Pepper Spraying Peaceful Protestors Continues; This Time at UC Davis

It’s becom­ing a trend. Around the coun­try, police­men are pep­per spray­ing peace­ful pro­tes­tors. It start­ed in NYC when Tony Bologna, one of New York’s finest, pep­per sprayed a group of young women already cor­doned off by a police bar­ri­er. Next they man­aged to get an 84 year old woman in Seat­tle. And now Lieu­tenant John Pike gives UC Davis pro­tes­tors a face full of pep­per spray, even though they were peace­ful­ly seat­ed on the ground. To make things worse, “When stu­dents cov­ered their eyes with their cloth­ing, police forced open their mouths and pep­per-sprayed down their throats,” or so claims Nathan Brown, an assis­tant pro­fes­sor in the Eng­lish Depart­ment. (You can read a first-hand stu­dent account here.)

Ini­tial­ly the chan­cel­lor of the uni­ver­si­ty, Lin­da P.B. Kate­hi, appeared to defend the police action. But, as the video above went viral, she began chang­ing her tune and call­ing for an inves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter. Noth­ing like a lit­tle trans­paren­cy … and some pub­lic sham­ing (below) … to make peo­ple see the light.

You can read a fuller account of Fri­day’s events in the UC Davis news­pa­per. Also don’t miss the paper’s col­lec­tion of pho­tos on Flickr. And I’d also rec­om­mend the analy­sis by James Fal­lows over at The Atlantic. Here’s the mon­ey quote:

I can’t see any legit­i­mate basis for police action like what is shown here. Watch that first minute and think how we’d react if we saw it com­ing from some riot-con­trol unit in Chi­na, or in Syr­ia. The calm of the offi­cer who walks up and in a leisure­ly way pep­per-sprays unarmed and pas­sive peo­ple right in the face? We’d think: this is what hap­pens when author­i­ty is unac­count­able and has lost any sense of human con­nec­tion to a sub­ject pop­u­la­tion. That’s what I think here.

And per­haps we can add this thought. If you’re the chan­cel­lor, the per­son charged with over­see­ing the edu­ca­tion and wel­fare of stu­dents, you should­n’t rec­og­nize the prob­lem with Fri­day’s events only when the polit­i­cal heat gets turned up. Talk about a lack of human con­nec­tion.…

Updates:

Offi­cers in pep­per spray inci­dent placed on leave

Learn about pep­per spray and the harm it does

Stanford Opens Seven New Online Courses for Enrollment (Free)

This fall, Stan­ford launched a high­ly-pub­li­cized exper­i­ment in online learn­ing. The uni­ver­si­ty took three of its most pop­u­lar com­put­er sci­ence cours­es and made them freely avail­able to the world. Each course fea­tures inter­ac­tive video clips; short quizzes that pro­vide instant feed­back; and the abil­i­ty to pose high val­ue ques­tions to Stan­ford instruc­tors. The response? It has been noth­ing short of amaz­ing. One course alone (Intro­duc­tion to Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence) pulled in more than 58,000 enroll­ments.

Start­ing in Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary 2012, Stan­ford will offer sev­en new cours­es, and they’re all open for enroll­ment today. Here’s the new list (and don’t for­get to browse through our col­lec­tion of 400 Free Online Cours­es):

Com­put­er Sci­ence 101
Soft­ware Engi­neer­ing for SaaS
Human Com­put­er Inter­faces
Nat­ur­al Lan­guage Pro­cess­ing
Game The­o­ry
Prob­a­bilis­tic Graph­i­cal Mod­els
Machine Learn­ing

Anoth­er sev­en cours­es have recent­ly been added. Find the updat­ed list here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Cre­ate iPhone/iPad Apps in iOS 5 with Free Stan­ford Course

MIT Intro­duces Com­plete Cours­es to Open­Course­Ware Project

Moby Offers Up Free Music to Filmmakers

A lit­tle gift from Moby to film­mak­ers. If you’re an indie film­mak­er, non-prof­it film­mak­er or film stu­dent, you can head to MobyGratis.com, reg­is­ter for the site, and then start brows­ing through a fair­ly exten­sive cat­a­logue of record­ings — 150 record­ings in total.

As Moby tells us, you can “down­load what­ev­er you want to use in your film or video or short. The music is free as long as it’s being used in a non-com­mer­cial or non-prof­it film, video, or short.”

If you’re a com­mer­cial film­mak­er, don’t fret. Moby gives you the option to license the music, and the mon­ey will be donat­ed to the humane soci­ety.

Final­ly, film lovers, don’t miss our col­lec­tion of 1100 Free Movies Online. It includes all kinds of good clas­sics, west­erns, doc­u­men­taries, noir films and more.

Moby fans will also want to see this oth­er free­bie: Moby Lets You Down­load 4 Hours of Ambi­ent Music to Help You Sleep, Med­i­tate, Do Yoga & Not Pan­ic

via Kot­tke

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!

Look­ing for free, pro­fes­­sion­al­­ly-read audio books from Audible.com? Here’s a great, no-strings-attached deal. If you start a 30 day free tri­al with Audible.com, you can down­load two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here.

Remembering Jeff Buckley on His 45th Birthday

The gift­ed gui­tarist, singer and song­writer Jeff Buck­ley would have turned 45 years old today. As a young boy grow­ing up in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Buck­ley’s first musi­cal obses­sion was Led Zep­pelin’s Phys­i­cal Graf­fi­ti. His moth­er remem­bers him play­ing the record so often the grooves wore out. The tables were turned in 1994 when Buck­ley released his debut album, Grace, and Led Zep­pelin gui­tarist Jim­my Page found him­self lis­ten­ing to it con­stant­ly. Page thought Buck­ley was the great­est tal­ent to emerge in decades. It was an aus­pi­cious begin­ning.

Sad­ly, the young man died before he could fin­ish a sec­ond album. In 1997, at the age of 30, Buck­ley was wait­ing for some band­mates to arrive for a record­ing ses­sion in Mem­phis when he decid­ed to go for an impromp­tu swim in a slack­wa­ter chan­nel of the Mis­sis­sip­pi Riv­er. Sober and in good spir­its, he went into the water ful­ly clothed, with his boots still on, singing along to a boom­box play­ing Led Zep­pelin’s “Whole Lot­ta Love.” A tug boat passed, and a road­ie friend who was on the shore scram­bled to move the boom­box and a gui­tar away from the boat’s wake. When he turned back around, Buck­ley had dis­ap­peared.

Buck­ley nev­er had a hit record in his life­time, but his fol­low­ing has steadi­ly grown since his death. His bril­liant remake of Leonard Cohen’s “Hal­lelu­jah” (in the video above) went to the top of the iTunes down­load chart in 2008.

To learn more about this remark­able artist you can watch the 2002 BBC doc­u­men­tary, Jeff Buck­ley: Every­body Here Wants You. (See below.) The one-hour film fea­tures rare footage of Buck­ley’s ear­ly per­for­mances and inter­views, along with com­men­tary by Jim­my Page, Pat­ti Smith, Chrissie Hyn­de and many of the peo­ple who were close to Buck­ley, includ­ing his moth­er. It chron­i­cles his ear­ly work as a gui­tarist in Los Ange­les, his emer­gence as a singer and song­writer in New York, the mak­ing of Grace, and the ghost that was always shad­ow­ing Buck­ley: the com­pli­cat­ed lega­cy of his famous bio­log­i­cal father, the folk singer Tim Buck­ley, who he bare­ly knew, and who also died young.

 

French in Action: Cult Classic French Lessons from Yale (52 Episodes) Available Online

Dur­ing the 1980s, Pierre Capretz, a Yale pro­fes­sor, devel­oped French in Action, a French immer­sion pro­gram that fea­tured text­books, work­books, and a 52-episode tele­vi­sion series. Aired on PBS, the tele­vi­sion series gained a devot­ed fol­low­ing and, years lat­er, a 25th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion at Yale asked the ques­tion: Is it fair to say that French in Action now has a cult fol­low­ing?

You can watch French in Action for free online at the Annen­berg Learn­er web­site. (Scroll down the page to find the videos.) The pro­gram fol­lows the adven­tures of Robert Tay­lor, an Amer­i­can stu­dent, and Mireille Bel­leau, a young French woman. And each 30 minute episode pro­vides a con­text for learn­ing new words and expres­sions. (A cou­ple of episodes gen­er­at­ed a lit­tle con­tro­ver­sy, we should note.) The show is con­duct­ed entire­ly in French.

French in Action appears in our col­lec­tion of Free Lan­guage Lessons, which now offers primers in over 40 lan­guages, includ­ing Span­ish, Man­darin, Ital­ian and beyond.

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!

Conception to Birth Visualized

Alexan­der Tsiaras has made a career of using advances in visu­al­iza­tion tech­nol­o­gy to offer vivid tours of the human body. His books have tak­en read­ers inside the human heart, the kid­neys and vas­cu­lar sys­tem, and also human repro­duc­tion. Back in 2002, Tsiaras pub­lished From Con­cep­tion to Birth: A Life Unfolds, a book that offers a “visu­al diary of fetal devel­op­ment.” Now, near­ly a decade lat­er, he brings that visu­al diary to video at a con­fer­ence affil­i­at­ed with TED. The visu­als are impres­sive. There’s no deny­ing that. But what might leave you cold (or not) is his will­ing­ness to talk about human devel­op­ment in terms of “mys­tery, mag­ic, and divin­i­ty” rather than try­ing to grap­ple with any sci­en­tif­ic analy­sis. Is this a nod to “Intel­li­gent Design”? Or an unfor­tu­nate byprod­uct of the short talk for­mat? Who knows.…

Copenhagen Philharmonic Plays Ravel’s Bolero at Train Station

The Copen­hagen Phil­har­mon­ic Orches­tra dates all the way back to 1843, mak­ing it one of the old­est pro­fes­sion­al sym­pho­ny orches­tras around. But it’s not so old that it can’t par­take in the con­tem­po­rary flash mob trend. Ear­li­er this year, they broke out some Rav­el’s Bolero at Copen­hagen’s Cen­tral Sta­tion. Feel free to add it to a playlist that includes Verdi’s La travi­a­ta in Valen­cia, Spain and Han­del’s Mes­si­ah in the city of Broth­er­ly Love. Thanks Bob for send­ing our way.

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!

How to Potty Train Your Cat: A Handy Manual by Charles Mingus

mingus

Charles Min­gus, the inno­v­a­tive jazz musi­cian, was known for hav­ing a bad tem­per. He once got so irri­tat­ed with a heck­ler that he end­ed up trash­ing his $20,000 bass. Anoth­er time, when a pianist did­n’t get things right, Min­gus reached right inside the piano and ripped the strings out with his bare hands — a true sto­ry men­tioned in the BBC doc­u­men­tary, 1959: The Year that Changed Jazz.

But Min­gus had a soft­er, nur­tur­ing side too. If you head to the offi­cial Charles Min­gus web site, you will find a copy of the Charles Min­gus Cat Toi­let Train­ing Pro­gram, a lov­ing lit­tle guide cre­at­ed for cat own­ers every­where. The trick to pot­ty train­ing your cat comes down to edg­ing the lit­ter box clos­er to the bath­room, even­tu­al­ly plac­ing the box on the pot­ty, and then cut­ting a hole in the cen­ter of the box. Expect to spend about three weeks mak­ing the tran­si­tion. And who knows, Min­gus says, your cat may even learn to flush. The full guide appears here. Or read it below:

1

First, you must train your cat to use a home-made card­board lit­ter box, if you have not already done so. (If your box does not have a one-piece bot­tom, add a card­board that fits inside, so you have a false bot­tom that is smooth and strong. This way the box will not become sog­gy and fall out at the bot­tom. The gro­cery store will have extra flat card­boards which you can cut down to fit exact­ly inside your box.)

Be sure to use torn up news­pa­per, not kit­ty lit­ter. Stop using kit­ty lit­ter. (When the time comes you can­not put sand in a toi­let.)

Once your cat is trained to use a card­board box, start mov­ing the box around the room, towards the bath­room. If the box is in a cor­ner, move it a few feet from the cor­ner, but not very notice­ably. If you move it too far, he may go to the bath­room in the orig­i­nal cor­ner. Do it grad­u­al­ly. You’ve got to get him think­ing. Then he will grad­u­al­ly fol­low the box as you move it to the bath­room. (Impor­tant: if you already have it there, move it out of the bath­room, around, and then back. He has to learn to fol­low it. If it is too close to the toi­let, to begin with, he will not fol­low it up onto the toi­let seat when you move it there.) A cat will look for his box. He smells it.

2

Now, as you move the box, also start cut­ting the brim of the box down, so the sides get low­er. Do this grad­u­al­ly.

Final­ly, you reach the bath­room and, even­tu­al­ly, the toi­let itself. Then, one day, pre­pare to put the box on top of the toi­let. At each cor­ner of the box, cut a lit­tle slash. You can run string around the box, through these slash­es, and tie the box down to the toi­let so it will not fall off. Your cat will see it there and jump up to the box, which is now sit­ting on top of the toi­let (with the sides cut down to only an inch or so.)

Don’t bug the cat now, don’t rush him, because you might throw him off. Just let him relax and go there for awhile-maybe a week or two. Mean­while, put less and less news­pa­per inside the box.

3

One day, cut a small hole in the very cen­ter of his box, less than an apple-about the size of a plum-and leave some paper in the box around the hole. Right away he will start aim­ing for the hole and pos­si­bly even try to make it big­ger. Leave the paper for awhile to absorb the waste. When he jumps up he will not be afraid of the hole because he expects it. At this point you will real­ize that you have won. The most dif­fi­cult part is over.

From now on, it is just a mat­ter of time. In fact, once when I was clean­ing the box and had removed it from the toi­let, my cat jumped up any­way and almost fell in. To avoid this, have a tem­po­rary flat card­board ready with a lit­tle hole, and slide it under the toi­let lid so he can use it while you are clean­ing, in case he wants to come and go, and so he will not fall in and be scared off com­plete­ly. You might add some news­pa­per up there too, while you are clean­ing, in case your cat is not as smart as Nightlife was.

4

Now cut the box down com­plete­ly until there is no brim left. Put the flat card­board, which is left, under the lid of the toi­let seat, and pray. Leave a lit­tle news­pa­per, still. He will rake it into the hole any­way, after he goes to the bath­room. Even­tu­al­ly, you can sim­ply get rid of the card­board alto­geth­er. You will see when he has got his bal­ance prop­er­ly.

Don’t be sur­prised if you hear the toi­let flush in the mid­dle of the night. A cat can learn how to do it, spurred on by his instinct to cov­er up. His main thing is to cov­er up. If he hits the flush knob acci­den­tal­ly and sees that it cleans the bowl inside, he may remem­ber and do it inten­tion­al­ly.

Also, be sure to turn the toi­let paper roll around so that it won’t roll down eas­i­ly if the cat paws it. The cat is apt to roll it into the toi­let, again with the inten­tion of cov­er­ing up- the way he would if there were still kit­ty lit­ter.

It took me about three or four weeks to toi­let train my cat, Nightlife. Most of the time is spent mov­ing the box very grad­u­al­ly to the bath­room. Do it very slow­ly and don’t con­fuse him. And, remem­ber, once the box is on the toi­let, leave it a week or even two. The main thing to remem­ber is not to rush or con­fuse him.

Bonus: Below you can hear Reg E. Cathey read The Charles Min­gus CAT-alog for Toi­let Train­ing Your Cat.

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!

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.