The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow
The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic by Wade Davis
2010 | EPUB | 396.08KB

In April 1982, ethnobotanist Wade Davis arrived in Haiti to investigate two documented cases of zombis -- people who had reappeared in Haitian society years after they had been officially declared dead and had been buried. Drawn into a netherworld of rituals and celebrations, Davis penetrated the vodoun mystique deeply enough to place zombification in its proper context within vodoun culture.

In the course of his investigation, Davis came to realize that the story of vodoun is the history of Haiti -- from the African origins of its people to the successful Haitian independence movement, down to the present day, where vodoun culture is, in effect, the government of Haiti's countryside.

Lucy's Bones, Sacred Stones, and Einstein's Brain

Lucy's Bones, Sacred Stones, and Einstein's Brain
Lucy's Bones, Sacred Stones, & Einstein's Brain: The Remarkable Stories Behind the Great Objects and Artifacts of History, From Antiquity to the Modern Era by Harvey Rachlin
2013 | EPUB | 6.99MB

Leap across time with bestselling author Harvey Rachlin as he collects over 50 of the most fascinating objects in the world, under one book.

The Mounted Hide of Stonewall Jackson's Battle Horse, The Black Obelisk, The Rosetta Stone, George Washington's False Teeth, Vice Admiral Lord Nelson's Uniform Coat, The Elephant Man's Skeleton, and Lincoln's Death Bed are just some of the objects Rachlin explores with wit, pick and an amazing sense of spectacle.

Publisher's Weekly calls Lucy's Bone's, Sacred Stones, and Einstein's Brain "entertaining and enlightening." Library Journal declares Rachin's work "fascinating." Parade says it is "detailed and authoritative." It is also intensely moving as Rachlin weaves together seemingly disparate histories into a holistic statement that celebrates human endeavor. This book is not simply wonderful -- it is full of wonder.

The Attacking Ocean

The Attacking Ocean
The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels by Brian Fagan
2013 | EPUB | 5.18MB

The past fifteen thousand years--the entire span of human civilization--have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels.

Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines.

Global sea levels stabilized about six thousand years ago except for local adjustments that caused often quite significant changes to places like the Nile Delta. So the curve of inexorably rising seas flattened out as urban civilizations developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and South Asia. The earth's population boomed, quintupling from the time of Christ to the Industrial Revolution. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade.

Since 1860, the world has warmed significantly and the ocean's climb has speeded. The sea level changes are cumulative and gradual; no one knows when they will end. The Attacking Ocean, from celebrated author of Beyond the Blue Horizon, Brian Fagan, tells a tale of the rising complexity of the relationship between humans and the sea at their doorsteps, a complexity created not by the oceans, which have changed but little. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth.

Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein

Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein
Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe by Mario Livio
2013 | AZW3 + EPUB | 3.49/3.59MB

WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. Nobody’s perfect. Not even some of the greatest geniuses in history, as Mario Livio tells us in this marvelous story of scientific error and breakthrough.

Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein were all brilliant scientists. Each made groundbreaking contributions to his field—but each also stumbled badly. Darwin’s theory of natural selection shouldn’t have worked, according to the prevailing beliefs of his time. Not until Gregor Mendel’s work was known would there be a mechanism to explain natural selection. How could Darwin be both wrong and right? Lord Kelvin, Britain’s leading scientific intellect at the time, gravely miscalculated the age of the earth. Linus Pauling, the world’s premier chemist (who would win the Nobel Prize in chemistry) constructed an erroneous model for DNA in his haste to beat the competition to publication. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle dismissed the idea of a “Big Bang” origin to the universe (ironically, the caustic name he gave to this event endured long after his erroneous objections were disproven). And Albert Einstein, whose name is synonymous with genius, speculated incorrectly about the forces that hold the universe in equilibrium—and that speculation opened the door to brilliant conceptual leaps. These five scientists expanded our knowledge of life on earth, the evolution of the earth itself, and the evolution of the universe, despite and because of their errors. As Mario Livio luminously explains, the scientific process advances through error. Mistakes are essential to progress.

Brilliant Blunders is a singular tour through the world of science and scientific achievement—and a wonderfully insightful examination of the psychology of five fascinating scientists.

Instant Creativity: Simple Techniques

Instant Creativity: Simple Techniques
Instant Creativity: Simple Techniques to Ignite Innovation & Problem Solving by Clegg Brian, Birch Paul
2007 | PDF | 0.47MB

Instant Creativity is a collection of tried and tested techniques to encourage individuals and groups to make the most of their creativity. It offers over 70 quick and simple exercises to help find fresh ideas and solutions to problems. It is designed to assist in combating low inspiration, brainstorming ideas for new projects, creating a better understanding of an ongoing problem, or for seeking a general direction.

The range of ideas will help tap into the creative energies of any individual or an uninspired team. They are particularly useful for marketers, advertising professionals, and project designers.

Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of the Universe

Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of the Universe
Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of the Universe by Brian Clegg
2011 | EPUB | 344.88KB

According to a recent survey, the most popular question about science from the general public was: what came before the Big Bang? We all know on some level what the Big Bang is, but we don’t know how it became the accepted theory, or how we might know what came before.

In Before the Big Bang, Brian Clegg explores the history of this remarkable concept. From the earliest creation myths, through Hershel’s realization that the Milky Way was one of many galaxies, to on-going debates about Black Holes, this is an incredible look at the origins of the universe and the many theories that led to the acceptance of the Big Bang. But in classic scientist fashion Clegg challenges the notion of the “Big Bang” itself, and raises the deep philosophical question of why we might want to rethink the origin of the universe. This is popular science at its best, exploratory, controversial, and utterly engrossing.

Roger Bacon: The First Scientist

Roger Bacon: The First Scientist
Roger Bacon: The First Scientist by Brian Clegg
2003 | EPUB | 5.53MB

Legend may have transformed the thirteenth-century English friar Roger Bacon into the Faust-like sorcerer Doctor Mirabilis, but he stands today in high regard as Europe's first great pioneer in the field of science. Bypassing the vicissitudes of Bacon's reputation, this definitive new biography by science writer Brian Clegg places the medieval monastic firmly in the turbulent and contentious intellectual atmosphere of his day. It also finds in Bacon's attempt to reconcile, or at least acknowledge, the variant methods and means of science and theology a quest that places him well ahead of his intellectual times.

For Bacon brought to his inquiry into the nature of things his gifts not only as a lucid observer of natural phenomena, rigorous experimenter, empirical thinker, and gifted mathematician but as a theologian and philosopher as well. In his search for truth he would, like Galileo, suffer imprisonment rather than sacrifice his intellectual integrity.

From Bacon's popularity as a teacher at Oxford and Paris, through his innovations in calendar reform, his experiments in optics, his designs for a flying machine, and, most famously, his development of the principle of inductive experimental science, this illuminative volume unfolds the story of a brilliant career.

Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley

Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley
Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley by Timothy White
2006 | EPUB | 13.6MB

The classic biography of reggae legend Bob Marley, updated and revised for the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death.

Bob Marley left an indelible mark on modern music, both as a reggae pioneer and as an enduring cultural icon. Catch a Fire, now a classic of rock biography, delves into the life of the leader of a musical, spiritual, and political explosion that continues today.

Under the supervision of the author’s widow and with the collaboration of a Marley expert, this fourth edition contains a wealth of new material on the Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician , including many revisions made by the author before his untimely death. An appendix to the new edition chronicles Marley’s legacy in recent years, as well as the ongoing controversy over the possibility that Marley’s remains might be exhumed from Nine Mile, Jamaica, and reburied in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where hundreds of Rastafarians live. The new edition also contains an expanded discography and is factually updated throughout.

According to the Rolling Stones [Audiobook]

According to the Rolling Stones [Audiobook]
According to the Rolling Stones [Audiobook] by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood
2003 | MP3 VBR V5 | 12 hrs 39 mins | 863.45MB

For the first time — here is the real story of the Rolling Stones, as told by the Stones themselves. In their own words, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood get right to the heart of what makes the Stones the Stones, as musicians, songwriters, and performers, describing how their music has evolved, and revealing frankly how their own lives have helped or hindered their music-making. The Stones' own stories are complemented by insider reflections from key players in their story over the years.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven by Corey Taylor
2013 | EPUB | 6.1MB

In this book, Corey Taylor undertakes something never before attempted in the history of rock superstardom: he takes you with him as he journeys undercover through various ghostbusting groups who do their best to gather information and evidence about the existence of spirits. Some are more credible than others, and, frankly, some are completely insane, but all are observed with appropriate seriousness as Taylor attempts to better understand some of the spooky things that have happened to him in his life, especially that night at the Cold House.

But that’s not all, folks. Taylor once again gives you a behind-the-scenes tour of his crazy life and the many beyond-the-grave events he’s encountered. (You’ll be shocked how often Slipknot has been invaded by the supernatural.) Taylor also touches on his religious background and how it led him to believe in much more than the Man in the Sky.

Discovering the Essential Universe [Fifth Edition]

Discovering the Essential Universe [Fifth Edition]
Discovering the Essential Universe [Fifth Edition] by Neil F Comins
2012 | PDF | 104.51MB

Freeman’s briefest, least expensive introductory astronomy text.

Discovering the Essential Universe, Fifth Edition is one of the briefest texts available for the introductory astronomy course, while still providing the wide range of factual topics that are the hallmark of the text and are consistent with most course needs. Discovering the Essential Universe provides up-to-date explanations of core concepts in a flexible and student-friendly text, supported by an impressive collection of multimedia resources developed by astronomy education researchers. It is also up to date, reflecting how our knowledge about the universe is expanding at a phenomenal rate.

The Sun’s Heartbeat

The Sun’s Heartbeat
The Sun’s Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet by Bob Berman
2011 | EPUB | 3.19MB

The beating heart of the sun is the very pulse of life on earth. And from the ancients who plotted its path at Stonehenge to the modern scientists who unraveled the nuclear fusion reaction that turns mass into energy, humankind has sought to solve its mysteries. In this lively biography of the sun, Bob Berman ranges from its stellar birth to its spectacular future death with a focus on the wondrous and enthralling, and on the heartbreaking sacrifice, laughable errors, egotistical battles, and brilliant inspirations of the people who have tried to understand its power.

What, exactly, are the ghostly streaks of light astronauts see-but can't photograph-when they're in space? And why is it impossible for two people to see the exact same rainbow? Why are scientists beginning to think that the sun is safer than sunscreen? And how does the fluctuation of sunspots-and its heartbeat-affect everything from satellite communications to wheat production across the globe?

Peppered with mind-blowing facts and memorable anecdotes about spectral curiosities-the recently-discovered "second sun" that lurks beneath the solar surface, the eerie majesty of a total solar eclipse-THE SUN'S HEARTBEAT offers a robust and entertaining narrative of how the Sun has shaped humanity and our understanding of the universe around us.

The Conscious Universe

The Conscious Universe
The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena by Dean Radin
2009 | EPUB | 3.83MB

This myth-shattering book explains the evidence for the veracity of psychic phenomena, uniting the teachings of mystics, the theories of quantum physics, and the latest in high-tech experiments. With painstaking research and deft, engaging prose, Radin dispels the misinformation and superstition that have clouded the understanding of scientists and laypeople alike concerning a host of fascinating oddities. Psychokinesis, remote viewing, prayer, jinxes, and more--all are real, all have been scientifically proven, and the proof is in this book.

Radin draws from his own work at Princeton, Stanford Research Institute, and Fortune 500 companies, as well as his research for the U.S. government, to demonstrate the surprising extent to which the truth of psi has already been tacitly acknowledged and exploited. The Conscious Universe also sifts the data for tantalizing hints of how mind and matter are linked. Finally, Radin takes a bold look ahead, to the inevitable social, economic, academic, and spiritual consequences of the mass realization that mind and matter can influence each other without having physical contact.

Thinking in Numbers: How Maths Illuminates Our Lives

Thinking in Numbers: How Maths Illuminates Our Lives
Thinking in Numbers: How Maths Illuminates Our Lives by Daniel Tammet
2012 | EPUB | 3.18MB

This is the book that Daniel Tammet, bestselling author and mathematical savant, was born to write. In Tammet's world, numbers are beautiful and mathematics illuminates our lives and minds. Using anecdotes and everyday examples, Tammet allows us to share his unique insights and delight in the way numbers, fractions and equations underpin all our lives.

Inspired by the complexity of snowflakes, Anne Boleyn's sixth finger or his mother's unpredictable behaviour, Tammet explores questions such as why time seems to speed up as we age, whether there is such a thing as an average person and how we can make sense of those we love. Thinking in Numbers will change the way you think about maths and fire your imagination to see the world with fresh eyes.