Category Archives: Reviews

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Exploring Trading Consequences

In March, a fantastic new resource for studying the history of commodity trade was announced: Trading Consequences.

The project is the product of several years of collaboration between York University, Canada, the University of Edinburgh, UK, the University of St Andrews, UK and the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

The resource provides multiple interfaces to a rich database of mentions of commodities and locations associated with commodities from the 18th century and up to the mid-20th cent…

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Reading Brigid Schulte’s Overwhelmed

I recently returned from “Spring Break,” a week that sounded relaxing when I was an undergraduate and has seemed to diminish every year since. Appropriately, Brigid Schulte’s book Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time came out just in time to land on my spring break reading list.

In her review, Jennifer Howard observed that

[f]or many of us, life unspools as a never-ending to-do list…Weekends, which ought to be oases of leisure, have their own hectic rhythms: errands, chor…

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How to Help Others Find Your Work: Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work


One of my weirdest scholarly tics is a tendency to bury the most interesting or original part of my argument. The clearest example of this is my relationship with psychoanalysis. On the one hand, I do love Lacan and Freud, and I’m pretty sure that I could talk you around to my way of reading them. On the other hand, I almost *never* talk about it. (A quick search of my main pre-ProfHacker blog returns a mere 2 posts on Lacan, which surprises even me.)

This is weird for several reasons: I end u…

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Toward a Better Charging Cable

tangled cables

For all the ubiquity of wireless devices on and around college campuses, cables are still a necessary evil. Brian has offered tricks for taming behind-the-desk cables before, and George has plugged velcro cable ties, which I have developed a new appreciation for this year.

Phone chargers present a slightly different challenge than, for example, the power brick for your router. For one thing, you probable move it more. And if you live or work with others, probably other people also need to power…

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Accessible Future Workshop: A Report

Last week I had the good fortune to attend Accessible Future, an NEH-funded workshop on making the web more accessible to people with disabilities, led by Jennifer Guiliano (@jenguiliano) and ProfHacker’s own George Williams (@georgeonline). The 2-day workshop was held at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. The first day was dedicated to more theoretical explorations of disability, accessibility, and disability studies, while the second focused on implementing accessi…

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Ghostery on Your Machine: Stop Sites from Tracking You

Suppose that you visited the website of the New York Times this morning. If you were me, then you likely skimmed past ads for eyeglasses, an advertorial for Dell, a link to graduate programs at Columbia, and innumerable ads for home delivery of the Times. Those ads were targeted at me: I recently bought glasses, I recently looked for some computer hardware, and I’m a graduate student. Your ads were probably different, but they were almost certainly targeted at you in some way.

What’s going on h…

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Making History Accessible: SlaveryStories.org

SlaveryStories_screenshot

Sometimes, an interesting project gets started unexpectedly. That’s what happened with SlaveryStories.org, a new, collaborative digital project that launched February 3, just as Black History Month began.

So what is SlaveryStories.org? It’s an online home for stories about slavery, told from the perspective of the slaves themselves.

The project got its start shortly after Rob Walsh, one of Scholastica’s* founders, went to see Twelve Years a Slave. He decided to read Solomon Northup’s memoir, …

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Simple Journaling on Mac or iOS with Day One

An old, hand-written journalHere at ProfHacker, we frequently talk about how to get your writing done. After all, for many of us, writing is an important part of (keeping) our jobs. We’ve frequently discussed writing software like Scrivener or Google Docs; more recently Konrad covered Draft for collaborative writing and Adeline talked about using Gingko, which is a horizontal outline and writing tool. We’ve covered methods for getting your writing done, from Billie’s look at 750words.com and Erin’s personal Rule of 200 (wo…

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Get Real-Time, Social Driving Directions with Waze

6371619037_fd8e11ba7f_bWhen I was planning to move to Atlanta for graduate school, one of the first things that I bought was an atlas for the United States. How else, in 2002, was I going to know how to get from one state to another? When I finally got to Atlanta, the very first thing I did was drive to a CVS to buy an umbrella and a big multi-page map of the city. In 2007, when I was attending my second MLA conference in Chicago, I went with a small folder full of printed-off directions from Google Maps to help me ge…

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Two Months with the Basis

Basis tracker In June of this year I wrote about using the Fitbit Flex, which was the first general-purpose fitness tracker I’d used. I have used heart rate monitors and running watches for specific fitness training for many years, but only for specific activities. An athletic heart rate monitor is a fantastic cardio training tool, as it helps you monitor your exertion level very precisely, especially for interval training. But those kind of heart rate monitors are not designed for continuous use — they usual…