Backyard Ballistics by William Gurstelle [EPUB]

Backyard Ballistics by William Gurstelle [EPUB]
Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices by William Gurstelle
2012 | EPUB | 2.95MB

This bestselling DIY handbook now features new and expanded projects, enabling ordinary folks to construct 16 awesome ballistic devices in their garage or basement workshops using inexpensive household or hardware store materials and this step-by-step guide. Clear instructions, diagrams, and photographs show how to build projects ranging from the simple match-powered rocket to the more complex tabletop catapult and the offbeat Cincinnati fire kite.

The classic potato cannon has a new evil twin—the piezo-electric spud gun—and the electromagnetic pipe gun has joined the company of such favorites as the tennis ball mortar. With a strong emphasis on safety, the book also gives tips on troubleshooting, explains the physics behind the projects, and profiles scientists and extraordinary experimenters such as Alfred Nobel, Robert Goddard, and Isaac Newton. This book will be indispensable for the legions of backyard toy-rocket launchers and fireworks fanatics who wish every day was the fourth of July.

Training for the New Alpinism [EPUB]

Training for the New Alpinism [EPUB]
Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete by Scott Johnston, Steve House
2014 | EPUB | 74.66MB

In Training for the New Alpinism, Steve House, world-class climber and Patagonia ambassador, and Scott Johnston, coach of U.S. National Champions and World Cup Nordic Skiers, translate training theory into practice to allow you to coach yourself to any mountaineering goal. Applying training practices from other endurance sports, House and Johnston demonstrate that following a carefully designed regimen is as effective for alpinism as it is for any other endurance sport and leads to better performance.

They deliver detailed instruction on how to plan and execute training tailored to your individual circumstances. Whether you work as a banker or a mountain guide, live in the city or the country, are an ice climber, a mountaineer heading to Denali, or a veteran of 8,000-meter peaks, your understanding of how to achieve your goals grows exponentially as you work with this book. Chapters cover endurance and strength training theory and methodology, application and planning, nutrition, altitude, mental fitness, and assessing your goals and your strengths. Chapters are augmented with inspiring essays by world-renowned climbers, including Ueli Steck, Mark Twight, Peter Habeler, Voytek Kurtyka, and Will Gadd. Filled with photos, graphs, and illustrations.

Running with the Kenyans [Audiobook]

Running with the Kenyans [Audiobook]
Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth [Audiobook] by Adharanand Finn, read by Paul Tyreman
2012 | MP3@96 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 39 mins | 356.17MB

Whether running is your recreation, your religion, or just a spectator sport, Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspire you. Part travelogue, part memoir, this mesmerizing quest to uncover the secrets of the world’s greatest runners—and put them to the test—combines practical advice, a fresh look at barefoot running, and hard-won spiritual insights.

As a boy growing up in the English countryside, Adharanand Finn was a natural runner. While other kids struggled, he breezed through schoolyard races, imagining he was one of his heroes: the Kenyan long-distance runners exploding into prominence as Olympic and world champions. But as he grew up, pursued a career in journalism, married and had children, those childhood dreams slipped away—until suddenly, in his mid-thirties, Finn realized he might have only one chance left to see how far his talents could take him.

Uprooting his family of five, including three small children, Finn traveled to Iten, a small, chaotic town in the Rift Valley province of Kenya—a mecca for long-distance runners thanks to its high altitude, endless running paths, and some of the top training schools in the world. Finn would run side by side with Olympic champions, young hopefuls, and barefoot schoolchildren . . . not to mention the exotic—and sometimes dangerous—wildlife for which Kenya is famous.

Here, too, he would meet a cast of colorful characters, including his unflappable guide, Godfrey Kiprotich, a former half marathon champion; Christopher Cheboiboch, one of the fastest men ever to run the New York City Marathon; and Japhet, a poor, bucktoothed boy with unsuspected reservoirs of courage and raw speed. Amid the daily challenges of training and of raising a family abroad, Finn would learn invaluable lessons about running—and about life.

Running with the Kenyans is more than one man’s pursuit of a lifelong dream. It’s a fascinating portrait of a magical country—and an extraordinary people seemingly born to run.

The Age of the Crisis of Man [EPUB]

The Age of the Crisis of Man [EPUB]
The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973 by Mark Greif
2015 | EPUB | 2.23MB

In a midcentury American cultural episode forgotten today, intellectuals of all schools shared a belief that human nature was under threat. The immediate result was a glut of dense, abstract books on the "nature of man." But the dawning "age of the crisis of man," as Mark Greif calls it, was far more than a historical curiosity. In this ambitious intellectual and literary history, Greif recovers this lost line of thought to show how it influenced society, politics, and culture before, during, and long after World War II.

During the 1930s and 1940s, fears of the barbarization of humanity energized New York intellectuals, Chicago protoconservatives, European Jewish émigrés, and native-born bohemians to seek "re-enlightenment," a new philosophical account of human nature and history. After the war this effort diffused, leading to a rebirth of modern human rights and a new power for the literary arts.

Critics' predictions of a "death of the novel" challenged writers to invest bloodless questions of human nature with flesh and detail. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Richard Wright wrote flawed novels of abstract man. Succeeding them, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Flannery O'Connor, and Thomas Pynchon constituted a new guard who tested philosophical questions against social realities--race, religious faith, and the rise of technology--that kept difference and diversity alive.

By the 1960s, the idea of "universal man" gave way to moral antihumanism, as new sensibilities and social movements transformed what had come before. Greif's reframing of a foundational debate takes us beyond old antagonisms into a new future, and gives a prehistory to the fractures of our own era.

The Audubon Reader [EPUB]

The Audubon Reader [EPUB]
The Audubon Reader by John James Audubon, edited by Richard Rhodes
2015 | EPUB | 24.1MB

This unprecedented anthology of John James Audubon’s lively and colorful writings about the American wilderness reintroduces the great artist and ornithologist as an exceptional American writer, a predecessor to Thoreau, Emerson, and Melville.

Audubon’s award-winning biographer, Richard Rhodes, has gathered excerpts from his journals, letters, and published works, and has organized them to appeal to general readers. Rhodes’s unobtrusive commentary frames a wide range of selections, including Audubon’s vivid “bird biographies,” correspondence with his devoted wife, Lucy, journal accounts of dramatic river journeys and hunting trips with the Shawnee and Osage Indians, and a generous sampling of brief narrative episodes that have long been out of print—engaging stories of pioneer life such as "The Great Pine Swamp," “The Earthquake,” and “Kentucky Barbecue on the Fourth of July.” Full-color reproductions of sixteen of Audubon’s stunning watercolor illustrations accompany the text.

The Audubon Reader allows us to experience Audubon’s distinctive voice directly and provides a window into his electrifying encounter with early America: with its wildlife and birds, its people, and its primordial wilderness.

A Brief History of Seven Killings [Audiobook]

A Brief History of Seven Killings [Audiobook]
A Brief History of Seven Killings [Audiobook] by Marlon James, read by Robertson Dean, Cherise Boothe, Dwight Bacquie, Ryan Anderson, Johnathan McClain, Robert Younis
2014 | MP3@96 kbps + EPUB | 26 hours | 1.08GB

In A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James combines brilliant storytelling with his unrivaled skills of characterization and meticulous eye for detail to forge an enthralling novel of dazzling ambition and scope.

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven gunmen stormed the singer’s house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but much has been whispered, gossiped and sung about in the streets of West Kingston. Rumors abound regarding the assassins’ fates, and there are suspicions that the attack was politically motivated.

A Brief History of Seven Killings delves deep into that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. James deftly chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – gunmen, drug dealers, one-night stands, CIA agents, even ghosts – over the course of thirty years as they roam the streets of 1970s Kingston, dominate the crack houses of 1980s New York, and ultimately reemerge into the radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s. Along the way, they learn that evil does indeed cast long shadows, that justice and retribution are inextricably linked, and that no one can truly escape his fate.

Gripping and inventive, shocking and irresistible, A Brief History of Seven Killings is a mesmerizing modern classic of power, mystery, and insight.

The Ladies' Paradise [Audiobook]

The Ladies' Paradise [Audiobook]
The Ladies' Paradise [Audiobook] by Emile Zola, read by Lee Ann Howlett
2013 | MP3@64 kbps | 16 hrs 44 mins | 491.14MB

The Ladies Paradise (Au Bonheur des Dames), now a TV series called The Paradise based on this classic novel, recounts the rise of the modern department store in late nineteenth-century Paris. The store is a symbol of capitalism, of the modern city, and of the bourgeois family: it is emblematic of changes in consumer culture and the changes in sexual attitudes and class relations taking place at the end of the century.

Money [Audiobook] by Émile Zola

Money [Audiobook] by Émile Zola
Money [Audiobook] by Émile Zola, read by Napoleon Ryan
2014 | MP3@64 kbps | 16 hrs 59 mins | 489.03MB

The irresistible power of money, a lever that can lift the world. Love and money are the only things.

Aristide Rougon, known as Saccard, is a failed property speculator determined to make his way once more in Paris. Unscrupulous, seductive, and with unbounded ambition, he schemes and manipulates his way to power. Financial undertakings in the Middle East lead to the establishment of a powerful new bank and speculation on the stock market; Saccard meanwhile conducts his love life as energetically as he does his business, and his empire is seemingly unstoppable.

Saccard, last encountered in The Kill (La Curée) in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series, is a complex figure whose story intricately intertwines the worlds of politics, finance, and the press. The repercussions of his dealings on all levels of society resonate disturbingly with the financial scandals of more recent times. This is the first new translation for more than 100 years, and the first unabridged translation in English. The edition includes a wide-ranging introduction and useful historical notes.

Bleak House [Audiobook]

Bleak House [Audiobook]
Bleak House [Audiobook] by Charles Dickens, read by Sean Barrett, Teresa Gallagher
2007 | MP3@64 kbps | 35 hrs 15 mins | 978.87MB

A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-nineteenth century, with all its tortuous avenues and disguised resolutions. Here is the firm, Jarndyce & Jarndyce, the young orphan and ward of court Esther Summerson (who tells much of the story). As always, it is the skilled pen of Dickens himself that creates the momentum with his acute eye for both individual characters and their traits, and the backdrop of Victorian London.

Hard Times [Audiobook] by Charles Dickens

Hard Times [Audiobook] by Charles Dickens
Hard Times [Audiobook] by Charles Dickens, read by Anton Lesser
2011 | MP3@64 kbps | 10 hrs 41 mins | 295.91MB

Hard Times is Dickens’s most political novel. Set in the industrial north of England, in Coketown, he examines the lives of working people, who are taught by the capitalists Gradgrind and Bounderby to think only of the facts of life and not to indulge in imagination. Gradgrind’s own children have been so educated and as a result are dysfunctional and disconnected from their feelings. Only the travelling circus company of Sleary seems to offer any hope of humanity in Coketown. Hard Times is a deeply moving story written in anger to strike a blow for the victims of the dehumanising processes of industry.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Audiobook]

The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Audiobook]
The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Audiobook] by Charles Dickens, read by David Timson
2012 | MP3@64 kbps | 10 hrs 32 mins | 289.62MB

Through a mist of decay and opium, Dickens weaves a tale of murder and mystery in this, his last novel. Set in the fictional cathedral town of Cloisterham, John Jasper, the choir-master, takes an obsessive interest in his nephew Edwin Drood and his fiancée Rosa Bud. But when young Edwin disappears on Christmas Eve, has Jasper killed him? Alas, we’ll never know as Dickens died before completing the novel. It is an intriguing, enigmatic and also richly comic story, showing that Dickens was at the peak of his powers to the very end.

The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art [EPUB]

The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art [EPUB]
The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art by Mark Rothko
2006 | EPUB | 2.6MB

One of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Mark Rothko (1903–1970) created a new and impassioned form of abstract painting over the course of his career. Rothko also wrote a number of essays and critical reviews during his lifetime, adding his thoughtful, intelligent, and opinionated voice to the debates of the contemporary art world. Although the artist never published a book of his varied and complex views, his heirs indicate that he occasionally spoke of the existence of such a manuscript to friends and colleagues. Stored in a New York City warehouse since the artist’s death more than thirty years ago, this extraordinary manuscript, titled The Artist’s Reality, is now being published for the first time.

Probably written around 1940–41, this revelatory book discusses Rothko’s ideas on the modern art world, art history, myth, beauty, the challenges of being an artist in society, the true nature of “American art,” and much more. The Artist’s Reality also includes an introduction by Christopher Rothko, the artist’s son, who describes the discovery of the manuscript and the complicated and fascinating process of bringing the manuscript to publication. The introduction is illustrated with a small selection of relevant examples of the artist’s own work as well as with reproductions of pages from the actual manuscript.

The Artist’s Reality will be a classic text for years to come, offering insight into both the work and the artistic philosophies of this great painter.

How to Fly a Horse [EPUB]

How to Fly a Horse [EPUB]
How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery by Kevin Ashton
2015 | EPUB | 2.14MB

As a technology pioneer at MIT and as the leader of three successful start-ups, Kevin Ashton experienced firsthand the all-consuming challenge of creating something new. Now, in a tour-de-force narrative twenty years in the making, Ashton leads us on a journey through humanity’s greatest creations to uncover the surprising truth behind who creates and how they do it. From the crystallographer’s laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long forgotten woman, to the electromagnetic chamber where the stealth bomber was born on a twenty-five-cent bet, to the Ohio bicycle shop where the Wright brothers set out to “fly a horse,” Ashton showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary and usually uncredited acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs.

Creators, he shows, apply in particular ways the everyday, ordinary thinking of which we are all capable, taking thousands of small steps and working in an endless loop of problem and solution. He examines why innovators meet resistance and how they overcome it, why most organizations stifle creative people, and how the most creative organizations work. Drawing on examples from art, science, business, and invention, from Mozart to the Muppets, Archimedes to Apple, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, How to Fly a Horse is a passionate and immensely rewarding exploration of how “new” comes to be.