Our Night Sky [TTC Video]
10 July 2015, 04:33
Course No 1846 | AVI, XviD, 882 kbps, 640x480 | English, MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 12x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 2.62 GB
For thousands of years, the star-filled sky has been a source of wonder, discovery, entertainment, and instruction. Ancient people from nearly every continent and culture wove exciting stories about the mythological figures they saw in the heavens. People also used the sun, moon, and stars for time-keeping and navigation. And careful observers throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere kept precise astronomical records, eventually paving the way for the Scientific Revolution and its remarkable discoveries about the nature of the universe.
Even today, watching the sky has not lost its fascination. Equipped only with a pair of eyes or, at most, binoculars and a small telescope, you can behold marvels such as these:
- The jewel-like star cluster called the Pleiades in the constellation Taurus, easily visible with the naked eye and even more magnificent through a pair of binoculars
- The broad band of the Milky Way arching across the summer sky; the band is the plane of our galaxy seen edge-on from the inside
- The Perseid meteor shower, a celestial display that peaks in mid-August of every year when Earth passes through debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle
- The cratered face of the moon, stark evidence of the violent era after the birth of the solar system—a record almost completely erased from Earth due to weathering
- The four Galilean moons of Jupiter, named after Galileo, whose discovery of them in 1610 helped overthrow the geocentric model of the universe
- A total solar eclipse, an awe-inspiring spectacle that occurs somewhere on Earth roughly every 18 months and is well worth traveling thousands of miles to see
Best of all, the endlessly interesting sky is just overhead wherever you are. All you need to feel at home in its limitless expanse is Our Night Sky, a richly illustrated 12-lecture course that gives you an unrivaled tour around the sky while teaching you about the science, culture, technology, and pure pleasure of stargazing. Our Night Sky focuses on the view from the Northern Hemisphere, reflecting the origins of the most familiar constellations in this region. However, the final lecture completes your tour by covering the most notable sights in the Southern Hemisphere.
View the Riches of the Universe from Your Own Backyard
From asteroids to the zodiac, from the Big Dipper to variable stars, Our Night Sky is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of what there is to see and the best way to see it, whether you live in the city or the country, whether you are a novice observer or an old hand at astronomy who needs a refresher on constellation and star names, locations, lore, and what to expect from season to season as the heavens present a gloriously changing panorama.
Under the guidance of award-winning astronomer and Professor Edward M. Murphy of the University of Virginia, you will learn
- how to use a planisphere (star finder) or other star map to quickly orient yourself to the sky for any given date and time, and how to use these aids to find your way among the constellations;
- how to read celestial coordinates to locate objects precisely, and how to find the north or south celestial poles, the celestial equator, the ecliptic (the sun's apparent path during a year), the vernal equinox, and other important landmarks;
- how to appreciate the deep cultural roots of astronomy, which lie in humankind's universal quest to understand the heavens through vivid stories that have never lost their power and charm;
- how to enhance your observing experience by selecting the right equipment from a bewildering array of choices in binoculars, telescopes, eyepieces, mounts, and other hardware; and
- how to decipher the science behind planets, stars, and galaxies by learning the fundamentals of solar system structure, star types, stellar life cycles, galaxy classification, and other information that will enrich your observing.
Above all, you will better appreciate how our view from Earth reflects a hidden order—a structure that was discovered by sky observers long ago, who drew on centuries of observations to put together the picture we now learn from textbooks. As you watch the sky appear to rotate around the celestial pole over the course of a night, you will almost feel Earth turning beneath you, as it in fact does. As you look at a phase of the moon, you will automatically envision the relative positions of the sun, moon, and Earth that produce this view. As you observe the constellations slowly shift as you go out at the same time every night, you will know that you are seeing the effect of Earth's revolution around the sun.
In short, you will gain a truly cosmic perspective on our world. Equipped with this outlook, and with the extensive science, history, mythology, observing tips, and other background provided by Professor Murphy, you will be ready to step outside, look up, and become a space traveler from your own backyard.
- Constellations and Their Stars
- Seeing and Navigating the Sky
- Using Binoculars and Backyard Telescopes
- Observing the Moon and the Sun
- Observing the Planets with a Telescope
- Meteor Showers, Comets, Eclipses, and More
- Northern Sky and the North Celestial Pole
- Fall Sky
- Winter Sky
- Spring Sky
- Summer Sky
- Southern Sky and the Milky Way
Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather [TTC Video]
10 July 2015, 04:23
Course No 1796 | MKV, x264, 784 kbps, 960x720 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 4.75 GB
Famed physicist Richard Feynman once said, "Anyone who has been in a thunderstorm has enjoyed it, or has been frightened by it, or at least has had some emotion. And in those places in nature where we get an emotion, we find there is generally a corresponding complexity and mystery about it."
In the world of weather, you don't have to look far for that complexity, that mystery, or that heart-pounding emotion.
Consider, for example, the rushing Santa Ana winds that sweep into the Los Angeles basin with startling force. They descend from the cold heights of the mountains, yet they are dry and hot as any desert, bringing with them the smell of fire and parched summer days. What drives these powerful winds, and what is the source of their searing heat?
Or imagine that symbol of fierce prairie weather, the tornado. How do these intense swirling winds acquire their spin? And why do we find these twisting winds in the flat lands of the Midwest, but in few other places?
Pursuing the answers to questions like these is more than just an interesting intellectual exercise. Weather affects our lives each and every day, often determining where we can go and what we can do. But meteorology—the study of weather—is also a grand puzzle. From the swirling winds to the transformation of water vapor into clouds, each meteorological event is a tremendously complex interaction of forces and factors. To grasp the mystery of these phenomena is to understand a remarkably complex system and, ultimately, to gain a glimpse into the way all complex systems work.
In Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather, you embark on a fascinating foray into this complex and enthralling field of study. In 24 engaging lectures, you explore the often surprising, always intriguing workings of the weather, guided by expert atmospheric scientist and Professor Robert G. Fovell. Bringing together geography, chemistry, physics, and other scientific disciplines, the study of weather offers insights into the world around you while also providing an opportunity to grasp the complex interactions that make up our world's climate.
A Complex Subject Made Accessible
Why is it often cooler by the shore than it is inland? Why are there deserts in some regions and rainforests in others? What makes the sky blue, clouds white, and the setting sun red?
With Professor Fovell's guidance, you'll probe the reasons behind everyday phenomena and gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic relationships and physical laws that shape our planet's climate. Professor Fovell takes a practical approach to weather, providing explanations that draw on common sense and everyday experience to make intricate interactions clear and accessible.
The course opens with a series of lectures that introduce the fundamental concepts of meteorology:
- the structure of the atmosphere
- the physics of gases, liquids, and solids
- the impact of the Earth's shape and movement on weather
- the factors that drive winds and affect the ability of air to hold moisture
- the effect of solar radiation on the Earth and its atmosphere
- the processes that create clouds
In later lectures, you build on these fundamental concepts to develop a full understanding of large-scale weather events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, and global climate patterns.
Along the way, Professor Fovell brings these concepts to life with concrete demonstrations, illustrative examples, and compelling videos and images. With each explanation, Professor Fovell describes these complicated phenomena in down-to-earth, easy-to-understand terms to create an accessible picture of the Earth's weather.
Probing Weather's Mysteries
As you build your knowledge of how weather works, you'll delve into remarkable meteorological phenomena that offer a window into the mysterious force of nature. With Professor Fovell's lucid commentary, you'll grow to appreciate the complex patterns that create the weather around us.
You'll learn, for example, how hurricanes are the result of complex but comprehensible forces that can be mapped, studied, and understood. The extreme weather of El Niño, the towering swirl of the cyclone, the crash of thunder that follows the lightning—each mystery is unveiled as you investigate the science behind these remarkable phenomena.
You'll also encounter a treasure trove of intriguing and often surprising facts and insights, including these fascinating tidbits:
- To the casual observer, lightning appears to be one quick stroke from cloud to ground, but a typical lightning stroke actually has four parts—two strokes down, two up—and the upward strokes pack the biggest punch.
- Our perception of "dry" and "moist" does not reflect the actual amount of moisture in the air. There may be more water vapor contained in the air on a hot, dry, early summer day in Death Valley than on a cold, foggy, winter day in Minnesota.
- Although the build-up of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere could have deleterious effects on the world's climate, if the atmosphere contained no greenhouse gases, the Earth's surface would likely be frozen everywhere, including in the tropics.
- One of the most influential impacts on the weather is that seething reservoir of energy, the ocean. Because of the ocean's movement, waters off the coast of California are much cooler than those at the same latitude off the coast of Asia.
An Intriguing Glimpse into the Meteorologist's Art
With so many forces interacting, how do meteorologists make sense of the weather happening around us? How do they comprehend these patterns on a regional and global level? And how do they use their knowledge to forecast tomorrow's weather?
Professor Fovell sheds light on the art and science of meteorology, describing the tools scientists use to explain and predict the weather. You'll examine weather maps to see how meteorologists create a picture of conditions at any given moment and learn about advanced computer models that allow scientists to forecast how storms may develop over time. As you explore the meteorologist's art, you'll gain a deep appreciation for the fascinating work done to try to explicate the ongoing mystery of the world's weather.
You'll find no better guide than Dr. Fovell. An experienced instructor and noted meteorological researcher, Professor Fovell provides a comprehensive introduction to this fascinating field. Using everyday examples, vivid demonstrations, and visual aids, Professor Fovell conveys his excitement about the intriguing puzzle of the natural world while making this complex topic accessible to all viewers.
Join Professor Fovell as he explicates one of nature's most compelling mysteries. Guided by his expertise, you'll never look at the weather in the same way again.
- Nature Abhors Extremes
- Temperature, Pressure, and Density
- Atmosphere. Composition and Origin
- Radiation and the Greenhouse Effect
- Sphericity, Conduction, and Convection
- Sea Breezes and Santa Anas
- Atmospheric Moisture
- Bringing Air to Saturation
- Clouds, Stability, and Buoyancy, 01
- Clouds, Stability, and Buoyancy, 02
- Whence and Whither the Wind, 01
- Whence and Whither the Wind, 02
- Global Atmospheric Circulation
- Fronts and Extratropical Cyclones
- Middle Troposphere. Troughs and Ridges
- Wind Shear. Horizontal and Vertical
- Mountain Influences on the Atmosphere
- Thunderstorms, Squall Lines, and Radar
- Supercells, Tornadoes, and Dry Lines
- Ocean Influences on Weather and Climate
- Tropical Cyclones
- Light and Lightning
- Prediction and Predictability
- The Imperfect Forecast
Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals [TTC Video]
10 July 2015, 04:12
2015 | Course No 1174 | M4V, AVC, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.3 GB
Modern history is filled with terrible crimes, baffling hoaxes, and seedy scandals. The infamous Jack the Ripper slayings. The alleged survival of Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of the murdered Tsar. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong’s public fall from grace. The Chicago Tylenol poisonings and the copycat crimes that followed.
These events have the power to captivate us with their mystery and shock us with views into the darkest parts of the human psyche. As a society, we seek resolution of these crimes and scandals, to bring their perpetrators to justice and hopefully prevent such events from occurring again.
Step into the world of forensic science and study the most fascinating historical crimes and mysteries from the last two centuries in Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals. Delivered by acclaimed Professor Elizabeth A. Murray of Mount St. Joseph University, a forensic anthropologist with nearly 30 years of experience in the field, these 24 lectures are a remarkable blend of storytelling and science—a whirlwind tour that takes you from the gas-lit streets of Victorian London to the mountains of Puerto Rico to small-town America. As you journey around the world and into the past, you’ll re-examine modern history’s great crimes and scandals using the tools and insights of forensic science. In doing so, you’ll learn how cutting-edge advancements in science and technology are applied to investigations and how to evaluate evidence and think like a forensic scientist.
Revisit Modern History’s Great Crimes
“If you like mysteries, and thinking about how to solve them, you’re going to love this course,” says Professor Murray. Using her extensive background in the field of forensic science and her skill at weaving riveting stories, Professor Murray invites you peer over the shoulders of criminal investigators as they examine some of the most famous crimes in history.
- Jack the Ripper Murders: The story of one of modern history’s most infamous serial killers provides a unique window into the early days of forensic science. Between August 31 and November 9, 1888, five prostitutes in East London were brutally murdered and mutilated. The gruesome killings sparked a media frenzy and haunted the London Metropolitan Police, as they frantically searched for the elusive killer.
- Tylenol Poisonings: In the fall of 1982, several deaths in the Chicago area were linked to bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol deliberately poisoned with potassium cyanide—thousands of times the lethal amount. How did investigators and scientists work to quell a nationwide panic while they searched for a suspect?
- The Greatest Art Forger of All Time: Elmyr deHory, a Hungarian art forger, made an entire career—and a profitable living—from selling credible imitations of works by Picasso, Matisse, and Renoir.
- America’s Fatal Intelligence Leak: Robert Hanssen, a wiretapping, surveillance, and computer expert for the FBI doubled as a Soviet and Russian mole for 22 years. During this long career in treachery, Hanssen gave his handlers top-secret information on electronic eavesdropping and detailed lists of U.S. spies working inside Russia—breaches that have been called the worst intelligence disaster in American history.
These and other cases are examined in such detail that you’ll feel like you’re present during the investigations. And you’ll have a unique opportunity to watch as forensic scientists use the unlikeliest of clues to uncover motives, search for culprits, discredit false leads, and bring perpetrators to justice.
Discover Forensic Methodologies—and Mishaps
As with any field, forensic science isn’t perfect. In some instances, things can go very, very wrong. Professor Murray introduces you to several cases that shed light on what happens when the justice system goes awry, including:
- innocent people pressured into confessing to crimes they didn’t commit,
- crooked cops who falsify or tamper with evidence to secure convictions, and
- mistakes and malpractices in forensic labs that have drastic ramifications on cases.
Yet whether they’re controversial or by-the-book, solved or unsolved, hot or cold, these cases are an opportunity to gain deeper insight into the historic and cutting-edge methods and tools forensic scientists use on the job.
- Taphonomy: This fascinating science involves the study of what happens to organisms once they die and are deposited in different environments. Several research facilities in the United States, known informally as “body farms,” devote themselves specifically to scientifically studying human decomposition.
- CODIS: DNA analysis has been one of the most important revolutions in forensic science. Today, analysts in crime labs can upload encoded DNA information from criminal cases, as well as unidentified and missing persons investigations, into CODIS, a national DNA registry that automatically searches all of its records against each other.
- Digital forensics: Computers continue to revolutionize forensic science. Nearly all areas, from GPS technology and photography to drug analysis and forensic art, have been changed and enhanced by computers. Perpetrators have also capitalized on digital technology, however, and investigators now find themselves in an arms race with cybercriminals.
Dive Deep into Mystery
“I’ve been a practicing forensic anthropologist for nearly 30 years,” Professor Murray says. “But I’m also quite a history buff, and love a great story. So this is a wonderful opportunity for me to blend those interests and focus on what I hope you’ll agree are some fascinating cases!”
Praised by Great Courses customers for her introductory course in forensic science, noted author and award-winning professor Elizabeth A. Murray brings that same engagement and insight to her case-oriented look at the fascinating world of forensic science’s past, present, and future. Having participated in hundreds of investigations in America and abroad, Professor Murray intersperses examinations of watershed cases in forensic history with some of her own, equally intriguing, personal experiences.
The result: a well-rounded look at forensic history, from the early days of Jack the Ripper to the highly technological advancements in the 21st century. Prepare for a riveting, at times frightening, and always informative journey into the heart of true mystery with Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals.
- The Infamous Jack the Ripper
- Analyzing the Black Dahlia Murder
- Dissecting Hollywood Deaths
- Decomposition and Confusing Interpretations
- Lizzie Borden and the Menendez Brothers
- The Tylenol Murders
- Copycats and Hoaxes
- Frauds and Forgeries
- Blood Doping and Other Sports Scandals
- Bad Boys of U.S. Politics
- Criminals of the Wild, Wild West
- Investigating Incredible Bank Heists
- How Reliable Is Eyewitness Testimony?
- The Truth behind False Confessions
- Crooked Cops and Bad Convictions
- Guilty until Proven Innocent
- Political Assassinations
- Mysteries of the Romanov Family
- Forensics of Genocide
- The Nazis and the Witch of Buchenwald
- The Spies Have It
- Motive and Kidnapping
- Identification Matters
- The Past, Present, and Future of Forensics