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America at War: Infographic Reveals How the U.S. Military Is Operating in 40% of the World’s Nations

Earlier this month, NBC reporter and analyst William Arkin ended a 30-year career as a journalist, announcing in a “scathing letter,” Democracy Now! reports, that “he would be leaving the network. Arkin accuses “the media of warmongering while ignoring the, quote, ‘creeping fascism of homeland security.’” He does not equivocate in a follow-up interview with Amy Goodman. “The generals and the national security leadership" are also now, he says, “the commentators and the analysts who populate the...
Tags: Google, Maps, Politics, Nbc, College, Africa, America, Cnn, Fox, Current Affairs, Middle East, Army, Smithsonian, Cornell, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones


An Ancient Egyptian Homework Assignment from 1800 Years Ago: Some Things Are Truly Timeless

Every generation of schoolchildren no doubt first assumes homework to be a historically distinct form of punishment, developed expressly to be inflicted on them. But the parents of today's miserable homework-doers also, of course, had to do homework themselves, as did their parents' parents. It turns out that you can go back surprisingly far in history and still find examples of the menace of homework, as far back as ancient Egypt, a civilization from which one example of an out-of-classroom as...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Education, Writing, College, History, Egypt, Seoul, British Library, Turin, Livescience, Facebook Twitter, Colin Marshall, Jason Daley, 21st Century Los Angeles, Egypt Mesopotamia China


Stephen Fry Narrates Two Animated Videos Explaining How Fear, Loathing & Misinformation Drove the Brexit Campaign

For millions watching in the UK and around the world, anticipating the looming Brexit deadline over the past two years has been like watching the slowest train wreck in history. But for those not following the coverage daily, the impending UK secession from the European Union is mystifying. Just how many trains are there, and where are they coming from, and how fast, exactly, are they going? From the future of food and drug imports, to the status of the “currently invisible” border betwe...
Tags: Google, Politics, UK, College, US, Eu, European Union, Atlantic, George Orwell, Theresa May, Current Affairs, NHS, Republic Of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Stephen Fry, Brexit


Complex Math Made Simple With Engaging Animations: Fourier Transform, Calculus, Linear Algebra, Neural Networks & More

In many an audio engineering course, I’ve come across the Fourier Transform, an idea so fundamental in sound production that it seems essential for everyone to know it. My limited understanding was, you might say, functional. It’s some kind of mathematical reverse engineering machine that turns waveforms into frequencies, right? Yes, but it’s much more than that. The idea can seem overwhelming to the non-mathematically-inclined among us. The Fourier Transform, named for French mathematic...
Tags: Google, Math, College, Animation, Khan Academy, Facebook Twitter, Sanderson, Josh Jones, Durham NC Follow, Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, Grant Sanderson


Download Vincent van Gogh’s Collection of 500 Japanese Prints, Which Inspired Him to Create “the Art of the Future”

Vincent van Gogh never went to Japan, but he did spend quite a bit of time in Arles, which he considered the Japan of France. What made him think of the place that way had to do entirely with aesthetics. The Netherlands-born painter had moved to Paris in 1886, but two years later he set off for the south of France in hopes of finding real-life equivalents of the "clearness of the atmosphere and the gay colour effects" of Japanese prints. These days, we've all seen at least a few examples of tha...
Tags: Google, Art, Japan, Microsoft, College, France, Paris, Netherlands, Seoul, Arles, Van Gogh, Vincent, Simon Schama, Facebook Twitter, Vincent Van Gogh, Theo


Making Sense of White Paintings: A Short Art History Lesson on Minimalism and the All-White Painting

“I could do that” goes the refrain of philistines at modern art galleries, sometimes followed by a “Hell, my dog/cat/baby/elephant could do that!” Sophisticates smirk knowing smirks. Oh no, sir or madam, they most certainly could not. But maybe everyone, at some level, comes across Agnes Martin’s White Stone or Jo Baer’s Untitled (White Square Lavender) and thinks it looks like someone “just took a tube of white paint and spread it on a canvas.” It's tempting to imagine, notes Vox in the...
Tags: Google, Art, New York, College, Harvard, Vox, Sherman, Whitney Museum, Frank Stella, Facebook Twitter, Josef Albers, White Stone, Josh Jones, Agnes Martin, Delacroix, Yasmina Reza


The Artistry Behind an All-White Painting: A Short Art History Lesson on Minimalism and the All-White Painting

“I could do that” goes the refrain of philistines at modern art galleries, sometimes followed by a “Hell, my dog/cat/baby/elephant could do that!” Sophisticates smirk knowing smirks. Oh no, sir or madam, they most certainly could not. But maybe everyone, at some level, comes across Agnes Martin’s White Stone or Jo Baer’s Untitled (White Square Lavender) and thinks it looks like someone “just took a tube of white paint and spread it on a canvas.” It's tempting to imagine, notes Vox in the...
Tags: Google, Art, New York, College, Harvard, Vox, Sherman, Whitney Museum, Frank Stella, Facebook Twitter, Josef Albers, White Stone, Josh Jones, Agnes Martin, Delacroix, Yasmina Reza


A Fender Stratocaster Made Out of 1200 Colored Pencils

Alder and Ash. These woods have traditionally made up the body of the Fender Stratocaster. Crayola colored pencils? They were never part of the mix ... at least until now. Above, Burls Art gives it a go. In nine minutes, they take you through the making and playing of the Crayola Strat, from start to finish. Aficionados, feel free to argue over the tonal qualities of this new fangled creation. Related Content: Behold the First Electric Guitar: The 1931 “Frying Pan” Brian May’s Homemade G...
Tags: Google, Music, College, America, Willie Nelson, Brian May, Facebook Twitter


The Strange Dancing Plague of 1518: When Hundreds of People in France Could Not Stop Dancing for Months

If you find yourself thinking you aren’t a victim of fashion, maybe take another look. Yes, we can consciously train ourselves to resist trends through force of habit. We can declare our preferences and stand on principle. But we aren't consciously aware of what's happening in the hidden turnings of our brains. Maybe what we call the unconscious has more control over us than we would like to think. Inexplicable episodes of mass obsession and compulsion serve as disquieting examples. Mass panics...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Science, College, France, History, Bbc, Strasbourg, Rhine, Moselle, Facebook Twitter, Alsace, Josh Jones, Waller, St Vitus, Oliver Sacks


The Musical Instruments in Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights Get Brought to Life, and It Turns Out That They Sound “Painful” and “Horrible”

Welcome to The Garden of Earthly Delights. You’ll find no angelic strings here. Those are reserved for first class citizens whose virtuous lives earned them passage to the uppermost heights. Down below, stringed instruments produce the most hellish sort of cacophony, a fitting accompaniment for the horn whose bell is befouled with the arm of a tortured soul. How do we know that's what they sounded like? A group of musicologists, craftspeople and academics from the Bate Collection of Musical...
Tags: Google, Art, Music, Comedy, College, New York City, Religion, Museums, University of Oxford, Lamb, Slayer, Bosch, Facebook Twitter, Hieronymus Bosch, Ayun Halliday, Andrew Lamb


A New Edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 That’s Only Readable When You Apply Heat to Its Pages: Pre-Order It Today

Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, a novel of a nearly bookless dystopian future in which "firemen" go around burning any last volumes they can find, lends itself well to highly physical special editions. Last year we featured an asbestos-bound, fireproof version, 200 copies of which were published at the book's first printing in 1953. The year before we featured an experimental edition perhaps even more faithfully reflective of the story's premise, one whose all-black pages only reveal the ...
Tags: Google, Books, College, Ray Bradbury, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Electric Literature, Bradbury, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Read Ray Bradbury, Radio Drama Based, Facebook A New Edition of Ray Bradbury


150 Courses Starting at Stanford Continuing Studies Next Week: Explore the Catalogue of Campus and Online Courses

Quick fyi: I spend my days at Stanford Continuing Studies, where we've developed a rich lineup of online courses for lifelong learners, many of which will get started next week. The courses aren't free. But they're first rate, giving adult students--no matter where they live--the chance to work with dedicated teachers and students. The catalogue includes a large number of online Creative Writing courses,  covering the Novel , the Memoir, Creative Nonfiction, Travel Writing, Poetry and more. ...
Tags: Google, California, College, France, Stanford, Andy Warhol, San Francisco Bay Area, Facebook Twitter, Modern World, Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs, Stanford Continuing Studies, Marc Levoy, Memoir Creative Nonfiction Travel Writing Poetry, Silicon Valley Leaders, Stanford University 150 Courses Starting


Philip Glass Finishes His David Bowie Trilogy, Debuting His Lodger Symphony

Sometimes I feel The need to move on So I pack a bag And move on Move on --David Bowie, “Move On” We might have been calling it the Lake Geneva Trilogy, given David Bowie’s recuperative sojourn in Switzerland after the emptiness he felt in L.A. The first album in the Berlin Trilogy, Low, was mostly recorded in France, and the last album of the trilogy, Lodger, in Montreaux in 1979. But they were almost all written in, around, and about Berlin, where Bowie found what he was looking for—a ...
Tags: Google, Music, London, College, France, Berlin, Los Angeles, David Bowie, Switzerland, John Adams, Times, Gary Oldman, Low, Los Angeles Times, Philip Glass, Bowie


Marie Kondo v. Tsundoku: Competing Japanese Philosophies on Whether to Keep or Discard Unread Books

By now we've all heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese home-organization guru whose book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up became an international bestseller in 2011. Her advice about how to straighten up the home, branded the "KonMari" method, has more recently landed her that brass ring of early 21st-century fame, her own Netflix series. A few years ago we featured her tips for dealing with your piles of reading material, which, like all her advice, are based on discarding the items t...
Tags: Google, Books, Japan, Washington Post, College, Netflix, Seoul, Tupperware, Facebook Twitter, Marie Kondo, Kondo, Colin Marshall, Ron Charles, Anakana Schofield, 21st Century Los Angeles, Schofield Charles


Marie Kondo v. Tsundoku: Two Japanese Philosophies on Whether to Keep or Discard Unread Books

By now we've all heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese home-organization guru whose book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up became an international bestseller in 2011. Her advice about how to straighten up the home, branded the "KonMari" method, has more recently landed her that brass ring of early 21st-century fame, her own Netflix series. A few years ago we featured her tips for dealing with your piles of reading material, which, like all her advice, are based on discarding the items t...
Tags: Google, Books, Japan, Washington Post, College, Netflix, Seoul, Tupperware, Facebook Twitter, Marie Kondo, Kondo, Colin Marshall, Ron Charles, Anakana Schofield, 21st Century Los Angeles, Schofield Charles


The Books That Samuel Beckett Read and Really Liked (1941-1956)

Samuel Beckett, Pic, 1" by Roger Pic. Via Wikimedia Commons Clad in a black turtleneck and with a shock of white hair, Samuel Beckett was a gaunt, gloomy high priest of modernism. After the 1955 premiere of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot (watch him stage a performance here), Kenneth Tynan quipped, ''It has no plot, no climax, no denouement; no beginning, no middle and no end.'' From there, Beckett’s work only got more austere, bleak and despairing. His 1969 play Breath, for instance,...
Tags: Google, Books, Yahoo, College, Los Angeles, Literature, Around The World, Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett, Agatha Christie, Christie, Facebook Twitter, Beckett, Hollywood Reporter, Theodor Fontane, Suzanne


An Animated History of Cats: How Over 10,000 Years the Cat Went from Wild Predator to Sofa Sidekick

Dogs sees us as their masters while cats sees us as their slaves. - Anonymous The next time your friend’s pet cat sinks its fangs into your wrist, bear in mind that the beast is probably still laboring under the impression that it’s guarding the granaries. Anthropologist Eva-Maria Geigl’s animated Ted-Ed Lesson, The History of the World According to Cats, above, awards special recognition to Unsinkable Sam, a black-and-white ship’s cat who survived three WWII shipwrecks (on both Axis and...
Tags: Health, Google, Instagram, College, New York City, History, Animation, Edward Gorey, Ken, Facebook Twitter, Hitchcock, Freya, Ayun Halliday, Eva Maria Geigl, Unsinkable Sam


The Art of Creating Special Effects in Silent Movies: Ingenuity Before the Age of CGI

If anyone tries to claim that modern day movies have too many special effects remind them of this. Films have always used special effects to trick the audience, and we’re just using new variations of tools from a century ago. In fact, right from the beginning, creators like Georges Méliès were pushing the boundaries of celluloid and 24 frames per second like the showmen and magicians they were. By the time we get to the silent comedians as seen in our above video, technology had advanced...
Tags: Google, Film, College, Los Angeles, Jackie Chan, Peter Jackson, Charlie Chaplin, Keaton, Facebook Twitter, Lloyd, Buster Keaton, KCRW, Gandalf, Georges Méliès, Ted Mills, Harold Lloyd


Artist Hand-Cuts an Intricate Octopus From a Single Piece of Paper: Discover the Japanese Art of Kirie

At first glance, the octopus in the video above might appear to be breathing. A second look reveals that it isn't actually breathing, nor is it actually an octopus at all, but seemingly just a highly detailed drawing of one. Only upon the third look, if even then, does it become clear that the octopus has been not drawn but intricately cut, and out of a single large sheet of paper at that. The two-dimensional sea creature represents a recent high point in the work of Japanese artist Masa...
Tags: Google, Art, Japan, College, Seoul, Osaka, Facebook Twitter, Waldman, Fukuda, Colin Marshall, Spoon Tamago, 21st Century Los Angeles, Kirie, Johnny Waldman, Masayo Fukuda, TANT


Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments for Living in a Healthy Democracy

Image by J. F. Horrabin, via Wikimedia Commons Bertrand Russell saw the history of civilization as being shaped by an unfortunate oscillation between two opposing evils: tyranny and anarchy, each of which contain the seed of the other. The best course for steering clear of either one, Russell maintained, is liberalism. "The doctrine of liberalism is an attempt to escape from this endless oscillation," writes Russell in A History of Western Philosophy. "The essence of liberalism is an attempt to...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, College, History, New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Facebook Twitter, Russell, Wise, John Locke, Bertrand Russell, Healthy Democracy, Bertrand Russell Authority, J F Horrabin


The Getty Digital Archive Expands to 135,000 Free Images: Download High Resolution Scans of Paintings, Sculptures, Photographs & Much Much More

J. Paul Getty was not a billionaire known for his generosity. But since his death, the Getty Trust and complex of Getty museums in L.A. have carried forth in a more magnanimous spirit, ostensibly adhering to values that transcend their founder: “service, philanthropy, teaching, and access.” A collection first gathered for private investment and consumption (sometimes under a cloud of scandal) has expanded into galleries that millions pass through every year; a Conservation Institute dedicated t...
Tags: Google, Art, Photography, College, Getty, West Coast, Dorothea Lange, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Research Institute, Roehampton, Paul Getty, Durham NC Follow, Andrea Mantegna, Paul Gaugin, Thomas Gaehtgens


The Hu, a New Breakthrough Band from Mongolia, Plays Heavy Metal with Traditional Folk Instruments and Throat Singing

Maybe you’re jaded, maybe you think it’s time for heavy metal to finally hang up its spikes, maybe you think there’s nowhere else for the world’s most theatrically angry music to go but maybe bluegrass…. Or maybe Mongolia, where folk metal band The Hu have been inventing what they call “Hunnu Rock,” a style combining Western headbanging with instruments like the horsehead fiddle (morin khuur) and Mongolian guitar (tovshuur). “It also involves singing in a guttural way,” Katya Cengel poin...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Npr, Mongolia, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Genghis Khan, Ronnie James Dio, Hu, Durham NC Follow, The Beatles Red Hot Chili Peppers Metallica, Katya Cengel, Mongolia Plays Heavy Metal, Temka, University of Wisconsin Kip Hutchins


Actress Lucy Lawless Performs the Proto-Feminist Comedy “Lysistrata” for The Partially Examined Life Podcast

Remember Lucy, aka Xena the Warrior Princess, perhaps better known to younger folks as Ron Swanson's (eventual) wife on Parks and Recreation? Before her career re-launched via major roles on Spartacus, Salem, and Ash vs. Evil Dead, she took some time off to study philosophy and so got involved with The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast, which is coming up on its 10th birthday and has now been downloaded more than 25 million times. She has now joined the gang for cold-read on-air perfor...
Tags: Google, Music, College, Stephen King, Bbc, Literature, Spike Lee, Harold Pinter, Lucy, Parks, Facebook Twitter, Chi Raq, Sartre, Jean Paul Sartre, Ron Swanson, Lucy Lawless


When Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire Were Accused of Stealing the Mona Lisa (1911)

If you visit the Louvre today, you'll notice two phenomena in particular: the omnipresence of security, and the throng of visitors obscuring the Mona Lisa. If you'd visited just over a century ago, neither would have been the case. And if you happened to visit on August 22nd, 1911, you wouldn't have encountered Leonardo's famed portrait at all. That morning, writes Messy Nessy, "Parisian artist Louis Béroud, famous for painting and selling his copies of famous artworks, walked into the Louvre t...
Tags: Google, Art, Facebook, College, France, History, Pablo Picasso, Hitler, Seoul, Huffington Post, Louvre, Mona Lisa, Picasso, Sara Boboltz, Facebook Twitter, Da Vinci


Classic Illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe’s Stories by Gustave Doré, Édouard Manet, Harry Clarke, Aubrey Beardsley & Arthur Rackham

What do you see when you read the work of Edgar Allan Poe? The great age of the illustrated book is far behind us. Aside from cover designs, most modern editions of Poe’s work circulate in text-only form. That’s just fine, of course. Readers should be trusted to use their imaginations, and who can forget indelible descriptions like “The Tell-Tale Heart”’s “eye of a vulture—a pale, blue eye, with a film over it”? We need no picture book to make that image come alive. Yet, when we first discover ...
Tags: Google, Art, College, Edgar Allan Poe, Brooklyn, Literature, Clarke, Alice, Poe, édouard Manet, Manet, Don Quixote, Harry Clarke, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Daniel Horowitz


3 Content Strategy Lessons from Seattle Interactive Conference

Recently, the team from Portent attended the latest installment of Seattle Interactive Conference, a fantastic digital conference just down the block from our shiny new home office. Thousands of attendees flocked to downtown Seattle and listened to dozens of speakers share their insights about the digital marketing landscape. (Portent’s own Tim Mehta spoke at SIC about friction in UX and how it affects a user’s journey.) As with any conference, some talks were riveting and others just missed the...
Tags: Google, Microsoft, Strategy, Content Marketing, Blogging, User Experience, Airbnb, Ux, Content, Seattle, Mailchimp, Content Strategy, Aristotle, Digital Marketing, Facebook Twitter, Norris


1,700 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Getting Started in January: Enroll Today

FYI. 1,700 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are getting underway this month, giving you the chance to take free courses from top flight universities. With the help of Class Central, we've pulled together a complete list of January MOOCS. And below we've highlighted several courses that caught our eye. The trailer above comes from the Yale course " Music and Social Action ."   Music and Social Action  - Yale University on Coursera - January 7 (9 weeks) Introduction to Philosoph...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Twitter, College, Harvard University, Jane Austen, Einstein, MOOCs, University of Toronto, University Of Oslo, Facebook Twitter, Wesleyan University, Philosophy University of Edinburgh, Enroll Today, Plato His Predecessors University of Pennsylvania, Global Celebrity University of Southampton


Watch Four Daring Films by Lois Weber, “the Most Important Female Director the American Film Industry Has Known” (1913-1921)

These days, every cinephile can name more than a few women among their favorite living filmmakers: Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay, Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Agnès Varda — the list goes on. But if we look farther back into cinema history, coming up with examples becomes much more difficult. There's Ida Lupino, previously featured here on Open Culture, whose The Hitch-Hiker made her the only female director of a 1950s film noir, but before her? No name from that early era is more importa...
Tags: Google, New York, Film, College, Wikipedia, History, Seoul, Pittsburgh, Gretel, Weber, Facebook Twitter, Griffith, Ida Lupino, Colin Marshall, Alice Guy Blaché, Lotte Reiniger


The “David Bowie Is” Exhibition Is Now Available as an Augmented Reality Mobile App That’s Narrated by Gary Oldman: For David Bowie’s Birthday Today

Maybe it’s too soon to divide pop music history into “Before David Bowie” and “After David Bowie,” but two years after Bowie’s death, it’s impossible to imagine pop music history without him. Yet, if there ever did come a time when future generations did not know who David Bowie is, they could do far worse than hear Gary Oldman tell the story. Luckily for them, and us, Oldman narrates the new David Bowie augmented reality app, which launches today on what would have been the legend’s 72n...
Tags: Google, Fashion, Music, Technology, Film, College, Dave, David Bowie, South London, Rolling Stone, Gary Oldman, Brixton, Bowie, Gary, Facebook Twitter, Julian Schnabel


The Bustling Streets of Mumbai, India Captured with Early Sound Cameras in 1929

“Though hardly a cinematic masterpiece,” film critic Andre Soares writes, “or even a good film,” Al Jolson’s 1927 The Jazz Singer will forever bear the distinction of “the first time in a feature film that synchronized sound and voices could be heard in musical numbers and talking segments.” What usually goes unremarked in film history is that Indian cinema was never far behind its U.S. counterpart. The country’s first feature sound film appeared just four years after The Jazz Singer. No...
Tags: Google, New York, Hollywood, Film, College, India, New York City, Fox, Broadway, Mumbai, St Louis, Bombay, Charles Lindbergh, Al Jolson, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones



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