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Aliens, flying saucers, ESP, the Bermuda Triangle, antigravity ... are we talking about science fiction or pseudoscience? Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. Both pseudoscience and science fiction (SF) are creative endeavors that have little in common with academic science, beyond the superficial trappings of jargon and subject matter. The most obvious difference between the two is that pseudoscience is presented as fact, not fiction. Yet like SF, and unlike real science, pseudoscience is driven by a desire to please an audience-in this case, people who "want to believe." This has led to significant cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. SF authors often draw on "real" pseudoscientific theories to add verisimilitude to their stories, while on other occasions pseudoscience takes its cue from SF-the symbiotic relationship between ufology and Hollywood being a prime example of this. This engagingly written and well researched audiobook explores a wide range of intriguing similarities and differences between pseudoscience and the fictional science found in SF.Show more
The mental capacities of the human mind far outstrip those of other animals. Our imaginations and creativity have produced art, music, and literature; built bridges and cathedrals; enabled us to probe distant galaxies, and to ponder the meaning of our existence. When our minds become disordered, they can also take us to the depths of despair. What makes the human brain unique, and able to generate such a rich mental life? In this book, John Parrington draws on the latest research on the human brain to show how it differs strikingly from those of other animals in its structure and function at a molecular and cellular level. And he argues that this 'shift', enlarging the brain, giving it greater flexibility and enabling higher functions such as imagination, was driven by tool use, but especially by the development of one remarkable tool - language. The complex social interaction brought by language opened up the possibility of shared conceptual worlds, enriched with rhythmic sounds, and images that could be drawn on cave walls. This transformation enabled modern humans to leap rapidly beyond all other species, and generated an exceptional human consciousness, a sense of self that arises as a product of our brain biology and the social interactions we experience. Our minds, even those of identical twins, are unique because they are the result of this extraordinarily plastic brain, exquisitely shaped and tuned by the social and cultural environment in which we grew up and to which we continue to respond through life. Linking early work by the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky to the findings of modern neuroscience, Parrington explores how language, culture, and society mediate brain function, and what this view of the human mind may bring to our understanding and treatment of mental illness. Unlike all other animals, the 'mind shift' we humans underwent has left us with the extraordinary power of conscious awareness. And words may lie at the heart of that transformation.Show more
Book-centered mystery novellas from four masters of the craft. From Anne Perry, the New York Times bestselling author of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, comes The Scroll: Hapless bookseller Monty Danforth's recent discovery of a millennia-old manuscript plunges him into a cutthroat conspiracy. Christopher Fowler, author of the Bryant and May mysteries, presents Reconciliation Day: One man's obsession with a lost edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula sends him on a dangerous journey to Transylvania. From F. Paul Wilson, the New York Times bestselling creator of Repairman Jack, comes The Compendium of Srem: Prior Tomás de Torquemada yields the ultimate power, deciding who lives and dies during the Spanish Inquisition, but an ancient, evil tome is about to change that. Elizabeth George, the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley novels, brings you The Mysterious Disappearance of the Reluctant Book Fairy: A woman's gift for immersing herself in the plot of whatever book she likes draws overwhelming fame-and misfortune.Show more
Master Hugh is asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert who has outstayed his welcome at Bampton Castle. The next morning after Master Hugh provides the potion, Sir Henry is found dead, eyes open, in his bed. Master Hugh, the target of the wife's wrath, is asked by Lord Gilbert to determine the cause of death ...Show more
It is the autumn of 1367. Master Hugh de Singleton is enjoying the peaceful life of Bampton, when a badly beaten man is found under the porch of St. Andrew’s Chapel. The dying man is a chapman, a traveling merchant. Before he is buried in the chapel grounds an ancient, corroded coin is found in the man’s mouth. Master Hugh’s quest for the chapman’s assailants, and his search for the origin of the coin, makes steady progress—but there are men of wealth and power who wish to halt his search, and an old nemesis, Sir Simon Trillowe, is in league with them. But Master Hugh, and his assistant, the groom Arthur, are determined to uncover the thieves and murderers and the source of the chapman’s coin. This they do but not before they become involved with a kidnapped maiden, a tyrannical abbot, and a suffering monk—a man who needs Master Hugh’s surgical skills and in return provides clues which assist Hugh in solving the mystery of the tainted coin.Show more
A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, is the incredible first instalment of the Shades of Magic series, from #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab. Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There's Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There's Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London... 'A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...'- DEBORAH HARKENESSShow more
Thomas atte Bridge, a man no one likes, is found hanging from a tree near Cowleys Corner. All assume he has taken his own life, but Master Hugh and Kate find evidence that this may not be so. Many of the town had been harmed by Thomas, and Hugh is not eager to send one of them to the gallows. Then he discovers that the priest John Kellet, atte Bridge’s partner in crime in A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel, was covertly in Bampton at the time atte Bridge died. Master Hugh is convinced that Kellet has murdered atte Bridge—one rogue slaughtering another. He sets out for Exeter, where Kellet now works. But there he discovers that the priest is an emaciated skeleton of a man, who mourns the folly of his past life. Hugh must return to Bampton and discover which of his friends has murdered his enemy.Show more
Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well-known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh’s investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh’s pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate? One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn’t think so, but it will take all of his skills to prove.Show more
A further episode in the Unquiet Bones series, following the life and fortunes of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in medieval Bampton, Oxfordshire Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, had gone out at dusk to seek those who might violate curfew. When, the following morning, he had not returned home, his young wife Matilda had sought out Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor. Two days later Alan’s corpse was discovered in the hedge, at the side of the track to St. Andrew’s Chapel. His throat had been torn out—his head was half severed from his body—and his face, hands, and forearms were lacerated with deep scratches. Master Hugh, meeting Hubert the coroner at the scene, listened carefully to the coroner’s surmise that a wolf had caused the great wound. And yet, if so, why was there no blood?Show more
First in the medieval whodunnit series set in Bampton, Oxfordshire, during the plague years and featuring a newly qualified surgeon Hugh of Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight, has been educated as a clerk, usually a prelude to taking holy orders. However, feeling no certain calling despite a lively faith, he turns to the profession of surgeon, training in Paris and then hanging out his sign in Oxford. A local lord asks him to track the killer of a young woman whose bones have been found in the castle cesspit. She is identified as the impetuous missing daughter of a local blacksmith, and her young man, whom she had provoked very publicly, is in due course arrested and sentenced at the Oxford assizes. From there the tale unfolds, with graphic medical procedures, droll medieval wit, misdirection, ambition, romantic distractions, and a consistent underlying Christian compassion.Show more
This book will help you appreciate the significance of Japan's own religion in everyday life, recognize the key traditions and festivals of the Shinto year, understand what you will see at Shinto shrines and in Shinto rituals, and gain insights into the controversies surrounding Shinto politics and nationalism. Access the world's religions through this entry in this series of simple guides that provide concise, accessible introductions to the world's major religions. Written by experts in the field, these guides offer an engaging and sympathetic description of the key concepts, beliefs, and practices of different faiths. By offering essential insights into the core values, customs, and beliefs of different societies, they also enable visitors to be aware of the cultural sensibilities of their hosts and to behave in a way that fosters mutual respect and understanding. Ideal for spiritual seekers and travelers alike, these guides aim to open the doors of perception.Show more
Lady Philippa, the wife of Sir Aymer, a knight of the realm, disappears while traveling from her husband’s manor to Bampton. She and her maid are traveling in an enclosed wagon, while her husband and his grooms and a squire are mounted. When the party arrives at Bampton Castle neither the lady nor her maid are within the enclosed wagon—they have simply vanished. As the disappearance may have happened while the travelers were on Lord Gilbert’s lands, his surgeon and bailiff, Hugh de Singleton, is assigned to discover what has happened to the lady. Has she been taken? Has she fled her husband? A few days later her husband receives a ransom demand, and Hugh is named to deliver the money. Why him? The ransom is paid, but the lady is not returned. Can Hugh help find her, or is it already too late?Show more
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