A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety [Audiobook]
15 April 2016, 12:48
2015 | MP3@192 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 45 mins | 638.42MB
Grammy Award, Best Spoken Word Album, 2016
Jimmy Carter, 39th president, Nobel Peace Prize winner, international humanitarian, fisherman, reflects on his full and happy life with pride, humor, and a few second thoughts.
At 90, Jimmy Carter reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming. He adds detail and emotion about his youth in rural Georgia that he described in his magnificent An Hour Before Daylight. He discusses racism and the isolation of the Carters. He describes the brutality of the hazing regimen at Annapolis, how he nearly lost his life twice serving on submarines, and his amazing interview with Admiral Rickover. He describes the profound influence his mother had on him and how he admired his father even though he didn't emulate him. He admits that he decided to quit the navy and later enter politics without consulting his wife, Rosalynn, and how appalled he is in retrospect.
In A Full Life, Carter tells what he is proud of and what he might do differently. He discusses his regret at losing his reelection but how he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life and second and third rewarding careers. He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world.
This is a wise and moving look back from this remarkable man. Jimmy Carter has lived one of our great American lives - from rural obscurity to world fame, universal respect, and contentment. A Full Life is an extraordinary listen.
The Breaking Bad Cookbook [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 12:21
2014 | EPUB | 42.3MB
Cook like New Mexico's finest TV family—from the Whites' celebrated cooked breakfast and Hank Schrader's delicious barbecue, to Walter's mouth-watering Heisenburger and Gus Fring's delectable Los Pollos Hermanos Fried Chicken. All recipes are crystal meth-free.
For five seasons, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were undisputedly the greatest cooks in North America. From their humble origins as part-timers in a cramped (and decidedly unreliable) RV to the halcyon days in a state-of-the-art "kitchen," the duo prospered, with competitors falling (sometimes explosively) by the wayside. The partners may have had their detractors but, without a doubt, they were the best of the best. Finally, their knowledge and expertise has been condensed into one easy-to-use collection of recipes filled with flavor, as well as winks and nods to the show. The cookbook includes step-by-step instructions, copious illustrations, lists of ingredients, and handy tips gleaned from the series. Whether you favor precision and exact measurements, or prefer flair cooking with a dash of chili powder, this book has something for everyone—especially if you’re "breaking bad." Recipes include metric measurements and conversion charts.
Lose It for Life: The Total Solution--Spiritual, Emotional, Physical--for Permanent Weight Loss [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 12:16
2011 | EPUB | 3.24MB
Tired of That Old YO-YO Weight-Loss/ Weight-Gain Cycle?
LOSE IT FOR LIFE!
“Every other diet I’ve tried ends in despair; Steve’s plan ends in hope!”
Most weight-loss plans will help you drop a few pounds, but for how long? You deserve better. You deserve Lose It for Life, a time-tested, uniquely balanced program that deals with the physical, emotional, and even spiritual elements that lead to permanent weight loss.
Even if you have already experienced some success on another weight-loss program—Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, whatever—this book will give you the information and motivation you need to achieve a permanent “state of weightlessness,” which is the secret to lasting results.
Now endorsed by Florida Hospital as part of its Healthy 100 campaign, this deluxe edition book and workbook offers a wide variety of exercises and activities to lead you to the next level in understanding
- Why you do what you do;
- How you can shed bad habits for good;
- How, with the help of God and others, you can develop a whole new approach to life, to eating, and to living healthy and free!
Lose It for Life was developed by best-selling author and radio personality Stephen Arterburn, who lost sixty pounds twenty years ago and has kept it off. In this revolutionary book, he and Dr. Linda Mintle, who is known for her clinical work regarding weight issues, will help you accomplish what you desire most: permanent results.
The Tibetan Yoga of Breath: Breathing Practices for Healing the Body and Cultivating Wisdom [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 12:09
2013 | EPUB | 0.5MB
Modern science and classic spiritual traditions agree: regulating the breath leads to radiance and wellness of body, mind, and spirit. With the simple teachings and cutting-edge research offered in The Tibetan Yoga of Breath, you can start thriving just by integrating breathwork into your daily practice.
Basic Yantra Yoga techniques—also called wind energy training—are the key to achieving this kind of vitality, down to the cellular level. Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo skillfully examine the teachings of Yantra Yoga and Buddhism through the lens of Western medical science. Their wise and accessible instruction reveals practices that are nourishing and transformative, delivering dramatic results—no experience with yoga or Buddhist meditation necessary.
The Practice of Nada Yoga: Meditation on the Inner Sacred Sound [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 12:05
2013 | EPUB | 0.8MB
Meditation exercises for listening to the four levels of sound, to still the body, quiet the mind, open the heart, and connect with the Divine
- Details the teachings on nada yoga from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika with clear, step-by-step instructions to find and hear the inner sacred sound of nada
- Explains the 4 levels of sound through a series of practical meditation exercises
- Includes instructions for a daily nada yoga meditation practice as well as ways to strengthen your advanced practice
The ancient practice of nada yoga is not complex. It is the yoga of listening. It is a journey from the noise of the external world inward to a place of peace and bliss, to the source of the transformational power of sound--the nada. By meditating on the inner sacred sound of the nada, we can release ourselves from mind chatter and obsessive thinking. We can still the body, quiet the mind, and open the heart to create a state of mind where joy naturally arises.
Sharing his experiential understanding of the classic Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Baird Hersey offers precise, step-by-step instructions on how to find the inner sound of the nada. He explains the first three levels of sound--first, how to truly hear the ordinary sounds of the world around us (vaikhari); second, how to quiet the sounds of the mind (madhyama), such as sound memories and internal dialogue; and third, how to access visual sounds (pashyanti), tapping in to our ability to see sounds and hear colors. Mastering the first three levels prepares one for the fourth level of sound (para), the heart of the practice that connects one to the inner sound of the nada. The author provides detailed exercises to guide you through each level of sound and instructions for a daily nada yoga meditation practice.
Hersey explains that by focusing our minds on this internal sound we reunite our essential self with the eternal and infinite. In this re-union we find bliss in both body and mind, an uplifted spirit, and heightened states of consciousness.
The Bone Broth Miracle [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 12:00
2015 | EPUB | 16.37MB
What was once known as your grandmother’s miracle cure for a cold or the flu is now the most popular food trend. The oldest of recipes dating back to prehistoric times and one of the cornerstones of the Paleo Diet, bone broth is made from the boiled bones of poultry, fish, or beef, and is often enriched with flavors of vegetables, herbs, and spices. This mineral-rich liquid has been praised for its gifts of immune support, digestive health, and joint strength along with beauty-enhancing qualities of strengthening hair and nails and reducing acne-causing inflammation.
The Bone Broth Miracle details everything you need to know about the many health benefits of this miracle soup. Along with information about the history and varieties of broth, this book also contains fifty-one easy-to-follow recipes for your daily dose of nutrients: calcium, amino acids, collagen, magnesium, potassium, and minerals, among others. Once you’re able to prepare your own broth, you’ll join thousands of others worldwide who have fallen in love with that clear, bright flavor that only comes from high-quality and fresh ingredients.
Power Yoga for Athletes [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 11:59
2015 | EPUB | 34.9MB
Hockey, football, baseball, golf, swimming, lacrosse - whatever your sport of choice, yoga will help you to improve focus, flexibility, and performance.
Power Yoga for Athletes is perfect for those who want a total body and mind workout. Yoga is the ideal cross-training tool and a perfect stand-alone exercise, whether you're looking to improve balance, focus, control, breathing, posture, or flexibility; strengthen your back, joints, or core; or reduce or heal from injury.
Yoga benefits athletes of all types, helping you to improve your athletic prowess and hone new strengths. You'll find many poses ideal for the sport of your choice, including:
Featuring more than 100 yoga poses from instructor Sean Vigue, Power Yoga for Athletes incorporates more than just poses. It describes a whole-body program for cross-training and conditioning. Each yoga pose features step-by-step directions, instructional photography, muscles being worked, overall benefits, and the sports for which each pose is ideal. Get the balance, strength, and focus you need to perform at your best.
Kettlebell Kickboxing: Every Woman's Guide to Getting Healthy, Sexy, and Strong [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 11:51
2015 | EPUB | 18.51MB
You only have one body, and your body has amazing potential. But you also only have one life—why waste more of it than you need to at the gym? Kettlebells, the swingable weights found in gyms and homes everywhere, burn up to four times the fat of other workouts. But they are often ignored or misused, causing wasted time or even injury.
Dasha Libin Anderson teaches a one-two punch of kettlebells and martial arts, rolling strength training and cardio into one workout for women that burns five hundred to one thousand calories per hour. The unparalleled kettlebell expert has spent over a decade developing the Kettlebell Kickboxing system based on science and experience and has seen amazing results for women of all fitness levels (including actresses and models) who take classes at her Manhattan studio or work out with her bestselling DVD series.
Dasha introduces readers to kettlebell and martial arts techniques and teaches the science behind safe swings, squats, punches, kicks, and hundreds of innovative moves everyone can do. Organized by the body part targeted, Kettlebell Kickboxing features hundreds of step-by-step photos and workout routines for four-week fitness plans, lifelong exercise goals, and fifteen-minute high-intensity interval training. Learn everything you need to look and feel the way you always wanted: strong, confident, agile, pain-free, and sexy.
Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 11:45
2013 | EPUB | 4.74MB
A comprehensive guide to natural, do-it-yourself oral care, Holistic Dental Care introduces simple, at-home dental procedures that anyone can do. Highlighted with fifty-three full-color photos and illustrations, this book offers dental self-care strategies and practices that get to the core of the problems in our mouths--preventing issues from taking root and gently restoring dental health. Based on a "whole body approach" to oral care, Holistic Dental Care addresses the limits of the traditional approach that treats only the symptoms and not the source of body imbalances.
Taking readers on a tour of the ecology of the mouth, dental health expert and author Nadine Artemis describes the physiology of the teeth and the sources of bacteria and decay. Revealing the truth about the artificial chemicals in many toothpastes and mouthwashes, Artemis also discusses the harmful effects of mercury fillings and the much safer ceramic filling options that are available. Covering topics that include healthy nutrition, oral care for children, and the benefits of botanical substances and plant extracts for maintaining oral health, Artemis introduces a comprehensive eight-step self-dentistry protocol that offers an effective way to prevent decay, illness, acidic saliva, plaque build-up, gum bleeding, inflammation, and more.
Hitler's Forgotten Children [Audiobook]
15 April 2016, 09:56
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 19 mins | 201.74MB
Created by Heinrich Himmler, the Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution.
In the summer of 1942, parents across Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia were required to submit their children to medical checks designed to assess racial purity. One such child, Erika Matko, was nine months old when Nazi doctors declared her fit to be a "Child of Hitler". Taken to Germany and placed with politically vetted foster parents, Erika was renamed Ingrid von Oelhafen. Many years later, Ingrid began to uncover the truth of her identity.
Though the Nazis destroyed many Lebensborn records, Ingrid unearthed rare documents, including Nuremberg trial testimony about her own abduction. Following the evidence back to her place of birth, Ingrid discovered an even more shocking secret: a woman named Erika Matko who, as an infant, had been given to Ingrid's mother as a replacement child.
Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program.
How the World Moves: The Odyssey of an American Indian Family [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 07:17
2015 | EPUB | 50.5MB
A compelling portrait of cultural transition and assimilation via the saga of one Acoma Pueblo Indian family
Born in 1861 in New Mexico’s Acoma Pueblo, Edward Proctor Hunt lived a tribal life almost unchanged for centuries. But after attending government schools he broke with his people’s ancient codes to become a shopkeeper and controversial broker between Indian and white worlds. As a Wild West Show Indian he travelled in Europe with his family, and saw his sons become silversmiths, painters, and consultants on Indian Lore. In 1928, in a life-culminating experience, he recited his version of the origin myth of Acoma Pueblo to Smithsonian Institution scholars.
Nabokov narrates the fascinating story of Hunt’s life within a multicultural and historical context. Chronicling Pueblo Indian life and Anglo/Indian relations over the last century and a half, he explores how this entrepreneurial family capitalized on the nation’s passion for Indian culture. In this rich book, Nabokov dramatizes how the Hunts, like immigrants throughout history, faced anguishing decisions over staying put or striking out for economic independence, and experienced the pivotal passage from tradition to modernity.
A Just and Generous Nation: Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for American Opportunity [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 07:09
2015 | EPUB | 7.47MB
In A Just and Generous Nation, the eminent historian Harold Holzer and the noted economist Norton Garfinkle present a groundbreaking new account of the beliefs that inspired our sixteenth president to go to war when the Southern states seceded from the Union. Rather than a commitment to eradicating slavery or a defense of the Union, they argue, Lincoln’s guiding principle was the defense of equal economic opportunity.
Lincoln firmly believed that the government’s primary role was to ensure that all Americans had the opportunity to better their station in life. As president, he worked tirelessly to enshrine this ideal within the federal government. He funded railroads and canals, supported education, and, most importantly, issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which opened the door for former slaves to join white Americans in striving for self-improvement. In our own age of unprecedented inequality, A Just and Generous Nation reestablishes Lincoln’s legacy as the protector not just of personal freedom but of the American dream itself.
First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His--and the Nation's--Prosperity [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 06:54
2016 | EPUB | 4.73MB
The United States was conceived in business, founded on business, and operated as a business—all because of the entrepreneurial mind of the greatest American businessman of any generation: George Washington.
Using Washington's extensive but often overlooked financial papers, Edward G. Lengel chronicles the fascinating and inspiring story of how this self-educated man built the Mount Vernon estate into a vast multilayered enterprise and prudently managed meager resources to win the war of independence. Later, as president, he helped establish the national economy on a solid footing and favorably positioned the nation for the Industrial Revolution. Washington's steadfast commitment to the core economic principles of probity, transparency, careful management, and calculated boldness are timeless lessons that should inspire and instruct investors even today.
First Entrepreneur will transform how ordinary Americans think about George Washington and how his success in commercial enterprise influenced and guided the emerging nation.
Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: A Year with the Criminally Insane [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 06:54
2014 | EPUB | 1.64MB
A darker twist on Orange is the New Black, this true insider's account delivers an eye-opening look into the nation’s largest state-run forensic hospital, a facility that houses the real-life Hannibal Lecters of the world.
Psychiatrist Stephen Seager was no stranger to locked psych wards when he accepted a job at California’s Gorman State hospital, known locally as “Gomorrah,” but nothing could have prepared him for what he encountered when he stepped through its gates, a triple sally port behind the twenty-foot walls topped with shining coils of razor wire. Gorman State is one of the nation’s largest forensic mental hospitals, dedicated to treating the criminally insane. Unit C, where Seager was assigned, was reserved for the “bad actors,” the mass murderers, serial killers, and the real-life Hannibal Lecters of the world.
Against a backdrop of surreal beauty—a verdant campus-like setting where peacocks strolled the grounds—is a place of remarkable violence, a place where a small staff of clinicians are expected to manage a volatile population of prison-hardened ex-cons, where lone therapists lead sharing circles with sociopaths, where an illicit underground economy flourishes, and where patients and physicians often measure their lives according to how fast they can run. To cross through the gates of Gomorrah is to enter a looking-glass world, where the trappings of the normal calendar year exist—Halloween dances and Christmas parties (complete with visits from Santa), springtime softball teams and basketball leagues, but marked with paroxysms of brutality (Santa goes berserk), and peopled by figures from our nightmares.
Behind the Gates of Gomorrah affords an eye-opening look inside a facility to which few people have ever had access. Honest, rueful, and at times darkly funny, Seager’s gripping account of his rookie year blends memoir with a narrative science, explaining both the aberrant mind and his own, at times incomprehensible, determination to remain in a job with a perilously steep learning curve.
The Jefferson Rule: How the Founding Fathers Became Infallible and Our Politics Inflexible [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 06:48
2015 | EPUB | 1.07MB
In The Jefferson Rule, historian David Sehat describes how liberals, conservatives, secessionists, unionists, civil rights leaders, radicals, and libertarians have sought out the Founding Fathers to defend their policies.
Beginning with the debate between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton over the future of the nation, and continuing through the Civil War, the New Deal, the Reagan Revolution, and Obama and the Tea Party, many pols have asked, “What would the Founders do?” instead of “What is the common good today?” Recently both the Right and the Left have used the Founders to sort through such issues as voting rights, campaign finance, free speech, gun control, taxes, and war and peace. They have used an outdated context to make sense of contemporary concerns.
This oversimplification obscures our real issues. From Jefferson to this very day we have looked to the eighteenth century to solve our problems, even though the Fathers themselves were a querulous and divided group who rarely agreed. Coming to terms with the past, Sehat suggests, would be the start of a productive debate. And in this account, which is by turns informative, colorful, and witty, he shows us why.
The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Lider Maximo [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 06:32
2015 | EPUB | 1.06MB
In The Double Life of Fidel Castro, one of Castro's soldiers of 17 years breaks his silence and shares his memoir of years of service, and eventual imprisonment and torture for displeasing the notorious dictator, and his dramatic escape from Cuba.
Responsible for protecting the Lider maximo for two decades, Juan Reinaldo Sánchez was party to his secret life - because everything around Castro was hidden. From the ghost town in which guerrillas from several continents were trained, to his immense personal fortune - including a huge property portfolio, a secret paradise island, and seizure of public money - as well as his relationship with his family and his nine children from five different partners.
Sanchez's tell-all expose reveals countless state secrets and the many sides of the Cuban monarch: genius war leader in Nicaragua and Angola, paranoid autocrat at home, master spy, Machiavellian diplomat, and accomplice to drug traffickers. This extraordinary testimony makes us re-examine everything we thought we knew about the Cuban story and Fidel Castro Ruz.
Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 06:20
2013 | EPUB | 12.71MB
Two modern masters of military history make their case for the twenty most pivotal battles of all time, in a riveting trip through the ages to those moments when the fate of the world hung in the balance.
In the grand tradition of Edward Creasy’s classic Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, James Lacey and Williamson Murray spotlight only those engagements that changed the course of civilization. In gripping narrative accounts they bring these conflicts and eras to vivid life, detailing the cultural imperatives that led inexorably to the battlefield, the experiences of the common soldiers who fought and died, and the legendary commanders and statesmen who matched wits, will, and nerve for the highest possible stakes.
From the great clashes of antiquity to the high-tech wars of the twenty-first century, here are the stories of the twenty most consequential battles ever fought, including
- Marathon, where Greece’s “greatest generation” repelled Persian forces three times their numbers—and saved Western civilization in its infancy
- Adrianople, the death blow to a disintegrating Roman Empire
- Trafalgar, the epic naval victory that cemented a century of British supremacy over the globe
- Saratoga, the first truly American victory, won by united colonial militias, which ensured the ultimate triumph of the Revolution
- Midway, the ferocious World War II sea battle that broke the back of the Japanese navy
- Dien Bien Phu, the climactic confrontation between French imperial troops and Viet Minh rebels that led to American intervention in Vietnam and marked the rise of a new era of insurgent warfare
- Operation Peach, the perilous 2003 mission to secure a vital bridge over the Euphrates River that would open the way to Baghdad
Historians and armchair generals will argue forever about which battles have had the most direct impact on history. But there can be no doubt that these twenty are among those that set mankind on new trajectories. Each of these epochal campaigns is examined in its full historical, strategic, and tactical context—complete with edge-of-your-seat you-are-there battle re-creations. With an eye for the small detail as well as the bigger picture, Lacey and Murray identify the elements that bind these battles together: the key decisions, critical mistakes, and moments of crisis on which the fates of entire civilizations depended.
Some battles merely leave a field littered with the bodies of the fallen. Others transform the map of the entire world. Moment of Battle is history written with the immediacy of today’s news, a magisterial tour d’horizon that refreshes our understanding of those essential turning points where the future was decided.
Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 06:09
2015 | EPUB | 0.6MB
Despite predictions of continuing secularisation, the twenty-first century has witnessed a surge of religious extremism and violence in the name of God.
In this powerful and timely book, Jonathan Sacks explores the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, focusing on the historic tensions between the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Drawing on arguments from evolutionary psychology, game theory, history, philosophy, ethics and theology, Sacks shows how a tendency to violence can subvert even the most compassionate of religions. Through a close reading of key biblical texts at the heart of the Abrahamic faiths, Sacks then challenges those who claim that religion is intrinsically a cause of violence, and argues that theology must become part of the solution if it is not to remain at the heart of the problem.
This book is a rebuke to all those who kill in the name of the God of life, wage war in the name of the God of peace, hate in the name of the God of love, and practise cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.
For the sake of humanity and the free world, the time has come for people of all faiths and none to stand together and declare: Not In God's Name.
Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune [EPUB]
15 April 2016, 06:03
2016 | EPUB | 4.43MB
Minamoto Yoshitsune should not have been a samurai. But his story is legend in this real-life saga.
This epic warrior tale reads like a novel, but this is the true story of the greatest samurai in Japanese history.
When Yoshitsune was just a baby, his father went to war with a rival samurai family—and lost. His father was killed, his mother captured, and his surviving half-brother banished. Yoshitsune was sent away to live in a monastery. Skinny, small, and unskilled in the warrior arts, he nevertheless escaped and learned the ways of the samurai. When the time came for the Minamoto clan to rise up against their enemies, Yoshitsune answered the call. His daring feats and impossible bravery earned him immortality.
Life in Our Universe [TTC Video]
15 April 2016, 05:23
Course No 1898 | MP4, AVC, 1300 kbps, 720x404 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 7.29GB
Are we alone in the universe? Or does the cosmos pulse with diverse life forms? This is one of the most profound issues facing mankind—and one of the unresolved questions that science may finally be able to answer in this century. Both scenarios are mind-boggling and, to quote futurist Isaac Asimov, equally frightening. No matter what the answer, the implications are vast.
If even the most rudimentary life forms could be found elsewhere in our universe, it would be a paradigm-shifting revelation on par with discovering the atom. Finding microbes in an extraterrestrial location would dramatically increase the chances of life being common everywhere, and encountering intelligent life would forever alter our place in the cosmos.
There has never been a better time to study our universe. NASA's Kepler mission, the first dedicated extrasolar planet-finding spacecraft, is rapidly changing what we understand about planets around other stars. At present, it has detected hundreds of confirmed planets, and well over 2,000 likely new planets have been identified. And exponential growth in telescope power and other critical technologies is enabling scientists to make new discoveries every day.
Life in Our Universe reveals the cutting-edge research leading scientists to believe that life is not exclusively the domain of Earth. Taught by Dr. Laird Close, an award-winning Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at The University of Arizona, these 24 mind-expanding lectures offer an unparalleled look at the subject of life and the mysteries that remain. Supported by stunning visuals, this course shares some of the most intriguing discoveries that the fields of astronomy, biology, geology, chemistry, and physics have to offer.
You'll examine the remarkable coincidences that created our planet and sustained its habitability for 3.5 billion years. And you'll join the hunt for microbial life elsewhere in our solar system and Earth-like planets in alien solar systems—one of astronomy's "holy grails."
Discover the New Field of Astrobiology
Life in Our Universe offers unprecedented access to the new and exciting field of astrobiology. Until recently, universities didn't even offer astrobiology courses, and such courses are still quite rare. With Professor Close's expert guidance, you'll delve into some of the biggest questions facing science today, including the five that shape this course.
- What can the Earth and its current and past life tell us about life in our universe?
- Where else in our solar system can there be life?
- Are there habitable planets and life around other stars?
- Is there other intelligent life in our universe?
- Is there a new home for mankind? If so, how can we find it?
You'll rewind 13.7 billion years to the big bang, when the first stars and galaxies took shape. Then, you'll fast-forward to see how a series of mishaps and cataclysmic events set the stage for early Earth—a dead planet—to become a "lucky planetesimal" that blossomed with life.
You'll learn in detail how, in its first 650 million years, Earth sustained repeated massive impacts during a period dubbed the Late Heavy Bombardment, leaving it trapped in a lifeless state devoid of a stable atmosphere or oceans.
DNA and RNA traces of humans and single-celled extremophiles help you understand how early life quickly evolved from a single common ancestor once the bombardment ceased.
You'll look closely at
- the importance of liquid water, and whether another liquid might be capable of supporting life;
- how Earth has maintained habitable temperatures despite fluctuations in oxygen;
- how tiny microbes from outer space may be bombarding the Earth with regularity;
- stars, and why their death makes our galaxy more habitable over time; and
- critical issues surrounding terraforming, a process by which a planet such as Mars would be made more Earth-like.
You'll also investigate practical limitations to space travel—despite what science fiction would have you believe—and the astounding loopholes that would open if flat spacetime could be bent through "warp drive" or "wormholes."
Earth Is Not Your Average Planet
As you explore the planet-formation process, you'll see how it left the solar system teeming with asteroids and comets, which enriched the early Earth, and learn several properties that made Earth the most likely planet in our solar system to host life.
Find out how Earth benefited from
- its position in the "Goldilocks Zone," just the right distance from the sun;
- a continuously hot core powering volcanoes;
- magnetic fields that shield us from solar winds; and
- a large, stabilizing moon that prevents deserts from turning into polar regions and vice versa.
As you venture beyond our planet to other locations in our solar system, you'll come in contact with the ancient Martian highlands, the hellish surface of Venus, and Saturn's planet-like moon, Titan. Jupiter's moon Europa will be of particular focus—and a source of fascination—as you explore the possibility that an organism-filled liquid-water ocean lies beneath its frozen surface.
Travel beyond Our Solar System
The latter part of this intellectual adventure takes you in search of extrasolar Earth-like planets that may host—or at least be hospitable to—life. Here, you'll overview the practice and potential dangers of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and consider its viability in light of advances in technology and the galaxy's vastness.
In another lecture, you'll confront the startling reality that humanity will have to leave Earth or risk extinction in the distant future—an inevitability motivating astronomers to search for a new home in our solar "neighborhood." But, as the professor says, a good Earth is hard to find.
Professor Close breaks down what scientists are looking for in an extrasolar Earth, as well as the exciting breakthroughs in adaptive telescope optics that will allow the next generation of terrestrial and space-based telescopes to directly detect biomarkers across the cosmos.
As a scientist at the forefront of this field, he masterfully explains how this technique overcomes the atmosphere's blurring effect to create the extremely sharp images that allow new alien solar systems to be directly imaged.
A Visual Journey through Space
Remarkable NASA graphics and images, artistic renderings, custom interstellar animations, and planetary photographs the professor has captured in his research bring course concepts vividly alive.
Suited for the scientifically inclined and curious alike, these lectures are presented in a clear, engaging manner that makes even the most complex content highly accessible. Far from being an ivory-tower academic, Professor Close, an adaptive optics expert, has invented several cameras used for high-resolution imaging of stars and their planets and has been an integral part of many significant discoveries.
Armed with the recent findings you encounter in Life in Our Universe, you'll possess the essential context necessary to make sense of the news on emerging discoveries, including their implications—and you'll have a whole new way of looking at life.