Crisis & Dislocation: A Universal Story

Buenos Aires has endured a lot – finan­cial crises, social protests, dic­ta­tor­ship and beyond. The award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary: ¿Sería Buenos Aires? (Maybe Buenos Aires?) takes a hard look at how the Argen­tines respond­ed to dis­lo­ca­tions cre­at­ed by forces beyond their con­trol. It’s a uni­ver­sal sto­ry that touch­es on prob­lems we all face today. Greece is just the lat­est unfor­tu­nate reminder of this. You can find this film, and 125 oth­er high qual­i­ty movies, in our col­lec­tion of Free Movies Online.

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Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider: A Look Back

The actor Den­nis Hop­per died this morn­ing. You know him from Apoc­a­lypse Now and Blue Vel­vet. But, more than any oth­er film, his lega­cy is tied to Easy Rid­er. Hop­per direct­ed, co-wrote, and co-starred in the coun­ter­cul­ture clas­sic, which won the top prize at the 1969 Cannes Film Fes­ti­val. Drugs, motor­cy­cles, hip­pies, com­mu­nal liv­ing – Easy Rid­er cap­tured the spir­it of the coun­ter­cul­ture move­ment, and now, 40 years lat­er, it serves as some­thing of a memo­r­i­al to the Wood­stock gen­er­a­tion. Above, we fea­ture the 1999 doc­u­men­tary Easy Rid­er: Shak­ing the Cage, which looks back at the mak­ing of the cult film. It includes inter­views with Den­nis Hop­per and his co-star Peter Fon­da. Part 1 appears above. You can access the remain­ing parts here: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7

Putting the Web Inside the Printed Book

There’s a lot of talk about “vooks” these days. Usu­al­ly vooks are all about mov­ing tra­di­tion­al books over to dig­i­tal envi­ron­ments (e.g., the iPad) and sur­round­ing them with sup­port­ing web media. But one com­pa­ny, Ubi­mark, is tak­ing a dif­fer­ent approach. They’re keep­ing the print­ed word and putting the web inside the tra­di­tion­al book. Kind of. Using smart phones, read­ers can take pic­tures of “2D codes” embed­ded in print books. And, from there, the smart phone will launch maps, video, and oth­er web media that will col­lec­tive­ly enrich the words on the page. The video above, using Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days as an exam­ple, shows what this all looks like in action.

via Wired Cam­pus

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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: 35 Days From Space

From Our Uni­verse Visu­al­ized on YouTube:

The MODIS instru­ment, on board NASA’s Ter­ra and Aqua satel­lites, is cap­tur­ing images of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mex­i­co. The spill began on April 20, 2010 with the explo­sion of the Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon oil rig. This short video reveals a space-based view of the burn­ing oil rig and, lat­er, the ensu­ing oil spill through May 24, 2010. The oil slick appears gray­ish-beige in the images and changes due to chang­ing weath­er, ocean cur­rents, and the use of oil dis­pers­ing chem­i­cals. Images in the video time series were select­ed that show the spill most clear­ly. The full image archive is avail­able on the MODIS Rapid Response Web site at

via Moth­er­Jones

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Space Shuttle Discovery: From Prep to Launch in Three Minutes

Three min­utes of time lapse video dis­tills six weeks of footage show­ing the Space Shut­tle Dis­cov­ery get­ting ready for launch. It moves you from the Orbiter Pro­cess­ing Facil­i­ty to the launch­ing pad, and every­where in between. Air & Space has more details on the whole she­bang. Props to Joshua for send­ing this video our way.

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Martin Gardner: A Video Remembrance

This past week­end, Mar­tin Gard­ner, a gift­ed and pro­lif­ic pop­u­lar­iz­er of math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence, passed away at 95. Dur­ing his life, Gard­ner pub­lished more than 70 books and wrote the pop­u­lar “Math­e­mat­i­cal Games” col­umn for Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can mag­a­zine for 25 years. As The New York Times obit notes, his math­e­mat­i­cal writ­ings “intrigued a gen­er­a­tion of math­e­mati­cians,” and he earned the admi­ra­tion of many lead­ing intel­lec­tu­als, includ­ing W. H. Auden, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Jay Gould, Vladimir Nabokov, and Carl Sagan. Not bad for a man who nev­er took a col­lege-lev­el math course. Above, you will find a 46-minute video pro­file of Gard­ner from David Suzuk­i’s CBC tele­vi­sion series “The Nature of Things.” It’s a great intro­duc­tion to Gard­ner and his unique approach to math and sci­ence.

Thanks goes to Mike for send­ing the video our way.

Letters with Literary Character

Ben Green­man, a fic­tion writer and edi­tor at the New York­er, has a short sto­ry col­lec­tion com­ing out this June. What He’s Poised To Do makes let­ters and let­ter-writ­ing a the­mat­ic focus, and even before its offi­cial pub­li­ca­tion, Green­man’s col­lec­tion has inspired a blog that encour­ages every­day peo­ple to write let­ters to great lit­er­ary char­ac­ters. The sam­ple below gives you the gist of the project … and then some. If so inspired, send your own let­ter to:

Ernest Hem­ing­way | The Sun Also Ris­es | 1926

Dear Brett,

I find myself in the hor­ri­ble posi­tion of telling you what a tru­ly ter­ri­ble human being you are. I know what you’re doing with Jake and Robert when you’re very much engaged to Michael. Now, don’t give me any sob sto­ry about how you lost your “only true love” at such a young age. This gives you NO right to be a tramp. Also, half the women in Paris would agree that you are NOT charm­ing when you are drunk like you think you are. In fact I would go as far as to say you are repul­sive in all forms of the word. Occa­sion­al­ly, I cringe when you speak because it is always to use some­one. You’re despi­ca­ble. Dis­gust­ing. You’re a pedan­tic wee­nie.

Alexan­dria Smith

Clouds, Stars and Meteors Over the Cotopaxi Volcano

So beau­ti­ful you don’t need sound or com­men­tary. Now added to our YouTube Favorites.

via 3QuarksDaily

HT Mike

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.