Meltdown: The Secret History of the Global Financial Collapse

Doc Zone, a documentary series produced by CBC Television, is now airing, Meltdown, a four part investigation into the great financial debacle of 2008. Along the way, the CBC’s Terence McKenna takes viewers "behind the headlines and into the backrooms at the highest levels of world governments and banking institutions, revealing the astonishing level of backstabbing and tension behind the scenes as the world came dangerously close to another Great Depression."

Above, we have posted the first episode called "The Men Who Crashed the World." The remaining programs can be watched by clicking here and scrolling down the page. Or by heading to Al Jazeera's English site, which also hosts the four-part series. Thanks to William for sending along this film. It's now added to the Documentary section of our collection of Free Movies Online.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and we’ll keep pointing you to free cultural goodies daily…

Jimmy Page Tells the Story of “Kashmir”

One of the most original and distinctive songs Led Zeppelin ever recorded was the exotic, eight-and-a-half minute "Kashmir," from the 1975 album Physical Graffiti. In this clip from Davis Guggenheim's film It Might Get Loud (2009), Jimmy Page explains the origins of the song to fellow guitarists Jack White and The Edge. Then Page demonstrates it by picking up an old modified Danelectro 59DC Double Cutaway Standard guitar that he played the song with on some of Led Zeppelin's tours. (Watch Kashmir live here.)




In 1973, Page had been experimenting with an alternative D modal, or DADGAD, tuning often used on stringed instruments in the Middle East, when he hit upon the hypnotic, rising and falling riff. The song came together over a period of a couple of years. John Bonham added his distinctive, overpowering drums during a two-man recording session with Page at Headley Grange. Singer Robert Plant wrote the lyrics while he and Page were driving through the Sahara Desert in Southern Morocco. (Neither Page nor Plant had ever visited Kashmir, in the Himalayas.) Bassist and keyboard player John Paul Jones added the string and horn arrangements the following year. In a 1995 radio interview with Australian journalist Richard Kingsmill, Plant recalled his experience with "Kashmir":

It was an amazing piece of music to write to, and an incredible challenge for me. Because of the time signature, the whole deal of the song is...not grandiose, but powerful. It required some kind of epithet, or abstract lyrical setting about the whole idea of life being an adventure and being a series of illuminated moments. But everything is not what you see. It was quite a task, because I couldn't sing it. It was like the song was bigger than me.

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. 

If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

Related Content:

Led Zeppelin Plays One of Its Earliest Concerts (Danish TV, 1969)

Thirteen-Year-Old Jimmy Page Makes his BBC Television Debut in 1957

Hear Led Zeppelin’s Mind-Blowing First Recorded Concert Ever (1968)

What Earth Will Look Like 100 Million Years from Now

This is what you'd call efficient. In two minutes, we watch our planet take form. 600 million years of geological history whizzes by in a snap. Then we see what the next 100 million years may have in store for us. If you don't have the patience to watch 700 million years unfold in 180 seconds (seriously?), then we'll give you this spoiler: Coastal real estate is not a long-term buy...

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. 

If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds

Random? Yes. Handy? Double yes. The ultimate culinary lifehack from SAVEUR magazine's Executive Food Editor, Todd Coleman...

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. 

If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.

Steven Pinker on the History of Violence: A Happy Tale

In July, the Edge.org held its annual "Master Class" in Napa, California and brought together some influential thinkers to talk about "The Science of Human Nature." The highlights included:

Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman on the marvels and the flaws of intuitive thinking; Harvard mathematical biologist Martin Nowak on the evolution of cooperation; Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker on the history of violence; UC-Santa Barbara evolutionary psychologist Leda Cosmides on the architecture of motivation; UC-Santa Barbara neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga on neuroscience and the law; and Princeton religious historian Elaine Pagels on The Book of Revelations.

The Edge.org has now started making videos from the class available online, including, this week, Steven Pinker's talk on the history of violence. You can watch Pinker's full 86 minute talk here (sorry, we couldn't embed it on our site.) Or, if you want the quick gist of Pinker's thinking, then watch the short clip above. In five minutes, Pinker tells you why violence is steadily trending down, and why some things are actually going right in our momentarily/monetarily troubled world.

Salvador Dali Gets Surreal with Mike Wallace (1958)

Before he became a fixture on 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace hosted his own short-lived TV show, The Mike Wallace Interview (1957-58), which let Americans get an up-close and personal view of some legendary figures - Frank Lloyd WrightEleanor RooseveltReinhold NiebuhrAldous HuxleyErich FrommAdlai StevensonHenry Kissinger, and Gloria Swanson.

Then let's also add Salvador Dali to the list. In 1958, Wallace tried to demystify "the enigma that is Salvador Dali," and it didn't go terribly well. It turns out that surrealist painters give surreal answers to conventional interview questions too. Pretty quickly, Wallace capitulates and says, "I must confess, you lost me halfway through." Happily for us, the video makes for some good viewing more than 50 years later.

Part 1 appears above; and Part 2 continues here.

Related Salvador Dali Content:

Destino: The Salvador Dalí – Disney Collaboration 57 Years in the Making

Salvador Dali Appears on “What’s My Line? in 1952

Alfred Hitchcock Recalls Working with Salvador Dali on Spellbound

Six Ideas That Set the West Apart from the Rest (And Why It’s All Over Now Baby Blue)

We're tackling another big question today with the help of Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson. And the question goes like this: Why has the West created so much prosperity and stability over the past several centuries, when the rest of the world did not? For Ferguson, the "great divergence" can be explained by six big ideas, or what he calls killer apps for the benefit of his technophile TED audience:

1. Competition
2. The Scientific Revolution
3. Property Rights
4. Modern Medicine
5. The Consumer Society
6. Work Ethic

These apps, it turns out, are open source. Anyone can download and use them. And that's precisely what Asia has done. The great divergence is over (baby blue)...

More in this category... »
Quantcast