All posts by matthewsimpso

How an iStock Promo Code Helped History

iStock Promo Codes Came to the Rescue: But How?

Historic Photo Archives Online

So you’re writing a book or article that includes historic settings and subjects and you want to jazz it up with photographs, but your budget is limited. Where can you get free, high-quality historic photographs? The Internet, of course, a resource of seemingly endless riches. In our case we decide to try out a limited time istock promo code on a few particularly cool historic images that we found.

But if you don’t know where to look, you may spend hours wading through a mixed bag of search results and potentially coming up empty. Despite what many people think, search engines do not search the entire Internet. There are vast resources out there that you may never see without a targeted approach. That’s where the following websites become truly valuable for the amateur and professional historian alike. All of the sites mentioned here give you exactly what you are looking for, photos that are 1) free, 2) not copyrighted, 3) print quality, 4) okay for commercial use and 5) directly downloadable. Also keep in mind that if you exhaust the free, online options, most of the listed institutions will send you a high-resolution scan upon request. For a fee, of course.

Many university and state libraries, as well as historical societies, put photos online for download. If your subject is geographically specific, check the websites of local institutions first. For larger and more general collections, the following sites are excellent places to conduct your research. Always keep track of where you obtain photos, even those in the public domain, as it is appreciated and sometimes required that you provide attribution.

The Library of Congress maintains an immense collection of historic photos with changing featured collections. They have a special Civil War collection, for instance, and one on historic American buildings. Search the Photos, Prints and Drawings collection by keyword. The details page contains information about the photographer, if known, and the circumstances surrounding the image and whether it is copyrighted or not. Most images in this collection, like all federal government agencies, are in the public domain. They are offered for download in a number of sizes and formats. Typically, you can choose between GIF, JPG and TIFF. For most print applications, you will want the largest file available, which is usually the TIFF image.

Another broad-ranging source of public domain photographs (over 1.3 million) is the Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library of music, documents, film and images. Because copyrights for older works have expired, you will find a lot of historic material on this website. Special collections include a gallery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, historic maps, classic record album covers and so many more unimagined treasures. If you like history and nostalgia, you could get lost for years browsing these pages. But if you know what you want, go directly to the image search and type in a keyword. Again, download the largest file available. Most will be JPGs, many of which are high quality enough for the printed page.

The National Archives has an extensive photo collection online. Search for images by keyword and the resulting thumbnails lead to Flikr pages. There are excellent scans of old photographs from the archives, including Matthew Brady photos of Civil War scenes, Native American heritage, railroads, landscapes, historic events, cityscapes, Elvis shaking hands with Richard Nixon and so much more.

When you need a picture of the surface of Mars or the Frankenstein Galaxy, go directly to NASA’s Image Gallery (images.nasa.gov) to get large, spectacular off-world photos, as well as images covering the history of the space program going back to the 1930s. Each photo has metadata associated with it to define its historical context. Anything posted here is in the public domain and free to use. However, NASA has explicit requirements for using their images for commercial purposes, so read the usage guidelines carefully to ensure compliance.

For science and nature photos, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association hosts an extensive collection on its NOAA Photo Library website (photolib.noaa.gov). Most of the photos come in several sizes and are free to use. The size shown as “original” will be the largest. Of interest to historians, this site contains photographs of drawings, documents, cartoons, sketches and paintings in the categories of sailing, fishing and cartography. Some of these date from the 19th century. In particular, there are quite a few maps and survey documents from the Civil War era.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service photo gallery (photogallery.sc.egov.usda.gov) offers high-resolution TIFF images of historic significance in the areas of irrigation, water conservation, forest management and other natural resource related topics. A category called “historical” offers some surprisingly artistic photos of Dust Bowl devastation and migration. Searches can be filtered by state and there is an advanced search with additional options. Images are free to use, but the NRCS asks that you give attribution.

The New York Public Library’sDigital Collections site contains over 700,000 items, including photographs, prints, maps, documents and streaming video covering a vast array of topics. In their special collections section, they have a huge group of stereographs and another of restaurant menus going back to New York’s Astor House breakfast menu of 1843. Included in the keyword search is a valuable option for searching only public domain images. After locating an image, look under “Download Options” for the high-resolution TIFF file. In cases where the TIFF is not available, it may be ordered for a hefty fee.

For beautiful pictures of nature and American history, the National Park Service has a comprehensive photo library. It also has a special site dedicated to historical photos, the Harpers Ferry Center, containing more than two million images covering a wide variety of subjects: park architecture, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Native American heritage, NPS personnel, roads and transportation, scenic views and much more. NPS photos can be found in several different databases on the Internet, sometimes downloadable in print-quality resolution, but often only good enough for digital applications. Also, there is a great deal of inconsistency, as the photos come from many different sources. For example, Yellowstone NP has a Flickr page where several gorgeous, high-quality photos can be downloaded. But on the Flickr page for the National Park Service itself, there is only one photo in the Yellowstone folder. The NPS is a good resource, but finding what you want can be challenging.

The Smithsonian Institution Archives is another terrific source of historical photos. They offer images from museum exhibits, donated papers and expeditions around the world. Though the majority of the museum’s holdings have not been digitized, more are being added all the time, and they include a wealth of metadata, as you might expect from a museum. The subject matter in these archives is global. Searches can be filtered by expeditions to specific countries, specific museums and keywords. Resolution varies, but ranges from an acceptable 300 dpi to a whopping 3000 dpi. Check the copyright restrictions on each image before using.

The United States Geological Survey has multiple websites offering historic photos. The main one is the USGS Denver Library Photographic Collection (library.usgs.gov/photo), containing excellent, print-quality scans depicting mining, mills, minerals, rock formations, pioneers and natural disasters.

A site unrelated to any educational facility or government agency is New Old Stock, a collection of unrestricted vintage photos “from the public archives.” Those archives can be anywhere in the world and “vintage” is a somewhat imprecise word, but this is a good place to look if you want to widen your search beyond the U. S. It is worth pointing out that most of the photos here link back to Flikr. However, the curators have gone to a lot of effort to sift through the vast Flikr universe to find old photographs and those with a vintage look. On this site, you might also find photographs taken by contemporary photographers distributing their photos under the Creative Commons (CC0) license, a platform that allows artists to give their work freely to the world. There is no attribution required under this license, but it is always appreciated.

Finally, if you don’t want to go to each site individually or you aren’t sure which sites cover your topic, you can start with a specialized search engine.

Google Image Search – Go to Advanced Search, enter your keywords and any other relevant information, then, under Usage Rights, choose “Free to use or share, even commercially.” You might also want to specify “Large” under the size option, since print quality requires high resolution. Search results will include images from many known free-use archives, including Wikimedia Commons, a large and growing resource for photographs released into the public domain or through the Creative Commons license.

Every Stock Photo – This search engine combs through a variety of public domain and Creative Commons sites and millions of images. The results provide the source and allow a search by size, but any and all resolutions will be included.

USA.gov – this search engine will search for your keywords across a multitude of federal government photo archives hosted on Flikr, including many mentioned above, but also smaller departments that you may otherwise overlook. Most of the results are good enough quality for printing.

The number of historic multimedia resources being offered online for direct download and inclusion in your projects is growing daily. Libraries around the world are laboring to digitize their holdings so that soon the idea of a researcher traveling to a library to dig through musty folders will be a thing of the past. The resources listed here are essential to anyone looking for quality historical photos. They will save time and money while adding interest and visual appeal to your projects.

How to Keep a High-Quality Dream Journal

When you are aware that you are in a dream state, while you are dreaming, you are having a lucid dream. Keeping a dream journal is an easy way for you to both improve the quality and clarity of your dreams, while helping you achieve lucid dreams more frequently.  In fact, if you’re already in the habit of keeping a dream journal, we can teach you how to have a lucid dream tonight. The concept of a dream journal is simple: immediately after you wake up, write down in your diary all the information about the dreams you just had. If you want to keep a high-quality dream journal that will expedite the process, however, there are some key habits you must form.

Keep It Close and Use it Quick

Unless you focus on remembering your dreams as soon as you wake up, the details will fade quickly.  It is important to keep a journal or notebook and pen  close to your bed so that you record  as much information as possible.  If you do something else, such as go to the bathroom or even think about the day ahead, portions of the dream will be erased.  The accuracy and detail of the dream journal are vital to achieving lucid dreams.

Mark Down the Date

One of the most entertaining aspects of keeping a dream journal is being able to revisit previous entries.  Not only does this help improve dream recall, but it also can be an interesting way to see how you’ve progressed.  Patterns can be seen by making note of the date; if you regularly have poor-quality sleep on Fridays, for example, you will be able to see how it affects your dreams.

Note Themes, Characters, and Reoccurring Ideas

By taking note of reoccurring themes from dreams, you increase the likelihood that you will have a lucid dream in the future.  You can train your mind to associate these images or ideas with a dream state, which will encourage you to become more aware when you see them.

Sketch Scenes

Whether you are a good artist or not, sketch any strong images you remember from the dream.  When looking back on the journal, if see those images, you will be able to visualize and remember the dream more vividly. As you become better at recognizing how things look in your dreams, you will be more likely to recognize a dream state, thereby having more lucid dreams.
 
Overall, dream journals are essential if you wish to further your ability to lucid dream.  Quickly jotting down the date and reoccurring themes from the dream will go a long way in improving your dream recall.

Traveling to Georgia for Seminars: Here’s a Resource Guide

Georgia is a BIG state.Step 1:

Before you go, get Park ‘N Fly. Seriously, this is the greatest thing in the world. You can park your car in a hotel parking lot for days, get up early for your flight, and it’ll be there when you get back. It’s not expensive, either. You can also use a park n fly coupon to save 20% off as well.

Step 2:

Know your airport. There are 2 major airports in Georgia: Savannah/Hilton Head and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

While there are plenty of hotels around each airport, they are not close to each other so you should make sure you book the right one (unlike us!).

Or you can book a hotel somewhere closer to the location of your course/seminar/convention. Most of the time it’s easier to book in the same hotel so you can stroll downstairs for your course. Of course, rates tend to go up during those times as well!

Step 3:

For transport, we recommend Uber. It’s active in Savannah and Atlanta, both places where you are most likely to have your course. However if your course is in a more rural area, then either getting a taxi or rental car might be necessary.

Ways To Sharpen Your Skills At Home

Let’s say you’ve done the whole resume-preparing, job interview thing and it hasn’t worked. For whatever reason, people aren’t biting. One thing you can do while you are waiting for people to call is to improve your resume by adding new skills.

One way you can do this is to take online courses. Let’s say you want to add a programming language, or want to become more proficient in a particular application (i.e. Excel, Quicken). You can do this for under $10 if you are a crafty shopper!

One such website is Udemy. They are probably the most popular of online class websites. And, if you shop around for a coupon, you can take their courses for as little as $10. It’s not free, but for the cost of a couple lattes you can add a new skill to your resume. And that may be the difference between finding employment in a couple of weeks or a few months.

Another one? Amazon.com. While they haven’t started streaming courses a la Udemy or Lynda.com just yet, there are tons of courses available for purchase on CD’s and DVD’s. They have helpful customer reviews. Plus if you’re a Prime member, you can use a coupon and it’ll get to you within 24 hours.

Other sites include Coursera, Udacity and Lynda.com. these websites all differ in the type of courses offered. Lynda.com is geared towards tech applications, so if you want to learn Microsoft office applications or Photoshop, this site will probably have the greatest selection of courses available to you.

Udacity also offers a wide selection of free courses. Not only that, they offer a nanodegree credential in various web development fields.

These types of courses also look good if you mention them in job interviews. You can mention the fact that you are taking courses to increase your skills and competencies in certain areas. It demonstrates to potential employers that you are a self-starter that’s capable of self-directed work, and that you want to learn and grow.

This is one thing that potential employers look for in new employees.

All in all, this is a quick, cheap, low-to-no risk strategy for increasing your attractiveness to new potential employers!

Not only that, but you may find that you like a particular subject more than you thought it would, and it could leaed you down a new career path that you hadn’t previously anticipated.

How To Get Financed For School Programs in Georgia

So You’ve Found a Course That Will Set You on a New Career: Now What?

It happens to everyone. You want to start a new career in a particular field, and decide that this career is your future. You find a training program that will get you certified in your particular field. Now you just take that course, get hired, and starting making money doing something you love. Right?

Except that there’s the tuition costs. It’s usually in the thousands, and you’re looking for a new job because you’re out of money.

So what now?

Luckily there are options here in the State of Georgia that can help you to finance your education in a way that will enable you to pay back the cost of your course in 1 or 2 years with minimal hassle and interest.

One such place is the Georgia Student Finance Commission.

You’re lucky if you live in Georgia, because this commission is one of the best in the country.

The commission started way back in 1965 as a way to provide scholarships to students at all levels: middle-school, high school, college and university. These scholarships are funded by both state funds and lottery revenue, so Georgia will charge you a very low interest rate on your loan.

Here’s their website: http://gsfc.georgia.gov/

Another resource if the GAcollege 411 website.

This website is created by the state, but has a patronizing ‘let’s try to appeal to young people’ look and feel to it. Despite that, it’s full of useful information for all levels of students. You can type in all your information and it will tell you exactly how much you qualify for, and what you need to do to get yourself enrolled.

Here’s their website: https://secure.gacollege411.org/Home/_default.aspx

Phlebotomy – Health Care Employment With Affordable Education

Looking For Employment in the Health-Care Field?

There used to be an old saying that if you wanted a guaranteed job for life, work for the government. Well, that isn’t true anymore, as government services are no safer than private sector jobs. But one field that isn’t going anywhere? Health Cafe. We’ll always need hospitals, and with an aging population is only looks to increase.

Even if you can’t afford medical school, you can get a medical job with just 12 weeks of college. How? By becoming a Phlebotomist.

What is a Phlebotomist? These are the people that will usually take your blood when you’re in the hospital, or at a blood bank. You assumed everyone wearing blue scrubs was a nurse? Nope. There are also medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, and radiology technicians.

The average salary for a Phlebtomist is approximately $31,000, but that number can be misleading. The actual average salary varies widely based on the cost of living in a particular area. If you live in San Francisco, for example, your salary will be significantly higher than if you live in a rural area in the midwest.

While these salaries are not exactly what Doctors and Surgeons tend to make, there are two major benefits to joining the health care field in one of the above occupations.

  1. The average Phlebotomy training program – 12 weeks. – That’s right: no 7 years of school, no medical school, no stressful exams. You can take one of these courses and be an employed full-time worker in just a couple of months. The cost of these programs is also around $800-$3,000, which is a student debt you can easily pay off (and get financing for).
  2. Flexibility – You’re not confined to working in a hospital, if that’s not what you want to do. There are lots of places that hire full-time Phlebotomists: blood donor clinics, laboratories, health clinics, blood drives and many more businesses that are looking for qualified Phlebtomists.

You can also take your qualifications and move to another part of the country! While some states like California and Florida have specific training requirements (which you can easily apply for and get), for the most part you are free to travel to a new state and start applying for available positions in your area.