Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'll tell you what do with that newspaper.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated. Newspapers have a million ways of being useful and some of them have nothing at all to do with being black and white and read all over.
Let me give you a few examples.
“Fix a flat tire,” advises Michelle Hainer, of the Washington Post. “If you get a tear
in your bike tire while riding, fold a quarter page of newspaper into a square big enough (and thick enough) to cover the hole. Slip the paper between tube and tire. Inflate the tube enough to hold the paper in place, then put the tire back on its rim and inflate the tube fully. This quick fix should keep you going for several miles.”
Hainer has a few more suggestions for constructive application of newspapers including the following:
“Ripen tomatoes. Wrap green tomatoes individually in a couple of sheets of newspaper. Store in an airtight container in a dark place at room temperature. Check them every three to four days,” she writes.
The material can also be used to keep weeds out of your garden. “Layer three to four sheets of newspaper next to your plants (at least two inches away from the stems to prevent rotting) and then water the entire area. Add a top layer of mulch, grass clippings or straw. The newspaper blocks sunlight – which weeds need to grow – and will help keep the soil moist,” says Hainer. also recognizes valid, positive, practical benefits to extend the life of the paper. Among them: “Glass cleaner. After you wash your windows or mirrors with soap and water or regular glass cleaner, wipe the glass with a piece of crumpled newspaper for a streak-free shine.”
It recognizes the health benefits of newspapers as well. “One trick used by baseball pitchers and mountain climbers to strengthen their fingers and forearms is to lay a single sheet of newspaper on a flat surface and then lay their hand, palm down, in the center. Using only that hand, begin crumpling the newspaper and see how small a ball you can crumple it into. This is a great inexpensive rehab technique for those who have suffered hand injuries or strokes,” according to Kelley Mitchell who contributed this idea to Make-Stuff.
Other well-known practical functions for newspapers include: cheap insulation, pot holders, giftwrap, sop or sponge, packing material, kite material, hat material, garden mulch, odor remover, dress patterns, garbage can liners, vegetable drawer liner, papier mache, pet litter liner, workspace cover, and fire starters – to name a few.
I am sure there are many, many more wonderful and interesting things you can find to do with this very newspaper. Please let me know about your favorite.

Crowd sourcing and journalism

Note: This article first appeared in the trade publication Newspapers and Technology in mid-2007.

A reporter working for a local newspaper asked me recently if it was Ok to quote Wikipedia as a source. It depends on context I thought, but realized that if they did, they really needed to attribute many sources. The online encyclopedia is developed by contributor input.
 James Surowiecki’s  ‘wisdom of crowds’, or as Howard Rheingold noted in “Smart Mobs: The Next Revolution,” is an emerging trend for group behavior based on new technologies like the Internet, wireless devices, PDAs and digital phones. It holds that the network-connected group behaves intelligently and/or in an efficient manner because of the network.
The new buzz in journalism, as a result, is crowd sourcing, citizen journalism and transfer of power to the blogosphere for hyper local news.
But is that happening because the bloggers are doing a better job than traditional journalist?
Tish Grier, writing to me about a recent column I wrote on who qualifies as a journalist, says people are not necessarily looking for news reports from bloggers.
I don't know where folks in the press get the impression that bloggers are reporting the news--or that bloggers ‘want’ to report the news.  Actually, I think this is something that's been hyped by folks like Jeff Jarvis and other insider/media pundit types.  It's the same way that there's a boatload of hype that ‘people’ are ‘clamoring’ for citizen journalism (not really, they'd just like their local papers to do a better job, but if somebody else gives them a better product, they'll take it).”
Grier blogs for Constant Observer and Assignment Zero. Assignment Zero is an attempt to bring journalists and the public together in the fashion of the open-source movement of software development. NewAssignment.Net, Wired and other participants are collaborating on the project.
“Seriously, when it comes down to it, it's really insiders in journalism who are trying to upset journalism's applecart--not ‘bloggers’ or ‘people’ or ‘citizen journalists.’  When most bloggers get press creds, we're simply writing our impressions of a scene, not doing hard and fast reporting. We know that, our readers know that--the only people who don't know that are the press. If most of us wanted to be reporters, we'd become journalists (however that's accomplished--there seems to be conflicting schools of thought on that one.)”
Jay Rosen, who is executive editor of Assignment Zero, says we should take advantage of the possibilities provided for us by the new technology.
An outstanding fact of the Net era is that costs for people to find each other, share information, and work together are falling rapidly. This should have consequences for reporting big, moving stories where the truth is distributed around. By pooling their intelligence and dividing up the work, a network of journalists and volunteer users should be able to find out things that the larger public needs to know,” he wrote in a letter to participants of Assignment Zero.
Grier, however, holds that it is really two different things.
“It will never cease to amaze me how the press can't seem to get with the concept that most blogs--and most bloggers--are having conversations, not reporting.  We put stuff out there to get people to talk ‘to’ us or ‘about’ what we said.  It's not about reporting at all.  And maybe if we get credentialed to go into the hallowed halls of Congress--well, maybe it's to provide a little bit of fly-on-the-wall observation and transparency to the whole process.”
Yes, and maybe the whole process can stand to be more open and subject to the give and take of what news consumers want. I think we are likely to find that out.


CCC camp in Monument Valley in the '30s

CCC-ID stock tank construction in Monument Valley (Ariz.). A view of about a dozen Navajo workers with wheelbarrows, with the "mittens" of Monument Valley (sandstone geological formation) in the background. E. Reeseman Fryer photographs, Civilian Conservation Corps photos in Navajo country, circa 1930s. Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lone Cone

Title: Lone Cone (between Norwood and Dolores, Colo.)
Year/era: 1907/1914
Photographer: Sanborn (Denver, Colo.)
Publisher: Sanborn Souvenir Co.
Nina Heald Webber Southwest Colorado Collection
Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College,

Sleeping Ute Mountain

Title: Ute Mt., "The Sleeping Ute" - Landmark at the Western Edge of the San Juan Basin
Year/era: 1907/1914
Photographer: Sanborn (Denver, Colo.)
Publisher: Sanborn Souvenir Co.
Nina Heald Webber Southwest Colorado Collection
Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College.

Mancos Canyon

Ancient Ruins in the Canyon of the Mancos
William Henry Jackson folio IV, print 3
Creator: Jackson, William Henry.
Summary: A man leans on a circular masonry tower in Mancos Canyon, Montezuma County, Colorado. The ruins are the remains of a Native American, Anasazi structure and appear to be dry laid stone with several small openings built into the wall. Vegetation grows in and around the archaeological site. Date: [1874]
Notes: Condition: print discolored, mat board soiled.; Formerly F17127; Formerly Jackson 158; Hand-lettered title on negative reproduced in print.; Number: "158" hand-lettered on negative reproduced in print.; Number: "158" penciled on mat board.; Printed on mat board: "Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories, Prof. F.V. Hayden in Charge" with decorative lettering.; R7003102186
Is Part Of W. H. Jackson folio [Hayden Survey].

Before Telluride

Title: San Miguel Valley (Colo.) before Telluride was built
Date/circa: 1870s?
Photographer: Byers Photo (Montrose, Colo.)
Subjects: San Miguel Valley (Colo.); Telluride (Colo.)
Notes: The Studio assigned this item # 5011G.
Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Plumed up in Dolores

Rio Grande Southern narrow gauge locomotive, engine number 20, engine type 4-6-0
Robert W. Richardson, photographer
Head on, at 3-way stub track switch; switching. Photographed: Dolores, Colorado, May 23, 1951.Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library.

Mule train near Telluride

Mule train on hill, houses visible below (Telluride, Colo.)
Date/circa: 1900/1930
Photographer: Byers Photo (Montrose, Colo.)
Subjects: Pack transportation--Colorado--San Juan Mountains; San Juan Mountains. Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College.

Cable car hoist in San Juans

Nine mine workers outside of a mine
Date/circa: 1900/1930
Photographer: Byers Photo (Montrose, Colo.)
Subjects: Miners--Colorado--San Juan Mountains; San Juan Mountains (Colo. and N.M.)
Notes: Some are sitting up on cable cars. The Studio assigned this item # 5011G. Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College.

San Juan Mountains area lumber mill

Mill workers with logs and cut lumber
Date/circa: 1900/1930
Photographer: Byers Photo (Montrose, Colo. Subjects: Logging--Colorado--San Juan Mountains; San Juan Mountains (Colo. and N.M.)
Notes:The Studio assigned this item # 5011G.
Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College.

Mineral industries view from the ore bucket

Photo taken from an ore bucket traveling on a cable.
Southwest Colorado general photograph collection
Category V.4: Miscellaneous mining
Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College