Old-Fashioned Labor-Saving Devices: Homemade Contrivances and How to Make Them [EPUB]

Old-Fashioned Labor-Saving Devices: Homemade Contrivances and How to Make Them [EPUB]
Old-Fashioned Labor-Saving Devices: Homemade Contrivances and How to Make Them by Skyhorse Publishing
2015 | EPUB | 142.94MB

The practical, intriguing American devices contained in this handbook come from an era long before milking machines, pesticide sprayers, and industrial hay balers. Designed to speed and simply everything from making your own butter to protecting drain outlets to organizing and storing tools, the easy-to-make mechanisms you’ll find here can be just as useful for today’s farmer as they were for frontier homesteaders.

Discover how to transform odds and ends—scraps of lumber from old building projects, leftover sections of barbed wire, the box spring sitting in the attic—into handy household implements. With the illustrated instructions here, you can make a movable nest for hens, a ribless boat, a contraption to extricate a mired animal, a farm cart with movable racks for larger roads, a wire fence tightener, a fruit picker, a grindstone set and frame, and much more. This book is perfect for the rancher, farmer, craftsman—anyone with a love of the rural life.

Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, and Good Food, 2nd Edition [EPUB]

Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, and Good Food, 2nd Edition [EPUB]
Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, and Good Food, 2nd Edition by Jeff Potter
2016 | EPUB | 40.94MB

Why do we cook the way we do? Are you the innovative type, used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Do you want to learn to be a better cook or curious about the science behind what happens to food as it cooks?

More than just a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks applies your curiosity to discovery, inspiration, and invention in the kitchen. Why do we bake some things at 350°F/175°C and others at 375°F/190°C? Why is medium-rare steak so popular? And just how quickly does a pizza cook if we overclock an oven to 1,000 F/540 C? Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter provides the answers to these questions and more, and offers his unique take on recipes – from the sweet (a patent-violating chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (slow-cooked brisket).

This book is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who enjoys cooking or wants to experiment in the kitchen.

  • Discover what type of cook you are and calibrate your tools
  • Learn about the important reactions in cooking, such as protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, and caramelization, and how they impact the foods we cook
  • Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, writers, and more, including author Harold McGee, TV personality Adam Savage, and chemist Hervé This

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition [EPUB]

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition [EPUB]
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition by Sandor Ellix Katz
2016 | EPUB | 17.49MB

The Book That Started the Fermentation Revolution

Sandor Ellix Katz, winner of a James Beard Award and New York Times bestselling author, whom Michael Pollan calls the “Johnny Appleseed of Fermentation” returns to the iconic book that started it all, but with a fresh perspective, renewed enthusiasm, and expanded wisdom from his travels around the world. This self-described fermentation revivalist is perhaps best known simply as Sandorkraut, which describes his joyful and demystifying approach to making and eating fermented foods, the health benefits of which have helped launch a nutrition-based food revolution.

Since its publication in 2003, and aided by Katz’s engaging and fervent workshop presentations, Wild Fermentation has inspired people to turn their kitchens into food labs: fermenting vegetables into sauerkraut, milk into cheese or yogurt, grains into sourdough bread, and much more. In turn, they’ve traded batches, shared recipes, and joined thousands of others on a journey of creating healthy food for themselves, their families, and their communities. Katz’s work earned him the Craig Clairborne lifetime achievement award from the Southern Foodways Alliance, and has been called “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene” by The New York Times.

This updated and revised edition, now with full color photos throughout, is sure to introduce a whole new generation to the flavors and health benefits of fermented foods. It features many brand-new recipes―including Strawberry Kvass, African Sorghum Beer, and Infinite Buckwheat Bread―and updates and refines original recipes reflecting the author’s ever-deepening knowledge of global food traditions that has influenced four-star chefs and home cooks alike. For Katz, his gateway to fermentation was sauerkraut. So open this book to find yours, and start a little food revolution right in your own kitchen.

Great Mythologies of the World [TTC Video]

Great Mythologies of the World [TTC Video]
Great Mythologies of the World [TTC Video] by Grant L Voth, Kathryn McClymond, Julius H Bailey, Robert Andre LaFleur
Course No 2380 | .MP4, AVC, 856x480 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 60x30 mins | 14.21GB

Mythology has provided fascinating and thrilling stories that are central to our lives, even today. The deep-seeded origins and wide-reaching lessons of ancient myths built the foundation for our modern-day legacies. Serving as entertainment, a means to bond, a way to pass along history, and as vessels for important lessons, morals, and rules, myths are prevalent in every civilization worldwide.

In Great Mythologies of the World, you’ll travel through space and time to access some of the greatest myths in history from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. You’ll examine what makes these famous stories so important, distinctive, and able to withstand the test of time. You’ll also discover how, despite geographical implausibilities, many myths from across the oceans share themes, morals, and archetypes.

Four esteemed professors, each a renowned expert in their fields, will transport you to exotic locations and ancient civilizations in this 60-lecture series. You’ll become immersed in the geographies and cultures each section features, aided by dazzling visuals, images, photos, maps, and graphics. This course is a feast for the eyes and the mind.

Dr. Kathryn McClymond, Chair and Professor of the Department of Religious Studies at Georgia State University, kicks off your journey. She highlights different aspects of the classic Western myths you may have heard of, and introduces you to a world of mythology that may be new to you. Author of two books and numerous academic articles, Professor McClymond is an ideal guide to lead you through the epic battles and vengeful gods of Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia.

Dr. Julius H. Bailey, Professor of Religion at the University of Redlands, then guides you through the complex and fascinating world of African mythology. Professor Bailey is a sought-after expert in the fields of African mythology and African-American religious history.

Then travel to Asia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean with Dr. Robert André LaFleur, Professor of History and Anthropology at Beloit College. The mythologies of Asia and the Pacific are vibrant and eloquent, and you won’t find a better guide than Professor LaFleur. His current work combines historical research using Chinese, Japanese, and Korean sources with anthropological fieldwork on each of China’s five sacred mountains.

You’ll conclude your global journey in the Americas, studying folklore and mythology of north and central American indigenous people, led by Dr. Grant L. Voth, Professor Emeritus at Monterey Peninsula College. Professor Voth is the author of more than 30 articles and books and a popular Great Courses professor.

Ancient Europe

Epic battles between titanic gods. Perilous quests for lost treasures and the comfort of home. Magical items imbued with the power to protect—and destroy. The great myths of ancient Europe are a treasure trove of stories that have transfixed us for thousands of years.

But whether it’s the near-impossible labors of the ancient Greek hero Herakles, the violent founding of Rome by the wolf-raised brothers Romulus and Remus, or the cosmic exploits of the hammer-wielding Norse thunder god Thor, there’s so much more to ancient Europe’s myths than just entertainment and wonder. When looked at closely, these tales actually open wide windows on the cultures that produced them. They reveal how ancient Greeks, Romans, Scandinavians, and other European civilizations:

  • saw themselves in relation to the natural and cosmic world;
  • gave direction, value, and purpose to their everyday lives;
  • made sense of social, historical, and philosophical concerns; and even
  • laid the narrative groundwork for the future of Western literature.

“Rich myth traditions are like the land under an important historical site,” says Professor Kathryn McClymond, an expert in religion and narrative at Georgia State University. “Careful archaeology reveals layer after layer of human experience, reflecting everything from a king’s lofty dreams to a common woman’s daily routine.”

Now, in Great Mythologies of the World: Ancient Europe, join this renowned expert for an extended dig into the deepest layers of Western myths, legends, and folktales. Over the span of 12 fascinating lectures, you’ll dive into entertaining stories of warriors, gods, monarchs, and monsters with an eye toward capturing why these particular stories are so critical to our understanding of the distant past, and why they still speak to our lives today—long after the civilizations that produced them have disappeared. As vibrant and engaging as the myths they explore, Professor McClymond’s lectures offer new insights into the creation stories of Western civilization.

Gods, Heroes, Magic, and More

How was the world created, and who was responsible for creating it? How were great empires born and nurtured? Why are certain spiritual beliefs held and rituals practiced? In essence: Why do we live the way we do? Myths are the tools ancient cultures used to answer these and other profound existential questions, and in this course you’ll explore some of the greatest stories the Greeks, Romans, and Europeans told in an effort to make sense of the world.

Each lecture of Great Mythologies of the World: Ancient Europe focuses on a particular myth or series of mythological ideas. Professor McClymond, with storytelling prowess that makes these lectures a delight to listen to, transports you back in time and allows you to experience for yourself the excitement and drama of these wildly entertaining stories. But you’ll do more than just enjoy the content of these myths; you’ll get a historian’s understanding of how they shaped and influenced daily life for the people who saw them as more than just tall tales.

  • Prometheus’s daring theft: The tale of Prometheus stealing fire from the Greek gods is one of several that, more than others, demonstrates just how intertwined are the fates of gods and men in ancient Greek thought. You’ll investigate how different versions of the story cast Prometheus as a liberator of men—or just a hot-tempered troublemaker.
  • Jason’s epic quest: Come to see the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts as a somewhat darker, more melancholic version of Odysseus’s journey back to Ithaca; one that reflects the rise of Roman rule in ancient Greece. Rather than thinking of Jason as just another hero, you’ll learn to see him as the hero that could have been but never was.
  • Odin’s great sacrifice: At the top of the Norse pantheon is Odin: a judge, a shaman, and a fighter constantly driven by his desire to overcome evil. What was gained by his dramatic self-sacrifice on the cosmic tree Yggdrasil, and how did it solidify his role as “All-Father” and leader of other Norse gods (including the best-known of them, Thor)?
  • Dagda’s magic harp: Irish mythology is often overshadowed by that of ancient Greece and Rome, but it contains a plethora of fantastic adventures and characters. Among the ones you’ll explore is the myth of Dagda, a warrior from an ancient race of beings whose magical oak harp could cause people to behave in particular ways, and could even order the seasons.

If you’re familiar with some of these myths, prepare to think about them in new ways. If these are new to you, you’ll quickly understand why they still endure.

A Foundation for Further Exploration

Great Mythologies of the World: Ancient Europe is designed, above all, to give you a comprehensive understanding of how myths relate to human experience. Professor McClymond takes care to ground each of the great myths she covers in well-rounded detail: citing the literary and oral traditions behind them, pondering contradictory accounts and differing variations, and stressing the cultural legacies these ancient perspectives have in contemporary music, literature, and film.

So whether you’re learning about

  • the connective tissues between Persephone and Pandora,
  • the evolution of the “mother goddess” in various mythological traditions, or
  • the Stone of Fal and other magical treasures from Celtic folktales,

you’re always in the hands of an instructor attuned to the power and importance of myth on the human experience.

“It’s hard not to feel we’ve just barely scratched the surface,” Professor McClymond says of her course. “But we’ve laid a foundation that will enable you to explore further ancient Greek, Roman, and European myth traditions.”

The Middle East and South Asia

No true understanding of world mythology—its deep-seated origins, its wide-reaching stories, its modern-day legacies—is complete without an understanding of Middle Eastern and South Asian mythology. In fact, most of what makes these myths so important is just how distinctive they are.

Unlike their Western counterparts, meaning-making stories from Babylon, Egypt, Persia, India, and other countries are defined by:

  • more fluid interactions between the everyday and the divine,
  • a more potent sense of place and a connection with specific landscapes,
  • an abiding tension between the wilderness and civilization, and
  • a stronger emphasis on how gender and power shape social roles.

It’s the distinct personality of myths from this part of the world, and their relative unfamiliarity to those of us in the West, that make them so fascinating to explore. And in Great Mythologies of the World: The Middle East and South Asia, renowned Professor Kathryn McClymond of Georgia State University guides you through some of the most important tales. Focusing specifically on stories that blur the line between myth, history, religion, and philosophy, Professor McClymond’s 12 lectures offer a stirring look at the role mythology plays in this part of the world. How have stories from the Ramayana, One Thousand and One Nights, and more shaped both individuals and entire social movements? What can the adventures of Egyptian gods, Old Testament everymen, and ancient Persian princes tell us about how life was lived in these parts of the world? What do they share with other myths from the East and West? More than just introducing you to the region’s great myths, this highly entertaining course takes you deep inside the mindset of places and times in history foreign to many of us.

Ancient Myths—From the Short to the Epic

From short tales to epic poems five times the length of Homer’s Iliad, mythological tales from the Middle East and Asia offer you the chance to plunge into unfamiliar worlds and discover the heart and soul of how ancient people lived, felt, and interpreted their societies. Featuring a cast of troubled heroes, vengeful gods, all-powerful rulers, warring princes, and mysterious spirits, these exciting lectures help you navigate myths that thrived during the glories of the Babylonian Empire, the reign of the Egyptian pharaohs, the time of the Buddha, and more.

  • The epic of Gilgamesh: Why has the Babylonian hero story of an ancient king, his companion, and their battles with ogres and seductive goddesses endured for over 4,000 years? What can we learn by going back to the five ancient poems that serve as this epic’s foundation?
  • The Ramayana: One of the greatest epics of Indian culture is the Ramayana (“the doings of Ram”), and Professor McClymond reveals how the title hero’s challenges in becoming king of an ancient town are, in truth, an extended morality tale about the Hindu virtue of obedience.
  • The Book of Kings: Mixing history and fiction, The Book of Kings (Shahnameh) is best read as an anthology of Iran’s kings and heroes—with some liberties allowed to include magical creatures and powers in its depiction of ancient Persia’s mythical, heroic, and historical ages.
  • Tales from The Arabian Nights: Discover how the adventures of Sindhbad the Sailor, Aladdin, Ali Baba, and other treasured stories from the elaborately constructed One Thousand and One Nights sparked themes and motifs that would reappear in later European fairy tales.

Along with these and other myths, you’ll examine stories that can also be read as myths, even though we’re more likely to think of them as religious or philosophical texts. Among them:

  • the Book of Job, which, when looked at from a mythological perspective, challenges us to rethink our place in the world (and our suffering) by viewing it from a cosmic perspective;
  • the teachings of the Buddha, which spread so widely throughout India, Sri Lanka, China, and Japan that its mythological teachings began to reflect distinctive elements of each culture; and
  • the lives of the pharaohs, whose mythological aspects (even embedded in their royal titles) tended to hammer home their divine right to sustain order in ancient Egypt.

Discover the Joy of Cultural Storytelling

With the same captivating storytelling powers and intellectual insights that have earned her numerous teaching accolades (including Georgia State University’s College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award), Professor McClymond brings familiar and unfamiliar stories to vivid life. Her knowledge of world mythology is superb, and her wonder at how early communities explained the world and imparted knowledge is undeniably contagious.

With Great Mythologies of the World: The Middle East and South Asia, you’ll fill a critical gap in your understanding of how human civilizations have relied on mythology—regardless of where they emerge. And in the process, you’ll also discover the sheer joy of imaginative cultural storytelling.


No course on world mythology is complete without considering the stories of Africa. While you may be familiar with some of the more well-known characters such as the spider Anansi, Great Mythologies of the World: Africa will explore a plethora of lesser-known characters and tales that seem remarkably familiar because the themes and lessons have permeated through great myths worldwide. Discover the fascinating variety and complexity of African myths, and meet the rich cultures that produced them.

The Mother of All Mythology

You could consider African myths as the mother of all mythology, as many of the African stories date back centuries before the better-known myths of Greek and Rome. Although initially maligned as “primitive,” African mythology is overflowing with the types of brave heroes, beautiful maidens, fearsome battles, mischievous tricksters, and captivating tales of triumph and heartbreak that are the foundation for all of the dramatic stories, fairytales, and fables we know and love today. Ripe with deep thought and cherished ideals of civilization, African mythology has had a profound impact on how our world has come to be.

Explore how African mythology shares, and likely inspired, many of the themes found in myths worldwide. Origin stories, tricksters, tales of vengeance, and other well-known patterns woven through the tapestry of stories worldwide can be traced back to some of the first known myths from Africa. We’ll look in depth at Africa’s great epic tradition, and how the dramatic and powerful stories were actually performed. In addition to examining how African storytelling inspired myths across nations and centuries, even up to our modern-day soap operas, we’ll also compare characters, stories, and themes from all over the continent, including myths of the Soninke people of West Africa, the Maasai of Kenya in the East, the Berbers of Algeria and Morocco in the North, and the San people of Africa’s South.

Humanity and Gods

The relationship between humanity and the gods in African mythology is complex. While the same fundamental questions about life exist across each society, their understandings of the nature of gods tends to govern the answers that appear in their stories. In some African myths, the creator god or spirits initially have a close relationship with humanity, but later distance themselves from their creations. In other stories, the creator remains aloof or distant from the start. The way in which the sacred pervades everyday life in African cultures makes people’s relationship with the divine especially immediate, intimate, and powerful, but as we’ll see, that doesn’t mean that the relationship is free of tension and conflict.

Although the supreme creator god in African religions is usually remote from humanity, lesser divinities are often heavily involved in human affairs. In this course, you’ll examine the wide range of African deities, from the fierce and vengeful god Shango of the Yoruba people, to the kindly Baganda goddess Nambi, who marries a mortal, to the mysterious and unpredictable djinn who appear in tales from Africa’s north. The interactions between African gods and mortals express many different ways of conceiving of the relationship between mortal life and the divine.

How African Myths Address the “Big” Questions

African mythology, like the myths of most peoples, reflects a deep concern with death, raising questions that seem common to all humanity: Why do we have to die? Do we deserve death? Can we bring back our lost loved ones? In myths concerning death, some of African mythology’s greatest wisdom and most striking imagery are on display. As in the Bible, many African myths tell of a brief period after creation when human beings enjoyed immortality. Invariably, though, something occurs that destroys that idyllic situation—often, human disobedience. In this way, the stories seem to serve at least partly to underscore the importance of following divine instructions and adhering carefully to communal law. To grasp the meaning of much of African mythology and place it in proper context, we need to understand the religious cosmology within which African myths developed and the perspectives on the world that shaped them. However, phenomenal diversity exists among African religions, even now that Christianity and Islam are firmly rooted on the continent. Further, Westerners may have difficulty making sense of African religious beliefs because African societies tends to blur the boundaries between the secular and the sacred in ways that Western religions do not. Nevertheless, we can identify a number of attributes in African cosmology that can serve as guideposts in our explorations.

The Hero’s Quest: An Everlasting Theme

In African mythology, as in myths around the world, it’s not uncommon to find characters traveling to the land of the dead to face an ultimate challenge and experiencing a transformation as a result. One genre of myths focuses on the deeds of culture heroes—usually male figures who are said to have played key roles in the founding of societies or who otherwise distinguished themselves in their peoples’ past. Although it’s often impossible to know whether a particular culture hero ever existed, such stories offer tantalizing hints at how certain societies may have taken shape. And fact-based or not, they inevitably capture something essential about the characters of the societies that tell them. Explore a number of culture hero stories, ranging from those that are probably highly fictionalized to those that seem much more historically plausible.

Asia and the Pacific

The sun goddess, Amaterasu, has hidden herself from the world, and must be coaxed back by the spirit of unbridled joy. After a terrible flood, a sister and brother must rely upon their animal companions to make a perilous journey to bring back life-preserving fire. The herd boy and the weaving maiden, star-crossed lovers, must wait until the seventh day of the seventh month to reunite, the one day each year that they may spend together. These and many other intriguing tales are explored in Great Mythologies of the World: Asia and the Pacific, a compelling journey through Eastern mythologies. Your guide is Professor Robert LaFleur, an award-winning Professor of History and Anthropology at Beloit College in Wisconsin.

The mythologies of East Asia and the Pacific contain an astonishing array of cultural and historical themes. The variety among them is influenced by differences in geography, history, and means of transmission from one generation to the next. For example, the highly complex cultures that created thousands of years of written tradition in mainland China had different challenges and resources from people who lived comparatively unstructured lives on coral atolls in the Pacific and were guided by oral traditions for millennia. Despite these differences, there are also overarching motifs that appear again and again across centuries and vast distances, linking these traditions together.

Society and Sacrifice in a Watery World

The three most significant and ubiquitous themes in these myths are social networks, sacrifice, and the omnipresence of water. From China’s Yellow River Valley to the vast Pacific Ocean surrounding Japan, Australia, and the islands comprising Polynesia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Micronesia, and Melanesia; and from the ice and snow of Korea to the cross-cultural conception of the Milky Way as a great river across the sky, water is everywhere, in daily life and in the stories of these civilizations. The importance of effective and cooperative social structure in surviving this watery world is underscored time and again:

  • in the Chinese stories of Fu Xi and other early culture heroes, who teach early humans to descend from the trees and make fire and other tools;
  • in the Hawaiian stories of Ku and Hina working together to provide and secure bountiful seas and fertile fields to feed their hungry people;
  • in the Melanesian tale of Qat’s instructions to his brothers on how to accustom themselves to his gift of the rhythms of night and day.

The idea that self-sacrifice is sometimes required to create something valuable or to save others is another prevalent theme throughout the region:

  • in the myth of the cosmic spider of Micronesia, the worm that lifts the vault of heaven dies of exertion;
  • in the story of Shennong, Chinese god of agriculture, who creates for his people a catalog of safe and hazardous foods, poisoning himself over and over in the process;
  • even in children’s stories, such as the tale of a snowman that throws itself onto a fire to save its creators.

Points of Divergence and Convergence with World Traditions

An important factor to consider when studying mythology is the method of transmission from generation to generation: are these stories part of an oral tradition, were they originally recited and then recorded late in their history, or are they part of an ancient written tradition? Like many parts of Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East, China has a written history extending back for millennia, and this history includes foundational myths. Korea and Japan also have mythological accounts that are hundreds of years old, but an enormous amount of time passed between the original telling of the myths and when they were first recorded. These collections were written in classical Chinese and were deeply influenced by waves of cultural borrowing from China, leading to questions of how original Korean and Japanese elements may be separated from Chinese influence. In Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia, Indonesia, and Australia, the question of cultural authenticity is even more fraught; every word we hear about their ancient tales was written down in Western languages, by missionaries, anthropologists, traders, and colonial officials. None of these societies created a system of writing, so their mythology had been made up of a constantly regenerating oral tradition. All of these vibrant, constantly evolving myths were written down, and sometimes profoundly altered, by outsiders, and they became frozen in time. This situation is also common in many parts of Africa and the Americas.

There are also insights to be gained in comparing common thematic elements. Some of the central questions found in the mythology of Europe and the Americas do not seem to be nearly as important to the cultures here. For example, many Asian and Pacific origin stories begin with the world already in place, moving right along to issues of how people gained tools and created societies. A Western audience might wonder who created the world, and where the people come from, but these myths focus on how human institutions and technology were carved from the raw, inchoate, dangerous material of nature. From this region, only Japan’s tales of Izanagi and Izanami follow the Western tradition of creating solid land from amorphous matter. On the other hand, repair of the world, and the sky in particular, is a theme that occurs all across Asia and the Pacific: pillars, snails, worms, and deities all are depicted as pushing up a low heaven over an inhabited earth, and after that push, the world starts to look more like our own. This theme of sky repair is also found in African mythology.

Mythology all over the world is a linking of disparate ideas—already present in social and cultural life—that is then patched together by a storyteller in various kinds of innovation, creating something new and often profound. The dynamics of written and oral traditions, as well as the watery world of the Pacific and notions of social order and sacrifice, dominate these intriguing myths.

The Americas

When we consider the “Great Myths of Western Civilization,” we tend to initially consider the Greek and Roman gods, and all the many fascinating and epic stories that came out of this canon. It may be surprising to learn that the Americas are also steeped in a rich history of mythologies, although we tend to use a different vernacular to describe them.

There are thousands of fables and folklore stories told by hundreds of peoples spread across North, Central, and South America that have endured the test of time. The Penobscot, Cherokee, Blackfoot, Natchez, Seminole, Hopi, Inuit, Huron, and others were geographically diverse, yet they spun stories with astonishingly similar details and themes. These fables performed all the same functions that myths do across the world: they help address fundamental questions such as where do we come from, how did we get here, what is the world like, and what do we need to do to survive.

Commonalities across the Lands

Despite differences in location and cultures, there are values and ideas that span the scope of Native American stories. Great Mythologies of the World: The Americas takes a deep dive into the commonalities and differences that were found in these widespread mythologies, including:

  • The notion that nature is sacred, and the tradition of animism (the idea that everything is both alive and holy), is a theme that permeates stories from all over the continents. This worldview is strikingly different from our own modern thought, and provides us with an opportunity to reframe the way we conceptualize the relationship between humans, animals, plants, and even landforms like mountains and rivers.
  • Creation stories, which are divided into “earth-diver” and “emergence” myths. The former conceive of the world beginning as a primordial sea, with creatures diving to the bottom to bring up mud to form the earth. The latter envision a series of worlds stacked on top of each other beneath the surface of the earth, with creatures from the bottom levels climbing higher and becoming more humanlike as they ascend.
  • The archetype of the Trickster, who isn’t really evil—just thoughtless, impulsive, and self-serving. However, the Trickster is often also a cultural hero and provides significant contributions to creation.

The role that the oral history of the Native American myths played, and continues to play, is an important part of how we understand the cultures today. Stories were told over and over, through centuries, and were passed down to children to teach values and traditions. This tradition means that the same story told by five different tellers in different situations results in five different stories. Much like a fossil of a paw print, we have the idea of what the animal might look like based on the impression, but we have nothing of the animal itself. The versions we know happened to be collected, translated, and recorded by anthropologists, which may also account for some of the inconsistencies in detail. Looking at multiple versions of the same story and comparing the details can provide insight into which aspects of culture are most important or most solidly fixed, and which aspects might be less important or more fluid. As Professor Voth states, “Each myth brings us closer to a more comprehensive and inclusive conception of what it meant and what it means to be human.”

Meet a Diverse Cast of Characters

Each section is organized by ecological or geographical region. You’ll travel from the Arctic and northern forest regions, to eastern woodlands, the Southeast, the Plains, and the Southwest. This course also explores myths of the Maya and Aztecs from Mesoamerica and the Inca of the Andes region of South America. Each lecture focuses on the types of myth that characterize these nations and the values manifest in them. As you travel across the nation, you’ll meet enriching characters including:

  • Awonawilona: The All-Father of the Zuni, who contains everything within himself and generated Earth Mother and Sky Father, who then shaped the world.
  • Bear Woman: Figure who appears frequently in the stories of Northwest Native Americans. In one version told by the Haida (from the islands off the coast of British Columbia and Alaska), her name is Rhpisunt.
  • Buffalo Woman: Figure in a myth of the Arikara who shows a young man how to transform the buffalo people into real animals.
  • Coyote: A creator, culture hero, and trickster in the myths of several Native American peoples, including the Crow, the Navajo, the Hopi, and others.
  • Hiawatha: Figure associated with the Iroquois Confederacy. In some stories, he becomes a cannibal who is rescued by Deganawida.
  • Kokopelli: Hunch-backed flute player; he is a fertility god who dates back to the time of the Anasazi.
  • Raven: Culture hero of the Inuit, as well as a trickster in many stories from the American Northwest. He has the ability to transform himself from a bird into a man.
  • Quetzalcoatl: One of the oldest gods in Mesoamerica, he is found in virtually every culture in the region. His name means “Plumed Serpent.”

With every stop on this journey, you’ll be treated to fascinating stories, review parallels to other creation and Bible stories, and learn how every set of mythologies has been integrated and adopted to newcomers and the passage of time.

Great Mythologies of the World [TTC Video]

Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond [TTC Video]

Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond [TTC Video]
Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond [TTC Video] by Scott P Stevens
Course No 1426 | AVI, XviD, 720x544 | MP3, 128 kbps | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.63GB

Ever since modern game theory—the scientific study of interactive, rational decision making—achieved prominence in the mid-20th century, it has proven instrumental in helping us understand how and why we make decisions. Game theory plays a crucial role in our lives and provides startling insights into all endeavors in which humans cooperate or compete, including biology, computer science, politics, agriculture, and, most importantly, economics.

For example, game theory

  • has become an invaluable tool for economists, underpinning the theories of five Nobel Prize winners in economics;
  • helps corporate decision makers through the alternatives of complex negotiations where thousands of jobs and billions of dollars may be at stake;
  • plays a crucial role in international diplomacy and military strategy, influencing the fates of nations even when that influence may well be invisible to the uninitiated; and
  • provides insights into the origins of human behaviors, not only for psychologists seeking to understand why we act as we do, but also for evolutionary biologists asking how those patterns of actions—as human strategies—were handed down.

You can even see game theory at work in the interactions you engage in every day, such as an obvious "game," like buying a car, or a less obvious one, like trying to decide where to go on a Saturday night or how you ought to dress.

A basic working knowledge of this profoundly important tool can help us cut through an often confusing clutter of information—allowing us to make better decisions in our own lives or better understand the decisions facing other players in games. In Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond, award-winning Professor Scott P. Stevens of James Madison University has designed a course meant for anyone looking to gain that knowledge. In 24 insightful lectures, he presents you with the fundamentals of game theory in a manner that is both engaging and easy to understand.

Learn the Basic Games on which More Complex Interactions Are Built

Any game can be described as an interaction involving two or more players who share a common knowledge about the game's structure and make rational decisions about the strategies that will best achieve the maximum possible payoff.

But along the pathways that lead from that basic description to the far more complex games that can be built from it—from billion-dollar negotiations to nuclear confrontations—you find a fascinating collection of questions. Are decisions being made simultaneously, with players not knowing what others are doing? Or are they made sequentially, with each player's decision following another's? Are binding agreements between players possible? Is the element of chance involved? Do all players have the same information? As these questions are answered, games can take different forms, and planning a strategy requires basic analytical tools.

Professor Stevens introduces you to those tools by exploring several classic games, each involving two players who can make one of two choices. Translating them into everyday examples, Professor Stevens shows how these games occur everywhere, from casual life to business to international diplomacy:

  • Chicken, derived from the game in which two drivers race toward each other to see who will swerve first. This game is one in which neither player wants to yield to the other—even when a "collision" is the worst possible outcome. In science fields such as biology, this game is known as the Hawk-Dove game.
  • Stag Hunt, also know as the assurance game. This game involves making a choice between individual safety and risky cooperation. The idea behind this game—involving two hunters who must decide whether to hunt a hare alone or a stag together—was developed by the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
  • Prisoner's Dilemma, a famous situation and perhaps the most important in all of game theory. This game involves two prisoners being separately interrogated for their common crime. Each must decide whether to confess or remain silent, knowing his partner has the same choice.

If neither confesses, they each get a one-year sentence. If both confess, each gets three years. And if only one confesses, he goes free, but sends his partner away for five years.

This perplexing game, in which logic points to a strategy for each prisoner that is clearly best, yet nevertheless provides a worse outcome, surfaces repeatedly in the course, as it does in real life.

But as these lectures make clear, that isn't unusual. For the ideas that underlie game theory are everywhere, their practical applications appearing repeatedly:

  • You see game theory at work in business, explaining the moves in the billion-dollar chess game between Boeing and Airbus over control of the market for medium-sized, medium-range jets.
  • And you see it used in war, exploring the choices that faced U.S. and Japanese commanders as each side decided how best to deploy its weapons: the waiting force of U.S. bombers and the Japanese convoy that knew it was the bombers' target.

Meet Game Theory's Most Important Minds

Just as these lectures introduce you to game theory's most important ideas, they also introduce you to many of its most important minds:

  • John von Neumann, whose 1944 book Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, written with Oscar Morgenstern, made him arguably the founding father of modern game theory
  • John Nash, whose story was told in the film A Beautiful Mind and whose achievements have helped make him one of the best-known game theorists
  • Kenneth Arrow, whose famous "impossibility theory" proved that designing a fundamentally unflawed voting system is essentially impossible
  • Barry Nalebuff and Adam Brandenberger, whose 1996 book on Co-Opetition offered modern business an innovative rethinking of the competitiveess.

Focus on Game Theory's Basic Ideas

While game theory is rooted in mathematics, this course requires nothing more than a basic understanding of how numbers operate and interact. Each lecture in Games People Play features visually rich graphics that help you grasp the simple mathematical ideas underlying this fascinating field of study. Despite the apparent complexity of game theory, Professor Stevens always makes the subject matter accessible and easy to understand.

Taught with relish and wit by a teacher as amiable and easy to understand as he is knowledgeable, Games People Play instills a new awareness of the games hidden at the core of the most complex arenas of corporate negotiations and foreign policy, as well as the most basic encounters of our daily lives.

Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond [TTC Video]

Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists [TTC Video]

Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists [TTC Video]
Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists [TTC Video] by Luke Timothy Johnson
Course No 4473 | MP4/AVI, AVC, 600x454/624x480 | AAC/AC3, 96/192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 7.06GB

Imagine a course that teaches you not only how to think like the great philsophers, but how to live. Greeks and Romans of the early imperial period are often overlooked in the annals of philosophical study, but provided down-to-earth advice on how to live a solid, happy life. Professor Luke Timothy Johnson returns to The Teaching Company to study these geat thinkers with you.

Classical Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are fine—if lofty thinking is what you want. But philosophy means love of wisdom, not love of thinking. What about solid advice on how to be a good father or friend; or how to grow old gracefully, or know what true happiness is? Where can you find philosophy that tells you not how to think well, but how to live well? That practical philosophy can be found in the works of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Dio Chrysostom, and Plutarch of Chaeronea, among others. These Greeks and Romans of the early imperial period—from the 1st century B.C.E. to the 2nd century C.E.—devoted their lives not to metaphysics and epistemology but to the appreciation and practice of morality and virtue, values and character. In Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists, Professor Luke Timothy Johnson introduces you to the sages who, as group, represent the missing page of the history of philosophy. Although their names are sometimes familiar, as in the case of Cicero and Plutarch, their philosophy is not.

Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists [TTC Video]

Our Land at War: A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45 [EPUB]

Our Land at War: A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45 [EPUB]
Our Land at War: A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45 by Duff Hart-Davis
2015 | EPUB | 11.78MB

A rich account of the impact of the Second World War on the lives of people living in the farms and villages of Britain.

On the outbreak of war, the countryside was invaded by service personnel and evacuee children by the thousand; land was taken arbitrarily for airfields, training grounds and firing ranges, and whole communities were evicted. Prisoner-of-war camps brought captured enemy soldiers to close quarters, and as horses gave way to tractors and combines farmers were burdened with aggressive new restrictions on what they could and could not grow. Land Girls and Lumber Jills worked in fields and forests. Food – or the lack of it – was a major preoccupation and rationing strictly enforced. And although rabbits were poached, apples scrumped and mushrooms gathered, there was still not enough to eat.

Drawing from diaries, letters, books, official records and interviews, Duff Hart Davis revisits rural Britain to describe how ordinary people survived the war years. He tells of houses turned over to military use such as Bletchley and RAF Medmenham as well as those that became schools, notably Chatsworth in Derbyshire.

Combining both hardship and farce, the book examines the profound changes war brought to Britain’s countryside: from the Home Guard, struggling with the provision of ludicrous equipment, to the role of the XII Corps Observation Unit. whose task was to enlarge rabbit warrens and badger setts into bunkers for harassing the enemy in the event of a German invasion; to the unexpected tenderness shown by many to German and Italian prisoners-of-war at work on the land. Fascinating, sad and at times hilarious, this warm-hearted book tells great stories – and casts new light on Britain during the war.

Muslims and Crusaders: Christianity’s Wars in the Middle East, 1095-1382, from the Islamic Sources [EPUB]

Muslims and Crusaders: Christianity’s Wars in the Middle East, 1095-1382, from the Islamic Sources [EPUB]
Muslims and Crusaders: Christianity’s Wars in the Middle East, 1095-1382, from the Islamic Sources by Niall Christie
2014 | EPUB | 4.43MB

Muslims and Crusaders supplements and counterbalances the numerous books that tell the story of the crusading period from the European point of view, enabling readers to achieve a broader and more complete perspective on the period. It presents the Crusades from the perspective of those against whom they were waged, the Muslim peoples of the Levant. The book introduces the reader to the most significant issues that affected their responses to the European crusaders, and their descendants who would go on to live in the Latin Christian states that were created in the region.

This book combines chronological narrative, discussion of important areas of scholarly enquiry and evidence from primary sources to give a well-rounded survey of the period. It considers not only the military meetings between Muslims and the Crusaders, but also the personal, political, diplomatic and trade interactions that took place between Muslims and Franks away from the battlefield. Through the use of a wide range of translated primary source documents, including chronicles, dynastic histories, religious and legal texts and poetry, the people of the time are able to speak to us in their own voices.

Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: Faith, Power, and Violence in the Age of Crusade and Jihad [EPUB]

Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: Faith, Power, and Violence in the Age of Crusade and Jihad [EPUB]
Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: Faith, Power, and Violence in the Age of Crusade and Jihad by Brian A Catlos
2015 | EPUB | 3.99MB

An in-depth portrait of the Crusades-era Mediterranean world, and a new understanding of the forces that shaped it

In Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors, the award-winning scholar Brian Catlos puts us on the ground in the Mediterranean world of 1050–1200. We experience the sights and sounds of the region just as enlightened Islamic empires and primitive Christendom began to contest it. We learn about the siege tactics, theological disputes, and poetry of this enthralling time. And we see that people of different faiths coexisted far more frequently than we are commonly told.

Catlos's meticulous reconstruction of the era allows him to stunningly overturn our most basic assumption about it: that it was defined by religious extremism. He brings to light many figures who were accepted as rulers by their ostensible foes. Samuel B. Naghrilla, a self-proclaimed Jewish messiah, became the force behind Muslim Granada. Bahram Pahlavuni, an Armenian Christian, wielded power in an Islamic caliphate. And Philip of Mahdia, a Muslim eunuch, rose to admiral in the service of Roger II, the Christian "King of Africa."

What their lives reveal is that, then as now, politics were driven by a mix of self-interest, personality, and ideology. Catlos draws a similar lesson from his stirring chapters on the early Crusades, arguing that the notions of crusade and jihad were not causes of war but justifications. He imparts a crucial insight: the violence of the past cannot be blamed primarily on religion.

The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam [EPUB]

The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam [EPUB]
The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam by Jonathan Riley-Smith
2011 | EPUB | 16.21MB

The Crusades were penitential war-pilgrimages fought in the Levant and the eastern Mediterranean, as well as in North Africa, Spain, Portugal, Poland, the Baltic region, Hungary, the Balkans, and Western Europe. Beginning in the eleventh century and ending as late as the eighteenth, these holy wars were waged against Muslims and other enemies of the Church, enlisting generations of laymen and laywomen to fight for the sake of Christendom.

Crusading features prominently in today's religio-political hostilities, yet the perceptions of these wars held by Arab nationalists, pan-Islamists, and many in the West have been deeply distorted by the language and imagery of nineteenth-century European imperialism. With this book, Jonathan Riley-Smith returns to the actual story of the Crusades, explaining why and where they were fought and how deeply their narratives and symbolism became embedded in popular Catholic thought and devotional life.

From this history, Riley-Smith traces the legacy of the Crusades into modern times, specifically within the attitudes of European imperialists and colonialists and within the beliefs of twentieth-century Muslims. Europeans fashioned an interpretation of the Crusades from the writings of Walter Scott and a French contemporary, Joseph-François Michaud. Scott portrayed Islamic societies as forward-thinking, while casting Christian crusaders as culturally backward and often morally corrupt. Michaud, in contrast, glorified crusading, and his followers used its imagery to illuminate imperial adventures.

These depictions have had a profound influence on contemporary Western opinion, as well as on Muslim attitudes toward their past and present. Whether regarded as a valid expression of Christianity's divine enterprise or condemned as a weapon of empire, crusading has been a powerful rhetorical tool for centuries. In order to understand the preoccupations of Islamist jihadis and the character of Western discourse on the Middle East, Riley-Smith argues, we must understand how images of crusading were formed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Southern Coastal Living: Stylish Lowcountry Homes by J Banks Design [EPUB]

Southern Coastal Living: Stylish Lowcountry Homes by J Banks Design [EPUB]
Southern Coastal Living: Stylish Lowcountry Homes by J Banks Design by Joni Vanderslice
2016 | EPUB | 54.79MB

The first book on the award-winning J Banks Design Group reveals the luxurious but relaxed home and lifestyle on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Attention to detail. Luxury without pretense. Lifestyle Design. Casual elegance. These are the standards that J Banks Design has set for their residential resort homes on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and in surrounding coastal towns.

Southern hospitality and grace are the essence of the genteel, laid-back way of life that epitomizes southern style. A variety of decorating styles includes the classic southern blue-and-white theme; a home designed in wild color to stimulate family fun; an equestrian property, and rooms in soft hues that invite relaxation.

Bunny Williams On Garden Style [EPUB]

Bunny Williams On Garden Style [EPUB]
Bunny Williams On Garden Style by Bunny Williams
2016 | EPUB | 61.14MB

First published in 1998, On Garden Style established Bunny Williams as a reputable expert on gardens. In Bunny Williams on Garden Style, Williams visits impeccably designed gardens around the world, shedding light on the key components that make a garden so appealing and idyllic. For Williams, gardens offer an escape, and she imparts vital information on how to envision your garden and design a space that translates into a lush sanctuary reflecting your taste and style. Once you’ve imagined your garden, Williams offers advice for bringing it to fruition—the garden structure,” furnishing the space, and establishing an aesthetic. The book also includes plant lists, a reading list, and more. Filled with new photography of spectacular gardens, this latest volume is both a wonderful inspiration and a practical guide to gardening from one of the world’s most renowned design experts.

The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination [Audiobook]

The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination [Audiobook]
The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination [Audiobook] by Richard Mabey, read by Ralph Lister
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 14 mins | 309.9MB

A rich, sweeping, and compelling work of botanical history, The Cabaret of Plants explores dozens of plant species that for millennia have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty, and belief. Going back to the beginnings of human history, Richard Mabey shows how flowers, trees, and plants have been central to human experience not just as sources of food and medicine but as objects of worship, actors in creation myths, and symbols of war and peace, life and death.

Mabey takes listeners from the Himalayas to Madagascar to the Amazon to our own backyards. He ranges through the work of writers, artists, and scientists and across nearly 40,000 years of human history: Ice Age images of plant life in ancient cave art and the earliest representations of the Garden of Eden; Newton's apple and gravity, Priestley's sprig of mint and photosynthesis, and Wordsworth's daffodils; the history of cultivated plants such as maize, ginseng, and cotton; and the ways the sturdy oak became the symbol of British nationhood and the giant sequoia came to epitomize the spirit of America.

Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life [EPUB]

Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life [EPUB]
Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life by Philippe Girard
2016 | EPUB | 12.13MB

Toussaint Louverture's life was one of hardship, triumph, and contradiction. Born into bondage in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), the richest colony in the Western Hemisphere, he witnessed first-hand the torture of the enslaved population. Yet he managed to secure his freedom and establish himself as a small-scale planter. He even purchased slaves of his own.

In Toussaint Louverture, Philippe Girard reveals the dramatic story of how Louverture transformed himself from lowly freedman to revolutionary hero. In 1791, the unassuming Louverture masterminded the only successful slave revolt in history. By 1801, he was general and governor of Saint-Domingue, and an international statesman who forged treaties with Britain, France, Spain, and the United States-empires that feared the effect his example would have on their slave regimes. Louveture's ascendency was short-lived, however. In 1802, he was exiled to France, dying soon after as one of the most famous men in the world, variously feared and celebrated as the "Black Napoleon."

As Girard shows, in life Louverture was not an idealist, but an ambitious pragmatist. He strove not only for abolition and independence, but to build Saint-Domingue's economic might and elevate his own social standing. He helped free Saint-Domingue's slaves yet immediately restricted their rights in the interests of protecting the island's sugar production. He warded off French invasions but embraced the cultural model of the French gentility.

In death, Louverture quickly passed into legend, his memory inspiring abolitionist, black nationalist, and anti-colonialist movements well into the 20th century. Deeply researched and bracingly original, Toussaint Louverture is the definitive biography of one of the most influential people of his era, or any other.

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane [EPUB]

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane [EPUB]
Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King, Andy Lark, Alex Lightman, JP Rangaswami
2016 | EPUB | 21.08MB

The Internet and smartphone are just the latest in a 250 year long cycle of disruption that has continuously changed the way we live, the way we work and the way we interact. The coming Augmented Age, however, promises a level of disruption, behavioral shifts and changes that are unparalleled. While consumers today are camping outside of an Apple store waiting to be one of the first to score a new Apple Watch or iPhone, the next generation of wearables will be able to predict if we're likely to have a heart attack and recommend a course of action. We watch news of Google's self-driving cars, but don't likely realize this means progressive cities will have to ban human drives in the next decade because us humans are too risky.

Following on from the Industrial or Machine Age, the Space Age and the Digital Age, the Augmented Age will be based on four key disruptive themes - Artificial Intelligence, Experience Design, Smart Infrastructure, and HealthTech. Historically the previous 'ages' bought significant disruption and changes, but on a net basis jobs were created, wealth was enhanced, and the health and security of society improved. What will the Augmented Age bring? Will robots take our jobs, and AI's subsume us as inferior intelligences, or will this usher in a new age of abundance?

Augmented is a book on future history, but more than that, it is a story about how you will live your life in a world that will change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 250 years. Are you ready to adapt? Because if history proves anything, you don't have much of a choice.

30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary [Audiobook]

30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary [Audiobook]
30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary: The 500 Words You Need to Know to Transform Your Vocabulary and Your Life [Audiobook] by Dan Strutzel, read by the Author
2015 | MP3@64 kbps | 7 hrs 48 mins | 215.03MB

A Bigger Vocabulary = A Brighter Future

Words. They're the foundation of nearly everything of value in our world. They have the power to create and the power to destroy. The power to inspire and to terrify. The power to enlighten and also to obscure. And, more specifically for you, they have the power to attract wealth and success and guarantee your brighter future. This is not hyperbole - it is based on rock-solid research.

Studies show that those people with large vocabularies are smarter, wealthier, and happier than the average person - and substantially so. And here's the best news of all: a large vocabulary is not tied to your social status, your genes, or even your education level. It is a skill that can be learned - and it takes only 30 days.

In this cutting-edge program, 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary, personal development expert and English enthusiast Dan Strutzel will instruct, enlighten, and inspire you with a concentrated 30-day program that will teach you over 500 words. But, more than teaching you these words, the uniquely designed morning and evening review sessions will ensure that these words become a habit-knit part of your life - and with minimal effort on your part.

Best of all, research shows that learning new words has an exponential effect on the size of your vocabulary - since learning one word naturally produces an association between two to three more words. In short, after listening to and applying the system in this 30-day program, you will not only have a bigger vocabulary - you will have a brighter future!

Here's just a sampling of what you'll learn:

  • The 10 myths about building a dynamic vocabulary
  • The secret behind the exponential effect of vocabulary building
  • A 30-day program designed to maximize learning and comprehension of over 500 words
  • The words you need to know about money and financial issues
  • The words you need to know about persuading others
  • The words you need to know about marriage, parenting, and other relationships
  • The words you need to know about science
  • The words you need to know to be a great conversationalist
  • Why building a large, dynamic vocabulary is even more valuable in the digital age
  • And much more!

How We Got the Bible, 3rd Edition [EPUB]

How We Got the Bible, 3rd Edition [EPUB]
How We Got the Bible, 3rd Edition by Neil R Lightfoot
2010 | EPUB | 1.73MB

How and when did the books of the Bible originate? In what sense are these books different from other books? How have these books been preserved and transmitted to us? Why do we have so many different translations of the Bible?

How We Got the Bible provides factual, accessible answers to questions like these. A classic guide for Bible students, it has sold more than 300,000 copies during its forty years in print. Now, in this new edition, each chapter has been revised and chapters have been added, including two on the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. This thorough revision will tempt fans of the previous edition and pave the way for a new generation of readers as well.

Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages [Audiobook]

Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages [Audiobook]
Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages [Audiobook] by Gaston Dorren, read by George Backman
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 14 mins | 226.05MB

Whether you're a frequent visitor to Europe or just an armchair traveler, the surprising and extraordinary stories in Lingo will forever change the way you think about the continent and may even make you want to learn a new language.

Lingo spins the listener on a whirlwind tour of 60 European languages and dialects, sharing quirky moments from their histories and exploring their commonalities and differences. Most European languages are descended from a single ancestor, a language not unlike Sanskrit known as Proto-Indo-European (or PIE for short), but the continent's ever-changing borders and cultures have given rise to a linguistic and cultural diversity that is too often forgotten in discussions of Europe as a political entity.

Lingo takes us into today's remote mountain villages of Switzerland, where Romansh is still the lingua franca; to formerly Soviet Belarus, a country whose language was Russified by the Bolsheviks; to Sweden, where up until the 1960s polite speaking conventions required that one never use the word "you" in conversation, leading to tiptoeing questions of the form: "Would herr generaldirektör Rexed like a biscuit?"

Spanning six millenia and 60 languages in bite-size chapters, Lingo is a hilarious and highly edifying exploration of how Europe speaks.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English [Audiobook]

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English [Audiobook]
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English [Audiobook] by John McWhorter, read by the Author
2009 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 22 mins | 148.72MB

A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar

Why do we say “I am reading a catalog” instead of “I read a catalog”? Why do we say “do” at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English— and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it’s not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).

Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally) [Audiobook]

Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally) [Audiobook]
Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally) [Audiobook] by John McWhorter, read by John McWhorter
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 1 min | 193.43MB

A best-selling linguist takes us on a lively tour of how the English language is evolving before our eyes - and why we should embrace this transformation and not fight it.

Language is always changing - but we tend not to like it. We understand that new words must be created for new things, but the way English is spoken today rubs many of us the wrong way. Whether it's the use of literally to mean "figuratively" rather than "by the letter" or the way young people use LOL and like, or business jargon like what's the ask? - it often seems as if the language is deteriorating before our eyes.

But the truth is different and a lot less scary, as John McWhorter shows in this delightful and eye-opening exploration of how English has always been in motion and continues to evolve today. Drawing examples from everyday life and employing a generous helping of humor, he shows that these shifts are a natural process common to all languages and that we should embrace and appreciate these changes, not condemn them.

Words on the Move opens our eyes to the surprising backstories to the words and expressions we use every day. Did you know that silly once meant "blessed"? Or that ought was the original past tense of owe? Or that the suffix -ly in adverbs is actually a remnant of the word like? And have you ever wondered why some people from New Orleans sound as if they come from Brooklyn?

McWhorter encourages us to marvel at the dynamism and resilience of the English language, and his book offers a lively journey through which we discover that words are ever on the move, and our lives are all the richer for it.

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century [Audiobook]

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century [Audiobook]
The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century [Audiobook] by Steven Pinker, read by Arthur Morey
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hours | 343.17MB

A short and entertaining book on the modern art of writing well by New York Times best-selling author Steven Pinker.

Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing? Why should any of us care?

In The Sense of Style, the best-selling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. Rethinking the usage guide for the 21st century, Pinker doesn't carp about the decline of language or recycle pet peeves from the rulebooks of a century ago. Instead, he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose.

In this short, cheerful, and eminently practical book, Pinker shows how writing depends on imagination, empathy, coherence, grammatical knowhow, and an ability to savor and reverse engineer the good prose of others. He replaces dogma about usage with reason and evidence, allowing writers and editors to apply the guidelines judiciously, rather than robotically, being mindful of what they are designed to accomplish.

Filled with examples of great and gruesome prose, Pinker shows us how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right.

Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story [Audiobook]

Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story [Audiobook]
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story [Audiobook] by K M Weiland, read by Sonja Field
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 16 mins | 174.15MB

Is Structure the Hidden Foundation of All Successful Stories?

Why do some stories work and others don't? The answer is structure. In this IPPY and NIEA Award-winning guide from the author of the bestselling Outlining Your Novel, you will discover the universal underpinnings that guarantee powerful plot and character arcs. An understanding of proper story and scene structure will help you to not only perfectly time your story's major events, but will also provide you with an unerring standard to use in evaluating your novel's pacing and progression.

Structuring Your Novel will show you:

  • How to determine the best methods for unleashing your unique and personal vision for your story.
  • How to identify common structural weaknesses and flip them around into stunning strengths.
  • How to eliminate saggy middles by discovering your "centerpiece."
  • Why you should NEVER include conflict on every page.
  • How to discover the questions you don't want readers asking about your plot-and then how to get them to ask the right questions.

Story structure has empowered countless bestselling and classic authors. Now it's your turn!

Metaphors Be With You: An A to Z Dictionary of History's Greatest Metaphorical Quotations [EPUB]

Metaphors Be With You: An A to Z Dictionary of History's Greatest Metaphorical Quotations [EPUB]
Metaphors Be With You: An A to Z Dictionary of History's Greatest Metaphorical Quotations by Mardy Grothe
2016 | EPUB | 8.63MB

For 3,000 years, great thinkers and writers have relied on the device of metaphor to articulate profound thoughts, give voice to powerful emotions, and creatively explain complex ideas. But metaphorical language is not the sole province of poets, philosophers, and playwrights. If you’ve ever tried to describe a broken heart, a thankless child, or a glorious triumph, you know how valuable—and compelling—the perfect metaphor can be.

In Metaphors Be With You, respected quotation anthologist Dr. Mardy Grothe has created the definitive collection of history’s greatest metaphorical quotations. While crafting his lists of “The Ten Best Things Ever Said” on 250 topics of deep human interest, Dr. Mardy examined more than five million metaphorical observations from literature, politics, philosophy, religion, history, pop culture, and more.

Essential for writers, readers, and language aficionados, this remarkable sourcebook breaks new ground by using QR Codes to digitally integrate it with “Dr. Mardy’s Dictionary of Metaphorical Quotations” (DMDMQ), the world’s largest online database of metaphorical quotations. The elegant synergy between print and technology provides curious readers with detailed source information for all quotations, innumerable “Error Alerts,” countless quotation backstories, and a wealth of other quotations to further their knowledge and deepen their understanding of favorite quotations.

Whether you’re crafting a speech, writing a novel, or simply searching for new ways to express yourself, this meticulously curated compendium is as delightful to read as it is invaluable to own—and sure to inspire with the perfect metaphor every time.

What They Didn't Say: A Book of Misquotations [EPUB]

What They Didn't Say: A Book of Misquotations [EPUB]
What They Didn't Say: A Book of Misquotations edited by Elizabeth Knowles
2006 | EPUB | 1.71MB

An entertaining and thought-provoking book for language buffs and anyone interested in quotations, What They Didn't Say sifts through more than one hundred and fifty misquotations, incorrect attributions, and apocryphal remarks to reveal the origins of the quotes. Organized in an accessible A-Z format, quotes range from "Actors are cattle" (Alfred Hitchcock) to "You dirty rat!" (James Cagney) and span from the classical world right up to the present day.

Bringing together a fascinating range of wrongly remembered sayings, What They Didn't Say aims to set the record straight by revealing the real names and actual words behind the famous missayings.

Sample entry:

A good day to bury bad news.

In the hours following news of the terrorist action in America on 11 September 2001 ("nine-eleven"), the British government adviser Jo Moore sent out an email reading, "It is now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury." This was leaked and widely reported; public shock and distaste were heightened by its becoming fixed in the general consciousness in the form, "a good day to bury bad news."

Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created [EPUB]

Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created [EPUB]
Literary Wonderlands: A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created edited by Laura Miller, Lev Grossman, John Sutherland, Tom Shippey
2016 | EPUB | 2.24MB

A glorious collection that delves deep into the inception, influences, and literary and historical underpinnings of nearly 100 of our most beloved fictional realms.

Literary Wonderlands is a thoroughly researched, wonderfully written, and beautifully produced book that spans two thousand years of creative endeavor. From Spenser's The Fairie Queene to Wells's The Time Machine to Murakami's 1Q84 it explores the timeless and captivating features of fiction's imagined worlds including the relevance of the writer's own life to the creation of the story, influential contemporary events and philosophies, and the meaning that can be extracted from the details of the work. Each piece includes a detailed overview of the plot and a "Dramatis Personae." Literary Wonderlands is a fascinating read for lovers of literature, fantasy, and science fiction.

Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier [EPUB]

Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier [EPUB]
Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier by Noah Galloway
2016 | EPUB | 21.13MB

Military hero and beloved Dancing with the Stars alum Noah Galloway shares his life story, and how losing his arm and leg in combat forced him to relearn how to live--and live to the fullest.

Inspirational, humorous, and thought provoking, Noah Galloway's LIVING WITH NO EXCUSES sheds light on his upbringing in rural Alabama, his military experience, and the battle he faced to overcome losing two limbs during Operation Iraqi Freedom. From reliving the early days of life to his acceptance of his "new normal" after losing his arm and leg in combat, Noah reveals his ambition to succeed against all odds.

Noah's gripping story is a shining example that with laughter, and the right amount of perspective, you can tackle anything. Whether it be overcoming injury, conquering the Dancing with the Stars ballroom, or taking the next steps forward in life with his young family - Noah demonstrates how to live life to the fullest, with no excuses.

Nimble, Focused, Feisty: Organizational Cultures That Win in the New Era and How to Create Them [EPUB]

Nimble, Focused, Feisty: Organizational Cultures That Win in the New Era and How to Create Them [EPUB]
Nimble, Focused, Feisty: Organizational Cultures That Win in the New Era and How to Create Them by Sara Roberts
2016 | EPUB | 1.89MB

Leaders have talked about the importance of corporate culture for decades, but the success of iconic companies like GE, Apple, and Google shows how culture is a strategic lever that can be utilized for driving growth, change, and innovation. In this new age of globalization, rapid technology shifts, and constant disruption, the 21st century marketplace is more volatile and uncertain than ever. To thrive, businesses need a new kind of emphasis around culture.

Sara Roberts, former CEO and founder of Roberts Golden and a seasoned executive consultant to dozens of Fortune 500 companies and CEOs, sees how flourishing companies—from established market leaders to the surprising upstarts—share three distinct attributes:

  • Nimble: They are much faster and more agile than ordinary organizations
  • Focused: They use their sense of purpose as a lens to understand and meet the needs of customers and markets
  • Feisty: They play big and act bold to capitalize on advantages and out-muscle the competition

For successful companies in this new era, culture is not about playing defense but about going on offense. It’s purposely designed, leveraged, and honed to deliver value and drive growth.

In Nimble, Focused, Feisty, Roberts provides not only a look into what these organizations are doing differently but also a blueprint and framework so your company can create a cultural strategy to thrive in the new era.

If Venice Dies [EPUB]

If Venice Dies [EPUB]
If Venice Dies by Salvatore Settis
2016 | EPUB | 2.54MB

What is Venice worth? To whom does this urban treasure belong? This eloquent book by internationally renowned art historian Salvatore Settis urgently poses these questions, igniting a new debate about the Queen of the Adriatic and cultural patrimony at large. Venetians are increasingly abandoning their hometown—there's now only one resident for every 140 visitors—and Venice's fragile fate has become emblematic of the future of historic cities everywhere as it capitulates to tourists and those who profit from them. In If Venice Dies, a fiery blend of history and cultural analysis, Settis argues that "hit-and-run" visitors are turning landmark urban settings into shopping malls and theme parks. This is a passionate plea to secure the soul of Venice, written with consummate authority, wide-ranging erudition and élan.

The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty [EPUB]

The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty [EPUB]
The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty by Tracy Borman
2016 | EPUB | 15.44MB

England’s Tudor monarchs—Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I—are perhaps the most celebrated and fascinating of all royal families in history. Their love affairs, their political triumphs, and their overturning of the religious order are the subject of countless works of popular scholarship. But for all we know about Henry’s quest for male heirs, or Elizabeth’s purported virginity, the private lives of the Tudors remain largely beyond our grasp.

In The Private Lives of the Tudors, Tracy Borman delves deep behind the public face of the monarchs, showing us what their lives were like beyond the stage of court. Drawing on the accounts of those closest to them, Borman examines Tudor life in fine detail. What did the monarchs eat? What clothes did they wear, and how were they designed, bought, and cared for? How did they practice their faith? And in earthlier moments, who did they love, and how did they give birth to the all-important heirs?

Delving into their education, upbringing, sexual lives, and into the kitchens, bathrooms, schoolrooms, and bedrooms of court, Borman charts out the course of the entire Tudor dynasty, surfacing new and fascinating insights into these celebrated figures.

Airlines of the Jet Age: A History [EPUB]

Airlines of the Jet Age: A History [EPUB]
Airlines of the Jet Age: A History by R E G Davies
2016 | EPUB | 99.46MB

This book provides the first comprehensive history of the world's airline industries from the early 1960s to the present day. It begins with the advent of jet airliners, covers the 'second' jet age of wide-bodied aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and DC-10, and closes with the introduction of the 'third' jet age, which begins with the double-decked giant Airbus A380. This reference book, covering airlines around the globe, is the ultimate resource for information on modern air transport. The volume also includes an informative introductory chapter guiding readers from the infancy of flight, through the air-transport craft in use during the two World Wars, and into the jet age.

Our Darkest Day: The Tragic Battle Of Fromelles [EPUB]

Our Darkest Day: The Tragic Battle Of Fromelles [EPUB]
Our Darkest Day: The Tragic Battle Of Fromelles by Patrick Lindsay
2011 | EPUB | 1.71MB

On 19 July 1916, in the northern French village of Fromelles, Australia suffered its worst-ever military defeat when a British officer ordered 15,000 of our best and bravest to go ‘over the top’ and attack the German lines. Eight hours later, more than 5500 Diggers lay dead or wounded: the equivalent of all Australian casualties from the Boer, Korean and Vietnam wars combined. The phenomenon of Fromelles has captured the hearts of Australians all over the country.

The story of Australia’s worst military disaster and the resulting international campaign to reclaim the lost soldiers of the Battle of Fromelles sparked national and international headlines, a military investigation and an archaeological dig to find the resting place of these missing soldiers. Lambis Engelzekios’s tireless investigation and Patrick Lindsay’s sensational resulting book Fromelles was the catalyst for much of this action. Fromelles has sold over 30,000 copies since publication, and now Hardie Grant presents the perfect version for fans of military history. An abridged version covering the battle itself, Our Darkest Day will intrigue military history fans who are keen to learn about this most infamous wartime battle.

Ordinary Organisations: Why Normal Men Carried Out the Holocaust [EPUB]

Ordinary Organisations: Why Normal Men Carried Out the Holocaust [EPUB]
Ordinary Organisations: Why Normal Men Carried Out the Holocaust by Stefan Kuhl
2016 | EPUB | 0.4MB

During the Holocaust, 99 percent of all Jewish killings were carried out by members of state organizations. In this groundbreaking book, Stefan Kühl offers a new analysis of the integral role that membership in organizations played in facilitating the annihilation of European Jews under the Nazis.

Drawing on the well-researched case of the mass killings of Jews by a Hamburg reserve police battalion, Kühl shows how ordinary men from ordinary professions were induced to carry out massacres. It may have been that coercion, money, identification with the end goal, the enjoyment of brutality, or the expectations of their comrades impelled the members of the police battalion to join the police units and participate in ghetto liquidations, deportations, and mass shootings. But ultimately, argues Kühl, the question of immediate motives, or indeed whether members carried out tasks with enthusiasm or reluctance, is of secondary importance. The crucial factor in explaining what they did was the integration of individuals into an organizational framework that prompted them to perform their roles.

This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust by demonstrating the fundamental role played by organizations in persuading ordinary Germans to participate in the annihilation of the Jews. It will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of organizations, violence, and modern German history, as well as for anyone interested in genocide and the Holocaust.

The Sword and the Dollar: Imperialism, Revolution, and the Arms Race [EPUB]

The Sword and the Dollar: Imperialism, Revolution, and the Arms Race [EPUB]
The Sword and the Dollar: Imperialism, Revolution, and the Arms Race by Michael J Parenti
2011 | EPUB | 0.2MB

To many, the foreign policy directives of the United States seem bewildering and sometimes inharmonious with its domestic political values. Why does the U.S. seem to support foreign dictators? Why has it invested so many of its resources in stockpiling nuclear arms? Why doesn't the U.S. act as a force for peace throughout the world? In this probing, provocative analysis, Michael Parenti reveals the hidden agenda of American foreign policy decsisions. No matter which party is in power, the U.S. acts to protect the interests of large American-based corporations, in order to maintain valuable overseas markets and cheap foreign labor.

In lucid detail, Michael Parenti examines just how these very private interests determine America's public policy goals, from the impoverishment of developing nations to the building of an intimidating nuclear arsenal. What he discovers will surely be controversial and suggests that the greatest threats to democracy—both here and abroad—may emanate from within the United States itself.