The World in a Satirical Nutshell

Greece and Ire­land are down. Por­tu­gal is tee­ter­ing. And Spain may soon be the biggest domi­no to fall. All of this makes this satir­i­cal clip a lit­tle time­ly – per­haps a bit too painful­ly time­ly. Fea­tured here are two Aus­tralian satirists John Clarke and Bryan Dawe…

Early Experiments in Color Film (1895–1935)

Hol­ly­wood did­n’t start pro­duc­ing col­or fea­ture films until the mid 1930s. (Becky Sharp, the first Tech­ni­col­or film from 1935, appears in our col­lec­tion of Free Movies Online.) But exper­i­ments with col­or film­mak­ing start­ed long before that. Ear­li­er this year, Kodak unearthed a test of Kodachrome col­or film from 1922 (above). But then you can trav­el back to 1912, when a film­mak­er test­ed out a Chronochrome process on the beach­es of Nor­mandy. Or how about mov­ing all the way back to 1895? Here we have footage from Thomas Edis­on’s hand-paint­ed film Anabelle’s Dance, which was made for his Kine­to­scope view­ers. For more on the his­to­ry of col­or film, vis­it here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How Tech­ni­col­or Rev­o­lu­tion­ized Cin­e­ma with Sur­re­al, Elec­tric Col­ors & Changed How We See Our World

Col­or Film Was Designed to Take Pic­tures of White Peo­ple, Not Peo­ple of Col­or: The Unfor­tu­nate His­to­ry of Racial Bias in Pho­tog­ra­phy (1940–1990)

Tsarist Rus­sia Comes to Life in Vivid Col­or Pho­tographs Tak­en Cir­ca 1905–1915

H.G. Wells’ 1930s Radio Broadcasts

H.G. Wells (1866–1946) gave us The Time Machine, The Invis­i­ble Man, and The War of the Worlds and prac­ti­cal­ly invent­ed sci­ence fic­tion as we know it. (Find his clas­sic texts in our Free Audio Books and Free eBooks col­lec­tions.) Now, thanks to the BBC, you can trav­el back in time and get a glimpse into Wells’ cre­ative mind. Dur­ing the 1930s and 1940s, Wells made reg­u­lar radio broad­casts for the BBC, where he had the free­dom to range wide­ly, to talk about “world pol­i­tics, the his­to­ry of the print­ing press, the pos­si­bil­i­ties of tech­nol­o­gy and the shape of things to come…” Nine record­ings now appear online. You can start lis­ten­ing here, or dip into an archive of Wells’ per­son­al let­ters.

Final­ly, don’t miss one of my per­son­al favorites. Orson Welles read­ing a dra­ma­tized ver­sion of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds in 1938. It’s per­haps the most famous radio broad­cast in Amer­i­can his­to­ry and it drove Amer­i­ca into a bout of mass hys­te­ria, at least for a night …

H/T to @fionaatzler for flag­ging these BBC audio record­ings.


A Darwinian Theory of Beauty, or TED Does Its Best RSA

You have undoubt­ed­ly seen one, if not many, of RSA’s catchy videos dur­ing the past year. They fea­ture the words of thought lead­ers accom­pa­nied by the fast-mov­ing ani­ma­tion of Andrew Park. Along the way, we have fea­tured RSA talks by Daniel Pink, Sir Ken Robin­son, and Bar­bara Ehren­re­ich, among oth­ers.

The RSA videos have always struck me as a good alter­na­tive, or per­haps com­ple­ment, to the more well-known TED videos. TED devel­oped its style of pre­sen­ta­tion – speak­ers pre­sent­ing on a live stage in a crisp 18 min­utes (or less). Then RSA rolled out its dis­tinc­tive ani­mat­ed videos. And now this: TED has Andrew Park ani­mate Denis Dut­ton’s talk – A Dar­win­ian The­o­ry of Beau­ty – in RSA style. Intrigu­ing talk. But a strange move on TED’s part. Hope­ful­ly, it’s just a one-off, and not a jump-the-shark moment…

Why Can’t We Walk Straight?

When we’re blind­fold­ed, we’re doomed to walk in cir­cles. The same thing hap­pens when we dri­ve and swim with­out the ben­e­fit of sight. Around and around we go. Robert Krul­wich, the cohost of the excel­lent Radi­o­lab show (iTunes — FeedSite), breaks this all down with some intrigu­ing ani­ma­tion. But let me add this lit­tle spoil­er alert. What makes us spin in cir­cles still defies sci­en­tif­ic expla­na­tion. H/T to Mike in Cam­bridge.

via berto-meis­ter

Developing Apps for iPhone & iPad: A Free Stanford Course

Look­ing to design apps for the iPhone or iPad? Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty now has a course online that will help you do just that.

Sim­ply called Devel­op­ing Apps for iOS, the course fea­tures 20 video lec­tures (the last install­ment was uploaded just this week) and, some­what fit­ting­ly, they’re all avail­able on Apple’s iTune­sU.

Paul Hegar­ty teach­es the course, and he assumes that you have expe­ri­ence pro­gram­ming in C, and some famil­iar­i­ty with UNIX, object-ori­ent­ed pro­gram­ming and graph­i­cal toolk­its.

You can find Devel­op­ing Apps for iOS in the Com­put­er Sci­ence sec­tion of our big col­lec­tion of Free Online Cours­es, along with two pre­vi­ous Stan­ford app devel­op­ment cours­es, both called iPhone Appli­ca­tion Devel­op­ment.

Donald Duck Wants You to Pay Your Taxes (1943)

Dur­ing World War II, some of the great­est liv­ing film­mak­ers put aside their com­mer­cial aspi­ra­tions and direct­ed pro­pa­gan­da films for the Allies. Frank Capra, Alfred Hitch­cock, Howard Hawks, John Ford, John Hus­ton – they all made a cin­e­mat­ic con­tri­bu­tion to the war effort. (More on that here.) And so did Walt Dis­ney, big time. 90% of Dis­ney employ­ees pro­duced pro­pa­gan­da films for the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment, cre­at­ing 68 hours of con­tin­u­ous film, includ­ing this short film for the Trea­sury Depart­ment. The Spir­it of ’43 puts Don­ald Duck in the always unen­vi­able posi­tion of ask­ing Amer­i­cans to pay high tax­es to fund their wars. (Imag­ine doing that today!) Some 26 mil­lion Amer­i­cans viewed the short film, and appar­ent­ly 37% of those inter­viewed in a Gallup poll lat­er admit­ted that the film affect­ed their will­ing­ness to pay Uncle Sam. You can find this Dis­ney film and oth­er wartime pro­pa­gan­da films (among oth­er good­ies) in our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Don­ald Duck Dis­cov­ers Glenn Beck: A Remix

Mick­ey Mouse Dis­cov­ers Con­spir­a­cy Against Glenn Beck

Freddie Mercury, Live Aid (1985)

Queen front­man Fred­die Mer­cury died 19 years ago today. So a quick remem­brance seems in order. We bring you Mer­cury and Bri­an May (now astro­physi­cist and uni­ver­si­ty chan­cel­lor) dri­ving along the crowd at Live Aid, the mega con­cert staged in Lon­don and Philly, back in 1985. Get the remain­ing parts of the vir­tu­oso rock per­for­mance here, here, and here. And keep an eye out for the upcom­ing film that will fea­ture Sacha Baron Cohen in the Mer­cury role.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.