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"George Washington (with bow and arrow) pictured alongside the Goddess of America"Though I'm American myself, I always learn the most about America when I look outside it. When I want to hear my homeland described or see it reflected, I seek out the perspective of anyone other than my fellow Americans.

Given that I live in Korea, such perspectives aren't hard to come by, and every day here I learn something new — real or imagined — about the United States.

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And judging by Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi ( ), an 1861 book by writer Kanagaki Robun and artist Utagawa Yoshitora, it certainly has a more fantastical one.

 "Here is George Washington (with bow and arrow) pictured alongside the Goddess of America," writes historian of Japan Nick Kapur in a Twitter thread featuring selections from the book 17 Sep 2015 - All the essential social media, blogs, and websites you need to understand publish essay after essay, all lovely, about the culture of science itself. Science & Nature | Magazines The two best scientific journals in the world .

"George Washington defending his wife 'Carol' from a British official"History does record Washington having practiced archery in his youth, among other popular sports of the day, and the image of the Goddess of America does look like a faintly Japanese version of Columbia, the historical female personification of the United States. The next image Kaur posts shows Christopher Columbus reporting his discovery of America to Queen Isabella of Spain.

"So far, kinda normal," but then comes a bit of artistic license: a scene from the American Revolution in which we see "George Washington defending his wife 'Carol' from a British official named 'Asura' (same characters as the Buddhist deity). " Other illustrated events from early American history include "Washington's "second-in-command" John Adams battling an enormous snake," "the incredibly jacked Benjamin Franklin firing a cannon that he holds in his bare hands, while John Adams directs him where to fire," and "George Washington straight-up punching a tiger.

""George Washington straight-up punching a tiger"The founding of the United States, as Kanagaki and Utagawa saw it, seems to have required the defeat of many a fearsome beast, including a giant snake that eats Adams' mother and against which Adams must then team up with an eagle to slay. What truth we can find here may be metaphorical in nature: even in the mid-19th century, the world still saw America as a vast, wild continent just waiting to enrich those brave and strong enough to subdue it.

Global interest in the still-new republic also ran particularly high at that time, as evidenced by the popularity of publications like Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (which still offers an insightful outsider's perspective on America), first published in 1835 and 1840. "Together, John Adams and the eagle kill the enormous snake that ate his Mom.

The power of teamwork!!!"Japan, long a closed country, had also begun to take a keen interest in the outside world: American Commodore Matthew Perry and his warships, filled with technology then unimaginable to the Japanese, had arrived in 1853 with an intent to open Japan's ports to trade. In 1868 the Meiji Restoration would consolidate imperial rule in the country and open it to the world, but Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi, which you can read in its entirety in digitized form at Waseda Unversity's web site, came out seven years before that.

At that time, the likes of Kanagaki and Utagawa, relying on second-hand sources, could still thrill their countrymen — none of whom had any more direct experience of America than they did — with tales of the grotesque creatures, vile oppressors, heroic rebels, and guiding goddesses to be found just on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Related Content:Music lovers bracing against the annual onslaught of the Singing Dogs’ "Jingle Bells" may find their savage beasts soothed somewhat by Eddy Chen’s performance of Pachelbel’s Canon, above.

Never mind that the instrument on which he plays four different tracks is a rubber chicken… or more accurately, as per Amazon, a Screaming Yellow Rubber Chicken Non Toxic Bite-resistant Squeaky Toy. Chen, one half of Australian duo TwoSetViolin, plays that bird like the disciplined, classically-trained pro he is. Classical chicken covers became a surprise hit for Chen and his partner, Brett Yang, veterans of the Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, whose virtually sold out world tour was the first of its kind to be entirely financed by Kickstarter donations.

The duo describes its mission as “upholding the integrity of classical music” while making it “relevant to the modern generation through fun, humour and simplicity,” noting, in a joint interview with :There are people out there who are ready to love classical music, and we have to actively find them. It is the way classical music has been presented so far that makes it so austere. We were lucky that we learned the instrument for 20 years; if we were not musicians, it would be very hard to get into.

Everyone has the potential to like it, but sometimes musicians alienate and scare potential listeners with our pride 14 Apr 2015 - According to those within the industry, buying papers is a necessary them, the act of purchasing papers online is no different than plagiarism..

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Today our (classical music audience) is very small, but there are many great musicians Granted, the standards for classical music are there for a good reason: people want the best art, and that is a standard we should uphold. At the same time, sometimes we see people breaking down and freaking out because of those standards.

It is sad to think of all that lost potential and love for music. We feel we are losing audiences; we are losing people who used to love music.

The chicken definitely appeals to young listeners, though surely there’s no age limit for enjoying its take on Erik Satie’s It was the opposite of superstar rock concerts, or even a sweaty, dark stage like that at CBGB’s in New York. But the dining hall at Folsom Prison was the setting for a concert that would give Johnny Cash, on the verge of a career collapse, a second chance on life.

And it would become one of the unlikeliest venues in the history of country music. Nothing was the same after this unlikeliest of turnarounds.

After the album recorded at this gig, Cash would be hurtled into superstardom. And instead of being a drug and alcohol casualty, he’d take on the mantel of elder statesman with a hint of danger. No, he’d never killed a man in Reno just to watch him die, but when he sang it in that long drawl, you could believe so.

None of the original artists that played on Sun Records had a second act quite like Cash. And that’s all down to the decision to play a concert at California’s Folsom Prison, in which he had set one of his most famous songs from 1953.

In Polyphonic’s nine minute mini-doc above on the making of this classic album, he tries to piece together what makes the Folsom Prison album so special. You might not think of the album as a radical piece of late ‘60s music similar to The White Album or Beggar’s Banquet, but it is.

For it was birthed with the help of producer Bob Johnston, who had a try-anything attitude that was very much in the air in 1968. The recording is raw and very, very live sounding.

Cash’s voice is similarly raw and flubs and mistakes were kept in. (But as the video points out, some of the audience noises were edited for greater impact, like a ‘whoop’ after Cash’s infamous “Reno” line.

) June Carter’s sweet voice contrasts with Cash’s, but there’s an air of tension to the duets, as these men probably haven’t seen a young woman in the flesh for a very long time Examines topics that span societies, nations and cultures, providing strategies for the systematic testing Articles most recently published online for this journal..

Cash sings like he’s one of them, and his songs are of isolation and loneliness. He even sings a song written by an inmate called “Greystone Chapel.

” While so many acts at this time were stripping away artifice--think of Bob Dylan’s turn away from his psychedelic mid-‘60s height--Cash beat them all to it with unadorned honesty, humor, and in the middle of a prison, a sense of joy. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the album, and the racial make-up of Folsom has changed--it’s gone from a majority white prison to one populated by African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians.

And while country music would not get the same reception now as it did then, the biggest change is that prisoners make the music themselves. In a Los Angeles Times article about the prison, “the musicians at Folsom have formed hip-hop, hard rock/heavy metal, Latin rock, alt-rock, smooth jazz and progressive rock ensembles within Folsom’s walls.

” One recent artist to visit and perform was hip-hop musician Common. But none of that would have happened without Cash’s historic visit.

As he told the Times’ Robert Hilburn about that moment, “I knew this was it. My chance to make up for all the times when I had messed up.

There was something in their eyes that made me realize everything was going to be okay.

”Related Content:It's a perverse irony or an apt metaphor: Leonard Cohen is best known for a song that took him five years to write, and that went almost unheard on its debut, in part because the head of Columbia’s music division, Walter Yetnikoff, refused to release Cohen’s 1985 album Various Positions in the U.

“Leonard, we know you’re great,” said Yetnikoff, “We just don’t know if you’re any good.

” It might have been Cohen’s summation of life itself. It wasn’t until Jeff Buckley’s electric gospel cover in 1994 (itself a take on John Cale’s version) that “Hallelujah” became the massive hit it is, having now been covered by over 300 artists. Canadian magazine Maclean’s has called the song “pop music’s closest thing to a sacred text.

” One can imagine Cohen looking deep into the eyes of those who think that “Hallelujah” is a hymn of praise and saying, “you don’t really care for music, do ya?”With the trappings and imagery of gospel, and a sleazy synth-driven groove, it tells a story of being tied to a chair and overpowered, kept at an emotional distance, learning how to “shoot somebody who outdrew ya.

” Love, sings Cohen sings in his lounge-lizard voice, “is not a victory march… It’s not somebody who’s seen the light Your guide to FREE educational media. Find thousands of free online courses, audio books, textbooks, eBooks, language lessons, movies and more..

” If you’re looking to Leonard Cohen for redemption, best look elsewhere. Used in film and television for moments of epiphany, triumph, grief, and relief, “Hallelujah,” like all of Cohen’s work, makes profane and prophetic utterances in which beauty and ugliness always coexist, in a painful arrangement no one gets clear of.

Cohen will not let us choose between darkness and light. In the last years of his life, he brought his tragic vision to a remarkable climax in his final, 2016 album, You Want it Darker. Last month, the final act in his magisterial career premiered in the form of The Flame.

The book is “a collection of poems, lyrics, drawings, and pages from his notebooks,” writes The Paris Review, who quote from Cohen's son Adam’s forward: “This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet…. It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.

One of his last poems issues forth an enigmatic and terrifying prophecy, hammering away at the conceits of human power.

you aren’t going to likewhat comes afterBut The Flame is not all jeremiad. In some ways it’s a turn from the grim, oracular voice of "You Want it Darker" and to a more intimate, at times quotidian and confessional, Cohen.

“All sides of the man are present” in this book of poems and sketches writes Scott Timberg at The Guardian. “Was he, in the end, a musician or a poet? A grave philosopher or a grim sort of comedian? A cosmopolitan lady’s man or a profound, ascetic seeker? Jew or Buddhist? Hedonist or hermit?” Yes.

Cohen’s work, his son says, “was a mandate from God. " The writing of his final poems “was all private.

" “My father was very interested in preserving the magic of his process. ”However else we interpret Leonard Cohen’s theo-mythic-philosophical incantations, he made a few things clear. What he meant by "God" was deeper and darker than what most people do.

And to trivialize the mysteries of life and love and death and song, to pretend we understand them, he suggests, is a grave and tragic, but perhaps inevitable, mistake. "Related Content:When we think of the Apollo missions, we tend to think of images, especially those broadcast on television during the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

And if we think of the sounds of Apollo, what comes more quickly to mind — indeed, what sound in human history could come more quickly to mind — than Neil Armstrong's "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" line spoken on that same mission? But that's just one small piece of the total amount of audio recordings made during the Apollo program, which ran from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. Now, with nearly 20,000 hours of them digitized, they've begun to be made available for listening and downloading at the Internet Archive.

"After the Apollo missions ended, most of the audio tapes eventually made their way to the National Archives and Records Administration building in College Park, Maryland," writes Astronomy's Catherine Meyers. But even after getting all the recordings in one place (easier said than done given the vast size of the archives in which they resided), a much larger challenge loomed.

"The existing tapes could be played only on a machine called a SoundScriber, a big beige and green contraption complete with vacuum tubes. NASA had two machines, but the first was cannibalized for parts to make the second one run.

"Refurbishing the very last SoundScriber to play these 30-track tapes required the help of a retired technician, and then the research team needed to "play all 30 tracks at once to minimize the time required to digitize them, as well as to avoid damaging the almost 50-year-old tapes by playing them over and over. " What with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing approaching next summer — and with First Man, Damien Chazelle's biopic of Neil Armstrong currently in theaters — NASA has cleared that mission's audio recordings for public release.

You can listen to the Apollo 11 tapes directly at the Internet Archive, or you can make your way through them at Explore Apollo, a site designed by students at the University of Texas at Dallas that highlights the most historically significant of the thousands of hours of audio recorded during Apollo 11: not just Armstrong's first step, but the launch from Kennedy Space Center, the lunar landing itself, and the astronauts' walk on the moon's surface. But space exploration is about much more than astronauts, as you'll soon find out if you spend much time at the Internet Archive's collection of Apollo 11 recordings, on which appear not just Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, but the hundreds and hundreds of other NASA personnel who made the moon landing possible.

We may never have heard their names before, but now we can finally hear their voices. Related Content:1: To get started, write one true sentence.

Hemingway had a simple trick for overcoming writer's block. In a memorable passage in Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made.

I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.

" So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.

It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say.

If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written 22 Sep 2017 - The 12 Best Science Websites for News, Research, and Features explore scientific research through the lens of the people, culture, politics, .

2: Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next. There is a difference between stopping and foundering.

To make steady progress, having a daily word-count quota was far less important to Hemingway than making sure he never emptied the well of his imagination. In an October 1935 article in The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next.

If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.

3: Never think about the story when you're not working. Building on his previous advice, Hemingway says never to think about a story you are working on before you begin again the next day.

"That way your subconscious will work on it all the time," he writes in the Esquire piece. "But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.

" He goes into more detail in A Moveable Feast:When I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing you were writing before you could go on with it the next day.

It was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved. But afterwards, when you were empty, it was necessary to read in order not to think or worry about your work until you could do it again. I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.

4: When it's time to work again, always start by reading what you've written so far. T0 maintain continuity, Hemingway made a habit of reading over what he had already written before going further.

In the 1935 Esquire article, he writes:The best way is to read it all every day from the start, correcting as you go along, then go on from where you stopped the day before. When it gets so long that you can't do this every day read back two or three chapters each day; then each week read it all from the start.

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The key is to not only watch and listen closely to external events, but to also notice any emotion stirred in you by the events and then trace back and identify precisely what it was that caused the emotion. If you can identify the concrete action or sensation that caused the emotion and present it accurately and fully rounded in your story, your readers should feel the same emotion.

In Death in the Afternoon, Hemingway writes about his early struggle to master this:I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing truly what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced. In writing for a newspaper you told what happened and, with one trick and another, you communicated the emotion aided by the element of timeliness which gives a certain emotion to any account of something that has happened on that day; but the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always, was beyond me and I was working very hard to get it.

Hemingway often used a typewriter when composing letters or magazine pieces, but for serious work he preferred a pencil.

In the Esquire article (which shows signs of having been written on a typewriter) Hemingway says:When you start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none. So you might as well use a typewriter because it is that much easier and you enjoy it that much more.

After you learn to write your whole object is to convey everything, every sensation, sight, feeling, place and emotion to the reader. If you write with a pencil you get three different sights at it to see if the reader is getting what you want him to. First when you read it over; then when it is typed you get another chance to improve it, and again in the proof.

Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it. It also keeps it fluid longer so you can better it easier.

Hemingway was contemptuous of writers who, as he put it, "never learned how to say no to a typewriter.

" In a 1945 letter to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, Hemingway writes:It wasn't by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.

Follow Open Culture on Occasionally and with diminishing frequency, we still lament the lost art of letter-writing, mostly because of the degradation of the prose style we use to communicate with one another This site uses cookies to improve your experience and deliver personalised advertising. You can opt out at any time or find out more by reading our cookie policy .

But writing letters, in its long heyday, involved much more than putting words on paper: there were choices to be made about the pen, the ink, the stamp, the envelope, and before the envelope, the letterlocking technique.

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"To seal a modern-day envelope (on the off chance you’re sealing an envelope at all), it takes a lick or two, at most," writes Atlas Obscura's Abigail Cain. Not so for the likes of Mary Queen of Scots or Machiavelli: "In those days, letters were folded in such a way that they served as their own envelope.

Depending on your desired level of security, you might opt for the simple, triangular fold and tuck; if you were particularly ambitious, you might attempt the dagger-trap, a heavily booby-trapped technique disguised as another, less secure, type of lock. "Beginning with "the spread of flexible, foldable paper in the 13th century" and ending around "the invention of the mass-produced envelope in the 19th century," letterlocking "fits into a 10,000-year history of document security — one that begins with clay tablets in Mesopotamia and extends all the way to today’s passwords and two-step authentication.

"We know about letterlocking today thanks in large part to the efforts of Jana Dambrogio, Thomas F. According to MIT News' Heather Denny, Dambrogio first got into letterlocking (and far enough into it to come up with that term herself) "as a fellow at the Vatican Secret Archives," previously featured here on Open Culture. "In the Vatican’s collection she discovered paper letters from the 15th and 16th centuries with unusual slits and sliced-off corners.

Curious if the marks were part of the original letter, she discovered that they were indications the letters had originally been locked with a slice of paper stabbed through a slit, and closed with a wax seal. "She and her collaborator Daniel Starza Smith have spent years trying to reconstruct the many variations on that basic method used by letter-writers of old, and you can see one of them, which Mary Queen of Scots used to lock her final letter before her execution, in the video at the top of the post.

Though we in the age of round-the-world, round-the-clock instant messaging — an age when even e-mail feels increasingly quaint — may find this impressively elaborate, we won't have even begun to grasp the sheer variety of letterlocking experience until we explore the letterlocking Youtube channel. Its videos include demonstrations of techniques historically used in England, Italy, America, East Asia, and elsewhere, some of them practiced by notables both real and imagined.

Tempting though it is to imagine a direct digital-security equivalent of all this today, humanity seems to have changed since the era of letterlocking: as the aphorist Aaron Haspel put it, "We can have privacy or we can have convenience, and we choose convenience, every time.