The Books on Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List: Naipaul, Ondaatje & More

Photo by Pete Souza via obamawhitehouse.archive.gov As the current president grinds his ax on Twitter, the former one reads and reflects. Yesterday, Barack Obama posted on Facebook his summer reading list, a mix of novels, memoirs, and instructive non-fiction. He writes: One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things […]

The Books on Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List: Naipaul, Ondaatje & More is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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French Illustrator Revives the Byzantine Empire with Magnificently Detailed Drawings of Its Monuments & Buildings: Hagia Sophia, Great Palace & More

The Byzantine Empire fell in the mid-15th century, but something of its spirit still lives on. A great deal of it lives on in the work of the French illustrator Antoine Helbert. “This passion was kindled by a birthday gift from his mother,” writes a blogger named Herve Risson in a post about it. “This gift was […]

French Illustrator Revives the Byzantine Empire with Magnificently Detailed Drawings of Its Monuments & Buildings: Hagia Sophia, Great Palace & More is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

How Aretha Franklin Turned Otis Redding’s “Respect” Into a Civil Rights and Feminist Anthem

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T…” You know the rest. When R&B legend Otis Redding, who wrote and first recorded “Respect,” heard Aretha Franklin’s version of the song, he reportedly said, “well, I guess it’s that girl’s song now.” Aretha didn’t just cover Redding’s song, she “flipped the script,” notes The Washington Post video above, turning his call for entitlement into […]

How Aretha Franklin Turned Otis Redding’s “Respect” Into a Civil Rights and Feminist Anthem is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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How an Art Conservator Completely Restores a Damaged Painting: A Short, Meditative Documentary

We here at Open Culture take great pleasure in soup to nuts documentaries of master craftspeople at work, particularly when the narration has been left out deliberately. The meditative effect is more powerful that way, as is our wonderment. We can always go rabbiting after the technical specs of the trade being plied if we’re […]

How an Art Conservator Completely Restores a Damaged Painting: A Short, Meditative Documentary is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Hundreds of Classical Sculptures from the Uffizi Gallery Now Digitized & Put Online: Explore a Collection of 3D Interactive Scans

As the mighty House of Medici amassed works of art between the 15th and 18th centuries, could its members have imagined that we would still be enjoying their collection in the 21st? Perhaps they did, given the tendency — sometimes fatal — of business and political dynasties to imagine themselves as eternal. But the Medicis […]

Hundreds of Classical Sculptures from the Uffizi Gallery Now Digitized & Put Online: Explore a Collection of 3D Interactive Scans is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

Aretha’s Franklin’s Pitch-Perfect Performance in The Blues Brothers, the Film That Reinvigorated Her Career (1980)

There are many films of the 70s and 80s that could never get made today. This is not your grumpy uncle’s rant about political correctness gone wild. In many cases, it’s very much for the best. (And did we ever need “movies” like Porky’s or Hardbodies in the first place? I’m going to say no.) Styles and […]

Aretha’s Franklin’s Pitch-Perfect Performance in <i>The Blues Brothers</i>, the Film That Reinvigorated Her Career (1980) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

David Bowie’s “Heroes” Delightfully Performed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Cover tunes are not tribute bands. The best covers don’t aim to be carbon copies. They expand our concept of the original with an unexpected element or fresh lens. Would you believe me if I told you that the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s take on David Bowie’s “Heroes”—the second most covered tune in the […]

David Bowie’s “Heroes” Delightfully Performed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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Bauhaus Ballet: A Dance of Geometry

During the past month, the Great Big Story has released a series of videos that revisit the design aesthetic of the Bauhaus movement. Their first video explored the radical buildings designed by Bauhaus architects. A second focused on the legacy of minimalist Bauhaus furniture. And now a third takes as its subject Oskar Schlemmer’s 1922 “Triadic Ballet”–a ballet famous […]

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How Aleister Crowley, the Infamous Occultist, Led the First Attempt to Reach the Summit of K2 (1902)

It sounds like the plot of a Werner Herzog film: Aleister Crowley, heir to a brewing fortune and “flamboyant, bisexual drug fiend with a fascination for the occult,” meets “son of a well-known Jewish Socialist” Oscar Eckenstein, “a chemist turned railway engineer.” The two strike up a friendship over their mutual passion for mountaineering, and, […]

How Aleister Crowley, the Infamous Occultist, Led the First Attempt to Reach the Summit of K2 (1902) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

See the First Ever Video of Elvis Costello Performing, Summer 1974

The setting: London. In particular, Stepney, London E1. The year, a warm summer in 1974, July 21 to be exact. And a very early video camera, only able to shoot in black and white, records the events of the E1 Festival, a free day out for families, restless teens, and bell bottomed, long-haired youth enjoying […]

See the First Ever Video of Elvis Costello Performing, Summer 1974 is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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