A good find over at Metafilter. Desjardins asks “Need a little Tolstoy while you’re waiting in line? How about some Mark Twain on the subway? Booksinmyphone puts – surprise! – books in your phone, for free.” For more details on how to download classics to your (java-enabled) mobile phone, check out their FAQ.
Thanks to some digital hocus pocus, John Lennon is back and helping promote One Laptop Per Child, a charity working to bring cheap computers and internet access to children in developing countries. Done with the approval of Yoko Ono, the commercial stitches together old recordings of Lennon’s voice and adds at least a couple of new words (did Lennon ever say “laptop”?). In the end, it all comes out fairly seamlessly. If you want to give a laptop (starting at $199) and change the world, go here. Otherwise, here’s John:
This weekend’s New York Times ran a piece detailing how the record industry has dithered and continually failed to release several long-awaited Beatles’ projects. It also mentioned how fans and collectors have forged ahead and put together unauthorized bootleg projects, some of which the Times calls “curatorial masterpieces.” In particular, the article highlights the Purple Chick label, which “has assembled deluxe editions of each commercially released [Beatles] album, offering the original discs in their mono and stereo mixes, along with the singles (also in mono and stereo) released at the time, as well as every known demo, studio outtake and alternative mix.” Some of Purple Chick’s include “Beatles Deluxe” (which covers 10 CDs); “A/B Road” (which gives you 96 hours of the “Let It Be” sessions); and a series of BBC radio performances.
So how do you get this stuff? It’s a question that Rolling Stone asked rhetorically when it recently gave another positive review to Purple Chick recordings. And it answered the question with this: “Google is your friend: Try searching ‘purple chick and megaupload’ to get started.”
When the twin towers were taken down in September 2001, America looked to make sense of what happened. And it wasn’t long before many started turning to The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, a book written by Samuel Huntington, the Harvard poli sci professor who passed on last week.
The book itself was an elaboration upon a controversial article that Huntington published in Foreign Affairs in 1993. In the opening lines, he wrote: “World politics is entering a new phase… It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” Particularly he suggested, it would be the “West versus the Rest,” and within the latter category, he lumped in Islam.
Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize-winning playwright, died in London on Wednesday. As The New York Times obit mentions, when Pinter won the Nobel in 2005, his declining health prevented him from attending the awards ceremony in Stockholm. Instead, he gave his acceptance lecture — “Art, Truth & Politics” — via a recorded video, which we’re posting below. (You can also watch it on the Nobel web site here or alternatively read the transcript.) The speech runs a good 45 minutes.
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