Philip Roth’s Creative Surge & the Death of the Novel

Philip Roth, now 77 years old, keeps publishing with a certain urgency. Everyman in 2006, Exit Ghost in 2007, Indignation 2008, The Humbling last year, and next comes Nemesis, due to be released in early October. After The Humbling hit the shelves, magazine editor Tina Brown conducted a rare video interview with Roth, and they covered a fair amount of ground in 14 minutes: his creative surge, how he approaches writing sex scenes, Obama’s literary talents, the coming extinction of the novel and whether the Kindle can make any bit of difference, etc. You can watch the video above, or read a transcript here.

Now a little freebie. A nice copy of Indignation goes to the first reader who sends along a compelling piece of open/intelligent media that we choose to post on the site. (If you’re looking for more guidance on what we have in mind, please read the tips on this page.) You can submit your media picks here. Cheers…

The Power of Music

The video says it all. CNN has more on Captain Jack

via Alec Couros aka @courosa

Richard Feynman: Fun to Imagine

Back in 1983, the BBC aired Fun to Imagine, a television series hosted by Richard Feynman that used physics to explain how the everyday world works – “why rubber bands are stretchy, why tennis balls can’t bounce forever, and what you’re really seeing when you look in the mirror.” In case you’re not familiar with him, Feynman was a Nobel prize-winning physicist who had a gift for many things, including popularizing science and particularly physics. The clip above comes from Fun to Imagine, and thanks to this dedicated BBC website, you can now watch all six videos in the series, each running about 12 minutes.  If you’re looking for more Feynman videos, let me give you this: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, an hour-long BBC/PBS program from 1981, and Feynman’s legendary lectures on physics taped in 1964, now posted online courtesy of Bill Gates. And, oh yes, don’t forget Feynman playing the bongos too…

Want to study some physics? Get Free Physics courses here. And Free Physics Textbooks here.

Journalism for Our Century

As journalists try to find their footing in the new digital environment, News21, a Carnegie and Knight initiative, has started “incubating” eight journalism schools across the country and helping students develop new forms of investigative reporting in multimedia formats. Above, we have Spilling Over, a piece of digital reporting that lays bare the emotional toll the BP Oil spill has taken on a Louisiana community. The eight minute video report was assembled by a News21 team at the University of North Carolina. NPR has more on the News21 project, and the News21 website features other student projects. H/T to Mike S. for another superb find…

America on the Brink

David Gergen has served four different American presidents (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton), and he now heads the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Last month Gergen, known for being a measured observer of politics, spoke before the Commonwealth Club of California and issued a very sober warning: America faces monumental problems. But unfortunately our capacity to address them has never been so diminished, and we’re this close to heading into a civilizational decline. Just what is limiting our ability to handle these problems? If you cut to the chase, it’s a mediocre generation of Americans – politicians, business leaders, media moguls, citizens – habitually putting personal interests first and the greater good second. It’s not a pretty picture, but Gergen suggests a few ways out of the woods. (Hint: education counts here.) You can stream the talk here, grab it on iTunes, or listen below. And if you think there’s nothing you can personally do to make this generation a better one, I suggest you watch the last few minutes of this Robert Sapolsky video.

30 Years of Asteroids in 3 Minutes

This amazing little video charts the location of every asteroid discovered since 1980. As we move into the 1990s, the rate of discovery picks up quite dramatically because we’re now working with vastly improved sky scanning systems. And that means that you will especially want to watch the second half of the video. Below the jump, I’ve pasted some more information that explains what you’re seeing. Thanks to @WesAlwan and Mike for sending this great little clip our way.

via Gizmodo


3D Light Show from Ukraine to Your Living Room

Building becomes canvas. Give it a minute to get going. According to an OC reader, the show was organized to celebrate the independence of Ukraine (August 24th). Thanks Olga!

via metafilter

Earthrise, Then and Now

On December 24, 1968, astronauts aboard Apollo 8, making the first human trip around the moon, stumbled upon a most beautiful scene – an “Earthrise.” Almost 40 years later (in 2007), Japan’s Kaguya satellite captured footage of the same scene unfolding: an Earthrise and also this time an Earthset. If you click on the preceding links, you will see some pretty wonderful still shots in HD.

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