March 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Today started out looking like a snowy drive to Fargo and then a roll of the dice whether I’d make it to beautiful Providence, Rhode Island, but after careful consultation with the local haruspices, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to spend some time in snowed into lovely Fargo, ND. So I decided to stay put and sent my paper along via the inter tubes. (For my friends in Fargo, I want you to know that this virtually ensures a sunny day with highs in the mid 30s.)
So rather than these quick hits and varia tiding you over until my triumphant return, they instead should stand as melancholy reflections on life in the antipodes. I will, however, spend some time working on this book review and trying to sketch out an article about teaching in the Scale-Up classroom for this issue of the History Teacher.
- I am a bit late on this, but here’s Hector Catling’s obituary. He had a tremendous impact on the archaeology of the Cypriot countryside and on our understanding of Late Roman ceramics.
- Some open access prehistoric Cyprus (via Ancient World On Line).
- Some amazing photographs of Roman sites in Libya.
- A brief history of Google Streetview.
- Floor plans for Homer and Marge Simpson’s house and others.
- Everyday there are more photographs of the oil boom in western North Dakota. This is going to be the most photographed oil boom ever. (Oh, and here are some cool photographs of Iran and found photos on the National Geographic Tumblr.)
- The first two sections on a study of architects at Corinth Excavations.
- All ten test cricket playing nations are in action this weekend, but Australia v. India looks the most interesting.
- The Lebowski Cycle (linked here in celebration of the 15th anniversary of that film).
- If you don’t check out the Society of Architectural Historian’s blog on Fridays, you should.
- This is on of the best weekends for motorsports with NASCAR at Bristol and the opening of the Formula One season.
- Do check out the UND Writers Conference schedule for next week.
- A new journal: The Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies.
- Nicholas Feltron’s 2012 Annual Report.
- Everyone should go and buy little pictures of hummingbeasts by Kyle Cassidy.
- What I’m reading: D.B. Monk’s An aesthetic occupation : the immediacy of architecture and the Palestine conflict. Duke 2002
- What I’m listening to: My Bloody Valentine, mbv.
March 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
We have hints of spring in the Red River Valley with a high today in the upper twenties, but don’t worry, we won’t get soft. Snow piles abound and the weather folks have assured us that things will still get worse before they get better.
Whatever the weather, the Friday before Spring Break (for me at least) is a good time for some quick hits and varia.
- The Cyrus Cylinder from the British Museum is on display at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery.
- Have you looked checked out ASOR’s March Fellowship Madness yet? If not, go here and then give a few dollars to help support stories like this. It’s a good thing.
- Peter Brown’s Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD. (Oxford 2012) is very long. This review is shorter.
- A plague of locusts in the Middle East!
- Few things are more infuriating than being told that sharing a PDF of a scholarly article with a colleague violates copyright.
- The speed of censorship in China.
- Three cricket notes: What’s happening here? Welcome back Sanga (this is all I wanted to see from the Boxing Day Test)! And this is funny.
- So I need to buy a new Window’s PC and have some grant money to do it. I’m thinking of a Dell XPS15. It needs to be powerful, have a graphic card, and be of “better” quality. Any opinions?
- On the same grant, I’m going to get a Panasonic GX-1 with a couple of lenses rather than upgrading my venerable Nikon D80 DSLR.
- Here I am yesterday talking about the North Dakota Man Camp Project on the student run Studio One television show.
- Punk fashion at the Met - Punk: Chaos to Couture. And for something less punk, check out Sebastian Heath’s 3D image of the Met’s Caracalla head.
- This is a little article on an N.C. Wyeth painting, Odyssey, that found its way into the from the GlaxoSmithKline corporate offices to the Philadelphia Art Museum. It is interesting that the Philadelphia Art Museum does not have any Wyeth paintings, but the nearby Brandywine River Museum has a massive collection. Wonder why they gave it to the Philadelphia Art Museum?
- A quick course on how to pick a man camp and a new report on the rising population of the Williston Basin.
- A new documentary on Greek American Radicals.
- Any Ihnatko is not my favorite tech blogger, but I did think his three part series on why he switched from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy IIIS is pretty good. The only issue for me is this admission: “After that, I’d only pull out my iPhone for one reason: to take a photo. The iPhone continues to kick the butts of all challengers as a camera.”
- Check out the three part post over at the Electric Archaeologist on Digital Humanities Job Advertisements (part 1, part 2, part 3). Then check out his notes on how to become a Digital Humanist.
- This is an interesting way to measure your social attitudes.
- North Dakota is the 19th most well-being state (pdf).
- New Franz Ferdinand songs, a new Kurt Vile song, and a cool performance by Kishi Bashi.
- If you’re in North Dakota and want to hear some cool cats talk about the Dakota War in the Dakota Territory, check out this schedule of public talks.
- Some North Dakota abandonment porn.
- Check out the archaeology of conserving and restoring old computers.
- What I’m reading: Walker Evans, Walker Evans: Florida. J. Paul Getty Museum 2000 via Kostis Kourelis (But I have a couple of other books on my nightstand including D.B. Monk’s An aesthetic occupation : the immediacy of architecture and the Palestine conflict. Duke 2002 (via Jordan Pickett)
- What I’m listening to: Ten Years After, Cricklewood Green; Ten Years After, Ssssh; Ten Years After, Stonedhenge. R.I.P Alvin Lee.
Two photos of one of my favorite (albeit utterly indistinct) buildings in Grand Forks:
March 1, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It’s a gently warming Friday and the air smells a bit like spring (and this means that we’ll get well over 20 today and the next winter storm will not happen until Sunday!). When the weather gets nicer, it puts even more pressure on me to enthrall you with my quick hits and varia. Hopefully, something will capture your attention.
(And don’t think I haven’t noticed the steady decline in page views over the month of February!)
- Photographs of the disappearance of the Egyptian sanctuary at Philae to the rising water behind the Aswan Dam.
- A cool interview with Kim Shelton on the resurrection of the Temple of Zeus at Nemea. (And old archaeologist once told me: she has a name, you know? Anna… Anastylosis).
- LiDARtastic in Petra.
- It’s uncanny how similar W.H. Auden’s English 135 syllabus at Michigan to my syllabi at the University of North Dakota.
- Some cool perspective on the current revolution in higher education and a nice little graphic on the so-called student loan crisis.
- Some interesting stuff on Christian art. The Greeks get strange about contemporary icons and the use of contemporary technique to enliven a traditional space.
- The unfortunate state of archaeology in the West Bank.
- Music sales over the past 30 years.
- Old school Grand Forks.
- This looks like a cool meeting (an advertisement for myself).
- Abandonment porn from a galaxy far far away…
- The Rules of Cricket. The second India-Australia test looks really interesting.
- I’m getting ideas for the cover of our book on the man camps of the Bakken and another magazine cover on the Bakken boom(pdf).
- You go, Marshall Sahlins!
- This looks pretty cool.
- How to build a record collection (part 1, part 2). And how and why to collect the White Album.
- Some cool photos of the gutted White House from the 1940s.
- I’ve been experimenting with Audirvana this week. It sounds better than iTunes. I’m going to mess with Fidelia soon too.
- Walking in the cold does help us lose weight.
- What I’m listening to: Autre ne Veut, Anxiety; Donald Byrd, Up with Donald Byrd; Atoms for Peace, Amok.
- What I’m reading: R. Harrison, After Modernity: Archaeological Approaches to the Contemporary Past. Oxford 2010.
February 22, 2013 § 3 Comments
It’s cold, winter, and I’m sick.
Hopefully my varia and quick hits can keep others warm and healthy.
- Web archaeology and aesthetics: Geocities.
- The Society of Architectural Historians has a blog and Kostis Kourelis is its editor. This will be awesome.
- A MOOC for freshman composition.
- Did somebody say, humanities?
- More abandonment porn: Another effort at Bunker Archaeology. I love the effect of the light on these World War II era bunkers. I want to do this with man camp trailers in the Bakken.
- Another cool architectural gif by Ben Leech.
- It’s a day for beards. First, they keep you safe (something that I have argued for years… wait until some well-known organizations that limit facial hair get sued for exposing their boys of summer to a greater risk of cancer.). The Philly beard will be the next big thing and I might just be on it.
- If I don’t understand Google Glass does that mean it’s not meant for me?
- This is a good start for Australia and for Moises Henriques’s test career. Macho innings from Warner with a broken finger, and I just didn’t realize how good Michael Clarke was until this past year.
- I am super excited to get my copy of Amalia Dillin’s debut novel (she took ancient history courses from me here at the University of North Dakota).
- Zagora from the air.
- Food: This is funny. And this is transcendently awesome. I rank having a chance to hang out with Marilyn Hagerty on a number of occasions among the coolest experiences of my life. Really.
- In Cyprus, we call it synesthesia. Recently I have good evidence that I have synamnesia: the ability to forget things in colors. Anyway, here’s your IP address in colors. Don’t blame me, it’s the internet.
- It’s a bit amazing that we need to tell people things like it’s better to exercise outdoors.
- What I’m reading: N. Gaiman, American Gods.
- What I’m listening to: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, II (which is not as good as The Meat Puppets, II); Grant Green, The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark.
Ryland Hall, University of Richmond
(Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson; Carneal and Johnston)
February 15, 2013 § 2 Comments
After a mild week, it is no surprise that we’re in for a cold few days. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, though. On Sunday night I head south to Richmond, Virginia to give a talk at my alma mater, the University of Richmond. I haven’t been on campus there for close to 20 years, so it will be exciting to visit a place where I spent so many of my formative years.
In the meantime, I’m sitting by the fire and conjuring up a little gaggle of quick hits and varia for your weekend reading pleasure.
- Congratulations to Dallas Deforest for defending his dissertation this past week. It’s on baths and bathing in Late Antiquity. I can’t wait to get my hands on a complete copy. Get to know Dallas’s diverse interests better by checking out his blog here. Be sure to check out the photo of a 19th century urban man camp.
- Byzantine Bottlecap Art.
- A bill to fund a survey of the Killdeer battlefield was trimmed from $250,000 to $4,999 because of the objection from “one landowner, Bryan Dvirnak, whose family has owned part of the battlefield since 1928. He said no one had contacted his family regarding the survey.” So we now should contact landowners BEFORE we have funding for a survey? The Bismarck Tribune could not have done any more to make this all sound insane.
- Good thing this crazy project will begin at Killdeer Mountain.
- Improvised trash cans in Japan.
- This is what happens when you lie and your car catches you in those lies.
- My wife and I really like TONX coffee. Hear about it here. In fact, they should sponsor my Friday Quick Hits and Varia, because it’s always fueled by a delicious cup of Tonx. Sponsorship is SUPER cheap.
- Omeka 2.0 is out. I wonder whether it will available on Omeka.net.
- More and more disturbing news from Greece as Y. Hamilakis chimes in.
- Some oil patch blogs: My Life in Williston, North Dakota, Real Oilfield Wives, The Education of an Oilfield Wife. And check out Amy Dalrymple’s Oil Patch Dispatch.
- More on the patch from documentary filmmakers.
- Some love for the North Dakota Man Camp Project from the AP and Oregon.
- What I’m listening to: Jack White, Blunderbuss; The ABCs, Stona Rosa.
- What I’m reading: N. Gaiman, American Gods.
February 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
We’re getting ready to head out west for another short field season in the Bakken Oil Patch, but before we go, Kyle Cassidy will give a talk at noon today, and I’ll offer up a little gaggle of quick hits and varia.
- If you’re a Windows Server and Network Administrator and want to work at Catalhoyuk, go here.
- More on the future of the book.
- Floating cars!
- News on Pompeii.
- The economic basis of the college as country club.
- Gregory Nagy teaching an edX course on the ancient Greek hero.
- Air pollution in Ancient Rome.
- How to engooden your powerpointers.
- Sweet timeline application using Googles.
- The larger the past gets the smaller our present feels.
- What it takes to put on a Coursera course.
- Oscar Broneer’s Slide Collection.
- Rebecca Solnit on new forms of settlement.
- New ideas in scholarly publishing from the library.
- What I’m listening to: Frightened Rabbit, Pedestrian Verse.
- What I’m reading: M. Decker, Tilling the Hateful Earth: Agricultural Production and Trade in the Late Antique East. Oxford 2009.
February 1, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It is a cold day here in North Dakotaland, but the weekend should provide enough excitement to keep us all warm. Be sure to come down to Sidestreet Grille and Pub for Punk Archaeology featuring some good conversation, rock ‘n’ roll, and adult beverages on Saturday starting ay 7 pm. We’ve received some great coverage in the local press including this thoughtful article (which optimistically compare us to the famous Fargo Testicle Festival of 2001; I prefer to think of us as a 21st century version of the Zip to Zap.) Or better still, check out Colleen Morgan’s essay for our little Punk Archaeology volume and Andrew Reinhard’s thoughts. Our producer Aaron Barth will be on Fargo’s 101.9 FM Morning Talk from 7:30-8:00 tomorrow to talk about Punk Archaeology. We will be streaming punk archaeology here starting around 7 pm CST tomorrow. We’ll be monitoring the Twitter hashtag #punkarch throughout the night! (Have I mentioned how awesome it is that Mike Wittgraf has agreed to play with Reinhard, Barth, and some of the Dirty Frenchmen?)
In the meantime, occupy yourself, if you like, with some quick hits and varia:
- A prize competition for the best visualization of data in Classics. It pays American cash dollars.
- Some awesome photographs of turn of the (20th) century Greece.
- A depressing example of adaptive reuse in Syria.
- Some awesome photographs of Afghanistan in happier times.
- Bathing in the Bronze Age.
- How to write with style.
- The role of “performance” (in quotes) in Late Antiquity. I think they mean, so-called performance or at least performance in an ironic way.
- Prof. Ron Stroud being honored by the American School of Classical Studies. He’s a class act.
- How to teach with grace.
- The Temple of Apollo at Corinth under the bright lights.
- A database of Artefacts and Raw Materials in Byzantine Archival Documents.
- High-end audio in USAToday.
- WHY IS NO ONE SUPPORTING SURFANA? I can’t think of any more excellent idea right now.
- I have no idea what to make of this story.
- The faces of archaeology.
- A rough evening for the ole West Indies.
- Some awesome photographs of Detroit that might make us rethink our fixation on abandonment porn.
- Why am I thinking so much about photography? It’s because Kyle Cassidy will give a talk at UND next Friday and then visit the Bakken with my North Dakota Man Camp Project colleagues.
- Another – infinitely less depressing – amazing example of adaptive reuse.
- More (if it was even possible) on the North Dakota oil boom in the New York Times.
- Some amusing and some annoying thoughts on service. Last time I talked about service here on my blog, I got attacked on Facebook. Now I just tell paraphrase Herodotus and tell my more junior colleagues: cities that were once great are now small and cities that were once small are now great and that human happiness never tarries long in one place…
- What to do if you’re cold at the University of Richmond.
- Some amazing maps: a new map of the U.S. organized by population, some 19th century maps and graphs of the U.S. also organized around population, and some relaxing and fascinating afternoon maps.
- What I’m reading: Kyle Cassidy, War Paint: Tattoo Culture and the Armed Forces. (2012)
- What I’m listening to: June Panic, Glory Hole; Frightened Rabbit, Pedestrian Verse.
An anthem for Punk Archaeology:
January 25, 2013 § 3 Comments
There are few things better to do on a snow North Dakotaland morning than to prepare a series of quick hits and varia. It is even better when I’m by the fire in the New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World Headquarters with a nice cuppa coffee.
- Turkey continues to make noise in its “culture war” by demanding the return of artifacts removed illegally or otherwise from its borders. This is fascinating. Turkey’s efforts sit a particularly complex intersection of critiques of culture, concepts of ownership and use, and nationalism.
- You got it man … nobody messes with The Rothaus (for those who need the cultural reference (rated PG-13)).
- Some ideas on how to make DIY Classical Commentaries for students from Dickinson College. This is such a great idea. Anyone who has ever taught a language knows that no student commentary is ideally suited for their students (unless you build it yourself!).
- Farm Fragmentation in Modern Greece.
- This is fun. Can you explain a hard idea using on the “ten hundred” most common words?
- My buddy Dallas Deforest is writing about Rebetika. You should check out his blog.
- Some vaguely interesting thoughts about photography in the 21st century.
- The National Endowment for the Humanities is digitizing their grant records. Here is the first grant ever issued by this institution.
- My buddy Sam Fee’s landscape photographs are just stunning.
- How to tie a Eldredge knot.
- Some interesting travel notes in the wondrous land that is North Korea.
- Anthropologists do not love Jared Diamond.
- As if we didn’t already know, the future is Seasteading.
- The worst novelist in history. Anyone who has ever graded a big stack of undergraduate papers over a long weekend can relate to this: “This stuff is, in lowish doses, quite entertaining, but if you read enough of it, its absurdity seems to spread outward to the whole of literature, like a particularly contagious airborne virus… Ros’ writing is not just bad, in other words; its badness is so potent that it seems to undermine the very idea of literature, to expose the whole endeavor of making art out of language as essentially and irredeemably fraudulent—and, even worse, silly.”
- If bad writing doesn’t do it for you, check out Nabokov’s requirements for good readers. It doesn’t take much to realize that bad reading and bad writing are deeply intertwined.
- A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in a Digital Age. Some interesting conversation going on across Twitter around the hashtag #learnersrights. Check out the first step in the move from MOOCs as outreach to MOOCs as massive credit farms.
- Graduate school as cult.
- The Kenyan Drummer Queen.
- What I’m listening to: We Are Augustines, iTunes Sessions; Son Lux, At War with Walls and Mazes; Foxygen, We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic.
- What I’m reading: K. Bowes, Houses and society in the later Roman Empire. Duckworth 2010.
One of my favorite apartment blocks in Grand Forks
January 18, 2013 § 1 Comment
It will be a downright balmy day here in North Dakotalands with a high expected to be 32 degrees F, but don’t fear that the denizens of the Northern Plains will get soft with these springtime temperatures in the darkest January. We’re under a blizzard warning for Saturday. So tonight, I expect my neighbors to be firing up their grills, lathering on the sunscreen, and playing backyard cricket, but tomorrow we’ll once again be hunkered down by the fire, reading our blogs, and dreaming of the Mediterranean sun.
In the meantime, please enjoy a artisnal collection of quick hits and varia:
- Apparently there were toilets on the second floor of houses in Pompeii. Upstairs and downstairs bathrooms make Pompeiian houses more conveniently accommodated than some homes I know here in Grand Forks!
- This is a fantastic use of GIF art in the service of a serious piece of web writing (and it’s a cool story too).
- More New York Times stuff on life in Bakken Oil Patch.
- Free modern art books from the Guggenheim. There is very little not to like about free and art and books in the same sentence.
- My wife and I have very different opinions about birds, but this is a pretty cool page from Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology and the Macaulay Library.
- Did I post this in an earlier quick hits and varia? Maybe. But if I didn’t everyone should check out the BBC’s web recreation of their classic radiophonic sounds. Anyone who teaches online could certainly imagine uses for these sounds…
- Everyone knows about Punk Archaeology, right? (And if you’re wondering, yes, they are practicing.) If you’re in the Grand Forks area and need or want one of Joel Jonientz’s amazing technicolor posters, stop by my office.
- More on Frank Furness from Kostis Kourelis.
- One thing that was nice about working in Cyprus was that it was a bit distant from the exasperating and exhausting news of economic catastrophe in Greece. Now, however, it seems like the footsteps are getting louder and the extent of the problems more clear.
- Some great writing tips from H.P. Lovecraft to young writers.
- For those of you who keep a score card at home, the “new” iteration of my blog passed the 500 post point this week.
- And a pretty funny list of things that you should never say to your professor. I’ve received at least five emails this week asking me “if we did anything in class last week.” I now tell them: “You dodged a bullet. We actually sat quietly for 2 hours and did absolutely nothing.”
- It was nice to see that the return of the big Australian cricket stars to their team produced predictably awe inspiring results against an out matched Sri Lanka ….
- Has anyone thought of producing scholarly reviews of MOOC courses? I’d love to read a thoughtful review (or even semi regular reports) from these classes. I know I could just sign up and do it myself, but part of me wonders how we can judge the impact of these courses on popular and scholarly discourse. It’s one thing to have thousands of students enrolled, but it’s another thing to produce knowledge. Maybe I’ll have enough time in Cyprus to blog about Susan Alcock’s Coursera class in June.
- Photographs of the sworn virgins of Albania. It’s interesting the virginity and gender are so deeply intwined.
- This is an amazing sailboat. Read the article, but also check out the videos!
- What I’m reading: T. Weller ed., History in the Digital Age. Routledge 2013.
- What I’m listening to: The Bears of Blue River, Dames; Yo La Tengo, Fade.
I know it’s grainy,but I love the sparks from the smoke stack.
January 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
It’s a winter-weather day here in North Dakotaland, but the fireplace is going in New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World and my laptop is keeping my lap toasty warm. So there seems to be nothing better to do right now than for me to prepare and you to read a little list of quick hits and varia.
- On the top of everyone’s list this week is the story of the remarkable finds at Byzantine Myra in Turkey. The coverage in the New York Times is well-worth using one of your 10 free articles to read. Any excitement over the Byzantine period in the popular media is great. Let’s hope that this interest extends to sites with well-preserved foundations immediately beneath the plow zone!
- Keeping in Byzantine times: thanks to Kostis Kourelis for the kind words on my work with Amy Papalexandrou in the Polis: City of Gold exhibition catalogue.
- Lots of fun stuff with maps this week. First, Australian Bureau of Meteorology had to use a new color on their maps to indicate temperatures over 50 degrees C. My wife has family in Alice Springs and they confirmed several days of over 50 degree C weather. The need for a new color on the maps smacks a bit of “this amp goes to 11″, though. We also saw maps of the best places to be born and, in some ways the opposite, a vintage maps of 20th century lynchings in the U.S. Here’s a link to Harvard’s WorldMap project. It’s pretty cool and I’m very tempted to use it, rather than Google Earth, in my History 101 class this semester.
- The Running of the Classicists.
- If people don’t quite understand what hockey is like here in North Dakotaland, they should read this article.
- More North Dakotiana: How much does a one-bedroom apparent rent for in Williston? For more on the North Dakota Oil Patch, check out Black Gold Boom.
- Apparently, this author thinks that teachers “secretly hate grading”. Most of us openly hate grading and some most of the reasons that the author noted, but since most of us understand these things, the onus is more or less on us to create assignments and a classroom culture to mitigate these factors.
- Corinthian Matters turned 3 years old this month and has celebrated that landmark with a nice group of interesting posts. Of particular note is David Pettegrew’s Digital History syllabus. At last weeks, AIA/APA annual meeting, digital humanities was described as an intervention caused by the temporary crisis of the digital world. I wonder whether David’s syllabus marks a turning point in the place of digital technology in ancient history and archaeology. David is as smart as they come in Mediterranean Archaeology, but he is not someone with a singular interest in digital practices. His teaching of a digital history course shows that certain barriers have lifted. We are all digital historians and archaeologists now.
- The Modern Language Association meeting (as well as the American History Association meeting) takes place this time of year and that means a bumper crop of digital humanities musings. I have read or discovered them all, but I like Bethany Nowvisikie’s paper.
- What I’m reading: K. Sessa, The formation of papal authority in late antique Italy : Roman bishops and the domestic sphere. Berkeley 2012.
- What I’m listening to: Kishi Bashi, 151a; Father John Misty, Fear Fun.
Smith Tower, Seattle