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mental_floss: The Book

by Will Pearson Mangesh Hattikudur

For ten years, the knowledge seekers at mental_floss have been hunting and trapping the world's rarest facts, locking them into captivating lists for the world to admire. Thanks to their tireless efforts, Mental Floss: The Book is packed with a decade's worth of the smartest, quirkiest stories around, including: Five Presidential Fashion Flubs Seven Shameless Abuses of Diplomatic Immunity Five Units of Measurement Weirder Than the Metric System Four Toys That Have Gone to War for America Seven Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever Five Things Your Body Can Do After You Die Six of Baseball's Strangest Trades Four Foods People Actually Die For Seven Things Walmart Has Banned Four TV Shows That Changed the Course of History Ten "Q" Words That Aren't "Q-U" Words Four Horrifying Parasites to Keep You Awake at Night Eight Fake Archaeological Finds Five Articles of Clothing That Caused Riots Four Memorable Moments in Cross-Dressing History Five Doomsdays We've Already Survived And 124 Other Extraordinary Lists!

The Night Listener

by Armistead Maupin

"I'm a fabulist by trade," warns Gabriel Noone, a late-night radio storyteller, as he begins to untangle the skeins of his tumultuous life: his crumbling ten-year love affair, his disaffection from his Southern father, his longtime weakness for ignoring reality. Gabriel's most sympathetic listener is Pete Lomax, a thirteen-year-old fan in Wisconsin whose own horrific past has left him wise and generous beyond his years. But when this virtual father-son relationship is rocked by doubt, a desperate search for the truth ensues. Welcome to the complex, vertiginous world of The Night Listener.

Weight of Glory

by C. S. Lewis

The Weight of Glory features nine memorable addresses C. S. Lewis delivered during World War II. Considered by many to be his most moving address, the title essay, "The Weight of Glory," extols a compassionate vision of Christianity and includes lucid and compelling discussions on forgiveness and faith. "On Forgiveness," "The Inner Ring," and the other much-quoted pieces display Lewis's breadth of learning and spiritual insight that have made him the most influential Christian of the twentieth century.

Miracles

by C. S. Lewis

Do miracles really happen? Can we know if the supernatural world exists? "The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares the way for this, or results from this." In Miracles, C. S. Lewis takes this key idea and shows that a Christian must not only accept but rejoice in miracles as a testimony of the unique personal involvement of God in creation. Using his characteristic warmth, lucidity, and wit, Lewis challenges the rationalists and cynics who are mired in their lack of imagination and provides a poetic and joyous affirmation that miracles really do occur in everyday lives.

A Grief Observed

by C. S. Lewis

Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moment," A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. This work contains his concise, genuine reflections on that period: "Nothing will shake a man -- or at any rate a man like me -- out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself." This is a beautiful and unflinchingly homest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.

The Abolition of Man

by C. S. Lewis

Both astonishing and prophetic, The Abolition of Man remains one of C. S. Lewis's most controversial works. Lewis sets out to persuade his audience of the ongoing importance and relevance of universal objective values, such as courage and honor, and the foundational necessity of natural law. He also makes a cogent case that a retreat from these pillars of our educational system, even if in the name of "scientism," would be catastrophic. National Review lists it as number seven on their "100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century."

The Screwtape Letters

by C. S. Lewis

A milestone in the history of popular theology, The Screwtape Letters is an iconic classic on spiritual warfare and the dynamics of temptation.This profound and striking narrative takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in his first mission on earth, trying to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. Although the young man initially looks to be a willing victim, he changes his ways and is "lost" to the young devil.Dedicated to Lewis's friend and colleague J. R. R. Tolkien, The Screwtape Letters is a timeless classic on spiritual conflict and the psychology of temptation which are part of our religious experience.

The Problem of Pain

by C. S. Lewis

"If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?" And what about the suffering of animals, who neither deserve pain nor can be improved by it? The greatest Christian thinker of our time sets out to disentangle these knotty issues. With his signature wealth of compassion and insight, C. S. Lewis offers answers to these crucial questions and shares his hope and wisdom to help heal a world hungering for a true understanding of human nature.

Mere Christianity

by C. S. Lewis

A forceful and accessible discussion of Christian belief that has become one of the most popular introductions to Christianity and one of the most popular of Lewis's books. Uncovers common ground upon which all Christians can stand together.

The Great Divorce

by C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis takes us on a profound journey through both heaven and hell in this engaging allegorical tale. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis introduces us to supernatural beings who will change the way we think about good and evil.

The Not-So-Perfect Man

by Valerie Frankel

As far as her family and friends are concerned,Frieda has been the grieving widow for long enough. At 35, she's still (relatively) young, still (adequately) attractive. Her sex drive is very much alive; even Frieda admits she'd like to put it to use again. Besides, she has a son who certainly needs a father figure. With visions of the perfect second husband in mind, Frieda's sisters start to send eligible males in her direction.Big sister Ilene -- herself substantially married -- has found the ultimateunattached catch: a gorgeous, independently wealthy, successful, divorced father, pillar of society and paragon of potential. What more could a single mom ask for?Apparently a lot more than loved ones realize. Frieda's own efforts bearvery tasty fruit. Sam is young, talented, devoted, and incredibly sexy -- though broke, only sporadically employed, and clueless about kids. But he makes Frieda feel brand-spanking-new, in a most wonderfully wanton way. When all is said and done, does Frieda really need the "perfect man" ... or the far-from-ideal man who's perfect for her?

I Take This Man

by Valerie Frankel

Here comes the bride . . . there goes the groom.Penny Bracket waited two years to marry dream man Bram Shiraz. Then on the morning of the Big Day, while she's trying on her veil, Penny receives the worst two-line letter of her life: "Penny, I can't go through with it. Sorry, Bram." Penny's hurt and upset. But Esther, Penny's divorced mom, wants Bram's head on a platter. So Mom ambushes the cold-footed coward before he hot-foots it out of town, bonks him on the head with a champagne bottle, and spirits him away to a hidden room in her gargantuan mansion in Short Hares, New Jersey. Esther doesn't want much. All Bram has to do is write personal, heartfelt apologies to each of the two hundred disappointed wedding guests . . . and eat every mouthful of the very expensive gourmet wedding feast that has gone to waste. Then he'll be free to leave.Penny doesn't want Bram tortured. She just wants answers to "why" . . . and maybe a little revenge. Will she discover her runaway groom is locked away in the attic? Will Bram's widowed father--handsome tough-guy Keith Shiraz--be able to locate his missing son . . . and maybe seduce Esther Bracket in the bargain? Will Bram be able to maintain his athletic figure after consuming two hundred entrées and thousands of baby quiches? Read on!

Smart Vs. Pretty

by Valerie Frankel

Out-of-work urban professional Francesca Greenfield has always known that she was the "smart" sister.Amanda was the soft and lovely one who, from the beginning, had always garnered most of the attention -- and all the dates. Now they've been thrown together in a last-ditch effort to save the family coffeehouse business before it goes permanently down the drain.In the chaotic misdt of mad promotional schemes and piranhalike next-door competitors, the sisters Greenfield are going to have to put aside their hard-faught sibling rivalry -- and quick! -- for the family good.What happens when a single woman in her early thirties gets stuck living and working with her sister again along with all the insecurities of sibling rivalry?"From where I stood now, fifteen years out of high school, I knew that smart was more valuable than pretty. For one thing, pretty is available to anyone who has the time, energy, money, and will. And even without exercise or makeup, I considered myself to be serviceably attractive. I elicit a grunt from workmen. Baggers at the supermarket, however, called me ma'am."Meet Francesca Greenfield, a smart, urban professional suddenly tossed out of her so-so career and into the business of selling coffee alongside her pretty, perky sister Amanda.But selling coffee is only the start of their worries.Francesca has always known that she was the smart sister, "though our mother never set us down and said, 'Francesca, we'll call you the smart one.'" Amanda was soft and lovely from the beginning and had always garnered most of the attention-and all of the dates. Now they've been thrown together in a last-ditch effort to save the family business before it goes permanently down the drain.As for the coffeehouse itself, well, there's rarely a dull moment. Consider the piranha-minded next-door franchise and the brainstorms of one nearly psychotic marketing manager for starters. And who can forget about love? Or at least sex. Thanks to a promotional contest, it's not long before Amanda is looking to explore the aura of a buff mountain climber while Francesca considers shedding more than her inhibitions with a J. Crew model.The stakes are rising. It's time to find out if smart or pretty knows best, whether the distinction really suits either one of them, and if the Greenfield sisters can actually live happily ever after.

Hex and the Single Girl

by Valerie Frankel

Emma sees naked people (not necessarily a bad thing!)Emma Hutch's upscale Manhattan clients call her the "Good Witch." Her uncanny telepathic abilities enable her to plant images into unsuspecting minds, which has made her New York's most successful professional matchmaker. After all, what bachelor, confirmed or otherwise, could deny his true destiny when the woman he can't seem to stop thinking about suddenly appears right in front of him? Now an all-too-perfect blonde socialite needs Emma's help to snare the most eligible single man in the city -- all in a day's work for the Good Witch.Except William Dearborn -- visual artist, software genius, total hunk, and dedicated hedonist -- is not so easily snared. And he's becoming a little too interested in the desperate matchmaking sorceress who's been following him all around town incognito. Emma doesn't have to be psychic to know what's going on in his mind. William's having very wicked thoughts indeed about the Good Witch . . . and Emma likes it! But she's got to resist his special brand of magic . . . or else her witchy career is going up in flames.

The Accidental Virgin

by Valerie Frankel

From: Venus, Goddess of Love, 120 Main, Mt. OlympusTo: Stacy Temple, lapsed temptressStacy, Stacy, Stacy. You were so promising at the beginning: Sexy, smart, personable and funny. Great on dates and really great afterward-if you know what I mean. But this is a sad state of affairs; or, in your case, non-affairs! It's been nearly an entire year and you haven't had your way with even ONE eligible male. You've been working so hard concocting sexy lingerie for Thongs.com -- and really, Stacy, if that little pink velvet bustier didn't put you in the mood, I don't know what to say! -- that you haven't even tried to be coaxed out of your own thong.com!Are you listening, Stacy? Seven days to find the perfect man -- or else!Happy hunting!

The Physicist and the Philosopher

by Jimena Canales

On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. The Physicist and the Philosopher tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today.Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period--such as wristwatches, radio, and film--helped to shape people's conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival's legacy--Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion.The Physicist and the Philosopher reveals how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time.

Sourcebook for Research in Music, Third Edition

by Allen Scott

Since it was first published in 1993, the Sourcebook for Research in Music has become an invaluable resource in musical scholarship. The balance between depth of content and brevity of format makes it ideal for use as a textbook for students, a reference work for faculty and professional musicians, and as an aid for librarians. The introductory chapter includes a comprehensive list of bibliographical terms with definitions; bibliographic terms in German, French, and Italian; and the plan of the Library of Congress and the Dewey Decimal music classification systems. Integrating helpful commentary to instruct the reader on the scope and usefulness of specific items, this updated and expanded edition accounts for the rapid growth in new editions of standard works, in fields such as ethnomusicology, performance practice, women in music, popular music, education, business, and music technology. These enhancements to its already extensive bibliographies ensures that the Sourcebook will continue to be an indispensable reference for years to come.

Who Owns You?

by David Koepsell

"Who Owns You?" is a comprehensive exploration of the numerous philosophical and legal problems of gene patenting. Provides the first comprehensive book-length treatment of this subjectDevelops arguments regarding moral realism, and provides a method of judgment that attempts to be ideologically neutralCalls for public attention and policy changes to end the practice of gene patenting

Multi-Agent Machine Learning

by H. M. Schwartz

Multi-Agent Machine Learning: A Reinforcement Learning Approach is a framework to understanding different methods and approaches in multi-agent machine learning. It also provides cohesive coverage of the latest advances in multi-agent differential games and presents applications in game theory and robotics. * Framework for understanding a variety of methods and approaches in multi-agent machine learning. * Discusses methods of reinforcement learning such as a number of forms of multi-agent Q-learning * Applicable to research professors and graduate students studying electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and mechanical and aerospace engineering

Into the Wild

by Jon Krakauer

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless. Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.From the Trade Paperback edition.

INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook

by Wiley

A detailed and thorough reference on the discipline and practice of systems engineering The objective of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Systems Engineering Handbook is to describe key process activities performed by systems engineers and other engineering professionals throughout the life cycle of a system. The book covers a wide range of fundamental system concepts that broaden the thinking of the systems engineering practitioner, such as system thinking, system science, life cycle management, specialty engineering, system of systems, and agile and iterative methods. This book also defines the discipline and practice of systems engineering for students and practicing professionals alike, providing an authoritative reference that is acknowledged worldwide. The latest edition of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook: Is consistent with ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015 Systems and software engineering--System life cycle processes and the Guide to the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK) Has been updated to include the latest concepts of the INCOSE working groups Is the body of knowledge for the INCOSE Certification Process This book is ideal for any engineering professional who has an interest in or needs to apply systems engineering practices. This includes the experienced systems engineer who needs a convenient reference, a product engineer or engineer in another discipline who needs to perform systems engineering, a new systems engineer, or anyone interested in learning more about systems engineering.

Professional SharePoint 2010 Administration

by Steve Caravajal Shane Young Todd Klindt

Thorough coverage of the improvements and changes to SharePoint 2010SharePoint 2010 boasts a variety of incredible new features that will challenge even the most experienced administrator who is upgrading from SharePoint 2007. Written by a team of SharePoint experts, this book places a takes aim at showing you how to make these new features work right for you. Offering an in-depth look at SharePoint 2010, the authors focus on how SharePoint functionality has changed from its earliest version to its newest, and they provide you with detailed coverage of all the new features and capabilities. Presents in-depth coverage of the new features and functions of SharePoint 2010Demonstrates installation, configuration, and upgrading existing SharePoint 2007 serversDiscusses architecture and capacity planning, securing and managing site content, and integrating Office clientsDetails the protocol for handling monitoring, creating backups, and executing disaster recoveryAddresses shared service applications, navigation and governance, and business intelligence and reporting servicesProfessional SharePoint 2010 presents a solid understanding of the functionality that SharePoint 2010 provides, which will allow you to see what it can do for you.

Triggers

by Marshall Goldsmith Mark Reiter

In his powerful new book, bestselling author and world-renowned executive coach Marshall Goldsmith examines the environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life.Do you ever find that you are not the patient, compassionate problem solver you believe yourself to be? Are you surprised at how irritated or flustered the normally unflappable you becomes in the presence of a specific colleague at work? Have you ever felt your temper accelerate from zero to sixty when another driver cuts you off in traffic?As Marshall Goldsmith points out, our reactions don't occur in a vacuum. They are usually the result of unappreciated triggers in our environment--the people and situations that lure us into behaving in a manner diametrically opposed to the colleague, partner, parent, or friend we imagine ourselves to be. These triggers are constant and relentless and omnipresent. The smell of bacon wafts up from the kitchen, and we forget our doctor's advice on lowering our cholesterol. Our phone chirps, and we glance instinctively at the glaring screen instead of looking into the eyes of the person we are with. So often the environment seems to be outside our control. Even if that is true, as Goldsmith points out, we have a choice in how we respond.In Triggers, his most powerful and insightful book yet, Goldsmith shows how we can overcome the trigger points in our lives, and enact meaningful and lasting change.Change, no matter how urgent and clear the need, is hard. Knowing what to do does not ensure that we will actually do it. We are superior planners, says Goldsmith, but become inferior doers as our environment exerts its influence through the course of our day. We forget our intentions. We become tired, even depleted, and allow our discipline to drain down like water in a leaky bucket. In Triggers, Goldsmith offers a simple "magic bullet" solution in the form of daily self-monitoring, hinging around what he calls "active" questions. These are questions that measure our effort, not our results. There's a difference between achieving and trying; we can't always achieve a desired result, but anyone can try. In the course of Triggers, Goldsmith details the six "engaging questions" that can help us take responsibility for our efforts to improve and help us recognize when we fall short.Filled with revealing and illuminating stories from his work with some of the most successful chief executives and power brokers in the business world, Goldsmith offers a personal playbook on how to achieve change in our lives, make it stick, and become the person we want to be.

Be Heard Now!

by Lee Glickstein

As followers of Lee Glickstein's popular seminars attest, effective public speaking isn't the result of being over-prepared or having a slick delivery. It's actually a creative, interactive process relying on the speaker's natural presence and willingness to be "in the moment." Now Glickstein shares his dramatically successful "transformational speaking" approach, showing that the key to successful public speaking lies in spiritual principles that emphasize self-realization and authenticity. Be Heard Now! teaches you how to:Heal your "inner speaker" and overcome your fear of exposureProject a genuine, personal presence to enhance your overall performanceDevelop a keen awareness of the audience and benefit from their responseUse humor and vulnerability to captivate your listenersApply four essential components to write a successful speechWith Glickstein's compassionate, realistic approach, Be Heard Now! can help anyone become a confident, jitter-free public speaker whose ideas flow freely and persuasively.From the Hardcover edition.

Speak Now

by Kenji Yoshino

A renowned legal scholar tells the definitive story of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the trial that will stand as the most potent argument for marriage equalitySpeak Now tells the story of a watershed trial that unfolded over twelve tense days in California in 2010. A trial that legalized same-sex marriage in our most populous state. A trial that interrogated the nature of marriage, the political status of gays and lesbians, the ideal circumstances for raising children, and the ability of direct democracy to protect fundamental rights. A trial that stands as the most potent argument for marriage equality this nation has ever seen. In telling the story of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the groundbreaking federal lawsuit against Proposition 8, Kenji Yoshino has also written a paean to the vanishing civil trial--an oasis of rationality in what is often a decidedly uncivil debate. Above all, this book is a work of deep humanity, in which Yoshino brings abstract legal arguments to life by sharing his own story of finding love, marrying, and having children as a gay man. Intellectually rigorous and profoundly compassionate, Speak Now will stand as the definitive account of a landmark civil-rights trial.From the Hardcover edition.assionate, and beautifully written, Speak Now is both a nuanced and authoritative account of a landmark trial, and a testament to how the clash of proofs in our judicial process can force debates to the ultimate level of clarity.From the Hardcover edition.

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