Edgar Allan Poe was born on this day 206 years ago. BoingBoing suggests celebrating Poe’s birthday with these Vincent Price wines. But seeing that the 2012 Raven Cabernet Sauvignon runs $75.00, we’re going to steer you toward something free. If you revisit our post from October, you can download Poe’s complete works as ebooks and free audio books. Lots of great stories in one bundle. And it won’t cost you a dime. You’d have to think that Poe, who died penniless, would approve.
Find lots more literary freebies in our twin collections:
Santa left a new Kindle, iPad, Kindle Fire or other media player under your tree. He did his job. Now we’ll do ours. We’ll tell you how to fill those devices with free intelligent media — great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn’t get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials on the good old fashioned computer. Here we go:
Free eBooks: You have always wanted to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our Free eBooks collection you will find 700 great works by some classic writers (Dickens, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare and Tolstoy) and contemporary writers (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut). The collection also gives you access to the 51-volume Harvard Classics.
If you’re an iPad/iPhone user, the download process is super easy. Just click the “iPad/iPhone” links and you’re good to go. Kindle and Nook users will generally want to click the “Kindle + Other Formats links” to download ebook files, but we’d suggest watching these instructional videos (Kindle – Nook) beforehand.
Free Audio Books: What better way to spend your free time than listening to some of the greatest books ever written? This page contains a vast number of free audio books — 630 works in total — including texts by Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, George Orwell and more recent writers — Italo Calvino, Vladimir Nabokov, Raymond Carver, etc. You can download these classic books straight to your gadgets, then listen as you go.
Free Online Courses: This list brings together over 1100 free online courses from leading universities, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, Oxford and beyond.
These full-fledged courses range across all disciplines — history, physics, philosophy, psychology, business, and beyond. Most all of these courses are available in audio, and roughly 75% are available in video. You can’t receive credits or certificates for these courses (click here for courses that do offer certificates). But the amount of personal enrichment you will derive is immeasurable.
Free Movies: With a click of a mouse, or a tap of your touch screen, you will have access to 700 great movies. The collection hosts many classics, westerns, indies, documentaries, silent films and film noir favorites. It features work by some of our great directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Andrei Tarkovsky, Stanley Kubrick, Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch) and performances by cinema legends: John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and beyond. On this one page, you will find thousands of hours of cinema bliss.
Free Language Lessons: Perhaps learning a new language is high on your list of New Year’s resolutions. Well, here is a great way to do it. Take your pick of 46 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, English, Russian, Dutch, even Finnish, Yiddish and Esperanto. These lessons are all free and ready to download.
Free Textbooks: And one last item for the lifelong learners among you. We have scoured the web and pulled together a list of 200 Free Textbooks. It’s a great resource particularly if you’re looking to learn math, computer science or physics on your own. There might be a diamond in the rough here for you.
Thank Santa, maybe thank us, and enjoy that new device….
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Just wanted to give you a quick heads up that we’ve recently spun out a collection of Free Philosophy eBooks (from our larger, more diverse collection of 600 Free eBooks). Right now, you will find 110 classic works on the new list — foundational texts written by Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel and Kant, not to mention Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein and Nietzsche, too. The list will keep growing at a steady clip. But if you see any crucial texts missing, please let us know, and we will try to get them added ASAP. Of course, we’re looking for works in the public domain.
You can generally download the Free Philosophy eBooks to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone and other devices. (Kindle users can use these instructions to get .mobi files onto their devices.) Or, in most cases, we give you the option to read the books in your web browser. Take your pick.
Quick fyi: Eric Ligman, a Microsoft Sales Excellence Manager, has gathered together a big list of free Microsoft ebooks and resource guides that will help you navigate through various Microsoft issues. Some of the texts are geared toward consumers; others toward IT professionals working with Microsoft products. A few handy titles include:
Yesterday,E.O. Wilson’sLife on Earth was released asa free iBook on iTunes. It features “state-of-the-art digital media animations, video, and interactive modules in a comprehensive 41-chapter text covering standards-based biology curriculum.” Created under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard naturalist Edward O.Wilson, Life on Earth can be downloaded in 7 units on iTunes. The free book also comes with a free iTunesU course. In addition to reading assignments, the course “incorporates activities such as field observations, writing assignments, project-based learning exercises,” using apps and other materials. Combining information from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Geographic, and the Encyclopedia of Life, the course covers a variety of important themes — citizen science, evolution, climate change, and protecting biodiversity. The first nine chapters of the iTunesU course are available now, and the remaining materials for the 41-chapter course will be released throughout 2014.
The new open philosophy journal, Ergo, was “created in response to a need for general philosophy journals that are efficient, open access, inclusive, and transparent.” Traditional philosophy journals move slowly, taking somewhere between 5 and 9 months to tell scholars whether their submissions will be accepted or not. They overwhelmingly favor work written by white men. And they cater to metaphysics and epistemology, while giving less attention to the philosophy of mind, ethics, and political theory.
Enter Ergo, the new open journal created by The University of Michigan, which just published its first issue online.The average time-to-decision was 21 days, with the journal rejecting 93% of the submissions. The first five accepted articles covered Epistemology (twice), History of Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Biology, and Philosophy of Mind. And, as the editors seem acutely aware, the first submissions were still dominated by men. (Get more background on the journal here.)
Open Culture scours the web for the best educational media. We find the free courses and audio books you need, the language lessons & educational videos you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between.
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