Data Driven Journalism maintains a list of tools for working with data. Many of them are free to use or open source. [more inside]
WK Fine Tools is an internet magazine devoted to traditional and fine woodworking. The site also maintains curated collections of downloadable woodworking books and tool catalogs and manuals. [more inside]
The University of Michigan Library, the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and ProQuest have made public more than 25,000 manually transcribed texts from 1473-1700 — the first 200 years of the printed book. Full text access. Multiple format downloads, including ePUB. Or just download the entire corpus. [more inside]
Manuscript Miniatures, Effigies & Brasses, Armour in Art, and Aquamanilia are four online databases of medieval art. Together they comprise some 19,506 images. [more inside]
Online game retailer GOG--which started (as Good Old Games) with a focus on updating classics to run on modern computers, then branched into offering newer games DRM-free--has announced that they will start selling movies under their DRM-free model. [more inside]
The DMMapp (Digitized Medieval Manuscripts App) is a website that links to more than 300 libraries in the world. Each one of these contains medieval manuscripts that can be browsed for free. The DMMapp is a product of Sexy Codicology, an independent project focused on medieval illuminated manuscripts and social media. It maintains a great blog about medieval manuscripts, especially those that are available online.
The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery is an annual weekend conference discussing food, its history, and culture. Since 1981 the papers presented at the Symposium have been collected into a conference volume called the Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, most of which have been made available for free in their entirety via Google Books. Each volume consists of about 25-40 papers surrounding the theme of that year's Symposium (e.g. Eggs, Authenticity, or The Meal). [more inside]
In honor of National Library Week, Oxford University Press is making all of its non-journal products available online for free for the week of April 13th-19th, 2014. This includes the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Handbook series. [more inside]
The digital library JSTOR has announced its new Register & Read program, under which users unaffiliated with an institution can access "approximately 1,200 journals from more than 700 publishers, a subset of the content in JSTOR. This includes content from the first volume and issue published for these journals through a recent year (generally 3-5 years ago)." [more inside]
The Mahogany Blog (based in London) features a diverse range of (often indie and/or upcoming) music: through streaming singles, guest mixes and video posts, sharing others' mixes, and brief interviews with artists. Their YouTube channel hosts The Mahogany Sessions - acoustic musical performances exclusive to and filmed by the blog.
Ana White shares hundreds of free furniture plans on her website, encouraging those who may have never built furniture before. Formerly known as "Knock Off Wood" since she had DIY versions of popular retail styles, she changed her name after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Williams-Sonoma (owner of Pottery Barn and West Elm). An audio interview with Ms. White and a Flickr pool of completed projects. (via Balancing Everything)
So many (free, online) ways to celebrate (or not) Valentine's Day: a declaration of romantic intent - 14 ways an economist says "I love you" - [more inside]
Hey! Do you like books? (Yeah...) Do you like free books? (Yeah!) Do you like giving books to friends and strangers and whomever? (Hell yeah!) Are you American? (I just said "hell yeah" didn't I?) Then sign up here! (Then what happens?) You can select from one of thirty books. (And?) They'll send you a box with twenty copies of one book which you can give to friends, strangers or enemies. (What's the catch?) There's no catch, it's World Book Night. [British edition previously on MeFi]
The Earthbound Journal is the Mother of all fan projects; a labour of love that took journalist Armand Kossayan over 150 hours to complete. And it's amazing. Armand describes it as "a retelling of the game’s plot from the point of view of primarily Paula and Jeff, with some smaller parts from Ness and Poo." Did I mention it's free. Go get it!
Do you need a free library of high-quality, carefully-recorded samples of a wide variety of musical instruments? The University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios' Musical Instrument Samples page has got you covered, from alto flute to violin. [more inside]
Nigel Kneale's adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four was one of the most controversial television programmes of its time. Broadcast live, it made "unusually extensive and imaginative use of filmed inserts (14 in total). These sequences bought time for the more elaborate costume changes or scene set-ups, but also served to 'open out' the action." And now you can watch it too! The full version is currently on Youtube. Short of the John Hurt film released in 1984 being posted online, the 1954 BBC TV adaptation is about as doubleplusgood as it gets for now. [more inside]
40 years ago, a small crew of filmmakers set out to document some of the more pressing issues involving wildlife in America. They made eight half-hour films around the country and in doing so made what is believed to be the first environmental TV series in the US. Entitled Our Vanishing Wilderness, all eight episodes are now online and free to view here.
I fly like paper, get high like planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make 'em all day
I get one down in a second if you wait [more inside]
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make 'em all day
I get one down in a second if you wait [more inside]
Dust Echoes is a series of twelve beautifully animated Aboriginal Australian dreamtime stories from Central Arnhem Land. The themes of these stories tell tales of love, loyalty, duty to country and aboriginal custom and law. Each story comes with descriptions on its history, what the story means and the text of the original story as told by local story tellers. Be sure to check out the downloads section for free desktop wallpapers and MP3 bonus tracks.
TV and Parables of Our Times: Speaking of Faith ( a weekly radio program about "religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas") looks at how tv deals with issues in contemporary life. A link to the main episode (MP3) is on the page along with various support media.
Stage plays for nothin'! If you live in or plan to visit one of the 120 American cities participating in Free Night of Theater, then log on, find a show, and get one of the free tickets before they're gone. Simple. [more inside]
The Mel Blanc Show ran on the CBS Radio Network from September 3, 1946, to June 24, 1947. In this show, Mel played himself, the hapless owner of a fix-it shop, as well as his young cousin Zookie. The plot for many episodes saw Mel "impersonating an exotic foreigner or other stranger in town" to either impress his girlfriend's father or, at the very least, avoid angering him. 40 episodes of The Mel Blanc Show can be found here in MP3 format for your listening pleasure. [more inside]
A few years ago an old NES game called Sunman was discovered. Developed by a company called Sunsoft, it was clearly a repurposed Superman game, with the Man of Steel seemingly having been replaced at some point during the games development by a generic new superhero. This was likely done to avoid expensive licensing costs for a game that was due to be released around the end of the active lifespan for the NES (and would probably not sell well as a result) but this was purely speculation. Until now. For now a build of the original Superman game by Sunsoft has been found and you can download it for free here. [more inside]
SpaceTimeTV collects and lets you watch all the best educational videos online from full length documentaries (such as the 50 minute long Is There Life on Mars) to short video clips such as this one on glaciers and global warming. There are hundreds of videos on topics including history, space, technology, and nature.
First Person Shooters don't always have to cost you money. Free Doom and Starsiege: Tribes are two of the most well known free FPS around, but inside this post is a list of 32 more for you to checkout, download legally for free and enjoy. [more inside]
World of Goo was released last year on PC and Wii and, despite an 82% piracy rate (previously), still went on to become one of the best selling games of 2008 and win a swag of awards. In a recent blog post (the first of seven) the developer, 2D Boy, has been detailing the early days of development for World of Goo. But just don't read about this proto-Goo... play it! They have made this early version of the game available to download for free. And don't forget that the soundtrack to the completed game is also still free and available for download.
Bought a video game second hand and found it doesn’t have a manual? Or have you been thinking about that great manual that came with that copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past you owned years ago and wouldn't mind taking a look through it again? Well, help is at hand! Vimm offers you heaps of free pdf manuals from retro systems as old as the Atari 2600 and as recent as the N64! Meanwhile Meekeo does much the same, although it mostly looks after current generation systems (including the PC) only. Finally, if you own a Nintendo Wii, DS, Gamecube or Gameboy Advance, Nintendo is offering up full colour pdfs of games they publish(ed) for these systems, as well as manuals for some of their older games.
Fans of both Dead Space (and comic books in general), will be happy to learn that the first issue of the new comic book mini-series based on the game has been released online, in full, for free here. Not a fan of Dead Space but like comic books? There are lots of other comic books online that can be viewed for free, like stuff from DC Comics, Marvel and Image. There's also a few Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who comics online for your viewing pleasure (in fact you can even make your own with the latter).
MonkeySee provides free access to a large collection of professionally-produced and user-generated how-to videos. Some of the more interesting tutorials include How To Apply Heath Ledger Joker Makeup, How to Tell if Your Food Has Gone Bad, How to Build a Terrarium, How To Tell If Someone is Lying To Me and How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket.
Have you ever wondered what the national anthem of Bolivia, Nepal or The Republic of Seychelles sounded like? Well wonder no more because NationalAnthems.info has got you covered! It claims to have the national anthem for every country in the world in MIDI format, along with downloadable lyrics and sheet music so you can sing and play along. But if the MIDI format isn't doing it for you, there's also other sites that you can visit that have downloadable MP3s of pretty much every national anthem this planet and its inhabitants have to offer, such as this one or this one, which is notable in that the anthems featured there were performed by the US Navy Band. And finally, for your further reading and listening pleasure, check out this forum which contains background information on and even more links to downloadable national anthems.
Like others before him Benjamin Rosenbaum is making his debut short story collection, The Ant King And Other Stories, available from his publishers, Small Beer, as a free download. More than this though, he is holding a competition to find the best derivative work inspired by it. These include "translations, plays, movies, radio plays, audiobooks, flashmob happenings, horticultural installations, visual artworks, slash fanfic epics, robot operas, sequels, webcomics, ASCII art, text adventure games, roleplaying campaigns, knitting projects, handmade shoes, or anything else you feel like." [more inside]
Leo Ornstein is generally considered to have been one of the greatest pianists of the early twentieth century. His performances of works by avant-garde composers and his own innovative and even shocking pieces made him a cause célèbre on both sides of the Atlantic. By the mid-1920s, he had walked away from his fame and soon disappeared from popular memory. And although he passed away in 2002, the internet still remembers him and his amazing legacy of work. At this website dedicated to the artist and his work, you can read all about him as well as listen to many of his scores and MP3s-on-demand. There's also readable sheet music here at the International Music Score Library Project . And there's a register of archived documents spanning Leo's career over at Yale University's website. [more inside]
Got some time to kill? Well then, maybe you should start exploring the exciting world of papercraft! To get you started, here's a link to 100 free paper models and toys. Once you're done there, you might want to start checking out card modeling, build some skyscraper models, animals and motorcycles and when you get really good, faces of real people such as these. There's even some creative paper modeling websites out there for the kids and people who like Pokemon and Nintendo. And if all those links still aren't enough to satiate your new found lust for papercraft, check out this papercraft search engine for even more designs.
The Bicycle Tutor is a site with lots of video tutorials designed with a sole purpose; to teach you how to fix your own bicycle. [via mefi projects]
Total Annihilation, released over ten years ago by the now defunct Cavedog Entertainment, was one of the most popular RTS games of its day. And it is still being played today, partly due to the mod community who have been working on keeping it alive through the release of patches, units and maps, a list of which you'll find inside. [more inside]
Got some spare time? Then let's learn origami! Check out this large collection of origami designs (suitable for beginners too), and here's some instructional origami videos to help you along.
The first 17 minute 'webisode' of the new science-fiction web-series Sanctuary, starring Stargate SG-1's Amanda Tapping (along with several other Stargate actors) can now be viewed online, for free, at Youtube. And although you can buy them here for US $1.99, uploading the video to Youtube or sharing it with your friends is all completely legit, as the producers have taken a very liberal approach to DRM; specifically, there is none. To quote creator Damian Kindler "These files are YOURS. You can do with them what you want. Drop them into iTunes. Convert them to DVD formats. Burn, rip, whatever. You bought 'em, you decide how to enjoy 'em." Nice.
Free Photoshop Plug-ins : Virtual Photographer for "professional" results. Filters and plugins from ad and design agency, Richard Rosenman. AutoFX Mosaic, for making your photos look as if they were created out of a mosaic tile. HDR Soft, (trial s/w) for increading dynamic range of photographs, and creating and HDR look. Power Touche for creating divinely-inspired photographs. And many more.
Tom Smith is your average guy who likes comic books, Harlan Ellison short stories and Julie Newmar in a Catwoman suit (who dosen't?). Except the thing is, the guy can sing and write music too. And he releases a free song every week at his iTom page. Like most artists his music can be hit and miss, but there's some great free music to be found there such as Contessa and the awesome Jim Henson tribute A Boy and His Frog. Oh, and he also runs the 'Digital Acoustic' livejournal, where he discusses all manner of things such as comics, politics and of course, music. Sure, he's no cortex, but he's pretty damn good and well worth a listen.
More and more authors are turning to podcasting to find their audiences after being rejected by traditional book publishers, it seems. Interested in hearing some of their stories for free (or if you're feeling generous, a suggested donation of $9.99)? Check out PodioBooks, where there's a tonne of free literature just waiting to be downloaded to your iPod.
Astronomy 161 - an introduction to Solar System Astronomy. These are a set of lectures in progress now at Ohio State University. All materials are available on line - audio resources (direct or podcast through iTunes), movies and lecture notes. If you are interested in where you live, these beautifully delivered lectures are excellent.
Kant. Modern thought begins with Kant yet his work is dense and hard to understand. Perhaps this set of lectures, some 12 hours in total from the University of Glasgow will help. Titled 'Kant's Epistemology' they cover most of the subject matter of the Critique of Pure Reason - an extremely ambitious task. They are free and appear to be available only for a limited period. Perhaps worth downloading now - to savour when you have an few idle years.
About ten hours (over the course of two days) and exactly two bloodshot eyes later, it was complete. I had 100 letters to 100 different companies — stuffed, sealed, stamped, and ready to go. I put all 100 letters into the mail on Friday, February 24, 2006 at 9 AM. Now all that was left to do was sit back and wait for a response (or two?) via
The Pixel Plant offers 150 Pixel Fonts for between Free and 45 cents each.