What Einstein Got Wrong [TTC Video]
01 February 2018, 15:49
Course No 1307 | M4V, AVC, 1280x720 | AAC, 160 kbps, 2 Ch | 12x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 2.18GB
He was the quintessential genius whose brainpower rewrote the laws of the universe. Albert Einstein may have died decades ago, but his immense legacy continues. Who has not heard of Einstein’s theory of relativity, which revolutionized our understanding of space, time, and matter? His other discoveries are themselves titanic achievements that on their own would have made him a famous scientist.
But Einstein was not infallible. He rejected the possibility of black holes, and he was reluctant to accept the concept of an expanding universe or that gravity waves might exist. All are predicted by his general theory of relativity, and all have been well confirmed by observations. Furthermore, he was practically alone among his peers in resisting the startling implications of quantum mechanics—a theory that he helped found and whose strange picture of reality has been verified in experiment after experiment.
In other words, what Einstein got wrong includes some of the most exciting science of our time.
In a course aimed at the scientifically curious at all levels, What Einstein Got Wrong focuses on the great scientist’s mistakes as a window into his mind—his thought processes, prejudices, and philosophical outlook. Studying Einstein’s errors may well be the best way of getting inside the head of this incomparable and enigmatic thinker, who was so influential that Time magazine named him the Person of the Century in 1999.
Your professor on this thrilling intellectual journey is Dr. Dan Hooper, a researcher at the forefront of physics and a popular author and speaker on particle physics and cosmology. Dr. Hooper is Senior Scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.
In twelve half-hour lectures, Dr. Hooper discusses Einstein’s ideas—right and wrong—using minimal mathematics, so it’s accessible to curious minds everywhere. Those new to Einstein’s ideas will find What Einstein Got Wrong an excellent survey of the full scope of the master’s work, while those more experienced with physics and relativity will relish Dr. Hooper’s insights into Einstein’s legacy in modern physics, which lives on in myriad ways. Even Einstein’s mistakes inspired others along productive paths.
Einstein Invents Relativity but Doesn’t Fully Buy It
You begin with a two-lecture review of what Einstein got spectacularly right, notably his special and general theories of relativity. Proposed in 1905, special relativity introduced such concepts as the constancy of the speed of light, the relativity of simultaneity, time dilation, and the equivalence of mass and energy. General relativity, published a decade later, greatly enlarged the scope of special relativity by incorporating gravity, which Einstein showed is a geometric property of space and time.
Special relativity created a sensation among Einstein’s fellow scientists, but general relativity made him world-famous, giving him a reputation as a scientific magician. That reputation stuck, and only his colleagues appreciated the setbacks that dogged him throughout his career as he struggled to develop and interpret his theories:
- The relativity race: Einstein had the conceptual pieces of general relativity in place long before he worked out the mathematical details. Unwittingly abandoning a promising path to a definitive theory, he suddenly discovered he was in a race with the world’s foremost mathematician, who was working on his own formulation of general relativity. Einstein barely won.
- Black holes banned: The first meaningful solution to Einstein’s equations of general relativity were worked out by mathematician Karl Schwarzschild, whose calculations showed the possibility of infinitely dense objects, later dubbed black holes. Einstein held that natural forces would prevent such bizarre phenomena, and his influence long persuaded other physicists that black holes were impossible.
- His “biggest blunder”: Convinced that the universe is static and eternal, Einstein added a cosmological constant to his formula for general relativity to forestall the instability his theory predicted. When astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding—that is, it’s unstable—Einstein reportedly called the constant his “biggest blunder.”
Einstein Fights the Quantum Revolution
Along with relativity, the other great revolution in physics in the 20th century was quantum mechanics. Einstein led the way here too, by proving the particle nature of light and that atoms really exist. As with relativity, he was wary of accepting the full implications of the developing theory:
- “God does not play dice”: Experiments showed that matter behaves very strangely at the quantum scale. Einstein’s friend Max Born proposed that the traditional view of cause and effect does not apply in quantum mechanics, where interactions can only be understood in terms of probabilities. Einstein dismissed this view with the remark, “God does not play dice with the universe.”
- Schrödinger's cat: Working with colleagues Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, Einstein devised a thought experiment that showed an apparent impossibility in a quantum state later called entanglement. This was the inspiration for Erwin Schrödinger's famous paradox involving a cat that is simultaneously dead and alive. But impossible or not, entanglement turns out to be real.
- Unified field theory: Inspired by James Clerk Maxwell’s unification of electrical and magnetic phenomena in a single theory called electromagnetism, Einstein sought to do the same for electromagnetism and relativity. His hope was that this “unified field theory” would restore determinism and scientific realism to the quantum world. But his labors were fruitless.
Dr. Hooper stresses that Einstein’s miscalculations, oversights, and false leads do not detract from his greatness. In the final lecture, he points out how missteps also plagued the careers of Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton—three other indisputable giants in the history of science.
Indeed, mistakes are fundamental to scientific progress. One of Einstein’s colleagues at Princeton University, the physicist John Wheeler, observed that “our whole problem is to make mistakes as fast possible.” Only by priming the pump with theories that can be tested against evidence do we advance closer to the truth, throwing out the bad theories and improving the good. The beauty of science is not that it is infallible but that it corrects its mistakes. Einstein was a ceaselessly creative participant in this process, as you learn in What Einstein Got Wrong.
Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story [TTC Video]
01 February 2018, 15:28
Course No 2126 | M4V, AVC, 1280x720 | AAC, 160 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.14GB
One of the 20th century’s greatest fiction writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, was lured by the promise of Hollywood glamour to try his hand at screenwriting. He failed. His misadventure became a cautionary tale for aspiring screenwriters for decades. Meanwhile, Oscar-nominated scriptwriter John Milius, who penned the script for Apocalypse Now, once said that his job was “hackwork.” So which is it? Is writing for the screen a glamorous vocation or formulaic drudgery? Is it a difficult undertaking that can sink a great novelist at the height of his career, or simply another boring day job that requires minimal skill?
What lies at the heart of screenwriting is the same thing that undergirds all great fiction writing: the story. Writing a script is simply another way of telling a story, albeit one with its own special set of possibilities and limitations. If you want to write stories—in any style or genre—the practical and versatile skills you can learn from screenwriting will enhance any tale you want to tell.
Whether you want to write your own scripts or simply gain a deeper appreciation for the great stories you see unfold on the screen, Professor Angus Fletcher is here to show you the way in Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story. Professor Fletcher, Professor of English and Film at The Ohio State University, brings both a personal and scholarly perspective to this craft. As a screenwriter himself, he has experienced the ins and outs of the process first-hand. And as a key faculty member in Project Narrative, a think tank devoted to using cognitive science to study the effects of stories on the human mind, Professor Fletcher offers unique insight into storytelling from both a neuroscientific and a literary perspective. In the 24 lectures of Screenwriting 101, you will understand not only how to write a script, but how to tell a great story that moves audiences—the ultimate goal of storytelling in any medium.
As you learn the structure and techniques of screenwriting, you will also receive an immersive education in effective storytelling by looking at over a dozen successful film and television scripts. Whether you want to achieve the grand vision of Star Wars or challenge your audiences like Do the Right Thing, charm viewers like The Princess Bride or sustain comedy over time like The Simpsons, Professor Fletcher shows you how to use successful scripts to write your own, as well as come to a deeper understanding and respect for outstanding stories.
For those just starting out, understanding the reality of writing for the screen—what it can accomplish and the best methods to achieve your vision—is the first step to deciding if it is the right way to tell your story. If you have already tried your hand at screenwriting but don’t quite know how to best use the form to your advantage, the next step is to see how great scripts work and how the tools used by screenwriters can be used by anyone. And even if you have no intention of writing but want to see the inner workings of how great film and television works, learning the creative process is the key to genuine appreciation.
Begin at the End
There are two key questions a screenwriter must ask when embarking on a story: Where do I want to take my audience? How do I get there?
The question of where is about more than just physical time and place; it is the “where” of cognitive effect—the emotional and psychological response you want to elicit from your audience. This makes the “how” more complicated, as it goes beyond settings, costumes, and characters, and instead goes deeper, into the most fundamental processes of the human mind.
Despite what you may have been told, writing a great script is not about formulas and three-act structure. Great scripts—great stories—are those that create the desired emotional response in audiences, something that can only be achieved by knowing which methods are most effective and how they suit the story you want to tell. To uncover these methods, Professor Fletcher gives you an invaluable tool that you will put to use in every single lecture of Screenwriting 101 and in your work beyond: reverse engineering.
Reverse engineering a story allows you to begin at the end and work your way backwards to uncover the “secrets” of the story’s influence on the audience. It is not used to uncover tropes or archetypes—those are easy enough to discover without any special tools—but something much deeper and more fundamental. Start with the effect you want to achieve: from the tragic sublime and existential meaning to sympathy and romantic longing, the cognitive effects of storytelling tap into the primal roots of the human experience and are powerful because they are universal—just ask the ancient Greeks, whose storytelling techniques are one of many foundations Professor Fletcher utilizes as he shows you how structure can lead to innovation. Once you have identified the effect of a story, tracing the story structures that created it will give you limitless possibilities in your own work and a greater understanding of what makes great film and television work so well.
The Elements of Storytelling
Understanding the overall cognitive effect of a story is a crucial step in creating and understanding audience response, but that is not the only thing you must do. While there are no templates or formulas for the perfect story, there are four key elements that must work together seamlessly in every successful narrative:
- Story world: The rules of your creative universe. Is your story world one where dreams come true? Where superheroes can fly? Or is it rooted in harsh reality? Genres and other pre-existing structures can give you a little help, but you must always give the rules your own special twist.
- Character: A great character can lead an audience anywhere. Main characters need to be special to stand out from everyone else, but they are all created by tapping into three basic human experiences: conflict, fear, and sympathy.
- Tone: Every story has a narrative voice, a lens through which the story is viewed and which determines how audiences should feel about the characters and story beats. Film and television are visual mediums and the language you use as a writer is crucial to how your story will be translated to the screen.
- Plot: The plot is the engine that keeps your story moving forward. Humans are actually naturally inclined to plot, which can be a problem if you don’t know how to constrain your plots in the face of limitless possibilities. Rather than using diagrams and formulas, plotting your story beats backwards can keep you on track.
Study the Greats
Once you have a grasp on reverse engineering and the basic elements every story needs, you can take your newfound knowledge and apply it to a range of powerful and effective stories of film and television. First, you will study 12 film scripts selected by the Writer’s Guild of America as some of the greatest ever written. Then, turn to television by looking at several representative episodes and genres. Each story you encounter demonstrates a different sensibility in both technique and cognitive effect.
As you study the work of over a dozen great screenwriters, you will also get fascinating glimpses into the production and ongoing influence of groundbreaking films and TV shows. Throughout the lectures you will:
- See how a forgotten Hollywood genre can be revived by the right script at the right time;
- Understand how a film that flopped on initial release can go on to become a beloved classic through the power of community;
- Witness the ways collaboration can shape a film throughout production and shape the story beyond the script;
- Discover how a script that went through nineteen rewrites ultimately rewrote film history for decades afterward;
- Compare the storytelling structures of television and film and see why it is so important for writers to understand the different opportunities they offer; and much more.
Each story you encounter uses different tools to achieve a variety of psychological and emotional responses. Your journey through each script mirrors the pattern Professor Fletcher establishes within the first six lectures, beginning each by reverse engineering the overall story, then similarly deconstructing each of the four story components to see how they operate as part of the whole. From the redemption arc of the Western Unforgiven to the romantic longing of Annie Hall, each story offers invaluable insights you can bring to your own writing—and viewing—experiences. While Professor Fletcher encourages you to watch each of the stories he discusses in their final form, he forgoes video clips in favor of line readings in the lectures, adhering closely to the way screenwriters work from day to day. To further immerse you in the process, the video versions of the course feature on-screen scripts with highlighting to follow each passage and scene.
There is no cookie-cutter formula for writing scripts and no checklist for what makes a film or television show great. What Screenwriting 101 offers instead is an infinitely flexible storytelling tool that has worked for the greats—from Euripides to Shakespeare to Pixar—and a selection of resources to show you how to put it to use. In the end, you will have gained the invaluable ability to appreciate more films and TV, tell better stories, and write your own scripts. How you decide to use these limitless creative possibilities is up to you.
Learning Spanish II: How to Understand and Speak a New Language [TTC Video]
31 January 2018, 14:40
Course No 2816 | MP4, AVC, 856x480 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 30x44 mins | 8.02GB
Learning Spanish II: How to Understand and Speak a New Language follows on The Great Courses’ highly acclaimed first Spanish course, taking you to the next level of mastery of this beautiful and incredibly useful language. This exciting program grounds you in the fundamentals that will help you work toward fluency, enhancing your ability to converse with your Spanish-speaking friends and acquaintances, to speak Spanish more skillfully as a traveler—to enjoy the thrill and pleasure of communication in a language spoken by half a billion people around the world.
As in our precursor course Learning Spanish, these lessons, taught by world-class language instructor Professor Bill Worden of The University of Alabama, present a cutting-edge language-learning system that has worked brilliantly for adult learners for over twenty years.
If you’ve completed our first level of Learning Spanish, or have the equivalent of a first-year Spanish course, these 30 lessons will give you the opportunity to practice what you know while advancing into new territory, which will prepare you for more advanced conversations and enhance your ability to express yourself in Spanish on a wide range of subject matter.
Professor Worden’s system makes learning Spanish both fun and wonderfully accessible, and this course is expertly organized to give you the elements of Spanish most vital to daily communication. Within each lesson, you’ll work with three fundamental learning “modules,” each of which builds facility with listening and speaking in Spanish:
- Grammar: First, you’ll continue to build the core elements of grammar—the “skeleton” of the language—giving you a solid foundation for using Spanish in many contexts. In each lesson, you’ll build facility with verbs, adding important verb tenses for expressing actions in the present, past, future, as well as the vital conditional tense. You'll also communicate using the imperative and subjunctive moods, which allow you to express commands, desires, feelings, and states of mind. Moreover, you’ll further your work with adjectives, adverbs, nouns, prepositions, pronouns, and their essential usage.
- Vocabulary: An ample vocabulary underlies real fluency, and here Professor Worden teaches you a rich and broad spectrum of words and expressions, reflecting those used most frequently in the Spanish language. Each lesson adds useful new vocabulary to your repertoire, and key lessons delve into specific vocabulary on subjects ranging from health and medicine to money, shopping, cooking, time, family, and more.
- Culture: Each lesson grounds you in a knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world, as it applies to using Spanish—the cultures, customs, and ways of thinking that surround the Spanish language. Here, you’ll learn how Spanish differs from English as a medium of expression, and you’ll delve into subjects such as the evolution of the Spanish language, the geography of the Spanish-speaking world, and iconic works of art and literature.
In addition to the core work of speaking and listening, the course gives you extensive practice in reading and writing through the course workbook, which allows you to interact with new vocabulary and grammar in their written forms. Learning Spanish II is designed as a natural progression that gives you the basis for real facility with the language as you work toward fluency in Spanish, enhanced by a host of onscreen diagrams and visual aids.
Build Solid Skills in Speaking and Listening
Becoming truly fluent in a language means moving beyond memorization. To speak a language well is to have the right words and expressions exactly when you need them—to always have them ready on the tip of your tongue. Learning Spanish II builds the resources you need to achieve this ease, in a way that is highly effective, and at the same time captivating and enjoyable. Professor Worden adds new grammar and vocabulary in digestible units, making each lesson fun and engrossing by changing subjects frequently and by relating the language itself to the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
Spanish verb forms can seem intimidating in their difference from the workings of English, but they are surprisingly easy to grasp once you understand how the basic structures of Spanish work. Throughout the course, you’ll work deeply with verbs, both regular and irregular. As a case in point, after the present tense (which you’ll practice extensively), the preterite tense (as in, “I walked” in English) and the imperfect tense (“I was walking” or “I used to walk”), are the most commonly used tenses in the Spanish language. You’ll encounter these tenses all the time, both when speaking and when reading and writing. In these lessons, you’ll work extensively with the preterite and the imperfect, learning how they function in Spanish, and exactly when to use each. Later in the course, you’ll add the present perfect tense (as in, “I have walked”), and the imperfect progressive construction, which describes ongoing past actions—leaving you with a rich range of ways to talk about past and present events, processes, and feelings.
In learning to express actions and thoughts, you’ll add the conditional tense (“I would like to travel”), the future tense (“Tomorrow we will leave”), the imperative mood, which expresses commands, and the present tense of the subjunctive mood, which is used in expressing desire, doubt, and emotion. Professor Worden’s finely honed teaching method makes this process into a fascinating and inspiring learning journey, as you see the structure of Spanish taking shape within your understanding.
Learn Verbal Tools for Everyday Communication
Speaking a language well also means being able to communicate about the practical details of everyday life. In these lessons, in addition to essential vocabulary, you’ll master grammatical resources for speaking about common, daily matters, including:
- Spanish prepositions (such as “underneath” and “behind” in English), and prepositional pronouns (as in “near them” or “next to him”)—vital for speaking about physical location;
- possessive adjectives (“my” or “your”) and possessive pronouns (“ours” or “theirs”) and other words that describe possession and relationship;
- reciprocal verbs (“We see each other every week”), which express actions done by people to each other;
- how to make comparisons between people and between things; and
- direct object pronouns (“I see them”), indirect object pronouns (“They write to her”), and double object pronouns (“He sends them to us”), indispensable for real world conversations.
With these and other grammatical tools, you’ll build the ability to speak not only about action, thought, and feeling, but about the features and details of daily living.
Accelerate and Maximize Your Learning Process
Perhaps equally as important as the material of the course, Professor Worden offers vital pointers—based on his decades of teaching—describing the most effective ways to study and learn a new language, and how to move forward as quickly as possible. Here, you’ll learn about:
- the nature of language acquisition and three fundamental qualities of successful language learners;
- key methods for expanding your vocabulary and a two-step system for making new words an active part of your speaking;
- how to develop the best mental attitude for language learning;
- practical ways to connect with Spanish speakers; and
- how to accelerate your learning by expanding your contact with the language.
Enjoy a New Level of Mastery in Spanish
In its design, Learning Spanish II offers you a wealth of resources for learning and practice. In addition to the 30 lessons themselves, each lesson includes a separate audio glossary, where you’ll hear a native speaker pronounce all of the new Spanish words you’ve learned, as well as review their meanings in English. The course workbook gives you essential practice in reading and writing, using your new grammar and vocabulary. And, the audio speaking activities that accompany each lesson allow you to further hone your listening and speaking skills, using dialogues in Spanish.
As another core aid to learning, Professor Worden gradually increases his use of Spanish in the lessons, eventually teaching the lessons in both Spanish and English. Throughout the course, you’ll work on Spanish pronunciation, highlighting sounds that don’t exist in English, as well as sounds that are analogous between the two languages, yet different. And, as an additional useful tool, you’ll learn a range of effective conversation openers, to engage immediately with the person you’re speaking to.
In exploring the rich cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, you’ll learn about how the language evolved from Latin, and the influences on it by German, Arabic, and Native American languages; and you’ll sample great art and literature, in the lives and works of such beloved figures as the novelists Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and Gabriel García Márquez, and the great Renaissance painter El Greco.
Learning Spanish II: How to Understand and Speak a New Language takes you across an important and exciting threshold—from the beginning stages of communicating in Spanish to a more advanced level of speaking and understanding the language. Join a master language teacher in one of life’s great experiences—the never-ending adventure and discovery that speaking a new language brings.