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“Gina Says”: Adventures in the Blogosphere String War

In the summer of 2006 two books attacking string theory, a prominent theory in physics, appeared: Peter Woit’s “Not Even Wrong” and Lee Smolin’s “The Trouble with Physics.” A fierce public debate, much of it on weblogs, ensued. Gina is very curious about science blogs. Can they be useful for learning about or discussing science? What happens in these blogs and who participates in them? Gina is eager to learn the issues and to form her own opinion about the string theory controversy. She is equipped with some academic background, including in mathematics, and has some familiarity with academic life. Her knowledge of physics is derived mainly from popular accounts. Gina likes to debate and to argue. She is fascinated by questions about rationality and philosophy, and was exposed to various other scientific controversies in the past. This book uses the blog debate on string theory to discuss blogs, science, and mathematics. Meandering over various topics from children’s dyscalculia to Chomskian linguistics, the reader may get some sense of the chaotic and often confusing scientific experience. The book tries to show the immense difficulty involved in getting the factual matters right, and interpreting fragmented and partial information.

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“I Have a Dream”: A 50th Year Testament to the March that Changed America

On August 28, 1963, something quite amazing occurred. On that day, one of the largest political rallies ever took place in support of civil and economic rights of African-Americans, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, gave one of the most stirring speeches in history when he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. This book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of this address and includes narrative and more than 100 stunning photos from the march in Birmingham, Alabama, through the March on Washington. The photographs come from Bob Adelman, one of the most notable photographers of this movement. His work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, and the Associated Press. It is authored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization in which Dr. King served as the first president.

About the Author

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is an African-American civil rights organization. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The SCLC had a large role in the American Civil Rights Movement. SCLC is a now a nation-wide organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. Bob Adelman (Miami, FL) is an American photographer known for his images of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Raised on Long Island, New York, he earned his B.A. at Rutgers University, Law Studies from Harvard University, and M.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University. Adelman used his background as a graduate student in Applied Aesthetics from Columbia University to forge close ties with leading figures of art and literature, including Andy Warhol and Samuel Beckett. After studying photography for several years under the tutelage of famed Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch, Adelman volunteered as a photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality in the early 1960s, a position that granted him access to Civil Rights Movement’s key leaders, including Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Baldwin. Adelman currently resides in Miami Beach. His work is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery.

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1,411 QI Facts to Knock You Sideways

1,227 QI Facts blew your socks off. 1,339 QI Facts made your jaw drop. Now the QI team return with this year’s groaning sack of astonishment. All new facts! Prepare to be knocked sideways…Orchids can get jetlag. Lizards can’t walk and breathe at the same time. There are 177,147 ways to tie a tie. Ladybird orgasms last for 30 minutes. Traffic lights existed before cars. Sir Bruce Forsyth is four months older than sliced bread. The soil in your garden is 2 million years old. If there are any facts you don’t believe, or if you want to know more about them, all the sources can be found on qi.com.

About the Author

John Lloyd devised The News Quiz and To the Manor Born for radio before moving to television to start Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image and Blackadder. John Mitchinson was the original Marketing Director of Waterstone’s, became Managing Director of Cassell, where he published The Beatles, Michael Palin and Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, and now runs Unbound. James Harkin is QI’s Senior Researcher and Script Editor and is one of the presenters of the number one podcast No Such Thing As A Fish.

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50 Stories from My Life

S R Nathan is one of Singapore’s most distinguished public servants. Born into poverty, he survived family tragedy, destitution and the Japanese occupation. After getting a university diploma as an adult, he worked his way through the civil service ranks to become successively a mediator in trade union disputes, a foreign affairs expert, a manager of a media company, a diplomat and a two-term president of Singapore. He has been an eyewitness to Singapore’s history before and after independence, with an insider’s view of many key events at home and abroad. It is easy for the younger generations of Singaporeans to assume that the good fortune they now enjoy was easily won. For them, and for anyone interested in Singapore and its history, Mr Nathan has selected 50 episodes from his personal and official life, which offer insights from which the up-and-coming generation will benefit.

About the Author

Mr S R Nathan, former president of Singapore, completed his second and last term of office at the end of August 2011. Before he was elected president in 1999, he had an illustrious career in the Singapore Public Service, overseeing various portfolios in his 50-year career and spanning the fields of labour welfare and foreign relations. He began his service as a medical social worker, followed by six years as a seaman s welfare officer and eventually rose to helm the Labour Research Unit as director in January 1964, when he also helped to establish the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). Following Singapore s independence in 1965, he served in the nascent Ministry of Foreign Affairs as assistant secretary, before progressing to Home Affairs and then to Defence. He returned to the Foreign Ministry in 1979 as first permanent secretary for almost three years before retiring officially from the civil service. Subsequently Mr Nathan served a stint as executive chairman of The Straits Times Press before becoming Singapore s high commissioner to Malaysia (1988 90) and ambassador to the US (1990 6). On his return, he established the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (now the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, RSIS) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and served there until 1999, when he was elected president of Singapore. Mr Nathan is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Singapore Management University (SMU), as well as at the Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and at NTU. He is also chairman of the CapitaLand Hope Foundation. He has authored three books. The first, Why Am I Here, details his work assisting seafarers, and the second, Winning Against The Odds, describes the struggles in establishing the NTUC. Mr Nathan has just recently published his personal memoirs entitled An Unexpected Journey: Path to the Presidency, in September 2011.”

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50 Years of Environment: Singapore’s Journey Towards Environmental Sustainability

In conjunction with Singapore’s 50th birthday in August 2015, 50 Years of Environment: Singapore’s Journey Towards Environmental Sustainability takes the reader through Singapore’s environmental journey over the past 50 years, to its present day challenges and solutions, and seeks to explore what lies ahead for Singapore’s environmental future. This book is divided into three parts. The first, drawn largely from the book Clean, Green and Blue: Singapore’s Journey Towards Environmental and Water Sustainability, will explore the historical developments in Singapore’s environmental journey and the development of NEWater. The second part will be a collection of essays that examine the present environmental challenges that Singapore faces and the ways in which it is addressing those issues through community engagement, international engagement, research and technology, and industry solutions in order to develop sustainable strategies and solutions. Part Three will bring the book to a close by tying the historical and contemporary threads together and discusses the future challenges for Singapore’s environment.

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90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life

In the ten years since “90 Minutes in Heaven” was published, millions of people worldwide have read the incredible true story of Don Piper’s experience with death and life–and in reading they have found their own lives changed. After a semi-truck collided with Don Piper’s car, he was pronounced dead at the scene. For the next ninety minutes, he experienced the glories of heaven. Back on earth, a passing minister felt led to stop and pray for the accident victim even though he was told Piper was dead. Miraculously, Piper came back to life, and the pleasure of heaven was replaced by a long and painful recovery. With a personal update from Don on the impact the book has had on him, his family, and the millions who have heard his story, even those who have read the original book will want to be part of the continuing story of “90 Minutes in Heaven” with this new edition. Also includes a note from the publisher, stories from readers, favorite Scriptures and quotations on heaven from Don Piper, and a photo insert.

About the Author

Don Piper has been an ordained minister since 1985. He is the author of the “New York Times” bestseller “90 Minutes in Heaven” and other popular books. He has appeared on “Today,” “The 700 Club,” James Robison’s “Life Today,” and other television and radio programs, and teaches across the United States and around the world. He and his wife, Eva, live in Texas. Learn more at www.donpiperministries.com. Cecil Murphey has written or coauthored more than one hundred books, including the autobiography of Franklin Graham, “Rebel with a Cause.” A collaborator on the bestseller “Gifted Hands” with Dr. Ben Carson, Cecil resides in Georgia.

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A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain

In the early evening on October 1, 2003, Christina Crosby was three miles into a seventeen mile bicycle ride, intent on reaching her goal of 1,000 miles for the riding season. She was a respected senior professor of English who had celebrated her fiftieth birthday a month before. As she crested a hill, she caught a branch in the spokes of her bicycle, which instantly pitched her to the pavement. Her chin took the full force of the blow, and her head snapped back. In that instant, she was paralyzed. In A Body, Undone, Crosby puts into words a broken body that seems beyond the reach of language and understanding. She writes about a body shot through with neurological pain, disoriented in time and space, incapacitated by paralysis and deadened sensation. To address this foreign body, she calls upon the readerly pleasures of narrative, critical feminist and queer thinking, and the concentrated language of lyric poetry. Working with these resources, she recalls her 1950s tomboy ways in small-town, rural Pennsylvania, and records growing into the 1970s through radical feminism and the affirmations of gay liberation. Deeply unsentimental, Crosby communicates in unflinching prose the experience of “diving into the wreck” of her body to acknowledge grief, and loss, but also to recognize the beauty, fragility, and dependencies of all human bodies. A memoir that is a meditation on disability, metaphor, gender, sex, and love, A Body, Undone is a compelling account of living on, as Crosby rebuilds her body and fashions a life through writing, memory, and desire.

About the Author

Christina Crosby is a Professor of English and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University. She is the author of The Ends of History: Victorians and the ‘Woman Question’ (1991) and has published essays and reviews in Victorian Studies, PMLA, College English, and elsewhere.

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A Civilized Woman: M. L. Boonlua Debyasuvarn and the Thai Twentieth Century

Boonlua Debyasuvarn was born into a noble Siamese family in 1911 and not only witnessed but participated in the great events of her century. Boonlua became one of the first Thai women to earn a university degree. As an official in the Ministry of Education, she worked to improve education and represent Thailand at international conferences. Her essays on literature became the foundation of modern Thai literary criticism and her novels are now recognized as unique social histories of the times in which she lived.

Susan Fulop Kepner is a writer, translator, and former professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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A Dream of Red Mansions

One of the Four Main Classical Novels of China, A Dream of Red Mansions is the only novel to address the role of women in China’s history. This tragic romance is brought to life with the delicate penstrokes of local artist Seraphina Lum, in her debut graphic novel. Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu are cousins who grow up together in the Rong Mansion, residence of the Jia clan. Bound together by their love for poetry, the two lovers spend much time in the beautiful Grand View Garden reciting and composing their own poetry. However, their romance is hindered by Daiyu’s weak condition and Baoyu’s impending marriage with his other cousin, Baochai. The romance is framed by subplots of deceit, tyranny, and lust. Female characters are abound in this classic, and range from the manipulative Wang Xifeng, mistress of the Jian clan, to the maligned Qingwen, Baoyu’s maid. This is truly a classic that is not to be missed!

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A Hakka Woman’s Singapore Stories

Dr Lee Wei Ling, scion of Singapore’s first family, writes about her life as a daughter, doctor and diehard Singaporean. This book addresses a range of matters affecting Singaporeans in a personal way. It reflects her personality, profession, relationships, passions and perspective of life, Singapore and the world, and her loved ones. The chapters are grouped thematically and are capped by an epilogue of six articles which encapsulate the two events that had a major impact on the writer, and resonated deeply with Singaporeans: the passing of her parents.

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A Hundred and One Nights (Library of Arabic Literature)

Known to us only through North African manuscripts, and translated into English for the first time, A Hundred and One Nights is a marvelous example of the rich tradition of popular Arabic storytelling. Like its more famous sibling, the Thousand and One Nights, this collection opens with the frame story of Shahrazad, the gifted vizier’s daughter who recounts imaginative tales night after night in an effort to distract the murderous king from taking her life. A Hundred and One Nights features an almost entirely different set of stories, however, each one more thrilling, amusing, and disturbing than the last. In them, we encounter tales of epic warriors, buried treasures, disappearing brides, cannibal demon women, fatal shipwrecks, and clever ruses, where human strength and ingenuity play out against a backdrop of inexorable, inscrutable fate. Although these tales draw on motifs and story elements that circulated across cultures, A Hundred and One Nights is distinctly rooted in Arabic literary culture and the Islamic tradition. It is also likely much older than Thousand and One Nights, drawing on Indian and Chinese antecedents. This careful edition and vibrant translation of A Hundred and One Nights promises to transport readers, new and veteran alike, into its fantastical realms of magic and wonder.

About the Author

Bruce Fudge is Professor of Arabic at the University of Geneva. He is the author of Qur?anic Hermeneutics: al-?abrisi and the Craft of Commentary (2011) as well as a number of articles on the interpretation of the Qur?an and medieval and modern Arabic literature.

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A Spiritual Economy: Gift Exchange in the Letters of Paul of Tarsus (Synkrisis)

The exchange of gifts is a fundamental part of society and a foundational element in Greco-Roman religions. Combining theories of gift exchange, both modern and Greco-Roman, Thomas Blanton reveals how religious discourse-in the guise of “spiritual gifts” believed to come from Israel’s god-is instrumental in the formation of sociopolitical hierarchies and the assignment of honor and prestige. Blanton uses an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates religion, classics, sociology, and anthropology to investigate the economy of gift exchange shown in Paul’s letters.

About the Author

Thomas R. Blanton, IV, is auxiliary professor in New Testament studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He lives in Glendale, WI.

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After Migration and Religious Affiliation : Religions, Chinese Identities and Transnational Networks

This is a timely book that fills the gap in the study of Chinese overseas and their religions in the global context. Rich in ethnographic materials, this is the first comprehensive book that shows the transnational religious networks among the Chinese of different nationalities and between the Chinese overseas and the regions in China. The book highlights diverse religious traditions including Chinese popular religion, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, and discusses inter-cultural influences on religions, their localization, their significance to cultural belonging, and the transnational nature of religious affiliations and networking.

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Alan Turing’s Systems of Logic: The Princeton Thesis

Between inventing the concept of a universal computer in 1936 and breaking the German Enigma code during World War II, Alan Turing (1912-1954), the British founder of computer science and artificial intelligence, came to Princeton University to study mathematical logic. Some of the greatest logicians in the world–including Alonzo Church, Kurt Godel, John von Neumann, and Stephen Kleene–were at Princeton in the 1930s, and they were working on ideas that would lay the groundwork for what would become known as computer science. This book presents a facsimile of the original typescript of Turing’s fascinating and influential 1938 Princeton PhD thesis, one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science. The book also features essays by Andrew Appel and Solomon Feferman that explain the still-unfolding significance of the ideas Turing developed at Princeton. A work of philosophy as well as mathematics, Turing’s thesis envisions a practical goal–a logical system to formalize mathematical proofs so they can be checked mechanically. If every step of a theorem could be verified mechanically, the burden on intuition would be limited to the axioms. Turing’s point, as Appel writes, is that “mathematical reasoning can be done, and should be done, in mechanizable formal logic.” Turing’s vision of “constructive systems of logic for practical use” has become reality: in the twenty-first century, automated “formal methods” are now routine. Presented here in its original form, this fascinating thesis is one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science.

About the Author

Andrew W. Appel is the Eugene Higgins Professor and Chairman of the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University.

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An Introduction to the New Testament: The Abridged Edition (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)

A long-awaited abridgement of Raymond Brown’s classic and best-selling introduction to the New Testament Since its publication in 1997, Raymond Brown’s Introduction to the New Testament has been widely embraced by modern readers seeking to understand the Christian Bible. Acknowledged as a paragon of New Testament studies in his lifetime, Brown was a gifted communicator who wrote with ease and clarity. Abridged by Marion Soards, who worked with Brown on the original text, this new, concise version maintains the essence and centrist interpretation of the original without tampering with Brown’s perspective, insights, or conclusions. The biblical writings themselves remain the focus, but there are also chapters dealing with the nature, origin, and interpretation of the New Testament texts, as well as chapters concerning the political, social, religious, and philosophical world of antiquity. Furthermore, augmenting Brown’s commentary on the New Testament itself are topics such as the Gospels’ relationship to one another; the form and function of ancient letters; Paul’s thought and life, along with his motivation, legacy, and theology; a reflection on the historical Jesus; and a survey of relevant Jewish and Christian writings. This comprehensive, reliable, and authoritative guidebook is now more accessible for novices, general readers, Bible study groups, ministers, scholars, and students alike.

About the Author

Raymond E. Brown (1928-1998) was a distinguished professor of biblical studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Marion L. Soards is professor of New Testament studies at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

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An Unexpected Journey: Path to the Presidency

Here Singapore’s President S.R. Nathan tells his own story, taking the reader back with him to his childhood, to modest beginnings and life as a runaway in Singapore and Malaya, and then the experience of renewed hope during the Japanese occupation. After a belated and limited university education, as well as a short spell as a social worker dealing with seafarers, he witnessed from inside the Labour Reserch Unit the birth of Singapore’s modern trade union movement. Shortly after Singapore achieved full independence, he joined the staff of the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs, retiring – as he thought – as Permanent Secretary. However, he did not retire. After being asked to run the Straits Times newspaper for a time, he served as High Commissioner in Malaysia and Ambassador in the United States. Few people have packed so much into a life. And then, at an age when most people are well beyond the end of their working lives, he was elected President of Singapore, in which role he has won the hearts of many people in Singapore and abroad.

About the Author

S.R. Nathan (1924-) was elected to the office of President of Singapore September 1st, 1999.

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Annabelle Thong

Devout Catholic schoolteacher Annabelle Thong never thought her chastity was a liability – until she runs away to Paris to find Prince Charming. 

Enrolling herself at the Sorbonne, she meets the suave Patrick Dudoigt, but he’s the one temptation she MUST resist. Annabelle’s belief system is challenged on all fronts, and her naïveté is seen as gauche in the City of Love. Guilt and confusion make for dangerous bedfellows, and when her fellow university students enthusiastically combine reading and rioting, Annabelle can’t help but wonder if everyone’s gone mad – or is it just her? 

Annabelle Thong takes a hilarious look at the sparks that fly when East meets West, and the passions these ignite.

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Asian Encounters: Exploring Connected Histories

The centuries-old interactions between the different regions of Asia took various forms including the migration of people, trade in raw materials and goods, and the exchange of religious, literary, and aesthetic ideas and forms. Covering diverse aspects of these interactions, this volume studies the connections between India and other parts of Asia including China and Southeast Asia. It, therefore, approaches the subject of Asian cultural interactions during the pre-modern and early modern periods through the prism of politics, art, religion, and trade. By bringing together these inter-related aspects of cultural encounters, it explores the complex connected histories of the Asian people in a comprehensive manner. The diversities of cultural interactions addressed in this book range from issues of war and diplomacy to trade, trade routes and ship-wrecks; from the making of grand monumental edifices to the circulation of tiny terracottas and coveted carpets, and from the religious to the secular domains in the exchange of cultural ideas and forms. Crucial for a comprehensive understanding of contemporary networks between the Indian subcontinent and various other parts of Asia, this work shows that interactions across cultures in pre-modern Asia were motivated not only by commercial but also cultural ties and explores the historical context in which they took place.

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Asian Religions in Practice: An Introduction

“Princeton Readings in Religions” is a new series of anthologies on the religions of the world, representing the significant advances that have been made in the study of religions in the last thirty years. This volume brings together the introductions to the first five volumes of this acclaimed series: “Religions of India in Practice” (1995), “Buddhism in Practice” (1995), “Religions of China in Practice” (1996), “Religions of Tibet in Practice” (1997), and “Religions of Japan in Practice” (1999).The introductions to these volumes have been widely praised for their accessible, clear and concise overviews of the religions of Asia, providing both historical context and insightful analysis of Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, and Bon, as well as many local traditions. The authors of the chapters are leading scholars of Asian religions: Richard Davis (India), Stephen Teiser (China), George Tanabe (Japan), and Donald Lopez (Buddhism and Tibet). They bring together the best and most current research on their topics, while series editor, Donald Lopez provides an introduction to the volume as a whole. In addition to providing a wealth of detail on the history, doctrine, and practice of the religions of Asia, the five chapters offer an opportunity for sustained discussions of the category of “religion.”

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