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Audobon’s Birds of America art released as free, high-res downloads for printing via Boing Boing

August 14th, 2020 Comments off

The National Audubon Society has released all of John James Audubon’s magnificent watercolors from his classic work Birds of America (1827-1838) as free, high-resolution downloads for printing. The 435 life-size watercolors in the collection were “all reproduced from hand-engraved plates, and is considered to be the archetype of wildlife illustration.” Each image’s web page is accompanied by Audubon’s wonderful first-person descriptions of the animal.

Read Audobon’s Birds of America art released as free, high-res downloads for printing via Boing Boing




An interesting link found among my daily reading

The Anarchist’s Workbench via Lost Art Press – Free PDF Download

August 9th, 2020 Comments off
The Anarchist's Workbench
 
The Anarchist's Workbench via Lost Art Press - Free PDF DownloadThe Anarchist's Workbench via Lost Art Press - Free PDF Download
 

“The Anarchist’s Workbench” is – on the one hand – a detailed plan for a simple workbench that can be built using construction lumber and basic woodworking tools. But it’s also the story of Christopher Schwarz’s 20-year journey researching, building and refining historical workbenches until there was nothing left to improve.

Along the way, Schwarz quits his corporate job, builds a publishing company founded on the principles of mutualism and moves into an 1896 German barroom in a red-light district, where he now builds furniture, publishes books and tries to live as an aesthetic anarchist.

“The Anarchist’s Workbench” is the third and final book in the “anarchist” series, and it attempts to cut through the immense amount of misinformation about building a proper bench. It helps answer the questions that dog every woodworker: What sort of bench should I build? What wood should I use? What dimensions should it be? And what vises should I attach to it?

These questions are answered with the perspective of 2,000 years of workbench history.

Surprisingly, the way we immobilize pieces of wood to work on them hasn’t changed much in the last 700 years. But what has changed are the raw bench-building materials available to the modern woodworker. Gone are the massive slabs of oak, maple and beech that built the Western workbenches of our ancestors.

In their stead, we have very expensive hardwoods, plus inexpensive softwoods used for residential construction – yellow pines and firs – that (when used thoughtfully) can produce workbenches that are as heavy, tough and useful as historical examples.

“The Anarchist’s Workbench” also seeks to open your eyes to simpler workbench designs that eschew metal fasteners and instead rely only on the time-tested mortise-and-tenon joint that’s secured with a drawbored peg. The bench plan in the book is based on a European design that spread across the continent in the 1500s. It has only 12 joints, weighs more than 300 pounds and requires less than $300 in lumber.

And while the bench is immensely simple, it is a versatile design that you can adapt and change as you grow as a woodworker.

Oh, one more important fact about the book: You can download it for free. All you have to do is click this link. You don’t have to register for anything or give up your email. Just click the link and the entire book will download to your device in pdf format. The file has no DRM (digital rights management). And it’s covered by a creative commons license that allows you to use the material however you like for non-commercial purposes.

If you prefer a printed book, you can order one for $27. The 344-page 6” x 9” book is printed on #70 matte coated paper. Its signatures are sewn and secured with fiber tape for durability. The pages are hardbound and covered in cotton cloth. Like all Lost Art Press books, it is produced entirely in the United States.

Read The Anarchist’s Workbench – Lost Art Press via Lost Art Press


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Photography Life Just Released All of Their Paid Photography Courses for Free via PetaPixel

May 24th, 2020 Comments off

If you’re running low on free educational content and you’re eager to use this time to improve your craft, we have some good news. The website Photography Life hast just released all of their premium photography courses, usually $150 apiece, for free on YouTube.

The announcement was made earlier today by Photography Life founder Nasim Mansurov, who explained that he and his staff felt compelled to help out the community during these difficult times.

Read Photography Life Just Released All of Their Paid Photography Courses for Free via PetaPixel


The Art of Photography, 2nd Edition: A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression

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Home School: Watch all eight episodes of Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design series via Dezeen

May 13th, 2020 Comments off
 

Netflix has made all eight episodes of its documentary series Abstract: The Art of Design, which features set designer Es Devlin, architect Bjarke Ingels and interior designer Ilse Crawford, available to watch for free during coronavirus lockdown.

Streaming company Netflix has made season one of its design series available on Youtube as part of an initiative to make its documentaries free to watch during the coronavirus lockdown.

Wizards of the Coast’s “Stay at Home, Play at Home” page of free D&D materials and resources via Boing Boing

April 12th, 2020 Comments off
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To make your shut-in days (weeks and months) a little bit more entertaining and fun, WotC has set up a “Stay at Home, Play at Home” section of their Dungeons & Dragons website. There you can find tons of free online tools to assist you in your games: how to play materials, free basic rules, campaigns, encounters, and even activities and coloring books for younger kids. They also have a resource section for ways to play D&D remotely.
Read Wizards of the Coast’s “Stay at Home, Play at Home” page of free D&D materials and resources via Boing Boing




An interesting link found among my daily reading

Home School: Why Should We Read William Shakespeare? Four Animated Videos Make the Case via Open Culture

April 10th, 2020 Comments off

Sooner or later, we all encounter the plays of William Shakespeare: whether on the page, the stage, or—maybe most frequently these days—the screen. Over four hundred years after his death, Shakespeare is still very much relevant, not only as the most recognizable name in English literature, but also perhaps as its most famous storyteller, even if we don’t recognize his hand in modern adaptations that barely resemble their originals.

But if we can turn Shakespeare’s plays into other kinds of entertainment that don’t require us to read footnotes or sit flummoxed in the audience while actors make archaic jokes, why should we read Shakespeare at all? He can be profoundly difficult to understand, an issue even his first audiences encountered, since he stuffed his speeches not only with hundreds of loan words, but hundreds of his own coinages as well.

Headspace offers free guided meditations and workouts for New Yorkers via Mashable!

April 6th, 2020 Comments off
 

New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, so Headspace is bringing a little bit of relief to the Empire State. 

Headspace announced a partnership with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to offer free guided meditations, sleep sounds, exercises, and mindfulness content for kids on a New York-specific webpage. In case you’re not aware, Headspace is a popular mindfulness mobile app that offers all of those things under normal circumstances, but usually charges a subscription fee to access everything.

“Now more than ever it’s critical that New Yorkers stay healthy both physically and mentally, and these resources will help people cope with rising levels of stress and anxiety during this unprecedented public health crisis,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Nikon School Online – Free online courses for April via @NikonUSA

April 5th, 2020 Comments off
 
Make the most of this time.
Nikon’s mission has always been to empower creators. In these uncertain times, we can do that by helping creators stay inspired, engaged and growing. That’s why we’re providing all of our courses free for the entire month of April. Let’s come out of this even better.

Read Nikon School Online – Free online courses for April via @NikonUSA





An interesting link found among my daily reading

Isolation Entertainment: The Globe is streaming a Shakespeare play for free every fortnight via Time Out London

March 31st, 2020 Comments off
 

The latest London theatre to step up to the plate with free high-quality content is Shakespeare’s Globe. The iconic Elizabethan-style playhouse already had its own public streaming platform in the form of Globe Player, but watching it has always come at a fairly steep rate, with productions rented or purchased at individual prices that usually exceed a month’s full access to many TV streaming platforms. As of next Monday (April 6), that changes.

First up is a full English-language Shakespeare play per fortnight available for free. The line-up kicks off with 2018’s ‘Hamlet’, starring Globe boss Michelle Terry in the title role of the doomed Danish prince.

 Second up, every single production from the 2012 Globe to Globe series will be made available for free, for the whole period. So that’s a Korean ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, a Macedonian ‘Henry VI Part 3’, a Polish ‘Macbeth’, a Hebrew ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and so on and so forth. You can find the full list here.

The Internet Archive Is Digitizing & Preserving Over 100,000 Vinyl Records: Hear 750 Full Albums Now via Open Culture

March 30th, 2020 Comments off
 

There seems to be widespread agreement—something special was lost in the rushed-to-market move from physical media to digital streaming. We have come to admit that some older musical technologies cannot be improved upon. Musicians, producers, engineers spend thousands to replicate the sound of older analog recording technology, with all its quirky, inconsistent operation. And fans buy record players and vinyl records in surprisingly increasing numbers to hear the warm and fuzzy character of their sound.

Neil Young, who has relentlessly criticized every aspect of digital recording, has dismissed the resurgence of the LP as a “fashion statement” given that most new albums released on vinyl are digital masters. But buyers come to vinyl with a range of expectations, writes Ari Herstand at Digital Music News: “Vinyl is an entire experience. Wonderfully tactile…. When we stare at our screens for the majority of our days, it’s nice to look at art that doesn’t glow and isn’t the size of my hand.” Vinyl can feel and look as good as it sounds (when properly engineered).