Hitchens Cancels Speaking Engagements

Having recently turned 60, Christopher Hitchens decided it was time to write a memoir. Hence Hitch-22, his new book published earlier this month. For a moment, the publicity machine got rolling. (Above, we have him talking with Anthony Layser in a short video called "Drinking with Hitchens." Watch Part 2 here.) But, for whatever reason, things have now come to a halt.  Multiple speaking engagements on the West coast (my neck of the woods) have suddenly been canceled, as True/Slant notes. And, rightly or wrongly, there's now speculation about Hitchens's health. Neither Hitchens nor his representatives have offered any official explanation. Dailyhitchens.com will inevitably keep monitoring the situation.

Note: You can download Hitch-22 (narrated by Hitchens himself) for free via Audible.com. Read more about their no-strings attached promotion here.

Einstein for the Masses: Yale Presents a Primer on the Great Physicist’s Thinking

Who couldn't use this? A basic introduction to Einstein's thinking – one that assumes no prior knowledge, just an open mind. In one short hour, Ramamurti Shankar (Professor of Physics & Applied Physics at Yale) breaks down Einstein's theories and formulas for a lay audience. If this whets your appetite, then you'll want to download Shankar's free course called The Fundamentals of Physics. You can download it here (iTunesYouTube - Web Site), or find it in the Physics section of our big collection of Free Online Courses.

Related Content:

Modern Physics: A Complete Introduction

Bill Gates Puts Richard Feynman Lectures Online

Learning Physics Through Free Courses

Daniel Pink: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us

RSA offers up another animated video explaining what makes us tick. This time, they're featuring a lecture by Daniel Pink, the bestselling author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Revisiting research also found in Dan Ariely's new book, The Upside of Irrationality, Pink drives home the point that traditional motivation schemes – namely, bonuses – rarely achieve their intended results. In fact, the bigger the bonus, the bigger the decline in performance. Or so studies show again and again. So what does motivate us? The desire to be self-directed. The will to master something. The hope to make a contribution. It's all what Pink calls "the purpose motive," and it's the stuff that keeps this site moving along.

Related Content:

Dan Ariely on the Irrationality of Bonuses

Barbara Ehrenreich on The Perils of Positive Psychology

Philip Zimbardo on The Secret Powers of Time

via Fora.TV

We Are Here: The Pale Blue Dot


Let Carl Sagan put everything – and I mean everything – in perspective for you ...

(And see his related book, The Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)

Thanks Zoran for sending!!

Bruce Lee Auditions for The Green Hornet (1964)

Here's where the legend of Bruce Lee all began (at least for American audiences). Back in 1964, Lee, only 24 years old, was invited to audition for The Green Hornet. And he nailed it, landing a starring role on the short-lived ABC television series. During these eight vintage minutes, Lee gives you, the viewer, the theory and practice of kung fu. It's all rather enjoyable to watch, unless you're the slow-reflexed man sharing the stage with him. The real action begins at the 4:05 minute mark.

Thanks to Maria Popova, aka @BrainPicker, for giving us a heads up on this...

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The Meta Summer Reading List

Now time for some beach worthy books... Flavorwire has pulled together a meta collection of summer reading lists, aggregating books recommended by The New York Times, NPR, UC Berkeley, Details, Brooklyn Public Library and seven other sources. Somewhere in this mix you'll find that perfect read.

Try Audible Now and Get A FREE Audiobook! Details here.

Kubrick vs. Scorsese Montage

Earlier this year, Leandro Copperfield spent days re-watching the films of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. Then, using 500+ scenes from 17 movies, he developed a montage tribute simply called Tarantino vs Coen Brothers. This pairing makes a certain amount of sense. Both have a wonderful knack for aestheticizing violence. But what's the thread that runs through Copperfield's latest short tribute, Kubrick vs Scorsese? Perhaps it's quite simply the grandeur of their filmmaking. About Kubrick's artistry Scorsese said, "Watching a Kubrick film is like gazing up at a mountaintop. You look up and wonder, how could anyone have climbed that high? There are emotional passages and images and spaces in his films that have an inexplicable power..." And, you can't help but think that Kubrick looked at Scorsese's work with a similar sense of awe.

Scorsese offers more thoughts on Kubrick in this 2001 episode of Charlie Rose. It's worth a watch. For more great films, please see our collection of Free Movies Online.

via @BrainPicker and Kottke

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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