6 episodes

A new podcast from the long-running newsletter, Data Is Plural (data-is-plural.com). Each episode distills an expert interview into a crisp 15 minutes, taking you behind the scenes of another surprising dataset. One season = five episodes.

Data Is Plural Jeremy Singer-Vine

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

A new podcast from the long-running newsletter, Data Is Plural (data-is-plural.com). Each episode distills an expert interview into a crisp 15 minutes, taking you behind the scenes of another surprising dataset. One season = five episodes.

    S1E1: Giant Pumpkins

    S1E1: Giant Pumpkins

    This episode’s guest is Andy Wolf, former president of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, an international organization that, among other things, coordinates the giant pumpkin contests featured in the Oct. 26, 2022 edition of the Data Is Plural newsletter. Andy explains what it takes to grow giant pumpkins, how they’re measured, how the community has evolved over the past century, and the pieces of data he tracks to keep his gourds growing strong.

    Relevant and mentioned links:
    Weigh-off results from BigPumpkins.comGreat Pumpkin CommonwealthAndy’s website, where you can buy his giant pumpkins Andy’s “Pumpkins 101” presentation“Little Valley man’s giant pumpkin is North American Champion,” an article about Andy’s top pumpkin in 2021 The family tree for Andy’s latest giant pumpkinA history of giant pumpkin growing, from the Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers
    Theme music by Nikhil Sonnad.

    • 15 min
    S1E2: The London Stage

    S1E2: The London Stage

    This episode’s guest is Mattie Burkert, whose London Stage Database was featured in the Aug. 14, 2019 edition of the Data Is Plural newsletter. Mattie sets the scene for 17th- and 18th-century theater performances, describes those performances’ eventful journey into bits and bytes, how the digital records were almost lost to history, and how she and collaborators recovered them.

    Relevant and mentioned links:
    The London Stage Database“Recovering the London Stage Information Bank: Lessons from an Early Humanities Computing Project,” in which Mattie describes the data’s history in more detail“From Manual to Digital: Women's Hands and the Work of Eighteenth-Century Studies,” Mattie’s article about the outsourcing of the Information Bank’s digital transcription effortThe London Stage Information Bank’s data and other files, as uploaded by Mattie and Brianna Marshall, including scanned images of the code (as found in Will Daland’s attic)Scans of “The London Stage, 1660-1800” reference books hosted by Hathi TrustScan of “Index to the The London Stage, 1660-1800”, also hosted by Hathi TrustThe 1971 article in “Computers and the Humanities” about the London Stage Information BankLawrence University’s Institute for Paper Chemistry, home to the mainframe used by London Stage Information BankData visualizations using the London Stage Database, in response to Nightingale x Data Is Plural data data visualization challenge

    Mattie sends a special thanks to the University of Oregon’s Cameron Seright, who fixed some late-breaking website bugs just in time for this podcast release.

    Theme music by Nikhil Sonnad.

    • 15 min
    S1E3: Roadkill in the Andes

    S1E3: Roadkill in the Andes

    This episode’s guest is Pablo Medrano-Vizcaíno, whose dataset of roadkill in the Ecuadorian Andes was featured in the July 7, 2021 edition of the Data Is Plural newsletter. Pablo describes why he studies roadkill, how he collected the data, the challenges of identifying species from their remains, and the future of road ecology research.

    Relevant and mentioned links:
    “Geography of roadkills within the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot: Poorly known vertebrates are part of the toll,” Pablo’s 2021 paper with Santiago Espinosa, and its accompanying dataset.“Roadkill patterns in Latin American birds and mammals,” a 2022 paper by Pablo and co-authors examining data from 85 roadkill surveys.Red Ecuatoriana para el Monitoreo de Fauna Atropellada, Pablo’s citizen science project project, collecting roadkill data in Ecuador.Uku Pacha Ground Snake (Atractus Ukupacha) and Klebba's Snail-Eater (Dipsas klebbai), two previously-undescribed snake species found in Pablo and Santiago’s research.“Roadkill provide a novel way to sample an area’s animals,” an article in the Economist (behind paywall) discussing Pablo and Santiago’s work.
    Theme music by Nikhil Sonnad.

    • 16 min
    S1E4: Pathogen Genetics

    S1E4: Pathogen Genetics

    This episode’s guest is Irena Hwang, whose analysis of salmonella genetic data was featured in the Nov. 17, 2021 edition of the Data Is Plural newsletter. Irena explains how she used the data to inform ProPublica’s investigation into a major salmonella outbreak, how the gene sequences are collected, how to access them, how to make sense of them, and what she learned along the way.

    Relevant and mentioned links:
    NCBI’s Pathogen Detection databaseProPublica’s investigationIrena’s behind-the-scenes explanatory articleA tool developed by ProPublica to help you when shopping for poultryWikipedia’s entry on next-generation DNA sequencing, also known as “massive parallel sequencing”A definition of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), from the National Library of Medicine
    Theme music by Nikhil Sonnad.

    • 15 min
    S1E5: Atari Emails

    S1E5: Atari Emails

    This episode’s guest is Vikram Oberoi, whose atariemailarchive.org was featured in the Sept. 21, 2022 edition of the Data Is Plural newsletter. Vikram explains how he discovered the emails (originally published by former Atari engineer Jed Margolin), their backstory, how they became a yearslong obsession for him, how he processed them into structured data, how organized them into threads, and what he learned along the way.

    Relevant and mentioned links:
    atariemailarchive.orgSpecific threads:On CC’ingOn building a spellcheckerOn royaltiesJed venting about inventory dataVikram’s structured dataset of the emailsVikram’s blog post describing how he built the site“My Vax Mail, Memos, and Status Reports from Atari/Atari Games 1982-1992,” the page on Jed Margolin’s website containing the raw mail filesThe 2012 Kotaku post that caught Vikram’s attentionA picture of a VAX mainframe
    Theme music by Nikhil Sonnad.

    • 15 min
    Coming Soon — Data Is Plural: The Podcast

    Coming Soon — Data Is Plural: The Podcast

    Introducing ... Data Is Plural: The Podcast.

    (Music by Nikhil Sonnad.)

    • 54 sec

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

iamsolvent ,

Eye Opening

I know! But really—Jeremy’s smarts in asking provocative questions brings you into the world of data in the cheekiest but most delightful way. I found myself, for example, fascinated by the way you measure the weight of a giant pumpkin. Worthy listening.

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