10 episodes

A podcast and effort to show how people around the world care for Puerto Rico, that all started with a tweeted idea #care4sagdrao to send postcards to our colleague Antonio Vantaggiato and students at Universidad Sagrado del Córazon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico Connection The Puerto Rico Connection

    • Education
    • 3.0, 1 Rating

A podcast and effort to show how people around the world care for Puerto Rico, that all started with a tweeted idea #care4sagdrao to send postcards to our colleague Antonio Vantaggiato and students at Universidad Sagrado del Córazon in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Episode 12: The No Knead Podcast, 3 Months To Rise

    Episode 12: The No Knead Podcast, 3 Months To Rise


    Some recipes claim to be easy. This podcast was in the oven for almost three months, and the fault is all mine.

    Antonio and I recorded this episode on March 21, way back in the early part of pandemic lockdown. Then I just let it sit.

    But in a way, it’s interesting to hear us talk while this was a bit of a novelty, not the dread filled mire it has become. Oh, was that pessimistic? No worries, because my colleague and friend Antonio is a primo optimist. Just listen to him!

    I did learn some Italian, OMS in Italian, is “Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità” or what you might say, as in WHO (World Health Organization). Antonio was understandably concerned about his 90+ year old mother in Italy.

    Antonio described that in Puerto Rico there were night time curfews. Students at his University. Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, had to leave their dorms and return to home on the island. He says that things at Sagrado were done in orderly manner for lockdown.

    This was his preparation week for the “online pivoting” (insert ballet puns). He noted that after Hurricane Maria, Sagrado was first in Puerto Rico to reinstate classes as hybrid (under tents), so they were used to dealing with calamity. Because that seems pretty regular there, be it from natural forces or the boot of the US Government.

    He described the hashtag #EsteVirusLoParamosUnidos or “We Stop this virus united” – Check out the 150,000 photos tagged on instagram.

    But as “always an optimist” Antonio was ready to do remote teaching.

    I shared a great retweet form Moia, and 80+ year old high spirited professor from Mexico I got to know form the UDG Agora Project

    Este es un virusito que anda buscando un descuidadito, pero si te cuidas, no va a encontrar un nidito y se va a morir solito. @ArturoZaldivarL @lopezobrador_ @BeatrizGMuller @nestora_salgado @SusanaHarp @NapoleonGomezUr @galvanochoa @AristeguiOnline @lydiacachosi @cogdog https://t.co/sIceH0ENrv

    — moiacost (@moiacost) March 21, 2020

    Antonio noted the first COVID-19 death in Puerto Rico happened recently, a tourist from a cruise ship.

    I wondered if there was any singing from balconies in Puerto Rico.

    Antonio talked about planning for teaching his Italian film class– he was using some sites for co-watching films, and that he had plans to watch soon a Mario Bava movie with Jim Groom (who blogged it thus).

    Antonio’s strategies including Mixing asynchronous and synchronous. His INF115 New Media students, like always, publish to blog class summaries, with blog syndication to the main site, doing daily photos, and a class podcast project (see a href="https://blogs.netedu.

    • 54 min
    Episode 11: The Broken One

    Episode 11: The Broken One


    In which Alan & Antonio deal with

    strong cellular deficiency

    And they talk aimlessly about connection (quite rightly) and other high-level stuff.

    Hello, planet Earth, do you hear? Instead of raising the bar, we have the lowest possible quality. Zero.

    But I love these conversations a little more every time, because it’s nice to talk tech (and other stuff) with Alan. And please listen through the end since he has got a special surprise with the outro.

    So this episode seems a weird radio program from the 70’s, with some joker at some place having fun of listeners.

    The worst podcast ever.

    How can I not worry, Antonio?

    Charting our frequency? Seems to be increasing.

    [What are we talking about?]

    The battery. Welcome back. OMG. Talking disruptions.

    And I keep forgetting the English language.

    Radio… photography…

    Tom Woodward‘s WordPress Timeline JS Plugin useful to visualize an interactive timeline of blogs.

    And Fleabag??

    I almost watch no tv.


    I love #Fleabag. I love that a show about a dry-witted, grief-stricken, hypersexual, depressed person is even getting attention. I love that Phoebe Waller-Bridge won for her performance. I just love #Fleabag.

    One of the most perfect shows I’ve ever seen. #Emmys2019 pic.twitter.com/zWRGilieaX

    — Michael Boo-nlein👻🎃 (@MichaelBCompany) September 23, 2019

    Then there’s Lucy. Of course the broken connections means Alan thinks I’m talking about the other Lucy from I Love Lucy. But no, at the time I didn’t know nothin’ about this Lucy #2. For me the one and only is the One From The Peanuts, a memory from my adolescence.

    And talking about comics: You want the Italians? Diabolik, Satanik, Alan Ford, Jacovitti…

    Yes, Satanik was drawn by the very Max Bunker (Luciano Secchi) of Alan Ford and written by Magnus (Roberto Raviola).

    Last, there is Jacovitti, a genius telling Western-style stories, with dumb cigarette-smoking horses, pencils, salami-on-foot and worms on the ground.

    I learn that Alan looks at his browser’s cookies (to check privacy etc.)

    Usage of facebook. Usefullness? I find myself saying:

    No other medium to contact far-away friends besides calling them FTW??

    Alan Tweets In ALL CAPS:


    — Alan Levine (@cogdog) October 22, 2019

    Then, there’s Terry Greene‘s podcast Gettin’ Air from VoiceEd.ca,

    • 26 min
    Episode 10: Low Frequency

    Episode 10: Low Frequency


    It’s been 148 days since our last episode; does the low frequency of publication mean we are no longer a podcast?

    Antonio and I don’t care; we have abolished rules before. But we did manage to record this one on September 4, and looking at we have a calendar item on September 23 to record another, it was time to push the editing into high gear.

    Antonio was sitting outside on campus at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, so you will hear the sounds of students walking by. And birds. And street traffic. Apparently, he is without office while he is assigned a new one (“like a Zombie”), so he roams campus.

    I did talk some about the possibility of ceasing the publication of our audio on Amazon S3, this in the face of getting am 18 cent bill last month. But I decided to leave things as they are. If we get a spike in audience, where maybe it costs $2.00 a month, I will reconsider.

    Antonio described the podcasting assignments he is doing this semester with his New Media INF115 students. Again they will be collaborating on their shared podcast show, La Situación.

    Antonio described how he was planning to have his students discuss the political story that took place over the summer, where public protests led to the forcing out of their governor Ricardo Rosselló. He shared his observations how the public protests were heavily attended by young people and very peaceful.

    I was rather impressed with the ability of a population that was able to unseat unfit leaders. Maybe it can happen elsewhere (cough cough).

    Antonio will again have students do their version of the DS106 Daily Create, or what he calls sting to Una Foto Cada Día (see more about his plans in his recent blog post).

    He mentioned coming across a great Canadian Podcast, which turned out to be my colleague and friend Terry Greene’s Gettin’ Air. Small internet world. Right after the show, I DM-ed Terry in twitter and suggested doing an episode featuring Antonio. It’s in the works.

    We rounded out the show with a quasi plan for the next one… and it may be a better frequency!

    Technically 148 days is the Period, time between cycles. The inverse of that is the frequency, converted to seconds, that is 0.00000078 Hz

    — Alan Levine (@cogdog) September 23, 2019

    Featured Image: Image from page 799 of “The Bell System technical journal” (1922) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons)

    • 32 min
    Episode 9: Black holes and links

    Episode 9: Black holes and links


    At last I get to work on the latest, ninth episode of The Puerto Rico Connection. But on the New Media class on Thursday 25th, there was no connection. Alan tried his best to give a talk to my students. Unfortunately the networks did not collaborate. My students and I tried every possible route: Wifi, Ethernet and cellular hotspots, to no avail.

    Blame the Internetz!

    Until Alan found the culprit,

    We know who to blame. El Orange Chupacabra

    — Alan Levine (@cogdog) April 26, 2019


    In the previous post (Preparing for the 9th episode) there are the ideas Alan and I played with during our fine conversation. In fact, he was smart to gear it towards the recent first-image-ever of a black hole. From there, it was a freewheeling talk on what’s a photo of a black hole vs. an image; the singularity idea of a point in spacetime where not even light can escape from; and the digression to the limit when we discussed what would happen if we reduced the podcast’s timing to zero, little by little? It’s a joke, but mathematicians use this “limit” idea pretty often and with beautiful results. So, how would we open and close a recording which lasts exactly zero point zero time? If it were 0.0001 seconds, we might image being very very very quick. But with no time at all, would it still make sense? A line, if you reduce its length progressively up to zero, will become a point. It makes sense as a point but it’s difficult to see a point as an abstract line taken to the limit. But a recording? Of course it’s non-sense, but one it was fun to talk about!

    Anyhow, see the previous post to read a bit more on this.

    On the episode we talked about other stuff, of course. No spoilers here. And we said we would publish here the links we collect and share and we’d like to discuss on the air. We didn’t discuss them on this episode, though, since we hadn’t had a chance to read them beforehand. So, it’s for next time. Here, I’ll paste a copy of the feed coming from the shared tag prcon:


    where the tab=153 means to get only the recent links. Now, the diigo page for these links (diigo.com/tag/prcon?tab=153) would not return the description of each link. Fortunately, the Firefox add-on Want My RSS does. And this is the result. To activate Hypothes.is and annotate this page please, click below, then activate the tool by clicking on the arrow at the northeast corner of the page:

    Annotate this

    Online tools for random words, Word to HTML, other free tools.

    4/14/2019, 3:08:40 PM

    This website features text and html changing, converting, and generating tools designed to save you time making web pages or preparing content for web publishing projects or other groovy stuff. Or even use the site to make a random choice. If you’ve…

    Tags: IFTTT Pinboard webdesign a href="https://www.diigo.

    • 29 min
    Episode 8: Baby, It’s Cold!

    Episode 8: Baby, It’s Cold!


    Talking to Antonio in December he made it sound like he was in a scene from The Day After Tomorrow. He was claiming it was “freezing” in his office in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but he did provide some photographic evidence.

    View this post on Instagram

    This is my frozen cold self while talking with Alan @cogdog for our Puerto Rico Connection podcast today. My office is freezing! Podcast at http://prconnection.cogdog.casa. #prconnection

    A post shared by Antonio (@avunque) on Dec 6, 2018 at 9:25am PST

    Meanwhile, here at home in Saskatchewan, I’m sitting in a t-shirt but looking out the window at snow.

    View this post on Instagram

    While @avunque is bundled up in parka down in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in this mornings podcast recording with him from home in Mortlach, Saskatchewan, I was warm in t-shirt with snow out the window. Next episode to be published at https://prconnection.cogdog.casa

    A post shared by Alan Levine (@cogdog) on Dec 6, 2018 at 9:32am PST

    So it goes, but we were overdue, as usual for another podcast. And despite my best intentions to get this episode published in 2018, the holidays we spoke of put the kabosh on that. And with a mid recording interruption when one of us lost our internet connection, we lost track on timing. There goes the Twenty Minute Rule, trashed again.

    After some opening banter about holiday celebrations, we started with the oft repeated / never proven Blogging is Dead assertion. I had this on my mind having just again blogged about blogging. Is it pointless incessant barking, or is it a sleeping dog?

    But more than our own use as grey beard bloggers, we focused more about our use with students blogging,

    • 36 min
    Episode 7: Maria Plus One Year (and rule busting)

    Episode 7: Maria Plus One Year (and rule busting)


    Yes, there was a summer long length of time since episode 6 of the Puerto Rico Collection (just published yesterday), but we are back in action.

    I was moved into action seeing Antonio’s post on September 20 titled Hurricane María–The flashback:

    A lot has been said and written on hurricane María and our experience of it and our experience of its aftermath.

    Today, exactly one year after its passage, let me commemorate it and all the students who with me have stepped through such a hard time.

    Today we watched hare at Sagrado the premiére of my friend Sonia Fritz’s documentary Después de María. Las 2 orillas (After Maria. The Two Shores). Of course I–and all the public within the theater–was moved. Impossible to retain the wave of emotions while the images passed by. But they were not images of wind and rain and water and debris. Those we know too well: In fact, more or less at this very moment one year ago I was working with my neighbors to clean up our street, just hours after the hurricane left us.

    This is what started this whole podcast concept, first with the idea of sending postcards of care to Antonio (published October 13, 2017) and our first podcast on November 11. Connectivity was not reliable enough them for a conversation, so Antonio and I did segments by posting and replying audio files on a Google Drive.

    What has happened to Antonio and his students in Puerto Rico since? That is today’s topic, and why I reached out with an email titled “Not an Anniversary” as it was really nothing to celebrate.

    We started with Antonio recalling the scene of destruction, with no electricity, he observed from the roof of the student center at his campus in San Juan, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón. He reports the campus is fine, although there are still roofs of some buildings that have not been repaired, mainly because payment has been slow from insurance companies. More generators have been purchased for the future.

    He described when flying in by plane now you will see a lot of FEMA blue rooftops where the roofs are plastic tarps. Electricity is restored to most of the island, but he notes that the island of Vieques still only has power from generators.

    Antonio reports people on campus are doing fine; his Fundamentos de Informática (INF103) students are working on media projects documenting their Hurricane Maria stories which should be on the site soon.

    Everyone has the phenomenon in their minds. But I don’t want to say it’s over. It’s not. There’s still a lot of things in the air. We still have a fiscal board that oversees everything here.

    He referenced the stories told in the documentary by his colleague Sonia Fritz; check out the trailer.

    I asked Antonio if it feels like the world has forgotten about Puerto Rico. As nice as he is, Antonio stays positive- he feels there is more attention and awareness of the situation in Puerto Rico.

    He had about 6 or 7 students who did leave Puerto Rico and he worked with some of them to help them finish their students, but there are others he has never heard from.

    We moved on to hear about Antonio’s two month summer visit...

    • 48 min

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