The Louvre’s Entire Collection Goes Online: View and Download 480,00 Works of Art

If you go to Paris, many will advise you, you must go to the Lou­vre; but then, if you go to Paris, as near­ly as many will advise you, you must not go to the Lou­vre. Both rec­om­men­da­tions, of course, had a great deal more rel­e­vance before the glob­al coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic — at this point in which art- and trav­el-lovers would glad­ly endure the infa­mous­ly tir­ing crowd­ed­ness and size of France’s most famous muse­um. But now they, and every­one else around the world, can view the Lou­ve’s art­works online, and not just the ones cur­rent­ly on dis­play: through the new por­tal, they can now view access every sin­gle one of the muse­um’s art­works online.

“For the first time ever,” says last week’s press release, “the entire Lou­vre col­lec­tion is avail­able online, whether works are on dis­play in the muse­um, on long-term loan in oth­er French insti­tu­tions, or in stor­age.”

This includes, accord­ing to the about page of the col­lec­tions’ site, not just the “more than 480,000 works of art that are part of the nation­al col­lec­tions,” but the “so-called ‘MNR’ works (Musées Nationaux Récupéra­tion, or Nation­al Muse­ums Recov­ery), recov­ered after WWII,” and “works on long-term loan from oth­er French or for­eign insti­tu­tions such as the Bib­lio­thèque Nationale de France, the Musée des Arts Déco­rat­ifs, the Petit Palais, the Fonds Nation­al d’Art Con­tem­po­rain, the British Muse­um and the archae­o­log­i­cal muse­um of Her­ak­lion.”

The mas­ter­pieces of the Lou­vre are all there, from Eugène Delacroix’s La Lib­erté guidant le peu­ple and Titian’s La Femme au miroir to the Vénus de Milo and the Great Sphinx of Tanis. But so are an enor­mous num­ber of less­er-known works like a Gio­van­ni Pao­lo Pani­ni view of the Roman forum, an anony­mous 19th-cen­tu­ry Alger­ian land­scape, Hen­drick de Cler­ck­’s Scène de l’his­toire de Psy­ché (among many oth­er Dutch paint­ings), and a pow­der flask amus­ing­ly engraved with human and ani­mal fig­ures, all of them in search of their right­ful own­ers since their retrieval from a defeat­ed Ger­many. You can also explore the Lou­vre’s online col­lec­tions by type of work: draw­ings and engrav­ings, sculp­tures, fur­ni­ture, tex­tiles, jew­el­ry and fin­ery, writ­ing and inscrip­tions, objects, and of course paint­ings. In that last cat­e­go­ry you’ll find the Mona Lisa, view­able more clear­ly than most of us ever have at the phys­i­cal Lou­vre — and down­load­able at that. Enter the col­lec­tion 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.

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:

Free Art & Art His­to­ry Cours­es

Take a Long Vir­tu­al Tour of the Lou­vre in Three High-Def­i­n­i­tion Videos

14 Paris Muse­ums Put 300,000 Works of Art Online: Down­load Clas­sics by Mon­et, Cézanne & More

When Pablo Picas­so and Guil­laume Apol­li­naire Were Accused of Steal­ing the Mona Lisa (1911)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless: How World War II Changed Cinema & Helped Create the French New Wave

Did World War II help cre­ate the French New Wave? In a round­about way, yes, accord­ing to this video essay by Nerd­writer. Although Jean-Luc Godard’s A Bout de Souf­fle (aka Breath­less) was not tech­ni­cal­ly the first Nou­velle Vague film, it was the film’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary look and feel, and Godard’s exquis­ite sense of how to work the pro­mo­tion­al machine, that caused it to rever­ber­ate around the world. A few years lat­er, many oth­er coun­tries would be launch­ing their own New Waves: Britain, Ger­many, East­ern Europe, Aus­tralia, Japan, Brazil, Iran, and Amer­i­ca. Each were par­tic­u­lar to their own coun­tries, but all sought to cre­ate an alter­na­tive to the dom­i­nant film cul­ture, either Hol­ly­wood or their own country’s Hol­ly­wood-influ­enced film indus­tries.

That deci­sion did not come about in a vac­u­um, as the video points out. After the war, France was left with $2 bil­lion in debt. For­mer Inter­im Prime Min­is­ter and then Ambas­sador Leon Blum signed an agree­ment with America’s Sec­re­tary of State James F. Byrnes to can­cel debt and to start a new line of cred­it. One of the pro­vi­sions of the 1946 Blum-Byrnes agree­ment was open­ing France up to Amer­i­can cul­tur­al prod­uct, in par­tic­u­lar Hol­ly­wood films.

In French cin­e­mas, four weeks out of every thir­teen weeks would be devot­ed to French films. The oth­er nine were reserved for for­eign (i.e. most­ly Amer­i­can) films. But the trade off includ­ed a tax on movie tick­ets, so the increased audi­ence helped fund the French film indus­try.

Cer­tain results came about that were not planned. A young cinephile gen­er­a­tion was born, and its main jour­nal was Cahiers du Cin­e­ma, edit­ed by writer and the­o­rist André Bazin. The French could not lay claim to an indus­try like Hollywood’s, but they could point to invent­ing movies as we now know them (Georges Méliès and the Lumière Broth­ers were French), and for treat­ing film as an art form (by the Sur­re­al­ists, by the Dadaists) before any­body else, and not just as enter­tain­ment.

The young crit­ics who wrote for Cahiers du Cin­e­ma cer­tain­ly loved the influx of Amer­i­can films, which they devoured dai­ly in a city like Paris, espe­cial­ly at the Ciné­math­èque Française. Curat­ed by Hen­ri Lan­glois, this cinema/museum screened both new and old films, so much so that those crit­ics began to see the artist behind the enter­tain­ment. The rise of the auteur the­o­ry, coined by Bazin among oth­ers, placed the direc­tor at the cen­ter of not just their one film, but demon­strat­ed cer­tain tech­niques and inter­ests thread­ing through all films that they direct­ed.

Although there wasn’t a lot of mon­ey float­ing around, there was still enough to make short films and those critics—Jean-Luc Godard, Fran­cois Truf­faut, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Riv­ette, Eric Rohmer, and others—would start to put into prac­tice the the­o­ry that they had been writ­ing.

After a few shorts, Godard direct­ed A Bout de Souf­fle, and the world wasn’t real­ly the same after it.

The film was shot on a hand­held cam­era, by Raoul Cotard, who had used such a cam­era in the war for news­reels. They used avail­able light. And the two actors, Jean-Paul Bel­mon­do and Jean Seberg, impro­vised around a script that Godard would write the night before. Godard turned his brain inside-out, like emp­ty­ing a bag across a table: all his cul­tur­al obses­sions, not just in cin­e­ma, but in writ­ers, philoso­phers, music, and more, all came out. If Godard was going to be an auteur, then this was how to do it. And yes, the jump-cut edit­ing, as Nerd­writer points out, was shock­ing for the time. But so was see­ing the actors walk­ing around the actu­al streets of Paris. And so was hear­ing two peo­ple talk (and talk and talk) just like they do in real life. Even if a lot of those things have become com­mon place these days, when every­body car­ries a movie cam­era in their pock­et, Breath­less still brims with life.

Over the course of the ‘60s Godard and his con­tem­po­raries would both hon­or, indulge, and then break away from Hol­ly­wood influ­ences. The dom­i­nance of Hol­ly­wood prod­uct began to feel like impe­ri­al­ism, and America’s involve­ment in Viet­nam and its over­whelm­ing influ­ence on con­sumer cul­ture would lead to the events of 1968, and Godard’s out­right rejec­tion of Hol­ly­wood. He would end up killing his mas­ters, so to speak. But that was still to come. There’s still Breath­less, and there’s still 1960 in Paris.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Jean-Luc Godard’s Film­mak­ing Mas­ter­class on Insta­gram

How Jean-Luc Godard Lib­er­at­ed Cin­e­ma: A Video Essay on How the Great­est Rule-Break­er in Film Made His Name

An Intro­duc­tion to Jean-Luc Godard’s Inno­v­a­tive Film­mak­ing Through Five Video Essays

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

Hear the Beautiful Isolated Vocal Harmonies from the Beatles’ “Something”

How many songs did Pat­tie Boyd — fash­ion mod­el, pho­tog­ra­ph­er, muse, and wife of George Har­ri­son and Eric Clap­ton — inspire? It’s hard to say, since some of the lyrics pur­port­ed­ly writ­ten for her, like those in Harrison’s break­out “Some­thing,” may have been for some­one else, then diplo­mat­i­cal­ly attrib­uted to Boyd. Or, in the case of “Some­thing” — the first Har­ri­son song to come out as a Bea­t­les A‑side sin­gle and the song that con­vinced the world of his for­mi­da­ble song­writ­ing tal­ents — they might have been about a big, blue super­nat­ur­al some­thing.

Accord­ing to Joe Taysom at Far Out mag­a­zine, Har­ri­son “became obses­sive in his stud­ies of Krish­na Con­scious­ness when he wrote the song, and more specif­i­cal­ly, its orig­i­nal intent was as a devo­tion to Lord Krish­na.” Har­ri­son “insist­ed that the orig­i­nal lyric was ‘some­thing in the way HE moves,’ but he changed it.”

The mas­cu­line pro­noun would have removed all spec­u­la­tion about Boyd but also would have con­fused lis­ten­ers in oth­er ways. In any case, Some­thing’s ambi­gu­i­ty, inher­ent in the title, made it a clas­sic. Frank Sina­tra once called it “the great­est love song ever writ­ten.”

Har­ri­son, as usu­al, demurred: “The words are noth­ing real­ly,” he said in 1969. “There are lots of songs like that in my head. I must get them down.” The song first came togeth­er dur­ing the 1968 White Album ses­sions. “There was a peri­od dur­ing that album,” he remem­bered, “when we were all in dif­fer­ent stu­dios doing dif­fer­ent things try­ing to get it fin­ished, and I used to take some time out. So I went into an emp­ty stu­dio and wrote ‘Some­thing.’” Lack­ing con­fi­dence in his abil­i­ty to per­suade the band to record it, he first tried to give the song to Apple Records artist and old Liv­er­pool friend Jack­ie Lomax. The song, he felt, came too eas­i­ly and might not be good enough, and he had lift­ed the open­ing line direct­ly from James Tay­lor.

Lomax went with anoth­er Har­ri­son tune for his first sin­gle, and the Bea­t­le con­tin­ued to work on “Some­thing,” record­ing a demo of the fin­ished song in Feb­ru­ary of 1969. But he still didn’t think of it as Bea­t­les-wor­thy and gave it to Joe Cock­er instead, who released his ver­sion that year, with Har­ri­son on gui­tar. (Har­ri­son lat­er claimed to have writ­ten the song with Ray Charles in mind.) What­ev­er his reser­va­tions, he did, of course, final­ly record “Some­thing” with his band­mates, with results famil­iar to all and every­one. But you’ve prob­a­bly nev­er heard the song as you can hear it here, with iso­lat­ed vocal har­monies “you can’t put a cig­a­rette-paper between,” writes Julian Dut­ton on Twit­ter. “Total­ly in sim­pati­co; a syn­er­gy that began I sup­pose all those years ago on the school bus.”

At the top, hear the mul­ti­track vocals that made the Bea­t­les’ “Some­thing” such an incred­i­ble record­ing (includ­ing a fun, yelp­ing sing-along to the gui­tar solo at around 1:50). Fur­ther up, hear the whole song decon­struct­ed into its parts (with time­stamps for each one at the video’s YouTube page.) And just above, hear the band fig­ure out the har­monies in a stu­dio demo of the song. It was, John Lennon con­ced­ed after Abbey Road came out, “about the best track on the album, actu­al­ly.” Paul McCart­ney said of the Har­ri­son clas­sic that “it’s the best he’s writ­ten.” And Bob Dylan lat­er remarked that “if George had had his own group and was writ­ing his own songs back then, he’d have been prob­a­bly just as big as any­body,” a the­sis Har­ri­son got to prove the fol­low­ing year with his sur­pris­ing­ly amaz­ing All Things Must Pass.

via Julian Dut­ton

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

How “Straw­ber­ry Fields For­ev­er” Con­tains “the Cra­zi­est Edit” in Bea­t­les His­to­ry

A Vir­tu­al Tour of Every Place Ref­er­enced in The Bea­t­les’ Lyrics: In 12 Min­utes, Trav­el 25,000 Miles Across Eng­land, France, Rus­sia, India & the US

When the Bea­t­les Refused to Play Before Seg­re­gat­ed Audi­ences on Their First U.S. Tour (1964)

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Udacity Running a 60% Off Sale on Online Courses Through April 13

A quick heads up: Udac­i­ty is run­ning a 60% off sale through April 13 in the US (and April 20 in all oth­er coun­tries). Found­ed by com­put­er sci­en­tist and entre­pre­neur Sebas­t­ian Thrun, Udac­i­ty part­ners with lead­ing tech com­pa­nies and offers an array of cours­es (and Nan­ode­gree pro­grams) in data sci­ence,  cyber secu­ri­ty, machine learn­ing, arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, cloud com­put­ing, and autonomous sys­tems. To get the 60% off dis­count, click here, select a course/program, and then use the code CYBER60 dur­ing the check­out process.

Note: Open Cul­ture has a part­ner­ship with Udac­i­ty. If read­ers enroll in cer­tain Udac­i­ty cours­es and pro­grams, it helps sup­port Open Cul­ture.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

200 Online Cer­tifi­cate & Micro­cre­den­tial Pro­grams from Lead­ing Uni­ver­si­ties & Com­pa­nies.

Online Degrees & Mini Degrees: Explore Mas­ters, Mini Mas­ters, Bach­e­lors & Mini Bach­e­lors from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine Is Streaming Free on YouTube

Ear­li­er this year, Michael Moore released the 2002 doc­u­men­tary Bowl­ing for Columbine on his offi­cial YouTube chan­nel. The win­ner of the Acad­e­my Award for Best Doc­u­men­tary Fea­ture, the film “set out to inves­ti­gate the long, often volatile love affair between Amer­i­cans and their firearms, uncov­er­ing the per­va­sive cul­ture of fear that keeps the nation locked and loaded.” Cri­te­ri­on goes on to write:

Equipped with a cam­era and a micro­phone, Moore fol­lows the trail of bul­lets from Lit­tle­ton, Col­orado, and Flint, Michi­gan, all the way to Kmart’s mid­west­ern head­quar­ters and NRA pres­i­dent Charl­ton Heston’s Bev­er­ly Hills man­sion, meet­ing shoot­ing sur­vivors, mili­tia mem­bers, mild-man­nered Cana­di­ans, and rock provo­ca­teur Mar­i­lyn Man­son along the way. An unprece­dent­ed pop­u­lar suc­cess that helped ush­er in a new era in doc­u­men­tary film­mak­ing, the Oscar-win­ning Bowl­ing for Columbine is a rau­cous, impas­sioned, and still trag­i­cal­ly rel­e­vant jour­ney through the Amer­i­can psy­che.”

Near­ly two decades later–and right on the heels of two mas­sacres in Atlanta and Boulder–Moore’s film has unfor­tu­nate­ly not lost its rel­e­vance. You can watch it online, right above.

via NoFilm­School

Relat­ed Con­tent

4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More

Michael Moore’s 13 Rules for Mak­ing Doc­u­men­taries — Real­ly Pow­er­ful & Enter­tain­ing Doc­u­men­taries

23 Car­toon­ists Unite to Demand Action to Reduce Gun Vio­lence: Watch the Result

When Archie Bunker’s Advice on Gun Con­trol Becomes Main­stream GOP Pol­i­cy (1972)

Meet the Forgotten Female Artist Behind the World’s Most Popular Tarot Deck (1909)

As an exer­cise draw a com­po­si­tion of fear or sad­ness, or great sor­row, quite sim­ply, do not both­er about details now, but in a few lines tell your sto­ry. Then show it to any one of your friends, or fam­i­ly, or fel­low stu­dents, and ask them if they can tell you what it is you meant to por­tray. You will soon get to know how to make it tell its tale.

- Pamela Col­man-Smith, “Should the Art Stu­dent Think?” July, 1908

A year after Arts and Crafts move­ment mag­a­zine The Crafts­man pub­lished illus­tra­tor Pamela Colman-Smith’s essay excerpt­ed above, she spent six months cre­at­ing what would become the world’s most pop­u­lar tarot deck. Her graph­ic inter­pre­ta­tions of such cards as The Magi­cianThe Tow­er, and The Hanged Man helped read­ers to get a han­dle on the sto­ry of every new­ly dealt spread.

Colman-Smith—known to friends as “Pixie”—was com­mis­sioned by occult schol­ar and author Arthur E. Waite, a fel­low mem­ber of the British occult soci­ety the Her­met­ic Order of the Gold­en Dawn, to illus­trate a pack of tarot cards.

In a humor­ous let­ter to her even­tu­al cham­pi­on, pho­tog­ra­ph­er Alfred Stieglitz, Col­man-Smith (1878 – 1951) described her 80 tarot paint­ings as “a big job for very lit­tle cash,” though she betrayed a touch of gen­uine excite­ment that they would be “print­ed in col­or by lith­o­g­ra­phy… prob­a­bly very bad­ly.”

Although Waite had some spe­cif­ic visu­al ideas with regard to the “astro­log­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance” of var­i­ous cards, Col­man-Smith enjoyed a lot of cre­ative lee­way, par­tic­u­lar­ly when it came to the Minor Arcana or pip cards.

These 56 num­bered cards are divid­ed into suits—wands, cups, swords and pen­ta­cles. Pri­or to Colman-Smith’s con­tri­bu­tion, the only exam­ple of a ful­ly illus­trat­ed Minor Arcana was to be found in the ear­li­est sur­viv­ing deck, the Sola Bus­ca which dates to the ear­ly 1490s. A few of her Minor Arcana cards, notably 3 of Swords and 10 of Wands, make overt ref­er­ence to that deck, which she like­ly encoun­tered on a research expe­di­tion to the British Muse­um.

Most­ly the images were of Col­man-Smith’s own inven­tion, informed by her sound-col­or synes­the­sia and the clas­si­cal music she lis­tened to while work­ing. Her ear­ly expe­ri­ence in a tour­ing the­ater com­pa­ny helped her to con­vey mean­ing through cos­tume and phys­i­cal atti­tude.

Here are Pacif­ic North­west witch and tarot prac­ti­tion­er Moe Bow­stern’s thoughts on Smith’s Three of Pen­ta­cles:

Pen­ta­cles are the suit of Earth, rep­re­sen­ta­tive of struc­ture and foun­da­tion. Col­man-Smith’s the­ater-influ­enced designs here iden­ti­fy the occu­pa­tions of three fig­ures stand­ing in an apse of what appears to be a cathe­dral: a car­pen­ter with tools in hand; an archi­tect show­ing plans to the group; a ton­sured monk, clear­ly the stew­ard of the build­ing project. 

The over­all impres­sion is one of build­ing some­thing togeth­er that is much big­ger than any indi­vid­ual and which may out­last any indi­vid­ual life. The col­lab­o­ra­tion is root­ed in the hands-on mate­r­i­al work of foun­da­tion build­ing, requir­ing many view­points.

A spe­cial Pix­ie Smith touch is the phys­i­cal ele­va­tion of the car­pen­ter, who would have been placed on the low­est rung of medieval soci­ety hier­ar­chies. Smith has him on a bench, show­ing the impor­tance of get­ting hands on with the project. 

For years, Col­man-Smith’s cards were referred to as the Rid­er-Waite Tarot Deck. This gave a nod to pub­lish­er William Rid­er & Son, while neglect­ing to cred­it the artist respon­si­ble for the dis­tinc­tive gouache illus­tra­tions. It con­tin­ues to be sold under that ban­ner, but late­ly, tarot enthu­si­asts have tak­en to per­son­al­ly amend­ing the name to the Rid­er Waite Smith (RWS) or Waite Smith (WS) deck out of respect for its pre­vi­ous­ly unher­ald­ed co-cre­ator.

While Col­man-Smith is best remem­bered for her tarot imagery, she was also a cel­e­brat­ed sto­ry­teller, illus­tra­tor of children’s books and a col­lec­tion of Jamaican folk tales, cre­ator of elab­o­rate toy the­ater pieces, and mak­er of images on behalf of women’s suf­frage and the war effort dur­ing WWII.

Out­side of some ear­ly adven­tures in a trav­el­ing the­ater, and friend­ships with Stieglitz, author Bram Stok­er, actress Ellen Ter­ry, and poet William But­ler Yeats, cer­tain details of her per­son­al life—namely her race and sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion—are dif­fi­cult to divine. It’s not for lack of inter­est. She is the focus of sev­er­al biogra­phies and an increas­ing num­ber of blog posts.

It’s sad, but not a total shock­er, to learn that this inter­est­ing, mul­ti-tal­ent­ed woman died in pover­ty in 1951. Her paint­ings and draw­ings were auc­tioned off, with the pro­ceeds going toward her debts. Her death cer­tifi­cate list­ed her occu­pa­tion not as artist but as “Spin­ster of Inde­pen­dent Means.” Lack­ing funds for a head­stone, she was buried in an unmarked grave.

Explore more of Pamela “Pix­ie” Colman-Smith’s illus­tra­tions and read some of her let­ters to Alfred Stieglitz at Yale University’s Bei­necke Rare Book and Man­u­script Library’s col­lec­tion.

via Messy­Nessy/Hyper­al­ler­gic

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Divine Decks: A Visu­al His­to­ry of Tarot: The First Com­pre­hen­sive Sur­vey of Tarot Gets Pub­lished by Taschen

Sal­vador Dalí’s Tarot Cards Get Re-Issued: The Occult Meets Sur­re­al­ism in a Clas­sic Tarot Card Deck

Carl Jung: Tarot Cards Pro­vide Door­ways to the Uncon­scious, and Maybe a Way to Pre­dict the Future

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

BirdCast: You Can Now Forecast the Migration of Birds Across the U.S. Just Like the Weather

We talk about the weath­er more often than we talk about most things, oth­er nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­na includ­ed. We cer­tain­ly talk about the weath­er more often than we talk about birds, much to the dis­ap­point­ment of ornitho­log­i­cal enthu­si­asts. This could be down to the com­par­a­tive robust­ness of weath­er pre­dic­tion, both as a tra­di­tion and as a dai­ly tech­no­log­i­cal pres­ence in our lives. We can hard­ly avoid see­ing the weath­er fore­cast, but when was the last time you checked the bird fore­cast? Such a thing does, in fact, exist, though it’s only come into exis­tence recent­ly, in the form of Bird­cast, which pro­vides “real-time pre­dic­tions of bird migra­tions: when they migrate, where they migrate, and how far they will be fly­ing.”

Devel­oped by Col­orado State Uni­ver­si­ty and the Cor­nell Lab of Ornithol­o­gy, Bird­Cast offers both live bird migra­tion maps and bird fore­cast migra­tion maps for the Unit­ed States. “These fore­casts come from mod­els trained on the last 23 years of bird move­ments in the atmos­phere as detect­ed by the US NEXRAD weath­er sur­veil­lance radar net­work,” says Bird­Cast’s web site.

Unprece­dent­ed in both the kind of infor­ma­tion they pro­vide and the detail in which they pro­vide it, “these bird migra­tion maps rep­re­sent­ed the cul­mi­na­tion of a 20-year long vision, so too the begin­nings of new inspi­ra­tion for the next gen­er­a­tion of bird migra­tion research, out­reach and edu­ca­tion, and appli­ca­tion.”

You can learn more about the devel­op­ment and work­ings of Bird­Cast in the record­ed webi­nar below, fea­tur­ing research asso­ciate Adri­aan Dok­ter and Julia Wang, leader of the Lights Out project, which aims to get Amer­i­cans spend­ing more time in just such a state. “Every spring and fall, bil­lions of birds migrate through the US, most­ly under the cov­er of dark­ness,” says its sec­tion of Bird­Cast’s site. “This mass move­ment of birds must con­tend with a dra­mat­i­cal­ly increas­ing but still large­ly unrec­og­nized threat: light pol­lu­tion.” The goal is “turn­ing off unnec­es­sary light­ing dur­ing crit­i­cal migra­tion peri­ods,” and with spring hav­ing begun last week­end, we now find our­selves in just such a peri­od. Luck­i­ly, our fine feath­ered friends should­n’t be dis­turbed by the glow of the Bird­Cast map on your screen. View live Bird­Cast maps here.

via Kot­tke

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Explore an Inter­ac­tive Ver­sion of The Wall of Birds, a 2,500 Square-Foot Mur­al That Doc­u­ments the Evo­lu­tion of Birds Over 375 Mil­lion Years

What Kind of Bird Is That?: A Free App From Cor­nell Will Give You the Answer

Cor­nell Launch­es Archive of 150,000 Bird Calls and Ani­mal Sounds, with Record­ings Going Back to 1929

Watch “The “Art of Fly­ing,” a Short Film Cap­tur­ing the Won­drous Mur­mu­ra­tions of the Com­mon Star­ling

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

Hear Marianne Faithfull’s Three Versions of “As Tears Go By,” Each Recorded at a Different Stage of Life (1965, 1987 & 2018)

When a 17-year-old Mar­i­anne Faith­full fin­ished the final take of her 1965 hit “As Tears Go By” — penned by a young duo of Mick Jag­ger and Kei­th Richards as one of their first orig­i­nal songs — Rolling Stones man­ag­er Andrew Loog Old­ham “came and gave me a big hug,” she recalled “‘Con­grat­u­la­tions dar­ling. You’ve got your­self a num­ber six,’ he said.”

Richards remem­bered the song in his auto­bi­og­ra­phy as “a ter­ri­ble piece of tripe” and “mon­ey for old rope,” but it actu­al­ly peaked at num­ber 22 on the Bill­board Hot 100, where it stayed for nine weeks, no small thing. So pop­u­lar was “As Tears Go By” that the Stones them­selves record­ed a ver­sion the fol­low­ing year. Their take also entered the Hot 100, where it peaked at num­ber six.

The sto­ry of the song rep­re­sents in brief the evo­lu­tion of its orig­i­nal singer. Fat­ed in her ear­ly years to be known as lit­tle more than Jagger’s muse, an image she grew to hate, Faith­full went from hang­er-on in the six­ties, “an essen­tial com­po­nent of the Swing­ing Lon­don scene,” writes review­er alrockchick; to a home­less hero­in addict; to a leg­end revived, her “whiskey-soaked” croak of a voice the per­fect vehi­cle for deliv­er­ing smoke-filled tales of weari­ness and betray­al.

Along the way, there was “As Tears Go By,” a song Faith­full came to embody, though she didn’t think much of it as a teenag­er. (See Bri­an Epstein intro­duce her on Hula­baloo, above, in 1965.)

She was “nev­er that crazy” about it, she said. “God knows how Mick and Kei­th wrote it or where it came from…. In any case, it’s an absolute­ly aston­ish­ing thing for a boy of 20 to have writ­ten a song about a woman look­ing back nos­tal­gi­cal­ly on her life.”

The “boys” had help — at first they cribbed the title “As Time Goes By” from the famous tear­jerk­er in Casablan­ca. Accord­ing to Loog Old­ham, he locked the two Stones in a room togeth­er and said, “I want a song with brick walls all around it, high win­dows and no sex.” How that became a Mar­i­anne Faith­full sig­na­ture is some­thing of a mys­tery. At times she claimed Jag­ger wrote the song for her; at oth­ers, she emphat­i­cal­ly denied it. But as the con­trast between her voice and the song’s sac­cha­rine, maudlin nature changed, so too did the pow­er of her deliv­ery, which is not to say her first record­ing didn’t war­rant the atten­tion.

“The voice on ‘As Tears Go By’ and ‘Sum­mer Nights,’” altrockchick writes, “has an airy, sur­re­al qual­i­ty; the voice on Bro­ken Eng­lish,” her 1979 come­back (which does not include “As Tears Go By”), “is as real as it gets” and only got more real with time. In a Nico-esque monot­o­ne drone, she revis­it­ed the song she made famous in the mid-six­ties in the 1987 take above for the album Strange Weath­er. She had just recent­ly got­ten clean and lost a lover to sui­cide.

The weath­ered vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty she projects is worlds away from the dreamy melan­choly of the past, her voice “a far cry from the 60s sweet­ness,” The Music Afi­ciona­do blog notes. “Years of sub­stance abuse and con­stant smok­ing dropped her pitch and made it raspy.” These qual­i­ties are even more pro­nounced in a 2018 ver­sion of the song from the album Neg­a­tive Capa­bil­i­ty. It func­tions almost as a coda for a career as an inter­preter of the songs of oth­ers, though she’s writ­ten no few of her own (and may yet release anoth­er ver­sion of “As Time Goes By.”)

She is remem­bered for much more than her first hit, but Faithfull’s revis­i­ta­tion of “As Tears Go By” over the years seems to speak to an ambiva­lent accep­tance of Mick Jagger’s con­stant pres­ence in her sto­ry — and a grace­ful, if not exact­ly uplift­ing, accep­tance of the inevitable rav­ages of age and fame.

You can hear her very recent inter­view on the Bro­ken Record pod­cast below:

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Jean-Luc Godard Shoots Mar­i­anne Faith­full Singing “As Tears Go By” (1966)

David Bowie Sings ‘I Got You Babe’ with Mar­i­anne Faith­full in His Very Last Per­for­mance As Zig­gy Star­dust (1973)

Watch the Rolling Stones Write “Sym­pa­thy for the Dev­il”: Scenes from Jean-Luc Godard’s ’68 Film One Plus One

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

« Go BackMore in this category... »
Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.