Open Culture


 

88 Philosophy Podcasts to Help You Answer the Big Questions in Life

The big questions of philosophy, simmering since antiquity, still press upon us as they did the Athenians of old (and all ancient people who have philosophized): what obligations do we really owe to family, friends, or strangers? Do we live as free agents or beings controlled by fate or the gods (or genes or a computer simulation)? What is a good life? How do we create societies that maximize freedom and happiness (or whatever ultimate values we hold dear)? What is language, what is art, and wh...
Tags: Google, Podcasts, College, Philosophy, Facebook Twitter, Russell, Cicero, Socrates, Josh Jones, John Perry, Bertrand Russell, David Pizarro, Durham NC Follow, Peter Adamson, Barry Lam, Daily Nous


Learn How to Play Chess Online: Free Chess Lessons for Beginners, Intermediate Players & Beyond

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM2fcenx7KU The most desired Christmas gift of 2020? A chess set. It’s certainly desired, at any rate, by the rapt viewers of The Queen’s Gambit, the acclaimed Netflix miniseries that debuted in October. Created by screenwriter-producers Scott Frank and Allan Scott, its seven episodes tell the story of Beth Harmon, an orphan in 1950s Kentucky who turns out to be a chess prodigy, then goes on to become a world-class player. During the Cold War, the intellec...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Games, College, Kentucky, New York City, Earth, Netflix, Seoul, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Nabokov, Facebook Twitter, Walter Tevis, Allan Scott, Garry Kasparov, Bobby Fischer


The Great Courses Offers Every Course on Sale for $60 or Less (Until December 1)

Here’s a holiday season deal worth mentioning. For Cyber Monday, The Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company) is offering every course for $60 in digital format or less. The sale lasts through the end of December 1. If you’re not familiar with it, the Great Courses provides a very nice service. They travel across the U.S., recording great professors lecturing on great topics that will appeal to any lifelong learner. They then make the courses available to customers in different formats (DV...
Tags: Google, Deals, College, Facebook Twitter, Teaching Company


Learn How to Play Chess Free Online: Tutorials for Beginners, Intermediate Players & Beyond

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM2fcenx7KU The most desired Christmas gift of 2020? A chess set. It’s certainly desired, at any rate, by the rapt viewers of The Queen’s Gambit, the acclaimed Netflix miniseries that debuted in October. Created by screenwriter-producers Scott Frank and Allan Scott, its seven episodes tell the story of Beth Harmon, an orphan in 1950s Kentucky who turns out to be a chess prodigy, then goes on to become a world-class player. During the Cold War, the intellec...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Games, College, Kentucky, New York City, Earth, Netflix, Seoul, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Nabokov, Facebook Twitter, Walter Tevis, Allan Scott, Garry Kasparov, Bobby Fischer


Watch Digital Dancers Electrify the Streets of Istanbul

Are you open to the idea of otherworldly beings moving amongst us, benign but unseen? Director Gökalp Gönen seems to be in the above video for jazz innovator Ilhan Ersahin’s “Hurri-Mitanni” (Good News). Things kick off in a decidedly low key manner—a young woman sets off for a nighttime stroll through the streets of Istanbul, her face deliberately obscured by a snugly tied black and white cloth. Turning a corner, she passes an anonymous figure, wrapped head to toe in similar stripes. Do...
Tags: Travel, Google, Technology, Instagram, College, Dance, Animation, Istanbul, Harlem, Facebook Twitter, Ayun Halliday, İlhan Erşahin, Gonen, Gökalp Gönen, Sophia Topkaki


An Animated Stan Lee Explains Why the F-Word Is “the Most Useful Word in the English Language” (NSFW)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DScnnorHEuw FYI. The language in this video is not safe for work. And now, on to our post. In the last couple years of his life, Stan Lee was ill, his health failing, but he stayed engaged and remained his old wisecracking self. His handpicked successor for editor-in-chief at Marvel, Roy Thomas, tells the story of the last time he saw Lee and showed him his then-new biography of the comics legend, The Stan Lee Story. They talked about the Spider-Man comic ...
Tags: Google, Film, California, College, Marvel, Disney, George Carlin, Stan Lee, Thomas, James Whitbrook, Lee, Facebook Twitter, George R R Martin, Stan, Josh Jones, Roy Thomas


Hear 11-Year-Old Björk Sing “I Love to Love”: Her First Recorded Song (1976)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rujxXOmYLUU Several years back, we featured an eleven-year-old Björk reading a nativity story in her native Icelandic, backed by unsmiling older kids from the Children’s Music School in Reykjavík. In this new find, also dating from 1976, you can hear that same eleven-year-old Björk singing in English, in what marks her first recording. Above, she sings the Tina Charles song “I Love to Love” for a school recital. According to Laughing Squid, the “teachers w...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, College, Bjork, Reykjavik, Facebook Twitter, Tina Charles, Children 's Music School


Masterclass Is Running a “Buy One, Give One Free” Deal (Until November 30)

FYI: Masterclass is running  until November 30. Here’s the gist: If you buy  , you will receive another All-Access Pass to give to someone else at no additional charge. An  costs $180 (or $15 per month), and lasts one year. For that fee, you–and a family member or friend–can watch courses created by Annie Leibovitz, Neil Gaiman, Malcolm Gladwell, Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese, David Mamet, Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood, Helen Mirren, Herbie Hancock, Alice Waters, Billy Collins and so many mo...
Tags: Google, Deals, College, Facebook Twitter


The Great Courses Offers Every Course for $40 Until Midnight Tonight

Here’s a holiday season deal worth mentioning. The Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company) is offering every course for $40 in digital format (or $60 in DVD format). The deal lasts through midnight on Black Friday. If you’re not familiar with it, the Great Courses provides a very nice service. They travel across the U.S., recording great professors lecturing on great topics that will appeal to any lifelong learner. They then make the courses available to customers in different formats (DV...
Tags: Google, Deals, College, Facebook Twitter, Teaching Company


With 9,036 Pieces, the Roman Colosseum Is the Largest Lego Set Ever

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OpdRFuqVjU “For a normal person back in the day,” says LEGO designer/architect Rok Kobe about the Colosseum in Rome, “You had never seen a building that was over a story high. And to be confronted with such an amazing piece of engineering that’s almost 200-meters wide and 50 meters tall, it was unprecedented.” Similarly, any LEGO fan might feel this awe while greeting this month’s debut of the LEGO Colosseum. At 9036 pieces it has broken the record as the...
Tags: Google, College, Rome, Lego, Architecture, Slovenia, Ljubljana, Taj Mahal, Falcon, Great Wall Of China, Colosseum, Facebook Twitter, KCRW, Ted Mills, Vespasian, Rok Kobe


Toni Morrison’s 1,200 Volume Personal Library is Going on Sale: Get a Glimpse of the Books on Her Tribeca Condo Shelves

Images by Brown Harris Stevens I will tell you how I began to be a writer. I was a reader. —Toni Morrison Those of us who might have grown up harboring literary ambitions may have been humbled and inspired when we first read Toni Morrison. She proves over and again, in novels, essays, and otherwise, the courage and dedication that serious writing requires. She has also shown us the courage it takes to be a serious reader. “Delving into literature is not escape,” she said in a 2002 interview. It...
Tags: Google, Books, College, Stephen King, America, Barack Obama, Literature, Sherlock Holmes, Paul Robeson, Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, Angela Davis, Tribeca, Morrison, Facebook Twitter, Obamas


A Free 700-Page Chess Manual Explains 1,000 Chess Tactics in Straightforward English

Image by Michael Maggs, via Wikimedia Commons FYI: In 2011, Ward Farnsworth published a two-volume collection called Predator at The Chessboard: A Field Guide To Chess Tactics (Volume 1 – Volume 2) where he explains countless chess tactics in plain English. In this 700-page collection, “there are 20 chapters, about 200 topics within them, and over 1,000 [chess] positions discussed.” Now for the even better part: Farnsworth has also made these volumes available free online. Just visit chesstact...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Games, College, New York City, Netflix, Kubrick, Facebook Twitter, Leningrad, Farnsworth, Marcel Duchamp, Ward Farnsworth, Michael Maggs


Famed New Orleans Music Producer Mark Bingham Discusses His Songs and Collaborations: A Nakedly Examined Music Conversation (#136)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpAowE542Eo You’re most likely to know Mark’s work from the string introduction to REM’s “Shiny Happy People,” but he’s been a staple of the New Orleans recording scene since he moved there in 1982, producing groups like Flat Duo Jets, Glenn Branca, John Scofield, Marianne Faithful, and the Rebirth Brass Band. He and his studio were also featured on the HBO show Treme. He had a whole lifetime of musical development before then, though, first getting signed...
Tags: Google, Music, Hbo, Podcasts, College, New York City, Los Angeles, Indiana, New Orleans, Ed, Mark, Facebook Twitter, Aaron Neville, Mark Bingham, Kurt Weil, Allen Ginsberg


The Story Behind “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie’s Song That’s Now a Thanksgiving Tradition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5_8U4j51lI Around the country today, along with a food-coma inducing serving of turkey, ham, stuffing and all the trimmings, a great many of you will be following another tradition: listening to Arlo Guthrie’s 1968 song “Alice’s Restaurant.” According to one YouTuber, when her kids were young, she’d “sit them down together and play this/torture them with it from beginning to end.” The replies suggest she’s not alone. Somewhere a child has now grown up and...
Tags: Google, Music, Mississippi, College, Massachusetts, New York City, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Vw, Rolling Stone, John Hurt, Alice, Facebook Twitter, Scott Fitzgerald, Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie


A Flying Car Took to the Skies in Back 1949: See the Taylor Aerocar in Action

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erj_mz30SDI “A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like,” the late anthropologist David Graeber once wrote in the Baffler. This refers to “a particular generational promise — given to those who were children in the fifties, sixties, seventies, or eighties — one that was never quite articulated as a promise but rather as a set of assumptions about...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Technology, College, History, Nasa, Albert Einstein, Seattle, Seoul, Taylor, Civil Aviation Authority, Berry, Facebook Twitter, Roland Barthes, New Jersey Turnpike, Chuck Berry


A Flying Car Took to the Skies Back in 1949: See the Taylor Aerocar in Action

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erj_mz30SDI “A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like,” the late anthropologist David Graeber once wrote in the Baffler. This refers to “a particular generational promise — given to those who were children in the fifties, sixties, seventies, or eighties — one that was never quite articulated as a promise but rather as a set of assumptions about...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Technology, College, History, Nasa, Albert Einstein, Seattle, Seoul, Taylor, Civil Aviation Authority, Berry, Facebook Twitter, Roland Barthes, New Jersey Turnpike, Chuck Berry


The Beatles Create an Abstract Collaborative Painting, Images of a Woman, During Three Days of Lockdown in Japan (1966)

One of the earliest known non-human visual artists, Congo the chimpanzee, learned to draw in 1956 at the age of two. Moody, fiercely protective of his work, and particular about his process, he made around 400 drawings and paintings in a style described as “lyrical abstract impressionism.” He appeared several times on British television before his death in 1964. He counted Picasso among his fans and, in a 2005 auction, outsold Warhol and Renoir. One wonders if whoever gave the four-headed beast...
Tags: Google, Art, Music, Japan, England, London, College, Congo, Tokyo, Warhol, John, Candlestick Park, Ringo, Monterrey, Picasso, George


Nikon Offers Free Online Photography Courses During the Holidays

A quick heads up. From November 23rd through December 31st, you can stream for free all classes offered by Nikon School Online. Normally priced at $15-$50 per course, this 10-course offering covers Fundamentals of Photography, Dynamic Landscape Photography, Macro Photography, Photographing Children and Pets, and more. Finding the courses on the Nikon site is not very intuitive. To access the courses, click here and then scroll down the page until you see a yellow button that says “Watch Full Ve...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Photography, College, Digital Photography, Harvard University, Online Courses, Annie Leibovitz, Nikon, Facebook Twitter, Petapixel Related Content, Stanford Prof Marc Levoy Learn Digital Photography, Nikon School Online Normally


Stevie Ray Vaughan Gives a Blistering Demonstration of His Guitar Technique

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZoX6Q0UK8A What made Stevie Ray Vaughan such a great guitarist? If you ask Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, a devoted student of the blues, it’s “his timing, his tone, his feel, his vibrato, his phrasing–everything. Some people are just born to play guitar, and Stevie was definitely one of them.” This may come as disappointing news to guitar players who want to sound like SRV but weren’t born with his genes. Hammett assures them it’s possible to approximate his ...
Tags: Google, Music, Texas, College, Germany, Walmart, Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, John Mayer, Vaughan, Wes Montgomery, Facebook Twitter, Albert King, Stevie, Stevie Ray Vaughan


A Mysterious Monolith Appears in the Utah Desert, Channeling Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU0i9VvPmoY People do weird things in the desert. A spokesman for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources acknowledges that widely understood truth in a recent New York Times article about a mysterious monolith discovered in Red Rock Country. “A team that was counting bighorn sheep by helicopter spotted something odd and landed to take a closer look,” writes Alan Yuhas. “It was a three-sided metal monolith, about 10 to 12 feet tall, planted firmly in the g...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, Utah, London, College, United States, New York Times, Stanley Kubrick, New Mexico, Cia, Seoul, Indiana Jones, Death Valley, Facebook Twitter, Utah Department of Public Safety


The Uncanny Children’s Book Illustrations of Sigmund’s Freud’s Niece, Tom Seidmann-Freud

In 1919, Sigmund Freud published “The ‘Uncanny,’” his rare attempt as a psychoanalyst “to investigate the subject of aesthetics.” The essay arrived in the midst of a modernist revolution Freud himself unwittingly inspired in the work of Surrealists like Salvador Dali, Andre Breton, and many others. He also had an influence on another artist of the period: his niece Martha-Gertrud Freud, who started going by the name “Tom” after the age of 15, and who became known as children’s book author and i...
Tags: Google, Art, London, Education, College, Germany, Nazis, Berlin, Israel, Vienna, Munich, K-12, Palestine, Aviva, Brothers Grimm, Sigmund Freud


Kevin Allison (The State, RISK!) Discusses Confessional Comedy on Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #70

https://podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/secure/partiallyexaminedlife/PMP_70_11-11-20.mp3 Kevin was in the infamous, NYU-based sketch comedy group The State which had a show for a season on MTV and seemed like it was going to get picked up by CBS, but no. After several years getting over this disappointment, Kevin discovered a new outlet for his energies: He delivers, curates, and coaches personal stories (bordering on too personal, thus the “risk”) for his stage show and pod...
Tags: Google, Comedy, Podcasts, College, Mtv, Storytelling, Cbs, Nyu, State, Facebook Twitter, Kevin, David Sedaris, Marc Maron, Kevin Allison, Pretty Much Pop, Mark Linsenmayer Erica Spyres


The Polygraph: The Proto-Photocopy Machine Machine Invented in 1803 That Changed Thomas Jefferson’s Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1JAZV5KNsc Today we associate the word polygraph mainly with the devices we call “lie detectors.” The unhidden Greek terms from which it originates simply mean “multiple writing,” which seems apt enough in light of all those movie interrogation scenes with their juddering parallel needles. But the first “polygraph machine” meriting the name long predates such cinematic clichés, and indeed cinema itself. Patented in 1803 by an Englishman named John Isaac H...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Technology, Writing, College, History, Smithsonian, John Adams, Seoul, Thomas Jefferson, United States of America, Facebook Twitter, Jefferson, Monticello, Friedrich Nietzsche, Peale


Hear Legendary BBC Composer Delia Derbyshire’s Electronic Version of Bach’s “Air on a G String”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOC7Pf1XY54 When the warm, warbly, slightly-out-of-tune sounds of the early Moog synthesizer met the delicate figures of Bach’s concertos, suites, preludes, fugues, and airs in Wendy Carlos’ 1968 Switched-on Bach, the result reinvigorated popular interest in classical music and helped launch the careers of seventies Moog synthesists like composer of instrumental hit “Popcorn,” Gershon Kingsley; occultist and composer of TV themes and jingles, Mort Garson; ...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Bbc, Beethoven, Stanley Kubrick, Giorgio Moroder, Derbyshire, Facebook Twitter, Carlos, Bach, Josh Jones, Moog, David Cain, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Radiophonic Workshop


The Eden Project Built a Rainforest Ecosystem Inside Buckminster Fuller-Inspired Geodesic Domes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWr67v620kY Buckminster Fuller had a difficult time as an inventor in his early years. “Having been expelled from Harvard for irresponsible conduct,” notes The Guardian, “he struggled to find a job and provide a living for his young family in his early 30s.” Despite later successes, and a later reputation as legendary as Nikola Tesla’s, he was often, like Tesla, seen by critics as a utopian visionary, whose visions were too impractical to really change the...
Tags: Google, Europe, Design, Technology, College, Life, Environment, America, Tesla, Creativity, Harvard, Nikola Tesla, Hyde Park, Eden Project, Facebook Twitter, Alexandra


The Geometry of Sound: Watch Artist Kenichi Kanazawa Make Amazing Geometric Designs Out of Sand, Using Sound Waves Alone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsVERdfEj24 Before our eyes, Japanese artist Kenichi Kanazawa creates crisp shapes and geometric patterns with no special tools but sand and sound, the kind of work that at first looks expressly designed to go viral on social media. But he’s been at it much longer than that: “Originally a sculptor by trade,” according to Spoon & Tamago’s Johnny Waldman, “Kanazawa began working with steel and sound in 1987 after collaborating with the late sound artist Hiro...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, College, Physics, Metallica, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Jenny, Kanazawa, Gioia, Rudolf Steiner, Kenichi Kanazawa, Ted Gioia, Colin Marshall, Spoon Tamago


A Curious Herbal: 500 Beautiful Illustrations of Medicinal Plants Drawn by Elizabeth Blackwell in 1737 (to Save Her Family from Financial Ruin)

Sometimes beautiful things come out of terrible circumstances. This does not justify more terrible circumstances. But as evidence of the resilience, resourcefulness, and creativity of human beings—and more specifically of mothers in dire straits—we offer the following: A Curious Herbal, Elizabeth Blackwell’s finely illustrated, engraved, and colored “herbal,” the term for a “book of plants, describing their appearance, their properties and how they may be used for preparing ointments,” the Brit...
Tags: Google, Art, Books, Science, College, Scotland, History, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth, Alexander, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, BLACKWELL, Durham NC Follow, Maria Popova, Popova


Watch How to Be at Home, a Beautiful Short Animation on the Realities of Social Isolation in 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT40Rmjwd-Q I think, as social primates, we want to feel a strong sense of belonging either in a relationship or to a community—or both. But also intrinsic to our humanity is a feeling that we are truly alone. —Filmmaker Andrea Dorfman, 2010 When they first became friends, poet Tanya Davis and filmmaker Andrea Dorfman talked a lot about the pleasures and hardships of being alone. Davis had just gone through a break up, and Dorfman was just embarking on a r...
Tags: Google, Books, Film, College, Life, Poetry, Animation, Davis, Kubrick, Rosemary, Cbc, Facebook Twitter, National Film Board of Canada, Dorfman, Tanya Davis, Tom Power


Lou Reed Concert Film Berlin Streaming Free Online for the Next Week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SzuZfOZnp4 Last laughs can be sweet, and according to music journalist, Anthony DeCurtis, his friend, the late Lou Reed, “reveled” in the critical drubbing that greeted his 3rd solo album, 1973’s Berlin. Not immediately, however. Berlin, which followed hard on the heels of Reed’s widely adored Transformer, had a painful, protracted delivery. This was due in part due to RCA execs getting cold feet about releasing Reed’s grim concept record as a double albu...
Tags: Google, Music, Film, College, Berlin, New York City, Theatre, Brooklyn, New York Times, Andy Warhol, Rolling Stone, ANN, Lou Reed, Nancy, Cornell University, Lola


David Lynch Explains How Simple Daily Habits Enhance His Creativity

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyVPEDS2VGk At first glance, Madame Bovary and Blue Velvet would seem to have little in common, as would their creators. But the artistic life Gustave Flaubert led and the one David Lynch now leads share a basic precept: “Be regular and orderly in your life,” as the former once put it, “so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Lynch has spoken about his ways as an artistic creature of habit many times over the years, as demonstrated by the in...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Jay Leno, Film, College, Life, Los Angeles, Creativity, Gustave Flaubert, Bob, Seoul, David Lynch, Charlie Rose, Facebook Twitter, Lynch, David Lynch Foundation