Archive for December, 2007

Miss’sippi Fun Facts

December 20, 2007

What is with me hoarding great books on my desk and only discovering the content when I have to return them? Ah well. With this book, My Mississippi, by Willie Morris, my excuse is that I had it mixed up with another book that I had already read and didn’t think much of. But actually, its fantastic. Packed with fun facts. And a poetically good read for its own sake. However, this is the result of me ruthlessly mining it for pertinent facts. I’m going to have to get again for pleasure reading, and to learn more about parts of Mississippi that I haven’t been to. Here are some nuggets:
Medgar Evers once said “I love Mississippi. I choose not to live anywhere else. I don’t know if I’m going to heaven or hell, but I’m going from Jackson.?
Mississippi a state in 1817, the 20th in the union.
BlackPop:
of 82 counties, 22 are more than 50% black. In 1940 the whole state was more than 50% black but the “decline in black population since then is testimony to the out-migration that lasted until the 1970’s.?
“To comprehend Mississippi, the outlander and native alike must recognize that it is still an emphatically white/black society, and that its white people and black people are deeply bound together – and, together, to the land.?
So Much More. Including the cold hard facts on why Biloxi is such a gambling centre, and why my disapproval is going to do absolutely nothing in the world to change that. Its good for me to read, anyway.

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Fun with the Victorians

December 20, 2007

Here’s some cool snippets from Candace M. Volz, in her article, “the Modern Look of the Early Twentieth-Century House” (in American Home Life: 1880-1930 which I am returning to the library today). This should find its way into the housing history section.
Due to the prevalence of communication by train, mail, telephone and telegraph during the _________, not to mention the pervasive influence of plan books, house styles began to be universal across the country and less subject to regional variations. Even the Georgian influence had been most notable on the East Coast and common in other parts of the country only in homes of the upper class. Victorian styles, on the other hand, were relatively uniform throughout the US.
The second half of the nineteenth century had seen upper and middle class households engaging in, “a complex lifestyle that involved rooms for special uses, large flatware and china services with many specialized pieces, and numerous furnishings designed for special needs.? Although this had been de rigueur among the wealthy, in the early Victorian period a combination of affordable goods, produced with Industrial Revolution technology, and immigrant labor as domestic help made the formal lifestyle available to most of society from the lower middle class up.
It was not uncommon for a middle class home to boast any or all of the following specialty rooms: “music rooms, reception rooms, conservatories, sitting rooms and butler’s pantries?, as well as one or two small bedrooms for live in servants.

Oh, don’t worry … it continues. On, to find out more about the death of porch living and “earth closets” keep on keepin’ on!

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Ta Da!

December 18, 2007

Here it is: my extremely holey pre-christmas draft. Lots has been done, lots is yet to be done but I’m now putting it on pause for a few weeks to attend to the rest of the fun in my life.
Download file

Committee Review

December 14, 2007

Panic! I’ve got to present my current work to my thesis committee today. Why did I volunteer to do this? Well, the answer to that is easy – I thought it was required and only found out after inviting them to a meeting that it was only a recommendation. AUGH! However, a lovely 24 work session, only 36 hours after my final review, has produced this – a nice little summary of where I am / would like to be. Now all I have to do is muster enough coherence to present it to them using complete sentences and listen actively to their feedback. Then … I get a nap!
Here’s the fun: Download file