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An Animated Introduction to Noam Chomsky’s Groundbreaking Linguistic Theories

Most people who know Noam Chomsky know him equally as a giant in academic linguistics and a longtime leftist dissident and political commentator. Only a committed few, however, read much of his work in either—or both—fields. He is one of those thinkers whose major concepts enter the discourse unmoored from their original context. Phrases like “universal grammar” and “manufactured consent” tend to pop up in all kinds of places without reference to Chomsky’s meanings. If you simply haven’t...
Tags: Google, College, Language, Noam Chomsky, Facebook Twitter, Chomsky, Josh Jones, Michel Gondry, Durham NC Follow, Roger Bacon


John Prine’s Last Song Was Also His First to Go No. 1: Watch Him Perform “I Remember Everything”

It feels cosmically ironic that Great American Songwriter John Prine died of COVID-19 in early April, just before the U.S. response to the virus was developing into what may well be the Greatest Political Folly most Americans have ever witnessed in their lifetimes. Mass death for profit and power, colossal stupidity and bullying ignorance—these were just the kinds of things that got Prine’s wheels turning. His thoughts became folk poetry with teeth. Prine’s targets included the conservat...
Tags: Google, Music, College, America, Bill Murray, Leonard Cohen, Facebook Twitter, John Prine, NPR Music, Dave Cobb, Tom Petty, Josh Jones, Prine, Durham NC Follow, Zaleski, Annie Zaleski


How Ornette Coleman Shaped the Jazz World: An Introduction to His Irreverent Sound

Ornette Coleman “arrived in New York in 1959,” writes Philip Clark, “with a white plastic saxophone and a set of ideas about improvisation that would shake jazz to its big apple core.” Every big name in jazz was doing something similar at the time, inventing new styles and languages. Coleman went further out there than anyone, infuriating and frustrating other jazz pioneers like Miles Davis. He called his theory “Harmolodics,” a Buckminster Fuller-like melding of “harmony,” “movement,” a...
Tags: Google, Music, New York, College, Ornette Coleman, Coleman, Facebook Twitter, Clark, Josh Jones, Beefheart, Jacques Derrida, Miles Davis He, Durham NC Follow, Philosopher Jacques Derrida Interviews Jazz, Philip Clark, Lou Reed Which Lou Called


How Two Teenage Dutch Sisters Ended Up Joining the Resistance and Assassinating Nazis During World War II

Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940 and quickly overpowered the country’s small forces. Nazis arrested and deported Jews, created forced labor, strictly rationed food, and banned all non-Nazi organizations. “Almost every Dutch person was affected by the consequences of the occupation,” the Verzets Resistance Museum writes. “The choices and dilemmas facing the population became more far reaching.” Often those choices were stark: Collaborate and live? Or resist and willingly put onesel...
Tags: Google, Europe, College, Germany, Nazis, History, Netherlands, Albert Camus, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Freddie, Haarlem, Rossen, Durham NC Follow, Hannie, Truus


When the Beatles Refused to Play Before Segregated Audiences on Their First U.S. Tour (1964)

When American rock and roll made its way to the UK in the 1950s and 60s, along with a burgeoning folk and blues revival, many young British fans hadn’t been conditioned to think of music in the same way as their U.S. counterparts. “Unlike racially segregated Americans,” for example, “the Beatles didn’t see—or hear—the difference between Elvis and Chuck Berry,” writes Joseph Tirella, “between the Everly Brothers and the Marvelettes.” They also couldn’t see playing to segregated audien...
Tags: Google, Music, Florida, UK, College, John Lennon, US, Paul Mccartney, Elvis, Beatles, Mccartney, Ron Howard, Jacksonville, South, Facebook Twitter, Little Rock


An Immaculate Copy of Leonardo’s The Last Supper Digitized by Google: View It in High Resolution Online

Romantic poets told us that great art is eternal and transcendent. They also told us everything made by human hands is bound to end in ruin and decay. Both themes were inspired by the rediscovery and renewed fascination for the arts of antiquity in Europe and Egypt. It was a time of renewed appreciation for monumental works of art, which happened to coincide with a period when they came under considerable threat from looters, vandals, and invading armies. One work of art that appeared on the it...
Tags: Google, Art, Europe, England, Milan, College, Egypt, Royal Academy of Arts, Brazil, Notre Dame, Napoleon, Facebook Twitter, Da Vinci, National Museum, Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci


The Beastie Boys & Rick Rubin Reunite and Revisit Their Formative Time Together in 1980s NYC

The Beastie Boys’ record-shattering Licensed to Ill is thirty-four years old. This fact might mean nothing to you, or it might mean that you are thirty-four years older than the moment the album came out in November of 1986, and suburban parents around the country, maybe even your parents, freaked out in unison. The album was a stroke of genius from producer Rick Rubin, delivering hip-hop safe for white kids while also giving them permission to be as obnoxious as possible. Ostensibly a r...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Brooklyn, Slayer, Ill, Spike Jonze, Nme, Nyu, Kerry King, PAUL, Zeppelin, Facebook Twitter, Perry, Rick Rubin, Josh Jones


Nile Rodgers Tells the Story of How He Turned David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” from Folk to New Wave Funk

When David Bowie invited Chic guitarist and all-around funk/disco guitar genius Nile Rodgers to make an album of “hits” in Switzerland, Rogers remembers thinking, “okay, ‘hits’ with David Bowie, that’s an awesome project.” The way he deadpans might make us think he wasn’t super stoked about it, but the fact is, it’s hard to impress Nile Rodgers. He has produced, written, and played guitar—the very Stratocaster he’s holding in the video above—on “hundreds, maybe thousands” of records, he ...
Tags: Google, Music, Texas, College, David, David Bowie, Switzerland, Npr, Nile Rodgers, Rogers, Bowie, Facebook Twitter, Rodgers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow


Hear the Voices of Americans Born in Slavery: The Library of Congress Features 23 Audio Interviews with Formerly Enslaved People (1932-75)

“During the last three decades of legal slavery in America,” writes Lucinda MacKethan at the National Humanities Center, “African American writers perfected one of the nation’s first truly indigenous genres of written literature: the North American slave narrative.” These heavily mediated memoirs were the only real firsthand accounts of slavery most Americans outside the South encountered. Their authors were urged by abolitionist publishers to adopt conventions of the sentimental novel, ...
Tags: Google, Congress, College, America, History, Atlantic, Libraries, South, Douglas, Charlie Smith, Facebook Twitter, Jacobs, Harriet Jacobs, Charlottesville Virginia, Josh Jones, Zora Neale Hurston


Neil Armstrong Sets Straight an Internet Truther Who Accused Him of Faking the Moon Landing (2000)

Image via Wikimedia Commons People have been graduating from college this year who are as old as the role of internet truther. It is a venerable hobby (some might call it a disease) leading to increasing numbers of people to bizarre conclusions drawn from dubious evidence proffered by spurious sources; people convinced that some wild allegation or other must be true because they saw it on the Internet, shared by people they knew and liked. Twenty years ago, one pioneering truther wrote Mr. Neil...
Tags: Google, Science, College, Nasa, Letters, Neil Armstrong, Facebook Twitter, Armstrong, Josh Jones, Whitman, Wikimedia Commons People, Durham NC Follow, Stanley Kubrick Faked


How Georgia O’Keeffe Became Georgia O’Keeffe: An Animated Video Tells the Story

When Georgia O’Keeffe first saw the home in Abiquiú, in Northern New Mexico that she would purchase from the Catholic Church in 1945 “the 5,000-square-foot compound was in ruins,” writes the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The artist immediately seized on its potential: “As I climbed and walked about in the ruin,” she remembers, “I found a patio with a very pretty well house and bucket to draw up water. It was a good-sized patio with a long wall with a door on one side. That wall with a door in...
Tags: Google, Art, New York, College, Georgia, Catholic Church, Van Gogh, Southwest, Facebook Twitter, Gogh, Josh Jones, Abiquiu, Alfred Stieglitz, Frida Kahlo, O'Keeffe, Taos


John Trumbull’s Famous 1818 Painting Declaration of Independence Virtually Defaced to Show Which Founding Fathers Owned Slaves

Statues of slaveholders and their defenders are falling all over the U.S., and a lot of people are distraught. What’s next? Mount Rushmore? Well… maybe no one’s likely to blow it up, but some honesty about the “extremely racist” history of Mount Rushmore might make one think twice about using it as a limit case. On the other hand, a sandblasting of the enormous Klan monument in Stone Mountain, Georgia—created earlier by Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum—seems long overdue. We are learning a lot ...
Tags: Google, Art, Europe, Politics, College, Washington, US, History, Atlantic, Philosophy, South, Facebook Twitter, Carolina, Jefferson, Locke, Josh Jones


In 1968, a Teenager Convinced Thelonious Monk to Play a Gig at His High School to Promote Racial Unity; Now the Concert Recording Is Getting Released

In 1964, Thelonious Monk appeared on the cover of TIME. He had been chosen for an extensive profile, his biographer Robin D.G. Kelley tells Terry Gross, because the magazine thought Miles Davis or Ray Charles might be “too controversial.” Monk, it was thought “had no complaints… he wasn't so political.” This is not exactly so, Kelley writes in Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original. The eccentric genius played benefit concerts throughout the 60s. But he was also begi...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Palo Alto, Jazz, Miles Davis, Npr, Ray Charles, Facebook Twitter, Monk, East Palo Alto, Josh Jones, Kelley, Terry Gross, Palo Alto High School, Durham NC Follow


Miles Davis is Attacked, Beaten & Arrested by the NYPD Outside Birdland, Eight Days After the Release of Kind of Blue (1959)

It is hard, on the other hand, to blame the policeman, blank, good-natured, thoughtless, and insuperably innocent, for being such a perfect representative of the people he serves. He, too, believes in good intentions and is astounded and offended when they are not taken for the deed.  —James Baldwin James Baldwin’s 1960 essay “Fifth Avenue, Uptown” is rich with heartrending ironies and razor-sharp refutations of the usual apologies for racist violence in America. It does not matter, Bald...
Tags: Google, Music, New York, College, New York City, America, History, Chicago, Missouri, New York Times, Davis, Miles Davis, St Louis, Judy, Facebook Twitter, Baldwin


The Grateful Dead’s “Ripple” Played By Musicians Around the World (with Cameos by David Crosby, Jimmy Buffett & Bill Kreutzmann)

Poet and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter penned some of the band’s best-known songs. Even if you’re only casually familiar with the Dead’s vast catalogue and even vaster labyrinth of live recordings, you can probably sing along to classics like “Casey Jones” or “Box of Rain.” Both came about during the most prolific phase of Hunter and Jerry Garcia’s collaboration on the country-folk masterpieces Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, released one after the other in 1970. Among thes...
Tags: Google, Music, London, College, Canada, Ringo Starr, Grateful Dead, Los Lobos, Hunter, Facebook Twitter, Jerry, William Butler Yeats, Josh Jones, Bill Withers, Jerry Garcia, Dodd


Artificial Intelligence Brings to Life Figures from 7 Famous Paintings: The Mona Lisa, Birth of Venus & More

Denis Shiryaev is an AI wizard who has liberally applied his magic to old film—upscaling, colorizing, and otherwise modernizing scenes from Victorian England, late Tsarist Russia, and Belle Époque Paris. He trained machines to restore the earliest known motion picture, 1888’s Roundhay Garden Scene and one of the most mythologized works of early cinema, the Lumière Brothers 50-second Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station. Shiryaev’s casual distribution of these efforts on YouTube can ma...
Tags: Google, Art, England, Technology, College, Russia, Software, Creativity, Nvidia, Rembrandt, Mona Lisa, Hummingbird, Victorian England, Grant Wood, Facebook Twitter, Leonardo


Tom Jones Performs “Long Time Gone” with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young–and Blows the Band & Audience Away (1969)

Welsh crooner Tom Jones made an unlikely comeback in the late 80s, covering Prince’s “Kiss” with Art of Noise. Then in the mid-90s, he showed up on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to sing mid-60s hit “It’s Not Unusual” for superfan Carlton Banks. This was a time of 60s comebacks all around, but Jones’ resurgence was a little odd (though perfectly in character for Carlton Banks). Tom Jones had been a big star in the mid to late 60s, with his own TV show and a string of international hits. But...
Tags: Google, Music, Television, College, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Prince, Tom Jones, Young, Jones, Woodstock, Facebook Twitter, Roberts, Upstate New York, Neil, Josh Jones


When Punk & Reggae Fans Launched the “Rock Against Racism” Movement and Pushed Back Against Britain’s Racist Right (1976)

The UK of the late-70s was, in many unfortunate respects, like the UK (and US) of today, with far-right attacks against West Indian and Asian immigrants becoming routine, along with increased aggression from the police. Enoch Powell’s inflammatory 1968 “Rivers of Blood” speech (denounced in the papers as a naked “appeal to racial hatred) energized the far-right National Front. Nazi punks and skinheads began violent campaigns in the mid-70s. A very hot summer in 1976 saw a riot at the Not...
Tags: Google, Music, Politics, UK, London, College, US, RAR, Britain, Elvis Costello, Birmingham, Public Enemy, Leeds, Enoch Powell, Eric Clapton, Nme


When John Maynard Keynes Predicted a 15-Hour Workweek “in a Hundred Year’s Time” (1930)

Image by IMF, via Wikimedia Commons That which stands first, and is most to be desired by all happy, honest and healthy-minded men, is ease with dignity. —Cicero, Pro Sestio, XLV., 98 There is much to admire in Roman ideas about the use of leisure time, what Michel Foucault referred to as “the care of the self.” The Latin words for work and leisure themselves give us a sense of what should have priority in life. Negotium, or business, is a negation, with the literal meaning of “the nonexistence...
Tags: Google, College, Economics, Chicago, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Npr, University Of Queensland, Imf, Bhutan, Facebook Twitter, Boston College, John Maynard Keynes, Josh Jones, Keynes, Buckminster Fuller


An Introduction to Thought Forms, the Pioneering 1905 Theosophist Book That Inspired Abstract Art: It Returns to Print on November 6th

“It is sometimes difficult to appreciate the impact that the late-nineteenth century (and ongoing) occult movement called Theosophy had on global culture,” Mitch Horowitz writes in his introduction to the newly republished 1905 Theosophical book, Thought Forms. That impact manifested “spiritually, politically, and artistically” in the work of literary figures like James Joyce and William Butler Yeats and religious figures like Jiddu Krishnamurti, handpicked as a teenager by Theosophist leader C...
Tags: Google, Art, Books, College, India, New York City, Religion, Wassily Kandinsky, James Joyce, Rishikesh, Western Europe, East, Facebook Twitter, William Butler Yeats, Leadbeater, Josh Jones


Hear Enchanting Mixes of Japanese Pop, Jazz, Funk, Disco, Soul, and R&B from the 70s and 80s

Franz Kafka’s unfinished first novel, published by his literary executor Max Brod as Amerika, tells the story of a young European exiled in New York City. He has a series of madcap adventures, winds up in Oklahoma as a “technical worker,” and adopts the name “Negro.” Amerika is a novel written by an artist who had never been to America or met an American. His impression of the country came entirely from his reading. And yet, Kafka leaves readers with an authentically vivid, lasting impre...
Tags: Google, Music, Japan, College, New York City, America, Oklahoma, Kafka, Marshall, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Sergio Leone, Franz Kafka, Colin Marshall, Durham NC Follow, Amerika


Tom Morello Responds to Angry Fans Who Suddenly Realize That Rage Against the Machine’s Music Is Political: “What Music of Mine DIDN’T Contain Political BS?”

“I, Dancing Bear,” a song by an obscure folk artist who goes by the name Birdengine, begins thus: There are some things that I just do not care to know It’s a lovely little tune, if maudlin and macabre are your thing, a song one might almost call anti-political. It is the art of solipsism, denial, an inwardness that dances over the abyss of pure self, navel gazing for its own sake. It is Kafka-esque, pathetic, and hysterical. I love it. My appreciation for this weird, outsider New Romanticism d...
Tags: Google, Music, Politics, Hollywood, College, Current Affairs, Paul ryan, Pentagon, Cia, Kafka, Agency, James Baldwin, Rage Against The Machine, Facebook Twitter, Paris Review, Emerson


Daniel Radcliffe Writes a Thoughtful Response to J.K. Rowling’s Statements about Trans Women

Image by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons There are many more important things happening in the world than the tweets of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, but the tweets of J.K. Rowling are nonetheless worthy of attention, for the sake of fans of the series, many of whom are young and do not understand why their parents might suddenly be angry with her, or who are very angry with her themselves. As you have probably heard, Rowling has doubled and tripled down on statements others have repea...
Tags: Google, Books, Film, College, Current Affairs, Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, Donald Trump, Radcliffe, Jo, Rowling, J K Rowling, Facebook Twitter, Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore, Durham NC Follow


Is This the Most Accurate Fan Cover of the Beatles Ever? Hear a Faithful Recreation of the Abbey Road Medley

I once thought I might be from the last generation to have spent a good part of their youth in front of a pair of speakers, playing their parents’ Beatles records until they memorized every note. Abbey Road was a special favorite in our house. I must have heard the outro medley a hundred thousand times or more. Now that reissue vinyl is everywhere, or something resembling the original records, there are loads of people who can say the same thing—and loads more who have streamed Abbey...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Paul Mccartney, Memphis, Elvis, Mccartney, Lennon, Andy, PAUL, Facebook Twitter, Buddy Holly, Josh Jones, Abbey Road, Durham NC Follow, Abbey Road Medley


Egyptologist Tweets Instructions on How to Topple an Obelisk; Protestors Use Them to Tear Down a Obelisk-Shaped Confederate Monument in Birmingham, Alabama

Almost three years ago, in Durham, North Carolina where I live, protestors pulled down a Confederate statue in front of the old courthouse after the fatal attacks at Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally, an event itself ostensibly about protecting a Confederate statue. Now, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who dedicated the Durham monument in 1924, want to see the statue go back up, in accordance with a 2015 state law prohibiting the removal of “historical monuments” by any local government...
Tags: Google, College, Current Affairs, Bristol, Birmingham, Sam, Charlottesville, Durham, Yale University, Durham North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University Of North Carolina, Facebook Twitter, Birmingham Alabama, Josh Jones, Mathew Brady


How the “First Photojournalist,” Mathew Brady, Shocked the Nation with Photos from the Civil War

In her 1938 essay “Three Guineas,” Virginia Woolf wondered “whether when we look at the same photographs we feel the same things.” Woolf half-hoped that grisly images of the dead from the Spanish Civil War might help put an end to the spreading global conflict. She recognized, writes Susan Sontag in Regarding the Pain of Others, photography’s ability “to vivify the condemnation of war” and to “bring home, for a spell, a portion of its reality to those who have no experience of war at all.” Mat...
Tags: Google, Photography, New York, College, Edgar Allan Poe, History, Lincoln, The New York Times, Virginia Woolf, Yale University, Brady, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Susan Sontag, Mathew Brady, Woolf


Imagining the Martin Luther King and Malcolm X Debate That Never Happened

American history as it’s usually taught likes to focus on rivalries, and there are many involving big personalities and major historical stakes. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. These figures are set up to represent the “both sides” we expect of every political question. While the issues are oversimplified (there are always more than two sides and politics isn’t a sport) the figures in question genuinely...
Tags: Google, Politics, College, Washington, Senate, US, America, History, Fbi, Davis, Ferguson, Mecca, Shakespeare, Martin Luther King, The Washington Post, King


An Anti-Racist Reading List: 20 Books Recommended by Open Culture Readers

You may have received an email from your favorite online retailer, your boss, university president, or the CEO of your bank: “It has come to our attention that racism is real, and it is really, really bad.” Opportunism is real too, but a significant number of individuals seem to have finally drawn the same conclusion and feel morally compelled to do something about an epidemic that has—very discriminately—killed tens of thousands of black, indigenous, and people of color in the U.S. thro...
Tags: Google, Books, Justice, College, New York City, US, America, Current Affairs, New York Times, Ferguson, Albert Einstein, Jackson, Toni Morrison, Black Lives Matter, Ava Duvernay, American Dream


Noam Chomsky Explains the Best Way for Ordinary People to Make Change in the World, Even When It Seems Daunting

The threat of widespread violence and unrest descends upon the country, thanks again to a collection of actors viciously opposed to civil rights, and in many cases, to the very existence of people who are different from them. They have been given aid and comfort by very powerful enablers. Veteran activists swing into action. Young people turn out by the hundreds week after week. But for many ordinary people with jobs, kids, mortgages, etc. the cost of participating in constant protests a...
Tags: Google, College, Current Affairs, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King Jr, Noam Chomsky, George Washington, Facebook Twitter, Rosa Parks, Best Way, Chomsky, Cesar Chavez, South King, Josh Jones, CHARLOTTESVILLE Va, Montgomery Bus Boycott


Watch Free Films by African American Filmmakers in the Criterion Collection … and the New Civil Rights Film, Just Mercy

The Michael B. Jordan- and Jaime Foxx-starring Just Mercy had “the misfortune of hitting theaters at the same time as Clemency, a more daring and better film set on a prison’s Death Row,” wrote Odie Henderson in a December 2019 review at RogerEbert.com. Reading the statement now feels like looking through the wrong end of a telescope ("hitting theaters?"). None of the movie's middling reviews could have predicted the kinds of misfortunes that lay just around the corner. If Just Mercy is ...
Tags: Google, Film, College, America, Maya Angelou, Black, Julie Dash, Shirley Clarke, Michael B Jordan, Facebook Twitter, Kathleen Collins, Les Blank, Durham NC Follow, Criterion Channel, Jaime Foxx, RogerEbert



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