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  1. 5.3 hrs • 8/2/2016 • Unabridged

    A compelling call to apply Buckminster Fuller’s creative problem solving to present-day problems A self-professed “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist,” the inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) was undoubtedly a visionary. Fuller’s creations often bordered on the realm of science fiction, ranging from the freestanding geodesic dome to the three-wheel Dymaxion car to a bathroom requiring neither plumbing nor sewage. Yet in spite of his brilliant mind and lifelong devotion to serving mankind, Fuller’s expansive ideas were often dismissed, and have faded from public memory since his death. You Belong to the Universe documents Fuller’s six-decade quest to “make the world work for 100 percent of humanity.” Critic and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats sets out to revive Fuller’s unconventional practice of comprehensive anticipatory design, placing Fuller’s philosophy in a modern context and dispelling much of the mythology surrounding Fuller’s life. Keats argues that Fuller’s life and ideas, namely doing “the most with the least,” are now more relevant than ever as humanity struggles to meet the demands of an exploding world population with finite resources. Delving deeply into Buckminster Fuller’s colorful world, Keats applies Fuller’s most important concepts to present-day issues, arguing that his ideas are now not only feasible, but necessary. From transportation to climate change, urban design to education, You Belong to the Universe demonstrates that Fuller’s holistic problem-solving techniques may be the only means of addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues. Keats’ timely book challenges each of us to become comprehensive anticipatory design scientists, providing the necessary tools for continuing Fuller’s legacy of improving the world.

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    You Belong to the Universe by Jonathon Keats

    You Belong to the Universe

    5.3 hrs • 8/2/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    9.3 hrs • 5/31/2016 • Unabridged

    One of the most significant works on our evolutionary ancestry since Richard Leakey’s Origins, The First Signs is the first-ever exploration of the geometric images that accompany most cave art around the world—the first indications of symbolic meaning, intelligence, and language. Imagine yourself as a caveman or cavewoman. The place: Europe. The time: 25,000 years ago, the last Ice Age. In reality, you live in an open-air tent or a bone hut. But you also belong to a rich culture that creates art. In and around your cave paintings are handprints and dots, x’s and triangles, parallel lines and spirals. Your people know what they mean. You also use them on tools and jewelry. And then you vanish—and with you, their meanings. Join renowned archaeologist Genevieve von Petzinger on an Indiana Jones–worthy adventure from the open-air rock art sites of northern Portugal to the dark depths of a remote cave in Spain that can only be reached by sliding face-first through the mud. Von Petzinger looks past the beautiful horses, powerful bison, graceful ibex, and faceless humans in the ancient paintings to the abstract geometric images that accompany them. These terse symbols appear more often than any other kinds of figures—signs that have never really been studied or explained until now. Part travel journal, part popular science, part personal narrative, von Petzinger’s groundbreaking book starts to crack the code on the first form of graphic communication. It’s in her blood, as this talented scientist’s grandmother served as a code breaker at Bletchley. Discernible patterns emerge that point to abstract thought and expression, and for the first time, we can begin to understand the changes that might have been happening inside the minds of our Ice Age ancestors—offering a glimpse of when they became us.

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    The First Signs by Genevieve von Petzinger

    The First Signs

    9.3 hrs • 5/31/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 5.8 hrs • 8/1/2012 • Unabridged

    One of the classic works on interior decoration, Edith Wharton’s The Decoration of Houses offers a comprehensive look at the history and character of turn-of-the-century interior design. Cowritten with architect Ogden Codman, Jr., this invaluable reference provides us with numerous keen and practical axioms for house design, such as (1) The better the house, the less need for curtains, and (2) the height of a well-proportioned doorway should be twice its width. In the words of John Barrington Bayley, President of Classical America, “this book has charm. The Decoration of Houses brings to mind the pictures of Walter Gay: There are the reflections in looking-glasses, and on parquet, and the garnitures of chimney-pieces, boiseriers, the odor of wax; outside the tall glazed doors there is a sunny silent terrace, we are now at Mrs. Wharton’s Pavillon Colombe—a well laid out parterre, a rose garden, and an orchard of Reinette apples and luscious double cherries.”

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    The Decoration of Houses

    5.8 hrs • 8/1/12 • Unabridged
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  4. 11.0 hrs • 10/19/2010 • Unabridged

    I intend that this autobiography shall become a model for all future autobiographies when it is published after my death, and I also intend that it shall be read and admired a good many centuries because of its form and method—a form and method whereby the past and the present are constantly brought face to face, resulting in contrasts which newly fire up the interest all along, like contact of flint with steel. Moreover, this autobiography of mine does not select from my life its showy episodes but deals mainly in the common experiences which go to make up the life of the average human being, because these episodes are of a sort which he is familiar with in his own life, and in which he sees his own life reflected and set down in print.

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    Chapters from My Autobiography by Mark Twain

    Chapters from My Autobiography

    11.0 hrs • 10/19/10 • Unabridged
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  5. 11.9 hrs • 5/22/2008 • Unabridged

    In 1814 British troops invaded and burned Washington; the White House still bears scorch and soot marks on its foundation stones. Until the British tried to obliterate it, many Americans remained violently opposed to the idea of Washington as the nation’s capital. It was only after the British lesson in “hard war,” designed to terrorize Americans, that the city became a locus of unity and national pride. The dramatic story of how Washington, DC, rose from a wilderness is a vital chapter in American history, filled with intrigue and outsized characters—from Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the eccentric, passionate, difficult architect who fell in love with his adopted country, to George Washington, who struggled to balance L’Enfant’s enthusiasm for his brilliant design with the strident opposition of fiscal conservatives such as Thomas Jefferson. Their conflicts mirror the struggles of a fledgling nation to form a kind of government the world had not yet known, prefiguring similar battles fought in Congress today. Utterly absorbing and scrupulously researched, Washington Burning offers a fresh perspective on the birth of not just a city but a nation.

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    Washington Burning

    11.9 hrs • 5/22/08 • Unabridged
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  6. 6.2 hrs • 9/5/2006 • Unabridged

    An unprecedented account of one of civilization’s greatest achievements.The great pyramids of Giza have intrigued humanity for thousands of years. Questions about the construction and the purpose of these majestic monuments have existed since the middle period of ancient Egyptian civilization; in the sixth century B.C., Herodotus was the first of generations of explorers to travel to Egypt in an attempt to unlock their secrets. Recent cutting-edge research has uncovered information about how and why they were built unimaginable to previous generations. In Mountains of the Pharaohs, Zahi Hawass, a world-renowned archaeologist and the official guardian of Egypt’s timeless treasures, weaves the latest archaeological data and an enthralling family history into spellbinding narrative.

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    Mountains of the Pharaohs

    6.2 hrs • 9/5/06 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.0 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    While Galileo was suffering under house arrest at the hands of Pope Urban VIII, the Thirty Years War was ruining Europe, and the Pilgrims were struggling to survive in the New World, work began on what would become one of the Seven Wonders of the World: the Taj Mahal. Built by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, its flawless symmetry and gleaming presence have for centuries dazzled all who have seen it. The story of its creation is a fascinating blend of cultural and architectural heritage. Yet, as Diana and Michael Preston vividly convey in the first narrative history of the Taj Mahal, it also reflects the magnificent history of the Moghul Empire, beginning with legendary warriors Genghis Khan and Tamburlaine.

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    Taj Mahal by Diana Preston, Michael Preston

    Taj Mahal

    10.0 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
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  8. 20.1 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    Bound on a lecture trip around the world, Mark Twain turns his keen satiric eye to foreign lands in Following the Equator. This vivid chronicle of a sea voyage on the Pacific Ocean displays Twain’s eye for the unusual, his wide-ranging curiosity, and his delight in embellishing the facts. The personalities of the ship’s crew and passengers, the poetry of Australian place names, the success of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, an account of the Sepoy Mutiny, and reflections on the Boer War as an expression of imperialistic morality, among other topics, are the focus of his wry humor and redoubtable powers of observation. Following the Equator is an evocative and highly unique American portrait of nineteenth-century travel and customs.

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    Following the Equator by Mark Twain

    Following the Equator

    20.1 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
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