*Website Critique*

For this critiquing assignment, I decided to pick Youtube, since this is most definitely one of my frequently visited sites. I also ended up picking Preserving America’s freedom from the course website. Beginning with Youtube, I must say it’s no wonder why this website is so popular amongst users. Youtube has a very unique layout. The most popular or recent videos are posted daily on the homepage, to inform users on what’s new. The site definitely is easy to use and very simple. There’s a search box on the top of the page, so whatever a user wishes to watch or listen to is accessible. Another great aspect of Youtube is the fact that anyone can watch a video or listen to a song without subscribing to the site or registering. This doesn’t test a users patience. It’s very easy to access targeted videos on youtube. Another aspect of Youtube that is useful is when users watch a video, a list of recommended videos they might like will show on the side bar or underneath the previously viewed video. These recommendations are based on the content or genre of music a user searches in the first place. Users are also able to subscribe to videos of their interest and choice. When subscribing, the user will be informed whenever a new video is posted. Youtube also has a comment box for almost every video, so users can communicate with posters, as well as give their own personal feedback. Commentary is very important when it comes down to sites, because users want to voice their opinions. The only downfall of Youtube has to be the advertisements shown before most videos. This tests the users patience. I can’t begin to count the number of times I got fed up sitting through a 30 second advertisement, 5 seconds in I just left the site and decided to use a google mp3 player instead. Aside from the commercials, I would conclude that Youtube is definitely easily accessible, very simple, user friendly, the videos posted at the top of the home page is also a great attention getter for users, and Youtube is also interactive because users can post their own personal videos as well. Now with the Preserving America’s Freedom, this site was extremely informative. Had a lot of information that I found very useful. The header was very eye catching, especially with the cursive writing in the background. The references page was a great addition because it was a true indication that the site is credible and that’s very important to users. The tabs were organized and it was easy to access the information on the site. The timeline was a great tool to get further information on the topic, but the entire site lacked visual information. There weren’t many pictures or visual aids to maintain the users interest. Also, there wasn’t a comment box anywhere so users can’t leave their thoughts and give their personal feedback on the site. Overall, both sites had their strengths and weaknesses, but both were useful in their own ways.


Eugine Williams

The topic I was assigned was “Eugine Williams July 27, 1919.” I plugged in these key search words in both Google and the interactive database. After reading through the information, I realized right away that only trivial facts aligned. I couldn’t even find the name “Eugine Williams” in the Wikipedia page. Instead I was given an entire story on the “Chicago Race Riot of 1919,” but Mr. Williams story wasn’t found throughout the Wiki paragraphs. I also noticed that the database laid out specific information based on what I typed in. The database never gave me “extra” information, rather went in depth on Mr. Williams. For example: it stated the fact that his race was African American. The database was quite different from the usual Wiki page. Wiki portrays the facts in a story like way, while the interactive database lists the facts in a bullet point kind of way, with a small paragraph tie-ing all the information together. For example: Wiki begins with how the riot was a major racial conflict and leads into different sections that contain information about the background, riot, and other specific events that occurred within the riot. While gaining more information, researchers can build upon the information they gather by plugging in other key words in the database that apply.  Again when comparing the database with the wiki page its apparent that the database is the tool to use when wanting to find specific information regarding a topic, along with all the specifics that accompany the topic. The Wiki page has references and a cited portion at the bottom of the page, meaning that their information is reliable. I wouldn’t say Wiki isn’t reliable or useful, but I do believe it shouldn’t be the only tool used when researching. I believe that Wiki gives you the big picture and helps a researcher get acquainted with a topic, but when specific information is required, the database is a very useful tool. Personally, I will be using a combination of the two when completing my research project.

DAYTUM Exercise w/ Pie Chart







In DAYTUM, I decided to measure 4 important aspects of my life for a weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). These aspects include: Sleeping, Homework, Work, and Social Life. I ended up charting how many hours of each I did this past weekend. As shown above it’s apparent that I’ve only spent a matter of two hours on H.W this past weekend. This is the thinnest slice of the pie chart. Based on the chart, it also seems as if I sleep a lot, which I’ve been aware of. I have Hyper-Somnia, so waking up for me is a little painful. So altogether I’ve spent a total of 31 hours sleeping. The close second goes to working. Working makes up the second largest portion of my pie chart. I ended up spending a total of 24 hours working this past weekend, on average 8 hours a day. This is very unusual because my average is 15 hrs per weekend. In this case, I had a training this past weekend. Finally, I also tracked my social life this weekend. I ended up spending a total of 4 hours hanging out with my friends, and that was on Saturday night. Overall, this exercise was fairly simple, but pointless. I’m not fan of tracking my life because I chose to just live my life without keying in my every move. I’d probably never use this website, aside from the given exercise. I did notice though that I worked a lot of hours this week and I don’t spend too much time on H.W, but again I didn’t need a chart to tell me that. My main goal is to somehow increase the time spent on H.W and studying, and incorporate more of a social life in my weekends to come.

Historical Map


This mapping assignment was even better than the last. I had a chance to play around with google maps a little more and include some added features I came across such as inserting images. I tried keeping my historical map relevant to my research topic on the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the Shah. Overall, I consider me completing the entire assignment successfully, progress. Before last weeks assignment, I have never dealt with creating maps, let alone historical ones. I did face some challenges throughout the assignment due to the images I inserted. I’m assuming some picture files were to large because they wouldn’t show up when I’d press the Add tab. Also I wanted to include a video of an interview with the Shah right before he passed, but the video wouldn’t show up when I tried to add the link. Those were my only disappointment. Overall, the entire exercise was very useful. I have a way to incorporate a small historical map in my final project. Next time around I want to make a historical map of Iran and the where the revolution began. I finally was successful in inserting some of my pictures in the captions I provided for every marking on the map. With google maps, they offer a variety of tools to help a user form their own maps. I got the chance to pick which kind of map I’d prefer for example: Atlas, regular, etc. I found that helpful and super convenient. I ended up including the Shah’s death location and grave because he was buried in Egypt. I included Anwar Sadat the peaceful president who allowed the Shah to remain in Egypt and welcomed him with open arms. I also included Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Revolution because it was modeled after the Iranian Revolution and the Green Movement. 




List of My Favorite Places (Map)

I really loved this exercise. It was fun thinking about my list of favorite places and super easy. I just went on Google Maps, signed into my Gmail, clicked on My Places, then Create Map, named the map and gave a brief description in the given box, then clicked on the Directions tab on the far left and found the directions to a list of my favorite locations. Finally, I just pressed save to map and clicked on my personal map, at the bottom left. Overall, my map consists of the places I visit most frequently and that’s school, work(IAD), my friend Sophia’s house, and McDonalds. I had to include McDonalds because I can’t tell you how many times a week I crave a Big Mac, fries, and caramel frap during the middle of the night. I work 20 hours a week at the airport and the remaining bits of my free time is split between school, homework, and a minimal social life. I also included some fun spots (locations) like Rebounderz which is pretty much a building made of trampolines. In addition, I also included Great Falls park because I love that place. I spend a lot of my time running along side the trails and clearing my head on the rocks, overlooking the water. It’s a very peaceful environment. Overall, this exercise made me realize on thing: Im a bit of a homey, boring person. I don’t do much. I have way too many priorities to take care of, and I really don’t get the chance to do the things I like, often. My map is a bit scattered and a majority of my starting points begin from my personal home address. The last location I ended up adding to the map was Sweet Frog because Sophia and I always have our deep talks at sweet frog, while licking our tart flavored spoons.It’s our to go place whenever we want to gossip or talk about serious matters, it  always has to be over a cup of frozen yogurt. So all in all, those were my specific observations I made when producing my map.

Scavenger Hunt Challenge

Murder in the Treasury Building in DC, 1865 refers to not one specific murder. For   more than a decade (1855- late 1860’s) the area between 14th and 15th street was notoriously known as Murder Bay. Starting out my scavenger hunt, I typed in “Murder in Treasury Building DC” this lead me to a site called “Washington DC during the Civil War.” In a small segment of this article, there’s a portion of a paragraph mentioning the strip of DC around the 1860s , known as Murder Bay and Red light district. That was the first piece of the puzzle. I typed in Murder Bay into Google and nothing came up. So then I tried Red Light District DC and a wiki link popped up. There wasn’t much information except for a few sentences stating that the area was filled with high profile casinos, prostitution, and mostly adult businesses. I couldn’t find anything murder related. Finally I went to my search engine and typed in  “Red Light District DC also known as Murder Bay.” Found a link and a article title, “Washington’s Rough and Tumbled Lost neighborhood of Murder Bay.” ZING! Mostly everything I was looking for was in there, including tons of primary sources. There were Maps of the Hookers Division (Murder Bay) from 1880, named after General Joseph Hooker. Pictures of scenarios with prostitutes. There was one picture of the actual neighborhood of Murder Bay from a distance (1855). Finally there was a piece from an article in the Washington Post 1888, by a person who experienced the horror that occurred in Murder Bay. Based on the information I collected Murder Bay was the worst place to be walking during nightfall. There were tons of Hooker houses, thieves, murderers, gamblers, etc. The low-lives of Murder Bay would slit throats from ear to ear after they’d steal all of innocent peoples belongings. Most of their victims consisted of respectable business men and young women but the unsophisticated commoners were attacked as well. The reason behind why these murder incidents kept happening was because the entire system was corrupt. Police officers were helpless and powerless and couldn’t identify these criminals. A lot of murders went un-investigated, giving these criminals a sense of reassurance that they weren’t going to be punished for their heinous crimes. Even the fire fighters that were sent over to guard the area, took part in the sexual misconduct and bad behavior. Finally, police managed to exert their authority over Murder Bay by catching a murder suspect. He was convicted,  and finally punished. The finding of one of the murderers calmed things down for a bit in Murder Bay because the criminals weren’t feeling as invincible. It wasn’t until a fire occurred in Brientown (mostly hooker houses), where the horror began to subside. One of the most evil areas of Murder Bay had finally disappeared. Eventually, the entire area began to change for the better. Law enforcement took control, criminals and hookers began to flee, and the area began to flourish.


Links to the three sites I used:





http://ghostsofdc.org/2012/03/29/washingtons-rough-and-tumble-lost-neighborhood-of- murder-bay/

Preserving My Family History

It would be so much more convenient to digitize my family history. Instead of looking for birth certificates, old business contracts, poetry, etc around my attic or through by grandmas dusty boxes, I can just have them at the tip of my fingertips. Digitizing makes it easy. Once my family history becomes digital, I don’t have to worry about important documents  being destroyed to deteriorating over time. Every letter and page would be crisp and clean because information would now be stored on my computer. This way my family history will forever be known and passed on to future generations. My family history would also be easier to share with other family members and friends because most , if not everything can be emailed now to anyone I wish to email my family records to. Id start out by using a computer with a proper software to handle all these records documents, and pictures. This way I can convert my family records to proper files. I’d also need a scanner with high resolution so I can scan old black and white pictures from the past. I would want these pictures to be as clear as can be, since photographs from the past are already a bit blurry. After scanning all my old family pictures and converting my documents and records into PDF files. I’d make sure to organize the information and describe each and every event, while creating some sort of timeline. In the midst of all this I’d keep a look out for copyrights and where the copyright law applies. I’d definitely start by citing my sources and tracking the source of the information if possible. If not possible I’d determine the time period the record was created and using that I’d determine if the record is protected by copyright or in public domain. After I’d get the copyright info squared away, I’d want to share my files and timeline with other family members. Depending on how large the file, I’d either use email or share my family information using websites that would allow me to share large files, especially when sharing my entire timeline with friends and family. The number one thing I’d make sure I woiuld do is back up my family information. I wouldn’t want it all in one spot, so I’d make an effort to store the information on other computers around the house, using cloud back up, or even by emailing myself the records and attachments so I can have back-up copies. Last but not least, I’d make sure I constantly update my families digital records by converting them to the most recent files that are compatible, so the files they’re under don’t become outdated or inaccessible. I’d want my family history to live on forever and I know technology and softwares are always changing and with having digital family history comes maintenance. I’d constantly make sure the information is being updated and converted. When converted, I’d back up all the content, and the cycle keeps going. That’s the beauty of history though, it repeats itself.