Armistice Day – 100 Years On

Today marks the 100th anniversary of World War I, the war to end all wars.

I have spent the least amount of time in this time period, and so I share with you a collection of links of other more knowledgeable persons and entities marking the occasion.


The Day The Guns Fell Silent

Armistice Day: People Gather Around the World to Mark Centenary

Armistice Day: Victory and Beyond – On 11 November 1918, jubilant crowds across Britain celebrated the end of the war. But many new struggles were just beginning. What was the legacy of the first world war?

A Forgotten Soldier on a Forgotten Front – A long read about the only British woman to serve in a combat role during World War I.

Video: Colorised Footage of World War I – Noted director Peter Jackson’s newest project is colorizing original footage. It looks amazing.

Interactive: What Might You Have Done Between 1914 and 1918?


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Today’s Google Doodle featuring animated stories from each branch of the military.


Poppy Image Source


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Designing the Museum of the Future

It seems the Museum of the American Revolution has turned into a favorite and “frequent” haunt of mine for I was there again this past week for a lecture called “Designing the Museum of the Future.” The speaker, Josh Goldblum, is the CEO of Blue Cadet, the A/V company who did all the digital interactive work for M*AR. If you recall that my very first visit to the place was full of sensory overload and that the beautiful layer masks of the intro video got a special call out – this was the guy leading that production team.


(One of my favorite effects, used throughout, was taking an old ink drawing or etching of a scene and then layering a gradient plus film footage to give that drawing or etching depth and motion. Water scenes were overlaid over actual moving water textures, smoke was overlaid over smoke video footage, and subtle colors brought the scenes to life.)

(This is the link to the M*AR page on Blue Cadet’s website. It’s got some great shots of the museum.)

The lecture was organized by AIGA, the American Institute for Graphic Arts, which is sort of the club to belong to if you want to network yourself most effectively as a designer. There was sort of an interesting dichotomy of attendees – designers in bright, mismatched patters with hair colors not found in nature, next to the more subdued, old school button-down shirts and neutral colored blazers. But what I loved was that a topic like this could bring such disparate groups together.

Mr. Goldblum raised many points that I have at some point or another considered. I am so glad he’s a self-confessed “museum person” – he gets it. Better – he’s in a position to look at different ways of addressing the challenges faced by museums and similar institutions. And because his background is design and technology, these fields are still relatively novel in the museum world so there’s a lot of room to experiment.

One thing this talk did not do was address specific things that museums should do or ought to do, or things that they do that aren’t working. For example, Mr. Goldblum does not offer solutions for successful capital campaigns. This talk was very much more on the effect that technology has had so far on life and how museums are coping.

And so, without further ado, my notes from the talk (with my comments in parentheses):



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The Triumph and Tragedy of Octavius V. Catto

Earlier this month I trekked into Center City, Philadelphia, for an event. En route, I passed by City Hall and stopped short at some recent additions to the grounds that were worth further exploration.

I speak of a new memorial and statue that were installed  at the intersection of Broad Street and City Hall dedicated to one Octavius V. Catto. Behind the statue of the man himself were several granite … pedestals? monuments? … that briefly expanded on different aspects of Catto’s life. Each edifice was dedicated to a particular area where Catto had influence – on one side of each stone was a bronze plaque illustrating each aspect of his life.



Anyway, I had no idea who this man was or why he got a statue erected at one of the main centers of Philadelphia so I hit the googles and am now going to share with you, Dear Reader(s), the fruits of my research.

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Lessons of a Defunct Icon

Recently, I wrote a thing for some people, and since those people opted to go in a different direction, I wanted to share the thing I wrote with you, Dear Reader(s). I had a lot of fun researching this and I think it’s a topic that could easily be expanded upon.

I chose to write about the Studebaker automobile, or more specifically, the Studebaker advertising machine, which really had a lot going for it. Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana  (home to my alma mater-Go Irish!), Studebaker made cars for distribution around the world. One of South Bend’s private high schools is actually located on the grounds of and old Studebaker Mansion (which was later sold to the Bendix family – another local manufacturing family), and I hear that if the kids are lucky, teachers will take them to the mansion part of the building and show them all the Prohibition-era hidey holes. Another Studebaker mansion is now a high end restaurant – Tippecanoe Place. But what I didn’t know about Studebaker was how their success seemed so driven by the power of advertising.

So, Dear Reader(s), what follows is probably not my best research work ever, but there is more thorough information in the Further Reading section that I hope tickles your fancy. Because this topic is really interesting.


1961 Studebaker Hawk


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More Cleaning

Once again, Dear Reader(s), here’s a collection of links that you might find of interest. I covered more ground this summer on the internet than in person so there are many tabs to share.

The first three are In Memoriams that crossed my path after the passing of Senator McCain, may he rest in peace.


Corby Hall at Notre Dame – May it rest in pieces. – I understand the necessity of tearing it down and starting over, but the historical purist in me cringes.

Civil War era Limb Pit discovered – kind of macabre, kind of cool, especially if you’re into forensics.

The Science of Saving the Declaration of Independence – Sadly, I don’t think it would hold up to National Treasure-esque shenanigans.

New Theory States that Men Nearly Caused Human Extinction – My current place of employ is currently 90% male. The findings of this article do not come as a surprise.

The Creative Mind of J.R.R. Tolkien – currently on view at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, then coming to New York next year. I think I’m going to have to make a trip to New York to see this.

British View the War of 1812 Quite Differently than Americans – Again, I kind of feel like this is a no-brainer. It makes sense that Canadians and Native Americans also have their own take on this particular conflict.

Ask A Reenactor Playing The Bad Guys – Worth the read. The author makes a good point that the victors write history so the bad guys need humanizing. The author also points out that reenactors are pretty good at self-policing, and there’s an unspoken code about how to judge/evaluate other reenactors doing controversial impressions (ie, the SS).

Ask A Reenactor: Ethnicity Reenacting – Such a complicated topic. So relevant. Speaking of which, I’ve crossed paths with this guy many times and am certain I asked him a lot of inappropriate questions about ethnicity and reenacting the first time I met him. And by that, I think I downright accosted him. Unrelated, I want to know how big his closet is for all of his gear.

And lastly …

Well this seems like an interesting fusion of a lot of things:

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Books!: Creativity, Inc.

The topic of this book is pretty far outside the scope of this blog, unless you consider the presented history of the beginnings of Pixar, Apple, and Steve Jobs as we knew him (or didn’t know him). But when I saw this at the library, I knew I had to check it out since one of my Dream Jobs is to work for Disney and I’ve been in something of a creative slump lately.



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Books!: I Am Malala

This is a bit of a digression into modern day history and more current events. There is a very real possibility I got something factual incorrect or misinterpreted information.

Full disclosure: This is not a book I would have picked up without outside incentive. I recently joined a bunch of meetups and one of them was a book club, and this was the book chosen for July.


I realized what the Taliban had done was make my campaign global.

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