101 Early Wallace Stevens Poems on Free Audio

Here’s a quick lit­tle find for the poet­ry lover: A slew of ear­ly poems by Wal­lace Stevens, the great Amer­i­can poet, can now be down­loaded as pod­casts (iTunes). They include many clas­sics — Anec­dote of the Jar, The Emper­or of Ice Cream, Peter Quince at the Clavier, Sun­day Morn­ing, Thir­teen Ways of Look­ing at a Black­bird, and many oth­ers. Record­ed for Lib­riVox by Alan Drake, all poems are in the pub­lic domain.

Speak­ing of Wal­lace Stevens, you may want to give a lis­ten to a pod­cast that we high­light­ed here once before. It fea­tures the great lit­er­ary crit­ic Harold Bloom (see bio) teach­ing a sem­i­nar at Yale on “The Art of Read­ing a Poem” (iTunesmp3). Here, Bloom takes his stu­dents through a poem by Wal­lace Stevens, Parts of a World,and moves between inter­pre­ta­tion and intrigu­ing per­son­al anec­dotes. If you want to hear a mas­ter at work, give a good lis­ten.

If you like what we’re doing here, please help spread the word and let oth­ers know what they can find on Open Cul­ture.

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The Podcast Library

Ipod_podcast100s of cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al pod­casts. Email a friend about Open

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Einstein’s E = mc2 Explained

E = mc2. It’s hands-down the most well known equa­tion out there. But how many have the faintest idea what the equa­tion real­ly means? Not too long ago, PBS’ NOVA put togeth­er a “docu­d­ra­ma,” called Ein­stein’s Big Idea, which took a close look at how Ein­stein arrived at the equa­tion and what it means. Along with the pro­gram, NOVA pro­duced some relat­ed media resources, among which you’ll find a series of pod­casts (iTunesFeedmp3) fea­tur­ing 10 top physi­cists (includ­ing two Nobel Prize win­ners) who briefly explain the mean­ing and impor­tance of E = mc2. In addi­tion, and per­haps even bet­ter, they’ve post­ed an audio clip of Ein­stein him­self explain­ing what the equa­tion is all about. You’ll find many good resources here, so have a good look around.

If physics intrigues you, you should also check out a new Stan­ford course that’s being dis­trib­uted for free via video pod­cast. The course, Mod­ern The­o­ret­i­cal Physics: Quan­tum Entan­gle­ment, is pre­sent­ed by Leonard Susskind, whom many con­sid­er the father of string the­o­ry, a con­tro­ver­sial inno­va­tion in physics that squares quan­tum the­o­ry with rel­a­tiv­i­ty and explains the nature of all mat­ter and forces. Now, when Susskind dis­cuss­es quan­tum entan­gle­ment, he is sure­ly get­ting into some heady, cut­ting-edge stuff. But the good thing is that the very pop­u­lar course was pre­sent­ed through Stan­ford’s Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies Pro­gram (where I work, just to put my cards on the table), and was geared toward the gen­er­al pub­lic. The course is expect­ed to last a full year, and it should result in 30 free two-hour lec­tures, which will all be grad­u­al­ly post­ed online. You can find a more detailed course descrip­tion here.

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The Big Picture: Who Won and Lost in Iraq


Open Source
, an always insight­ful pub­lic radio pro­gram, aired last week a show that took a broad look at the win­ners and losers of the Iraq war. Tak­ing up a theme that was also recent­ly explored in an edi­tion of For­eign Pol­i­cy mag­a­zine, the host, Christo­pher Lydon, spoke with a pan­el of experts from respect­ed think tanks, uni­ver­si­ties, and news­pa­pers, and, togeth­er, they drew con­clu­sions about win­ners and losers, some of which aren’t so obvi­ous. Here’s a quick recap, but we rec­om­mend giv­ing the show a lis­ten (iTunesFeedMp3) and tak­ing a look at its well-done blog.


  • Iran & Shi­ism: With Iraq, its tra­di­tion­al rival, in chaos, Iran is now free to project its pow­er across the Mid­dle East and tilt the bal­ance of region­al pow­er in favor of Shi­ite Islam. It’s part­ly because Iran is mak­ing such a strong show­ing that the hawks in Wash­ing­ton may feel the strate­gic need to even­tu­al­ly use mil­i­tary force against Iran. In this sense, the US is play­ing out a more extreme ver­sion of the strat­e­gy it used dur­ing the Iran-Iraq War that dragged on through the 1980s. Weak­en one pow­er, then the oth­er.
  • Chi­na:  No one is notic­ing it now, but down the road, we might be writ­ing a his­to­ry that talks about how the US adven­ture in Iraq gave Chi­na the room to emerge rapid­ly as a new super­pow­er — a super­pow­er that could plau­si­bly present itself to the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty as more diplo­mat­ic and peace­ful than the US alter­na­tive.
  • al-Qae­da: The Iraq war has helped al-Qaeda’s recruit­ment efforts, pre­cise­ly as many warned, and, if the US even­tu­al­ly aban­dons Iraq, they’ll feel embold­ened no doubt.
  • Arab Dic­ta­tors: The heat had been ratch­eted up against many Mid­dle East dic­ta­tors, but with every­one dis­tract­ed by Iraq, they are able to per­pet­u­ate their cor­rupt rule for yet a while longer.
  • Mul­ti-Lat­er­al­ism, Old Europe & the UN: They were all dis­missed by the Bush admin­is­tra­tion in the run up to the war, but they’re all look­ing bet­ter and more worth­while with each pass­ing day.


  • Iraq & The Unit­ed States: Two obvi­ous picks.
  • Uni­lat­er­al­ism & The Neo-Cons: The neo-con approach has splen­did­ly dis­cred­it­ed itself, but the rub is that neo-cons still sit in pow­er and they may uni­lat­er­al­ly force their way into Iran before the peo­ple get to the bal­lot box again.
  • Tony Blair & the Spe­cial Rela­tion­ship between the US and Eng­land: Tony Blair is say­ing his long good­bye. He’ll be gone before too long, and, with him, may go the only oth­er sub­stan­tial mem­ber of the “Coali­tion of the Will­ing.”
  • The Price of Oil: It’s a los­er if you’re a con­sumer … but not if you’re an exec­u­tive at Exxon.

See Open Cul­ture’s pod­cast col­lec­tions:

Arts & Cul­tureAudio BooksFor­eign Lan­guage LessonsNews & Infor­ma­tionSci­enceTech­nol­o­gyUni­ver­si­ty (Gen­er­al)Uni­ver­si­ty (B‑School)

Stanford Online Writing Courses: Now Open for Registration


Here’s a quick heads up: Start­ing today, you can
reg­is­ter for online writ­ing cours­es at Stan­ford. Offered by Stan­ford
Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies and the Stan­ford Cre­ative Writ­ing Pro­gram (which is
one of the most dis­tin­guished writ­ing pro­grams in the coun­try), these online
cours­es give begin­ning and advanced writ­ers, no mat­ter where they live,
the chance to refine their craft in a high-cal­iber writ­ers’ work­shop. Here are the cours­es being offered this quar­ter:

Class­es begin on/around April 9 and last 10 weeks. The last time we offered these cours­es they sold out with­in the first week.  So, if you’re inter­est­ed, you may want to give them a look soon­er than lat­er. For more infor­ma­tion, click here, or sep­a­rate­ly check out the FAQ.
(Full dis­clo­sure: I helped set up these cours­es and think they’re a
great edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ty. But nonethe­less take my opin­ion with a
grain of salt.)

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The New Yorker Magazine’s Famous Cartoons Now Available on Podcast

Here’s a dif­fer­ent kind of pod­cast: You can now find on iTunes a new video pod­cast that fea­tures ani­mat­ed ver­sions of The New York­er’s famous car­toons. A ven­ture called Ring­Tales has appar­ent­ly been giv­en an exclu­sive license to ani­mate and dis­trib­ute The New York­er’s library of over 70,000 car­toons. Each week, they’ll issue three new video ani­ma­tions, which you can access on iTunes as well as by rss feed. They’ll also be avail­able on The New York­er web­site. For more details, see this press release.

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More Free Classical Music Podcasts: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner and Some Yo-Yo Ma


MozartipodWe spent some time this week­end over­haul­ing our Arts & Cul­ture Pod­cast Col­lec­tion (plus cre­at­ing a

new Sci­ence Pod­cast Col­lec­tion), and, along the way, we dug up sev­er­al good free pod­casts for clas­si­cal music fans. Here’s a quick overview of what we found:

With last year being the 250th anniver­sary of Mozart’s birth, there was no short­age of pod­casts ded­i­cat­ed to Mozart’s mas­ter­pieces. First, Radio Swe­den (iTunes  Feed  Web Site) reis­sued a dig­i­tal archive of Mozart record­ings by the Roy­al Swedish Opera from the 1940s and 1950s. And, along very sim­i­lar lines, Dan­marks Radio (Feed  Web Site) issued pod­casts of nine Mozart sym­phonies record­ed by the Dan­ish Radio Sym­pho­ny
Orches­tra. (You’ll find here sym­phonies num­bers 15, 17, 23, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, and 41.) Since the web site is in Dan­ish, we’d rec­om­mend access­ing
these high qual­i­ty MP3’s through the rss feed list­ed above. Last­ly, we should men­tion here that, as part of last year’s fes­tiv­i­ties, The Inter­na­tion­al Mozart Foun­da­tion pub­lished online for the first time the entire­ty of of Mozart’s musi­cal scores.

Along with Mozart, you can find plen­ty of Beethoven. We have high­light­ed here before, but it’s worth not­ing again, Deutsche Welle’s pod­cast col­lec­tion called Beethoven­fest (iTunes  Feed  Web Site). You’ll want to give it a look, and also see the pod­cast col­lec­tion put togeth­er by the Boston Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra Con­ser­va­to­ry (iTunes  Feed  Web Site). This edu­ca­tion­al series offers an exten­sive overview and record­ings of Beethoven’s work, as well as that of Arnold Schoen­berg. You can also catch more Beethoven (as well as a lit­tle Mozart and Bach) with the pod­cast series called The Con­cert (iTunes  Feed  Web Site), which fea­tures record­ings from the Isabel­la Stew­art Gard­ner Muse­um in Boston.

Speak­ing of Bach, you may want to give some time to these two pod­casts: Bach Fes­ti­val of Philadel­phia (Feed  Web Site) and Bach Pod­cast from Magnatune.com  iTunes  Feed  Web Site).

Let’s now leave you with a few oth­er good finds. Wag­n­er Operas Pod­cast (iTunes  Feed  Web Site) lets you lis­ten in on record­ings from the annu­al Bayreuth Fes­ti­val, plus more. The Gramo­phone Pod­cast (Feed  Web Site) offers “a month­ly win­dow into the world’s most author­i­ta­tive clas­si­cal
music mag­a­zine, fea­tur­ing an overview of the best releas­es, news,
exclu­sive inter­views with lead­ing fig­ures from the music world, and
lots of great music.” An Inti­mate Tour Through the Music of Yo-Yo Ma (iTunes  Feed  Web Site) offers essen­tial­ly what the title says. Final­ly, we’d rec­om­mend Clas­si­cal Per­for­mance (iTunes  Feed  Web Site), which con­sists of clas­si­cal music per­for­mances from WGB­H’s Stu­dio One in Boston. Hope this fills your week­end (and your iPod).

Get more clas­si­cal music pod­casts here.

See Open Cul­ture’s pod­cast col­lec­tions:

Arts & Cul­tureAudio BooksFor­eign Lan­guage LessonsNews & Infor­ma­tionSci­enceTech­nol­o­gyUni­ver­si­ty (Gen­er­al)Uni­ver­si­ty (B‑School)


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Science Podcast Collection


  • All in the Mind iTunes Feed Web Site
    • An Aus­tralian pod­cast that explores the men­tal uni­verse — neu­ro­science real­ly — and takes a clear look at every­thing from addic­tion to arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence
  • Astron­o­my Cast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Take a week­ly facts-based jour­ney through the cos­mos with Astron­o­my Cast.
  • Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Sci­ence Fes­ti­val (Video) iTunes Web Site
  • CBC Quirks & Quarks Feed Web Site
    • Cov­ers every aspect of sci­ence, from the quirks of the expand­ing uni­verse to the quarks with­in a sin­gle atom…and every­thing in between.
  • Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel Space Pod­cast iTunes Web Site
    • Video pod­casts that take you inside the world of NASA and deep space.
  • Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel Video Pod­casts iTunes Web Site
    • A trove of video pod­casts from Dis­cov­ery.
  • Earth & Sky Clear Voic­es Feed Web Site
    • Earth & Sky reporters inter­view sci­en­tists from around the world. Inter­views are gen­er­al­ly 7 to 15 min­utes in length.
  • Ein­stein and the Mind of God
  • Explor­ing Envi­ron­men­tal His­to­ry Feed Web Site
    • A pod­cast about human soci­eties and the envi­ron­ment in the past. The peri­od­ic pro­grammes fea­ture inter­views with peo­ple work­ing in the field, reports on con­fer­ences and dis­cus­sions about the use and meth­ods of envi­ron­men­tal his­to­ry.
  • Groks Sci­ence Radio Show and Pod­cast - iTunesFeedWeb Site
    • Dr. Charles Lee and Dr. Frank Ling take an in-depth look at recent events in the world of sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, and exam­ine the effects of recent dis­cov­er­ies on our dai­ly lives.
  • Hmmm.… Krul­wich on Sci­ence iTunes Feed Web Site
    • NPR Sci­ence Cor­re­spon­dent Robert Krul­wich demys­ti­fies what’s dense and dif­fi­cult — even if you feel lost when it comes to sci­ence. Cov­er­age that can be delight­ful, mov­ing, fun­ny, per­haps even upset­ting.
  • Jet Stream­ing iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Every week Jet Stream­ing brings an insid­er’s look at the weath­er and cli­ma­tol­ogy. It’s every­thing you want­ed to know about the weath­er, but were afraid to ask.
  • Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Mag­a­zine (The Best of) iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Nation­al Geo­graph­ic needs no par­tic­u­lar intro­duc­tion.
  • Nation­al Geo­graph­ic’s Wild Chron­i­cles iTunes Feed Web Site
    • “See the nat­ur­al world like nev­er before through the eyes of Nation­al Geo­graph­ic adven­tur­ers, sci­en­tists, researchers, and the extra­or­di­nary Crit­ter­cam.”
  • NASAcast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A series of videos from NASA.
  • Nature Pod­cast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Nature, a high­ly respect­ed peer-reviewed sci­ence jour­nal, offers well pro­duced pod­casts that fea­ture sci­en­tists talk­ing about their cut­ting-edge research.
  • New Sci­en­tist Pod­cast Feed Web Site
    • New Sci­en­tist’s week­ly pod­cast on all the lat­est sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy news and fea­tures, includ­ing guests from the world of sci­ence.
  • NOVA iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A series of short videos (“vod­casts”) from the world of sci­ence.
  • NOVA Sci­ence Now iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Irrev­er­ent sto­ries and intrigu­ing per­son­al­i­ties from the world of sci­ence.
  • NOVA e = mc2 iTunes Web Site
    • Hear how 10 top physi­cists describe Ein­stein’s equa­tion in a few min­utes or less.
  • Radi­o­Lab Site, iTunes, Web­site
    • An hour-long sci­ence show from WNYC — each episode tack­les a par­tic­u­lar issue through sev­er­al sto­ries.
  • Sci­ence and Soci­ety iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A host of dis­tin­guished thinkers speak about inno­va­tions in sci­ence — nan­otech­nol­o­gy, space explo­rations, life sci­ences and more.
  • Sci­ence Fri­day Pod­cast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • From the well known NPR pro­gram host­ed by Ira Fla­tow.
  • Sci­ence Fri­day Video iTunes Web Site
    • From the well known NPR pro­gram host­ed by Ira Fla­tow.
  • Sci­ence Mag­a­zine Pod­cast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Audio­casts from Sci­ence Mag­a­zine.
  • Sci­ence Talk: The Pod­cast of Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can iTunes Feed Web Site
    • The host, Steve Mirsky, explores the lat­est devel­op­ments in sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy through inter­views with lead­ing sci­en­tists and jour­nal­ists.
  • Sci­ence Times iTunesRSS
    • Want to know more about black holes? Or progress in the cure for can­cer? Learn about the lat­est news and trends in sci­ence, med­i­cine and the envi­ron­ment from the reporters and edi­tors of the pop­u­lar Sci­ence Times sec­tion of The New York Times. David Cor­co­ran is your host.
  • Slack­er Astron­o­my:iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Lots of slack­ing and astron­o­my.
  • The Engines of Our Inge­nu­ity: iTunes Feed Web Site
    • The sto­ry of tech­no­log­i­cal progress is one of dra­ma and intrigue, sud­den insight and plain hard work. Explore tech­nol­o­gy’s spec­tac­u­lar fail­ures and many mag­nif­i­cent suc­cess sto­ries.
  • The Miss­ing Link Pod­cast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A pod­cast on the His­to­ry of Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy, and Med­i­cine put out by Prof. Eliz­a­beth Green Mus­sel­man.
  • The Naked Sci­en­tists iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Dr. Chris Smith, of Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty, takes an inter­ac­tive look at dif­fer­ent aspects of sci­ence, medecine and tech­nol­o­gy.
  • The Sci­ence Show iTunes Feed Web Site
    • One of the longest run­ning and well-regard­ed sci­ence shows on Aus­tralian radio.
  • The Skep­tics’ Guide to the Uni­verse iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A week­ly pod­cast that explores the world of the para­nor­mal and fringe sci­ence. It’s host­ed by Dr. Steven Novel­la is an aca­d­e­m­ic neu­rol­o­gist on full-time fac­ul­ty at Yale Uni­ver­si­ty School of Med­i­cine.
  • This Week in Sci­ence Feed Web Site
    • Self describes as: “A week­ly sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy radio show pre­sent­ing a humor­ous and irrev­er­ent look at the week in sci­ence and tech. Each week TWIS dis­cuss­es the lat­est in cut­ting edge sci­ence news on top­ics such as genet­ic engi­neer­ing, cyber­net­ics, space explo­ration, neu­ro sci­ence, and a show favorite Count­down to World Robot Dom­i­na­tion.”
  • This Week in Virol­o­gy iTunes Feed Web Site
    • A week­ly pod­cast host­ed by two Pro­fes­sors from Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty. “We talk about virus­es — the kind that make you sick. The pod­cast cov­ers how virus­es work, how they make you sick, and the lat­est in news about virus­es.” You can find it at
  • USGS Core­Cast iTunes Feed Web Site
    • From the US Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey, Core­Cast brings you straight sci­ence insight on nat­ur­al haz­ards; cli­mate change; satel­lite imagery and mon­i­tor­ing; water qual­i­ty; human health and wildlife dis­ease; and much more. Tune into Core­Cast. It’s nat­ur­al sci­ence from the inside out.
  • 60 Sec­ond Sci­ence iTunes Feed Web Site
    • From Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can, lead­ing sci­ence jour­nal­ists offer a brief com­men­tary on the lat­est devel­op­ments in the world of sci­ence. Pre­sent­ed by Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can.
  • 60 Sec­ond Psych iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Lead­ing sci­ence jour­nal­ists pro­vide a week­ly one-minute com­men­tary on the lat­est devel­op­ments in the sci­ence of brain and behav­ior. Pre­sent­ed by Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.