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links for 2010-12-26

  • The Archives.gov website is the public face of a year-long series of changes: from an enhanced social media presence, a revamped Federal Register website and a new Archives researcher wiki space.

    * A new homepage selected by user feedback
    * Interactive map of Archives locations nationwide
    * Streamlined access to historical documents and military service records, which 81 percent of Archives website visitors said they were looking for
    * Sections organized by topic, which focused on the needs of both everyday browsers and experienced researchers
    * Links to social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Archives blogs

    The No. 1 goal, according to Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, was making the site more usable.

  • Several years ago, I was invited for lunch by a man named Wu Bin, who was the former martial arts coach of the kung fu movie star Jet Li. Mr. Wu and I did not know each other, and I had no idea why he invited me for lunch. I was more puzzled when I got there — Mr. Wu insisted that I be seated in the most prominent spot, and placed himself and all his associates at the table in lesser positions. With the ritual setting in order, he then humbly presented me a classic martial arts manual, and asked if I could explain the introduction of the book for him. “It is full of philosophical terms,” he said. “I have trouble understanding it.”
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