10 Figures of Speech Illustrated by Monty Python: Paradiastole, Epanorthosis, Syncatabasis & More

≡ Category: Comedy, Literature, Philosophy, Poetry |5 Comments

Ah, the ancient art of rhetoric. There’s no escaping it. Variously defined as “the art of argumentation and discourse” or, by Aristotle in his fragmented treatise, as “the means of persuasion [that] could be found in the matter itself; and then stylistic arrangement,” rhetoric is complicated.


Watch The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the Influential German Expressionist Film (1920)

≡ Category: Film |1 Comment

In early 1920, posters began appearing all over Berlin with a hypnotic spiral and the mysterious command Du musst Caligari werden — “You must become Caligari.”
The posters were part of an innovative advertising campaign for an upcoming movie by Robert Wiene called The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.


A Terrifying Reading of the Sweet Children’s Story Goodnight Moon

≡ Category: Audio Books |6 Comments

Is this wrong? Benjamin Percy (author of the werewolf thriller Red Moon) takes the sweet children’s bedtime story, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, and turns it into a story that will keep kids (and maybe adults) awake for days on end — perhaps leaving parents no choice but to have the real Werner Herzog read Go the F**k to Sleep.


American Filmmakers in Japanese Ads: Quentin Tarantino Sells Cell Phones, Orson Welles Hawks Whisky

≡ Category: Film, Television |3 Comments

American movie stars have long found work across the pacific in Japanese television commercials: Nicolas Cage, Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, Harrison Ford, Jodie Foster — the list goes on.


Mark Twain Writes a “Gushing,” “Self-Deprecating” Wedding Announcement to His Family (1869)

≡ Category: Letters |Leave a Comment

I am of the rather uncontroversial opinion that any marriage is what any two people make of it themselves. I’m also of the opinion that no matter how many people may publicly disagree with that idea, in private, people make their own rules.


What Ancient Greek Music Sounded Like: Hear a Reconstruction That is ‘100% Accurate’

≡ Category: History, Music |90 Comments

Between 750 BC and 400 BC, the Ancient Greeks composed songs meant to be accompanied by the lyre, reed-pipes, and various percussion instruments. More than 2,000 years later, modern scholars have finally figured out how to reconstruct and perform these songs with (it’s claimed) 100% accuracy.


Hear Orson Welles’ Iconic War of the Worlds Broadcast (1938)

≡ Category: History, Radio, Sci Fi, Theatre |4 Comments

Image by Carl Van Vechten, via Wikimedia Commons
One night in October of 1938, listeners tuned into CBS radio to hear a piece of radio theater (listen below) so frightening and, for its time, realistic, that people across New England and eastern Canada fled their homes to escape danger. Or so the legend goes.


Run Vintage Video Games (From Pac-Man to E.T.) and Software in Your Web Browser, Thanks to Archive.org

≡ Category: Archives, Software, Technology, Video Games |Leave a Comment

Note: If you’re having difficulties getting this software running in your browser give Firefox a try. It seems to work the best.


Charlie Parker Plays with Jazz Greats Coleman Hawkins, Buddy Rich, Lester Young & Ella Fitzgerald (1950)

≡ Category: Music |6 Comments

In a post earlier this year, we showcased one of the few known sound films of Charlie Parker performing live. Above, we have another very rare clip, from 1950, with Parker, young upstart alto, trading lines with veteran tenor Coleman Hawkins. Buddy Rich plays drums, and Hank Jones and Ray Brown play piano and bass.


Watch Very First Film Adaptations of Shakespeare’s Plays: King John, The Tempest, Richard III & More (1899-1936)

≡ Category: Film, Theatre |3 Comments

Shakespeare sells: counterintuitive, but seemingly true. The film industry, which pumps out Shakespeare adaptations (of varying levels of creativity) on the regular, has known this ever since it could hardly have had much awareness of itself as a film industry.


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