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Explore Flowcharts That Japanese Aquariums Use to Document the Romantic Lives of Penguins

In recent years, viewers the world over have been binge-watching a Japanese reality show called Terrace House. The New Yorker's Troy Patterson describes its format thus: "Three men and three women move into an elegant pad for a spell, while otherwise conducting their lives as usual. The members of the cast are above average in their camera-readiness and their civility, and in no other discernible way." Fueled not by the self-promotional showboating and ginned-up resentment that have become conv...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Japan, Australia, College, Los Angeles, Nature, Congo, Penguins, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Waldman, Colin Marshall, Tamago, 21st Century Los Angeles, Johnny Waldman


Orson Welles Narrates Animations of Plato’s Cave and Kafka’s “Before the Law,” Two Parables of the Human Condition

You're held captive in an enclosed space, only able faintly to perceive the outside world. Or you're kept outside, unable to cross the threshold of a space you feel a desperate need to enter. If both of these scenarios sound like dreams, they must do so because they tap into the anxieties and suspicions in the depths of our shared subconscious. As such, they've also proven reliable material for storytellers since at least the fourth century B.C., when Plato came up with his allegory of t...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, Orson Welles, Animation, Literature, Philosophy, Seoul, Kafka, Facebook Twitter, Plato, Wells, Bald Mountain, Franz Kafka, Colin Marshall, John Malkovich Read Plato


An Introduction to Hagia Sophia: After 85 Years as a Museum, It’s Set to Become a Mosque Again

No tour of Istanbul can fail to include Hagia Sophia. The same is true enough of the British Museum in London or the Louvre in Paris, but Hagia Sophia is more than a museum: it's also spent different stretches of its near-millennium-and-a-half of existence as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral, and a mosque. Stripped of its religious function in the mid-1930s by the administration of President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, remembered for his creation of a secular Turkish ...
Tags: Travel, Google, Facebook, London, College, Turkey, Syria, Ars Technica, History, Bbc, Architecture, Egypt, Paris, Erdogan, Seoul, Lebanon


Bill Nye Shows How Face Masks Actually Protect You–and Why You Should Wear Them

Like many Americans of my generation, I grew up having things explained to me by Bill Nye. Flight, magnets, simple machines, volcanoes: there seemed to be nothing he and his team of young lieutenants couldn't break down in a clear, humorous, and wholly non-boring manner. He didn't ask us to come to him, but met us where we already were: watching television. The zenith of the popularity of his PBS series Bill Nye the Science Guy passed a quarter-century ago, and the world has changed a bi...
Tags: Health, Google, Facebook, Science, Instagram, College, America, Nye, Seoul, Bill Nye, Facebook Twitter, Colin Marshall, Maria Popova, 21st Century Los Angeles


An Introduction to Jean Baudrillard, Who Predicted the Simulation-Like Reality in Which We Live

Each and every morning, many of us wake up and immediately check on what's happening in the world. Sometimes these events stir emotions within us, and occasionally we act on those emotions, which raise in us a desire to affect the world ourselves. But does this entire ritual involve anything real? While performing it we don't experience the world, but only media; when we respond, we respond not with action in the world, but only with action in media. We have directly interacted, to put i...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Hbo, College, Philosophy, Seoul, Chernobyl, Adam Curtis, Facebook Twitter, Roland Barthes, Geiger, Marshall McLuhan, McLuhan, Kenneth Goldsmith, Colin Marshall, Jean Baudrillard


Salvador Dalí Explains Why He Was a “Bad Painter” and Contributed “Nothing” to Art (1986)

Not so very long ago, Salvador Dalí was the most famous living painter in the world. When the BBC's Arena came to shoot an episode about him in 1986, they asked him what that exalted state felt like. "I don't know if I am the most famous painter in the world," Dalí responds, "because lots of the people who ask for my autograph in the street don't know if I'm a singer, a film star, a madman, a writer — they don't know what I am." He was, in one sense or another, most of those things and o...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, Television, College, Bbc, Raphael, Salvador Dalí, Dick Cavett, Seoul, Sigmund Freud, Freud, Mozart, Facebook Twitter, Arena, Velázquez


The Film Music of Ennio Morricone (RIP) Beautifully Performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra Play: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” & Much More

What we think of as "film music" today is a creation of only a few inventive and original composers, one fewer of whom walks the Earth as of yesterday. Though Ennio Morricone will be remembered first for his association with spaghetti western master Sergio Leone, his career in film scores spanned half a century and encompassed work for some of the most acclaimed directors of that period: his countrymen like Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, but also such c...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, Hollywood, Film, College, Earth, Quentin Tarantino, Seoul, Ennio Morricone, Tarantino, Facebook Twitter, Leone, Morricone, Sergio Leone, Salo


Watch Vintage Footage of Tokyo, Circa 1910, Get Brought to Life with Artificial Intelligence

For more than 200 years, the rulers of Japan kept the country all but closed to the outside world. In 1854, the "Black Ships" of American commander Matthew Perry arrived to demand an end to Japanese isolation — and a commencement of Japanese world trade. Within decades, many fashion-forward Europeans and even Americans couldn't get enough things Japanese, especially the art, crafts, and clothing that exemplified kinds of beauty they'd never known before. (Vincent van Gogh was a particula...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Japan, Technology, Film, College, New York City, History, Artificial Intelligence, Tokyo, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Vincent Van Gogh, Matthew Perry, Colin Marshall, Belle Epoque Paris


16th Century Bookwheels, the E-Readers of the Renaissance, Get Brought to Life by 21st Century Designers

Most of us, through our computers or our even our phones, have access to more books than we could ever read in one lifetime. That certainly wouldn't have been the case in, say, the middle ages, when books — assuming you belonged to the elite who could read them in the first place — were rare and precious objects. Both books and literacy became more common during the Renaissance, though acquaintance with both could still be considered the sign of a potentially serious scholar. And for the...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Books, Technology, College, History, Seoul, Dick, RIT, Atlas Obscura, Facebook Twitter, CNC, Rochester Institute of Technology, Joshua Foer, Foer, Colin Marshall


An Animated Introduction to the Pioneering Anthropologist Margaret Mead

Modern Western societies haven't solved the problem of sex, but Samoa has the answer. Or at least it does according to the work of influential anthropologist Margaret Mead, subject of the animated introduction from Alain de Botton's School of Life above. Her mentor Franz Boas, the founder of anthropology in the United States, saw not a world progressing "in a linear fashion from barbarism to savagery to civilization" but "teeming with separate cultures, each with their own unique perspec...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Books, College, History, United States, Las Vegas, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Hunter Thompson, Samoa, Margaret Mead, Mead, Boas, Colin Marshall, Claude Lévi Strauss


A 1947 French Film Accurately Predicted Our 21st-Century Addiction to Smartphones

When we watch a movie from, say, twenty years ago, it strikes us that both nothing and everything has changed. Apart from their slightly baggier clothes, the people look the same as us. But where are their phones? Compared to the recent past, the look of life today hasn't changed much, but thanks to the internet and even more so to smartphones, the feel has changed enormously. Most literary and cinematic predictions of the future got this exactly wrong, envisioning flamboyant aesthetic t...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Television, Film, College, Paris, William Gibson, Nikola Tesla, Seoul, Thomas Edison, Facebook Twitter, Gibson, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles


Rewatch Every Episode of The Sopranos with the Talking Sopranos Podcast, Hosted by Michael Imperioli & Steve Schirripa

The Sopranos premiered on January 10, 1999, and television did not change forever — or rather, not right away. Though its treatment of the life of mid-level New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano drew large numbers of dedicated viewers right away, few could have imagined during the show's eight-year run how completely its success would eventually rewrite the rules of dramatic TV. More than twenty years later, nearly all of us place the beginning of our ongoing televisual "golden age" at the br...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Television, Podcasts, College, New Jersey, David Chase, James Gandolfini, Seoul, Tony, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Facebook Twitter, Michael Imperioli, Tony Soprano, Matt Zoller Seitz, Edie Falco


Milton Glaser (RIP) Explains Why We Must Overcome the Fear of Failure, Take Risks & Discover Our True Potential

Milton Glaser died last week at the age of 91, a long life that included decade upon decade as the best-known name in graphic design. Within the profession he became as well-known as several of his designs did in the wider world: the Bob Dylan poster, logos for companies like DC Comics, the Glaser Stencil font, and above all  I ? NY. Glaser may have become an icon, but he didn't become a brand — "one of my most despised words," he says in the interview clip above. He also acknowledges tha...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Design, College, Life, Bob Dylan, Pablo Picasso, Seoul, Samuel Beckett, Picasso, Saul Bass, Facebook Twitter, Glaser, Paulo Coelho, Milton Glaser, Colin Marshall


Saxophonist Plays into Large Gas Pipes & Then Uses the Echo to Accompany Himself

The best saxophonists play just as well unaccompanied as they do accompanied — but they also know that, in the act of musical creation, it certainly helps to have even a little bit of sound to play off coming your way. German musician Armin Küpper discovered more than a little bit of sound coming his way when he tried playing his saxophone into a gas pipe he happened across near his home. Kept at a construction site and not currently in a state to pipe any gas, it served him as a kind of...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, College, Miles Davis, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Gerry Rafferty, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Armin Küpper, Pipelinefunk, Pipelineblues, Küpper, Instagram Saxophonist Plays


Hear Brian Eno’s Rarely-Heard Cover of the Johnny Cash Classic, “Ring of Fire”

"Ring of Fire" has been covered many times and in many ways since Johnny Cash released it in 1963. But for all its recognition as one of his signature songs, Cash's "Ring of Fire" is itself a cover — or another interpretation, in any case, of a tune originally written by Cash's wife June Carter and songwriter Merle Kilgore for June's sister, Anita Carter. Though it made nothing like the mark Cash's recording did, the original "Ring of Fire" has its appreciators, a group that may well inc...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Music, College, Atlantic, Bob Marley, Brian Eno, Seoul, Eno, John Cale, Cale, Facebook Twitter, Woodbridge, Johnny Cash, David Pescovitz, June Carter


Martin Amis Explains His Method for Writing Great Sentences

Why does Martin Amis writes sentences well? As a novelist, he naturally has a high degree of professional interest in the matter. But why does he write sentences so well? One might put forth the influence of his father Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim, an enduring contender for the title of the funniest novel in the English language. But given how seldom one acclaimed novelist sires another — an event, in fact, nearly unheard of — the heritability of literary talent remains unknowable....
Tags: Google, Facebook, Writing, College, Uganda, Literature, Martin Amis, Seoul, Kingsley Amis, Martin, Kingsley, Facebook Twitter, Jim, Scott Fitzgerald, Nietzsche, Chicago Humanities Festival


The World According to Le Corbusier: An Animated Introduction to the Most Modern of All Architects

Among modern architects, was any architect ever so modernity-minded as Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known a Le Corbusier? Like many cultural figures well-known outside their field — Franz Kafka, George Orwell, David Lynch — his name has long since been adjectivized, though nowadays the term "Corbusian" is seldom used as a compliment. Many a self-described opponent of modern architecture, whatever they consider modern architecture to be, points to Le Corbusier as the originator of al...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Europe, College, History, Architecture, Animation, Paris, Manhattan, Unite, Seoul, Marseilles, Frank Lloyd Wright, Facebook Twitter, Le Corbusier, Right Bank


How One Simple Cut Reveals the Cinematic Genius of Yasujirō Ozu

Since his death 56 years ago, Yasujir? Ozu has only become more and more often referenced as a locus of greatness in Japanese cinema. Almost without exception, his exegetes explain the power of his films first through their deceptive simplicity. His movies may look and play like simple midcentury domestic dramas, each bearing a strong resemblance to the one before, but within these rigid thematic and aesthetic strictures, Ozu achieves transcendence. In fact, before becoming a filmmaker i...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Film, College, Seoul, David Lynch, Facebook Twitter, Evan Puschak, Nerdwriter, Sergio Leone, Setsuko Hara, Yasujiro Ozu, Hara, Paul Schrader, Colin Marshall, Puschak


Why This Font Is Everywhere: How Cooper Black Became Pop Culture’s Favorite Font

You know Times New Roman, you know Helvetica, you know Comic Sans — and though you may not realize it, you know Cooper Black as well. Just think of the "VOTE FOR PEDRO" shirt worn in Napoleon Dynamite (and in real life for years thereafter), or a few decades earlier, the cover of Pet Sounds. In fact, the history of Cooper Black extends well before the Beach Boys' mid-1960s masterpiece; to see and hear the full story, watch the Vox video above. It begins, as narrator Estelle Caswell expla...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Design, College, History, Chicago, Vox, Seoul, Helvetica, Cooper, Facebook Twitter, Napoleon Dynamite, Colin Marshall, Caswell, Vincent Connare, Estelle Caswell


Take Free Courses on African-American History from Yale and Stanford: From Emancipation, to the Civil Rights Movement, and Beyond

As every American knows, February is Black History Month. And as every American also knows — if the events of 2020 haven't warped their sense of time too badly — is isn't February right now. But thanks to online learning technology, we all have the freedom to study any subject we want, as much as we want, whenever we want, irrespective of the time of year. Sources of internet-based education have proliferated in the 21st century, but long-respected institutions of higher learning have al...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Youtube, College, Stanford, America, History, United States, Yale, Online Courses, Seoul, Civil rights movement, Black History Month, Stanford University, Yale University, Malcolm X


John Cleese’s Comedically Explains the Psychological Advantages of Extremism: “It Makes You Feel Good Because It Provides You with Enemies”

Extremist: in any political squabble, and especially any online political squabble, the label is sure to get slapped on someone sooner or later. Of course, we never consider ourselves extremists: it's the parameters of acceptable political discussion that wrongly frame our entirely reasonable, truth-informed views. But what if we were to embrace the extreme? "What we never hear about extremism is its advantages," says Monty Python's John Cleese in the television advertisement above. "The...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Politics, Television, College, Russia, John Cleese, History, Bbc, United Kingdom, Monty Python, Liberal party, Seoul, Orwell, Facebook Twitter, Social Democratic Party


The Bird Library: A Library Built Especially for Our Fine Feathered Friends

"The two things I love most are novels and birds," said Jonathan Franzen in a Guardian profile not long ago. "They’re both in trouble, and I want to advocate for both of them." Chances are that even that famously internet-averse novelist-turned-birdwatcher would enjoy the online attraction called The Bird Library, "where the need to feed meets the need to read." Its live Youtube stream shows the goings-on of a tiny library built especially for our feathered friends. "Perched in a backyard in th...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, America, Nature, Libraries, Jonathan Franzen, Seoul, Charlottesville, Atlas Obscura, McDonald, Facebook Twitter, Andrew Carnegie, Colin Marshall, Joseph Eichler, Voon


Take a Virtual Drive through London, Tokyo, Los Angeles & 45 Other World Cities

When asked once about his beliefs, This American Life creator Ira Glass replied that he believes "the car is the best place to listen to the radio." That seems to be a culturally supported perception, or at least it has been in over the past half-century in America. But does it hold true in other countries? Does listening to the radio in the car feel as good in London, Buenos Aires, Mumbai, and Tokyo as it does in Chicago, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles? You can see and hea...
Tags: Travel, Google, Facebook, Utah, London, College, Berlin, New York City, America, Los Angeles, Chicago, Radio, Paris, Tokyo, Miami, Npr


After MLK’s Assassination, a Schoolteacher Conducted a Famous Experiment–“Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes”–to Teach Kids About Discrimination

Getting history across to young students is challenging enough, but what should a teacher do when actual history-making events happen on their watch? They have to be acknowledged, but to what extent do they have to be explained, even "taught"? Of the teachers who have turned history-in-the-making into a lesson, perhaps the most famous is Jane Elliott of Riceville, Iowa. On April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, she divided her classroom of third-graders alon...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Jimmy Fallon, College, America, History, Current Affairs, Associated Press, Martin Luther King, Seoul, Martin Luther King Jr, Elliott, Facebook Twitter, Morehouse College, Johnny Carson, PBS Frontline


Why James Baldwin’s Writing Stays Powerful: An Artfully Animated Introduction to the Author of Notes of a Native Son

Every writer hopes to be survived by his work. In the case of James Baldwin, the 32 years since his death seem only to have increased the relevance of the writing he left behind. Consisting of  novels, essays, and even a children's book , Baldwin's body of work offers different points of entry to different readers. Many begin with with Go Tell it on the Mountain, the semi-autobiographical debut novel in which he mounts a critique of the Pentecostal Church. Others may find their gateway...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, France, America, History, Fbi, Paris, Literature, Berkeley, Seoul, Memphis, Harper, James Baldwin, United States of America, Facebook Twitter


David Lynch Posts His Nightmarish Sitcom Rabbits Online–the Show That Psychologists Use to Induce a Sense of Existential Crisis in Research Subjects

If recent world events feel to you like an existential crisis, you may find yourself browsing Youtube for calming viewing material. But there's also something to be said for fighting fire with fire, so why not plunge straight into the dread and panic with David Lynch's sitcom Rabbits? Set "in a nameless city deluged by a continuous rain" where a family of three humanoid rabbits live "with a fearful mystery," the eight-episode web series has, as we've previously mentioned here on Open Cul...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Television, Film, College, Los Angeles, David, Seoul, David Lynch, David Foster Wallace, University of British Columbia, Facebook Twitter, Lynch, Lynchian, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles


Al Jaffee, Iconic Mad Magazine Cartoonist, Retires at Age 99 … and Leaves Behind Advice About Living the Creative Life

Apart from Alfred E. Neuman, there is no Al more closely identified with Mad magazine than Al Jaffee. Born in 1921, he was around for more than 30 years before the launch of that satirical magazine turned American cultural phenomenon — and now, at age 99, he's on track to outlive it. Just this week, the longest-working cartoonist in history and inventor of the Fold-In announced his retirement, and "to mark his farewell," writes the Washington Post's Michael Cavna, "Mad’s 'Usual Gang of I...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, Comedy, Washington Post, College, Fbi, Magazines, Al Jaffee, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Alfred E Neuman, Creative Life, Colin Marshall, Jaffee, Cavna


Sir Isaac Newton’s Cure for the Plague: Powdered Toad Vomit Lozenges (1669)

Nearly 300 years after his death, Isaac Newton lives on as a byword for genius. As a polymath whose domain encompassed astronomy, physics, and mathematics, he mastered and expanded the domain of scientific knowledge available to 17th-century Europe. But if we remember him as a one-man engine of the scientific revolution, we should also bear in mind his contrasting intellectual frailties: Newton was no financial genius, as evidenced by his loss of $3 million in the South Sea Bubble of 1720, and ...
Tags: Health, Google, Facebook, Europe, Science, London, College, History, Cambridge, Isaac Newton, Seoul, Newton, Facebook Twitter, Bonham, South Sea, Trinity College Cambridge


Documentary Portraits of Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, William Carlos Williams, Anne Sexton & Other American Poets (1965)

The annals of American history offer little in the way of documentarian-poets. But luckily for us today — and especially for those of us who enjoy American poetry of the mid-2oth century — one of the country's few such hyphenates lived an uncommonly productive life. Though known primarily as a poet of the San Francisco Renaissance, Richard O. Moore also had a career in independent and public media, beginning in 1949 with the very first broadcast of Berkeley's KPFA. In the early 1950s he ...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Usa, Film, College, Poetry, San Francisco, Williams, Berkeley, Seoul, Leonard Cohen, Columbia, Santa Cruz, Pablo Neruda, Facebook Twitter, Moore


An Introduction to the Sublime, Entrepreneurial Art of Christo & Jeanne-Claude (Courtesy of Alain de Botton’s School of Life)

Of all the work that made Christo and Jeanne-Claude the most famous installation artists of the past fifty years, none still exists. If you wanted to see the Reichstag wrapped in silver fabric, you'd have to have been in Berlin in the summer of 1995. If you wanted to see Central Park threaded with Shinto shrine-style gates, you'd have to have been in New York in the winter of 2005. If you wanted to see an enormous Mesopotamian mastaba made out of 7,506 oil barrels, you'd have to have bee...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, New York, London, College, Berlin, World, Paris, Seoul, Central Park, Christo, Facebook Twitter, School of Life, Colin Marshall, Beautiful San Francisco



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