Plastics Out, Statistics In

A mem­o­rable scene from The Grad­u­ate (1967). But, as the New York Times tells us today, plas­tics is out; sta­tis­tics is now in.

John Hughes: Backdrop for an Adolescence

John Hugh­es films. The Who. Now you’ve got the back­drop for my teenage years. This is for me, and per­haps even for you… (Sor­ry to those who can’t relate. We’ll be back on track soon enough.)

Caravaggio and Rembrandt Side by Side

Straight from Metafil­ter. Seemed worth pass­ing along to our read­ers:

The Rijksmu­se­um in Ams­ter­dam invites you to com­pare Car­avag­gio and Rem­brandt. For an overview of Rem­brandt’s work here are Rem­brandt van Rijn: Life and Work and A Web Cat­a­logue of Rem­brandt Paint­ings. For Car­avag­gio there’s which makes use of the Ital­ian web­site Tut­ta l’opera del Car­avag­gio.

Junot Díaz Reads From “Drown”


Image by Christo­pher Peter­son, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

I first heard about Junot Díaz in the ear­ly 90s. He was only in his 20s, already pub­lish­ing in The New York­er, and get­ting a lot of wun­derkind talk. By 1996, he pub­lished, Drown, a best­selling col­lec­tion of short sto­ries that earned high praise. And then, things slowed down. It took a good eleven years for him to pub­lish The Brief Won­drous Life of Oscar Wao. But the patience paid off. The nov­el won him a Pulitzer in fact. And it’s an excel­lent read. Real­ly.

Hav­ing said this, I want to high­light Díaz read­ing one of his ear­ly New York­er sto­ries that also found its way into Drown. It’s called How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Hal­fie). The free audio clip, which is list­ed in our col­lec­tion of Free Audio Books (and pro­duced by The New York­er), has some col­or­ful lan­guage, but it’s not gra­tu­itous.

Look­ing for free, pro­fes­sion­al­ly-read audio books from Here’s a great, no-strings-attached deal. If you start a 30 day free tri­al with, you can down­load two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here.

Martin Sheen’s Senior Moment

On the lighter side. Thanks Rachel for send­ing this along…

Find the link to the orig­i­nal video here.

Chris Anderson @ Google

Chris Ander­son, the author of Free: The Future of a Rad­i­cal Price (down­load a free audio file of the book here) is mak­ing the rounds, pro­mot­ing his new book. Of course, it was only nat­ur­al that Ander­son (also the author of The Long Tail and edi­tor-in-chief of Wired) should pay a vis­it to Google, a com­pa­ny that gen­er­ates bil­lions of dol­lars by serv­ing free con­tent and ser­vices. With the talk above, you get an intro­duc­tion to Ander­son­’s take on “free” and some good Q&A. The pre­sen­ta­tion runs about 53 min­utes in total.

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New Pynchon Book Out Today: Watch the Trailer

Thomas Pyn­chon’s new book, Inher­ent Vice, is on sale today. Check it out. Below we have, yes, a video trail­er for the new book, and it sounds like Pyn­chon (who has famous­ly stayed out of the pub­lic eye) is actu­al­ly nar­rat­ing the thing.

Become of a Fan of Open Cul­ture on Face­Book here or fol­low us on Twit­ter

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Math Magic

Arthur Ben­jamin is a self-pro­claimed “math­ema­gi­cian.” He’s also a pro­fes­sor of math­e­mat­ics at Har­vey Mudd Col­lege. No need to say more. Watch him go. We’re adding this one to our list of YouTube favorites.

via The Teach­ing Com­pa­ny’s Face­book Page.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.