Joe Shemtov

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What Did Thoreau Really Eat? You Might Be Surprised

There's no shortage of myths about Henry David Thoreau, even in this American literary superhero's hometown of Concord, Mass. In fact, my informal poll of locals reveals that it's the rare person who knows what the 19th-century naturalist grew at Walden Pond, let alone how he survived.<p>Apparently, …

Literature

1,000 Pieces of Candy

Venezuela's Maduro hikes minimum wage amid rising protests

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hiked wages and handed out hundreds of free homes Sunday amid his efforts to counter a …

7 new photos by Joseph Shemtov

Clash of the Titans: Noam Chomsky & Michel Foucault Debate Human Nature & Power on Dutch TV, 1971

Today, we're revisiting the clash of two intellectual titans, Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault. In 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War, the …

Django Reinhardt Demonstrates His Guitar Genius in Rare Footage From the 1930s, 40s & 50s

In one of my favorite Woody Allen films, <i>Sweet and Lowdown</i>, Sean Penn plays Emmett Ray, a fictional jazz guitarist who embodies the titular qualities …

10 Million Years of Evolution Visualized in an Elegant, 5-Foot Long Infographic from 1931

<i>Click here to see the entire histomap in large, zoomable, format.</i><p>The early decades of the twentieth century belonged to Cecil B. DeMille and his epic …

Infographics

Jorge Luis Borges Selects 74 Books for Your Personal Library

<i>“Jorge Luis Borges 1951, by Grete Stern” by Grete Stern (1904-1999). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.</i><p>Jorge Luis Borges’ terse, …

Shakespeare's dictionary is a possibility that makes me look up

If ever there was a claim which I would love to see be proved true, it is this one. In time for Shakespeare's 450th birthday – marked on Wednesday with a wealth of quizzes and "10 things you didn't know about"s and idiotic "Shakespeare would have liked Twitter" press releases – rare booksellers in …

Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com.

The home of over 5.1 million full archive pages of <b>The Philadelphia Inquirer</b> and <b>Philadelphia Daily News</b> print editions<p>Search and browse our historical …

Read 12 Masterful Essays by Joan Didion for Free Online, Spanning Her Career From 1965 to 2013

In a classic essay of Joan Didion’s, “Goodbye to All That,” the novelist and writer breaks into her narrative—not for the first or last time—to prod …

Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree: The Animated Film Narrated by Shel Himself (1973)

Back in 1964, Shel Silverstein wrote <i>The Giving Tree</i>, a widely loved children's book now translated into more than 30 languages. It's a story about …

Jacques Derrida

<b>Jacques Derrida (1930-2004)</b><p><b>Circonfession (2004)</b><p>Part 1<p>Part 2<p>Part 3<p>Part 4<p>Part 5<p>Read by: Jacques Derrida<br>Language: French<p>"Peut-on nommer son propre sang …

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

<b>Dickinson, Emily</b> - Poems<p><b>Didion, Joan</b> - 12 Masterful Essays<p><b>Dostoevsky, Fyodor -</b> A Raw Youth (Translated by Constance Garnett)<p><b>Dostoevsky, Fyodor</b> - …

Literature

See Peter O’Toole Talk Hamlet with Orson Welles (1963) and Play Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew (1986)

To write an obituary for Peter O'Toole, who died this past Sunday, I would pick no other writer than <i>New Yorker</i> film critic Anthony Lane. Luckily, the</i> …

The Famous Feynman Lectures on Physics: The New Online Edition (in HTML5)

Caltech and The Feynman Lectures Website have joined forces to create an online edition of Richard Feynman's famous lectures on physics. First …

Sabotage Writers Pick Their Favourite Albums Of 2013

There’s a general consensus that 2013 has been something of a vintage year for music. Whether it’s been Chance The Rapper and Danny Brown dropping …

Rap & Hip-Hop

Linear B: How an ancient code was cracked

The week’s best arts and culture reads – including ciphers from ancient Greece, the biography that took 30 years to write and what computers can teach chess champions.<p>Review: Pietr The Latvian by Georges Simenon<br>Nicholas Lezard | The Guardian | 26 November 2013<br>Reissue of Simenon’s first Inspector …

Ken Loach Inspired by William Hogarth

F. Scott Fitzgerald Creates a List of 22 Essential Books, 1936

In 1936 -- perhaps the darkest year of his life -- F. Scott Fitzgerald was convalescing in a hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, when he offered his …

Albert Camus, the outsider, is still dividing opinion in Algeria 50 years after his death

"What they did not like," wrote Albert Camus of his fictionalised double in his unfinished last novel, <i>The First Man</i>, "was the Algerian in him."<p>Fifty years after the death of the Nobel prize-winning author of <i>The Outsider</i>, it appears that it is the Frenchman in the Algerian-born Camus that Algerians …

The fates of authors and publishers — not to mention the reading public — depend on book reviews — but who reviews the reviewers? Miss Hardwich undertakes one of the few thorough critiques of the leading popular reviews to appear in recent years and explains why “a Sunday morning with the book reviews is often a dismal experience.” A distinguished novelist and book reviewer herself, Miss Hardwick is the wife of the poet Robert Lowell. There used to be the notion that Keats was killed by a bad review, that in despair and hopelessness he turned his back to the wall and gave …

<i>The fates of authors and publishers</i> — <i>not to mention the reading public</i> — <i>depend on book reviews — but who reviews the reviewers? Miss Hardwich</i> …

The Existentialism Files: How the FBI Targeted Camus, and Then Sartre After the JFK Assassination

Today, as you must surely know, marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination and also surely marks a revival of interest in the …

The Stare

“Look at him,” says Helen. “I don’t say anything, and I go on looking.”<p>“What does he do then?” asks Mary, gazing at Helen as she so often does, as if Helen had the secret of something or other.<p>“Then he gives in,” says Helen, and laughs. The laugh, as always, takes Mary captive, and this time it …

Quantum Physics Made Relatively Simple: A Mini Course from Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Hans Bethe

An émigré from Nazi Germany, Hans Bethe joined Cornell's physics department back in 1935. There, he built a remarkable career for himself. A nuclear …

The Very Last Days of Leo Tolstoy Captured on Video

103 years ago today (November 20), Leo Tolstoy, who gave us two major classics in the Russian tradition, <i>Anna Karenina</i> and <i>War & Peace,</i> died at …

How to Write a Thank You Note | The Art of Manliness

Gratitude is a virtue every man should cultivate. Yet gratitude means nothing if you haven’t mastered the art of expressing it. A man should use …

Watch an Exuberant, Young Woody Allen Do Live Stand Up on British TV (1965)

In 1965, Woody Allen took time out from his first film <i>What’s New Pussycat</i> to tape a half-hour of stand up in front of a live television audience in …

Knowing your wine is more than just a pretentious skill.