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We looked inside some of the posts by acoldbreeze and here's what we found interesting.

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acoldbreeze·7 days agoAnswer
hi! sorry to bother! u an i hope this isn't against what u allow as questions on this blog, but on post-grad i think u once mentioned a book about surfaces, but like theorising them, and i wondered if you remembered what it was called!

no bother at all!! i think that book was probably on weathering (mit press, david leatherbarrow & mohsen mostafavi)–it’s ostensibly about modernist architecture but is also useful for thinking/teaching about the way surfaces in general record time & trauma. i think i’ve also talked abt victoria kelley’s surface tensions, which is an edited collection (idr which press, sorry!) that’s more obviously theoretical–there’s a chapter in there by daniel miller called something like “depth ontologies” that i really like. 

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acoldbreeze·a month agoPhoto


Photographs of the conservation work being done on some of the objects from the Tomb of Tutankhamun, ahead of their display at the still under construction “Grand Egyptian Museum”.


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acoldbreeze·a month agoAnswer
hi! do you have any advice for writing conference papers? i`m presenting for the first time this summer and i`ve been to papers before but am rly struggling writing mine 😅

#1 RULE OF CONFERENCE PAPERS: DO NOT GO OVER TIME. i’m serious. do not. this means practicing reading your paper at least twice, standing up, with the powerpoint/visual aid if you’re using one, and timing yourself. under is fine; over is not. 

misc other advice:

  • be kind to your audience. i have a hard time keeping my brain focused on an hour of lecturing, and i’m not alone. so be kind–clearly state your point, more than once (what i’d like to suggest today is X) and provide a roadmap at the beginning (i’m going to discuss Y first, and then look at a few examples of Z). use your transitions to remind the audience of what you’ve just told them, and to prepare them for your next point. particularly when you’re presenting information orally, you need to be transparent.
  • be kind to yourself. double space that thing, size 14 font, bold major points, whatever makes it easier for your eyes and your brain to deliver the paper naturally and in a way that keeps others engaged in the material.
  • remember, you’re talking! and your audience will be more engaged if you treat it like a presentation than if you read in a monotone straight from your paper. that means you use inflections, pauses, etc.
  • don’t be afraid to extemporize, but plan for it. that’s a paradox, i realize, but if you’re going to “““spontaneously””” add something in, plan it ahead.
  • the one exception to that rule is that if you’re not the first paper on a panel & you want to reference something someone else has just said in their paper, you can squeeze that brief reference in, off the cuff. 
  • re: what you actually write in the paper–conference papers are not the place for a lit review. you have 20 minutes, and 19 of them should be about your argument. every paper and field is different, obviously, but what i usually focus on is this making a clear claim, and then choosing a few (not too many!) examples that work best to substantiate or complicate it. 
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acoldbreeze·2 months agoText


as a grad student i relate to geralt from the witcher on netflix because i too am constantly rotating between sighing, saying “hmm”, and muttering “fuck” with every ounce of what’s left of my patience

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acoldbreeze·2 months agoText



slavic folk love charms and spells

have you ever laid eyes on someone while getting back from a day of hard work in the field and thought - we must wed this summer or I shall throw myself into the Dnieper! or have you ever felt overcome with fear that your beloved might be sneaking out every moonless night to the neighbouring village to kiss that girl with braids thicker than yours? or perhaps you have seen this fair shepherd boy lead sheep into the Carpathian meadows and you wished he would take a liking to you before Kupala’s Night comes?

fret no more, my friends!

here are some of my favourite slavic love charms that I’ve stumbled upon lately:

♥ - to ensure that they will find a good husband - and fast - girls would find the branch where the first bee swarming of the year would happen: the branch on which bees sat had to be boiled, and that concoction used to wash the body 

♥ - to make a boy fall in love, girls would bake mole’s heart into the bread and serve that to their chosen boy - mole’s blindess would “go over the boy, as love is blind”

♥ - if a woman did not want to become pregnant - especially again - she would have to walk in a circle around dead tree, saying “when this tree bore fruit, I bore children, when it bears again, I will”

♥ - if your beloved chose someone else over you, sneak close to their house during their wedding night, and throw over the roof: pin from a wheel to “close up the bride” or rope with knots tied on it to “knot the groom.” you know what that means.

♥ - to gain mad affection from a boy, girls would try to steal a thread from his hat - or even just dust from the soles of his shoes. then they would stick it into a lump of wax and throw into the fire, saying: “might you burn in longing for me like this wax is burning in the fire; might your heart melt for me like that wax is melting.” the boy would either fall in love madly - or get ill, and die. our foremothers did not favour the word “compromise”

♥ - to steal a boy’s heart, girls would steal his steps - cut out his footprint from the path, and take it with them.

♥ - to make sure that the chosen boy is stable in his love, girls would gather dirt from the path he walked on - again, best with his footprint - and put in into a pot, and plant there plants with flowers that bloom for a long time, and take good care of them.

♥ - to appear alluring and be desired by boys, girls would carry with them: a goshawk’s head, or swallow’s heart, or bat’s bones.

♥ - the most important love herbs that should be sneakily added to beloved’s food or drink: lovage (levisticum), adders tongue fern (ophioglossum vulgatum), sticky sundew (drosera), or poison darnel (lolium temulentum)

♥ - to awake desire in a boy, girls would either steal the water he bathed in and bathe in it themselves, or the other way around: sneak their own bathwater into the boy’s bath. 

♥ - rub valerian into the clothes or possessions of a girl who’s trying to steal your boy - once she gets close to him, he will be overcome with hatred and disgust (or it will make him “wilt with her. you know what that means.)

♥ - to become more beautiful, girls would sing to the sun, asking it to grant them its own fairness and charm, and make them as “bright and rich”

♥ - similarly, girls would ask the rainbow for similar favours: it was necessary to take off any shawls, caps, and ask “girl, girl, beauty in the skies, make me pretty so boys like me, and give me much blood so I can be full” (full as in full face, healthy, fatter - although as a strzyga I do love asking for more blood to be full as well.)

[examples come from Kultura Duchowa Słowian by Kazimierz Moszyński (volume I and II, 1934) and appear in the practices of many slavic peoples, especially from (historical and geographical) regions: Lesser Poland, Red Ruthenia, Belarus, Polesie, Great Rus, Moravia, Bulgaria, Little Rus and Ukraine]

stay tuned for new additions or part two!

bake a mole’s heart into some heart-shaped cookies today, my friends.

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acoldbreeze·2 months agoAnswer
chelsea!! hello!! long term listener first time caller! i tried seeing if you had answered this before and i couldn't find anything but if it turns out you have, apologies in advance. basically, do you know what the best way to communicate financial need in a scholarship application is? Applying to a few where that is key criteria and I definitely have the need but unsure exactly how to establish it in writing! Thank you in advance

hello!! i don’t think i have any concrete advice on this, really. for things like grant or fellowship applications, you always want to be as specific and detailed as possible about your need (what would the money go towards? why is that thing necessary to your project, revolutionary to your field, righting some historic wrong? or, if you’re demonstrating need in general, why don’t you have other sources of funding? why do you need this additional funding more than anyone else?) but when it comes to discussing your personal financial situation, i’m not sure where the line between “concrete and detailed” and “overly informative” lies. 

if it were me, i’d touch briefly on my family background (why i don’t have preexisting family money to draw on) and then demonstrate why i myself don’t have millions (too busy being a scholar/fine upstanding citizen/hard worker/whatever to make a million dollars) and then demonstrate need (the stuff that i want to do isn’t cheap and involves travel/archives/conferencing/books/etc.) but you may decide to structure yours differently!

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acoldbreeze·3 months agoPhoto


The Gulf of Poets, La Spezia Italy,

the Scola Tower stands over 42 feet tall in the sea.

Built in the 17th century, the tower was originally designed, as part of a defensive system for the Senate of the Republic of Genoa.

© J. Hulsch

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acoldbreeze·7 months agoText


I’d sell my soul for that fawn

Of a boy, night walker

To the sound of the ‘ud and flute playing

Who saw the glass in my hand, said

‘Drink the wine from between my lips’

And the moon was a yod drawn on

The cover of dawn on gold ink

Shmuel Hanagid, eleventh century Sephardi Jewish poet from Grenada

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acoldbreeze·7 months agoText


i consider it a true tragedy and failure that we, as a human race, have let lavish masquerade balls go out of fashion

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acoldbreeze·9 months agoText


The mysteries of an ancient civilization that survived for more than a millennium on the island of Malta—and then collapsed within two generations—have been unravelled by archaeologists who analysed pollen buried deep within the earth and ancient DNA from skulls and bones.

It’s part of a field of work that is expanding the use of archaeological techniques into environments where they were previously thought to be unusable.

The Temple Culture of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean began nearly 6,000 years ago and at its height probably numbered several thousand people—far denser than the people of mainland Europe could manage at the time. The island people constructed elaborate sacred sites, such as the famous Ġgantija temple complex, and their buildings are among the earliest free-standing buildings known.

But, after 1,500 years, they were gone. Read more.

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