January 9, 2014

New skills and gifts for a new year

Hey, it's a new year already! Did you party? Catch up with friends? And, how are you doing with all those resolutions you made around January 1st?
Let's start the new year on a happy note, shall we? Learn new skills, improve old ones ... 2014 is going to be so good!

( image courtesy:  Craft & Vision )

For starters, head over to Craft & Vision to download David duChemin's free e-book on photography, 'Craft & Vision 2- More Great Ways to Make Stronger Photographs'. This 45-page e-book in pdf form is filled with tips and techniques in 9 articles that will help you to boost your photographic skills. You'll love it, I know. I just got my copy and can't get over David duChemin's "random act of kindness to the photography community". What an incredibly generous offer!

And, as long as we are on e-books, take a look at the free e-books offered by Open Culture. 500 great works of fiction and non-fiction (and some poetry) are on this eclectic list. You'll find Chekhov, Nietzsche, Proust, Noam Chomsky and JD Salinger there. As well as JM Barrie (Peter Pan), Jane Austen, Beatrix Potter and  L. Frank Baum.
Put those iPads and Kindles and other gadgets to good use while commuting, my peeps! 500 books should keep you entertained for a long, long time.

If you're an art-lover, there are more goodies coming your way! The Metropolitan Museum of Art has over 300 out-of-print titles available to read online or to download here. Now what if I told you that these include works such as 'Leonardo da Vinci : Anatomical drawings from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle' ? This one promises hours of reading heaven!

Oh, and one last gift to start the new year right ... improve your education. Yeah,okay ... you quit college 20 years ago / you're busy during the day / you can't travel / you're too busy with other things most of the time / you don't want to sit in a class with kids young enough to be your grandkids / and on and and on ...
But, the power of the internet has blasted all those obstacles out of the way. Now you have some of the best universities in the world putting together truly awesome courses which you can access online and they're free! So you could take some classes from MIT, Yale, Stanford and Harvard (among others) while chilling out in good ole Mumbai.
And the plus point? Many of these universities give you a certificate when you complete the course. (A certificate from Harvard or MIT ... I know of people who would kill for even a letter from these institutions!)
Take a look at this comprehensive list of courses . What a great start to 2014!


  1. Thank you, thank you! Such good links and perfect timing too!

    1. You're welcome, Bhavna! The creators / facilitators of these e-books and courses were so incredibly generous in making them available to everyone that I just had to share it with all my readers :)