history ideas observations pragmatic historian preservation purpose of history work in progress

Embodied Energy Is Key to the Grand Unified Theory of Preservation

Big, complex ideas take a significant amount of thought. Such is the case with the Grand Unified Theory of Preservation I’ve been working on for years. The thinking has continued since I shared the post I wrote about the theory a couple of weeks ago on this blog. Friend and history colleague David Grabitske sparked fresh thinking about the theory with a question he left on LinkedIn: “Where does Language Preservation fit? Just curious.“ Yes,…

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observations

Did You Know That Flour Is Raw?

I recently found out I’m allergic to yeast, both brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast. Not gluten, not wheat, which is great, but pretty much everything made of wheat is likely to have yeast in it. That means lots of careful label reading. Did you know saltine crackers and numerous “flat” breads have yeast in them? Why? They’re flat. Yeast fluffs up baked goods. There doesn’t seem to be a need to add yeast to these…

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Mask Culture

We are now over 6 months, 204,000 deaths, and 7.06 million cases into the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Those are sobering statistics for a sobering worldwide event. While this 6 months has felt like about 10 years in terms of the stress we have been under, it’s a relatively short amount of time to create some major habit shifts. It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit,…

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From Notre Dame to Yogurt Cups: Toward a Grand Unified Theory of Preservation

This is a post I’ve spent years thinking about. When it comes to historic preservation, the focus tends to be on buildings and structures that are historically or architecturally significant. Through the National Register of Historic Places, there are 4 criteria under which a structure can be nominated: Those … A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or B.That are associated with the…

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Encourage People to Vote By Writing Letters

Democracy in the United States is severely under attack from both inside and outside forces. Given this, it is up to those of us wanting to preserve democracy to speak out and take action. I have been more politically vocal during the past 3-4 years than in any other time in my life. I’ve nudged politicians who are supposed to be representing all of us rather than dividing us. I’ve encouraged people to take part…

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