The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip Production Log

The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip Production Log

For general information on our The History Project interactive timeline

The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip

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The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip

March 12-15, 2016: This has been mostly about retrofit, and I’m making real progress (I’ve gotten through 1906). I’ve been adding more photos, by getting some of actors from public domain movies (Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine). I added Tom Holland, the new Spider-Man. I like the Twitter searches I’m adding to some events…those are much more content rich than I would have thought. I watched a movie for the first time because I added it to TMCGTT: The Yesterday Machine. I like time travel…and this was low budget and looked and felt it. 🙂 I also added the movie Leprechaun, so people have access to it for St. Patrick’s Day….even though there weren’t free streaming options wen I added it. Also new: Bill the Galactic Hero and Black Panther.

March 11, 2016: I added A Wrinkle in Time. I was happy to get in a book, and it has been in the news because of a new movie being directed by Ava DuVernay. It was interesting that there were sources which are normally pretty good which contradicted each other on which year it was published, 1962 or 1963. I went with the one on Madeleine L’Engle’s own website. 🙂

March 10, 2016: Continuing the retrofit…right now, that seems like a big project, but the early 20th Century years are going to be the most labor intensive, just because of how I initially copied in information from the TMC Pop Culture Timeline. I think I’ll set as a goal promoting TMCGTT to The Mary Sue and others by April 2nd (the first of the month is always a busy day for me, with a data analysis heavy post on ILMK (I Love My Kindle)). I could do the 31st, but the first can be a busy social media day for everybody…and in this case, it’s April Fools’ Day. 😉 I added two des-time-ations: The Guild, and Daisy Ridley being born. I thought The Guild was great, and you can view it from links from TMCGTT. I did tag it as TV, but I know that might be controversial. With Ridley…I do want TMCGTT to have contemporary use. That’s a case where, first, it’s interesting to see where Ridley’s birth relates to other geek culture items (Daisy Ridley was born after Deadpool’s first appearance, for example).  Second, by linking to a Google news search and a YouTube search, it can be a reason for repeat visits. Two things I’d like to particularly work on over the weekend: a style guide (both to add to my own consistency, and in anticipation of collaborators), and adding more books. I have been using Microsoft Edge, although I generally use Maxthon. Edge has revealed a major weakness: no “restore previous session” option. That’s  often valuable for me…

March 8-9, 2016: Tying into Batman vs Superman, I added the first appearances of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. I continued retrofitting…one new source I’ll use is the Library of Congress’ Read.Gov, although there aren’t very many books there. There have now been over 100 views of TMCGTT…although I’m sure most of those are mine. 😉 I want to start adding videogames (including early text games). I’m not the biggest gamer in the world, certainly, although I have played some. Way back in the day, I would pay $10 at the People’s Computing Center in Menlo Park for access to computers for three hours games (like Wumpus and Adventure). I was also quite good at the arcade game Golden Axe. I was an adult, and would go to an arcade sometimes at lunch in the same place I worked. There would sometimes be kids down there waiting for me. I could play the whole game on one quarter, so they liked to play alongside me so they got a lot of play for their coins. My one request to them: “Just don’t hit me…” 😉

March 7, 2016: I added Donovan’s Brain…that had been on my list from the beginning. One of my relatives saw it when it was first released, and was so disturbed, I could never get them to another even sort of scary movie. 🙂 I moved it up, though, because it was one of Nancy Reagan’s major movie roles, and she was in the news. It also let me really test watching a movie on a streaming service starting at TMCGTT. It worked just fine. I’m hoping people start following @TMCGTT on Twitter…I think they’d find it interesting. I’ll do a little promotion of the site and such (well, I have started mentioning it on my blogs) after I get the retrofit done (at least the initial pass…I may always be retrofitting if I find other good references).

March 6, 2016: Yesterday was mostly about retrofitting. It’s not uncommon that a project gets started, and you have some trial and error, even with style. I started out adding a lot of things from The Measured Circle Pop Culture Timeline. That wasn’t a bad thing…but they had no real content, which I think will be the broader appeal of TMCGTT. You could see when someone was born, for example, but couldn’t jump from there to anything about them. Going forward, I plan to add links when I add events. The other thing was that I was inconsistent about creating tags…sometimes I used a singular (“author”) and sometimes I used a plural (“authors”). I’ve decided that tags for categories should be plurals, so I’ve gone back and started to change the singulars. The same thing goes with casing…sometimes I said “Authors” and sometimes “authors”. I’m going to go with lower case. I also want to have a placeholder image (at least) for every entry: that’s how the tags work. I’d prefer it if tags worked with entries, not just documents, but that’s  not the case currently. I also have to always think about giving things a visual image..I’m not very visual myself. I’m hoping that,  eventually, a time tripper can go from the tag cloud to a cloud to an event (where the links are), but right now, they just see the tagged documents, and then have to manually go to the event. I added (and tweeted through the @TMCGTT account) two items. One was C.H.U.D., a 1984 (which was an interesting movie year) horror movie that had geek buzz at the time, but I’m guessing is unknown to most people today. I added  The Jungle Book (the short story collection), thinking people might want to read it before the new movie version this year. As I make things more useful (by adding more links), it takes longer to add them. I’m looking forward to eventually having some collaborators. Oh, and I learned how to do an unordered list in the Markdown syntax. 🙂

March 5, 2016: I’ve launched a Twitter account specifically for TMCGTT! It is @TMCGTT, not surprisingly. 🙂 I know that something like @timetrip might have been easier for people to remember, and perhaps more intriguing, but I do want to brand TMCGTT, and I figured it would be unique. I’ve already sent out three tweets, listing items I’ve added. I’m doing that partially to give a clearer channel for communications for some people. I added The Cabinet of Caligari, a German silent classic which influenced so many works, notably the camera angles in the Adam West Batman TV series. The online version at had English title cards, with a date in the 1950s. That’s why I didn’t use the title card as an image; I wasn’t sure of the copyright status. So, I took a screenshot from inside the movie. I also added author A. Merritt…by going to ManyBooks, I could link to one page with multiple links for Merritt books. Another add was The Beyond comic from the fabulous Digital Comic Museum. I hadn’t heard of it…and I love that!

March 4, 2016: I added Elric of Melniboné to June 1st, 1961. It was interesting…I went with the first appearance (in a magazine), even though I think most people didn’t know The Eternal Champion until the book form publication. I also used the tag “characters” for the first time…that’s going to be another retrofit. I can tell I need to clean up the tags…sometimes I used plurals, sometimes I didn’t. I set up a Twitter account for TMCGTT, but haven’t tweeted anything yet (maybe today). I’m thinking of doing a tweet for each entry, but we’ll see. This weekend, I may get some of that retrofitting done…in particular, I need placeholder images for quite a few entries (which help with tags). However, I always want to add consumable content, not just improving what’s already there.

March 3, 2016: I started the retrofit of book entries with their public library searches from Worldcat. I think that may be really useful for people. My tendency now is to think in terms of e-books, especially for public domain books which are often free. However, for people who don’t do e-books, being able to get Frankenstein from the library could be important. I also added The Last Man on Earth on March 8, 1964. This low budget Italian movie starring Vincent Price is my favorite version of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (although the Omega Man is quintessential Seventies sci-fi).

March 2, 2016: while looking for sources, I ran across Uncle Earl’s Classic Television Channel. It has a nice interface…fun, reasonably easy to use, and with better writing in the descriptions than you often see. Some of the links were broken, but that will likely happen with TMCGTT sometimes as well. I did add one “frictionless” (no fee, no membership) TV show to TMCGTT: Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. This 1950s show was on all four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Dumont), and I believe it was quite popular. It’s certainly a period piece when you see it now. How do they do the special effect of a rocket takeoff? The actor, in an interior shot, suddenly leans back violently. 🙂 I’m also going to retrofit existing book (at least) entries with WorldCat links to the public library, as I mentioned and decided yesterday, and I have decided to start a TCMGTT Twitter account. I also did split this page out from the main page.

March 1, 2016: Watching Super Tuesday, I wanted to add some Presidential items. That’s not to comment on anybody in the race, but I do get inspired by what’s happening in my life. I added the Super President cartoon (certainly, an odd premise: the President is a superhero called Super President…but it’s a secret identity). I also added Escape from New York (that would have been an early one for me anyway), which has Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken reluctantly going into New York City (which is now a prison) to rescue the President of the United States. Interestingly, this is a geek reference to President Donald…Pleasance. 😉 I’d also like to do more with books, but each entry takes a while. I realized that ManyBooks does author pages…so I added Edgar Rice Burroughs. Time trippers can go there, and read many of ERB’s books. That doesn’t mean that the individual books won’t eventually get entries (the first Tarzan book already has one), but that will make more things available more quickly. It also occurred to me that I haven’t been linking the WorldCat searches, which lets you find books at public libraries. I’ll retrofit existing entries with that. I’ve decided to move this production log to its own page. One honest reason is that it’s going to get long quickly, and will push the “footer” of the page (which has my rights statement) to far away. Finally, I’m thinking about how I can do collaborators. ..that’s not without some risk and added work, but with a style guide, it could really accelerate growth. The History Project is looking at more robust collaboration tools…not sure if I’ll entirely wait to see what they do. 🙂 If you are interested in collaborating, let me know by commenting on one of the TMCGTT pages.

February 29, 2016: we went live! That was exciting. I had to keep making myself okay with not having some events noted, but I do that by telling myself that it’s impossible to have everything and that it will keep growing. I heard good things from The History Project team, and some from my family. 🙂 It was great to have Len Edgerly of The Kindle Chronicles tweet about it! A member of THP (I don’t want to identify by name without it being public already) suggested I do a “project thumbnail”. I’m not a very visually oriented person, so that’s not my first thought…but it makes a lot of sense. I wanted something sort of both retro and futuristic, so I went to the Digital Comic Museum, and started hunting. I was picturing something like a train station, but found a rocket from Charlton Comics’ Space Adventures #1 (July 1952), page 6. I don’t see an artist credit on that story, but “Fago & Morales” are credited on the cover image. I added “TMCGTT” to the side of the ship, and cropped the image. Specific changes:

  • Star Wars: that was an obvious one, even though it has plenty of coverage elsewhere, so doesn’t need TMCGTT the same way as some other titles
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream: there are people who routinely dismiss everything geeky or imaginative as “childish”. I like to show that authors who are considered to be classic authors also write fantasy/science fiction. I also like how this extends the timeline backwards. I played Bottom once
  • R.U.R.: I  want to include plays, and this is an important one. There was a point when I was going to direct the show, but it didn’t get out of rehearsal. I was also pleased that it let me stick a pin in the Czech Republic. I worry about TMCGTT being too USA-centric, because that’s where I have the most access

A co-worker also mentioned the early videogame Moria (as in Lord of the Rings). Videogames are another area I’ll over…and means I could link to some for online play.

This page by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the  The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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