9 New Releases On Sale Now!!
9 New Releases On Sale Now!!
  • Years That Changed History: 1215

    Professor Dorsey Armstrong, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    Years That Changed History: 1215 is a unique course, offering you the chance to delve into one of the most interesting periods in world history. Over 24 wide-ranging lectures, Professor Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University gives you the Big History of this singular year, introducing you to the people, events, and consequences of the world in 1215.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Years That Changed History: 1215 is a unique course, offering you the chance to delve into one of the most interesting periods in world history. Over 24 wide-ranging lectures, Professor Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University gives you the Big History of this singular year, introducing you to the people, events, and consequences of the world in 1215.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Years That Changed History: 1215
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The World before 1215
      Begin your survey of this amazing year with some context. Europe in the 13th century was experiencing a period of climate warming, which led to a population boom as well as the expansion of urban centers and the growth of cities. Meanwhile, in Asia, the Mongols were finding their ages-old way of life threatened by these same changes. x
    • 2
      The Magna Carta: Patching Up a Squabble
      History buffs likely know that the Magna Carta was drafted in 1215, and that it helped establish English law as we know it. But what was actually in this document? And why was it created in the first place? Here, you’ll discover the surprisingly narrowly-focused origins of a short-lived document—what seemed at the time like a minor footnote in history. x
    • 3
      What's Really in the Magna Carta?
      Continue your study of the Magna Carta by investigating some of its most interesting clauses. As you learned in the previous lecture, the document was meant to appease a group of nobles, and the negotiated settlement is a delightful mix of grand pronouncements and specific requests—including that widows shall not be compelled to remarry. x
    • 4
      The Magna Carta's Legacy
      Although the Magna Carta is revered today as a founding document of British law and a democratic sensibility, it's stunning to reflect on how easily it could have been forgotten. Shortly after it was officially accepted by both king and nobles, the pope annulled the document; yet that isn't the end of the story. Here, trace the Magna Carta's story across the ages. x
    • 5
      What Inspired the Fourth Lateran Council?
      If you went back in time and asked anyone in 1215 what the most important event of the year was, most people in Europe would cite the Fourth Lateran Council. In this lecture, Professor Armstrong surveys the history of Christianity and the events leading up to this pivotal ecclesiastical event. x
    • 6
      Canons for Christian Practice and Belief
      Delve into the canons that were decreed at the Fourth Lateran Council. Find out what Church leaders were trying to accomplish, or what crises they were attempting to address. From heresies to marriage to the nature of the priesthood, the Fourth Lateran Council took on issues that affected nearly everyone in Europe. x
    • 7
      The Canons of Persecution
      Continue your study of the Fourth Lateran Council with this examination of the “canons of persecution.” Whereas the canons you studied in Lecture 6 primarily affected Christians, the canons in this lecture were directed specifically at non-Christians—particularly Muslims and Jews. After exploring these persecution canons, consider the background for the Crusades. x
    • 8
      Civilizations in the Americas in 1215
      Shift your attention from Europe to the Americas, where a number of civilizations were thriving in 1215. Although no single lecture could do justice to all of these civilizations, Professor Armstrong spotlights the Pueblo people, the Incas, and the Maya, providing a solid foundation for what was happening on the American continents at the time. x
    • 9
      Civilizations of Sub-Saharan Africa in 1215
      Africa in 1215 was home to a number of fascinating civilizations, including the Mali Empire, the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, and the Ethiopian Empire. Travel to Sub-Saharan Africa to review the history leading up to these great civilizations, meet some of the major figures, and explore some of their great feats, from mining to dry-stone engineering. x
    • 10
      The Crusading Impulse
      A few lectures ago, you studied the “persecution canons” of the Fourth Lateran Council and saw the tense relationship between the Church and non-Christians. Here, Professor Armstrong unpacks the background to the Crusades, beginning with Pope Urban II’s 1095 call for Christians to take the Holy Land back from the Muslims. x
    • 11
      The Fourth Crusade and the Crusader States
      In the century after Pope Urban II, a “crusading impulse” had taken over medieval western Europe. In this lecture, you will examine the Fourth Crusade, which began in 1198 and culminated with the sack of Constantinople in 1204. Then turn to the Children’s Crusade that followed. x
    • 12
      The Fourth Lateran Council and the Jews
      The Fourth Lateran Council marked a turning point for Jewish communities in medieval Europe. In this first of two lectures on the Jewish experience around 1215, Professor Armstrong provides an overview of anti-Semitism in medieval European society. Reflect on the uneasy relationship between Jews and Christians. x
    • 13
      The Jews in 1215 and Beyond
      Continue your study of the Jewish experience in medieval Europe. Examine the aftermath of 1215 and the Fourth Lateran Council's insistence on Christian dominance. In the 13th century, institutional persecution began trickling down to the masses, leading to blood libel accusations, among other abominations. x
    • 14
      Francis of Assisi and the Mendicant Orders
      As you may recall, the Fourth Lateran Council attempted to curb the formation of new monastic orders, yet the Church soon after granted an exception for the Franciscans and the Dominicans. Dive into the background of these orders, meet St. Francis of Assisi, and see how his life inspired the creation of a new religious order. x
    • 15
      The Crusade against the Cathars
      Catharism is a version of Christianity even more revolutionary than the mendicant orders you studied in the last lecture. In fact, Catharism was so radical that some people argued its belief system was not Christianity at all. See why, in the early 13th century, the pope turned his attention away from the Crusades abroad to root out Catharism at home. x
    • 16
      Mongol Culture before Genghis Khan
      Too often, western history books portray the Mongols as bloodthirsty murderers and destroyers hellbent on destroying civilization, but the true story of Mongol society is much different. As Marco Polo relayed after a visit to Kublai Khan, the Mongols did much to stabilize the societies they conquered. Explore the dual identity of the Mongols. x
    • 17
      The Mongols and the Rise of Genghis Khan
      The rise of Genghis Khan is an amazing, unbelievable story. How did a low-ranking man from the Mongolian steppes rise up to be one of the greatest military leaders the world has ever seen? In this lecture, Professor Armstrong surveys the dazzling rise of Genghis Khan, outlines his military strategy, and surveys his conquests across Asia. x
    • 18
      The Battle of Beijing
      By the early 13th century, Genghis Khan had defeated all of his immediate rivals and brought a number of regional tribes under his banner, including the Huns, Turks, and Tatars. His crowning achievement was his success at the Battle of Beijing, when he consolidated his control of China. As you'll discover, the battle was decidedly one-sided from the start. x
    • 19
      What Happened to the Mongols after 1215?
      When Genghis Khan died, his greatest legacies were his tradition of warfare as well as the way he unified so many disparate groups of people. In this final lecture on the Mongols, follow the story of his sons and grandsons, and witness the collapse of the largest, contiguous political entity ever to exist. x
    • 20
      The Status of Women in 1215
      To tackle the subject of what the world was like in general for women in 1215, Professor Armstrong returns to medieval Europe, which was home to many powerful and well-educated women. Explore the lives of three exemplary women of the time: Hildegard of Bingen, Héloïse, and Eleanor of Aquitaine. x
    • 21
      Literary Trends in the Early 13th Century
      Religious writing was flourishing in 1215, and religious tracts and guides provide a crucial window into 13th-century spirituality and behavior. Beyond religion, however, the Norse and Icelandic sagas offer great insight into the myths, events, and stories of a pagan, pre-Christian past, while the Arthurian legend grew in popularity throughout the medieval world. Review this amazing—and sometimes amazingly weird—literature. x
    • 22
      The Islamic World in 1215
      In the 13th century, the Islamic world was experiencing a golden age of art, science, education, and more. From Baghdad’s House of Wisdom to figures such as Avicenna, Averroës, Saladin, and more, take a tour of this grand world. Learn about the foundations of modern medicine and mathematics. x
    • 23
      Japan and Samurai Culture
      Mongol culture affected huge swaths of the world, including Japan. After reflecting on the feudal structure of Japan in the 13th century, Professor Armstrong traces the rise of the shoguns, which is rooted in the 1185 conflict between the Taira and Minamoto clans. Examine the history of shoguns, the samurai, and more. x
    • 24
      The World after 1215
      Much of this course has been about looking back to a watershed year in world history. In this final lecture, Professor Armstrong looks forward to consider how the events from this course shaped the centuries that followed. With a shifting climate, the decline of population, and the catastrophic Black Death in the 14th century, we can look back and see that the year 1215 is truly an anomalous time. x
  • Understanding the Misconceptions of Science

    Professor Don Lincoln, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    In Understanding the Misconceptions of Science, join Professor Don Lincoln, a Senior Scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, on a 24-lecture exploration of shocking truths about some of science’s most well-known—and often controversial—concepts, including the physics of flight, black holes, quantum mechanics, evolution, and even the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

    View Lecture List (24)

    In Understanding the Misconceptions of Science, join Professor Don Lincoln, a Senior Scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, on a 24-lecture exploration of shocking truths about some of science’s most well-known—and often controversial—concepts, including the physics of flight, black holes, quantum mechanics, evolution, and even the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding the Misconceptions of Science
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      What the World Gets Wrong about Science
      Start your journey through some of the most jarring misconceptions of science with this introductory look at the nature of science itself. You’ll examine ways the scientific method deviates from the way it’s taught, the true definitions of terms like “theory” and “model,” and the relationship science shares with philosophy. x
    • 2
      Franklin's Kite and Other Electrifying Myths
      It turns out the usual story of Benjamin Franklin’s discovery of electricity using just a kite and a key isn’t exactly true. Get the real story behind this and other misunderstandings about electricity and reframe the way you think about how electricity works—in nature, in batteries, and throughout your home.. x
    • 3
      The Ideal Gas Law (It's Not Ideal)
      Here, Professor Lincoln reveals the ways in which common teachings about gases and their properties are idealizations that ignore important considerations such as the size of atoms. Topics include the limitations of the Ideal Gas Law (PV=nRT) and the importance of the van der Waals equation. x
    • 4
      From the Ground Up: How Flying Works
      Get a whirlwind introduction to the scientific truths about how planes fly through the air. This lecture overturns the (often-very-wrong) way flight is taught in introductory physics classes and focuses on two relevant subjects involved in flight: air circulation and how the wing pushes air downward. x
    • 5
      From the Sky Down: How Falling Works
      Introductory physics classes tell you that a ball thrown on the surface of the earth follows a parabola. What happens when you take away the simplifying assumptions in this scenario? How do we factor in air resistance and the Earth's rotation? What happens when an object falls from very great heights? x
    • 6
      Myths of Orbital Motion
      In this lecture, revisit some of the common misconceptions we have about how the universe works, with a focus on our solar system. Two myths you'll bust: that the orbits of planets are all fixed ellipses and that astronauts on the International Space Station live in zero gravity. x
    • 7
      What's Inside Atoms?
      Discover a very different idea about the real essence of matter as it relates to the molecules and atoms of chemistry. Learn to think about matter as entirely empty space, not tiny balls; consider the inside of a proton and neutron; and ponder the question of where, exactly, mass comes from. x
    • 8
      The Truth Is in Here: The Science of Aliens
      There are some popular misconceptions about alien life that science-fiction writers have said often enough that we take them to be likely or true—but are they? Professor Lincoln unpacks the possibility of silicon-based life and truths about the Drake equation, which posits the number of possible civilizations in our universe. x
    • 9
      Misconceptions about Evolution
      It's often the misconceptions about evolution that lead people to not believe in it. This lecture tackles four prevalent myths about the theory of evolution: that it explains how life began, that it states humans descended from chimpanzees, that evolution has a goal, and that evolution means more complex organisms will evolve. x
    • 10
      Nutrition’s All About You—and Your Gut Biome
      How do misconceptions about nutrition spread? What if what you learned about digestion isn't the entire story? In this lecture, examine the unseemly alliance between science, advertisers, and the media; and make sense of the important role that a fascinating microbe ecosystem plays in how the human gut works. x
    • 11
      Humans Are Not Peas: Myths about Genetics
      It might surprise you to know that most human characteristics—including eye color—aren’t governed by a single gene. Nor do dominant genes always become more common over time. As you’ll discover, we owe these and other misconceptions about genetics to the Punnett squares you first encountered in high school biology. x
    • 12
      Getting Smarter about Intelligence
      Focus your attention on popular myths about the human brain. There's the myth that we only use 10 percent of our brain power, the concept that people can be right- or left-brained, and the complexities of learning styles and IQ scores to consider. Use current science to make sense of how your brain works. x
    • 13
      Exposing the Truth about Radiation
      Radiation is one of the most misunderstood of all scientific phenomena. Get the scientific truths about this subject by investigating the four types of ionizing radiation, including alpha radiation, beta radiation, gamma radiation, and neutron radiation. Then consider how much radiation you encounter every day—and how much of it you can ignore. x
    • 14
      Does Carbon-14 Dating Work?
      Clarify oversimplified ideas concerning how carbon dating works and get a stronger appreciation of just how complicated and sophisticated a scientific technique it is. While dating objects under 60,000 years old has become relatively easy, the current accuracy of modern science depends on taking subtle effects into consideration. You'll learn why doing it precisely takes some care. x
    • 15
      How Statistics Can Lie to You
      The best way to read statistics correctly: Understand the various ways they can be misused to fool you. Here, Professor Lincoln discusses how averages and percentages can make certain statistics seem shocking, reveals how you should rethink the confidence threshold of 95 percent that scientists use, and more. x
    • 16
      Does Thermodynamics Disprove Evolution?
      Take on a few of the simpler misunderstandings revolving around heat as it relates to thermodynamics: the ways heat energy moves and changes. Is it correct to say heat always rises? Are entropy and disorder synonymous? How do we often misinterpret the second law of thermodynamics, and what does it tell us about evolution? x
    • 17
      How Relativity Is Misunderstood
      At its core, relativity is about something very simple: how two people in relative motion see the world differently. In the first of two lectures on misunderstandings about relativity, explore the Lorentz transforms, then journey through a seeming paradox that disappears once you use the Lorentz transforms properly. x
    • 18
      E=mc2 and Other Relativity Myths
      Get the truth about the most famous equation in science. Ponder the most notorious paradox in special relativity, known as the twin paradox. Discover whether or not we really can travel faster than the speed of light. Strengthen your appreciation of how, despite its mind-blowing nature, relativity is the way the world works. x
    • 19
      Why Do Black Holes Get Such a Bad Rap?
      Few astronomical bodies are more misunderstood—and more mysterious—than black holes. Can they actually reach out and grab matter near them? Do they have a singularity at their core? Find out in this journey that takes you from outside the Schwarzschild radius to inside the event horizon and beyond. x
    • 20
      What Banged, and Was It Big?
      Develop a better, more scientifically accurate mental picture of the Big Bang. What exactly happens is hard to get your head around, but the key involves understanding the links between matter, energy, space, and time. And all you need to grasp this fascinating concept is a common balloon. x
    • 21
      Can You Go Faster Than Light?
      In this lecture, Professor Lincoln explains the various ways in which talking about the speed of light can lead to a misunderstanding of whether or not particles can travel faster than light. Learn why it’s more accurate to say objects cannot move through space faster than light—but space itself can. x
    • 22
      Untangling How Quantum Mechanics Works
      Examine the peculiarities of quantum mechanics in an effort to better understand what's going on in the quantum world. Get a whirlwind introduction that covers everything from the wave function and the behavior of electrons to the double-slit experiment and the surprising differences between classical and quantum mechanics. x
    • 23
      Untangling What Quantum Mechanics Means
      Dig deeper into misconceptions about quantum mechanics, with a focus on the complicated, the contradictory, and the downright sketchy. What happens to an electron when you're not looking at it? Can a cat be both alive and dead at the same time? Should we connect quantum mechanics with Buddhism and Taoism? x
    • 24
      Is There a Theory of Everything?
      Searching for a theory of everything is a grand, epic saga. Start your own search with this engrossing investigation of the building blocks of the cosmos and the forces that hold them together—both of which are required to even begin to develop a fundamental theory that answers all questions. x
  • Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity

    Instructor Molly Birkholm,

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    Research shows we thrive not when we avoid our problems but when we embrace them, confident that we are resilient enough to work through them to an appropriate resolution. In Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity, you’ll learn how to create greater resilience. Whether you’re a trauma survivor or someone who is simply reaching for a more fulfilling and joyful life, your life will be enriched when you proactively increase your resilience.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Research shows we thrive not when we avoid our problems but when we embrace them, confident that we are resilient enough to work through them to an appropriate resolution. In Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity, you’ll learn how to create greater resilience. Whether you’re a trauma survivor or someone who is simply reaching for a more fulfilling and joyful life, your life will be enriched when you proactively increase your resilience.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Foundation of Resilience
      Adversity is sure to come to each of us in life. Will we be crippled by it or see an opportunity for growth? The answer lies in our ability to be resilient. Meet the eight themes of resilience this course will bring to life: core values and purpose, finding meaning in adversity, equanimity, self-care, healthy coping skills, a positive sense of self, support and connection with others, and a proactive worldview. x
    • 2
      The Hero's Journey
      Whether or not you think of yourself as a hero, chances are the adversity in your life has caused you to walk the hero’s journey. Discover what that journey entails—illustrated by your instructor’s own life—from initial call to adventure, through the ordeal and rebirth, until stepping into your new truth in a world that no longer seems as ordinary as you’d once thought. x
    • 3
      The Resilient Human Spirit
      Learn how humans have nurtured a spirit of resilience for thousands of years through instinct, “deep listening,” the Golden Rule, rites of passage, and faith—whether spiritual or not. Studying these practices, scientists are now confirming and promoting some of these techniques as ways to process adverse experiences and return to harmony. x
    • 4
      The Consequences of Stress
      Humans have always experienced periods of acute stress, and we have the nervous system to prove it. Explore how the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for the fight-flight-freeze response, and how the parasympathetic nervous system relaxes the body when the cause of stress has passed. But if the cause of stress becomes chronic, serious long-term health consequences can result. x
    • 5
      Mastering Physical Resilience
      We often think of physical resilience as our body’s physical strength and fitness—the stronger we are, the quicker we’ll bounce back. But that’s only part of it. Learn about the additional skills needed to recover well from physical stress, illness, or injury. You’ll see that building physical resilience is not just what you do, it’s also how and why you do it. x
    • 6
      Improving Emotional Resilience
      We’ve been socialized to believe positive emotions are good and negative emotions are bad, but that is far from the truth. Our emotions are simply our individual responses to the situations we experience; we can accept, pay attention to, and learn from all of them. Explore some coping mechanisms for regulating your emotions—which some scientists see as the single most vital aspect of resilience. x
    • 7
      Strengthening Mental Resilience
      Our mind is the gatekeeper to our perception of our lived experience, and it has the power to make or break our ability to recover from adversity. While we can't completely control what we think, we can control how we understand and react to those thoughts. Explore the important relationships between your thoughts, belief systems, and core values, and learn why psychological flexibility is the foundation of mental resilience. x
    • 8
      The Practice of Self-care
      Does self-care sound uncomfortably self-focused and egotistical to you? If so, remember that caring for yourself is a crucial component of your own resilience, as well as giving you the energy and ability to help others. Learn how the Wheel of Life exercise can help you determine where you're lacking in self-care, and how to create and manage your own Self-Care Journal to improve your resilience. x
    • 9
      The Rewards of Sleep
      We often think of sleep as simply what's left over at the end of the day. But to the contrary: healthy sleep patterns can transform your life with improved physical and mental health, better memory, and even increased longevity. Learn how to prepare your bedroom, your body, and your mind for high-quality sleep, and the many ways in which your phone can both hinder and help you achieve that goal. x
    • 10
      Finding Equanimity with Mindfulness
      Our lives can feel like swirling maelstroms of sensory input, thoughts, and emotions. But there is a way to find the stillness that permanently exists beneath it all—meditation. Validated by thousands of scientific studies, meditation has been proven to enhance almost every aspect of life. Experience the power of mindfulness meditation and learn how it can help you find peace in the present moment. x
    • 11
      Understanding Trauma
      All trauma—whether caused by a single event or prolonged exposure to a traumatic pattern—affects our physical body and our mind. Trauma causes specific changes in the brain and even in the genetics of reproduction. Learn why, without help, the mind and body can get stuck in the loop of the sympathetic nervous system’s trauma response. And how, with appropriate help, the mind and body can heal. x
    • 12
      Discovering Post-Traumatic Growth
      Those who can process their trauma can move forward to become stronger, wiser, and more resilient. Using Harriet Beecher Stowe as a fascinating example, you’ll learn how post-traumatic growth can lead to improved personal strength, the opening of new possibilities, spiritual change, and greater appreciation for life. We can become more resilient because of—not despite—adversity. x
    • 13
      Suzi Landolphi on Post-Traumatic Growth
      You will thoroughly enjoy this enlightening conversation between your instructor and Suzi Landolphi, a well-known leader in the post-traumatic growth movement, who currently works with combat veterans as a PATHH Guide (Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes). Just as trauma can be transmitted to successive generations, so can post-traumatic growth, she says. She sees it all the time. x
    • 14
      Cultivating Community and Connection
      Human beings are wired for connection to others; our initial cognitive development depends on physical touch, and our “mirror neurons” teach us how to be human based on our interactions with others. Learn how to develop quality connections with others, connections that will help you thrive and increase resilience. Your instructor shares the inspiring stories of two individuals who did just that. x
    • 15
      Finding Safety
      When we feel unsafe, our brains become stuck in the response of the sympathetic nervous system and we have very little access to higher cognitive functioning. Learn how to increase your number of protective factors, increasing your feeling of safety and your resilience. The goal isn't to eliminate the risk of danger, but rather to have as much control over it as possible. x
    • 16
      Opening to Joy and Gratitude
      Authentic, lasting joy is an internal experience, not dependent upon any circumstances outside of ourselves. Learn how to find authentic joy by opening up to all of life—allowing yourself to feel the full range of your feelings, including those emotions you’ve been taught to bury—and taking responsibility for your own choices in your unique journey. x
    • 17
      Practice 1: Building Resilience
      Instructor Birkholm takes you through a gentle yoga practice to help build awareness of your body, feelings, and beliefs. No yoga experience is necessary. You'll be guided by this step-by-step instruction, which is modeled both standing and sitting. At the end of the practice, you'll experience a deep relaxation pose, resting in the stillness that is always available to you. x
    • 18
      Practice 2: De-stressing with Your Breath
      Learning to work with breathing is particularly powerful, as breath is the only function of the autonomic nervous system we can control. You’ll practice the three-part yogic breath, relaxation breath, energizing breath, and alternate-nostril breathing, among others. You’ll develop a better understanding of the yogic saying: “the mind affects the breath, and the breath affects the mind.” x
    • 19
      Practice 3: Promoting Sleep
      This practice will guide you through the steps of preparing for sleep. You’ll learn how to focus your attention on the good things that happened during your day as you start to settle in. You’ll enjoy relaxing all parts of the body—front, back, and sides—getting rid of tension wherever you’re carrying it. The guided meditation at the end of the practice might lead you directly into sleep. x
    • 20
      Practice 4: Relaxing Yoga for Self-Care
      This yoga practice—whether sitting or lying down—releases your body’s tension and encourages you to connect to your physical experiences on a deeper level. You’ll learn movements and breathing techniques that can be used during an average day at a desk or in a car. You’ll learn to let the breath carry the pose and find that union between body, mind, breath, and spirit. x
    • 21
      Practice 5: Practicing Mindfulness
      In this mindfulness practice, you’ll continue to build awareness of your physical body, emotions, and mind. You’ll learn how to witness your thoughts and emotions in the present moment as they move in and out of your mind, without labeling them “good” or “bad.” This powerful practice will open up a new way for you to relate to your own thoughts, memories, and beliefs. x
    • 22
      Practice 6: Evoking the Relaxation Response
      In this practice, you’ll learn how to trigger your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, your relaxation response, whenever you want to calm down. You’ll use your breath to continually invite your body to relax—and then notice your body’s response without judgment. These techniques are always available to you and can be applied at any time throughout your day. x
    • 23
      Practice 7: Finding Safety with Yoga Nidra
      In this practice, you'll learn how to find safety and peacefulness within yourself. You'll be guided through a very deep relaxation, a safe and peaceful awareness similar to what you might experience just before sleep. This is the peace that is always available to you, no matter what's going on around you in the outside world, a stillness you can always access. x
    • 24
      Your Hero's Journey
      Resilience, one of the most important skills we can master, is essential to navigating life successfully and reaching our fullest potential. As we each go through our own hero's journey, we venture through life's trials and tribulations, but also through its beauty and rewards. Learn how to identify and evaluate your personal strengths, and how they will help you on your own hero's journey. x
  • Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America's Pastime

    Instructor Bruce Markusen, Manager of Digital and Outreach Learning

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    Every time you watch baseball, you’re participating in the latest chapter of a compelling story that goes back hundreds of years. In 24 lectures that paint a portrait of the sport’s remarkable past, taking you from the decades before the Civil War to the pivotal year of 1920, Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America’s Pastime strikes a perfect balance between sports lore and cultural history.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Every time you watch baseball, you’re participating in the latest chapter of a compelling story that goes back hundreds of years. In 24 lectures that paint a portrait of the sport’s remarkable past, taking you from the decades before the Civil War to the pivotal year of 1920, Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America’s Pastime strikes a perfect balance between sports lore and cultural history.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America's Pastime
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Ground Rules: Baseball before Babe Ruth
      The year 1920 is considered a pivotal year in baseball, when a sense of uniformity in the game was finally achieved. But what about the decades before? Travel back to the years before 1920—a time when changes in the game were rapid, dramatic, and often surprising. x
    • 2
      Early Bat and Ball Games
      Take a look back at the very beginnings of baseball and discover how and why the early version of the game evolved in the middle of the 19th century. Learn how early clubs like the Gothams and the Knickerbockers helped repurpose a familiar child's game so it could be played by urban adults. x
    • 3
      The Era of Amateur Baseball Clubs
      Explore the rise of amateur baseball clubs in the United States. The tour starts with Brooklyn's Eckford Club, whose outings primarily served as refreshing countryside excursions. Then, go back still further to follow the rise of the Knickerbocker Club of New York City and the significance of their 1845 decision to write down the rules of the game. x
    • 4
      The Dawn of Professional Baseball
      In this lecture, learn how the game of baseball moved toward professionalism—and what made professionalization so polarizing. Central to this lecture is future Hall of Famer Harry Wright, who helped pave the way for professional baseball’s success by assembling a talented group of players (and touting their refinement and decorum). x
    • 5
      Baseball's Many Leagues and Associations
      Learn how, after a tumultuous three decades, baseball finally found a formula for 20th-century success: leagues and associations. Topics include the transformations of minor leagues into major ones, the competitive relationships between leagues, and the national agreement of 1883 that paved the way for what became known as “organized baseball.” x
    • 6
      How Baseball Created the World Series
      One effective way to increase public confidence in the outcome of competitive baseball? Offer a valuable prize to the winners. Chart the turbulent evolution of the post-season series: a story filled with controversy, sabotage, peace agreements, and injuries, culminating in the first World Series between the Boston Americans and the National League Pirates. x
    • 7
      Baseball Grows by Hitting the Road
      In the second half of the 19th century, advancing technology offered greater access to faraway places, which opened new avenues for baseball. From national to world tours, take a closer look at how baseball's popularity continued to spread, and how men like Jimmy Ryan and Albert Goodwill Spalding helped set it all in motion. x
    • 8
      Sacred Ground: Baseball's Early Ballparks
      In this lecture, survey the history of ballparks from the Elysian Fields in Hoboken to Wrigley Field to Fenway Park and beyond. You’ll learn how ballparks were defined by their surroundings, the rise of “infields” and “outfields,” the idiosyncratic dimensions and sizes of 19th-century ballparks, the state-of-the-art architectural elements of 20th-century ballparks, and more. x
    • 9
      The Development of Baseball's Rules
      Here, Mr. Markusen helps you make sense of the litany of rule changes that took place in the 75 years between 1845 (when the Knickerbocker Club of New York City framed the first written rules) and 1920 (when it became customary to replace the baseball on a regular basis). x
    • 10
      The Evolution of Protective Equipment
      Face masks, chest protectors, catcher’s mitts, fielder’s gloves—explore how protective equipment became more and more a part of baseball (after much tinkering and adjusting). Also, consider complaints by “old-time” baseball fans that the proliferation of protective equipment robbed the sport of two crucial elements: skill and courage. x
    • 11
      The Role of Women in Baseball's Early Days
      First, examine the role of women in baseball as spectators whose presence was expected to prevent coarse behavior by male fans. Then, explore how colleges like Vassar allowed a select number of 19th-century women to play baseball without scorn. Finally, consider the changes that the “new woman” brought, both in the stands and on the field. x
    • 12
      Black Baseball before the Negro Leagues
      After Emancipation, hopes of baseball becoming a vista of racial harmony were quickly checked. Explore the intersection of baseball and race, from the success of Minor League Baseball players like Frank Grant and George Stovey to the Negro Leagues, which became one of the largest industries to be predominantly owned and operated by African Americans. x
    • 13
      Prejudice and Diversity in Early Baseball
      Turn to another form of injustice in baseball: a prejudice against minority groups that contradicted the idea of the baseball diamond as a beacon of equality. Investigate the setbacks and triumphs of Irish Americans, Jewish players, Native Americans, and those with physical handicaps as they fought (and continue to fight) for inclusion. x
    • 14
      Baseball Grows through the Press
      How did early newspaper editors cover baseball games and decide what, exactly, to write about? What makes Henry Chadwick such a monumental figure in early baseball writing? How did the introduction of the box score help baseball reporters with their jobs? How did post-game access to players change the nature of reporting? x
    • 15
      Baseball Becomes a Game of Numbers
      Most baseball fans take batting averages for granted. But there was a time when statistics were new enough to baseball that they were considered glamorous. Explore everything from how early spectators tracked scores to the professional problems with emphasizing stats to how these numbers began to appear on baseball cards. x
    • 16
      Baseball: A Game for the Fans
      Mr. Markusen reveals how baseball grew to become the national pastime it is today. You’ll learn about the origins of both “fans” and “cranks”; the increased emphasis on baseball as a wholesome family experience; and the magic ability of souvenirs, keepsakes, and autographs to preserve the ballpark experience. x
    • 17
      Baseball and Our Common Culture
      In this lecture, learn to better appreciate baseball’s longstanding ties to American culture. Get the story behind baseball’s connection to poetry and fiction (“Casey at the Bat”), music (“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”), food (CRACKER JACK®), collectibles (baseball cards), and even language (terms such as “bush league” and “home run”). x
    • 18
      The Business behind the National Pastime
      There's a business side to baseball that goes back to the amateur clubs of the game's earliest years. In this lecture on the economics of America's pastime, explore early resentment about paying for tickets; the rise of advertising and promotions to increase fan allegiance; and the emergence of brand-empowering logos, colors, and nicknames. x
    • 19
      Players, Owners, and the Reserve Clause
      The reserve clause (or the “five-man rule”) played a crucial role in every labor war that took place during the first half-century of professional baseball, and was standard practice until the 1970s. Trace the events that would lead to a fight against the right of teams to reserve players—a struggle to which today’s big leaguers are indebted. x
    • 20
      American Politics and Early Baseball
      For over a century, U.S. presidents have regularly rung in the new baseball year by throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day. From President Taft (the first to throw a pitch) to President Eisenhower (who initially underestimated the game's cultural importance), learn about the relationship between presidents and baseball. x
    • 21
      Baseball's Rituals and Traditions
      Why do fielders throw the ball “around the horn” after a strikeout? Why do fans perform “the wave”? When did the “seventh-inning stretch” become a thing? Why do managers wear uniforms? Uncover the roots of these and other rituals and traditions, and the powerful roles they play in baseball. x
    • 22
      The Impact of War on Baseball
      Examine how World War I encroached upon the comparatively tranquil national pastime. You’ll discover the talents of baseball-playing military companies, including one group of “Buffalo soldiers,” as well as a growing emphasis on physical fitness on the field and patriotism in the stands (exemplified by the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”). x
    • 23
      Scandals and Deception on the Diamond
      The 1919 Black Sox scandal (often thought of as “baseball’s original sin”) marked a turning point in how Americans thought about the right way to play baseball. Join the debate over the complexity of this and other baseball scandals, and the moral quandaries of both deception and the appearance of deception. x
    • 24
      How Changing Baseballs Changed the Game
      Today, we take for granted the idea that every ball used during a game is essentially identical, but this wasn’t so prior to 1920. In this final lecture, explore early variations of baseballs (including the “lemon peel ball”), the evolution of batting orders and the foul strike rule, and more. x
  • Warriors, Queens, and Intellectuals: 36 Great Women before 1400

    Professor Joyce E. Salisbury, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In unearthing these stories in Warriors, Queens, and Intellectuals, we are not only able to rediscover the contributions of women— often lost to time and whose stories were written to fit prevailing prejudices—but we are also able to see our own history in new, more nuanced ways. Beyond battles and dates and the names of great men, there are other stories that can give us a richer understanding of the past and how it has shaped the world we live in today.
    View Lecture List (36)
    In unearthing these stories in Warriors, Queens, and Intellectuals, we are not only able to rediscover the contributions of women— often lost to time and whose stories were written to fit prevailing prejudices—but we are also able to see our own history in new, more nuanced ways. Beyond battles and dates and the names of great men, there are other stories that can give us a richer understanding of the past and how it has shaped the world we live in today.
    View Lecture List (36)
    36 Lectures  |  Warriors, Queens, and Intellectuals: 36 Great Women before 1400
    Lecture Titles (36)
    • 1
      Julia Disobeys Emperor Augustus
      Begin your exploration of dynamic, influential women with Julia, the daughter of Caesar Augustus, whose experiences offer a window into the way many societies of the pre-modern world sought to control morality and enforce gender roles. Julia's life may have been one of thwarted potential, but her story is integral to understanding what many other women had to overcome to make a mark on history. x
    • 2
      Herodias Has John the Baptist Beheaded
      Writers and artists have long portrayed the death of John the Baptist as the whim of the young femme fatale Salome, but the truth is much more complicated. Discover the story of Salome's mother, the ambitious Herodias, an influential Judean woman whose hunger for power and recognition ultimately left her exiled and forgotten. x
    • 3
      The Trung Sisters of Vietnam Fight the Han
      Turn from the Mediterranean to China under the Han Dynasty, as its imperial expansion threatened the traditional—and strongly matriarchal—culture of Vietnam. Two of the most famous Vietnamese rebels of this era were the Trung sisters, who led tribal armies against the powerful invaders. See how their story has become a touchstone of Vietnamese culture and pride into the 21st century. x
    • 4
      Boudicca Attacks the Romans
      Witness the end of Iron Age Britain and the birth of “Roman Briton” with the valiant but thwarted rebellion led by the Celtic warrior queen, Boudicca. Like many rebels before her, she was motivated by personal tragedy as much as she was driven by the bigger picture of freedom for her people. Her legacy would be revived in the rule of another British queen, Victoria. x
    • 5
      Poppaea Helps Nero Persecute Christians
      Nero may not have truly “fiddled while Rome burned” but his reputation for excess and cruelty is genuine. See how the beautiful Poppaea became the wife of the mad emperor and how her religious sympathies likely influenced his persecution of Christians following a devastating fire. Ultimately, Poppaea’s story is a complex mix of spiritual zeal and vicious cruelty. x
    • 6
      Plotina Advises Emperor Trajan
      The impact of Plotina on the reign of her husband Trajan is both profound and difficult to delineate. Witness how her moral influence—as well as that of other valued women in Trajan’s household—shaped the policies and reputation of one of the “Five Good Emperors” of Rome and how her story demonstrates a particular version of female power in the ancient world. x
    • 7
      Perpetua Is Martyred in the Arena
      Follow the story of Vibia Perpetua, one of the earliest reliably verified Christian martyrs. How did the well-educated daughter of a noble family end up publicly executed in the arena? Trace the seemingly random series of events that led to a tragic death and see how Perpetua's record of her own experiences became an immensely popular text in the early Christian church. x
    • 8
      Julia Maesa Controls an Unusual Emperor
      After the murder of the despised Roman emperor Caracalla, an unlikely new dynasty was formed by a family of Syrian women. Examine how both utilizing and upending the strict gender roles of ancient Rome allowed Julia Maesa and her family to gain unprecedented (and precarious) power. Their influence was short-lived, but altered the course of the empire, nonetheless. x
    • 9
      Zenobia Battles the Roman Legions
      Travel to the furthest edge of the Roman empire, to the wealthy outpost of Palmyra, where the gradual collapse of the Pax Romana opened the way for rebellion. There, the ambitious, young Queen Zenobia managed to bring substantial parts of the eastern Roman empire under her rule before facing defeat and exile when she attempted to declare her son emperor. x
    • 10
      Helena Brings Christianity Down to Earth
      Meet Helena, a tavern girl in Naissus (modern Serbia) who captured the heart of a powerful Roman soldier and gave birth to a son named Constantine. When Constantine became emperor, his mother influenced his religious policy, creating a foothold for Christianity to become one of the most powerful institutions the world has ever seen. x
    • 11
      Galla Placidia Supports the Visigoths
      The unusual life of the Roman Princess Galla Placidia shows how an odd series of events can lead to astonishing results. After being kidnapped by the Visigoths, Placidia became a political advisor to the king of these “barbarians”—and then his wife. Eventually, she would become a powerful empress of Rome and leave a strong mark on the politics, laws, and art of the empire. x
    • 12
      Hypatia Dies for Intellectual Freedom
      Look at the brilliant and controversial scholar, Hypatia, as she lived, taught, and died in Alexandria in the middle of the 5th century. Her role as a public intellectual and philosopher would make her a rare example of respected female scholarship in a male-dominated world—and would ultimately lead to her murder at the hands of an angry Christian mob. x
    • 13
      Pulcheria Defends the Virgin Mary
      How does a 13-year-old girl become the guiding force of the most powerful empire in the world? Discover how Pulcheria used religion and a very strategic vow of chastity to ensure the success of her family's dynasty following the death of her parents. Also see how her successful theological defense of the Virgin Mary would shape the Catholic Church for centuries to come. x
    • 14
      Theodora Rises from Dancer to Empress
      Witness one of the most dramatic stories of upward mobility in history: the rise of Theodora from prostitution to royalty. As co-ruler with her husband, the emperor Justinian, she led a lavish and influential life, exercising her power to help improve the lives of women who experienced the hardships she had known in her youth. x
    • 15
      Radegund Founds a Convent
      During the brutal Merovingian dynasty, Queen Radegund stands out as an exception to the violence and cruelty of Western Europe after the collapse of Roman power. See how her religious convictions helped her escape her abusive husband and build a convent that would help other women find a place of freedom and safety. x
    • 16
      Aisha Helps Shape Islam
      Aisha bin Abi Bakr was the favorite wife of the prophet Muhammad and she became one of the most influential women in Islam—and one of the most controversial. Explore the many ways Aisha’s influence and authority helped shape a burgeoning religion that would become one of the largest and most powerful institutions in the world. x
    • 17
      Wu Zetian Rules China
      In all of Chinese history, only one woman ever ruled on her own: Wu Zetian. Trace her rise to power, from her lowly origins as the daughter of a merchant to the head of her own dynasty. Along the way, gain insight into the cutthroat nature of the Chinese imperial court and the ways Wu could be both brilliant and cruel throughout her reign. x
    • 18
      Kahina Defends North Africa against Muslims
      Turn to northwest Africa, where the fierce warrior woman, Kahina, fought to defend the mountain tribes of Maghreb from Muslim incursion. Understand why the struggle between the north African tribes and Islam was not about religion, but rather about preserving independence. Also discover the crucial role of olive trees in this conflict. x
    • 19
      Dhuoda Chronicles a Carolingian Life
      Take a closer look at everyday life and politics in the Middle Ages with the chronicle kept by the Carolingian woman, Dhouda, for her young son. Through her writing, we can gain rare insight into this time of constant warfare and shifting alliances from the perspective of a highly educated woman who stands in for the many women whose voices are lost to time. x
    • 20
      Elfrida Rules Anglo-Saxon England
      The life of Elfrida can serve as a lesson in the difficulties of separating historical fact from rumor. See how the first crowned queen of England was often reduced to the archetype of the “wicked step-mother” when she was so much more than that. Look at her contributions to England in the 10th century and consider the common failings of historical memory. x
    • 21
      Freydis Journeys to North America
      The formidable sister of Leif Eriksson, Freydis Eriksdottir, accompanied her famous brother on two of the six voyages he took from Greenland to North America, making a fortune—and building a reputation for cunning and violence—along the way. Through Freydis, consider the contributions of women to the Viking age that would transform Europe. x
    • 22
      Lubna of Cordoba Masters Mathematics
      See how a woman, Lubna, rose to prominence as the most renowned mathematician of her day in the glittering intellectual capital Cordoba and get a better understanding of women's education in the Muslim world and beyond. You'll see that, while Lubna was extraordinary, she was not necessarily unique to her time and place. x
    • 23
      Lady Murasaki Writes the First Novel
      At the height of the Heian period, Japan was breaking away from Chinese influence and developing its own courtly culture, with women emerging as a powerful force in art and literature. Here you will meet Murasaki Shikibu, the woman who wrote the world's first novel: The Tale of Genji. x
    • 24
      Anna Brings Christianity to Russia
      One strategic political alliance changed the course of history in Eastern Europe. Understand how the marriage of a Byzantine princess and a pagan Scandinavian king brought Christianity to the area that would become Russia and how the marriage would establish a base of power that would be used to legitimize future tsars, generations later. x
    • 25
      Anna Comnena Writes a Byzantine History
      Meet one of the most significant historians of the First Crusade: Anna Comnena. Denied her dream of ruling as empress in Byzantium, the highly educated Anna made a different kind of mark on history by producing one of the most thorough and clear-eyed records of a momentous event that would echo through the ages. x
    • 26
      Eleanor of Aquitaine Goes on Crusade
      The Crusades of the early Middle Ages would have repercussions for centuries to come. Dive into the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine, a young queen whose experience of the Second Crusade shows how deeply personal politics could be in a world shaped by dynastic alliances and ruled by church doctrine. x
    • 27
      Marie of Champagne Promotes Romantic Love
      The ideas of chivalry and “romantic love” have been a distinctive feature of Western culture for centuries, but where did they begin? One point of origin is through the patronage of Marie of Champagne. See how her influence shaped literature through the artists she supported, including the originator of the Arthurian romance, Chrétien de Troyes. x
    • 28
      Heloise Embraces the New Philosophy
      Discover the story of Heloise, a woman who embodied the passion for ideas that would define the time known as the “12th-century renaissance.” Her thirst for knowledge—and scandalous love affair with the teacher Peter Abelard—resulted in years of correspondence that captures spiritual and intellectual ideas that foreshadow modern philosophy. x
    • 29
      Hildegard Revolutionizes Traditional Medicine
      Meet one of the most famous women of the Middle Ages. Pledged as a nun from the age of eight, Hildegard put the considerable knowledge she acquired to work through her writings. Her texts on medicine are notable for their blending of ideas that were drawn from the masculine and feminine spheres, as well as the insight they provide into medieval medical practice. x
    • 30
      Razia Rules Muslim India
      Venture to the newly established Muslim sultanate of northern India in the 13th century, where Razia became the first and only female sultan. Though her rule was challenged by conservative Muslims who did not approve of a female ruler, Razia helped keep the peace in her kingdom by promoting compromise between the two competing religions of the area, Islam and Hinduism. x
    • 31
      Sorkhakhtani Administers a Mongol Empire
      Explore the life of a woman some modern historians argue is one of the most influential women in history. From a marriage alliance with the Mongols at the tender age of 13, Sorkhakhtani would grow to have a prodigious influence on this important Asian empire, exercising a degree of power unavailable to many other women of the time. x
    • 32
      Licoricia Deals with the King of England
      The story of Licoricia is inextricably tied to the commerce and violence that swept through England and its Jewish community throughout the 13th century. Her impact on society reflects the changing perception of money in the West and how Jews were both aided and restricted by the laws that dictated how they could make and keep their wealth. x
    • 33
      Abutsu Follows the Way of Poetry
      Though we don’t know her birth name, the woman who would come to be called Abutsu used her talents as a writer to make her fortune in a time of immense change for Japan. Under the new regime of Confucianism, women saw their freedoms curtailed and their opportunities limited, but Abutsu found a path to influence through the “Way of Poetry.” x
    • 34
      Brigitta Speaks to God and the Pope
      The disasters of the tumultuous 14th century paved the way for the modern world. The first of two stories from this era, the life of Brigitta is one of struggle with the social and environmental problems of her time, a struggle she approached through religion. Brigitta's personal faith led her to seek comfort through mysticism and pass her experience down through her writings. x
    • 35
      Joan of Arc Dies for France
      Joan d'Arc stands at the turning point of the brutal Hundred Years' War, a conflict that would transform warfare and national identity in 14th-century Europe. How does an illiterate country girl come to lead the armies of France against the English and become a symbol of a changing world? Look at the events of her life and the tragedy of her death to find out. x
    • 36
      Christine of Pisan Defends Women
      With over 40 works that continue to be read and valued today, Christine of Pisan is considered the first professional writer in history. Her writings offer a clear window into the politics and culture of her day, with a unique perspective based on reason rather than religious faith. She also advocated for a new view of women that was ahead of its time. x
  • Everyday Urban Sketching

    Taught By Multiple Professors

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Dive into urban sketching with four experienced artists as they show you how to capture the people, the places, and the movement of the city.
    View Lecture List (32)
    Dive into urban sketching with four experienced artists as they show you how to capture the people, the places, and the movement of the city.
    View Lecture List (32)
    32 Lectures  |  Everyday Urban Sketching
    Lecture Titles (32)
    • 1
      Module 1 Lesson 1: Introduction and Materials
      Meet your instructor Suma and begin by going over the materials you'll need to get started. After that, practice some exercises that will help you sketch quickly and confidently when you're out and about. x
    • 2
      Module 1 Lesson 2: Vignettes
      Suma introduces her "Read It, Frame It, Draw It" approach to sketching quickly on location. Learn how to spot the best scenes, decide what subjects to focus on and make the right marks to convey the essence of a place or space. x
    • 3
      Module 1 Lesson 3: Sketching on the Move: Play, Pause, Rewind
      Find out how to sketch a scene while in transit, whether you're walking or on a bus, train or car, as Suma breaks down her "Play, Pause, Rewind" method. See how to mark a moving object, take advantage of downtime to add details and look for repetition in your daily routines. x
    • 4
      Module 1 Lesson 4: 4 Adding People: Symbols, Not Statues
      Ready to bring your sketches to life? Learn how to depict people as symbols to quickly add them into a scene. Suma shares some basic proportions that will make your figures look more realistic. Then, learn how to draw a variety of clothes and depict skin tones using watercolor. x
    • 5
      Module 1 Lesson 5: 5 Nature: Sky, Ground, Middle
      Find out how to quickly render natural subjects, such as a landscape, using Suma's "Sky, Ground, Middle" approach. See how to create convincing vistas in a short amount of time, without having to worry about traditional perspective techniques. x
    • 6
      Module 1 Lesson 6: 6 Watercolor: Tips for Fast Sketching
      End class by digging deeper into watercolor to make your sketches more compelling. Suma shares her strategies for harnessing color to create unified and energetic sketches with ease. x
    • 7
      Module 2 Lesson 1: Getting Started
      Meet Judith Cassel-Mamet, who begins class by introducing her philosophy on journaling, then goes over what you'll need to get started, and shows you how to make two kinds of journals. x
    • 8
      Module 2 Lesson 2: Activating Your Journal
      Take a look at various preparation techniques to make your journals more vibrant. See how to activate blank pages with color, design, and even some everyday beverages such as coffee and wine. x
    • 9
      Module 2 Lesson 3: Text as a Graphic Element
      Judith shows you how to use text in a variety of ways, from design elements to headers to accents. Plus, get tips on how to make your writing more artistic and calligraphic. x
    • 10
      Module 2 Lesson 4: Incorporating Ephemera
      Discover some novel techniques for treating and incorporating both manmade and natural ephemera, including sandpaper, flowers and more. x
    • 11
      Module 2 Lesson 5: Sketching Shortcuts
      Judith shares tips for creating meaningful pages by sketching your surroundings. Discover a few techniques that will simplify your sketches, then find out how to use your camera as a helpful guide. x
    • 12
      Module 2 Lesson 6: Completing Your Journal
      In this final lesson, explore simple techniques for organizing, placing, and securing ephemera, as well as for layering objects and materials such as chalk and watercolor. And, find out how to add your personal flair to journal spines and covers. x
    • 13
      Module 3 Lesson 1: Single-Line Sketching
      Meet your instructor Marc Taro Holmes and learn how to create beautiful sketches while traveling. He'll review the basic materials you need to start your adventure. Then, practice the single-line sketch for simplicity and speed. Marc will also show you how to add in darks for contrast. x
    • 14
      Module 3 Lesson 2: Draw Like a Painter
      Learn Marc's "drawing like a painter" technique and use a brush pen to indicate light and dark areas on a street scene. Then, see how to translate this technique to a variety of shapes and sketches from statues to more complex scenes, like town squares, using water-soluble ink. x
    • 15
      Module 3 Lesson 3: Tinting Drawings in Watercolor
      See how to add color and life to your line drawings as Marc layers color washes onto simple sketches. You'll learn to use watercolor by breaking scenes into shapes, charging-in with color, and utilizing the wet-in-wet technique to grow a wash of color. x
    • 16
      Module 3 Lesson 4: Sketch Collecting
      Sketchbooks are a great way to tell the story of your travels through themes and montages. Marc provides examples from his personal sketchbooks for single-page storytelling inspiration. Then, learn how to make a travel log of your trip by thinking like a documentary filmmaker. x
    • 17
      Module 3 Lesson 5: Painless Perspective
      Don't be intimidated by perspective sketches. Marc demonstrates his solutions for helping break down perspective through neutralizing the angle and simplifying the details for easy visualization. Then, learn how to approximate perspective on a city street with a single-line drawing. x
    • 18
      Module 3 Lesson 6: Watercolor Sketching
      Take your skills up a notch and begin watercolor sketching! Begin to see basic shapes and how they interact with each other. Follow Marc's direction for painting in the negative space to let the focal points pop, and then learn how to charge-in the fine details to finish off a watercolor sketch. x
    • 19
      Module 3 Lesson 7: Working in Layers
      Follow Marc's direction to work with multiple layers of watercolor to achieve a professional look to your painting. Planning the composition from the start will allow you to add midtones on dry paint for a gorgeous result. Finally, learn how to add details and finishing touches to bring your pieces together. x
    • 20
      Module 4 Lesson 1: How We See Buildings
      Instructor Stephanie Bower begins class with a refresher on architecture drawing fundamentals. She'll cover one- and two-point perspective, parallel lines, and eye-level line. Plus, find out a simple three-step process that pulls these elements together to start your sketches. x
    • 21
      Module 4 Lesson 2: Architectural Elements
      Master sketching common architectural elements. Stephanie shares an easy approach to drawing windows and doors, as well as how to correctly sketch columns and arches in perspective. She'll also show you how to use guidelines to make your elements more accurate. x
    • 22
      Module 4 Lesson 3: Building Materials
      Discover the techniques for drawing building textures. Learn how your quality of line can indicate various building materials, and how to provide a sense of depth and scale. Then, you'll see how to create a focal point using texture and architectural details. x
    • 23
      Module 4 Lesson 4: Sloping Surfaces
      Take the fear out of sketching sloped surfaces as Stephanie walks you through a simple method for drawing stairs and roofs. She'll also explain how to accurately find the center of a roof. x
    • 24
      Module 4 Lesson 5: Tips & Techniques
      Gain the skills to make your buildings pop. From general composition tricks to mark-making strategies, you'll find out how to capture the energy of a cityscape and create strong drawings every time. x
    • 25
      Module 4 Lesson 6: Sketching Buildings on Location
      Now it's time to take your new skills on the road! In this final lesson, you'll learn how to put your new skills and techniques to use when you're out sketching in the field. Stephanie shows you how to start and develop your sketch, and even add some color. x
    • 26
      Module 5 Lesson 1: The Pencil Gesture
      Join Marc Taro Holmes and discover how you can easily draw people in motion using pencil, ink and watercolor. Ease into the process by sketching loose, gestural drawings in pencil, without worrying about the small details. Plus, learn how to capture essential elements before your subject moves. x
    • 27
      Module 5 Lesson 2: Adding Ink
      Once you've sketched your gesture drawing, add in more detail with ink. Watch and learn how Marc breaks the subject into basic shapes. Practice refining these shapes and loosely sketching in the shadows to help define the subject, while preserving the liveliness of the original sketch. x
    • 28
      Module 5 Lesson 3: Brushwork & Hatching
      Create focal points within your ink drawing using the brush pen. Marc demonstrates how to use brushwork to emphasize and reinforce the darkest shapes and shadows. Add in striking accents and a sense of movement with hatching. Plus, learn tips for creating dimensional silhouettes. x
    • 29
      Module 5 Lesson 4: Adding Color
      Complete your sketch by adding splashes of color. Set up a portable watercolor palette, then start painting! Learn how to apply a wash and reinforce shadow shapes with open brushstrokes. Add in finishing touches by laying down richer notes of color and detail. x
    • 30
      Module 5 Lesson 5: Advanced Techniques: Water-Soluble Ink
      Broaden your skill set by working with water-soluble inks—and faster moving subjects. Sketch another gesture drawing, using Marc's tips for capturing unique poses within a dynamic scene. Add in shadow shapes and anchor points with ink and a brush pen. Then blend it together with water. x
    • 31
      Module 5 Lesson 6: Advanced Techniques: Direct to Watercolor
      Pull from the skills you learned in previous lessons to tackle this advanced watercolor technique. You'll see how Marc captures fast-moving subjects by painting large—and loose—shapes and silhouettes first. Complete the scene by filling in the shadows and fine-tuning smaller details. x
    • 32
      Module 5 Lesson 7: Capturing Multiple People
      Discover how to infuse the art of storytelling into your sketches. Marc explains how selecting unique poses and including the right details are key to capturing the story. Plus, learn how to arrange multiple subjects on a page—and add splashes of color—to create a captivating sequence of events. x
  • Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe

    Professor Elizabeth K. Andre, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    Transform your next (or your first!) outdoor adventure from “roughing it” in the great outdoors to “smoothing it” in the natural world.

    Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe

    is about enjoying life in the backcountry. Taught by Professor Elizabeth K. Andre of Northland College, these 24 insightful lectures will give you the practical skills you need to set off for the water or the woods.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Transform your next (or your first!) outdoor adventure from “roughing it” in the great outdoors to “smoothing it” in the natural world.

    Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe

    is about enjoying life in the backcountry. Taught by Professor Elizabeth K. Andre of Northland College, these 24 insightful lectures will give you the practical skills you need to set off for the water or the woods.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Safe
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Call of the Wild
      We often think of “roughing it” in the outdoors—testing our mettle against the forces of nature and depriving ourselves of creature comforts. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this introductory lecture, explore some of the many reasons to venture into the great outdoors. Find out how, instead of “roughing it,” you can “smooth it.” x
    • 2
      Backpacking and Trip Planning
      A backpacking trip can be profoundly enjoyable, provided you plan ahead and pack a few necessities (and leave a few non-essentials at home). Learn how to stay hydrated, eat well, take care of your skin, and protect your feet on the trail. Gain a few safety tips for traveling in a group. x
    • 3
      Canoe or Sea-Kayak Camping
      Glide into the backcountry or open ocean—in style! Paddling is one of the most serene ways to enjoy the natural world, but there are a few perils that come with canoeing or kayaking. From battling waves and weather to staying warm in cool waters, learn how to take on the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers. x
    • 4
      Campcraft: Selecting and Organizing Gear
      You don't have to spend much time with outdoor enthusiasts to learn it's all about the gear. From high-tech creature comforts to lightweight innovations, there's no shortage of ways to outfit your next overnight. What do you really need? How do you balance weight versus convenience? Start building your system of gear in this practical lecture. x
    • 5
      Clothing and Footwear for Outdoor Adventure
      Investigate the world of shell layers, synthetic materials, insulation, and ankle support to help you maintain a comfortable body temperature, manage moisture, and protect your skin. Whether it's a multi-day snow hike or car camping in the desert, Professor Andre shows you how to select just the right clothing and footwear for your next outdoor excursion. x
    • 6
      Basics for Wilderness Safety
      Lions, tigers, and bears … well, your wilderness adventure might not bring you in contact with a tiger, but plenty of other risks abound, from snakes to stinging insects to, yes, black bears and mountain lions. See what it takes to stay safe on the trail, and how to stay healthy while you’re off the grid. x
    • 7
      Weather Forecasting and Moon Phases
      Cold fronts and warm fronts are more than meteorological mumbo jumbo. With a little training, you can look at cloud patterns and know whether rain is on the way—and what type of storm to expect. As you dig into the fascinating world of weather patterns, you’ll learn how to survive lightning, floods, tornadoes, and more. x
    • 8
      Introduction to Navigation
      For most of us accustomed to GPS directions and well-marked streets, it can be frighteningly easy to get lost in the woods. In this lecture, engage your senses—sight, sound, smell, and feel—to build mental maps of your surroundings. Find out how to measure time and distance on the trail. x
    • 9
      Navigating with Topographic Maps
      Topographic maps tell you a great deal about the terrain—details that don’t much matter in the civilized world. Professor Andre teaches you how to read these helpful maps, and then she shows you how to use a compass in sync with your topographic map. With a little practice on the trail or on the river, you may never get lost again. x
    • 10
      Assessing and Managing Risk in the Outdoors
      Risk management affects every aspect of our lives, but it’s especially critical when you don’t have instant access to shelter, medical supplies, and 911. Unpack the nature and likelihood of various risks in the outdoors, as well as our own cognitive biases, so you can make better—safer—decisions on the trail and off. x
    • 11
      How Emotions Affect Your Decision Making
      Life might be much simpler if we were all rational beings who always made highly calculated decisions. Alas, humans are emotional beings, and we make many of our most important decisions by feel rather than by thought. Learn to make better decisions by examining your emotions at play in the great outdoors. x
    • 12
      Selecting a Campsite and Pitching Shelter
      As anyone who does it regularly knows, camping is fun. But to make the most of it, you’ll want to set up a good campsite. Find out what makes a good campsite and how to set up a tarp or tent to keep you dry and cozy. This lecture comes with a special “bonus instruction” on tying knots to help you secure a tarp. x
    • 13
      Outdoor Kitchen Setup and Safety
      Your campsite might not be a gourmet kitchen with all the amenities, but with a few adjustments to your cooking regimen, you can cook some amazing meals outdoors. Survey the best way to set up your campsite kitchen, the basics of stove safety, and how to keep your hands and dishes clean. x
    • 14
      Building a Campfire
      Storytelling by a campfire is one of life’s most enjoyable activities—and it’s as old as humanity itself. But building a good fire can separate the amateurs from the pros at the campsite. From gathering tinder to establishing a bed of coals, see what it takes to construct a good fire in the wild. x
    • 15
      Safe Drinking Water in the Wilderness
      If you’re out in the backcountry for more than a day, you’re going to need to treat water to. Make it safe for drinking—removing sediment, bacteria, and other microorganisms that might make you sick. Reflect on your different options for filtering or purifying water, from boiling to chemical treatments, and the pros and cons of each. x
    • 16
      Outdoor Menu Planning and Cooking
      Humans survived for millennia without refrigeration, but enjoying a good meal on the trail requires a few adjustments to our modern lifestyle. You'll want to triangulate your daily calorie needs, the weight of your gear, and the taste of your food. Examine the range of options available for your next trip to the wild. x
    • 17
      Minimizing Your Impact on the Wilderness
      Nothing spoils an outdoor adventure faster than stumbling onto a messy campsite or a vandalized forest. Minimizing your impact in the backcountry is part of an unwritten code of courtesy for enjoying the wild. Learn the major principles for being a good steward of the wilderness. x
    • 18
      Hygiene on a Camping Trip
      Germs exist in the wild same as they do in civilization, but without running hot water it can be a challenge to keep yourself clean. From shoes to camp soap to disposable wipes, see what gear you can bring and what steps you should take to mitigate the spread of disease. Your body, and your camp mates, will thank you. x
    • 19
      Wilderness First Aid: Handling Emergencies
      It’s a good idea for everyone to have at least a basic understanding of wilderness first aid. The “wait-and-see” approach we might take in the front country could be deadly in the backcountry. In this first of two lectures, learn about first aid for the “big three”: circulatory, respiratory, and nervous systems. x
    • 20
      Wilderness First Aid: Nonemergency Care
      Continue your study of wilderness first aid with a look beyond the “big three” life-threatening concerns. Find out how to make a splint for an injured limb, how to treat an open wound, what to do for burns, and more. Learn a few guidelines for when to hike out and when to call for help. x
    • 21
      Navigating with a Compass
      A compass is one of the most useful tools on the trip, but only if you know how to use it. See how to get your bearings and travel off trail or over open water with the aid of a compass. Then, travel with Professor Andre to the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota to practice your navigation skills. x
    • 22
      What to Do When You're Lost
      Getting lost is one of the easiest things to do in the backcountry. Perhaps you wander off the trail to gather firewood, or perhaps you stop paying attention to your map and compass. Whatever the reason, you find yourself lost. What should you do? Keep moving? Call for help? Build a shelter? Learn the do's and don'ts in this insightful lecture. x
    • 23
      Maintaining and Repairing Your Gear
      The right gear makes all the difference in the wild, but only if you take care of it between expeditions. Even the most avid outdoor enthusiasts may neglect to wash their sleeping bags or shake out their tents after a long stint in the bush. Here, Professor Andre offers a checklist of common gear ailments and how to prevent them. x
    • 24
      Connecting to the Wild within You
      Preparation and caution are important for venturing into the wild, but your outdoor experience is about more than following a checklist and staying hydrated. Whether on water or land, getting outdoors can be breath-taking, as this final lecture makes clear. Now, get ready for your own next adventure! x
  • Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature

    Professor Daniel Breyer, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD

    In Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature, Professor Daniel Breyer takes you on a fascinating cross-cultural philosophical journey into many of the deepest and, indeed, darkest questions that plague our souls. By looking carefully into these darkest aspects of ourselves and the human suffering in our world, we can better understand ourselves and appreciate our deep desire for meaning and purpose in our lives.

    View Lecture List (24)

    In Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature, Professor Daniel Breyer takes you on a fascinating cross-cultural philosophical journey into many of the deepest and, indeed, darkest questions that plague our souls. By looking carefully into these darkest aspects of ourselves and the human suffering in our world, we can better understand ourselves and appreciate our deep desire for meaning and purpose in our lives.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      What Do We Mean by the "Dark Side"?
      Most of us think of ourselves as good people—reserving the concept of the “dark side” only for science fiction or psychopaths. But that’s not really the truth of human nature. We’ll begin to explore how the dark side relates both to our tendencies toward immorality and evil and to some of the most problematic aspects of the human condition. x
    • 2
      Our Fundamental Nature: Good or Evil?
      Are people fundamentally good, fundamentally evil, or neither? To develop a sophisticated answer to this basic question, we reach back to a more than 2,000-year-old debate between great Confucian philosophers. Do you agree with optimism, pessimism, dualism, indifferentism, or individualism? Which theory of human nature speaks to you and frames your view of the world? x
    • 3
      What Is Evil?
      You probably have some ideas about what it means to be “evil.” But in order to fully examine the dark side of human nature, we need to go deeper—questioning both whether evil actually exists and what it means to call an action evil. Referencing a wide range of thinkers, some ancient, some contemporary, you’ll explore the ontological and conceptual aspects of evil. x
    • 4
      Moral Monsters and Evil Personhood
      Most of us have done something “bad” or immoral in our lives, although we wouldn’t consider ourselves evil. But where exactly is that line? What does it take for us to label a person evil? By considering four models of evil—the Evildoer, Dispositional, Affect, and Moral Monster models—you’ll begin to develop your own views of when an individual is, and is not, evil. x
    • 5
      Evil and Responsibility
      Are psychopaths responsible for their actions? You might be surprised to learn that many psychologists and philosophers think they are not, due to their inability to recognize important moral facts. Guided by a variety of philosophers, you will consider how much responsibility evil-doers can and should accept for their crimes—and in what ways they might not be so different from the rest of us. x
    • 6
      Sin: Original and Otherwise
      How would you know if you had committed a sin, and what would its consequences be? From the words of Jesus to Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, and modern theologians, you'll explore the Christian concepts of sin and how they relate to a secular notion of evil. Is it even possible to sin without a divine lawmaker? Indian Buddhist philosophers say that it is. x
    • 7
      Dark Thoughts and Desires
      Have you ever daydreamed about doing harm to another person? If so, studies show you're certainly not alone. Are our darkest thoughts and desires simply a fundamental part of our human nature? Why can't we seem to suppress or eradicate them? Explore potential answers to these fascinating questions with help from 6th-century Tianti Buddhist philosophers and modern-day evolutionary psychologists. x
    • 8
      Suffering and Its Causes
      Why do we suffer, and how can we avoid it? The Buddha addresses these questions directly in his Four Noble Truths. Although sometimes erroneously condensed into the pessimistic “all life is suffering,” you’ll learn about the Buddha’s optimistic path forward. But do the Buddha’s teachings carry truth for us in the 21st century? An evolutionary psychologist provides a fascinating answer. x
    • 9
      The Problem of Expectation and Desire
      We turn to the 2,000-year-old Hindu Bhagavad Gita to study the roles played by our desires and expectations, and why we are so often disappointed in our lives. But how could we live without desire and expectations? One path provided by the Gita—being so absorbed in an activity that we lose our sense of self—leads to the experience we know of today as “flow.” x
    • 10
      The Fear of Death
      We are all going to die. How do we respond to that knowledge? Learn why the Roman philosopher Lucretius believed that our fear of death drives us to act against our best interests. And why the Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi wondered if our negative view of death even makes sense. Either way, fearing death seems to be part of what it means to be human. x
    • 11
      Existential Anxiety and the Courage to Be
      Have you ever wondered whether life has any meaning at all? Given the immensity of the universe, how could we be anything more than an inconsequential blip? Learn why so many philosophers who've grappled with this existential anxiety conclude that our lives do have value, and how one theologian finds meaning specifically in our courage to face ourselves in the world as it really is. x
    • 12
      The Goodness of Grief
      Could grief ever have a good side? If you've ever suffered its agony, you know grief can feel like the very darkest side of human nature. But as you explore the many ways in which philosophers and psychologists have grappled with this issue for millennia, you'll learn that grief just might be one of our most important opportunities for self-knowledge and connection to community. x
    • 13
      Homo necans: Why Do We Kill?
      Is there something in human nature that drives us to kill others or is it a biological aberration? Watching the news would certainly make you wonder. And if a drive to kill does exist, is it activated by nature or nurture—is it genetic or situational? Studies have supported both points of view. The shocking truth we do know is just how much we all have in common with those who kill. x
    • 14
      Nightmares and the Dream Self
      Who are we in the worst of our dreams? Explore why Freud believed our dreams reveal important aspects of ourselves—both the conscious and unconscious. Learn how Augustine coped when he dreamed of actions that went against his most profound beliefs. Even when we have no idea how to interpret a particularly disturbing dream, it still becomes an opportunity for learning about ourselves. x
    • 15
      Varieties of Self-Deception
      When we hold two contradictory thoughts in our minds at the same time, have we become liars, lying to ourselves about something we know cannot be true? Or are we just harmless wishful thinkers? Is self-deception an adaptation that has given us an evolutionary advantage? Learn what you can do to try to avoid deceiving yourself about your own life. x
    • 16
      Varieties of Ignorance
      Explore the concept of ignorance through the writings of two Indian philosophers who lived centuries apart, Shankara and Ramanuja. Is ignorance a lack of knowledge, or is it wrong knowledge? Learn why some modern philosophers describe ignorance as a complex social phenomenon with the potential to bring out the dark side of our nature—and what we can do to counteract it. x
    • 17
      Weakness of Will
      Have you ever eaten a donut when you knew you shouldn't? Socrates would have been shocked! He didn't think it was possible for people to act against their own best interest. Explore many potential explanations for why we sometimes do what we said we never would. Is it a question of a simple failure to follow through on our intentions, or could we be suffering from ego depletion? x
    • 18
      Luck and the Limits of Blame
      Two people go to a party, become legally drunk, and drive home. One kills a pedestrian, the other encounters no one. Should we judge them differently, or the same? Many philosophers have addressed the role of luck and its moral implications in our lives. As you explore their various perspectives, you might not find any easy answers. But you might think twice before placing blame. x
    • 19
      Victim Blaming and the Just-World Hypothesis
      In the Old Testament Book of Job, his friends blamed Job for the tragedies that befell him. After all, if the world is a fair and just place, then victims always get what they deserve, right? Explore whether or not we can eliminate victim blaming while maintaining that the world is, in the end, a fair and just place. x
    • 20
      Retribution and Revenge
      We’ve all heard of people who decide to take the law into their own hands to exact revenge on a perpetrator who harmed them or someone they love—even if that person had already received society’s punishment. Why do we so often feel that need for vengeance? Uncover what we can learn today from the Greek dramatist Aeschylus, as he struggled to reconcile the tension between retributive justice and revenge. x
    • 21
      Forgiveness and Redemption
      What was your reaction when members of the Charleston, SC, church publicly forgave Dylann Roof, the young man who had murdered nine of their members? Could you imagine yourself forgiving him? Did that forgiveness seem morally right or wrong to you? Explore how Christian and Buddhist philosophers explain forgiveness and the redemption of human sinners. Do you believe anyone is truly beyond redemption? x
    • 22
      The Elimination of Anger
      If you could eliminate anger from your life, would you? Should you? Anger can be dangerous, but righteous anger can also be motivating. What if you could eliminate anger, but replace it with the motivation of compassion and loving-kindness? You'll examine and broaden your thoughts on this powerful emotion by learning from the Buddhist philosopher Shantideva, the Stoic philosopher Seneca, and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, among others. x
    • 23
      Being Peaceful in a Troubled World
      How can we find internal tranquility and remain peaceful in the midst of such a troubled world? It isn't easy, but it is possible. Brain science has discovered that we mirror the behavior of others, and anger can beget anger. But kindness can beget kindness, too. Explore some Christian and Buddhist guidelines for confronting the dark side of human nature without spiraling into the darkness of violence, rage, and fear. x
    • 24
      The Allure of the Dark Side
      Have you ever been morbidly curious about death, violence, or evil? Do you have a fascination with horror movies and love being terrified on roller coasters? Explore how psychologists and philosophers describe the benefits of our fascination with the dark side. As you grapple with death, anger, fear, and dark thoughts, you’ll learn a tremendous amount about yourself—and what it means to be human. x
  • Introduction to C++: Programming Concepts and Applications

    Professor John Keyser, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Taught by Professor John Keyser of Texas A&M University, this course is a step-by-step guide to the popular computer programming language C++. Professor Keyser explains how to access C++ so you can program along with him as he covers the major coding styles offered by this versatile language, including object-oriented programming. In the last lecture, you create an AI game-playing program.
    View Lecture List (25)
    Taught by Professor John Keyser of Texas A&M University, this course is a step-by-step guide to the popular computer programming language C++. Professor Keyser explains how to access C++ so you can program along with him as he covers the major coding styles offered by this versatile language, including object-oriented programming. In the last lecture, you create an AI game-playing program.
    View Lecture List (25)
    25 Lectures  |  Introduction to C++: Programming Concepts and Applications
    Lecture Titles (25)
    • 1
      Compiling Your First C++ Program
      Uncover the power and appeal of C++ for a wide range of uses. Then learn that by processing only 0’s and 1’s, a computer obeys the varied commands of a complex language such as C++. Write a traditional, “Hello, World!” program and discover the importance of adding comments to your code. Finally, follow the instructions in the Quick Start video at the end of this lecture to get C++ working on your own computer or device—by going to an online programming editor or by downloading a C++ integrated development environment (IDE), tailored to your operating system. x
    • 2
      C++ QUICK START: With Browser or Download
      C++ QUICK START: With Browser or Download x
    • 3
      Variables, Computations, and Input in C++
      Try out a program that calculates calories in different foods, demonstrating the essential elements of a program: input, variables, computations, and output. Learn to specify a variable’s type and value, and get advice on shortcuts for keeping your instructions clean. Also discover the origin of the name C++, which signals that the language is designed to do whatever C can do—and then some. x
    • 4
      Booleans and Conditionals in C++
      Probe the power of conditionals, which let you construct programs that can choose between true and false alternatives. Learn to use the keyword bool, which stands for Boolean variable—a value that can be either true (1) or false (0). Study the three basic Boolean operations—and, or, not—and see how they can be combined to make truly complex logical operations. x
    • 5
      Program Design and Writing Test Cases in C++
      There’s more to making a program than writing code. Begin by focusing on the importance of the header and special commands. Then consider how to use comments as “pseudocode” to design the structure that a particular program should follow. Finally, explore the crucial strategy of testing as you go, rather than when the program is complete and errors made near the start are harder to track down. x
    • 6
      C++ Loops and Iteration
      Harness the power of loops, which are sections of code that repeat until a specified computation is complete. Focus on two main types of loops: while loops and for loops, with the latter being a compact way to make the loop occur a set number of times. Learn how to prevent infinite loops, and see how scope allows you to have separate variables inside and outside loops. x
    • 7
      Importing C++ Functions and Libraries
      The secret for building an enormous program such as Windows, with millions of lines of code, is that it draws on ready-made code libraries. Investigate the options that libraries offer, from choosing random numbers to performing complex mathematical operations. Learn how to access a code library, and get tips for finding additional resources beyond the C++ standard libraries. x
    • 8
      Arrays for Quick and Easy Data Storage
      In the first of two lectures on storing large amounts of data, learn the utility of arrays. An array is a collection of variables of the same type. Find out how to declare an array of variables and how to provide an index, which permits access to a specific value within the array. Finally, probe the “out-of-bounds” error that can arise with arrays and see how it led to a notorious security breach. x
    • 9
      Vectors for Safe and Flexible Data Storage
      Continue your study of data storage strategies by looking at vectors, which handle variables in much the same way as arrays but with distinct advantages, including the ability to change the size of a data structure dynamically. Learn how and when to use vectors, and discover that vectors offer a convenient fix for the out-of-bounds error introduced in the previous lecture. x
    • 10
      C++ Strings for Manipulating Text
      Go beyond numbers to see how letters and punctuation are used in data strings, which are ordered sequences of characters. Examine string literals, which are specific fixed sequences of text; and string variables, which are the main way to process and control text data, such as names and addresses. Learn how to search, alphabetize, and concatenate string variables in C++. x
    • 11
      Files and Stream Operators in C++
      Data files are collections of information that are accessed and manipulated through a program. See how data streaming techniques you've already used apply to reading and writing files with the library fstream. Discover that you've already been using an entity that will become increasingly important in the course: objects, which are entities combining variables and functions. x
    • 12
      Top-Down Design and Using a C++ Debugger
      Get to know the vital task of debugging—finding and fixing errors in your code. First, consider the advantages of top-down design, where a complex task is divided into manageable sub-tasks, as opposed to the bottom-up approach that lets complexity emerge more organically, if less predictably. See how incremental development helps in debugging through tools such as the breakpoint and step-over commands. x
    • 13
      Creating Your Own Functions in C++
      Functions serve as ready-made, self-contained units of code that perform a particular task, such as solving an equation, enumerating a list, or even something as simple as closing a file. Prepare for the intensive use of functions in the rest of the course by learning the basic commands that allow you to create your own functions. Get your feet wet with several examples. x
    • 14
      Expanding What Your Functions Can Do in C++
      A parameter is a piece of data used as input into a function. Discover how to create two functions, each with the same name, but with different numbers of parameters—an approach called overloading. Also look at different ways to “pass” parameters to produce an output, either preserving the parameter’s value (pass by value) or changing it (pass by reference). x
    • 15
      Systematic Debugging, Writing Exceptions
      Dig deeper into debugging, learning to employ a tool called exception handling. An exception is a special note that something has gone wrong in a program. Know how to follow up these crucial clues. Also zero in on the six major steps of debugging: isolate the error, narrow down the failure point, identify the problem, fix the problem, re-test, and look for similar cases. x
    • 16
      Functions in Top-Down and Bottom-Up Design
      Revisit top-down versus bottom-up approaches to coding, this time using functions as the building blocks of your program. First, create a game with the top-down strategy, identifying the individual functions that you need in a flowchart. Then design a tool for word processing by using the bottom-up tactic, in which you take available functions and create something completely new. x
    • 17
      Objects and Classes: Encapsulation in C++
      So far, you’ve focused on procedurally oriented programming, which characterizes the original C computer language that led to C++. Now turn to one of the major strengths and innovations of C++: object-oriented programming. Learn that objects are variables and functions encapsulated within classes. Investigate the great utility of this technique for organizing and manipulating data. x
    • 18
      Object-Oriented Constructors and Operators
      The ability to design appropriate classes may be the single most important skill in object-oriented programming. Survey two key tools for using classes effectively. First, constructors let you create classes that fit the requirements of the objects within them. Second, operator overloading allows you to tailor operators to a specific function, providing a handy shortcut that streamlines coding. x
    • 19
      Dynamic Memory Allocation and Pointers
      C++ provides different ways to control data storage in memory. Investigate dynamic memory allocation, which allows memory to grow and shrink with the demands of a program as it is running—as opposed to static memory, which is fixed at runtime. Practice managing memory in a 20-questions-type game and compare the advantages of allocating dynamic memory with pointers versus vectors. x
    • 20
      Object-Oriented Programming with Inheritance
      Explore the power of inheritance, which is a technique for creating classes that inherit properties from another class, called the base class. Using this tool, you can define a variable or function just once and then use it in multiple classes. Walk through several examples of inheritance, seeing how it greatly reduces complexity by eliminating redundant code. x
    • 21
      Object-Oriented Programming with Polymorphism
      Study a key object-oriented feature called polymorphism, which means “many shapes” and refers to the ability of a class to be used in multiple ways. Start with a superclass that is specialized into multiple subclasses, each of which has a different implementation. Learn to define virtual functions for the superclass, leading to diverse properties in the subclasses. x
    • 22
      Using Classes to Build a Game Engine in C++
      Use your knowledge of object-oriented programming to design a “game engine” that can be used for building multiple games. Take a top-down approach, drawing on encapsulation, hierarchical inheritance, and polymorphism to create the two-person game Othello, also known as Reversi. Discover the ease with which you can create other subclasses for additional games, such as checkers and chess. x
    • 23
      C++ Templates, Containers, and the STL
      Whenever you have an idea that’s so general that it’s not tied down by any specific data type, you’ll want to turn to generic programming, which substitutes a template for a data type. The Standard Template Library (STL) is a menu of generic container structures that address these types of problems. Learn the advantages of various containers, including queues, lists, stacks, and vectors. x
    • 24
      C++ Associative Containers and Algorithms
      Probe deeper into generic programming and the STL, focusing on associative containers and algorithms. The former is a set of templates that lets you group different elements into ordered sets, while algorithms are rules that handle data or accomplish some other task, allowing advanced operations to be performed very quickly. Learn that algorithms are a powerful tool in programming. x
    • 25
      Artificial Intelligence Algorithm for a Game
      Finish the course by drawing on all you have learned to design a game-playing algorithm for artificial intelligence—that is, a program that makes “intelligent” game moves as if it were human. Finally, look ahead to your options for continuing study in computer programming. With elementary C++ under your belt, there are many directions you can go in mastering this valuable skill. x