Bookmarks (161)

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    You Can Buy Historic Italian Houses for €1 — But What’s the Catch?

    From Abruzzo to Vergemoli, small Italian towns and villages have recently been making their historic homes...

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    Jimi Hendrix Unplugged: Two Great Recordings of Hendrix Playing Acoustic Guitar

    As a young guitar player, perhaps no one inspired me as much as Jimi Hendrix, though...

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    Watch Hardware Wars, the Original Star Wars Parody, in HD (1978)

    This past May, YouTuber Jenny Nicholson set off waves of social-media discourse with “The Spectacular Failure...

  • Honoré de Balzac Writes About “The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee,” and His Epic Coffee Addiction

    174 years after his death, Honoré de Balzac remains an extremely modern-sounding wag. Were he alive...

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    Andy Warhol Hosts Frank Zappa on His Cable TV Show, and Later Recalls, “I Hated Him More Than Ever” After the Show

    Had Andy Warhol lived to see the internet–especially social networking–he would have loved it, though it...

  • Behold Gustave Doré’s Dramatic Illustrations of the Bible (1866)

    One occasionally hears it said that, thanks to the internet, all the books truly worth reading...

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    The Internet Archive Rescues MTV News’ Web Site, Making 460,000+ of Its Pages Searchable Again

    Image via Internet Archive Last month, MTV News’ web site went missing. Or at least almost...

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    “Tsundoku,” the Japanese Word for the New Books That Pile Up on Our Shelves, Should Enter the English Language

    There are some words out there that are brilliantly evocative and at the same time impossible...

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    2000-Year-Old Bottle of White Wine Found in a Roman Burial Site

    Image via Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports Back in 2017, we featured the oldest unopened bottle...

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    Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa Now Appears on Japanese Banknotes

    If you’ve lived or traveled in Japan, you know full well how much of daily life...

  • How a Steady Supply of Coffee Helped the Union Win the U.S. Civil War

    Americans doing “e‑mail jobs” and working in the “laptop class” tend to make much of the...

  • Ernest Hemingway’s Favorite Hamburger Recipe

    Image via Wikimedia Commons In 2013, the food writer Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan stumbled across an article...

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    The Story of Lee Miller: From the Cover of Vogue to Hitler’s Bathtub

    In late-twenties Manhattan, a nineteen-year-old woman named Elizabeth “Lee” Miller stepped off the curb and into...

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    The Original Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Manuscript, Handwritten & Illustrated By Lewis Carroll (1864)

    On a summer day in 1862, a tall, stammering Oxford University mathematician named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson...

  • Martin Mull (RIP) Satirically Interviews a Young Tom Waits on Fernwood 2 Night (1977)

    These days, references to seventies television increasingly require prefatory explanation. Who under the age of 60...

  • Why You Do Your Best Thinking In The Shower: Creativity & the “Incubation Period”

    Image via Wikimedia Commons “The great Tao fades away.” So begins one translation of the Tao...

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    A Close Look at Beowulf-Era Helmets & Swords, Courtesy of the British Museum

    Even if a student assigned Beowulf is, at first, dismayed by its language, that same student...

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    Thousands of Pablo Picasso’s Works Now Available in a New Digital Archive

    If you want to immerse yourself in the world of Pablo Picasso, you might start at...

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    See Albert Camus’ Historic Lecture, “The Human Crisis,” Performed by Actor Viggo Mortensen

    Back in 2016, New York City staged a month-long festival celebrating Albert Camus’ historic visit to NYC...

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    Enter a Huge Archive of Amazing Stories, the World’s First Science Fiction Magazine, Launched in 1926

    If you haven’t heard of Hugo Gernsback, you’ve surely heard of the Hugo Award. Next to...

  • Watch a Japanese Artisan Hand-Craft a Cello in 6 Months

    Cellists unwilling to settle for any but the finest instrument must, sooner or later, make a...

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    How the 18th-Century French Media Stoked a Werewolf Panic

    If you’ve studied French (or, indeed, been French) in the past couple of decades, you may...

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    Gustave Doré’s Macabre Illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” (1884)

    One of the busiest, most in-demand artists of the 19th century, Gustave Doré made his name...

  • How Sci-Fi Writers Isaac Asimov & Robert Heinlein Contributed to the War Effort During World War II

    Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and L. Sprague De Camp at the Navy Yard in 1944 Robert...

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    Watch Patti Smith Read from Virginia Woolf, and Hear the Only Surviving Recording of Woolf’s Voice

    In the video above, poet, artist, National Book Award winner, and “godmother of punk” Patti Smith...

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    Tracking Pianist Yuja Wang’s Heartbeats During Her Marathon Rachmaninoff Performance

    The Carnegie Hall YouTube Channel sets the scene: On January 28, 2023, pianist Yuja Wang joined...

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    World Religions Explained with Useful Charts: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity & More

    It doesn’t take an expert in the field to know that, around the world, there is much...

  • How the Ancient Greeks & Romans Made Beautiful Purple Dye from Snail Glands

    Much has been written about the loss of color in the twenty-first century. Our environments offered...

  • Medievalist Professor Answers Medieval Questions From Twitter: Why Is It called the “Middle” Ages?, What Did Medieval English Sound Like?, and More

    From Wired comes this: “Professor of English and Medieval Literature Dr. Dorsey Armstrong answers your questions...

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    How Carl Jung Inspired the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous

    There may be as many doors into Alcoholics Anonymous in the 21st century as there are people...

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    The Amazing Engineering of Roman Baths

    Few depictions of ancient Roman life neglect to reference all the time ancient Romans spent at...

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    The Evolution of Hokusai’s Great Wave: A Study of 113 Known Copies of the Iconic Woodblock Print

    The most widely known work by the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese artist Hokusai, 神奈川沖浪裏, is usually translated...

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    Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Explained in One of the Earliest Science Films Ever Made (1923)

    Albert Einstein developed his theory of special relativity in 1905, and then mentally mapped out his...

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    16th-Century Japanese Historians Describe the Oddness of Meeting the First Europeans They Ever Saw

    Go to Japan today, and the country will present you with plenty of opportunities to buy...

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    Watch the Earliest-Known Charles Dickens Film: The Death of Poor Joe

    A little over a decade ago, a curator at the British Film Institute (BFI) discovered the...

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    What’s Under London? Discover London’s Forbidden Underworld

    When the words London and underground come together, the first thing that comes to most of our minds,...

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    Harvard Removes the Human Skin Binding from a Book in Its Collection Since 1934

    In June of 2014, Harvard University’s Houghton Library put up a blog post titled “Caveat Lecter,”...

  • How the 13th-Century Sufi Poet Rumi Became One of the World’s Most Popular Writers

    The Middle East is hardly the world’s most harmonious region, and it only gets more fractious...

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    Download Issues of “Weird Tales” (1923–1954): The Pioneering Pulp Horror Magazine Features Original Stories by Lovecraft, Bradbury & Many More

    We live in an era of genre. Browse through TV shows of the last decade to...

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    How a Bach Canon Works. Brilliant.

    Brilliant. This moving manuscript depicts a single musical sequence played front to back and then back...

  • The Romans Stashed Hallucinogenic Seeds in a Vial Made From an Animal Bone

    What’s popular in the metropolis sooner or later makes its way out into the provinces. This...

  • How Las Vegas’ Sphere Actually Works: A Looks Inside the New $2.3 Billion Arena

    If the United States of America is the Roman empire of our time, surely it must...

  • Oh My God! Winston Churchill Received the First Ever Letter Containing “O.M.G.” (1917)

    Winston Churchill is one of those preposterously outsized historical figures who seemed to be in the middle...

  • Get Unlimited Access to Courses & Certificates: Coursera Is Offering 40% (or $159) Off of Coursera Plus Until June 23

    A heads up on a deal: Between today and June 23, 2024, Coursera is offering a...

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    Is Reality Real?: 8 Scientists Explain Whether We Can Ever Know What Objectively Exists

    Ask aloud whether reality is real, and you’re liable to be regarded as never truly having...

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    The Roads of Ancient Rome Visualized in the Style of Modern Subway Maps

    Sasha Trubetskoy, formerly an undergrad at U. Chicago, has created a “subway-style diagram of the major...

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    Patti Smith Reads Her Final Letter to Robert Mapplethorpe, Calling Him “the Most Beautiful Work of All”

    If you go to hear Patti Smith in concert, you expect her to sing “Beneath the...

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    Behold the Codex Gigas (aka “Devil’s Bible”), the Largest Medieval Manuscript in the World

    Bargain with the devil and you may wind up with a golden fiddle, supernatural guitar-playing ability,...

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    James Joyce Picked Drunken Fights, Then Hid Behind Ernest Hemingway

    Ernest Hemingway seemed to feud with most of the prominent male artists of his time, from...

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    The Radical Artistic & Philosophical World of William Blake: A Short Introduction

    Over the years, we’ve featured the work of William Blake fairly often here on Open Culture:...