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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

This week has been an exciting one at the Archaeology of the Mediterranean World.  We hosted our first guest blogger, David Pettegrew, who gave us an overview of the work this summer at the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project.  David’s review of the season will continue on Monday, in the meantime check out the first three posts:

PKAP Season in Review
Processing Pyla-Koutsopetria Pottery
Experiments in Intensive Survey at Pyla-Koutsopetria

So other odds and ends:

  • Imagine! Using blogs, photos, and other “new media” techniques to get students to engage with their experiences while studying abroad.
  • I love the idea of using QR codes …. somehow.  I can imagine a world where the barcode on a book in the library serves as a QR code and opens to the student various user-generated data attached to that specific books. It could be anything from book notes, to citations for a good review, another book that challenges the author’s thesis, tips on getting the most from the book, advice on reading time.  At the University of North Dakota, at least, these bar codes are unique to our library and not particularly stable (e.g. when a book loses its bar code a new one is simply added and a attached to a book’s record).
  • In more important news, my favorite cheap beer (I am not hip enough to drink PBR) is undergoing a facelift.  Miller High Life has a new(ish) look. Don’t worry, the lovely High Life lady continues to feature in the new design (after all, she is the oldest icon in American brewing).  Check out the critique here.  My favorite aspect of the High Life is the shape of the bottle which was designed to evoke a Champagne bottle and its moniker: the Champagne of Beers.
  • I am not sure exactly how I would use this software, but I have to admit Notational Velocity is pretty slick. It allows you to take notes quickly on your computer and, more importantly, find those notes in a super efficient way.  The program follows many of the basic guidelines of hipster software: it lacks most bells and whistles, is open source, and does what it does really, really, well.
  • Planned Obsolescence and a flurry in the Twittersphere reminded me that it has been five years since Ivan Tribble’s famous and critical Chronicle article on blogging.  This article and the responses probably motivated me to start my blog more than any other (even though it took me another two years to overcome my worry about the technical aspects of blogging).  It made me think that I was going to be doing some transgressive, that I would be upsetting people like Tribble, and that I was defying convention and somehow making my life and career more notable.  (I suspect this is the same reason why I took a year off after I finished my Ph.D. and before I went on the job market.  By taking the year off I flagrantly ignored people who told me it was career suicide and made me feel, if just for a minute, that  convention did not apply to me.)
  • Alun Salt is messing around with a nice new blog design.  He does a nice job integrating social media and more formal blogs as he describes here.
  • Australia is keeping things interesting in their second test against Pakistan.  All out for 88 and as of this writing 218/5 and 48 ahead of Pakistan??? Things don’t look good for them.
  • I am reading: K. Bowes, Private Worship, Public Values, and Religious Change in Late Antiquity.  (Cambridge 2008) and David Fischer’s, Historians Falacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. (New York 1970).
  • I am listening to: Detroit Cobras, Mink, Rat, or Rabbit; Amanda Palmer, Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele, and  Alphaville, Forever Young.


Categories: Varia and Quick Hits
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