Spiderman 3: Web Roundup

Spi­der­man 3 came to movie the­aters yes­ter­day, mak­ing May 4 the sin­gle biggest-gross­ing day in box office his­to­ry. You can read inter­views with Sam Rai­mi, Tobey Maguire and most of the oth­er prin­ci­pal “names” in the movie here. Don’t for­get to read the spoil­ers and immerse your­self in the lore at the sequel’s exten­sive Wikipedia page. But if the lines are long, what else can you do to spend some time with Amer­i­ca’s favorite arach­nid hero?

For­tu­nate­ly, today is Free Com­ic Book Day. Thou­sands of spe­cial­ty store are hand­ing out four-col­or fun to any­one who walks in the door. Look up par­tic­i­pat­ing stores near you here. Salon has a great guide for com­ic new­bies look­ing to get in on the action.

If you’re more into audio, check out this free music from the Spi­der­man 3 sound­track. Or you can buy the new game (which has got­ten at least one good review) on just about any game plat­form you might own, from the PlaySta­tion 3 to the Nin­ten­do DS.

And if all else fails, at least you can watch the trail­er at home (watch all of them here):

Weekly Wrap — May 4

Here’s a quick recap of fea­tures from this past week:

See Open Cul­ture’s Pod­cast Col­lec­tions:

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

Vintage Radio Archive: The Lone Ranger, Abbott & Costello, and Bob Hope

This web page does­n’t look like much, but it hous­es a great deal. Put sim­ply, the page plugs you into an archive of 135

vin­tage Amer­i­can radio shows, span­ning from the 1930s to the 1950s. This was the height of Amer­i­ca’s radio days. And when you lis­ten to the record­ings, it won’t take long to real­ize that Amer­i­ca was a very dif­fer­ent coun­try then (polit­i­cal­ly, social­ly and cul­tur­al­ly) than what it is today. The list fea­tures some well-known clas­sics. Take for exam­ple, the Abbott and Costel­lo Show, Bob and Ray Show, Bob Hope Show, Burns and Allen Show, Mel Blanc Show and Mil­ton Berle Show (detect a pat­tern yet?). Then, you can also lis­ten in on episodes of Gun­smoke, Jack Ben­ny, The Lone Ranger, The Cis­co Kid, Father Knows Best and the Adven­tures Of Philip Mar­lowe. For those who want to expe­ri­ence the clas­sics of old-time Amer­i­can radio, or what main­stream Amer­i­can enter­tain­ment used to be, this audio archive should keep you busy for a good long while.

Relat­ed Web­site: Anoth­er col­lec­tion of vin­tage radio audio clips can be found here.

Relat­ed Arti­cle: Radio fans should look back at our arti­cle on the famous Orson Welles radio broad­cast from 1938 — The War of the Worlds. Read­ers can access here an audio file of the orig­i­nal broad­cast that sent the US into hys­ter­ics. It’s well worth a lis­ten if you haven’t heard it before.

David Byrne and Daniel Levitin Have Music on the Brain

Seed Mag­a­zine has an hour-long video con­ver­sa­tion with David Byrne (“Rock­’s renais­sance man”) and Daniel Lev­itin (neu­ro­sci­en­tist) about the con­nec­tions between music and cog­ni­tion. Check out the high­lights above or view the full inter­view here. Daniel Lev­it­in’s This is Your Brain on Music came out last year, as did David Byrne’s Arbore­tum.

Smart Links

Over the past cou­ple weeks, our read­ers have sent some new links our way. Here’s some of the good stuff that they’ve had to offer:

  • Ency­clopo­dia (Wikipedia on Your Ipod): If this works, it’s a great idea. Ency­clopo­dia is a free soft­ware project that brings Wikipedia to the Apple iPod. Ency­clopo­dia can be installed on iPod gen­er­a­tions 1 through 4, plus on iPod Min­is.
  • Down­load Free Music Thanks to Peter Gabriel: You can can down­load songs free and legal­ly through a new ser­vice backed by Peter Gabriel. The new ven­ture, We7, pro­vides DRM-free music. And in exchange for it, lis­ten­ers agree to lis­ten to “per­son­al­ized mes­sages” (read ads) that are “graft­ed” onto the begin­ning of song tracks. Mean­while, anoth­er read­er sug­gests look­ing at Groove­shark, which is also offer­ing DRM-free music.
  • Free Travelling/Touring Pod­casts: In our Mon­day piece that looked at 10 Unex­pect­ed Uses of the iPod, we men­tioned a prod­uct that let’s you take guid­ed tours of New York and Paris, and they hap­pen to run about $12. It turns out that you can get user-cre­at­ed city tours for free. Check out iToors, Podguides.net (where you can get user-gen­er­at­ed city guides), and also iaudioguide.com, which fea­tures audio guides for over 40 cities. Anoth­er one sug­gest­ed by a read­er is Tour­dio.
  • More French Cul­ture Pod­casts: This is from John­nyB in Brook­lyn: “France Cul­ture (iTunes) has a vast col­lec­tion of pro­gram­ming avail­able for down­load, includ­ing dai­ly news updates and lots of cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming. One of my favorites is Repliques (iTunes), host­ed by Alain Finkelkraut. The tenet of the pro­gram is to invite two authors with either slight­ly or wide­ly diver­gent points of view on a sin­gle top­ic, and to let the dis­cus­sion roll. Some­times it’s won­der­ful, some­times vapid, and Finkelkraut often impress­es me as a one-note John­ny with his wail­ing about La Defaite de la Pensee, but I always find it bet­ter than lis­ten­ing to my neigh­bor’s hip-hop beats in the sub­way ride to work.”
  • Lan­guage Learn­ing Pod­casts: Rox­anne sug­gests a cou­ple pod­casts that will teach you Kore­an: One is called Kim­chi­girls; the oth­er is called Core­an 4 Life, which despite the mis­spelling appears to be teach­ing Kore­an. Then Hank rec­om­mends Span­ish­Sense that will help you pick up some Span­ish, and Frank offers up a pod­cast for stu­dents learn­ing Khmer.

See Our Pod­cast Col­lec­tionsTell a Friend About Open Cul­ture   — Buy a New iPod & iPod Gear

Great Writers on Free Speech and the Environment

The PEN Amer­i­can Cen­ter just wound up World Voic­es 2007, a con­fer­ence fea­tur­ing a slew of major authors, includ­ing Salman Rushdie, Don DeLil­lo, Neil Gaiman, and many more. One of the pan­els this year fea­tured some lit­er­ary heavy hit­ters read­ing works to raise aware­ness for envi­ron­men­tal issues: Bil­ly Collins, Jonathan Franzen, Moses Isegawa, Pico Iyer, Geert Mak, Mar­i­lynne Robin­son, Rox­ana Robin­son, Salman Rushdie, Gary Shteyn­gart, Janne Teller and Col­son White­head all par­tic­i­pat­ed (mp3).

The PEN orga­ni­za­tion works for lit­er­ary free­dom world­wide, and the con­fer­ence keynote (mp3) fea­tures Israeli author David Gross­man and Nobel Prize-win­ner Nadine Gordimer dis­cussing the “Free­dom to Write.” Con­sid­er­ing the news in Turkey these days, you may also want to give last year’s lec­ture with Orhan Pamuk and Mar­garet Atwood a lis­ten (mp3).

The Cen­ter also has an iTunes pod­cast series and an audio archive, but since the con­fer­ence just end­ed it will prob­a­bly take some time for them to process the lat­est audio. iTunes Feed Site

See Open Cul­ture’s Pod­cast Col­lec­tions:

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


What Culture Blogs Are You Reading?

In the com­ings days, we plan to launch a new list of great cul­ture blogs, ones that take a fresh look at books, movies, films, the human­i­ties, and more. There is obvi­ous­ly a wide uni­verse of blogs out there, and it’s a giv­en that we’ll miss some good ones. So we want­ed to ask you: What cul­ture blogs are you read­ing? Which ones are your favorites, regard­less of whether they’re well known or not. If you have some good tips, please email us and lets us know what you’re read­ing and lik­ing. Or drop us those thoughts in the com­ments sec­tion of this post below. Thanks in advance for your con­tri­bu­tions, and stay tuned for our list.

What Genius Looks Like at Zero Gravity

Stephen Hawk­ing recent­ly climbed aboard a jet nick­named the “Vom­it Comet,” which car­ried Hawk­ing and his med­ical staff to 32,000 feet and then began a par­a­bol­ic dive that put the celebri­ty physi­cist into a state of weight­less­ness…

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.