Albion Dreaming [EPUB]
13 January 2014, 18:52
2012 | EPUB | 1.44MB
Contrary to popular belief, LSD is much more connected to Britain than it is to the USA. This engaging book looks at the use of LSD in British society, from its arrival in 1952 to the present day. It provides a hidden history of a controversial drug and how it permeated British culture. The author explores LSD’s use by the medical profession in treating a variety of psychological and mental problems.
At the same time, The Ministry of Defence believed they were on the brink of harnessing LSD as a battlefield incapacitation drug which would enable wars to be won without loss of life. But LSD’s popularity rose with its use among the British counterculture, from the 1950s beatniks through to the late 80s acid house parties. At its height, when it was legal, LSD affected the lives and philosophies of significant individuals (politicians, scientists, writers, educators, entertainers, artists, journalists) as well as ordinary people for good and bad. This book is the first to explore LSD’s amazing influence on British culture and society.
The Fatal Strain [EPUB]
13 January 2014, 15:38
2009 | EPUB | 653.08KB
A riveting account of why science alone can’t stop the next pandemic
Outbreaks of avian and swine flu have reawakened fears that had lain dormant for nearly a century, ever since the influenza pandemic of 1918 that killed at least 50 million people worldwide. When a highly lethal strain of avian flu broke out in Asia in recent years and raced westward, the Washington Post’s Alan Sipress chased the emerging threat as it infiltrated remote jungle villages, mountain redoubts, and teeming cities. He tracked the virus across nine countries, watching its secrets repeatedly elude the world’s brightest scientists and most intrepid disease hunters. Savage and mercurial, this novel influenza strain—H5N1—has been called the kissing cousin of the Spanish flu and, with just a few genetic tweaks, could kill millions of people. None of us is immune.
The Fatal Strain is a fast-moving account that weaves cultural, political, and scientific strands into a tale of inevitable epidemic. In his vivid portrayal of the struggle between man and microbe, Sipress chronicles the accelerating number of near misses and explores the cruel dynamic that has often made Asia the fountainhead of killer flu strains. Even more than modern medicine, it is chicken smugglers, fighting cock breeders, and witch doctors who could determine the evolution of this viral menace by allowing it to breed and speeding it on its way.
The ease of international travel and the delicate balance of today’s global economy have left the world vulnerable to pandemic in a way the victims of 1918 could never imagine. But it is human failings that may pose the greatest peril. Political bosses in country after country have covered up outbreaks. Ancient customs, like trading in live poultry and the ritual release of birds to earn religious merit, have failed to adapt to the microbial threat. The world’s wealthy countries have left poorer, frontline countries without affordable vaccines or other weapons for confronting the disease, fostering a sense of grievance that endangers us all.
The chilling truth is that we don’t have command over the H5N1 virus. It continues to spread, thwarting efforts to uproot it. And as it does, the viral dice continue to roll, threatening to produce a pandemic strain that is both deadly and can spread as easily as the common cold. Swine flu has reminded us that flu epidemics happen. Sipress reminds us something far worse could be brewing.
13 January 2014, 08:27
2013 | EPUB | 0.7MB
The future is not what it used to be. In this volatile era, with the world changing rapidly, people are more curious than ever to know what lies ahead.
Will relentless consumerism end up destroying our planet? Or can science and technology allow us to innovate our way out of trouble? Perhaps a greater social consciousness and community-based living will take over — or, conversely, the competition for limited resources may result in everyone fighting for themselves.
Drawing on these four possible futures, Richard Watson and Oliver Freeman invite us to examine critically the risks and opportunities to come. They discuss the key factors, trends, critical uncertainties, and wildcards that will shape the future, guiding us to a greater awareness of long-term problems and possible solutions — and empowering us not only to adapt to what might happen, but also to shape our future and to generate change.
It’s impossible to know for certain what the future holds, but we can remove some of its surprises by engaging in a meaningful debate about the choices we face now. This book shows us how.