Zotero 2.0 RC 3–4

Zotero 2.0 release candidates three and four have been released with several improvements, including upgrades and fixes for the synchronization and indexing functionality. As always, new Zotero users can download the latest version from the Zotero homepage. For those who may be interested, although composed for Zotero 1.5, the screencast below still highlights the main features of Zotero 2.0.

Want to Help SBL?

Take this survey about a new website that the Society of Biblical Literature is developing with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. According to today’s email announcement from the Society, the site is generally intended to function as a medium for making biblical scholarship more widely available and encouraging interaction with the biblical literature. So, if you might be interested in using such a site, head over to Survey Monkey, and give the Society your input.

Evernote for Windows Overhaul

Evernote is a program that manages assorted notes and images while attempting to render searchable any text—even handwritten text—that is in its database. While the program already provides some very useful features for biblical studies research, a beta version of a major overhaul for Evernote’s Windows client is now available. The new version mostly aims to enhance performance and to make future improvements easier.

To download and try Evernote, click here. To see a list of some of the biggest changes in the latest, Windows client beta version, click here.

Little Bunny Fufu Meets the Maccabees

Sometimes, a bit of humor or oddity can be pedagogically advantageous. In this connection, I have tried to fit the chief, Maccabean figures into the chorus from “Little Bunny Fufu” (who may apparently appear, at least occasionally, as “Little Rabbit Fufu” in the UK) (midi audio, lyrics).

There is, of course, a little fudging in this adaptation:

  • The first mention of a John Hyrcanus and an Aristobulus should naturally be taken as implying “the first” in their denominations, just as the second mention should be taken as implying “the second.” Creativity failed me, however, when trying to think of a tune where these additional epithets could be included without making nuisances of themselves.
  • Two slightly different pronunciations of Aristobulus appear (see Tomasino 330).
  • At the end of the ditty, little bunny Fufu ends up having to pick up the field mice and bop them on the head once more in order to squeeze in Antigonus Mattathias.

Still, even with these caveats, a ditty like this one could prove to be a useful tool for helping students learn a basic framework for the Maccabean period’s chief figures. Those who are interested can download or listen to the recording in mp3 format.


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Anthony Tomasino
Anthony Tomasino

Creating Research Timelines in Excel

Although it certainly can be used otherwise, a progress tracking system like the one Paul Silvia suggests in his book How to Write a Lot seems to work best for writing that can be open ended: by following a regular writing schedule, projects can regularly and reliably come to completion. What happens, however, if one is working under a deadline (be it self-imposed or not) and, therefore, needs to develop a writing schedule backwards from this due date?

This spreadsheet is at least an elementary attempt to provide a tool for performing such a task. Yet, one obvious limitation of this spreadsheet method is that all the writing projects are arranged serially along the completion timeline rather than allowing for working on more than one project at once.

If anyone else should find this tool useful and has refinement suggestions, I would be very interested in seeing them. These formulae appear to work on Google Docs exactly as they do on Excel when that program is operated on a Windows platform, but to my understanding, Excel calculates dates differently on Mac OS than it does on Windows, so Mac users may need to adjust this spreadsheet’s formulae.