The Graduate at 40

The film that spoke to a generation of alienated youth during the 1960s is now 40 years old (and actually looking much tamer than it first did). To mark the occasion, a 40th anniversary collector's edition DVD has been released, filled with a good amount of extra materials. Also, Fresh Air broadcasted a show last week (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) that brought together interviews with various members of the film's cast and crew. As Larry David would say, it's pretty, pretty, pretty good. And, by the way, have a look back at our earlier post: Meet Larry David (in Video)

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The Future of Print

WNYC's latest On The Media (iTunes - Feed - Site) covers the crisis of traditional book publishing in a new media age. While Amazon rolls out the Kindle and more and more content comes out in pure digital form, we're still publishing more books than ever before. One interesting note from the program is that publishers have discovered that offering more free content online (i.e. not just excerpts but whole chapters of new books) serves to increase sales even more. The show was great--worth a listen.

WIRED SCIENCE: What’s Inside Rainn Wilson?

Funny and yet it counts as science.

Chris Hardwick and Rainn Wilson, star of The Office, "dive deep into the chemical guts of a common household product" to discover "What's Inside." For more information, visit (Source: BoingBoing)

Guest on This Week

Here's a quick fyi: I'm making a small guest appearance on this week.

In case you're not familiar with it, hosts a large and constantly growing collection of videos that feature important thinkers grappling with contemporary cultural, social and political questions. Or, put simply, it's YouTube made intelligent. As you'll see, their mission is rather similar to our own. So I was pleased when they asked me to be "a guest" for the week and highlight some of my favorite videos from their video trove. Here is what I selected:

Segments of FORA's talks are also available by audio and video podcast. (Get more info here.) Also, on a related note, Princeton University spearheads a somewhat similar video service, except that it is more specifically dedicated to public affairs. It's called UChannel. (Have a look here.) Finally, if you like what FORA and UChannel have to offer, you may also want to spend some time with our Ideas & Culture Podcast Collection. Our full podcast library is here.

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When Bob Dylan Went Electric: Newport, 1965

First there was the folk Bob Dylan. Then came the electric Bob Dylan. And it all happened one night at the Newport Folk Festival. The date was July 25, 1965.

In the clip below, you can see how the transition was received. In a word, not well. Appearing in front of a folk audience that lamented the rise of rock, Dylan hit the stage with his electric band and played three songs, including "Like a Rolling Stone." Much of the crowd reacted violently (you can hear it at the end of the clip), and Pete Seeger, the folk legend, raged backstage: "Get that distortion out of his voice ... It's terrible. If I had an axe, I'd chop the microphone cable right now." After his short set, Dylan tried to exit the stage. But, as you'll see, he was coaxed back, with acoustic guitar in hand, to give the people what they wanted - an excellent version of It's All Over Now, Baby Blue. For more on this controversy (which the music world eventually got over), check out Martin Scorsese's documentary "No Direction Home" as well as this Wikipedia entry.

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A World in Your Ear

Times Online (the large UK-based news website) has posted today a feature that offers an introduction to podcasting. It explains the whos, hows, whats, etc. and provides some helpful links, including one to our collection of Foreign Language Lesson Podcasts.

Podcasting offers an amazing way to access free, high-quality media, across many topics, wherever and whenever you want it. And it's something that even technophobes can easily figure out. For more information on how to work with podcasts, see our our Podcast Primer. We take you through podcasting step-by-step. Also check out our extensive Podcast Library, which gives you access to audiobooks, cultural programming, science podcasts, university courses and more.

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No Country for Old Men: The Coen Brothers’ Latest

The filmmakers who brought you Fargo, Barton Fink, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? have released their latest film based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy. No Country for Old Men is, as The New Yorker puts it, "a return to the dark, simmering days of their best work, in Blood Simple and Miller’s Crossing," which is another way of saying that the film is violent, but also extremely well made. So far, there's been no shortage of positive reviews (look here for example). But, as always, you'll find the occasional pan. Below, we have posted some scenes from the film, and we'll leave you with this printed interview with Joel and Ethan Coen.

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