Tag Archives: history

What’s a stereogranimator?

What’s a stereogranimator  you ask? Well, I used it to make this 3D animated gif with photos from the archives of the New York Public Library.

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at http://stereo.nypl.org/gallery/index
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

The instructions are sparse so I’m not sure if my picture is supposed to vibrate so violently – but what a concept! I read about this on the iLibrarian website –

The NYPL’s Stereogranimator lets users create and share animated GIFs and 3D anaglyphs using more than 40,000 stereographs. Users can browse through the NYPL’s collection of dual photos and then combine them to make a 3D image. This project was inspired by Joshua Heineman’s project that he started four years ago. The San Francisco-based artist was using the NYPL’s collection of stereographs to create animated gif images for his Cursive Buildingssite. His project went viral and the Library took notice and began collaborating with him to create the Stereogranimator.

Go ahead, make one yourself.

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What do you know about vodka and Matryosha dolls?

The origin of words and the culture and history behind them are fascinating. Jenny Luca sent me to the Words of the World website today and I’ve been having fun learning about my Russian cultural background.

From Nazi to Chocolate, words play a vital role in our lives.

And each word has its own story.

But where do they come from? What do they mean? How do they change?

The University of Nottingham School of Languages and Cultures does a brilliant job of unpacking words in a very engaging way. It’s difficult not to go through all the videos in one sitting when the experts present their knowledge in such an accessible way. It makes me want to study at Nottingham University. So much more interesting for students to learn in video form, I think, and learning from experts in this way would be something which could entice reluctant learners or just bring knowledge through a face and voice, whetting the appetite for more.

Check out the YouTube channel, join the Facebook group, follow @wordsnottingham on Twitter, or follow the blog of the creator, film-maker Brady Haran.

My question is – will the word bank increase? I hope so because this learning site is very addictive.

Ever wondered about the history of Russian nesting dolls?

You might also like to have a look at The University of Nottingham’s YouTube channel.

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The story of the button demonstrates the power of social networking

Looking through my Flickr contacts’ photostreams, I noticed some photos of a button. Intrigued, I read a lengthy explanation, a short, true story, which I wanted to share. This is bigsumo‘s story.

A man sent an email via Facebook on a Monday morning in August. He was not sure if the email was being sent to the right people. He mentioned that whilst mowing his lawn in Corinda, Brisbane he uncovered a button. He notice some writing imprinted into the button. He decided out of curiosity to google it. He discovered that ‘TJ Moles Charters Towers’ referred to a man who was a tailor in Charters Towers. This was obviously his branded button to advertise his wares.

The man also discovered an old forum request on the family history site Rootsweb, from a couple looking for information on this person. Unfortunately, their listed email was no longer valid. He tried searching Facebook and discovered some names matching the description and within the hour sent a querying email looking for a connection.

An hour later that email from Facebook was answered by me. My wife and I were the couple looking for information on TJ Moles as he was the father of our adopted grandmother (that’s a whole other story) who herself was born in 1898 in Charters Towers.

I responded with great suprise at such an out of left field email. I explained our connection to the button’s owner and was very greatful to take him up on his offer to mail the button to us on the Sunshine Coast. To which he replied that he would pop it in the post on his way to work. The next day, Tuesday I was suprised to see, delivered to me at work, an envelope containing a button stamped with TJ Moles Charters Towers.

This button has travel long, somehow winding its way from north Queensland to Brisbane to be found late in 2009. It potentially started it journey somewhere between 1880 – 1940 (when TJ Moles passed away) when he ran his tailor shop (best guess).

More amazing is the very fast journey this button has been on in the last 24 hours, thanks to google and social networking! This button, though small is our only physical connection with our adopted family from that time. It’ll take pride of place in our family history collection!

What a great story! How else could you have discovered the button’s story without the online connections and collaboration? Another example of the power of Flickr.

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Filed under flickr, Interesting, internet, networking, photos, technology, Web 2.0

Go underwater with Google Earth 5.0

Google Earth 5.0 has 2 new features. The first allows you to go back in time. You can go back in time to compare historical imagery of buildings, and you can compare historical photos of environmental features. observing changes to the landscape of our planet. The former will be of interest to history teachers, and the latter  to science teachers who will be able to use Google Earth to show students how climate change is affecting the Earth’s surface. What better way of learning than seeing for yourself.

This new application opens up exciting possibilities. When you click on the clock icon in the Google Earth 5.0 toolbar, the historical imagery time slider will appear and allow you to change your view to older imagery.

The Google Earth site includes a video which gives one of the examples of historic imagery, showing the  transformation of sports arenas in Philadelphia.


The Google Earth blog explains its exploration underwater:

But starting today we have a much more detailed bathymetric map (the ocean floor), so you can actually drop below the surface and explore the nooks and crannies of the seafloor in 3D. While you’re there you can explore thousands of data points including videos and images of ocean life, details on the best surf spots, logs of real ocean expeditions, and much more.

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Filed under 21st century learning, Education, photos, teaching, technology

Do you turn to Twitter when you’ve escaped death?

planecrash-22-december-2008-009

Photo from The Guardian UK

Interesting to read this article in The Guardian news blog.

Plane crash survivor texts Twitter updates

What’s the first thing you’d do after narrowly avoiding disaster

The first thing Mike Wilson did after surviving the Continental Airlines 737 crash when his plane slid off the runway in Denver was use his mobile phone to update his Twitter community.

A dedicated microblogger or …? Whatever he is, he has now made history as the first person to tweet a plane crash directly after an accident. Twitter might be the up and coming way to communicate after trauma. I think psychologists may eventually decide that sharing directly after a traumatic experience decreases shock or at least somehow alleviates stress. What do you think?

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Capzles: time captured in a story

Capzles is a new way to combine videos, photos and mp3s into rich, multimedia storytelling.

capzleobama

Until I’m successful in embedding the widget, here’s the link to a capzle on Obama. 

Capzles promises to ‘claim your memories; tell your stories; travel through time’, and they do that eloquently. The Obama capzle traces Obama’s life sequentially, and includes photos, and video and transcripts of speeches. I can definitely see the value of capzles for teaching subject matter, but more than that, kids would enjoy creating capzles to present research. This application really does have the potential to capture what’s essential and interesting, and package it neatly for viewing.

It’s free and simple to join. You can browse capzles created in popular categories, eg. history, art and design, film and movies, people and life, vacation and travel, etc. Under history, for example, you’ll find ‘history of Apple computer’ and ’75 years of the popemobile’. It’s a great way to share travel experiences, or present biographies in an engaging format. Or encapzlate your old photographs. Oh, and of course, it’s another great sharing tool. Although there isn’t a huge amount there at the moment, I expect it will expand its archive very quickly.

Thanks to @grosseck for this.

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Military blogs? An authentic voice for the history class

military-blogs

 

Make no mistake, military blogs will be part of American History.  There are hundreds (if not thousands) of blogs already archived online, published books, the Library of Congress has a Veterans History Project, students are studying military blogs in the classroom, thesis papers being written, and so much more.

Milblogging.com is the world’s largest index of military blogs – searchable by a variety of attributes. Milblogging.com currently has 2,172 military blogs in 41 countries with 6,762 registered members.

Some recently added blog posts include: life as a military wife; patriot missive; four fans of freedom; salute to your service, and many more.

Amongst other things you’ll find personal diaries of Vietnam war veterans. Here’s a unique perspective of history, an authentic story for the history class. What is it about these blogs that add an extra dimension to learning?

What is significant about this particular wartime diary is the fact that this soldier arrived in Vietnam on Jan. 23, 1968, one week before the Tet Offensive, which engulfed South Vietnam and is considered by many to be one of the turning points of the war. Assigned to Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), this young soldier had a front-row view of one of the significant events of the United States’ long involvement in South East Asia.

 

This is a goldmine of personal accounts that give an insight into history which would otherwise take much longer to be published.

Unfortunately, to show up in the history books, usually years and years have to go by first, so you might have to wait a little while before you see the writings of 365 and a Wakeup or Wordsmith at War in a History Book. 

 Read in the Washington Post how blogging became therapy for Captain Danjel Bout:

When Capt. Danjel Bout lost three comrades in a single day while on an October 2005 mission in Baghdad, he stifled his grief and remained focused on what seemed to be the longest day of his life.

The next day, he let it out.

 Blogs come from many perspectives – Afghanistan frontlines, Iraq frontlines, US army/navy/airforce, marine corps, military veteran, civilian, military spouse, military parent, foreign national military, etc.

 There is a wealth of material for teachers of English, History, Geography, and many other subjects, especially with a little imaginative application.

 




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Microblogging American History – Twitter responses to Obama’s win

day-of-obama

 

In its unique way, Twitter has commented on American history being made today. Never let it be said that Twitter is unable to convey anything more than little snippets of trivia devoid of any substance. The picture built up in the Twitter stream today as Obama’s victory became clearer and clearer was nothing short of emotional. The brief, fast-flowing tweets created a moving picture of people’s reactions to the historic event.

These are only some of the comments that I’ve selected. Remember, the most recent tweets are first, so you’re reading backwards in time. Kind of cool actually. Here goes:

wow – amazing – i’ve woken up in a better world – my only slight concern… what the hell is michael moore going to make films about now?

well done america 🙂 🙂 🙂

asked Yr 2 boy my reason for making him watch news – he said because it’s the first time a “brown person” has been elected president

Obama thanked me by text message. Wow, he looked pretty busy at the time

‘nite twitter. Welcome to Obamanation. The world approves, btw…

I have always been grateful to be American and I served it with my head held high… I have never been this proud

Analysis of Obama’s speech ( http://tinyurl.com/6xlvkl )

It’s been a long time coming, as the man says ♫ http://blip.fm/~ni0i

Balancing my delight in humanity with the grimness of Fox News pro-life, white supremacist babbling http://icanhaz.com/grim

Bless Obama and the people of the US

I may be a Canadian I am blown away by the history I have just observed. Very moving

awesome speech; told my kids that (let them stay up to hear it), both lass and lad noticed

“He talked of having to housebreak the puppy, they’re gunna also have to housebreak that new democratic majority in the congress”-Tom Brokaw

Oh, the place is vibrating

I like this image of Obama leaving the stage – a single man, walking to meet his wife, going off to meet destiny. Hard to hold back tears

I bet there’s a lady in Alaska who just fired HER personal stylist

We have a White House that looks like our country. Look at that stage, kids all over America are reimagining their world.

The last time I saw this much emotion on TV was death of Elvis when I was about 5 or 6. Better this time around

God, the image of the racial, national, and generational mix hugging on the stage in Chicago is a book in itself. History, history, history

Seeing all of the kids together is so cool!!!

Okay, I don’t think I’ve ever cried at a politician’s speech before in my life. Still kind of afraid to hope. But I think I’ll try

I like the sense of marital harmony I get from B and M. They really seem a pair that likes each other, a team. And those kids are fresh air

is it my imagination or did everyone stop tweeting during that speech?

Officially crying tears of joy

“if our children live to see the next century ..what progress we will have made? Open opportunities for our kids – peace. yes we can”

I am crying. Just from my right eye. Obama is great

He’s going to close with the speech we need

v v excited about Obama winning – maybe humans do have some ability to restore balance

Sitting in family room watching Obama’s speech. Wife and daughters waving American Flags at each pause. Great night!

“Our story is singular but our destiny is shared. A new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”

I gotta remember to buy different newspapers and magazines tomorrow to put in my daughter’s memory box

Okay, seriously… “the new puppy that is coming with us to the White House?” That absolutely made me laugh with delight.

holy wow… can that man speak.

Obama takes the stage! What a night!

anyone else terrified about what Those Who Hate Obama might attempt to do once he’s president, or before? I can’t shake it from my mind…

From another student — “I feel as if I can really do anything in the world now. Like for real.”

Just got a text from one of my advisees that made me cry, “Lehmann!!! We did it! President Obama!” This election really was about hope.

goodnight, tweeps. Pray for this nation, now more than ever.

Oh hurrah! My American friends have just texted me the news!!! Good old America, good old Americans! Xxx

Wow McCain’s speech was amazing. That was the McCain that should have been showing more during the campaign

well done to the people of America (and Obama), congratulations are in order. change is a necessity and a good thing

Magnanimous concession by John McCain. Well done.

There are moments in life that are too big to grasp. This is one of those moments. In total blissful shock. Too shocked to even cry… yet

Congratulations America!

Woo hoo! Just saw that Obama has won the election! I’m crying! Tears of joy 🙂

History in the making. . was this the first presidency tweeted through? Will Obama be known for changes in technology?

wow, nyc is going crazy, so loud outside.

“Don’t deny it, Obama is all Web 2.0” – http://is.gd/6n9j

When I watched his speech at the DNC 4 years ago, I thought “He could seriously be president.” Never thought it’d be in 2008.

“This is something so much bigger than Senator Obama”

nice to see my friends cheering too… yay twitter. hi dudes. i love loving america this morning.

McCain conceded via phone

Huzzah!

I am so proud of us right now…

wow. I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O.M.F.G. Thank you America. You have made me extremely proud. Thank YOU!

Playing “Signed, Sealed and Delivered,” with all of the American flags waving is really moving

So happy to call Obama my PRESIDENT!

Congrats to President Obama! So much for going to sleep, gotta see his speech now!

Congratulations to my US friends – looks like you just got yourself a President

Hopes and Dreams!

gotta go hug my wife!

I can’t imagine being in the room with Barack when he got the word about becoming the next president……amazing time…..

Wow! This is exciting!

Fox just called it for Obama. That’s about as done as it gets. Congratulations President Obama! Please fix our country soon!

Obama. It’s over.

ABC News declares Obama the next President of the United States

I just got chills………..

CNN just called it

CNN calls it. Obama is the 44th President of the US

called. Omg

It’s all over!!!!!!!!

 

 

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Filed under humour, internet, Web 2.0

Deletionpedia

Paul Stewart (thanks Paul) put me onto Deletionpedia, a wonderfully annihilistic-sounding encyclopedia. Rhonda Powling has blogged about Veropedia, a verified Wikipedia, so I thought it would be interesting to check out Deletionpedia, an archive of more than 63,000 pages which have been deleted from the English-language Wikipedia. As with histories within any wikis, it’s interesting to see changes made, and you can browse through different deletions, such as pages deleted after more than 1000 days on Wikipedia; pages deleted more than 200 times; pages deleted this month, etc. The process of editing becomes transparent. Deletionpedia also provides ‘page of the month’, ‘list of the month’, and ‘category of the month’.

Did you know that Wikipedia allowed reuse of its content, including pages it has deleted, using the GNU Free Documentation License? To comply with this license, Wikipedia rescues the full edit history of its pages. Wikipedia splits up the archive into ‘we don’t like’ and ‘we do like’. And so, ‘we don’t like’ copyright violations, serious libel problems or offensive material; and ‘we do like’ interesting or quirky pages, including creative writing, opinions and original research (which do not belong in a wiki).’

All of this works by automated script following a Wikipedia user tagging something as appropriate for deletion. The tagged pages are uploaded to a temporary store; the deletion log is checked and the deleted pages are uploaded from the temporary store to Deletionpedia. A forthcoming feature is the addition of a rating system for easy identification of interesting pages.

What wonderful -Pedias await us in the future?

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Sharing pictures – We are the library

I love the sharing that’s going on now with information, pictures, videos, wikis, etc. Picture Australia, wants to recognise the outstanding contributions of its Flickr members, so they are introducing an award, which will be given once a month to an outstanding contributor. You can read about it here, and you can view the first winner’s pictures – 228 of them!

If you want to play your part in telling the story of Australia, read this.
This is a wonderful example of the new way of sharing information and of becoming part of the information itself. I imagine that young people would be interested in contributing to The National Library of Australia’s archive of pictures, and in creating a current pictorial record which will eventually be history.

In participating in this project, students will be encouraged to licence their images with creative commons. What better way to learn about copyright and the choices for owners and users of created works. Students will also need to learn how to supply detailed titles, descriptions and tags for their photos.

This is another example of authentic educational opportunities. There are many of these if we look out for them.

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