See New York City in the 1930s and Now: A Side-by-Side Comparison of the Same Streets & Landmarks

The New Yorker has posted a very neat split-screen tour of the same streets in New York City, letting you see the Big Apple in the 1930s and today. Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge--they're all on display. What a difference 80 years make.

Below you can find other historical videos and photos of NYC ... and London and Berlin too. Enjoy.

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New York City: A Social History (A Free Online Course from N.Y.U.)

Berlin Street Scenes Beautifully Caught on Film (1900-1914)

1927 London Shown in Moving Color

Watch Clouds Roil Through the Grand Canyon: A Beautiful Timelapse Film Captures a Rare Full Cloud Inversion

From producer and editor Harun Mehmedinovic comes a pretty breathtaking timelapse film of a rare phenomenon at the Grand Canyon. Writes Mehmedinovic:

Millions of visitors a year come to Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the most visited national park in the western United States. However, on extremely rare days when cold air is trapped in the canyon and topped by a layer of warm air, which in combination with moisture and condensation, form the phenomenon referred to as the full cloud inversion. In what resembles something between ocean waves and fast clouds, Grand Canyon is completely obscured by fog, making the visitors feel as if they are walking on clouds.

This video was filmed as part of SKYGLOW (skyglowproject.com), an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible dark sky areas in North America. This project is being produced in collaboration with International Dark-Sky Association (darksky.org), a non-profit fighting for the preservation of night skies around the globe.

The film was shot on Canon 5DSR & 5DIII cameras and lenses. You can download high resolution stills via this zip file. Enjoy.

via Twisted Sifter

Related Content:

Mesmerizing Timelapse Film Captures the Wonder of Bees Being Born

Google Street View Takes You on a Panoramic Tour of the Grand Canyon

Albert Einstein Sports a Native American Headdress and a Peace Pipe at the Grand Canyon, 1931

Noel Coward’s “Alice (Is At It Again)” Gets Reimagined as a Very Modern Fairy Tale: A Short Film Starring Sarah Snook

English playwright, lyricist, actor and raconteur Noel Coward (1899 –1973) is still remembered for his plays such as the wife-after-death comedy Blithe Spirit and Private Lives; his playlet Still Life, which became the classic David Lean film Brief Encounter, and his scripting and co-direction of the WW2 morale-booster In Which We Serve, also directed by Lean, for which Coward won an Honorary Academy Award. However, he’s perhaps better known now more as an image of archetypal mid-20th century Englishness, replete with dressing-gown and cigarette-holder, and the hundreds of witty songs and poems he wrote, such as Mad Dogs and Englishman and Mrs Worthington, which he performed in cabaret in his distinctively clipped English manner to much acclaim in London and, latterly, in Las Vegas.

His 1946 song Alice (Is At It Again), written and then cut from his flop musical Pacific 1860, became a standard of his cabaret act and, with its suggestive lyrics, risqué subject matter and sly wit, is typical of his oeuvre. It’s thus a surprising choice perhaps by rising Australian actress Sarah Snook for the subject of her new short film Alice, co-devised with director Laura Scrivano, and the second film of The Passion, a new online series of performed poetry films coming out of Australia. The first film in the series, A Lovesong, starring Daniel Henshall (from AMC’s Turn: Washington Spies), featured T.S. Eliot’s modernist masterpiece The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (watch it below), so Alice is a change both in style and tone for the series, but continues the project’s experimentation in rendering poetry on film for a digital audience.

Sarah, who won critical acclaim for her genderswitching role in the 2015 science-fiction thriller Predestination, found the Coward text in a bookshop in San Francisco, while sourcing a text for her film for the series.

Says Sarah:

(Director) Laura and I were interested in the ideas of femininity and how that is expressed, particularly in sexual or sensual terms. When I read the poem, I was charmed by it and excited by the potential and challenge of contemporizing it for The Passion. Coward’s themes are very much of the time and place of the original lyrics’ writing, as is his take on them, while our adaptation is an updating, an exploration of female sexuality and empowerment that Coward plays with, and the wildness and freedom of discovering that. Our Alice, who I think nods to Coward’s, is breaking out of the strictures of her background, and being free and true to herself.

Originally Alice, as read by Coward, would have been performed with a patter, a rhythm of its own, with a sense of irony and a lot of wit, and certainly in his very particular RP accent. It’s hard to escape that as it’s written so well and embedded so deeply into the lines, with a particular scansion, but I wanted to go against that somewhat, while retaining and respecting Coward’s sparkle and playfulness.

Alice is the second film of The Passion series, in which actors select a text which has a personal significance for them or strikes a particular chord, and then work closely in collaboration with director Laura Scrivano to develop it as a new performance piece for film. A third film is currently in development. More information about the series can be found at this website.

Dan Prichard is an online film and webseries producer, based in Sydney, whose work explores identity, place, and the space between film and performance in the digital arena. Visit his website and follow him on twitter @georgekaplan81

680 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Getting Started in April: Enroll Free Today

Heads up: This month, 680+ MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) will be getting underway, giving you the chance to take courses from top flight international universities, at no cost. With the help of Class Central, we’ve pulled together a complete list of April MOOCS. Below find a few courses that piqued our interest. You can also rummage through the complete list of MOOCs and find your own.

Note: The trailer for the course, The Great War and Modern Philosophy, is featured above. View the complete list of MOOCS here.

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1,000 Musicians Play Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Live, at the Same Time

In July of 2015, 1,000 musicians gathered together in Cesena, Italy and performed in unison a rollicking version of the Foo Fighters' song "Learn to Fly."

Now, they're back and playing the best-known song from Dave Grohl's earlier band. We're talking, of course, about Nirvana's hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Here we are now. Entertain us. Ladies and gentlemen, the world's largest rock band.

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Related Content:

Watch Nirvana Perform “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Just Two Days After the Release of Nevermind (September 26, 1991)

Patti Smith’s Cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Strips the Song Down to its Heart

Kurt Cobain’s Isolated Vocal Track From ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ 1991

Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone, eReader with Free eBooks, Audio Books, Online Courses & More

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Santa left a new KindleiPad, Kindle Fire or other media player under your tree. He did his job. Now we'll do ours. We'll tell you how to fill those devices with free intelligent media -- great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn't get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials right on a computer. Here we go:

Free eBooks: You have always wanted to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our Free eBooks collection you will find 800 great works by some classic writers (Dickens, Dostoevsky, Austen, Shakespeare and Tolstoy) and contemporary writers (Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut). The collection also gives you access to the 51-volume Harvard Classics.




If you’re an iPad/iPhone user, the download process is super easy. Just click the “iPad/iPhone” links and you’re good to go. Kindle and Nook users will generally want to click the “Kindle + Other Formats links” to download ebook files, but we’d suggest watching these instructional videos (Kindle – Nook) beforehand.

Free Audio Books: What better way to spend your free time than listening to some of the greatest books ever written? This page contains a vast number of free audio books -- 700 works in total -- including texts by Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, George Orwell and more recent writers -- Italo Calvino, Vladimir Nabokov, Raymond Carver, etc. You can download these classic books straight to your gadgets, then listen as you go.

[Note: If you're looking for a contemporary book, you can download one free audio book from Audible.com. Find details on Audible's no-strings-attached deal here.]

Free Online Courses: This list brings together over 1150 free online courses from leading universities, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, Oxford and beyond.

These full-fledged courses range across all disciplines -- historyphysicsphilosophypsychology, business, and beyond. Most all of these courses are available in audio, and roughly 75% are available in video. You can't receive credits or certificates for these courses (click here for courses that do offer certificates). But the amount of personal enrichment you will derive is immeasurable.

Free Movies: With a click of a mouse, or a tap of your touch screen, you will have access to 725 great movies. The collection hosts many classics, westerns, indies, documentaries, silent films and film noir favorites. It features work by some of our great directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Andrei Tarkovsky and more) and performances by cinema legends: John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and beyond. On this one page, you will find thousands of hours of cinema bliss.

Free Language Lessons: Perhaps learning a new language is high on your list of New Year's resolutions. Well, here is a great way to do it. Take your pick of 46 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, English, Russian, Dutch, even Finnish, Yiddish and Esperanto. These lessons are all free and ready to download.

Free Textbooks: And one last item for the lifelong learners among you. We have scoured the web and pulled together a list of 200 Free Textbooks. It's a great resource particularly if you're looking to learn math, computer science or physics on your own. There might be a diamond in the rough here for you.

Thank Santa, maybe thank us, and enjoy that new device....

Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus 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.

You Can Now Get a Master’s Degree in Samuel Beckett: Here’s How to Apply, and Maybe Get a Scholarship

beckett radio plays 1950s

Image by Bibliothèque nationale de France, via Wikimedia Commons

FYI: The University of Reading now offers students the chance to enroll in a new Master's degree program focusing on the work of the avant-garde novelist, playwright, theater director & poet Samuel Beckett. He's been the subject of many past posts here on Open Culture.

Here's what the program has to offer:

This innovative new taught MA programme on the work of Samuel Beckett is taught by world leading experts on his work: Professor Jonathan Bignell, Professor Anna McMullan, Theatre & Television and Professor Steven Matthews, Dr Mark Nixon and Dr Conor Carville in English. Here you will engage in advanced archival research techniques using the extensive holdings of the university's world leading Samuel Beckett Collection, applying these skills to the analysis of Beckett's writing and performance work. The MA will also provide the opportunity to explore the complex and fascinating interdisciplinary relationship Beckett demonstrated in his lifetime through his work in a variety of multimedia including film, theatre, television and radio.

You can find more information on the program here, including details on application process and the scholarship that's being offered for the 206-2017 academic year. If you're looking to get better acquainted with Beckett's work, don't miss the items in the Relateds below.

via Rhys Tranter

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Related Content:

Samuel Beckett Play Brought to Life in an Eerie Short Film Starring Alan Rickman & Kristin Scott Thomas

Take a “Breath” and Watch Samuel Beckett’s One-Minute Play

Hear Samuel Beckett’s Avant-Garde Radio Plays: All That Fall, Embers, and More

Samuel Beckett Directs His Absurdist Play Waiting for Godot (1985)

Monsterpiece Theater Presents Waiting for Elmo, Calls BS on Samuel Beckett

Rare Audio: Samuel Beckett Reads Two Poems From His Novel Watt

Free Online Literature Courses

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