The New Yorker: Finger Drumming Keith Moon

Somehow this flew below my radar. Back in November, James Wood, the Harvard lit professor and New Yorker staff writer, revisited his childhood idol - Keith Moon, the longtime (though now departed) drummer for The Who. In "The New Yorker Out Loud" podcast, Wood demonstrates – using his fingers – what makes Moon's style so distinctive. (Listen here.) And, as an added bonus, we give you Wood finger drumming on his kitchen table at home. At least one of these clips will make your day...

Alan Davies: How Long is a Piece of String?

Yesterday's lackluster Academy Awards ceremony may have afforded you some unexpected time for contemplating life's more urgent questions, such as the one British comedian Alan Davies pursues above:  How long is a piece of string? Watch Davies, who is also a frequent panelist on the popular Stephen Fry-hosted quiz show Quite Interesting, explore the riddle's philosophical implications and inevitable connection to string theory with the help of physics, quantum mechanics, and finally a visit with mathematician Marcus de Sautoy. Fans of the Davies/du Sautoy interaction may also want to check out Du Sautoy's TED talk on Symmetry, as well as the debates in that video's comments section. More docs can be found in our collection of 200+ Free Documentaries, part of our larger collection, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc..

Gay Talese: Drinking at New York Times Put Mad Men to Shame

Mad Men brings us back to a bygone era, the early 60s, when alcohol flowed freely throughout the working day. (Watch this montage to get up to speed.) An act of historical revisionism, many might think. But, apparently not so. According to a piece in The New York Times, the show basically gets it right. Alcohol was as common in offices as office supplies. And then we have this: Gay Talese, the bestselling author and journalist, remembering the Times newsroom during the same era – a crew barely fit to publish the news that's fit to print.

Discovery’s Final Launch Viewed from Airplane

A rather different angle on the Discovery's final launch. The view from 35,000 feet....

via BoingBoing

The Art of Making Movie Sounds

Right in time for the Oscars. Gary Hecker is what you'd call a "Foley artist," someone who specializes in creating everyday sounds for movies – the sound of horses galloping, swords being unsheathed, dirt crunching beneath cowboy boots. In short, the big and small sounds you hear (and take for granted) whenever you see a movie. Timing. Creativity. They're all part of this hidden art...

A quick PS: This Soundworks video collection takes you behind the scenes into the audio post-production of feature films, video game sound design, and original soundtrack scoring. Good spot by @sheerly.

via Kottke

The Facebook Obsession

Are we obsessed with Facebook? It's hard to argue with the numbers presented visually in this artistic little video by Alex Trimpe. One data point that struck me (if true): 48% of young Americans learn about the news, about what's happening in the world, through Facebook. A big shift in the way information gets into people's hands.

And that's part of a trend we're seeing here too. More and more, Open Culture fans are joining our Facebook page, letting our daily posts trickle into their Facebook News Feeds, then sharing the intelligent media with friends. You can join our Facebook Page here, or also follow us on Twitter where we tweet and re-tweet extra cultural goodies 24/7.

Thanks Ian for the heads up on the FB video...

Pete Eckert: Blind Photographer, Visual Artist

Pete Eckert is blind, totally blind. But his disability (if you can call it that) hasn't stopped him from expressing himself visually. As Pete explains in the video above, he has always been a visual person. And photography has become more than a creative outlet for Pete. It's a personal form of artistic expression, the way he sees the world through sound.

Eckert was named the Grand Prize recipient of Artists Wanted: Exposure in 2008, an international photography competition. You can learn more about Pete Eckert in this video and on his web page.

Eugene Buchko is a blogger and photographer living in Atlanta, GA. He maintains a photoblog, Erudite Expressions, and writes about what he reads on his reading blog.

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