50 Years of Publications, 500 Books, FREE from the Met

If there’s one thing I love more than finding a good book, it might be finding a good book for free. The Metropolitain Museum of Art has made over 500 titles available for free download.

A few that caught my eye (and might catch yours):

Primitive Technology: Forge Blower

I invented the Bow Blower, a combination of the bow drill and forge blower to make a device that can force air into a fire while being easy to construct from commonly occurring natural materials using only primitive technology. I began by fanning a fire with a piece of bark to increase its temperature. It is this basic principle I improved on throughout the project.

What The Hell Was Megadeth, Arizona? — Cuepoint — Medium

This is the story of how an unlikely threesome—a girl, a heavy metal band and their fans — pioneered the web at its infancy, bucked the status quo and proved that the Internet wasn’t a fad.

It’s 1994. I’m working at Capitol Records in Hollywood, California.

via What The Hell Was Megadeth, Arizona? — Cuepoint — Medium.

The 40-Year Slump

What has vanished over the past 40 years isn’t just Americans’ rising incomes. It’s their sense of control over their lives. The young college graduates working in jobs requiring no more than a high-school degree, the middle-aged unemployed who have permanently opted out of a labor market that has no place for them, the 45- to 60-year-olds who say they will have to delay their retirement because they have insufficient savings—all these and more are leading lives that have diverged from the aspirations that Americans until recently believed they could fulfill. This May, a Pew poll asked respondents if they thought that today’s children would be better or worse off than their parents. Sixty-two percent said worse off, while 33 percent said better. Studies that document the decline of intergenerational mobility suggest that this newfound pessimism is well grounded.

via The 40-Year Slump.

Unwelcome tasks and burdens

…Town notables, as town autonomy vanished, found they had become subordinate implements of the imperial bureaucracy, and the life went out of their public functions, which grew every decade more disagreeable, more profitless and more oppressive. They had to be driven to their unwelcome tasks and burdens, which brought no real honor and gratified no ambition. Like beasts at the water-wheel, they plodded a dreary round to haul up the taxes needed by their rulers….

Previté-Orton, C. W.. The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1978. Print

river of monks | gregfallis.com

Interesting…Des Moines as “the Monks” never quite settled with me. I look forward to learning more about this alternative explanation:

But there’s more. One of the first people to call the river by its European name was the French Jesuit missionary and explorer Jacques Marquette. He’d encountered natives of the Peoria tribe at the confluence of this river and the Mississippi. Asking about other tribes who inhabited the river basin, the local natives told Marquette this branch of the river was controlled by Mooyiinkweena. Marquette interpreted that as a local variation on ‘moingona.’ According to one linguist, however, mooyiinkweena actually meant ‘shit-face.’ The local tribe members had apparently been insulting their neighbors.

via river of monks | gregfallis.com.