Free: Read the Original 23,000-Word Essay That Became Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971)

Because my story was true. I was certain of that. And it was extremely important, I felt, for the meaning of our journey to be made absolutely clear. 

The publication history of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the story of gonzo journalism itself, a form dependent upon the unreliability of its narrator, who becomes a central character in the ostensibly real-life drama. In Thompson’s hallucinogenic tales of his travels to Las Vegas with attorney and Chicano activist Oscar Zeta Acosta, the reporter went so far as to become a fictional character.

The journey began with a commission from Rolling Stone to report on the death of reporter Ruben Salazar, killed by a Los Angeles police tear gas grenade at an anti-Vietnam War protest. This trip diverted, however, to Las Vegas, where Thompson drove to report on the Mint 400 desert race for Sports Illustrated. Rather than submitting the 250-word piece the magazine requested, he gave them a 2,500-word psychedelic fugue, the very beginnings of Fear and Loathing. The piece, Thompson later wrote, was “aggressively rejected.”




Instead, Jann Wenner liked what he saw enough to eventually publish it in the November 1971 issue of Rolling Stone as a 23,000-word essay bearing the title of the novel it would become, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.” You can read that by-now familiarly wild account, here. In it, Thompson gave the magazine’s readers a succinct definition of his reporting style:

But what was the story? Nobody had bothered to say. So we would have to drum it up on our own. Free Enterprise. The American Dream. Horatio Alger gone mad on drugs in Las Vegas. Do it now: pure Gonzo journalism.

The term defines the form as the mirror obverse of the American Dream, Thompson’s excesses no more than illicit versions of the culture he picked apart, one that produced an event like the Mint 400, “the richest off-the-road race for motorcycles and dune-buggies in the history of organized sport," he wrote, and "a fantastic spectacle….”

What were Thompson and Acosta (or Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo) doing if not holding the main event of disorganized sport in their race across the desert against their own paranoid delusions? The truths Thompson told need never have been factual—they were the outrageous truths we find in any good story, well told: about the bats—as in the famous Goya etching—swarming around the passed-out head of Reason.

Read Thompson's original, now iconic essay here.

Related Content:

Hunter Thompson Died 15 Years Ago: Hear Him Remembered by Tom Wolfe, Johnny Depp, Ralph Steadman, and Others

Read 11 Free Articles by Hunter S. Thompson That Span His Gonzo Journalist Career (1965-2005)

How Hunter S. Thompson Gave Birth to Gonzo Journalism: Short Film Revisits Thompson’s Seminal 1970 Piece on the Kentucky Derby

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

The Story of Physics Animated in 4 Minutes: From Galileo and Newton, to Einstein

No matter how well you remember your physics classes, you most likely don't remember learning any stories in them. Theories and equations, yes, but not stories — yet each of those theories and equations has a story behind it, as does the entire scientific enterprise of physics they constitute. The video above from the BBC's Dara Ó Briain's Science Club provides an overview of the latter story in an animated four minutes, making it ideal for youngsters just starting to learn about physics. It will also do the job for those of us not-so-youngsters circling back to get a better grasp of physics, its discoveries and driving questions.

"The story of physics is, for the most part, a tale of ever-increasing confidence," says Ó Briain, a comedian as well as a television host and writer on various subjects. This version of the story begins with rolling balls and falling objects, observed with a new rigor by such 17th-century Italians as Galileo Galilei. Galileo's work became "the rock on which modern physics is founded," and those who first built upon that rock included Isaac Newton, who started by noticing how apples fall and ended up with a theory of gravity. Newton's work would later predict the existence of Neptune; James Clerk Maxwell, working in the 19th century, made discoveries about electromagnetism that would later give us radio and television.




For quite a while, physics seemed to go from strength to strength. But as the 20th century began, "the latest discoveries didn't build on the old ones. Things like x-rays and radioactivity were just plain weird, and in a bad way." But in 1905, onto the scene came a 26-year-old Albert Einstein, who "tore up the script by" claiming that "light is a kind of wave but also comes in packets, or particles." That same year he published an equation you'll certainly remember from your school days: E = mc2, which holds "that mass and energy are equivalent." Einstein proposed that, if "someone watches a spaceship flying very fast, what they would see is the ship's clocks running slower than their own watch — and the ship will actually shrink in size. But for the astronauts inside, all would be normal."

In other words, "time and space can change: they are relative depending on who's observing." Einstein called this "special relativity," and he also had a theory of "general relativity." That showed "how balls and apples weren't the only thing subject to gravity: light, time, and space were also affected. Gravity slows down time and it warps space." No matter how dimly we understand physics itself, we all know the major players in its story: Galileo and Newton made important early discoveries, but it was Einstein who "shattered traditional physics" and revealed just how much we still have to learn about physical reality. Still today, physicists labor to reconcile Einstein's discoveries with all other known facts of that reality. As frustrating as that task often proves, the kids who take an interest of their own in physics after watching the video will surely be heartened to know that the story of physics goes on.

via The Kids Should See This

Related Content:

Free Online Physics Courses (part of our larger collection, 1,500 Free Online Courses from Top Universities)

The Map of Physics: Animation Shows How All the Different Fields in Physics Fit Together

The Case for Studying Physics in a Charming Animated Video

Physics & Caffeine: Stop Motion Film Uses a Cup of Coffee to Explain Key Concepts in Physics

The Feynman Lectures on Physics, The Most Popular Physics Book Ever Written, Is Now Completely Online

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Photos That Ended Child Labor in the US: See the “Social Photography” of Lewis Hine (1911)

The average person believes implicitly that the photograph cannot falsify. Of course, you and I know that this unbounded faith in the integrity of the photograph is often rudely shaken, for, while photographs may not lie, liars may photograph.  —Lewis Wickes Hine, “Social Photography: How the Camera May Help in the Social Uplift” (1909)

Long before Brandon Stanton’s wildly popular Humans of New York project tapped into the public’s capacity for compassion by combining photos of his subjects with some telling narrative about their lives, educator and sociologist Lewis Wickes Hine was using his camera as a tool to pressure the public into demanding an end to child labor in the United States.

In a time when the US Federal Census reported that one in five children under the age of 16over 1.75 millionwas gainfully employed, Hines traversed the country under the auspices of the National Child Labor Committee, gathering information and making portraits of the underage workers.




His images, made between 1911 and 1916, introduced viewers to young boys breaking up coal in Pennsylvania mines, tiny Louisiana oyster shuckers and Maine sardine cutters, child pickers in Kentucky tobacco fields and Massachusetts cranberry bogs, and newsboys in a number of cities.

Their employers actively recruited kids from poor families, wagering that they would perform repetitive, often dangerous tasks for a pittance, with little chance of unionizing.

Hine was a scrupulous documentarian, labeling each photo with crucial information gleaned from conversations with the child pictured therein: name, age, location, occupation, wages, andhorrificallyany workplace injuries.

In an essay in the anthology Major Problems in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, historian Robert Westbrook lauds Hines’ way of interacting with his subjects with “decorum and tact,” according them a dignity that few of the period’s “condescending” middle-class reformers did.

As the Vox Darkroom segment, above, explains, Hine’s formal compositions lent additional power to his images of smudged child workers posing in their places of employment. Shallow depth of field to ensure that the viewer’s eyes would not become absorbed in the background, but rather engage with those of his subject.

But it was the accompanying narratives, which he referred to variously as “picture stories” or “photo-interpretations,” that he credited with really getting through to the hearts and minds of an indifferent public.

The text prevented viewers from easily brushing the children off as anonymous, scruffy urchins.

Here for instance is “Manuel, the young shrimp-picker, five years old, and a mountain of child-labor oyster shells behind him. He worked last year. Understands not a word of English. Dunbar, Lopez, Dukate Company. Location: Biloxi, Mississippi.”

“Laura Petty, a 6 year old berry picker on Jenkins farm, Rock Creek near Baltimore, Md. 'I'm just beginnin.' Picked two boxes yesterday. (2 cents a box).”

"Angelo Ross, 142 Panama Street, Hughestown Borough, a youngster who has been working in Breaker #9 Pennsylvania Co. for four months, said he was 13 years old, but very doubtful. He has a brother, Tony, probably under 14 working. Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania."

Hine correctly figured that the combination of photo and biographical information was a “lever for the social uplift."

Once the pictures were published in Progressive magazines, state legislatures came under immense pressure to impose minimum age requirements in the workplace, effectively ending child labor, and returning many former workers to school.

View the entire collection of Lewis Hine's National Child Labor Committee photos here.

Related Content: 

How Dorothea Lange Shot, Migrant Mother, Perhaps the Most Iconic Photo in American History

Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Clem Albers & Francis Stewart’s Censored Photographs of a WWII Japanese Internment Camp

Meet Gerda Taro, the First Female Photojournalist to Die on the Front Lines

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Join her in NYC this March, when her company, Theater of the Apes, presents the world premiere of Tony Award winner Greg Kotis’ new low-budget, guitar-driven musical, I AM NOBODY.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

The Smithsonian Puts 2.8 Million High-Res Images Online and Into the Public Domain

No matter how many public institutions you visit in a day—schools, libraries, museums, or the dreaded DMV—you may still feel like privatized services are closing in. And if you’re a fan of national parks and public lands, you’re keenly aware they’re at risk of being eaten up by developers and energy companies. The commons are shrinking, a tragic fact that is hardly inevitable but, as Matto Mildenberger argues at Scientific American, the result of some very narrow ideas.

But we can take heart that one store of common wealth has majorly expanded recently, and will continue to grow each year since January 1, 2019—Public Domain Day—when hundreds of thousands of works from 1923 became freely available, the first time that happened in 21 years. This year saw the release of thousands more works into the public domain from 1924, and so it will continue ad infinitum.

And now—as if that weren’t enough to keep us busy learning about, sharing, adapting, and repurposing the past into the future—the Smithsonian has released 2.8 million images into the public domain, making them searchable, shareable, and downloadable through the museum’s Open Access platform.




This huge release of “high resolution two- and three-dimensional images from across its collections,” notes Smithsonian Magazine, “is just the beginning. Throughout the rest of 2020, the Smithsonian will be rolling out another 200,000 or so images, with more to come as the Institution continues to digitize its collection of 155 million items and counting.”

There are those who would say that these images always belonged to the public as the holdings of a publicly-funded institution sometimes called “the nation’s attic.” It’s a fair point, but shouldn’t take away from the excitement of the news. “Smithsonian” as a conveniently singular moniker actually names “19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo," an enormous collection of art and historic artifacts.

That’s quite a lot to sift through, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, the site’s highlights will direct you to one fascinating image after another, from Mohammad Ali’s 1973 headgear to the historic Elizabethan portrait of Pocahontas, to the collection box of the Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society owned by William Lloyd Garrison’s family, to Walt Whitman in 1891, as photographed by the painter Thomas Eakins, to just about anything else you might imagine.

Enter the Smithsonian’s Open Access archive here and browse and search its millions of newly-public domain images, a massive collection that may help expand the definition of common knowledge.

Related Content:

Public Domain Day Is Finally Here!: Copyrighted Works Have Entered the Public Domain Today for the First Time in 21 Years

The Library of Congress Launches the National Screening Room, Putting Online Hundreds of Historic Films

The Smithsonian Design Museum Digitizes 200,000 Objects, Giving You Access to 3,000 Years of Design Innovation & History

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

A Trip Through New York City in 1911: Vintage Video of NYC Gets Colorized & Revived with Artificial Intelligence

Denis Shirayev is at it again! The man who only a few weeks ago put one of the most famous pieces of film history--the Lumiere Bros. footage of a train arriving at La Ciotat station--through a neural network to bring it “to life,” so to speak, has turned to another fascinating slice of history.

For his next installment, he has taken footage of New York City daily life in 1911, eight minutes of tram rides, horse-drawn wagons, the elevated train, and the rush of crowded streets, and applied the same deep learning algorithms to make it all look like it was shot yesterday. This time he had a bit of help from another YouTube historian/technician Guy Jones, who had already speed corrected and tweaked the footage, as well as adding environmental sounds. Shirayev has used AI to upscale the footage to 4K and to 60p.




The original footage was shot by Svenska Biografteatern, a Swedish newsreel company, and begins with a shot of the Statue of Liberty as if seen through a spyglass. The film continues as travelogue and as an introduction to the immigrant experience, as the camera shows boats docking, passengers disembarking, and then the overwhelming experience of New York City.

The footage is clear enough to take in storefronts and advertising on trams and the sides of buildings. But the atmosphere is too clogged with daily smoke to get a real clear vista of the skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge.

At the time, Manhattan had a population about 2 million. Interestingly, that was its height. Over a hundred years later, that has declined to 1.6 million, with a significant decrease in population density. This Observer article ascribes that to gentrification, and a change of residential areas to commercial ones.

And let’s repeat what we said about Shirayev’s previous 4K footage: this is not a “remaster”. This is not a “restoration.” This is using the power of computing to interpret frames of film and create in between frames, as well as create detail from blurry footage. (I’m not too sure about the colorization--it doesn’t really work as well as all the other software...yet).

Now we know that Shirayev is making this a thing, please note his pinned message in the YouTube comments: he’s taking requests.

via Laughing Squid

Related Content:

Iconic Film from 1896 Restored with Artificial Intelligence: Watch an AI-Upscaled Version of the Lumière Brothers’ The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station

Pristine Footage Lets You Revisit Life in Paris in the 1890s: Watch Footage Shot by the Lumière Brothers

Immaculately Restored Film Lets You Revisit Life in New York City in 1911

Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW's Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

The Shortest-Known Paper Published in a Serious Math Journal: Two Succinct Sentences

shortest math paper

Euler's conjecture, a theory proposed by Leonhard Euler in 1769, hung in there for 200 years. Then L.J. Lander and T.R. Parkin came along in 1966, and debunked the conjecture in two swift sentences. Their article -- which is now open access and can be downloaded here -- appeared in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society. If you're wondering what the conjecture and its refutation are all about, you might want to ask Cliff Pickover, the author of 45 books on math and science. He brought this curious document to the web back in 2015.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

Related Content:

60 Free Online Math Courses

Free Math Textbooks

The Math in Good Will Hunting is Easy: How Do You Like Them Apples?

Does Math Objectively Exist, or Is It a Human Creation? A New PBS Video Explores a Timeless Question

Bernie Sanders Time as an Educational Filmmaker: Watch His Documentary on Socialist Activist Eugene V. Debs (1979)

If you grew up in the United States of America, you'll remember the name Eugene V. Debs from history class. And if you grew up during a certain era in the United States of America, you might have learned about Debs from Bernie Sanders. Try to recall one of Debs' speeches; if you hear it in Sanders' distinctive Brooklyn accent, you have at some point or another seen Eugene V. Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary. A film-strip slideshow with an accompanying audio track, it came out in 1979 as a product of the American People’s Historical Society, Sanders' own production company.

That venture constitutes just one chapter of a storied life and career, which includes periods as a high-school track star, a folk singer, and the mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Now that Sanders, junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007, has pulled ahead in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election, people want to know what he's all about — and he has long been given, certainly by the standards of U.S. politicians, to clear and frequent expression of what he's all about. He has made no secret, for example, of his admiration for Debs, a socialist political activist who five times ran for President of the United States. You can see it come through in Eugene V. Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary, which Jacobin magazine has reconstructed and made available on Youtube.




Hyperallergic's Nathan Smith writes that the documentary frames Debs "as a lost prophet before explaining how he ended up where he did ideologically. It opens with Debs’s final presidential campaign, conducted in 1920 from prison. If a million people voted for this man while he was behind bars, if more people went to hear him speak than President Taft, then how could history have forgotten him?" Sanders explains Debs' socialism "as a response to issues which still resonate today: the exploitation of working people, segregation and violent racism, voting rights, and the suppression of free speech and dissent during World War I." More so than see Sanders' admiration for Debs — Jacobin having had to use visuals other than the ones on the film strip at the time — you can hear it: as in all the shoestring productions of the American People’s Historical Society's shoestring productions, Sanders himself plays the roles of the historical characters involved.

In this case, that means we hear Sanders give Debs' speeches, and in certain moments we viewers of 2020 could easily mistake Debs' indictments of the distribution of wealth, goods, and the means of production in America as Sanders' own. A self-described socialist, Sanders has in his political career placed himself in Debs' tradition, and having made a documentary like this more than 40 years ago shores up that image. The Washington Post's Philip Bump points out that, before becoming a U.S. senator, Sanders did a couple more acting jobs in feature films, once as a man stingy with Halloween candy and once as a Dodgers-obsessed rabbi. As much as those roles might have suited his demeanor, it's safe to say he played Eugene V. Debs with more conviction.

via Hyperallergic

Related Content:

Bernie Sanders: I Will Be an Arts President

Spike Lee Interviews Bernie Sanders: Two Guys from Brooklyn Talk About Education, Inequality & More

Bernie Sanders Sings “This Land is Your Land” on the Endearingly Bad Spoken Word Album, We Shall Overcome

Allen Ginsberg’s Handwritten Poem For Bernie Sanders, “Burlington Snow” (1986)

Albert Einstein Writes the 1949 Essay “Why Socialism?” and Attempts to Find a Solution to the “Grave Evils of Capitalism”

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Janis Joplin’s Last TV Performance & Interview: The Dick Cavett Show (1970)

The best celebrity interviewers have the ability to show us how the stars are not like us at all—not only because of the entourages, wardrobes, and bank accounts, but because of the talent for which we revere them —and also how they’re kind of just like us after all: sharing the same insecurities, fears, doubts, forgetfulness, confusion, etc. They are, that is to say, real human beings.

Like no other interviewer on network television before or since, Dick Cavett could draw all of this out of his guests: both their creativity and vulnerability. What seemed like silly chit chat was a disarming camouflage for incisive questions he let casually slip through the banter.

“Cavett’s prime-time show famously featured a who’s who of rock stars that both performed and sat for loose, freeform conversations,” writes Jambase, “which brought the ethos of the hippie generation to the homes of millions.” Amongst his many rock star guests, he developed a special bond with Janis Joplin who sat down with him on August 3, 1970 for her appearance on his show and what would turn out to be her final televised performance and interview.




Joplin belts out “My Baby” and “Half Moon,” which you can see in her full appearance above, with an introduction by Cavett. Then after both songs, she walks over the couch to hang out with the host, who greets with her warmly with, “Very nice to see you, my little songbird.” Cavett poked fun at his guests, but he didn't talk down or kiss up. Most everyone who sat down with him found his dry wit and candor refreshing.

Joplin, who admits she doesn’t like doing interviews, “seems totally at ease during this conversation,” Ultimate Classic Rock points out, “a wide-ranging but informal chat that touches on everything from her feelings regarding concert riots to whether or not she ever waterskis.” She is poised throughout and throws Cavett off-guard with her deadpan humor.


They play off each other in a charming exchange that doesn’t go nearly as deep as her final interview with the Village Voice’s Howard Smith four days before her death that October, but which captures Joplin’s thoughtful, easygoing personality beautifully. Cavett later credited Joplin for sending so many other major rock stars his way after her first appearance on his show in 1968.

“She had done other television she didn’t like very much,” he remembered in 2016 on PBS’s American Masters. "She told people, ‘it’s okay to do his show, he’s not a dreary figure.’” Neither, despite her tragic story, was Janis Joplin. “At once insecure yet full of conviction, opinionated yet concerned about offending, fierce yet tenderhearted,” writes Maria Popova at Brain Pickings; she was, as millions of Cavett’s viewers were delighted to discover, a “complex person brimming with the sort of inner contradictions that make us human.”

Related Content:

Watch Janis Joplin’s Breakthrough Performance at the Monterey Pop Festival: “One of the Great Concert Performances of all Time” (1967)

Watch Janis Joplin’s Final Interview Reborn as an Animated Cartoon

George Harrison in the Spotlight: The Dick Cavett Show (1971)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

How France Invented a Popular, Profitable Internet of Its Own in the 80s: The Rise and Fall of Minitel

"When I get back from school I basically barricade myself in the apartment and never go out at night," says the narrator of Michel Houellebecq's Les Particules élémentaires. "Sometimes I go on the Minitel and check out the sex sites, that's about it." Here those reading the English translation of the novel (in this case Frank Wynne's, called Atomised) will tilt their heads: the "Minitel"? Though he writes more or less realistic novels, Houellebecq does come out with the occasional science-fictional flourish. But in France, the Minitel was a very real technological and cultural phenomenon. "What the TGV was to train travel, the Pompidou Centre to art, and the Ariane project to rocketry," writes BBC News' Hugh Schofield, "in the early 1980s the Minitel was to the world of telecommunications."

Combining a monitor, keyboard, and modem all in one beige plastic package, the Minitel terminal — known as the "Little French Box" — was once a common sight in French households. With it, writes Julien Mailland in the Atlantic, "one could read the news, engage in multi-player interactive gaming, grocery shop for same-day delivery, submit natural language requests like 'reserve theater tickets in Paris,' purchase said tickets using a credit card, remotely control thermostats and other home appliances, manage a bank account, chat, and date." All this at a time when, as Schofield puts it, "the rest of us were being put on hold by the bank manager or queueing for tickets at the station." And what's more, the French got their Minitel terminals for free.




Conceived in the "white heat of President Valery Giscard d'Estaing's technological great leap forward of the late 1970s," Minitel appeared as one of the signal efforts of a nationwide developmental project. "France was lagging behind on telecommunications," writes the Guardian's Angelique Chrisafis, "with the nation's homes underserved by telephones – particularly in rural areas." But soon after the rollout of the Minitel, usage exploded such that, "at the height of its glory in the mid-1990s, the French owned about 9m Minitel devices, with 25m users connecting to more than 23,000 services." Initially pitched to the public as a replacement for the paper telephone directory, the Minitel evolved to provide many of the services for which most of the world now relies on the modern internet.

Though developed and implemented by the French government, Minitel incorporated services by independent providers. "The most lucrative service turned out to be something no-one had envisaged — the so-called Minitel Rose," writes Schofield. "With names like 3615-Cum (actually it's from the Latin for 'with'), these were sexy chat-lines in which men" — Houellebecq-protagonist types and other — "paid to type out their fantasies to anonymous 'dates.'" Not long before Minitel's discontinuation in 2012, when more than 800,000 terminals were still active, "billboards featuring lip-pouting lovelies advertising the delights of 3615-something were ubiquitous across the country." 3615, as every onetime Minitel user knows, were the most common initial digits for Minitel services, each of which had to be hand-dialed on a telephone before the terminal could connect to it.

You can see this process in the Retro Man Cave video at the top of the post, which tells the story of the Minitel and shows how its terminals actually worked. (Retro-minded Francophones may also enjoy the 1985 TV documentary just above.) The host draws a comparison between Minitel and the much less successful Prestel, a similar service launched in the United Kingdom in 1979. It might also remind Canadians of a certain age of Telidon, which we've previously featured here on Open Culture. But no other other pre-internet videotex system made anywhere the impact of Minitel, which lives on in France as a cultural touchstone, if no longer as a fixture of everyday life. As Valérie Schafer, co-author of the book Minitel: France's Digital Childhood puts it to Chriasafis, "There's a nostalgia for an era when the French developed new ideas, took risks on ideas that didn't just look to the US or outside models; a time when we wanted to invent our own voice."

Related Content:

From the Annals of Optimism: The Newspaper Industry in 1981 Imagines its Digital Future

Discover the Lost Early Computer Art of Telidon, Canada’s TV Proto-Internet from the 1970s

How to Send an E-mail: A 1984 British Television Broadcast Explains This “Simple” Process

The Story of Habitat, the Very First Large-Scale Online Role-Playing Game (1986)

John Turturro Introduces America to the World Wide Web in 1999: Watch A Beginner’s Guide To The Internet

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Size of Asteroids Compared to New York City

The smallest asteroid measures 4.1 meters in diameter; the largest 939 kilometers, or 580 miles. Created by 3D animator Alvaro Gracia Montoya, the data on asteroid sizes was all gleaned from Wikipedia...

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

via Laughing Squid





  • Great Lectures

  • FREE UPDATES!

    GET OUR DAILY EMAIL

    Get the best cultural and educational resources on the web curated for you in a daily email. We never spam. Unsubscribe at any time.



    FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA

  • About Us

    Open Culture scours the web for the best educational media. We find the free courses and audio books you need, the language lessons & educational videos you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between.


    Advertise With Us

  • Archives

  • Quantcast