On Saudi Arabia

On Saudi Arabia

On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines - and Future by Karen Elliott House
Knopf | 2012 | ISBN: 0307272168 | EPUB | 320 pages | 4.26MB


From the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter who has spent the last thirty years writing about Saudi Arabia—as diplomatic correspondent, foreign editor, and then publisher of The Wall Street Journal—an important and timely book that explores all facets of life in this shrouded Kingdom: its tribal past, its complicated present, its precarious future.


Through observation, anecdote, extensive interviews, and analysis Karen Elliot House navigates the maze in which Saudi citizens find themselves trapped and reveals the mysterious nation that is the world’s largest exporter of oil, critical to global stability, and a source of Islamic terrorists.


In her probing and sharp-eyed portrait, we see Saudi Arabia, one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, considered to be the final bulwark against revolution in the region, as threatened by multiple fissures and forces, its levers of power controlled by a handful of elderly Al Saud princes with an average age of 77 years and an extended family of some 7,000 princes. Yet at least 60 percent of the increasingly restive population they rule is under the age of 20.


The author writes that oil-rich Saudi Arabia has become a rundown welfare state. The public pays no taxes; gets free education and health care; and receives subsidized water, electricity, and energy (a gallon of gasoline is cheaper in the Kingdom than a bottle of water), with its petrodollars buying less and less loyalty. House makes clear that the royal family also uses Islam’s requirement of obedience to Allah—and by extension to earthly rulers—to perpetuate Al Saud rule.


Behind the Saudi facade of order and obedience, today’s Saudi youth, frustrated by social conformity, are reaching out to one another and to a wider world beyond their cloistered country. Some 50 percent of Saudi youth is on the Internet; 5.1 million Saudis are on Facebook.


To write this book, the author interviewed most of the key members of the very private royal family. She writes about King Abdullah’s modest efforts to relax some of the kingdom’s most oppressive social restrictions; women are now allowed to acquire photo ID cards, finally giving them an identity independent from their male guardians, and are newly able to register their own businesses but are still forbidden to drive and are barred from most jobs.


With extraordinary access to Saudis—from key religious leaders and dissident imams to women at university and impoverished widows, from government officials and political dissidents to young successful Saudis and those who chose the path of terrorism—House argues that most Saudis do not want democracy but seek change nevertheless; they want a government that provides basic services without subjecting citizens to the indignity of begging princes for handouts; a government less corrupt and more transparent in how it spends hundreds of billions of annual oil revenue; a kingdom ruled by law, not royal whim.


In House’s assessment of Saudi Arabia’s future, she compares the country today to the Soviet Union before Mikhail Gorbachev arrived with reform policies that proved too little too late after decades of stagnation under one aged and infirm Soviet leader after another. She discusses what the next generation of royal princes might bring and the choices the kingdom faces: continued economic and social stultification with growing risk of instability, or an opening of society to individual initiative and enterprise with the risk that this, too, undermines the Al Saud hold on power.


A riveting book—informed, authoritative, illuminating—about a country that could well be on the brink, and an in-depth examination of what all this portends for Saudi Arabia’s future, and for our own.


The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language by Melvyn Bragg
Arcade Publishing | 2011 | ISBN: 1611450071 | EPUB | 336 pages | 13.73MB


Here is the riveting story of the English language, from its humble beginnings as a regional dialect to its current preeminence as the one global language, spoken by more than two billion people worldwide. In this groundbreaking book, Melvyn Bragg (The Book of Books) shows how English conquered the world. It is a magnificent adventure, full of jealousy, intrigue, and war—against a hoard of invaders, all armed with their own conquering languages, which bit by bit, the speakers of English absorbed and made their own.


Along the way, its colorful story takes in a host of remarkable people, places, and events: the Norman invasion of England in 1066; the arrival of The Canterbury Tales and a “coarse” playwright named William Shakespeare, who added 2,000 words to the language; the songs of slaves; the words of Davy Crockett; and the Lewis and Clark expedition, which led to hundreds of new words as the explorers discovered unknown flora and fauna. The Adventure of English is an enthralling story not only of power, religion, and trade, but also of a people and how they changed the world.


Endless Universe

Endless Universe

Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang -- Rewriting Cosmic History by Paul J Steinhardt, Neil Turok
Broadway | 2008 | ISBN: 0767915011 | EPUB | 304 pages | 1.65MB


Two world-renowned scientists present an audacious new vision of the cosmos that “steals the thunder from the Big Bang theory.” —Wall Street Journal


The Big Bang theory—widely regarded as the leading explanation for the origin of the universe—posits that space and time sprang into being about 14 billion years ago in a hot, expanding fireball of nearly infinite density. Over the last three decades the theory has been repeatedly revised to address such issues as how galaxies and stars first formed and why the expansion of the universe is speeding up today. Furthermore, an explanation has yet to be found for what caused the Big Bang in the first place.


In Endless Universe, Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both distinguished theoretical physicists, present a bold new cosmology. Steinhardt and Turok “contend that what we think of as the moment of creation was simply part of an infinite cycle of titanic collisions between our universe and a parallel world” (Discover). They recount the remarkable developments in astronomy, particle physics, and superstring theory that form the basis for their groundbreaking “Cyclic Universe” theory. According to this theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution, each accompanied by the creation of new matter and the formation of new galaxies, stars, and planets.


Endless Universe provides answers to longstanding problems with the Big Bang model, while offering a provocative new view of both the past and the future of the cosmos. It is a “theory that could solve the cosmic mystery” (USA Today).


Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution

Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution
Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey
2001 | EPUB | 6.94MB

With Trilobite, Richard Fortey, paleontologist and author of the acclaimed Life, offers a marvelously written, smart and compelling, accessible and witty scientific narrative of the most ubiquitous of fossil creatures.

Trilobites were shelled animals that lived in the oceans over five hundred million years ago. As bewilderingly diverse then as the beetle is today, they survived in the arctic or the tropics, were spiky or smooth, were large as lobsters or small as fleas. And because they flourished for three hundred million years, they can be used to glimpse a less evolved world of ancient continents and vanished oceans. Erudite and entertaining, this book is a uniquely exuberant homage to a fabulously singular species.

Six Not-So-Easy Pieces

Six Not-So-Easy Pieces

Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time by Richard P Feynman, Robert B Leighton, Matthew Sands
Basic Books | 2011 | ISBN: 0465025269 | EPUB | 184 pages | 1.78MB


Six lectures, all regarding the most revolutionary discovery in twentieth-century physics: Einstein's Theory of Relativity. No one--not even Einstein himself--explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Feynman.


Communism: A History

Communism: A History

Communism: A History by Richard Pipes
Modern Library | 2003 | ISBN: 0812968646 | EPUB | 192 pages | 182.24KB


With astonishing authority and clarity, Richard Pipes has fused a lifetime’s scholarship into a single focused history of Communism, from its hopeful birth as a theory to its miserable death as a practice. At its heart, the book is a history of the Soviet Union, the most comprehensive reorganization of human society ever attempted by a nation-state. This is the story of how the agitation of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, two mid-nineteenth-century European thinkers and writers, led to a great and terrible world religion that brought down a mighty empire, consumed the world in conflict, and left in its wake a devastation whose full costs can only now be tabulated.


The Book of Blood

The Book of Blood

The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins by HP Newquist
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | 2012 | ISBN: 0547315848 | EPUB | 160 pages | 28.63MB


HP Newquist takes readers on an engaging tour of the world of blood, from ancient history to modern science—with an occasional trip to the very strange side of the most important tissue in our bodies. Oddly enough, scientists began to understand this fascinating fluid only within the past one hundred years and how its microscopic components nourish the entire body. Whether the tales of vampires, medieval medical practices, and Mayan sacrificial rites captivate or terrify, this comprehensive investigation into blood’s past and present will surely enthrall. And if this account is a little bloodcurdling, well, that’s half the fun!


The Most Evil Secret Societies in History

The Most Evil Secret Societies in History

The Most Evil Secret Societies in History by Shelley Klein
Barnes & Noble | 2005 | ISBN: 1843171678 | EPUB | 192 pages | 4.81MB


"The Most Evil Secret Societies in History" examines fifteen of the most notorious organisations the world has ever seen. These are; The Illuminati, an ancient association dedicated to establishing a 'New World Order'; Argentum Astrum, a black magic order formed by Aleister Crowley in 1907; The Thule Society, an Aryan brotherhood behind the Nazis; Muti Magic, practitioners of ritual murder; Ku Klux Klan, an American white supremacist cadre; The Tongs, violent Chinese society linked to organised crime; Solar Temple, international suicide sect uncovered in the 1990s; The Hashishim, a murderous Muslem sect at the time of the Crusades; The Mau Mau, a ruthless tribal society in pre-Independence Kenya; Aum Shinrikyo - Japanese terrorist survivalists; Odessa, a Nazi organisation perpetuating the vendetta against the Jews; SPK, an anarchist terrorist group active in the 1960s and 70s; The Thugees, Indian devotees of Kali, the Goddess of Death; Camorra, a clandestine Italian network with Mafia links; and The Hell Fire Club, 18th Century English aristocrats dabbling in sex and politics.


Cooking with Chinese Herbs

Cooking with Chinese Herbs

Cooking with Chinese Herbs by Terry Tan
Times Editions | 2004 | ISBN: 9812329609 | PDF | 120 pages | 177.29MB


Cooking with Chinese Herbs brings the rich and life-enhancing legacy of Chinese herbs to your table. Prized for thousands of years by the Chinese for their health-giving properties, these natural ingredients are at the centre of growing interest and research around the world today. The range of Chinese herbs extend beyond the putrid poultices used on festering sores and evil smelling brews from a culinary cauldron frothing with medicinal mixes that some of us are wont to believe.


This book is an indispensable guide to a time-honoured cuisine that fathoms the efficiency of a multitude of barks, roots, seeds and herbs cherished for centuries by the Chinese for their flavour and restorative powers. The full range of Chinese herbs is presented here in detail, with explanations of their qualities, benefits and use.


A wide variety of recipes is featured, from nourishing herbal stews to convenient one-pot meals. Easy-to-follow instructions make inspirational and informative reading, even for the novice. Discover for yourself the ancient philosophy of Yin and Yang, unravel herbal myths, and learn about traditional cooking utensils and the finer points of storing Chinese herbs in this fascinating culinary journey into the world of Chinese herbs.


Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor [TTC Video]

Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor [TTC Video]

Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor by Professor Kenneth W Harl [The Great Courses] (TTC Video)
The Teaching Company | Course No 363 | DVDRip, AVI, AVC, ~ 512 kbps, 640x480 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24 x 30 mins | 3.06GB


Perhaps no other region of the world has played so many different roles in culture, religion, and politics, for so long a period of time, as the peninsula of Asian Turkey, known to the Greeks as Anatolia and to the Romans as Asia Minor. Though today we call it Turkey, that name dates back only to the Middle Ages.


9,000 Years of History


From 7000 B.C., when Neolithic hunters began the transition to a pastoral and agricultural lifestyle, to the founding of modern Turkey in the 20th century, this varied geographical area about the size of Texas has been a crossroads of history.


Homer composed the Iliad and Odyssey on the shores of Asia Minor. All seven of the great ecumenical councils that defined Christian theology in the centuries after the conversion of Constantine took place within the boundaries of modern Turkey. To study the region is to study a land that has nurtured successive civilizations that have defined the Western and Muslim traditions that embrace so many of the modern world's inhabitants.


A Hands-On Professor


Professor Kenneth W. Harl bases these lectures on both a lifetime of academic study and decades of his own firsthand fieldwork at sites throughout Turkey. He is Professor of History at Tulane University, where he has taught since 1978, after receiving his Ph.D. in History from Yale University. At Tulane, he has received the annual Student Award for Excellence in Teaching eight times. In Fall 2001, he was the national winner of the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teachers.


Conquest and Culture


The history of the region includes these milestones:


● the rise of the Hittites, a chariot-borne warrior people who struck out from their Anatolian heartland to overrun the Babylonian Empire and fight the armies of Egypt's Ramses II to a standstill

● the Trojan War, a legend created from historical events of the late Bronze Age, when Achaean merchant princes and adventurers clashed swords with Hittite emperors in Asia Minor

● the birth of Western philosophy in the search for a rational account of all things by thinkers such as Thales, Anaximander, and Heraclitus—all Greek-speaking sages from what is now the Aegean coast of Turkey

● the fiery revolt of the Ionian Greek cities that led to the Persian Wars (499-479 B.C.) and the rise of Periclean Athens as both the world's first democracy and the leader of a maritime empire wealthy enough to build the Parthenon

● the great early victories of Alexander the Great that paved the way for the period of brilliant cultural and spiritual creativity we call the Hellenistic Age

● the spread of early Christianity under the guidance of St. Paul, a native of Tarsus on the southern coast of Asia Minor

● the golden age of the Byzantine Empire, which preserved the Greek classics and repeatedly saved Europe from nomadic invasion

● the Muslim transformation of Asia Minor culminating in the Ottoman Empire, which at its height in the 16th century threatened to take over Europe itself.


Change and Continuity


Cultural change and continuity, says Professor Harl, are the main themes of this course. Each successive civilization inherited and modified the political, social, religious, and economic institutions of its predecessor.


The scope of Anatolian history can be best understood as a series of transformations in the religious landscape of the peninsula. Anatolia has experienced a number of major cultural and religious rewrites: first by the Hittite emperors; then by the elites of Hellenic cities; next by their Hellenized descendants in the Roman age; then by Christian emperors and bishops in the Byzantine age; and, finally, by Turkish rulers and Muslim mystics.


The final chapter, the transformation of Muslim Turkey into a modern secular nation-state, is still in progress. In looking at cultural changes, certain archaeological sites and important monuments will be featured as examples of wider changes.


Cultural Components


The course can be divided into five cultural components:


Early Anatolia (6000–500 B.C.)


The first lectures deal with the earliest civilizations of Anatolia, emerging at the dawn of agriculture in Neolithic villages on the Konya plain (in central Turkey); through the Hittite Empire, the apex of civilization in the late Bronze Age (1400–1180 B.C.); to the emergence of Phrygia, Lydia, and Persia, heirs to the Hittite traditions in the early Iron Age (1100–500 B.C.).


The Hellenization of Anatolia (750–31 B.C.)


The shores of western Anatolia came under the influence of the earliest Greeks, the Achaeans or Mycenaeans, during the late Bronze Age. Although this contact inspired the epic poems of Homer, it was only from 750 B.C. that Hellenic influence spread into the peninsula. Alexander the Great (336–323 B.C.) conquered Anatolia, and his successors transformed the region into a center of Greek cities that played a major role in the civilization of the Hellenistic Age (323–31 B.C.).


Roman Asia Minor (200 B.C.–395 A.D.)


The Romans built on the Hellenistic cities and institutions, and Anatolia was transformed into one of the most prosperous regions of the Roman world and homeland of the future Byzantine Empire. The Hellenic cities of Anatolia not only adapted Roman institutions and culture but also influenced the Roman monarchy, known as the Principate.


Byzantine Civilization (395–1453)


Imperial crisis in 235–305, and Christianization after 324, produced a new Byzantine civilization on Anatolian soil by 600, the basis of Orthodox Eastern Europe today. The Byzantine Empire, reduced to its Anatolian core, weathered two and one-half centuries of invasions and emerged as the leading civilization of medieval Christendom in the 10th and 11th centuries.


Islamic Turkey (since 1071)


The Anatolian peninsula was transformed from a Christian to a Muslim land in the wake of Byzantine decline and the arrival of crusaders from Western Europe. Ottoman sultans then built the last great Muslim empire in the Middle East and Mediterranean world, an empire that fragmented in the 20th century into a series of nation-states. In 1922-1939, Anatolia became the core of the Turkish Republic, a Muslim society that has successfully met the challenges of modernization.


Course Lecture Titles:

01. Introduction to Anatolia

02. First Civilizations in Anatolia

03. The Hittite Empire

04. Hattušaš and Imperial Hittite Culture

05. Origins of Greek Civilization

06. The Legend of Troy

07. Iron Age Kingdoms of Asia Minor

08. Emergence of the Polis

09. Ionia and Early Greek Civilization

10. The Persian Conquest

11. Athenian Empire and Spartan Hegemony

12. Alexander the Great and the Diadochoi

13. The Hellenization of Asia Minor

14. Rome versus the Kings of the East

15. Prosperity and Roman Patronage

16. Gods and Sanctuaries of Roman Asia Minor

17. Jews and Early Christians

18. From Rome to Byzantium

19. Constantinople, Queen of Cities

20. The Byzantine Dark Age

21. Byzantine Cultural Revival

22. Crusaders and Seljuk Turks

23. Muslim Transformation

24. The Ottoman Empire


Kenneth W. Harl

Dr. Kenneth W. Harl is Professor of Classical and Byzantine History at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he teaches courses in Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader history. He earned his B.A. from Trinity College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.


Recognized as an outstanding lecturer, Professor Harl has received numerous teaching awards at Tulane, including the coveted Sheldon H. Hackney Award two times. He has earned Tulane's annual Student Body Award for Excellence in Teaching nine times and is the recipient of Baylor University's nationwide Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teachers.


In 2007, he was the Lewis P. Jones Visiting Professor in History at Wofford College. An expert on classical Anatolia, he has taken students with him into the field on excursions and to assist in excavations of Hellenistic and Roman sites in Turkey.


Professor Harl has also published a wide variety of articles and books, including his current work on coins unearthed in an excavation of Gordion, Turkey, and a new book on Rome and her Iranian foes. A fellow and trustee of the American Numismatic Society, Professor Harl is well known for his studies of ancient coinage. He is the author of Civic Coins and Civic Politics in the Roman East, A.D. 180–275 and Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700.


Understanding Investments [TTC Video]

Understanding Investments [TTC Video]

Understanding Investments by Professor Connel Fullenkamp [The Great Courses] (TTC Video)
The Teaching Company | 2012 | Course No 5724 | DVDRip, M4V, AVC, ~ 1500 kbps, 640x480 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24 x 30 mins | + PDF Guide | 8.07GB



What are your most important financial goals? Sending your kids to college? Buying a new home? Retiring early? Having the freedom to not worry about whether you can afford to buy a new car or go on vacation? It's your financial resources that are the determining factor in how you're able to answer these and a host of other questions. And few things are as important in determining just what those financial resources are as your understanding of where and how to invest.


Investing, and the skills to succeed at it, play critical roles in building and maintaining your financial resources. And investment opportunities are available to everyone. No matter where on your financial timeline you may be—whether you're just starting out, approaching retirement, or somewhere in between—there is no question that improving and enhancing your investment skills can have a positive impact on your financial life and in turn, your life goals.


Understanding Investments helps you do just that. In 24 lectures, it introduces the fundamentals of investing to those new to the subject while broadening and deepening the knowledge of more experienced investors. Taught by Professor Connel Fullenkamp, an award-winning educator from Duke University who regularly consults in the world of international finance, these lectures clearly explain the various kinds of financial markets, the different kinds of investments available to you, and the pros and cons of each. Even more important: The course shows you how to evaluate each of these in terms of your own financial situation.


Essential Knowledge for Newcomers and Experienced Investors


If you're a newcomer to investing, Understanding Investments will give you the confidence—and specific tools—to


● get your feet wet in the investment world and begin building your investment portfolio, even if you have to start small;

● better understand the recommendations and advice of more experienced investors and financial advisors;

● develop your own personal investment plan; and

● move toward realizing your plan's goals with as little anxiety and fear as possible.


And if you happen to be that more experienced investor, this course will


● introduce you to some advanced investment strategies and opportunities;

● show you how to stay on top of your portfolio, and

● adjust its direction as economic conditions—or your own plans—change.


In addition to making you a more knowledgeable and confident investor, Understanding Investments will also help you make sense of the financial news that makes up an increasing share of what you read in our newspapers, watch on television, or discover on the Internet. And it will also help you better grasp the financial condition and performance of the company at which you work, which can be invaluable in making key career decisions.


Using case studies, actual trading examples, and visual aids—including charts, graphs, and even the step-by-step construction of a simple financial planning spreadsheet—Professor Fullenkamp makes every point clear, so that no previous knowledge of the subject is required. You'll learn how the world of money works in plain English, with the only insider jargon being the specific terms you need to know in order to safely navigate the investment marketplace and understand what is being offered to you.


Learn How to Invest with Confidence and Success


In Understanding Investments, you learn the essential information every investor needs to know, including


● the basics of the stock market;

● investment options like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, as well as other instruments like exchange-traded funds (or "ETFs") that go beyond these standard choices;

● how to read and understand stock quotes and indexes;

● tools and simple calculation techniques for researching companies you may be considering as potential investments;

● the ins and outs of online investing;

● what dividends and stock splits are really meant to accomplish;

● the characteristics of bull and bear markets;

● the importance of regularly reassessing your financial goals;

● the management of diversification and risk, including the keys to avoiding the most common ways in which these two key factors are commonly misunderstood; and

● the importance of a well-thought-out plan for continuing to invest after retirement.


In addition, Professor Fullenkamp makes a point of discussing some of the latest findings in behavioral economics so you can grasp the psychological forces investors face in various investment situations. These forces may well be helping to drive any decisions you make, and understanding their presence is an important defense against being driven in the wrong direction, even to the point of inadvertently sabotaging your investments.


For example, we've all seen the fortunes made by those lucky enough to be in on the initial public offerings—or IPOs—of companies that went on to become enormous successes. And most of us would plead guilty to dreaming of getting in on the ground floor of the next startup that goes on to become a Coca-Cola or an Apple or a Microsoft.


But if you ever have the opportunity to invest in a startup, you'll be grateful for the tools Professor Fullenkamp gives you to wade through the complexities and psychological hazards. He shows you how to objectively evaluate a startup, determine its possibilities for success, and decide—with as little emotion as possible, and with full awareness of what psychological forces might be at play—whether it warrants a place in your portfolio.


Invest with Minimal Fear and Maximum Confidence


You'll be using the same skills this course has been designed to give you when you evaluate any investment opportunity—skills that will allow you to invest with as little fear and as much confidence as possible. And, as your professor notes, that's the whole idea.


"Because investing looks complicated and risky, most people don't feel well-prepared to make investment decisions,"Professor Fullenkamp says. "And when we don't feel prepared to make decisions, we put them off, if we can. And it's so easy to put off investing decisions, because there's no real deadline.


"But putting off investing is one of the biggest mistakes that people make with their personal finances. It turns time, which can be one of your best allies, into your worst enemy."


By showing you a way around this mistake, Understanding Investments can be, long before you ever stride into that financial marketplace, the smartest investment you make.


Course Lecture Titles:

01. How to Stop Worrying and Start Investing

02. How Investors Make Money

03. Starting with Stocks

04. The Basics of Bonds

05. Introduction to Mutual Funds

06. What Are Exchange-Traded Funds?

07. Financial Statement Analysis

08. P/E Ratios and the Method of Comparables

09. Fundamentals-Based Analysis of Stocks

10. Startup Companies and IPOs

11. Why Should You Care about Dividends?

12. Using Leverage

13. Choosing Bonds

14. Bond School

15. Picking Mutual Funds

16. Investing in Foreign Assets

17. Options Are for Everyone

18. Real Estate and Commodities

19. Cycles and Market Timing

20. Deciding When to Sell

21. Risk, Return, and Diversification

22. Time Value of Money

23. Financial Planning

24. Taking Charge of Your Investments


The Little Book of the London Underground

The Little Book of the London Underground

The Little Book of the London Underground by David Long
The History Press | 2009 | ISBN: 0752452258 | EPUB | 192 pages | 4.92MB


With 980 million passengers a year, more than 250 miles of track, literally hundreds of different stations and a history stretching back nearly 150 years, the world's oldest underground railway might seem familiar, but actually, how well do you know it? Do you know, for example, who the Queen sat next to when she first went on the Tube in 1939? Or what they did with all the earth dug out to make way for the Piccadilly Line? Or indeed why it is that without the common shipworm, Teredo navalis, the Tube network might not even exist? Thought not. But now, with 10,000 wacky facts at your fingertips, "The Little Book of the London Underground" will tell you everything you need to know - and plenty more that your probably don't.


The Little Book of London

The Little Book of London

The Little Book of London by David Long
The History Press | 2007 | ISBN: 0750948000 | EPUB | 192 pages | 4.63MB


The Little Book of London is a funny, fact-packed compendium full of the sort of frivolous, fantastic or just strange-but-true stuff which no-one will want to be without. London's looniest laws, its most eccentric inhabitants, the realities of being royal, literally hundreds of wacky facts about the world's greatest city and some authentically bizarre bits of trivia combine to make it required reading for all first-time visitors and locals alike.


Suburban Boy: Growing Up In South-East London In the 1930s

Suburban Boy: Growing Up In South-East London In the 1930s

Suburban Boy: Growing Up In South-East London In the 1930s by
The History Press | 2008 | ISBN: 0750950358 | EPUB | 4.51MB


This is the story of a bygone era, describing the childhood of a boy who grew up in south-east London in the 1930s. Adrian Bristow came not from a working- or upper class background, but from that great unsung mass the lower middle-class. Adrian Bristow describes what it was like to grow up in the 1930s in an ordinary suburban family. He enjoyed a childhood radically different from that experienced by children today: so much that he took for granted has disappeared comletely or changed utterly. What Adrian took for granted becomes, on reflection, quite extraordinary and it is the essence of this difference that he has recaptured in this book. Illustrated with a wide range of family photographs and images of south-east London, Suburban Boy will be a highly enjoyable read for anyone who delights in memoirs of childhoods past.


3 Commando Brigade

3 Commando Brigade

3 Commando Brigade by Ewen Southby-Tailyour
Ebury Press | 2009 | ISBN: 0091926963 | EPUB | 320 pages | 1.67MB


'The 3 Commando Brigade's six month deployment in Helmand Province was among the finest pieces of soldiering I have come across' General Sir Richard Dannett, Chief of General Staff


In October 2006, the Royal Marine Commandos took up their six month tour of duty in war-torn Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan - the toughest and hottest war zone on earth. After the tactical retreat of their predecessors, the Paras, the Marines knew they would have to take a different approach to have any chance of success. So they took the war to the enemy. Roving and aggressive, the Commandos forced the insurgent Taliban on to the back foot. As a result, they were involved in daily fire fights of an intensity not encountered by British troops since North Korea.


3 Commando Brigade is a thrilling first-hand account of that dogged, heroic pursuit of the Taliban by the ordinary Marines, sailors and soldiers responsible. It is a story of valour, fortitude, supreme physical and mental fitness, and unrivalled professionalism under the most testing of circumstances. The account explodes from the first page with Operation Glacier, a graphic, no-holds-barred account of a Commando attack on a key Taliban base south of Garmsir - a battle that ends with the dramatic recovery of a Corporal's body from alongside the fort by Apache helicopters. From this opening salvo the action never lets up, offering a startlingly honest account of the war in Afghanistan as told by the junior officers, corporals and marines on the ground.


Prison Break: True Stories of the World's Greatest Escapes

Prison Break: True Stories of the World's Greatest Escapes

Prison Break: True Stories of the World's Greatest Escapes by Paul Buck
John Blake Publishing | 2012 | ISBN: 1843589605 | EPUB | 324 pages | 399.53KB


A comprehensive history of major prison breaks by those who paid a heavy price for their misdeeds, and risked all to regain their freedom


In the folklore of World War II, the memory of those heroes who staged great escapes from POW camps still endure. But what about the other side of the coin: the audacious and daring breakouts of gangsters and villains today? This book focuses on great escapes from civilian prisons, whether the escape was planned or opportunistic, aided from within by corrupt guards or facilitated by a violent gang of intruders. The exploits of such legendary Houdini type figures as the 18th-century rogue Jack Sheppard and the Canadian serial escaper Wayne Carlson are recounted alongside tales of breakouts from seemingly unassailable jails; Alcatraz, Northern Ireland's Maze prison, and the Bangkok Hilton. This book thrillingly describes a phenomenon as old as imprisonment itself. For despite the ever more sophisticated technology of surveillance and security equipment, the escapee will always find the weakest link.


New Boots in New Zealand

New Boots in New Zealand

New Boots in New Zealand by Gillian Orrell
Know the Score Books | 2006 | ISBN: 1905449402 | EPUB | 312 pages | 6.23 MB


An extended stay in New Zealand determined the content of Gillian Orrell’s first book. New Boots in New Zealand is a humorous, first-hand account of walking the nine Great Walks of New Zealand, encompassing many additional facts, anecdotes and insights about New Zealand’s culture, history and peoples. Deciding to go solo, Gillian accomplished all nine walks in the space of a few months, not only learning all she needed to know about tramping but also a huge amount about New Zealand. This superbly written and hugely enjoyable book is the result of her efforts. It describes what tramping in New Zealand is really like, offering handy tips and wry observations that you won’t find anywhere else.


New Boots in New Zealand is aimed at both first-time and experienced trampers, anyone who intends to go on any of the Great Walks, as well as armchair travellers of all ages.


● A new approach to New Zealand tramping books.

● Original and amusing, but also packed with useful information.

● Covers all nine Great Walks: Milford, Routeburn, Abel Tasman, Kepler, Heaphy, Whanganui River, Lake Waikaremoana, Tongariro and Rakiura.

● Includes photographs and maps.


Murder City

Murder City

Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields by Charles Bowden
Nation Books | 2011 | ISBN: 1568586450 | PDF | 360 pages | 5.11MB


In "Murder City", award-winning writer Charles Bowden presents a devastating chronicle of a city in collapse. It begins in January 2008 when a handwritten list appears on a Juarez monument to fallen police officers. Under the heading 'those who did not believe' are the names of five recently murdered cops. And under the heading 'for those who continue not believing' are seventeen names. A few days later their bodies start to appear. But in Juarez, it is not just the police and drug cartel members who die; the violence infects every level of society. With hallucinatory prose and piercing detail Bowden reveals the lives of its residents: Miss Sinaloa, a raped beauty queen whose spiraling madness reflects that of the town that has consumed her; Emilio, a reporter who made the mistake of writing the truth and must now flee north for his life; El Pastor, a born again Christian who runs an insane asylum in the desert; and, the chilling sicario, or hitman, who has dreamt of his own death while whispering the secrets of his trade. As Bowden interweaves these stories into a broader meditation on Juarez's descent into anarchy, he reveals a city made by two countries and two histories, and takes an axe to Mexican and U.S. government and media myths of the war on drugs. In Juarez the war is for drugs; the police and the military fight for their share of the profits; the press is restrained by the murder of reporters; and, the line between the government and the drug cartels has never existed. 'In this new way of life, no one is really in charge-and no one is safe', writes Bowden. 'The violence has crossed class lines. The violence is everywhere. It is like the dust in the air, part of life itself'. Heartbreaking, disturbing, and unforgettable, "Murder City" establishes Bowden as one of our leading visionaries working at the height of his powers.


Submerged

Submerged

Submerged: Adventures of America's Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team by Daniel Lenihan
William Morrow | 2002 | ISBN: 1557045054 | EPUB | 288 pages | 4.76MB


Adventure nonfiction at its best by the co-author, with Gene Hackman, of Wake of the Perdido Star.


Submerged is Daniel Lenihan's remarkable story of 25 years as founder and head of the Submerged Cultural Resource Unit (SCRU)—ranging from ancient ruins covered by reservoirs in the desert Southwest to a World War II submarine off the Alaskan coast; from the Isle Royale shipwrecks in the frigid Lake Superior to the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor; from the HL Hunley, the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship, in Charleston Harbor to the ships sunk by atomic bombs at Bikini Atoll, and much more.


The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes

The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes

The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes by Joe McNally
New Riders | 2009 | ISBN: 0321580141 | EPUB | 320 pages | 4.78MB


When it comes to photography, it’s all about the light.


After spending more than thirty years behind the lens—working for National Geographic, Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated—Joe McNally knows about light. He knows how to talk about it, shape it, color it, control it, and direct it. Most importantly, he knows how to create it...using small hot shoe flashes.


In The Hot Shoe Diaries, Joe brings you behind the scenes to candidly share his lighting solutions for a ton of great images. Using Nikon Speedlights, Joe lets you in on his uncensored thought process—often funny, sometimes serious, always fascinating—to demonstrate how he makes his pictures with these small flashes. Whether he’s photographing a gymnast on the Great Wall, an alligator in a swamp, or a fire truck careening through Times Square, Joe uses these flashes to create great light that makes his pictures sing.


Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads

Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads

Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads by Nancy Baggett
John Wiley & Sons | 2009 | ISBN: 0470399864 | EPUB | 240 pages | 1.80MB


The ultimate guide of super-simple no-knead bread recipes

For years, home cooks have shied away from baking their own yeast bread because they were intimidated by the mess, expertise, and kneading required. Now in paperback, Nancy Baggett's revolutionary Kneadlessly Simple lets even complete novices bake bread quickly and easily in their own homes, with no kneading and no mess.


Using the author's simple and effective technique, these recipes call for minimal ingredients and can usually be mixed in one bowl using a single spoon—with amazingly good results. A wide variety of breads are provided, including Crusty Sourdough Boules, English Muffin Loaves, pizza dough (and companion sauce recipe), Caraway Beer Bread, and much more.


• Perfect for inexperienced bakers and busy home cooks who don't have the time for kneading and kitchen clean-up yeast breads usually require, as well as budget-conscious consumers who love homemade artisan bread flavor, but not artisan bakery prices

• Author Nancy Baggett is the bestselling author of 13 cookbooks

• Includes 73 foolproof bread recipes for comfy classics like Cinnamon-Raisin Bread to contemporary favorites like Rosemary Focaccia


Nothing beats a loaf of fresh, warm-from-the-oven bread. Kneadlessly Simple lets even novice cooks create fragrant, full-flavored loaves without any specialized equipment, mess, or kneading.


Titanic's Last Secrets

Titanic's Last Secrets

Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler by Brad Matsen
Twelve | 2008 | ISBN: 0446582050 | EPUB | 336 pages | 338.46KB


After rewriting history with their discovery of a Nazi U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, legendary divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler decided to investigate the great enduring mystery of history's most notorious shipwreck: Why did Titanic sink as quickly as it did?


To answer the question, Chatterton and Kohler assemble a team of experts to explore Titanic, study its engineering, and dive to the wreck of its sister ship, Brittanic, where Titanic's last secrets may be revealed.


Titanic's Last Secrets is a rollercoaster ride through the shipbuilding history, the transatlantic luxury liner business, and shipwreck forensics. Chatterton and Kohler weave their way through a labyrinth of clues to discover that Titanic was not the strong, heroic ship the world thought she was and that the men who built her covered up her flaws when disaster struck. If Titanic had remained afloat for just two hours longer than she did, more than two thousand people would have lived instead of died, and the myth of the great ship would be one of rescue instead of tragedy.


Titanic's Last Secrets is the never-before-told story of the Ship of Dreams, a contemporary adventure that solves a historical mystery.


Raising the Dead: A true Story of Death and Survival

Raising the Dead: A true Story of Death and Survival

Raising the Dead: A true Story of Death and Survival by Phillip Finch
HarperCollins | 2008 | ISBN: 0007275536 | EPUB | 320 pages | 696.48KB


A true story of death and survival in the world's most dangerous sport, cave diving. Two friends plunge 900 ft deep into the water of the Komali Springs in South Africa, to raise the body of a diver who had perished there a decade before. Only one returns. Unquenchable heroism and complex human relationships amid the perils of extreme sport. On New Year's Day, 2005, David Shaw travelled halfway around the world on a journey that took him to a steep crater in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, a site known locally as Boesmansgat: Bushman's Hole. His destination was nearly 900 feet below the surface. On 8 January, he stepped into the water. He wore and carried on him some of the most advanced diving equipment ever developed. Mounted to a helmet on his head was a video camera. David Shaw was about to attempt what had never been done before, and he wanted the world to see. He descended. About fifteen feet below the surface was a fissure in the dolomite bottom of the basin, barely wide enough to admit him and his equipment and the aluminum tanks slung under his shoulders. He slipped through the opening, and disappeared from sight, leaving behind the world of light and life. Then, a second diver descended through the same crack in the stone. This was Don Shirley, Shaw's friend and frequent dive partner, one of the few people in the world qualified to follow where Shaw was about to go. In the community of extreme diving, Don Shirley was a master among masters. Twenty-five minutes later, one of the men was dead. The other was in mortal peril, and would spend the next 10 hours struggling to survive, existing literally from breath to breath. What happened that day at Bushman's Hole is the stuff of nightmarish drama, juxtaposing classic elements of suspense with an extreme environment beyond most people's comprehension. But it's also a compelling human story of friendship, heroism, unswerving ambition and of coming to terms with loss and tragedy.


Lean Six Sigma For Dummies

Lean Six Sigma For Dummies

Lean Six Sigma For Dummies by John Morgan, Martin Brenig-Jones
For Dummies | 2012 | ISBN: 0470756268 | EPUB | 236 pages | 4.70MB


With the growing business industry there is a large demand for greater speed and quality, for projects of all natures in both small and large businesses. Lean Six Sigma is the result of the combination of the two best-known improvement methods: Six Sigma (making work better, of higher quality) and Lean (making work faster, more efficient).


Lean Six Sigma For Dummies outlines they key concepts in plain English, and shows you how to use the right tools, in the right place, and in the right way, not just in improvement and design projects, but also in your day-to-day activities. It shows you how to ensure the key principles and concepts of Lean Six Sigma become a natural part of how you do things so you can get the best out of your business and accomplish your goals better, faster and cheaper.


What?

What?

What: Are These the 20 Most Important Questions in Human History--Or is This a Game of 20 Questions by Mark Kurlansky
Walker Books | 2011 | ISBN: 0802779670 | EPUB | 3.13MB


What is What? Could it be that noted author Mark Kurlansky has written a very short, terrifically witty, deeply thought-provoking book entirely in the form of questions? A book that draws on philosophy, religion, literature, policy-indeed, all of civilization-to ask what may well be the twenty most important questions in human history? Or has he given us a really smart, impossibly amusing game of twenty questions? Kurlansky considers the work of Confucius, Plato, Gertrude Stein, Shakespeare, Descartes, Nietzsche, Freud, Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, the Talmud, Charles de Gaulle, Virginia Woolf, and others, distilling the deep questions of life to their sparkling essence. What? supplies endless fodder for thoughtful conversation but also endless opportunity to ponder and be challenged by-and entertained by-these questions in refreshingly original ways. As Kurlansky says, In a world that seems devoid of absolute certainties, how can we make declarative statements? Without asking the questions, how will we ever get to the answers? "Why are we here? Why is all of this here? Why do we die? What is death? What does it mean that outer space is infinite and what is after infinity? What is the significance of birdflight, why does matter decay, and how is our life different from that of a mosquito? Is there an end to these questions or is questioning as infinite as space?" With his striking black-and-white woodcut illustrations throughout, this handsome volume is a tour de force that packs a tremendous wallop in a deliciously compact package.


Where is the Mango Princess?

Where is the Mango Princess?

Where is the Mango Princess: A Journey Back from Brain Injury by Cathy Crimmins
Vintage Books | 2012 | ISBN: 0307816192 | EPUB | 272 pages | 1.84MB


Humorist Cathy Crimmins has written a deeply personal, wrenching, and often hilarious account of the effects of traumatic brain injury, not only on the victim, in this case her husband, but on the family.


When her husband Alan is injured in a speedboat accident, Cathy Crimmins reluctantly assumes the role of caregiver and learns to cope with the person he has become. No longer the man who loved obscure Japanese cinema and wry humor, Crimmins' husband has emerged from the accident a childlike and unpredictable replica of his former self with a short attention span and a penchant for inane cartoons. Where Is the Mango Princess? is a breathtaking account that explores the very nature of personality-and the complexities of the heart.


The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space

The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space

The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space by Gerard K O'Neill
Bantam Books | 1978 | ISBN: 0553110160 | EPUB, MOBI | 188 pages | 4.7MB


When Princeton physicist Gerard K. O'Neill published the first edition of High Frontier back in the mid 1970s (just four years after "Rocket Man," to be exact), he just assumed that some of us would be living in orbit by now. Or as the Space Studies Institute's George Friedman puts it in a new essay for this third edition of O'Neill's pioneering work, the L5 society's slogan "L5 in '95!" certainly wasn't referring to 2095.


In High Frontier, O'Neill had mapped out a straightforward, manifestly doable path to putting humans into space permanently and sustainably, using 1970s materiel and current-day Zubrin-style know-how. But O'Neill died in 1992 seeing humanity no closer to fulfilling his bold vision. Freeman Dyson points out in a new introduction to this edition that in many ways we've actually backslided, that the International Space Station (and the current role of NASA) is "not a step forward on the road to the High Frontier. It's a big step backward, a setback that will take decades to overcome."


But O'Neill's idea of pursuing an inexhaustible energy supply (solar power in space) and endless room to expand remains tantalizingly attractive. The science has only gotten easier, and the moral imperative has only become more pronounced, with the planet's resources ever steadily squeezed and the recent knowledge that a mass-extinction event on Earth is nearly inevitable. (O'Neill calls the High Frontier the only chance to make human life--perhaps all life in the universe--"unkillable." The High Frontier is as exciting a read as it ever was, and six new chapters provide context for the advances made in the 25 years since O'Neill's original manifesto.


In the Land of White Death

In the Land of White Death

In the Land of White Death: An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic by Valerian Albanov
Modern Library | 2000 | ISBN: 067978361X | EPUB | 243 pages | 322.5KB


In 1912, six months after Robert Falcon Scott and four of his men came to grief in Antarctica, a thirty-two-year-old Russian navigator named Valerian Albanov embarked on an expedition that would prove even more disastrous. In search of new Arctic hunting grounds, Albanov's ship, the Saint Anna, was frozen fast in the pack ice of the treacherous Kara Sea-a misfortune grievously compounded by an incompetent commander, the absence of crucial nautical charts, insufficient fuel, and inadequate provisions that left the crew weak and debilitated by scurvy.


For nearly a year and a half, the twenty-five men and one woman aboard the Saint Anna endured terrible hardships and danger as the icebound ship drifted helplessly north. Convinced that the Saint Anna would never free herself from the ice, Albanov and thirteen crewmen left the ship in January 1914, hauling makeshift sledges and kayaks behind them across the frozen sea, hoping to reach the distant coast of Franz Josef Land. With only a shockingly inaccurate map to guide him, Albanov led his men on a 235-mile journey of continuous peril, enduring blizzards, disintegrating ice floes, attacks by polar bears and walrus, starvation, sickness, snowblindness, and mutiny. That any of the team survived is a wonder. That Albanov kept a diary of his ninety-day ordeal-a story that Jon Krakauer calls an "astounding, utterly compelling book," and David Roberts calls "as lean and taut as a good thriller"-is nearly miraculous.


First published in Russia in 1917, Albanov's narrative is here translated into English for the first time. Haunting, suspenseful, and told with gripping detail, In the Land of White Death can now rightfully take its place among the classic writings of Nansen, Scott, Cherry-Garrard, and Shackleton.