The Future of the Brain

The Future of the Brain

The Future of the Brain: The Promise and Perils of Tomorrow's Neuroscience by Steven Rose
2005 | EPUB | 1.85MB

Brain repair, smart pills, mind-reading machines--modern neuroscience promises to soon deliver a remarkable array of wonders as well as profound insight into the nature of the brain. But these exciting new breakthroughs, warns Steven Rose, will also raise troubling questions about what it means to be human.

In The Future of the Brain, Rose explores just how far neuroscience may help us understand the human brain--including consciousness--and to what extent cutting edge technologies should have the power to mend or manipulate the mind. Rose first offers a panoramic look at what we now know about the brain, from its three-billion-year evolution, to its astonishingly rapid development in the embryo, to the miraculous process of infant development. More important, he shows what all this science can--and cannot--tell us about the human condition. He examines questions that still baffle scientists and he explores the potential threats and promises of new technologies and their ethical, legal, and social implications, wondering how far we should go in eliminating unwanted behavior or enhancing desired characteristics, focusing on the new "brain steroids" and on the use of Ritalin to control young children.

The Future of the Brain is a remarkable look at what the brain sciences are telling us about who we are and where we came from--and where we may be headed in years to come.

The Art of Instruction: Vintage Educational Charts

The Art of Instruction: Vintage Educational Charts

The Art of Instruction: Vintage Educational Charts from the 19th and 20th Centuries by Katrien Van der Schueren
2011 | AZW3 | 17.25MB

Large-scale wall charts were fundamental tools of classroom instruction throughout Europe in the mid-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Collected here for the first time in one deluxe volume are over 100 of these vintage educational posters now important relics in the history of science, art, and design.

From the anatomy of a tulip or an apple tree to that of a hedgehog or starfish, the botanical and zoological images in this collection are captivating with their curious visuals and intricate details. With a compelling introduction about the history of educational charts and their production, The Art of Instruction provides a glimpse into a rich, significant heritage and will enlighten those with an interest in art, design, science, or natural history.

Redcoats and Rebels [Audiobook]

Redcoats and Rebels [Audiobook]

Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes [Audiobook] by Christopher Hibbert
2000 | MP3@64 kbps | 14 hrs 04 mins | 386.05MB

The story of this war has usually been told in terms of a conflict between blundering British generals and their rigidly disciplined red-coated troops on the one side and heroic American patriots in their homespun shirts and coonskin caps on the other. In this fresh, compelling narrative, Christopher Hibbert portrays the realities of a war that raged the length of an entire continent—a war that thousands of George Washington's fellow countrymen condemned and that he came close to losing.

Based on a wide variety of sources and alive with astute character sketches and eyewitness accounts, Redcoats and Rebels presents a vivid and convincing picture of the "cruel, accursed" war that changed the world forever.

The Day We Found the Universe [Audiobook]

The Day We Found the Universe [Audiobook]

The Day We Found the Universe [Audiobook] by Marcia Bartusiak
2009 | MP3@64 kbps + MOBI | 10 hrs 31 mins | 291.25MB

The riveting and mesmerizing story behind a watershed period in human history, the discovery of the startling size and true nature of our universe.

On New Years Day in 1925, a young Edwin Hubble released his finding that our Universe was far bigger, eventually measured as a thousand trillion times larger than previously believed. Hubble’s proclamation sent shock waves through the scientific community. Six years later, in a series of meetings at Mount Wilson Observatory, Hubble and others convinced Albert Einstein that the Universe was not static but in fact expanding. Here Marcia Bartusiak reveals the key players, battles of will, clever insights, incredible technology, ground-breaking research, and wrong turns made by the early investigators of the heavens as they raced to uncover what many consider one of most significant discoveries in scientific history.

The Balkans Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804-2012

The Balkans Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804-2012

The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804-2012 by Misha Glenny
2012 | EPUB | 2.01MB

A newly revised and updated edition of an award-winning BBC correspondent's magisterial history of the Balkan region.

This unique and lively history of Balkan geopolitics since the early nineteenth century gives readers the essential historical background to more than one hundred years of events in this war-torn area. No other book covers the entire region, or offers such profound insights into the roots of Balkan violence, or explains so vividly the origins of modern Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania. Now updated to include the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, the capture of all indicted war criminals from the Yugoslav wars, and each state's quest for legitimacy in the European Union, The Balkans explores the often catastrophic relationship between the Balkans and the Great Powers, raising some disturbing questions about Western intervention.

United States on the Road

United States on the Road

United States on the Road by Nicky Leach, Fran Severn, Bill Scheller, Kristan Schiller
2013 | EPUB | 121.45MB

IG USA on the Road is the ultimate travel guide to the ultimate trip. Five carefully planned routes feature all the practical information you need to plan and enjoy the trip of a lifetime, accompanied by stunning travel photography. It features fascinating essays on the history of road travel in the USA, plus money-saving tips and suggestions for interesting detours.

Be inspired by our Best of the USA section, which highlights unmissable sights and experiences. Informative Photo Features show you how to make the most of a short stay in any of the major hub cities.

In the Places section, each route is broken down into three or four parts, with full-color route maps and detailed summaries of the key sights en route.

A comprehensive Travel Tips section provides all the travel advice you need to plan your road trip. Our selective listings for hotel and restaurants direct visitors to authentic establishments with local character.

Slowly Down the Ganges

Slowly Down the Ganges

Slowly Down the Ganges by Eric Newby
2011 | EPUB | 1.79MB

Eric Newby has never been bedeviled by practicality. Hence this 1,200-mile journey down the Ganges River, which the author undertook in 1963 in the company of his wife and an ever-changing crew of Indian retainers. What moved him to take the trip? Partly it was the memory of his military service in India more than two decades before. And as he confesses, Newby has a lifelong and perhaps congenital love of rivers: "I like exploring them. I like the way in which they grow deeper and wider and dirtier but always, however dirty they become, managing to retain some of the beauty with which they were born." Few rivers grow quite as dirty as the Ganges, which also goes by such nicknames as Atula ("Peerless"), Savitri ("Stimulator"), and Bhinna-brahmanda-darpini ("Taking pride in the broken egg of Brahma"). And few accounts of this mighty waterway could possibly be as acute and hilarious as Slowly down the Ganges, which Newby first published in 1966.

As always, the author finds human comedy everywhere he looks. Take his initial departure from beneath the Balawali Bridge, where a highly emotional crowd has gathered to see him off:

Two hundred yards below the bridge and some twelve hundred miles from the Bay of Bengal the boat grounded in sixteen inches of water.... I looked upstream to the bridge but all those who had been waving and weeping had studiously turned their backs. The boatmen uttered despairing cries for assistance but the men at the bridge bent to their tasks with unwonted diligence. As far as they were concerned we had passed out of their lives. We might never have existed.

And so it goes, even as Newby and his crew run aground 63 times in the first six days, or switch doggedly from boat to train to bullock cart and back to boat again. His patience in the face of continuous disaster is superbly entertaining, as are his attempts to mollify his increasingly impatient wife, Wanda. Still, his gift for the farcical slow burn never keeps him from relishing the terrain, or from recording it in lyrical yet laconic prose: "At about six the sky to the east became faintly red; then it began to flame and the moon was extinguished; clouds of unidentifiable birds flew high overhead; a jackal skulked along the far shore and, knowing itself watched, went up the bank and into the trees; mist rose from the wet grass on the islands on which the shisham trees stood, wrapped like precious objects in their bandages of dead grass." Slowly down the Ganges is packed with such time-lapse portraiture, along with plenty of casual wisdom about history, humanity, and (last but not least) conjugal life. It's one of those rare voyages we only wish were much, much slower.

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe [Audiobook] by Roger Penrose
2011 | M4A | 7 hrs 22 mins | 274.07MB

This groundbreaking book presents a new perspective on three of cosmology’s essential questions: What came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? And what cosmic future awaits us?

Penrose shows how the expected fate of our ever-accelerating and expanding universe—heat death or ultimate entropy—can actually be reinterpreted as the conditions that will begin a new “Big Bang.” He details the basic principles beneath our universe, explaining various standard and non-standard cosmological models, the fundamental role of the cosmic microwave background, the paramount significance of black holes, and other basic building blocks of contemporary physics. Intellectually thrilling and widely accessible, Cycles of Time is a welcome new contribution to our understanding of the universe from one of our greatest mathematicians and thinkers.

World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction [Audiobook]

World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction [Audiobook]

World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction [Audiobook] by Immanuel Wallerstein
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF | 4 hrs 32 mins | 133.24MB

In World-Systems Analysis, Immanuel Wallerstein provides a concise and accessible introduction to the comprehensive approach that he pioneered thirty years ago to understanding the history and development of the modern world. Since Wallerstein first developed world-systems analysis, it has become a widely utilized methodology within the historical social sciences and a common point of reference in discussions of globalization. Now, for the first time in one volume, Wallerstein offers a succinct summary of world-systems analysis and a clear outline of the modern world-system, describing the structures of knowledge upon which it is based, its mechanisms, and its future.

Wallerstein explains the defining characteristics of world-systems analysis: its emphasis on world-systems rather than nation-states, on the need to consider historical processes as they unfold over long periods of time, and on combining within a single analytical framework bodies of knowledge usually viewed as distinct from one another—such as history, political science, economics, and sociology. He describes the world-system as a social reality comprised of interconnected nations, firms, households, classes, and identity groups of all kinds. He identifies and highlights the significance of the key moments in the evolution of the modern world-system: the development of a capitalist world-economy in the sixteenth-century, the beginning of two centuries of liberal centrism in the French Revolution of 1789, and the undermining of that centrism in the global revolts of 1968. Intended for general readers, students, and experienced practitioners alike, this book presents a complete overview of world-systems analysis by its original architect.

Confessions of an English Opium Eater [Audiobook]

Confessions of an English Opium Eater [Audiobook]

Confessions of an English Opium Eater [Audiobook] by Thomas De Quincey
2004 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 3 hrs 33 mins | 97.83MB

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas De Quincey's best-known work, is an account of his early life and opium addiction, in prose that is by turns witty, conversational, and nightmarish.

The Confessions involve the listener in De Quincey's childhood and schooling, describing in detail his flight at age 16 from Manchester Grammar School, his wanderings in North Wales and London, and his experiences with opium, which began while he was a student at Oxford and developed into a lifelong dependency.

Said critic Grevel Lindop, "The drug that brings an 'assuaging balm' to the wounded heart extracts a price, alienating the hero from humanity and offering only intangible, though exalted, compensations."

Said De Quincey himself, when looking for relief from excruciating pain, "By accident I met a college acquaintance who recommended opium. Opium! Dread agent of unimaginable pleasure and pain! I had heard of it as I had of manna or of ambrosia, but no further: how unmeaning a sound it was at that time!"

Umbrella [Audiobook]

Umbrella [Audiobook]

Umbrella [Audiobook] by Will Self
2012 | MP3@48 kbps + EPUB | 16 hrs 01 min | 329.7MB
“A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella.”—James Joyce, Ulysses

1918
Audrey Death—feminist, socialist and munitions worker at Woolwich Arsenal—falls ill with encephalitis lethargica as the epidemic rages across Europe, killing a third of its victims and condemning a further third to living death.

1971
Under the curious eyes of psychiatrist Dr. Zack Busner, assumed mental patient Audrey Death lies supine in bed above a spring grotto that she has made every one of the forty-nine years she has resided in Friern Mental Hospital.

2010
Now retired, Dr. Busner travels waywardly across North London in search of the truth about that tumultuous summer when he awoke the post-encephalitic patients under his care using a new and powerful drug.

Weaving together a dense tapestry of consciousness and lived life across an entire century, in his latest and most ambitious novel, Will Self takes up the challenge of Modernism and reveals how it—and it alone—can unravel new and unsettling truths about our world and how it came to be.

The Scientists: A Family Romance [Audiobook]

The Scientists: A Family Romance [Audiobook]

The Scientists: A Family Romance [Audiobook] by Marco Roth
2012 | MP3@160 kbps | 7 hrs 01 min | 480.97MB

This is a frank, intelligent, and deeply moving debut memoir.

With the precociousness expected of the only child of a doctor and a classical musician -- from the time he could get his toddler tongue to pronounce a word like 'deoxyribonucleic acid', or recite a French poem -- Marco Roth was able to share his parents' New York, a world centered around house concerts, a private library of literary classics, and dinner discussions of the latest advances in medicine. That world ended when his father started to suffer the worst effects of the AIDS virus that had infected him in the early 1980s.

What this family could not talk about for years came to dominate the lives of its surviving members, often in unexpected ways. The Scientists is a story of how we first learn from our parents and how we then learn to see them as separate individuals; it's a story of how growing up quickly can slow us down when it comes to knowing about our desires and other people's. A memoir of parents and children in the tradition of Edmund Gosse, Henry Adams, and J. R. Ackerley, The Scientists grapples with a troubled intellectual and emotional inheritance in a style that is both elegiac and defiant.

Inside the Wicker Man: How Not to Make a Cult Classic

Inside the Wicker Man: How Not to Make a Cult Classic

Inside the Wicker Man: How Not to Make a Cult Classic by Allan Brown
2010 | EPUB | 3.14MB

Inside The Wicker Man is a treat for all cinemagoers, exhaustively researched and achieving a near-perfect balance between history, trivia and serious analysis. Allan Brown describes the filming and distribution of the cult masterpiece as a 'textbook example of How Things Should Never Be Done'.

The omens were bad from the start, and proceeded to get much, much worse, with fake blossom on trees to simulate spring, actors chomping on ice-cubes to prevent their breath showing on film, and verbal and physical confrontations involving both cast and crew. The studio hated it and hardly bothered to distribute it, but today it finds favour with critics and fans alike, as a serious - if flawed - piece of cinema. Brown expertly guides readers through the film's convoluted history, attempting along the way to explain its enduring fascination, and providing interviews with the key figures - many of whom still have an axe to grind, and some of whom still harbour plans for a sequel.

An Optimist's Tour of the Future [Audiobook]

An Optimist's Tour of the Future [Audiobook]

An Optimist's Tour of the Future: One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer "What's Next" [Audiobook] by Mark Stevenson
2012 | M4B + MOBI | 10 hrs 49 mins | 174.9MB

Mark Stevenson has been to the future a few years ahead of the rest of us - and reckons it has a lot going for it. His voyage of discovery takes him to Oxford to meet Trans humanists (they intend to live forever), to Boston where he confronts a robot with mood swings, to an underwater cabinet meeting in the Indian Ocean, and Australia to question the Outback's smartest farmer.

He clambers around space planes in the Mojave desert, gets to grips with the potential of nanotechnology, delves deep into the possibilities of biotech, sees an energy renaissance on a printer, a revolution in communications, has his genome profiled, and glimpses the next stage of human evolution... and tries to make sense of what's in store. Insightful and often very funny, An Optimist's Tour of the Future is a book that tracks one curious man's journey to find out 'what's in store?'

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us [Audiobook]

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us [Audiobook]

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live [Audiobook] by Marlene Zuk
2013 | M4B + AZW3 | 10 hrs 48 mins | 175.79MB

An exposé of pseudoscientific myths about our evolutionary past and how we should live today.

We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in mud huts rather than condos, to sprint barefoot rather than play football—or did we? Are our bodies and brains truly at odds with modern life? Although it may seem as though we have barely had time to shed our hunter-gatherer legacy, biologist Marlene Zuk reveals that the story is not so simple. Popular theories about how our ancestors lived—and why we should emulate them—are often based on speculation, not scientific evidence.

Armed with a razor-sharp wit and brilliant, eye-opening research, Zuk takes us to the cutting edge of biology to show that evolution can work much faster than was previously realized, meaning that we are not biologically the same as our caveman ancestors.

Contrary to what the glossy magazines would have us believe, we do not enjoy potato chips because they crunch just like the insects our forebears snacked on. And women don’t go into shoe-shopping frenzies because their prehistoric foremothers gathered resources for their clans.

As Zuk compellingly argues, such beliefs incorrectly assume that we’re stuck—finished evolving—and have been for tens of thousands of years. She draws on fascinating evidence that examines everything from adults’ ability to drink milk to the texture of our ear wax to show that we’ve actually never stopped evolving. Our nostalgic visions of an ideal evolutionary past in which we ate, lived, and reproduced as we were “meant to” fail to recognize that we were never perfectly suited to our environment. Evolution is about change, and every organism is full of trade-offs.

From debunking the caveman diet to unraveling gender stereotypes, Zuk delivers an engrossing analysis of widespread paleofantasies and the scientific evidence that undermines them, all the while broadening our understanding of our origins and what they can really tell us about our present and our future.

The Dream of Reason [Audiobook]

The Dream of Reason [Audiobook]

The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance [Audiobook] by Anthony Gottlieb
2000 | MP3 VBR V2 | 18 hrs 07 mins | 579.98MB

In this landmark new study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb looks afresh at the writings of the great thinkers, questions much of conventional wisdom, and explains his findings with unbridled brilliance and clarity. From the pre-Socratic philosophers through the celebrated days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, up to Renaissance visionaries like Erasmus and Bacon, philosophy emerges here as a phenomenon unconfined by any one discipline. Indeed, as Gottlieb explains, its most revolutionary breakthroughs in the natural and social sciences have repeatedly been co-opted by other branches of knowledge, leading to the illusion that philosophers never make any progress.

From the physics of angels to Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, Gottlieb builds through example and anecdote a vivid portrait of the human drive for understanding. After finishing The Dream of Reason, listeners will be graced with a fresh appreciation of the philosophical quest, its entertaining and bizarre byways, and its influence on every aspect of life.

Frozen in Time [Audiobook]

Frozen in Time [Audiobook]

Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II [Audiobook] by Mitchell Zuckoff
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 59 mins | 245.99MB

On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men vanished.

In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing crashes and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors. Frozen in Time places us at the center of a group of valiant airmen fighting to stay alive through 148 days of a brutal Arctic winter until an expedition attempts to bring them to safety. But that is only part of the story. In present-day Greenland, Zuckoff joins the Coast Guard and North South Polar Inc. on a dangerous expedition to recover the remains of the lost plane's crew.

Frozen in Time is a breathtaking blend of mystery, adventure, heroism, and survival. It is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of our military personnel and their families - and a tribute to the important, perilous, and often overlooked work of the U.S. Coast Guard.