I've been working on putting together an annotated bibliography for my adviser over the past few days. I'm struck by how much work it is in terms of finding all of the articles, saving them, and then tracking backwards and forwards through citations to find related material. However as I've been doing this (and, in fact, each time I do any sort of review of the literature) I wonder what life was like before you had giant relational databases of material, not even counting things like writing up the report on a type writer. So, my question: if you've been in academia for a while, then what was life like before word processors / large relational databases of literature / instant collaboration and communication through email? And what sort of changes have you seen with the job as technology has advanced?
I've lived all my life in the shadow of the Appalachians. Now, I'm moving to Arizona. What are some books that I should read, or music that I should hear, to help me get the feel of the Southwest? [more inside]
Historically, in tropical areas, did cyclones/hurricanes wipe villages/huts/people off the face of the earth ? [more inside]
I've always wanted to learn about my family's history. I have an aunt who is nearing 75 and according to my father, she knows the most about my family. I was thinking of interviewing her this summer. [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a good book on the history of Laos? I've tried searching on Amazon but most of the titles I see there seem to focus on America's unfortunate colonial misadventure in Southeast Asia and the CIA's secret war in Laos. While I understand the market imperatives that might lead to such a focus, I'd like to get a broader history than that. The book I am looking will : [more inside]
I remember reading something, somewhere from one of the founding fathers about the original intent of legislators to NOT be a political class. To serve a term or two and go home so that people from outside could contribute and people inside didn't get too jaded. Though maybe I'm adding a lot of subtext. Is there anything from any of the FF's on this that rings a bell? Do you have a quote or two?
Four and eight years ago, I asked where I could obtain a copy of Eduardo Paolizzi's remarkable short film The History of Nothing on DVD. Added difficulty: I'm in America. Twist: I would gladly consider purchasing a 16mm print. Any leads?
Looking for statistical information on how many students study history at the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. level in various non-US countries. [more inside]
Steering wheels are an odd invention: a round object that you rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise based on whether you want to move a car left or right. The rotating of a wheel doesn't really match up with what you are trying to accomplish (unless you're used to it). [more inside]
I'm looking for solid histories of Alexandria (Egypt, not Virginia). Overviews are good, as are works more specifically social, intellectual, military, or economic. I'm particularly interested in ancient and Napoleonic information, but all suggestions are welcome! Web resources are welcome as well as print works; I have access to ILL and an academic library.
In the late 1990's on the Oprah Winfrey show, there was a brief piece on a song that reached the low end of the R&B charts. Sonically it was pretty traditional soul music, but the twist was that it was a cheating song, but the female singer catches her man cheating with another man, named "Bill," which was the title of the song, IIRC. If anyone can provide me with the singers name that'd be great. Bonus points for an mp3 or youtube link.
In the next day or two, I'll be getting some microfiche via ILL for an academic project. Ideally, I'd be able to digitize portions (50-100pp, probably) of them for future use in a way more efficient (and cheaper...) than printing out paper copies and scanning them. I have a Nikon D80 with a 50mm f/1.8 and a 105mm f/2.8 (I think) and a tripod, an iPad 3, a MacBook Pro, and a grad student budget. My campus has photocopiers that are also flatbed scanners; I'd be able to use one for an extended period of time if necessary. Any suggestions about the best ways to do this?
Why/how did this idea actually start? [more inside]
Recommend novels to help me learn more about the world! [more inside]
In a few weeks, I'll be going to Haiti, specifically the Northern region, for a couple months to work for a NGO. While I've worked and lived in other lesser developed countries and have briefly spoken to co-workers living there, I haven't been to Haiti before and I'd like to have a greater, more nuanced understanding of Haitian cultures and recent history before I arrive. I'm looking for short novels, recommended blogs, or articles - pieces on Haiti would be great posts on Metafilter (I've already read past ones on here) that give me a deeper understanding of Haitian cultures and recent political history.
I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. [more inside]
What is the publication history of Philip Agee's Inside the Company: CIA Diary? Are European editions vastly different? Or, more to the point, are American versions censored? [more inside]
I'm looking for the US equivalent of Dominic Sandbrook's State of Emergency: Britain 1970–1974—books that explore not just the politics, movements and 'big events' of the decade, but aspects such as pop culture and the changes in daily life and habits. [more inside]
Please recommend some books about the history of Southern California. I'm specifically interested in the evolution of car culture and the L.A. area as a cultural incubator. [more inside]
This is a followup to this question from almost five years ago. I am about to graduate from a not-very-well-known State University in the southwest with a BA in History. My problem is that I am now rudderless, with a great deal of debt and virtually no real job prospects. I am staring down the barrel of paycheck-to-paycheck poverty, forever. Please help. [more inside]
I am looking for books investigating the occult as a phenomenon, its history, and its possibilities. Maybe that sounds simple, but I'm also picky. [more inside]
So my wife is pregnant. Hooray! (Still early enough that we don't know the gender). We're starting to think about names. It seems to me that the world's great hope and story of progress is the expansion of rights and consideration of the views & interests of an ever-widening swath of humanity. Which historical figures stand for pluralism, for rejecting provincialism, in word or deed? I've picked up, but haven't yet read Kwame Anthony Appiah's Cosmopolitanism; I'd be grateful for suggestions of books or other resources that might be useful. [more inside]
Has there been a definitive account of the Iran-Contra Scandal written from the vantage point of either Iran or Nicaragua? [more inside]
It doesn't rain dirt from the sky, so how do ancient buildings get covered in dirt only to be dug up by archaeologists centuries later?
My friend found a number of European postcards from around 1904 to 1907, each with a similar motif -- a mustachioed, suit-wearing man flying above the city using an umbrella, holding a suitcase in his other hand. You can see some examples here. Do you know more about this meme? [more inside]
I'm trying to prove the historic strength and resiliency of California. From the Gold Rush on. Being the birthplace of aerospace manufacturing, the cradle of film and digital. Basically something that puts into perspective all the slowdowns and eventual recoveries that California has always bounced back from. Ideally from a kosher academic perspective. I'd rather not have this from the tome of an avowed Marxist as an example. Who should I read and what did they write?
Graduating with an MS in May, an independent historical research project on my brain, and time. What should I do NOW while I'm still a student? [more inside]
I'd like to read about the extensive streetcar networks that serviced most US cities in the late 19th / early 20th century. Any recommendations? [more inside]
In 2008, due to some personal problems, I closed out a Facebook account I was using at the time. I have since been accused of saying things via that Facebook account that I don't quite believe I would have said. [more inside]
In the 1970s and 80s, when I was a kid, an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, barring discrimination on the basis of sex, was passed by Congress and very nearly adopted. How would the United States be different if three more states had ratified the ERA and the Constitution had actually been amended? To make it more precise, what current federal laws or practices would be struck down if the U.S. Constitution included the ERA?
I believe I may suffer from a derth of artistic and intellectual heroes. Help me fix that. What artists and thinkers are worth engaging with fully as an adult? By "engaging with fully," I mean making a concerted effort to consume all of their output, several times, as well as seeking out supplementary information about them by way of interviews, criticism, documentaries, collected letters, biographies, etc. etc. [more inside]
I found some stone tablets written in a strange alphabet amongst a bunch of graves from different eras at the city museum of Tire, Turkey. The guy working the desk at the museum didn't know what they were. Pictures in extended. [more inside]
Here's one I've had no luck finding: A) in the movies, is there a name for those films they used to project behind actors in a movie car to make it look like they were actually on the road? You know the ones: the slightly out of focus view out the rear window. Maybe a chase scene with the bad guy car in pursuit... Or just plain ol' traffic... B) are any of these background films archived online? Tried Prelinger archives but no luck.
This envelope with a letter inside was found inside a large decaying bound edition of Shakespeare auf Deutsch in a junk shop in Bushwick that was only apparently open for a few months before disappearing. The letter, postmarked 15 March, 1939 - was sent to Paris by a Mr. Henri Wolf. The contents of the letter appear to be German shorthand. Included was small piece of what looks like code, there's nothing else on the back.The letter, envelope, postcard, etc in question are at this imgur album. Hivemind: What the hell is this?
I'm learning that many of the customs and traditions that I think of as Roman actually originated from the Etruscans instead. Can anyone recommend some good books, videos, or websites about ancient Etruscan culture and history?
Mixing military history and natural history, I'm looking for information regarding bird behavior during wartime. An example: would one hear bird songs on the battlefield during pauses in fighting? [more inside]
I'm trying to find out how to find out when a particular item was added to the California Penal Code. In this particular case I'm interested in 12028.5, but I'd like to understand how to find such information in the future.
How do other languages (non-English) express the scientific term 'race?' vs the colloquial? In taxonomic terms, the word "race" is 90% used as a misnomer in US discourse. This is rooted in "Social Darwinism," or contemporary racist applications of seminal evolution concepts. This colors verbiage across the sciences, especially the social sciences. To wit, the term 'racism' is in fact based on a dehumanizing paradigm. So, um, how does this shake out elsewhere? [more inside]
Help me with my ten year old sons school project ! I'd like to find people - as well known as possible - to whom the adage "power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely" . So an ideal example would be someone who started off with good intentions and then on gaining power started behaving poorly . Also ideally once they'd turned nasty their actions would not be so despicable that you wouldn't mind explaining them to a ten year old Thanks
I'd like to learn more about the history of the left, particularly the far left, particularly as it relates to me, a late-20's north american male. I'd love to learn more about the left, labor, unions, communism, socialism, labor laws, etc., particularly in what factors and machinations gave and took away rights and freedoms. Here's the kicker - I'm really, really hoping to find them in audio format so I can learn while I exercise. Audiobooks, podcasts, lectures, etc. [more inside]
I'm interested in learning about rape in 19th century America for a fictional piece I'm writing. I'm not really sure where to start in researching this, but I'd be grateful for any resources or information. [more inside]
My friend is visiting me in Rhode island today through Sunday night and has her heart set on historical sights in Boston and going to the coast of Maine (maybe acadia). Given weather, Boston traffic, and driving times, what is the best way to do this? [more inside]
What was Italian food like before the tomato? When coffee houses started popping up in Europe what establishments lost business as a result? Did Marco Polo really bring noodles to Europe from China? Where can I find the answer to all these questions and more? [more inside]
Looking for a quote from Napoleon about women. [more inside]
How does Brigham Young University teach American History? Do they tell students that Jesus actually came to America? And how do they deal with the story that Missouri was the real Garden of Eden?
I'm taking up restoration of mechanical calculators as a hobby. To what extent would repairs/part replacements constitute "restoration", and when does it become "reproduction" instead? [more inside]
Can you recommend a good chess book with as much history, context, stories, and culture as strategy? [more inside]
Can you recommend a good book on papal history that is solid on facts and theology, honest about blemishes, but doesn't revel in scandal? Oh, and I hope I can find it in a Kindle version. [more inside]
Can anyone give me a original source for this (almost certainly garbled) quote? "History is divided into two roughly equal parts -- that which probably never happened and that which doesn't matter much anyway". [more inside]
Somewhere I read an interpretation of the development of democracy in Ancient Greece that went something like this: A king died and three princes struggled to seize power. No one prince was strong enough to defeat the others. They made a deal that one would be responsible for military matters, the second for administrative matters, and the third for religious. This system proved relatively effective and was continued, eventually on a non-hereditary basis, and is the original source for the separation of powers between different branches of government. [more inside]