#WednesdayBlog #Podcasts I Follow and Recommend

[Every Wednesday I’ll recommend one of the blogs I follow. Yes, I still follow the best of the best using a feed reader. You’ll be able to check the list @ this blog’s header.]

Exceptionally today, thinking many of you could be traveling for this week’s holiday, I decided to share not a blog, but the podcasts I follow (or followed and were good enough to stay on my archive list).

  • In our Time

    In this podcast, Melvyn Bragg invites three absolutely top-class academics to discuss a topic as deeply as possible, that can fall into science, history, culture, religion, etc. Actually, you can even subscribe each category separately in its webpage. Each weekly episode has 43 minutes and the podcast runs since 1998.
    Bragg also hosts the more recent 60 episode series podcast “A History of Ideas“, a 13 minutes discussion accompanied by a two minutes video animation, that you can check here.
    The five episode podcast “The Value of Culture” is also archived on my list.

  • A History of the World in 100 Objects

    This already finished podcast series uses 100 objects from the British Museum to tell the history of the world. Each episode has 14 minutes and you can check its webpage here. If you enjoy this format of learning through objects, you also have the 20 episode podcast “Shakespeare’s Restless World“, also presented by Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum.

Tom Ennis – Irish Jigs, Reels, and Polkas (1917) @PublicDomainRev #PublicDomain ♥

Tom Ennis was the son of John Ennis, also an accomplished piper, who emigrated from Kildare to Nebraska to work on the construction of the railroads.

via Tom Ennis – Irish Jigs, Reels, and Polkas (1917) | The Public Domain Review.

#WednesdayBlog Dan Cohen’s Blog #DigitalHumanities #BlogsIFollow @dancohen

[Every Wednesday I’ll recommend one of the blogs I follow. Yes, I still follow the best of the best using a feed reader. You’ll be able to check the list @ this blog’s header.]


I started to follow Dan Cohen’s work since I found his book “Digital History”, co-authored with Roy Rosenzweig, back in 2006 or 2007. For many years, Cohen was director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, that gave us the best reference manager ever, Zotero, as well as many other software, resources, and truly innovative projects like One Week | One Tool, Hacking the Academy or THATCamp.

During the last year, Dan Cohen’s blog didn’t receive updates, due to his new job as Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), but a recent post tell us we can expect more articles in the future. Meanwhile, I recommend you to check the Best of the Blog section, where you’ll find posts that “have more lasting value and continue to garner new readers and links years later“.

Cohen also hosts the Digital Campus’ podcast that you can hear, download or subscribe here. For more regular updates, you’ll want to join his followers on Twitter @dancohen.

Also, he’ll be a keynote speaker at the conference Digital Humanities in Portugal: building bridges and breaking barriers in the digital age, that will be held in Lisbon, later this year.

No Smart Christie for the Smart Traveler #mobileapps #idea #reading #booklovers

Last year, we went to London for a couple of days. It was not my first time in London, but it was the first one that was not related to work.

If you follow this blog, you already know that I like detective novels and even collect some of them. I prefer those from Golden Age of Detective Fiction that follow the Knox’s rules (with one or to exceptions), so Agatha Christie is one of the favourites.

London is full of Christie’s references. First, The Mousetrap, the world’s longest running play (more than 60 years running). We’ve seen it before, in Lisbon, but you always want to see the “real thing”:

At the time, London had an initiative called Books about Town and we were able to see (and sit in) the bench inspired by the Greenshore Folly.

You have the Agatha Christie Memorial too.

In a not so directed related place, there’s the Seven Dials,

And if you think David Suchet is the only possible Poirot, then you’ll want to pass by Whitehaven Mansions, err… sorry, Florian Court :-)

And then, you have Paddington Station, the University College Hospital, where Christie worked during both world wars and the source for her knowledge of medicines and poisons, the house in Campden Street where Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express, the British Museum, Charing Cross, the Savoy Hotel, Soho, Scotland Yard, the Army and Navy Stores, now House of Fraser, Hyde Park and so many other places familiar to Christie’s readers.

Google eBooks App showing a map when clicking in a city’s name.

In today’s mobile world and being Agatha Christie one of the best selling authors, you’d expect a mobile app to tell you all about the places related to Christie’s works, but the fact is you only find games and books.

I suppose the fact Christie’s works are still copyrighted makes it too difficult or too expensive for others to come up with innovative ideas to reuse her works.

I’m not sure how good it is the technology that finds a place from a written text, but Google uses it in their ebooks app. I suppose that, with tools to dig in big data and using the works of scholars like Franco Moretti, one could expect a mobile app that would use notifications to give you an excerpt of a given book if you passed by a place mentioned in the book, as an example.

This could be done with public domain books and, I imagine, that for publishers with a 21st century mindset it could be a good way to sell more books also.



#MuseumWeek starts today with #secretsMW

If you don’t use Twitter, it’s time to start. During this week, museums all over the world will interact with you, so be sure to follow #MuseumWeek. Today is #secretsMW day, so you can expect museums to share not so known facts about their collections, as well as to show you a glimpse of behind the scenes.

During the next days, several themes are prepared. Tomorrow, you’ll be invited to share your souvenirs and memories of visits with the hashtag #souvenirsMW, Wednesday will be all about #architectureMW, that will explore architectural heritage, gardens and surroundings of museums. Thursday will be the day for you to grab you smartphone and create and share for posterity with #inspirationMW. Friday will be #familyMW day and time to prepare a visit to a museum for the weekend. On Saturday, you can share your favourites with #favMW and the week will end with your poses, memes or selfies #poseMW.

The website of the initiative has more info about what to expect from this week and you can check there stats, participants and top contributors.

My only question now is where are the Portuguese museums? Of the 2207 participants institutions, only 3 are registered as being from Portugal (as of time of writing) and two of them don’t even have Twitter accounts (AFAIK).

Let’s hope Portuguese museums still catch the initiative before the week ends. Meanwhile, stop reading this post and head on to #MuseumWeek.