The “True” Story Of How Brian Eno Invented Ambient Music

Or maybe it didn't actually happen that way...

To learn more about Eno's Oblique Strategies, see our archived post: Jump Start Your Creative Process with Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies” Deck of Cards (1975).

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Introducing the Librarian Action Figure: The Caped Crusader Who Fights Against Anti-Intellectualism, Ignorance & Censorship Everywhere

We've featured action figures that pay tribute to some cultural icons like Edvard Munch, Vincent Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo. But now comes a new action figure that honors a less appreciated cultural force--all of the great librarians, those crusaders for the printed and electronic word, who "keep it all organized for us and let us know about the best of it." Standing almost four inches tall and made of hard vinyl, the librarian action figure is based on Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl. She has "a removable cape that symbolizes how much of a hero a librarian really is." The action figure should come in handy in your own fights again anti-intellectualism, censorship and ignorance. Enjoy!

via Boing Boing

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What Happens When a Cat Watches Hitchcock’s Psycho

Let's suspend disbelief for a moment and watch Hitchcock give new meaning to "scaredy cat." Enjoy.

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The Vincent Van Gogh Action Figure, Complete with Detachable Ear

If you liked Mr. Potato Head, you may love the Vincent Van Gogh Action Figure, which raised $142,000 on Kickstarter this summer and can now be purchased for $35 over at the Today is Art Day web site. Made of PVC and standing 5 inches high, the action figure comes with:

  • 2 removable ears (Van Gogh cut his left ear)
  • 1 bandaged ear
  • 1 paintbrush
  • 5 masterpieces and 1 cardboard easel
  • 10 fun facts about the artist on the box

Other figures included in the collection include Frida Kahlo and soon Vermeer, da Vinci, Magritte and Rembrandt. Enjoy.

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.

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What Happens When a Jazz Musician Accidentally Texts His Wife with Voice Recognition…While Playing the Trombone

 

A couple of days ago, Paul Nowell (aka Paul the Trombonist) sent out this simple tweet, showing what happened when his iPhone's voice recognition system happened to capture his trombone session and turned it into words. The tweet went viral. And now, 65,000 "Retweets" and 198,000 "Likes" later, you can see how the original recording session went down. Enjoy the demo below:

 

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via Metafilter

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Filmmaker Creates a Luxury-Style Car Commercial to Sell a 21-Year-Old Used Honda Accord

This is not your average car commercial. It has the look and feel of the luxury car commercials you've seen so many times. And yet it features a car with 141,095 miles on it. Filmmaker Max Lanman created the ad to help his girlfriend sell her used 1996 Honda Accord. For reasons you'll quickly understand, the video went viral, clocked more than 5 million views this past week, and when the car was listed on eBay, bids soared to $150,000--before eBay apparently pulled the plug “due to concerns around illegitimate bidding.” Enjoy the ad. And remember, “Luxury is a state of mind.”

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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.

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An Online Trove of Historic Sewing Patterns & Costumes

As Halloween draws nigh, our thoughts turn to costumes.

Not those rubbery, poorly constructed, sexy and/or gory off-the-rack readymades, but the sort of lavish, historically accurate, home-sewn affairs that would have earned praise and extra candy, if only our mother had been inclined to spend the bulk of October chained to a sewing machine.

Not that one needs the excuse of a holiday to suit up in a fluffy 50’s crinoline, a Tudor-style kirtle gown, or a 16th-century Flemish outfit with all the trimmings....

Accountant Artemisia Moltabocca, creator of the historical and cosplay costuming blog Costuming Diary, has primed our pump with a list of free historical medieval, Elizabethan and Victorian patterns, including ones for the garments mentioned above.




Click through the many links on her site and you may find yourself tumbling down a rabbit hole of some other cos-player's generosity.

That link to the custom corset pattern generator may set you on the road to creating a perfectly fitted Viking apron or a good-for-beginners tunic. (Bring out yer dead!)

Fancy even more choices? Moltabocca’s Free Historical Costume Patterns Pinterest board is a veritable trove of dress-up fun.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Costume and Textiles Project has detailed downloadable PDFs to walk you through construction of such anachronistic finery as a 1940’s Zoot Suit, a 19th-century boy’s frock (above), and a man’s vest with removable chest pads (hubba hubba).

An 1812 Ohio Militia Officer’s Coat from the Ohio Historical Society.

A pair of Nankeen Trousers courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum.

A bullet bra (hubba bubba redux!)—pair it with a 1940s Vogue hat and handbag and you’re ready to go!

A Regency Drawn Bonnet and an Improved Seamless Whalebone Underskirt from E. & J. Holmes & Co, Boston, 1857.

If you’re feeling less than confident about your sewing abilities, you might make like an upper-class Roman in an Ionian chiton.

Or just curl a synthetic wig!

Press someone else’s seams with a straightening iron (above), then kick back and enjoy the vintage ads, photos of antique garments, and the period information that often accompanies these how-tos. And check out the 1913 patent application for Marie Perillat’s Bust Reducer, a miracle invention designed to “prevent flesh bulging while providing self adjustable, comfortable, hygienic support.”

Begin with some of Costuming Diary’s historical sewing patterns before delving into its massive pattern collection board on Pinterest.

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Her current sewing project is 19 headpieces for Theater of the Apes Sub-Adult Division’s upcoming production of Animal Farm at the Tank in New York City. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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