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Lawrence Ferlinghetti Turns 100: Hear the Great San Francisco Poet Read “Trump’s Trojan Horse,” “Pity the Nation” & Many Other Poems

It has been a season of mourning for literature: first the death of Mary Oliver and now W.S. Merwin, two writers who left a considerable imprint on over half a century of American poetry. Considering the fact that founding father of the Beats and proprietor of world-renowned City Lights Bookstore, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, turns 100 on March 24th, maybe a few more people have glanced over to check on him. How’s he doing? He's grown "frail and nearly blind," writes Chloe Veltman at The Guard...
Tags: Google, New York, Navy, Washington Post, College, Poetry, San Francisco, Charles, UC Berkeley, Chinatown, Columbia, City Lights, Trump, Coney Island, Ginsberg, Edward Gorey


Christopher Hitches Makes the Case for Paying Reparations for Slavery in the United States

There may be no more heretical figure from the last several decades for both the current mainstream political left and right than the late Christopher Hitchens. He has maintained contrarian positions that range from vexing to enraging for nearly every orthodoxy. Contrarianism can seem his one singular consistency in a slide from “socialist to neocon" and some very imperialist views on war, race, culture, and religion. But his one true allegiance, he would say, was to “the principles of f...
Tags: Google, Politics, Greece, College, Atlantic, Britain, United States, Elgin Marbles, Christopher Hitchens, Boston University, Facebook Twitter, Hitchens, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow


Behold the Anciente Mappe of Fairyland, a Fantastical 1917 Mashup of Tales from Homer’s Odyssey, King Arthur, the Brothers Grimm & More

For most of publishing history, books for children meant primers and preachy religious texts, not mythical worlds invented just for kids. It’s true that fairy tales may have been specifically targeted to the young, but they were never childish. (See the original Grimms' tales.) By the 19th century, however, the situation had dramatically changed. And by the turn of the century, childlike fairy stories and fantasies enjoyed wide popularity among grown-ups and children alike, just as they do toda...
Tags: Google, Art, England, Congress, College, France, Literature, Peter Pan, Brothers Grimm, Belle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tolkien, Ucla, Pan, Peter, Bernard Sleigh


Virginia Woolf & Friends Name Their Favorite and Least Favorite Writers in a Newly Unearthed 1923 Survey

Celebrity Twitter can be fun… sometimes…. Tabloids still have mass appeal, albeit mainly on the web. But for those who want to see the introverted and bookish caught off-guard and off the cuff, times are a little tough. Writers can more easily control their image than actors or pop stars, naturally. Most aren’t nearly as recognizable and subject to constant pop culture surveillance. Literary scandals rarely go beyond plagiarism or politics. Sometimes one might wish—as in the days of mean drunks...
Tags: Google, College, Virginia, West, Literature, Vox, James Joyce, Henry James, Kennedy, Virginia Woolf, Thompson, Marcel Proust, Facebook Twitter, Virgil, Joyce, Dostoevsky


The Gnarly Surf Rock of Dick Dale (RIP): Watch the Legend Play “Misirlou,” Surfin’ the Wedge,” and “Pipeline” (with Stevie Ray Vaughan)

The Endless Summer is over. The archetypal 1966 surf documentary might have been scored by The Sandals, but the sound and the cultural dominance of surf culture would perhaps never come into being, and may not have survived the decade, without Dick Dale, who died on March 18th at the age of 81. His gnarly, menacing guitar on songs like “Miserlou” and “Pipeline” turned a fad dominated by the teen anthems of The Beach Boys and Annette Funicello’s post-Mouseketeers bikini and beehive into g...
Tags: Google, Music, Washington Post, College, Jimi Hendrix, United States, Quentin Tarantino, Dick Dale, Wray, Facebook Twitter, Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dale, Annette Funicello, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow


The Lou Reed Archive Opens at the New York Public Library: Get Your Own Lou Reed Library Card and Check It Out

This past October marked the fifth anniversary of Lou Reed’s death. This month marks what would have been his 77th birthday. It seems like as good a time as any to revisit his legacy. As of this past Friday, anyone can do exactly that in person at the New York Public Library. And they can do so with their own special edition NYPL Lou Reed library card. The NYPL has just opened to the public the Lou Reed Archive, “approximately 300 linear feet,” the library writes in a press release, “of paper r...
Tags: Google, Music, New York, College, Edgar Allan Poe, Brooklyn, Nypl, Literature, Andy Warhol, Ornette Coleman, Lincoln Center, Archives, Lou Reed, New York Public Library, Laurie Anderson, Reed


An Animated Introduction to Friedrich Nietzsche’s Life & Thought

There’s no shame if you’ve never known how to pronounce Friedrich Nietzsche’s name correctly. Even less if you never remember how to spell it. If these happen to be the case, you may be less than familiar with his philosophy. Let Alain de Botton’s animated School of Life video briefly introduce you, and you’ll never forget how to say it: “Knee Cha.” (As for remembering the spelling, you’re on your own.) You’ll also get a short biography of the disgruntled, dyspeptic German philosophe...
Tags: Google, College, Nazis, Philosophy, Alain De Botton, Elizabeth, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Friedrich Nietzsche, University of Basel, Nietzsche, Babich, de Botton, Durham NC Follow, Dionysus, Arthur Schopenhauer Richard


When William Faulkner Set the World Record for Writing the Longest Sentence in Literature: Read the 1,288-Word Sentence from Absalom, Absalom!

Image by Carl Van Vechten, via Wikimedia Commons “How did Faulkner pull it off?” is a question many a fledgling writer has asked themselves while struggling through a period of apprenticeship like that novelist John Barth describes in his 1999 talk "My Faulkner." Barth “reorchestrated” his literary heroes, he says, “in search of my writerly self... downloading my innumerable predecessors as only an insatiable green apprentice can.” Surely a great many writers can relate when Barth says, “it was...
Tags: Google, Europe, Books, Maryland, Writing, College, Washington, Literature, Guinness Book of World Records, Lincoln, Sherman, Jonathan Coe, Jones, William Styron, Facebook Twitter, Beckett


When William Faulkner Set the World Record for Writing the Longest Sentence in Literature: 1,288 Words from Absalom, Absalom!

Image by Carl Van Vechten, via Wikimedia Commons “How did Faulkner pull it off?” is a question many a fledgling writer has asked themselves while struggling through a period of apprenticeship like that novelist John Barth describes in his 1999 talk "My Faulkner." Barth “reorchestrated” his literary heroes, he says, “in search of my writerly self... downloading my innumerable predecessors as only an insatiable green apprentice can.” Surely a great many writers can relate when Barth says, “it was...
Tags: Google, Europe, Books, Maryland, Writing, College, Washington, Literature, Guinness Book of World Records, Lincoln, Sherman, Jonathan Coe, Jones, William Styron, Facebook Twitter, Beckett


The Band Everyone Thought Was The Beatles: Revisit the Klaatu Conspiracy of 1976

In 1976, hundreds of diehard Beatles fans became convinced that the mysterious album 3:47 EST by the band Klaatu was actually a new release from The Beatles in disguise, after a DJ in Providence, Rhode Island played one of its songs on the radio. Shortly afterward, Steve Smith discovered the album at the newspaper he worked for, Rhode Island’s The Providence Journal, listened to it, and became immediately intrigued. The album contained no photographs, no identifying information at all, a...
Tags: Google, Music, California, College, Toronto, Paul Mccartney, Smith, Steve Smith, Rhode Island, Ringo Starr, Beatles, Starr, Mccartney, Lennon, Cbc, Facebook Twitter


Buckminster Fuller Rails Against the “Nonsense of Earning a Living”: Why Work Useless Jobs When Technology & Automation Can Let Us Live More Meaningful Lives

We are a haunted species: haunted by the specter of climate change, of economic collapse, and of automation making our lives redundant. When Marx used the specter metaphor in his manifesto, he was ironically invoking Gothic tropes. But Communism was not a boogeyman. It was a coming reality, for a time at least. Likewise, we face very real and substantial coming realities. But in far too many instances, they are also manufactured, under ideologies that insist there is no alternative. But let’s a...
Tags: Google, Art, Politics, Technology, Education, College, Economics, Creativity, Sxsw, Marx, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Bill Black, Kottke, Fuller, Buckminster Fuller


A Stunning Live Concert Film of Queen Performing in Montreal, Digitally Restored to Perfection (1981)

The legend of Queen is immortal. It needs no further burnishing, not even, some might argue, by the most recent Oscar-winning biopic. The film may gamely recreate the stagecraft of Britain’s most operatic export. But once you’ve seen the real thing, what need of a substitute? For the millions who loved them before Wayne’s World brought them back to global consciousness, and the millions who came to love them afterward, the only thing that could be better than watching live Queen is watch...
Tags: Google, Music, Usa, Film, College, George Harrison, Nasa, Britain, Bangladesh, Montreal, Brian May, Wayne, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Apple Mac G5


Alan Watts Presents a 15-Minute Guided Meditation: A Time-Tested Way to Stop Thinking About Thinking

The concept of emptiness—sh?nyat?—in Mahayana Buddhism is perhaps a subject best avoided in casual conversation. It so vexes everyone not least because of issues of translation: "emptiness," many scholars think, hardly suffices as a substitute. In English it has a more distinctly nihilist flavor than was intended. Yet emptiness is so indispensable that it can hardly go unmentioned when the practice and purpose of meditation come up in Buddhist thought. Leave it to Zen to put things in su...
Tags: Google, Japan, Zen, California, College, Religion, San Francisco, Britain, Philosophy, Buddhist, Watts, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Suzuki, Mahayana, Alan Watts


Artificial Intelligence Identifies the Six Main Arcs in Storytelling: Welcome to the Brave New World of Literary Criticism

Is the singularity upon us? AI seems poised to replace everyone, even artists whose work can seem like an inviolably human industry. Or maybe not. Nick Cave’s poignant answer to a fan question might persuade you a machine will never write a great song, though it might master all the moves to write a good one. An AI-written novel did almost win a Japanese literary award. A suitably impressive feat, even if much of the authorship should be attributed to the program’s human designers. But what abo...
Tags: Google, Technology, College, Atlantic, Literature, Harry Potter, University Of Chicago, Cinderella, Computer Science, Nick Cave, University Of Vermont, Kurt Vonnegut, Facebook Twitter, Adrienne LaFrance, Joseph Campbell, Josh Jones


Sleep or Die: Neuroscientist Matthew Walker Explains How Sleep Can Restore or Imperil Our Health

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could fix the work/life thing by chucking out the difference? At home, you're in the office, at the office, you're at home, always on and never off—sleep, optional. Two-four hours per 24-hour cycle should be enough, right? Wrong. We need proper sleep like we need good food, low stress, engaging pursuits, etc.—to thrive and live a long and happy life. If you wait until you’re dead to sleep, you’ll be dead sooner than you think. “Short sleep predicts a shorter lif...
Tags: Health, Google, Japan, College, Neuroscience, The Guardian, World Health Organisation, Rsa, Brian Eno, Facebook Twitter, Walker, Cooke, Josh Jones, Rachel Cooke, Terry Gross, Matthew Walker


The Medieval Masterpiece, the Book of Kells, Is Now Digitized & Put Online

If you know nothing else about medieval European illuminated manuscripts, you surely know the Book of Kells. “One of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures” comments Medievalists.net, “it is set apart from other manuscripts of the same period by the quality of its artwork and the sheer number of illustrations that run throughout the 680 pages of the book.” The work not only attracts scholars, but almost a million visitors to Dublin every year. “You simply can’t travel to the capital of Ireland,”...
Tags: Google, Art, Europe, Books, College, History, Ireland, Middle East, Dublin, Iona, County Meath, North Africa, Moss, Facebook Twitter, Ryan, Trinity College Dublin


John Cleese Revisits His 20 Years as an Ivy League Professor in His New Book, Professor at Large: The Cornell Years

Creative Commons image by Paul Boxley It takes real intelligence to successfully make dumb comedy. John Cleese and his Monty Python colleagues are a premium example. You can call sketches like the “Ministry of Silly Walks” and “Dead Parrot” surrealist, and they are comparable to the absurdist stunts favored by certain early 20th century modern artists. But you can also call them very smart kinds of stupid, a description of some of the highest forms of comedy, I’d say, and one that applies to so...
Tags: Google, Books, Comedy, College, John Cleese, Eu, Smith, Wanda, Cornell, Cornell University, Facebook Twitter, Jean Claude Juncker, BBC Radio, Josh Jones, Fawlty Towers, Dean Smith


A Visualization of the United States’ Exploding Population Growth Over 200 Years (1790 – 2010)

The U.S. is barely even an adolescent compared to many other countries around the world. Yet it ranks third, behind China and India, in population. How did the country go, in a little over 200 years, from 6.1 people per square mile in 1800 to 93 per square mile today? We’ve previously featured maps of how the real estate came on the market. And we’ve brought you a map that tells the locations and stories of the peoples who used to live there. The map above takes a different approach, showing...
Tags: Google, Maps, College, China, India, Data, History, United States, Oklahoma, Facebook Twitter, Desjardins, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Jeff Desjardins, Center of Planet Earth


A Tactile Map of the Roman Empire: An Innovative Map That Allowed Blind & Sighted Students to Experience Geography by Touch (1888)

From curb cuts to safer playgrounds, the public spaces we occupy have been transformed for the better as they become easier for different kinds of bodies to navigate. Closed captioning and printable transcripts benefit millions, whatever their level of ability. Accessibility tools on the web improve everyone’s experience and provide the impetus for technologies that engage more of our senses. While smell may not be a high priority for developers, attention to a sense most sighted people tend to...
Tags: Google, Europe, Maps, College, History, United States, Michigan, Facebook Twitter, Howe, Klemm, Josh Jones, Roman Empire, Perkins School, Durham NC Follow, Smithsonian Museums, Rebecca Onion


40,000-Year-Old Symbols Found in Caves Worldwide May Be the Earliest Written Language

We may take it for granted that the earliest writing systems developed with the Sumerians around 3400 B.C.E. The archaeological evidence so far supports the theory. But it may also be possible that the earliest writing systems predate 5000-year-old cuneiform tablets by several thousand years. And what’s more, it may be possible, suggests paleoanthropologist Genevieve von Petzinger, that those prehistoric forms of writing, which include the earliest known hashtag marks, consisted of symbo...
Tags: Google, Europe, College, Africa, History, Portugal, TED Talks, George, Facebook Twitter, Jacobs, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Genevieve von Petzinger, Frank Jacobs, Petzinger, Von Petzinger


The British Library Digitizes Its Collection of Obscene Books (1658-1940)

Many people are cheated out of an authentic education in English literature because of a longstanding puritanical approach to its curation. One might spend a lifetime reading the traditional canon without ever, for example, learning much about the long history of popular pornographic British writing, a genre that flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries as the popularity of the novel exploded. Everyone knows the Marquis de Sade, even if they haven’t read him, not least because he lent his name...
Tags: Google, Books, College, Smithsonian, Literature, Smith, British Library, Oscar Wilde, Gale, Facebook Twitter, Pamela, Richardson, Henry Fielding, Justine, Voltaire, Josh Jones


The 100 Top Punk Songs of All Time, Curated by Readers of the UK’s Sounds Magazine in 1981

When did punk rock die? Everyone knows it happened sometime in recent history, but few people agree on when. The music still exists, in knowing quotation marks, but its winning combination of unforced abrasiveness and calculated offensiveness seems to have disappeared. Maybe pick a year at random; say, 2010, the year the last great punk songwriter, Jay Reatard, died. It also happens to be the year the last great punk band, OFF!, formed, but they’re a supergroup of classic punk musicians. One co...
Tags: Google, Spotify, Music, UK, College, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Gary Numan, Punk Rock, Durham NC Follow, Jay Reatard, Paste Magazine Stream, CBS Maybe, Johnny Rotten aka Lydon, Sounds Magazine


Alice in Wonderland, Hamlet, and A Christmas Carol Written in Shorthand (Circa 1919)

For hundreds of years before the regular use of dictation machines, word processors, and computers, many thousands of court records, correspondence, journalism, and so on circulated in translation. All of these texts were originally in their native language, but they were transcribed in a different writing system, then translated back into the standard orthography, by stenographers using various kinds of shorthand. In English, this meant that a mess of irregular, phonetically nonsensical spellin...
Tags: Google, Books, Japan, Greece, Writing, College, Edgar Allan Poe, Rome, Literature, Lewis Carroll, Shakespeare, Alice, Pepys, Facebook Twitter, Cicero, Europe North America


A Brief Animated Introduction to Noam Chomsky’s Linguistic Theory, Narrated by The X-Files‘ Gillian Anderson

How is it that children just entering toddlerhood pick up the structure of their respective languages with ease? They are not formally taught to use speech; they have limited cognitive abilities and a “poverty of stimulus,” given their highly circumscribed environments. And yet, they learn the function and order of subjects, verbs, and objects, and learn to recognize improper usage. Children might make routine mistakes, but they understand and can be understood from a very early age, and...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Biology, College, Neuroscience, Bbc, Mit, Philosophy, Gillian Anderson, Noam Chomsky, Facebook Twitter, Plato, Chomsky, Skinner, John Locke, Descartes


Watch Marc Martel, Who Supplied Vocals for the Award-Winning Queen Film, Sing Just Like Freddie Mercury: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are The Champions” & More

Understandably, given a moviegoing public seemingly starved for reality, all of the biggest winners at this year’s Academy Awards were based on true events. And nearly all of them have generated huge controversies for the liberties they took with those true stories. While some of the criticism can sound censorious, none of it is about censorship, but about the larger social question of how much truth we should sacrifice for the sake of commerce and entertainment, two human endeavors with...
Tags: Google, Music, Film, College, Freddie Mercury, The New York Times, Facebook Twitter, Edwards, Rami Malek, Josh Jones, Freddie, Martel, Roger Taylor, Durham NC Follow, Gavin Edwards, Marc Martel


To Save Civilization, the Rich Need to Pay Their Taxes: Historian Rutger Bregman Speaks Truth to Power at Davos and to Fox’s Tucker Carlson

Certain economists may have downgraded the labor theory of value, but most of us can agree on the basic moral intuition that no one person is worth millions, even billions, more than almost everyone else on the planet. Yet we live in a society that allows individuals to hoard millions and billions of dollars in cash, assets, and capital gains, without even the presumption that they demonstrate why they should have it--especially to the degree that the top 1% now holds more wealth than 90...
Tags: Google, Politics, Yahoo, College, Economics, History, Fox, Davos, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Dell, Oxfam, Republican, David Attenborough, Tucker Carlson, Facebook Twitter, Davos World Economic Forum


To Save Capitalism, the Rich Need to Pay Their Taxes: Historian Rutger Bregman Speaks Truth to Power at Davos and to Fox’s Tucker Carlson

Certain economists may have downgraded the labor theory of value, but most of us can agree on the basic moral intuition that no one person is worth millions, even billions, more than almost everyone else on the planet. Yet we live in a society that allows individuals to hoard millions and billions of dollars in cash, assets, and capital gains, without even the presumption that they demonstrate why they should have it--especially to the degree that the top 1% now holds more wealth than 90...
Tags: Google, Politics, Yahoo, College, Economics, History, Fox, Davos, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Dell, Oxfam, Republican, David Attenborough, Tucker Carlson, Facebook Twitter, Davos World Economic Forum


Historian Rutger Bregman Explains to the Billionaires at Davos and Fox’s Tucker Carlson How to Save Capitalism: The Rich Need to Their Taxes

Certain economists may have downgraded the labor theory of value, but most of us can agree on the basic moral intuition that no one person is worth millions, even billions, more than almost everyone else on the planet. Yet we live in a society that allows individuals to hoard millions and billions of dollars in cash, assets, and capital gains, without even the presumption that they demonstrate why they should have it--especially to the degree that the top 1% now holds more wealth than 90...
Tags: Google, Politics, Yahoo, College, Economics, History, Fox, Davos, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Dell, Oxfam, Republican, David Attenborough, Tucker Carlson, Facebook Twitter, Davos World Economic Forum


Watch the Last Time Peter Tork (RIP) & The Monkees Played Together During Their 1960s Heyday: It’s a Psychedelic Freakout

Peter Tork died yesterday at age 77. You might not have heard the news over the deafening alarms in your social media feeds lately. But a muted response is also noteworthy because of the way Tork’s fame imploded at the end of the sixties, at a time when he might have become the kind of rock star he and his fellow Monkees had proved they could become, all on their own, without the help of any studio trickery, thanks very much. The irony of making this bold statement with a feature film wa...
Tags: Google, Music, Nbc, Jack Nicholson, Film, California, College, Neil Young, Npr, Dennis Hopper, Monkees, Rolling Stone, Richard, Ringo, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork


Has the Voynich Manuscript Finally Been Decoded?: Researchers Claim That the Mysterious Text Was Written in Phonetic Old Turkish

There are still several ancient languages modern scholars cannot decipher, like Minoan hieroglyphics (called Linear A) or Khipu, the intricate Incan system of writing in knots. These symbols contain within them the wisdom of civilizations, and there’s no telling what might be revealed should we learn to translate them. Maybe scholars will only find accounting logs and inventories, or maybe entirely new ways of perceiving reality. When it comes, however, to a singularly indecipherable tex...
Tags: Google, Books, College, History, Artificial Intelligence, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Johns Hopkins University, Ahmet, Pelling, Durham NC Follow, Medieval Academy of America, Voynich, Khipu, Latin Sino, Ardiç



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