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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Tasting History: A Hit YouTube Series Shows How to Cook the Foods of Ancient Greece & Rome, Medieval Europe, and Other Places & Periods

The food of our ancestors has come back into fashion, no matter from where your own ancestors in particular happened to hail. Whether motivated by a desire to avoid the supposedly unhealthy ingredients and processes introduced in modernity, a curiosity about the practices of a culture, or simply a spirit of culinary adventure, the consumption of traditional foods has attained a relatively high profile of late. So, indeed, has their preparation: few of us could think of a more traditional...
Tags: Facebook, Cook, Greece, College, History, Rome, United States, Egypt, Food & Drink, Seoul, Miller, Hartley, Aztec, Phoenix New Times, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles


The Art of Creating a Bonsai: One Year Condensed Condensed Into 22 Mesmerizing Minutes

To be a good writer, one must be a good reader. This is made true by the need to absorb and assess the work of other writers, but even more so by the need to evaluate one’s own. Writing is re-writing, to coin a phrase, and effective re-writing can only follow astute re-reading. This condition applies to other arts and crafts as well: take bonsai, the regarding of which constitutes a skill in and of itself. To craft an aesthetically pleasing miniature tree, one must first be able to see a...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Japan, College, Nature, Seoul, Barnes, Bucky Barnes, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles


Download 1,000+ Beautiful Woodblock Prints by Hiroshige, the Last Great Master of the Japanese Woodblock Print Tradition

For 200 years, beginning in the 1630s, Japan closed itself off from the world. In its capital of Edo the country boasted the largest city in existence, and among its population of more than a million not a single one was foreign-born. “Practically the only Europeans to have visited it were a handful of Dutchmen,” writes professor of Japanese history Jordan Sand in a new London Review of Books piece, “and so it would remain until the mid-19 th century. No foreigners were permitted to live or tr...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, Japan, College, History, Tokyo, Seoul, Nagasaki, Minneapolis Institute Of Art, Mount Fuji, Edo, Hokusai, London Review of Books, Utagawa Hiroshige, Colin Marshall


Download 1,000+ Beautiful Woodblock Prints by Hiroshige, the Last Great Master of the Woodblock Print Tradition

For 200 years, beginning in the 1630s, Japan closed itself off from the world. In its capital of Edo the country boasted the largest city in existence, and among its population of more than a million not a single one was foreign-born. “Practically the only Europeans to have visited it were a handful of Dutchmen,” writes professor of Japanese history Jordan Sand in a new London Review of Books piece, “and so it would remain until the mid-19 th century. No foreigners were permitted to live or tr...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, Japan, College, History, Tokyo, Seoul, Nagasaki, Minneapolis Institute Of Art, Mount Fuji, Edo, Hokusai, London Review of Books, Utagawa Hiroshige, Colin Marshall


Martin Scorsese Introduces Classic Movies: From Citizen Kane and Vertigo to Lawrence of Arabia and Gone with the Wind

In today’s cinema culture, there’s only one thing as reliably entertaining as watching a Martin Scorsese movie: watching Martin Scorsese talk about the movies of his predecessors. Before becoming a director, one must understand what a director does, an education delivered to the young Scorsese practically at a stroke by Citizen Kane. Watching Orson Welles’ masterpiece (in the original sense), Scorsese also “began to become aware of editing and camera positions,” as he recalls in the clip...
Tags: Facebook, New York, Hollywood, Film, College, Orson Welles, Korea, Scorsese, Woody Allen, John Ford, Seoul, Casablanca, Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, Martin Scorsese, Kane


Meet the Inventor of Karaoke, Daisuke Inoue, Who Wanted to “Teach the World to Sing”

Daisuke Inoue has been honored with a rare, indeed almost certainly unique combination of laurels. In 1999, Time magazine named him among the “Most Influential Asians of the Century.” Five years later he won an Ig Nobel Prize, which honors particularly strange and risible developments in science, technology, and culture. Inoue had come up with the device that made his name decades earlier, in the early 1970s, but its influence has proven enduring still today. It is he whom history now credits w...
Tags: Facebook, Music, Japan, Technology, Stephen Colbert, College, History, Time Magazine, Abba, Seoul, Rob Sheffield, Wallace Stevens, Inoue, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Sannomiya Kobe


The Art of Balancing Stones: How Artists Use Simple Materials to Make Impossible Sculptures in Nature

Not so long ago, a wave of long-form entreaties rolled through social media insisting that we stop building rock cairns. Like many who scrolled past them, I couldn’t quite imagine the offending structures they meant, let alone recall constructing one myself. The cairns in question turned out, mundanely, to be those little stacks of flat rocks seen in parks, alongside trails and streams. They’re as common in South Korea, where I live, as they seem to be in the United States. Both countrie...
Tags: Art, Facebook, South Korea, College, Nature, United States, Seoul, China Japan, Colin Marshall, Michael Grab, 21st Century Los Angeles, Jonna Jinton, Jinton, Prehistoric Times Watch


Leonardo da Vinci Designs the Ideal City: See 3D Models of His Radical Design

Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ray Bradbury: they and other 20th-century notables all gave serious thought to the ideal city, what it would include and what it would exclude. To that extent we could describe them, in 21st-century parlance, as urbanists. But the roots of the discipline — or area of research, or profession, or obsession — we call urbanism run all the way back to the 15th century. At that time, early in the European Renaissance, thinkers were reconsidering a host of cond...
Tags: Facebook, Milan, College, History, Architecture, Italy, Switzerland, Clarke, Denmark, Seoul, Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci, Colin Marshall, Broadacre City, 21st Century Los Angeles


What Makes the Art of Bonsai So Expensive?: $1 Million for a Bonsai Tree, and $32,000 for Bonsai Scissors

During the past year’s stretches of time at home, quite a few of us have attempted to introduce more plant life into our surroundings. By some accounts, indoor gardening ranks among the most cost-effective ways of increasing the quality of one’s domestic life. But those of us who get too deep into it (aggressive pursuit of interests being a known characteristic of Open Culture readers) may find themselves getting more than they bargained for, or at any rate paying more than they intended...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Japan, College, Seoul, Osaka, Yamamoto, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Chieko Yamamoto, Yasuhiro Hiraka, Masakazu Yoshikawa, Hiraka, Bonsai Scissors


The Creation & Restoration of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Animated

With The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Victor Hugo intended less to tell a story than t o mount a defense of Gothic architecture, which in the early 19th century was being demolished in cities all across France. The book‘s original purpose is more clearly reflected by its original title, Notre-Dame de Paris. 1482, and the titular medieval cathedral’s importance to the capital for nearly two centuries now owes a great deal to the novelist’s advocacy. Hugo would no doubt be pleased by the effo...
Tags: Facebook, College, France, History, Architecture, Paris, Seoul, Notre Dame, Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris, Colin Marshall, Radio France Internationale, 21st Century Los Angeles, AFP News Agency, Restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral Animated, Olivier Puaux


Real D-Day Landing Footage, Enhanced & Colorized with Artificial Intelligence (June 6, 1944)

Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan drew great acclaim for its harrowing depiction of “D-Day,” the 1944 Allied landing operation that proved a decisive blow against Nazi Germany. More specifically, Spielberg and his creators recreated the landing on Omaha Beach, one of five code-named stretches of the Normandy coast. The video above depicts the landing on another, Juno Beach. This, its uploader stresses, “is not the famous movie D-day the Sixth of June but actual and real footage.” N...
Tags: Facebook, London, College, Germany, Berlin, History, Normandy, Army, Seoul, David Lynch, Spielberg, Steven Spielberg, Trafalgar Square, Bryan Cranston, Ryan, U S Coast Guard


How the Survivors of Pompeii Escaped Mount Vesuvius’ Deadly Eruption: A TED-Ed Animation Tells the Story

We tend to imagine Pompeii as a city frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, inhabitants and all, but most Pompeiians actually survived the disaster. “The volcano’s molten rock, scorching debris and poisonous gases killed nearly 2,000 people” in Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum, writes Live Science’s Laura Geggel. Of the 15,000 and 20,000 people in total who’d lived there, “most stayed along the southern Italian coast, resettling in the communities of Cumae, Naples, Ostia and Put...
Tags: Facebook, College, History, Italy, Seoul, TED Talks, Naples, Pompeii, Lucius, Cassidy, Laura Geggel, Mount Vesuvius, Herculaneum, Fabia, Petrone, Colin Marshall


John Steinbeck Wrote a Werewolf Novel, and His Estate Won’t Let the World Read It: The Story of Murder at Full Moon

Photo of Steinbeck by Sonya Noskowiak, via Wikimedia Commons John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden, but not before he’d put a few less-acclaimed novels under his belt. He didn’t even break through to success of any kind until 1935’s Tortilla Flat, which later became a popular romantic-comedy film with Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr. That was already Steinbeck’s fourth published novel, and he’d written nearly as many unpublished ones. Two of those three manus...
Tags: Facebook, College, Stanford, History, Literature, Seoul, Jones, John Steinbeck, Steinbeck, Wikimedia Commons, Lon Chaney Jr, Spencer Tracy, Colin Marshall, Gavin Jones, 21st Century Los Angeles, Dalya Alberge


The First Cellphone: Discover Motorola’s DynaTAC 8000X, a 2-Pound Brick Priced at $3,995 (1984)

We get the culture our technology permits, and in the 21st century no technological development has changed culture like that of the smartphone. As with every piece of personal technology that we struggle to remember how we lived without, it evolved into being from a series of simpler predecessors that, no matter how clunky they seem now, were received as technological marvels in their day. Take it from Martin Cooper, the Motorola Engineer who invented the first handheld cellular mobile ...
Tags: Motorola, Facebook, Technology, College, Bloomberg, History, Seoul, Cooper, Wim Wenders, Lynda Barry, Colin Marshall, Project Management Institute, Martin Cooper, 21st Century Los Angeles, Rudy Krolopp


The Largest Free Kitchen in the World: Discover India’s Golden Temple Which Serves 100,000 Free Meals Per Day

If you find yourself hungry in Amritsar, a major city in the Indian state of Punjab, you could do worse than stopping into the Golden Temple, the largest Sikh house of worship in the world. It thus also operates the largest community kitchen, or langar, in the world, which serves more than 100,000 free meals a day, 24 hours a day. Anyone familiar with Sikhism knows that, for its believers, serving food to the hungry constitutes an essential duty: not just to the poor, and certainly not j...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, College, India, Religion, Food & Drink, Seoul, James, Sikhism, Punjab, Amritsar, Al Capone, Golden Temple, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Youtuber Trevor James


How to Shop Online & Check Your E-Mail on the Go: A 1980s British TV Show Demonstrates

“Links between computers and television sets are, it is always threatened, about to herald in an age of unbelievable convenience,” announces television presenter Tony Bastable in the 1984 clip above, “where all the sociability of going down to your corner shop to order the week’s groceries will be replaced with an order over the airwaves.” Do tell. Live though we increasingly do with internet-connected “smart TVs,” the only unfamiliar-sounding part of that prediction is its reference to ...
Tags: Facebook, South Korea, Japan, England, Technology, London, Television, College, France, History, United Kingdom, Seoul, Pat, Julian Green, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles


One Man’s Quest to Build the Best Stereo System in the World

To make Fitzcarraldo, a movie about a rubber baron who drags a steamship over a hill in the Peruvian jungle, Werner Herzog famously arranged the actual dragging of an actual steamship over an actual hill in the actual Peruvian jungle. This endeavor ran into all the complications you’d expect and then some. But the reasonable question of whether it wouldn’t be wiser to cut his losses and head back to civilization prompted Herzog to make an artistically defining statement: “If I abandon th...
Tags: Facebook, Music, Technology, College, Jimi Hendrix, Swan Lake, Seoul, Werner Herzog, Scott, Herzog, Fritz, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Ken Fritz, Facebook One Man


Rick Steves Tells the Story of Fascism’s Rise & Fall in Germany

“Healthy, vigorous, respectable: everyone’s favorite uncle.” How many of us hear these words and think of that most beloved of all American travel-television personalities, Rick Steves? Indeed, in the video above they’re spoken by Steves, though to describe a figure very different from himself: Adolf Hitler, who convinced his people not to tour Europe but to invade it, sparking the deadliest conflict of all time. How and why this happened has been a historical question written about perh...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Europe, Politics, Television, College, Germany, Berlin, America, History, Poland, Nuremberg, Hitler, Seoul, Adolf Hitler, Rick Steves


Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks Get Digitized: Where to Read the Renaissance Man’s Manuscripts Online

From the hand of Leonardo da Vinci came the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, among other art objects of intense reverence and even worship. But to understand the mind of Leonardo da Vinci, one must immerse oneself in his notebooks. Totaling some 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, they record something of every aspect of the Renaissance man’s intellectual and daily life: studies for artworks, designs for elegant buildings and fantastical machines, observations of the world around him, lists of hi...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Science, College, History, Bill Gates, Archives, Seoul, Da Vinci, Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci, Colin Marshall, Biblioteca Nacional de España, 21st Century Los Angeles, Codex Arundel, Francesco Melzi


Where to Read Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks Online: A Roundup of the Renaissance Man’s Digitized Manuscripts

From the hand of Leonardo da Vinci came the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, among other art objects of intense reverence and even worship. But to understand the mind of Leonardo da Vinci, one must immerse oneself in his notebooks. Totaling some 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, they record something of every aspect of the Renaissance man’s intellectual and daily life: studies for artworks, designs for elegant buildings and fantastical machines, observations of the world around him, lists of hi...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Science, College, History, Bill Gates, Archives, Seoul, Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci, Colin Marshall, Biblioteca Nacional de España, 21st Century Los Angeles, Codex Arundel, Francesco Melzi, App Leonardo da Vinci


In 1926, Nikola Tesla Predicts the World of 2026

Not long after Nikola Tesla died in 1943, the world seemed to forget him. The first public tribute paid to his considerable research and development in the realm of electricity thereafter came in 1960 with the introduction of the tesla, the SI unit of magnetic flux density. But in the decades since Tesla has enjoyed an afterlife as an icon of under-appreciated prescience. Some of this reputation is based on interviews given in the 1920s and 1930s, when he was still a celebrity. Take the ...
Tags: Facebook, Europe, New York, Technology, College, Tesla, History, United States, Liberty, Nikola Tesla, Seoul, Colliers, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Technoillusionist Marco Tempest Futurist, Telephone Free College



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