Category Archives: Just for fun

The Duke Digital Collections Mother of the Year Awards

At this time of year, we here at Duke Digital Collections always like to celebrate the mothers who have been such major influences on us: Marge Simpson … Carol Brady … Clair Huxtable … the mother of all those melon-headed children in The Family Circus ….  Oh, also our own mothers.  The time of year we are referring to is, of course, Cinco de Mayo.  ¡Cinco de Mayo!  Also Mother’s Day, which we are also big fans of, although we would like it better if we associated it with half-price margarita pitchers.  Let’s take a moment to recognize some of the outstanding moms in our digital collections with the first annual Duke Digital Collections Mother of the Year Awards!

The “You Are Getting Sleepy … Very Sleepy” Award

Sometimes even the most devoted mother has days when every minute the children are still up is like a knife through her soul worrisome because the little darlings need their rest.  Back in the days before C-SPAN was invented, parents often eased their kids off to dreamland as early as 4 p.m. by gathering the whole family around the ole seed catalog.  Interestingly, at this photo shoot the boy on the left fell backwards off the ottoman immediately after this photo was taken and woke up 3 days later.  These days, parents get the same results by having the kids play a few minutes of Wii Seed Catalog after dinner. Continue reading The Duke Digital Collections Mother of the Year Awards

Think Warm Thoughts

It’s been an unusually cold and snowtastic winter here in Durham, with what’s felt like a constant threat of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and the dreaded “wintry mix” hanging over our heads for weeks. The local news has been in nonstop Winter Weather Crisis mode, with round-the-clock footage of what we believe is the same group of itinerant (and possibly feral) children, who follow camera crews around with their pieces of cardboard and garbage can lids so we can see IDENTICAL FOOTAGE of them sliding down a snowy hill and squealing ALL THE TIME.

Most winters we have maybe one dusting of snow, or a few sleet pellets mixed in with the rain once or twice, so being threatened with the Icepocalypse every few days is something we’re not accustomed to. Every time we turn around, we are back at the grocery store kicking somebody in the back to get the last loaf of bread or punching somebody in the windpipe to grab the last gallon of milk. This is really more exercise than we are used to getting. And we won’t even talk about how the schools are constantly letting out early or just plain closed, resulting in selfish children wanting to be picked up or fed or whatever kids are into these days.

So to combat the winter doldrums, we here at Duke Digital Collections present some sunny, tropical images from Ad*Access to help you think warm thoughts. Put on your sunscreen, change into your skimpiest and most scandalous swimsuit, crank up “Vacation” by the Go-Go’s, and let’s hit the beach! (You can click on any of the images to see a larger version and more information about it.)

January is the perfect time of year to visit fabulous Runway Beach! Yes, nothing is more relaxing or romantic than lying on the beach sipping a margarita as you are strafed by a jet that fills your eyes and mouth with sand and blows the drink out of your hand. The smell of cocoa butter mixed with jet exhaust will make you contentedly lie back and say, “AaahhhhhAIIIEEEEEARGGGH KOFF KOFF KOFF.”

Continue reading Think Warm Thoughts

Reasons To Be Thankful

Thanksgiving is upon us, and this time of year we all have many things to be thankful for: the sound the cranberry sauce cylinder makes as it blorps out of the can; sitting in a dazed stupor in front of the Detroit Lions as your body struggles to process the food cataclysm you hath just wrought upon it; a pre-dawn fistfight with other shoppers over the last $3 curling iron….  Good times.  But since many of us are so abundantly blessed that we have trouble keeping track of everything we should be grateful for, let’s consult  Duke Digital Collections for reminders of reasons we should give thanks.

Be thankful … for consumer electronics. Finally, Dad got the hint and got us that Pentron tape recorder we’ve been Tweeting, Facebooking, texting, graffitiing the bathroom walls, and whining around the dinner table about! It’s just what we need to record the sounds of Little Susie stomping on his feet and holding his arms while Big Sister (or Mom or Crazed Neighbor or whoever that is) chokes him from behind.  Family togetherness!

Continue reading Reasons To Be Thankful

What It Wasn’t, Was Football

It’s October, so everyone’s thoughts have turned to football.  Or the Great Pumpkin.  But because we don’t have any images of the Great Pumpkin in our digital collections, let’s say football.  It’s hard to imagine, but in olden days we somehow managed to enjoy football without luxuries like high-def, Doritos commercials, high-def Doritos commercials, and four guys all yelling at the same time on The OT.  There were six quarters lasting 90 minutes each, the field was eight yards long, a common trick to confuse the other team was to have the homecoming queen run onto the field to kick the extra point, and the football was a big rock.  We are pretty sure all this is true.  Let’s look at some of the historic football images in Duke Digital Collections and see what else we can learn about the ol’ pigrock.  You can click on any of the images to see a larger version and learn more about the digital object.

Duke vs. Davidson football program cover, 1936 Sep 19

In the 1930s, players often wore sesame-seed buns as helmets, as seen on the cover of this Duke/Davidson program from our Duke Football Programs digital collection.  We originally thought the Davidson player here was falling down and throwing up, but upon closer examination we realized he has bitten the trousers of the Duke player.  We like our original interpretation better.  Either way, we love the 3-D Viewmaster-y style of the whole tableau. Continue reading What It Wasn’t, Was Football

All Hail Tiger Baby

One of the things we enjoy using the Digital Collections Blog for is to highlight notable items from Duke’s digital collections and tell you why we think they’re interesting, or thought-provoking, or important, or funny.  But there are some digital objects where it’s obvious why we love them, so no explanation seems necessary.  This image, from the Sidney D. Gamble Photographs, is one of those.

Tiger Baby

This is Tiger Baby, who we love BECAUSE HE IS AWESOME.  Seriously, come on.  You can’t not love this.

What are your favorite things you’ve found in our digital collections?  Leave a comment about it and share it with the world!

Commencement 2010 career advice

This weekend Duke will award about 1500 undergraduate degrees  during the university’s 158th Commencement exercises.  While many graduates will prolong their education by pursuing advanced degrees, some will enter a competitive job market.  Sure, a Duke degree should give these graduates a leg up on the competition, but just in case, job-seekers (and parents) might want to look to our Digital Collections for some additional career advice.

Below are some important tips for you to consider:

1. Parents, “germs are not visible–but they are deadly.” Do your part in the “worldwide fight against dirt” to make sure potential employers find your children spotless and with a “wholesome cleanly odor.” Continue reading Commencement 2010 career advice

Here comes summer

May is here, which means summer vacation is just around the corner.  Those of you who have children are probably asking yourselves, “How on earth am I going to keep these bored kids from driving me crazy all summer can I make this a productive and educational summer for the little darlings?”  By now most of the best (i.e. least unaccredited) out-of-state camps and military boarding schools are all booked up and you may be wondering what you’re going to do. Well, cry yourself to sleep about it no more, because your friends here at Duke Digital Collections — many of whom have advanced degrees in child psychology or other fields (OK, mostly other fields) — have been thinking about this so you don’t have to.  We love kids, and in fact some of us used to be kids ourselves, but we also know that sometimes, especially at the end of a long day, they’re at they’re most lovable when they’re in another room being quiet.  Here we present some valuable tips and ideas on fun summer activities for kids found in our Protestant Family digital collection.  You can click on the thumbnails for a larger view of the image — trust us, some of them really need to be seen in their original glory to be fully appreciated.

Guerrilla training. A good way for children to meet others in the neighborhood and to get some exercise in the fresh air is to organize themselves into roaming gangs of armed bandits, like these kids.  These boys may not be learning meekness, but they do seem to be learning what their roles in life will be: from left to right we have the smart one, the shy one, the loose cannon with a heart of gold or whatever, and Schroeder from “Peanuts.” Continue reading Here comes summer