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

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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 YouTube video, 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.

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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.

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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


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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

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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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