Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In The Name” Performed By the North Korean Military Chorus : A Clever Fake

Want to see North Korea’s Military Chorus perform Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In The Name”? You really do? This may be the closest you’ll ever get.  Watch it, and thank YouTuber Lars von Retriever for the clever edit…

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The Depths of Wikipedia: Enjoy a Compendium of the Online Encyclopedia’s Most Bizarre Pages

@depthsofwikipedia If the authorities kill me for making this tiktok just know I loved you guys #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner ♬ original sound – Annie Rauwerda

What’s your stance on Wikipedia, the free, open content online encyclopedia?

Students are often discouraged or disallowed from citing Wikipedia as a source, a bias that a Wikipedia entry titled “Wikipedia should not be considered a definitive source in and of itself” supports:

As a user-generated source, it can be edited by anyone at any time, and any information it contains at a particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or simply incorrect. Biographies of living persons, subjects that happen to be in the news, and politically or culturally contentious topics are especially vulnerable to these issues…because Wikipedia is a volunteer-run project, it cannot constantly monitor every contribution. There are many errors that remain unnoticed for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.


(Another entry counsels those who would persist to cite the exact time, date, and article version they are referencing.)

Wikipedia has a clearly stated policy prohibiting contributors from close paraphrasing or outright copying and pasting from outside sources, though in a bit of a circle-in-a-circle situation, several noted authors and journalists have been caught plagiarizing Wikipedia articles.

A list of Wikipedia controversies, published on – where else? – Wikipedia is a hair raising litany of political sabotage, character assassination, and “revenge edits”. (The list is currently substantiated by 338 reference links, and has been characterized as in need of update since October 2021, owing to a lack of edits regarding the “controversy about Mainland Chinese editors.”)


It can be a pretty scary place, but University of Michigan senior Annie Rauwerda, creator of the Instagram account Depths of Wikipedia is unfazed. As she wrote in an article for the tech publication Input:

Wikipedia is a splendidly extensive record of almost everything that matters; a modern-day Library of Alexandria that’s free, accessible, and dynamic. But Wikipedia is characterized not only by what it is but also by what it is not. It’s not a soapbox, a battleground, nor a blog.


It’s also becoming famous as Rauwerda’s playground, or more accurately, a packed swap shop in which millions of bizarre items are tucked away.

If your schedule limits the amount time you can spend down its myriad rabbit holes, Rauwerda will do the digging for you.

Turning a selection of Wikipedia excerpts into a collage for a friend’s quaran-zine inspired her to keep the party going with screenshots of oddball entries posted to a dedicated Instagram account.

Her followers don’t seem to care whether a post contains an image or not, though the neuroscience major finds that emotional, short or animal-related posts generate the most excitement. “I used to post more things that were conceptual,” she told Lithium Magazine,  “like mind-blowing physics concepts, but those didn’t lend themselves to Instagram as well since they require a few minutes of thinking and reading.”

The bulk of what she posts come to her as reader submissions, though in a pinch, she can always turn to the “holy grail” – Wikipedia’s own list of unusual articles.

In addition to Instagram, her discoveries find their way into an infrequently published newsletter, and onto TikTok and Twitter, where some of our recent faves include the definition of humster, a list of games that Buddha would not play, and the Paul O’Sullivan Band, “an internationally based, pop-rock band consisting of four members, all of whom are named Paul O’Sullivan.”

Along the way, she has found ways to give back, co-hosting a virtual edit-a-thon and bringing some genuine glamour to a livestreamed Wikipedia trivia contest.

And she recently authored a serious article for Slate about Russians scrambling to download a 29-gigabyte file containing Russian-language Wikipedia after the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) threatened to block it over content related to the invasion of Ukraine.

(You can read more about how that’s going on Wikipedia…)

Submit a link to Wikipedia page for possible inclusion on the Depths of Wikipedia here.

Follow Annie Rauwinda’s Depths of Wikipedia on Instagram and TikTok.

via NYTimes

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

How to Open a Door: A Finnish Instructional Video from 1979

Before you get started, turn on the subtitles by clicking the “CC” button on the lower right side of the video.

Did you know that one out of every three people opens a door incorrectly. You–yes, you–might be doing it all wrong. But this Finnish instructional video from 1979 has you covered. Watch and learn. This clip will–as they say–open so many doors to you…

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 cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

via BoingBoing

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This Is What It Sounds Like When a Harpist Plays “Amazing Grace” and a String Suddenly Breaks

Lisa Warren was peacefully playing “Amazing Grace” on her harp, when suddenly the c string broke and–as she says–“scared the daylights out of me.” Harp playing, it’s not for the faint of heart…

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 cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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Hunter S. Thompson Sets His Christmas Tree on Fire, Almost Burns His House Down (1990)

It was something of a Christmas ritual at Hunter S. Thompson’s Colorado cabin, Owl Farm. Every year, his secretary Deborah Fuller would take down the Christmas tree and leave it on the front porch rather than dispose of it entirely. That’s because Hunter, more often than not, wanted to set it on fire. In 1990, Sam Allis, a writer for then formidable TIME magazine, visited Thompson’s home and watched the fiery tradition unfold. He wrote:

I gave up on the interview and started worrying about my life when Hunter Thompson squirted two cans of fire starter on the Christmas tree he was going to burn in his living-room fireplace, a few feet away from an unopened wooden crate of 9-mm bullets. That the tree was far too large to fit into the fireplace mattered not a whit to Hunter, who was sporting a dime-store wig at the time and resembled Tony Perkins in Psycho. Minutes earlier, he had smashed a Polaroid camera on the floor.

Hunter had decided to videotape the Christmas tree burning, and we later heard on the replay the terrified voices of Deborah Fuller, his longtime secretary-baby sitter, and me off-camera pleading with him, “NO, HUNTER, NO! PLEASE, HUNTER, DON’T DO IT!” The original manuscript of Hell’s Angels was on the table, and there were the bullets. Nothing doing. Thompson was a man possessed by now, full of the Chivas Regal he had been slurping straight from the bottle and the gin he had been mixing with pink lemonade for hours.

The wooden mantle above the fireplace apparently still has burn marks on it today. It’s one of the many things you can check out when Owl Creek starts running museum tours some time in the future.

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 cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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A Harp Played with a Heavy Distortion Pedal

You’ve had the thought experiment in your head. What would happen if you run a harp through a heavy distortion pedal? Now you can see how it all plays out. Emily Hopkins has been playing the harp for over 20 years and has recently taken to experimenting with harp distortion. Above, you can watch her experiment with the Nepenthes by Electrofoods, the heaviest distortion pedal she could find. Other pedal distortion experiments can be found 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 cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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Take a Trip to the LSD Museum, the Largest Collection of “Blotter Art” in the World

When Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters kicked off Haight-Ashbury’s counterculture in the 1960s, LSD was the key ingredient in their potent mix of drugs, the Hell’s Angels, the Beat poets, and their local band The Warlocks (soon to become The Grateful Dead). Kesey administered the drug in “Acid Tests” to find out who could handle it (and who couldn’t) after he stole the substance from Army doctors, who themselves administered it as part of the CIA’s MKUltra experiments. Not long afterward, Grateful Dead soundman Owsley “Bear” Stanley synthesized “the purest form of LSD ever to hit the street,” writes Rolling Stone, and became the country’s biggest supplier, the “king of acid.”

Whatever uses it might have had in psychiatric settings — and there were many known at the time — LSD was made illegal in 1968 by the U.S. government, repressing what the government had itself helped bring into being. But it has since returned with newfound respectability. “Once dismissed as the dangerous dalliances of the counterculture,” writes Nature, psychedelic drugs are “gaining mainstream acceptance” in clinical treatment. Psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD “have been steadily making their way back into the lab,” notes Scientific American. “Scientists are rediscovering what many see as the substances’ astonishing therapeutic potential.”

None of this comes as news to San Francisco fixture Mark McCloud. “In the same moralistic manner many San Franciscans pontificate on the health benefits of marijuana,” writes Gregory Thomas at Mission Local, “McCloud and his friends tout the merits of acid.” Next to curing “anxiety, depression and ‘marital problems,’” it is also an important source  of folk art, says McCloud, the owner and sole proprietor of the informally-named “LSD Museum” housed in his three-story Victorian home in San Francisco.

His mission in creating and maintaining the museum formally called the Institute of Illegal Images, he says, is to “preserve a ‘skeletal’ remnant of San Francisco’s drug-induced 1960s legacy, ‘so maybe our children can better understand us.’”

Specifically, as Culture Trip explains, McCloud preserves the art on sheets of blotter acid. As is clear from the many pop cultural references on blotter art — like Beavis and Butthead and techno artist Plastikman (who named his debut album Sheet One) — the 60s blotter acid legacy extended far beyond its founders’ vision in underground scenes throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, and oughts.

Also known as the Blotter Barn or the Institute of Illegal Images, McCloud’s house is located on 20th Street between Mission and Capp. The house preserves over 33,000 sheets of LSD blotter, treating them like tiny little works of art. Most of the sheets are framed and hanging on McCloud’s walls, decorating the home with vibrant colors and patterns, and the rest are kept safe in binders. The house also features a perforation board, allowing McCloud to turn any work of art sized 7.5 by 7.5 inches into 900 pieces, as is typical for LSD blotter sheets.

McCloud has faced intense scrutiny from the FBI, and on a couple of occasions — in 1992 and again in 2001 — arrest and trial by “not very sympathetic” juries, who nonetheless acquitted him both times. Despite the fact that he has a larger collection of blotter acid sheets than the DEA, he and his museum have withstood prosecution and attempts to shut them down, since all the sheets in his possession have either never been dipped in LSD or have become chemically inactive over time. (The museum’s website explains the origins of “blotter” paper as a means of preparing LSD doses after the drug was criminalized in California in 1966.)

“What fascinates me about blotter is what fascinates me about all art. It changes your mind,” says McCloud in the Wired video at the top of the post. None of his museum’s artwork will change your mind in quite the way it was intended, but the mere association with hallucinogenic experiences is enough to inspire the artists “to build the myriad of subject matter appearing on the blotters,” Atlas Obscura writes, “ranging from the spiritual (Hindu gods, lotus flowers) to whimsical (cartoon characters), as well as cultural commentary (Gorbachev) and the just plain demented (Ozzy Osbourne).”

The museum does not keep regular hours and was only open by appointment before COVID-19. These days, it’s probably best to make a virtual visit at blotterbarn.com, where you’ll find dozens of images of acid blotter paper like those above and learn much more about the history and culture of LSD during long years of prohibition — a condition that seems poised to finally end as governments give up the wasteful, punishing War on Drugs and allow scientists and psychonauts to study and explore altered states of consciousness again.

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

A Duck Gets a Prosthetic Leg & Waddles Along

Waddles the Duck was born with a mangled left leg. So what does his caretaker–Ben Weinman, the guitarist of Suicidal Tendencies–do? Gets him a 3D printed prosthetic, with the help of Derrick Campana, a Certified Pet Prostheticist at Bionic Pets, notes Laughing Squid. And, for a brief moment, the world’s ok.

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 cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.