Friday Varia and Quick Hits

We’ve been skirting around the edge of real winter so far this year, but this week, mostly yesterday, it feels like it started in earnest: cold and house-shaking wind. It has motivated me to spend more time by the fireplace or under a blanket in my office chair.

Maybe it’s the cold or the inauguration, or the general bustle of live, but my quick hit and varia collecting was a bit slower than usual this week. (If you ever have anything that you’d like me to share here, drop me a line and I’d be more than happy to add it to my list!)

In any event, I offer this somewhat modest haul for your enjoyment:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s finally Friday of what feels like one of the longer weeks in recent memory. Maybe this has to do with this being the first week of class. Or maybe the unseasonably warm weather. Or maybe the juggling too many little projects that did not quite get finished over the winter break.

Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to taking some time this weekend to read, to recharge, and, ideally, to enter the third week of January with a renewed reserve of energy. 

I am also looking forward to watching some of the final test of the tied Australia-India series, watching my mighty Spiders take on their crosstown rivals at VCU, and seeing how the NFL playoffs continued to develop. 

In the meantime, please enjoy some quick hits and varia:

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s been a hectic few weeks while I simultaneously tried to relax and get work done that slipped through the cracks of the strange fall semester. I’m not sure that I managed to accomplish either thing, but it’s too late to worry about that now as the spring semester begins next week.

Plus, it would seem silly to even try to get work done when there’s so much quality NFL football this weekend, the third test in the Australia-India series is “hotting up,” and the NBA season is finding its feet. Sometimes it’s all about priorities.

Plus, there are some quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits: The Digital Press and NDQ Edition

Happy New Year!

While it is hard to deny that 2020 was a bit of a disaster, some good things did come out of it and in an effort to give credit where it’s due, I thought I’d shine a spotlight on some of the amazing work that appeared in the two “sister projects” to this blog: North Dakota Quarterly and from The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. (Actually, it doesn’t feel right to call NDQ a sister project, it’s more of a “granduncle” or “first cousin once removed” or something and The Digital Press might be some kind of “nephew” or whatever. I’ll stop.)

In any even, for the first “Friday Varia and Quick Hits” in 2020, I want to shed some light on the fine work by other folks whom I had the good fortune of shepherding along its way. 

First, from NDQ:

We were particularly happy to see that when we made a digital version of issue 87.1/2 available for free, it received over 2000 downloads. You can still download it here for free.

If you liked what you read and you can afford to subscribe, a subscription very much helps support the Quarterly’s work. It’ll also give you over 500 pages a year of fiction, poetry, essays, reviews and art in a glorious paperback package! If you’d like to subscribe, go here

Finally, as a way to look back over this year, here are the top 15 most read posts over at the NDQ blog. To be clear, there are plenty of great posts that didn’t make this list: Erin McIntosh’s “The Doll’s House,” Terry Toma’s “how it will happen,” and especially Megan Howell’s freakishly prescient “Harper and Marisol” come immediately to mind. 

1. Poetry from Craig Santos Perez.
2. Mainstreaming Racial Slurs: White Nationalism Comes Home to Roost
3. The Poetry of John Sibley Williams.
4. An Interview with Laila Lalami.
5. Role Playing Games.
6. Poems: Mythe and Death by Project Management Webinar.
7. Remembering John Lewis.
8. Poetry from Kirby Olson: 1453 and All That.
9. Maunel Tzoc Bucup’s Poetry for a Pandemic: Bullshit in oblivion.
10. Two Poems by Whitney Waters
11. A Prodigal Poem by Caroline Parkman Barr.
12. Bonnie Larson Staiger’s Poem: Still.
13. Shane Castle’s “Ursa.”
14. A Poem by Amalia Dillin: Unvarnished.
15. James Sallis’s “Scientific Methods.”

Over at The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota, things were every bit as busy in 2020 and have set the stage from a particularly exciting 2021.

Check out the five books that we published this year:

1. Derek B. Counts, Erin Walcek Averett, Kevin Garstki, and Michael Toumazou, Visualizing Votive Practice: Exploring Limestone and Terracotta Sculpture from Athienou-Malloura through 3D Models. 2020.

2. Sebastian Heath, ed. DATAM: Digital Approaches to Teaching the Ancient Mediterranean. 2020.

3. Calobe Jackson, Jr., Katie Wingert McArdle, David Pettegrew, eds. Foreword by Lenwood Sloan, One Hundred Voices, Harrisburg’s Historic African American Community, 1850-1920. 2020.

4. Kyle Conway, ed., Sixty Years of Boom and Bust: The Impact of Oil in North Dakota, 1958-2018. 2020.

5. Epoiesen. Vol. 3.

Special Publication: The University of North Dakota and the Great War.

What’s almost as exciting is that our back catalogue continues to attract readers, downloaders, and even the odd buyer! If you want to buy a book from the Digital Press and support a small bookstore you can check out the options on this page

If you want to sample the top five books in our back catalogue, all of which receive over two downloads per day in 2020 check out the links here:

1. Nicole Burton and Hugh Goldring and Patrick McCurdy, ed., The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet. Expanded Digital Edition. 2018.

2. David Haeselin, editor, Dakota Datebook: North Dakota Stories from Prairie Public. 2019.

3. Shawn Graham. Failing Gloriously and Other Essays. With a foreword by Eric Kansa and afterword by Neha Gupta. 2019.

4. Eric Burin, ed., Protesting on Bended Knee: Race, Dissent, and Patriotism in 21st Century America. 2018.

5. William Caraher and Kyle Conway, eds. The Bakken Goes Boom: Oil and the Changing Geographies of Western North Dakota. 2016.

Special mention goes to two other books from The Digital Press that have continued to garner attention in distinct ways. More people purchased Eric Burin’s edited volume, Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College (2016) than downloaded it. In contrast, our very first book, Punk Archaeology (2014) edited by myself, Andrew Reinhard, and Kostis Kourelis enters its seventh year of availability consistently getting more than one download per day.

Finally, it’s not a Friday Quick Hits and Varia without a couple dog photos:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

This is likely the final Friday Varia and Quick Hits of 2020! It’s pretty hard to believe that it’s almost January. Our winter here in North Dakotaland has been so mild that we still haven’t had the turn the heat on and we have just enough snow to make things look seasonal. 

This weekend will be filled with book layout, a bit of reading reading, and putting the final marks in this semester’s gradebook. It’s also a great weekend for sport with Ohio State playing in the Big 10 Championship game, Canelo Alvarez fighting on Saturday night, my Mighty Spiders playing tonight, and the first test of the Australia and India series underway. 

Hope your weekend has some snow, some sports, or something wonderful. In the meantime, here are some quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s reading and review day here in North Dakotaland and I plan to spend as much of it as possible reading and reviewing. In a perfect world, I might read and review all the way through the weekend.

In reality, I know myself well enough to realize that I probably can’t read and review all weekend. Fortunately, there is a remarkable weekend of boxing on tap. First, there is Anthony Joshua versus Kubrat Pulev for heavy weight championship of the world. Then in the evening, there is a full card of boxing from Bob Arum’s Top Rank stables including Shakur Stevenson, the first round knock out machine Edgar Berlanga, “The Dominican Kid” Elvis Rodriguez, and the former Cuban Olympia Robeisy Ramirez. It should be an entertaining enough day of boxing to make me forget that Ohio State won’t be playing Michigan this year for the first time in a century. 

In the meantime, here’s a little gaggle of quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

We’re enjoying October weather right now in North Dakotaland with temperatures soaring into the mid-40s yesterday, ektachrome skies, and wispy white clouds. Despite the end of the semester chaos and some looming deadlines, I spent as much time outside yesterday as I could.

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This weekend will continue to be mild, but I’ll have to reclaim some of my lost discipline and plan to spend some hours on my laptop by the fire with breaks to watch the penultimate Formula 1 race of the season, my Ohio State team continue its strange march to the college football playoffs, and maybe a bit more of the New Zealand-West Indies cricket match which I fear is rambling toward an indecisive conclusion. I don’t think I’ll watch the Spence-Garcia fight although I’d love to see Sebastian Fundora in his step up fight. 

There are also books, articles, and even some fiction that I need or want to read.

And, of course, a little list of quick hits and varia:

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Fanksgiving Friday Quick Hits and Varia

The Friday after Thanksgiving is always weird. It’s neither a weekend nor a weekday. I have work to do and for many it’s a work day, but I also want to watch college football. There are lingering festivities, of course, but also plenty to remind us to return to reality. In any event, such strangeness is part of what makes the holiday season special, I suppose.

There are plenty of things to look forward too. The Aussies have already dispatched India in the first ODI of the summer. The mighty Spiders start their 2020 basketballing campaign and the face Kentucky on national TV on Sunday. The Eagles play on Monday Night Football. There’s some fine boxing as well. Daniel Dubois finally has his much delayed fight against Joe Joyce which is a much more compelling heavyweight fight that watching two old guys go at it on pay-per-view. 

There’s also plenty to read, plenty to do, and plenty to write. 

And, of course, a very short list of quick hits and varia:

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Milo and Argie say Happy Thanksgiving and
NO, they won’t share their marrow bones

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s finally Friday in a week filled with a share of both meetings and some genuine excitement. This weekend looks to be a tame affair with some GIS work, a couple short books to read, and some time to recharge before the final, post-holiday, push to the end of the semester.

Because it’s 2020, the Ohio State – Indiana game actually matters and the usual post-Thanksgiving tilt between the Buckeyes and Michigan remains in the distant future. In its place the first ODI between Australia and India looms.

For those less interesting in sports, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the publication of a new book from The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. Go and download it for free:

Derek B. Counts, Erin Walcek Averett, Kevin Garstki, and Michael Toumazou, Visualizing Votive Practice: Exploring Limestone and Terracotta Sculpture from Athienou-Malloura through 3D Models.

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It’s already getting some very generous comments in The Social Media: “This is easily the coolest archaeological catalog that has ever been published. The 3D PDF is gorgeous. The linked content (Open Context and Sketchfab sites) super easy to play around with. Is this my new favorite #digitalhumanities example? Probably.”

If that doesn’t float your boat, perhaps you’ll find something fun in our quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

Fall has started its elegant slide into winter her as the occasional snows become more frequent and the cooling days outpace the warming days here in North Dakotaland. This weekend, we’ll ceremonially retire the lawnmower to the shed and move the snow-blower to the garage: a seasonal ritual of there ever was one.

This weekend will reward hunkering down in a comfortable chair with a book or some television. While my Ohio State game was canceled because The COVID and no one hate life enough to look forward to the Eagles-Giants game on Sunday, the F1 guys make a return to Istanbul Raceway Park with its brilliant Tilke designed track. The sports cars are racing at Sebring for 12 hours on Saturday. The evening concludes with the Bud Crawford – Kell Brook fight (with some interesting, if not exactly “must see,” undercards).

There’s also a good bit of interesting and fun stuff to read, including a little gaggle of quick hits and varia:

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