GMU, HIST 390-002, Fall 2012, Dr. Amanda French

Learn to program additional resources

Here are the additional resources I mentioned today that might help you learn to program:

Remember too to check out Yahoo! Pipes if you’re interested in pulling together data from multiple sites. I’ve also fixed the broken link on the overlay features in Google Earth that will let you overlay historical maps (especially Rumsey maps) in Google Earth.

We are meeting in Innovation 223 on Thursday November 29th and Thursday December 6th.

Tips for research

  • WorldCat — a catalog of catalogs. Great place to find books on your topic. I’m pro-web and pro-multimedia, but you’d be foolish to ignore books as a source of information.
  • Mason Interlibrary Loan — use this to request books and articles not available at Mason. They will be delivered to the library.
  • Zotero — don’t forget to manage your research with software: Zotero is one of the best pieces of bibliographic software, and it was built right here at Mason.
  • Mason librarians — librarians are *the* best people to help you find information. That’s their job. You can schedule an appointment with a subject librarian or email or IM them for help.

More on photo verification, other links

Here are the links I mentioned today to those articles by Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic about verifying Superstorm Sandy photos shared on social networks:

Other links mentioned in class:

Remember, every Thursday from now on we’ll be meeting in Innovation 222.

Midterm exam key

Here’s the grading key for the midterm exam:

HIST 390 Midterm Exam Key

Security self-evaluation

Security self-evaluation quiz

Give yourself 1 point for every “no” answer to the following 5 questions.

  1. Do you use the same password for any of these accounts: Email, Google/Gmail, Facebook, iTunes/Apple, Amazon, online banking?
  2. Is your email password less than 10 characters long?
  3. Have you ever told anyone else one of your passwords?
  4. Do you allow your web browser, your email client, or any websites to save passwords?
  5. Do you have any passwords written down somewhere?

Give yourself 1 point for every “yes” answer to the following 5 questions.

  1. Do you back up your data?
  2. Do you have data backups both “in the cloud” (online) and locally (on another hard drive or computer)?
  3. Is your primary computer password-protected?
  4. Is your anti-virus software up to date?
  5. Do you regularly update your operating system?

Add together your total points from both sections. What’s your score?

Some resources for finding media you can re-use without permission

For search help, see also

Google Group, blog timestamps

You should have received an email invitation to join the class Google Group at!forum/hist390-002. Please join if you’d like the ability to ask (and maybe answer) questions of one another, even “What did I miss in class last Tuesday?” and the like.

Also, if you’ve noticed that the timestamps on your blog are wrong, that’s because by default they’re all set to Greenwich Mean Time. Go to Settings –> General to set the correct time zone on the blog. I usually pick “Montreal” as the closest city in the same time zone.

Research Questions

Here are some (most) of the research questions you’re planning to explore this semester. Which of these will make good research questions? Which won’t?

  1. When was West Coast Offense developed in the NFL? How did that affect the play of the San Francisco 49ers?
  2. What is the tradition behind the marine corps parade in Washington DC?
  3. How does access to universal healthcare/free high-quality education affect intrastate violence?
  4. What is the history behind the Black Sox scandal of 1919?
  5. How did bootlegging develop during the prohibition?
  6. What were the legacies President Franklin Roosevelt left after his death?
  7. What factors have contributed to the significant rise in data requirements across the web in the past 10 years?
  8. How did the breakout of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) impact the world at large and is that impact still holding true today?
  9. How did the introduction of articles about MMORPGs impact the games themselves?
  10. MMORPGs soared with the introduction of World of Warcraft, but there were many MMOs that preceded WoW; How did those games help to shape WoW and MMORPGs themselves?
  11. What was the initial purpose of YouTube as a website? How has it changed over the years?
  12. What led to Prohibition and what factored into its end?
  13. Why was the United Fruit Company’s interference in the Guatemalan government so devastating to the country?
  14. What was it that made the practitioners of Alchemy and Astrology different from their folk magic counterparts?
  15. Guatemalan History paying special attention the United Fruits Company’s involvement in the 1950′s
  16. Immigration to the US from Latin America and the Caribbean
  17. African-American migration across the US during the great migration
  18. How has the historical use of US Foreign Aid prevented development throughout developing countries?
  19. what were the cultural effects of ‘talking picture’ films?
  20. how do cults in american correspond with society?
  21. what were the defining cultural aspects of the 1920′s?
  22. the extinction of the Algonquian language in Virginia — specifically when the Algonquin language began to die out….I would like to look into the causes of the language’s demise and the current revitalization process.
  23. “Ways in Which Hacker Technology has Influenced the Web” or something. I want to look at, specifically, hackers when they got jobs for tech companies, creating more efficient securities based on their experience, or other programs for public use on “hacker ideals.” Many companies today have hired former hackers to work on their software, so I want to see the influence and development of new technologies.
  24. How did the invention of the Ipad impact everyday life?
  25. Why was Wayne Gretzky so important?
  26. Over the years, how did Volkswagen [sic] secure international success?
  27. Is the American-government-endoursed definition of a healthy/balanced diet based more heavily on science or on commercial merketing campaigns?
  28. The Practicioners of Folk-Magic and Their Relationship with Early Medieval Society
  29. The Scientific Magi: the Intellectual Students of Alchemy and Astrology
  30. Post-Reformation Mania and Fear of Occultism.

HTML practice post

This is an important header.

This is a less important header.

This is a paragraph.

  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Item 3

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2
  3. Item 3

This is bold text.

This is italic text.

This is a link.

Subscribe to all blogs here


To subscribe to the class blogs in Google Reader, use this link:

Here’s the list of all blogs so far: – A Look Into the Digital Past – A Plain Hill Chronicle – Andrew Reid’s Site – Anna’s The Digital Past Blog – BevsHistoricalBlog – blog for history 390 class – Charlie’s Blog – conner – Digital History 390 Blog – Digital Past Blog – ecox5 – GMU – The Digital Past – Hist 390 blog – Hist 390-002 – History 390 – History Blog – imojenn – Jon’s History 390 Blog – Kiara and the Digital Past – – mediated history – Megan’s Blog – Mike’s Digital Past Blog – My Digital History Site – My Digital Past Blog – Nadia Sepahi HIST 390 – nickmyarickhist390 – Paul’s Blog – PitchBend – PRIVATE – PRIVATE – PRIVATE – Rhiannon’s Blog – Samantha’s Digital Blog – – Susan’s Digital History Blog – The Digital Past Blog Posts – The Historical Nerds – Tommy’s Digital Past Blog – William Hammill’s Digital Past Blog

Getting on the Mason wireless

I hope that all of you have managed to get on the MASON-SECURE wi-fi network, but if you haven’t, please visit Mason’s help page for accessing MASON-SECURE.

Please submit your blog’s URL

Please click on the link below to submit the URL to your blog by 5pm on Friday, August 31st. Chances are we’ll have a blog all set up for you by the end of class on Thursday, August 30th, so you should make that deadline easily. Remember, to set up your blog, go to and click “Create an account,” then follow the instructions on the screen. You will need to use your GMU email address for the account.

Submit blog URL here


Welcome to the Digital Past

Be sure to check out the syllabus. Want to print out a copy? Here’s a PDF.