Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

“Selling” History to Others

Two issues, somewhat related, came across my computer screen recently that gave me reason to think about the state of openness among historians, and academics in general.  The first was the AHA’s statement on scholarly journal publishing.  The second was a post over at Inside Higher Ed about whether or not one should blog.  It also included an interesting aside about the ethics of live-tweeting and live-blogging academic conferences.  I don’t feel fully comfortable offering any thoughts about the AHA’s statement, particularly because I am late to the open access topic, and don’t feel qualified to weigh in on the issue.  But taken together, these two posts lead me to ask what I think is an important question:

Are historians (and perhaps other people in the humanities) doing an adequate job selling the importance of their work to the wider public?

Read more…

Categories: Ramblings

Happy Birthday Pitt!

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

On February 28, 1787, the state legislature for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved a charter for the Pittsburgh Academy.  225 years later, Pittsburgh Academy has become the University of Pittsburgh.  Attending Pitt was a great experience.  I’ll always love that school.  Happy Birthday and Hail to Pitt.

Categories: Ramblings, Uncategorized

Oh, the Memories…

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Many, many, many moons ago I frequented a particular message board.  Now, I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong with message boards, aside from the fact that they often have a way of driving individuals to hyperbole.  In fact, I still visit some boards, particularly sports-related.  Anyway, the point is not to discuss my interest in boards, but rather to touch on a specific aspect of this one from my childhood.  For those familiar with boards, most posters have some sort of signature.  Oftentimes, this is an image at least tangentially related to the topic of the board.  Now let me say, some of the signatures created by fellow posters were quite inspiring.  All were done using photoshop.  Many of the posters had side-jobs using photoshop as graphic designers, posting their work on websites like deviantart, and generally impressing us with their skills.

I was so impressed that I even received a mini-photoshop lesson to learn the basics.  Sadly, that was years and years ago, and I’ve since lost any minor skills I once had.  So our assignment to create a composite image was both enjoyable and aggravating.  I came to two simple conclusions thanks to this project: that I will never be a graphic designer, and that I’m horribly boring.  Still, I did not let those facts deter me from trying to whip up a composite image!


I had several goals here.  First, I wanted to do something that wasn’t just framed against the white background.  That’s why I opted to pick courtyard image.  Not only does that add spice(!), but it would also give me a challenge in trying to blend the additional images to match the colors.  Second, I wanted text and images, though I suppose I could have added text anyway.  The third goal was to try and blend the images in a way that the particular backgrounds of the composites would fit with the courtyard image.  The “frame of government” image was fairly easy, as I just had to tinker with the opacity and some of the blending features until I found the right mix.  William Penn was harder, as I still didn’t succeed in actually getting it to fit.  You can still see some of the darker yellow coloring.  This certainly won’t win me any awards, but it was fun to play around in photoshop and certainly gave me memories of my younger years.  It might even inspire me to keep working on it.  Who knows?

Categories: HIST 479, Ramblings, Technology