I love Flickr. Here at We Love DC, we all love Flickr. Without your contributions to our pool, the site would be a lot less colorful. But one of my favorite things about Flickr is The Commons, where museums of the world post selections of their historic photography collections. It can be fun sometimes to spend an hour or two lost in a long-ago world, made all the more enlightening because so many of those photos show scenes of our very city: Washington. As we recover from last week’s snowstorm and as we’re currently dealing with another mess of a weather pattern, it seems like the right time to take a look back at how Washingtonians of the past dealt with winter.
Although this incredibly entertaining “historical facebook update” is a joke, it definitely once again raises the question, are tweets and Facebook status updates going to one day be considered significant historical artifacts?
I have to admit, I don’t tweet. In fact it makes me slightly uncomfortable to say “tweet” unless I’m doing an impression of a baby bird. While I do have a Twitter account, I only use it to follow Andy Roddick and other tennis related people and only when I’m covering a match that they’re playing in. But I really don’t care where you are now, or now, or even now. I don’t care what you’re thinking about now, now, or twenty seconds from now. I don’t care what you had for breakfast or what you’re eating for lunch, right now. But you know who does? The Library of Congress.
That’s right, the LOC will be acquiring all public tweets since Twitter was founded in March of 2006. However even though I’m in the technology business, I don’t quite understand what this means. Is someone going to ship them terabytes of data on a hard drive? Are they going to continue to archive tweets going forward into the future? How will the public be able to access this data? I’m sure they have it all figured out, and I really think it’s great that the LOC is keeping up with the times instead of being a collection of old, dusty books. You can find them online on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr to name a few sites. Or you can find them at 101 Independence Ave SE, now, now, and now.
The Library of Congress has “come together” to honor former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, with their 3rd annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song that “celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding.” The prize commemorates American composers and brothers George and Ira Gershwin who complete catalogs are managed by the Library of Congress.
“It’s hard to think of another performer and composer who has had a more indelible and transformative effect on popular song and music of several different genres than Paul McCartney,” said James H. Billington, librarian of Congress.
McCartney will return to DC to accept the award next spring and is honored to accept the prize due to his admiration of the Gershwin songbook.
An all-star line-up of a tribute concert in his honor is scheduled to take place. No further details have been made public yet.
Previous winners of the Gershwin Prize include Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.
Via my friend Jane McGonigal today came this sweet little web app/iPhone app that allows you to help your favorite plugged-in online organization without having to set aside hours at a time to go down to their offices. The Library of Congress is looking for help with tagging their immense photo collection for faster and better search, and Smithsonian is doing the same with parts of their museum collection. Now, while you sit in (the passenger seat while in) traffic you can help out LOC or Smithsonian with some valuable taxonomical work. I suspect there will be more work in the near future from other deserving DC-area and worldwide non-profits who need a hand with translation, evidence gathering or other features.
I think it’s funny that although I’ve never heard of Chris Hillman or even like his genre (“country rock”), I recognize his music. That is some powerful influence. He’s played in bands like The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Desert Rose Band, was officially inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame, and now he’s coming to DC to talk to us about his prolific career.
The event is free to the public at the Library of Congress, at noon on Friday, October 16. If you work around the area (or take long lunch breaks), I would definitely recommend stopping by to see this guitar legend.
To be fair, it seems to do that to me every year; you’d think a writer like me would be a bit more cognizant of the National Book Festival, especially since it’s right across the Potomac every September.
BUT! Just because I’m lame doesn’t mean you should be! The National Book Festival will go on, rain or shine, as scheduled tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Located on the National Mall between 3rd and 7th streets, the festival is free and open to the public. Continue reading →