Introduction to Ancient Greece: A Free Online Course from Yale

≡ Category: History |2 Comments

Last fall, Yale University introduced a second round of open courses that included Donald Kagan’s Introduction to Ancient Greek History. A major figure in the field, Kagan takes students from the Greek Dark Ages, through the rise of Sparta and Athens, The Peloponnesian War, and beyond.


The Open Culture Archive

≡ Category: Random |Leave a Comment

Want to see every post that we have written since 2006? Then look back through our Archive. We just created it and added it to the site, partly in response to a reader request. You can permanently find the Archive in the second column, between “Essentials” and “Categories.” Enjoy.


Should You Give to Harvard?

≡ Category: Education, Harvard, Philosophy |Leave a Comment

That’s the question that The Ethicist asks in The New York Times. Below, I present the issue and part of the answer. Read through it all and tell us where you stand on the issue.
The Issue
The fiscal year for major university endowments ended June 30, and schools have been reporting their results: not good.


The Book That Changed Your Life

≡ Category: Books |Leave a Comment

This week, This American Life aired an episode that tells “stories of people who believe a book changed their life.” (Click here, scroll down the page a little, and then click on “Full Episode.”) It’s a good program for book lovers, but don’t expect to hear about Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, or Salinger.


Stanford Students Set Record with Model Plane

≡ Category: Stanford |Leave a Comment

Put a bunch of Stanford graduate students together. Give them 10 weeks to build a model airplaine, and what do you get? A world record at 7,000 feet — something it might cost NASA millions to do.


When The Wall Comes Tumbling Down: History on YouTube

≡ Category: History, YouTube |Leave a Comment

The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain collapsed a little more than 20 years ago (August 1989). And even though I watched the events on TV, my memory of it all has already started to fade. But that’s where YouTube comes in. Above, a quick refresher that makes my day.


Justice: Putting a Price Tag on Life & How to Measure Pleasure

≡ Category: Philosophy |2 Comments

Harvard has rolled out Week 2 of Michael Sandel’s course on Justice. Courtesy of the course web site, here’s a synopsis of what you can expect from Episode 2. New lectures are getting rolled out weekly. Check the Harvard web site for new additions.


Princeton Students Pan the Kindle DX

≡ Category: Amazon Kindle, e-books, Education |Leave a Comment

Earlier this year, Amazon rolled out the Kindle DX. This new, supersized e-book reader had one basic goal: to give readers digital access to textbooks, newspapers and other larger format publications. This fall, the rubber has started to hit the road, and the Kindle DX has been getting tepid reviews, at least at Princeton University.


Nabokov Makes Editorial Improvements to Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”

≡ Category: Literature |Leave a Comment

Vladimir Nabokov admired Franz Kafka’s novella, “The Metamorphosis.” Hence the lecture that Nabokov dedicated to the work here. But he also saw some small ways to improve the story, or at least the English translation of it. Above, we have some edits that Nabokov penned himself.


Filmmaker Roman Polanski Arrested After 31Years

≡ Category: Film |Leave a Comment

A little bit of breaking news coming out of Zurich, Switzerland. More coverage in The New York Times here.


Keep Looking »