observations process reading writing

Frittering with Scalzi

I have got a backlog of blog posts that need writing, but I haven’t had time to write them. Which isn’t completely true. After working all day, doing the heavy mental lifting of writing and budgeting for a federal grant this past week, my brain has been so fried in the evening that I fritter away my time on Twitter, getting caught up in the day’s news. Now that I’ve got some time to blog,…

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history history relevance museums practical history pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

How to Market History’s Importance as Infrastructure

Last week’s blog post, “Two Broken Hips Away from Closing,” was inspired by a tweet from historian Larry Cebula. This week’s post is inspired by a tweet from historian David Grabitske (as seen above) in response to that post. Last year around about this time, I came to the realization that history is part of a community’s infrastructure and I wrote about it here. Since then, any time I have the opportunity, I tell people…

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history history relevance museums pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

“Two Broken Hips Away from Closing”

This tweet by public historian Larry Cebula out of Spokane, Washington, is painful in that there are far too many small museum situations where this is true. Often local history museums have been started by older people in a community, folks at or near retirement who are thinking of their personal legacies or the legacies of their community. They’ve got the time and motivation to start a collection or save a building and put together…

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reading

When Books Aren’t Good Enough as They Are Written

When I was a kid, I had a set of Reader’s Digest Best Loved Books for Young Readers. I liked the look of the set on my bookshelf and enjoyed making sure they were in numbered order, but I don’t think I ever read more than one story out of them (“Madame Curie,” I believe) during my entire childhood. I finally got rid of these books because they always bothered me. I knew they contained…

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history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian using history

Who Does the National Archives Serve?

On July 30, 2018, a tweet from Senator Dianne Feinstein appeared in my Twitter feed. Feinstein’s tweet reads (in case the image doesn’t appear): The Presidential Records Act makes clear that White House records, including Brett Kavanaugh’s, belong to the American people. Now, the National Archives is refusing to provide those records to Democrats so we can vet his nomination. This has NEVER happened. #ReleaseTheRecords I was so shocked that the National Archives (full name:…

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