Zoology: Understanding the Animal World [TTC Video]
27 October 2017, 09:00
Course No 1266 | M4V, AVC, 3000 kbps, 640x360 | AAC, 256 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.93GB
For young and old alike, zoos are one of the most popular places to visit. Each year, over 185 million people visit accredited zoos and aquariums throughout the United States for close encounters with some of the most adorable, exotic, and strange animals on our planet.
Chief among these zoos is the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. The overarching goal of this remarkable modern zoo is to educate everyday people about the astonishing range of animal species: how they live, how they develop, and how they impact the world. Thousands flock to this beautiful zoo every day to visit animals they’ve never before seen and, often, never knew existed.
Helping the average visitor navigate this exciting world are zoologists, the hard-working scientists whose research in areas like animal intelligence, ecology, behavior, and conservation are helping us make better sense of the animal world, from mosquitos and monarch butterflies to polar bears and great white sharks. Much of what we know—and are currently learning—about animals is thanks to the scientific field of zoology.
As much as we love an informative trip to the zoo, the truth is that you can’t learn everything there is to know about animals with the occasional visit. But by exploring zoology and the tireless work of zoologists at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo—and other zoological parks and aquariums across the country—you’ll find your next trip to the zoo more rewarding, more enriching, and much more satisfying.
In Zoology: Understanding the Animal World, The Great Courses teams up with the Smithsonian, the acknowledged leader in animal research, conservation, and education, to bring you 24 visually rich lectures that take you behind the scenes of not only the animal world but of the scientists trying to understand how it works. Dr. Donald E. Moore III—director of the Oregon Zoo and senior science advisor at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo—has crafted a wonderful introduction to the fundamentals of zoology through the eyes of a trained zoologist, bringing you up close and personal with a breathtaking variety of animal species: crocodiles, birds of prey, lions, dolphins, giant pandas, elephants, and more. Packed with exclusive footage from zoos, research parks, and animals in their natural habitats, as well as interviews with other Smithsonian scientists, these lectures will reveal the hidden world of animals in a way no textbook could ever hope to do.
Learn What Zoologists Do
According to Professor Moore, zoologists do a lot more than tend animals for the zoo.
“Modern zoological research is discovering subtle but important differences between species that aren’t necessarily apparent to the naked eye,” he says at the start of Zoology. “While most of the time, the public sees a zoo as an entertaining and educational way to spend a Saturday afternoon (and it very much is), your average accredited zoo is also a vital part of research and conservation activities going on across the world.”
To make this scientific field a little more manageable to grasp, and to guide your learning in a way that builds upon insights, Professor Moore has organized the lectures into three general sections.
- Start with the basics of zoology. Topics include the intriguing relationship between genetics and environment, sexual behaviors in different animal groups, parenting styles and their evolutionary importance, and the role conservation plays in our current research into the animal kingdom.
- Dive into the different orders of life on our planet. It’s a colorful tour that takes you from the ocean depths to the highest tree tops and reveals the characteristics of different animal orders (invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals) as well as the astounding diversity within them.
- Investigate special subjects intriguing today’s zoologists. How do animals interact with their environments and with one another (including human beings)? How do we study animal intelligence, and can animals think? What diseases threaten animals in the wild and in zoos? How can we ensure the survival of endangered species?
Meet Incredible Animals
Of course, the most fascinating part of Zoology: the animals themselves. Each of Professor Moore’s lectures features some of most incredible animals on Earth. And thanks to the special footage from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and others, you’ll be able to see these and other animals in action—without the crowds. Not only this, but you will see exclusive behind-the-scenes footage only available in this course, including a sneak peek at a baby giant panda filmed months before the first public viewing. Just a few of the animals you will meet include:
- Golden lion tamarins. One of the most amazing examples of unique parental care in mammals, golden lion tamarin family groups benefit from sub-adult helpers that act as “teenager” babysitters. This behavior also helps these “teenagers” become better parents when they have babies of their own.
- Corals. Important ocean resources, corals are the basis of an entire ecosystem—and they’re also a resource to human beings. Home to worms, conchs, spiny lobsters, fish, and more, the world’s vibrant and multi-colored coral reefs surpass even tropical rainforests in their levels of biodiversity.
- Crocodiles. Unlike most other non-avian reptiles, crocodiles provide extensive maternal care. A mother crocodile can hear the vocalizations from her hatching young and will actually open the nest to help them emerge more easily. She’ll then guard her young for up to two years after hatching.
- Giant Pandas. Normally, zoologists expect an animal’s diet to reflect its physiology, and vice versa. Not so with giant pandas, which are one of the most inefficient feeders on the planet. These animals have the physiology of a carnivore, but they eat a diet made almost entirely of tough, woody bamboo.
- Mosquitos. The lowly mosquito is considered the deadliest animal on Earth. According to research by the World Health Organization, mosquitos spread diseases—such as malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and dengue fever—that kill more than 2.5 million people each year.
You’ll also learn a host of other interesting facts about what zoologists now know of animal life. Did you know that biological outcomes like the average time until reproduction all scale to body mass? So, for example, a half-ounce mouse can have five or 10 litters of babies each year, while a five-ton elephant can only have one baby every five or so years.
In fact, you may be surprised to discover some things you thought you knew. Many people believe birds live in nests, however, this is mostly a myth. A bird creates a nest solely for the purpose of laying and hatching eggs. A larger, more ornate structure called a bower is designed to attract a mate for the unique bower birds (the avian equivalent of flowers and chocolate).
And what can learning about other animals tell us about humans? Well, for one thing human beings have one of the most dilute milks of all mammals, with low percentages of milk proteins and fat. In fact, dairy cow milk is fairly similar to our own, which is probably one of the reasons many of us can digest it. These are just a few of the amazing things zoology has to teach us.
Can’t-Miss Footage and Interviews
Dr. Moore has spent nearly 40 years as a zoo director and conservation biologist interacting with a plethora of animals. He brings these decades of experience in—and passion for—the animal kingdom to every lecture in Zoology.
Along with the animals and the exclusive, can’t-miss footage of zoo life, this course also takes you inside laboratories and research centers for interviews with other Smithsonian scientists. Their stories and insights will add additional layers to your understanding of cheetahs, pollinators, species conservation, and so much more.
It’s a wide, wild world out there. And with this engaging and informative series, you’ll be better equipped to get out there and discover the wonders that live in it, whether they’re in your local zoo, aquarium, a national park, or right in your own backyard.
Mastering Differential Equations: The Visual Method [TTC Video]
22 October 2017, 21:14
Course No 1452 | M4V, AVC, 1500 kbps, 640x480 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 7.74GB
For centuries, differential equations have been the key to unlocking nature's deepest secrets. Over 300 years ago, Isaac Newton invented differential equations to understand the problem of motion, and he developed calculus in order to solve differential equations.
Since then, differential equations have been the essential tool for analyzing the process of change, whether in physics, engineering, biology, or any other field where it's important to predict how something behaves over time.
The pinnacle of a mathematics education, differential equations assume a basic knowledge of calculus, and they have traditionally required the rote memorization of a vast "cookbook" of formulas and specialized tricks needed to find explicit solutions. Even then, most problems involving differential equations had to be simplified, often in unrealistic ways; and a huge number of equations defied solution at all using these techniques.
But that was before computers revolutionized the field, extending the reach of differential equations into previously unexplored areas and allowing solutions to be approximated and displayed in easy-to-grasp computer graphics. For the first time, a method exists that can start a committed learner on the road to mastering this beautiful application of the ideas and techniques of calculus.
Mastering Differential Equations: The Visual Method takes you on this amazing mathematical journey in 24 intellectually stimulating and visually engaging half-hour lectures taught by a pioneer of the visual approach, Professor Robert L. Devaney of Boston University, coauthor of one of the most widely used textbooks on ordinary differential equations.
Differential Equations without Drudgery
A firm believer that there is no excuse for drudgery in a subject as fascinating as differential equations, Professor Devaney draws on the power of the computer to explore solutions visually. Throughout these graphics-intensive lectures, you investigate the geometric behavior of differential equations, seeing how the computer can calculate approximate solutions with as much precision as needed. And you may be surprised to learn how easily you can calculate and display approximate solutions yourself, even using nothing more than an ordinary spreadsheet. Best of all, the visual method means that unrealistic simplifications need not be applied to a problem.
Among those who will benefit from the exciting approach in Mastering Differential Equations are
- college students currently enrolled in a differential equations course, who want the enriching perspective of a leader in the visual approach to the subject;
- anyone who has completed calculus, is ready to take the next step, and is eager to see how the tools of calculus are applied to give startling insights into nature;
- those who took differential equations in the past and would like a refresher course, especially one that shows today's revolutionary new tools for demystifying and extending the reach of the subject;
- anyone who finds math exciting, is up for a challenge, and wants a new window into the elegantly simple structure at the heart of nature's most complex phenomena.
Beautiful Ideas plus Amazing Applications
Differential equations involve velocity, acceleration, growth rates, and other quantities that can be interpreted by derivatives, which are a fundamental concept of calculus. Often expressed with utmost simplicity and mathematical elegance, differential equations underlie some of nature's most intriguing phenomena:
- The first and most famous differential equation is Isaac Newton's second law of motion (F = ma), which relates force, mass, and acceleration, allowing the velocity and position of an accelerating object to be determined at any point in time.
- The Lorenz differential equation for modeling weather describes the behavior of the atmosphere in terms of a single fluid particle, showing how nature's inherent chaos can be modeled with surprisingly simple mathematics.
- Differential equations have been used to model the catastrophic behavior of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which famously collapsed in 1940, and London's Millennium Bridge, which appeared headed for the same fate before it was quickly closed for modifications in 2000.
- The precipitous drop in the North Atlantic haddock population can be understood as the bifurcation point in a differential equation, in which a slight change in one parameter—the harvesting rate—produces a drastic effect on population growth.
These and countless other applications illustrate the unrivaled ability of differential equations to stop time and sharpen our view into the past and future—a power that has grown enormously with advances in computer technology, as you explore in depth in this course.
A Taste of 21st-Century Mathematics
Each of the four sections of Mastering Differential Equations begins with a phenomenon that can be modeled with differential equations. As you probe deeper, fundamental ideas (the derivative, integral, and vector field) and other relevant tools from calculus are introduced, along with new mathematics, including four lectures on linear algebra and five lectures on chaos theory.
In the first section, you cover first-order differential equations, which involve only the first derivative of the missing function being sought as a solution. When possible, you solve the equations analytically, while making use of a wide range of visual tools, including slope fields, phase lines, and bifurcation diagrams. You also learn how computers use a simple algorithm to generate approximate solutions—and how these techniques can sometimes fail, often due to chaos.
In the second section, you turn to second-order differential equations—those that involve both the first and second derivatives. Using the mass-spring system from physics as a model, you learn that solutions are relatively straightforward as long as the mass-spring system is not forced. But when periodic forcing occurs, much more complicated behaviors arise.
In the third section, you focus on systems of differential equations, starting with linear systems and the techniques of linear algebra, which are pivotal for solving such problems. Then you shift to nonlinear systems, investigating competing species, oscillating chemical reactions, and the Lorenz system of weather modeling—which led to the famous "butterfly effect," one of the ideas that spawned chaos theory.
The final section goes deeper into chaos theory, introducing you to the cutting-edge field of dynamical systems, whose development has exploded, thanks to the rise of visual methods. Here you focus on iterated functions, also known as difference equations. Using the logistic population model from biology, you learn to analyze and understand the sudden appearance of chaos. Then you move onto the complex plane to graph the visually stunning chaos that emerges in such fractal forms as the Mandelbrot set, taking you into realms of cutting-edge mathematics.
The winner of many teaching honors, including the prestigious Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished University Teaching from the Mathematical Association of America, Professor Devaney is especially excited about the modern mathematics that he brings to this course. Just a few years ago, he notes, students studying differential equations seldom ventured beyond 18th-century mathematics. But Mastering Differential Equations guides you into the 21st century, showing how this deceptively simple tool—the differential equation—continues to give surprising and spectacular insights into both the world of mathematics and the workings of the universe.
Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales, and Solos [TTC Video]
15 October 2017, 20:39
Course No. 7776 | .MP4, AVC, 1200 kbps, 856x480 | AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 7.51GB
The guitar is the perfect first instrument to not only learn how to play, but to learn how to read, understand, and enjoy music. And, whether you’ve had a few years of lessons, taught yourself, or never picked a guitar up, this course is the perfect way to start.
Brilliantly designed so you can learn from the ground up, Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales, and Solos is a unique and effective way to rapidly access one of the most meaningful, enjoyable, and satisfying forms of self-expression. You don’t need to know how to read a note when you start this course, but even if you do, you’ll quickly gain new techniques, knowledge, and understanding.
The highly original modular format of this course is designed to immediately get you from learning to playing. Each of the 24-lectures begins with an engaging historical narrative, or personal story, and then dives right in with five modular units of instruction:
- Technique—Learn the correct way to hold the guitar, how to move naturally around the instrument, and all of the core skills of guitar playing, from left hand fingering and shifting to right hand strumming, finger picking, and pick playing.
- Musicianship and Note Reading—Learn how to read three kinds of musical notation, and discover that reading music is actually quite simple if you learn it in short, easy steps; grasp how to play and read rhythms, and develop the ability to play by ear.
- Chords—Discover how to play a wide range of basic chords--the harmonic building blocks of music and the musical foundation under a melody; study chord theory, and the fundamentals of musical structure.
- Scales and Melodic Patterns--Study the fundamental scales for guitar—another vital building block of guitar playing—as well as guitar melodic patterns or “licks,” tools that give you the ability to play lead guitar lines and melodies.
- Putting it All Together—From the very first lesson, put together what you’ve learned in real guitar tunes and pieces, covering a variety of different musical styles. Each lesson is capped off with a song that puts all the material to use.
Why the guitar? Like the piano, the guitar is a stand-alone solo instrument, and an endlessly adaptable “partner” for musical and vocal accompaniment. Amazingly versatile, the guitar is an instrument with an unparalleled range of expression, encompassing rock, pop, jazz, country, blues, and classical styles of music. And yet, the fundamentals of the guitar are surprisingly easy to learn—and quickly! The guitar is also one of most affordable and portable instruments. What you learn from studying the guitar easily translates to all musical instruments and disciplines, including singing, songwriting, and arranging.
Your instructor is Dr. Colin McAllister, a popular teacher and performer, whose wide musical range extends from rock bands, and the Avant garde, to classical solo guitar, chamber music. symphony orchestras, and jazz groups. Dr. McAllister studied under the “First Family” of the classical guitar—the Romero brothers—and befriended one of America’s greatest jazz guitarists, Johnny Smith. He sprinkles this course with well-told stories and deft lessons from more than 25 years of professional experience. He also shatters the myth that you must have special talent, or start at an early age, to play an instrument well. Sharing his own stories, which range from poignant to hilarious, and joined by a promising guitar student and guest vocalists, Dr. McAllister shows you that learning even four guitar chords will open up a world of possibilities, encompassing hundreds of songs, as well as styles and eras.
As you make your way through each lesson on the path from beginner to accomplished musician, you will gain the equivalent of two semesters of university-level instruction, or dozens of hours of private instruction, along with the material for hundreds of hours of practice.
This course quickly becomes an experience—one that will deepen your appreciation of everything musical that you hear.
Master the Basics of a World-Spanning Instrument
TGC’s Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales, and Solos presents an engaging and adaptable learning system, developed by Dr. McAllister over decades of professional playing and teaching, which will have you playing the guitar in a remarkably short amount of time. The rapid results of these lessons are a result of Dr. McAllister’s ability to present each element of guitar playing in clear, graspable steps.
Starting from the beginning, and building one element on another, Dr. McAllister introduces you to a spectrum of basic principles and musical material, giving you a solid foundation for playing the guitar and for further study in any style. Beginning with simple chords and bass lines, you’ll learn how to play both melodies and accompaniment, as well as a range of musical styles and guitar techniques, encompassing traditions such as jazz, rock, classical, flamenco, blues, reggae, and many more.
Dr. McAllister also takes you on an odyssey into the history of the guitar, its greatest players, and the styles they created and embodied, from guitar legends to many pivotal but lesser known figures. Each lesson explores a significant topic related to the lore of the guitar, giving you a wealth of material to explore on your own.
One of the biggest benefits to this course of study is that each lesson is customizable, allowing you to study the material in a preferred sequence or focus on areas that interest you, and are easy to reference for review and practice. And the learning system is highly visual, giving you the chance to learn by watching the professor play, and using diagrams, drawings, and animations to help you incorporate the material.
Build A Solid Base for Playing in Many Styles
This course is expertly designed to give you a base knowledge of both guitar playing skills and different guitar styles. For beginners as well as more experienced players, these are techniques and materials which you can use immediately, and will give you much to explore and expand on. Some important elements you will cover include:
The Art of Improvising:
Improvising on the guitar is based on a fundamental grasp of chords and scales, as the title of the course suggests. As the lessons unfold, you’ll learn major, minor, seventh, dominant seventh, and diminished chords in different keys, and “power” chords for rock music, as well as the major and minor scales, blues scale, pentatonic (five-tone) scales, “modal” scales, and arpeggios (broken chords)—all of which will equip you to improvise in any style.
Enriching your left and right hand technique, you’ll practice a range of key guitar skills, which will take your music-making in many exciting directions. Among these, you’ll learn “Travis picking” for folk, country, and rock playing; tremolo, which gives the illusion of a sustained tone; legato techniques (called “hammer-ons” and “pull-offs”) for shaping melodies; rasgueado, a dynamic flamenco strumming technique, harmonics (beautiful, bell-like guitar tones), barre technique (for “movable” chords), and how to accompany a vocalist.
Throughout the lessons, you’ll learn the elements of many different musical styles. As key examples, you’ll grasp the basics of jazz harmony, making use of your seventh chords and modal scales, blues, using the blues scale and licks, and you’ll explore rhythm guitar, “piano-style” guitar, classical styles, Spanish flamenco, and others. In all cases, you’ll learn to play songs in the styles you’ve studied.
Elements of Music Theory:
In this course, for everything you learn to play, you will also learn to read it in music notation. Step by step, you’ll grasp how music is organized in terms of rhythm and harmony, both conceptually and on the page, and how different pitches, rhythms, keys, and tonalities are written. In the process, you’ll learn to read musical key signatures and time signatures, rests (musical silences), how to use a metronome, how to understand common chord progressions, and more.
Pathways to Strong Guitar Technique:
In instrumental music, “technique” is the how of playing the instrument naturally and efficiently. Proper technique is vital to successful guitar playing—as important as any other element—for achieving ease with the instrument and avoiding physical problems in playing. Throughout these lessons, you’ll learn elements of good technique such as “planting” (a practice for building technical accuracy), efficient hand position, exercises for the independence of the fingers, dexterity with a guitar pick, speed and accuracy in playing melodies, moving efficiently between chords, and how best to practice the different guitar skills you learn.
Travel into the Fascinating History and Lore of the Guitar
Throughout the lessons, Dr. McAllister’s passion for the guitar and for teaching, as well as his energetic and charismatic style, make this a highly enjoyable learning process. He enriches the lessons with inspiring and eloquent commentary on the nature of practice, the habits of successful guitar players, the value of music, and how best to study and learn.
In bringing you into the world of the guitar, he speaks vividly of the instrument’s evolution, history, and musical roles, and of the lives of guitarists—from his own professional experiences and road stories to the contributions and innovations of the instrument’s most legendary players, such as:
- John Fahey--a master of steel-string fingerstyle guitar playing;
- Augustin Barrios “Mangoré“--Paraguayan guitarist, composer, and poet; an outlandish genius, innovator, and one of the first classical guitarists to record;
- Emily Remler--an astonishing talent, an improbable figure in jazz (white, middle class, woman), and one of the finest players of her time;
- Charlie Christian--the first modern jazz guitarist, who transformed big band music, and reinvented the jazz guitar as a solo instrument; and
- Michael Hedges--one of most innovative and influential acoustic guitarists, who pioneered ingenious alternate tunings of the instrument.
Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales, and Solos offers you an engaging and highly effective way to master the fundamentals of this incredibly versatile instrument. With these 24 expertly designed lessons, the world of the guitar and the sheer joy of playing it are yours.