SQL Server: Common Query Tuning Problems and Solutions (Part 1) [Pluralsight]

SQL Server: Common Query Tuning Problems and Solutions (Part 1) [Pluralsight]
SQL Server: Common Query Tuning Problems and Solutions (Part 1) [Pluralsight] by Joe Sack
July 7, 2014 | Level: Intermediate | 2 hrs 31 mins | 747.64MB

There are a wide variety of common performance problems that you will encounter when query tuning. Part 1 of this two-part course begins by showing how to validate query execution assumptions around statistics and cardinality in order to ensure you're troubleshooting the true root cause of a query performance issue. You'll then learn about common areas where bad assumptions can occur that negatively impact overall query performance, and about common problems and solutions related to being imprecise when querying a database. The course is very demo-centric, with lots of practical tips and tricks you'll be able to apply in your environment. This course is perfect for developers, DBAs, and anyone responsible for query performance tuning on SQL Server, from SQL Server 2005 onward.

Improving Testability Through Design [Pluralsight]

Improving Testability Through Design [Pluralsight]
Improving Testability Through Design [Pluralsight] by Zoran Horvat
Aug 11, 2014 | Level: Advanced | 4 hrs 36 mins | 852.89MB

A well designed application is not necessarily the one which has a perfect separation of layers, or the one which perfectly implements some predefined design patterns. It is certainly a plus to have these two goals met, but that is not sufficient to make the application really good. We can learn the most about one application by reading the source code of particular methods embedded deep inside of it. A common for loop often reveals more about the design than the whole diagram depicting responsibilities of an application layer in which it is located. The devil is in the details. The best of all intentions in design fails miserably when the low-profile design of small, seemingly unimportant classes is misconceived. In this course, the order of decisions is sorted bottom-up. It is the small class to which we pay attention the most. Only when all things are in place at the microscopic level can we discuss responsibilities of layers, isolation of modules and other high profile topics. The result is a well-built, easily testable and easily maintainable application.

Up and Running with Pixelmator [Lynda]

Up and Running with Pixelmator [Lynda]
Up and Running with Pixelmator [Lynda] with Richard Harrington
Aug 11, 2014 | Level: Beginner | 3 hrs 33 mins | 6.47GB

Pixelmator is a full-featured image-editing tool for the Mac. It can enhance and repair images, but Pixelmator also offers a rich suite of design tools and support for Adobe file formats, so you can easily collaborate with other creatives. In this course, Rich Harrington covers the complete Pixelmator workflow, including making accurate selections, performing target image adjustments, designing with text and shapes, retouching, masking, and making complex designs quickly with other effects . Once your project is finished, you'll learn how to export files in several popular formats for sharing and using in other web and design software packages.

Topics include:

  • Working with files
  • Making targeted adjustments with selections
  • Cropping and masking
  • Designing with layers
  • Working with text, painting, and the shape tools
  • Retouching an image
  • Enhancing and stylizing images or objects
  • Outputting specific files and creating graphics for other applications

iPhoto '11 Essential Training [Lynda]

iPhoto '11 Essential Training [Lynda]
iPhoto '11 Essential Training [Lynda] with Derrick Story
Updated Aug 11, 2014 | Level: Beginner | 4 hrs 14 mins | 2.39GB

In iPhoto '11 Essential Training, Derrick Story offers an in-depth tour of the popular photo management software from Apple, demonstrating its various features for organizing, editing, and sharing images. The course covers techniques to categorize and combine images into custom collections using iPhoto's geotagging, face detection, and Smart Album features, and offers insight on how to perform key image corrections and enhancements. Also covered are tutorials on building customized slideshows and outputting collections to calendars, books, and greeting cards. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:

  • Importing images and movies
  • Grouping photos by events, faces, and places
  • Geotagging images to specific locations
  • Creating Smart Albums
  • Using keyword and ratings metadata to sort images
  • Cropping, straightening, retouching, and rotating photos
  • Retouching and enhancing images
  • Sharing photos on Facebook, Flickr, and MobileMe
  • Creating calendars, books, and cards
  • Backing up to an external hard drive

Design the Web: SVG Rollovers with CSS [Lynda]

Design the Web: SVG Rollovers with CSS [Lynda]
Design the Web: SVG Rollovers with CSS [Lynda] with Chris Converse
Aug 11, 2014 | Level: Beginner | 23 mins | 115.77MB

Learn how to change the color and visibility of SVG graphics with CSS. In this installment of Design the Web, author Chris Converse shows how to control the properties of SVG elements with external CSS, and make your graphics update on rollover. Plus, learn how to group multiple SVG graphics and control them with a single rollover state. The exercise files for this course are free to all members, so dive in and start following along now.

Design the Web: Pie Charts with CSS [Lynda]

Design the Web: Pie Charts with CSS [Lynda]
Design the Web: Pie Charts with CSS [Lynda] with Chris Converse
Jul 17, 2014 | Level: Beginner | 25 mins | 120.98MB

Learn how to display your data in a pie chart, with nothing more than HTML and CSS. Chris Converse shows how to create complex shapes with CSS3 properties and nested HTML5 elements. The course exercise files are free to all members and contain handy cut-and-paste code snippets that allow you to follow along with the instructions easily. When you're done, you'll have an elegant pie chart that will work in all HTML5-enabled web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

Creative Insights: Lauren Bacon on Web Design [Lynda]

Creative Insights: Lauren Bacon on Web Design [Lynda]
Creative Insights: Lauren Bacon on Web Design [Lynda] with Lauren Bacon
Aug 11, 2014 | Appropriate for all | 24 mins | 238.42MB

Lauren Bacon ran a successful web design and development firm for twelve years. Now she is working as a business coach, helping entrepreneurs get their own businesses up and running. In this course, she shares her insights on breaking into the industry: acquiring the right skills, thinking beyond the digital toolset, and specializing in areas that will make your firm in demand. Lauren also answers questions about navigating career transitions, from employee to manager, to freelancer (and maybe even back again), and what the future will look like for new web designers.

Beyond IQ [EPUB]

Beyond IQ [EPUB]
Beyond IQ: Scientific Tools for Training Problem Solving, Intuition, Emotional Intelligence, Creativity, and More by Garth Sundem
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 6.27/6.39MB

Forget the IQ tests and tweak those parts of intelligence that matter most to real world success.

Sure, having a high IQ is great. But surprisingly, science shows that mental abilities not captured in IQ tests can have the most impact in the real world—attributes like creativity, willpower, emotional intelligence, and intuition.

And yes—you can train those skills. In these pages, journalist Garth Sundem draws on interviews with psychology’s top experts and the latest research to show you how.

Beyond IQ is a new kind of braintraining guide, one packed with useful, engaging exercises scientifically shown to help you make the most of the brain you've got in the arena that matters most—life!"

BEYOND IQ is filled with simple pen-and-paper exercises that will help you:

  • teach your mind to hear that "eureka" moment of insight
  • improve your problem-solving skills
  • use divergent thinking to boost your creativity
  • retrain your intuition to become more trustworthy
  • avoid the cognitive "blinkering" that too often comes with expertise
  • expand your working memory
  • practice your performance under pressure
  • improve your pattern-recognition skills
  • sharpen your emotional intelligence
  • strengthen your willpower

And more!

Gun Control in the Third Reich [EPUB]

Gun Control in the Third Reich [EPUB]
Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and "Enemies of the State" by Stephen P Halbrook
2014 | EPUB | 3.99MB

Based on newly-discovered, secret documents from German archives, diaries and newspapers of the time, Gun Control in the Third Reich presents the definitive, yet hidden history of how the Nazi regime made use of gun control to disarm and repress its enemies and consolidate power. The countless books on the Third Reich and the Holocaust fail even to mention the laws restricting firearms ownership, which rendered political opponents and Jews defenseless. A skeptic could surmise that a better-armed populace might have made no difference, but the National Socialist regime certainly did not think so—it ruthlessly suppressed firearm ownership by disfavored groups.

Gun Control in the Third Reich spans the two decades from the birth of the Weimar Republic in 1918 through Kristallnacht in 1938. The book then presents a panorama of pertinent events during World War II regarding the effects of the disarming policies. And even though in the occupied countries the Nazis decreed the death penalty for possession of a firearm, there developed instances of heroic armed resistance by Jews, particularly the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

The Senses (The Human Body: How It Works) [PDF]

The Senses (The Human Body: How It Works) [PDF]
The Senses (The Human Body: How It Works) by Douglas B Light
2009 | PDF | 8.63MB

Each title in the series The Human Body: How It Works investigates a different system or process of the human body, from organ systems to cells. Written by experts in human anatomy and accompanied by full-color illustrations, photos, charts, and diagrams, each title thoroughly examines the role of each system as part of the complex machine that is the human body.

The human body's sense organs are its physical link between the brain and the surrounding environment. Our senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing allow us to interact and adapt to the ever-changing world that surrounds us. The Senses gives readers an introduction to the intricate structures and functions of the body's sense organs and examines some of the most common diseases that affect these organs. Readers will learn how even a temporary problem with one of the senses can dramatically affect how our bodies perceive the world.

Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming [PDF]

Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming [PDF]
Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming by Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby
2013 | PDF | 11.65MB

Today designers often focus on making technology easy to use, sexy, and consumable. In Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby propose a kind of design that is used as a tool to create not only things but ideas. For them, design is a means of speculating about how things could be -- to imagine possible futures. This is not the usual sort of predicting or forecasting, spotting trends and extrapolating; these kinds of predictions have been proven wrong, again and again. Instead, Dunne and Raby pose "what if" questions that are intended to open debate and discussion about the kind of future people want (and do not want).

Speculative Everything offers a tour through an emerging cultural landscape of design ideas, ideals, and approaches. Dunne and Raby cite examples from their own design and teaching and from other projects from fine art, design, architecture, cinema, and photography. They also draw on futurology, political theory, the philosophy of technology, and literary fiction. They show us, for example, ideas for a solar kitchen restaurant; a flypaper robotic clock; a menstruation machine; a cloud-seeding truck; a phantom-limb sensation recorder; and devices for food foraging that use the tools of synthetic biology. Dunne and Raby contend that if we speculate more -- about everything -- reality will become more malleable. The ideas freed by speculative design increase the odds of achieving desirable futures.

Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies and Nerds [EPUB]

Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies and Nerds [EPUB]
Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets & Science of Hiring Technical People by Johanna Rothman
2013 | EPUB | 6.25MB

Proven Methods for Attracting, Interviewing, and Hiring Technical Workers

Good technical people are the foundation on which successful high technology organizations are built. Establishing a good process for hiring such workers is essential. Unfortunately, the generic methods so often used for hiring skill-based staff, who can apply standardized methods to almost any situation, are of little use to those charged with the task of hiring technical people.

Unlike skill-based workers, technical people typically do not have access to cookie-cutter solutions to their problems. They need to adapt to any situation that arises, using their knowledge in new and creative ways to solve the problem at hand. As a result, one developer, tester, or technical manager is not interchangeable with another. This makes hiring technical people one of the most critical and difficult processes a technical manager can undertake.

Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets & Science of Hiring Technical People takes the guesswork out of hiring and diminishes the risk of costly hiring mistakes. With the aid of step-by-step descriptions and detailed examples, you'll learn how to

  • write a concise, targeted job description
  • source candidates
  • develop ads for mixed media
  • review résumés quickly to determine Yes, No, or Maybe candidates
  • develop intelligent, nondiscriminatory, interview techniques
  • create fool-proof phone-screens
  • check references with a view to reading between the lines
  • extend an offer that will attract a win-win acceptance or tender a gentle-but-decisive rejection
  • and more

An effective hiring process is crucial to saving an organization the costs and consequences of a bad hiring decision. Not only is a bad hire costly in terms of recruiting expenses and the time spent hiring, it can also bog down or derail projects that may already be running late.

You, your team, and your organization will live with the long-term consequences of your hiring decision. Investing time in developing a hiring strategy will shorten your decision time and the ramp-up time needed for each new hire.

Technical leaders, project and program managers, and anyone putting together a team of technical workers will greatly benefit from this book.

This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral [Audiobook]

This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral [Audiobook]
This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral - Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking - in America's Gilded Capital [Audiobook] by Mark Leibovich, read by Joe Barrett
2013 | MP3@48 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 46 mins | 244.33MB

Tim Russert is dead.
But the room was alive.

Big Ticket Washington Funerals can make such great networking opportunities. Power mourners keep stampeding down the red carpets of the Kennedy Center, handing out business cards, touching base. And there is no time to waste in a gold rush, even (or especially) at a solemn tribal event like this.

Washington—This Town—might be loathed from every corner of the nation, yet these are fun and busy days at this nexus of big politics, big money, big media, and big vanity. There are no Democrats and Republicans anymore in the nation’s capital, just millionaires. That is the grubby secret of the place in the twenty-first century. You will always have lunch in This Town again. No matter how many elections you lose, apologies you make, or scandals you endure.

In This Town, Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, presents a blistering, stunning—and often hysterically funny—examination of our ruling class’s incestuous “media industrial complex.” Through his eyes, we discover how the funeral for a beloved newsman becomes the social event of the year. How political reporters are fetishized for their ability to get their names into the predawn e-mail sent out by the city’s most powerful and puzzled-over journalist. How a disgraced Hill aide can overcome ignominy and maybe emerge with a more potent “brand” than many elected members of Congress. And how an administration bent on “changing Washington” can be sucked into the ways of This Town with the same ease with which Tea Party insurgents can, once elected, settle into it like a warm bath.

Outrageous, fascinating, and destined to win Leibovich a whole host of, er, new friends, This Town is must reading, whether you’re inside the Beltway—or just trying to get there.

Making the Most of Your Money Now [EPUB]

Making the Most of Your Money Now [EPUB]
Making the Most of Your Money Now: The Classic Bestseller Completely Revised for the New Economy by Jane Bryant Quinn
2009 | EPUB | 7.89MB

Consumers Union named Making the Most of Your Money Now the best personal finance book on the market. Now Jane Bryant Quinn's bestseller has been completely revised and updated for 2010 and beyond. America's most trusted financial adviser, who helped millions of readers meet their goals in the 1990s, has done it again -- providing a guide to financial recovery, independence, and success in the new economy.

Getting your financial life on track and keeping it there -- nothing is more important to your family and you. This proven, comprehensive guidebook steers you around the risks and helps you make smart and profitable decisions at every stage of your life. Are you single, married, or divorced? A parent with a paycheck or a parent at home? Getting your first job or well along in your career? Helping your kids in college or your parents in their older age? Planning for retirement? Already retired and worried about how to make your money last? You'll find ideas to help you build your financial security here.

Jane Bryant Quinn answers more questions more completely than any other personal-finance author on the market today. You'll reach for this book again and again as your life changes and new financial decisions arise. Here are just a few of the important subjects she examines:

  • Setting priorities during and after a financial setback, and bouncing back
  • Getting the most out of a bank while avoiding fees
  • Credit card and debit card secrets that will save you money
  • Family matters -- talking money before marriage and mediating claims during divorce
  • Cutting the cost of student debt, and finding schools that will offer big "merit" scholarships to your child
  • The simplest ways of pulling yourself out of debt
  • Why it's so important to jump on the automatic-savings bandwagon
  • Buying a house, selling one, or trying to rent your home when buyers aren't around
  • Why credit scores are more important than ever, plus tips on keeping yours in the range most attractive to lenders
  • Investing made easy -- mutual funds that are tailor-made for your future retirement
  • What every investor needs to know about building wealth
  • How an "investment policy" helps you make wise decisions in any market
  • The essential tax-deferred retirement plans, from 401(k)s to Individual Retirement Accounts -- and how to manage them
  • How to invest in real estate at a bargain price (and how to spot something that looks like a bargain but isn't)
  • Eleven ways of keeping a steady income while you're retired, even after a stock market crash
  • Financial planning -- what it means, how you do it, and where to find good planners

Page by page, Quinn leads you through the pros and cons of every decision, to help you make the choice that will suit you best. This is the single personal-finance book that no family should be without.

Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People [Audiobook]

Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People [Audiobook]
Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People [Audiobook] by Jane Bryant Quinn, read by the Author
2006 | MP3@64 kbps | 5 hrs 43 mins | 157.33MB

Are you too busy to pay much attention to your money? Do you worry that maybe you haven't been doing the right things? This book is for you, from Jane Bryant Quinn, the most trusted voice in personal finance today. Her classic bestseller, Making the Most of Your Money, guided a generation toward smart and sensible financial choices. Here she strips away the extras, choosing the best financial ideas and products available today. They're all you need to create a successful and long-lasting financial plan. It's money management the No Worry way.

To start with, she tells you to forget all the complicated stuff the financial industry sells. You don't need it, it costs too much, and some of it is downright bad. It's designed to make the banks, brokers, and insurance companies rich, not you.

The best ideas (a super-short list!) are simple, low in cost, and easy to use. They're also sophisticated and smart. The strategies shown here are followed by some of the most successful planners and money managers around today, yet they're something everyone can understand. They'll give you what you need from your money -- regular savings, financial security, long-term investment growth, personal control, and best of all, peace of mind.

Once you've set up a No Worry plan, you won't have to pay much attention to it. The choices you'll find here are all good ones. All you have to do is arrange for automatic payments and contributions and then get on with the rest of your busy life. You can focus your energies on your job, family, leisure, and friends, secure in the knowledge that your finances are okay.

Here's what you'll do on the No Worry plan:

  • Save more money without feeling pinched
  • Get rid of debt the automatic way
  • Keep yourself safe, with the right amount of insurance at the lowest cost
  • Zero in on the right mortgage, every time
  • Pick the best college savings plan for your kids
  • Understand your finances, in ways you never did before
  • Find the smartest and simplest ways of investing money, to earn superior returns over the long run

The investment ideas alone will open your eyes to the newest strategies for accumulating wealth (without making big mistakes!). Jane Bryant Quinn will change the way you think about money. She has the answers busy people need.

Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past [EPUB]

Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past [EPUB]
Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past by Ray Raphael
2014 | EPUB | 2.45MB

The highly praised book in which cherished stories from American history are exposed as myths.

Widely praised following its initial publication, Founding Myths is a page-turner created out of the stuff of American history primers. Reexamining thirteen well-known tales from the American struggle for independence, the book documents the errors and inventions that permeate these cherished national myths—myths that are often still taught in American history classes—in what Baltimore's City Paper calls a "debunking that does not disappoint."

"Engaging and eye-opening" (The Sacramento Bee), Ray Raphael's bold and provocative book reexamines the story of Paul Revere's midnight ride, which turns out to have involved far more than one rider; Patrick Henry's famous (and fictitious) "Give Me Liberty" speech; and the made-up character of Molly Pitcher, among many others. Raphael cleverly demonstrates how these stories evolved over time. And in each case, he offers an alternative version, one that is both more historically accurate and more in tune with our nation's democratic ideals.

For anyone who is curious about the true story of the nation's founding, and for those searching for a genuine chronicle of democratic struggle, Founding Myths is American history at its truest and most vital.

Becoming Queen Victoria [EPUB]

Becoming Queen Victoria [EPUB]
Becoming Queen Victoria: The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch by Kate Williams
2010 | EPUB | 6.5MB

In her lauded biography England’s Mistress, Kate Williams painted a vivid and intimate portrait of Emma Hamilton, the lover of English national hero Lord Horatio Nelson. Now, with the same keen insight and gift for telling detail, Williams provides a gripping account of Queen Victoria’s rise to the throne and her early years in power—as well as the tragic, little-known story of the princess whose demise made it all possible.

Toward the end of the eighteenth century, monarchies across Europe found themselves in crisis. With mad King George III and his delinquent offspring tarnishing the realm, the English pinned their hopes on the only legitimate heir to the throne: the lovely and prudent Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince of Wales and granddaughter of the king. Sadly, those dreams faded when, at age twenty-one, she died after a complicated pregnancy and stillbirth. While a nation grieved, Charlotte’s power-hungry uncles plotted quickly to produce a new heir. Only the Duke of Kent proved successful in his endeavor, with the birth of a girl named Victoria.

Writing with a combination of novelistic flair and historical precision, Williams reveals an energetic and vibrant woman in the prime of her life, while chronicling the byzantine machinations behind Victoria’s struggle to occupy the throne—scheming that continued even after the crown was placed on her head.

Upon hearing of the death of her predecessor, King William IV, Victoria—in her bold first act as queen—banished her overambitious mother from the room, a simple yet resolute move that would set the tone for her reign. The queen clashed constantly not only with her mother and her mother’s adviser, the Irish adventurer John Conroy, but with her ministers and even her beloved Prince Albert, all of whom, in one way or another, attempted to seize control from her.

By connecting Charlotte’s sad fate to Victoria’s majestic rule, Kate Williams lays bare the passions that swirled around the throne—the court secrets, the sexual repression, and the endless intrigue. The result is a grand and satisfying tale of a woman whose destiny began long before she was born and whose legacy lives on.

Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation [Audiobook]

Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation [Audiobook]
Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation [Audiobook] by Judith Mackrell, read by Julia Franklin
2014 | MP3@32 kbps + EPUB | 18 hrs 17 mins | 251.11MB

By the 1920s, women were on the verge of something huge. Jazz, racy fashions, eyebrowraising new attitudes about art and sex—all of this pointed to a sleek, modern world, one that could shake off the grimness of the Great War and stride into the future in one deft, stylized gesture. The women who defined this the Jazz Age—Josephine Baker, Tallulah Bankhead, Diana Cooper, Nancy Cunard, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Tamara de Lempicka—would presage the sexual revolution by nearly half a century and would shape the role of women for generations to come.

In Flappers, the acclaimed biographer Judith Mackrell renders these women with all the color that marked their lives and their era. Both sensuous and sympathetic, her admiring biography lays bare the private lives of her heroines, filling in the bold contours. These women came from vastly different backgrounds, but all ended up passing through Paris, the mecca of the avant-garde. Before she was the toast of Parisian society, Josephine Baker was a poor black girl from the slums of Saint Louis. Tamara de Lempicka fled the Russian Revolution only to struggle to scrape together a life for herself and her family. A committed painter, her portraits were indicative of the age’s art deco sensibility and sexual daring. The Brits in the group—Nancy Cunard and Diana Cooper— came from pinkie-raising aristocratic families but soon descended into the salacious delights of the vanguard. Tallulah Bankhead and Zelda Fitzgerald were two Alabama girls driven across the Atlantic by a thirst for adventure and artistic validation.

But beneath the flamboyance and excess of the Roaring Twenties lay age-old prejudices about gender, race, and sexuality. These flappers weren’t just dancing and carousing; they were fighting for recognition and dignity in a male-dominated world. They were more than mere lovers or muses to the modernist masters—in their pursuit of fame and intense experience, we see a generation of women taking bold steps toward something burgeoning, undefined, maybe dangerous: a New Woman.

The Perfect Theory [EPUB]

The Perfect Theory [EPUB]
The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity by Pedro G Ferreira
2014 | EPUB | 0.6MB

How did one elegant theory incite a scientific revolution?

Physicists have been exploring, debating, and questioning the general theory of relativity ever since Albert Einstein first presented it in 1915. Their work has uncovered a number of the universe’s more surprising secrets, and many believe further wonders remain hidden within the theory’s tangle of equations, waiting to be exposed. In this sweeping narrative of science and culture, astrophysicist Pedro Ferreira brings general relativity to life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers who have taken up its challenge. For these scientists, the theory has been both a treasure trove and an enigma, fueling a century of intellectual struggle and triumph..

Einstein’s theory, which explains the relationships among gravity, space, and time, is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement of modern physics, yet studying it has always been a controversial endeavor. Relativists were the target of persecution in Hitler’s Germany, hounded in Stalin’s Russia, and disdained in 1950s America. Even today, PhD students are warned that specializing in general relativity will make them unemployable.

Despite these pitfalls, general relativity has flourished, delivering key insights into our understanding of the origin of time and the evolution of all the stars and galaxies in the cosmos. Its adherents have revealed what lies at the farthest reaches of the universe, shed light on the smallest scales of existence, and explained how the fabric of reality emerges. Dark matter, dark energy, black holes, and string theory are all progeny of Einstein’s theory.

We are in the midst of a momentous transformation in modern physics. As scientists look farther and more clearly into space than ever before, The Perfect Theory reveals the greater relevance of general relativity, showing us where it started, where it has led, and where it can still take us.

Revolutionary Ideas by Jonathan Israel [EPUB]

Revolutionary Ideas by Jonathan Israel [EPUB]
Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from The Rights of Man to Robespierre by Jonathan Israel
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 3.1/3.2MB

Historians of the French Revolution used to take for granted what was also obvious to its contemporary observers--that the Revolution was caused by the radical ideas of the Enlightenment. Yet in recent decades scholars have argued that the Revolution was brought about by social forces, politics, economics, or culture--almost anything but abstract notions like liberty or equality. In Revolutionary Ideas, one of the world's leading historians of the Enlightenment restores the Revolution's intellectual history to its rightful central role. Drawing widely on primary sources, Jonathan Israel shows how the Revolution was set in motion by radical eighteenth-century doctrines, how these ideas divided revolutionary leaders into vehemently opposed ideological blocs, and how these clashes drove the turning points of the Revolution.

Revolutionary Ideas demonstrates that the Revolution was really three different revolutions vying for supremacy--a conflict between constitutional monarchists such as Lafayette who advocated moderate Enlightenment ideas; democratic republicans allied to Tom Paine who fought for Radical Enlightenment ideas; and authoritarian populists, such as Robespierre, who violently rejected key Enlightenment ideas and should ultimately be seen as Counter-Enlightenment figures. The book tells how the fierce rivalry between these groups shaped the course of the Revolution, from the Declaration of Rights, through liberal monarchism and democratic republicanism, to the Terror and the Post-Thermidor reaction.

In this compelling account, the French Revolution stands once again as a culmination of the emancipatory and democratic ideals of the Enlightenment. That it ended in the Terror represented a betrayal of those ideas--not their fulfillment.

How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City [EPUB]

How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City [EPUB]
How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean
2014 | EPUB | 23.31MB

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Paris was known for isolated monuments but had not yet put its brand on urban space. Like other European cities, it was still emerging from its medieval past. But in a mere century Paris would be transformed into the modern and mythic city we know today.

Though most people associate the signature characteristics of Paris with the public works of the nineteenth century, Joan DeJean demonstrates that the Parisian model for urban space was in fact invented two centuries earlier, when the first complete design for the French capital was drawn up and implemented. As a result, Paris saw many changes. It became the first city to tear down its fortifications, inviting people in rather than keeping them out. Parisian urban planning showcased new kinds of streets, including the original boulevard, as well as public parks and the earliest sidewalks and bridges without houses. Venues opened for urban entertainment of all kinds, from opera and ballet to a pastime invented in Paris, recreational shopping. Parisians enjoyed the earliest public transportation and street lighting, and Paris became Europe’s first great walking city.

A century of planned development made Paris both beautiful and exciting. It gave people reasons to be out in public as never before and as nowhere else. And it gave Paris its modern identity as a place that people dreamed of seeing. By 1700, Paris had become the capital that would revolutionize our conception of the city and of urban life.

See also: The Age of Comfort: When Paris Discovered Casual--and the Modern Home Began

Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan [EPUB]

Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan [EPUB]
Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan by Phillip Lopate
2008 | EPUB | 3.82MB

Fusing history, lore, politics, culture, and on-site adventures, esteemed essayist and author Phillip Lopate takes us on an exuberant, affectionate, and eye-opening excursion around Manhattan’s shoreline. Waterfront captures the ever-changing character of New York in the best way possible: on a series of exploratory walks conducted by one of the city’s most engaging and knowledgeable guides. Starting at the Battery and moving at a leisurely pace along the banks of the Hudson and East Rivers, Lopate describes the infrastructures, public spaces, and landmarks he encounters, along with fascinating insights into how they came to be. Unpeeling layers of myth and history, he reveals the economic, ecological, and political concerns that influenced the city’s development, reporting on everything from the building of the Brooklyn Bridge to the latest projects dotting the shorelines.

New York’s waterfront has undergone a three-stage revaluation—from the world’s largest port to an abandoned, seedy no-man’s land to a highly desirable zone of parks and upscale retail and residential properties—each metamorphosis only incompletely shedding earlier associations. Physically, no area of New York City has changed as dramatically as the shoreline, thanks to natural processes and the use of landfill, dredging, and other interventions. Everywhere Phillip Lopate walked on the waterfront, he saw the present as a layered accumulation of older narratives. He set about his task by trying to read the city like a text. One textual layer is the past, going back to the Lenape Indians, Captain Kidd, and Melville’s sailors; another is the present—whatever or whoever was popping up in his view at the moment; a third layer contains the constructed environment, the architecture or piers or parks currently along the shore; another layer still is his personal history, the memories recalled by visiting certain spots; yet another consists of the city’s incredibly rich cultural record—the literature, films, and artwork that threw a reflecting light on the matter at hand; and finally, there is the invisible or imagined layer—what he thinks should be on the waterfront but is not.

Waterfront is studded with short diversions where Lopate expounds on some of the greater issues, characters, and sites of Manhattan’s shoreline. Be it a revisionist examination of Robert Moses, the effect of shipworms on the city’s piers and foundations, the battle over Westway, the dream of public housing, the legacy of Joseph Mitchell, a wonderful passage about the longshoremen and Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, or the meaning of the World Trade Center, Lopate punctuates this marvelous journey with the sights and sounds and words of a world like no other.

A rich and impressive work by an undisputed master stylist, Waterfront takes its rightful place next to other literary classics of New York, such as E. B. White’s Here Is New York and Joseph Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel. It is an unparalleled look at New York’s landscape and history and an irresistible invitation to meander along its outermost edges.

Insatiable: Porn — A Love Story [EPUB]

Insatiable: Porn — A Love Story [EPUB]
Insatiable: Porn — A Love Story by Asa Akira
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.36/0.99MB

Asa Akira has already had an extremely unusual life. Educated at the United Nations International School in Manhattan, she soon was earning a good living by stripping and working as a dominatrix at a sex dungeon. Akira has now built up a reputation for being of the most popular, hardworking, and extreme actors in the business, winning dozens of awards for her 330+ movies, including her #1 bestselling series “Asa Akira Is Insatiable”.

In Insatiable, Akira recounts her extraordinary life in chapters that are hilarious, shocking, and touching. In a wry, conversational tone, she talks about her experiences shoplifting and doing drugs while in school, her relationship with other porn stars (she is married to one) and with the industry at large, and her beliefs about women and sexuality. Insatiable is filled with Akira’s unusual and often highly amusing anecdotes, including her visit to a New Hampshire sex shop run by a mother and son.

In a world where porn is increasingly becoming part of the mainstream, Akira is one of very few articulate voices writing from the inside. She something important, controversial, and astonishingly interesting to say about sex and its central role in our lives and culture.

Writing Technology: Studies on the Materiality of Literacy [EPUB]

Writing Technology: Studies on the Materiality of Literacy [EPUB]
Writing Technology: Studies on the Materiality of Literacy by Christina Haas
2013 | EPUB | 4.36MB

Academic and practitioner journals in fields from electronics to business to language studies, as well as the popular press, have for over a decade been proclaiming the arrival of the "computer revolution" and making far-reaching claims about the impact of computers on modern western culture. Implicit in many arguments about the revolutionary power of computers is the assumption that communication, language, and words are intimately tied to culture -- that the computer's transformation of communication means a transformation, a revolutionizing, of culture.

Moving from a vague sense that writing is profoundly different with different material and technological tools to an understanding of how such tools can and will change writing, writers, written forms, and writing's functions is not a simple matter. Further, the question of whether -- and how -- changes in individual writers' experiences with new technologies translate into large-scale, cultural "revolutions" remains unresolved.

This book is about the relationship of writing to its technologies. It uses history, theory and empirical research to argue that the effects of computer technologies on literacy are complex, always incomplete, and far from unitary -- despite a great deal of popular and even scholarly discourse about the inevitability of the computer revolution. The author argues that just as computers impact on discourse, discourse itself impacts technology and explains how technology is used in educational settings and beyond.

The opening chapters argue that the relationship between writing and the material world is both inextricable and profound. Through writing, the physical, time-and-space world of tools and artifacts is joined to the symbolic world of language. The materiality of writing is both the central fact of literacy and its central puzzle -- a puzzle the author calls "The Technology Question" -- that asks: What does it mean for language to become material? and What is the effect of writing and other material literacy technologies on human thinking and human culture? The author also argues for an interdisciplinary approach to the technology question and lays out some of the tenets and goals of technology studies and its approach to literacy.

The central chapters examine the relationship between writing and technology systematically, and take up the challenge of accounting for how writing -- defined as both a cognitive process and a cultural practice -- is tied to the material technologies that support and constrain it. Haas uses a wealth of methodologies including interviews, examination of writers' physical interactions with texts, think-aloud protocols, rhetorical analysis of discourse about technology, quasi-experimental studies of reading and writing, participant-observer studies of technology development, feature analysis of computer systems, and discourse analysis of written artifacts. Taken as a whole, the results of these studies paint a rich picture of material technologies shaping the activity of writing and discourse, in turn, shaping the development and use of technology.

The book concludes with a detailed look at the history of literacy technologies and a theoretical exploration of the relationship between material tools and mental activity. The author argues that seeing writing as an embodied practice -- a practice based in culture, in mind, and in body -- can help to answer the "technology question." Indeed, the notion of embodiment can provide a necessary corrective to accounts of writing that emphasize the cultural at the expense of the cognitive, or that focus on writing as only an act of mind. Questions of technology, always and inescapably return to the material, embodied reality of literate practice. Further, because technologies are at once tools for individual use and culturally-constructed systems, the study of technology can provide a fertile site in which to examine the larger issue of the relationship of culture and cognition.

Localization: A Global Manifesto [EPUB]

Localization: A Global Manifesto [EPUB]
Localization: A Global Manifesto by Colin Hines
2013 | EPUB | 2.58MB

Localization is a manifesto to unite all those who recognize the importance of cultural, social and ecological diversity for our future - and who do not aspire to a monolithic global consumer culture. It is a passionate and persuasive polemic, challenging the claims that we have to be 'internationally competitive' to survive and describing the destructive consequences of globalization.

This book is unique in going beyond simply criticizing free trade and globalization trends. It details self-reinforcing policies to create local self-sufficiency and shows clearly that there is an alternative to globalization - to protect the local, globally.

Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself [EPUB]

Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself [EPUB]
Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself by David Dunning
2005 | EPUB | 1.56MB

People base thousands of choices across a lifetime on the views they hold of their skill and moral character, yet a growing body of research in psychology shows that such self-views are often misguided or misinformed. Anyone who has dealt with others in the classroom, in the workplace, in the medical office, or on the therapist’s couch has probably experienced people whose opinions of themselves depart from the objectively possible.

This book outlines some of the common errors that people make when they evaluate themselves. It also describes the many psychological barriers - some that people build by their own hand - that prevent individuals from achieving self-insight about their ability and character.

The first section of the book focuses on mistaken views of competence, and explores why people often remain blissfully unaware of their incompetence and personality flaws. The second section focuses on faulty views of character, and explores why people tend to perceive they are more unique and special than they really are, why people tend to possess inflated opinions of their moral fiber that are not matched by their deeds, and why people fail to anticipate the impact that emotions have on their choices and actions.

The book will be of great interest to students and researchers in social, personality, and cognitive psychology, but, through the accessibility of its writing style, it will also appeal to those outside of academic psychology with an interest in the psychological processes that lead to our self-insight.

What Was the Hipster? [EPUB]

What Was the Hipster? [EPUB]
What Was the Hipster: A Sociological Investigation by n+1
2010 | EPUB | 1.89MB

Who was the turn-of-the-century hipster? Who is free enough of the hipster taint to write this history without contempt or nostalgia? Why are we tempted to declare the neo-hipster moment over, when the hipster's "global brand" has just reached its apotheosis? A panel of n+1 writers, including Mark Greif, Christian Lorentzen, and Jace Clayton (aka dj/rupture) invited the public to join an investigation into the rise and fall of the contemporary hipster.

Their debate took place at the New School University in New York City, and was followed by articles, responses, and essays, all printed here for the first time.

"The hipster is that person, overlapping with declassing or disaffiliating groupings—the starving artist, the starving graduate student, the neo-bohemian, the vegan or bicyclist or skatepunk, the would-be blue-collar or post-racial individual—who in fact aligns himself both with rebel subculture and with the dominant class, and opens up a poisonous conduit between the two."
"Isn't hipsterism, like, the best thing that's happened at the end of the Bush years?"
"The truth was that there was no culture worth speaking of, and the people called hipsters just happened to be young, and more often than not, funny looking."