Nobel Prize Winners on YouTube

YouTube gets smarter one painful­ly small step at a time. First cours­es from Berke­ley; next videos of Nobel Prize win­ners.  More com­ing?

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Al Gore’s Nobel Presentation

Al Gore accept­ed his Nobel Prize ear­li­er today in Oslo and deliv­ered an accom­pa­ny­ing speech that issued a stark warn­ing (read text here, watch video here):

[W]ithout real­iz­ing it, we have begun to wage war on the earth itself. Now, we and the earth­’s cli­mate are locked in a rela­tion­ship famil­iar to war plan­ners: “Mutu­al­ly assured destruc­tion.”

More than two decades ago,scientists cal­cu­lat­ed that nuclear war could throw so much debris and smoke into the air that it would block life-giv­ing sun­light from our atmos­phere, caus­ing a “nuclear win­ter.” Their elo­quent warn­ings here in Oslo helped gal­va­nize the world’s resolve to halt the nuclear arms race.

Now sci­ence is warn­ing us that if we do not quick­ly reduce the glob­al warm­ing pol­lu­tion that is trap­ping so much of the heat our plan­et nor­mal­ly radi­ates back out of the atmos­phere, we are in dan­ger of cre­at­ing a per­ma­nent “car­bon sum­mer.”

As the Amer­i­can poet Robert Frost wrote, ” Some say the world will end in fire; some say in ice.” Either, he notes, “would suf­fice.”

But nei­ther need be our fate. It is time to make peace with the plan­et.

Raising Sand

I just picked up a copy of the new Robert Plant & Ali­son Krauss album (CDMP3), and I’m frankly hooked. As Ama­zon put it, only “King Kong and Bam­bi could be a more bizarre pair­ing,” but the results are bril­liant. More on the new col­lab­o­ra­tion below.

Coppola is Back

Fran­cis Ford Cop­po­la, the direc­tor who brought us The God­fa­ther and Apoc­a­lypse Now, has released his first film in a decade. Based on a novel­la by Mircea Eli­ade, a Roman­ian thinker prin­ci­pal­ly known for his work on the his­to­ry of reli­gion, “Youth With­out Youth” fea­tures Tim Roth play­ing the role of Dominic Matei, an elder­ly lin­guis­tics pro­fes­sor, who gets struck by light­ning and finds his youth strange­ly restored. To pub­li­cize the film, Cop­po­la has been doing a fair amount of press in New York. (The film is pre­mier­ing there.) Here, you can lis­ten to the inter­view he gave on WNY­C’s Leonard Lopate Show (iTunesFeedWeb Site). We’ve also post­ed below a video out­take from the inter­view. Final­ly, this Q&A ses­sion in The New York Post may also be of inter­est.

Relat­ed Posts:

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Conrad’s Heart of Darkness — Free Audiobook Podcasts

Joseph Con­rad would be turn­ing 150 years old, and to mark the occa­sion, The Guardian has tak­en a good look back at the Pol­ish-born writer who wrote some of Eng­land’s finest nov­els, even though Eng­lish was his third lan­guage. (Pol­ish and French were his first two.) Con­rad’s mas­ter­piece, of course, is The Heart of Dark­ness (1899), and we’ll take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to high­light two free audio­book ver­sions of the text. The first ver­sion comes rec­om­mend­ed by a read­er over at Metafil­ter. You can find the mp3 files here. A second/different ver­sion can be found on iTunes. (Both ver­sions per­ma­nent­ly reside in our Audio­book Pod­cast Col­lec­tion.)

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The 53 Places to Go in 2008

Cour­tesy of The New York Times.

Know of any pod­casts or videos that we should fea­ture on Open Cul­ture? Email us your tips.

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JFK in 1960, Romney in 2007 — Religion in America

Mitt Rom­ney, a Mor­mon, looked yes­ter­day to set aside lin­ger­ing con­cerns about his reli­gion in a high­ly pub­li­cized speech. Imme­di­ate­ly, the speech revived mem­o­ries of John F. Kennedy’s attempt, dur­ing the 1960 cam­paign, to ease con­cerns about his Catholi­cism. We’ve post­ed both speech­es below. The sim­i­lar­i­ties are there. But the dif­fer­ences are more pro­found. I’ll resist the temp­ta­tion to point them out. You can watch the clips and draw your own con­clu­sions.

John F. Kennedy — 1960

Mitt Rom­ney — 2007

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Agatha Christie Radio Mysteries

Pod­cast­ing is a new form of media dis­tri­b­u­tion that’s done a good job of reviv­ing old forms of media, par­tic­u­lar­ly old radio shows. In the past, we’ve point­ed you to sev­er­al old radio broad­casts, includ­ing Orson Welles’ famous 1938 radio dra­ma that led many Amer­i­cans to hun­ker down in base­ments, des­per­ate­ly hop­ing to avoid an unfold­ing mar­t­ian inva­sion. Today, we’re high­light­ing a vin­tage radio col­lec­tion (iTunesFeedWeb Site) that fea­tures drama­ti­za­tions of mys­ter­ies writ­ten by Agatha Christie, the ‘Queen of Crime.’ Here, at your leisure, you can lis­ten to the adven­tures of Her­cule Poirot, the fic­tion­al Bel­gian detec­tive who appeared through­out much of her writ­ing. To be pre­cise, he fig­ured into 33 of her nov­els, and 54 of her short sto­ries. Right now, you can access 27 indi­vid­ual record­ings of Christie’s work, and there’s seem­ing­ly more to come.

In the mean­time, if you’re look­ing for more old time media, I’d encour­age you to vis­it this pro­duc­er’s larg­er col­lec­tion of pod­casts on iTunes. Among oth­er things, you’ll find revived pro­duc­tions of Abbott & Costel­lo, Jack Ben­ny, Flash Gor­don and more.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.