My Notebooks

I often find myself researching different topics. I’ve put a few of my results on the pages below. 

Digitizing Documents, Films and Photos

I’ve been in a long process of digitizing material I’ve had sitting around the house for years – everything from old schoolbooks to receipts to photo albums to family films. This involves scanning or photographing originals.

When I’m dealing with stacks of paper, I seem to spend a lot of time removing staples, and I was surprised how poorly most staple removers work. I spent way too much time trying different ways of removing staples, although my favourite methods turned out to be the palette knife and stamp collectors’ tongs.

I had a few family films shot on 8mm film in the 1960s and 1970s that I wanted to digitize. There are many ways to go about it – but in 2011 I tried digitizing home movies manually by photographing the film frame by frame. It was crazy and took weeks, but the results were excellent. Since then, I’ve found better ways to do it – still manually, but much faster. 

I’ve used both scanners and cameras to duplicate old photos and documents. I wondered how they compared, so I did a detailed test. It’s hard to beat a camera for quality.

Miscellaneous Researches

I’m a writer. I hear the term “story arc” getting batted around all the time now, but I didn’t remember hearing it at all before the 1980s. I wondered where the term had come from.  

On a trip to the UK, I had a very relaxing sleep in a hammock and it made me want to buy one. I didn’t know anything about hammocks, so I had to research the subject. I was surprised at how powerful a force a hammock can exert. 

My grandfather used to recite a long-winded version of This is the House that Jack Built. I tried to track down the original version. 

Ever wonder where the Spirograph came from? If the answer is “no” then don’t read this.

I was interested to discover that that earthworms were introduced to Canada quite recently. But humans have been driving ecological changes and extinctions for a long, long time

“What one fool can do, another can….” – This “ancient Simian proverb” comes from a remarkable math book published 110 years ago, and in print ever since.