Monday, July 31, 2006

Pyramids—The Inside Story PBS/NOVA
Or "This Old Pyramid" as the show is titled.

Haven't seen the show; the website is...well, yet another sketch/picture/article style exploration of the pyramids. It may be better than the others, I dunno. But really, it's 2006. What about sound and storytelling?
Barnes&Noble BookBrowser - Historical Fiction
Need a summer read? Or an inspiration for your next historical interactive? Try Barnes&Noble's BookBrowser, and set it to "Historical Fiction"!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Geek Forum: Fireworks
Need help with Macromedia (Adobe) Fireworks? Here's a small forum.

Plus, there are more discussion boards on photography and graphic design, and web development: Geek Forum.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jamestown Rediscovery
The American Story has it's share of wonderful coincidence; one has to be the discovery of Jamestown Fort just in time for America's 400th anniversary celebration!

On a childhood visit--or any visit before 1990--you would have been told that Jamestown Fort lies somewhere out in the sea. Washed away by erosion of the James River and swept out to the briny deep. Not today!

In the early 90's one archaeologist took on the establishment and set out to prove that the fort still remained. And remained it did - untouched by earlier less sophisticated digging, it remains today a still partially tapped reservoir of History.

On our visit they were excavating the original sweet well. A square well, unlike almost any well of the time. Very exciting to watch students scrape away at what was last seen 400 years ago.

Even better, you can now see what they've found in a brand spanking new archaearium. Soon you'll also be able to explore a new visitors center at the National Park; last year the state of Virginia added its new Jamestown Settlement full of living history.

A great feature inside the Archaearium is the virtual viewers. By pointing these at an area of the original fort, you can peel back the layers of time and see what was discovered. We could learn a lot from these for online history!

Happy Anniversary America, and what a way to celebrate!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Living History Associates, Ltd.
Down Jamestown way, Monday last, we met a most interesting character - John Rolfe, sometime member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia Colony, husband (briefly) of Pocahontas, and cultivator of the lands (circa 1620) south of James City Shire.

Remember you John Rolfe? No? 'Twas him who set the colonists straight on making a profit in Virginia - yes, profit! Otherwise, t'was no way to pay for the expensive passage from England. Well, my friends, coming here was no pleasure cruise. Either you came because you led a dirt poor life in Britain, or you came because you were a middling gentleman hoping to be a greater gentleman - either way, t'was dangerous, hard work. You were quite likely to die. (Of the two, you generally wanted to be a laborer--gentlemen tended to die; whilst laborers lived better, longer lives here than in back in England).

At any cause, Mr. Rolfe was generous enough to instruct us upon the keys to survival in Colonial Jamestown. And informative (and entertaining) he was! Rolfe (a.k.a. Dick Cheatam in 2006) came to us courtesy of the U.S.Park Service, who contract with Living History Associates.

Talking with Cheatam afterwards was even more educational - as he is one of those brave souls who are able to make a living from telling stories of History.

If you can enguage one of these great historic characters (hire one of the LHALTD speakers) for your corporate or other event, do!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Boone, NC
Nuts, we must return home!!!
And we were that close to seeing Horn in the West.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Caffe Ritazza, J. Murrey Atkins Library - U.N.C.C.
We probably could have guessed after the tower addition is complete - but yes, this is a library! The entrance from the arena through the cafe gave thoughts of another student center of some sort - but then came the warning to check out books before entering the cafe.

If you're in school now, avert your eyes from the next bit. (There was a time when colleges consisted mostly of Classrooms. With slightly less space given over to dorms, a gym, and a library. If you're in school, you know nothing if this setup - your campus is mostly auxilliary buildings. Sometimes, its almost hard to find the academic structures).

But this post is not about that - its about the rise of networked learning. Eighteen HP t5700's run the screens here in the library cafe - and surely a wifi link is present. Few books are on the main floor of the lib either - and those in display cases.

OK,... you've guessed that this is just a reminder for those readers who still think old-school. Are the t5700's old-school too?. Me, I have a deadline to meet on a hiking trail. More on Williamsburg, Jamestown, etc. next week. Get outta here - it's summer!

Monday, July 10, 2006

At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust - New York Times
The Times has a series on the growing predominance of women in college over males who are dropping back both in attendance and excellence.

Thursday, July 06, 2006 - your source for free photos
This may help with History; it may just help if you must earn money doing web design. What they offer is a service that finds you free images!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Text: Not Dead Yet
We've noticed this week the comatose state of several of the Spring's new audio blogs / podcasts. Not surprising that people with real jobs would decide their time wasn't all that well spent converting their text of this week's high tech news into an audio format. Still, too bad, as I was enjoying spending the drive time with such visionaries. Hopefully, a middle ground will fill the void.
I Have Seen Apollo and it is Awesome Digital Backcountry - Ryan Stewart on Building the Web with Flex and the Flash Platform
Screenshots of Adobe's upcoming Apollo platform at work.
SIMILE | Timeline
"Timeline is a DHTML-based AJAXy widget for visualizing time-based events. It is like Google Maps for time-based information. Below is a live example that you can play with. Pan the timeline by dragging it horizontally.

"Just like Google Maps, Timeline can be used with zero software installation, server-side or client-side. And like Google Maps, you can populate Timeline with data by pointing it to an XML file (here is the data file for the timeline above). But Timeline is not limited to only that means of loading data. "

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Monticello Podcasts
And some podcasts from Monticello, many in Jefferson's own words.

Including a tasty sample in the great spirit of eating through the holiday: A Culinary Independence: Jefferson for July 4th.
Benjamin Franklin - Audio & Text
Happy 4th of July!!

Here is a somewhat bland, but clean and clear audio presentation on Franklin. Would that some of the many, many visually beautiful interactives we showcase here would include a little of such clean, clear audio.

Fourth of July 1826 PBS / American Experience
It is a story you would consider too improbable to make good fiction. Yet it happened here, in the US, on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

This rendering of the story is part of American Experience' podcast. To understand it fully, you should know that John Adams and Tom Jefferson became almost bitter ememies during the campaigns to their respective elections. This between the man who wrote the Declaration and the man who birthed it, and appointed Jefferson it's voice.

Yet over they years, they became long-distance debate partners, then friends again. (You can, in fact, read all that they posted between Quincy, MA and Monticello over the years).

Monday, July 03, 2006

Quick Independence day quiz:

How long did we fight the British?
41 Most Wanted
And remembering that the Iraqi people and Army are still fighting for their independence (hopefully it will be a shorter war than we had for ours): the Iraqi Government today lists 41 people who would rather not see the people have a right to vote.

History is about people.
The Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for tour and attraction information.

If you're near Philadelphia this weekend, there are many ways you can celebrate beyond the fireworks and franks! Learn more about our independence all weekend!
A Search Engine That's Becoming an Inventor New York Times
This seems worth listing.