A New Year’s Wish from Neil Gaiman

≡ Category: Life, Literature |Leave a Comment

A few days ago, we gave you Neil Gaiman’s dark animated Christmas poem. Now, it’s time for his entirely upbeat New Year’s Benediction, which has some perfect words for anyone with a creative urging. This short video was recorded in 2010 at Symphony Hall in Boston. Best wishes to all…


The Best of Open Culture 2010

≡ Category: Most Popular, Random |Leave a Comment

That’s it. We’re putting a wrap on 2010. We’ll hit the ground running again on Monday. But, until then, we leave you with a handy list of our favorite and most popular posts from 2010, all ordered in a rather random way.


Stephen Hawking: Abandon Earth Or Face Extinction

≡ Category: Life, Physics |6 Comments

As the year winds to a close, Big Think has pulled together a list of their Most Popular Videos of 2010. Perhaps the biggest thinker on the list is Stephen Hawking, the renowned theoretical physicist, who issues a stark warning. “Our only chance of long term survival, is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space.


The Beauty of Pixar

≡ Category: Film |2 Comments


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 called Tarantino vs Coen Brothers, which nicely complements his other short tribute, Kubrick vs Scorsese.


Denis Dutton (RIP) Talks Beauty @ TED

≡ Category: Life, Philosophy, TED Talks |Leave a Comment

Denis Dutton – the founder of Arts & Letters Daily and philosophy professor at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand – passed away today. He was 66 years old. In 2009, he wrote his most recent book, The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution.


Orson Welles Narrates an Animated Parable Freedom River (1971)

≡ Category: Animation, Current Affairs, Film, History |3 Comments

More than 40 years (and seven presidential administrations) have passed since Orson Welles narrated Freedom River. And although the animation shows some age, the parable, a commentary on the role of wealth and race in America, still resonates today. Or, at least I suspect many viewers will think so.


Robot Masters Rubik’s Cube in 15 Seconds

≡ Category: Technology |Leave a Comment


Where was this when I needed it 30 years ago? Two students at Rowan University, Zachary Grady and Joe Ridgeway, have constructed a robotic arm that can solve the Rubik’s Cube in 15 seconds. As The New Scientist explains, the “system uses a camera to capture how the cube is scrambled and sends the images to a computer.


The Rosetta Stone: A Quick Primer

≡ Category: Art |Leave a Comment

No doubt about it, the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 ranks as one of the greatest archaeological discoveries. One slab of stone deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs and demystified the history of Ancient Egypt. Now, we had a window into the real history of Ancient Egypt, not the imagined one.


How Large is the Universe?

≡ Category: Film, Physics, Science, Video - Science |11 Comments


A fascinating 20-minute documentary exploring the universe’s immense scale of distance and time.


The Junky’s Christmas: William S. Burrough’s Claymation Christmas Film

≡ Category: Film, Literature |3 Comments

Back in 1993, the Beat writer William S. Burroughs wrote and narrated a 21 minute claymation Christmas film. And, as you can well imagine, it’s not your normal happy Christmas flick. Nope, this film – The Junky’s Christmas – is all about Danny the Carwiper, a junkie, who spends Christmas Day trying to score a fix.


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