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Fooling Houdini

Author: Alex Stone
Publisher: Bond Street Books
ISBN: 0307368211
Size: 44.60 MB
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An exploration of the world of magic that teaches the reader many tricks--including how better to understand the real world. Alex Stone--journalist and part-time conjurer--is here to amaze you. But first he had to amaze his fellow magicians. Fooling Houdini is his fascinating, revealing, and nailbiting account of his attempt to win the 23rd World Championships of Magic, the "Magic Olympics," the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind. Alex Stone managed to qualify for entry and began preparing to astonish people who astonish others for a living. It didn't help his nerves that he was placed on the bill straight after Canadian magician Shawn Farquhar, winner of more magic competitions than anyone in history. Stone's preparations and participation provide his readers with in-depth exploration of the world of magic, and magic's meaning. He spills many professional secrets, arguing that what is important is to ask questions about what lies behind the tricks: how the mind perceives the world and parses everyday experience, about how the mind works--and why sometimes it doesn't, about why people need to believe. As we become more attuned to the limits of our own perception, we become better at distinguishing reality from illusion, at reading the angles and decoding the fine print, he says. We gain intuition and understanding into how people behave. We even learn ways to influence this behavior. This makes us less susceptible to all manner of deception. It is to gain and maintain this sixth sense that Alex Stone--a schoolboy prestidigitator--has continued performing magic well into adulthood. In Fooling Houdini he takes us into that other world, populated by truly astounding characters, and leaves us with a heightened sense of awareness about the supposedly real world.

The Areas Of My Expertise

Author: John Hodgman
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101653612
Size: 54.45 MB
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In the great tradition of the American almanac, The Areas of My Expertise is a brilliant and hilarious compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom on all topics large and small. Although bestsellers such as Poor Richard’s Almanack and The Book of Lists were certainly valuable, they also were largely true. Here is a different kind of handy desk reference, one in which all of the historical oddities and amazing true facts are sifted through the singular, illuminating imagination of John Hodgman—which is the nice way of saying: He made it all up. John Hodgman brings his considerable expertise to bear in answering all of the questions book buyers have been asking: -What are the mottoes of the 51 United States? THE ANSWER IS PROVIDED -Who were the U.S. presidents who had hooks for hands? THE ANSWER IS PROVIDED -What role does the Yale secret society “Skull and Bones” play in the secret world government? THERE IS NO SECRET WORLD GOVERNMENT -What was the menu at the first Thanksgiving, and did it include eels? Technically, that is two questions, but do not apologize, for John Hodgman shall answer them both... LATER. -Aside from a compendium of fake trivia, what is the best kind of book to write? A SIMPLE TABLE OF THE 55 MOST DRAMATIC LITERARY SITUATIONS PROVIDES THE ANSWER, and John Hodgman is the author of that table. Imagine if The Book of Lists had been rewritten by Peter Cook and Jorge Luis Borges under the pseudonym of “John Hodgman” and then renamed The Areas of My Expertise, and you will only begin to have a sense of the dizzying, uproarious, sublimely weird, and strangely wise journey that is contained within this book (along with all the pages and words). Perfect for anyone who thirsts for knowledge, and especially for collectors of books of fake trivia, The Areas of My Expertise offers through absurdity a better understanding of the world we share—and recognizes that while the truth may be stranger than fiction, it is never as strange as lies...or as true. Watch a QuickTime trailer for this book.

The Language Of Peace

Author: Rebecca L. Oxford
Publisher: IAP
ISBN: 1623960967
Size: 47.93 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Language of Peace: Communicating to Create Harmony offers practical insights for educators, students, researchers, peace activists, and all others interested in communication for peace. This book is a perfect text for courses in peace education, communications, media, culture, and other fields. Individuals concerned about violence, war, and peace will find this volume both crucial and informative. This book sheds light on peaceful versus destructive ways we use words, body language, and the language of visual images. Noted author and educator Rebecca L. Oxford guides us to use all these forms of language more positively and effectively, thereby generating greater possibilities for peace. Peace has many dimensions: inner, interpersonal, intergroup, international, intercultural, and ecological. The language of peace helps us resolve conflicts, avoid violence, and reduce bullying, misogyny, war, terrorism, genocide, circus journalism, political deception, cultural misunderstanding, and social and ecological injustice. Peace language, along with positive intention, enables us to find harmony inside ourselves and with people around us, attain greater peace in the wider world, and halt environmental destruction. This insightful book reveals why and how.

Aristotle On The Human Good

Author: Richard Kraut
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691020716
Size: 18.54 MB
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Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, which equates the ultimate end of human life with happiness (eudaimonia), is thought by many readers to argue that this highest goal consists in the largest possible aggregate of intrinsic goods. Richard Kraut proposes instead that Aristotle identifies happiness with only one type of good: excellent activity of the rational soul. In defense of this reading, Kraut discusses Aristotle's attempt to organize all human goods into a single structure, so that each subordinate end is desirable for the sake of some higher goal. This book also emphasizes the philosopher's hierarchy of natural kinds, in which every type of creature achieves its good by imitating divine life. As Kraut argues, Aristotle's belief that thinking is the sole activity of the gods leads him to an intellectualist conception of the ethical virtues. Aristotle values these traits because, by subordinating emotion to reason, they enhance our ability to lead a life devoted to philosophy or politics.

From Atlantis To The Sphinx

Author: Colin Wilson
Publisher: Weiser Books
ISBN: 9781578633067
Size: 73.42 MB
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In this compelling book, Colin Wilson argues that thousands of years before ancient Egypt and Greece held sway, there was a great civilization whose ships traveled the world from China to Antarctica. Their advanced knowledge of science, mathematics, and astronomy was passed on to descendants who escaped to Egypt and South America. From Atlantis to the Sphinx bases this assertion on a true fact: that archaeologists and geologists are at odds over the age of the Sphinx. Archaeologists claim that the Sphinx dates to classical dynastic Egypt, around 2,400 b.c. But some geologists claim that it could have been built as early as 7,000 to 10,500 b.c. The geologists' claim is based on the curious fact that the erosion of the Sphinx is more characteristic of water erosion than that of wind and sand. Starting from the assumption that there was an advanced civilization in existence much earlier than previously thought, Wilson goes on to claim that it could very well be Atlantis--not a literal island that sank, but more of a great civilization that either declined naturally or experienced a great catastrophe, passing on only a fraction of its knowledge to other peoples. From Atlantis to the Sphinx delves into what might have been a completely different knowledge system from that of modern man--one as alien to us as that of the Martians. The book sets out to reconstruct that ancient knowledge in a fascinating exploration of the remote depths of history, a ground-breaking attempt to understand how these long-forgotten peoples thought, felt, and communicated with the universe.

Memories Of Class

Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher:
ISBN: 0415571278
Size: 47.26 MB
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A discussion of the mechanism of class formation and institutionalisation of class conflict. It traces the formation of a class society back to the patterns of 'surveillance power' and control, and shows how these patterns preceded and made possible the industrial system.

The Educated Brain

Author: Antonio M. Battro
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139470337
Size: 41.11 MB
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The emerging field of neuroeducation, concerned with the interaction between mind, brain and education, has proved revolutionary in educational research, introducing concepts, methods, and technologies into many advanced institutions around the world. The Educated Brain presents a broad overview of the major topics in this new discipline: Part I examines the historical and epistemological issues related to the mind/brain problem and the scope of neuroeducation; Part II provides a view of basic brain research in education and use of imaging techniques, and the study of brain and cognitive development; and Part III is dedicated to the neural foundations of language and reading in different cultures, and the acquisition of basic mathematical concepts. With contributions from leading researchers in the field, this book features the most recent and advanced research in cognitive neurosciences.

Splendors And Miseries Of The Brain

Author: Semir Zeki
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444359479
Size: 23.92 MB
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Splendors and Miseries of the Brain examines the elegant and efficient machinery of the brain, showing that by studying music, art, literature, and love, we can reach important conclusions about how the brain functions. discusses creativity and the search for perfection in the brain examines the power of the unfinished and why it has such a powerful hold on the imagination discusses Platonic concepts in light of the brain shows that aesthetic theories are best understood in terms of the brain discusses the inherited concept of unity-in-love using evidence derived from the world literature of love addresses the role of the synthetic concept in the brain (the synthesis of many experiences) in relation to art, using examples taken from the work of Michelangelo, Cézanne, Balzac, Dante, and others

Anxious

Author: Joseph LeDoux
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780747683
Size: 21.74 MB
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Anxiety is the most prevalent psychiatric problem of our time. Decades of research have gone into probing its mysteries and developing treatments. But what if we’ve been thinking about fear and anxiety in the wrong way for all these years? This is the groundbreaking premise behind a wave of new research, led by the lab of renowned neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux. He believes that fear and anxiety are not innate states, simply waiting to be unleashed in the brain. Rather they are assembled experiences, and that has huge implications for patients. By mapping brain circuits, LeDoux explains the origins of anxiety disorders and reveals discoveries that can restore sufferers to normality. As impressive as it is timely, Anxious is a comprehensive survey of cutting-edge research revolutionising the way we treat our most pressing mental health issue.