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John Lemza
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As I worked to embed the final changes to my individual assignment this weekend I couldn't help but take a long view to see how far we have all come. I know that I've arrived at a place where I can better appreciate just how difficult it can be to create a website that finds that rare balance between design and content. It's just not as simple as sacrificing one for the other. It's actually a matter of satisfying both, especially if we want to attract as well as inform. Of course within that context I've also come to feel... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
This week as I worked my way through the final stages of my individual project I was struck by how my thoughts of 'audience' drove my creative spirit. It was difficult for me not to image the groups or groups of that I was building my site for. It was as if I kept looking through various glasses visualizing my site as others might. This most likely steered some of my decisions for design as well as content. My experiences teaching both survey level college classes and classes for senior citizens at times worked at odds, but through it I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
This week I commented on the following colleague's thoughts: Toni Bowman: I agree with her thoughts on groups critiques on Tuesday night. David (Dan) Colamaria: I offered comments on changes to his banner. Dan Gifford: I appreciated Dan's concerns regarding the trials of group critiques. Chris James: I commented on Chris' changes to his design page. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Laszlo, Thanks for your comments,I really appreciate them. Heres the html code for the font Im using in the text body: Its a nice old typewriter style. Hope this helps! Cheers! John
My Design Assignment is now all 'tricked-out' as my son would say. I've applied all the suggestions made on Tuesday night. I think I looks great. Thanks again for all your helpful comments! Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
This week’s piece by Jakob Nielsen, Participation Inequality, raises a great many questions that may not have many answers, or any answers at all, particularly if we don’t care about the question. I am simply amazed that anyone took the time to survey the landscape and collect the necessary data to correlate the answers into a Zipf line or a double log if you prefer. It reminds me of an admonition from a senior officer in the Pentagon who was scrutinizing a chart I proudly created. He asked how long it took to build the chart and how long it... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
This week I posted the following comments on colleague's thoughts: Laszlo - Most importantly, bring on the goulash. I have a spork and I know how to use it! Curtis - I agree with his thoughts about being a lurker. Most of us are! Dan Gifford - Another good post from Dan. I appreciate his comments on site construction and contrary technologies. Bells and whistles can come at the price of accessibility! Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Happy Easter! This week I commented on the following colleague's postings: Dan Gifford: Wow! Great OMEKA site. I also appreciated his anecdote about 'deer babies'. Chris James: I appreciated his questions about design versus randomness. Curtis Vaughn: I empathized with Curtis's feelings about the balance between complexity and simplicity of design. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Larry Lessig and Hans Rosling could not have made stronger cases for their arguments than through their magical media demonstrations. Rosling’s colorful migrating statistical bubbles made for better understanding of the Third World, but that was really no more than a magician’s diversion. Out from that sleight of hand, like a rabbit drawn from a hat, came the real message about the full use of data sources through their ‘liberation.’ Lessig, in his own raconteur style, used his three stories to also address liberation but in a sense that prescribes the democratization of digital technology as a path to reach... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
I commented on the following colleagues' image assignment work: Beka: Just a word about connecting background and foreground which I think may help. Alex: Ochin horosho! Very good colorizing job with Brother Lenin and company. Dan L.: Love the color on the engraving! Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
I commented on the following colleagues' postings: Dan Gifford: Noted his concern for scholarly presentations and commented on his outstanding image assignment. Dan sets the standard. David Colamaria: Great image assignment! I appreciated his efforts at photo repair. John Cassara: Commented on his great job with colorization, not an easy task. Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
I have never felt comfortable trying to describe individuals who carry the burden of a physical or cognitive disadvantage. There is no real politically correct way to tag that reality without sounding too contrived. While I was teaching we steered a course to avoid the rocks and reefs of offense while trying to navigate a track of greater inclusion. Sometimes we did it well and at others we hoped a fog would roll in and our transgressions would not be noticed. But it was obvious that no matter what we did we couldn’t erase the fact that it’s just a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
This week I commented on the following colleagues postings: Alan Brody: Another excellent post. I enjoy the use of epicurean analogy. But as Alan remarks, it's not the garnish but the main dish that counts! Becca: I enjoyed reading her perspective of Ed Tufte's book and criticism of his "visual assault." Curtis Vaughn: Adventures in Digiland! A good title. I've had similar frustrations doing archive work. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Errol Morris’ photojournalistic investigation of cattle skulls in the Bad Lands opens an interesting dialogue regarding the placement of photos in historical context. Even before he presented his mosaic of arguments I was already working through the dialectics considering the possible points of view regarding the veracity of historical photography. Morris’ description of the relocated skull and the mysteriously placed mantel clock immediately conjured from my memory Roger Fenton’s cannonballs in the Valley of Death (Who from Clio I could forget?) and the almost painstaking contrivances some savants employed to challenge the truth of the images: shadows, compass directions, positions... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Postings left for colleagues: Dan Gifford: I agree with Dan's criticisms of the digital non-standards based environment and the challenges it poses for our work. Dan Ludington: I agree with Dan's criticism that Tufte used perhaps too many case studies and examples, although I did pick-up a few good parlor tricks with cards and magic. Curtis Vaughn: I agree with some of Curtis's frustrations; based on mutual experiences! Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Just as I discovered some element of relative comfort in Edward Tufte’s instructive constructions in Visual Explanations the suggestion came to mind that it was at least a first cousin of Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, Trees. Both Tufte and Moretti use narrative text and diagrammatical contrivance to describe abstract concepts, and both do it fairly well. Last semester Moretti’s trees seemed to be a target worthy of a casual lampoon, but this semester he emerges apparition-like from Tufte’s penumbra to display some real sense (Tufte is the elder, having published first in 1997, Moretti shuffling behind in 2005). Both are... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
I received some great comments and suggestions from Beka regarding both my portfolio page and my text assignment. I appreciate the creative artistic lens she applied when studying my work, especially the observations regarding the use of color. Color has always been a weak spot for me and although I can tell the red light from the green at an intersection I struggle to select black socks from among the navy blue (that's my daughter's job as most women don't seem to have this challenge). It doesn't help either that my bionically reconstructed right eye (thanks Uncle Sam) interprets light,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
I just critiqued the text assignment pages of the two colleagues who follow me alphabetically in class. THe comments were posted to their blogs. I reviewed the work of Dan Ludington and Alexander Lesanu. Dan has done a particularly good job with his background and use of text. A nice site that works well with his portfolio page! Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Posting's left for colleagues: Gretchen Beasley: I appreciated her comments on learning a new [digital] language. Lynn Price: I agree with her feelings about the constancy and tangibility of books. Laszlo Taba: I concur with his thoughts on the social changes derived from new media. Curtis Vaughn: I agree with his thoughts on copyrights of intellectual materials and the gates that can be created. Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
While taking a quick second read of Gert Himmelfarb’s “Where Have All the Footnotes Gone?” this weekend I was struck by her comments regarding the late Kate Turabian (Kate Larimore Turabian, Feb 26 1893-Oct 25 1987). The former University of Chicago doyen of manuscript minutiae is still renowned for her permanent imprint on the rules governing the publication of theses and dissertations. A copy of her Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations sits on my bookshelf nearly alone, its only companion is The Little, Brown Handbook. The other books seem to shun them both. But in thinking... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Two more comments on colleague's postings as we all catch up with our work: Rwany's post on a Shoestring was, as always, insightful and right on the mark. Toni Bowman's post on John Henry Twachtman's Round Hill Road was both lyrical and as refreshing as the pacific snow it described. Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
I've responded to only two colleagues this week. I'll generate a few more prior to the Stupor Bowl later today. So far I've touched: Dan Gifford and his fear of inserting footnotes, 'footnotitis.' As we said as kids, "You go ahead, I'll watch." Laszlo Taba and his comments regarding typography and rules and code. Can't wait to see his final project documentary. New media in action! Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
Sepoy’s two part Polyglot Manifesto reminded me of the many readings we had in Clio I which challenged traditional scholarly humanities thinking and pointed the way out from the confines of a brick and mortar mentality. The call to become a “connector” for history springs from that realization that our corner of the humanities may be left behind by younger generations of digital-savvy students and scholars who value the immediacy of on-line knowledge over that of the 5 mile-an-hour world of the dusty, yellowed analog. Although challenged by at least one blog responder who smugly commented “who cares?” boring history... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
My recent responses to colleagues' postings this week include: Dan Ludington: 'Typing About Typing." I appreciated his comments on how our perceptions have changed from Clio I. Tracy Fisher: "Making Reading Easier." I was struck by the truth of her comments regarding books with bad fonts, and bad spacing. Dan Gifford: "I Hate My Portfolio." I can't agree, but then I'm a novice and each artist knows what he wants. Alan Brody: "What the Menu Told Us." Menus will never appear the same after reading Alan's post. Bon Apetit! Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog
As I read Jean Baptist Piggin’s style guide on Macro-Typography my mind hyper-linked to mental images of the cave paintings in Lascaux, France. Those familiar Paleolithic pictures of animals, humans, and designs which were painted and etched over 16,000 years ago offer an early view into communicating through symbols. Just as macro-typography concerns itself with the “role of presentation” with focus on “patterns: distributing blank space, choosing colours [sic] and conveying meaning by proper arrangement” I saw similarity in the Lascaux drawings; bison arranged in herds, hunters moving in groups, all carefully placed and colored to tell a tale. Archaeologists... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2010 at John Lemza's Clio II Blog