Mural Painting Secrets For Success: Expert Advice For Hobbyists And Pros [EPUB]

Mural Painting Secrets For Success: Expert Advice For Hobbyists And Pros [EPUB]
Mural Painting Secrets For Success: Expert Advice For Hobbyists And Pros by Gary Lord
2008 | EPUB | 22.24MB

Mural Painting Secrets for Success will give you the tools you need to paint fantastic murals following the latest trends, including holographic metallics, 3-D effect paints and stained concrete. In addition to the 23 step-by-step demonstrations, a gallery of more than 20 inspirational photos will serve as idea-starters for you and your clients.

You, as an ambitious reader, will be able to follow the author's expert advice on running a successful mural painting business including how to network and market, negotiate contracts and pricing and work effectively with your clients. Contributing artists have offered their own advice and testimonials as additional inspiration.

Marijuana: A Short History [EPUB]

Marijuana: A Short History [EPUB]
Marijuana: A Short History by John Hudak
2016 | EPUB | 0.6MB

From Reefer Madness to legal purchase at the corner store.

With long-time legal and social barriers to marijuana falling across much of the United States, the time has come for an accessible and informative look at attitudes toward the dried byproduct of Cannabis sativa. Marijuana: A Short History profiles the politics and policies concerning the five-leaf plant in the United States and around the world.

Millions of Americans have used marijuana at some point in their lives, yet it remains a substance shrouded by myth, misinformation, and mystery. This book offers an up-to-date, cutting-edge look at how a plant with a tumultuous history has emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality. Today, marijuana has become a remarkable social, economic, and even political force, with a surprising range of advocates and opponents. Public policy toward marijuana, especially in the United States, is changing rapidly. Marijuana: A Short History provides a brief yet compelling narrative that discusses the social and cultural history of marijuana but also tells us how a once-vilified plant has been transformed into a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue. Focusing on politics, the media, government, and education, the book describes why public policy has changed, and what that change might mean for marijuana’s future place in society.

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment [EPUB]

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment [EPUB]
A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment by John Preston
2016 | EPUB | 3.38MB

The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for murder

Behind oak-panelled doors in the House of Commons, men with cut-glass accents and gold signet rings are conspiring to murder. It's the late 1960s and homosexuality has only just been legalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he's desperate to hide. As long as Norman Scott, his beautiful, unstable lover is around, Thorpe's brilliant career is at risk. With the help of his fellow politicians, Thorpe schemes, deceives, embezzles - until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good.

The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed our society forever: it was the moment the British public discovered the truth about its political class. Illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment, the Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption in an entire section of British society that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.

A Very English Scandal is an eye-opening tale of how the powerful protect their own, and an extraordinary insight into the forces that shaped modern Britain.

Gangland New York: The Places and Faces of Mob History [PDF]

Gangland New York: The Places and Faces of Mob History [PDF]
Gangland New York: The Places and Faces of Mob History by Anthony M DeStefano
2015 | PDF | 6.55MB

Get a taste of New York’s underworld by seeing where mobsters lived, worked, ate, played, and died. From the Bowery Boys and the Five Points Gang through the rise of the Jewish “Kosher Nostra” and the ascendance of the Italian Mafia, mobsters have played a major role in the city’s history, lurking just around the corner or inside that nondescript building. Bill “the Butcher” Poole, Paul Kelly, Monk Eastman, “Lucky” Luciano, Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, Mickey Spillane, John Gotti—each held sway over New York neighborhoods that nurtured them and gave them power.

As families and factions fought for control, the city became a backdrop for crime scenes, the rackets spreading after World War II to docks, airports, food markets, and garment districts. The streets of Brooklyn, swamps of Staten Island, and vacant lots near LaGuardia Airport hosted assassinations and hasty burials for the unlucky. The bloodlettings, arrests, and trials became front-page fodder for tabloids that thrived on covering Mulberry Street. Chinese, Russian, and Greek mobsters rose to prominence and wrought bloody havoc as well.

Each of the book’s five sections—one for each borough—traces criminal activities and area exploits from the nineteenth century to now. Everyone knows about Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy, but now you can find Scarpato’s restaurant in Coney Island where Joe Masseria was killed by henchmen of Salvatore Maranzano, who in turn died in a Park Avenue office building at the hands of “Lucky” Luciano a few months later. From the Bronx to Brighton Beach, from New Springville to Ozone Park, here is a comprehensive, on-the-ground guide to mob life in the Rotten Apple.

World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection (5 volumes) [EPUB]

World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection (5 volumes) [EPUB]
World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection (5 volumes) edited by Spencer Tucker
2014 | EPUB | 37.95MB

Offering exhaustive coverage, detailed analyses, and the latest historical interpretations of events, this expansive, five-volume encyclopedia is the most comprehensive and detailed reference source on the First World War available today.

  • Provides comprehensive coverage of the causes of the war that allows readers to fully understand the complex origins of such a monumental conflict
  • Supplies detailed analyses and explanations of the events before, during, and after World War I, such as how the results of the war set the stage for the global Great Depression of the 1930s, as well as detailed biographical data on key military and civilian individuals during World War I
  • Includes a chronologically organized document volume that enables students to examine the sources of historical information firsthand
  • Covers all key battles, land and sea, and their impacts, as well as the critical technological developments that affected the war's outcomes

Living History: Experiencing Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds [TTC Video]

Living History: Experiencing Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds [TTC Video]
Living History: Experiencing Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds [TTC Video] by Robert Garland
Course No 3843 | M4V, AVC, 640x360 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.35GB

Macedonia, 336 B.C.E. King Philip II is murdered under mysterious circumstances amid a cloud of intrigue.

Constantinople, 532 C.E. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian nearly abandons the city to an angry mob until his wife, Theodora, persuades him to stay.

France, 1095 C.E. Pope Urban II gives a speech that inspires thousands of his subjects to embark on a crusade to Jerusalem.

Time and again, moments shape history. We often examine history from a distant vantage, zooming in on a few dates and kings and battles, or spotlighting faceless trends and general themes. But history is made up of individuals who were as alive in their time as we are today. Pausing on a few key individuals and magnifying specific moments in their lives allows us to experience history in a whole new way—as a vibrant story, full of life.

Living History: Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds takes you back in time and throws a spotlight on two dozen turning points where the tide of history changes irrevocably. Taught by acclaimed Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University, these 24 dramatic lectures examine key events from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to medieval Europe and Asia. Spanning thousands of years and three continents, this course illuminates fascinating historical dramas on the individual scale.

More than covering great events that change the contours of history, Professor Garland takes you into the scene and allows you to hear what he terms the “heartbeat of history.” Rather than merely reviewing the facts of events such as the Battle of Marathon, the arrest and trial of Jesus, and the coronation of Charlemagne, you’ll engage with a variety of first-hand accounts and authentic primary and secondary sources to experience what it was like to live these events as they occurred. From reports by historians such as Herodotus and Livy to official scrolls and administrative records, these eyewitness sources and ancient documents take you back in time through the eyes of people who were there.

Through a blend of historical facts and imaginative reasoning, Living History: Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds offers you the chance to meet the actors and witness the great events as they occur. Professor Garland breaks down these turning points to days and even hours so you will truly feel like a participant in stories hundreds or thousands of years old—but still in a vibrant and fascinating world.

Meet Extraordinary Men and Women

In your tour of the ancient and medieval worlds, Professor Garland introduces you to some of the most captivating and enigmatic characters to have ever lived. You see Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, and others as energetic, charismatic leaders who were complex and flawed people, by turns admirable and brutal, circumspect and brazenly power-hungry. Whether we view them as heroes or villains, they are fascinating.

There is perhaps no better example than Alexander the Great. Educated by Aristotle, a brilliant military tactician, and relentless in pursuit of his goals, he was also a paranoid megalomaniac with a desire for grandeur and a violent temper. These facets of his personality all come to bear on the moment when his army has had enough and refuses to march further into India. Witness how Alexander must back down while still saving face.

You’ll also encounter some extraordinary women and watch them defying the rules to make their mark on world history:

  • Observe how Cleopatra uses her charms, intelligence, and theatrical ability to achieve unprecedented influence in political affairs—and how her relationship with Mark Antony eventually enables Octavian to become the undisputed ruler of the Roman world.
  • Reflect on how Theodora, at one time a mime and possibly a prostitute, climbs her way up the social ladder to become the wife of a socially conservative emperor.
  • Meet Wu Zetian, a classically educated concubine who eventually becomes China’s first female empress, doing much during her reign to establish a meritocracy and improve the lives of her subjects.

Professor Garland also explores the lives of a wealth of key philosophical and religious figures, from the secular wisdom of Socrates to the deeds of Jesus and Muhammad to the breathtaking spiritual conversions of Ashoka the Great and the Grand Duke Vladimir, founder of the Russian Orthodox Church.

See How History Often Turns on a Moment

Beyond the people, what makes an event “great” often lies in its consequences. Hundreds or thousands of years have passed since the events of this course, yet we feel their rippling effects. When Pyrrhus marched his Greek army toward Rome, he had dreams of making his mark on the world’s stage, but his “victory”—and subsequent withdrawal—paved the way for Rome to supplant Greece as the dominant global power. Or consider Pontius Pilate’s decision to offer Jesus up for crucifixion to please the crowd, even though he likely believed Jesus innocent of the charges brought against him—the events resulting from his choice have resonated over millennia.

Quick decisions, a victory, a defeat, an impulse: these small moments shape history. One of the joys of this course is that in examining these moments, Professor Garland also reflects on contingencies. What if Charles Martel had not defeated the Muslim invaders at the Battle of Tours? Would Europe have become a largely Muslim continent? Or, what if Theodora had not urged her husband Justinian to stand firm and not flee when the angry mob at the hippodrome in Constantinople was baying for his blood? Would the Byzantine Empire have come to an abrupt end one hot afternoon? Reflecting on these contingencies makes clear the myriad ways in which the ancient and medieval worlds have made us who we are today.

View History through the Eyes of Ordinary People

Professor Garland is an amazingly empathetic lecturer, passionate about history and the people who lived it. Perhaps his greatest strength is taking you into the minds of ordinary citizens. While you have likely heard some of the stories in this course before, his approach sheds new light on such events as the first theatrical presentation of Aeschylus’s Oresteia and the trial of Socrates. Both of these events reveal the way the Athenian democracy functioned at moments of unease and crisis.

Imagine the thoughts of Muslim envoy Ibn Fadlan, coming from cosmopolitan Baghdad in the 10th century, upon arriving in the wild territories of Central Asia. Or picture yourself in the crowd when Pericles or Pope Urban II gives an inspirational speech extolling the glory of Athens or Christendom. Would you be moved by the swell of the crowd and the enthusiasm of the day?

Witnessing these moments as a participant—slowing down to hear the “heartbeat of history”—is a captivating way of reflecting on the past. Living History: Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds takes you inside the hearts and minds of those who lived through fascinating human dramas—a novel approach to history you won’t find anywhere else.

Living History: Experiencing Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds [TTC Video]

Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations [TTC Video]

Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations [TTC Video]
Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations [TTC Video] by Brian M Fagan
Course No 380 | AVI, XviD, 384x272 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | 5.13GB

Where do we come from? How did our ancestors settle this planet? How did the great historic civilizations of the world develop? How does a past so shadowy that it has to be painstakingly reconstructed from fragmentary, largely unwritten records nonetheless make us who and what we are?

This course brings you the answers that scientific and archaeological research and theorizing suggest about human origins, how populations developed, and the ways in which civilizations spread throughout the globe.

It is a narrative of the story of human origins and the many ties that still bind us deeply to the world before writing.

Your professor is Brian M. Fagan, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Professor Fagan was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1973 and has received numerous awards, among them the Public Service Award of the Society of Professional Archaeologists and the Public Education Award of the Society for American Archaeology. He received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His excavations have made him a pioneer of multidisciplinary African history.

Dr. Fagan's numerous books include People of the Earth and In the Beginning, two widely used university and college textbooks in archaeology and prehistory. His other works include The Rape of the Nile, The Adventure of Archaeology, Time Detectives, and The Little Ice Age. He also edited The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Professor Fagan was born and educated in Britain and speaks with a British accent.

AudioFile magazine writes about Dr. Fagan: "Vibrant and dynamic. It's easy to hear why he has been lauded by faculty and students at The University of California, Santa Barbara, for his teaching and academic excellence since 1967."

What Is "Prehistory"?

Prehistory—meaning human societies without writing or widespread written records—survived until Western culture and industrial society completed their globalization in the 20th century, making the topic of a course that begins with some very old fossils seem more current than you may think.

You learn about dozens of archaeological sites all over the world and learn about stone-tool making, mammoth hunting, and temple building as you explore man's earliest origins and the earliest civilizations.

Themes to Remember: Human Achievement

Woven through this narrative is a set of pervasive themes:

  • Emerging human biological and cultural diversity (as well as our remarkable similarities across surprising expanses of time and space)
  • The impact of human adaptations to climatic and environmental change
  • The importance of seeing prehistory not merely as a chronicle of archaeological sites and artifacts, but of people behaving with the extraordinary intellectual, spiritual, and emotional dynamism that distinguish the human.

This is a world tour of prehistory with profound links to who we are and how we live today.

2.5 Million Years of History

This 36-lecture narrative covers human prehistory from our beginnings more than 2.5 million years ago up to and beyond the advent of the world's first preindustrial civilizations.

Due to the large spans of time and geography covered in this series, these lectures are divided into six sections:

Section I: Beginnings

This section surveys the archaic world of the first humans, you travel into the remote past, learning why the late Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Gould was probably right to observe that we all come from the same African twig on the bushy tree of human evolution.

You examine prehistory from Australopithecus africanus through Homo habilis (the first tool-making hominid), and Homo erectus (whose remains were first found on Java but whose origins lie in Africa) through the hardy Neanderthals who lived and hunted successfully in Europe despite the bitter grip of the last Ice Age 100,000 and more years ago. You focus on the first human settlement of Africa as early as 800,000 years ago.

Section II: Modern Humans

This section tells the story of the great diaspora of anatomically modern humans in the late Ice Age. Whether and how these modern humans spread from the African tropics into southwestern Asia and beyond remains one of the great controversies among scholars of prehistory.

You follow Homo sapiens sapiens north into Europe some 45,000 years ago. You meet the Cro-Magnons, among the first known artists as well as hunter-gatherers, who exhibited degrees of spiritual awareness, social interaction, and fluid intelligence.

You venture into the frigid open plains of the Ukraine and Eurasia, where big-game hunters flourished in spite of nine-month winters. Moving to the Americas, debate over the origins of the first human settlement continues.

Section III: Farmers and Herders

This section describes perhaps the most important development in all human prehistory: the beginnings of agriculture and animal domestication.

This defining chapter began about 12,000 years ago, when hunter-gatherers in the Near East broke from the long human tradition of intensely mobile foraging and turned to more settled ways of life built around cultivating cereal grains or tending animals.

Section IV: Eastern Mediterranean Civilizations

Professor Fagan describes early civilizations in an increasingly complex eastern Mediterranean world, discussing many theories accounting for the appearance of urban civilization and overall attributes of preindustrial civilizations.

You examine Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia and the intricate patchwork of city-states between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. You explore ancient Egypt, the Minoan civilization of Crete, the Mycenaeans, and the Hittites.

You learn about the Uluburun shipwreck of southern Turkey, a sealed capsule of international trade from 3,000 years ago.

Section V: Africans and Asians

You analyze the beginnings of South Asian civilization and the mysterious Harappan civilization of the Indus, which traded with Mesopotamia. Professor Fagan resumes the story of South Asian civilization after the collapse of the Harappan and shows how Mauryan rulers on the Ganges encouraged trading much farther afield.

You see the impact of monsoons which revolutionized maritime trading among Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, and explore Meroe, Aksum, and the coastal civilization of East Africa.

Several lectures cover the beginnings of civilization in China and Southeast Asia.

Section VI: Ancient Americans

Professor Fagan takes you into sophisticated chiefdoms and civilizations that developed in the Americas over the past 3,500 years, including Pueblo cultures of the North American Southwest and the Mississippian culture of the South and Southeast. You learn about Mesoamerican civilization, primordial Olmec culture of the lowlands, and the spectacular ancient Maya civilization.

Moving to the highlands, you visit the city-states of Monte Albán in the Valley of Oaxaca and Teotihuacán near the Valley of Mexico. Professor Fagan also describes the rise of Aztec civilization, followed by a journey to the Andes. Finally, you explore the southern highlands, with the rise of Tiwanaku near Lake Titicaca, the Chimu civilization of the coast, and the huge Inka empire.

The series closes by analyzing the closing centuries of prehistoric times during the European age of discovery and summarizing the main issues and themes of the course:
  • What was involved in the archaic world
  • The appearance and spread of modern humans
  • Food production
  • The development of states
Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations [TTC Video]

Questions of Value [TTC Video]

Questions of Value [TTC Video]
Questions of Value [TTC Video] by Patrick Grim
Course No 4433 | MKV4, AVC, 960x720 | AAC, 64 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.8GB

Our lives are filled with everyday questions of fact and finance. Which investment brings the highest return? What school district is the house in? What will this candidate do if elected? But the really fundamental questions of our lives, says Professor Patrick Grim, are questions of neither fact nor finance. They are questions of value. They are the deep questions that apply to every aspect of our lives.

What is it that gives something genuine value? What things are really worth striving for? What is it that makes life worth living? Are there values that transcend cultural differences? Can we have ethical values without religion? If the universe operates in terms of deterministic laws, how can there be real choice? Is all value subjective? We can even ask if life is always worth living, or whether in some situations we would be better off dead.

Questions of Value is a course for anyone who has ever felt the tug of such questions or who wants to fine-tune their ability to see how deeper questions of ethics and values apply to the choices that make up their lives.

In presenting this philosophical examination of the range of decisions we all encounter as we live our lives, Professor Grim has placed the accent on individual choice—and has not shied away from controversy. The issues he presents for your examination cover evolution and ethics, about whether punishment is justified by retribution or by deterrence, and about the differing lessons drawn from life's worst horrors by both religious and antireligious traditions.

What values, for instance, are involved in thinking about life and death? What values are evident in a yearning for immortality? The lines of discussion raised throughout the course are regularly as provocative as these, and Professor Grim means them to be exactly that.

"The purpose of the lectures," he notes, "is, first and foremost, to open issues for thoughtful consideration ... [to] give an appreciation for the complex concepts that lie just beneath our everyday patterns of evaluation, and for some of the bold and insightful reflections that can illuminate them.

"The student can expect to finish the course with some new and interesting answers, and a command of important philosophical arguments and approaches, but also with some new and interesting questions about values."

A Challenge to Look Inward

"The course is designed not to close debate but to open it, not to end controversy but to facilitate reflective thought. It was Socrates who said, 'The unexamined life is not worth living.' This course offers the tools necessary for examining the values that guide our lives."

Best known for his logical arguments in the philosophy of religion and his groundbreaking work in philosophical computer modeling, Professor Grim has published across an extraordinary range of disciplines, from theoretical biology to artificial intelligence and computer science.

With these lectures he returns to his abiding interest in values. He uses his award-winning teaching skills to draw on almost every expression of human endeavor, bringing to life not only the fundamental questions of the course but the insights gleaned by the thinkers and artists who have grappled with those same questions for thousands of years.

The net he casts encompasses history, beginning with Herodotus and running through usury in feudalism's seignorial system right up through more contemporary subjects such as the cases of Patty Hearst and John W. Hinckley. Theoretical economics makes an appearance as well, as does game theory from John von Neumann to Robert Axelrod's work on cooperation. He delves into both theoretical biology and sociobiology through the work of E. O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins on altruism and evolution. There is even a foray into physics, as quantum mechanics is used to discuss determinism. His discussion of relativism brings in aspects of anthropology, and an exploration of the role of rules in our lives draws on psychology, examining the work of Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg.

But it isn't only scientists whose work inevitably forces us to consider our values. The questions we ask and the answers we seek also figure prominently in the work of writers as varied as Charles Dickens, Peter S. Beagle, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ursula Le Guin, Mark Twain, Anne Rice, and Jorge Luis Borges. Even John Ford's classic western film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, is brought into the mix.

In exploring the course's varied sources, Professor Grim takes great care in ensuring that every concept addressed in a later lecture has been clearly introduced earlier. His presentation—even of the most nuanced material—is consistently clear, even to those with no background in philosophy.

A Range of Tools to Make even Complex Concepts Clear

Professor Grim has put together a course in which concepts are animated through both vivid examples drawn from real life and equally vivid "thought experiments"—hypothetical situations devised by philosophers to isolate and illustrate key concepts in readily accessible terms.

One of those thought experiments has its roots in the "evil demon" of Descartes' Meditations and is further developed in the work of both Robert Nozick and Hilary Putnam—and you may even recognize it in the theme of The Matrix films. In this example of a so-called "magic button" case, Professor Grim poses the question of whether one would accept a choice of pushing a button that would give everyone a very nice, but merely virtual, life—a life lived simply as a brain in a vat, experiencing as "real" the imaginary existence fed it by a master computer.

This particular thought experiment, along with G. E. Moore's famous one of imagining a universe containing nothing but the single thing you wish to evaluate, are two of the examples Professor Grim uses to discuss the question of whether values are objective or subjective. Both are remarkable for the clarity they bring to a complex subject.

In still another example of the tool kit offered as an aid to "doing philosophy," Professor Grim recalls the story of the Ford Pinto, built with a rear-mounted gas tank likely to explode in a collision. At least 500 burn deaths resulted, and many lawsuits were brought against the Ford Motor Company—bringing to light what some might consider the cold-blooded cost-benefit analysis of human worth that the Ford company had used to make its design decisions.

That analysis is one of the centerpieces of Professor Grim's discussion of the "cash value" of a human life and the ways people have tried to put an actual value on something most people are tempted to say has "infinite value."

The result is a fascinating discussion not only of the choices made by Ford but of the very different kinds of value that are evident in our decisions as individuals and as a society.

"Values for beings like us," Professor Grim notes, "are inescapable, but because we want our values to be right, reflection on values—given the particular values we have and for rationally placed beings like us—is also inescapable. ...

"The philosopher John Dewey somewhere characterizes philosophy as such an inquiry, and he gives an important warning: that an inquiry of ideas, like every other real exploration, is intellectually dangerous.

"Once you start to think critically about ideas, once you are no longer satisfied with familiar beliefs just because they are familiar, you can no longer be certain what conclusions you will come to."

Questions of Value [TTC Video]

The Joy of Science [TTC Video]

The Joy of Science [TTC Video]
The Joy of Science [TTC Video] by Robert M Hazen
Course No 1100 | AVI, XviD, 512x384 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 60x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 15.75GB

English novelist and scientist C. P. Snow classed certain scientific ideas with the works of Shakespeare as something every educated person should know. One such idea, according to Snow, was the second law of thermodynamics, which deals with the diffusion of heat and has many profound consequences. He might well have added Newton's laws, the periodic table of elements, the double-helix structure of DNA, and scores of other masterpieces of scientific discovery.

Now, Professor Robert M. Hazen introduces these and other great ideas in 60 lectures that explore the fundamental discoveries and principles of all of the physical and biological sciences—physics, genetics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology, thermodynamics, and more.

A Passion for Teaching and Science

Professor Hazen is an apostle of science education for non-scientists, and he has few peers at rendering the most complex ideas simple, without being simplistic.

"I have a passion as a teacher," he says, "and that passion is to share with you the joy of science, the astonishing discoveries, the mind-bending insights, and the transforming applications of science as well."

A research scientist, professor, and advisor to public television's NOVA science series, Dr. Hazen helped draft the National Science Education Standards (National Academy of Sciences, 1997). These Standards represent a consensus among thousands of scientists and educators regarding the most effective approaches for teaching and learning about science.

These lectures have been specifically designed to introduce and review all of the scientific principles that are included in the Content Standards portion of the National Science Education Standards.

The result is a comprehensive and integrated introduction to all of science. By devoting just 30 minutes a day, you can complete this entire course in two months and discover an enhanced understanding of the physical world that will be a source of endless wonder and intellectual joy.

A Special Learning Opportunity

This course offers a special learning opportunity because:

  • It steers clear of the jargon and mathematical abstractions that so often bedevil science education.
  • It features an integrated approach that allows you as a learner to transcend artificial disciplinary boundaries in order to gain a panoramic view of the whole scientific enterprise in all its breathtaking scope.

The key to these achievements is Professor Hazen's insight that only a course organized around the common principles of scientific inquiry can put science in its proper light as a unique way of knowing.

Four Reasons to Become Scientifically Literate

Dr. Hazen cites four reasons why you should strive to become scientifically literate:

  • Scientific literacy helps you as a consumer make informed decisions—about health care, diet, nutrition, exercise, environmental issues, and the plethora of technological choices that we all face.
  • Many of today's jobs depend directly or indirectly on science as well as on technologies that are developed from scientific discoveries.
  • Scientific literacy helps you provide your children with a firm foundation as they study science in school.
  • Learning about science allows you to share the joy of humanity's greatest ongoing adventure of discovery and exploration.

What You'll Learn

Part I Highlights (Lectures 1–12):

Dr. Hazen begins by explaining the four-step cycle that defines the "scientific method" of knowing. He introduces you to five pivotal figures in early-modern science: Nicolas Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton. Astoundingly, during a single rural sojourn in 1665–66, Newton discovered calculus, many of the basic laws of optics, the three laws of motion, and the law of gravity. Newton's discoveries unified the supposedly separate domains of terrestrial and celestial motions.

Part II Highlights (Lectures 13–24):

Dr. Hazen introduces you to H. C. Oersted, the little-known figure who paved the way for a revolution in technology with his finding that electricity can produce a magnetic field. Out of this discovery came the electromagnet, the telegraph, the telephone, the electric motor, the generator, and many other inventions. You will also learn how James Clerk Maxwell offered the first mathematically rigorous description of the close connection between electricity and magnetism—and how Einstein, pondering a paradox that arose from Maxwell's equations, proposed and explored the principle of relativity.

Dr. Hazen shifts the focus of his lectures to the nature of matter, paying particular attention to atoms and quantum mechanics. He explains the chemical bonding of atoms, the different states of matter, and the principal force of change in the world of matter: chemical reactions.

Part III Highlights (Lectures 25–36):

Dr. Hazen then turns to the explanation of how specific physical systems work. Such systems manifest themselves in the properties of materials, as well as in the characteristics of atomic isotopes and their energy-producing nuclear reactions. You will learn about astronomy, the Big Bang theory, the solar system, and today's burgeoning field of extra-solar planetary systems.

Part IV Highlights (Lectures 37–48):

Dr. Hazen devotes lectures to the constant recycling of Earth's materials—water, air, and rock. He explores the question, "What is life?" You'll examine life's molecular building blocks: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. You'll learn how biological information is passed from parents to offspring, processes first quantified by the Czechoslovakian monk Gregor Mendel.

Part V Highlights (Lectures 49–60):

Mendel's discoveries lead Dr. Hazen to focus on the great unifying biological principles of genetics, evolution, and ecosystems. He argues that no scientific discovery of the 20th century has had a greater impact than the deciphering of the genetic code, embedded in the double-helix structure of DNA first described in 1952 by James Watson and Francis Crick. Dr. Hazen goes on to address troubling ethical questions raised by genetic engineering. He examines both the chemical and biological evolution of life before delving into the interdependent communities of species and their physical environments known as ecosystems.

Dr. Hazen also raises questions about claims that science is approaching its end—that all there is of significance to be learned about the natural world will soon be known.

The Joy of Science [TTC Video]

Stress and Your Body [TTC Video]

Stress and Your Body [TTC Video]
Stress and Your Body [TTC Video] by Robert Sapolsky
Course No 1585 | MKV, AVC, 960x720 | AAC, 64 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.66GB

Feeling stressed? You're not alone. Stress is an inherent aspect of life in the 21st-century world. Regardless of the cause, stress is bound to affect you at some point during your day or week.

And stress can have tremendous negative effects on your mental and physical health. Most Western diseases that slowly get us sick—heart disease, diabetes, stroke—are worsened by stress. Chronic illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis and depression often flare up during repeated instances of stress. This makes coping with stress a critical part of how well we live.

But take heart. Because once you understand the inner workings of our stress response system and its inextricable links to all aspects of your personal health, you'll find yourself in possession of powerful knowledge that will help you understand and better deal with this common aspect of your busy life.

Now, from one of the world's foremost researchers on stress and neurobiology comes Stress and Your Body—a fascinating 24-lecture course that guides you through the psychological and psychosocial stress that is a central part of everyday life in Western society. With the guidance of Dr. Robert Sapolsky, acclaimed Professor of Biology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at Stanford University and one of our most popular professors, you'll explore the nuts and bolts of the stress-response system and its various effects on your body.

What, Exactly, Is Stress?

Simply put, the stress-response system is a natural, highly adaptive survival system. Imagine you're a zebra being chased by a lion across some grassy savannah. Once you've recognized the threat, your stress-response system will divert energy from storage sites throughout your body to your muscles and inhibit unessential processes like digestion and reproduction, allowing you to flee faster from danger.

For animals, of course, coping with stress isn't a big deal; once they've escaped danger, their bodies and minds soon return to a balanced state. But for humans under chronic stress, there is rarely such a return.

Why? Because, for humans, the stress response is triggered not so much by life-or-death situations as by psychological reasons it wasn't designed to combat, such as

  • traffic tie-ups that double the time it takes for you to get to work;
  • complicated home repairs you haven't gotten around to making;
  • troublesome thoughts and recurring memories; and
  • worries about the economy, the environment, and international events.

In fact, as you quickly discover in this lecture series, the chronic stress that most of us face every day can turn the stress response from a safety mechanism into a real problem for our physical and mental well-being.

At the heart of any serious discussion of the impact of chronic stress on your body and mind lie some pointed questions:

  • How does everyday stress affect the way your brain behaves?
  • Why do some people adapt to stress more easily than others?
  • What occurs at the neurological level during periods of emotional trauma?
  • Why does stress not just impact your mind (where it's rooted) but your body as well?
  • Why does stress prompt you to do certain things, like eat and sleep more (or less)?

The science behind these and other questions is captivating in its intricacies.

Explore the Biology of Stress …

With the same dynamic teaching skills that won him the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching—Stanford's highest teaching honor—Professor Sapolsky guides you through the specific systems of your body in the search for the biological effects of stress. He first details how the stress response normally works for both humans and the hypothetical hunted zebra, then delves into what happens to these systems when the stress response doesn't shut down.

Among the specific organ systems you explore in Stress and Your Body are these:

  • Cardiovascular system: When stress hits, your blood pressure and heart rate rise, and blood is diverted from nonessential areas (like your gut) to critical ones (such as your muscles). When activated chronically, however, the stress-response system can damage your heart muscles and blood vessels.
  • Digestive system: Chronic stress can wreak havoc with your digestive system and can even shut it down. This can lead to debilitating diseases and problems with your digestion.
  • Reproductive system: Not only is chronic stress directly related to problems with reproduction, it affects the reproductive systems of men and women in different ways. Sustained stress can decrease the likelihood of ovulation and increase erectile dysfunction. For both sexes, however, libido is often greatly impaired.
  • Immune system: Your immune system is designed to protect you from all sorts of pathogens. Unfortunately, when hit repeatedly with stress, your immune defenses are often impaired, resulting in more frequent, prolonged, or severe cases of diseases ranging from mononucleosis to the common cold.

This systems approach helps you better grasp the detailed science and biology behind stress. It also allows you to draw pointed comparisons with stress's effects on individual systems of the body—sometimes separately, sometimes simultaneously. You'll quickly discover that stress doesn't affect just one part of the body, but it also has a domino effect in which your entire body can become damaged by the effects of chronic stress.

You'll also get a chance to explore the physiological effects of stress on other parts of your health, including your

  • physical growth and development,
  • sleep cycle,
  • memory and judgment, and
  • pain threshold.

… and the Psychology of Stress

But the biology of stress is only one-half of the puzzle. Stress and Your Body also brings you up close and personal with the psychological underpinnings and effects of stress. There are powerful psychological factors that modulate how we respond to stress and that are instrumental in damaging not just our brains—but our psyches.

Among the psychological disorders and damaging behaviors that Professor Sapolsky explores are

  • depression, the genetics of which are indelibly linked to the genetics of one's vulnerability to stress;
  • anxiety, which is rooted in the amygdala—a part of our brain that is extremely sensitive to one class of stress hormones; and
  • addiction, which can be directly related to increased levels of stress hormones in the body, whether it's an addiction to drugs or to new sensations.

Additionally, an individual's place in society plays a key role in both the creation and impact of stress. Toward the end of the course, you'll spend some time studying the relationship between low socioeconomic status and high stress levels—along with the poor health to which they lead.

Discover the Key to Change

With Stress and Your Body, you'll be learning about this integral—for better or worse—aspect of daily life from an engaging and insightful teacher. Professor Sapolsky knows just how important it is to understand the workings of stress, but he also flavors his lectures with humor and practical tips for stress management that you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

Professor Sapolsky's unique teaching methods, in which profound insights, eye-opening concepts, and rigorous scientific support are intertwined with an informal delivery style, make the study of this topic absolutely illuminating.

"It's possible for us to change," he notes with characteristic enthusiasm at one point in Stress and Your Body. "It's hard in terms of there being no free lunch. But nonetheless, change can occur."

And the key to changing the impact of stress in your life, whether at work or at home, is a thorough knowledge of how and why it works on your mind and body. All of which you'll find right here in these dynamic lectures.

Stress and Your Body [TTC Video]

Caught, Back, Concluding [EPUB]

Caught, Back, Concluding [EPUB]
Caught, Back, Concluding by Henry Green
2016 | EPUB | 3.06MB

Dazzling, daring and full of original insight and wit, Henry Green offers a unique view of a class-ridden Britain enduring both war and its aftermath. In the apocalyptic atmosphere of the Blitz, so brilliantly evoked in Caught, gossip spreads like wildfire and the lives of two men are torn apart. In Back, Charley, an amputee, returns from a prison camp to his village and the grave of the woman he loved. Concluding was Green's own favourite of his novels and tells the story of a summer's day and a schoolgirl's disappearance.

The text of Caught used in this edition is based on Green's original manuscript, which was censored by the publisher on first publication, but can be read now for the first time in unexpurgated form.

The Rediscovery of the Mind [EPUB]

The Rediscovery of the Mind [EPUB]
The Rediscovery of the Mind by John R Searle
1992 | EPUB | 1.22MB

In this major new work, John Searle launches a formidable attack on current orthodoxies in the philosophy of mind. More than anything else, he argues, it is the neglect of consciousness that results in so much barrenness and sterility in psychology, the philosophy of mind, and cognitive science: there can be no study of mind that leaves out consciousness. What is going on in the brain is neurophysiological processes and consciousness and nothing more - no rule following, no mental information processing or mental models, no language of thought, and no universal grammar. Mental events are themselves features of the brain, "like liquidity is a feature of water."

Beginning with a spirited discussion of what's wrong with the philosophy of mind, Searle characterizes and refutes the philosophical tradition of materialism. But he does not embrace dualism. All these "isms" are mistaken, he insists. Once you start counting types of substance you are on the wrong track, whether you stop at one or two. In four chapters that constitute the heart of his argument, Searle elaborates a theory of consciousness and its relation to our overall scientific world view and to unconscious mental phenomena. He concludes with a criticism of cognitive science and a proposal for an approach to studying the mind that emphasizes the centrality of consciousness to any account of mental functioning.

In his characteristically direct style, punctuated with persuasive examples, Searle identifies the very terminology of the field as the main source of truth. He observes that it is a mistake to suppose that the ontology of the mental is objective and to suppose that the methodology of a science of the mind must concern itself only with objectively observable behavior; that it is also a mistake to suppose that we know of the existence of mental phenomena in others only by observing their behavior; that behavior or causal relations to behavior are not essential to the existence of mental phenomena; and that it is inconsistent with what we know about the universe and our place in it to suppose that everything is knowable by us.

The Myth of Human Supremacy [EPUB]

The Myth of Human Supremacy [EPUB]
The Myth of Human Supremacy by Derrick Jensen
2016 | EPUB | 3.26MB

In this impassioned polemic, radical environmental philosopher Derrick Jensen debunks the near-universal belief in a hierarchy of nature and the superiority of humans. Vast and underappreciated complexities of nonhuman life are explored in detail—from the cultures of pigs and prairie dogs, to the creative use of tools by elephants and fish, to the acumen of caterpillars and fungi. The paralysis of the scientific establishment on moral and ethical issues is confronted and a radical new framework for assessing the intelligence and sentience of nonhuman life is put forth.

Jensen attacks mainstream environmental journalism, which too often limits discussions to how ecological changes affect humans or the economy—with little or no regard for nonhuman life. With his signature compassionate logic, he argues that when we separate ourselves from the rest of nature, we in fact orient ourselves against nature, taking an unjust and, in the long run, impossible position.

Jensen expresses profound disdain for the human industrial complex and its ecological excesses, contending that it is based on the systematic exploitation of the earth. Page by page, Jensen, who has been called the philosopher-poet of the environmental movement, demonstrates his deep appreciation of the natural world in all its intimacy, and sounds an urgent call for its liberation from human domination.

The Jazz Scene by Eric Hobsbawm [EPUB]

The Jazz Scene by Eric Hobsbawm [EPUB]
The Jazz Scene by Eric Hobsbawm
2014 | EPUB | 0.4MB

From 1955-65 the historian Eric Hobsbawm took the pseudonym 'Francis Newton' and wrote a monthly column for the New Statesman on jazz - music he had loved ever since discovering it as a boy in 1933 ('the year Adolf Hitler took power in Germany'). Hobsbawm's column led to his writing a critical history, The Jazz Scene (1959). This enhanced edition from 1993 adds later writings by Hobsbawm in which he meditates further 'on why jazz is not only a marvellous noise but a central concern for anyone concerned with twentieth-century society and the twentieth-century arts.

Kurosawa's Rashomon: A Vanished City, a Lost Brother, and the Voice Inside His Iconic Films [EPUB]

Kurosawa's Rashomon: A Vanished City, a Lost Brother, and the Voice Inside His Iconic Films [EPUB]
Kurosawa's Rashomon: A Vanished City, a Lost Brother, and the Voice Inside His Iconic Films by Paul Anderer
2016 | EPUB | 5.72MB

A groundbreaking investigation into the early life of the iconic Akira Kurosawa in connection to his most famous film―taking us deeper into Kurosawa and his world.

Although he is a filmmaker of international renown, Kurosawa and the story of his formative years remain as enigmatic as his own Rashomon. Paul Anderer looks back at Kurosawa before he became famous, taking us into the turbulent world that made him. We encounter Tokyo, Kurosawa’s birthplace, which would be destroyed twice before his eyes; explore early twentieth-century Japan amid sweeping cross-cultural changes; and confront profound family tragedy alongside the horror of war. From these multiple angles we see how Kurosawa’s life and work speak to the epic narrative of modern Japan’s rise and fall.

With fresh insights and vivid prose, Anderer engages the Great Earthquake of 1923, the dynamic energy that surged through Tokyo in its wake, and its impact on Kurosawa as a youth. When the city is destroyed again, in the fire-bombings of 1945, Anderer reveals how Kurosawa grappled with the trauma of war and its aftermath, and forged his artistic vision. Finally, he resurrects the specter and the voice of a gifted and troubled older brother―himself a star in the silent film industry―who took Kurosawa to see his first films, and who led a rebellious life until his desperate end.

Bringing these formative forces into focus, Anderer looks beyond the aura of Kurosawa’s fame and leads us deeper into the tragedies and the challenges of his past. Kurosawa’s Rashomon uncovers how a film like Rashomon came to be, and why it endures to illuminate the shadows and the challenges of our present.

The Secret History of Twin Peaks [Audiobook]

The Secret History of Twin Peaks [Audiobook]
The Secret History of Twin Peaks [Audiobook] by Mark Frost, read by Mark Frost, Len Cariou, Michael Horse, Mat Hostetler, David Patrick Kelly, Robert Knepper, Kyle MacLachlan, James Morrison
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 9 hrs 33 mins | 261.18MB

From the cocreator of the landmark series, the story millions of fans have been waiting to get their hands on for 25 long years.

A vastly layered, wide-ranging history that deepens the mysteries of the iconic town in ways that will thrill disciples of the original series and will prep fans for the upcoming SHOWTIME series like nothing else out there.

Four original Twin Peaks cast members who are appearing in the new Twin Peaks for SHOWTIME® - Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Michael Horse, and David Patrick Kelly - join three new actors - Amy Shiels, Robert Knepper, and James Morrison - to voice the audiobook edition of the novel along with cocreator Mark Frost and original cast member Chris Mulkey. Additional actors Annie Wersching (Bosch) and Len Cariou (Blue Bloods) are also featured, as is narrator Mat Hostetler.

Of the audiobook, creator Mark Frost says, "I am thrilled that both original cast members and new actors will be coming together on this project to bring this other aspect of the world of Twin Peaks to life."

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded [Audiobook]

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded [Audiobook]
Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded [Audiobook] by Hannah Hart, read by Hannah Hart, Judy Young
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 59 mins | 162.83MB

The wildly popular YouTube personality and author of the New York Times best seller My Drunk Kitchen is back! This time she's stirring up memories and tales from her past.

By combing through the journals that Hannah has kept for much of her life, this collection of narrative essays delivers a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she's figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship, and fame.

Revealing what makes Hannah tick, this sometimes cringeworthy, poignant collection of stories is sure to deliver plenty of Hannah's wit and wisdom - and hopefully encourage you to try your hand at her patented brand of reckless optimism.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life [Audiobook]

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life [Audiobook]
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life [Audiobook] by Mark Manson, read by Roger Wayne
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 30 mins | 149.32MB

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F*ck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is - a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited - "not everybody can be extraordinary; there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault". Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points [Audiobook]

The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points [Audiobook]
The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points [Audiobook] by Alice Boyes, read by Karen Saltus
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 4 hrs 49 mins | 132.58MB

Do you overthink before taking action? Are you prone to making negative predictions? Do you worry about the worst that could happen? Do you take negative feedback very hard? Are you self-critical? Does anything less than perfect performance feel like failure?

If any of these issues resonate with you, you're probably suffering from some degree of anxiety, and you're not alone. The good news: While reducing your anxiety level to zero isn't possible or useful (anxiety can actually be helpful!), you can learn to successfully manage symptoms - such as excessive rumination, hesitation, fear of criticism, and paralysing perfection.

In The Anxiety Toolkit, Dr. Alice Boyes translates powerful, evidence-based tools used in therapy clinics into tips and tricks you can employ in everyday life. Whether you have an anxiety disorder, or are just anxiety-prone by nature, you'll discover how anxiety works, strategies to help you cope with common anxiety "stuck" points and a confidence that - anxious or not - you have all the tools you need to succeed in life and work.

Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne [Audiobook]

Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne [Audiobook]
Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne [Audiobook] by Christopher Andersen, read by Simon Prebble
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 52 mins | 255.86MB

The number-one New York Times best-selling author of William and Kate and The Day Diana Died takes a compulsively listenable look into the relationships and rivalries of Queen Elizabeth, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Kate Middleton.

One has been famous longer than anyone on the planet - a wily stateswoman and an enduring symbol of a fading institution. One is the great-granddaughter of a king's mistress and a celebrated homewrecker who survived a firestorm of scorn to marry her lover and replace her archrival, a beloved 20th-century figure. One is a beautiful commoner, the university-educated daughter of a self-made entrepreneur, a fashion idol, and wife and mother to two future kings.

Master biographer Christopher Andersen takes listeners behind palace walls to examine the surprising similarities and stark differences among three remarkable women - Queen Elizabeth; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; and Princess Kate. Andersen reveals what transpires within the royal family away from the public's prying eyes; how the women actually feel about each other; how they differ as lovers, wives, and mothers; and how they are reshaping the landscape of the monarchy in this addictive listen that will shock even those who are spellbound by the royal palace.

Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy [Audiobook]

Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy [Audiobook]
Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy [Audiobook] by Joan Magretta, read by Erik Synnestvedt
2011 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 7 mins | 166.76MB

A Distillation of The Most Important Business Thinking of Our Time

Michael Porter's groundbreaking ideas on competition and strategy have unfolded over three decades and are spread across a dauntingly long list of publications. Every manager can name individual pieces of his work - competitive advantage, the value chain, five forces - but no one, not even Porter himself, has put the entire puzzle together to reveal it as an integrated whole. This lucid, concise audiobook does just that. Written with Porter's full cooperation by Joan Magretta, his former editor at Harvard Business Review, this book provides an engaging summary of Porter's ideas and an invaluable synthesis of this important body of work, making clear how each of Porter's powerful concepts relates to the others and, most important, to the practical realities managers face.

Modern thinking about competition and strategy begins with Porter's frameworks. They are the most widely used in practice by managers around the world. But as Magretta points out, Porter is often misunderstood and his frameworks misapplied. Magretta's own wide-ranging business experience allows her to identify the most common of these misconceptions - among them, the deeply held but dangerous belief that competition is about being the best. Understand Porter and you will see why competing to be the best sparks an inevitable race to the bottom.

Understanding Michael Porter will enable all leaders throughout any organization to grasp Porter's seminal ideas about competition and strategy and deploy them to achieve competitive success.

The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think [Audiobook]

The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think [Audiobook]
The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think [Audiobook] by Michael E. Raynor, Mumtaz Ahmed, read by Erik Synnestvedt
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 42 mins | 184.48MB

Finally, an answer to the ultimate business question: How do some companies achieve exceptional performance over the long term?

In every sector, there's an outlier. In the pharmaceutical industry, it's Merck. In discount retail, it's Family Dollar. It used to be Wrigley in candy and Maytag in appliances. Other superstars have been hidden in plain sight, like Heartland Express in trucking or Linear Technology in semiconductors. How do these exceptional companies deliver superior perfor­mance over the long run despite facing the same constraints as competitors? What are they doing differently? What can we learn from them?

Michael E. Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed have analyzed data on more than 25,000 companies spanning 45 years. Their five-year study began with a sophisticated statistical analysis to identify which companies have truly exceptional performance, 344 in all. In collaboration with teams of researchers, Raynor and Ahmed then put a carefully chosen representative sample of 27 companies under the microscope to uncover what made the stand-out performers different. They found that exceptional companies, when faced with difficult decisions, follow three rules: Better before cheaper. They rarely compete on price. Revenue before cost. They drive profits through price and volume, not thrift. There are no other rules. Everything else is up for grabs, and they are willing to change anything to remain true to the first two rules.

The rules provide an indispensable compass that any company can use to chart its own path to greatness. Is it better to keep price down or invest in creating value that commands a higher price? Should you focus on talent and developing the abilities of your people or build processes to extend the capabilities of your organization? How about acquiring a sizable competitor to secure economies of scale - or a small start-up to gain access to new technology?

According to Raynor and Ahmed, the right answers to these and just about every other question are the ones most closely aligned with the rules. The Three Rules is built on a powerful combina­tion of large-scale data analysis and in-depth case studies. Its guidance will increase the chance that your organization can become truly exceptional.

The Innovator's Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More than Good Ideas [Audiobook]

The Innovator's Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More than Good Ideas [Audiobook]
The Innovator's Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More than Good Ideas [Audiobook] by Michael Schrage, read by Walter Dixon
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 58 mins | 191.39MB

What is the best way for a company to innovate? That's exactly the wrong question. The better question: How can organizations get the maximum possible value from their innovation investments? Advice recommending "innovation vacations" and the luxury of failure may be wonderful for organizations with time to spend and money to waste. But this audiobook addresses the innovation priorities of companies that live in the real world of limits. They want fast, frugal, and high-impact innovations. They don't just seek superior innovation; they want superior innovators.

In The Innovator's Hypothesis, innovation expert Michael Schrage advocates a cultural and strategic shift: small teams collaboratively - and competitively - crafting business experiments that make top management sit up and take notice. Creativity within constraints - clear deadlines and clear deliverables - is what serious innovation cultures do. Schrage introduces the 5X5 framework: giving diverse teams of five people up to five days to come up with portfolios of five business experiments costing no more than $5,000 each and taking no longer than five weeks to run.

The book describes multiple portfolios of 5X5 experiments drawn from Schrage's advisory work and innovation workshops worldwide. These include financial service approaches for improving customer service and addressing security challenges; a pharmaceutical company's hypotheses for boosting regulatory compliance; and a diaper division's efforts to give babies and parents alike better "diapering experiences" with glow-in-the-dark adhesives, diagnostic capability, and bundled wipes.

Schrage's 5X5 is enterprise innovation gone viral: Successful 5X5s make people more effective innovators, and more effective innovators mean more effective innovations.

The Manual of Ideas: The Proven Framework for Finding the Best Value Investments [Audiobook]

The Manual of Ideas: The Proven Framework for Finding the Best Value Investments [Audiobook]
The Manual of Ideas: The Proven Framework for Finding the Best Value Investments [Audiobook] by John Mihaljevic, read by Mark Moseley
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 12 mins | 306.41MB

Reveals the proprietary framework used by an exclusive community of top money managers and value investors in their never-ending quest for untapped investment ideas.

Considered an indispensable source of cutting-edge research and ideas among the world's top investment firms and money managers, the journal The Manual of Ideas boasts a subscriber list that reads like a Who's Who of high finance. Written by that publication's managing editor and inspired by its mission to serve as an "idea funnel" for the world's top money managers, this book introduces you to a proven, proprietary framework for finding, researching, analyzing, and implementing the best value investing opportunities. The next best thing to taking a peek under the hoods of some of the most prodigious brains in the business, it gives you uniquely direct access to the thought processes and investment strategies of such super value investors as Warren Buffett, Seth Klarman, Glenn Greenberg, Guy Spier and Joel Greenblatt.

  • Written by the team behind one of the most read and talked-about sources of research and value investing ideas.
  • Reviews more than 20 pre-qualified investment ideas and provides an original ranking methodology to help you zero-in on the three to five most compelling investments.
  • Delivers a finely-tuned, proprietary investment framework, previously available only to an elite group of TMI subscribers
  • Step-by-step, it walks you through a proven, rigorous approach to finding, researching, analyzing, and implementing worthy ideas.

The Power of Broke [Audiobook]

The Power of Broke [Audiobook]
The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage [Audiobook] by Daymond John, Daniel Paisner, read by Sway Calloway
2016 | MP3 VBR V1 + EPUB | 8 hrs 45 mins | 312.85MB

Skillfully read by DJ, MTV News reporter, and radio host Sway Calloway, whose effortless style and distinct voice perfectly capture John's message, and featuring a customized introduction from the author himself, this audiobook is the go-to source for all those wanting to learn the importance of staying hungry in order to succeed. Interspersed throughout its chapters, listeners are treated to "Power Facts" and "Shark Points" told directly by Daymond John, giving the famed entrepreneur and branding expert a chance to impart some of his invaluable wisdom.

Daymond John has been practicing the power of broke ever since he started selling his home-sewn T-shirts on the streets of Queens. With no funding and a $40 budget, Daymond had to come up with out-of-the box ways to promote his products. Luckily, desperation breeds innovation, and so he hatched an idea for a creative campaign that eventually launched the FUBU brand into a $6 billion global phenomenon. But it might not have happened if he hadn't started out broke - with nothing but a heart full of hope and a ferocious drive to succeed by any means possible.

Here, the FUBU founder and star of ABC's Shark Tank shows that, far from being a liability, broke can actually be your greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur. Why? Because starting a business from broke forces you to think more creatively. It forces you to use your resources more efficiently. It forces you to connect with your customers more authentically and market your ideas more imaginatively. It forces you to be true to yourself, stay laser focused on your goals, and come up with those innovative solutions required to make a meaningful mark. Drawing his own experiences as an entrepreneur and branding consultant, peeks behind the scenes from the set of Shark Tank, and stories of dozens of other entrepreneurs who have hustled their way to wealth, John shows how we can all leverage the power of broke to phenomenal success. You'll meet:

  • Steve Aoki, the electronic dance music (EDM) deejay who managed to parlay a series of $100 gigs into becoming a global superstar who has redefined the music industry.
  • Gigi Butler, a cleaning lady from Nashville who built a cupcake empire on the back of a family recipe, her maxed-out credit cards, and a heaping dose of faith.
  • Eleven-year-old Shark Tank guest Mo Bridges, who stitched together a winning clothing line with just his grandma's sewing machine, a stash of loose fabric, and his unique sartorial flair.

When your back is up against the wall, your bank account is empty, and creativity and passion are the only resources you can afford, success is your only option. Here you'll learn how to tap in to that power of broke to scrape, hustle, and dream your way to the top.

BONUS: This audiobook features an exclusive interview between author Daymond John and narrator Sway Calloway, touching upon topics that include entrepreneurship as "the ultimate equalizer", loving what you do, and why the author handpicked Calloway to read his book.