Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hip Berlin: Europe's Capital of Cool

Time Magazine - A chill wind is blowing through Mitte, the once drab district in central Berlin that is fast becoming hangout central for the world's creative types. Davide Grazioli, used to warmer climes, pulls his black woolly hat over his head and strides up Kastanien Allee — now dubbed Casting Alley because of all the wannabe film directors and actors who frequent its caf├ęs.

Germany has a lot of fine qualities, but being hip isn't usually thought to be one of them. Up-and-coming artists, especially ones from abroad, used to flock to London, Amsterdam or New York City rather than Hamburg, Munich or Cologne. As for Berlin, it hasn't been on the international cool list since Christopher Isherwood lived in the city in the early 1930s and chronicled the demise of its rambunctious culture under the Nazis.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

YouTube University

Newsweek - YouTube has built a global reputation as the place to go for video clips of singing cats, laughing babies, reckless drivers, and raucous wedding processionals. But there's more to the site than pointless entertainment; there is a growing collection of university lectures available, including one by a Harvard Business School professor talking about consumer psychology in the recession, and Cambridge University historian David Starkey discussing the history of the British monarchy. Earlier this year YouTube launched a new home for education, YouTube EDU, which started as a volunteer project by company employees seeking a better way to aggregate educational content uploaded by U.S. colleges and universities.

One need not be a student to reap the benefits of higher education anymore. In addition to YouTube EDU, Web sites like iTunes U, TED, and Academic Earth allow millions of people to download lectures by some of the world's top experts—for free. Known as open educational resources—or OER—the movement is turning education into a form of mass entertainment.

Read more....

Emotional Bunny Says: "Guess who's taking free online chemistry courses from MIT?"