Open Culture

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George Saunders Tries to Order One Mousetrap Over The Phone

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Culture

The News Is Broken, and Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Plans to Fix It With His New Site, Wikitribune

“The news is broken and we can fix it.” That’s the idea driving the creation of Wikitribune, a news platform being built by Wikipedia founder Jimmy …

Culture

Artist is Creating a Parthenon Made of 100,000 Banned Books: A Monument to Democracy & Intellectual Freedom

With the rise of Far Right candidates in Europe and in America, along with creeping dictatorship in Turkey and authoritarianism in the Philippines, …

Art

Read Cormac McCarthy’s First Work of Non-Fiction, “The Kekulé Problem,” a Provocative Essay on the Origins of Language

Few English writers of the early twentieth century had the rhetorical zest and zeal of novelist, journalist, and Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton, …

Literature

How Jonathan Demme Put Humanity Into His Films: From The Silence of the Lambs to Stop Making Sense

“My friend, the director Jonathan Demme, passed last night,” wrote Talking Heads’ David Byrne on his blog yesterday. “I met Jonathan in the ‘80s when …

Jonathan Demme Narrates I Thought I Told You To Shut Up!!,” a Short Film About the Counterculture Cartoon Reid Fleming

Earlier today, we sadly learned about the passing of Jonathan Demme, director of <i>The Silence of the Lambs</i> and <i>Stop Making Sense</i>. We’ll have more to say …

Cool Stuff

If You Could Spend Eternity with Your Ashes Pressed Into a Vinyl Record, What Album Would It Be?

In February, Ted Mills wrote about a new company–And Vinyly–which will press your ashes into a playable vinyl record when your time eventually runs …

Vinyl Records

Neil deGrasse Tyson Says This Short Film on Science in America Contains Perhaps the Most Important Words He’s Ever Spoken

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has won a reputation as a genial, yet pedantic nerd, a scientific gadfly whose point of view may nearly always be …

Culture

Download 200+ Modern Art Books from the Guggenheim Museum

For at least half a decade now, New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has been digitizing its exhibition catalogs and other art books. Now you can …

Museums

Robert Pirsig Reveals the Personal Journey That Led Him to Write His Counterculture Classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974)

I well remember pulling Robert Pirsig’s <i>Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance</i> from my parents’ shelves at age twelve or thirteen, working my way …

Literature

David Mamet Teaches Dramatic Writing in a New Online Course

FYI: David Mamet, one of America’s preeminent playwrights and screenwriters, will be teaching a course on Dramatic Writing over at MasterClass this …

Learning

New Film Project Features Citizens of Alabama Reading Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” a Poetic Embodiment of Democratic Ideals

In times of national anxiety, many of us take comfort in the fact that the U.S. has endured political crises even more severe than those at hand. …

Poetry

Buckminster Fuller Creates an Animated Visualization of Human Population Growth from 1000 B.C.E. to 1965

Sit back, relax, put on some music (I’ve found Chopin’s Nocturne in B major well-suited), and watch the video above, a silent data visualization by …

Maps

Watch Teeny Tiny Japanese Meals Get Made in a Miniature Kitchen: The Joy of Cooking Mini Tempura, Sashimi, Curry, Okonomiyaki & More

Every time I go to Japan, I marvel at the artificial sandwiches, omelets, bowls of noodles, and parfaits displayed outside even the humblest …

Japan

Discover the Creative, New Philosophy Podcast Hi-Phi Nation: The First Story-Driven Show About Philosophy

Let me call your attention to a new and quite different philosophy podcast. Created by Barry Lam (Associate Professor of Philosophy at Vassar …

National Endowment for the Humanities

How to Make the World’s Smallest Cup of Coffee, from Just One Coffee Bean

The Finnish coffee company, Paulig, has been around for a good long while–since 1876, to precise. But only in 2017 did they get around to doing …

Coffee

The Futurist Cookbook (1930) Tried to Turn Italian Cuisine into Modern Art

With the coming savage cuts in arts funding, perhaps we’ll return to a system of <i>noblesse oblige</i> familiar to students of The Gilded Age, when artists …

Cookbooks

Milton Glaser’s 10 Rules for Life & Work: The Celebrated Designer Dispenses Wisdom Gained Over His Long Life & Career

“None of us has really the ability to understand our path until it’s over,” the celebrated graphic designer Milton Glaser muses less than a minute …

Cool Stuff

What Makes a Coen Brothers Movie a Coen Brothers Movie? Find Out in a 4-Hour Video Essay of Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, No Country for Old Men & More

What could movies as different as <i>Barton Fink</i>, <i>The Big Lebowski</i>, <i>No Country for Old Men</i>, and <i>True Grit</i> have in common? Even casual cinephiles will take …

Cool Stuff

Alec Baldwin Has a Podcast: Hear His Intimate Interviews with Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, Jerry Seinfeld, Ira Glass, Amy Schumer & More

It somehow escaped me. Alec Baldwin has a podcast. With 133 episodes in its archive, <i>Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin</i> (Web – iTunes – Feeds) …

Hear Four Hours of Music in Jim Jarmusch’s Films: Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Neil Young, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins & More

“I gotta say — not to rant, but — one thing about commercial films is, doesn’t the music almost always really suck?” Jim Jarmusch, director of films …

Music

Philosophical, Sci-Fi Claymation Film Answers the Timeless Question: Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

It’s a question that’s occupied our greatest thinkers, from Aristotle and Plato to Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye:<p><i>Which came first—the chicken or</i> …

Culture

NASA Releases a Massive Online Archive: 140,000 Photos, Videos & Audio Files Free to Search and Download

Last summer, astronomer Michael Summer wrote that, despite a relatively low profile, NASA and its international partners have been “living Carl …

An Interactive Visualization of Hegel’s Science of Logic (Available on Github)

In 1812, GWF Hegel published his <i>Science of Logic.</i> Two centuries later, one of his disciples put on Github an interactive visualisation of Hegel’s …

Culture

Peter Singer’s Course on Effective Altruism Gets Started This Week: Enroll & Put Philosophy Into Worldly Action

This week, Peter Singer’s online course on Effective Altruism is getting underway on Coursera. Based on the philosopher’s books, <i>The Life You Can Save</i> …

Cool Stuff

Hear Two Legends, Lead Belly & Woody Guthrie, Performing on the Same Radio Show (1940)

Let’s go back in time to December 12, 1940 and turn our radio dial to 830 AM WNYC. It’s 6 p.m. in New York and blues singer Lead Belly has his weekly …

Music

Salvador Dalí Figurines Let You Bring the Artist’s Surreal Paintings Into Your Home

Whether at the Museum of Modern Art, a dorm-room wall, or anywhere in between, we’ve all seen Salvador Dalí’s 1931 canvas <i>The Persistence of Memory</i>, …

Artists

5 Animations Introduce the Media Theory of Noam Chomsky, Roland Barthes, Marshall McLuhan, Edward Said & Stuart Hall

We watch it happen in real time, aghast as the media cannibalizes itself, turning reality into a parody of the kind we laughed at in goofy dystopian …

Culture

The Day When Chivalry Officially Came to an End in 1363 AD: A Short Comedy Film

When did chivalry come to an end? Some would say it’s a matter of historical debate. But not for Jake Mahaffy. His short, funny film lets you see the …

Comedy

Watch The Bicycle Trip: An Animation of The World’s First LSD Trip Which Took Place on April 19, 1943

In 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann was synthesizing a new compound called lysergic acid diethylamide-25 when he got a couple of drops on his …