The Second Amendment: Does It Really Let You Bear Arms?

What does the Sec­ond Amend­ment mean? It’s some­thing that the Supreme Court has nev­er real­ly said. In this hour long video, Cass Sun­stein, a very well known law pro­fes­sor from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, takes a crack at inter­pret­ing this amend­ment and see­ing whether its orig­i­nal mean­ing actu­al­ly con­fers the right to bear arms. Originalists/conservatives prob­a­bly won’t like his con­clu­sions, and they may be inclined to dis­miss this as a talk giv­en by anoth­er lib­er­al elit­ist. But they should keep in mind that Sun­stein actu­al­ly saw the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s wire­tap­ping as hav­ing a plau­si­ble legal basis, and he’s had any­thing but a harsh assess­ment of John Roberts’ track record as a judge.

This talk was record­ed on Octo­ber 23, 2007.

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Jimi Hendrix Vintage Footage

Astound­ing­ly good footage of Hen­drix play­ing Voodoo Chile live. The date is 1969, in Lon­don. (Video is added to our YouTube Playlist.)

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Resolving the Omnivore’s Dilemma: Pollan’s New Book

Com­ing off of the run­away suc­cess of Omni­vore’s Dilem­ma, Michael Pol­lan has just pub­lished a log­i­cal sequel — In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Man­i­festo. His new book tells us what to eat, what not to eat, and how to stay healthy. Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, his advice can be boiled down to a few words: “Eat food. Not too much. Most­ly plants.” But there is obvi­ous­ly much more to it than that. To fill in the gaps, you can buy the book or lis­ten to two recent inter­views with Pol­lan:

1.) The Leonard Lopate Show (Jan­u­ary 9) : MP3iTunesFeedWeb Site 

2.) Sci­ence Fri­day (Jan­u­ary 4): MP3iTunesFeedWeb Site

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Library of Congress Adds 3,000 Photos to Flickr

Check them out here.

via Life­hack­er

Central Intelligence: From Ants to the Web

Some­times order seem­ing­ly comes out of nowhere. It just mate­ri­al­izes. It hap­pens in ant colonies, in cities, on the web, in the brain. This episode of Radio Lab (MP3iTunesFeed) takes a fas­ci­nat­ing look at how groups orga­nize and direct them­selves with­out the help of a leader, or some kind of cen­tral com­mand. The show includes con­ver­sa­tions with biol­o­gist E.O. Wil­son, econ­o­mist James Surowiec­ki, and neu­rol­o­gists Oliv­er Sacks and Christof Koch. Also includ­ed in the mix is Deb­o­rah Gor­don, a Stan­ford pro­fes­sor who has spent years study­ing ants, which are indi­vid­u­al­ly incom­pe­tent but do remark­ably com­plex things as colonies. There’s more to ants than you’d first think, so we’ve also includ­ed below Deb­o­rah Gor­don’s pre­sen­ta­tion at the TED Talks con­fer­ence. It’s called “How Do Ants Know What to Do?” And it’s added to our YouTube Playlist.

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The Long Shadow of Henry Kissinger

Although he has­n’t served in gov­ern­ment for more than 30 years, Hen­ry Kissinger still exer­cis­es more pow­er inter­na­tion­al­ly than Jim­my Carter, George HW Bush and Bill Clin­ton com­bined. That’s a strong claim, and it comes from Pro­fes­sor Jere­mi Suri, who has a new book out on the for­mer Sec­re­tary of State. In a wide-rang­ing and fast mov­ing con­ver­sa­tion (MP3iTunesFeed), Suri talks about Kissinger’s lega­cy and how his realpoli­tik for­eign pol­i­cy shapes Amer­i­can deci­sion mak­ing down to this very day.

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Open Sourcing Congress

The tru­ism goes that laws and sausages are the two things you don’t want to see being made. Nev­er­the­less, if more of us paid atten­tion to what our con­gres­sion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tives are real­ly up to (and let them know when they screw up), we’d prob­a­bly be a lit­tle hap­pi­er with how the sys­tem works over­all. Two thirds of Amer­i­cans think we’re on the wrong track (if recent polls are to be believed), and with the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions com­ing up there’s no bet­ter time to start pay­ing atten­tion.

All that’s a long run-up to men­tion­ing a new web­site ini­tia­tive called Open Con­gress designed to help the aver­age cit­i­zen fig­ure out what the heck is going on in Wash­ing­ton. Track rep­re­sen­ta­tives and bills that you’re inter­est­ed in; inter­act with oth­er users who share your con­cerns; sort through data by issue or indus­try. It just got a lit­tle eas­i­er to make your vote count.

Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

1964. Direct­ed by Stan­ley Kubrick. Star­ring Peter Sell­ers and George C. Scott. The Trail­er. Action:

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.