What Is Life: How Chemistry Becomes Biology [Audiobook]

What Is Life: How Chemistry Becomes Biology [Audiobook]
What Is Life: How Chemistry Becomes Biology [Audiobook] by Addy Pross, read by Derek Perkins
2014 | MP3@64 kbps | 6 hrs 50 mins | 193.9MB

Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrodinger posed a simple, yet profound, question: What is life?. How could the very existence of such extraordinary chemical systems be understood? This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists both before, and ever since. Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology? Did life begin with replicating molecules, and, if so, what could have led the first replicating molecules up such a path? Now, developments in the emerging field of 'systems chemistry' are unlocking the problem. Addy Pross shows how the different kind of stability that operates among replicating entities results in a tendency for certain chemical systems to become more complex and acquire the properties of life. Strikingly, he demonstrates that Darwinian evolution is the biological expression of a deeper and more fundamental chemical principle: the whole story from replicating molecules to complex life is one continuous coherent chemical process governed by a simple definable principle.

Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple's Success [Audiobook]

Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple's Success [Audiobook]
Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple's Success [Audiobook] by Ken Segall, read by the Author
2012 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 7 hrs 5 mins | 200.86MB

To Steve Jobs, Simplicity was a religion. It was also a weapon.

Simplicity isn't just a design principle at Apple - it's a value that permeates every level of the organization. The obsession with Simplicity is what separates Apple from other technology companies. It's what helped Apple recover from near death in 1997 to become the most valuable company on Earth in 2011.

Thanks to Steve Jobs' uncompromising ways, you can see Simplicity in everything Apple does: the way it's structured, the way it innovates, and the way it speaks to its customers. It's by crushing the forces of Complexity that the company remains on its stellar trajectory.

As ad agency creative director, Ken Segall played a key role in Apple's resurrection, helping to create such critical marketing campaigns as Think Different. By naming the iMac, he also laid the foundation for naming waves of i-products to come.

Segall has a unique perspective, given his years of experience creating campaigns for other iconic tech companies, including IBM, Intel, and Dell. It was the stark contrast of Apple's ways that made Segall appreciate the power of Simplicity - and inspired him to help others benefit from it.

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base [Audiobook]

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base [Audiobook]
Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base [Audiobook] by Annie Jacobsen
2011 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 16 hrs 11 mins | 454.37MB

Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.

Annie Jacobsen had exclusive access to 20 men who served on the base proudly and secretly for decades and are now aged 75-92; she also had unprecedented access to 55 additional military and intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots, and engineers linked to the secret base, 32 of whom lived and worked there for extended periods. In Area 51, Jacobsen shows us what has really gone on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear weapons to building supersecret supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror. This is the first book based on interviews with eyewitnesses to Area 51 history, which makes it the seminal work on the subject. Filled with formerly classified information that has never been accurately decoded for the public, Area 51 weaves the mysterious activities of the top secret base into a gripping narrative, showing that fact is often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.

The Shining Sea [Audiobook]

The Shining Sea [Audiobook]
The Shining Sea: David Porter and the Epic Voyage of the USS Essex during the War of 1812 [Audiobook] by George C Daughan, read by Christian Baskous
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 11 hrs 24 mins | 324.0MB

A few months after the outbreak of the War of 1812, Captain David Porter set out in the USS Essex on an epic, seventeen-month cruise to the South Seas. Porter was pursuing fame and riches, and by most accounts his odyssey was a stunning success: it brought glory to the fledgling American navy, cemented Porter’s reputation as a daring and talented commander, and has long been celebrated as one of the greatest maritime adventures in U.S. history. Less well known, however, is the terrible price that the crew of the Essex paid for their captain’s outsized ambitions.

In The Shining Sea, award-winning historian George C. Daughan tells the full story of Porter’s thrilling, action-packed voyage, revealing the heights of Porter’s hubris and the true depths of his failure on this fateful cruise. Intent on achieving personal glory, Porter made the treacherous journey around Cape Horn and into the Pacific Ocean, where he planned to capture a British man-of-war. From Valparaiso to the Galapagos to the Marquesas, the Essex roamed the South Seas, seizing British whaling and merchant ships, wreaking havoc on British commerce, and earning Porter and his men wealth and acclaim. Flush with his victories, Porter welcomed the news that a British frigate—the HMS Phoebe—was on his tail, and he resolved to capture her. But Porter could not overcome the Phoebe’s superior firepower. Over the course of a desperate, bloody battle, he lost the Essex and over two-thirds of her crew—a shocking end to a daring journey.

A swashbuckling tale of risk and ruin on the high seas, The Shining Sea brings to life the monomaniacal quest of one of the most misunderstood commanders of the War of 1812. Porter’s singular voyage, Daughan shows, stands as a cautionary tale for any leader who would put personal glory and ambition ahead of cause and countrymen.

The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness [Audiobook]

The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness [Audiobook]
The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness [Audiobook] by Harlow Giles Unger, read by Michael McConnohie
2009 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF | 12 hrs 27 mins | 351.24MB

In this lively and compelling biography, Harlow Giles Unger reveals the dominant political figure of a generation. A fierce fighter in four critical Revolutionary War battles and a courageous survivor of Valley Forge and a near-fatal wound at the Battle of Trenton, James Monroe (1751 - 1831) went on to become America's first full-time politician, dedicating his life to securing America's national and international durability.

Decorated by George Washington for his exploits as a soldier, Monroe became a congressman, a senator, U.S. minister to France and Britain, governor of Virginia, secretary of state, secretary of war, and finally America's fifth president.

The country embraced Monroe's dreams of empire and elected him to two terms, the second time unanimously. Mentored by each of Americas first four presidents, Monroe was unquestionably the best prepared president in our history.

Like David McCullough's John Adams and Jon Meacham's recent book on Andrew Jackson, this new biography of Monroe is both a solid listen and a stellar scholarship history in the grand tradition.

Herbie Hancock: Possibilities [Audiobook]

Herbie Hancock: Possibilities [Audiobook]
Herbie Hancock: Possibilities [Audiobook] by Herbie Hancock, read by the Author
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 33 mins | 355.41MB

The long-awaited memoir by one of the most influential and beloved musicians of our time.

In Herbie Hancock legendary jazz musician and composer Herbie Hancock reflects on a thriving career that has spanned seven decades. A true innovator, Hancock has had an enormous influence on both acoustic and electric jazz, R&B and hip-hop, with his ongoing exploration of different musical genres, garnering 14 Grammy Awards along the way.

From his beginnings as a child prodigy to his work in Miles Davis's second great quintet; from his innovations as the leader of his own groundbreaking sextet to his collaborations with everyone from Wayne Shorter to Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder; Herbie Hancock reveals the method behind Hancock's undeniable musical genius.

Hancock discusses his musical influences, colorful behind-the-scenes stories, his long and happy marriage, and how Buddhism inspires him creatively and personally. Honest, enlightening, and as electrifyingly vital as the man who wrote it, Herbie Hancock promises to be an invaluable contribution to jazz literature and a must-read for fans and music lovers.

Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon [Audiobook]

Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon [Audiobook]
Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon [Audiobook] by Buzz Aldrin, Ken Abraham, read by Patrick Egan
2009 | M4B@ 64 kbps + EPUB | 14 hrs 1 min | 393.43MB

Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind's greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words "magnificent desolation." And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control's clearance to take off with the quip, "Roger. Understand. We're number one on the runway."

The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American hero's story. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insider's view of life as one of the superstars of America's space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trials - and eventual triumphs - back on Earth.

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing [Audiobook]

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing [Audiobook]
Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing [Audiobook] by Anya Von Bremzen, read by Kathleen Gati
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 36 mins | 362.87MB

A James Beard Award-winning writer captures life under the Red socialist banner in this wildly inventive, tragicomic memoir of feasts, famines, and three generations

Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, naively joyous, and melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.

Now Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, Anya and her mother decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience. Through these meals, and through the tales of three generations of her family, Anya tells the intimate yet epic story of life in the USSR. Wildly inventive and slyly witty, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses.

SEAL Survival Guide: A Navy Seal's Secrets to Surviving Any Disaster [Audiobook]

SEAL Survival Guide: A Navy Seal's Secrets to Surviving Any Disaster [Audiobook]
SEAL Survival Guide: A Navy Seal's Secrets to Surviving Any Disaster [Audiobook] by Cade Courtley, read by R C Bray
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 9 hrs 47 mins | 280.27MB

Former Navy SEAL and preeminent American survivalist Cade Courtley delivers step-by-step instructions anyone can master in this user-friendly guide. You'll learn to think like a SEAL and how to:

  • Improvise weapons from everyday items
  • Pack a go bag
  • Treat injuries
  • Survive extreme climates
  • Survive a pandemic

From random shootings to deadly wildfires to terrorist attacks, the reality is that modern life is unpredictable and dangerous. Don't live in fear or rely on luck. Learn the SEAL mindset: Be prepared, feel confident, step up, and know exactly how to survive any life-threatening situation.

Blood Games: A True Account of Family Murder [Audiobook]

Blood Games: A True Account of Family Murder [Audiobook]
Blood Games: A True Account of Family Murder [Audiobook] by Jerry Bledsoe, read by Kevin Stillwell
2015 | MP3@64 kbps | 18 hrs 5 mins | 515.19MB

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bitter Blood comes the story of a greed so powerful it led to an unspeakable crime.

Wealthy Lieth von Stein lay dead and his wife Bonnie near death in their North Carolina home after a vicious assault with knife and baseball bat as they slept. The crime seemed totally baffling until police followed a trail that led to the charming von Stein stepson, Chris Pritchard, and his brilliant, drug-using, Dungeons-&-Dragons playing friends at N.C. State University. Blood Games is the shattering true story of degraded young minds—and a son’s gruesome greed turned horrifyingly real. Jerry Bledsoe masterfully reconstructs the bloody crime and its aftermath, as he takes us on a riveting journey into the secret twisted hearts of three young murderers.

In the Still of the Night [Audiobook]

In the Still of the Night [Audiobook]
In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth [Audiobook] by Ann Rule, read by Barbara Caruso
2011 | MP3@64 kbps | 11 hrs 58 mins | 340.71MB

From true crime legend Ann Rules comes this riveting story of a young woman whose life ended too soon - and a determined mother's 11-year crusade to clear her daughter's name.

It was nine days before Christmas 1998, and 32-year-old Ronda Reynolds was getting ready to travel from Seattle to Spokane to visit her mother and brother and grandmother before the holidays. Ronda's second marriage was dissolving after less than a year, her career as a pioneering female Washington State Trooper had ended, but she was optimistic about starting over again. "I'm actually looking forward to getting on with my life," she told her mother earlier the night before. "I just need a few days with you guys." Barb Thompson, Ronda's mother, who had met her daughter's second husband only once before, was just happy that Ronda was coming home.

At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds called 911 and told the dispatcher his wife was dead. She had committed suicide, he said, although he hadn't heard the gunshot and he didn't know if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner's deputy arrived, and a postmortem was conducted. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the death scene nor attended the autopsy, declared the manner of Ronda's death as "undetermined." Over the next eleven years, Coroner Wilson would change that manner of death from "undetermined" to "suicide", back to "undetermined" - and then back to "suicide" again.

But Barb Thompson never for one moment believed her daughter committed suicide.

The Conquest of the Ocean [EPUB]

The Conquest of the Ocean [EPUB]
The Conquest of the Ocean by Brian Lavery
2013 | EPUB | 157.91MB

An engaging and vivid read by author and naval historian Brian Lavery, The Conquest of the Ocean tells the 5,000 year history of the remarkable individuals who sailed the seas for trade, to conquer new lands, and to explore the unknown. From the early Polynesian sailors to the first circumnavigations by the Portuguese and the British, The Conquest of the Ocean explores the lives of these sailors and their tales of epic sea voyages, great feats of seamanship, navigation, endurance, and ingenuity.

Explore the lives of famous land-seekers and globe-charters such as Christopher Columbus, Captain James Cook, and Vitus Bering through eyewitness accounts of their maritime adventures. Full color photographs, paintings, diagrams, and maps are woven into the text to help tell the compelling stories of life at sea that lie behind man's search for new lands, new trade, conquest, and uncharted waters.

From the conquest of Mexico to World War II, and the voyages of the Vikings to the Exxon Valdez crisis, The Conquest of the Ocean covers the history of ships and sailing in times of exploration, war, discovery, and disaster.

Keepers: The Greatest Films--and Personal Favorites--of a Moviegoing Lifetime [EPUB]

Keepers: The Greatest Films--and Personal Favorites--of a Moviegoing Lifetime [EPUB]
Keepers: The Greatest Films--and Personal Favorites--of a Moviegoing Lifetime by Richard Schickel
2015 | EPUB | 4.66MB

From a legendary film critic and movie fan extraordinaire, the highlights reel of a life spent at the movies

Richard Schickel has seen, by his own estimate, more than twenty thousand films. He has been a reviewer since 1965 (long for Time magazine), has written almost forty books on the subject, and has produced and directed thirty documentaries. He has counted as personal friends many of the leading filmmakers of the twentieth century. Call it “obsession,” “lunacy,” or a “grand passion” (Schickel grants all three), but there’s simply no one who knows film better. Now Schickel gives us the ultimate summing up: a history of film as he’s seen—and lived—it, a tour of his favorites, a master class in what makes a film soar or flop.

Schickel’s no-holds-barred, often raucously irreverent opinions can range from panning classics, to spotlighting forgotten treasures, to defending the art of “popular” genres such as horror, westerns, screwball comedy, and noir. Beyond his picks and pans, Schickel offers a wealth of behind-the-scenes anecdotes (a love note from Marlene Dietrich, Frank Capra’s unlikely path to success, Annie Hall’s original title), career studies of our greatest performers and auteurs, and candidly intimate glimpses of his own life in pictures (an evening with Greta Garbo, John Ford’s advice on directing, a “dust-up” in defense of Monty Python).

Above all, Schickel gives us a collection of the true gems, the immortal moments that have stuck with him over a lifetime of movie watching—the transcendent scenes, characters, lines, shots, scores, even lighting cues that offer, each in their way, pure “movie magic.” Buster Keaton, His Girl Friday, Ingrid Bergman, Taxi Driver, Star Wars, Stanley Kubrick, Pulp Fiction—Schickel reveals all the films and the forces behind them that have kept him coming back for more.

An essential addition to any cinephile’s library, Keepers is the curation of a brilliant connoisseur and critic, but more than that, it’s a love letter to film from one of its most dedicated devotees.

Triumph of The Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman’s Zombie Epic on Page and Screen [EPUB]

Triumph of The Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman’s Zombie Epic on Page and Screen [EPUB]
Triumph of The Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman’s Zombie Epic on Page and Screen edited by James Lowder
2011 | EPUB + PDF | 0.7/2.19MB

All zombies are created equal. All zombie stories are not.

From its humble beginnings as an indie comic book, The Walking Dead has become a pop culture juggernaut boasting New York Times–bestselling trade paperbacks, a hit television series, and enough fans to successfully take on any zombie uprising.

Triumph of The Walking Dead explores the intriguing characters, stunning plot twists, and spectacular violence that make Robert Kirkman’s epic the most famous work of the Zombie Renaissance. The Walking Dead novels’ co-author Jay Bonansinga provides the inside story on translating the comics into prose; New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry takes on the notion of leadership (especially Rick Grimes’) during the zombie apocalypse; Harvard professor Steven Schlozman dissects the disturbing role of science in the television series; and more.

Triumph of The Walking Dead features a foreword by horror legend Joe R. Lansdale.

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life [Audiobook]

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life [Audiobook]
The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life [Audiobook] by Nick Lane, read by Kevin Pariseau
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 26 mins | 326.99MB

To explain the mystery of how life evolved on Earth, Nick Lane explores the deep link between energy and genes.

The Earth teems with life: in its oceans, forests, skies and cities. Yet there’s a black hole at the heart of biology. We do not know why complex life is the way it is, or, for that matter, how life first began. In The Vital Question, award-winning author and biochemist Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to conundrums that have puzzled generations of scientists.

For two and a half billion years, from the very origins of life, single-celled organisms such as bacteria evolved without changing their basic form. Then, on just one occasion in four billion years, they made the jump to complexity. All complex life, from mushrooms to man, shares puzzling features, such as sex, which are unknown in bacteria. How and why did this radical transformation happen?

The answer, Lane argues, lies in energy: all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a lightning bolt. Building on the pillars of evolutionary theory, Lane’s hypothesis draws on cutting-edge research into the link between energy and cell biology, in order to deliver a compelling account of evolution from the very origins of life to the emergence of multicellular organisms, while offering deep insights into our own lives and deaths.

Both rigorous and enchanting, The Vital Question provides a solution to life’s vital question: why are we as we are, and indeed, why are we here at all?

I Hear You: Repair Communication Breakdowns, Negotiate Successfully [Audiobook]

I Hear You: Repair Communication Breakdowns, Negotiate Successfully [Audiobook]
I Hear You: Repair Communication Breakdowns, Negotiate Successfully, and Build Consensus in Three Simple Steps [Audiobook] by Donny Ebenstein, read by Wes Talbot
2013 | MP3@64 kbps | 8 hrs 19 mins | 236.96MB

Frustrated with the difficult people in your work life? With the boss who barks orders, the colleague who misses deadlines, the client who can’t articulate what he really wants? Conflict at work can be especially draining when everything you say or do to solve the problem only seems to make it worse. So how can you get unstuck and fix the inevitable breakdowns in communication?

Even situations that seem hopeless can be turned around quickly, and you have the power to do it. The key is to not merely use different words but to learn to think differently.

Written by a skilled mediator and conflict negotiator, I Hear You supplies proven techniques for stepping beyond the confines of your own viewpoint and fully grasping the perspectives of others: what drives them to do the things they do, and how very differently they might perceive the same situation. By making this simple but radical shift in thinking, your words will follow suit, paving the way to better conversations and greatly improved outcomes.

I Hear You delivers a wealth of valuable resources to guide you on the path from opposition to understanding, conflict to consensus, including:

  • Sample dialogues illustrating both con­structive and damaging conversations
  • How to tell the other person’s story—the cornerstone of real engagement
  • Tips for erasing internal resistance and defense mechanisms that can block you from seeing other viewpoints and derail dialogue
  • Guidelines for identifying the systemic factors that fuel your conflicts
  • How to use the powerful technique of role playing to improve your skills in stuck situations

When conflict erupts in your professional or personal life, it’s natural to categorize the players and issues as “right” or “wrong”. But that splintered thinking is rarely helpful and often leads to further turmoil. You can’t fix people, and you can’t control every situation. But I Hear You will give you the insights and practical tools to view communication challenges through a wider, more nuanced lens, and to locate the words, the tone, and the perspective needed to empathetically hear the other side—and help them hear you.

How to Change Minds: The Art of Influence without Manipulation [Audiobook]

How to Change Minds: The Art of Influence without Manipulation [Audiobook]
How to Change Minds: The Art of Influence without Manipulation [Audiobook] by Rob Jolles, read by the Author
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + MOBI | 4 hrs 51 mins | 140.36MB

Persuade, Don't Push! Surely you know plenty of people who need to make a change, but despite your most well-intentioned efforts, they resist because people fundamentally fear change. As a salesman, father, friend, and consultant, Rob Jolles knows this scenario all too well. Drawing on his highly successful sales background and decades of research, he lays out a simple, repeatable, predictable, and ethical process that will enable you to lead others to discover for themselves what and why they need to change.

Whether you hope to make a sale or improve a relationship, Jolles' wise advice - illustrated through a bevy of sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always illuminating stories - will help you ensure that changing someone's mind is never an act of coercion but rather one of caring and compassion.