Wednesday, January 12, 2005

You Heard It Here
Article about archiving sound at the Smithsonian. I like the point that the world was dominated by natural sounds until the late 19th century -- and we may be returning to that state, especially as "the roar of the internal combustion engine is muted by the whir of electric or fuel-cell motors." While the author does note that the sounds are recorded on a variety of media, he misses the chance to talk about preserving the content on tapes, records, and CDs so that they won't be lost.

At Today's School
A faculty bathroom I used had a sign posted in it: "Clean Restroom Award [date]." It looked like it was signed by the housekeeping staff. Well, isn't that a nice way to encourage grown ups to take care of their space, I thought. Then I looked at the fake plant on the little table the sign was on: fake poison ivy?? Why would anyone make such a thing? Who would buy it? People who care about how their bathroom looks, but who are not very outdoorsy, obviously.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing a book/CD set a few years ago. The CD contained a number of recorded interviews with former slaves, saved at the last moment off of badly-deteriorated reel-to-reel tapes. There were also, as I recall, readings of transcripts of some interviews where the original recording was beyond the latest in signal-enhancing technology. I seem to recall it was a New-Deal project, to go around the South and interview people who'd been freed 50 or 60 years before. (The book, as you may have guesed, outlined the history of the original project, and contained written transcripts of all the interviews.)

I think this is National Archives stuff, rather than Smithsonian, but still interesting.