Open Culture

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: “Because of Pink Floyd, I’ve Spent Decades Undoing the Idea That There’s a Dark Side of the Moon”

In 1973, Pink Floyd released their influential concept album, <i>The Dark Side of the Moon</i>, which garnered both critical and commercial success. The …

Neil deGrasse Tyson

How TV Addles Kids’ Brains: A Short Film Directed by Godfrey Reggio (Maker of Koyaanisqatsi) & Scored by Philip Glass

On October 4, 1982, "more than 5,000 people filled the Radio City Music Hall to experience a remarkable event. That event was the world premiere of</i> …

Cool Stuff

Hear the Beach Boys’ Angelic Vocal Harmonies in Four Isolated Tracks from Pet Sounds: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” “Sloop John B” & “Good Vibrations”

I didn’t get the Beach Boys for a while. They had provided the soundtrack to an alien world, one I knew mostly from chewing gum commercials. They …

Cool Stuff

The Paintings of Jim Carrey: “Painting Frees Me, from the Past and Future, from Regret and Worry”

In his top-grossing comedies, actor Jim Carrey displayed an antic quality that seemed to rule over his personal life as well. While other stars used …

Jim Carrey

The Last Surviving Witness of the Lincoln Assassination Appears on the TV Game Show “I’ve Got a Secret” (1956)

Let's rewind the videotape to 1956, to Samuel James Seymour's appearance on the CBS television show, "I've Got a Secret." At 96 years of age, Seymour …

History

Legendary Animator Chuck Jones Creates an Oscar-Winning Animation About the Virtues of Universal Health Care (1949)

While our country looks like it might be coming apart at the seams, it’s good to revisit, every once in a while, moments when it did work. And that’s …

Animation

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 …

Noam Chomsky

The Color Palettes of Your Favorite Films: The Royal Tenenbaums, Reservoir Dogs, A Clockwork Orange, Blade Runner & More

We tend to think of film as roughly divided into the "black and white" and "color" eras, the latter ushered in by such lavish Technicolor productions …

Cool Stuff

Prince Gets a Purple Pantone Color

It was bound to happen...<p>The Pantone Color Institute has announced that they've created "a standardized custom color to represent and honor …

Cool Stuff

Ralph Steadman’s Surrealist Illustrations of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1995)

As a novelist, George Orwell did not traffic in subtleties, but then neither did the authors of Medieval morality plays. The allegorical <i>Animal Farm</i> …

Literature

Hear 9 Hours of Hans Zimmer Soundtracks: Dunkirk, Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight & Much More

No name has become more synonymous with the very concept of "movie music" than that of Hans Zimmer. Beginning in the 1980s by composing for such cult …

Movies

F.D.R. Proposes a Second Bill of Rights: If Every American Is Guaranteed a Job, Education & Health Care, It Will Keep Us Free from Authoritarianism (1944)

It’s difficult to appraise the complicated legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt. His New Deal policies are credited for lifting millions out of …

Cool Stuff

New BBC Dramatization of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children Now Streaming Free for a Limited Time

FYI: The BBC is now streaming a dramatization of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel <i>Midnight's Children</i>. This free stream will only last for …

Literature

Artist Draws a Series Portraits on LSD: Inside the 1950s Experiments to Turn LSD into a “Creativity Pill”

LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by chemist Albert Hoffman in a Swiss laboratory but only attained infamy almost two decades later, when it became …

Cool Stuff

Find Happiness by Watching 30 Lectures from Harvard’s Extremely Popular Positive Psychology Course

Several years back Tal Ben-Shahar taught a course on Positive Psychology at Harvard, which became, at least for a while, the most popular course at …

Happiness

The Case for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts & Doing Valuable “Deep Work” Instead, According to Prof. Cal Newport

A familiar ding comes from your pocket, you look up from what you’re doing and reach for the smartphone. Before you can think, "it can wait," you’ve …

Cool Stuff

Download 400,000 Free Classical Musical Scores & 46,000 Free Classical Recordings from the International Music Score Library Project

The pleasure of listening to classical music, as every classical music aficionado knows, goes well beyond listening to one's favorite piece. You …

Cool Stuff

How Doors Open onto Philosophical Mysteries in Robert Bresson’s Films: A Short Video Essay by Kogonada

FYI: Last Friday, Colin Marshall highlighted for you the new feature film by kogonada, whose many video essays--on Ozu, Linklater, Malick, Anderson, …

Cool Stuff

An Animated Look at Vladimir Nabokov’s Passion for Butterfly Collecting

<i>Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man. - Vladimir Nabokov</i><p>A 1941 family road trip along Route 66 planted the seeds for …

Vladimir Nabokov

An Online Guide to 350 International Art Styles & Movements: An Invaluable Resource for Students & Enthusiasts of Art History

If you majored in art history, you no doubt have lasting memories, and possibly painful ones, of long nights spent in the library memorizing the …

Art History

Stream 35 Hours of Classic Blues, Folk, & Bluegrass Recordings from Smithsonian Folkways: 837 Tracks Featuring Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie & More

Marshall McLuhan’s chestnut “the medium is the message” contains some of the most important theory about mass media to have emerged in the past …

Music

Apple’s Hypercard Software, the Innovative 1980s Precursor to Hypertext, Now Made Available by Archive.org

Archive.org is on a bit of a roll lately. After recently making available 25,000+ digitized 78rpm records from the early 20th century, they've turned …

Cool Stuff

Adam Savage Visits Jack White’s Third Man Records, the First New Record-Pressing Plant in the US in 30 Years

Jack White, best known as the frontman of The White Stripes, launched Third Man Records in 2001, which has since positioned itself as "an innovator …

Vinyl Records

Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Clem Albers & Francis Stewart’s Censored Photographs of a WWII Japanese Internment Camp

<i>Image by Ansel Adams</i><p>In places where atrocities or widespread human rights violations occur, we sometimes hear ordinary citizens later claim they …

History

36 Abstract Covers of Vintage Psychology, Philosophy & Science Books Come to Life in a Mesmerizing Animation

Animated ebook covers are the wave of the future.<p>Graphic and motion designer Henning M. Lederer surfs that wave on the most unexpected of boards—a …

Psychology

Video Essayist Kogonada Makes His Own Acclaimed Feature Film: Watch His Tributes to Its Inspirations Like Ozu, Linklater & Malick

We've featured the work of many cinema-loving video essayists (myself included) here on Open Culture, none of it more artistic than that of a man who …

Stanley Kubrick

Hear Debussy Play Debussy: A Vintage Recording from 1913

A century ago, the great French composer Claude Debussy sat down at a contraption called a Welte-Mignon reproducing piano and recorded a series of …

Cool Stuff

A Century of Global Warming Visualized in a 35 Second Video

Antti Lipponen, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, gathered historical data from NASA and produced a short video effectively …

Climate Change

Rebecca Solnit Picks 13 Songs That Will Remind Us of Our Power to Change the World, Even in Seemingly Dark Times

Apocalypses have always been popular as mass belief and entertainment. Maybe it’s a collective desire for retribution or redemption, or a kind of …

Books

Ray Bradbury Reveals the True Meaning of Fahrenheit 451: It’s Not About Censorship, But People “Being Turned Into Morons by TV”

Even those of us who've never read Ray Bradbury's <i>Fahrenheit 451</i> know it as a searing indictment of government censorship. Or at least we think we …

Literature