Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome [TTC Video]

Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome [TTC Video]
Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome [TTC Video] by John R Hale
Course No 3340 | AVI, XviD, 640x432 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.26GB

Classical archaeology—the excavation and analysis of ancient Greek and Roman sites—was born on Wednesday, October 22, 1738. On that day, Roque Joaquнn Alcubierre, an engineer in the army of the Bourbon royal family in Naples, was lowered by ropes down a square well shaft cut through volcanic material that had formed on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. When Alcubierre reached the bottom of the well, 65 feet below the surface, he began to wind his way through tunnels carved into the volcanic material, noting pieces of architectural elements as he went.

This discovery became the first systematic study of the astonishingly intact ruins of the Roman city of Herculaneum, buried for 1,700 years in the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Alcubierre's recording of the artworks, colored marbles, inscriptions, lamps, and items of everyday life he discovered deep inside the earth marked the "Big Bang" of Classical archaeology—a quest to understand Greek and Roman culture through its material remains that continues to this day.

In the 36 lectures of Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome, archaeologist and award-winning Professor John R. Hale guides you through this fascinating field of study and through dozens of ancient sites with the skill of a born storyteller. Mixing the exotic adventures, unexpected insights, and abiding mysteries of archaeology's fabled history with anecdotes of his own extensive field experience, Dr. Hale creates a fascinating narrative that unfolds like a series of detective stories and provides a new perspective from which to view the world of the Greeks and Romans.

A Discipline unto Itself

Many disciplines have tried to claim Classical archaeology as their own, yet it is a discipline wholly unto itself. Classical archaeology is less a branch of archaeology and more the root of the entire field.

"It was in the archaeology of Greece and Rome that the entire discipline of trying to understand the past through its material remains began," notes Dr. Hale. "It's through archaeology that some of the most important advances—such as proper field technique, experimental archaeology, and underwater archaeology—were all brought into this great world of study."

As you discover in Classical Archaeology of Greece and Rome, the field has evolved over the years from a pastime for collectors and antiquarians to a mature science. Today, Classical archaeology is a multidisciplinary effort that involves not only traditional diggers but geologists, geographers, chemists, anthropologists, historians, and linguists.

Through Classical archaeology, the civilizations of Greece and Rome come into sharper focus through a reconstruction of the past in all its color: its ideals, aspirations, achievements, and virtues; its vices, superstitions, disasters, and crimes. From the various physical remains of these long-gone places, Classical archaeologists create a window in which to see the richness of the worlds of Greece and Rome, resurrecting them in all their glory and affording us a better grasp of cultures which have greatly influenced our own.

Explore Ancient Sites and Meet Early Pioneers

The course introduces you to a series of exciting archaeologist sites that provide you with a detailed idea of what Classical archaeology entails, as well as insights into the details of ancient Greek and Roman life. These case studies—involving both famous sites and discoveries unknown outside the field—include:

  • Troy: In 1871, the German entrepreneur Heinrich Schliemann confirmed the long-forgotten site of ancient Troy in northwest Turkey, based on astute detective work by a resident English diplomat. Schliemann's sensational discoveries at this and other Bronze-Age sites made him the most famous archaeologist of his day.
  • The Athenian Agora: Since 1931, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens has been excavating this civic heart of ancient Athens, which witnessed momentous events including the trial of Socrates. Buildings and artifacts discovered here give you an unsurpassed picture of life in a major city of Classical Greece.
  • Torre de Palma: In 1947, plowmen working a field in southern Portugal chanced upon the base of a Roman column, which turned out to be sitting on a mosaic floor. Archaeologists eventually uncovered an entire Roman country estate, equipped for complete self-sufficiency in the uncertain times of the later Roman Empire.
  • The Cape Gelidonya Shipwreck: In 1960, American archaeologist George Bass forged the techniques for systematic underwater archaeology by excavating a rich Bronze-Age cargo ship off of southern Turkey. He discovered a hoard of artifacts and the largest stockpile of ingots ever recovered from the Trojan War period.

Through an analysis of these and other riveting sites, you get a superb sampling of Classical archaeology and learn how it combines ancient history, anthropology, ethnography, comparative religion, art history, experimental engineering, historical linguistics, paleobotany, and other pursuits with a dash of Indiana Jones–style adventure.

You also encounter some of the pioneering figures in Classical archaeology whose work had a lasting impact on the field, including:

  • Guiseppe Fiorelli: who conceived the strategy of pouring plaster into cavities in the volcanic rock at Pompeii in the 1860s to reveal the precise forms of long-dead Pompeiians.
  • Sir Mortimer Wheeler: who with his wife developed the grid system of excavation still in use today, in which the site is laid out like a checkerboard with a wall of the original ground left around each excavated square to give an exposed sequence of the dig's different layers.
  • Michael Ventris: who discovered that Linear B, a mystifying script discovered in the early 1900s at a Bronze-Age complex on Crete, was a form of Greek.

Three Views from Complimentary Perspectives

Dr. Hale divides Classical Archaeology of Greece and Rome into three parts, each of which approaches the field from a different, complimentary perspective.

  • Creating a Science of the Past (Lectures 1–12): You trace the origin of archaeology—from the enthusiasm surrounding early excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii to the latest technological advances of today—and focus on methods, tools, technologies, and how archaeologists evaluate evidence and solve problems.
  • An Archaeologist's Casebook (Lectures 13–24): You tour a dozen important archaeological sites or discoveries ranging from the Bronze Age to late antiquity: sites in Greece or Greek waters, sites in Rome or its provinces, and a pair of bronze statues found off the coast of southern Italy.
  • A View from the Trenches (Lectures 25–36): You approach Classical archaeology thematically, exploring what the field has contributed to our knowledge of ancient life including topics like diets, entertainment, engineering, slavery, religion, and the role of women. Two lectures investigate what archaeology has to say about a pair of big-picture controversies: What are the roots of Classical culture, and why did the Roman Empire fall?

Details that Bring the Ancient World Alive

One of the joys of Classical archaeology is that it brings history alive in very specific, personal ways by offering you glimpses into the lives of real people—sometimes very famous ones:

  • The most renowned of all Greek sculptors was Phidias, and while little of his sculptural work survives, his personal drinking cup was found at the excavation of his workshop in Olympia, inscribed: "I belong to Phidias."
  • A papyrus discovered in 1904 was recently studied in detail and appears to have an instruction written in the handwriting of Cleopatra: to grant tax exemptions to one of her generals and the friend of her lover, Mark Antony.
  • In 1980, excavations at Herculaneum found the remains of 300 men, women, and children who were awaiting evacuation when the eruption of Vesuvius engulfed them. Some of the personal effects uncovered included a carpenter's tool chest, a nursemaid's bracelet, and a child's treasure box—with a pair of coins still inside.
  • Graffiti on a Roman outpost dated to A.D. 238 bears the chilling message, "The Parthians have fallen upon us." Archaeologists found evidence of a great assault that overwhelmed the imperial garrison.
  • Among the many "curse tablets" found at the Roman spa in present-day Bath, England, is one from the victim of an ancient purse snatching. He asks the gods for various favors: the return of the money, bad luck for the thief, and, if nothing else, the perpetrator's name.

Classical Archaeology of Greece and Rome enables you to view the world of the Greeks and Romans not as a sequence of historical events but as an immense living organism; a system in which society, culture, and the natural environment interact in dynamic, creative, and sometimes destructive ways.

See History through the Eyes of an Expert

Dr. Hale is an experienced archaeologist who has lectured widely beyond the university and brought the wonders of archaeological discoveries to the general public. His background includes a long-running position as field director for the University of Louisville's excavations at Torre de Palma and his participation in the search for sunken ships from the armada that attached Greece during the Greek and Persian Wars.

From Spain and the Black Sea to Romania and the shores of North Africa, Dr. Hale takes you on a captivating 2,000-year journey that will strengthen what he calls your "archaeological literacy." At the end of Classical Archaeology of Greece and Rome, you will have a clearer understanding of Classical archaeology: its scope, its methods, its accomplishments, its terms, its controversies, and—above all—what it can tell us about life in antiquity and how it relates to our own time.

Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome [TTC Video]

Jesus and His Jewish Influences [TTC Video]

Jesus and His Jewish Influences [TTC Video]
Jesus and His Jewish Influences [TTC Video] by Jodi Magness
Course No 6281 | M4V, AVC, 854x480 | AAC, 157 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 2.5GB

For anyone interested in understanding the profound effect Jesus had on the world, it’s important to realize that his actions and teachings didn’t emerge from a vacuum. Rather, they were the product of a fascinating dialogue with—and reaction to—the traditions, cultures, and historical developments of ancient Jewish beliefs. In fact, early Judaism and Jesus are two subjects so inextricably linked that one cannot arrive at a true understanding of Jesus without understanding the time in which he lived and taught.

In search of a more complete comprehension of Jesus’s legacy, this course explores fundamental questions such as:

  • How was early Judaism markedly different from the Rabbinic Judaism practiced today?
  • What kind of world did early Jewish sects envision, and how does Jesus’s world view relate to theirs?
  • How did events like the Babylonian exile and the reign of Herod the Great affect the development of Judaism up to Jesus’s time?
  • What did it really mean to be a Jew in ancient Israel—and what did it mean for Jesus?

Answers to these and other thought-provoking questions about ancient Judaism and the roots of Jesus’s ministry can be found in the 24 intriguing lectures of Jesus and His Jewish Influences. Crafted by acclaimed archaeologist and biblical scholar Jodi Magness of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this fascinating course approaches the subject of Jesus from a historical, rather than scriptural, perspective; one rooted in the study of ancient texts and archaeological discoveries. You’ll embark upon an in-depth investigation of the ancient world that Jesus was born into, and you’ll revisit the tumultuous events of early Jewish history with the specific purpose of gleaning hidden insights into how they shaped an individual—and a movement—whose legacy endures to this very day.

Learn How Ancient Israel Gave Rise to Jesus Instead of focusing on historically authenticating the Gospel accounts of Jesus’s sayings and activities, Jesus and His Jewish Influences is interested in exploring how the Gospel accounts are better understood through the lens of early Judaism. To this end, Professor Magness’s lectures are a veritable survey of some of the most defining moments in ancient Israel, from the establishment of Mosaic Law to the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D. These include:
  • The destruction of Solomon’s Temple: In 586 B.C., the Kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians, and Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. Signaling the end of the First Temple Period, this traumatic event was drawn upon later by the Gospel authors as a way to illustrate Jesus’s foreshadowing of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D.
  • The Babylonian exile: After the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah, the inhabitants were forced into exile. The exile ended in 539 B.C. after the Persian king Cyrus allowed the exiled Jews return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. This return, however, led to a powerful schism between the Jews and Samaritans—one reflected in Gospel parables about Samaritans.
  • The Maccabean Revolt: When Judaism was outlawed under the orders of Antiochus IV, a priestly clan named the Maccabees (or Hasmoneans) led a revolt in 167 B.C. to oppose this new reality. Lasting for years, the revolt was a reaction to Antiochus IV’s edict outlawing Judaism and rededicating the Jerusalem temple to the worship of Olympian Zeus. The rise of the Maccabean Kingdom also provides interesting context for understanding the Gospel birth narratives about Jesus.

Along the way, you’ll encounter a fascinating range of early Jewish sects, including the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. You’ll also meet some of the predecessors and contemporaries of Jesus who played a pivotal role in shaping or recording the world Jesus was born into, such as

  • Herod the Great, the tyrannical and murderous ruler of Judea infamous for the (historically questionable) Massacre of the Innocents;
  • Flavius Josephus, the ancient historian whose writings complement the works of the Gospel authors and who offers first-hand accounts of events during the time of Jesus and afterwards;
  • King Josiah, the ruler of Judea loved by the biblical writers (and described in glowing terms) for his religious reforms asserting the centrality of the Jerusalem Temple and its priesthood.

Draw Illuminating Connections between Jesus and Judaism

At the heart of these lectures are eye-opening, illuminating insights into the numerous historical connections between Jesus and the story of early Judaism. You’ll see firsthand how this background provides a deeper, more well-rounded context for understanding Gospel accounts of Jesus’s life and ministry—and, conversely, the Gospels themselves provide valuable information about how Judaism was lived and practiced in Jesus’s time.

Here are just a few of the many connections you’ll make in Jesus and His Jewish Influences:

  • Schismatic Samaritans: The historic schism between the Jews and Samaritans after the Babylonian exile can be found hidden within the popular parable of the Good Samaritan. The story itself puts a strange spin on the person who comes out looking good (the Samaritan) considering that Samaritans were, in the eyes of Jews during the time of Jesus, schismatics.
  • Golden rules: The passage in Matthew that recounts Jesus’s “golden rule” illustrates a broad disagreement among early Jews about whether or not to love one’s enemies. Jesus’s views about loving everyone (and healing the sick) stem not from pure kindness alone but from his view of holiness—that one can only enter the Kingdom of Heaven by emulating God’s perfection.
  • Political executions: Why was James, the brother of Jesus, not crucified but stoned to death? The answer is that he was charged with violating Jewish law, unlike Jesus, who was executed by the Romans on a charge of treason. James’s execution by the Sanhedrin (on possibly trumped-up charges) reflects the early hostility of elite Jews toward the proto-Christians.
  • Mountaintop revelations: What makes the episode of the Sermon on the Mount so interesting is its clear connection with Moses’s revelation of the law on Mount Sinai. Both revelations take place on sacred mountaintops, and both involve the establishment of new laws meant to guide an entire people

Get a Fresh Look at the Origins of History’s Most Influential Figure

Throughout the course, Professor Magness speaks directly from her hands-on experience as a classical archaeologist digging in Israel and her depth of knowledge as a scholar of early Judaism. The winner of numerous teaching awards and honors, she’s spent her entire career immersed in the rich history of the ancient Holy Land, making her the perfect professor for a course designed to place Jesus within his contemporary socio-political environs.

Every lecture of Jesus and His Jewish Influences draws on a wealth of excerpts and passages from some of the most important and influential texts ever written, including:

  • the Hebrew Bible
  • the New Testament (specifically the four canonical Gospels)
  • the Apocrypha (“hidden works”) and Pseudepigrapha (“false writings”)
  • historical accounts, including Josephus’s The Jewish War
  • the Dead Sea Scrolls

What made Jesus Jesus? How did his life and teachings reflect his Jewish roots—and break away from them? Prepare for a fresh look at Jesus that will bring you closer than ever to the dawn of a spiritual figure—and revolution—that would change the world.

Jesus and His Jewish Influences [TTC Video]

Biblical Wisdom Literature [TTC Video]

Biblical Wisdom Literature [TTC Video]
Biblical Wisdom Literature [TTC Video] by Joseph Koterski
Course No 6260 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 6.71GB

In the history of wisdom literature, few traditions match the solace and profundity found in the teachings of the Bible. For centuries, people have taken comfort and insight from the familiar yet eternally resonant writings of the Bible's wisdom literature. Through their inspirational teachings, the sages of the biblical wisdom tradition offer time-honored advice about some of life's most difficult questions: What is the reward of virtue? What is the best way to raise one's children? How can we best deal with the uncertainty of life?

  • "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens." (book of Qoheleth)
  • "How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!" (book of Proverbs)
  • "A faithful friend is beyond price. No sum can balance his worth." (book of Sirach)
  • "Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Beatitudes of Jesus)

For countless people, these ancient writings have offered consolation and insight into the very meaning of existence.

And yet, few of us realize that these great teachings are part of a larger tradition—a rich and complex body of writings that have influenced theologians, philosophers, and everyday men and women for millennia. The insights offered in this tradition and their efforts to integrate faith and reason, revelation and human wisdom rival those of the renowned philosophical schools of ancient Greece.

In Biblical Wisdom Literature, award-winning professor Father Joseph Koterski takes you deep inside this tradition. In 36 thought-provoking lectures, you explore enlightening teachings that have inspired the world and that continue to speak to life's most important questions.

Throughout the course, you benefit from Father Koterski's ecumenical perspective, as he presents these teachings within the Jewish and Christian traditions and compares the varying versions of these texts. He places each book in its historical and cultural context but also examines its place in today's world, describing how these teachings can be applied to everyday dilemmas.

The result is an enriching journey that is as rewarding for members of the Jewish and Christian faiths as it is to those who simply wonder: What do these writings have to say about the great philosophical problems people seek to understand?

From the Trials of Job to the Teachings of Jesus

The course begins with the well-known story of Job from the Jewish Bible, in which a righteous man struggles to understand why he suffers loss, illness, and despair. Father Koterski uses this story to probe one of the most compelling themes of the biblical wisdom tradition: What is the cause of suffering? Should we interpret suffering as a punishment for wrongdoing? Or is it sometimes a test, designed to shape our character?

The book of Job contends with some of the most enduring questions of theology and philosophy—questions that echo and re-echo throughout the stories of the Bible and the philosophy of the ancient world. But through this course, you also explore many other crucial themes:

  • In the book of Proverbs, you ponder the value and nature of wisdom itself and encounter sayings and tales that offer a moral exhortation to live according to God's covenant.
  • In the book of Qoheleth, you find a pithy, sometimes skeptical meditation on the ultimate meaning of this life, qualified by a faith in divine providence.
  • In the book of Sirach, you encounter wisdom teachings similar to those found in Proverbs—with advice on friendship, fidelity to God's law, and the nature of sin—as well as a perspective on God's role in history.
  • With the Song of Songs, you watch as the meaning of love unfolds on many levels—literal, spiritual, and allegorical—in a sublime piece of poetry.
  • In the book of Daniel, you encounter a new avenue to wisdom—prophetic insights revealed through the divine revelation of dreams.
  • In the Wisdom of Solomon, you contemplate the place of wisdom both in the highest courts of the land and in daily life.

In the final unit, you return to the theme of suffering in the figure of Jesus Christ, who through his teachings, death, and resurrection permits us to reconsider Job's meditation on suffering from a distinctly Christian perspective—one in which Jesus's ordeal appears as a means of redemption through sacrifice.

The "Interludes": An Opportunity to Pause and Reflect

Interspersed throughout these lectures, Father Koterski provides moments to reflect on these teachings through his consideration of another source of biblical wisdom—the wisdom psalms. Through these "interlude" lectures, you experience the wisdom tradition in a more personal way, through the study of a selection of psalms that underscore key themes covered in each unit.

For example, after exploring the book of Qoheleth, with its concern about life's absurdities and calamities, you'll reflect on Psalm 49, which helps put these uncertainties into a divine perspective:

"Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life..."

Through these interludes, you also consider the act of prayer itself. Father Koterski shows how these psalms serve as a versatile tool for personal meditation, and he offers practical advice on how to develop a habit of prayer. For those who are not part of a prayerful faith tradition, Father Koterski provides a glimpse into the benefits and rewards of this spiritual practice.

Explore a Treasure Trove of Literary Riches

As you delve into this tradition, you also encounter a feast of literary treasures. Father Koterski provides generous excerpts from the original works, showcasing the remarkable depth, richness, and diversity of these writings. Consider, for example, one of the most famous poems of the biblical tradition, the renowned Song of Songs, with its lyrical, moving representation of a love that is both spiritual and sensual:

"My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh... This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."

In addition to the beautiful lyricism found here and in the psalms, you also encounter a wide range of literary genres, including

  • the engaging dialogue format of drama, exemplified in the many debates that make up the book of Job;
  • the pithy, thought-provoking proverbs found throughout the tradition, which rely on rhetorical concision to aid the reader in cultivating wisdom;
  • the riddle-like, often paradoxical form of the parable, employed in the teachings of Jesus Christ to help demonstrate the mystery of God's wisdom; and
  • some of the first examples of biography in the Bible, as seen in the book of Sirach, which recounts the workings of divine providence in the lives of Israel's great leaders.

Profound Insights from an Expert Scholar

In Biblical Wisdom Literature, you encounter a rare opportunity to study an important but often overlooked tradition of wisdom teaching. And there's no better guide than Father Koterski. Intellectually incisive yet engaging and accessible, he offers both the expertise of a philosophy and theology scholar and the insights of an ordained priest who has experienced the power of these teachings in everyday life.

Join Father Koterski for this journey into Biblical Wisdom Literature and delve deeply into profound teachings that have shaped the faith of millions for centuries and still apply to our lives today.

Biblical Wisdom Literature [TTC Video]

The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence [TTC Video]

The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence [TTC Video]
The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence [TTC Video] by Robert M Hazen
Course No 1740 | MKV, AVC, 640x360 | AAC, 80 kbps, 2 Ch | 48x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.5GB

The story of Earth is an epic filled with crises, catastrophes, and remarkable, repeated change. Earth traces its origin to simple atoms that were created in the big bang, transformed into heavy elements in stellar explosions, and then forged into a planet inside the nebula that gave birth to the solar system. Like many other planets, Earth went through phases of melting, volcanism, and bombardment by asteroids. But only on Earth did events lead to a flourishing biosphere—life. And once life was established, it drove the evolution of our planet in startling new directions.

Most amazing of all, the evidence for every step in this intricate process is all around us—in the thousands of minerals in rocks above and below ground. Consider these intriguing clues:

  • Diamond: Created under extreme pressure, diamond may very well be the first mineral formed in the universe. Together with a dozen other minerals, it helped seed the solar nebula with dust that became the planets.
  • Great Oxidation Event: Earth’s iron deposits are a relic of the earliest photosynthetic life, which introduced large amounts of oxygen into the atmosphere, promoting the oxidation of rocks and the production of metal-rich minerals.
  • Plate tectonics: Many distinctive minerals are associated with plate tectonics, the ceaseless motion of Earth’s crustal plates for more than 3 billion years. This process has had a profound impact on climate, the atmosphere, the oceans, and the development of life.
  • Cambrian explosion: Changes over billions of years led to altered mineral chemistry in the oceans that made animal shells, bones, and teeth possible. Life exploited these structures in a burst of evolution 540 million years ago called the Cambrian explosion.

Minerals are fundamental to the story of Earth in many ways. Not only are we living beings nourished by minerals, but minerals provide the resources and energy that are crucial to modern civilization. Beyond that, the evolution of minerals has played a central role all across the surface of the planet and throughout its interior. Minerals turn out to be much more than beautiful crystals; they provide outstanding clues to our origins and they are major players in a drama of unimaginable scope.

The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence lets you experience firsthand the thrill of piecing together the epic story of Earth in an enlightening new perspective. In 48 half-hour lectures available in both video and audio formats, you follow events from the big bang to the formation of Earth to the many twists and turns in our planet’s evolution. You discover how a young universe populated with only a few elements became a cosmos of infinite variety characterized by life—thanks to minerals. Your professor is the noted scientist who pioneered the study of mineral evolution, Professor Robert M. Hazen of George Mason University and the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory.

A prominent field geologist, laboratory mineralogist, collector, popular author, and award-winning teacher, Professor Hazen is also a nationally recognized advocate for science education and the perfect guide for an in-depth investigation of breakthrough scientific concepts. In a course suitable for scientists and nonscientists alike, he recounts Earth’s story through 10 stages of mineral evolution. Each stage resculpted our planet’s surface, introducing new planetary processes and phenomena. By stage 6, life was an integral part of this process, and you learn that life is ultimately responsible for almost two-thirds of the mineral species on Earth—thousands of unique crystals that could only exist on a living world.

A New Way of Looking at Our Planet

In The Origin and Evolution of Earth, you study mineral evidence for milestones that are mind-bogglingly deep in the past:

  • Rocks older than Earth: Rocks that date to the early stages of the formation of the solar system arrive on our planet all the time. They are chondrite meteorites, which are 4.567 billion years old, older than Earth itself.
  • Formation of Earth’s moon: Studies of Earth and moon rocks show differences best explained by a collision between the proto-Earth and a Mars-sized planet. The smaller body disintegrated and reformed as the object we know as the moon.
  • First continents: Continents did not exist until the formation of granite, a rock less dense than basalt, which constituted Earth’s earliest crust. Islands of granite floating on moving basaltic plates gradually collected into the first continents.
  • First supercontinent: Supercontinents have formed and broken up at least six times in Earth’s past. The best known is Pangaea, but geological evidence shows a series of these mammoth landmasses forming and splitting apart for almost 3 billion years.

Professor Hazen was inspired to promote his new approach to the study of minerals by a simple question asked by biologist Harold Morowitz, who wanted to know if there were clay minerals on Earth in the eon when life began. Clays are common on Earth now, but how widespread were they 3.8 billion years ago? The question is important because clay minerals figure in many theories about the origin of life.

“What was really mind-bending about this simple question,” says Professor Hazen, “is the even bigger underlying suggestion that Earth’s near-surface mineralogy might have differed in the past from what we see today. In 35 years as a professional mineralogist, I had never heard of such a question!” Professor Hazen goes on to point out that the living world we see around us is just the latest iteration in a long sequence of startlingly different Earths. Working backward in time, he describes these major phases:

  • Green Earth: The view of Earth from space shows an inviting oasis of blue, brown, white, and, most important, green. The green of photosynthetic life is the most visible sign of the living world.
  • White Earth: Plants and animals need an oxygen-rich atmosphere—a situation made fully possible 700 million years ago by conditions on a very different Earth, encased in ice from the poles to the equator.
  • Red Earth: The ice-covered Earth could not have happened without a convergence of landmasses to form a supercontinent called Rodinia, tinted red due to the Great Oxidation Event 2.2 billion years ago.
  • Gray Earth: Microbial life responsible for oxygenation developed only after plate tectonics began to control Earth’s surface more than 3 billion years ago, when gray continents of granite first appeared.
  • Blue Earth: Plate tectonics is one of the many outcomes of a globe-spanning blue ocean, which started to form as early as 4.4 billion years ago. The oceans also play a role in the formation of many minerals.
  • Black Earth: The blue ocean world would not exist without water vapor from steaming volcanoes, which also paved the planet with dense black basalt starting more than 4.5 billion years ago.

Some worlds, such as Earth’s moon and Mercury, never advanced beyond the black, basaltic phase. But for Earth, it was just the beginning.

Minerals as a Signature of Life

The Origin and Evolution of Earth explains how many distinctive minerals, including the semiprecious stone turquoise, deep blue azurite, and brilliant green malachite, are unambiguous signs of life, since they form only in an oxygen-rich environment that results from living processes. The discovery of such rocks on another planet would resolve one of the biggest unanswered questions in science: Did life form elsewhere besides Earth? You also learn that we don’t need to travel very far to make this discovery. Meteorites could bring us telltale evidence of extraterrestrial life, or telescopic studies of planets orbiting other stars might reveal light spectra that signal the presence of life.

Throughout these 48 lectures, you range across the fields of mineralogy, geology, chemistry, cosmology, planetary astronomy, and biology, absorbing major concepts and also learning about groundbreaking researchers, many of whom are known personally by Professor Hazen. His anecdotes are both enlightening and entertaining. For example, he recounts the thrilling moment in graduate school when he was on hand as his professor, Dave Wones, received one of the first lunar samples from the Apollo missions. Hear how everything did not go according to plan that day. And you discover the clandestine world of meteorite trading in North Africa, where Professor Hazen was offered a deal on a priceless meteorite from Mars. Or was it an ordinary Earth rock? Without sophisticated analysis back in the lab, there was no way of knowing.

If you have ever admired the beauty of a crystal, marveled at the complexity of the natural world, wondered about the amazing story locked inside a rock—or a fossil—or the moons of Jupiter; or if you are simply a person who likes a good mystery, sprinkled with surprising clues, then The Origin and Evolution of Earth is the course for you. Join Professor Hazen—a born teacher, scientist, storyteller, guide, and companion—in this unrivaled investigation.

The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence [TTC Video]

Lucifer Rising: British Intelligence and the Occult in the Second World War [EPUB]

Lucifer Rising: British Intelligence and the Occult in the Second World War [EPUB]
Lucifer Rising: British Intelligence and the Occult in the Second World War by Nicholas Booth
2016 | EPUB | 3.05MB

Lucifer Rising unravels for the first time the myths surrounding the most surreal yet, ultimately, seriously-intended secret operations of the Second World War when Britain stood alone against the Nazis.

Featuring an eccentric cast of characters, including the creator of James Bond, the self-proclaimed ‘wickedest man in the world’, a cross-dressing astrologer and the Deputy Fьhrer, bestselling author Nicholas Booth weaves together an incredible narrative about spying, sabotage, weird inventions, black propaganda and even the attempted harnessing of the occult as the British secret service sought desperately to gain the upper hand over the Nazis by whatever means possible.

Using hitherto secret files – many only recently released – Lucifer Rising shows how nothing was considered too outrageous in the desperate fight against the Nazi regime, including the attempted manipulation of the occult and astrology with often unintentionally hilarious results.

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking [EPUB]

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking [EPUB]
Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by SJ Scott, Barrie Davenport
2016 | EPUB | 0.3MB

Feel overwhelmed by your thoughts? Struggling with anxiety about your daily tasks? Or do you want to stop worrying about life?

The truth is...We all experience the occasional negative thought. But if you always feel overwhelmed, then you need to closely examine how these thoughts are negatively impacting your lifestyle.

The solution is to practice specific mindfulness techniques that create more "space" in your mind to enjoy inner peace and happiness. With these habits, you'll have the clarity to prioritize what's most important in your life, what no longer serves your goals, and how you want to live on a daily basis. And that's what you'll learn in Declutter Your Mind.

The goal of this book is simple: We will teach you the habits, actions, and mindsets to clean up the mental clutter that's holding you back from living a meaningful life.

You will learn:

  • 4 Causes of Mental Clutter
  • How to Reframe ALL Your Negative Thoughts
  • 4 Strategies to Improve (or Eliminate) Bad Relationships
  • The Importance of Decluttering the Distractions That Cause Anxiety
  • A Simple Strategy to Discover What's Important to YOU
  • 400 Words That Help Identify YOUR Values
  • The Benefit of Meditation and Focused Deep Breathing (and How to Do Both)
  • How to Create Goals That Connect to Your Passions

Declutter Your Mind is full of exercises that will have an immediate, positive impact on your mindset. Instead of just telling you to do something, we provide practical, science-backed actions that can create real and lasting change if practiced regularly.

Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice [EPUB]

Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice [EPUB]
Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice by Todd Henry
2015 | EPUB + AZW3 | 0.3/0.4MB

The next step in personal effectiveness by Todd Henry, the acclaimed author of The Accidental Creative and Die Empty.

Are you doing your best work, or are you just getting by? Are you fulfilled at the end of the day, or are you just glad the day is over? In today's marketplace, you don't have the luxury of going with the flow. If you want to succeed - and thrive - you have to do work that sets you apart.

But how do you do work that is truly remarkable? How do you begin to make your unique mark? You have to find your "sweet spot", or the place where you will be most effective.

The key to doing so is to harness the power of your authentic voice. Whether you're an entrepreneur, a writer, a designer, or a manager building a brand, you have to understand what makes you unique, and make bold decisions that put you in your sweet spot of effectiveness. The result not only be more impact, but also greater personal satisfaction with your work.

Louder Than Words offers specific strategies and tactics for uncovering, developing, and bravely using your authentic voice to create a body of work you are proud of, that resonates deeply with others, and that ultimately impacts the world.

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice [Audiobook]

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice [Audiobook]
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice [Audiobook] by Todd Henry, read by the Author
2012 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 28 mins | 301.37MB

It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us, regardless of our role, have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand. Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his consultancy and his popular podcast, Henry has created a practical method for discovering your personal creative rhythm. He focuses on five key elements:

  • Focus: Begin with your end goal in mind.
  • Relationships: Build stimulating relationships and ideas will follow.
  • Energy: Manage it as your most valuable resource.
  • Stimuli: Structure the right "inputs" to maximize creative output.
  • Hours: Focus on effectiveness, not efficiency.

This is a guide for staying inspired and experiencing greater creative productivity than you ever imagined possible.

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future [Audiobook]

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future [Audiobook]
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future [Audiobook] by Kevin Kelly, read by George Newbern
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 30 mins | 313.66MB

From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the 12 technological imperatives that will shape the next 30 years and transform our lives.

Much of what will happen in the next 30 years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives - from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture - can be understood as the result of a few long-term accelerating forces. Kelly both describes these deep trends - flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning - and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits.

Kelly's bright, hopeful book will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading - what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place - as this new world emerges.

Be Obsessed or Be Average [EPUB]

Be Obsessed or Be Average [EPUB]
Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone
2016 | EPUB | 0.5MB

From the millionaire entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author of The 10X Rule comes a bold and contrarian wake-up call for anyone truly ready for success.

Before Grant Cardone built five successful companies (and counting), became a multimillionaire, and wrote bestselling books... he was broke, jobless, and drug-addicted.

Grant had grown up with big dreams, but friends and family told him to be more reasonable and less demanding. If he played by the rules, they said, he could enjoy everyone else’s version of middle class success. But when he tried it their way, he hit rock bottom.

Then he tried the opposite approach. He said NO to the haters and naysayers and said YES to his burning, outrageous, animal obsession. He reclaimed his obsession with wanting to be a business rock star, a super salesman, a huge philanthropist. He wanted to live in a mansion and even own an airplane.

Obsession made all of his wildest dreams come true. And it can help you achieve massive success too. As Grant says, we're in the middle of an epidemic of average. The conventional wisdom is to seek balance and take it easy. But that has really just given us an excuse to be unexceptional.

If you want real success, you have to know how to harness your obsession to rocket to the top. This book will give you the inspiration and tools to break out of your cocoon of mediocrity and achieve your craziest dreams. Grant will teach you how to:

  • Set crazy goals—and reach them, every single day.
  • Feed the beast: when you value money and spend it on the right things, you get more of it.
  • Shut down the doubters—and use your haters as fuel.

Whether you're a sales person, small business owner, or 9-to-5 working stiff, your path to happiness runs though your obsessions. It's a simple choice: be obsessed or be average.

Rock Bottom to Rock Star: Lessons from the Business School of Hard Knocks [EPUB]

Rock Bottom to Rock Star: Lessons from the Business School of Hard Knocks [EPUB]
Rock Bottom to Rock Star: Lessons from the Business School of Hard Knocks by Ryan Blair
2016 | EPUB | 0.5MB

Can you remember that one time you got recognized or someone thanked you for your contribution to their life? You were a rock star, even for just one second. This book isn't about a charmed path to success or some untouchable fairy tale that nobody can relate to-this is about going from rock bottom to rock star, something that everybody can relate to.

In his first book, Blair shared the brutally honest story of how he went from an at-risk youth, sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a shack, to a self-made multimillionaire by his early twenties. As his story became a national sensation, fans started asking him how they too could become entrepreneurs, take their careers to the next level, and achieve financial freedom. Rock Bottom to Rock Star answers those questions.

Blair has battled extreme obstacles: life as a former gang member, balancing a demanding career with single parenthood, building and selling multiple companies, and making and losing tens of millions of dollars (sometimes all in one day). He wants to help others avoid the mistakes he made in the school of hard knocks, so he has compiled his unique advice for going from rock bottom to rock star in whatever field you chose to pursue.

Much of his advice is counterintuitive, and definitely not what you would learn in business school. Here's one example:

"Don't believe your own hype. The moment you start celebrating, you've left the stage. It wasn't celebration that made you a rock star. It was hard work."

If you're serious about making the most of your life and you're ready to become the "rock star next door" instead of just looking up to them, this may be the most rewarding book you'll ever read.

Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success [EPUB]

Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success [EPUB]
Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success by Jessica Tracy
2016 | EPUB | 3.97MB

A leading psychologist reveals how our most misunderstood emotion—pride—has shaped our minds and our culture, and shows how we can harness its power.

Why did Paul Gauguin abandon middle-class life to follow the path of a starving artist? What explains the massive success of Steve Jobs, a man with great ideas but weak programming skills and a questionable managerial style? How did Dean Karnazes—the famed “Ultramarathon Man”—transform himself from a directionless desk jockey into an extreme athlete who once ran fifty marathons in fifty days?

As the renowned emotion researcher Jessica Tracy reveals in Take Pride, each of these superachievers has been motivated by an often maligned emotion: pride. Its dark, hubristic side is well known, but Tracy shows that pride is also essential for helping us become our best, brightest selves. By making us care about how others see us and how we see ourselves, pride makes us strive for excellence. In the right doses and the right contexts, it has been proven to boost creativity, motivate altruism, and confer power and prestige on those who display it. But while pride can inspire feats of genius, Tracy explains, it can also compel acts of apparent insanity and spectacular self-destructiveness, causing some people to seek status not through hard work but through intimidation, deception, and self-aggrandizement. Avoiding the bad kind of pride while nurturing the good kind might just be the secret to success.

In Take Pride, Tracy explains why our species came to feel pride in both its good and bad varieties, and how we can make this double-edged emotion serve us—rather than the other way around.