The Best Media in Life is Free
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
E-BOOK: The O. Henry Memorial Award Prize StoriesMy recent posts on short story collections by single authors and multiple authors proved extremely popular. You can expect more posts on short fiction anthologies in the coming while. I think they are quite suited to e-book reading because it's not quite as intimidating as Dickens or Austen: you can read it in chunks and get through a whole story quickly.
One of the forerunners to today's myriad and popular "Best Stories of Year Whatever" collections was the O. Henry Prize, which has endured to our time. The first three years worth of annual anthologies are public domain material available at Project Gutenberg.
- O. Henry Memorial Award, Prize Stories of 1919
- O. Henry Memorial Award, Prize Stories of 1920
- O. Henry Memorial Award, Prize Stories of 1921
Saturday, January 27, 2007
MUSIC: Instrumental Tunes by HarmsichordFound this one via Black Sweater, White Cat, who has taken up the 'song a day' mantle from CC 365. I am a picky instrumental listener; I admit to my pop-ish tastes, and unless it's Celtic instrumental or something with a strong beat, I often get bored. But BSWC has found a composer who piqued my interest. What they seem to be doing is combining standard musical styles with interesting instruments:
- Zigong Blues is a blues tune with Chinese instruments
- High Space Drifter mixes percussion sounds with trumpet stuff
- Beagle B is kind of jazzy percussion stuff with flute
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
AUDIO: 15+ Complete Language CoursesI was just stunned when I found this resource, it's that fabulous. The Foreign Service Institute, is a branch of the United States Government which exists to provide cultural and language-related training to government personnel about to be deployed overseas. A website has made available complete copies of their earlier courses, which are public domain material. I only looked in detail at the French one because I am involved in French study now for work purposes, and it had a PDF textbook over 300 pages long, and several dozen lengthy audio lessons in MP3 format, all free for the downloading. I am not sure how useful a PDF-format book will be to me, and I think I have most of that material in other forms, but I will be downloading the audio classes. And there are plenty of other languages available too: Hebrew, German, Greek, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and more. Check it out here.
Monday, January 22, 2007
ADMIN: A Quick Reader SurveyI'm getting myself organized for the new year :) If you could post a brief comment answering the following questions, that would be great:
1) Would you be interested in seeing posts about items not in the public domain or under Creative Commons license, but freely available on-line just the same?
2) Would you like to see posts about video? About book readers, MP3 player, gadgets or anything of that sort?
3) Would you prefer to see more editorializing/commentating from me about each post, or do you enjoy the more bare-bones 'just the links' style I have used so far?
4) Do you like the somewhat random post-as-I-find-stuff approach, or would you prefer theme days, e.g. an audio book every Monday, a song every Tuesday etc.
Thanks! I want to try and get the word out there about this blog more, so I want it to be the best it can be. I would so appreciate your brief feedback, either via comment or via email.
MEDIA: The Waste Land by T.S. EliotT.S. Eliot is one of my only favourite modern poets. The Waste Land is one of his best-known works. Thought Audio has produced a very high-quality audio of this famous poem, and for those that prefer to read for themselves, the text is in the public domain and available at Project Gutenberg.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
MUSIC: Celtic-Inspired MixAnother 'mix tape' post, this one featuring Celtic-style music for your enjoyment. As I have said before, I find this sort of music great for working out. It's also fun for just listening. Nearly all of these have not been blogged here yet :)
- Avel Glas, Orage
- James Curran, The Computer Virus
- Da Camera, The Irish Ground
- Dongas Tribe, The Lark in the Morning
- Paul Epstein, Skippin' Cat/Catharsis
- Fromseier Rose, Proptraekker Set
- Shira Kammen, Christmas Day in the Morning
- Minstrel Spirit, The Drunken Jester
- Green Man, The Shiny Penny
- Shake that Little Foot, Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
MUSIC: Another Song from MagnatuneMagnatune has a new embedded player where one can preview the songs without launching their media player. I have been having so much fun with it! Here is a great song I found in my travels.
Myles Cochrane, The Hardest Part
Sunday, January 14, 2007
AUDIO: Podcast on Technology and CopyrightAs mentioned on Boing Boing, the EFF is back with another podcast. In this installment, they talk to activist Derek Slater about the latest gadgets, and how they are being affected by the current talk on copyright reform. As some of you might have gathered, this is an issue I feel very deeply about, and it's one of the reasons I have become more interested in open source, public domain and Creative Commons material---material whose creators seem to have a more realistic idea of how media should be, can be, and is used. I could soapbox on this forever, but I'll spare you :) You can check out the podcast instead.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
MUSIC: The Workout MixSomeone on my fitness board was asking for good music to take to the gym. I know I have lamented before that so many of the Commons stuff is of the techno or R&B persuasion while my own tastes veer to the pop-ish, but as you know, that sort of stuff IS out there, one just has to dig a little :) So I put myself to the test and tried to put together a playlist for workouts. Here they are, ten songs with a good beat and catchy tune.
- Minstrel Spirit, Winds are Crying
- Community Music Project, Tammakhtaar
- Ross Rainey, I Was Wrong
- Suzy Y Los Quattro, Make my Day
- Brad Sucks, Making Me Nervous
- Jonathan Coulton, Chiron Beta Prime
- Joshua Morin, Stay Away from Me
- Deshead, I Meant to Remember
- The Happy Planets, Back 2019
- Andy Sullivan, I Can't Hold it Down
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
E-BOOK: Short Story Collections,Part 2Here are some short story collections by individual authors. Many of them have more available (especially Dickens, Doyle and Chekhov). I just picked one as a sampling. Most of them also have novels, tales, sketches or collected works available too, so if you do find an author you like, there is likely more where that came from. One of the great things about the short story as a genre is its ability to introduce one to new writers. You can sample many authors in a short time this way :)
- Droll Stories from the Abbeys of Touraine, Honore de Balzac
- Four Weird Tales, Algernon Blackwood
- The Chorus Girl & Other Stories, Anton Chekhov
- The Awakening & Other Stories, Kate Chopin
- Three Ghost Stories, Charles Dickens
- Tales of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Golden Slipper & Other Problems, Anna Katherine Green
- Cape Cod Stories, Joseph Crosby Lincoln
- A Collection of Stories, Jack London
- Nine Short Stories, Rex Stout
- A Desperate Character & Other Stories, Ivan S. Tugenev
- The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Vol, 1
- Twelve Stories and a Dream, H.G. Wells
- The Happy Prince & Other Tales, Oscar Wilde
- Death at the Excelsior & Other Stories, P.G. Wodehouse
Monday, January 08, 2007
E-BOOK: Short Story Collections, Part 1Many short story collections are available in the public domain for fans of the genre. There anthologies by single authors, and collections by just one author. We'll start with the 'collections by various authors' today :) Here are some collections which are based around a specific theme:
- Best American Humorous Short Stories
- Best Russian Short Stories
- The Best Ghost Stories
- Great Sea Stories
- Stories of Comedy
- Stories of Mystery
- Short Stories for English Courses
- Victorian Short Stories of Courtship
- Victorian Short Stories of Successful Marriages
- Victorian Short Stories of Troubled Marriages
- Stories by German Authors
- Stories by Russian Authors
- Stories by Italian Authors
- Stories by Polish Authors
- Stories by Scandinavian Writers
- Stories by English Authors in France
- Stories by English Authors in Africa
- Stories by English Authors in Italy
- Stories by English Authors in London
- Stories by English Authors in Scotland
- Stories by English Authors on the Orient
- Stories by Modern American Authors
- Stories by Modern English Authors
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
MUSIC: Magnatune Song of the DayThe excellent netlabel Magnatune has started a song of the day feature. Each day, they will post one song for you to enjoy and download. You can receive a daily email, too. It doesn't look so far like they are archiving the previous days, but even so, if you have ever found their catalogue a little overwhelming and not been sure where to start---or if you are like me and can be skittish about branching into genres you are not familiar with---this could be just the thing.
Monday, January 01, 2007
MUSIC: One More from CC 365I'm not sure if the people at CC 365 will be continuing their blog into 2007, but I thank these guys for being the ones to initially get me into the whole Creative Commons movement. They didn't quite meet their goal of posting one song a day for an entire year, and the tastes of that collective were not quite on par with mine (Scott Andrew in the first week notwithstanding). But the blog was a ground-breaker, and I thought it would be appropriate to inaugerate the new year on MY blog with one of their pics. I struggle to find CC music that isn't techno/ambient/soundscape type stuff, so it a delight when a tune like this one pops up with farily little digging :)