Understanding the Human Factor: Life and Its Impact [TTC Video]
27 January 2016, 15:00
Course No 1557 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | AC3, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 4.58GB
The year is 8000 B.C. A man wanders across a field of prairie grasses in search of edible berries and roots and wild game to feed his family. As he walks, the tips of the grasses brush against him, releasing seeds. He collects a few of these seeds and brings them back to his camp. Later, he notices that when they fall on earth, they begin to sprout, and a new plant grows.
In small moments like these, the path of Homo sapiens sapiens is changed forever. The process of domesticating plants and animals reflects the greatest transition in the history of humankind—one that served to make us the humans we are today. This momentous innovation, which allowed human beings to become the dominant species on earth, sparked a chain reaction that laid the foundation for human civilization:
- By mastering the complexities of herding and farming, human beings secured their food supply indefinitely.
- These secure food sources led to settled communities and higher population densities around the world.
- With more highly concentrated and populated societies, humans developed complex systems in order to divide labor among individuals and groups.
- This division of labor eventually led to the creation of more specialized and essential human systems, such as government, law, and religion.
Today, we still feel the impact of this early innovation. Inasmuch as humankind has changed the species it domesticates, so have the plants and animals we cultivate and tend changed the shape of our history and lives. These interactions are the key not only to our rise but also our continued success on this planet. In fact, it's been suggested that if contributions from our domesticates suddenly stopped, civilization would almost certainly and instantly collapse.
In Understanding the Human Factor: Life and Its Impact, award-winning educator Professor Gary A. Sojka takes you on a journey through this fascinating story, surveying the remarkable innovations that transformed humankind into the sole agriculturists on our planet.
Over the course of 24 thought-provoking lectures, Professor Sojka draws on the latest science to offer a unique, multidisciplinary perspective on human life seldom available in a single course.
Bringing together insights from a wide variety of fields—including microbiology, genetics, archaeology, and sociology—Professor Sojka weaves a complex and remarkable tale, a fascinating synthesis of science and history that spans from the ancient roots of human culture to some of the most significant issues facing the modern world.
10,000 Years of Change
The course begins with the conversion of human beings from hunter-gatherers into farmers and keepers of livestock. As you explore more than 10,000 years of human history, you'll uncover the remarkable innovations, adaptations, and evolutions that have affected people and their plant and animal domesticates.
You'll view this grand story from a variety of perspectives. Through the lens of science, you'll explore the biological implications of cultivation and see how breeding practices have altered the genetic makeup of our domesticates. Focusing on history and anthropology, you'll examine how these changes, in turn, affected humankind and formed the foundation for the development of human civilization and culture. Your understanding of this rich story is enhanced with evidence drawn from many areas of study, including genetic research, archaeological excavation, carbon dating, mitochondrial DNA, and comparative linguistics.
As you explore this history, you'll trace a number of foundational ideas that lie at the heart of this field of study:
- Domestication is a mutually beneficial partnership between humans and the plants and animals they cultivate.
- Not any wild species can be domesticated. In each human-domesticate relationship, the plant or animal has "met us partway," exhibiting characteristics and behaviors that make domestication possible.
- Domestication is a two-way street. Just as we have changed the animals, plants, and microbes we have domesticated, so have we been changed through our relationship with them.
Along the way, you'll encounter fascinating facts and unexpected insights that bring this topic to life. Some of these intriguing details include these:
- The story of the domestication of dogs: Modern-day dogs originally arose from outcast members of wolf packs. Those animals that exhibited a weaker "flight response" could tolerate human communities and soon learned how to benefit from this interaction.
- Unexpected domesticates: Domesticates don't live only in the barnyard. Some important domesticates include the yeast used to brew beer and bake bread, the microbes that produce antibiotics, and mice that are bred to be used in the laboratory.
- The "expatriation" of species: While we may think of tomatoes as quintessentially Italian, potatoes as typically Irish, and horses as icons of the American West, all these species—and many others that we associate with particular regions—are actually foreign transplants whose identification with these regions is shaped by human intervention.
- The impact of domesticates on humans: Without sled dogs, Inuit peoples could not have moved into Arctic climates, just as desert peoples needed camels to thrive in their environment.
Glimpse the Future of Humankind
In addition to illuminating the distant past of humanity, Understanding the Human Factor also sheds light on current and future developments in the human experience. As you trace modern developments, you'll see how some of humankind's most advanced innovations—including such new technologies as artificial insemination, cloning, and interspecies gene transfer—are part of the ongoing relationship the human species has formed with its domesticates.
You'll also explore the repercussions and implications of humankind's "grand experiment" in domestication. As you'll see, the story of domestication serves as the foundation for some of the most hotly debated issues in the modern world, including sustainability, animal rights, agribusiness, pollution, and world hunger. Through his balanced and scientifically based discussion of humankind's history of food production, Professor Sojka provides you with the context to understand both these debates themselves and our species' capacity for contending with these issues.
An Unprecedented Perspective on Life on Earth
In Understanding the Human Factor, you'll gain a unique and valuable opportunity to grasp the full story of humankind's relationship to domestication. Through this single course, you'll encounter a synthesis of insights drawn from a wide range of disciplines.
As an award-winning educator and a practitioner of agriculture and animal husbandry, Professor Sojka is the perfect guide for this grand saga. Weaving together material from a wide range of scholarly viewpoints, he presents a one-of-a-kind vision of humankind's unique role on Earth.
Join Professor Sojka for this enlightening view of the human story, and discover valuable truths about one of the most important developments in the history of the human species—one that has laid the foundation for all of human culture and that will continue to have implications for our future.
Geometry: An Interactive Journey to Mastery [TTC Video]
26 January 2016, 09:37
Course No 1033 | WMV, WMV3, 640x360 | WMA, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | 13.96GB
Inscribed over the entrance of Plato’s Academy were the words, “Let no one ignorant of geometry enter my doors.” To ancient scholars, geometry was the gateway to gaining a profound knowledge of the world. Today, geometry’s core skills of logic and reasoning are essential to success in school, work, and many other aspects of life.
Like other math fields, geometry teaches us how to think. It leads students to uncover new truths based on already established ideas and facts. It requires us to test and examine the conclusions of others. It teaches us to lay out our thinking clearly, describing each step so that others can follow along and verify our results.
This systematic way of thinking is essential in many fields. Drawing conclusions from experimental data is the basis of scientific discovery. Our justice system depends on compelling evidence to render a verdict in a court of law. And we use logical reasoning in everyday conversations to win friends over to our point of view.
In fact, the great Greek scholar Euclid demonstrated just how much you can do with logic. He worked out that basically all of geometry stands on just 10 core principles. You can build the rest using straightforward, logical reasoning.
In short, geometry is among the great intellectual feats of humankind. However, geometry goes far beyond being just an intellectual exercise. Its real-world applications extend to navigation, architecture, engineering, physics, technology, and even art.
- Botanists use the geometry of triangles to estimate the heights of trees.
- Astronomers use an understanding of ellipses to describe the orbits of planets.
- Quantum physicists use the mathematics of rotation to explain aspects of subatomic physics.
- Architects use principles of symmetry to develop aesthetically pleasing buildings.
- Engineers use the properties of parabolas to design headlights and satellite dishes.
With its powerful blend of intellectual accomplishment and practical application, it’s no wonder that most schools consider geometry a core subject. Yet as award-winning Professor James Tanton of The Mathematical Association of America shows in Geometry: An Interactive Journey to Mastery, geometry can be an exciting adventure at any age. Those who will benefit from his 36 clear and accessible lectures include
- high school students currently enrolled in a geometry class;
- their parents, who seek an outstanding private tutor for their students;
- home-schooled students and others wishing to study high school geometry on their own;
- collegestudents who are struggling with math requirements and who need to strengthen their grasp of this fundamental subject; and
- anyone curious about the intellectual challenge of logic and reasoning that underlies mathematics, the sciences, and our technological world.
Professor Tanton’s excellent teaching style makes the course ideal for those students who have ever believed they’re “not good at math” or have had challenges understanding geometry in the past.
A Different Way to Learn Geometry
Even students who have done well in other math courses such as algebra can sometimes find geometry a challenge. More so than algebra and other equation-based math, geometry places particularly strong focus on making logical inferences from facts and building a story of reasoning. Plus, geometry involves a more visual approach—working with shapes and patterns from the real world.
Many geometry courses begin by teaching the results of geometric thinking—by listing a set of beginning rules first. But how can one build the foundations of a house without first having a sense of what the house should be? Professor Tanton encourages students to start by playing with ideas of the mind (and acts of the hand!) to develop a feel for geometric rules and a context for those rules.
In Geometry: An Interactive Journey to Mastery, Professor Tanton guides students as they build an understanding of geometry from the ground up. With this approach, the instruction focuses on the intellectual play of the subject and its beauty as much as its utility and function. Students begin with elementary building blocks like points, lines, and angles and observe how those basic units interact.
From a clear understanding of the fundamental principles, students use logical reasoning to expand their understanding of geometry. Like building a house brick by brick, each new discovery stands upon the others—without any sudden or confusing jumps.
In the first part of the course, students
- develop an intuitive context for thinking about terms like point, line, angle, plane, and flat;
- grasp how to create logical proofs; and
- uncover the three deep and fundamental assumptions of geometry—the Pythagorean theorem, the parallelism postulate, and the similarity principles.
In the second part, students
- study common geometric shapes and their properties (such as triangles, polygons, and circles);
- explore the intersection of geometry and algebra;
- examine the basics of trigonometry; and
- learn how to calculate areas.
Once students understand the core principles, they are set loose to play in the third part of the course. Students ponder a range of fascinating and sometimes counterintuitive applications for geometry. They
- combine two seemingly disparate fields: geometry and probability;
- dive into the wild world of fractals;
- investigate conics and their many practical applications;
- use complex numbers to solve tricky geometry problems; and
- contemplate spherical and even “taxi-cab” geometry.
Delightful Real-World Examples
A beauty of geometry is its wide variety of fascinating and unexpected applications. Some of the examples students explore in this course include these:
- Width of a river: You're on a walk and come across a river. Can you estimate how wide it is? See how you can—with no more than a bit of geometry and a baseball cap.
- Geometry and nature: From the orbits of planets to the shape of your small intestine, geometric shapes appear in some surprising places throughout nature. See how geometry helps us better understand the marvels and mysteries of the world around us.
- Modern cell phones: Swiping the screen on a cell phone seems to be an ordinary activity. But did you know your phone is actually relying on some clever geometry? Find out exactly what your phone is doing and the mathematics behind it.
- Works of art: When people think of applications for mathematics, they often mention the fields of science or engineering. But geometry also has its place in the visual arts. See how great artists like M.C. Escher used geometric shapes and principles to create masterpieces.
- A game of pool: If you're playing pool and want to play a trick shot against the side edge, how do you need to hit the ball? See how you can determine this and more using the reflection principle.
A Teacher of Teachers
Professor Tanton is committed to sharing the delight and beauty of geometry and works with teachers across North America to develop more effective teaching methods for geometry and other math courses.
He is not only a teacher of math, but a teacher of the best ways to teach math. His experience has taught him where students most frequently flounder, which has given him the skills to explain mathematical concepts in a way that removes mental roadblocks to success.
Making each example come to life, Geometry: An Interactive Journey to Mastery engages students in a visual adventure. Professor Tanton uses bright and colorful slides, easy-to-understand whiteboard drawings, and interactive demonstrations to make his explanations crystal clear. And to help students better understand geometric principles, a workbook complete with sample problems and solutions accompanies the course.
Equipped with a firm understanding of geometry, students walk away from the course with the tools and knowledge to continue on to greater challenges in mathematics, school, and life. Your journey into this world of joy and wonder has only begun.
How to Draw [TTC Video]
26 January 2016, 06:47
Course No 7770 | MKV, AVC, 755 kbps, 1024x576 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.31GB
Like reading and writing, drawing is a fundamental life skill. Once an integral part of a traditional education, knowledge of drawing deepens your understanding of the visual world that surrounds you and enhances your ability to interact meaningfully with it. In addition to the many pleasures of drawing, the ability to see as an artist sees brings a new dimension to self-expression and elevates your skill in countless other activities, from photography and design to the deeper appreciation of nature and art.
Professional artists in the West have traditionally studied drawing first, as a primary and foundational skill. And, as you’ll discover in How to Draw, the art of drawing is eminently learnable.
Contrary to what many people think, the ability to draw both accurately and expressively does not depend on innate talent or a unique gift. Think of it like this: Anyone can learn to play a musical instrument, though not everyone can be Mozart. Similarly, though not everyone can be Michelangelo or van Gogh, anyone can learn the skills of drawing and develop the ability to draw what they see from observation and invent whole worlds from their imagination.
In fact, you may be amazed at how well you can learn to draw, even if you believe you have no artistic talent. As this course demonstrates through clear examples, you can learn to apply the same fundamental principles that professional artists routinely use in their drawings. If you follow the professor’s guidance, by the end of the course you’ll understand how to faithfully represent what you see in front of you and in your mind’s eye.
The 36 video lessons of How to Draw offer you dynamic and comprehensive training in the art of drawing. Your teacher, David Brody, Professor of Painting and Drawing at of the University of Washington, brings more than forty years of study, studio work, and dedicated teaching to this course, demonstrating an inspiring teaching style and limitless insight into the learning process.
This brilliantly designed course takes you step by step through all of the key elements that, taken together, form the art of drawing. Through Professor Brody’s presentation and your own studio practice, you’ll study the core principles of drawing, such as line, proportion, composition, value, light and shadow, texture, color, and figure drawing. You’ll also study many of the groundbreaking Renaissance methods used for realistically depicting illusionistic space on a two dimensional surface, including empirical and linear perspective.
In the later lectures, you’ll explore the ways in which Renaissance spatial constructs evolved to include a broader understanding of pictorial space. You will study the essential connection between figuration and abstraction, and the ways in which this opened new possibilities for art that melded abstraction and representation.
Throughout the course, you’ll take lessons and inspiration from dozens of master drawings from history’s greatest draftsmen— artists like Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Thomas Eakins, and contemporary masters such as Richard Diebenkorn and Norman Lundin. The result is a richly enjoyable and effective system for learning this remarkable art.
You can use the course material in many ways. How to Draw is a rich and deep resource, offering a wide spectrum of lessons that make the skills of drawing directly accessible.
Learn the Language of Drawing
Start by tracing the fascinating history of drawing, and begin to experiment with the artist’s materials you’ll use throughout the course. From there, you’ll study the underlying “grammar” of drawing, and make drawings that explore elements such as:
- Line: Learn to use contour and construction line to draw objects and cross-contour line to create volume.
- Shape: Draw individual objects by constructing them from basic geometric shapes, and discover the elements of positive, negative, and aggregate shape.
- Composition: Study how to organize the parts of a drawing to create a unified whole within a specific rectangle, using techniques of compositional balance, spatial organization, and the use of focal areas and focal points.
- Proportion: Use the velo of Alberti, a gridded Renaissance device that allows you to understand how three-dimensional form can be accurately depicted on a flat surface, and learn to control proportion by using a standard unit of measure, level and plumb lines, and quantify difficult angles using the clock hand approach.
- Illusionistic Space: Study in detail how to create flatness, volume, and space, using such tools as receding diagonals and foreshortened shapes, the relative scale of objects, and atmospheric perspective.
With each new step in the process, you’ll apply your knowledge in drawing projects, which encompass individual objects, still lifes, interiors, and self-portraits.
Master the Principles of Linear Perspective
The Renaissance discovery of linear perspective radically changed the way future generations would draw, allowing artists to depict three-dimensional space with astonishing accuracy. In the course, you’ll devote five lectures and numerous drawing projects to a study of this powerful drawing tool.
- Investigate one-point perspective, and how diagonal lines recede to a “vanishing point” on the horizon, a principle that allows you to create three-dimensional form in space.
- Learn to draw perspectival grids—used for measuring depth of space in a drawing—and geometric patterns in perspective.
- Continue with the principles governing inclined planes, the principles of two-point perspective (which depicts planes angled differently from in one-point perspective), and the principles of three-point perspective (which describes what we see when we look up or down).
- Combine your knowledge of illusionistic space and perspective to draw architectural landscapes, buildings, and room interiors.
Explore the Uses of Value, Texture, and Color
Discover further elements that add depth and dimension to your art. As you go through the course, you’ll build your vocabulary of drawing terms and learn to apply a wide array of new techniques.
- Investigate the rich possibilities of visual texturein drawing. Practice textural techniques such as hatching, create your own textural marks, and learn to simulate the textures of objects.
- Study color theory, the spectrum of colors on the color wheel, and how colors function in nature.
- Choose palettes of colors for your drawings, and learn to use color to create mood, emotion, visual hierarchy, space, and light.
- Learn how to use value (the relative lightness or darkness of tones) in creating mood, volume, and as a compositional tool in directing the viewer’s attention.
- Develop the ability to portray light,both natural and artificial, and shadow; learn to draw cast shadows, both outdoors and within interiors.
You’ll also get in-depth instruction on how to draw realistic human figures.
- Study a canon of human proportions, and draw the figure by building it using measure and component geometric shapes.
- Delve into the underlying structure of the body, learning about human anatomy like Leonardo and Michelangelo: study the skeleton and muscles, their functions, and how to create naturalistic volume in figure drawing.
- Do a range of figure-drawing projects, including self-portraits, figures in perspective, and figures in narrative contexts.
Professor Brody’s presentation shows you that in order to portray the visual world naturalistically, you must learn to see analytically and abstractly, as artists see. Among many things, this means learning to understand the underlying architecture of form and developing the ability to visualize the whole before the details.
Forge A Vision for Your Own Work
In the course’s final section, Professor Brody guides you in applying what you’ve learned to discover your own personal creative vision. Here, you’ll encounter concepts and do advanced drawing projects aimed at developing individual source material and subject matter for your own drawings, and you’ll form a clearer idea of the kind of art you want to make.
Throughout the course, Professor Brody illustrates the subject matter with vivid animations, live demonstrations of key principles, and drawings by both celebrated masters and students whose work exemplifies and clarifies the learning process. In addition to the video lectures themselves, Professor Brody has crafted many exercises for you to practice your newly acquired skills.
These 36 in-depth lessons help you build a complete and integrated set of drawing skills in a step-by-step, clear, and detailed manner. How to Draw is your opportunity to understand and master the skills, concepts, and art of drawing, an ability with rewards you will treasure for a lifetime.