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Em nova derrota na justiça, Sony é forçada a restaurar acesso de PS5 banido em 2020

Por Rafael Arbulu

A Sony sofreu uma nova derrota na Justiça brasileira hoje (17), com decisão obrigando a empresa a reativar o acesso de um PlayStation 5 (PS5) banido em dezembro de 2020. No caso, o console pertence ao usuário Weslley Marcos Ramos Matheus. O Olhar Digital o entrevistou em dezembro de 2020, dias depois de seu acesso ter sido cortado.

Na decisão, assinada pelo juiz Andre Luiz da Silva Cunha, da 1ª Vara Especial Cível do Foro de Guarulhos (SP), a Sony é sentenciada a restaurar o acesso de Weslley em até 10 dias úteis. “Ante o exposto, nos termos do art. 487, inciso I, do CPC, julgo parcialmente procedente o pedido para condenar a requerida à obrigação de fazer consistente em reativar o acesso do console PlayStation 5 com número de série [omitido] à PlayStation Network, no prazo de 10 (dez) dias após o trânsito em julgado”, diz trecho do processo.

Leia também

Imagem mostra uma notificação exibida pela Sony por meio de um PS5 (PlayStation 5) banido
Alerta emitido pela Sony quando a empresa bania usuários da PSN por violações de termos de uso: decisões da justiça brasileira estão revertendo ações da fabricante. Imagem: Weslley Marcos Mateus/Acervo pessoal

“Para falar a verdade”, disse Weslley em novo contato com a nossa equipe, “[estou] muito chateado com a Sony. Vou guardar um rancor dela por muito tempo. Desde o começo, logo quando fui banido, tive um atendimento horrível no suporte, demoravam muito tempo para [me] atender, e quando isso acontecia, era uma pessoa estrangeira, com dificuldades para falar português”.

Segundo o jogador, a Sony, que baniu o seu PS5 em 2 de dezembro de 2020, não oferecia contexto quanto ao seu impedimento, propositalmente deixando-o sem informações no intuito de prejudicá-lo. “Em nenhum momento, eles tentaram uma reparação, nem dentro do próprio processo como foi proposto pelo meu advogado. Então o que eu vou guardar da Sony é somente rancor – um sonho de suados R$ 5 mil virou um pesadelo por 6 meses”, disse o usuário, referindo-se ao preço do aparelho no mercado nacional – R$ 4.699.

Weslley nos contou que, durante todo o tempo do processo, devido ao seu banimento ele era incapaz de jogar online ou baixar qualquer produto da PlayStation Network: “Fiquei seis meses com ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” e alguns jogos de PlayStation 4 que estavam instalados no SSD do console”. Em consoles banidos, apenas jogos instalados em discos ou mídia física podem ser rodados normalmente, mas sem as capacidades online – ou seja, jogos multijogador não serão uma opção.

Banner mostra todos os jogos disponibilizados pela Sony na coletânea PlayStation Plus Collection, incluindo clássicos como Batman: Arkham Asylum, God of War, Days Gone e Bloodborne
Os banimentos vieram por causa de jogadores que ativaram de forma irregular os jogos da PS Plus Collection, gratuitos para quem comprou o PlayStation 5. Imagem: Sony/Divulgação

A Sony agora tem que reativar o PS5 banido de Weslley Matheus, mas essa não foi a primeira derrota que a empresa sofreu na Justiça brasileira neste assunto: em março de 2021, o Tribunal de Justiça do Estado de São Paulo (TJ-SP) determinou que a Sony não poderia bloquear permanentemente o PlayStation 5 caso o usuário quebrasse suas regras. A decisão, publicada no dia 2 daquele mês e assinada pelo juiz Anderson Antonucci, considerou a ação abusiva.

Antes disso, em 28 de dezembro de 2020, um juiz do mesmo TJ determinou que a Sony suspendesse a punição a um PlayStation 5 banido da rede. Na ação o proprietário do console alegou que o banimento do console configurou “abuso de direito” por parte da Sony, “por se tratar de punição jurídica impossível a um bem, por violar o direito ao contraditório e à ampla defesa do autor, por violar o direito ao autor a uma revisão da decisão autorizada no âmbito da LGPD [Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados] e por configurar excesso de punição incompatível com o ordenamento jurídico brasileiro”.

Os banimentos de vários consoles PlayStation 5 vinham ocorrendo por causa da PlayStation Plus Collection, uma oferta da Sony para que proprietários do então novo console, lançado em novembro de 2020, pudessem resgatar diversos jogos clássicos do PlayStation 4 em versões otimizadas e funcionando em ambos os aparelhos.

O problema é que qualquer pessoa com um login e senha válidos da PlayStation Network – mesmo quem ainda não havia comprado um PS5 – poderia fazer o resgate, bastando apenas a entrada na conta e o resgate de títulos como “God of War”, “Monster Hunter World” e “Batman: Arkham Knight”, entre vários outros. O resultado é que vários usuários do PS5 passaram a se logar com a conta de amigos, parentes e conhecidos para fazer resgates por eles, com algumas pessoas até cobrando por isso como um serviço.

Alegando violações de termos de uso, a Sony passou a banir os consoles infratores, detectados pelos seus respectivos números seriais – uma informação exclusiva de cada aparelho.

PlayStation 5 (PS5). Imagem: Girts Ragelis / Shutterstock.com
Diversos consoles PlayStation 5vêm tendo seu acesso restaurado pela Justiça após banimentos da Sony. Imagem: Girts Ragelis / Shutterstock.com

Weslley chegou a pedir um valor indenizatório de R$ 15 mil, mas pelo despacho emitido pelo juiz, parece que a Justiça está se limitando a ordenar a restauração de acesso às contas banidas e fechando os processos por aí. Ações anteriores também traziam essa premissa.

A nossa equipe entrou em contato com a assessoria da Sony no Brasil para saber se a empresa pretende seguir algum curso de ação na Justiça, acatar as decisões dos juízes e se, de alguma forma, buscará editar os seus termos de uso para contemplar essa nova situação. Até o fechamento desta matéria, a empresa ainda não havia nos respondido.

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O post Em nova derrota na justiça, Sony é forçada a restaurar acesso de PS5 banido em 2020 apareceu primeiro em Olhar Digital.

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Wildlife Is Now Thriving Again in Chernobyl–Even If Humans Won’t for Another 24,000 Years

Por Josh Jones

In Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 sci-fi film Stalker, a mysterious artifact renders a landscape called the Zone inhospitable for humans. As critics have often pointed out, a tragic irony may have killed the director and some of the crew a few years later. Shooting for months on end in a disused refinery in Estonia exposed them to high levels of toxic chemicals. Tarkovsky died of cancer in 1986, just a few months after the disaster at Chernobyl. “It is surely part of Stalker’s mystique,” Mark Le Fanu writes for Criterion, “that in some strange way, Tarkovsky’s explorations … were to ‘prophesy’ the destruction… of the nuclear power plant.”

Tarkovsky did not see the future. He adapted a dystopian story written by brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. “Certainly,” writes Le Fanu, “there were many things in the Soviet Union at that time to be dystopian about.” But the film inspired a video game, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, which in turn inspired tourists to start “flocking to Chernobyl,” writes Katie Mettier in The Washington Post: “fans of the video game… wanted to see firsthand the nuclear wasteland they’d visited in virtual reality.”

Ukraine may have succeeded, thanks to these associations, in rebranding Chernobyl for the so-called “dark tourism” set, but the area will not become habitable again for some 24,000 years. Habitable, that is, for humans. “Flora and fauna have bounced back” in Chernobyl, writes Ellen Gutoskey at Mental Floss, “and from what researchers can see, they appear to be thriving.” They include “hundreds of plant and animal species in the zone,” says Nick Beresford, a researcher at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. “Including more than 60 [rare] species.”

Among the many animals to return to the area are “Eureasian lynx, brown bear, black storks, and European bison,” as well as elk, deer, boars, and wolves. Nearby crops are still showing high levels of contamination. According to the latest research, nothing that grows there should be eaten by humans. And as one might expect, “mutations are more common in Chernobyl’s plants and animals than in those from other regions,” Gutosky notes. But the harm caused by radiation pales by comparison with that posed by a constant human presence.

Among the many species making their home in Chernobyl are the endangered Przewalski’s horses who numbered around 30 when they were “released into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and left to their own devices…. Now it’s estimated that at least 150 Przewalski’s horses roam the region.” The horrific, human-caused accident of Chernobyl has had the effect of clearing space for nature again. The area has become an unintended experiment in what journalist George Monbiot calls “rewilding,” which he defines as “[taking] down the fences, blocking up the drainage ditches, enabling wildlife to spread.”

In order for the planet to “rewild,” to recover its biodiversity and rebuild its ecosystems, humans need to step away, stop seeing ourselves “as the guardians or the stewards of the planet,” says Monbiot, “whereas I think it does best when we have as little influence as we can get away with.” Tourists may come and go, but there may be no humans settling and building  in Chernobyl for a few thousand years. For the species currently thriving there, that’s apparently for the best.

via Mental Floss

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Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #4 – HBO’s “Chernobyl”: Why Do We Enjoy Watching Suffering?

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

Wildlife Is Now Thriving Again in Chernobyl–Even If Humans Won’t for Another 24,000 Years is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

Watch Accurate Recreations of Medieval Italian Longsword Fighting Techniques, All Based on a Manuscript from 1404

Por Josh Jones

Given recent events, the prospect of hundreds of young men meeting on Facebook, then traveling from around the country to a central U.S. location might sound like reasonable cause for alarm. Yet a recent convention fitting that description had nothing to do with political violence but, rather, a celebration and appreciation of the name “Josh” (full disclosure: this writer did not attend). The gathering of the Joshes this past April in Nebraska could not have been more peaceful, including its finishing battle royale, conducted with pool noodles. (Winner: adorable 4-year-old Josh Vinson, Jr., or “Little Josh,” from Lincoln, NE).

The Joshes had no concern for proper pool-noodle-wielding technique, if there is such a thing. But groups of people who gather around the country to stage medieval-style battles in live-action role playing (LARP) games with weapons both real and fake might benefit from pointers.

So, too, might those who choreograph sword fights on stage and screen. Where can serious historical re-creators learn how to wield a real blade in historically accurate combat? One resource can be found at Wiktenauer, a wiki devoted to collecting “all of the primary and secondary source literature that makes up the text of historical European Martial arts (HEMA) research.”

The Fior di Battaglia (“Flower of Battle”) — an Italian fencing manual by Fiore de’i Liberi dating from circa 1404 — offers richly- and copiously-illustrated demonstrations of medieval Italian longsword fighting techniques. In the original manuscript, seen here and at The Getty, “the illustrations are inked sketches with gold leafing on the crowns and garters,” notes the Wiktenauer entry. They dominate the text, which “takes the form of descriptive paragraphs set in poor Italian verse, which are nevertheless fairly clear and informative.” So clear, indeed, the brooding young men of Akademia Szermierzy — a Polish group that recreates medieval sword-fighting techniques — can more than convincingly mimic the moves in the video at the top.

Once they get going, after some requisite pre-fight rigamarole, it’s impressive stuff, maybe already familiar to modern fencers and certain members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the LARP-ing organization of amateurs recreating everything from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. But for those who think all live-action role-playing is the equivalent of the Battle of the Joshes (or off-brand Nazis running through the streets in homemade armor), the sheer ballet of historical sword-fighting may come as a surprise — and maybe inspire a few more people to pull on the doublet and hose. See more medieval sword-fighting recreations from Akademia Szermierzy here, and the full text of the Fior di Battaglia here.

Related Content: 

Renaissance Knives Had Music Engraved on the Blades; Now Hear the Songs Performed by Modern Singers

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

Watch Accurate Recreations of Medieval Italian Longsword Fighting Techniques, All Based on a Manuscript from 1404 is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

The Cicadas Return After 17 Years: Stunning Footage of the Brood X Cicadas

Por Ayun Halliday

Sing, fly, mate, die.

The periodical cicadas in Brood X are emerging from underground, where they have spent the last 17 years as nymphs. They are making the final climb of their lives, intent on escaping their carapaces in order to make more cicadas. And as always they are doing it en masse.

Once free, they must quickly get the hang of their brand new wings, and make for the trees, where the males will sing (some say scream) in a bid for females with whom to mate.

The pregnant females drill cavities into narrow branches to receive their eggs.

By the time the larva emerge, some six weeks later, their mothers and fathers are long dead.

Instinct propels these babies to drop to the ground and burrow in, thus beginning another 17 year cycle, a process Samuel Orr, a time lapse photographer and filmmaker specializing in nature documentary, documents in macro close up in Return of the Cicadas, above.

His adventures with Brood X date to their last emergence in 2004, when he was a student at Indiana University, working in a lab with a professor whose area of expertise was cicadas.

While waiting around for Brood X’s next appearance, he traveled around the country and as far as Australia, gathering over 200 hours of footage of other periodical cicadas for an hour long, Kickstarter-funded film that aired on PBS in 2012.

Brood X has a way of ensuring that we humans will also observe a 17 year cycle, at least those of us who live in the states the Great Eastern Brood calls home.

Some celebrate with commemorative merch. This year, that means face masks as well as an ever burgeoning assortment of t-shirts, mugs, and other paraphernalia.

Also new this year, Cicada Safari, entomologist Dr. Gene Kritsky’s smartphone app for citizen scientists eager to help map the 2021 emergence with photos and location.

There are some among us who complain about the males’ lusty chorus, which can rival garbage disposals, lawn mowers, and jackhammers in terms of decibels.

Those concerned with the planet’s health can use the data from this and past emergences to discuss the impact of climate change and deforestation. Brood X is listed as “Near Threatened” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

Some of us are moved to write poetry and songs, though we don’t always get the species right — witness Ogden Nash’s Locust-Lovers, Attention! (1936) and Bob Dylan’s Day of the Locusts (1970).

Inevitably, there will be articles about eating them. It’s true that they’re a hyperlocal source of sustainable protein, albeit one that’s rarely on the menu. (The Onondaga Nation celebrates — and ceremonially samples — Brood VII every 17 years, crediting the insects with saving their ancestors from starvation after the Continental Army destroyed their villages and food sources in 1779.)

Human nature is such that we can’t help but reflect on the twists and turns our lives have taken over the last 17 years.

A woman in Maryland planned a cicada themed wedding to coincide with Brood X’s 1987 emergence, having been born two emergences before, and graduated from Bryn Mawr during the 1970 emergence, as 50 miles away, Bob Dylan was having his fateful encounter on the campus of Princeton.

Most of us will find that our milestones have been a bit more accidental in nature.

Brood X’s emergence also serves as a lens through which to view 17 years in the life of our country. The Onion took this to the edge several years ago with an article from the point of view of Brood II, but it’ll be hard to top the 17-year chunk of recent history Brood X and the humans who have been living atop them since 2004 will have to digest.

Speaking of history, Brood X Mania has been around much longer than any of us have been alive, and probably predates a Philadelphia pastor’s description of the 1715 emergence in his journal (though we’ll give him FIRST!!! since no earlier accounts have surfaced).

Prior to the Internet, entomologist Charles L. Marlatt’s The Periodical Cicada: An Account of Cicada Septendecim, Its Natural Enemies and the Means of Preventing Its Injury (1907) was the go to source for all things cicada related, and it remains a fascinating read.

In addition to lots of nitty gritty on the insects’ anatomy, habits, diet, and habitat, he quotes liberally from other cicada experts, from both his own era and before. The anecdotal evidence suggests our obsession is far from new.

These days, anyone armed with a smartphone can make a recording of Brood X’s cacophony, but back then, experts in the field were tasked with trying to capture it in print.

Professor Charles Valentine Riley compared the sound early in the season, when the first males were emerging to the “whistling of a train passing through a short tunnel” and also, “the croaking of certain frogs.” (For those needing help with pronunciation, he rendered it phonetically as “Pha-r-r-r-aoh.”)

Professor Asa Fitch’s described high season in New York state, when a maximum of males sing simultaneously:

tsh-e-e-E-E-E-E-e-ou, uttered continuously and prolonged to a quarter or half minute in length, the middle note deafeningly shrill, loud and piercing to the ear

Marlatt himself worried, prematurely but not without reason, that the march of civilization would bring about extinction by over-clearing the densely wooded areas that are essential to the cicadas’ reproductive rituals while offering a bit of protection from predators.

Dr. Samuel P. Hildreth of Marietta, Ohio noted in 1830 that “hogs eat them in preference to any other food” and that birds were such fans “that very few birds were seen around our gardens during their continuance and our cherries, etc, remained unmolested.”

Dr. Leland Ossian Howard was erroneously credited with conducting “the first experiments of cicada as an article of human food” in early summer 1885. Marlatt reproduces the account of an eyewitness who seemed to fancy themselves a bit of a restaurant critic:

With the aid of the Doctor’s cook, he had prepared a plain stew, a milk stew, and a broil. The Cicadae were collected just as they emerged from pupae and were thrown into cold water, in which they remained overnight. They were cooked the next morning, and served at breakfast time. They imparted a distinct and not unpleasant flavor to the stew, but they were not at all palatable themselves, as they were reduced to nothing but bits of flabby skin. The broil lacked substance. The most palatable method of cooking is to fry in batter, when they remind one of shrimps. They will never prove a delicacy.

We leave you with the thoughts of Dr Gideon B. Smith of Baltimore, whose attempt to capture a mercurial month turns bittersweet, and all too relatable:

The music or song produced by the myriads of these insects in a warm day from about the 25th of May to the middle of June is wonderful. It is not deafening, as many describe it; even at its height it does not interrupt conversation. It seems like an atmosphere of wild, monotonous sound, in which all other sounds float with perfect distinctness. After a day or two this music becomes tiresome and doleful, and to many very disagreeable. To me, it was otherwise, and when I heard the last note on the 25th of June the melancholy reflection occurred. Shall I live to hear it yet again?

Related Content: 

Sounds of the Forest: A Free Audio Archive Gathers the Sounds of Forests from All Over the World

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How Sounds Are Faked For Nature Documentaries: Meet the Artists Who Create the Sounds of Fish, Spiders, Orangutans, Mushrooms & More

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Welcome back, Brood X Overlords! Follow her @AyunHalliday.

The Cicadas Return After 17 Years: Stunning Footage of the Brood X Cicadas is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

Startup School: Take YCombinator’s Free Online Course for Current & Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Por OC

If you’re working on a startup, take note. YCombinator–a well-known Silicon Valley accelerator–has created Startup School, a free online program for entrepreneurs. The school has a track for current startup founders, and another one for aspiring/eventual founders. In each case, the school strives to offer the best lessons and advice on how to start a startup, while building “a community of entrepreneurs who can encourage, teach and support one another.” Startup School is completely free. You just need a device with access to the internet. View the curriculum here. (Topics include everything from “How to Get Start Up Ideas” and “How to Pitch a Startup,” to “How to Find the Right Co-Founder” and “How to Split Equity.”) And sign up here.

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Startup School: Take YCombinator’s Free Online Course for Current & Aspiring Entrepreneurs is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

Watch a Masterpiece Emerge from a Solid Block of Stone

Por Josh Jones

As a younger person, I became enthralled with the art-historical novels of Irving Stone, especially The Agony and the Ecstasy, his fictionalized biography of Michelangelo. Few books live up to their title so well — Stone’s Michelangelo is a tumult of passion and pain, a Romantic hero tailor-made for those who believe artistic creation transcends almost any other act. Stone describes Michelangelo’s sculpture emerging from the marble fully-formed in a creation imbued with so much sexual energy, some passages may need adult supervision:

It was like penetrating deep into white marble with the pounding live thrust of his chisel beating upward through the warm living marble with one ”Go!”, his whole body behind the heavy hammer, penetrating through ever deeper and deeper furrows of soft yielding living substance until he had reached the explosive climax, and all of his fluid strength, love, passion, desire had been poured into the nascent form, and the marble block, made to love the hand of the true sculptor, and responded, giving of its inner heat and substance and fluid form, until at last the sculptor and the marble had totally coalesced, so deeply penetrating and infusing each other that they had become one, marble and man and organic unity, each fulfilling the other in the greatest act of art and love known to the human species. 

Whether or not you’re moved by Stone’s prose, you have to admit, it does make sculpting sound enormously appealing. For a much less masculine take on what it’s like to carve a figure from a solid block of stone, see the National Geographic short film above, in which a three-dimensional portrait comes alive in the hands of stone carver Anna Rubincam.

This is a labor of love, but it is also one of careful preparation. Rubincam “begins her process by measuring and sketching the features of a live model,” the film’s YouTube page notes. “From there, she creates a clay version before moving on to carefully chisel the piece out of stone.” The entire process took three weeks.

Is there room for agony and ecstasy amidst the measurements? Indeed. “I always feel that you have to be a bit mad to become a stone carver,” says Rubincam, acknowledging that “this isn’t the Renaissance anymore. Stone isn’t a primary building material anymore. Why would anyone go into a profession” like this one? Rubincam’s answer — “there just wasn’t any other option” — cannot help but bring to mind the most popular quote from Stone’s novel: “One should not become an artist because he can, but because he must. It is only for those who would be miserable without it.”

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3D Print 18,000 Famous Sculptures, Statues & Artworks: Rodin’s Thinker, Michelangelo’s David & More

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

Watch a Masterpiece Emerge from a Solid Block of Stone is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

Rick Steves Tells the Story of Fascism’s Rise & Fall in Germany

Por Colin Marshall

“Healthy, vigorous, respectable: everyone’s favorite uncle.” How many of us hear these words and think of that most beloved of all American travel-television personalities, Rick Steves? Indeed, in the video above they’re spoken by Steves, though to describe a figure very different from himself: Adolf Hitler, who convinced his people not to tour Europe but to invade it, sparking the deadliest conflict of all time. How and why this happened has been a historical question written about perhaps more voluminously than any other. But the Stevesian method of understanding demands first-hand experience of Germany, the land in which the Nazi party came to power.

Hence “Germany’s Fascist Story,” a 2020 episode of Rick Steves’ Europe whose itinerary includes such destinations as Nuremberg, site of the eponymous Nazi rallies; Hitler’s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden; the Gestapo and SS headquarters in Berlin. We’re a long way indeed from Steves’ usual circuit of cathedrals, markets, and bed-and-breakfasts.

Enriched with the historical footage and the reflections of German interviewees, this travelogue explains the rise in the 1930s and fall in the 1940s of a powerful European strain of fascism. This manifested in popular capitulation to race-based, nationalistic, and ultimately totalitarian state power, not just in Germany but other countries also once regarded as the center of European civilization.

We all know how World War II ended, and the blue-jeaned Steves sums up the relevant chapter of the story while standing atop the underground bunker in which Hitler killed himself. But such a defeat can never truly be considered final, an idea that underlies the continuing encouragement of tourism to places like Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which figures briefly into this episode despite being located in Poland. As any dedicated “Ricknick” knows, the pursuit of any given cultural or historical interest inevitably leads the traveler through a variety of lands. Hence a project like The Story of Fascism, Steves’ hourlong documentary on that ideology’s traces as found all throughout his favorite continent. As he himself has put it, travel is a political act — and it’s one necessary to understanding both the politics you like and the politics you don’t.

For those interested in how Steves built his travel empire, we’d recommend listening to Guy Raz’s lengthy interview with Steves, one episode in his How I Built This podcast.

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How Did Hitler Rise to Power? : New TED-ED Animation Provides a Case Study in How Fascists Get Democratically Elected

Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism

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.

Rick Steves Tells the Story of Fascism’s Rise & Fall in Germany is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s Headbanging Cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Por Ayun Halliday

Smells Like Teen Spirit is an unusual anthem because it refuses the role of the anthem. It’s perfect for the generation it represented because this was a cohort that was so ambivalent about any traditional values [or] conventional success. — music critic Ann Powers 

The screaming existential angst of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” ensured that Nirvana would define, transcend, and outlast the 90s grunge scene.

The song was an instant hit. Here’s a description from someone who was present at the small Seattle club O.K Hotel for its first live performance:

They started playing the new song and people erupted. We were being slimed on by shirtless guys, just moshing. My friend Susan started hyperventilating, she thought it was so good: ‘I can’t, gasp, believe what they just played!’ It was just instantaneous; it was crazy.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was unreconstituted rock bliss to us…

…and perhaps not the most natural fit for a ukulele cover?

On the other hand, what better instrument for those “ambivalent about conventional success” than the ukulele?

The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain‘s cover is as intentionally silly as the band itself, but also manages to convey some of the original’s DGAF attitude.

That’s quite an accomplishment for a seated row of formally dressed, middle aged musicians, strumming in unison on an instrument anyone can play… but few can play well.

The ukulele has become cool in certain circles, but remains inextricably linked to Tiny Tim tiptoeing through the tulips, and a million fumbling summer camp recreations of Jake Shimabukuro’s gentle Hawaiian “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Orchestra founder Peter Brooke Turner‘s tribute to lead vocalist Kurt Cobain helps nudge the needle  past pure novelty into the realm of credibility, or at least a sophisticated understanding of all the ways in which the original works.

Plus, his “yeah” at 1:52 transcends the era of flannels, harkening to a time when the unconflicted preening rock god reigned supreme. (We should note that he serves plenty of ham alongside that sausage.)

Best of all is David Suich‘s enthusiastic headbanging. Clearly a fellow who enjoys putting his long hair in service of his art! (We refer you to the Ukulele Orchestra’s interpretation of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” below…)

Related Content: 

The First Live Performance of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)

Seriously Awesome Ukulele Covers of “Sultans of Swing,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Thunderstruck,” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

How Nirvana’s Iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Came to Be: An Animated Video Narrated by T-Bone Burnett Tells the True Story

1,000 Musicians Play Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Live, at the Same Time

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

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s Headbanging Cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

Discover Ibn Sina (Avicenna), a Missing Pixel in Your Image of Philosophy: Partially Examined Life Episode #267 Featuring Peter Adamson

Por Mark Linsenmayer

Most American students in philosophy live on a diet of ancient Greek philosophy on the one hand, and then “modern” philosophy, which starts around the time of Descartes (the 17th century), with numerous schools and approaches spilling into the present day. If you get anything from between those ancient days and modernity, it’s probably some churchmen, i.e. Augustine (from the 4th century) and Thomas Aquinas (the 13th century), with perhaps a few Romans thrown in there and (if you’re Jewish) Maimonides (12th century).

But a key part of this lineage was the Eastward turn that the great works of Greek and Roman philosophy took during the so-called Dark Ages, when they were preserved and copied in the Islamic world, and this period produced a wealth of philosophy including two figures who became influential enough in the West that their names were Latinized: Ibn S?n? (980-1037 C.E.) and Ibn Rushd, a.k.a. Averroes (1126-1198). Aquinas was very familiar with these figures and incorporated them into his influential works, and in the case of Ibn Sina, at least, important figures like John Locke had definitely known at least about his views, if not his actual works.

On the Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast, which has been going for 13 years now, we range widely over the history of philosophy but had not actually cracked the Islamic world. Luckily, Ibn S?n? is one of the favorite philosophers of one of our favorite guests, Peter Adamson of King’s College London. Peter runs his own podcast, The History of Philosophy (Without Any Gaps), which as the name implies, covers Medieval philosophy with admirable thoroughness, covering not only Ibn S?n? and Ibn Rushd, but also figures like al-R?z?, al-F?r?b?, Al-Ghaz?l?, and many others.

Peter was good enough to recommend some readings to introduce us and our listeners to this figure, some of which he actually wrote. Because of the volume, redundancy, and style of Ibn S?n?’s writings, some sort of guide to collect and to some degree explain passages is essential for getting a handle on this idiosyncratic and brilliant thinker. He wrote at least three different versions of his all-encompassing system, which was influenced by and meant to supplant Aristotle’s. In addition to philosophical/theological topics, it included mathematics, science, psychology, and more. So instead of trying to read a whole work covering all that, it makes more sense to pick individual topics and then look at the various formulations he gave about these.

Our two topics for this discussion were a peculiar argument for the existence of God — with important implications for talking about metaphysics more generally — and an argument for the immateriality of the soul, which likewise tells us a lot about the way that Ibn S?n? thought about knowledge and its relation to the world.

The argument for the existence of God was later called by Thomas Aquinas “the argument from contingency.” It posits that things in the world don’t simply exist, but that they require something else to support their existence. This isn’t a cause is the chronological sense that we talk about it: a prior event that gave rise to the thing. Rather, the material components of something in a certain arrangement make it continue to exist as that thing right now; for example, a house exists because its component wood parts exist, with nails and such holding them in place. And the wood in turn has its character because of its physical/chemical components, etc. If these component causes weren’t in place, the thing would not exist; the thing is thus “contingent,” meaning it might well not have existed were it not for those causes.

This picture of the universe thus includes a giant network of causality, but does that network itself rest on anything? According to Ibn S?n?, there must be something that is not contingent that holds everything else up. But is this thing God (in the sense that a good Muslim of his time would recognize it)? Ibn S?n? then has a long series of arguments to show one by one that just by being “the necessary being,” this entity also must be unique, must be all-powerful, generous, and all the other things one would expect God to be.

The argument for the immortality of the soul is perhaps Ibn S?n?’s most famous argument, often called the flying or floating man argument. It’s a thought experiment whereby you imagine you’ve just been created, but fully mature, so you can think, but with no memory, and your senses are inoperable. You can’t even feel gravity or the ground under your feet (thus the “flying” part). According to Ibn S?n?, you would still in such a situation know that you exist. Since your apprehension of self did not include any part of your body (you couldn’t feel your body at all), that is supposed to prove that your body is not an essential part of what you are.

Ibn S?n? thought this argument definitive because of his theory of knowledge by which if you know anything at all, then you know about the essential components of that thing. If you know what a triangle is, you know that it’s an abstract geometrical figure with three straight sides. If you know what a horse is, you know that it’s a biological animal with a particular character that you can identify. And to know what you are essentially, you only need know that feeling of your own mind; anything else about that mind being associated with a particular body that lives in a particular part of the world and is just knowledge of contingent, relational facts about yourself.

PEL hosts Mark Linsenmayer and Dylan Casey grapple in detail with Peter about these arguments, both on this recording and on a second part of the discussion for those that want to hear more. To read more about these arguments and get the citations to the texts we read for this discussion, see the essay for this episode at partiallyexaminedlife.com. The History of Philosophy podcast also features four monologues and an interview about Ibn S?n?. Don’t let this gap in your knowledge of major figures in intellectual history remain unfilled!

Mark Linsenmayer is the host of the Partially Examined Life, Pretty Much Pop, and Nakedly Examined Music podcasts. He is a writer and musician working out of Madison, Wisconsin. Read more Open Culture posts about The Partially Examined Life.

Image by Solomon Grundy.

Discover Ibn Sina (Avicenna), a Missing Pixel in Your Image of Philosophy: Partially Examined Life Episode #267 Featuring Peter Adamson is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Composes a Soundtrack to Arthur C. Clarke’s Documentary Fractals: The Colors of Infinity

Por Ted Mills

An observer once called the Mandelbrot Set “The Thumbprint of God,” the simple equation that led to the discovery of fractal geography, chaos theory, and why games like No Man’s Sky even exist. In 1994, Arthur C. Clarke, writer of both science fiction and science fact, narrated a one-hour documentary on the new mathematics, called Fractals: The Colors of Infinity. If that sounds familiar, dear reader, it’s because we’ve told you about it long ago. But it’s worth revisiting, and it’s worth mentioning that the soundtrack was created by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

To be honest, at first I wasn’t really hearing that Floyd vibe, just some pleasant synth-strings you could find on any number of documentaries. But then Clarke explains the implication of the Mandelbrot equation, ending it with “This really is infinity.” And then Boom, the acid hit.

Or rather, the rainbow computer graphics of the endless zoom hit, and it was unmistakably Gilmour—cue up 5:19 and be careful with that fractal, Eugene. This happens again at 14:30, 25:12, 31:07, 35:46, 38:22, 43:22, 44:51, and 50:06 for those with an itchy scrubbing finger. But stick around for the whole doc, as the history of how we got to the equation, its precedents in nature and art, and the implications only hinted at in the program, all make for interesting viewing.

The music will remind you in places of “Shine On Your Crazy Diamond”, “Obscured by Clouds,” and “On the Run.” When a DVD was released years later, a special feature isolated just Gilmour’s music and the fractal animation.

Gilmour has contributed soundtrack work to other programs. He has an uncredited performance on Guy Pratt’s soundtrack from 1995’s Hackers; incidental music for 1992’s Ruby Takes a Trip with Ruby Wax; and a 1993 documentary on the arts and drug use called The Art of Tripping.

There are no official releases of this soundtrack work, but one user has put up 16 minutes of the Colours of Infinity music over at SoundCloud.

 

Related Content:

David Gilmour, David Crosby & Graham Nash Perform the Pink Floyd Classic, “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” (2006)

Watch David Gilmour Play the Songs of Syd Barrett, with the Help of David Bowie & Richard Wright

Arthur C. Clarke Predicts the Future in 1964 … And Kind of Nails It

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.

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Composes a Soundtrack to Arthur C. Clarke’s Documentary Fractals: The Colors of Infinity is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks Get Digitized: Where to Read the Renaissance Man’s Manuscripts Online

Por Colin Marshall

From the hand of Leonardo da Vinci came the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, among other art objects of intense reverence and even worship. But to understand the mind of Leonardo da Vinci, one must immerse oneself in his notebooks. Totaling some 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, they record something of every aspect of the Renaissance man’s intellectual and daily life: studies for artworks, designs for elegant buildings and fantastical machines, observations of the world around him, lists of his groceries and his debtors. Intending their eventual publication, Leonardo left his notebooks to his pupil Francesco Melzi, by the time of whose own death half a century later little had been done with them.

Absent a proper steward, Leonardo’s notebooks scattered across the world. Six centuries later, their surviving pages constitute a series of codices in the possession of such entities as the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, the British Museum, the Institut de France, and Bill Gates.

In recent years, they and their collaborating organizations have made efforts to open Leonardo’s notebooks to the world, digitizing them, translating them, and organizing them for convenient browsing on the web. Here on Open Culture, we’ve previously featured the Codex Arundel as made available to the public by the British Library, Codex Atlanticus by the Visual Agency, and the three-part Codex Forster by the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Other collections of Leonardo’s notebooks made available to view online include the Madrid Codices at the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Codex Trivulzianus at the Archivo Storico Civico e Biblioteca Trivulziana, and the Codex on the Flight of Birds at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. (Published as a standalone book, his Treatise on Painting is available to download at Project Gutenberg.) Even so, many of the pages Leonardo wrote haven’t yet made it to the internet, and even when they do, generations of interpretive work — well beyond reversing his “mirror writing” — will surely remain. Much as humanity is only now putting some of his inventions to the test, the full publication of his notebooks remains a work in progress. Leonardo himself would surely understand: after all, one can’t cultivate a mind like his without patience.

Related Content:

The Elegant Mathematics of Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci’s Most Famous Drawing: An Animated Introduction

Download the Sublime Anatomy Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci: Available Online, or in a Great iPad App

Leonardo da Vinci’s Bizarre Caricatures & Monster Drawings

Leonardo da Vinci’s Handwritten Resume (1482)

Leonardo Da Vinci’s To Do List (Circa 1490) Is Much Cooler Than Yours

Why Did Leonardo da Vinci Write Backwards? A Look Into the Ultimate Renaissance Man’s “Mirror Writing”

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.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks Get Digitized: Where to Read the Renaissance Man’s Manuscripts Online is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

A 5-Hour Walking Tour of Paris and Its Famous Streets, Monuments & Parks

Por Josh Jones

“We’ll always have Paris,” Bogart tells Bergman in the final scene of Casablanca, a line and film inseparable from the grand mythology of Paris. The city still inspires non-Parisians to purchase Belle Epoque poster art by the shipload and binge Netflix series in which Paris looks like a “city where the clouds part, your brain clears, and your soul finds meaning,” Alex Abad-Santos writes at Vox. It’s also a place in such media where one can seem to find “success without much sacrifice.”

Paris was the city where Hemingway felt “free… to walk anywhere,” he wrote in A Moveable Feast; where James Baldwin wrote in his 1961 essay “New Lost Generation” of “the days when we walked through Les Halles singing, loving every inch of France and loving each other… the nights spent smoking hashish in the Arab cafes… the morning which found us telling dirty stories, true stories, sad and earnest stories, in gray workingman’s cafes.”

The image of Paris has not always been so full of romance and escapism, especially for Parisians like Charles Baudelaire. “For the first time Paris becomes the subject of lyric poetry” in Baudelaire, wrote Walter Benjamin in The Arcades Project, a major, unfinished work on Paris in the 19th century. Like the expats, Baudelaire’s imagination strolled through the city, freed from responsibility. But “the Paris of his poems is a sunken city, and more submarine than subterranean.”

The Paris of revolutionary fervor, communes, barricades, and catacombs… of Rimbaud, Coco Chanel, the Situationists…. There are too many versions of the city of lights; we cannot have them all. For the past year, we have not been able to see any part of it but from afar. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, however, we can walk the city for hours — or watch someone else do it, in any case. The five-hour walking tour at the top may skip the places a modern-day Baudelaire would want us to see, but it does include “the most famous streets, monuments and parks,” notes the description,

You’ll also find here shorter video walking tours of Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, and Luxembourg Gardens, where Hemingway would often meet Gertrude Stein and her dog, and where he found himself “learning very much “ from Cézanne about how to move beyond simply “writing simple true sentences.” We are unlikely to have these kinds of experiences on our video walking tours. But we can get a taste of what it’s like to briskly cruise Parisian streets in the 21st century, an experience increasingly likely to become a virtual one for future writers, poets, and expats and tourists of all kinds.

Related Content: 

Take a Virtual Tour of the Paris Catacombs

Take an Aerial Tour of Medieval Paris

Download 200+ Belle Époque Art Posters: An Archive of Masterpieces from the “Golden Age of the Poster” (1880-1918)

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

A 5-Hour Walking Tour of Paris and Its Famous Streets, Monuments & Parks is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

The Utopian, Socialist Designs of Soviet Cities

Por Josh Jones

Modernist architecture transformed the modern city in the 20th century, for good and ill. Nowhere is this transformation more evident than the former Soviet Union and its former republics. There, we find truth in the western stereotypes of the Soviet city as cold, faceless, and soul-crushingly nondescript — so much so that the plot of a 1975 Russian TV film called The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!, hinges on a man drunkenly traveling to Leningrad by mistake and falling asleep in a stranger’s apartment, thinking it’s his own place in Moscow. Russians found the joke so relatable, they began a tradition of watching the film each year on Christmas, as the City Beautiful above video on Soviet urban architecture points out.

Once it had eliminated private property, the experiment of the Soviet Union began with good intentions, architecturally-speaking. Constructivism, the first form of distinctly Soviet architecture, was developed first as an art movement by Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Rodchenko. Constructivists sought to balance the nation’s need to build tons of new housing under harsh economic conditions with “ambition for using the built environment to engineer societal changes and instill the avant-garde in everyday life,” points out the Designing Buildings Wiki. Drawing from Bauhaus and Futurism, the movement only lasted into the 1930s. Many of its finest designs went unrealized, but it left a significant mark on subsequent architectural movements like Brutalism.

The synthesis of beauty and utility would fall apart, however, under the massive collectivizing drives of Stalin. When his reign ended, public housing blocks known as “Krushchyovkas” sprang up, named after the premier “who initiated their mass production in the late 1950s,” writes Mark Byrnes at Bloomberg CityLab. This was “a distinctly banal architectural type” built quickly and cheaply when Moscow “had twice the population its housing stock could accommodate. Five-story Krushchoyvkas popped up in newly planned microdistricts.” These, as you’ll see in the explainer video, could be added on to existing cities indefinitely for maximal urban sprawl “in hopes of alleviating the severe housing crisis exacerbated under Joseph Stalin.”

As the popularity of The Irony of Fate demonstrates, Krushchoyvkas introduced serious problems of their own, including their grimly comic sameness. The film begins with an animated history lesson on Soviet urban planning. “The urban design was not flexible,” author Philipp Meuser tells Byrnes. “This was the first critique of them dating back to the early ‘60s.” Later versions built under Brezhnev and called “Brezhnevkis” introduced different shapes and sizes to break up the monotony. All of the housing blocks were built to last 20 to 25 years and were not well-maintained, if they were maintained at all. The earliest began deteriorating in the ‘70s.

At their height, however, Krushchoyvkas “were popular because it was revolutionary for housing politics.” One U.S. official put it in 1967: “What the Russians have done is to develop the only technology in the world to produce acceptable, low-cost housing on a large scale.” Cities around the world followed suit in buildings like the Japanese danchi, for example, and the infamously awful American public housing projects of the 60s and 70s, built along similar lines as the Krushchyovkas and the misguided urban design theories of Swiss architect Le Corbusier, another modernist who, like the Constructivists, reimagined city space according to a model of mass production.

The original Constructivist manifesto, published in 1923, promised art and building “of no discernible ‘style’ but simply a product of an industrial order like a car, an aeroplane and such like.” The reality of Constructivist designs — like the designs of cars and aeroplanes — involved a great deal of imagination and creativity. But the architectural legacy of what Constructivists touted as “technical mastery and organization of materials” — under the massively centralized bureaucracy of the fully realized one-party Communist state — created something entirely different than the idealistic avant-gardists had once intended for the modern city.

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When Soviet Artists Turned Textiles (Scarves, Tablecloths & Curtains) into Beautiful Propaganda in the 1920s & 1930s

The Glorious Poster Art of the Soviet Space Program in Its Golden Age (1958-1963)

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

The Utopian, Socialist Designs of Soviet Cities is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

In 1926, Nikola Tesla Predicts the World of 2026

Por Colin Marshall

Not long after Nikola Tesla died in 1943, the world seemed to forget him. The first public tribute paid to his considerable research and development in the realm of electricity thereafter came in 1960 with the introduction of the tesla, the SI unit of magnetic flux density. But in the decades since Tesla has enjoyed an afterlife as an icon of under-appreciated prescience. Some of this reputation is based on interviews given in the 1920s and 1930s, when he was still a celebrity. Take the short Colliers magazine profile from 1926 in which he foresees the emergence of devices that will allow us “to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance”; a man, Tesla predicts, “will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.”

This article is one source of the words spoken in the Voices of the Past video above. In it, Tesla also speaks of a future hugely enriched by the “wireless energy” he spent much of his career pursuing. It will power “flying machines” in which “we shall ride from New York to Europe in a few hours.” A household’s daily newspaper “will be printed ‘wirelessly’ in the home during the night.”

Thanks to instant worldwide communication, “international boundaries will be largely obliterated and a great step will be made toward the unification and harmonious existence of the various races inhabiting the globe.” All the while, new generations of ever better-educated women “will ignore precedent and startle civilization with their progress.”

Many will applaud Tesla’s views on the advancement of women, though here his thinking takes a turn that may give pause even to the most forward-thinking among us today: “The acquisition of new fields of endeavor by women, their gradual usurpation of leadership, will dull and finally dissipate feminine sensibilities, will choke the maternal instinct, so that marriage and motherhood may become abhorrent and human civilization draw closer and closer to the perfect civilization of the bee.” The inventor of alternating current has much to say in favor of apian society, “the most highly organized and intelligently coordinated system of any form of nonrational animal life.” And so why not restructure human civilization around a single queen?

This video also draws on a 1937 interview with Tesla in Liberty magazine, which features even more discomfiting propositions. “The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct,” Tesla insists. “The Secretary of Hygiene or Physical Culture will be far more important in the cabinet of the President of the United States who holds office in the year 2035 than the Secretary of War.” Despite perhaps having crossed the line into mad-scientism, Tesla remained incisive about the persistent condition of humans under high technology. “We suffer from the derangement of our civilization because we have not yet completely adjusted ourselves to the machine age,” he claims. “The solution of our problems does not lie in destroying but in mastering the machine.” Here in the 21st century, of course, many of us would be content simply to gain mastery over the one in our vest pocket.

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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.

In 1926, Nikola Tesla Predicts the World of 2026 is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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 Lynch Directs a New Music Video for Donovan

Por Josh Jones

I often feel Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan has been misunderstood. When he shows up these days, it’s in songs like his creepy “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and “Season of the Witch,” in films and TV series about serial killers. This may leave younger viewers with the impression that the psychedelic folk hero went down some scary musical paths. But those who remember Donovan in his heyday remember him as the singer of “Sunshine Superman,” his biggest hit, and “Mellow Yellow,” which hit Number 2 in the U.S. in 1966. The following year, he urged his listeners to wear their love like heaven, in verses that rivaled Syd Barrett’s for their love of color: “Color in sky, Prussian blue / Scarlet fleece changes hue.”

Maybe it’s hard to entertain the sentiments of flower power in 2021. But maybe, also, Donovan’s sunniest songs have always had darker threads woven through them. Take “Sunshine Superman”: kind of a creepy tune, with its Lou Reed-like observation about “hustlin’ just to have a little scene,” and its hippie lothario’s confession that he’ll use “any trick in the book” on the object of his desire. Maybe it was early fans who got him wrong. Donovan has always been a weirdo’s weirdo, if you will. And so, it stands to reason that he would pick David Lynch to produce his track, “I Am the Shaman,” and to direct a video for the song for his 75th birthday this past Monday.

The song itself is not new, but was produced by Lynch in 2010 for the album, Ritual Groove, a collection of recordings, “some dating as far back as 1976,” writes one reviewer, held together by the “premise… that the planet is stuffed, the Goddess won’t care if we drift off into oblivion but wait, a saviour appears in the form of the previously humble minstrel Donovan, now a true poet.” (If fans of the cult psychedelic horror film Mandy are reminded of Jeremiah Sand, then we are in grim territory, indeed.) The collaboration gets even more interesting when we learn that “I Am the Shaman” was largely improvised, as Donovan himself wrote on Facebook:

He had asked me to only bring in a song just emerging, not anywhere near finished. We would see what happens. It happened! I composed extempore… the verses came naturally. New chord patterns effortlessly appeared.

This way of working suited him perfectly, as did the backwards-talking production Lynch applied to the track. “David and I are ‘compadres’ on a creative path rarely traveled,” he noted. It is a path that leads straight through the wilds of Transcendental Meditation, for which the video is intended to raise money and awareness. Despite its lack of color, another affinity shared by Donovan Leitch and David Lynch, “I Am the Shaman” shows both artists vibrating at the same frequency, which may either confirm or unsettle what you thought you knew about the mystical poet/singer/shaman Donovan.

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

David Lynch Directs a New Music Video for Donovan is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, 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.

Bola de fogo cruza os céus de quatro estados dos EUA. Veja vídeos

Por Rafael Arbulu

Uma bola de fogo foi vista no céu dos EUA na madrugada de hoje (11), registrada por câmeras de campainhas automatizadas nas casas de moradores de pelo menos quatro estados. Os registros foram devidamente encaminhados à Sociedade Americana de Meteoros (AMS), que relatou o fato pelo Twitter.

Segundo a entidade, foram cerca de 39 relatos de cidadãos residentes nos estados de Minnesota, Dakota do Norte, Dakota do Sul e Wisconsin. Pelos registros, a bola de fogo foi vista entre três e quatro horas da manhã.

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We received 39 reports (+6 videos) so far about a #fireball caught over #Minnesota last Sunday. This event has also been seen from ND, SD & WI.

If you saw this event, please report it here: https://t.co/evqkWyLdwG

Event page: https://t.co/DCt2fJh3nP

Video © Wyze video doorbell pic.twitter.com/WQQY3ZMtB3

— AMSMETEORS (@amsmeteors) May 10, 2021

O termo “bola de fogo” é usado para se referir aos meteoros que deixam um rastro luminoso. Outras atribuições dependem de algumas condições específicas. Por exemplo, um “meteoro” refere-se a um objeto que entra na atmosfera da Terra, enquanto um “meteorito” é identificado como os pedaços rochosos que caem em nosso solo. Há ainda o “bólido”, que é um termo aplicado a objetos que mostram um brilho mais intenso que Vênus. Em 2020, o Olhar Digital falou sobre isso em detalhes.

Em março, um meteorito que caiu no Saara mostrou-se ser composto de materiais mais velhos que a própria Terra. Já em setembro de 2020 o meteorito Tiros foi assim nomeado por ter sido descoberto por um fazendeiro na cidade brasileira de mesmo nome, localizada em Minas Gerais (MG).

Captura mostra imagem de câmera de segurança que registrou uma bola de fogo no céu dos EUA
Câmeras automáticas de campainhas reagiram à chegada de uma bola de fogo em nossa atmosfera. Evento foi registrado em quatro estados dos EUA. Imagem: AMS/Reprodução

Sobre a “bola de fogo” vista nos EUA, não há registros de qualquer ponto de impacto, então é seguro presumir que ela se queimou completamente na atmosfera.

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Sensedia recebe aporte de R$ 120 milhões e mira expansão em mercado internacional

Por Tissiane Vicentin

A Sensedia, startup especializada em integração de sistemas e microsserviços, anunciou nesta terça-feira (11) o aporte de R$ 120 milhões em uma rodada de investimentos liderada pela norte-americana Riverwood Capital.

Segundo Marcílio Oliveira, cofundador e COO da Sensedia, grande parte do montante será destinado à expansão da atuação da Sensedia no mercado internacional. “O Brasil continua sendo um mercado importantíssimo para nós, mas sabemos que resolvemos um problema global e existe muita oportunidade fora daqui”, disse.

Ainda de acordo com o executivo, dentro dos próximos três anos, a meta é que metade da receita da empresa seja proveniente do mercado externo.

Imagem ilustra a integração de sistemas feita por meio de APIs
Sensedia é especializada em microsserviços e integração de sistemas por meio de APIs.
Crédito: Shutterstock

Fundada em Campinas, interior de São Paulo, a empresa registrou crescimento de 160% na demanda por APIs nos últimos dois anos. Movimento se deu especialmente por conta do aumento na demanda pela transformação digital de empresas.

Além disso, a própria Sensedia registrou crescimento do negócio em uma taxa composta anual (CAGR) de 115% entre 2014 e 2020.

“Somos uma empresa em rápido crescimento e a parceria com a Riverwood irá acelerar ainda mais nossa capacidade de responder às demandas internacionais”, disse Oliveira.

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Hoje, a companhia já conta com sete escritórios espalhados pela Colômbia, Peru e Reino Unido, além do Brasil (Campinas, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo) e atende atualmente grandes clientes como Bayer, Cielo, Fleury, Klabin, Natura e Netshoes.

A força de trabalho da Sensedia cresceu mais de 20% durante os primeiros meses de 2021, somando mais de 470 pessoas. A expectativa é de alcançar cerca de 700 colaboradores até o final deste ano – sendo que 30% das vagas que serão abertas estão focadas na construção de equipes internacionais.

Via: Forbes.

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Lenovo lança novos laptops gamer com CPU Intel de 11ª geração e GPU Nvidia RTX

Por Gabriel Sérvio

A Intel apresentou nesta terça-feira novas CPUs ‘Tiger Lake-H’ de 11ª geração, e as fabricantes de portáteis já estão revelando produtos equipados com a novidade. Uma delas é a multinacional chinesa Lenovo, que acaba de anunciar nesta terça-feira (11) os seus novos laptops gamer da família Legion — o Legion 7i, Legion 5iPro e Legion 5i.

Processamento, GPUs, tela e preço

Tanto o Legion 5i como o 5i Pro serão vendidos com o processador Core i7-11800H nas suas configurações mais poderosas. O topo de linha da vez, o Legion 7i, poderá ser encontrado no varejo com o chip Core i9-11980HK. Os novos processadores da Intel também trazem aos notebooks da Lenovo o suporte para as tecnologias Thunderbolt 4 e ao barramento PCie 4.0.

O modelo Legion 7i é o notebook carro-chefe da nova geração de laptops gamer da Lenovo. Imagem: Lenovo/Reprodução

Outra mudança importante, principalmente para os jogadores de plantão, é que os novos membros da linha Legion possuem processadores gráficos Nvidia da série GeForce RTX. Os intermediários (Legion 5i e 5i Pro) vão contar com as GPUs RTX 3050 ou 3050 Ti, ambos também serão vendidos com o chip RTX 3070. Já o carro-chefe da família, o Legion 7i, será vendido em sua versão topo de linha com a GPU GeForce RTX 3080.

O Legion 5i Pro é o intermediário da turma com tela de 16 polegadas. Imagem: Lenovo/Reprodução

Sobre as telas, tanto o Legion 7i como o 5i Pro virão com display de 16 polegadas na proporção 16:10 com resolução de 2560 × 1600 pixels e taxa de atualização de 165 Hz. Já o 5i possui opções com tela de 15,6 ou 17,3 polegadas. Para a versão com painel de 17,3 polegadas, a fabricante vai oferecer um modelo com tela FHD (1980 x 1080) e taxa de atualização de 144 Hz ou 60 Hz.

Outra novidade da Lenovo é a sua tecnologia de resfriamento aprimorada ‘Coldfront 3.0’, que segundo a fabricante oferece um fluxo de ar 18% superior em relação à geração anterior de portáteis Legion.

Tanto o Legion 5i Pro quanto o Legion 7i devem chegar ao varejo internacional em junho custando a partir de US$ 1.329,99 (praticamente R$ 7.000 em conversão direta) e US$ 1.769,99 (cerca de R$ 9.500), respectivamente.

Já o Legion 5i chegará apenas em julho por um preço ligeiramente mais baixo, a partir de US$ 969,99 (R$ 5.100). A Lenovo ainda não deu indícios de que pretende trazer as novidades ao Brasil.

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Via: XDA

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Voltados para gamers, novos processadores Intel Tiger Lake-H de 11ª geração chegam no terceiro trimestre

Por Rafael Arbulu

A Intel apresentou hoje (11) sua nova linha de processadores Tiger Lake-H, de 11º geração, otimizados especificamente para os laptops voltados aos gamers. Segundo introdução da linha feita à imprensa, o destaque das novas CPUs é a capacidade de elas “fazerem mais com menos”.

Isso porque, de acordo com as especificações técnicas divulgadas, os processadores Tiger Lake-H atingem até 5 GHz de frequência – menos do que se vê em outros produtos da empresa, como a Comet Lake (5,10 GHz) -, mas a Intel assegura que os novos chips trazem um desempenho melhor, mesmo com frequência levemente reduzida.

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Imagem mostra gráfico comparativo de desempenho dos processadores Tiger Lake-H em relação a gerações antigas de processadores da Intel
Gráfico mostra o desempenho da nova geração de processadores Intel em comparação a modelos mais antigos da empresa. Imagem: Intel/Divulgação

“Os processadores Intel Core série-H elevam os sistemas para jogos, criação de conteúdo e trabalho móveis para níveis inéditos”, disse Chris Walker, vice presidente corporativo da Intel.

“Trata-se de uma incrível extensão da nossa família de dispositivos móveis de 11ª geração com melhorias de desempenho de dois dígitos tanto em núcleo único quanto em núcleos múltiplos, jogabilidade de ponta e 20 pistas PCIe 4.0 para largura de banda de plataforma de nível entusiasta”, afirma.

Segundo ele, a linha Tiger Lake-H de 11ª geração oferece “o melhor desempenho do setor, permitindo aos usuários jogar, criar e se conectar com desempenho de ponta em qualquer formato”.

Baseados na tecnologia de processo SuperFin (litografia de 10 nanômetros), os novos processadores – cinco modelos ao todo – contam com até oito núcleos e 16 threads, com desempenho turbo de núcleo único e dual-core de até 5.0GHz.

Além disso, a CPU é capaz de acessar diretamente a memória GDDR6 de alta velocidade conectada à placa de vídeo, proporcionando taxas de quadros mais altas com latência mais baixa e carga rápida de grandes texturas para os entusiastas de jogos.

No gráfico, são mostrados os desempenhos dos novos processadores Intel em comparação ao seu principal concorrente, os modelos da AMD
Segundo a Intel, a nova geração de processadores Tiger Lake-H superam a concorrente AMD, que vem ganhando mercado com a linha Ryzen. Imagem: Intel/Divulgação

Os processadores oferecem até 2,5 vezes a largura de banda total do barramento PCIe para a CPU em comparação com os processadores da série H de 10ª geração, bem como o triplo da largura de banda total do PCIe em comparação com modelos de concorrentes, segundo a Intel. Alguns outros recursos mostrados à imprensa incluem:

  • 20 pistas PCIe de 4ª geração com Tecnologia de Armazenamento Rápido Intel® inicializável em Raid 0 – e até 44 pistas PCIe totais, incluindo 24 pistas PCIe de 3ª geração a partir de um hub controlador de plataforma dedicado.
  • Suporte de memória DDR4-3200
  • Thunderbolt 4 com velocidade de transferência de até 40Gbps.
  • Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+) discreto.
  • “Dual Embedded Display Port” (eDP) integrada para display secundário com otimização de energia.

A Intel antecipa a chegada da linha Tiger Lake-H ao mercado para o terceiro trimestre de 2021. Segundo a empresa, ela deve ser incorporada aos laptops de mais de 80 fabricantes.

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