Bret Thomas Johnson

125 Flips | 8 Magazines | 1 Like | 4 Following | @brokdiamonds | Keep up with Bret Thomas Johnson on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Bret Thomas Johnson”

Hear Hemingway Read Hemingway, and Faulkner Read Faulkner (90 Minutes of Classic Audio)

Hemingway and Faulkner, Faulkner and Hemingway…. The American literary canon has expanded so much in the past thirty years or so that it almost spans …

Van Gogh and the decision that changed art history

In 1878 Van Gogh was a struggling would-be preacher. At his lowest ebb, he began to draw. Alastair Sooke looks back at this pivotal moment in history.<p>In the spring of 1878, Vincent van Gogh turned 25. As he looked back over his short life, the Dutchman found little to celebrate among the meagre …

Art

Seven Tips From Ernest Hemingway on How to Write Fiction

Before he was a big game hunter, before he was a deep-sea fisherman, Ernest Hemingway was a craftsman who would rise very early in the morning and …

60 Free Film Noir Movies

During the 1940s and 50s, Hollywood entered a “noir” period, producing riveting films based on hard-boiled fiction. These films were set in dark …

How the Assassination of James A. Garfield Haunts VA Reform

Congress's proposal to fix the broken agency risks taking the country back to the patronage-job system of the 19th century.<p>When Mark Twain collaborated with his neighbor Charles Dudley Warner in 1873 to write the novel <i>The Gilded Age</i>, it received mixed reviews—but it became a classic, in large part …

The Nazis’ 10 Control-Freak Rules for Jazz Performers: A Strange List from World War II

Like the rock and roll revolution of the 1950s, which shocked staid white audiences with translations of black rhythm and blues, the popularity of …

Everything I Know: 42 Hours of Buckminster Fuller’s Visionary Lectures Free Online (1975)

Think of the name Buckminster Fuller, and you may think of a few oddities of mid-twentieth-century design for living: the Dymaxion House, the …

30 One-Minute Productivity Tips

Want to be more productive? Need a better way to deal with distractions?<p>It needn’t take long to make changes that count towards increased productivity at work. Take a minute or two to try these tips.<p>1. Don’t check email first thing.<p>2. Set goals.<p>3. Don’t keep a To Do list in your head. Write it …

Flannery O’Connor: Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Ayn Rand (1960)

In a letter dated May 31, 1960, Flannery O'Connor, the author best known for her classic story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (listen to her read the …

The Surprising Power of Stories That Are Shorter Than Short Stories

Author Stuart Dybek talks about how to layer meaning into works of "flash fiction."<p><b>By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature.</b> <b>See entries from Claire Messud, Jonathan Franzen, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, and more.</b><p>Stuart Dybek’s other books …

Actresses Lucy Lawless & Jaime Murray Perform Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” for The Partially Examined Life Podcast

Lucy Lawless (Star of <i>Xena the Warrior Princess</i> and notable contributor to such shows as <i>Spartica</i>, <i>Battlestar Galactica</i>, and <i>Parks & Recreation</i>) …

Werner Herzog Reads From Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses

Roughly since the 2005 release of his widely seen documentary <i>Grizzly Man</i>, Werner Herzog has come into great demand. He does so not just as a …

The History of the World in 46 Lectures From Columbia University

When you dive into our collection of 700 Free Online Courses, you can begin an intellectual journey that can last for many months, if not years. The …

Taxpayers fund teaching creationism

Taxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of …

How the Ancient Greeks Shaped Modern Mathematics: A Short, Animated Introduction

If you think Ancient history doesn't matter to your life today, think again. Created by The Royal Institution and the animation shop 12Foot6, this …

Rare Audio: William Faulkner Names His Best Novel, And the First Faulkner Novel You Should Read

My two favorite William Faulkner novels are, without a doubt, <i>Absalom, Absalom!</i> and <i>The Sound and The Fury</i>. After readers get thrust into the …

Kurt Vonnegut Diagrams the Shape of All Stories in a Master’s Thesis Rejected by U. Chicago

“What has been my prettiest contribution to the culture?” asked Kurt Vonnegut in his autobiography <i>Palm Sunday</i>. His answer? His master’s thesis in …

5 ways to work out without weights

With all the knowledge that’s out there now about exercise, there’s really no excuse for not achieving your fitness goals. You can’t argue that you …

Two Animations of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave: One Narrated by Orson Welles, Another Made with Clay

The ever-flickering lights, the ever-present screen, the stupefied spectators immune to a larger reality and in need of sudden enlightenment—Plato’s …

1,300 Free Online Courses from Top Universities

Download 1,300 free courses from Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley and other great universities to your computer or mobile device. Over 45,000 …

Learn Latin, Old English, Sanskrit, Classical Greek & Other Ancient Languages in 10 Lessons

I receive weekly reminders of my linguistic ignorance whenever I read anything by authors fluent in Latin. How could I not, whenever Clive James …

James Joyce Reads From Ulysses and Finnegans Wake In His Only Two Recordings (1924/1929)

As much as it is about every part of Dublin that ever passed by James Joyce’s once-young eyes, <i>Ulysses</i> is also a book about books, and about writing …

The Unbelievable 4-Minute Cardio Workout

How long does it take to get in a great cardio workout? Not as long as you might think. That is, unless you’re thinking 4 minutes.Seriously.Our proof: The fast and furious routines that follow, courtesy of fitness expert BJ Gaddour, CSCS, owner of StreamFIT.com—a web site that offers follow-along, …

Study: Reading a Novel Changes Your Brain

College students experienced heightened connectivity in their left temporal cortexes after reading fiction.<p>Scientists have proven in the past that reading stimulates many different parts of the brain. In a 2006 study, for example, research subjects read the words “perfume” and “coffee,” and the …

I'm A Runner: Haruki Murakami

This novelist uses his running to make his books top-notch.<p><b>Why do you run, when did you start?</b><br>I began running on an everyday basis after I became a writer. As being a writer requires sitting at a desk for hours a day, without getting some exercise you'd quickly get out of shape and gain weight, I …

George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984

Most of the twentieth century's notable men of letters — i.e., writers of books, of essays, of reportage — seem also to have, literally, written a …

Waiting for Beckett Documentary

Rare feature-length documentary on the Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett<p>This incredibly rare television documentary includes interviews with …

Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg Visit the Grave of Jack Kerouac (1975)

Above you can watch a rare 1975 meeting, of sorts, of three hugely influential twentieth-century cultural minds: Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, and — in …

The Art of Living: A Free Stanford Course Explores Timeless Questions

What is a liberal education? And how can it help you live a more authentic and purposeful life? They are timely and timeless questions that get …