Thursday, October 22, 2009

On random facts from the archive

In past posting, I may have given the impression that the archive work is a total drag, that it is irrelevant and hopeless, and that the only good thing about it is the walk there and back (unless you count the honking). This is of course not the case. Aside from being the key source for my master’s thesis, the archive has provided me with some fun over the past months. Also, it has been a non-stop source to all sorts of knowledge I never thought I would find a use for. But that is the beauty of having a blog – you can fill it with all the weirdness in the world, and you’re the only one who can decide whether it fits or not. Well, this fits (or not).

I have, occasionally taken notes strange things I’ve come across. Like funny names. You’d be amazed what the people working in the State Department (or those sending letters to them) are called! I’d share, but then I’d have to relocate the note card I wrote them on (a frequent problem, I can assure you)… A note card I did find, though, included a very random observation I did one day: “Kuwait used to employ the Indian currency [rupee], but decided to replace it with dinars in 1961.” Yes, not particularly interesting considering I’m writing about American peace initiatives in the Arab-Israeli conflict. But what a neat little factoid, nevertheless!

Occasionally, I’ve taken pictures when I’ve come across interesting things even if they don't actually contribute to my thesis. Like this little thingie, that one of the archivists pointed out to me when I checked out my archive box-loaded cart one morning. “Your cart’s got a funny on it!” Indeed! I don’t know if the sticker is as old as it looks, but it does indicate to me that environmental awareness started a lot earlier than what we give it credit for. Too bad it seems to always strand on awareness, while there isn’t all that much action…

Another interesting picture is an ad from a Spanish language newspaper. This ad was definitely not why the clip had been included in the archive, but it was what caught my eye. Now, I don’t speak any Spanish, but I have a weird feeling this ad is promoting “spank-proof nylon stockings”. Anyone willing or able to contradict me?

As I left the archive for the very last time yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel a little sentimental. It’s been tiresome work, but knowing me I will probably miss it on some level anyway.

(ALSØ WIK: Roy, whose real name I for the longest time thought was either Fredrick or Cedric, turns out to actually be called Charles. I just thought I should finish in style with the randomnest information piece of them all…)

(ALSØ ALSØ WIK: I am sorry to have to do this, guys, but I have not been able to keep up the giraffability of this blog, and it really needs to increase or I might have to change the name to "The Squirrelability of Digressions" [and that just doesn't have the same ring to it]... Thus...


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love random info! Very interesting plug for carpooling. The thought of carting Hitler around in the front seat of my minivan is enough to make me stay home today. :)


Tundiel said...

Spank-proof nylon stockings??

*wants some of those*

Watery Tart said...

The headline is "It's not his fault" (or possibly a polite 'not your fault'. My problem translating has to do with 'calcetines'. So something like

"without the calcetines
it's not possible to understand the calcetines

Brand name

stay secure, yadda yadda

something money and work..."

Can you see how I can badly misunderstand people in Spanish. I know just enough to muck it up badly. But I think it is for plastic pants. I could translate that one word, but of course... I prefer to misattribute.

I will miss your archive time!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I like that titbit about the Rupee being the official currency of Kuwait - random, useless, but fun to know!

Joris said...

Calcetines are socks :)

Cruella Collett said...

Elizabeth - I guess the sticker still has the desired effect, then... (though I wonder when, if at all, it was politically correct to use Hitler in a campaign like that...)

Tara - might come in handy, eh? ;)

Tami/Joris - so... It's not his/your fault that the socks will save money and work (so spank away!)? No one ever expects Spanishh ads!

Natasha - Indian keeps coming up in the Middle East documents I've been reading. I had no idea India had anything to do with the Middle East at all.

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