Video from The Aspen Environment Forum

A quick heads up: The three-day Aspen Envi­ron­ment Forum is now under­way, and it has gath­ered an impres­sive num­ber of speak­ers (ener­gy experts, gov­ern­ment & busi­ness lead­ers, writ­ers, pho­tog­ra­phers, and oth­er thinkers) to take a seri­ous look at our envi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges and the pos­si­ble solu­tions. You can find video high­lights from each day here, and you can also find live cov­er­age on this Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Blog.

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The Hubble Space Telescope’s Greatest Images

In April 1990, The Hub­ble Space Tele­scope was launched into space and has since sent beau­ti­ful images back to earth. The Tele­graph in the UK has gath­ered togeth­er some of the most spec­tac­u­lar ones. Click here to see some of the best. (And look to the top right for the “Next” but­ton to see more.)

Jupiter Slips Behind the Sun

“NASA’s STEREO space­craft sees Jupiter move behind the Sun in this 30 hour ani­ma­tion com­pressed into just 11 sec­onds. Mean­while, you can see Jupiter’s moons orbit­ing it.” Get more on this cool footage from Dis­cov­er Mag­a­zine and be sure to check out the Bad Astronomer Chan­nel on YouTube, which fea­tures more videos along these lines.

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Welcome New York Times Readers

If you’re vis­it­ing Open Cul­ture thanks to The New York Times arti­cle, and if you’re look­ing for audio down­loads for your next road trip, then please explore our Audio Col­lec­tion, which includes (among oth­er things) free audio books, free lan­guage lessons, free uni­ver­si­ty cours­es, and much more. You can down­load these audio files — all for free — to your mp3 play­er or com­put­er. Feel free to ask any ques­tions. And if you like this kind of con­tent, then be sure to vis­it us again at We make a point here of bring­ing you the best cul­tur­al media avail­able on the web (if I may humbly say so). Thanks for vis­it­ing.

You can fol­low us on Twit­ter at @openculture. Hope you’ll join us.

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Introducing YouTube EDU!

Here’s a lit­tle break­ing news: Today, Google has launched YouTube EDU, which cen­tral­izes the con­tent from over 100 uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges (get list here).  This robust col­lec­tion gives you access to lec­tures by pro­fes­sors and world-renowned thought lead­ers, new research and cam­pus tours. At the moment, you can access over 200 full cours­es from lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties, includ­ing MIT, Stan­ford, UC Berke­ley, UCLA, Yale and  IIT/IISc.  And it’s all search­able with­in YouTube EDU.

I plan to fol­low up with a more exten­sive piece soon. But I just want­ed to get the word out and let you start check­ing it out. If you have any first impres­sions, please let us know what you think in the com­ments. Nice work Youtube!

Last­ly, if you want to down­load hun­dreds of free uni­ver­si­ty cours­es (most­ly in audio) to your com­put­er or mp3 play­er, check out our col­lec­tion of Free Uni­ver­si­ty Cours­es here.

Fol­low us on Twit­ter at @openculture or sign up for our rss feed here.

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Podcast Lectures: Better Than the Real Deal?

Here’s an inter­est­ing fac­toid report­ed by The New Sci­en­tist… A study com­ing out of The State Uni­ver­si­ty of New York “mea­sured the per­for­mance of 64 stu­dents, half of whom watched a lec­ture via pod­cast and the oth­er half who attend­ed the live lec­ture. Stu­dents who used the pod­cast aver­aged a 71 out of 100 on the fol­low-up test where­as those who actu­al­ly went to the lec­ture aver­aged a 62.”  What explains the dif­fer­ence? Accord­ing to the head researcher, Dani McK­in­ney, it comes down to this: “If the [stu­dents] lis­tened to the pod­cast just one time, they did­n’t do any bet­ter than the peo­ple who came to the lec­ture. How­ev­er, the peo­ple who treat­ed it like a live lec­ture, and took notes or replayed cer­tain sec­tions… they did sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter.” Or, to put things a lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly, “It’s no dif­fer­ent than when stu­dents used to tape record lec­tures.… If some­thing was pre­sent­ed too fast for them to take down, they could replay that sec­tion and com­plete their notes.” The bot­tom line: stu­dents who use the right tools to absorb class­room lec­tures end up doing bet­ter. But how much bet­ter? In this case, the stu­dents using pod­casts got a C on the fol­low-up test. The stu­dents who did­n’t got a D. I guess that says some­thing for the pod­cast lec­ture, but don’t bank on them alone.

Thanks to @Cinetuyoymio for the lead here. Always feel free to send us tips at, or @openculture on Twit­ter. The more tips you send, the bet­ter Open Cul­ture becomes for all.

You can access the afore­men­tioned study for a fee here: iTunes Uni­ver­si­ty and the class­room: Can pod­casts replace Pro­fes­sors? 

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Yale Courses on YouTube

In the past, I have writ­ten about Yale’s best-of-breed Open Course ini­tia­tive, which makes avail­able 15 free cours­es. They’re all record­ed in high qual­i­ty video and can be down­loaded in mul­ti­ple for­mats. You can access the full list here. Some­where along the line (I’m not sure exact­ly when), Yale made these cours­es avail­able on a ded­i­cat­ed YouTube chan­nel, which means that you have anoth­er way to access these fine offer­ings. Above, I’ve fea­tured a lec­ture on Jack Ker­ouac’s On the Road from a course called “The Amer­i­can Nov­el Since 1945.” You can find all of these Yale cours­es in our Free Uni­ver­si­ty Course col­lec­tion. And, I’ve added the Yale YouTube chan­nel to our list called Intel­li­gent YouTube Col­lec­tions.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Stan­ford Launch­es YouTube Chan­nel, Oprah Gives Grad­u­a­tion Speech

UCLA on YouTube

Kerouac’s “On the Road” Turns 50

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A Song for Paul Krugman

It’s not often than a song gets writ­ten for an eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sor. It’s so bad that it’s actu­al­ly good. Add that to the sound­track for the Col­lapse.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.