Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts
WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE AND THE DUFF COOPER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION'An endlessly fascinating and enjoyable book' Neil MacGregor'Full of delights' Tom StoppardAn extraordinary exploration of the medieval world - the most beguiling history book of the yearThis is a book about why medieval manuscripts matter. Coming face to face with an important illuminated manuscript in the original is like meeting a very famous person. We may all pretend that a well-known celebrity is no different from anyone else, and yet there is an undeniable thrill in actually meeting and talking to a person of world stature.The idea for the book, which is entirely new, is to invite the reader into intimate conversations with twelve of the most famous manuscripts in existence and to explore with the author what they tell us about nearly a thousand years of medieval history - and sometimes about the modern world too. Christopher de Hamel introduces us to kings, queens, saints, scribes, artists, librarians, thieves, dealers, collectors and the international community of manuscript scholars, showing us how he and his fellows piece together evidence to reach unexpected conclusions. He traces the elaborate journeys which these exceptionally precious artefacts have made through time and space, shows us how they have been copied, who has owned them or lusted after them (and how we can tell), how they have been embroiled in politics and scholarly disputes, how they have been regarded as objects of supreme beauty and luxury and as symbols of national identity. The book touches on religion, art, literature, music, science and the history of taste.Part travel book, part detective story, part conversation with the reader, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts conveys the fascination and excitement of encountering some of the greatest works of art in our culture which, in the originals, are to most people completely inaccessible. At the end, we have a slightly different perspective on history and how we come by knowledge. It is a most unusual book.
Buy the Book
Principles of Digital Audio
The definitive guide to digital engineering--fully updated
Gain a thorough understanding of digital audio tools, techniques, and practices from this completely revised and expanded resource. Written by industry pioneer and Audio Engineering Society Fellow Ken C. Pohlmann, Principles of Digital Audio, Sixth Edition, describes the technologies behind today's audio equipment in a clear, practical style. Covering basic theory to the latest technological advancements, the book explains how to apply digital conversion, processing, compression, storage, streaming, and transmission concepts. New chapters on Blu-ray, speech coding, and low bit-rate coding are also included in this bestselling guide.
Learn about discrete time sampling, quantization, and signal processing
Examine details of CD, DVD, and Blu-ray players and discs
Encode and decode AAC, MP3, MP4, Dolby Digital, and other files
Prepare content for distribution via the Internet and digital radio and television
Learn the critical differences between music coding and speech coding
Design low bit-rate codecs to optimize memory capacity while preserving fidelity
Develop methodologies to evaluate the sound quality of music and speech files
Study audio transmission via HDMI, VoIP, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth
Handle digital rights management, fingerprinting, and watermarking
Understand how one-bit conversion and high-order noise shaping work
Buy the Book
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
Silly Rabbit! Your Argument is Ill-founded. Have you read (or stumbled into) one too many irrational online debates? Ali Almossawi certainly had, so he wrote An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments! This handy guide is here to bring the internet age a much-needed dose of old-school logic (really old-school, a la Aristotle). Here are cogent explanations of the straw man fallacy, the slippery slope argument, the ad hominem attack, and other common attempts at reasoning that fall short - plus a beautifully drawn menagerie of animals who (adorably) commit every logical faux pas. Rabbit thinks a strange light in the sky must be a UFO because no one can prove otherwise (the appeal to ignorance). And Lion doesn't believe that gas emissions harm the planet because, if that were true, he wouldn't like the result (the argument from consequences). Once you learn to recognize these abuses of reason, they start to crop up everywhere from parliamentary debate to YouTube comments - which makes this geek-chic book a must for anyone in the habit of holding opinions. It's the antidote to fuzzy thinking, with furry animals! 'Wonderfully digestible ...I can't think of a better way to be taught or reintroduced to these fundamental notions of logical discourse.
A delightful little book.' Aaron Koblin, creative director, Google's Date Arts team
Buy the Book