Stay in Bed & Grow Your Hair: John Lennon and Yoko Ono Protesting the Vietnam War

This looks like it’s the real deal — Yoko Ono’s trib­ute to John Lennon on YouTube. Among the video clips housed in the col­lec­tion, you’ll find footage that recap­tures the “bed-ins” that John and Yoko famous­ly staged in Mon­tre­al and Ams­ter­dam in 1969 to protest the Viet­nam War. As Lennon puts it, there’s no bet­ter way to protest the war than to “stay in bed and grow your hair.” That’s a form of protest that the lost slack­er in me can appre­ci­ate.

The footage is accom­pa­nied by the song, “Give Peace a Chance,” which was writ­ten dur­ing the bed-in. It was fol­lowed lat­er that year by “War is Over! If You Want It — Hap­py Christ­mas From John and Yoko.” The heart­break­ing YouTube video set to this song has over one mil­lion views.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

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Earthrise & Earthset in HD

In Novem­ber, Japan’s Kaguya space­craft orbit­ed the moon with a high-def cam­era onboard. You can see the first HD footage of an “earth­rise” and “earth­set” by check­ing out these still images (Earth­rise and Earth­set) or watch­ing the video footage below, which has also been added to our YouTube playlist.

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Obama Speaks at Martin Luther King’s Church

The cel­e­bra­tion of Mar­tin Luther King’s birth­day was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent this year. It had a polit­i­cal edge to it, and unavoid­ably so. Dr. King’s work made pos­si­ble what we’re final­ly see­ing today — a black can­di­date mak­ing a seri­ous run at the Amer­i­can pres­i­den­cy. So it seemed entire­ly appro­pri­ate that Barack Oba­ma spoke Sun­day before the con­gre­ga­tion at Ebenez­er Bap­tist Church in Atlanta, where MLK preached long ago. In this 34-minute speech, you get a per­fect reminder of King’s lega­cy and also a stump speech deliv­ered in an ora­tor­i­cal style that King would appre­ci­ate. The video clip below has been viewed close to 450,000 times on YouTube. It’s also been added to our YouTube playlist.

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A Slew of New Audiobooks (for Free)

Lib­rivox is on a roll late­ly. Since Decem­ber, the provider of free, pub­lic domain audio­books has released a num­ber of clas­sic works on audio. Below, we’ve list­ed some of the high­lights, which we’ve also includ­ed in our Audio­Book Pod­cast Col­lec­tion. (Here, you’ll also find free audio­books by oth­er providers.) For Lib­rivox’s com­plete cat­a­logue, click here.

2 B R 0 2 B, Kurt Von­negut (MP3 File)

A Child’s His­to­ry of Eng­land, Charles Dick­ens (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual MP3s)

A Short His­to­ry of the Unit­ed States by Edward Chan­ning (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual MP3 Files)

Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge, (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual MP3 Files)

His­to­ry of the Unit­ed States, Vol. IV, Charles Beard (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual MP3 Files)

Med­i­ta­tions on First Phi­los­o­phy, Rene Descartes (Full Zip - Indi­vid­ual MP3 Files)

The His­to­ry of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. II, Edward Gib­bon (The Full ZipIndi­vid­ual MP3s)

The Life of Charle­magne, Ein­hard (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual Files)

The Mas­ter of the World, Jules Verne (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual Files)

The Prob­lems of Phi­los­o­phy, Bertrand Rus­sell (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual MP3 Files)

The Three Mus­ke­teers, Alexan­dre Dumas (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual MP3 Files)

The Works of Tac­i­tus (Full ZipIndi­vid­ual Files)

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Comments We Love to Hear

In one of our recent pieces, we high­light­ed a video that fea­tured law pro­fes­sor Cass Sun­stein inter­pret­ing the sec­ond amend­ment and ques­tion­ing whether it con­ferred the right to bear arms. In response, one of our read­ers offered this com­ment:

“Reeeeeal­ly good talk. My friend and I sat down to watch it, and before we start­ed, we laid out our posi­tions, basi­cal­ly one on each side of the debate. Sun­stein pro­ceeds to explain how we’re both wrong. Awe­some.”

I men­tion this sim­ply because it’s great to see the media (videos/podcasts) fea­tured here being used in this way. It’s great to see read­ers real­ly engag­ing with the mate­r­i­al and allow­ing it to shape their views. It’s the ulti­mate com­pli­ment in some ways. Thanks Ben.

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Waves Freeze in Newfoundland

This counts as sci­ence, right?

Also see 18 Stun­ning Bridges From Around The World via Metafil­ter.

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The Future of Ideas: Download Your Free Copy (and More)

thefutureofideas.jpgIn 2001, Stan­ford law pro­fes­sor Lawrence Lessig pub­lished The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Com­mons in a Con­nect­ed World. Here, Lessig launched a cam­paign against Amer­i­can copy­right law, argu­ing that it has become so restric­tive that it sti­fles cul­tur­al inno­va­tion and social progress .… which under­mines the orig­i­nal point of copy­right law. Back in 1787, the found­ing fathers includ­ed the “copy­right clause” in the Amer­i­can con­sti­tu­tion, look­ing to give authors a short-term incen­tive to inno­vate and ulti­mate­ly con­tribute to the pub­lic good. (Arti­cle I, Sec­tion 8 empow­ers Con­gress “To pro­mote the Progress of Sci­ence and use­ful Arts, by secur­ing for lim­it­ed Times to Authors and Inven­tors the exclu­sive Right to their respec­tive Writ­ings and Dis­cov­er­ies.”). At the out­set, copy­right law pro­tect­ed forms of expres­sion — and let authors prof­it from them — for a min­i­mum of 14 years and a max­i­mum of 28. Then, the mate­r­i­al went into the pub­lic domain. But over time, the pro­tec­tions placed on cul­tur­al expres­sion have been extend­ed, and now works are pro­tect­ed so long as an author is alive, and then anoth­er 70 years. That’s poten­tial­ly up to 140 years or more. All of this has hap­pened because Con­gress has been suc­cess­ful­ly lob­bied by large media cor­po­ra­tions (e.g. Dis­ney), want­i­ng to mon­e­tize their media assets (think, Mick­ey Mouse) indef­i­nite­ly.

Any­way, this is a long way of telling you that you can now down­load The Future of Ideas for free. Lessig per­suad­ed Ran­dom House to release the book under a “Cre­ative Com­mons” license, using the argu­ment that free e‑books will actu­al­ly stim­u­late sales of paper copies. (Do you real­ly want to read 350 pages on your com­put­er screen?)

This is not the first time that Lessig has worked with this mod­el. One of his pre­vi­ous books, Free Cul­ture: How Big Media Uses Tech­nol­o­gy and the Law to Lock Down Cul­ture and Con­trol Cre­ativ­i­ty, was also made freely avail­able in dig­i­tal for­mat. (You can down­load a free audio­book ver­sion or buy the paper ver­sion here.)

As a final note, I should men­tion that Lessig will be leav­ing behind his focus on these copy­right issues, and turn­ing his sights to cor­rup­tion in Wash­ing­ton. Below you can watch him out­line the prob­lem that he’s look­ing to tack­le.

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Steve Jobs’ 90 Minute Keynote Boiled Down to 60 Seconds

Want the quick overview of what Apple has in the pipeline for ’08? Here it is:

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.