Awesome Online Archives, Reference Materials and Free Courses – Art, Music, Science and More

HealthBase Is The Ultimate Medical Content Search Engine – TechCrunch 9/2/09

Calculator calculator calculator calculator calculator – via Metafilter 7/25/09

All the calculators you ever needed

Hiking and Biking Trails Wiki – Sierra Club

How-to Videos and Wikis – via Metafilter 5/26/09

Data.gov – a new toy for data geeks, librarians, and transparency advocates everywhere – Metafilter 5/21/09

Constellations of Words:Explore the Etymology and Symbolism of the Constellations – via Metafilter 2/25/09

Recipe Puppy Chooses Meals Based on the Ingredients You Have [Recipes] – LifeHacker 4/21/09

Don’t lecture me! Oh, wait, I mean DO lecture me – via Metafilter 2/25/09

Academic Earth has videos of “thousands” of lectures from professors at Ivy League and other top universities.

Online courses on Western history – Metafilter 11/23/09

Videos of university courses – via Metafilter 2/4/09

Academic Earth collects lectures on a wide variety of subjects from UC Berkely, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Yale that the universities have released under Creative Commons. The site is still in beta so it doesn’t quite have the thousands of lectures its frontpage promises. It has many full courses, for example Benjamin Polak teaching game theory, Amy Hungerford on the American novel since 1945, Charles Bailyn’s introduction to astrophysics, John Merriman on the history of France since 1871, Shelly Kagan on death and Oussama Khatib’s introduction to robotics.

MathTV is a real problem solver for many. It is also found on YouTube, and is free. Here is some background. – via Metafilter 3/25/09

How to Think About Science – Metafilter 11/30/09

“Modern societies have tended to take science for granted as a way of knowing, ordering and controlling the world. Everything was subject to science, but science itself largely escaped scrutiny. This situation has changed dramatically in recent years. Historians, sociologists, philosophers and sometimes scientists themselves have begun to ask fundamental questions about how the institution of science is structured and how it knows what it knows.” How to Think About Science is a 24-part series from CBC Radio’s Ideas, featuring interviews with Steven Shapin, Ian Hacking, Bruno Latour, and others. The streaming audio links on the show’s website seem to be out of commission, but direct links to all of the episodes can be found here.

The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination – via Metafilter 2/22/09

The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination was established to promote an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of creativity and the imaginative process.” To this end they hold regular roundtable discussions, streaming videos of which are available online.

PhilSci Archive – via Metafilter 4/7/09

The PhilSci Archive is an electronic archive for preprints in the philosophy of science. The goal of the Archive is to promote communication in the field by the rapid dissemination of new work.

Major German Idealists – via Metafilter 3/13/09

Selected Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – via Metafilter 11/30/09

To celebrate the start of its 350th year, the Royal Society has put online 60 of its most memorable scientific papers.
The Royal Society’s head of archives, Keith Moore, talks about some of them in an audio slideshow.

The papers (warning – they’re all PDFs) include:

Isaac Newton’s New Theory on Light And Colors. (1672)

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek‘s observations of Little Animals in Rainwater. (1677)

The Electrical Kite of Benjamin Franklin. (1752)

Thomas Young‘s Wave theory of light. (1802)

Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden’s gold foil experiment which led to the nuclear model of the atom. (1909)

Visual review of art history – Metafilter 3/25/09

Are you looking to review your art history knowledge but find google too chaotic, and Prof. Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe’s site is overwhelming and has a few too many dead links? Maybe wikipedia lacks the visuals you associate with an art history…

Are you looking to review your art history knowledge but find google too chaotic, and Prof. Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe’s site is overwhelming and has a few too many dead links? Maybe wikipedia lacks the visuals you associate with an art history review, and Art cyclopedia could be a bit more straight-forward? Then The Art Browser might be the thing for you. The site combines brief descriptions of movements and artists from wikipedia, classifications from Art cyclopedia, and large images from Art.com for compact visual overview of art history

BBC to put every publicly owned oil painting online – Guardian, UK 1/28/09

You say poe-TAY-toe. – via Metafilter 8/5/09

Forvo: All the words in the world, pronounced by native speakers. At the time of this post, the tally stands at: 327,492 words; 239,165 pronunciations; in 220 languages; with 25,040 users submitting.

I’m Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms From Around the World – Boing Boing 7/13/09

10 Things You Need to Know to Live on the Streets – Alternet 7/28/09

Google Maps Shows Local Webcams [Webcams] – LifeHacker 4/17/09

20 Fascinating Ancient Maps – Free.edu

More awesome maps here

3D Mapping – Metafilter 7/24/09

With topics that include: 3D end-to-end tour of the Grand Canyon, the origin and formation of the Colorado River, and examples of river systems that cut through mountain ranges instead of taking easier routes around them in Ancestral Rivers of the World.
But if geology and 3D mapping isn’t your thing, Bill also entertains and informs with his evaluations of creationism and religious cultists, an energy/oil analysis, gaming probability analysis, graph and number theories and applied mathematics.

“The Categorical Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Industries” – Metafilter 9/1/09

The University of Michigan’s collaborative translation of Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encylopédie has completed some 650 selections from the Enlightenment keystone, including articles on California, vanilla, werewolves, the English language, beauty, and the complete structure of human knowledge. The project has an open call for translators to help with the 74,000 remaining articles. 

Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street – BoingBoing 2/13/09

The entire Harper’s Index – via Metafilter 2/19/09

NSA Oral Histories – The Memory Hole 2/19/09

The National Security Agency has recently declassified and posted lengthy, formerly Top Secret oral history interviews with four of its most prominent personnel: Arthur J. Levenson, Dr. Solomon Kullback, Oliver R. Kirby, and Benson K. Buffham.

Geek Atlas: 128 nerdy must-sees and an education in science, technology and geek history – BoingBoing 7/23/09

Introducing the Atlas Obscura – BoingBoing 6/15/09

The Atlas is a collaborative project whose purpose is to catalog all of the “wondrous, curious, and esoteric places” that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist.

Anyone can enter new places into the Atlas Obscura, or edit content that someone else has already contributed. We’re counting on you, Boing Boing readers, to help us fill out the map and document all of the world’s wonders and curiosities!

What kind of places are we talking about? Here are a few that were recently added to the Atlas:

– A hidden spot in the Smoky Mountains where you can find fireflies that blink in unison

-A 70-year-old house made entirely out of paper

– A giant hole in the middle of the Turkmenistan desert that’s been burning for four decades

– A Czech church built of bones

– The world’s largest Tesla coil

– A museum filled with the genitals of every known mammal in Iceland

Free online archive of vintage TV commercials – BoingBoing 7/27/09

Know Your Mushrooms documentary – BoingBoing 7/16/09

Statistics by zipcode. – via Metafilter 6/23/09

NeighborhoodScout collects information on neighborhoods in the United States. Using data from local law enforcement agencies, it has compiled a list of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in the country.

Downloads in All Major – via Metafilter 3/9/09

Classical Music at the European Archive. Free and legal lossless downloads of out-of-copyright recordings. Formats include WAV, FLAC, MP3 & Ogg.

British Library’s world music archive goes online for free – via Metafilter 9/4/09 

Mountain Bluegrass – via Metafilter 3/8/09

Music in the Digital Library of Appalachia provides an unprecedented resource for study of repertoire, technique, lore, and the musical interchanges among the region’s traditional musicians. Once you know what you like, it’s easy to find the music live with Blue Ridge Music Trails. Meet musicians who have grown up with that music, visit settings in which Blue Ridge folk music thrives, see traditional dancing, and in many cases, take part in the festivities. The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Along the trail, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself.

Revival Revival – via Metafilter 2/16/09

The Folkways Collection is a downloadable, 24-part podcast series that “explores the remarkable collection of music, spoken word, and sound recordings that make up Folkways Records (now at the Smithsonian as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings).”

The Anthology, notated. – via Metafilter 2/12/09

“With this blog, I want to use the Folkways Anthology as a roadmap to explore American folk music and maybe other countries traditions along the way. I’ll use texts, images, music and videos gathered from my personal collection and from the net to…

“With this blog, I want to use the Folkways Anthology as a roadmap to explore American folk music and maybe other countries traditions along the way. I’ll use texts, images, music and videos gathered from my personal collection and from the net to make this work-in-progress enjoyable and educational the best I can.” (via)

More Lessons from History

Learning From Past Civilizations – Treehugger 8/10/09

The History of the “Money Changers” – I Am The Witness.com


20 Fascinating Ancient Maps – Free.edu

More awesome maps here

Timeline: World History of Viral Pandemics: 412BC to 2009 – Natural News 5/1/09

Fall of the Roman Empire – Metafilter 5/2/09

If you follow the 210+ reasons why the Roman Empire “fell”, you might be interested in this 60-min interview with author Adrian Goldsworthy about his recent book How Rome Fell. The interview includes a number of fascinating discussions about the nature of writing popular history, his theory on why Rome “fell”, and why analogies between modern countries and Rome’s fate have it all wrong. Goldsworthy also did introductions for the Rome series which can be watched here/here.

Untold Truths About the American Revolution – The Progressive 7/4/09

John Quincy Adams on U.S. Foreign Policy (1821) – Information Clearinghouse 7/12/09

Seven Civil War stories your teacher never told you – CNN 6/13/09

Britain’s secret plan for surviving a nuclear war – BoingBoing 6/24/09

Children of the Atomic Bomb – via Metafilter 6/28/09 

Ground Zero 1945: Pictures by Atomic Bomb Survivors. Astonishing works created more than 25 years after the event, many accompanied by artist’s comments.  Paintings are from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, presented on Dr. James Yamazaki’s Children of the Atomic Bomb website.

Nurses in Nazi concentration camps – Guardian, UK 7/23/09

Auschwitz Museum Director Reveals ‘Gas Chamber’ Hoax – Rense 7/6/09

Revisionists challenge D-Day story – BBC 6/9/09

Far from being an unmitigated success, Mr Beevor found, the landings came very close to going horribly wrong.  And far from being universally welcomed as liberators, many troops had a distinctly surly reception from the people of Normandy.  The reason for this was simple. Many Normandy towns and villages had been literally obliterated by Allied bombing.  The bombardment of Caen, Mr Beevor said, could almost be considered a war-crime.

FLASHBACK – Operation Northwoods – What Really Happened


JFK, Executive Order 11110 and the Warren Commission – YouTube 6/21/09

JFK’s Murder – Lew Rockwell 7/10/09

JFK and the Unspeakable – Huffington Post 7/25/09

New Nixon Tapes and Files Released – NYTimes 6/23/09

Newly disclosed tapes recorded by secret microphones in the Oval Office from January and February 1973 shed new light on an intense moment in American history.

“Army Surveillance of Civilians” (1972) – The Memory Hole 5/5/09

Video drama about CIA’s real project to drug unwitting US citizens with LSD – Boing Boing 6/29/09

Operation Midnight Climax is “a new fictional web series about the true story of the CIA using hookers to test LSD on American Citizens.” 

Calley apologizes for My Lai Massacre during Vietnam War – McClatchyDC 8/21/09

William Calley, the former Army lieutenant convicted on 22 counts of murder in the infamous My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, publicly apologized for the first time this week while speaking in Columbus.

“There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus on Wednesday. His voice started to break when he added, “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”

In March 1968, U.S. soldiers gunned down hundreds of civilians in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai. The Army at first denied, then downplayed the event, saying most of the dead were Vietcong. But in November 1969, journalist Seymour Hersh revealed what really happened and Calley was court martialed and convicted of murder.

1983: The Brink of Apocalypse – via Metafilter 7/10/09

1983: The Brink of Apocalypse — In 1983 the NATO war exercise Able Archer almost started a nuclear war. Unknown to NATO, just a few months earlier a false alarm had already put the Soviet leadership on edge, and the exercise triggered preparations for a counter attack in the Soviet military. Only a few double agents on each side may have saved the world from nuclear armageddon.
Bonus MAD Documentary: The Brink of Eternity (2, 3, 4, 5).

Dahr Jamail, A Secret History of Dissent in the All-Volunteer Military – Tom Dispatch 7/2/09

The un-American way of life – Salon 7/3/09

A controversial new history of Communism suggests that most everything we think we know about it is wrong



Handbooks and How-To Links for Activists
January 28, 2009, 8:15 pm
Filed under: collapse, community, infowar, interesting, Miscellaneous, protest, reference, resistance

The Transition Handbook: Community Resilience in the Face of Peak Oil – Treehugger 2/27/08 

Counter Corporate Schemes with Community Planning – Dissident Voice 10/30/08

Van Jones: How We Can Lead Our Country Out of Crisis – Alternet 10/23/08

Green “How-To” Community of Creative Citizens Launched – Treehugger 5/27/08


A Handbook for Guerrilla Gardening – Treehugger 4/28/08


Community Environmental Health Toolkit Now Available Online – Treehugger 7/30/08

A Community Guide To Environmental Health (Guide), published by Hesperian and now available online, is one of the most comprehensive guides empowering communities to deal with environmental health issues in the 21st century.


HOWTO start a flashmob – BoingBoing 4/28/08


Culture jamming for the masses – CNet 3/28/08

Improv Everywhere pulls off comedy “missions” on a regular basis, spreading its message via the Web. Now the world is following its example.

A Tactical Suggestion for Future Demonstrations – Dissident Voice 8/30/08

Jeff Cohen : What Indy Media Heroes Can Teach Us – CounterPunch 11/13/08

HOWTO Blend in with a crowd – BoingBoing 5/22/08

HOWTO Lie to authority figures – Boing Boing 5/19/08

How to ZAP a Camera: Using Lasers to Temporarily Neutralize Camera Sensors – Naimark and NYTimes 10/02

HOWTO detect hidden video cameras – Boing Boing 5/9/08

Manuel Garcia, Jr. : Don’t Get Burned: How to Protect Yourself From Raytheon’s Pain Gun – CounterPunch 6/2/08

OPEN SOURCE WARFARE: Cyberwar – Global Guerilla 8/15/08

Breaking into a power station in three easy steps – CNet 4/8/08

Nonviolence Is The Right Choice—It Works – The Progressive 10/30/08

One Hundred DIY Skills Everyone Should Have [DIY]  – Popular Mechanics via Lifehacker 10/4/08

100 items to disappear first in a crisis – The Power Hour

Nancy Oden: Survival Tips for Hard Times – CounterPunch 1/28/08

How to Survive in the Wild for 72 Hours – Popular Mechanics 1/24/08

Crashstead Survival – Personal Preparations – Survival Acres 9/9/08

Busted: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters – Alternet 11/7/08

A video guide for how to exercise your constitutional rights during encounters with police.

Save Your Life in an Emergency with Common Objects and Smarts [Emergency]  – LifeHacker 6/14/08

Reader’s Digest lists 12 life-or-death situations and the actions you can take to save yourself when you can’t count on aid from anyone else—including some advice that might surprise you.