Watch Episode #4 of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos: The Big Bang, Black Holes & More (US Viewers)

≡ Category: Science, Television |1 Comment

On Sunday evening, Fox aired the latest episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos series.


New York Public Library Puts 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Online & Makes Them Free to Download and Use

≡ Category: History, Maps, Technology |11 Comments

When I was a kid, my father brought home from I know not where an enormous collection of National Geographic magazines spanning the years 1917 to 1985. I found, tucked in almost every issue, one of the magazine’s gorgeous maps—of the Moon, St. Petersburg, the Himalayas, Eastern Europe’s ever-shifting boundaries.


Download De La Soul’s New Mixtape “Smell the Da.I.S.Y.” for Free

≡ Category: Music |2 Comments

Last month, De La Soul celebrated the 25th anniversary of their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising by letting fans download nearly their entire back catalog of albums for free.
This month, the hip hop trio is giving away new music — their mixtape “Smell the Da.I.S.Y.


An Introduction to Dylanology, or How to Understand Bob Dylan by Digging Through His Garbage

≡ Category: Music |1 Comment

You may never have heard of “Dylanology” before, but rest assured that the field covers the intellectual territory you suspect it does. Even if you have heard of Dylanology, you may never have heard of A.J. Weberman, the man who holds reasonable claim to having fathered the discipline.


Jorge Luis Borges, After Going Blind, Draws a Self-Portrait

≡ Category: Art |1 Comment

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), one of the great writers to come out of Argentina, went blind when he was  only 55 years old. As unsettling as it must have been, it wasn’t particularly a surprise. He once told The New York Times, “I knew I would go blind, because my father, my paternal grandmother, my great-grandfather, they had all gone blind.


Bill Murray Croons a Soulful Cover of “The House of the Rising Sun”

≡ Category: Comedy, Music, Television |Leave a Comment

Bill Murray began his singing shtick on Saturday Night Live back in the 70s. Anyone who watched the show during its heyday will surely remember his “Nick Winter” lounge singer character belting out the tune of the Star Wars theme song. Years later, Mr. Murray tickled us with a karaoke scene in Lost in Translation.


George R.R. Martin Releases a Free Chapter From The Winds of Winter: Read It Online

≡ Category: Books, e-books |Leave a Comment

In recent days, George R.R. Martin published a blog post that begins, “Hiya kids, hiya hiya hiya. With season 4 of HBO’s GAME OF THRONES almost upon us, I thought the time was ripe for me to give my readers another taste of WINDS OF WINTER.” The new chapter, he tells us, “is actually an old chapter.


Great Shakespeare Plays Retold with Stick Figures in Three Simple Drawings

≡ Category: Comedy, Comics/Cartoons, Literature, Theatre |4 Comments

Other than Romeo and Juliet and possibly Hamlet,  Shakespeare doesn’t exactly lend himself to the elevator pitch. The same creaky plot devices and unfathomable jokes that confound modern audiences make for long winded summaries.
Not to say it can’t be done.


Dizzy Gillespie Worries About Nuclear & Environmental Disaster in Vintage Animated Films

≡ Category: Film |Leave a Comment

Dizzy Gillespie was one of the best jazz trumpet players of all time. His virtuosic playing, along with his tricked out trumpet and his freakishly elastic cheeks, turned him into a musical icon of the 20th century.


Hear Allen Ginsberg’s Short Free Course on Shakespeare’s Play, The Tempest (1980)

≡ Category: Education, Poetry |Leave a Comment

Ginsberg Class One

Ginsberg Class Two

Like so many great poets, Allen Ginsberg composed extemporaneously as he spoke, in erudite paragraphs, reciting lines and whole poems from memory—in his case, usually the poems of William Blake.


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