Malcolm Gladwell: Taxes Were High and Life Was Just Fine

Mal­colm Glad­well, the best­selling author of The Tip­ping Point, Blink, and Out­liers, has lost some friends late­ly among geeks (term used lov­ing­ly, if not self-ref­er­en­tial­ly) and con­ser­v­a­tives. First came the sug­ges­tion that Twit­ter has­n’t made human change agents obso­lete. We still need MLKs and Gand­his to change the world. And then, speak­ing at The New York­er Fes­ti­val ear­li­er this month, Glad­well had to remind us of an incon­ve­nient his­tor­i­cal fact. Dur­ing the Eisen­how­er pres­i­den­cy, tax­es on the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans peaked at 91% (more than dou­ble what they are today). And, even more galling, life in Amer­i­ca was just fine, even down­right good…

Thanks Mary for send­ing this our way. Always appre­ci­ate the good tips.

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Art in “Augmented Reality” at The Getty Museum

We’re get­ting clos­er to a world where you can ask: why go to a muse­um when it can come to you? This sum­mer, the Get­ty Muse­um used Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty (AR) tech­nol­o­gy to show­case one of the most com­plex objects in its col­lec­tion – The Augs­burg Dis­play Cab­i­net (or Kabi­nettschrank) built around 1630. As shown above, the AR tech­nol­o­gy lets remote users view art in 3D, using just their web cam and a piece of paper to con­trol the expe­ri­ence. You can watch the demo above, or bet­ter yet, test dri­ve the whole expe­ri­ence with the instruc­tions found here.

via @drszucker

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Zoom­ing into Ital­ian Mas­ter­pieces

A Vir­tu­al Tour of the Sis­tine Chapel

Shakespeare in the Original Voice

This fall, Paul Meier, a the­atre pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas, is work­ing with stu­dents to stage the first-ever Amer­i­can ren­di­tion of a Shake­speare play – A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream – in its orig­i­nal pro­nun­ci­a­tion. As The His­to­ry Blog writes, there have only been “three oth­er pro­duc­tions of orig­i­nal pro­nun­ci­a­tion (OP) Shake­speare before this one, 2 at The Globe the­ater in Lon­don, and 1 at Cam­bridge in the 1950s.” But this dif­fi­cult project became pos­si­ble when Meier and his stu­dents start­ed work­ing with David Crys­tal, a lin­guis­tics schol­ar who wrote Pro­nounc­ing Shake­speare (Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press) in 2005. Pri­or to the KU pro­duc­tion, Crys­tal con­sult­ed on a pro­duc­tion of Romeo and Juli­et at the Globe the­atre on London’s South Bank (men­tioned above), and you can lis­ten to audio clips tak­en from that Eng­lish per­for­mance right here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

What Did Shake­speare Real­ly Look Like

Shake­speare Free on the iPhone

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The Milky Way in 360 Degrees

Stéphane Guis­ard trav­eled to the Paranal obser­va­to­ry, sit­u­at­ed in Chile’s remote Ata­ca­ma desert, in search of the “dark­est sky.” The result? Some amaz­ing zoomable, fish­eye images that reveal the dark­est of dark skies (includ­ing a glimpse of the Gegen­schein). And then also this “byprod­uct”: a 360 degree panoram­ic view of the Milky Way that lies on the dark sky hori­zon. You can view Los Cie­los de Chile here.

Please note that the page can take a lit­tle time to load. But once you’re there, you can tog­gle around the images and con­trol the views.

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Free Movies: Watch the Classics & Gems Online

Almost a year ago, we start­ed scour­ing the web for free movies — for films worth your pre­cious time. We start­ed with 75, and now we’re above 200. What will you find on the ever-grow­ing list of Free Movies Online? Films by Orson Welles, Fran­cis Ford Cop­po­la, Alfred Hitch­cock, Stan­ley Kubrick, David Lynch, Bri­an DePal­ma, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrei Tarkovsky, Fritz Lang, Elia Kazan, Howard Hawks, Ida Lupino, Ken Loach, Aki­ra Kuro­sawa, Bil­ly Wilder, and Mar­tin Scors­ese. The list cov­ers many dif­fer­ent gen­res (come­dies, film noir, indies, doc­u­men­taries, short and ani­mat­ed films, even some note­wor­thy B movies) and spans the entire his­to­ry of cin­e­ma, mov­ing from ear­ly silent films to con­tem­po­rary movies. It also fea­tures bril­liant per­for­mances by major actress­es and actors — too many to name right here. For copy­right rea­sons, there’s gen­er­al­ly a heavy empha­sis on the clas­sics. If you have time to spare, check out the full col­lec­tion of Free Movies Online. And if we’re miss­ing any good ones, please feel free to send us your tips or add them to the com­ments sec­tion below.

Fol­low Open Cul­ture on Face­book and Twit­ter!

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The Office Meets the Twilight Zone

‘The Black Hole’ runs two min­utes. Be sure to hang with it until the end. H/T @ellmcgirt

Fol­low Open Cul­ture on Face­book and Twit­ter!

Nikon Small World Photography: The Winners

The Nikon Inter­na­tion­al Small World Com­pe­ti­tion first began in 1974 as a “means to rec­og­nize and applaud the efforts of those involved with pho­tog­ra­phy through the light micro­scope.” A good 36 years lat­er, Nikon named the win­ners of the 2010 com­pe­ti­tion, which means we can take anoth­er artis­tic look inside the world of small things, get­ting down to the very micro lev­el of ani­mals, plants and min­er­als. Above, you’re look­ing at an image of glial cells in the cere­bel­lum mag­ni­fied 400 times. This image and 28 oth­ers appear in the always excel­lent The Big Pic­ture sec­tion of the Boston Globe. Also vis­it a gallery of images on the Nikon site. Thanks to @wesalwan for send­ing our way.

OK Go & Kutiman: Live from the Guggenheim

On Thurs­day night, the Guggen­heim Muse­um and YouTube unveiled the win­ners of a high­ly pub­li­cized video con­test, YouTube Play: A Bien­ni­al of Cre­ative Video. The con­test orig­i­nal­ly gen­er­at­ed 23,000 sub­mis­sions from 91 coun­tries, and, from there, Guggen­heim cura­tors culled a short­list of 125 videos. Then the big moment: 20 win­ners were select­ed dur­ing an awards cer­e­mo­ny held last night at the muse­um.

The cer­e­mo­ny itself fea­tured per­for­mances by artists who have made YouTube inte­gral to their art – above we have Kuti­man, the Israeli artist known for his moth­er of all funk remix, giv­ing the audi­ence some­thing rather dif­fer­ent: a live mashup of Brahms’ “Hun­gar­i­an Dance,” accom­pa­nied by the Non­ame ensem­ble from the Jul­liard School and YouTube Sym­pho­ny Orcher­stra play­ers. And to wrap things up OK Go, the unof­fi­cial kings of YouTube, per­formed ‘White Knuck­les’ and ‘This too Shall Pass.’ Keep a close eye on the YouTube chan­nel ded­i­cat­ed to the Bien­ni­al of Cre­ative Video. The win­ning videos will almost cer­tain­ly be com­ing online soon.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.