Iron, Fire and Ice: The Real History That Inspired Game of Thrones [Audiobook]

Iron, Fire and Ice: The Real History That Inspired Game of Thrones [Audiobook]
Iron, Fire and Ice: The Real History That Inspired Game of Thrones [Audiobook] by Ed West, read by Rory Barnett
2019 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 20h 15m | 551.9/1.06MB

A young pretender raises an army to take the throne. Learning of his father's death, the adolescent, dashing and charismatic and descended from the old kings of the North, vows to avenge him. He is supported in this war by his mother, who has spirited away her two younger sons to safety. Against them is the queen, passionate, proud, and strong-willed and with more of the masculine virtues of the time than most men. She too is battling for the inheritance of her young son, not yet fully grown but already a sadist who takes delight in watching executions.

Sound familiar? It may read like the plot of Game of Thrones. Yet that was also the story of the bloodiest battle in British history, fought at the culmination of the War of the Roses. George RR Martin's bestselling novels are rife with allusions, inspirations, and flat-out copies of real-life people, events, and places of medieval and Tudor England and Europe. The Red Wedding? Based on actual events in Scottish history. The poisoning of Joffrey Baratheon? Eerily similar to the death of William the Conqueror's grandson. The Dothraki? Also known as Huns, Magyars, Turks, and Mongols.

Join Ed West, author of Skyhorse's A Very, Very Short History of England series, as he explores all of Martin's influences, from religion to war to powerful women. Instead of despairing while waiting for Season 8 of Game of Thrones, discover the real history behind the phenomenon and see for yourself that truth is stranger than fiction.

Pepper: A Guide to the World's Favorite Spice [EPUB]

Pepper: A Guide to the World's Favorite Spice [EPUB]
Pepper: A Guide to the World's Favorite Spice by Joe Barth
2019 | EPUB | 6.78 MB

If you are interested in pepper--its provenance, history, taste, and uses—then this is a book for you. J.E. Barth recounts the fascinating history of pepper from ancient times through the present and traces the challenges at each step of the pepper supply chain as it make its way from the growers to the kitchens and dining tables around the world. He covers quality assessment, storage, processing, taste and uses of pepper, including its cosmetic and pharmacological applications. A selection of recipes is included to provide a flavourful backdrop to this tasty guide to the world’s most popular spice.

What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution [TTC Video]

What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution [TTC Video]
What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution [TTC Video] by Scott Solomon, PhD
Course No 1530 | MP4, AVC, 2000 kbps, 1280x720 | AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x31 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.85 GB

Writing the final pages of his masterpiece The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin looked ahead to the work yet to be done on his groundbreaking theory of evolution by natural selection. “In the distant future,” he predicted, “I see open fields for far more important researches.”

How right he was. In the more than a century and a half since Origin was published in 1859, evolution has emerged as the fundamental concept in all of biology, explaining Earth’s endlessly diverse organisms while spawning new disciplines such as genetics, molecular biology, and evolutionary medicine. The tremendous progress in the fields that emerged from his original theories would have astounded even Darwin, who did not live to see developments such as:

  • The discovery of the rules of heredity;
  • The identification of DNA as the carrier of genetic information;
  • Fossil discoveries that fill major evolutionary gaps and offer new insights;
  • The recognition of multiple mass extinctions in Earth’s history;
  • The ability to read the genetic code of any organism; and
  • The power to manipulate genetic material.

And this is just a sample of the deep insights and remarkable conclusions that Darwin’s ideas inspired. What Darwin Didn’t Know: The Modern Science of Evolution charts this scientific revolution in 24 stimulating half-hour lectures suitable for curious learners at all levels, no matter what your background in science.

Darwin is renowned for his globe-circling voyage on the HMS Beagle when he was a young man, collecting observations that eventually led to the theory of natural selection. The outstanding teacher of What Darwin Didn’t Know is no less a world traveler. Professor Scott Solomon of Rice University has explored much of Earth’s amazing biodiversity as a field biologist, and he brings hands-on experience to these fascinating lectures, which cover 160 years of non-stop scientific advances.

The Theory of Evolution Takes Off

Professor Solomon begins by laying the foundation of Darwin’s theory—how he struggled to find an explanation for the tremendous variety within species, and how he hit on the idea that better-adapted organisms tend to survive and produce more offspring, driving evolution in the direction of beneficial traits. He was already familiar with artificial selection, accomplished through plant and animal breeding. Nature, Darwin surmised, must be following a similar path with natural selection favoring some randomly-appearing variations over others. Professor Solomon tells how another naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, worked out an almost identical theory around the same time as Darwin (Darwin magnanimously ensured that their results were published simultaneously).

Darwin continued to refine his theory throughout his life, but much remained to be done by his successors. For example, the biggest gap in Darwin’s knowledge was the science of genetics, which was single-handedly pioneered by a little-known Austrian monk and part-time botanist named Gregor Mendel. Largely unnoticed until the early 20th century, Mendel’s conclusions about the discrete nature of hereditary traits proved to be the key to explaining how traits can pass intact from one generation to the next. With this, Darwin's theory that adaptive mutations can be transmitted gained a sound basis, and evolution took off as a rigorous and powerfully predictive science, accumulating steady improvements to Darwin’s original ideas, such as:

  • Natural selection in real time: Darwin believed that evolution always advances with extreme slowness. But biologists in the field have documented wild species—from Galapagos finches to flies infesting fruit—that acquire useful adaptations with stunning speed, sometimes in only a few generations.
  • Plate tectonics: Darwin noticed that obviously related species often exist on opposite sides of the world’s great oceans. This mystery was solved by the theory of plate tectonics, which shows that the continents move, dividing populations, which then evolve separately while retaining many common characteristics.
  • Universal genetic code: Darwin introduced the “Tree of Life” and the possibility that all of life evolved from a common ancestor, a view that was largely rejected in his own time. But biologists have demonstrated that every known type of life—from bacteria to human beings—uses the same DNA code inherited from a single ancestor.

The Road to Humans

Darwin did not deal with the evolution of humans in The Origin of Species, saving that controversial topic for The Descent of Man, which he published in 1871. Together with his colleague Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin argued that humans share a common ancestor with the great apes, based on the many similar anatomical features we share with them. In What Darwin Didn’t Know, you learn that the evidence for this connection has grown impressively since Darwin’s day. For example, recent DNA analyses show that our closest living relatives are chimpanzees. Next closest are gorillas and then orangutans. While the last common ancestor of all four lived around 10 million years ago, we shared a common ancestor with chimpanzees until as recently as 5 to 7 million years ago. You also explore the following intriguing findings and conjectures about human evolution:

  • The perplexing path to us: Huxley proposed the classic view that humans evolved in a linear progression from primitive apes. But fossil discoveries show that the evolutionary path was much more complicated, with many branches, sub-branches, and dead-ends, along with one particular offshoot leading to Homo sapiens.
  • Neanderthals and Denisovans: Two extinct branches of the human family tree are the celebrated Neanderthals and a recently discovered species or sub-species called the Denisovans. Both interbred with humans at some point, and a small percentage of their DNA has spread widely through modern human populations.
  • The future of Homo sapiens: Is human evolution over thanks to modern medicine? Some biologists think so, but major evolutionary changes may be in our future as we exploit our ability to edit the human genome. Furthermore, any humans who leave the planet will face strong evolutionary pressures in extraterrestrial environments.

Evolution Is Inevitable

Professor Solomon points out that Darwin didn’t just suggest that species can evolve. One of the most important messages from the modern science of evolution is that evolution is a necessary feature of life. As long as life includes heredity and reproduction, all living things will evolve. Even a species that appears to have stayed the same for millions of years will turn out to have undergone many small changes, just to keep up with a changing environment. In short, evolution isn’t just possible. It’s inevitable.

In the final paragraph of The Origin of Species, Darwin slyly compared his discovery of evolution by natural selection to the revolution wrought by Isaac Newton with his law of universal gravitation. “There is grandeur in this view of life,” Darwin wrote about his theory, “…that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

Just as Newton had no idea about Einstein, Hawking, or his many other successors, so Darwin was in the dark about the brilliant scientists who would build on his work, creating the biological golden age that we are living through today—a story told masterfully by Professor Solomon in this thrilling course.

What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution [TTC Video]

Tyrannical Minds: Psychological Profiling, Narcissism, and Dictatorship [EPUB]

Tyrannical Minds: Psychological Profiling, Narcissism, and Dictatorship [EPUB]
Tyrannical Minds: Psychological Profiling, Narcissism, and Dictatorship by Dean A. Haycock
2019 | EPUB | 26.78MB

An incisive examination into the pairing of psychology and situation that creates despotic leaders from the author of Murderous Minds.

Not everyone can become a tyrant. It requires a particular confluence of events to gain absolute control over entire nations.

First, you must be born with the potential to develop brutal personality traits. Often, these are combined in “The Dark Triad” of malignant narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, as well as elements of paranoia, and an extraordinary ambition to achieve control over others.

Second, your predisposition to antisocial behavior must be developed and strengthened during childhood. You might suffer physical and/or psychological abuse, or grow up in trying times.

Finally, you must come of age when the political system of your country is unstable. Together, these events establish a basis for a rise to power, one that Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Qaddafi all used to gain life-and-death control over their countrymen and women. It is how Osama bin Laden and the leaders of the Islamic State hoped to gain such power.

Though these men lived in different times and places, and came from vastly different backgrounds, many of them felt respect for each other. They often seemed to recognize their shared, “dark” personality traits and viewed them as strengths. Only in rare cases did they show signs of mental disorders.

“Getting inside the heads” of foreign leaders and terrorists is one way governments try to understand, predict, and influence their actions. Psychological profiles can help us understand the urges of tyrants to dominate, subjugate, torture and slaughter.

Tyrannical Minds reveals how recognizing their psychological traits can provide insight into the motivations and actions of dangerous leaders, potentially allow to us predict their behavior?and even how to stop them. As strongmen and authoritarian leaders around the world increase in number, understanding the most extreme examples of tyrannical behavior should serve as a warning to anyone indifferent to the threats posed by political extremism.

El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America [EPUB]

El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America [EPUB]
El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson
2019 | EPUB | 18.01MB

Because of our shared English language, as well as the celebrated origin tales of the Mayflower and the rebellion of the British colonies, the United States has prized its Anglo heritage above all others. However, as Carrie Gibson explains with great depth and clarity in El Norte, the nation has much older Spanish roots―ones that have long been unacknowledged or marginalized. The Hispanic past of the United States predates the arrival of the Pilgrims by a century, and has been every bit as important in shaping the nation as it exists today.

El Norte chronicles the sweeping and dramatic history of Hispanic North America from the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century to the present―from Ponce de Leon’s initial landing in Florida in 1513 to Spanish control of the vast Louisiana territory in 1762 to the Mexican-American War in 1846 and up to the more recent tragedy of post-hurricane Puerto Rico and the ongoing border acrimony with Mexico. Interwoven in this stirring narrative of events and people are cultural issues that have been there from the start but which are unresolved to this day: language, belonging, community, race, and nationality. Seeing them play out over centuries provides vital perspective at a time when it is urgently needed.

In 1883, Walt Whitman meditated on his country’s Spanish past: “We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents, and sort them, to unify them,” predicting that “to that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of the most needed parts.” That future is here, and El Norte, a stirring and eventful history in its own right, will make a powerful impact on our national understanding.

American Messiahs: False Prophets of a Damned Nation [EPUB]

American Messiahs: False Prophets of a Damned Nation [EPUB]
American Messiahs: False Prophets of a Damned Nation by Adam Morris
2019 | EPUB | 11.24MB

A history with sweeping implications, American Messiahs challenges our previous misconceptions about “cult” leaders and their messianic power.

Mania surrounding messianic prophets has defined the national consciousness since the American Revolution. From Civil War veteran and virulent anticapitalist Cyrus Teed, to the dapper and overlooked civil rights pioneer Father Divine, to even the megalomaniacal Jim Jones, these figures have routinely been dismissed as dangerous and hysterical outliers.

After years of studying these emblematic figures, Adam Morris demonstrates that messiahs are not just a classic trope of our national culture; their visions are essential for understanding American history. As Morris demonstrates, these charismatic, if flawed, would-be prophets sought to expose and ameliorate deep social ills―such as income inequality, gender conformity, and racial injustice. Provocative and long overdue, this is the story of those who tried to point the way toward an impossible “American Dream”: men and women who momentarily captured the imagination of a nation always searching for salvation.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power [Audiobook]

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power [Audiobook]
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power [Audiobook] by Shoshana Zuboff, read by Nicol Zanzarella
2019 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 24h 16m | 663.61/3.87MB

The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism", and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

Shoshana Zuboff's interdisciplinary breadth and depth enable her to come to grips with the social, political, business, and technological meaning of the changes taking place in our time. We are at a critical juncture in the confrontation between the vast power of giant high-tech companies and government, the hidden economic logic of surveillance capitalism, and the propaganda of machine supremacy that threaten to shape and control human life. Will the brazen new methods of social engineering and behavior modification threaten individual autonomy and democratic rights and introduce extreme new forms of social inequality? Or will the promise of the digital age be one of individual empowerment and democratization?

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is neither a hand-wringing narrative of danger and decline nor a digital fairy tale. Rather, it offers a deeply reasoned and evocative examination of the contests over the next chapter of capitalism that will decide the meaning of information civilization in the 21st century. The stark issue at hand is whether we will be the masters of information and machines or its slaves.

Sun Tzu's Art of War for Women: Strategies for Winning without Conflict, Revised Edition [EPUB]

Sun Tzu's Art of War for Women: Strategies for Winning without Conflict, Revised Edition [EPUB]
Sun Tzu's Art of War for Women: Strategies for Winning without Conflict - Revised with a New Introduction by Catherine Huang, A.D. Rosenberg
2019 | EPUB | 15.8MB

Sun Tzu's classic treatise The Art of War has influenced countless generations—of men—when they find themselves on battlefields, in the office and in everyday life. On its heels comes this "battle-plan" guide specifically addressed to women, at a time when their positions and roles in business and society are being reframed.

Sun Tzu's Art of War for Women helps women find paths to success through strategies and approaches made famous in the ancient Chinese text. Co-author Catherine Huang, herself the founder and president of a multi-million dollar corporation, has personally employed these strategies in her male-dominated line of work.

Sun Tzu's tested strategies aim to achieve win-win outcomes. The guidelines for doing so include:

  • Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Turning disadvantages into advantages
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Being confident in yourself and visualizing success

We're living in a time when female empowerment movements have incredible momentum and exposure—from the Women's March to Me Too, which are highlighted in the new introduction. Though framed within a different context than the current movements, this book is another great resource for helping readers to consider not only what they want to achieve, but how to make it happen.

Through Sun Tzu's time-tested tenets, Sun Tzu's Art of War for Women helps women tap into their inner reserves, unleash their hidden strengths and find professional and personal fulfillment.

Love and Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal [EPUB]

Love and Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal [EPUB]
Love and Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal by Jeanine Donofrio
2019 | EPUB | 155.84MB

The ultimate guide for cooking outrageously delicious, vegetable-packed meals every day of the week, from bestselling author of The Love & Lemons Cookbook.

Known for her insanely flavorful vegetable recipes and stunning photography, Jeanine Donofrio celebrates plants at the center of the plate with more than 100 new vegetarian recipes in Love & Lemons Every Day. In this book, Jeanine shows you how to make any meal, from breakfast to dessert, where produce is the star. Butternut squash becomes the best creamy queso you've ever eaten, broccoli transforms into a zesty green "rice" burrito filling, and sweet potato blends into a smooth chocolate frosting. These exciting and approachable recipes will become instant additions to your family's regular meal rotation.

This book is a resource, filled with smart tips for happier, healthier eating. You'll find inspiration from Jeanine's signature colorful infographics - such as a giant matrix of five-ingredient salad dressings, a guide to quick weeknight pastas, and a grid to show you how to roast any vegetable. There are also plenty of practical charts, such as a template to make versatile vegetable broth, seasonal produce guides, and clever ideas to use commonly tossed vegetable parts -- you'll never toss those cauliflower cores, corn cobs, or broccoli stalks again!

Packed with imaginative every day meals, go-to cooking tips, alternatives for dietary restrictions, and guides for mastering produce-based kitchen staples, Love & Lemons Every Day is a must-have for herbivores and omnivores alike.

Tasty Dessert: All the Sweet You Can Eat [EPUB]

Tasty Dessert: All the Sweet You Can Eat [EPUB]
Tasty Dessert: All the Sweet You Can Eat (An Official Tasty Cookbook) by Tasty
2019 | EPUB | 127.23MB

Ready to rise from baking newbie to MVP? Tasty gives you the low-down on basics, from building a fuss-free pantry to mastering 70+ easy-as-pie desserts—both new hits and old favorites. You’ll stuff, layer, frost, and meringue your way to the cherry on top of pretty much every meal. If Confetti Birthday Soufflé, No-Bake 16-Layer S’mores Cake, and Sour Cherry Fritters don’t float your boat (are you feeling ok?), here are 75 recipes for any hankering, mood, or occasion, whether you’re jonesing for a sugar adventure with friends or having a late-night dessert emergency. Just don’t forget to save a piece of it for yourself.