observations pragmatic historian

The COVID-19 Map That’s Bugging Me

As we settle into the stay-at-home routine necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a map I have been obsessively checking every day. It’s a map of the State of Minnesota that is part of the MN Department of Health’s Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019. It shows the number of positive cases by county of residence. Here are the maps that I have taken screenshots of since March 31, 2020.   I live in…

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Website Work Continues

This week I exploded two websites. Not really, but that’s kinda what it felt like. I decided, in what felt like a spur-of-the-moment decision, that I no longer wanted to keep up two personal blogs. While I had been blogging weekly at The Pragmatic Historian for about two years, my blogging at this site, maryewarner.com, has lagged. If I didn’t have a job and other obligations, sure, I could write for two blogs, but that’s…

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Under Reconstruction

Hey, all, if you’re here and looking for The Pragmatic Historian or the former Mary E Warner websites, I’m working on blending the two sites and it’s a messy, messy process. I’m missing all my images, which is going to take some serious work to figure out. (Yes, I backed everything up, but WordPress isn’t importing them.) You can see I have lots of duplicates in menu items. Nothing is as pretty as it used…

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Survival vs Thrive-al Services

One of the key points I keep making about history is that it is part of our infrastructure. Each community has a foundation of history, as does each state, and the nation as a whole. The unique history of each community, the events, people, organizations, and even its geography, gives the place its special character. These are the features that affect how the community develops. They also draw people to the community. The history of…

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family observations

How Could I Not Love Radishes?

About a month ago now, just before the COVID-19 pandemic grocery-buying panic, I bought a large bunch of radishes at Fresh Thyme. There were especially lovely and fresh and I hadn’t had radishes in ages. I cleaned them all at once, because that’s the easiest thing to do with radishes, and put them in a bowl. I immediately ate several of them before putting the bowl in the fridge, where I could retrieve radishes when…

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Do Your Civic Duty – Fill Out the 2020 Census

In July 2019, which feels so veeeeery long ago now, I discussed the importance of the census, how getting an accurate count of everyone who lives in the United States is important for the distribution of government funding, figuring out how many representatives states have in Congress, and for future historians wanting data about who was living where and with whom. Guess what? It’s census time RIGHT NOW! April 1, 2020 is Census Day. It…

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Did Past Epidemics Cause Social Distancing in Scandinavians?

March 13, 2020 A mere month ago I wasn’t thinking about COVID-19, let alone thinking of blogging about it. Now, it’s pretty much all I can think of, along with mitigation efforts to #FlattenTheCurve in order to slow the spread and not overwhelm our healthcare system. I’m writing this on Friday, March 13, 2020. It’s important to note the date because the situation is changing rapidly. We’ve got 14 people in the state who have…

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Career Planning in the 1980s

Welcome to my childhood trunk. Inside of this ragged trunk, I stored papers, letters, and other mementos gathered from middle school through college. The trunk when new was covered by white wicker and was given to me by my Grandma Florence. As you can see from the photo, most of the wicker on the lower portion of the trunk is gone, revealing particle board. Thank our various cats for that. They enjoyed scratching the corners,…

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Book Review: Zero Waste Sewing

Normally, I post book reviews on my somewhat neglected personal blog at maryewarner.com (neglected because I spend most of my blogging energy here at The Pragmatic Historian). I’m making an exception in this case because the book I am reviewing, “Zero Waste Sewing” by Elizabeth Haywood, came to me because of this blog. Those of you who’ve been following along for a while might remember that I was attempting to make a bog coat, which…

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Making History Visible in Surveys

Upon the recommendation of Mike, a history museum colleague of mine, I read George Lakoff’s “Don’t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate.” Great book. I highly recommend it. Now I’m seeing subtle (and not so subtle) frames everywhere. In order to change existing frames, you’ve got to be able to notice them wherever they occur. I’ve been attempting to make history more visible because of its importance to society, our…

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How Cities and Nonprofits Are Similar

My History with Community Visioning Sessions I had an epiphany. My husband and I attended a community visioning session, OurTown 56345, last week. We have attended many such visioning sessions in the past. My history with such sessions is that they generate a lot of excitement at the outset, with organizers eager to hear what residents have to say and residents eager to share their ideas for community development. These sessions often feature color dots,…

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I’m Not an Action-Adventure Gal

After a marathon day of reading yesterday that ended at 11:30 p.m., I am finally finished with the first book I’ve read in 2020: Reamde by Neal Stephenson. I picked it up on the promise that it would involve technology, which it does but only tangentially. What I discovered in this 1000+ page tome was a lot of shoot-em-up action-adventure. If you like action-adventure, that’s great, but I’m not an action-adventure gal. The book was…

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