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TV Comedy Pokes Fun at Census

Wednesday, 6 Apr 2011 | by Mark Tucker

The Canadian TV comedy, Corner Gas, takes place in the fictional small town of Dog River located in Saskatchewan.

In this episode, Hank and Oscar are hired to complete the census. The humorous result shows a genealogist’s worst case scenario for census enumerators:



NOTE: Those not familiar with the TV series might not know that the second house Hank and Oscar visit is Oscar’s own home.

Trying to do your research, do you ever feel like Hank & Oscar were hired to count your ancestor?

Family History in the Year 2364

Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011 | by Mark Tucker

Or should I say, “Stardate 41986.0”?

I am not a huge Star Trek fan (no clothing, action figures, of collection of DVDs), but I do enjoy the show.  This year I introduced the TV series to my sons and it is a great father-sons moment that we share as we watch episodes of TNG together via Tivo.

A few weeks ago, we watched episode 26 from the first season. It was based in the 24th century when officers from the Enterprise come across on old earth satellite that turns out to be a cryonics capsule housing some frozen earth inhabitants from approximately 300 years in the past.

I don’t want to focus on the whole cryonic piece but it does setup the scene for some 24th century family history.  It is also interesting that the woman in the episode gets a chance to meet her 5th great grandson when she returns to earth.

 

Here are some clips from the episode:

 

24th Century Genealogy Research

 

Think back to 1988 in the world of genealogy. There was no internet as we know it today. No Ancestry.com or FamilySearch or the multitude of genealogy sites and blogs. The cutting edge genealogy software was PAF 2.1 for DOS, Apple PRO-DOS, and Macintosh.

What else was happening in the sphere of family history in 1988?

How close do you think we are to what was presented in the episode?

What is your vision of family history research in the year 2364?

Would you like to visit your 5th great grandchild? What would you say?

How would you like a visit from a past ancestor? Who would you want it to be? Who would you not want to visit you?

 

Now go and research an ancestor that no one has researched before.

Google Doodle for Ancestry

Sunday, 3 Apr 2011 | by Mark Tucker

 

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Google Doodle

When searching Google, it is fun to be greeted by a redesign of the Google logo to celebrate an important individual or event. These are called doodles:

Doodles are known as the decorative changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientists. Whether it is the beginning of Spring, Albert Einstein’s birthday, or the 50th anniversary of understanding DNA, the doodle team never fails to find artistic ways to celebrate these unique events.

Having a little bit of fun with the corporate logo by redesigning it from time to time is unheard of at many companies but at Google, it is a part of the brand. While the doodle is primarily a fun way for the company to recognize events and notable people, it also illustrates the creative and innovative personality of the company itself.

You can learn more about Google Doodle history and see past logos at this link.

I don’t have any samples of Google Doodles in this post due to the following request by Google:

Although we’d like to accommodate all the requests we receive from users who want to add a touch of Google to their sites, we are passionate about protecting the reputation of our brand as an objective and fair provider of search results. We allow use of the Google logo by express permission only.

 

Ancestry Doodle

I know that Ancestry.com takes their branding very seriously and might not appreciate me messing with their logo.  What I want to accomplish is to show how an Ancestry Doodle might look and how it could be used to promote not only the Ancestry brand but also special occasions or promotions of the company.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Ancestry about free access to Civil War records:

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What if (in addition to the e-mail) Ancestry were to change it’s logo from April 7-14th as a way to promote the free access to records?  The logo might look like the one shown at the top of this post.

What do you think? Do you think Ancestry will do it? What events do you suggest should be represented? Any graphic-talented people willing to create some sample Ancestry Doodles in the same fashion as Google Doodles? Why leave all the fun to Ancestry, what other family history company logos deserve a doodle?

 

The Making of the Ancestry Doodle

I must confess that my graphics talent is somewhat limited, so to make the Ancestry Doodle, I used tracing paper. Here are links to where I got the original images that I traced.

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