Bernard-Henri Lévy on the Streets of Tehran

Bernard-Henri Lévy, one of France's leading intellectuals (you can tell by the way he buttons his shirt) pays dramatic homage to the uprising in Iran. The rhythm of the speech is vaguely MLK'esque. But the content is distinctly French intello. (Somehow Michel Foucault gets worked into an analysis of what's happening on the streets of Tehran.)


A Master List of Free Language Learning Resources

Looking to learn a new language this summer? Then give this list a good look. The folks at have created "The Master List of Free Language Learning Resources," which pulls together materials found across a range of different media. Here, you'll find podcasts, open courses, iphone apps, and more. And the list notably includes our ever-popular collection How to Learn Languages for Free: Spanish, English, Chinese & 37 Other Languages, which will teach you about 40 different languages. Just download the audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you'll be learning new languages on the go, at no cost.

Hodgman (and Obama) on Geeks, Jocks & Nerds

All credit to Jason Kottke on this one. Perfect for our readers. From the 2009 Radio and TV Correspondents' Dinner. Give it a little time. Here it goes:

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John Hodgman@Google

The Back Story in Iran

If you're looking to get more context for what's happening right now in Iran, let me direct you to two pieces of media. First, you'll find above a talk by Abbas Milani, the director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University. It was given last August at Google's HQ in Mountain View, CA, and it overviews how power is structured in Iran and what drives President Ahmadinejad and the ruling clerics. Then, about 15 minutes into the talk, Milani addresses the presidential election and underscores Ahmadinejad's declining popularity and poor electoral chances. Milani also reflects on the emerging democratic movement and its ability to get traction. As you'll see, many of his comments (democracy will come on its own -- if we don't start a war over nukes) are starting to look rather prophetic. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Next, you can listen to a talk recorded this morning, which brings together Milani, Juan Cole (the historian of the Middle East who writes the Informed Comment blog) and Scott Peterson (Istanbul bureau chief for The Christian Science Monitor). This hour long conversation (MP3 - iTunes) delves into the election and its aftermath and examines what's at stake for Iran, the Middle East and the US.

James Joyce Reading from Finnegans Wake

On Bloomsday (June 16), BoingBoing featured a rare audio recording of James Joyce reading from Finnegans Wake (mp3). It's a bit intriguing to hear his voice and accent. Also, we came across another Joyce recording, where, this time, he's reading Anna Livia Plurabelle, another section of the same novel. For kicks, you can catch an animated version of the same recording on YouTube here.

via Pratham Books

Curb Your Enthusiasm With Hair

Bike Tricks Courtesy of Thomas Edison

Voila, the 1899 precursor to this amazing 2009 bike stunt video originally found on the @courosa Twitter stream. And who can doubt that we're making progress?

via Andrew Sullivan

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