Volodya: Selected Works [EPUB]

Volodya: Selected Works [EPUB]
Volodya: Selected Works by Vladimir Mayakovsky, edited by Rosy Carrick
2016 | EPUB | 2.99MB

This groundbreaking collection draws together for the first time Vladimir Mayakovsky’s key translators from the 1930s to the present day, bringing some remarkable works back into print in the process and introducing poems which have never before been translated. The radical scope of its representation makes for the most comprehensive account of Mayakovsky’s work to date – an account which charts not only the extraordinary range of his creative output,, but also the fascinating and turbulent history of Mayakovsky’s cultural and political representation in the western world.

Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers: The history you weren't taught in school [EPUB]

Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers: The history you weren't taught in school [EPUB]
Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers: The history you weren't taught in school by Dominic Selwood
2016 | EPUB | 0.9MB

Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers unveils the history you were never taught in school. With a breathtaking sweep spanning Rome to the modern day, popular historian and author Dominic Selwood challenges the traditional version of some of the best-known events of the past.

From ancient Christianity to the voyages of Columbus, and from the medieval Crusades to ISIS and the modern Middle East, this book debunks dozens of historical myths.

You will learn that:

  • Magna Carta was an infamous failure in medieval times
  • Richard the Lionheart was a cruel and dreadful king
  • The Knights Templar were heretical, and have left a genuinely baffling mystery
  • The painter of the Turin Shroud was found in the 1300s
  • Christopher Columbus never saw America
  • The first computer coder was a woman, a century before Alan Turing
  • The man who unleashed mustard gas in the World War One trenches won the Nobel Prize for chemistry
  • One incredible Spanish spy saved D-Day

… and lots more. This book will challenge everything you think you know about history!

War and World History [TTC Video]

War and World History [TTC Video]
War and World History [TTC Video] by Jonathan P Roth
Course No 8870 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 48x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 8.98GB

For thousands of years, military engagements between opposing nations and societies have had important effects on all aspects of human civilization. While the most direct and recognizable impacts of war are the victories and defeats that shape the course of history, warfare also affects human culture in ways that are not always appreciated or understood.

Surprising as it may seem, war often creates as well as destroys. As the most complex of all human endeavors, warfare—from ancient to modern—has spurred the growth of essential new technologies; demanded the adoption of complex economic systems; shaped the ideology and culture of nations; promoted developments in art and literature; and spread faith across the globe.

Consider, for example, just a few intriguing facts about the important role of warfare in human history:

  • The banking and credit systems that are mainstays of our culture developed as a specific response to the needs of war.
  • Although wars often appear to emerge from conflict within political systems, in many cases— such as the Ottoman Empire and the European nation-states—the political systems themselves emerged from the activity of war.
  • The New England colonies in the United States would probably never have survived economically if it were not for huge profits from piracy and privateering.

Here, then, is a highly provocative encounter with history. In War and World History, celebrated military historian and Professor Jonathan P. Roth of San José State University offers you a fresh and challenging insight into human societies through a deep look at the effects and roles of war.

These 48 lectures take you on an exploration of humanity's interface with armed conflict across five continents. But this is far from a traditional approach to military events. This panoramic series is not the history of battles or military campaigns, but the story of the intimate interconnections of war with human cultures and societies and how these connections have shaped history.

As a penetrating view of the many contexts and meanings of warfare, War and World History is for anyone interested in understanding the evolution of our civilization, past and present.

The Global Terrain of Human Conflict

Huge in scope and fascinating in its details, War and World History explores the complex effects of culture, economics, politics, and religion on war—and war's influences on them. In this context, you chart the colorful history of the practice and methodology of warfare.

As your guide, Professor Roth is unusually well qualified to present a broad-minded view of these events. A war protester in his youth, he later served for six years in the New York Army National Guard, then became an acclaimed scholar of warfare. With his richly informed perspective, the lectures unfold as an enthralling inquiry into the nature of organized conflicts.

In probing the links between evolving human cultures and warmaking, the course reveals the ways in which the fate of civilizations is determined by the fate of military events.

But there's another core feature of the lectures: Seen through the lens of armed struggle, this is world history itself at its most vivid and compelling. You witness the dramatic rise of organized societies, economic systems, empires, and nations, as well as world-shaping creeds, ideologies, cultural forms, and developing conceptions of religion, citizenship, and social identity.

Professor Roth makes the great scope of the material directly understandable by focusing the lectures around the core themes of economics, politics, religion, and social culture in their relation to warfare.

War Pays Its Way

In the 8th century B.C. the Phoenicians—famous as traders—staked out maritime colonies across the Mediterranean. Their goal: vast profit from silver, slaves, and other commodities. But this trade came about through warfare and was pursued in support of warfare. Backed by the first warships designed specifically to fight other ships, the Phoenicians' trade in silver funded the armies of the Assyrian Empire.

This deep interweaving of warfare with economies forms a theme you investigate across the arc of history. In selected lectures you learn

  • how the cost of a single medieval castle consumed as much as a third of a kingdom's entire revenue;
  • how bitter conflict over war budgets led to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215;
  • how Renaissance credit and banking empires arose in response to the financial strains of war;
  • how the victory of liberal democracies over totalitarian regimes in the 20th century was due to successful management of capitalist economies.

The "Anatomy" of Warfare

Throughout War and World History, the lectures highlight the vital methodology and organization of war and the military cultures that grew from them.

You trace the fortunes of the chariot in the Bronze Age as it spread across the Asian core, revolutionizing battle and spurring the "chariot nobility," as nobles were granted lands and incentives to produce chariots for royal armies.

In classical Greece, hoplite soldiers rejected the aristocratic tradition of individual combat, facing the enemy as a phalanx in a wall of shields. You learn how this practice bred an ideology of equality and how the hoplite system had political features that remain important today.

Among many "engagements" with military methodology, you study the momentous rise of the regiment and the vast 18th-century European naval system. And you consider the factors that allowed Spanish forces numbering in the hundreds of men to defeat Aztec armies of tens of thousands.

World-Conquering Empires, Nation-States, and Ideologies

At the heart of the series, you explore the political contexts of war over three millennia, as societies, empires, and political systems flourished or fell by military means.

  • You trace the role of militaries in the great empires, from Rome's profit-based warmaking to the gunpowder conquests of the Safavid Persians to the global reach of Europe's colonial powers.
  • You study the feudal system, west and east, in the Middle Ages and the power structures of lords, vassals, and armored horsemen.
  • You explore the 17th-century European nation-state, where militaries were "nationalized" into central governments and military service was imbued with ideology of citizenship and loyalty to state.
  • You define the crucial military underpinnings of nationalism, Communism, and Fascism in the modern era.

War and the Gods

The interface of warfare with religion breeds some of the most unusual and poignant of history's conflicts.

In the early societies, you see how the Assyrians delivered military reports to the temples of the god Assur, on whose behalf they waged war, and how the Achaemenid Persians conceived of the earth as a spiritual battlefield, with two supreme beings locked in a violent struggle of good versus evil.

You follow religious conquests from Asia to the New World, as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and even Buddhism spread through military force. You probe the Christian and Muslim ideologies of holy war, the bloody Sunni-Shi'a split within Islam, and the Catholic wars against the pagans, the Byzantine orthodoxy, and the Protestants.

Here you find some of the most jarring details of humanity's propensity for violence. You encounter the Hindu justification for killing in war—that war itself is an illusion—and the Christian "paramilitary" monks who attacked pagan temples and carried out assassinations.

The Colorful Instruments of Conflict

The history of warfare reads as a dynamic, overlapping series of technological inventions, as weapons systems arose and mutated, changing military practice and reaching across cultures.

Central to this theme, you trace the history-making military revolutions, including those of the bow, the horse, the sword, and gunpowder. You follow the two separate gunpowder revolutions; first in China, where the technology originates, and second in western Europe, where the practice of "corning" gunpowder vastly increased its power, transforming warfare worldwide.

You mark the great changes in weaponry brought by the Industrial Revolution, as advances in firearms, explosives, and shipbuilding galvanized arms industries. And you see how these factors led to the global military dominance of the European powers.

War's Deep Imprints in Social Life and Culture

Throughout the course, you delve into the fascinating ways in which war shapes social culture—and social culture shapes wars.

In ancient Greece, you enter the symposia—rich banquets where young aristocrats trained for war through songs, poems, and ritual drinking. You learn the uncommon role of gender on the Asian steppes, where women rose as distinguished warriors and were buried with their weapons.

In the feudal era, you study the codes of courtly conduct, chivalry, and honor of the European, Muslim, and Asian cultures.

You consider the Renaissance intellectual revolutions in science, philology, and humanist philosophy, and you see how these were profoundly influenced by thinking about war, and how, in turn, they changed military theory forever.

And you see key imprints of war through the centuries in the relations of class and race and in the literature of heroes, history writing, and art.

The lectures pulsate with intriguing facts and anecdotes that bring the material vibrantly to life. You learn the origin of chess pieces in the divisions of the Indian army, and the military source of the legend of the Amazons. You learn of the military work of Leonardo da Vinci and the war-making role of early Catholicism, as Pope Julius II, in full armor, led an army against Venice.

From first to last, Professor Roth presents the epic story of armed struggle in a way that is both graspable and deeply insightful. Clearly delineating the underpinnings of economics, politics, religion, and culture in their embrace with warfare, he knits together the history-making processes and events that gave us the world we know today.

In the global landscape of human societies, War and World History defines patterns and currents of civilization that are critical to our thinking about humanity's past, present, and future. Probe these pivotal and revealing features of history and deepen your understanding of our extraordinary, evolving world.

War and World History [TTC Video]

World War II: A Military and Social History [TTC Video]

World War II: A Military and Social History [TTC Video]
World War II: A Military and Social History [TTC Video] by Thomas Childers
Course No 810 | AVI, XviD, 640x432 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 30x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.36GB

Fifty-five million people died in the Second World War, the greatest conflict in human history.

Fifty years later, these lectures ask and answer important questions about this war:

  • Might Hitler have been stopped sooner?
  • Should Roosevelt have foreseen Pearl Harbor?
  • Could more lives have been saved as the Holocaust became known?
  • Did Truman have to use the atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
  • Did the Allies come closer to losing World War II than we would like to think?

The origins and expansion of the war in Europe and the Pacific are examined. Military and political strategies and failures are analyzed. Social and economic effects of the war are assessed.

World War II: A Military and Social History [TTC Video]

Origins of the Human Mind [TTC Video]

Origins of the Human Mind [TTC Video]
Origins of the Human Mind [TTC Video] by Stephen P Hinshaw
Course No 1663 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.61GB

For thousands of years, the human mind has been shrouded in mystery. Elusive in nature, the subject has prompted an intensive study of several puzzling questions about what the mind is, what it's made of, how it works, and how it differs from our brains. With the latest advancements in both our understanding of the brain and the technology we use to look inside it, scientists have vastly improved their understanding of the human mind. Now, more so than at any other point in human history, we can better explain and describe

  • how the human mind has evolved, both on the scale of our entire species from the dawn of humanity to the present, and on the individual level from birth to adulthood;
  • the ways our genes and environments work together to mold the people we become;
  • the sources, symptoms, and potential treatment methods for debilitating mental disorders such as depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism;
  • why our intensely social species has the dynamic capability to both ostracize and empathize with the humanity of our fellow individuals; and much more.

Despite its mysterious nature, the human mind and its complexities lie at the heart of who we are as human beings. It shapes our everyday lives and defines our individual personalities. And grasping both the mind's scientific origins and its biological workings is essential to any well-rounded understanding of possible answers to questions that have fascinated and perplexed humanity throughout history.

Origins of the Human Mind is your authoritative guide to the latest information and viewpoints on what neurobiologists, psychologists, and other scientists know about this fascinating subject. These 24 intriguing and enlightening lectures lay bare the inner workings of our minds—and it's all brought to you by award-winning Professor Stephen P. Hinshaw, an instructor whose training as a clinical psychologist straddles both the science of the mind and its impact on individual lives. His comprehensive and unbiased approach to this subject reveals how the science of the human mind applies to the life of our species—and to your own life as well.

Explore the Mind on Two Fascinating Scales

So what, exactly, is the human mind? Our minds, according to Professor Hinshaw, are not disembodied entities completely separate from our brains. Rather, they are a rich, diverse, and utterly complex set of mental and emotional experiences that originate in our brains and interact with our surrounding environment.

Grasping such a concept might seem like a daunting task, but Professor Hinshaw's approach is methodical, organized, and compelling. The foundation of Origins of the Human Mind lies in its exploration of theories about how the mind works on two key scales, each of which offers its own fascinating insights into how and why our minds operate the way they do:

  • The evolutionary scale (phylogeny): This scale offers you a captivating window into how minds evolved over hundreds of millions of years and led to the development of brain plasticity, intense emotional bonds, complex executive functions, the potential for culture and invention, and more.
  • The individual scale (ontogeny): This scale shows you how changes made on an evolutionary level unfold throughout a single human lifespan, from infancy to adolescence to adulthood to advancing old age.

Examining these scales in depth—and together—allows you to notice similarities and differences in viewpoints and approaches that you wouldn't get from an intense focus on one or the other. It also demonstrates how viewing the development of the mind on a large and small scale simultaneously provides us with the best possible picture about what the mind truly is.

Get Answers to Provocative Scientific Questions

But what makes Origins of the Human Mind so essential to your grasp of contemporary scientific issues are the answers that Professor Hinshaw provides to some of the most provocative questions involved in the study of the human mind:

  • What roles do the building blocks of the brain—such as neurons, synapses, and neurotransmitters—play in operating both the normal and abnormal human mind?
  • Is your mind genetically predisposed to act the way it does, or is it shaped by your environment and upbringing?
  • If mental disorders like depression and schizophrenia are so harmful, why haven't the maladaptive genes that cause them been bred out through natural selection?
  • Why is there such a long period of helplessness required for full brain maturation, and why does the majority of brain development occur after birth?
  • How different, if at all, are the cognitive skills and behavioral patterns of men and women?

Some of the conclusions reached by today's scientists may simply confirm what you've always intuitively suspected. Others may challenge what you thought you knew about your mind. In all instances, however, these answers bring you closer than ever to scientific frontiers we've only recently discovered.

Discover the Humanity behind the Science of the Mind

Professor Hinshaw has made a career of studying the human mind from multiple points of view. Yet it's his background in clinical psychology, his distinguished career as a scientist, and his position as Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, that make him an invaluable guide through the often perplexing territory of the human mind.

His ability to make clear sense of a range of scientific topics (including evolution, behavioral genetics, and neurobiology), combined with his ability to distill the humanity hidden within grand scientific theories and concepts, makes these lectures as compassionate as they are comprehensive. Whether discussing the development of emotions and instincts, comparing the 21st-century human brain to that of its primitive ancestor, or even relating his own family's personal struggles with mental illness, Professor Hinshaw always avoids turning this course into a dry accumulation of facts and data devoid of personal meaning.

Instead, he's crafted Origins of the Human Mind to be a multifaceted look at one of the hottest subjects in the scientific world. And while more work needs to be done until we finally solve the riddles of our minds, by the conclusion of the last lecture you'll find yourself better prepared to understand the discoveries of tomorrow as they arise.

Origins of the Human Mind [TTC Video]

Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures [TTC Video]

Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures [TTC Video]
Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures [TTC Video] by Mark Berkson
Course No 6822 | M4V, AVC, 854x480 | AAC, 160 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 2.29GB

It’s a universal truth: Everyone—including you—will eventually die. Other forms of life on our planet will also die, but we might be the only living creatures who cannot help but contemplate our own mortality. After thousands of years of pondering it, we still find death one of life’s most perplexing mysteries—yet it doesn’t have to be the most frightening.

Death serves as the horizon against which our lives unfold and shapes the choices we make about how to live. In fact, the knowledge of mortality has inspired much of human activity—religion, philosophy, music and visual arts, even scientific endeavors and monumental architecture have all been driven by our understanding of death. Whether viewed as a transition to paradise or punishment, an ultimate separation or ecstatic joining, the end of existence or the beginning of a new way of being, many cultures have learned to see death as a window into the true meaning of life. The subject, therefore, deserves our close consideration.

Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures is an uplifting, meaningful, and multidisciplinary exploration of life’s only certainty. While we’re predisposed to look on death with fear and sadness, it’s only by confronting and exploring death head-on that we can actually embrace the important role it plays in our lives. Death, it turns out, is a powerful teacher, one that can help us

  • think responsibly and deeply about the meaning and value of life;
  • connect with the beliefs and traditions of cultures and faiths different from our own;
  • gain the wisdom and guidance to live a richer, more fulfilling life while we have it.

As religion scholar and award-winning Professor Mark Berkson of Hamline University says, “Reflecting on death and dying is an essential part of the examined life.” Take a wide-ranging look at this undeniably confounding and fascinating subject. Bringing together theology, philosophy, biology, anthropology, literature, psychology, sociology, and other fields, these 24 lectures are a brilliant compendium of how human beings have struggled to come to terms with mortality. You’ll encounter everything from ancient burial practices, traditional views of the afterlife, and the five stages of grief to the question of killing during wartime, the phenomenon of near-death experiences, and even 21st-century theories about transcending death itself. Prepare for a remarkable learning experience that brings you face-to-face with the most important topic mortals like us can consider.

Get Answers to Profound Questions about Death

“Thinking about death is not simply the price we have to pay for a fuller, more honest understanding of our lives,” says Professor Berkson. “Reflecting on death can have a remarkably positive effect on one’s life.”

With personal and cultural enlightenment as the overarching goal, his lectures provide you with comprehensive, eye-opening answers to several major questions surrounding the topic of death.

  • How do we think and feel about death? Several lectures are devoted to the ways we conceptualize and form attitudes about death—as good, as bad, or as nothing at all. Topics you’ll explore include common symbols of death, different medical and spiritual definitions of death, the phenomenon of death denial, and the rationality of fearing our eventual death.
  • How do we experience death? Emphasizing the fields of sociology, anthropology, and psychology, you’ll get an in-depth look at how human beings from a cross-section of cultures and traditions experience death—both their own and that of loved ones. How do different people cope with grief in different ways? What are the backstories behind various burial rituals? What does it mean to die well?
  • How do religions approach death and what comes after? A major part of this course is devoted to comparing and contrasting Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian attitudes toward death. You’ll learn how these great world faiths explain the existence of death, their beliefs regarding what happens to us after we die (including various manifestations of paradise and hell), their rituals for handling corpses, and much more.
  • When (if ever) is it justified to take a life? You’ll also get an opportunity to plunge into the fierce debates over the deliberate taking of a human life, whether through suicide, euthanasia, or warfare. In all cases, Professor Berkson presents both sides of the argument, giving you the cultural background and information you need to better understand others’ opinions and beliefs, and to better support—or revise—your own.
  • How important is death to our understanding of our humanity? Spend time focusing on what natural science has revealed about death and the process of dying—and the possibility of somehow transcending or avoiding death entirely. Also, probe historical efforts to extend human life, and ponder the ethical and social dilemmas of immortality.

Professor Berkson is a gentle but persistently curious guide, leading you through these topics with wonder, reverence, and occasionally even humor.

Join Great Thinkers in Pondering the Problem of Death

Throughout Death, Dying and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures, you’ll hear a chorus of voices from multiple disciplines, cultures, and time periods as they offer their unique, sometimes shocking, and sometimes refreshing perspectives on the problem of death. These voices range from noted poets and celebrated scientists to philosophers (both ancient and modern) and spiritual leaders, including:

  • the Buddha, who, in an effort to help people find freedom from suffering, taught that if we don’t have a distinct self to begin with, death really takes nothing from us
  • St. Paul, whose writings in the New Testament about the defeat of death through Jesus Christ (“O death, where is thy sting?”) have gone on to inspire billions of Christians around the world
  • Epicurus, the ancient Greek philosopher who believed that because death deprives us of sense experience (and all good and bad consists of experience), it can’t be bad for us at all
  • Albert Camus, the popular Existentialist writer who questioned whether or not suicide was the appropriate response to the hopeless absurdity of life
  • Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, whose groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969) introduced readers to the now-classic five stages of the grieving process
  • Dylan Thomas, whose oft-recited poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” is a rousing cry of defiance, urging the reader to fight back against death as long as possible

Some of these voices and viewpoints will console you; others may trouble you. But all of them will add intriguing layers to your understanding of what death and dying have meant to so many people who came before you.

Lectures That Will Magnify Your Life

A master scholar and multi-award-winning teacher, Professor Berkson is a wonderful instructor who treats the subject of death in great detail—while respecting the importance of numerous beliefs and ways of thinking about the topic. He’s as adept at talking about Puritan burial rites in colonial America as he is breaking down the ethical complexities of taking a life to alleviate suffering. He’s a teacher who’s not only an expert in such heady subject matter but also someone constantly in awe at just how powerful death has been across cultures and throughout time.

Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures acts as a memento mori (a reminder of death common to medieval art): something used not for the sake of morbidity but as a spur for people to perfect themselves while still alive.

“Many religious traditions teach that a form of regular death reflection can deepen one’s appreciation for life,” Professor Berkson notes. “And in some traditions, it can actually lead to spiritual transformation or awakening. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “Whoever rightly understands and celebrates death at the same time magnifies life.”

Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures [TTC Video]

Ernst & Young Tax Guide 2017 [EPUB]

Ernst & Young Tax Guide 2017 [EPUB]
Ernst & Young Tax Guide 2017 by Ernst & Young LLP
2016 | EPUB | 10.6MB

Authoritative, user-friendly tax help from a global leader in tax services

The EY Tax Guide 2017 is the American taxpayer's essential companion, providing the answers you need alongside trusted advice from EY professionals and turning filing your taxes into a simple process. This book brings clarity and ease to an otherwise complex process, helping you see past impenetrable regulations to maximize your return. Covering issues that the normal taxpayer encounters year-in and year-out, this world-class guidebook has been updated to align with the most recent tax law changes that are often misunderstood and typically overlooked in other guides, including a new chapter with insights on the 3.8% levy on certain investment income known as the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT). This year's guide also includes additional insight on simplified procedures for tangible property regulations and how they affect both individuals and businesses. Situational solutions offer specific advice tailored to homeowners, self-employed entrepreneurs, business executive, and senior citizens, helping you take advantage of every savings opportunity the government offers. At-a-Glance features provide quick guidance on tax breaks and overlooked deductions, new tax laws, and how to avoid common errors so you can dip in as needed and find the answers you need quickly.

The EY Tax professionals keep track of tax law so you don't have to. Their in-depth knowledge and years of experience work together to help you file your taxes correctly and on time, without leaving your hard-earned money on the table. This invaluable resource will help you:

  • Maximize your return with tax breaks and deductions
  • See how the law has changed since last year's filing
  • Avoid 25 common, costly preparation errors
  • Identify 50 most overlooked deductions
  • Get focused guidance on your specific tax situation

No need to wade through volumes of IRS rulings or indecipherable accounting jargon; top-level tax advice in accessible language is an EY specialty. Make 2017 the year of frustration-free filing, and join the ranks of happy taxpayers with the EY Tax Guide 2017.

The Perfection of the Paper Clip: Curious Tales of Invention, Accidental Genius, and Stationery Obsession [EPUB]

The Perfection of the Paper Clip: Curious Tales of Invention, Accidental Genius, and Stationery Obsession [EPUB]
The Perfection of the Paper Clip: Curious Tales of Invention, Accidental Genius, and Stationery Obsession by James Ward
2015 | EPUB | 6.16MB

This wonderfully quirky book will change the way you look at your desk forever with stories of accidental genius, bitter rivalries, and an appreciation for everyday objects, like the humble but perfectly designed paper clip and the utilitarian, irreplaceable pencil.

How many of humanity’s brightest ideas started out on a scrap of paper, a Post-It, or in the margins of a notebook? In a delightfully witty and fresh voice, James Ward—cofounder of the Boring Conference and collector of the arcane—explores the secret histories of deskbound supplies, from pencils to fluorescent ink, and the gleaming reams of white paper we all take for granted, encouraging a deeper appreciation and fascination for the things that surround us each day.

In the spirit of The Evolution of Useful Things and A History of the World in 100 Objects, Ward transforms the mundane into stories of invention, discovery, and even awe. The Perfection of the Paper Clip is a fascinating tour of the objects that touch our daily lives, filled with charming drawings, illuminating stories, and winning humor that will satisfy curious minds and armchair inventors.

Adventures in Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case [EPUB]

Adventures in Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case [EPUB]
Adventures in Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case by James Ward
2014 | EPUB | 1.18MB

We are surrounded by stationery: half-chewed Cristal Bics and bent paper clips, rubber bands to fiddle with or ping, blunt pencils, rubbers and Tipp-ex are integral parts of our everyday environment. So much so that we never think about where they come from, why they are the way they are - or what stories they might have to tell.

But luckily, James Ward does and he's here to tell you all about the secret pull stationery exerts on our lives. After all, who remains unmoved by the sight of a pristine blu-tak slab, or the first unmarked sheet of a brand new notepad? And which of humanity's brightest ideas didn't start life on a scrap of paper, a Post-it, or in the margins of a notebook?

Exploring the stories behind these everyday objects, Ward reveals tales of invention - accidental and brilliant - and bitter rivalry. He also asks the questions you never thought you had: Who is Mr Pritt? What does shatter-proof resistant mean? How many pens does Argos use? And what does design evolutions in desk organisers mean for society?

This witty and entertaining book, packed with fascinating facts, will change the way you look at your desk, pencil case or stationery cupboard forever.

Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary 3-Run-a-Week Training Program [EPUB]

Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary 3-Run-a-Week Training Program [EPUB]
Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary 3-Run-a-Week Training Program by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, Ray Moss
2012 | EPUB | 6.78MB

The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (known as FIRST) is dedicated to make running more accessible and limit overtraining and burnout while producing faster race times. FIRST is one of the foremost experts in the world on the science of running; its authority is unmatched and the promise of training less and accomplishing more has made the first two editions of Run Less, Run Faster a solid and steady seller.

With 50 percent updated content, this new edition of Run Less, Run Faster continues to promise the same tantalizing results: Readers can get stronger, faster, and better by training less. It will also include more sections for novice runners, broadening the audience appeal, as well as training plans tailored to the new qualifying times for the Boston Marathon. The quality-over-quantity approach optimizes training time and yields better performance--results runners will love no matter what distance they are racing.

Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe [EPUB]

Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe [EPUB]
Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe by Becky Wade
2016 | EPUB | 6.73MB

From elite marathoner and Olympic hopeful Becky Wade comes the story of her year-long exploration of diverse global running communities from England to Ethiopia—9 countries, 72 host families, and over 3,500 miles of running—investigating unique cultural approaches to the sport and revealing the secrets to the success of runners all over the world.

Fresh off a successful collegiate running career—with multiple NCAA All-American honors and two Olympic Trials qualifying marks to her name—Becky Wade was no stranger to international competition. But after years spent safely sticking to the training methods she knew, Becky was curious about how her counterparts in other countries approached the sport to which she’d dedicated over half of her life. So in 2012, as a recipient of the Watson Fellowship, she packed four pairs of running shoes, cleared her schedule for the year, and took off on a journey to infiltrate diverse running communities around the world. What she encountered far exceeded her expectations and changed her outlook into the sport she loved.

Over the next twelve months—visiting 9 countries with unique and storied running histories, logging over 3,500 miles running over trails, tracks, sidewalks, and dirt roads—Becky explored the varied approaches of runners across the globe. Whether riding shotgun around the streets of London with Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt, climbing for an hour at daybreak to the top of Ethiopia’s Mount Entoto just to start her daily run, or getting lost jogging through the bustling streets of Tokyo, Becky’s unexpected adventures, keen insights, and landscape descriptions take the reader into the heartbeat of distance running around the world.

Upon her return to the United States, she incorporated elements of the training styles she’d sampled into her own program, and her competitive career skyrocketed. When she made her marathon debut in 2013, winning the race in a blazing 2:30, she became the third-fastest woman marathoner under the age of 25 in U.S. history, qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials and landing a professional sponsorship from Asics.

From the feel-based approach to running that she learned from the Kenyans, to the grueling uphill workouts she adopted from the Swiss, to the injury-recovery methods she learned from the Japanese, Becky shares the secrets to success from runners and coaches around the world. The story of one athlete’s fascinating journey, Run the World is also a call to change the way we approach the world’s most natural and inclusive sport.

The Superhuman Mind: Free the Genius in Your Brain [EPUB]

The Superhuman Mind: Free the Genius in Your Brain [EPUB]
The Superhuman Mind: Free the Genius in Your Brain by Berit Brogaard, Kristian Marlow
2015 | EPUB | 1.65MB

Did you know your brain has superpowers?

Berit Brogaard, PhD, and Kristian Marlow, MA, study people with astonishing talents—memory champions, human echolocators, musical virtuosos, math geniuses, and synesthetes who taste colors and hear faces. But as amazing as these abilities are, they are not mysterious. Our brains constantly process a huge amount of information below our awareness, and what these gifted individuals have in common is that through practice, injury, an innate brain disorder, or even more unusual circumstances, they have managed to gain a degree of conscious access to this potent processing power.

The Superhuman Mind takes us inside the lives and brains of geniuses, savants, virtuosos, and a wide variety of ordinary people who have acquired truly extraordinary talents, one way or another. Delving into the neurological underpinnings of these abilities, the authors even reveal how we can acquire some of them ourselves—from perfect pitch and lightning fast math skills to supercharged creativity.

The Superhuman Mind is a book full of the fascinating science readers look for from the likes of Oliver Sacks, combined with the exhilarating promise of Moonwalking with Einstein.

Heads I Win, Tails I Win: Why Smart Investors Fail and How to Tilt the Odds in Your Favor [EPUB]

Heads I Win, Tails I Win: Why Smart Investors Fail and How to Tilt the Odds in Your Favor [EPUB]
Heads I Win, Tails I Win: Why Smart Investors Fail and How to Tilt the Odds in Your Favor by Spencer Jakab
2016 | EPUB | 0.7MB

INVESTING IS ONE OF THE FEW AREAS IN LIFE WHERE EVEN VERY SMART PEOPLE LET HOPE TRIUMPH OVER EXPERIENCE

According to Wall Street Journal investing colum­nist Spencer Jakab, most of us have no idea how much money we’re leaving on the table—or that the average saver doesn’t come anywhere close to earning the “average” returns touted in those glossy brochures. We’re handicapped not only by psychological biases and a fear of missing out, but by an industry with multimillion-dollar marketing budgets and an eye on its own bottom line, not yours.

Unless you’re very handy, you probably don’t know how to fix your own car or give a family member a decent haircut. But most Americans are expected to be part-time fund managers. With a steady, livable pension check becoming a rarity, we’ve been entrusted with our own finances and, for the most part, failed miserably.

Since leaving his job as a top-rated stock ana­lyst to become an investing columnist, Jakab has watched his readers—and his family, friends, and colleagues—make the same mistakes again and again. He set out to evaluate the typical advice people get, from the clearly risky to the seemingly safe, to figure out where it all goes wrong and how they could do much better.

Blending entertaining stories with some sur­prising research, Jakab explains

  • How a typical saver could have a retirement nest egg twice as large by being cheap and lazy.
  • Why investors who put their savings with a high-performing mutual fund manager end up worse off than if they’d picked one who has struggled.
  • The best way to cash in on your hunch that a recession is looming.
  • How people who check their brokerage accounts frequently end up falling behind the market.
  • Who isn’t nearly as good at investing as the media would have you think.

He also explains why you should never trust a World Cup–predicting octopus, why you shouldn’t invest in companies with an X or a Z in their names, and what to do if a time traveler offers you eco­nomic news from the future.

Whatever your level of expertise, Heads I Win, Tails I Win can help you vastly improve your odds of investment success.

The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time, and Beyond [EPUB]

The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time, and Beyond [EPUB]
The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time, and Beyond by Christophe Galfard
2015 | EPUB | 0.6MB

Quantum physics, black holes, string theory, the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, parallel universes: even if we are interested in these fundamental concepts of our world, their language is the language of math. Which means that despite our best intentions of finally grasping, say, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, most of us are quickly brought up short by a snarl of nasty equations or an incomprehensible graph.

Christophe Galfard's mission in life is to spread modern scientific ideas to the general public in entertaining ways. Using his considerable skills as a brilliant theoretical physicist and successful young adult author, The Universe in Your Hand employs the immediacy of simple, direct language to show us, not explain to us, the theories that underpin everything we know about our universe. To understand what happens to a dying star, we are asked to picture ourselves floating in space in front of it. To get acquainted with the quantum world, we are shrunk to the size of an atom and then taken on a journey. Employing everyday similes and metaphors, addressing the reader directly, and writing stories rather than equations renders these astoundingly complex ideas in an immediate and visceral way.

Utterly captivating and entirely unique, The Universe in Your Hand will find its place among other classics in the field.

The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Fantastical Journey Around Your Head [EPUB]

The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Fantastical Journey Around Your Head [EPUB]
The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Fantastical Journey Around Your Head by Raymond Tallis
2014 | EPUB | 0.6MB

From the act of blushing and the amount of manganese in our tears (tears of pain contain more than tears of distress) to the curiousness of a kiss, The Kingdom of Infinite Space explores the astonishing range of activities that go on inside our heads, most of which are entirely beyond our control. After escorting his readers on a fantastic voyage through every chamber of the head and brain, Raymond Tallis demonstrates that not only does consciousness not reside between our ears, but that our heads are infinitely cleverer than we are.

Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [EPUB]

Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [EPUB]
Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Barbara Bray, Michael Darlow
2012 | EPUB | 8.11MB

The true and fascinating origin story of Saudia Arabia.

Ibn Saud grew to manhood living the harsh traditional life of the desert nomad, a life that had changed little since the days of Abraham. Equipped with immense physical courage, he fought and won—often with weapons and tactics not unlike those employed by the ancient Assyrians—a series of astonishing military victories over a succession of enemies much more powerful than himself. Over the same period, he transformed himself from a minor sheikh into a revered king and elder statesman, courted by world leaders such as Churchill and Roosevelt. A passionate lover of women, Ibn Saud took many wives, had numerous concubines, and fathered almost one hundred children. Yet he remained an unswerving and devout Muslim, described by one who knew him well at the time of his death in 1953 as “probably the greatest Arab since the Prophet Muhammad.”

Saudi Arabia, the country Ibn Saud created, is a staunch ally of the West, but it is also the birthplace of Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Saud’s kingdom, as it now stands, has survived the vicissitudes of time and become an invaluable player on the world’s political stage.

The Kingdom of Speech [EPUB]

The Kingdom of Speech [EPUB]
The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe
2016 | EPUB | 0.3MB

The maestro storyteller and reporter provocatively argues that what we think we know about speech and human evolution is wrong.

Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. THE KINGDOM OF SPEECH is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech--not evolution--is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievements.

From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in the Kingdom of Speech.

Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature [EPUB]

Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature [EPUB]
Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature by Jordan Fisher Smith
2016 | EPUB | 19.07MB

The fascinating story of a trial that opened a window onto the century-long battle to control nature in the national parks.

When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. The proceedings drew to the witness stand some of the most important figures in twentieth century wilderness management, including the eminent zoologist A. Starker Leopold, who had produced a landmark conservationist document in the 1950s, and all-American twin researchers John and Frank Craighead, who ran groundbreaking bear studies at Yellowstone. Their testimony would help decide whether the government owed the Walker family restitution for Harry's death, but it would also illuminate decades of patchwork efforts to preserve an idea of nature that had never existed in the first place.

In this remarkable excavation of American environmental history, nature writer and former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith uses Harry Walker's story to tell the larger narrative of the futile, sometimes fatal, attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preserving it. Tracing a course from the founding of the national parks through the tangled twentieth-century growth of the conservationist movement, Smith gives the lie to the portrayal of national parks as Edenic wonderlands unspoiled until the arrival of Europeans, and shows how virtually every attempt to manage nature in the parks has only created cascading effects that require even more management. Moving across time and between Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier national parks, Engineering Eden shows how efforts at wilderness management have always been undone by one fundamental problem--that the idea of what is "wild" dissolves as soon as we begin to examine it, leaving us with little framework to say what wilderness should look like and which human interventions are acceptable in trying to preserve it.

In the tradition of John McPhee's The Control of Nature and Alan Burdick's Out of Eden, Jordan Fisher Smith has produced a powerful work of popular science and environmental history, grappling with critical issues that we have even now yet to resolve.

In Defense of Selfishness: Why the Code of Self-Sacrifice Is Unjust and Destructive [Audiobook]

In Defense of Selfishness: Why the Code of Self-Sacrifice Is Unjust and Destructive [Audiobook]
In Defense of Selfishness: Why the Code of Self-Sacrifice Is Unjust and Destructive [Audiobook] by Peter Schwartz, read by Donald Corren
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 33 mins | 180.4MB

From childhood we're taught one central, noncontroversial idea about morality: Self-sacrifice is a virtue. It is universally accepted that serving the needs of others rather than our own is the essence of morality. To be ethical - it is believed - is to be altruistic. Questioning this belief is regarded as tantamount to questioning the self-evident. Here, Peter Schwartz questions it.

In Defense of Selfishness refutes widespread misconceptions about the meaning of selfishness and of altruism. Basing his arguments on Ayn Rand's ethics of rational self-interest, Schwartz demonstrates that genuine selfishness is not exemplified by the brutal plundering of an Attila the Hun or the conniving duplicity of a Bernard Madoff. To the contrary such people are acting against their actual long-range interests. The truly selfish individual is committed to moral principles and lives an honest, productive, self-respecting life. He does not feed parasitically off other people. Instead he renounces the unearned and deals with others - in both the material and spiritual realms - by offering value for value, to mutual benefit.

The selfish individual, Schwartz maintains, lives by reason, not force. He lives by production and trade, not by theft and fraud. He disavows the mindlessness of the do-whatever-you-feel-like emotionalist and upholds rationality as his primary virtue. He takes pride in his achievements and does not sacrifice himself to others - nor does he sacrifice others to himself.

According to the code of altruism, however, you must embrace self-sacrifice. You must subordinate yourself to others. Altruism calls not for cooperation and benevolence but for servitude. It demands that you surrender your interests to the needs of others, that you regard serving others as the moral justification of your existence, that you be willing to suffer so a nonyou might benefit.

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism [Audiobook]

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism [Audiobook]
The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism [Audiobook] by Arun Sundararajan, read by Vikas Adam
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 56 mins | 246.0MB

Sharing isn't new. Giving someone a ride, having a guest in your spare room, running errands for someone, participating in a supper club - these are not revolutionary concepts. What is new in the "sharing economy" is that you are not helping a friend for free; you are providing these services to a stranger for money.

In this book, Arun Sundararajan, an expert on the sharing economy, explains the transition to what he describes as "crowd-based capitalism" - a new way of organizing economic activity that may supplant the traditional corporate-centered model. As peer-to-peer commercial exchange blurs the lines between the personal and the professional, how will the economy, government regulation, what it means to have a job, and our social fabric be affected?

Drawing on extensive research and numerous real-world examples, Sundararajan explains the basics of crowd-based capitalism. He describes the intriguing mix of "gift" and "market" in its transactions, demystifies emerging blockchain technologies, and clarifies the dizzying array of emerging on-demand platforms. He then considers how this new paradigm changes economic growth and the future of work.