Open Culture


 

Umberto Eco’s 36 Rules for Writing Well (in English or Italian)

Creative Commons image by Rob Bogaerts, via the National Archives in Holland Umberto Eco knew a great many things. Indeed too many things, at least according to his critics: “Eco knows everything there is to know and spews it in your face in the most blasé manner,” declared Pier Paolo Pasolini, “as if you were listening to a robot.” That line appears quoted in Tim Parks’ review of Pape Satàn Aleppe, a posthumous collection of essays from La Bustina di Minerva, the magazine column Eco had writte...
Tags: Facebook, Writing, College, Literature, Seoul, Orwell, Parks, Eco, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sono, Emerson, Minerva, Louisiana Channel, Umberto Eco, Tim Parks, Colin Marshall


The Horrors of Bull Island, “the Worst Music Festival of All Time” (1972)

It’s maybe a little unfair to compare 1972’s “Bull Island” Festival to Fyre Fest, the music festival scam so egregious it warranted dueling documentaries on Hulu and Netflix. But “Bull Island” — or what was originally called the Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival — was an epic catastrophe, maybe the worst in music festival history, and well deserving of its own media franchise. Still, its organizers had every intention of following through on the event. What happened wasn’t entirely their faul...
Tags: Facebook, Music, College, Indiana, Netflix, Hulu, Rod Stewart, Black Sabbath, Woodstock, Wolf, Alexander, Nbc Nightly News, Duncan, Chamberlain, Wabash, EVANSVILLE


What Makes Leonardo’s Mona Lisa a Great Painting?: An Explanation in 15 Minutes

The Mona Lisa may be on display at the Louvre, but best of luck appreciating it there. The first obstacle, quite literally, is the crowd that’s always massed around it (or, in the time before social-distancing policies, was always massed around it). Even if you maneuver your way to the front of the camera-phoned throng, the painting itself hangs within a thick glass case — can’t have a repeat of the 1911 theft — and has dimensions in any event much smaller than people tend to imagine. Af...
Tags: Art, Facebook, College, History, Pablo Picasso, Seoul, Louvre, Mona Lisa, Da Vinci, Leonardo, Payne, Leonardo da Vinci, Hieronymus Bosch, James Payne, Guillaume Apollinaire, Colin Marshall


Hear an Excerpt from the Newly-Released, First Unabridged Audiobook of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake

Need one go so far in digging out strata of meaning? Only if one wishes to; Finnegans Wake is a puzzle, just as a dream is a puzzle, but the puzzle element is less important than the thrust of the narrative and the shadowy majesty of the characters… and when our eyes grow bewildered with strange roots and incredible compounds, why, then we can switch on our ears. It is astonishing how much of the meaning is conveyed through music: the art of dim-sighted Joyce is, like that of Milton, mai...
Tags: Facebook, New York, College, Literature, Anthony Burgess, Rolling Stone, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Milton, Adam, Burgess, Joyce, Josh Jones, McGovern, Giordano Bruno, Howth Castle


Brian Eno Launches His Own Radio Station with Hundreds of Unreleased Tracks: Hear Two Programs

Creative Commons image via Wikimedia Commons Back in 2013, Brian Eno gave a talk at the Red Bull Academy, the lecture series that has hosted fellow musicians like Tony Visconti, Debbie Harry, and Nile Rogers. Asked when he knew a piece of music was finished, Eno let drop that he currently had 200,809 works of unreleased music. (The actual answer though? “When there’s a deadline”). Usually we have to wait for posthumous releases to hear such music, like what is currently happening now to Prince’...
Tags: Facebook, Music, College, Prince, Sonos, Brian Eno, Eno, Rick Rubin, KCRW, Dave Stewart, Eurythmics, Ted Mills, Wikimedia Commons Back, Peter Chilvers, Red Bull Academy, Tony Visconti Debbie Harry


Download Great Works of Art from 40+ Museums Worldwide: Explore Artvee, the New Art Search Engine

Dilbert creator Scott Adams once wrote of his early experiences introducing the World Wide Web to others. “In 1993, there were only a handful of Web sites you could access, such as the Smithsonian’s exhibit of gems. Those pages were slow to load and crashed as often as they worked.” But those who witnessed this technology in action would invariably “get out of their chairs their eyes like saucers, and they would approach the keyboard. They had to touch it themselves. There was something about t...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Technology, College, Nasa, Paris, Smithsonian, Rembrandt, New York Public Library, Seoul, Rijksmuseum, Scott Adams, Art Institute of Chicago, Museo, Hilma, Colin Marshall


Watch Franz Liszt’s “Un Sospiro” Played with the Mesmerizing “Three-Hand Technique”

“Piano education is important for teaching polyphony, improving sight-reading, consolidating the knowledge of harmony and gaining much more musical abilities,” write Turkish researchers in the behavioral sciences journal Procedia. The student of the piano can advance solo or with another player in duets, playing what are called “four-hand pieces.” But learning “to gain the attitudes of duet playing” poses a challenge. Researchers Izzet Yucetoker and Koksal Apaydinli suggest a possible in...
Tags: Facebook, Music, College, Rome, Paris, Morrison, Carthage, Josh Jones, Franz Liszt, Liszt, Paul Barton, Durham NC Follow, Thalberg, Izzet Yucetoker, Koksal Apaydinli, Sigismond Thalberg


A History of Punk from 1976-78: A Free Online Course from the University of Reading

From Matthew Worley, professor of modern history at the University of Reading, comes the free online course Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-78. (Worley is also the author of the book, No Future: Punk, Politics and British Youth Culture.) The course covers the following ground: In the late 1970s, a new youth subculture emerged in the UK. This, of course, was punk, and a cultural revolt was underway. In this course, you will learn about the emergence of punk and its diverse ...
Tags: Facebook, Music, UK, New York, College, Punk, Manchester, Online Courses, University of Reading, Worley, Matthew Worley, Dallas Memphis Tulsa


The Rashomon Effect: The Phenomenon, Named After Akira Kurosawa’s Classic Film, Where Each of Us Remembers the Same Event Differently

Toward the end of The Simpsons’ golden age, one episode sent the titular family off to Japan, not without resistance from its famously lazy patriarch. “Come on, Homer,” Marge insists, “Japan will be fun! You liked Rashomon.” To which Homer naturally replies, “That’s not how I remember it!” This joke must have written itself, not as a high-middlebrow cultural reference (as, say, Frasier would later name-check Tampopo) but as a play on a universally understood byword for the nature of huma...
Tags: Psychology, Facebook, Japan, Film, College, West, Literature, Akira Kurosawa, Seoul, David Eagleman, Kurosawa, Homer, Michio Kaku, Marge, Rashomon, Colin Marshall


The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Performs The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”

Over the years, we’ve featured The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performing covers of various rock classics–from the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” and Bowie’s “Heroes,” to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.” Recorded in London back in 2005, this clip features the Orchestra performing The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go.’  The performance is an outtake from the DVD, Anarchy in the Ukulele, which is available in digital format. Enjoy. via Lau...
Tags: Facebook, Music, London, College, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Great Britain, Bowie, Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Rolling Stones


Hear The Velvet Underground’s “Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes,” Which Showcases the Brilliance & Innovation of Lou Reed’s Guitar Playing (1969)

What was the Velvet Underground? A Kim Fowly-like art project that outlived its impresario’s interest? A main vehicle for Lou Reed, rock’s egomaniac underdog (who was no one’s ingénue)? Was it three bands? 1. The Velvet Underground and Nico; 2. The Velvet Underground with John Cale; and 3. The Velvet Underground with Doug Yule after Cale’s departure. (Let’s pass by, for the moment, whether VU without Reed warrants a mention…) Each iteration pioneered essential underground sounds — dirgy ...
Tags: Facebook, Music, New York, College, Andy Warhol, Ornette Coleman, Lou Reed, Nico, Morrison, John Cale, Reed, Cale, Coleman, Boston MA, Josh Jones, Royal Trux


Stream 160 In-Depth Radio Interviews with Clive James, Pico Iyer, Greil Marcus & Other Luminaries from the Marketplace of Ideas Archive

Would you like to to hear a long-form conversation about the history of the vinyl LP? Or about the history of human rights? About the plight of book reviewing in America? The wild excesses of the art market? The nature of boredom? The true meaning of North Korean propaganda? What it’s like to live in Bangkok? What it’s like to go on a road trip with David Foster Wallace? The answer to all of the above: of course you do. And now you can hear these conversations and many more besides in th...
Tags: Facebook, Podcasts, College, America, Radio, Archives, Seoul, Bangkok, Tyler Cowen, David Foster Wallace, James, Werner Herzog, Barry Goldwater, Michel de Montaigne, Tim Harford, Kevin Kelly


Watch a Never-Aired TV Profile of James Baldwin (1979)

In 1979, just a couple of months into his stint with 20/20, ABC’s fledgling television news magazine, producer and documentarian Joseph Lovett was “ ” to be assigned an interview with author James Baldwin, whose work he had discovered as a teen. Knowing that Baldwin liked to break out the  , Lovett arranged for his crew to arrive early in the morning to set up lighting and have breakfast waiting before Baldwin awakened: He hadn’t had a drop to drink and he was brilliant, utterly brilliant. ...
Tags: Facebook, Politics, Television, Abc, College, Chase, Literature, Manhattan, Lincoln Center, Michael Jackson, Black, James Baldwin, Baldwin, Lovett, Giovanni, Police Athletic League


Watch an Accurate Reconstruction of the World’s Oldest Computer, the 2,200 Year-Old Antikythera Mechanism, from Start to Finish

There’s nothing like an ancient mystery, especially one as seemingly insoluble as the origins of “the world’s first computer,” the Antikythera mechanism. Discovered off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera in 1901, the corroded collection of gears and dials seemed fake to scientists at first because of its ingeniousness. It has since been dated to 100 to 150 BC and has inspired decades of research and speculative reconstruction. Yet, no one knows who made it, and more importantly...
Tags: Facebook, Astronomy, Science, Youtube, College, History, World, Smithsonian, Josh Jones, Antikythera, Durham NC Follow, University College of London, Freeth, Tony Freeth, Adam Wojcik, Antikythera Mechanism Research Project


Wikipedia’s Surprising Power in Shaping Science: A New MIT Shows How Wikipedia Shapes Scientific Research

If you were in high school or college when Wikipedia emerged, you’ll remember how strenuously we were cautioned against using such an “unreliable source” for our assignments. If you went on to a career in science, however, you now know how important a role Wikipedia plays in even professional research. It may thus surprise you to learn that students still get more or less the same warning about what, two decades later, has become the largest encyclopedia and fifth most-visited web site in the w...
Tags: Facebook, Science, College, Wikipedia, Nasa, Mit, Seoul, Thompson, University of Pittsburgh, Hanley, Wharton, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Facebook Wikipedia, Neil C Thompson, Ethan Mollick


The Age of Cathedrals: A Free Online Course from Yale University

From Yale professor Howard Bloch comes Age of Cathedrals, an online course that offers “an introduction to some of the most astonishing architectural monuments the world has ever known—Gothic cathedrals,” including Notre Dame, Chartres, and Saint-Denis. The course description adds: “We shall study the art, literature, intellectual life, economics, and new social arrangements that arose in the shadow of the cathedrals and that were such an important part of the revival of cities in the tw...
Tags: Art, Facebook, College, History, Harvard, Yale, Online Courses, Rembrandt, Goya, Yale University, Leonardo, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Howard Bloch, Age of Cathedrals, Notre Dame Chartres


Blockchain and Money: A Free Online Course from MIT

Taught by MIT professor Gary Gensler, Blockchain and Money is “for students wishing to explore blockchain technology’s potential use—by entrepreneurs and incumbents—to change the world of money and finance. The course begins with a review of Bitcoin and an understanding of the commercial, technical, and public policy fundamentals of blockchain technology, distributed ledgers, and smart contracts. The class then continues on to current and potential blockchain applications in the financial sector...
Tags: Facebook, Technology, College, Finance, Mit, Online Courses, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Gary Gensler Blockchain, Princeton Cryptocurrency


A Beautiful, High-Resolution Map of the Internet (2021)

The beginnings of the Internet were uncharted territory, especially before the days of graphic browsers. You had a number, you dialed up to a location. Certain locations were named after their host universities or government sites and that made sense in an old-school telephone exchange way. But the rest was just a vast ocean of data, of strange lands, and many, many barriers. How big, exactly, is the internet? And how do we measure it? What is the “space” of cyberspace? There have been maps tha...
Tags: Facebook, Maps, College, Antarctica, Slovakia, Vox, KCRW, Leonardo da Vinci, Facebook Google, Martin Vargic, Ted Mills, Vargic, Alexa Internet, Alexa Rank the Amazon, Time The Oldest Known Globe


Hear the Amati “King” Cello, the Oldest Known Cello in Existence (c. 1560)

The Stradivari family has received all of the popular acclaim for perfecting the violin. But we should know the name Amati — in whose Cremona workshop Antonio Stradivari apprenticed in the 17th century. The violin-making family was immensely important to the refinement of classical instruments. “Born around 1505,” writes Jordan Smith at CMuse, founder Andrea Amati “is considered the father of modern violinmaking. He made major steps forward in improving the design of violins, including t...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, College, France, History, Yale, Josh Jones, Charles IX, Cremona, Jordan Smith, Limoges, Zeller, Amati, Durham NC Follow, Antonio Stradivari


A Side Splitting Medieval TikTok Account: Get a Laugh at Medieval Yoga Poses & Much More

@greedypeasant?‍?? Medieval Yoga ? #medievaltiktok #yoga #yogalover #peacewithin #fyp #foryou #foryoupage? original sound – Tyler Gunther 30-year-old Brooklyn-based artist Tyler Gunther views his creation, Greedy Peasant, as “the manifestation of all the strange medieval art we now enjoy in meme form”: Often times medieval history focuses on royals, wars, popes and plagues. With this peasant guide, we get to experience the world through the lens of a queer artist who is just trying to mak...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Fashion, Comedy, College, New York City, History, Brooklyn, Arkansas, Robin, Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Susan, Gunther, St Catherine, Tyler Gunther, Robin Frohardt


The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe: A Free Online Course from the University of Colorado

Dr. Roger Louis Martínez-Dávila and Ana B. Sanchez-Prieto–two academics working out of the University of Colorado and Universidad Complutense Madrid (Spain)–have teamed up to present Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe. The free course covers the following ground: Perhaps no other relic of the European Middle Ages captures our imagination more than illuminated medieval manuscripts, or those documents decorated with images and colored pigments. Serving as windows ...
Tags: Facebook, Europe, College, Uncategorized, Spain, University Of Colorado, Kells, Medieval Europe, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Roger Louis Martínez Dávila, Ana B Sanchez Prieto


Ethan Hawke Explains How to Give Yourself Permission to Be Creative

The most creative people, you’ll notice, throw themselves into what they do with absurd, even reckless abandon. They commit, no matter their doubts about their talents, education, finances, etc. They have to. They are generally fighting not only their own misgivings, but also those of friends, family, critics, financiers, and landlords. Artists who work to realize their own vision, rather than someone else’s, face a witheringly high probability of failure, or the kind of success that com...
Tags: Art, Facebook, New York, College, Poetry, America, Creativity, Ethan Hawke, David Lynch, Ginsberg, Hawke, Buckley, William F Buckley, Josh Jones, Krishna, Allen Ginsberg


Scientists Create an Interactive Map of the 13 Emotions Evoked by Music: Joy, Sadness, Desire, Annoyance, and More

Most of our playlists today are filled with music about emotions: usually love, of course, but also excitement, defiance, anger, devastation, and a host of others besides. We listen to these songs in order to appreciate the musicianship that went into them, but also to indulge in their emotions for ourselves. As for what exactly evokes these feelings within us, lyrics only do part of the job, and perhaps a small part at that. In search of a more rigorous conception of which sonic qualities trig...
Tags: Facebook, Music, Science, College, China, Neuroscience, United States, Ed Sheeran, Berkeley, Seoul, UC Berkeley, Al Green, Vivaldi, Hitchcock, Anwar, Greater Good Science Center


A Data Visualization of Every Italian City & Town Founded in the BC Era

Ancient people did not think about history the way most of us do. It made no difference to contemporary readers of the popular Roman historian, Livy (the “JK Rowling of his day”), that “most of the flesh and blood of [his] narrative is fictitious,” and “many of the stories are not really Roman but Greek stories reclothed in Roman dress,” historian Robert Ogilvie writes in an introduction to Livy’s Early History of Rome. Ancient historians did not write to document facts, but to illustrate moral...
Tags: Facebook, College, Wikipedia, Data, History, Rome, Italy, Padua, Josh Jones, Livy, Durham NC Follow, Livy the `` JK Rowling, Robert Ogilvie, Livy 's Early History of Rome Ancient, Antenor, Pompeii Milan


Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #95 Considers Joss Whedon’s The Nevers

https://podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/secure/partiallyexaminedlife/PMP_95_5-28-21.mp3 Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss the HBO Max show out Victorian-era super-powered feminine outcasts, helmed and now abandoned by the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, etc. It’s jam packed with steampunk gadgets, fisticuffs, social injustice, and far too many characters and plot threads to keep track of. Given that the season was reduced to a half season in light of the pandemic,...
Tags: Facebook, Television, Podcasts, College, Sci Fi, Brian, Joss Whedon, Laura Donnelly, Alison Herman, Kathryn VanArendonk, Gabrielle Sanchez, HBO Max, Pretty Much Pop, Mark Erica, Emily VanDerWerff, Jennifer Oullette


Why Most Ancient Civilizations Had No Word for the Color Blue

In an old Zen story, two monks argue over whether a flag is waving or whether it’s the wind that waves. Their teacher strikes them both dumb, saying, “It is your mind that moves.” The centuries-old koan illustrates a point Zen masters — and later philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists — have all emphasized at one time or another: human experience happens in the mind, but we share reality through language and culture, and these in turn set the terms for how we perceive what we e...
Tags: Psychology, Facebook, Japan, College, China, Berlin, Literature, Josh Jones, Hokusai, Davidoff, Kanagawa, Loria, Sassi, Durham NC Follow, Kevin Loria, Jules Davidoff


Sci-Fi “Portal” Connects Citizens of Lublin & Vilnius, Allowing Passersby Separated by 376 Miles to Interact in Real Time

Can we ever transcend our tendency to divide up the world into us and them? The history of Europe, which political theorist Kenneth Minogue once called “plausibly summed up as preparing for war, waging war, or recovering from war,” offers few consoling answers. But perhaps it isn’t for history, much less for theory or politics, to dictate the future prospects for the unity of mankind. Art and technology offer another set of views on the matter, and it’s art and technology that come together in ...
Tags: Travel, Art, Facebook, Europe, Technology, College, Haruki Murakami, Seoul, Florence, Vilnius, Barnes, London England, Reykjavik Iceland, Vilnius Lithuania, Lublin, Lublin Poland


How Egyptian Papyrus Is Made: Watch Artisans Keep a 5,000-Year-Old Art Alive

In 2013, French Egyptologist Pierre Tallet discovered in an excavation site near the Red Sea “entire rolls of papyrus, some a few feet long and still relatively intact, written in hieroglyphics as well as hieratic, the cursive script the ancient Egyptians used for everyday communication,” Alexander Stille writes at Smithsonian. The scrolls contained the “Diary of Merer,” the journals of an official who led a transportation crew, and who observed the building of the largest of the pyramid...
Tags: Art, Facebook, College, History, Egypt, Smithsonian, Pliny, Red Sea, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Pierre Tallet, Tallet, Harvard 's Digital Giza Project, Alexander Stille, University of Michigan Libraries


An Illustrated History of Depeche Mode by Anton Corbijn

Last year, photographer Anton Corbijn released a new book, MOOD/MODE, showcasing work outside the boundaries of the rock photography world in which he’d made his name. But no matter whom he’s photographing, Corbijn brings a high seriousness to the endeavor that he explains as part of his religious upbringing in the book’s introduction. “My Protestant background always marked & influenced my portrait photography. Mankind. Humanity. Empathy,” he writes, were the ideals he absorbed as a chi...
Tags: Facebook, Photography, Music, College, David Bowie, Clarke, Anton Corbijn, Depeche Mode, Gore, Anton, Taschen, Martin Gore, Dave Gahan, Gahan, Vince Clarke, Corbijn


Discover the Ghost Towns of Japan–Where Scarecrows Replace People, and a Man Lives in an Abandoned Elementary School Gym

In recent years, the major cities of Japan have felt as big and bustling as ever. But more than a little of that urban energy has come at a cost to the countryside, whose ongoing depopulation since the Second World War has become the stuff of countless mournful photo essays. Japan is, of course, well-known as the kind of society that keeps a rural train station in service just to take a single pupil to school. But in many of these areas, the day eventually comes when there’s no one left ...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Japan, College, Tokyo, Seoul, Osaka, Shikoku, Seto Inland Sea, Nakamura, Aoki, Ehime, Tsukimi Ayano, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Nagoro