Annotated and Online: The Grateful Dead’s Deep Literary Roots (Open Culture)

SheetMusic128From the album American Beauty to Workingman’s Dead, the Greatful Dead were famously masterful with their lyrics. Interwoven with references to folk songs and poems, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to catch all of lyricist Robert Hunter’s allusions.

Thankfully, there is now a close-to-comprehensive online annotated database of every song — although it’s doubtful we’ve caught every reference. Read more about it in Open Culture.

The History of the ‘Song of the Summer’ (Vox)

Beach chairTune in to any top-40 radio station this summer and you will probably hear a question that has been asked as long as radio has been around: what is the song of the summer?

According to Vox, this question has been asked a lot longer than living memory acknowledges, and the history of this cultural phenomenon goes back to before radio — or the music industry — began.

The History of the LOL (The Conversation)

Laughing out loud guyHaha, LOL, Hehe, Hoho, ROTFL — it seems there are nearly unlimited ways to express laughter, chuckling or giggling with text. According to The Conversation, some of these these textual acknowledgments of laughter have actually been around since the age of Chaucer.

Feeling Lucky: Goofy Alternatives to Google (The New York Times Magazine)

Google256Want to spice up your Google searches? Joshua Cohen of The New York Times Magazine suggests some alternative search engines that can shake up your search results, from giving you the previous searcher’s results to eliminating the top thousand or so hits. They might not be the world’s most effective research tools, but they certainly make surfing the web more unpredictable.

Spoilt for Choice? This Newest Design Trend Wants to Make Choices for You (Quartz)

ChoicesA trip down the cereal isle in the supermarket can make it apparent that we are overwhelmed with choice. Creative industry mogul Aaron Shapiro is trying to change that. He wants technology to predict and execute choices for us from what kind of coffee to drink in the morning to what movie to watch on Netflix. The question is, will this give us time to focus on what’s important, or make life pretty boring? Read more about this so-called ‘anticipatory design’ in Quartz.