Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Whistle a Happy Tune
When stuck in a sticky situation, feeling no escape, it helps to heed the advice of the governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam—or at least Rodgers and Hammerstein's version of it—and whistle a happy tune. It may do nothing for the situation, but it can ease some frayed nerves...and perhaps coax a few people to turn off that incessant newscast and focus on more positive efforts.
I don't know whether there's a market for whistling genealogists, but humor me here; I'm looking for a salve to soothe the spirits. Have you noticed how distracted people have been getting? I can't even sit down and read (an admittedly complex book) or plod through a convoluted research plan with all this commotion. Hence, the need for activities which keep me up and physically moving, like cleaning out all those old notes-to-myself.
In the face of all that unfortunate inability to concentrate, we have been graciously showered with offers of free services in the genealogy world. Have you noticed lately? MyHeritage, for instance, has opened their MyHeritage in Color program for use for free, through April 23, to not just those on their "Complete" plan, but to everyone. Added to that, they've set up a drawing, giving away one free "Complete" MyHeritage subscription per week to those who share their photo colorization results on social media with the hashtag #ColorBeatsCoronavirusBlues.
Just searching that term on Twitter provided a tour of selected photos from family heritages around the world, in itself a spirit-boosting diversion for me.
And at Ancestry.com, where they have been offering their AncestryK12 services to teachers for nearly a decade, the company announced just yesterday that they are opening up their history lesson plans to parents of school-aged children, as well as their collection of millions of images from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. The only requirement for access is to create a free account on Ancestry, using your email address. As an added bonus, Ancestry.com is also making available some of the basic instruction videos from Ancestry Academy during this unspecified time period. Details and clickable links are on Ancestry's blog post here.
Of course, these are only two of many such offers making their appearance (and hopefully getting us unstuck from the news)—enough, at least, to get a whole lot more of us whistling a happy tune despite being sequestered in the face of this health crisis.