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The 100 Best Pens – Gel, Ballpoint, Rollerball, and More, 2018 via The Strategist

April 16th, 2019 Comments off
There is a geeky community for nearly everything in the world and pens — yes, pens for writing — is one of them. Sure you have the fountain pen collectors and users, but even the humble felt tip, rollerball and ball-points have their community. In this case, The Strategist has developed a method of rating pens of all types and quantifying how each measures up so you don’t have too.
 
Yes, I am a geek in many things and pens could be considered one of them.  I certainly have my preferences in pen and ink types I dislike ballpoints with a passion and look towards rollerball or fountain pens as my go-to writing instrument.
 
What’s your favorite writing instrument? Check out how it rates in the exhaustive list below!
 
At its most basic, a pen has to do just one thing, but there are so many reasons to choose one over another. Does it glide along the page, or does it drag? Does the ink flow in a smooth line, or is it unpredictable? Does the pen feel good or would note-taking cramp your hand? And how does it look? With so many varieties out there, from plastic ballpoints sold by the dozen to thousand-dollar fountain pens hunted down by collectors, we became determined to find the very best pens for everyday use.
Read Gel, Ballpoint, Rollerball, and More, 2018 via The Strategist





* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library


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Download 569 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art via Open Culture

February 23rd, 2019 Comments off
More intellectual enrichment for FREE with these museum books. Expand your mind! — Douglas
 
 

You could pay $118 on Amazon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s catalog The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Or you could pay $0 to download it at MetPublications, the site offering “five decades of Met Museum publications on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free.”

If that strikes you as an obvious choice, prepare to spend some serious time browsing MetPublications’ collection of free art books and catalogs.

[…]

Read Download 569 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art via Open Culture





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The Ending of World War I: The Road to 11 November via Gresham College

February 19th, 2019 Comments off
I regularly watch these Gresham College lectures on a variety of topics — probably around 3-4 lectures a month, depending on the topics. Lectures like this have been by own version of a Master’s Degree, since I am not that fond of classroom learning. With each lecture, you gain quite a deep understanding of the topic at hand and often there are 3-5 lectures that follow a theme over the course of few months. — Douglas

Gresham College was founded in 1597 and has been providing free lectures within the City of London for over 400 years.

The College was established out of the will of Sir Thomas Gresham, one of the most influential and important men across the Tudor and Elizabethan periods. Sir Thomas made himself indispensable as the financial agent for four successive monarchs from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. As well as founding the Royal Exchange, Sir Thomas left proceeds in his will for the foundation of Gresham College.

 

This lecture re-examines how the First World War ended. Why did Germany request a ceasefire and why did the Allies and America grant one?

A lecture by Professor David Stevenson, London School of Economics
07 November 2018 6pm (UK time)
https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-an…

Audio, Video, Transcript and Slides are available on the Gresham College web site.

This lecture will re-examine how the First World War ended, anticipating the centenary commemorations in 2018. It will discuss both why Germany requested a ceasefire, and why the Allies and America granted one. It will argue that the German army was near collapse, and that Germany was not defeated by a ‘stab in the back’ at home. None the less, the Allies had good reasons not to press on to Berlin.

Watch The Ending of World War I: The Road to 11 November via Gresham College






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The Art Institute of Chicago Now Offers Unrestricted Access to over 52,000 High-Resolution Images from Their Collection via Colossal

February 11th, 2019 Comments off
While there is something special in seeing famous artwork in-person, having access online is certainly better than having no access at all and The Art Institute of Chicago has opened up a huge collection of images from artwork in their collection. Even better, you can poke, prod and get an up-close view (through zooming) at these images without the security guard chasing you away. (SMILE) This sometimes happens to me as I like to get close to see brush work and how the paint is laid upon the canvas. — Douglas
 
The Art Institute of Chicago recently announced the release of tens of thousands of images from their collection to the public domain, providing high resolution access to the thick paint strokes of Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom,” the eerie light of Edvard Munch’s “The Girl by the Window,” or the pointillism used in George Seurat’s famous “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884.″ The works have been made available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which presents the works without copyright. Visitors to the Art Institute’s website also can experience enhanced viewing for each image by zooming in on the paintings, drawings, and other artworks with more detail than before. The current image count is at 53,438, however the Art Institute explains that this number will continue to expand regularly. You can begin your dig into their vast store of artworks by visiting this online research tool. 

Papers of President Theodore Roosevelt Now Online via The Library of Congress

January 28th, 2019 Comments off
I am a history buff — perhaps even a history addict — and sites like this are dangerous for me. I can go “down the rabbit hole” and not emerge for weeks if I am not careful. (LAUGH) Ok, maybe not that bad, but it can be serious time — not waster — but time sink. With all my historical interest, though, there are still wide gaps in my knowledge. I knew a few basics about “Teddy” but it was only when I watched The Roosevelts by Ken Burns that I developed a deeper understanding of them and how Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor were part of a long continuum of Roosevelt power over the decades.
 
Now that I have a bit more knowledge about the family, I am sure to better understand the primary documents included in this collection from the Library of Congress. When you have good base to build on, the specifics become a great deal clearer.
 
Do you have an interest in Theodore Roosevelt? Do you want to learn about him using his own words, letters and policies? Dig in, but be sure to tie an electronic “rope” around your waist so you can find your way out again! — Douglas
 
 

The largest collection of the papers of President Theodore Roosevelt, documenting his extraordinary career in the White House and as vice president, governor of New York, and as a naturalist, writer and reformer, has been digitized and is now available online from the Library of Congress.

The digitization of the massive collection comes just before the 160th anniversary of Roosevelt’s birthday. The nation’s 26th president was born Oct. 27, 1858, and died nearly 100 years ago on Jan. 6, 1919.

The Roosevelt collection is online at: loc.gov/collections/theodore-roosevelt-papers/about-this-collection/.

Read Papers of President Theodore Roosevelt Now Online via The Library of Congress


More on the Roosevelts

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† Available from the LA Public Library


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This Bizarre World Map Is So Crazily Accurate, It Actually Folds Into a Globe via ScienceAlert

January 11th, 2019 Comments off
I have always been a map geek and articles like this always tickle my fancy. Better maps give us a better worldview and help us understand the world just a little bit better. — Douglas
 
This Bizarre World Map Is So Crazily Accurate, It Actually Folds Into a Globe via ScienceAlert

We all know most maps of the world aren’t entirely accurate. For starters, Africa is way bigger than it looks, and Greenland isn’t nearly so vast.

But a designer in Japan has created a map that’s so accurate it’s almost as good as a globe, and it’s probably one of the best estimations you’ll see of the real size of countries.

The New York Public Library is Turning Classics Into Instagram Stories via Gizmodo

November 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Mashing up media is one great way to create something new in the world and I am all for it. These Instagram versions of literary classics is just one way to mix things up and use new technology to deliver — still relevant — text in an interesting fashion. — Douglas

Gizmodo has advocated for libraries as an excellent means of logging off, because a library is a service that lets you “stream” films, music, magazines, books, and all other kinds of media for free.

But now one of the world’s greatest libraries is trying to enrich the social media experience. The New York Public Library just released the first of its InstaNovel series on Instagram Stories. NYPL followers can watch-read the first part ofAlice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll on the app. The feature shows the full text of the book, but also includes illustrations by designer Magoz, and animated pages that capture the liveliness of Carroll’s creative page formatting. As anyone who’s used Facebook’s Snapchat clone could assume, lifting a finger from the screen turns the page.

5 Camera Settings That All Macro Photographers Should Know via Digital Photography School

October 24th, 2018 Comments off
Do you macro?
 
I find that closeup major photography can be the most challenging photos I take. Focus and depth of focus are a constant challenge along with the fact that the breeze almost always picks up when I am shooting.
 
Digital Photography School always has the best advice and tutorials. Check out their entire site! — Douglas
 
 

This article will detail five camera settings that are essential and which all macro photographers should know. It was inspired by Will Nichols’ excellent tips Five Camera Settings Every New Photographer Needs to Know. You will notice two main themes in this article – ensuring a perfect point of focus and ensuring maximum sharpness. Both of which are critical in macro photography.

Included in the list of settings are Manual Focus, Manual Mode, Live View, the self-timer, and burst mode. By familiarizing yourself with these settings, your macro photography will grow by leaps and bounds.


Want to learn more about macro photography? Check out these books from Amazon!

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library


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50 Photos from WhoCon 2018, San Diego, California

October 22nd, 2018 Comments off

We spent the weekend down in San Diego attending WhoCon 2018. Rosanne was speaking on “Feminism in the Who-niverse in the Era of a Lady Doctor” (video coming soon).

Here are 50 photos from the presentation and the overall event.

I’ll also soon have a video interview with Dalek Builder Steve Roberts who kept us entertained all weekend with this fully functional Dalek!

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  47

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  6 WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  45

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  41

See all 50 Photos — Facebook — Flickr

Learn more about Doctor Who with these books and videos!

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

What to Photograph on Vacation When You’re Feeling Uninspired via Digital Photography School

August 25th, 2018 Comments off
My problem is that I tend to take too many photos when on vacation, but there have been times when I have been frustrated by a particular location or day. I really want to share it with my friends when I get home but I can’t seem to find an “in” that helps me produce great photos. I’m checking out these tips as I prepare a trip to Milan, Italy in a few weeks. — Douglas
 

Vacation is a great time not only to recharge and relax but also to practice your travel photography skills. Whether you’re a pro with lots of gear, or a hobbyist with your first camera, there are plenty of photo opportunities in a new place. In fact, there can be so many that you can easily get overwhelmed or uninspired to shoot anything at all.

If you hit a wall and don’t know what to photograph while traveling, here are some ways to fire up your creativity.

Read What to Photograph on Vacation When You’re Feeling Uninspired via Digital Photography School


Learn more about photography with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library


An interesting link found among my daily reading