplates had developed into a highly imaginative form of miniature art. The British Museum’s new book showcases some of the many plates in their extensive collection. Browse through some of the best here.”
  • The power of place: Robert Caro. “Show, don’t tell” is a mantra of narrative writers everywhere, but even the most useful adage can lose meaning with repetition. Before a lunchtime audience of writers at the Second Annual Compleat Biographer Conference on Saturday, legendary biographer Robert Caro reinvigorated the concept.”
  • Belongings. “There are three million immigrants in New York City. When they left home, knowing it could be forever, they packed what they could not bear to leave behind: necessities, luxuries, memories. Here is a look at what some of them brought.” [Thanks to Lettice Stuart of Portrait in Words for alerting me to this item.]
  • Dear Photograph: A website with a window into the past. “In the past month, a summery, slightly sad website has made the trip from non-existence to international exposure. It’s called Dear Photograph, and its premise is simple: Take a picture of an old photo being carefully held up in front of the place it was originally taken, so it appears to be a window into the past.”
  • miniBiography and the 99%. “David Lynch’s Interview Project,[is] an online series of short video documentaries centering on the lives of “normal” people across America. In Interview Project’s 121 mini-biographies, the filmmakers (including Lynch’s son Austin) ask complete strangers piercing, existential questions. It is a source of ever-renewed wonder that each stranger has an answer, and that the answers are so often so rich and brimming with hard-luck stories and lived experience.”
  • Objects and Memory. “The documentary film Objects and Memory depicts experiences in the aftermath of 9/11 and other major historic events to reveal how, in times of stress, we join together in community and see otherwise ordinary things as symbols of identity, memory and aspiration. In its exploration of people preserving the past and speaking to the future, Objects and Memory invites us to think about the fundamental nature of human interaction.”  [Thanks to cj madigan of Shoebox Stories for alerting me to this item.]

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

It might seem odd to include a Christmas item in this Monday’s Link Roundup, but be sure to check out 25 years of Christmas. It’s a touching home movie compilation of one family and the changes over a quarter of a century. For the bibliophile in your life,  have a look at Top 10 Gifts for the Bibliophile. You’ll find some very whimsical gift ideas.

  • Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. “It has become something of a literary cliché to bash the thesaurus, or at the very least, to warn fellow writers that it is a book best left alone. Some admonitions might be blunt, others wistful, as with Billy Collins musing on his rarely opened thesaurus. But beyond the romantic anthropomorphizing of words needing to break free from “the warehouse of Roget,” what of Collins’ more pointed criticism, that “there is no/such thing as a synonym”? That would suggest that the whole enterprise of constructing a thesaurus is predicated on a fiction.”
  • Should You Open a Personal History Business? “Are you looking to go into business for yourself but having difficulty choosing the type of business to open? Have you previously worked as a writer, editor, storyteller, or are you a history buff? Do you love talking with new people? Opening a personal history business may be perfect for you! In fact, even if you haven’t worked as a personal historian before, you may already have the transferable skills to run a successful business in this rapidly expanding industry. For example, excellent communication skills and being adaptable to new situations are qualities that will help you as a personal historian.”
  • Microsoft Builds a Browser for Your Past. “Mining personal data to discover what people care about has become big business for companies such as Facebook and Google. Now a project from Microsoft Research is trying to bring that kind of data mining back home to help people explore their own piles of personal digital data.”
  • How to Write Headlines That Work. “Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader. Without a headline or post title that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist.”
  • Native Tongues. “The scene is a mysterious one, beguiling, thrilling, and, if you didn’t know better, perhaps even a bit menacing. According to the time-enhanced version of the story, it opens on an afternoon in the late fall of 1965, when without warning, a number of identical dark-green vans suddenly appear and sweep out from a parking lot in downtown Madison, Wisconsin…The drivers and passengers who manned the wagons were volunteers bent to one overarching task: that of collecting America’s other language. They were being sent to more than a thousand cities, towns, villages, and hamlets to discover and record, before it became too late and everyone started to speak like everybody else, the oral evidence of exactly what words and phrases Americans in those places spoke, heard, and read, out in the boondocks and across the prairies, down in the hollows and up on the ranges, clear across the great beyond and in the not very long ago.”
  • Top 10 Gifts for the Bibliophile.  “The classic bibliophile collects and treasures books, it’s a person who makes them an important part of their lives. This may sound all too familiar; you may consider yourself one or perhaps it just describes someone you know. Today, we take a look at 10 gifts that were made for that person. In fact, they’re sweet and clever gifts that the reader in all of us can enjoy.”
  • 25 years of Christmas. [Video] “Every year, our dad would tape us coming down the stairs. This is a compilation of all the videos I could find. Relatives and pets grow up and disappear, and new extended family members appear in their place. The song is “Christmas Time is Here”, played by Vince Guaraldi”

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