Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crowdsourcing Public History

Check this out... it's an historic pub crawl, where the locations of the historic pubs (tavern sites 100 years old or more) are provided by site visitors. There is an interactive map, and locations of taverns still serving, still standing, and gone forever are all welcome. A very cool idea! The same folks are also mapping one-room schoolhouses using the same system.

The link above goes to the historic pub crawl website; the image below is of the map. I don't like all the crud overlying the map itself, but once you get past it, pretty cool!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Randomness

Field of Brussel Sprouts and Apple Orchard, January 28, 2010

A post of randomness, with a photo. Alas, apparently there was no market for brussel sprouts this year.

  • There are two job openings I'm *very* interested in. Except they'd interfere with PhD aspirations. I am considering applying anyway to see where the cards fall. Where is the line between keeping options open and burning bridges? They're both at an institution I would love to work for.
  • A CFP for an interdisciplinary symposium entitled "The Body On Display from Renaissance to Enlightenment" sponsored by the Society for the Social History of Medicine. Symposium is in July of 2010. A little late to get an abstract in, but the symposium looks very, very interesting.
  • Did you know the dictionary contains "words of concern?" A school district in South Carolina has pulled dictionaries from the classrooms while they decide whether to ban it. Yep, you read rightly... ban the dictionary. For containing words. [h/t Banned Books]
  • Flavia makes a post about teachers being public intellectuals. I think the premise is an important one -- that our students are not just students, but are also The Public. I really appreciated the discussion of approrpiate/inappropriate invocations of the present in the classroom. I agree that what is appropriate is likely field-specific. There is a lot of politics in the world of physical anthropology, and I try to address those in context. In my other life, clients in the world of CRM are also members of The Public. Yes, the work we do for them is so they can get their construction permits, but occasionally you get clients who (although they don't want to pay for it) are actually interested in the sites and the process. I do wish that CRM reports were not so "gray" when it comes to public access, however. Reports are all filed with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and are therefore "public," but certainly not public in the sense of Public Archaeology or Public History. And neither my employer nor our clients (unless mandated by the SHPO) are paying me to get results out there either through publication or presentations.
  • Copper is being stolen from historic sites. This isn't just limited to the copper piping in unattended buildings; thieves are now stealing historic site markers and other copper signs from sites. Keep your eyes peeled; if you notice a sign that has always been there is suddenly gone, don't assume it's off being repaired. Contact whoever is in charge of marking historic sites in your region, and let them know it's gone. In the US, your local SHPO/Tribal HPO can help you find out who to contact; a list can be found here.
  • Some very cool digital restoration of the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan, integrated with GIS mapping. A very, very cool application for GIS and education. A lienzo maps both the geography and the history of a place in one document, aka historical cartography. The previous link is to an article about the process; the link to the project website is here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Scientific Breakthrough in Feelings

"Every Lady Scientist Who Ever Did Anything (until recently)" By Kate Beaton

I love Kate Beaton. Smart, funny, and talented, she goes right to the heart of the funny in history. Even when it isn't really funny. (Yes, I'm one of those people who laughs at what apparently everyone else thinks are inappropriate moments.)

Rosalind Franklin produced much of the data used by Watson and Crick in identifying the double-helix formation of DNA, and apparently had actually beaten them to the punch. Watson and Crick got the Nobel. Rosalind got disappeared until the late 1960s, when Watson published his memoir acknowledging her major contributions. Rosalind died young; she was only 37 when she passed away.

Unfortunately, crap like this is not limited to the pure sciences. Nor is the practice dead, I'm afraid (though things are definitely better than they were).

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Am Now A Newly Minted...

American citizen.

I was expecting just my interview/citizenship test today, but the office is one of 2 in the country who swear people in the same day (surprise!). It is also the only office where I could have had my picture taken with life-size, cardboard cutouts of the Obamas. For real. Of course, I didn't have a camera... because who brings a camera past security in a Federal office building? Kind of sucks, though. I would have liked that.

For all those wondering about the citizenship test: The english proficiency portion of the test is to read a short sentence they give you, then to write a short sentence they read to you. The history/civics part is a bank of 100 questions, from which they ask you 10. You must get 6 right. Of the 100, I was pretty confident with most, and only needed to memorize 435, 1787, Wilson, and Roosevelt. I didn't need any of these, however; here are my 6 citizenship test answers:

  1. Jefferson
  2. Texas
  3. MA, CT, NJ
  4. The President
  5. Democratic
  6. Democratic and Republican
I actually kind of teared up a bit during the oath. But now? Now I'm an actual, voting, constituent of my assorted representatives. Which I will quite happily point out to them, the next time I fire off a battery of letters, either railing against some great evil, or thanking them for doing the right thing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Agricultural History, Women, Shoes, and Strange Musical Instruments

I realized recently that I have not posted photos lately. Mostly, it is because I haven't been out in the field as I have been frantically writing to meet some deadlines for two big projects at work. One, wherein I don an historians cap to prepare a regional agricultural history, is now in the somewhat mysterious internal review process (mysterious = I'm not actually sure who is reviewing it; I have heard 2 or 3 different things). The other involves lots to do on a very tight deadline.

I really enjoyed working on the agricultural history. Agricultural histories in this neck of the woods tend to be superficial, essentially giving statistics of various agricultural products, a basic history of the area, talk about some buildings, and when the highways went in that have led to the agricultural lands being developed for commuters. One thing that particularly struck me was that the only people that tended to be mentioned were farmers (always men, always in a non-specific, general sort of way) and slaves (as in, early farmers had some, but not many; then they didn't). Where are the women? children? hired hands? tenant farmers? indentured servants? migrant workers? immigrants?

I had to do a TON of background reading. I am by no means an historian (let us not speak of the last time I actually took a history class, kthx). I immersed myself in the world of eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century agricultural history for this area, and let me tell you, there is some Good Stuff out there (note to my professional historian friends: they may not be fun to write, and aren't really original research, but well-written state-of-the-field/historiography of Region X from "Year n through n+whatever" are immensely, incredibly helpful). I particularly enjoyed (and used) the work of Joan Jensen* and Nancy Osterud**. I actually -read- their works, instead of picking through for bits to cite.

I'm happy with the result; the agricultural statistics and basic regional history are in there, but so are the people, as well as a discussion of changing material culture (I am an archaeologist, after all!). I hope my in-office reader and the State Historic Preservation Office are happy with it, too. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to write much about specific individuals, though I do have data on individual woman- and African-American owned farmsteads that I should do something with.

Oh... and if you're interested in Patriarchal Equilibrium*** in action, check out poultry raising and dairying (butter making) in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Both of these had traditionally been the purview of women; many works describe them as generating "pin money," which is crap -- these agricultural products were more often than not significant (and, perhaps more importantly, reliable) sources of income. As soon as the "necessary" technological investment and financial rewards increased, both of these pursuits shifted from being woman's work to being the domain of men. Poultry raising shifted a little later than dairy because of delays in rural electrification. But by WWI, the shift in dairying appears to have been complete: a pamphlet promoting the Woman's Land Army of America**** specifically addressed the question if women were even capable of milking a cow. Guess what! They could! Womens' hands are so gentle! Seriously, that's what it says.

Which is all a long tangent to me posting a photo. I've been going dancing lately, and am enjoying almost every minute of it. It is forcing me to be more social and outgoing, which I find difficult, but which is necessary, and which, I am happy to report, is getting easier. Even when my insecurities rear their little demonic heads. It is necessary to carry in clean shoes, so that outdoor grit stuck in shoe soles can't act like sandpaper and strip the finish from the wooden floors of the dance venues (community halls, church halls, school gyms, etc). I picked my most comfortable of shoes, and they are now my dancin' shoes:

The dancing is done to live music, which is fantastic. Even more fantastic is when you see something you've never seen before; the other week, the band included a nyckleharpa. I was entranced. In the YouTube, it's the strange instrument on the right; the strange instrument on the left is an arch-harp, which I have yet to clap eyes on in person.

Dancin' Footynotes:

* She's published several really good articles, but here's the place to start: Jensen, Joan M. (1986). Loosening the bonds: Mid-Atlantic farm women, 1750-1850. New Haven: Yale University Press.

** I found this book especially helpful in thinking about rural -communities- instead of individual farms: Osterud, Nancy G. (1991). Bonds of community: The lives of farm women in nineteenth-century New York. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

*** Too much to write about in a footnote on this one. Bennett, Judith M. (2006). History matters: Patriarchy and the challenge of feminism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Bloggy roundtable: here, here, here, here, and here (good stuff; if I did it right, the links are in the order of discussion).

**** I'd never heard of the Woman's Land Army of America. Completely fascinating. Check out Weiss, Elaine F. (2008). Fruits of victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books.

IMO, anyone who doesn't look at these works specifically because they have "women" and "feminism" in the titles is doing themselves a huge, huge disservice. So there.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Book is a Maze

"Think of your book-in-progress as a maze. You’ve hit a wall. Go back to where you made the wrong turn. Start anew from there."

- Margaret Atwood, on overcoming writers' block

A little bit of history can be a bad thing.

I have a search set up on my Twitter account for "Seneca Falls." Usually, the results are various jobs available, the local radio station plugging itself, folks tweeting about listening to The Distillers sing their song about the first Women's Rights Convention held there in 1848, the odd news story.

This evening though... a completely different story. Several tweets floated by with some variation of "Finally, the Seneca Falls for Men’s Rights!" I knew I'd get bent, but I clicked the link anyway. I really don't want to link to the dreck that's out there on this, but if you google "Finally the Seneca Falls for Men's Rights" and MWD (that's Men's World Daily), you'll hit it. Apparently this watershed moment is the inception of a Men's Studies course at Wagner College, Staten Island New York. The drivel is the same old crap about how teh menz have been deeply wounded by the existence of Women's Studies courses, how men weren't allowed to take them, how the world is out to get them, etc. etc. The irony of this following so closely on Mary Daly's death is not lost on me.

The same old crap bugs me; a lot. But what really gets my goat is likening a Men's Studies course at some college to the Seneca Falls convention. This level of understanding of the Seneca Falls convention must come in somewhere around "some thing feminists think is important" to be likened to a university course. Because, you know, fighting to be acknowledged as actual persons, with the right to vote... that's TOTALLY the same thing as someone offering a class about people who have always been people.

I'm not entirely sure I have been coherent. This post brought to you by ARRRGH.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Courseblogging Spring 2010

Fist class of the semester tonight, and it's a full house. 30 students; at least the classroom is big enough to hold us all! They're already thinking, which is good. I had several light bulbs go on when I explained that, although we study non-human primates to help distinguish things we do that are biologically hard wired vs. culturally learned, there is not a one-to-one correlation between our fossil ancestors and living primates. Living chimpanzees have, just like us, had millions of years of evolution and successful adaptation to changing environments. They are not some living fossil, though many seem to make this assumption. So, while it's not a one-to-one correlation, it's the best we have.

The class I have this time has a white board, with the projection screen off in the corner. I kind of like whiteboards because I can use lots of colors, and wow the class with my spectacular mind maps and visual aids (read: multicoloured squiggles). I -really- like it when the projector is positioned so that it projects onto the whiteboard; then I can annotate my powerpoints with multicoloured squiggles. On a practical level, though... it's the first class of the semester, and none of the dry erase markers were working. By next week, there won't BE any dry erase markers (I pack my own!)

Whiteboards are kind of fun, but really, for me, nothing beats chalk and a blackboard. The tappity-tap of writing, the size of the chalk, the chalk dust everywhere; I love it. Last semester, I was in a classroom with a blackboard back to back with the blackboard in the next class; we tappity tapped our lectures back and forth. And I always feel like I've accomplished something when I finish up a little dirty -- covered in chalk after a lecture, covered in ink after writing, covered in dirt after a day in the field. It's just... satisfying.

And, no one steals chalk.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kate McGarrigle 1946-2010

I was very sad to hear of the death of Kate McGarrigle. She was a Canadian folksinger, as are her sister, Anna (Kate and Anna McGarrigle put out several albums together) and her children Martha and Rufus Wainwright (she had been married to folksinger Louden Wainwright III).

I've enjoyed her singing and songwriting for years. Here's one of my favorites of the McGarrigle sisters' songs; it's from their album "Matapedia":

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seven Things...

I can handle a meme tonight, I think! Inspired by Ink and Squadratomagico, herewith are seven things I have not yet mentioned on the blog:

1. Of my father's 5 daughters, I am the shortest; but I am not short. In fact, I often feel very tall around other people... except my sisters.

2. I'm toying with the idea of possibly doing a PhD in history instead of archaeology. The job market thing doesn't worry me overly; there may be few jobs in history, but there are, I'm sure, fewer in archaeology (no, no stats to back this up at the moment!). Apart from -really- enjoying the historiography and histories I've been reading lately, the greater potential for a job and for higher earnings is tempting. I'm not sure, however, that I can emotionally handle not identifying as an archaeologist.

3. I own 4 pairs of shoes: 1 black, 1 brown, 1 sneakers, and 1 pair of dancin' shoes. I also much prefer to wear men's shoes, as I find them more comfortable and less expensive than women's shoes. Yes, I am stereotypically a woman in sensible shoes.

4. I am a huge fan of long soaks in the tub. With a book. And one foot on the hot water tap to keep from getting cold (I did say LONG soaks). Too much information? Perhaps, but what are blogs for!

5. I am terrible at picking names for pets. As a kid, I had gerbils named A and B, because I was at a loss what to name the children of parent gerbils, Charlie Brown and Lucy. I named my white mice "Mus" and "Musculus" (Mus musculus is the scientific name for house mouse). I gave the occupants of an entire 40 gallon tank of fish a single, collective name (which was not The Fish). It is probably best I've never had to (nor likely will ever have to) name a child.

6. I've seen Salvadore Dali's "Persistence of Memory" in person. It is TINY. Well, ok... it's about the size of a sheet of letter paper. But I expected something so important to be, well, bigger (Dali did do works that are almost 2 stories high; a trip to the Dali museum in Florida is well worth it).

7. I've never traveled further west than Indianapolis.

That would be 7 things!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

And I thought the concealments were interesting...

I so wish I could post details about this one, because truth sure can be stranger than fiction. But I would put large sums of money down on a bet that I was the only one in this -particular- situation. And by only, I mean, really, totally, only. Which means to give details would blow whatever pseudonymous cover I have, such as it is.

So I'm going through an artifact catalog for one of my projects. I generally don't catalog my own artifacts; that's done by folks down in the lab. When they're done, I go over the catalogs pretty thoroughly right off the bat, looking for duplicate entries, spelling issues, formatting weirdness, put together a reference list, pick out things I know I'll want to have a closer look at, identify things that need to be dated or dated more closely, etc.* This gives me a sense of what the artifact assemblage looks like for the whole project, and gives me a chance to make some big-picture and more detailed connections between and among contexts (excavation units, shovel tests, soil layers). It's picky and time consuming, but pays off in the long run.

Lalala, messing with a catalog of a few thousand artifacts, some interesting stuff, I'll have to get the faunal folks to look at these bones for foodways info, wow, lots of nails, nothing jumping out at me in particular... until BOOM. WTF is this really weird entry? That piece of ceramic has WHAT on it? I've never seen anything like what was described, so I go fish out the piece to see for myself. Sure enough, the description was accurate.

Next stop: Google.

Next stop: pick me up off the floor.

This particular item was made in a foreign country for, and only for, an export market that is literally on the other side of the world. I don't even know how to imagine it ended up where it did. Damn thing is, I'm going to have to come up with -something-! I have a feeling I'll be putting Occam to the test on this. Because there is no way the folks who lived at this location vacationed on that side of the world.

* Sure, whiteware dates after 1820 (as opposed to creamware, pearlware, and other types of refined earthenware bodies). But if there is any design on the piece, and sometimes based on form, it is possible to get a tighter date. For example, the technology to paint ceramics in bright colors (chrome colors) was only developed circa 1830, and caught on pretty damn quickly. Prior to that, there was no true black, and colors were kind of muddy (think painting watercolors with a dirty brush). So if you have muddy colors with no true black on a piece of whiteware ceramic, you know it dates after 1820 (for the whiteware body) and before 1830 (for the pre-chrome colors).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Conference Announcements

The Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Annual Meeting just finished up in Amelia Island, Florida. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend, though I hear it was excellent.

The SHA has selected Quebec City for the 2014 Annual Meeting. The theme will be "Questions That County: A Critical Evaluation of Historical Archaeology in the 21st Century." The meetings are always in January, so it will be cold, but Quebec City is a fantastic place.

Next year's conference will be in Austin, Texas, January 5-9, 2011. The theme is "Boundaries and Crossroads in Action: Global Perspectives in Historical Archaeology."

Edit: Locations for the intervening and following years:

2012 Baltimore, MD
2013 Leicester, England
2014 Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
2015 Seattle, WA (tentative)
2016 Washington, DC (tentative)

Monday, January 11, 2010

More Shoe Concealments and a Great Shoe Reference

Back in June, I wrote about witch bottles and other concealments. As it happens, I have two current projects that have concealments; one is an African American site, the other a Euro-American site. I can't give all the details, but the Euro-American site involved a shoe recovered from a chimney context.*

The shoe met the typical characteristics of a concealment: a single shoe, worn out, hidden within a wall next to a chimney. My next question was who put it there, and in order to help figure that out, I needed to date it. I'm pretty good at dating archaeological materials, but textiles and clothing escapes me, and I went searching for a good shoe reference.

There is lots of information out there about shoes, but very little on everyday footwear -- folks like to write about the fancy stuff, the upper-class stuff. Frankly, the stuff you find in museums. This bias in focus on the upper classes, the rulers, the fancy materials is something that plagues museum collections, archaeology, architectural assessments, and popular histories. My beef with this bias will have to be another post for another time... point is, after much searching, I found a great reference for identifying and dating women's shoes:

Rexford, Nancy E. (2000) Women's Shoes in America, 1795-1930. Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio.

The book consists of two parts: an overview history of women's shoes, fashion and marketing in America and an extensive identification guide. The appendices are full of background information, including how leather is made, how shoes are made, information on rubber and elastic webbing, and a partial listing of shoe manufactures. The history includes detailed information on everyday footwear, and does not just focus on fancy footwear. I enjoyed the overview history, but in my opinion the real value of the book is the section on identification.

The author presents a step-by-step guide for identifying the age of a particular shoe by simply matching up characteristics -- upper patterns, heels and soles, variations in lasts, and materials and decorations -- to well-illustrated and described dated examples. I particularly liked the very straightforward and detailed discussion of dating changes in the fashion, design, and manufacturing technology of footwear. The range where all of these dated characteristics overlap is the manufacturing date of the shoe. By breaking down the various parts of the shoe and asking researchers to look at them independently, Rexford makes dating women's shoes and boots accessible and possible for even the most novice researcher (like me!).

Of course, the manufacturing date of anything doesn't necessarily correspond with its date of archaeological deposition (except possibly for coffin trimmings). Swann estimates that, due to the fact that shoes were not discarded until they could no longer be fixed, an average lag between manufacture and deposition could be as much as 20 years (Swann 1996). Unfortunately, this puts my shoe in a period of several and rapid changes in ownership (shoes are often concealed at changes in ownership and during renovation/remodeling work). My next step is to detail the changes in ownership and to determine if any of them did any remodeling on the house that would have opened up the area where the shoe was found, giving an opportunity for deposition.

* There is some really good literature out there on ritual concealments and the persistence of archaeologically-identifiable magical/ritual practices into the twentieth century. I will post more on this another time, but I think such concealments are likely much more common than we think, but that people don't know what they're looking for/looking at.

Swann, June (1996) Shoes Concealed in Buildings. Costume 30: 56-69.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Great Soda Divide

Back in the fall, I posted about Michigans and the Land of Pepsi. In the comments, folks wondered about the dividing line between places where you order a soda and places where you order a pop.

I am happy to report that, through no investigative ability of my own, I can provide an answer. Behold!

(Clickity for detail)

Much hat-tipping appreciation to DamnGoodTechnician for the image. And also for the link to the Dialect Survey. I now know what mumbledy-peg is -- something I'd heard about, but never knew what it was. Thankfully, I've never been asked to play. They should have called it Crazy Shit. I also now know a much, much better and descriptive term for doing donuts. Seriously, it should be called this EVERYWHERE!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mary Daly 1928-2010

I just heard that Mary Daly died today, January 3, 2010*. An early report can be found here.

For all the everything that surrounded Mary Daly and her work (really, too much to even touch on here), I am grateful for her writing. Reading Gyn/Ecology was one in a cascade of recent events that has rattled me to the core and made me take a good, serious look around.

I originally titled this RIP Mary Daly; but I don't expect she'll be resting peacefully, if her life was any indication. I expect she'll continue to stir the pot, rouse the rabble, smash illusions, and pull back the curtain... just on a whole 'nother level.

[* h/t Notorious]

Musing on Paper Archives

I've often argued that microfilm is better for long-term preservation than digital. Sure, they're not searchable (though I have no issues digitizing and searchabilifying microfilm), but the information is always available. If your digital file gets corrupted, or you forget to back it up, or forget to save it onto whatever the new storage media is, or the world ends*, your information is GONE. With microfilm, all you need is a magnifying glass and a light source to get at the information.

I do have to admit, however, that I wouldn't want to roast marshmallows over microfilm. If nothing else, this should be a good reason to keep paper libraries.

* I don't actually believe we are in the throes of the apocalypse, but you know, stuff happens.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Post

Let me start by saying that I have, since I can really remember, had a hard time with holidays -- Christmas and New Years Eve are the biggies. My first impulse is to crawl under a rock (or a blanket) and watch whatever crap happens to be on TV. When I worked at a 24-hour drug store during university, I worked through the holidays; an excuse and bonus pay rolled into one! The whys of it all don't much matter, though I am working on it...

Anyway. So, even though I kinda slept through New Year's Eve, waking up long enough to see the ball drop before crawling to bed, and even though today kinda sucked, I thought I'd take a page from BSGirl, Belle, and others and look back on the past year and forward into 2010. I mean, if I keep avoiding the holidays, nothing changes, right?

Things I did in 2009 that I am proud of:
  • Decided that my wants, needs, desires, and happiness are important, and that I shouldn't be so quick to give those up or gloss over them or apologize for them. This is a work in progress.
  • Related to the above, set about finding and exercising my voice. Blogging has been part of this process; again, a work in progress.
  • Went dancing. By myself. With strangers, even. And had way, WAY more of a good time than I thought I would. And, more importantly, went back.
  • Put my nose to the grindstone on the book; didn't get as much done as I wanted to, but am a hell of a lot closer to done than I was.
  • Asked for, and got, assistance with a bunch of stuff.
  • Touched a hot, emotional element and got more than I bargained for, followed by a little burned. It's ok, though... I learned a lot. Including the difference between missing someone and missing the potential of someone.
  • Got back in touch with some old friends who I never should have lost touch with in the first place. What was I thinking???!?!?
Goals for 2010:
  • Finish. The. Damn. Book. By finished, I mean not just the Shitty First Draft, but something I can bundle off to my editor. Who is actually speaking to me again; hir life apparently took a tangent, but we're both back on each others' radar screens. Which is a relief, really.
  • Be more generous about the motivations of others.
  • Dance more. Socialize more. Smile more. Get out of my own head, and my own way, a little more.
  • Get a handle on my finances and living situation. Declutter (I may need a shovel).
  • Try to dress a little better, eat a little healthier, sleep a little more, and exercise a little more. Time to pull up my socks a bit (really, I'd prefer a miracle, but I stress-eat, so I don't want to over-do these). Re: dressing better -- I have clothes that really I shouldn't wear in public. That is saying a LOT for an archaeologist. And I need to stop wearing them in public. For realz.
  • Do something that scares me.
I don't know if 2010 will be a good year; it will certainly have good parts, but I also expect a fair pile of difficulties and unpleasantness as I work through some stuff. I can also see the other side of the pile, and it looks pretty good from here. I guess I'll just wade in :)

Edit: PS: Here's a cool New Year's Eve tradition, courtesy photographer Kyle Cassidy. Pushes all kinds of (good and interesting) buttons about transitions, liminal spaces/times, recordation, etc. In other words, my inner geek thinks it is very cool.