Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (February 8, 2014)

Saturdays often allow a more leisurely approach to life than work days. I can more easily post links to some blog posts or other materials I have discovered during the week, or even to those discovered during a Saturday morning coffee and extended surfing of the blogosphere/internet.

Here are a few recommendations for inclusion on your reading list.  It is a short list this week due to an early appointment this morning.

1.  I have occasionally mentioned here on The Prism a book that I think is worth reading for those interested in history and genealogy. Nancy at My Ancestors and Me blog posted a recommendation on her blog this week.  Nancy glowingly recommends "Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin" by Jill Lepore. Jane was the sister of Benjamin Franklin.  Since I am within 20 pages of finally finishing "The Bully Pulpit" by Doris Kearns Goodwin (an excellent read by the way), I think this recommendation from Nancy just earned a place in my "To Read" pile.  As Nancy says in her review, we tend to know very little about the lives of women in the 1700s because of the role most women were assigned in life at the time and because reading and writing were not part of the child bearing, cleaning, cooking, sewing world they were most often supposed to occupy. Beyond a biography of Jane Franklin, Nancy assures us the book is also "the history of society, a chronicle of events during the 1700s in New England, an annotated genealogy of a family, and a social history of the life of women at that time."  How could anyone with deep roots in early New England not want to read this book?  Thank you Nancy for bringing this one to our attention!
2.  "Assignment: Compare and contrast function vs. beauty in three examples of organizational charts depicting genealogy, business structure and modern war (in 500 words or fewer).

Most of us have had to deal with organizational charts that attempt to convey complex ideas graphically; some are more successful than others and can transcend into things of beauty even if their accuracy and functionality prove to be wanting -- others simply fail on all accounts.  Here is a real life 2009 chart that attempts to graphically depict for the Joint Chiefs of Staff something about the war in Afghanistan (what is anyone's guess).

The Vault provides two examples for our compare and contrast assignment.  
First, have a look here at what is apparently considered the first formal business organization chart.  It is an 1855 chart to depict the organizational structure of the New York and Erie Railroad. Its tree-like structure radiating out from a central subject brings to mind some genealogy charts -- and that is a nice segue to the second chart for comparison and contrast. Here, The Vault provides a beautifully illustrated 1873 pedigree chart for George Washington.  The only problem is that its visual appeal is undermined by the fact that its substantive content is wrong.

3.  Judy Russell at The Legal Genealogist has a nice review of copyright law arising from a reported instance of large scale flatbed scanners being made publicly available in a major research library.  "Copyright and the book scanner" is a should read

4.  Here is a new resource to me, but many of you might already be aware of it.  Thanks to Janine Adams at Organize Your Family blog for pointing the way to this web site of U.S. maps old and new.

5.  Quiz time . . . Here are two lists of girls names: (1) Charlotte, Seraphina, Olivia, Violet, Elizabeth, Isla, Sophia, Laura, Caroline, Ava; and (2)  Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, Ruth, Anna, Mildred, Elizabeth, Frances, Marie. Which is a list of the most popular girls names in the U.S. 100 years ago, and which is a list of the most popular girls names in 2010? Click on the links of the list numbers to find the answer. [No cheating . . . write down your answer and have it notarized before checking to see if you are correct!]  
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for highlighting my post about Book of Ages, John. I hope you (and others who read it) enjoy it.