Hello world!

This is my first post to test that the system is working. It is the 16th of March so we have 2 days before THE DAY OF DIGITAL HUMANITIES*.

*Format plagiarized from Day of Geoffrey Rockwell.

In Preparation for the Big Day…

Lindroth: The Absent-Minded Professor (public domain)…I am mattress-bound.  Just shy of 10 PM, after several hours of sorting through notes and rewrites of the various component parts of a research proposal draft.  I used to do my best work at this hour.  As an undergrad if the writing process began before the Tonight Show, I was doing something wrong.  These days I’m usually asleep before Late Night (which is a blessing– Jimmy Fallon’s no Coco).  Is this merely a sign of maturity? Or am I becoming a stuffy, tweed-wearing, elbow-patched stereotype of scholarship?  An unsettling thought.

(hopefully it won’t keep me awake)

Just writing this to say I will likely be tweeting most of tomorrow, for convenience’s sake.  Follow me at @eforcier.

(edit: I lied.  I also wanted to make sure the words “tweed” and “elbow-patched” appeared in the Day of DH record.)

Echo Bazaar

It’s Ali’s fault.

I should probably talk about the research proposal draft I was working on last night, and will probably spend part of this morning picking at*.  What I want to talk about is Echo Bazaar.  Echo Bazaar is simple browser-based MMORPG that makes clever use of the Twitter API.  Mostly text-based, the game follows the same principle as a “choose-your-own-adventure” book.  The action takes place in Fallen London, a twisted underground version of Victorian London several miles from Hell.  Fallen London is populated with all manner of rakes, rogues, ladies-of-virtue, and others with none, as well as a bestiary of rubbery cthulhu-like monsters, vampires, demons and hellspawn.  The greatest draw for me is the quality of narrative; while the design is quite simple, it is surprisingly immersive.  As a result, I have become addicted.  And it’s all Ali’s fault for getting me hooked.


Note: the game is still in beta, and the MMO aspect of the game is still rather limited, allowing you only to interact with friends you follow on Twitter.

*Oh, the research proposal?  I’m researching the potential use of collaborative knowledge management systems for mission statement dissemination.

Stew Surprise!

Viola-- Stew surprise!My approach to cooking is a lot like Dr. Frankenstein’s approach to scientific inquiry.  Mostly improvisation with a healthy dose of pure luck.

  • Two boxes of Gardennay Smoked Red Pepper and Tomato cream soup base
  • mule deer steak, diced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 6 white baby potatoes, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of fresh baby dill, shredded
  • swiss cheese, thinly sliced
  • burgundy cooking wine

1. Brown the steak in cooking wine, at low heat (5-8 mins)

2. Boil potatoes (5 mins)

3. Mix onions and garlic in soup, on medium heat

4. Add steak and potatoes

5. Simmer, stirring regularly (10-15 mins)

6. Serve in bowls, laying slice of swiss on surface and sprinkling dill in centre

The soup would have been better with half as much onion, but otherwise it was quite satisfactory.

Quantum Leap

There’s an episode of Quantum Leap where Sam leaps into the body of an English Lit professor in ’70s US.  Sam, a person of science, is thus trapped in the body of a dissolute literary scholar and forced to resolve the man’s problematic– and apparently fatal– romantic entanglement. On top of that, Sam discovers that his lost love, the woman he’d intended to marry in his own present, is a young student at the same college.  Throughout the episode Sam– scientist, physician, quantum physicist, but god forbid, not an English professor!– struggles to redeem the scholar and reconnect with the love of his life.  Sam’s unique knowledge and the technology he’s developed has put him in this position, so that quite literally he’s the only person capable of “saving” the scholar.

(I know there’s such an episode because I ended up watching it tonight instead of working.)

I think Sam’s situation aptly represents the condition of digital humanities. As digital humanists we cover this interesting middle-ground between disciplines.  We’re like the scientist trapped in the body of the scholar, applying a different knowledge set to humanities problems.  Sometimes what we do is more like a scholar trapped in the body of a scientist.  And sometimes what we do is really just about reconnecting, remembering, and preserving the memories.


A day… in 140-character increments

my twitter pageUgh. Morning always comes too early. #dayofdh – posted on 18/03/2010 07:33 

The sky, fickle mistress, can’t decide between rain or snow, ao instead we get this intermittent slurry drizzle. #dayofdh – posted on 18/03/2010 08:03

View on the walk to campus: http://twitpic.com/19bwal – posted on 18/03/2010 08:05

Scorned, the sky has firmly settled on snow. I take full responsibility. (blurry? No– snow!) #dayofdh http://twitpic.com/19c1u6 – posted on 18/03/2010 08:34

Coffee in hand, now ready for class with @GeoffRockwell . (On my first day they told me it was required.) #dayofdh – posted on 18/03/2010 08:39

Talking writing habits and intellectual property rights for grad students w/ @GeoffRockwell this morning. #dayofdh – posted on 18/03/2010 09:27

JoyceYu brought #dayofdh cupcakes! http://twitpic.com/19cl2w – posted on 18/03/2010 10:14

Now updating class on progress w/ UA Press db project. #dayofdh #projectmgmt – posted on 18/03/2010 11:02

Following short lunch break, am now in an informal info session/workshop with cohort, led by HarveyQuamen. #dayofdh – posted on 18/03/2010 12:13

I really should have eaten lunch before this. I get the feeling I’ve forgotten more about PHP today than I’ve learned since Sep. #dayofdh – posted on 18/03/2010 14:20

After 5+ hours in the same classroom, am now waiting for the bus. At least it stopped snowing. http://twitpic.com/19e1wg – posted on 18/03/2010 14:42

Brought home some prezzies for my sweetie (@bhellum), whose been sick at home the last couple days: http://twitpic.com/19eeso – posted on 18/03/2010 15:48

Also got some much needed groceries: I’m making stew surprise! tonight. Tulips, now vased: http://twitpic.com/19efbe – posted on 18/03/2010 15:50

And viola– stew surprise! (recipe to follow on blog) http://twitpic.com/19evdy – posted on 18/03/2010 17:07

My cooking apparently has healing properties! @bhellum feeling better. http://bit.ly/dmSgF3 #dayofdh – posted on 18/03/2010 18:09

#dayofdh Reviewing mission statement research draft and then working on LIS assignment for next week. Am using ‘carrot’ method. [1/2] – posted on 18/03/2010 18:31

#dayofdh (The carrot is “A Canticle for Liebowitz” and a bubble bath.) [2/2] – posted on 18/03/2010 18:32

Last post: http://bit.ly/9LU7Z5 And that’s enough from me. Goodnight, DH-verse. #dayofdh – posted on 18/03/2010 22:49