A World Beyond Physics: The Emergence and Evolution of Life [EPUB]
10 November 2019, 09:10
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780190871338 | 4.54MB
How did life start? Is the evolution of life describable by any physics-like laws? Stuart Kauffman's latest book offers an explanation-beyond what the laws of physics can explain-of the progression from a complex chemical environment to molecular reproduction, metabolism and to early protocells, and further evolution to what we recognize as life. Among the estimated one hundred billion solar systems in the known universe, evolving life is surely abundant. That evolution is a process of "becoming" in each case. Since Newton, we have turned to physics to assess reality. But physics alone cannot tell us where we came from, how we arrived, and why our world has evolved past the point of unicellular organisms to an extremely complex biosphere.
Building on concepts from his work as a complex systems researcher at the Santa Fe Institute, Kauffman focuses in particular on the idea of cells constructing themselves and introduces concepts such as "constraint closure." Living systems are defined by the concept of "organization" which has not been focused on in enough in previous works. Cells are autopoetic systems that build themselves: they literally construct their own constraints on the release of energy into a few degrees of freedom that constitutes the very thermodynamic work by which they build their own self creating constraints. Living cells are "machines" that construct and assemble their own working parts. The emergence of such systems-the origin of life problem-was probably a spontaneous phase transition to self-reproduction in complex enough prebiotic systems. The resulting protocells were capable of Darwin's heritable variation, hence open-ended evolution by natural selection. Evolution propagates this burgeoning organization. Evolving living creatures, by existing, create new niches into which yet further new creatures can emerge. If life is abundant in the universe, this self-constructing, propagating, exploding diversity takes us beyond physics to biospheres everywhere.
Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos [EPUB]
10 November 2019, 09:09
2016 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781624143175 | 183.92MB
Experience the Amazing Unmanned Journeys to Explore the Universe
In Incredible Stories from Space, veteran space journalist Nancy Atkinson shares compelling insights from over 35 NASA scientists and engineers, taking readers behind the scenes of the unmanned missions that are transforming our understanding of the solar system and beyond. Weaving together one-on-one interviews along with the extraordinary sagas of the spacecraft themselves, this book chronicles the struggles and triumphs of nine current space missions and captures the true spirit of exploration and discovery. Full color images throughout reveal scientific discoveries and the stunning, breathtaking views of our universe, sent back to Earth by our robotic emissaries to the cosmos.
- Travel along with the first mission to Pluto
- Explore Mars alongside the Curiosity Rover
- Join the unprecedented hunt for extrasolar planets
- Unlock the mysteries of the cosmos with the iconic Hubble Space Telescope
- Discover the latest findings in our solar system
- See the future of space exploration with a preview of upcoming missions
Armies of the Hellenistic States 323 BC - AD 30: History, Organization and Equipment [EPUB]
10 November 2019, 09:08
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781526730299 | 53.5MB
This book provides a complete and detailed analysis of the organization and equipment employed by the armies of the Hellenistic States. After Alexander the Great’s death in 323 BC, his immense Macedonian empire was divided between his ambitious generals, who in turn formed their own monarchies across Eastern Europe, Asia and North Africa.
This work will follow the development of the Hellenistic military forces from the army bequeathed by Alexander the Great to the complex military machines that succumbed one by one in the wars against the expanding Romans. As decades and centuries progressed, Hellenistic warfare became always more sophisticated: the 'diadochi' (Alexander’s successors) could field armies with thousands of men, chariots, elephants and siege machines; these came from all the territories of the former Macedonian Empire. The book will also show how Hellenistic forces were strongly influenced by Roman models during the last years of independence of their kingdoms.
The states analyzed are: Macedon, Seleucid Empire, Ptolemaic Egypt, Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Armenia, Pergamon, Pontus, Cappadocia, Galatia, Bosporan Kingdom, Epirus, Sicily, Achaean League and Aetolian League.
The Battle of the Catalaunian Fields AD451: Flavius Aetius, Attila the Hun and the Transformation of Gaul [EPUB]
10 November 2019, 09:07
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781526745651 | 10.7MB
Evan Schultheis reconsiders the evidence for Attila the Hun’s most famous battle, the climax of his invasion of the Western Roman Empire that had reached as far as Orleans in France. Traditionally considered one of the pivotal battles in European history, saving the West from conquest by the Huns, the Catalaunian Fields is here revealed to be significant but less immediately decisive than claimed.
This new study exposes oversimplified views of Attila’s army, which was a sophisticated and complex all-arms force, drawn from the Huns and their many allies and subjects. The ‘Roman’ forces, largely consisting of Visigoth and Alan allies, are also analyzed in detail. The author, a reenactor of the period, describes the motives and tactics of both sides. Drawing on the latest historiography and research of the primary sources, and utilizing Roman military manuals, Evan Schultheis offers a completely new tactical analysis of the battle and a drastic reconsideration of Hun warfare, the Roman use of federates, and the ethnography of the Germanic peoples who fought for either side. The result is a fresh and thorough case study of battle in the 5th century.
Copenhagen Cult Recipes [EPUB]
10 November 2019, 09:06
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781911632313 | 152.47MB
Let Copenhagen Cult Recipes take you on a journey to the heart of Copenhagen's culinary traditions, to find out why the Danes embrace their food heritage so passionately, and why their way of life continues to be adopted enthusiastically around the world. This cuisine centres around 'hygge', the cosy atmosphere for which the Danes are famed - shared tables, outside eating, simple local produce, eaten in company. It's about keeping things simple and tasty, and using space wisely by growing fresh herbs and greens on rooftops, in window boxes and small vegetable patches.
Featuring iconic location shots and food photography that showcases traditional dishes with a modern twist, together with recipes from some of the most influential contemporary restaurants Copenhagen has to offer.
The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness [Audiobook]
10 November 2019, 09:05
2019 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11h 3m | 338.54MB
From "one of America's most courageous young journalists" (NPR) comes a propulsive narrative history investigating the 50-year-old mystery behind a dramatic experiment that changed the course of modern medicine.
For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness - how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is? In search of an answer, in the 1970s a Stanford psychologist named David Rosenhan and seven other people - sane, normal, well-adjusted members of society - went undercover into asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry's labels. Forced to remain inside until they'd "proven" themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even more troubling stories of their treatment. Rosenhan's watershed study broke open the field of psychiatry, closing down institutions and changing mental health diagnosis forever.
But, as Cahalan's explosive new research shows, very little in this saga is exactly as it seems. What really happened behind those closed asylum doors, and what does it mean for our understanding of mental illness today?
The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin [TTC Video]
10 November 2019, 08:36
Course No 8071 | MP4, AVC, 2000 kbps, 1280x720 | AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 12x27 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.16GB
Communism has decisively shaped the modern world. After the Second World War, Marxist regimes ruled over one-third of the population of the globe. Even today, after the fall of the Soviet Union, communist ideas continue to steer current events in Eastern Europe and East Asia.
According to award-winning historian Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to understand the inner dynamics of communist thought and rule (and the reasons they linger in places like Cuba, North Korea, and China), you have to go back to the crucial beginnings of communism. How did it become such a pervasive economic and political philosophy? Why, of all places, did it first take root in early 20th-century Russia?
These and other questions all get addressed as part of a fascinating story that stretches from the intellectual partnership between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the late 19th century to the Russian Revolution of 1917 to the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924. It’s a story whose drama, Professor Liulevicius notes, “has few equals in terms of sheer scale, scope, or suffering.”
The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin invites you to go inside communism’s journey from a collection of political and economic theories to a revolutionary movement that rocked the world. Rich with historical insights, these 12 lectures zero in on the “how” and “why” of the Bolsheviks rise to power and how communist ideas worked in theory and practice—and how they didn’t. You’ll meet thinkers and revolutionaries like Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, and Leon Trotsky. You’ll unpack the meaning of texts like Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. And, you’ll experience the shock and awe of events including the Paris Commune and the October Revolution. After these 12 lectures, you’ll have a new and rewarding understanding of one of the most important—and problematic—economic and political philosophies of the modern age.
Unearth the Roots of Communist Thought
As shaped by Karl Marx, communism is defined as the abolition of private property. Along with this came the promise of social equality and a liberation from history’s record of struggle, exploitation, and suffering. “From each according to his ability,” Marx said, “to each according to his need.”
In The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin, you’ll examine five internal contradictions within the philosophy of communism that recurs throughout the historical record, sometimes in different forms. They include:
- The role of the individual in communism,
- The geographical spread of communism,
- The ties between communism and nationalism,
- The evolution of communism into a tradition, and
- The idea of communism as a political religion.
As the 12 lectures of this course examine events throughout decades of history, two main periods of time will be discussed.
- In “The Spectre Haunting Europe” (named for the opening line of The Communist Manifesto), you’ll examine the utopian movements that influenced Marx and Engels, and how these leaders came to develop their revolutionary philosophies.
- In “Lenin and the Founding of the Soviet Union,” you’ll discover how Lenin became the first person to put Marxist ideas into action by violently seizing power in the wreckage of the Russian tsarist empire and the chaos of the First World War.
Explore Decades of Political Turbulence
Moving chronologically through some of the most turbulent decades of modern history, The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin explores terms, ideas, events, and people that you may have heard of in other historical surveys—but never delved into with such depth or insight.
- Dialectical Materialism: Marx’s doctrine was based on historical (or dialectical) materialism and postulated the basis of reality as rooted in matter, not ideas. Human reality was, at base, economic—even if people were unaware of this. Thus, there could be no just law as such, but only a legal system protecting the interests of the ruling class.
- The Paris Commune: The radical socialist government that ruled Paris for 10 weeks in 1871 (March 18-May 28) would become a template for understanding later revolutionary action. Despite its failure, the Paris Commune was viewed by Marx and Engels as the first living example of the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”
- The Okhrana: After the 1881 assassination of Tsar Alexander II, the Okhrana (“guard department”) came into being. A secret police force organized to quell radicalism, the Okhrana also undertook psychological warfare operations. The organization is suspected to have written the notorious anti-Semitic text, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
- Red October: Celebrated as the Great October Socialist Revolution, the 1917 seizure of power in Russia by Lenin and the Bolsheviks gave birth to a state devoted to the overthrow of all other world states. For this reason, some historians believe the Cold War didn’t begin after the Second World War but rather with this coup.
- “The Internationale”: The song that became emblematic of international socialism was written during the Paris Commune by a Parisian transport worker. In the decades that followed, “The Internationale” became an inspiration to marchers, instilled fear in the ruling classes, and would later become the national anthem of the Soviet Union.
Crafted by a Knowledgeable Professor
While the topic of communism with its intricate links between philosophy and history might seem intimidating to tackle, Professor Liulevicius takes care to make the subject easy for anyone to understand.
A lecturer of some of the most popular modern history courses of the Great Courses, Professor Liulevicius has crafted another lecture series that offers an uncompromising look at one of the dominant political ideologies of the 20th century, exploring the origins of communist thought and the communist state.
The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin is a fascinating, and sobering, study of how ideas and theories rise to power in a bid to create a new civilization—whatever the human cost. And it’s the first part of a lecture series of upcoming Great Courses by Professor Liulevicius that will continue the story of global communism. It’s the first chapter in a long story that would see the brutal rule of Joseph Stalin, the expansion of communism into Eastern Europe and Asia, and the eventual decline and fall of the Soviet Union.