Digital Humanities | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Digital Humanities

In the digital humanities, academics from fields like English and history use high tech tools to conduct research and track trends. Projects that were once impossible are now underway, from comparing language usage in a million books to curating online collections of interactive and multimedia materials. We’ll discover what digital humanities scholars are uncovering about the past and learn how some are looking to the future to preserve the culture of today.

Quiz: Anachronisms In Popular Period Dramas

Period dramas are making a resurgence in popular culture, from television series like "Mad Men" and "Downton Abbey" to historical films like "Lincoln." Stage designers, costume makers and screenplay writers are keen to reflect the era that the story is set. But how accurate are the words and phrases these characters use?

Benjamin Schmidt, visiting graduate fellow at the Cultural Observatory at Harvard and a graduate student in history at Princeton University, researches verbal anachronisms in his blog, Prochronisms. He's identified conversations peppered with words and phrases that are more popular today than the period in which they're supposed to be speaking. For example, Schmidt found that modern business vernacular such as "leverage" and "even the playing field" often seems to creep into "Mad Men" scenes.

Test your knowledge of which saying was chronologically correct for the time, knowing that "Downton Abbey" is set from 1912 to 1921, "Mad Men" takes place during the 1960s and "Lincoln" is set in 1865. Answers to the quiz are below.

Quiz Answers

Q1. India
Q2. contraband
Q3. combine against
Q4. have to
Q5. coffee beans
Q6. perfect match
Q7. sharpshooter
Q8. sneaked
Q9. peace mission
Q10. irritating

NPR

Speed Dating For Seniors Who Aren't Interested In Slowing Down

A new film follows daters ages 70 to 90 looking for love in five-minute intervals. "Speed dating for seniors" may sound funny, but The Age of Love is really about our lifelong need for intimacy.
NPR

Eat Your Veggies! Even The Ones From Fukushima

Foods from Fukushima, Japan, are back to pre-accident levels of radiation but people still aren't eating them. One way to ease concerns: a chemical that blocks radioactive cesium from entering plants.
NPR

House Panel Questions Gen. Campbell About Readiness Of Afghan Force

Congress wants to know whether the U.S. military tried to hide problems with the Afghan military force. Afghans are leading the fight against the Taliban — with U.S. troops mostly in the background.
NPR

Sharing Patient Records Is Still A Digital Dilemma For Doctors

There's good news and bad news about electronic medical records. They're now in most doctors' offices — but most doctors still can't easily share them.

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