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Rome Reborn: Take a Virtual Tour of Ancient Rome, Circa 320 C.E.

A few years ago, we featured Rome Reborn, which is essentially "a 3D digital model of the Eternal City at a time when Ancient Rome’s population had …

A Time-Lapse of the World’s Largest Salt Flat, Where the Earth Reflects the Sky

Time-lapse photographer Enrique Pacheco shot this beautiful time-lapse at Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the world’s largest salt flat. The …

A Classical Guitarist’s Assuring Account of Creative Homecoming and Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

In her sublime memoir of the writing life, Dani Shapiro wrote: <i>“The job — as well as the plight, and the unexpected joy — of the artist is to embrace uncertainty, to be sharpened and honed by it.”</i> But the sharpening-and-honing itself rarely feels like a joy when you are mid-leap into the unknown, …

Creativity

The Anti-Tolkien

This month, the author Michael Moorcock celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday, which, as fate would have it, fell in the same month that Peter Jackson closed out his hexology of films that began with “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship the Ring” and ended with “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five …

The Year in Poems

Every year, <i>The New Yorker</i> publishes approximately a hundred original poems, by longtime contributors and by emerging poets, in the original English and in translation. (Subscribers can browse the complete poetry archive.) Here are a few highlights from 2014.<p><b>“Gravity,” by Galway Kinnell (January 20,</b> …

9 Things We Learned About Sleep In 2014

Despite the fact that sleep is essential to our survival, researchers know surprisingly little for sure about our shut-eye. Questions about why we sleep, how much sleep we need and what dreams are really for remain, but this year saw plenty of discoveries that have brought us closer to …

What Are the Three Ways to Train Your Brain to Be Happy?

You can train your mind to be unhappy and you can train it to be happy.<p>Training your mind to look for errors and problems (as happens in careers like …

Happiness

Tolstoy’s Reading List: Essential Books for Each Stage of Life

Shortly after his fiftieth birthday, Leo Tolstoy succumbed to a deep spiritual crisis and decided to pull himself out by finding the meaning of life. He did so largely by reading voraciously across the world’s major philosophical and religious traditions, discovering great similarities in how they …

The History of Western Architecture: From Ancient Greece to Rococo (A Free Online Course)

If you have plans to visit the Old World any time soon, you should spend a few good minutes -- make that hours -- with The History of Architecture, a …

Experts share eight things to know about how to spot a liar: ‘We’re giving an edge to the lie-catchers’

<i>Kelowna, B.C., psychologists Michael Woodworth and Stephen Porter train judges, police, lawyers, psychologists and even the FBI in the art of</i> …

200 Free Documentaries: A Super Rich List of Finely-Crafted Documentaries on the Web

I've often called documentary my favorite kind of film, knowing full well that the label designates less a defined genre than a usefully malleable …

Download 15,000+ Free Golden Age Comics from the Digital Comic Museum

The Digital Comic Museum offers free access to hundreds of pre-1959 comic books, uploaded by users who often offer historical research and commentary …

Enjoy the Greatest Silent Films Ever Made in Our Collection of 101 Free Silent Films Online

We all know the stages of cinema's early development: first came the pictures, second came the motion, and third came the sound. But many of us, even …

900 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free

<b>Barrie, JM</b> - Peter Pan - Free iTunes - Free MP3<p><b>Barrodale, Amie</b> - "William Wei" (read by James Franco) - Free MP3<p><b>Barthelme, Donald</b> - “Chablis” (read …

Literature

1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

Entertainment

The Harvard Classics: Download All 51 Volumes as Free eBooks

Every revolutionary age produces its own kind of nostalgia. Faced with the enormous social and economic upheavals at the nineteenth century’s end, …

Freud’s Life and Legacy, in a Comic

While Freud may have engineered his own myth and many of his theories may have been disputed in the decades since his heyday, he remains one of the most influential figures in the history of psychiatry and psychology. And yet for many, Freud is more metaphor than man and his name summons only a …

Kerouac's On the Road followed on the road via Google Maps

"The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream," wrote Jack Kerouac, famously, in On the Road. "Head northwest on W 47th St toward 7th Ave. Take the 1st left onto 7th Ave. Turn right onto W 39th St," writes Gregor Weichbrodt, less …

David Foster Wallace’s Surprising List of His 10 Favorite Books, from C.S. Lewis to Tom Clancy

Like many David Foster Wallace fans, I bought a copy of J. Peder Zane's <i>The Top Ten</i> (previously featured here), a compilation of various famous …

15 Minute History: Quick History Lessons from a New, Chart-Topping Podcast

I’ve always been jealous of friends who studied history in college. They’ve got a working knowledge of the causes of wars, economic crises, political …

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 …

Watch Andrei Tarkovsky’s Films Free Online: Stalker, Solaris, The Mirror & Andrei Rublev

Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) firmly positioned himself as the finest Soviet director of the post-War period. But his influence extended well beyond …

An Online Gallery of 30,000 Items from The British Library, Including Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks And Mozart’s Diary

<i>(Click image to enlarge)</i><p>This past December, we wrote about the British Library’s releasing “over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to …

How to Read Like a Writer

Reading and writing are inextricably intertwined, and literature — like all cultural creation — is an endless labyrinth of influence. And while some have argued that writing well can be taught, our cultural narrative continues to perpetuate the myth of “God”-given, inborn talent, or what Charles …

18 (Free) Books Ernest Hemingway Wished He Could Read Again for the First Time

In the 1930s, Ernest Hemingway wrote a series of short pieces for <i>Esquire</i> magazine called the “Key West Letters.” One of those pieces, the 1935 …

5 Reasons to Go to Laos

Laos often gets short shrift compared to its heavily traveled neighbors. Thailand, the undisputed tourism champ in the region, sees almost 10 times …

6 Signs That You Have Developed A Good Habit | Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement

A Duke University study found that 45% of participants’ behavior was habitual, not intentional.<p>If this study is even a slightly accurate …

Make Your Work More Meaningful

Have you noticed the rising chorus in the management literature proclaiming that work must have meaning? On this very site, for example, several authors have published research-based blog posts on how managers can create the conditions that support meaningful work. This is a very positive …

Sapolsky Breaks Down Depression

Robert Sapolsky, a Stanford biologist, is currently one of the most publicly accessible science writers in the country, perhaps best known for his …