Guns N’ Roses Meet Two Cellos: Monday Mashup

You may rec­og­nize Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, aka 2CELLOS, from their rock­ing arrange­ment of Michael Jack­son’s Smooth Crim­i­nal ear­li­er this year. This time, the clas­si­cal­ly-trained musi­cians have done them­selves one bet­ter, with a fre­net­ic, hard-hit­ting take on GNR’s “Wel­come To The Jun­gle” that would give Slash him­self a run for his hard­core cred.

2CELLOS are cur­rent­ly tour­ing with Elton John, and you can pre-order their debut CD, which includes cov­ers of Nir­vana’s “Smells Like Teen Spir­it” and U2’s “With or With­out You.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Gui­tar Prodi­gy from Karachi

Col­lab­o­ra­tions: Spike Jonze, Yo-Yo Ma, and Lil Buck

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.

230 Cultural Icons: A New Collection

Time to roll out a new media col­lec­tion — a big col­lec­tion of Cul­tur­al Icons. Here you will find great writ­ers, daz­zling film­mak­ers and musi­cians, bril­liant philoso­phers and sci­en­tists — fig­ures who have changed our cul­tur­al land­scape through­out the years. You’ll see them in video, or hear their voic­es in audio.

The list cur­rent­ly fea­tures 230 icons, all speak­ing in their own words. The col­lec­tion will inevitably grow as we add more mate­r­i­al, or as you send sug­ges­tions our way. For now, how about we whet your appetite with 10 favorites? Then you can rum­mage through the full col­lec­tion of Cul­tur­al Icons here.

(Note: Down the road, you can access this col­lec­tion by click­ing “Cul­tur­al Icons” in the top nav­i­ga­tion bar.)

Sal­vador Dali Video – Sur­re­al­ist artist appears on “What’s My Line?” (1952)

John­ny Depp Video – The ver­sa­tile actor reads a let­ter from Gonzo jour­nal­ist Hunter S. Thomp­son.

Anne Frank Video – It is the only known footage of Anne Frank, author of the world’s most famous diary, and it’s now online.

Pat­ti Smith — Video — The “god­moth­er of punk” recalls her friend­ship with artist Robert Map­plethor­pe.

Quentin Taran­ti­no Video – Pulp Fic­tion direc­tor lists his favorites films since 1992.

Leo Tol­stoy – Video – Great footage of the last days of the tow­er­ing Russ­ian nov­el­ist. 1910.

Mark Twain – Video – America’s fabled writer cap­tured on film by Thomas Edi­son in 1909.

Andy Warhol Video – In 1979, Warhol cre­at­ed pub­lic access tele­vi­sion pro­grams. In this episode, he chats with Bian­ca Jag­ger & Steven Spiel­berg.

Tom Waits Video – The raspy singer reads “The Laugh­ing Heart” by Charles Bukows­ki.

Vir­ginia Woolf — Audio — Record­ing comes from a 1937 BBC radio broad­cast. The talk, enti­tled “Crafts­man­ship,” was part of a series called “Words Fail Me.” The only known record­ing of her voice.

Get the rest here. Don’t miss us on Face­book and Twit­ter!


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Bohemian Rhapsody Played in a Rusty Old VW

A wit­ty ren­di­tion of Queen’s clas­sic played by the Finnish award win­ning street band Pork­ka Play­boys. More of their work appears on the band’s YouTube chan­nel. Enjoy…

FYI: It looks like “Inside Job,” the Oscar-Win­ning Doc­u­men­tary on the 2008 finan­cial melt­down, is back online, thanks to the Inter­net Archive.

via Alec Couros

A Video Illusion: Can You Spot the Change?

We’re a bit embar­rassed to admit that it took us three times to spot the change in this fas­ci­nat­ing video illu­sion at New Sci­en­tist, even after read­ing about the research behind the video. The test was devel­oped by Kevin O’Re­gan and his team at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Paris Descartes as part of their work on per­cep­tion. O’Re­gan is best known for his work on change blind­ness, our rel­a­tive inabil­i­ty to per­ceive grad­ual change, and our ten­den­cy to focus sole­ly on what we per­ceive to be the most dynam­ic or inter­est­ing ele­ment of a scene.

If this video isn’t enough to con­vince of you of O’Re­gan’s the­o­ries, he’s post­ed a whole slew of demon­stra­tions at his web­site. Bet­ter yet, you can dis­pel any remain­ing doubts (or self-esteem) by tak­ing this aware­ness test, which is even more dra­mat­ic. It bowled us over. Let us know in the com­ments if it did the same for you.

via Kirstin But­ler

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.

Walt Disney Presents the Super Cartoon Camera (1937)

In 1937, Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios shot Snow White and the Sev­en Dwarfs with a new-fan­gled cam­era, the mul­ti­plane cam­era, which allowed car­toon ani­ma­tion to take a quan­tum leap for­ward. Thanks to this new “super car­toon cam­era,” ani­mat­ed scenes sud­den­ly looked more real­is­tic and three-dimen­sion­al. You only need to watch this pre­sen­ta­tion by Walt Dis­ney him­self (record­ed in 1957) and you’ll see what I mean. Dis­ney shot many of its clas­sic fea­ture films – Pinoc­chioFan­ta­siaBam­bi, and Peter Pan – with the mul­ti­plane cam­era, and it remained in pro­duc­tion right through The Lit­tle Mer­maid, filmed in 1989. Today, only three orig­i­nal Dis­ney mul­ti­plane cam­eras sur­vive.

A big thanks to Sergey for send­ing this vin­tage clip our way. If you see a good piece of open cul­ture, don’t hes­i­tate to send it our way

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How Walt Dis­ney Car­toons Are Made

Disney’s Oscar-Win­ning Adven­tures in Music

Don­ald Duck Wants You to Pay Your Tax­es (1943)

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Stairway to Heaven Played with Google Guitar Doodle

Google cel­e­brat­ed Les Pauls’ 96th birth­day today with a playable elec­tric gui­tar doo­dle. And, nat­u­ral­ly, some tried to make it sing. Above, we have a ver­sion of Led Zep­pelin’s Stair­way to Heav­en, while oth­ers strummed out ver­sions of The Bea­t­les’ Ob-la-di Ob-la-da, Michael Jack­son’s Bil­lie Jean, and Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi. By pop­u­lar demand, the doo­dle will stay live on Google’s home­page for an extra day.

via Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor

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British Classics on the iPad App (Free… For Now)

We told you this was com­ing, and now it’s here. The British Library has start­ed to release 60,000+ texts from the 19th cen­tu­ry in dig­i­tal for­mat. And they’re get­ting rolled out with the release of a new iPad app. (If you have any prob­lems down­load­ing the app, try doing it direct­ly from the app store on your iPad.)

The upside: The new app cur­rent­ly fea­tures 1,000 works, includ­ing Mary Shel­ley’s Franken­stein, Charles Dick­ens’ Oliv­er Twist and oth­er British clas­sics. The col­lec­tion gives you scans of the orig­i­nal edi­tions. So you can read the works as they orig­i­nal­ly appeared.

The down­side: The app won’t be free for long. Even­tu­al­ly, you’ll have to pay. So get in while you can, or just skim through our col­lec­tion of Free eBooks and Audio Books. All clas­sics, all the time…

via BBC

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Snag­Films: Free Doc­u­men­taries on the iPad (and Web)

MoMA Puts Pol­lock, Rothko & de Koon­ing on Your iPad

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Samuel Beckett in 3‑D: The Making of Unmakeable Love

Samuel Beck­et­t’s haunt­ing short sto­ry “The Lost Ones,” which tells of a group of peo­ple doomed to wan­der for­ev­er inside a nar­row cylin­dri­cal prison, makes Wait­ing for Godot seem like Lit­tle Miss Sun­shine. It is also near­ly unadapt­able since a sto­ry dri­ven by the cer­tain­ty of damna­tion leaves lit­tle room for dra­mat­ic ten­sion … until now, per­haps.

This mon­th’s New Sci­en­tist has a nice piece up about Unmake­ablelove, a 3‑D inter­ac­tive sim­u­la­tion based on “The Lost Ones” in which vir­tu­al bod­ies (cre­at­ed with motion cap­ture, the same tech­nique James Cameron used in Avatar) beat them­selves, col­lide into each oth­er, and slouch eter­nal­ly towards nowhere, all dri­ven by a force even more implaca­ble than fate: the com­put­er algo­rithms with which the piece was pro­grammed.

And as with any good work of Exis­ten­tial­ist Despair That Dooms All of Human­i­ty to A Future With­out Mean­ing or Hope, this one impli­cates the audi­ence — spec­ta­tors can only see inside the exhib­it if they sta­tion them­selves by one of six torch­es sur­round­ing the 30-foot space.  And when they do so, infrared video cam­eras project their own like­ness­es into the cylin­der. There are no spec­ta­tors.

Unmake­ablelove was cre­at­ed by Sarah Kender­dine and Jef­frey Shaw, and pre­sent­ed at the Hong Kong Inter­na­tion­al Art Fair in May. You can read more about the fas­ci­nat­ing nuts and bolts of the project here.

via Maud New­ton and A Piece of Mono­logue

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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