hear what happens when avant-garde composer pierre boulez conducts three frank zappa songs

Josh Jones

was frank zappa a musical genius? a modernist, avant-garde composer who just happened to work in an idiomatic pastiche of jazz, classical, progressive rock and juvenile shock tactics? the question can be a deeply divisive one. zappa tends to ins

2017-09-13 03:00:30  

when roald dahl hosted his own creepy tv show way out, a companion to rod serling’s twilight zone (1961)

Josh Jones

in an odd twist of history, two of the wisest and weirdest children’s writers of their generation also happened to have both been fighter pilots during world war ii. antoine de saint-exupéry, author of the little prince, flew reconnaissance miss

2017-09-13 10:00:52  

what is fair use?: a short introduction from the maker of everything is a remix

Dan Colman

back in 2010, we began featuring a series of videos from filmmaker kirby ferguson. called everything is a remix, the four-part video series explored the idea that (to quote from one of my earlier posts) "great art doesn’t come out of nowher

2017-09-13 04:43:23  

a first glimpse of rami malek as freddie mercury, recreating queen’s great 1985 live aid performance

Colin Marshall

few filmmakers have ever figured out how to make a motion picture about an already larger-than-life personality, and personalities haven't come much larger in recent history than freddie mercury's. talk of a movie about the queen frontman, who d

2017-09-13 04:00:36  

how to rescue a wet, damaged book: a short, handy visual primer

Dan Colman

after the hurricanes in florida and texas, the question has surely been asked: how to save those wet, damaged books? above, you can watch a visual primer from the syracuse university libraries--people who know something about taking care of book

2017-09-12 01:34:38  

an animated introduction to rene descartes & his philosophy of radical doubt

Josh Jones

early enlightenment french philosopher and mathematician rené descartes invented a new genre of philosophy, we might say, one that would dominate the century to come. before locke, leibniz, or kant, descartes stood out as a "theist rational

2017-09-12 10:00:14  

1,000-year-old illustrated guide to the medicinal use of plants now digitized & put online

Colin Marshall

if you don't much care for modern medicine, entire industries have arisen to provide you with more "alternative" or "natural" varieties of remedies, mostly involving the consumption of plants. publishers have put out guides t

2017-09-12 07:00:28  

when pink floyd tried to make an album with household objects: hear two surviving tracks made with wine glasses & rubber bands

Josh Jones

there are bands one casually encounters through greatest hits or breakthrough albums, on which they sound exactly like themselves and no one else. it’s impossible to imagine anyone but fleetwood mac making rumors or tusk. or anyone but pink floy

2017-09-12 04:00:17  

a new mural pays tribute to john coltrane in philadelphia

Dan Colman

image by wrti.org earlier this summer, artists painted a 10-story high mural of muddy waters in the heart of chicago. now, philadelphia answered with a mural of its own, right at the corner of 29th and diamond. there, you'll find a giant paintin

2017-09-12 03:06:21  

the complex geometry of islamic art & design: a short introduction

Colin Marshall

when you think of the accomplishments of the islamic world, what comes to mind? for most of this century so far, at least in the west, the very notion has had associations in many minds with not creation but destruction. in 2002, mathematician k

2017-09-11 02:30:51  

lynda barry on how the smartphone is endangering three ingredients of creativity: loneliness, uncertainty & boredom

Ayun Halliday

the phone gives us a lot but it takes away three key elements of discovery: loneliness, uncertainty and boredom. those have always been where creative ideas come from. - lynda barry in the spring of 2016, the great cartoonist and educator, lynda

2017-09-11 02:00:08  

20 free business moocs (massive open online courses) that will advance your career

Dan Colman

art, philosophy, literature and history--that's mainly what we discuss around here. we're about enriching the mind. but we're not opposed to helping you enrich yourself in a more literal way too. recently, business insider italy asked us to revi

2017-09-11 01:31:14  

hear classic readings of poe’s “the raven” by vincent price, james earl jones, christopher walken, neil gaiman, stan lee & mor

Josh Jones

it can seem that the writing of literature and the theory of literature occupy separate great houses, game of thrones-style, or even separate countries held apart by a great sea. perhaps they war with each other, perhaps they studiously ignore e

2017-09-11 10:00:04  

labor day special: a free trial offer for the great courses plus

Dan Colman

we've told you about the great courses plus before--a new video subscription service that lets you watch free courses (about 8,000 lectures in total) across a wide range of subjects, all taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. the t

2017-09-04 01:42:52  

the “lost” pink floyd soundtrack for michelangelo antonioni’s only american film, zabriskie point (1970)

Josh Jones

there’s a good argument to be made that some of the most insightful writing about the united states comes from artists observing the country from afar or through the eyes of a bemused newcomer. for european artists and thinkers, writing about th

2017-09-04 10:00:19  

the 100 funniest films of all time, according to 253 film critics from 52 countries

Colin Marshall

does comedy come with an expiration date? scholars of the field both amateur and professional have long debated the question, but only one aspect of the answer has become clear: the best comedy films certainly don't. that notion manifests in the

2017-09-04 07:00:50  

a new animation explains how caffeine keeps us awake

Ayun Halliday

let’s preface this by recalling that honoré de balzac drank up to 50 cups of coffee a day and lived to the ripe old age of … 51. of course, he produced dozens of novels, plays, and short stories before taking his leave. perhaps his caffeine habi

2017-09-04 04:00:47  

john ashbery reads “self-portrait in a convex mirror”

Dan Colman

poet john ashbery has passed away, at the age of 90. about the poet, harold bloom once said. “no one now writing poems in the english language is likelier than ashbery to survive the severe judgment of time. he is joining the american sequence t

2017-09-03 06:19:34  

download hundreds of issues of jugend, germany’s pioneering art nouveau magazine (1896-1940)

Josh Jones

it’s an ungainly word for english speakers, which is maybe why we do not hear it often: gleichschaltung. yet the concept remains central for a clear view of what happened to germany in the 1930s. in 1933, the nation completely transformed, seemi

2017-09-01 05:00:58  

download hundreds of issues of jugend, germany’s pioneering art nouveau magazine (1896-1940)

Josh Jones

it’s an ungainly word for english speakers, which is maybe why we do not hear it often: gleichschaltung. yet the concept remains central for a clear view of what happened to germany in the 1930s. in 1933, the nation completely transformed, seemi

2017-09-01 05:00:58  

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