Bookmarks (189)

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    Discover the World’s Oldest University, Which Opened in 427 CE, Housed 9 Million Manuscripts, and Then Educated Students for 800 Years

    In the Buddhist Asia of a dozen centuries ago, the equivalent of going off to study...

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    Hear Grace Slick’s Hair-Raising Vocals in the Isolated Track for “White Rabbit” (1967)

    “One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small…” Sometime in the summer of...

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    Isaac Asimov Predicts the Future in 1982: Computers Will Be “at the Center of Everything;” Robots Will Take Human Jobs

    Four decades ago, our civilization seemed to stand on the brink of a great transformation. The...

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    The Jazz Classic “Take Five” Played Beautifully on a 1959 Classical Guitar

    Above we have George Sakellariou performing Paul Desmond’s jazz classic, “Take Five,” on a vintage 1959...

  • Scenes from Life in Paris During the 1920s, Colorized and Restored: Cafés, Notre Dame, Street Life & More

    Few cities have been as romanticized as Paris, and few eras in Paris have been as...

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    Watch a 1915 Film Adaptation of Alice in Wonderland Enhanced in 4K, with Costumes Based on Briginal Illustrations by Sir John Tenniel

    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland predates the invention of cinema by a couple of decades. Nevertheless, much...

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    A Web Site That Lets You Find Your Home Address on Pangea

    A cool tool. Software engineer Ian Webster has created a website that lets you see how...

  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Californication” Played on the Gayageum, a Korean Instrument That Emerged 1,400 Years Ago

    We just had the chance to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers kick off a new...

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    Architect Breaks Down the Design Of Four Iconic New York City Museums: the Met, MoMA, Guggenheim & Frick

    Context may not count for everything in art. But as underscored by everyone from Marcel Duchamp...

  • The $25,000 Turntable Designed by Brian Eno That Glows in Different Colors as It Plays

    When we think of Brian Eno’s work, we first think of his records. These include not...

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    Punk Dulcimer: Hear The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” Played on the Dulcimer

    Sam Edelston can rock the duclimer. On his YouTube channel, he writes: “Dulcimers are natural rock...

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    A 3D Animation Shows the Evolution of New York City (1524 — 2023)

    Nearly two and a half centuries after its founding, the United States of America is still...

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    The Cover of George Orwell’s 1984 Becomes Less Censored with Wear & Tear

    In 2013, Penguin released in the UK a series of new covers for five works by...

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    10 Biggest Threats to the World in 2024, Ranked by Ian Bremmer

    At the start of each year, Ian Bremmer, a political scientist and president of Eurasia Group, creates...

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    Black History in Two Minutes: Watch 93 Videos Written & Narrated by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

    We’re nearly halfway through February, which the United States of America also knows as Black History...

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    Why Incompetent People Think They’re Competent: The Dunning-Kruger Effect, Explained

    When surveyed, eighty to ninety percent of Americans consider themselves possessed of above-average driving skills. Most...

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    Ten of the Most Expensive Arts & Art Supplies in the Worlds: Japanese Bonsai Scissors & Calligraphy Brushes, Tunisian Dye Made from Snails and More

    A few years ago, we featured a $32,000 pair of bonsai scissors here on Open Culture....

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    How an Unscheduled, Last Minute Performance of “Fast Car” Shot Tracy Chapman to Stardom in 1988

    And the award for the first Black songwriter to win Song of the Year at the...

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    Is Consciousness an Illusion?? Five Experts in Science, Religion & Technology Explain

    Even among non-neuroscientists, determining the origin and purpose of consciousness is widely known as “the hard...

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    Behold a Surreal 1933 Animation of Snow White, Featuring Cab Calloway & Betty Boop: It’s Ranked as the 19th Greatest Cartoon of All Time

    Of the three collaborations jazz singer Cab Calloway made with cute cartoon legend Betty Boop, this...

  • Beethoven’s 5th: Watch an Animated Graphical Score

    Stephen Malinowski is a self-described “Music Animation Machine,” with a penchant for creating animated graphical scores....

  • Watch Dziga Vertov’s Soviet Toys: The First Soviet Animated Movie Ever (1924)

    Dziga Vertov is best known for his dazzling city symphony A Man with a Movie Camera,...

  • A Cultural Tour of Istanbul, Where the Art and History of Three Great Empires Come Together

    Imagine a grand tour of European museums, and a fair few destinations come right to mind:...

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    The Russian Animators Who Have Spent 40 Years Animating Gogol’s “The Overcoat”

    “Steady Pushkin, matter-of-fact Tolstoy, restrained Chekhov have all had their moments of irrational insight which simultaneously...

  • A Look Inside David Bowie & Iman’s Beautiful Mountain Home

    It’s difficult to imagine Iman and David Bowie inviting Vogue readers to join them on the...

  • The Disney Artist Who Developed Donald Duck & Remained Anonymous for Years, Despite Being “the Most Popular and Widely Read Artist-Writer in the World”

    Donald Duck first appeared in Disney’s 1934 cartoon The Wise Little Hen (below). In his subsequent...

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    How French Cinema Works

    Evan Puschak, the video essayist better known as the Nerdwriter, has seen a lot of movies....

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    Gillian Anderson Reads Anaïs Nin’s Passionate Letter about Sex and Poetry

    From Letters Live comes a letter read by Gillian Anderson. They preface it with this: “In...

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    Meet Johnny Costa, the Pianist Who Introduced Millions of Mister Rogers Fans to Jazz

    Jazz pianist and composer Charles Cornell is not alone in his contempt for the sort of...

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    Free: Watch Our Planet, a Groundbreaking Nature Documentary Series Narrated by David Attenborough

    The nature documentary series Our Planet opens with a startlingly stark observation courtesy of broadcaster, biologist,...

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    A 500-Page Book Explores the Ghosts & Monsters from Japanese Folklore

    Westerners tend to think of Japan as a land of high-speed trains, expertly prepared sushi and...

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    Explore the Surface of Mars in Spectacular 4K Resolution

    ?si=RFbzFSzSNWzua3‑7 Could you use a mental escape? Maybe a trip to Mars will do the trick....

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    Plato’s Dialogue Gorgias Gets Adapted into a Short Avant-Garde Film

    The word sophisticated may sound like praise today, but it originated as more of an accusation....

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    Deal Ends Today: Get $200 Off of Coursera Plus & Gain Unlimited Access to Courses & Certificates

    A quick final heads up: Coursera’s deal, which offers $200 off of Coursera Plus, ends in...

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    Meet Alma Deutscher, the Classical Music Prodigy: Watch Her Performances from Age 6 to 14

    One needn’t think too hard to come up with a list of celebrated children who seem...

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    How Being Bilingual Helps Your Brain (Even If You Learn a New Language in Adulthood)

    There was a time in America, not so very long ago, when conventional wisdom discouraged immigrants...

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    Pangea to the Present to the Future: Watch Animations Showing 500 Million Years of Continental Drift

    Things change… Especially when you’re tracking the continental movement from Pangea to the present day in...

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    The Codex Seraphinianus: How Italian Artist Luigi Serafini Came to Write & Illustrate “the Strangest Book Ever Published” (1981)

    The Codex Seraphinianus is not a medieval book; nor does it date from the Renaissance along...

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    How to Use Writing to Sharpen Your Thinking: Advice from Tim Ferriss

    With the rise of AI tools like ChatGPT, which can generate essay after essay near-instantaneously from...

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    Amazon Offers Free AI Courses, Aiming to Help 2 Million People Build AI Skills by 2025

    Late last year, Amazon announced AI Ready, a new initiative “designed to provide free AI skills...

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    Bruce Hornsby Discusses His Adventurous Compositions and Collaborations on Nakedly Examined Music

    Bruce Hornsby is best known for his first album The Way It Is (1986), but has come...

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    The Golden Age of Japanese Cinema: Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi & Beyond

    Oliver Hermanus’ latest film Living transplants the story of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru to postwar London. Apart...

  • A Fan-Made Film Reconstructs an Entire Tom Waits Concert from His “Glitter and Doom Tour” (2008)

    Everybody who’s been to a Tom Waits concert has stories to tell about it — no...

  • Read Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World: The First Sci-Fi Novel Written By a Woman (1666)

    For a variety of reasons, science fiction has long been regarded as a mostly male-oriented realm...

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    The Cardboard Bernini: An Artist Spends 4 Years Building a Giant Cardboard Fountain Inspired by the Baroque Sculptor Bernini, Only to Let It Dissolve in the Rain

    From the Triton Fountain in the Piazza Barberini to the Fountain of the Four Rivers in...

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    Free Download: A Knitting Pattern for a Sweater Depicting an Iconic Cover of George Orwell’s 1984

    It’s winter, and we still have a ways to go. So maybe we could interest you...

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    Music Producer Steve Albini, Director Godfrey Reggio & Actor Fred Armisen Explain Why Creating Is Crucial to Human Existence

    Imagine, if you will, an evening’s entertainment consisting of an episode of Portlandia, a spin of...

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    Before ChatGPT, There Was ELIZA: Watch the 1960s Chatbot in Action

    In 1966, the sociologist and critic Philip Rieff published The Triumph of the Therapeutic, which diagnosed...

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    The Roman Author Pliny the Younger Gets Ghosted by a Friend, and Goes on a Rant: Hear It Read by Actor Rob Delaney

    Pliny the Younger may be best remembered for writing the only eye-witness account of the destruction...

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    Stanford Continuing Studies Offering a Course on the History & Music of the Grateful Dead, Taught by David Gans: Starts on Monday, January 22

    Image via Wikimedia Commons A quick heads up: On Monday, Stanford Continuing Studies will kick off...