Back in March 1970, Miles Davis was the opening act for Neil Young at the Fillmore East in NYC. Not exactly the most likely combo. But that's what concert promoter Bill Graham put together.
You can listen to mp3s of Miles' live performance. (Make sure you scroll down.) What you get here is not bebop Miles Davis, or cool jazz Miles Davis. It's electric Miles Davis all the way, post Bitches Brew.
Recently, Time Magazine ran a piece called "Logging On to the Ivy League" that tells a story we're all familiar with here -- many major universities are now recording courses and making them freely available online. (See our full list of courses here.) Somewhat ironically, the article mostly features courses from non ivy league universities (Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, etc.) But maybe I'm being too picky in mentioning that. Perhaps I should simply tell you what courses Time likes best. (These are highlighted in the print edition.) First up: the often-mentioned physics courses taught by MIT's Walter Lewin (more on that here). Next, Martin Lewis' course, The Geography of US Elections, which comes out of Stanford Continuing Studies (my day job). Loyal readers will remember that we featured Lewis' course on Open Culture last fall. And then there's Marian Diamond's Human Anatomy course. We've posted the first lecture of this popular UC Berkeley course above. You can access the complete course via these links: iTunes - Feed - YouTube. Enjoy.
The ground underneath traditional publishing has shifted once again. Scribd, the "YouTube of documents," has opened up a new store where authors can upload and sell their books. And here's the clincher. You don't need a costly gadget (like the Kindle) to read these digital books. Any computer with an internet connection will do. And apparently, you can use smart phones as well.
As noted in the LA Times, Kemble Scott, a bestselling author from San Francisco, has published his second book -- The Sower -- on Scribd, and it goes for $2 per copy. Of that, Scott will get to keep $1.60, which beats the cut he received for his first traditionally-published book. You can watch a video introducing the new digital book marketplace above. You can also read more about it in The New York Times. If you have some thoughts about Scribd's new move, let us know in the comments below.
The media wanted to turn this into a bitter controversy. But it turned out to be far less than that. Aside from a few hecklers, the crowd at Notre Dame's graduation gave Barack Obama, the commencement speaker, a genuinely warm reception. And what the president gave back is a speech whose moral content is hard to take issue with, no matter where you sit on the political spectrum. A uniter, not a divider. Part 1 above. And then Part 2 and Part 3.
As a quick aside, while Notre Dame had the tact to give Obama the perfunctory honorary degree, Arizona State didn't, and here's what Jon Stewart's Daily Show had to say about that.
A quick fyi: On Monday morning, Stanford Continuing Studies opens 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. As you will see, there are a couple of courses offered in conjunction with The New York Times. The idea here is that you'll learn writing from a Stanford writing instructor and then get your work reviewed by a New York Times book critic. Quite a perk. And the courses sell out quickly. For more information, click here, or separately check out the FAQ and the testimonials.
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.
Daniel Goleman has followed up his previous bestsellers, Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence, with a new one -- Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. Ecological intelligence is a way for us to avert environmental catastrophe, and it depends on our knowing whether products are truly environmentally friendly or not. These days many products look "green" -- or they're marketed that way -- but when you scratch the surface, you realize that these new products are often more damaging than the "non-green" products they're meant to replace. This week, Goleman was interviewed by Bill Moyers. With this 17 minute video, you'll get a quick introduction to what "ecological intelligence" means, and how you can become a smarter consumer. Along the way, Goleman recommends two handy web sites that will let you assess the environmental friendliness of products. One is called GoodGuide (which is also available as a free iPhone app). The other is SkinDeep.