Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Curator

I admit it: occasionally I Google my name to find out where my work has been mentioned. During a recent investigation, I stumbled upon the video above. I'd forgotten about being interviewed several years ago about my writing, so it was interesting to hear my thoughts about it. 

The video was shot on the old Eastern Avenue bridge across the Don, which I think I'd recently wandered onto during a psychogeography walk. 

This film reminds me of one of my early New Year's resolutions: if I can afford it, I'd like to take lessons or one-on-one sessions to polish my speaking skills. I've never been entirely comfortable with them, possibly due to my mind racing ahead of my tongue, possibly due to self-consciousness over too many "ahs," "likes," "reallys," and "ums." Given one or two recent near-misses with radio interviews on subjects I've covered, building confidence in my speaking abilities could boost my marketability and open up new opportunities.

Curious about the stories mentioned in this video? Here are the links:


The same Google search uncovered an article Inside Toronto interviewed me for back at Halloween about the Don Jail. If any other reporters are looking for someone to discuss Toronto history with...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Innovation in Book Publishing, 1980s Style

Photo by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid under Creative Commons.
While researching a future installment of Historicist, I came across this nugget in the acknowledgements section of one of my resources. It's not clear if this particular passage relates to original 1984 edition of James C. Worthy's Shaping an American Institution: Robert E. Wood and Sears, Roebuck, or the 1986 update I'm using:

This book was readied for publication during a period of major technological innovation in the publishing industry. While early versions of the manuscript were typed in traditional fashion by [name of typist], subsequent versions, including the final one, were prepared on a sophisticated word processor by [name of typist]. Instead of a typed manuscript, the University of Illinois Press received a set of floppy disks from which type was set by electronic means, thereby materially reducing the time and costs of manufacturing this book.
Who wants to place odds that 30 years from now, a reader will chuckle at the notion of my typing this post in the "compose" screen of a publishing site, or that I file articles via platforms like WordPress?