Bookmarks (1996)

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    Umberto Eco’s 36 Rules for Writing Well (in English or Italian)

    Creative Commons image by Rob Bogaerts, via the National Archives in Holland Umberto Eco knew a great many...

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    The Horrors of Bull Island, “the Worst Music Festival of All Time” (1972)

    It’s maybe a little unfair to compare 1972’s “Bull Island” Festival to Fyre Fest, the music...

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    Brian Eno Launches His Own Radio Station with Hundreds of Unreleased Tracks: Hear Two Programs

    Creative Commons image via Wikimedia Commons Back in 2013, Brian Eno gave a talk at the...

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    What Makes Leonardo’s Mona Lisa a Great Painting?: An Explanation in 15 Minutes

    The Mona Lisa may be on display at the Louvre, but best of luck appreciating it there....

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    Hear an Excerpt from the Newly-Released, First Unabridged Audiobook of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake

    Need one go so far in digging out strata of meaning? Only if one wishes to;...

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    Download Great Works of Art from 40+ Museums Worldwide: Explore Artvee, the New Art Search Engine

    Dilbert creator Scott Adams once wrote of his early experiences introducing the World Wide Web to...

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    Watch Franz Liszt’s “Un Sospiro” Played with the Mesmerizing “Three-Hand Technique”

    “Piano education is important for teaching polyphony, improving sight-reading, consolidating the knowledge of harmony and gaining...

  • A History of Punk from 1976-78: A Free Online Course from the University of Reading

    From Matthew Worley, professor of modern history at the University of Reading, comes the free online...

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    The Rashomon Effect: The Phenomenon, Named After Akira Kurosawa’s Classic Film, Where Each of Us Remembers the Same Event Differently

    Toward the end of The Simpsons’ golden age, one episode sent the titular family off to Japan,...

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    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Performs The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”

    Over the years, we’ve featured The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performing covers of various rock...

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    Hear The Velvet Underground’s “Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes,” Which Showcases the Brilliance & Innovation of Lou Reed’s Guitar Playing (1969)

    What was the Velvet Underground? A Kim Fowly-like art project that outlived its impresario’s interest? A...

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    Stream 160 In-Depth Radio Interviews with Clive James, Pico Iyer, Greil Marcus & Other Luminaries from the Marketplace of Ideas Archive

    Would you like to to hear a long-form conversation about the history of the vinyl LP?...

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    Watch a Never-Aired TV Profile of James Baldwin (1979)

    In 1979, just a couple of months into his stint with 20/20, ABC’s fledgling television news magazine, producer...

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    Watch an Accurate Reconstruction of the World’s Oldest Computer, the 2,200 Year-Old Antikythera Mechanism, from Start to Finish

    There’s nothing like an ancient mystery, especially one as seemingly insoluble as the origins of “the...

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    Wikipedia’s Surprising Power in Shaping Science: A New MIT Shows How Wikipedia Shapes Scientific Research

    If you were in high school or college when Wikipedia emerged, you’ll remember how strenuously we...

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    The Age of Cathedrals: A Free Online Course from Yale University

    From Yale professor Howard Bloch comes Age of Cathedrals, an online course that offers “an introduction...

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    Blockchain and Money: A Free Online Course from MIT

    Taught by MIT professor Gary Gensler, Blockchain and Money is “for students wishing to explore blockchain...

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    A Beautiful, High-Resolution Map of the Internet (2021)

    The beginnings of the Internet were uncharted territory, especially before the days of graphic browsers. You...

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    Hear the Amati “King” Cello, the Oldest Known Cello in Existence (c. 1560)

    The Stradivari family has received all of the popular acclaim for perfecting the violin. But we...

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    A Side Splitting Medieval TikTok Account: Get a Laugh at Medieval Yoga Poses & Much More

    @greedypeasant🧘‍♀️ Medieval Yoga 🧘 #medievaltiktok #yoga #yogalover #peacewithin #fyp #foryou #foryoupage♬ original sound – Tyler Gunther TikTok, the short-form video-sharing...

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    The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe: A Free Online Course from the University of Colorado

    Dr. Roger Louis Martínez-Dávila and Ana B. Sanchez-Prieto–two academics working out of the University of Colorado...

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    Ethan Hawke Explains How to Give Yourself Permission to Be Creative

    The most creative people, you’ll notice, throw themselves into what they do with absurd, even reckless...

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    Scientists Create an Interactive Map of the 13 Emotions Evoked by Music: Joy, Sadness, Desire, Annoyance, and More

    Most of our playlists today are filled with music about emotions: usually love, of course, but...

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    A Data Visualization of Every Italian City & Town Founded in the BC Era

    Ancient people did not think about history the way most of us do. It made no...

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    Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #95 Considers Joss Whedon’s The Nevers

    Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss the HBO Max show out Victorian-era super-powered feminine outcasts, helmed and...

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    Why Most Ancient Civilizations Had No Word for the Color Blue

    In an old Zen story, two monks argue over whether a flag is waving or whether...

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    Sci-Fi “Portal” Connects Citizens of Lublin & Vilnius, Allowing Passersby Separated by 376 Miles to Interact in Real Time

    Can we ever transcend our tendency to divide up the world into us and them? The history of...

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    How Egyptian Papyrus Is Made: Watch Artisans Keep a 5,000-Year-Old Art Alive

    In 2013, French Egyptologist Pierre Tallet discovered in an excavation site near the Red Sea “entire rolls...

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    An Illustrated History of Depeche Mode by Anton Corbijn

    Last year, photographer Anton Corbijn released a new book, MOOD/MODE, showcasing work outside the boundaries of...

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    Discover the Ghost Towns of Japan–Where Scarecrows Replace People, and a Man Lives in an Abandoned Elementary School Gym

    In recent years, the major cities of Japan have felt as big and bustling as ever. But...

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    A Duck Gets a Prosthetic Leg & Waddles Along

    Waddles the Duck was born with a mangled left leg. So what does his owner–Ben Weinman,...

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    Søren Kierkegaard – Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity: A Free Online Course from the University of Copenhagen

    The University of Copenhagen and Jon Stewart, PhD present Søren Kierkegaard – Subjectivity, Irony and the...

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    The Bob Ross Virtual Art Gallery: A New Site Presents 403 Paintings from The Joy of Painting Series (and Uses Data Analysis to Demystify Bob Ross’ Craft)

    “We don’t make mistakes. We have happy accidents,” the late Bob Ross soothed fans painting along at home,...

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    Yes’ Rick Wakeman Explores Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Why It Was the First Concept Album

    In this 2015 production, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman revisits Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and makes...

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    Tasting History: A Hit YouTube Series Shows How to Cook the Foods of Ancient Greece & Rome, Medieval Europe, and Other Places & Periods

    The food of our ancestors has come back into fashion, no matter from where your own...

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    What Happened During the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, One of the Worst Episodes of Racial Violence in U.S. History

    In February 1915, Thomas Dixon, author of popular novel The Clansman, and D.W. Griffith, the director...

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    When Was the Pinnacle of Saturday Night Live? A YouTuber Watches One Episode from Each Season & Reports Back

    How do we evaluate a show like Saturday Night Live? And to what, exactly, can it be...

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    The Art of Creating a Bonsai: One Year Condensed Condensed Into 22 Mesmerizing Minutes

    To be a good writer, one must be a good reader. This is made true by...

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    The Mistake Waltz: Watch the Hilarious Ballet by Legendary Choreographer Jerome Robbins

    So often mistakes are the most memorable part of live performance. In Jerome Robbins’ The Concert (or The...

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    The Psychology of Video Game Engagement — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #94 with Jamie Madigan

    Why do people play video games, and what keeps them playing? Do we want to have...

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    What Is Contemporary Art?: A Free Online Course from The Museum of Modern Art

    What is contemporary art? In this course from the Museum of Modern Art, you’ll explore this...

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    When Neil Young & Rick “Super Freak” James Formed the 60’s Motown Band, The Mynah Birds

    At the height of Motown’s powers in the 1960s they were setting trends, not chasing them,...

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    The Origin of the Rooftop Concert: Before the Beatles Came Jefferson Airplane, and Before Them, Brazilian Singer Roberto Carlos (1967)

    When did the first rooftop concert happen? Probably not long after construction of the first rooftop....

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    Download 1,000+ Beautiful Woodblock Prints by Hiroshige, the Last Great Master of the Woodblock Print Tradition

    For 200 years, beginning in the 1630s, Japan closed itself off from the world. In its...

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    Who Designed the 1980s Aesthetic?: Meet the Memphis Group, the Designers Who Created the 80s Iconic Look

    For those who remember the 1980s, it can feel like they never left, so deeply ingrained...

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    When Salvador Dalí Created a Surrealist Funhouse at New York World’s Fair (1939)

    Only the violence and duration of your hardened dream can resist the hideous mechanical civilization that...

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    Martin Scorsese Introduces Classic Movies: From Citizen Kane and Vertigo to Lawrence of Arabia and Gone with the Wind

    In today’s cinema culture, there’s only one thing as reliably entertaining as watching a Martin Scorsese...

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    Design Thinking for the Greater Good: A Free Online Course from the University of Virginia

    Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector shows how and why human-centered...

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    Meet the Inventor of Karaoke, Daisuke Inoue, Who Wanted to “Teach the World to Sing”

    Daisuke Inoue has been honored with a rare, indeed almost certainly unique combination of laurels. In...

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    Keith Richards Shows Us How to Play the Blues, Inspired by Robert Johnson, on the Acoustic Guitar

    To me Robert Johnson’s influence — he was like a comet or a meteor that came...