HBO Revisits 2000 Election with “Recount”

On Sunday night, HBO aired its new film "Recount," which delved back into the controversial Florida recount that determined the outcome of America's 2000 presidential election. Days before the film (watch the trailer here) hit the airwaves, Charlie Rose conducted an interview with Kevin Spacey (actor in the film), Jeffrey Toobin (Senior Legal Analyst at CNN) and David Boies (who argued Bush v. Gore on behalf of Al Gore). In watching the film and interview, my first reaction was to think: yes, it's been eight long years, but it's perhaps not been long enough. Perhaps another eight years is what it takes before political trauma can be transformed into pure entertainment. Or maybe it will never quite get there. But that says nothing about the merits of the film or the interview below. If you missed "Recount," it re-airs tonight on HBO.

Harvard Law Faculty Votes to Put Articles Online

The open access movement keeps rolling along. See here.

Jacques Brel Sings “Ne Me Quitte Pas”

Ne Me Quitte Pas - It's Jacques Brel's classic from 1959. It's a fixture in the French cultural imagination. And it's been covered left and right, by such singers as Nina Simone (here) and Frank Sinatra (listen). Now, Jacques, take it away. (PS You can find Brel's video on our YouTube playlist.)

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Tobias Wolff Reads From His New Collection

Segueing from our last post, I wanted to feature a reading given by Tobias Wolff, a master of the short story, who also happens to teach creative writing at Stanford.

In March, he released a new book, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories. And below we have posted a clip of him reading from a piece called "The Benefit of the Doubt." As you'll see, Wolff knows how to give his stories a very good read. Enjoy.

(PS If you like literature in audio format, then feel free to peruse our Free Audio Book Collection. Also note that if you sign up for Audible, you can download two bestselling audio books for free. Get more info on the deal here.)
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Stanford Online Writing Courses

A quick fyi: Yesterday, Stanford Continuing Studies opened up registration for its summer lineup of online writing courses. Offered in partnership with the Stanford Creative Writing Program (one of the most distinguished writing programs in the country), these online courses give beginning and advanced writers, no matter where they live, the chance to refine their craft with gifted writing instructors.

Registration opened yesterday, and some of the classes are almost full. Classes will start during the last week of June. For more information, click here, or separately check out the FAQ.

Caveat emptor: These classes are not free, and I helped set them up. So while I wholeheartedly believe in these courses, you can take my views with a grain of salt.

Summer Courses:

By the way, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to keep the mind engaged, give some thought to Stanford Continuing Studies. Our full summer catalogue is here.

Learn to Play Instruments (and Also Some Music Theory) Online

The always handy Lifehacker has pulled together resources that will teach you to play guitar, drums and piano. Some of these lessons are taught via video, others with podcasts. And if you're looking to teach yourself music theory, then head over to They've got you covered.

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The Smithsonian Channel on the Vietnam War Memorial

As a quick follow up to our post earlier today, I wanted to highlight the Smithsonian Channel's first broadcast on BlogTalkRadio, which aired tonight. Right in time for Memorial Day, the program features an involved conversation with Jan Scruggs, the founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, who conceived the idea of building the memorial in Washington. It also complements a Smithsonian Channel documentary 'Remembering Vietnam: The Wall at 25' (click link to see trailer). You can listen in on the conversation right below.

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