Depression Humor Revived

You know things are looking bleak when comedy starts making fodder out of depression themes. Here’s a bit that tells you how to go from office worker to homeless drifter in seven easy steps. (Video courtesy of Howcast)

via Valleywag

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Dave Eggers in Conversation with Chris Elliott

“Comedian, actor and satirist Chris Elliott has made a career of blurring truth and absurdity. Elliott wrote and performed for Late Night With David Letterman, and went on to perform in other television programs, including Saturday Night Live.” Here he is in conversation with writer Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius). The video is courtesy of Fora.TV, and you can watch it here.

Jonathan Franzen Reads

In a quick three minutes, you can watch the sometimes cocky author of The Corrections read from an essay on bird watching, courtesy of, where you can also find more videos with intellectual heft.

For more thoughtful video, also see our YouTube playlist and the related collection: Intelligent Life at YouTube: 70 Educational Video Collections.

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China’s Space Walk: Fresh Footage

As US stock declines, China’s stock keeps going up. It’s the story of the decade, really. Here’s footage from China’s first space walk this past week …

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What Happens on Mars

From The Daily Dish:

“Clouds move across the sky on Mars. The sun rises. Snow falls – but never touches the ground.”

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George Orwell’s 1984: Download Free Audio Book Version

I first posted this one during the dead of summer, so it seemed worth revisiting this now that we’re all a bit more focused ….

Over at the Internet Archive, you can find George Orwell’s classic, 1984, available as a free audio book. As you’ll see, the recording is professionally done. You can download the full zip file here. Or alternatively you can get the individual mp3 files, or stream them, from this page. On a more permanent basis, you can find Orwell’s 1949 work housed in our Free Audio Book Collection along with lots of other free texts. Or see it on our list of Life Changing Books.

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New Fiction in Five Parts

This post is a twofer. First, I get to tell you about, a web site that posts new fiction in kind of a novel way. Almost a throwback to the 19th century, FiveChapters publishes short fiction in serial format. Each week, they present a story in five parts, and you can follow along as the week unfolds. Now (and here’s the second part), let me mention that FiveChapters showcased last week a story from Scott Hutchins, a good writer and colleague of mine. It’s called $30,000. Here it goes.

Used Book Sculptures

Thanks to a heads up from one of our loyal readers (thanks Bob!) you can see a new artistic trend that’s turning books back into trees. Good stuff.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.