Nick Cave Narrates an Animated Film about the Cat Piano, the Twisted 18th Century Musical Instrument Designed to Treat Mental Illness

≡ Category: History, Psychology, Random |2 Comments

What do you imagine when you hear the phrase “cat piano”? Some kind of whimsical furry beast with black and white keys for teeth, maybe? A relative of My Neighbor Totoro’s cat bus? Or maybe you picture a piano that contains several caged cats who shriek along an entire scale when keys are pressed that slam sharpened nails into the


42 Hours of Ambient Sounds from Blade Runner, Alien, Star Trek and Doctor Who Will Help You Relax & Sleep

≡ Category: Film, Random |2 Comments

Back in 2009, the musician who goes by the name “Cheesy Nirvosa” began experimenting with ambient music, before eventually launching a YouTube channel where he “composes longform space and scifi ambience.” Or what he otherwise calls “ambient geek sleep aids.


10 Hours of Ambient Arctic Sounds Will Help You Relax, Meditate, Study & Sleep

≡ Category: Random |Leave a Comment

Not too long ago, we featured for you 4 hours of ambient music created by Moby, all of which you can download for free, and use to sleep, meditate, do yoga and generally not panic. Sound timely? Then download away.


Marcel Proust Plays Air Guitar on a Tennis Racket (1891)

≡ Category: Literature, Random |7 Comments

Was “air guitar” a thing back in 1891, when a photographer captured young Marcel Proust in this playful photograph? Probably not. Maybe it’s anachronistic to read the photograph this way. But you have to admit, it’s worth suspending disbelief for a moment and imagining what song Marcel was playing.


Watch Leonard Bernstein Conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Using Only His Eyebrows

≡ Category: Music, Random |Leave a Comment

Perhaps you’ll recall the episode from Seinfeld when Bob Cobb, a conductor for The Police Orchestra, insists that everyone call him “maestro”–and only “maestro.” The pretentiousness of the suggestion makes for some good comedy, that’s for sure.
But occasionally the honorific title is fitting.


Duet for French Horn and Chair

≡ Category: Music, Random |1 Comment

Pretty clever. Even more better is the comment left by one YouTube user, “I wonder if he’s first chair?” Ha!!
Follow Open Culture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and Flipboard 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.


A Short Anti-LSD Horror Film Made by the Lockheed Corporation (1969)

≡ Category: Random |3 Comments

During the late 1960s, the defense contractor Lockheed Corporation took a strange detour into filmmaking and sponsored a series of short films, each examining the perils of a particular hardcore drug. Above, you can watch “Case Study: LSD,” a three-minute short documenting a young woman’s acid trip.


“Every Country in the World”–Two Videos Tell You Curious Facts About 190+ Countries

≡ Category: Random |Leave a Comment

From Wendover Productions–a Youtube channel dedicated to explaining how our world works, from travel, to economics, to geography–comes a two part series called “Every Country in the World.


A Lccokrkow Garneo: All 245,000 Frames of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange Randomized.

≡ Category: Film, Random |Leave a Comment

Watch with caution if you’re sensitive to flashing lights and fast moving images.
Stanley Kubrick films take a while to unpack. Watch his A Clockwork Orange once, you’ll see one thing. Watch it again, you’ll notice details you didn’t get the first time. Ditto the third time, and beyond.


When Ursula K. Le Guin & Philip K. Dick Went to High School Together

≡ Category: Literature, Random |2 Comments

Creative commons images are by Rasmus Lerdorf and Gorthian , via Wikimedia Commons
When you run a site like this, you learn all kinds of unexpected things–most of it rich and rewarding, some of it strange, trivial and still nonetheless intriguing.


Keep Looking »