Jason Schwartzman Introduces New Yorker iPad App

The New Yorker iPad app. It's finally out, and they have actor Jason Schwartzman taking the wraps off in a witty video. Give The New Yorker points for creativity.

Now the big question. Will readers pay $4.99 to have the pleasure of reading each weekly issue on the iPad? That's $234 over a year. Or will you be sticking with the print subscription that runs a cooler $1.00 per week? You'll find me in the latter camp until they work out a more sensible annual pricing scheme - something that, according to recent reports, may be right around the bend.

Dick Tracy: The Original Film Series Online

Chester Gould first introduced Dick Tracy, the legendary police detective, to the American public in 1931, back when he launched his syndicated comic strip - a strip that he would continue writing until 1977. The character resonated immediately, and soon enough, Dick Tracy took to the airwaves (listen to radio episodes here) and then eventually the silver screen. In 1937, Republic Pictures released a Dick Tracy film series comprised of 15 episodes/chapters, each running about 22 minutes on average. And, thanks to Film Annex, you can now revisit them (for free) online at DickTracyTV.com. Above we have featured a video that gives you the entire series in one handy clip. It runs roughly 4 and a half hours (got an afternoon to spare?), and, please note, the large file takes some time to load. You can also watch, or even download, this file at The Internet Archive.

If you're looking for more vintage movies, definitely visit our big collection Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Film Noir, Documentaries & More

Stairway to Heaven

Without these guys, you wouldn't have broadcast radio or TV. It's hard to watch beyond the 1:30 mark. Thanks Ian for sending along...

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The Money Tree

It's not the first time a tree offers a window into humanity. Anyone who has read Shel Silverstein's classic knows that. But, even so, this little video by Amy Krouse Rosenthal says a little something about what we see and what we actually notice. It was filmed this past summer in Chicago...

via Michael Wesch

John Cleese on the Origin of Creativity

British actor John Cleese is best known for his comedic talent as one of the founding members of Monty Python, which makes his intellectual insights on the origin of creativity particularly fascinating. This talk from the 2009 Creativity World Forum in Germany is part critique of modernity's hustle-and-bustle, part handbook for creating the right conditions for creativity.

"We get our ideas from what I'm going to call for a moment our unconscious -- the part of our mind that goes on working, for example, when we're asleep. So what I'm saying is that if you get into the right mood, then your mode of thinking will become much more creative. But if you're racing around all day, ticking things off a list, looking at your watch, making phone calls and generally just keeping all the balls in the air, you are not going to have any creative ideas." ~ John Cleese

Cleese advocates creating an "oasis" amidst the daily stress where the nervous creature that is your creative mind can safely come out and play, with the oasis being guarded by boundaries of space and boundaries of time.

Another interesting point Cleese makes is that knowing you are good at something requires precisely the same skills you need to be good at it, so people who are horrible at something tend to have no idea they are horrible at all. This echoes precisely what filmmaker Errol Morris discusses in "The Anosognosic's Dilemma," arguably one of the most fascinating psychology reads in The New York Times this year.

Curiously, Cleese's formula for creativity somewhat contradicts another recent theory put forth by historian Steven Johnson who, while discussing where good ideas come from, makes a case for the connected mind rather than the fenced off creative oasis as the true source of creativity.

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Maria Popova is the founder and editor in chief of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of eclectic interestingness and indiscriminate curiosity. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, BigThink and Huffington Post, and spends a disturbing amount of time on Twitter.

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Where do good ideas come from? Places that put us together. Places that allow good hunches to collide with other good hunches, sometimes creating big breakthroughs and innovations. During the Enlightenment, this all happened in Parisian salons and coffee houses. Nowadays, it's happening on the web, in places that defy your ordinary definition of "place." In four animated minutes, Steven Johnson outlines the argument that he makes more fully in his soon-to-be-published book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. The video is the latest from the RSAnimate series.

PS: Last week, I wrote a guest post on 5 captivating RSA videos that mull over the flaws running through modern capitalism. You can find it on Brain Pickings.

Related Content:

Ira Glass on Why Creative Excellence Takes Time

David Bowie Standup

For a brief moment yesterday, the internet was abuzz. David Bowie? Now doing standup comedy? Bowie himself seemed to confirm it on Twitter. But then the truth came out. It was all a hoax, the work of comedian Ed Schrader. Listen below:

Related: Don't miss little this video of a 3 year old having a "Want David Bowie" meltdown. Watch video here, and stay with it until the 1:30 mark...

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