Open Culture


 

Good with Words: A Series of Writing & Editing Courses from the University of Michigan

We’ve all used words just about as long as we’ve been alive. This obvious truth, alas, has led too many of us into the delusion that we’re good with words: that we’re good speakers and, even more commonly and less justifiably, that we’re good writers. Yet anyone who’s seen or heard much of how words are used in the realms of business and academia — to say nothing of personal correspondence — does understand, on some level, the true rarity of these skills. Now, those of us who recognize t...
Tags: Facebook, Writing, College, Online Courses, Jane Austen, Michigan, Seoul, Barry, Coursera, University Of Michigan, William Zinsser, Colum McCann, Facebook Good, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, UChicago 's Writing Program


The Death of Soap Operas (Is Greatly Exaggerated) — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #105

https://podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/secure/partiallyexaminedlife/PMP_105_8-24-21.mp3 Writers Sarahlyn Bruck and Kayla Dreysse join your host Mark Linsenmayer to discuss how this once very popular TV show type has simultaneously become niche, yet has had a tremendous influence on current prestige TV as well as reality shows. We talk about soaps’ story and structure conventions, the demands on soap actors and writers, and how changing market forces and technology have affe...
Tags: Apple, Facebook, Television, Podcasts, College, Beverly Hills, Dallas, Mark, Margaret Lyons, General Hospital, Matt Zoller Seitz, Lorraine Ali, Mark Linsenmayer, Pretty Much Pop, Lynette Rice, Sarahlyn Bruck


Superstar Violinist Nigel Kennedy Reinvents Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”: Watch Two Dynamic Performances

Violinists don’t often make the news these days, but when one does, you can be reasonably assured either that a musical controversy is afoot, or that the violinist in question is Nigel Kennedy. This time, both of those are the case: Kennedy, as The Guardian‘s Dalya Alberge reports, “has pulled out of a concert at the Royal Albert Hall with only days to go after accusing the radio station Classic FM of preventing him from performing a Jimi Hendrix tribute.” At issue is his intent to perfo...
Tags: Facebook, Music, College, Jimi Hendrix, Seoul, Kennedy, Vivaldi, Duke Ellington, Hendrix, Stravinsky, Royal Albert Hall, Nigel Kennedy, Stephane Grappelli, Colin Marshall, Eddie Van Halen, Hear Lost Recording of Pink Floyd Playing


Explore Thousands of Free Vintage Cocktail Recipes Online (1705-1951)

Where do the hipster mixologists of Tokyo, Mexico City and Brooklyn take their inspiration? If not from the Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux’ free collection of digitized vintage cocktail recipe books, perhaps they should start. An initiative of the Museum of Wine and Spirits on the Ile de Bendor in Southeastern France, the collection is a boon to anyone with an interest in cocktail culture …ditto design, illustration, evolving social mores… 1928’s Cheerio, a Book of Punches and Co...
Tags: Facebook, London, College, History, Brooklyn, Food & Drink, Museums, Venice, Charles, Eddie, Shirley Temple, Clark, Potato Soup, Eddie Clark, Cheerio, Delmonico


Why Do People Hate Modern Architecture?: A Video Essay

This month brought the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, which prompted people around the world to remember all that was lost on that day. The fallen Twin Towers of Minoru Yamasaki’s World Trade Center have only gained symbolic resonance over the past two decades, despite having been unloved when they still stood. “They often appeared to New Yorkers like a pair of middle fingers — to good development, to good economics, to good taste,” writes Gothamist’s Henry Stewart. “They brough...
Tags: Facebook, College, Architecture, World Trade Center, Seoul, Usc, Gothamist, Chen, Le Corbusier, Charles Jencks, Colin Marshall, Yamasaki, Henry Stewart, Minoru Yamasaki, 21st Century Los Angeles, Walter Gropius Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


Cartoonist Lynda Barry Teaches You How to Make a Visual Daily Diary

Cartoonist and educator Lynda Barry is a favorite here at Open Culture. We’re always excited to share exercises from her books and intel on her classes at the University of Wisconsin, but nothing beats the warmth and humor of her live instruction… even when it’s delivered virtually. Last week, she took to Instagram to inform the fourteen lucky U of W students enrolled in her fall Making Comics class to prepare for a new way of keeping their required daily diaries, using a technique she c...
Tags: Facebook, College, America, Creativity, Barry, University Of Wisconsin, Lynda Barry, Comics/Cartoons, How to Learn for Free


The Recording Secrets of Nirvana’s Nevermind Revealed by Producer Butch Vig

People figured out that I’d tapped into something in making that record; a lot of labels came calling because they wanted to see if I could bring that magic to whatever artists they had. But I found it sorta annoying in some ways, because people thought I had a formula, that I could take a folk artist or a blues guitarist and make them sound like Nirvana. The pop cultural phenomenon of Nirvana’s Nevermind caught everyone involved by surprise — from the band, to the label, to Butch Vig, j...
Tags: Facebook, Music, College, Dave, Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain, Kurt, Josh Jones, Butch, Cobain, Geffen, Billie Eilish, VIG, Krist Novoselic, Durham NC Follow, Butch Vig


How England First Became England: An Animated History

Once you pay the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane. So discovered the rulers of the kings of the Anglo-Saxon era, during which England became subject to the threat of Viking invasions. It wasn’t, of course, the England we know today, but it wasn’t exactly not the England we know today either. The fact of the matter, according to the animated Knowledgia video above, is that England didn’t take its full form until 927 A.D.. In ten minutes, it goes on to encapsulate what happened in t...
Tags: Facebook, England, London, College, Scotland, History, Norway, Seoul, Mercia, Vikings, Alfred, Isles, Wessex, Anglo Saxon, Edgar, Northumbria


How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy & Our Lives: A Stanford Course with Sal Khan, Thomas Friedman, Kara Swisher, Sasha Baron Cohen, Reid Hoffman & More

This fall, Stanford Continuing Studies presents 150+ courses in the Liberal Arts & Sciences, Creative Writing, and Professional Development, including the new and timely course “Which Side of History? How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives.” Led by James Steyer (CEO, Common Sense Media), the course includes an extensive line-up of guest speakers and thought leaders. Hear from Hillary Clinton, Kara Swisher, Sal Khan, Sasha Baron Cohen, Laurie Santos, Reid Hoffman, Ellen Pao, Thomas ...
Tags: Facebook, Technology, College, Stanford, Stanford Course, James Steyer, Stanford Continuing Studies, Leading Universities Companies A Free Stanford


DIY Air Purifiers for Teachers: Free Designs & Step-by-Step Instructions Online

If you’re a teacher returning to the classroom, you may want some extra COVID protection. Thankfully, some researchers and practitioners have created “a design for an in-room air purifier which can remove a significant amount of COVID-19 virus from the air.” “The design involves making a ‘box’ out of four 20″ MERV-13 filters (the ‘sides’ of the box), a 20″ box fan (the ‘top’ of the box), and a cardboard (the ‘bottom’ of the box’). Air flows in through the filter sides, removing particulates of ...
Tags: Facebook, College, Uncategorized, Npr, Anthony Fauci, Bill Nye, Home Depot Walmart, Energy Dome Face Shields


What It’s Like to Actually Fight in Medieval Armor

Ever wonder what it was like to really fight while wearing a full suit of armor? We’ve featured a few historical reconstructions here on Open Culture, including a demonstration of the various ways combatants would vanquish their foe—including a sword right between the eyes. We’ve also shown you how long it took to create a suit of armor and the clever flexibility built into them. But really, don’t we want to see what it would be like in a full melee? In the above Vice documentary, you ca...
Tags: Facebook, College, Sports, History, Portugal, MMA, KCRW, Ted Mills, Montemor o Velho


How Italian Physicist Laura Bassi Became the First Woman to Have an Academic Career in the 18th Century

The practice and privilege of academic science has been slow in trickling down from its origins as a pursuit of leisured gentleman. While many a leisured lady may have taken an interest in science, math, or philosophy, most women were denied participation in academic institutions and scholarly societies during the scientific revolution of the 1700s. Only a handful of women — seven known in total — were granted doctoral degrees before the year 1800. It wasn’t until 1678 that a female scholar was...
Tags: Facebook, Europe, Gender, Science, College, America, History, Physics, Italy, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie, Newton, Stanford University, Bologna, Laura, Josh Jones


Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: The Real Perceptual Disorder That May Have Shaped Lewis Carroll’s Creative World

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland isn’t just a beloved children’s story: it’s also a neuropsychological  syndrome. Or rather the words “Alice in Wonderland,” as Lewis Carroll’s book is commonly known, have also become attached to a condition that, though not harmful in itself, causes distortions in the sufferer’s perception of reality. Other names include dysmetropsia or Todd’s syndrome, the latter of which pays tribute to the consultant psychiatrist John Todd, who defined the disorder in 1955. ...
Tags: Psychology, Facebook, College, Neuroscience, Literature, Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll, Philip K Dick, Seoul, Alice, Carroll, Todd, Russell, Ralph Steadman, John Todd, Alice Liddell


The Strange Magic of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”

Poor Polyphonic. He was just about to deliver another perfectly mixed treatise on a classic rock magnum opus when the YouTube algorithm and the Jimi Hendrix Estate stepped in to stop him before publishing. So while you can watch this real-time explication of Hendrix’s more-than-just-a-jam “Voodoo Chile” with just the the graphics and the narration, you should cue up the 15 minute track however you can (for example on Spotify), and then press play when when the video gives the signal. (Th...
Tags: Facebook, Spotify, Music, New York, College, Chicago, Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Hendrix, KCRW, Winwood, Jack Casady, Mitch Mitchell, Steve Winwood, Jimi Hendrix Estate


Elvis Presley Gets the Polio Vaccine on The Ed Sullivan Show, Persuading Millions to Get Vaccinated (1956)

No one living has experienced a viral event the size and scope of COVID-19. Maybe the unprecedented nature of the pandemic explains some of the vaccine resistance. Diseases of such virulence became rare in places with ready access to vaccines, and thus, ironically, over time, have come to seem less dangerous. But there are still many people in wealthy nations who remember polio, an epidemic that dragged on through the first half of the 20th century before Jonas Salk perfected his vaccine...
Tags: Health, Facebook, Television, College, History, Smithsonian, Elvis Presley, Elvis, Ed Sullivan, Yo Yo Ma, Sullivan, Josh Jones, Walter Winchell, Brody, Jonas Salk, Durham NC Follow


How Victorian Homes Turned Deadly: Exploding Stoves, Poison Wallpaper, Ever-Tighter Corsets & More

The British have a number of sayings that strike listeners of other English-speaking nationalities as odd. “Safe as houses” has always had a curious ring to my American ear, but it turns out to be quite ironic as well: the expression grew popular in the Victorian era, a time when Londoners were as likely to be killed by their own houses as anything else. That, at least, is the impression given by “The Bizarre Ways Victorians Sabotaged Their Own Health & Lives,” the documentary investigat...
Tags: Facebook, London, College, History, Seoul, Oscar Wilde, Napoleon, Suzannah Lipscomb, John Snow, Victorian England, Wilde, Lipscomb, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Scheele, Constance Lloyd


The Roman Colosseum Has a Twin in Tunisia: Discover the Amphitheater of El Jem, One of the Best-Preserved Roman Ruins in the World

Image via Wikimedia Commons When Rome conquered Carthage in the Third Punic War (149-146 BC), the Republic renamed the region Africa, for Afri, a word the Berbers used for local people in present-day Tunisia. (The Arabic word for the region was Ifriqiya.) Thereafter would the Roman Empire have a stronghold in North Africa: Carthage, the capital of the African Province under Julius and Augustus Caesar and their successors. The province thrived. Second only to the city of Carthage in the region, ...
Tags: Facebook, College, Africa, History, Rome, Architecture, Unesco, Algeria, Republic, Tunisia, Pompeii, Tunis, North Africa, Atlas Obscura, Jem, Carthage


King Arthur in Film: Our Most Enduring Popular Entertainment Franchise? Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #104

https://podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/secure/partiallyexaminedlife/PMP_104_8-9-21.mp3 With the recent theatrical release of The Green Knight, your Pretty Much Pop host Mark Linsenmayer, returning host Brian Hirt, plus Den of Geek’s David Crow and the very British Al Baker consider the range of cinematic Arthuriana, including Excalibur (1981), Camelot (1967), King Arthur (2004), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), First Knight (1995), Sword of the Valiant (1983), Sir G...
Tags: Facebook, Podcasts, Film, Youtube, College, Robin Hood, Monty Python, Camelot, Sherlock Holmes, Guy Ritchie, Sean Connery, David Lowery, Mark, Arthur, Xan Brooks, Ritchie


What Makes Basquiat’s Untitled Great Art: One Painting Says Everything Basquiat Wanted to Say About America, Art & Being Black in Both Worlds

They wouldn’t have let Jean-Michel into a Tiffany’s if he wanted to use the bathroom or if he went to buy an engagement ring and pulled a wad of cash out of his pocket.  — Stephen Torton, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s studio assistant When Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Skull) sold for $110.5 million in 2017 to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maesawa, the artist joined the ranks of Da Vinci, De Kooning, and Picasso as one of the top selling painters in the world, surpassing a previous record set ...
Tags: Art, Facebook, New York, College, America, Brooklyn, Andy Warhol, Picasso, Christie, Tiffany, Tiffany Co, Jean Michel Basquiat, Josh Jones, Ben Davis, Artnet, Basquiat


The Very First Webcam Was Invented to Keep an Eye on a Coffee Pot at Cambridge University

The internet as we know it today began with a coffee pot. Despite the ring of exaggeration, that claim isn’t actually so far-fetched. When most of us go online, we expect something new: often not just something new to read, but something new to watch. This, as those of us past a certain age will recall, was not the case with the early World Wide Web, consisting as it mostly did of static pages of text, updated irregularly if at all. Younger readers will have to imagine even that being a ...
Tags: Facebook, Technology, College, History, Food & Drink, Cern, Volkswagen, Cambridge University, Seoul, Computer Lab, Colin Marshall, Honoré de Balzac, 21st Century Los Angeles, Acorn Computers, Venice New York London, Hertella Coffee Machine Mounted


Zoom Into a Super High Resolution Photo of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”

“Just as we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star,” Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother from Arles in the summer of 1888: What’s certainly true in this argument is that while alive, we cannot go to a star, any more than once dead we’d be able to take the train. The following summer, as a patient in the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole in Provence, he painted what would become his best known work — The Starry Night. The summer after that, he was dead of a gun...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, Music, College, Provence, Arles, Rouen, Van Gogh, Moma, Vincent Van Gogh, Gogh, Maggie Rogers, Tarascon, Paul de Mausole, Theo Starry Night


Art History School: Learn About the Art & Lives of Toulouse-Lautrec, Gustav Klimt, Frances Bacon, Edvard Munch & Many More

Artist and videographer Paul Priestly is an enthusiastic and generous sort of fellow. His free online drawing tutorials abound with encouraging words for beginners, and he clearly relishes lifting the curtain to reveal his home studio set up and self designed camera rig. But we here at Open Culture think his greatest gift to home viewers are his Art History School profiles of well-known artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent Van Gogh. An avid storyteller, he’s drawn to th...
Tags: Art, Facebook, College, Life, History, Montmartre, Van Gogh, Manet, Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Degas, Moulin Rouge, Demi, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Lautrec, Ayun Halliday


Sci-Fi Pioneer Hugo Gernsback Predicts Telemedicine in 1925

If you’ve ever wondered why one of science fiction’s greatest honors is called the “Hugo,” meet Hugo Gernsback, one of the genre’s most important figures, a man whose work has been variously described as “dreadful,” “tawdry,” “incompetent,” “graceless,” and “a sort of animated catalogue of gadgets.” But Gernsback isn’t remembered as a writer, but as an editor, publisher (of Amazing Stories magazine), and pioneer of science fact, for it was Gernsback who first introduced the earth-shaking techno...
Tags: Health, Facebook, Technology, College, Germany, Earth, Cambridge, Smithsonian, Sci Fi, Arthur C Clarke, Hugo Gernsback, Josh Jones, Gernsback, Matt Novak, Durham NC Follow, J G Ballard


The Evolution of Kandinsky’s Painting: A Journey from Realism to Vibrant Abstraction Over 46 Years

Like most renowned abstract painters, Wassily Kandinsky could also paint realistically. Unlike most renowned abstract painters, he only took up art in earnest after studying economics and law at the University of Moscow. He then found early success teaching those subjects, which seem to have proven too worldly for his sensibilities: at age 30 he enrolled in the Munich Academy to continue the study of art that he’d left off while growing up in Odessa. The surviving paintings he produced at the e...
Tags: Art, Facebook, College, Wikipedia, Germany, Russia, History, Paris, Moscow, Salvador Dalí, Bavaria, Seoul, Helen Mirren, Wassily Kandinsky, Weimar, Odessa


A 10-Course Introduction to Data Science from Johns Hopkins

Data is now everywhere. And those who can harness data effectively stand poised to innovate and make impactful decisions. This holds true in business, medicine, healthcare, education and other spheres of life. Enter the 10-course Introduction to Data Science from Johns Hopkins. Offered on the Coursera platform, this course sequence covers “the concepts and tools you’ll need throughout the entire data science pipeline, from asking the right kinds of questions to making inferences and publ...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, Data, Online Courses, Johns Hopkins, Hopkins, Capstone Project, Google Data Analytics Certificate, Cleaning Data Developing Data Products


Exercise Extreme Mindfulness with These Calming Zen Rock Garden Videos

The Internet is a place where the ancient past and the modern and trend-driven can collide and produce wondrous things. The concept of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) took off in 2007, describing the pleasurable tingling response from various stimuli, such as whispering, or quietly being read a story, or listening to the closely mic’d sounds of paper. There are currently some 13 million ASMR video channels on YouTube. Meanwhile, the idea of the Zen garden is about 800 years o...
Tags: Facebook, Japan, Youtube, College, Netherlands, Bill Murray, Philosophy, Bay Area, KCRW, Zen Buddhist, Alan Watts, Ted Mills, Zen Garden, Shunmyo Masuno, Yuki Kawae, Zen Rock Garden Videos


William Blake’s 102 Illustrations of The Divine Comedy Collected in a Beautiful Book from Taschen

In his book on the Tarot, Alejandro Jodorowsky describes the Hermit card as representing mid-life, a “positive crisis,” a middle point in time; “between life and death, in a continual crisis, I hold up my lit lamp — my consciousness,” says the Hermit, while confronting the unknown. The figure recalls the image of Dante in the opening lines of the Divine Comedy. In Mandelbaum’s translation at Columbia’s Digital Dante, we see evident similarities: When I had journeyed half of our life’s way, I fo...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Europe, Books, College, Literature, William Blake, Florence, Columbia, Dante, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Blake, Virgil, Josh Jones, Taschen, Mandelbaum


Paul McCarney vs. Brian Wilson: A Rivalry That Inspired Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper, and Other Classic Albums

One could argue that the album as we know it didn’t exist before the mid-1960s. As a medium of recorded music, the “long-playing” 33 1⁄3 rpm record was introduced in 1948, and the market proved quick to take it up. A great many musicians recorded LPs over the following decade and a half, but these were produced and consumed primarily as bundles of individual songs. The heyday of radio, which lasted into the 1950s, imbued the single — especially the hit single — with enormous cultural pow...
Tags: Facebook, Music, College, Beach Boys, History, Paul Mccartney, Brian Wilson, Seoul, Beatles, Mccartney, Wilson, Sgt Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club, Colin Marshall, Paul McCarney, 21st Century Los Angeles, George Martin Break Down


Paul McCartney vs. Brian Wilson: A Rivalry That Inspired Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper, and Other Classic Albums

One could argue that the album as we know it didn’t exist before the mid-1960s. As a medium of recorded music, the “long-playing” 33 1⁄3 rpm record was introduced in 1948, and the market proved quick to take it up. A great many musicians recorded LPs over the following decade and a half, but these were produced and consumed primarily as bundles of individual songs. The heyday of radio, which lasted into the 1950s, imbued the single — especially the hit single — with enormous cultural pow...
Tags: Facebook, Music, College, Beach Boys, History, Paul Mccartney, Brian Wilson, Seoul, Beatles, Mccartney, Wilson, Sgt Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, George Martin Break Down, Beach Boys Given


Is the Famous Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald Posing with the Gun Used to Kill JFK a Fake?: 3D Forensic Analysis Reveals the Answer

As long as the 20th century remains in living memory, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will continue to draw public interest. A great many Americans feel they still haven’t heard the “whole story” behind what happened on November 22, 1963; a few have dedicated their lives to finding out, growing less inclined to accept the possibility of a lone gunman the deeper they get into the documents. But that gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, does figure directly into some of the material h...
Tags: Facebook, Photography, College, History, Fbi, John F Kennedy, Jfk, Seoul, Kennedy, Noam Chomsky, Errol Morris, Kim Il Sung, Lee Harvey Oswald, Hany Farid, Oswald, Farid