(Digital) Humanities

By Gertjan Filarski | Books, museums, arts & the humanities with steps into archeology. Classic and digital methods. Twitter: @GertjanF

What It’s Really Like to Learn a Language With an App

Spoiler: Instant fluency is only a fool’s hope.

Paris is the City of Love and the City of Light, but is it a city where newbies should attempt to speak the language? When I booked my first-ever trip to France, I wanted to have the most authentic Parisian experience possible. Though I’ve traveled …

French Language

Smooth and Rough on the Highways of France

In a previous post I suggested that historians should use quantitative methods less to answer existing questions than to pose new ones. Such a …


Map: The remarkable distances you can travel on a European train in less than a day - The Washington Post

Tourists visiting Europe are often advised to travel by train rather than plane or car. Trains are considered reliable, fast and relatively cheap. But as a new research project shows, there are major differences within Europe: Whereas you can travel from London to Paris in less than four hours, …


Is Nuance Overrated?

A scholar took an irreverent stand against a common academic criticism and watched his paper go viral. But there’s a serious point in the paper’s …

Seven Python Tools All Data Scientists Should Know How to Use

If you’re an aspiring data scientist, you’re inquisitive – always exploring, learning, and asking questions. Online tutorials and videos can help you …

Python Programming

Can the Name Age Calculator guess how old you are?

Can you guess someone’s age when all you know is their first name? That was the crazy idea behind one of FiveThirtyEight’s articles last year, and …


The destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel: before and after – in pictures


The Differences between Digital History and Digital Humanities

For the last nine months I’ve spent much of my time exploring digital history. Part of becoming director of RRCHNM involved familiarizing myself with …

Algorithm turns any picture into the work of a famous artist

A group of German researchers have created an algorithm that basically amounts to the most amazing Instagram filter ever conceived: a convolutional neural network that can convert any photograph into a work of fine art. The process takes an hour (sorry, it's not actually coming to a smartphone near …


Why the tech world highly values a liberal arts degree - The Washington Post

Cecilia Gaposchkin is an associate professor of medieval history at Dartmouth College and assistant dean of faculty for pre-major advising, as well as a Public Voices Fellow. Gaposchkin wrote in an e-mail that people who work at at liberal arts institutions often do “a terrible job” educating their …

Liberal Arts

Technology anthropologist and sound artist team up for major digital festival commission

A technology anthropologist and a sound artist from the University of Sussex have collaborated on a ‘major commission’ for the UK’s biggest digital …


Why Gartner Dropped Big Data Off the Hype Curve

When Gartner published its latest “Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies” last week, there was a notable absence of one broad class of technology in …

Big Data

A Nerd’s Guide To The 2,229 Paintings At MoMA

NEW YORK — Through the lobby thronged with tourists, the line for tickets, the line for the cloakroom, and the line for the ticket taker, up the …


Hacking the Humanities

Last spring, I taught a literature seminar called “Before Wikipedia.” The subject was the history of encyclopedic writing, from ancient times to the present day. We read excerpts of Isidore of Seville’s “Etymologies” and Diderot’s “Encyclopédie” alongside works by Calvino, Sebald, and Flaubert.

The …


Islamic State attacks another ancient temple in Palmyra

Islamic State has destroyed part of another ancient temple in the Syrian city of Palmyra, according to activists on social media and a group monitoring the conflict, this time targeting the Temple of Bel.

The extent of the damage at the Roman-era structure in the central desert city was not known, …

Islamic State (ISIS)

Poland's 'Nazi gold train' could be first of many hidden in Hitler's vast tunnel complex

Walbrzych in western Poland has been gripped by the decades-old mystery of missing Nazi gold trains

Experts in Poland have claimed that the apparent discovery of a Nazi train thought to be packed with looted treasures could be the first of many, suggesting just a fraction of Hitler's vast tunnel …


Open source typeface “Hack” brings design to source code

The days of coders being shackled to Monaco or Courier New ends now. At SourceFoundry.org this week, programmer Chris Simpkins debuted the 2.0 …

Open Source

Scientists and Writers Pay Tribute to Oliver Sacks on Twitter

The neurologist and author has died at age 82

High-profile scientists and writers honored the life of Oliver Sacks on Sunday, tweeting quotes, memories and farewells to the neurologist and acclaimed author who has died at 82, months after announcing his diagnosis with terminal cancer.

Sacks was …

Oliver Sacks

I marvelled at the influence, art and wealth of Palmyra. Now I mourn it

Back in 2004 as I stood in the hot summer sun of the Syrian desert, a German archaeologist told me something that I thought, at first, I had misunderstood. He was explaining that the Palmyrenes had imported dates from Egypt. Turning and surveying the vast expanse of date-palm groves that wrapped …


Of 100 Published Psychology Studies, Less Than Half Could Be Reproduced Successfully

Prepare your grains of salt

One of the pillars of scientific research--perhaps the one that makes science as definitive as it is--is that any study should be capable of being repeated under the same methods and conditions and if the research holds true, the same result will be found every time the …


The Best Map Ever Made of America’s Racial Segregation

Last year, a pair of researchers from Duke University published a report with a bold title: “The End of the Segregated Century.” U.S. cities, the …


Remains of Roman sanctuary found in Italy

The remains of a 6th-century Roman sanctuary has been unearthed on the Palatine Hill in Rome.Archaeologists working on the Palatine Hill here this …


Quiz: do you know your bants from your manspreading?

How many of the 1,000 new words added to oxforddictionaries.com do you know?

Words, senses, and phrases that have widespread currency in English have been added to the the online dictionary in their latest quarterly update.

Fiona McPherson, senior editor of Oxford Dictionaries, said the addition of …


Egyptian blue hides in these mummy portraits

Dusting off 15 Roman-era Egyptian mummy portraits—mostly untouched for 100 years—has revealed a 2,000-year-old surprise.

Researchers discovered that …


Defining derivatives

It is frequently interesting, and sometimes appalling, to see how a court that does not usually deal with copyright issues reacts when confronted …

Creative Commons

The Coddling of the American Mind

In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.

Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and …


What is posthumanism? part two.

What is Posthumanism? Part One.

Destroyed by ISIS, artifacts may find new life after 3D reconstruction


IVETTE FELICIANO: This video appears to show members of the Islamic State, or ISIS, using sledgehammers to destroy artifacts at a museum in …

Historical Photography