Endeavour’s Launch Viewed from Booster Cameras

Here’s the good stuff that nerdgasms are made of. NASA has released a video that lets you hitch a ride on the May 16th launch of the Space Shut­tle Endeav­our. The video runs 37 min­utes; it’s nar­rat­ed by a NASA offi­cial; and it loops around and lets you see the launch from sev­er­al dif­fer­ent van­tage points.

You start with liftoff, trav­el­ing at 1300 miles per hour. Then, about two min­utes lat­er, the rock­et boost­ers sep­a­rate from the shut­tle, and you then twist with them. The sec­ond loop starts around the 7:20 mark, and don’t miss the splen­did view at 9:40 …

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Best of NASA Space Shut­tle Videos (1981–2010)

NASA Cap­tures Giant Solar Storm

NASA Zooms into Spi­ral Galaxy

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Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange: Malcolm McDowell Looks Back

A few days ago, we linked to the recent Col­lid­er inter­view with Mal­colm McDow­ell, the star of Stan­ley Kubrick­’s 1971 clas­sic, A Clock­work Orange. One of the high­lights of the piece is a short video clip in which the now 68-year-old actor describes the ori­gins of the film’s icon­ic — and hor­rif­i­cal­ly vio­lent — “Singing in the Rain” scene. (The ad on the Col­lid­er clip is short but abra­sive, by the way. Be sure to turn down your head­phones).

You can catch a much younger McDow­ell dis­cussing that same scene in 1972, start­ing at minute 6:30 of the inter­view below. For kicks, slide back to minute 4:15, and watch the cocky 28-year-old give his inter­locu­tor a sharp dress­ing down for dar­ing to sug­gest that Mr. Kubrick could be “dif­fi­cult” to work with:via @DangerMindsBlog

Relat­ed con­tent:

Stan­ley Kubrick­’s Fil­mog­ra­phy Ani­mat­ed

Killer’s Kiss: Where Stan­ley Kubrick­’s Film­mak­ing Career Real­ly Begins

Kubrick vs. Scors­ese Mon­tage

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

23-Year-Old Eric Clapton Demonstrates the Elements of His Guitar Sound

In the fall of 1968, Eric Clap­ton was 23 years old and at the height of his cre­ative pow­ers. His band, Cream, was on its farewell tour of Amer­i­ca when a film crew from the BBC caught up with the group and asked the young gui­tar vir­tu­oso to show how he cre­at­ed his dis­tinc­tive sound.

The result is a fas­ci­nat­ing four-minute tour of Clapton’s tech­nique. He begins by demon­strat­ing the wide range of tones he could achieve by vary­ing the set­tings on his psy­che­del­i­cal­ly paint­ed 1964 Gib­son SG Stan­dard gui­tar. His wah-wah ped­al (an ear­ly Vox mod­el) was crit­i­cal to the sound of so many Cream clas­sics, like “Tales of Brave Ulysses.” In the film, Clap­ton real­ly has to stomp on it to get it work­ing.

One of the most dif­fi­cult skills to mas­ter, Clap­ton says, is the vibra­to. In a 1970 inter­view with Gui­tar Play­er mag­a­zine he goes into more detail: “When I stretch strings,” he says, “I hook my thumb around the neck of the gui­tar. A lot of gui­tarists stretch strings with just their hand free. The only way I can do it is if I have my whole hand around the neck—actually grip­ping onto it with my thumb. That some­how gives me more of a rock­ing action with my hand and wrist.” If you watch the BBC clip close­ly you will see this in action.

The inter­view was con­duct­ed with Clap­ton seat­ed in front of his famous stack of Mar­shall ampli­fiers. In the Gui­tar Play­er inter­view, how­ev­er, he admits he rarely used both at the same time. “I always had two Mar­shalls set up to play through,” he says, “but I think it was just so I could have one as a spare. I usu­al­ly used only one 100-watt amp.”

Clapton’s demon­stra­tion (along with inter­views of bassist Jack Bruce and drum­mer Gin­ger Bak­er) was incor­po­rat­ed into Tony Palmer’s film of Cream’s Farewell Con­cert, which took place on Novem­ber 21, 1968 at the Roy­al Albert Hall in Lon­don. (Coin­ci­den­tal­ly, Clap­ton is appear­ing at the Albert Hall all this week.) The orig­i­nal six-song ver­sion of Cream’s Farewell Con­cert is avail­able for free view­ing on the Inter­net. An extend­ed 14-song ver­sion is avail­able for pur­chase here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

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Darren’s Big DIY Camera

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er Dar­ren Samuel­son spent a good year research­ing his big cam­era. Then it was time to build it. The bel­lows came first, craft­ed over two hard weeks on his liv­ing room floor. Next came the rear por­tion of the cam­era, and even­tu­al­ly the front, the rails, and the rest. All told, sev­en months of lov­ing labor went into mak­ing Dar­ren’s big DIY cam­era, capa­ble of pro­duc­ing 14×36-inch neg­a­tives. (By the way, it also used x‑ray film.) At long last, it was time to give things a try at San Fran­cis­co’s Lands End. The short doc­u­men­tary above shows you the rest. Don’t miss the images at the 2:20 mark…

Jimmy Fallon Nails the Bob Dylan Impersonation

He looks like Bob Dylan. He sings like our birth­day boy Bob Dylan. And yet he’s cov­er­ing per­haps the cheesi­est 80s sit­com theme song ever made — which makes it all the more hilar­i­ous…

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Pop-Motion Animation: A New Take on the Flip Book

When Dul­cidio Caldeira of the agency Para­noid BR was com­mis­sioned recent­ly to cre­ate a one-minute com­mer­cial mark­ing MTV Brazil’s 21st birth­day, he end­ed up re-imag­in­ing one of animation’s old­est forms: the flip book. The result is a work of inspired silli­ness, with char­ac­ters like Gene Sim­mons, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne—even Ozzy’s bat—appearing on a long line of bal­loons being popped at a rate of ten per sec­ond. Caldeira and col­lab­o­ra­tors Andre Faria and Guga Ket­zer used a laser to line up hun­dreds of bal­loons along a 656-foot (200-meter) set of tracks. It took them 24 hours to shoot.

Via: Print Mag­a­zine

Peter Sellers Performs The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night” in Shakespearean Voice

Back in 1964, Peter Sell­ers (aka Chief Inspec­tor Clouse­au in The Pink Pan­ther films) made a cameo appear­ance on “The Music of Lennon and McCart­ney,” a tele­vi­sion pro­gram pro­duced at the height of Beat­le­ma­nia. The schtick? To read the lyrics of A Hard Day’s Night in a way that com­i­cal­ly recalls Lau­rence Olivier’s 1955 per­for­mance of the open­ing solil­o­quy from Richard III. It starts famous­ly “Now is the win­ter of our dis­con­tent …” (See full text here.)

On a very relat­ed note, don’t miss:

Peter Sell­ers Reads The Bea­t­les’ “She Loves You” in Four Voic­es

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For Bob Dylan’s 70th Birthday, Footage From His Earliest NYC Days

Rock star, folk singer, poet, and nation­al trea­sure Bob Dylan turns 70 today, and just in case you haven’t made plans to mark the occa­sion, we’ve got a few options for you: If you’d like some com­pa­ny, you can check out this Google map of all the sep­tu­a­ge­nar­i­an cel­e­bra­tions world­wide to see if there will be one in your home­town. Or you can re-read Joe Queenan’s bril­liant­ly incor­rect assess­ment of the rebel at 50 in Spy Mag­a­zine. And if you’re feel­ing soli­tary and reflec­tive, there’s always Chron­i­cles Vol. 1 and Dylan­Ra­dio by can­dle­light.

We chose to go with the love­ly “Guess I’m Doing Fine” from the singer’s ear­li­est days in New York City (now avail­able on “The Wit­mark Demos: 1962–1964,” the lat­est install­ment of The Boot­leg Series. Watch the trail­er here). The 20-year old’s voice sounds a bit thin and plain­tive, and the lament per­haps under­cut by the many miles of road he has­n’t yet trav­elled, espe­cial­ly when he moans:

No, I ain’t got my child­hood
Or friends I once did know.
But I still got my voice left,
I can take it any­where I go.

But don’t be too hard on young Bob­by Zim­mer­man… He was a whole lot old­er then, and he’s younger than that now.

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.