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- Classic Bookshelf: This site has put classic novels online, from Charles Dickens to Charlotte Bronte.
- The Online Books Page: The University of Pennsylvania hosts this book search and database.
- Project Gutenberg: This famous site has over 27,000 free books online.
- Page by Page Books: Find books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, as well as speeches from George W. Bush on this site.
- Classic Book Library: Genres here include historical fiction, history, science fiction, mystery, romance and children’s literature, but they’re all classics.
- Classic Reader: Here you can read Shakespeare, young adult fiction and more.
- Read Print: From George Orwell to Alexandre Dumas to George Eliot to Charles Darwin, this online library is stocked with the best classics.
- Planet eBook: Download free classic literature titles here, from Dostoevsky to D.H. Lawrence to Joseph Conrad.
- The Spectator Project: Montclair State University’s project features full-text, online versions of The Spectator and The Tatler.
- Bibliomania: This site has more than 2,000 classic texts, plus study guides and reference books.
- Online Library of Literature: Find full and unabridged texts of classic literature, including the Bronte sisters, Mark Twain and more.
- Bartleby: Bartleby has much more than just the classics, but its collection of anthologies and other important novels made it famous.
- Fiction.us: Fiction.us has a huge selection of novels, including works by Lewis Carroll, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Flaubert, George Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.
- Free Classic Literature: Find British authors like Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, plus other authors like Jules Verne, Mark Twain, and more.
- Textbook Revolution: Find biology, business, engineering, mathematics and world history textbooks here.
- Wikibooks: From cookbooks to the computing department, find instructional and educational materials here.
- KnowThis Free Online Textbooks: Get directed to stats textbooks and more.
- Online Medical Textbooks: Find books about plastic surgery, anatomy and more here.
- Online Science and Math Textbooks: Access biochemistry, chemistry, aeronautics, medical manuals and other textbooks here.
- MIT Open Courseware Supplemental Resources: Find free videos, textbooks and more on the subjects of mechanical engineering, mathematics, chemistry and more.
- Flat World Knowledge: This innovative site has created an open college textbooks platform that will launch in January 2009.
- Free Business Textbooks: Find free books to go along with accounting, economics and other business classes.
- Light and Matter: Here you can access open source physics textbooks.
- eMedicine: This project from WebMD is continuously updated and has articles and references on surgery, pediatrics and more.
MATH AND SCIENCE
- FullBooks.com: This site has “thousands of full-text free books,” including a large amount of scientific essays and books.
- Free online textbooks, lecture notes, tutorials and videos on mathematics: NYU links to several free resources for math students.
- Online Mathematics Texts: Here you can find online textbooks likeElementary Linear Algebra and Complex Variables.
- Science and Engineering Books for free download: These books range in topics from nanotechnology to compressible flow.
- FreeScience.info: Find over 1800 math, engineering and science books here.
- Free Tech Books: Computer programmers and computer science enthusiasts can find helpful books here.
- byGosh: Find free illustrated children’s books and stories here.
- Munseys: Munseys has nearly 2,000 children’s titles, plus books about religion, biographies and more.
- International Children’s Digital Library: Find award-winning books and search by categories like age group, make believe books, true books or picture books.
- Lookybook: Access children’s picture books here.
PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
- Bored.com: Bored.com has music ebooks, cooking ebooks, and over 150 philosophy titles and over 1,000 religion titles.
- Ideology.us: Here you’ll find works by Rene Descartes, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, David Hume and others.
- Free Books on Yoga, Religion and Philosophy: Recent uploads to this site include Practical Lessons in Yoga and Philosophy of Dreams.
- The Sociology of Religion: Read this book by Max Weber, here.
- Religion eBooks: Read books about the Bible, Christian books, and more.
- ReadBookOnline.net: Here you can read plays by Chekhov, Thomas Hardy, Ben Jonson, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and others.
- Plays: Read Pygmalion, Uncle Vanya or The Playboy of the Western World here.
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: MIT has made available all of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, and histories.
- Plays Online: This site catalogs “all the plays [they] know about that are available in full text versions online for free.”
- ProPlay: This site has children’s plays, comedies, dramas and musicals.
MODERN FICTION, FANTASY AND ROMANCE
- Public Bookshelf: Find romance novels, mysteries and more.
- The Internet Book Database of Fiction: This forum features fantasy and graphic novels, anime, J.K. Rowling and more.
- Free Online Novels: Here you can find Christian novels, fantasy and graphic novels, adventure books, horror books and more.
- Foxglove: This British site has free novels, satire and short stories.
- Baen Free Library: Find books by Scott Gier, Keith Laumer and others.
- The Road to Romance: This website has books by Patricia Cornwell and other romance novelists.
- Get Free Ebooks: This site’s largest collection includes fiction books.
- John T. Cullen: Read short stories from John T. Cullen here.
- SF and Fantasy Books Online: Books here include Arabian Nights,Aesop’s Fables and more.
- Free Novels Online and Free Online Cyber-Books: This list contains mostly fantasy books.
- Project Laurens Jz Coster: Find Dutch literature here.
- ATHENA Textes Francais: Search by author’s name, French books, or books written by other authors but translated into French.
- Liber Liber: Download Italian books here. Browse by author, title, or subject.
- Biblioteca romaneasca: Find Romanian books on this site.
- Bibliolteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes: Look up authors to find a catalog of their available works on this Spanish site.
- KEIMENA: This page is entirely in Greek, but if you’re looking for modern Greek literature, this is the place to access books online.
- Proyecto Cervantes: Texas A&M’s Proyecto Cervantes has cataloged Cervantes’ work online.
- Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum: Access many Latin texts here.
- Project Runeberg: Find Scandinavian literature online here.
- Italian Women Writers: This site provides information about Italian women authors and features full-text titles too.
- Biblioteca Valenciana: Register to use this database of Catalan and Valencian books.
- Ketab Farsi: Access literature and publications in Farsi from this site.
- Afghanistan Digital Library: Powered by NYU, the Afghanistan Digital Library has works published between 1870 and 1930.
- CELT: CELT stands for “the Corpus of Electronic Texts” features important historical literature and documents.
- Projekt Gutenberg-DE: This easy-to-use database of German language texts lets you search by genres and author.
HISTORY AND CULTURE
- LibriVox: LibriVox has a good selection of historical fiction.
- The Perseus Project: Tufts’ Perseus Digital Library features titles from Ancient Rome and Greece, published in English and original languages.
- Access Genealogy: Find literature about Native American history, the Scotch-Irish immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, and more.
- Free History Books: This collection features U.S. history books, including works by Paul Jennings, Sarah Morgan Dawson, Josiah Quincy and others.
- Most Popular History Books: Free titles include Seven Days and Seven Nights by Alexander Szegedy and Autobiography of a Female Slave by Martha G. Browne.
- Questia: Questia has 5,000 books available for free, including rare books and classics.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Books-On-Line: This large collection includes movie scripts, newer works, cookbooks and more.
- Chest of Books: This site has a wide range of free books, including gardening and cooking books, home improvement books, craft and hobby books, art books and more.
- Free e-Books: Find titles related to beauty and fashion, games, health, drama and more.
- 2020ok: Categories here include art, graphic design, performing arts, ethnic and national, careers, business and a lot more.
- Free Art Books: Find artist books and art books in PDF format here.
- Free Web design books: OnlineComputerBooks.com directs you to free web design books.
- Free Music Books: Find sheet music, lyrics and books about music here.
- Free Fashion Books: Costume and fashion books are linked to the Google Books page.
- MysteryNet: Read free short mystery stories on this site.
- TopMystery.com: Read books by Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, GK Chesterton and other mystery writers here.
- Mystery Books: Read books by Sue Grafton and others.
- The Literature Network: This site features forums, a copy of The King James Bible, and over 3,000 short stories and poems.
- Poetry: This list includes “The Raven,” “O Captain! My Captain!” and “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde.”
- Poem Hunter: Find free poems, lyrics and quotations on this site.
- Famous Poetry Online: Read limericks, love poetry, and poems by Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Lord Byron and others.
- Google Poetry: Google Books has a large selection of poetry, fromThe Canterbury Tales to Beowulf to Walt Whitman.
- QuotesandPoem.com: Read poems by Maya Angelou, William Blake, Sylvia Plath and more.
- CompleteClassics.com: Rudyard Kipling, Allen Ginsberg and Alfred Lord Tennyson are all featured here.
- PinkPoem.com: On this site, you can download free poetry ebooks.
- Banned Books: Here you can follow links of banned books to their full text online.
- World eBook Library: This monstrous collection includes classics, encyclopedias, children’s books and a lot more.
- DailyLit: DailyLit has everything from Moby Dick to the recent phenomenon, Skinny Bitch.
- A Celebration of Women Writers: The University of Pennsylvania’s page for women writers includes Newbery winners.
- Free Online Novels: These novels are fully online and range from romance to religious fiction to historical fiction.
- ManyBooks.net: Download mysteries and other books for your iPhone or eBook reader here.
- Authorama: Books here are pulled from Google Books and more. You’ll find history books, novels and more.
- Prize-winning books online: Use this directory to connect to full-text copies of Newbery winners, Nobel Prize winners and Pulitzer winners.
… and here is a gift for all of us.
film of a tornado emerging from the wall cloud of a supercell in south dakota. a supercell is a severe thunderstorm with a deep rotating updraft. most tornados are associated with supercell thunderstorms, the largest, most severe class of single cell thunderstorms.
a tornado is created when the cooler downdraft of rear midlevel winds combine with the updraft of warm, moist and horizontally spinning surface level winds, which condense into a funnel as they’re drawn upward into what is called the mesocyclone. (video)
Ah, romantic love; beautiful and intoxicating, heart-breaking and soul-crushing… often all at the same time! Why do we choose to put ourselves though its emotional wringer? Does love make our lives meaningful, or is it an escape from our loneliness and suffering? Is love a disguise for our sexual desire, or a trick of biology to make us procreate? Is it all we need? Do we need it at all?
If romantic love has a purpose, neither science nor psychology has discovered it yet – but over the course of history, some of our most respected philosophers have put forward some intriguing theories.
1. Love makes us whole, again / Plato (427—347 BCE)
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato explored the idea that we love in order to become complete. In his Symposium, he wrote about a dinner party at which Aristophanes, a comic playwright, regales the guests with the following story. Humans were once creatures with four arms, four legs, and two faces. One day they angered the gods, and Zeus sliced them all in two. Since then, every person has been missing half of him or herself. Love is the longing to find a soul mate who will make us feel whole again… or at least that’s what Plato believed a drunken comedian would say at a party.
2. Love tricks us into having babies / Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
Much, much later, German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer maintained that love, based in sexual desire, was a “voluptuous illusion”. He suggested that we love because our desires lead us to believe that another person will make us happy, but we are sorely mistaken. Nature is tricking us into procreating and the loving fusion we seek is consummated in our children. When our sexual desires are satisfied, we are thrown back into our tormented existences, and we succeed only in maintaining the species and perpetuating the cycle of human drudgery. Sounds like somebody needs a hug.
3. Love is escape from our loneliness / Russell (1872-1970)
According to the Nobel Prize-winning British philosopher Bertrand Russell we love in order to quench our physical and psychological desires. Humans are designed to procreate; but, without the ecstasy of passionate love, sex is unsatisfying. Our fear of the cold, cruel world tempts us to build hard shells to protect and isolate ourselves. Love’s delight, intimacy, and warmth helps us overcome our fear of the world, escape our lonely shells, and engage more abundantly in life. Love enriches our whole being, making it the best thing in life.
4. Love is a misleading affliction / Buddha (~6th- 4thC BCE)
Siddhartha Gautama. who became known as ‘the Buddha’, or ‘the enlightened one’, probably would have had some interesting arguments with Russell. Buddha proposed that we love because we are trying to satisfy our base desires. Yet, our passionate cravings are defects, and attachments – even romantic love – are a great source of suffering. Luckily, Buddha discovered the eight-fold path, a sort of program for extinguishing the fires of desire so that we can reach ‘nirvana’ – an enlightened state of peace, clarity, wisdom, and compassion.
5. Love lets us reach beyond ourselves / Beauvoir (1908-86)
Let’s end on a slightly more positive note. The French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir proposed that love is the desire to integrate with another and that it infuses our lives with meaning. However, she was less concerned with why we love and more interested in how we can love better. She saw that the problem with traditional romantic love is it can be so captivating that we are tempted to make it our only reason for being. Yet, dependence on another to justify our existence easily leads to boredom and power games.
To avoid this trap, Beauvoir advised loving authentically, which is more like a great friendship: lovers support each other in discovering themselves, reaching beyond themselves, and enriching their lives and the world, together.
Though we might never know why we fall in love, we can be certain that it’ll be an emotional rollercoaster ride. It’s scary and exhilarating. It makes us suffer and makes us soar. Maybe we lose ourselves. Maybe we find ourselves. It might be heartbreaking or it might just be the best thing in life. Will you dare to find out?
From the TED-Ed Lesson Why do we love? A philosophical inquiry - Skye C. Cleary
Animation by Avi Ofer
Chronic pain is known to cause brain anatomy changes and impairments, but yoga can be an important tool for preventing or even reversing the effects of chronic pain on the brain, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) official speaking at the American Pain Society’s annual meeting, www.americanpainsociety.org.
M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, scientific director, Division of Intramural Research, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NIH, explained in a plenary session address that many chronic pain patients show associated anxiety and depression as well as deficits in cognitive functions. In addition, brain imaging studies in rats and humans have shown alterations in gray matter volume and white matter integrity in the brain caused by the effects of chronic pain.
“Imaging studies in multiple types of chronic pain patients show their brains differ from healthy control subjects,” said Bushnell. “Studies of people with depression show they also have reduced gray matter, and this could contribute to the gray matter changes in pain patients who are depressed. Our research shows that gray matter loss is directly related to the pain when we take depression into account,” said Bushnell.
Gray matter is brain tissue with numerous cell bodies and is located in the cerebral cortex and subcortical areas. The impact of gray matter loss depends on where it occurs in brain. Decreased gray matter can lead to memory impairment, emotional problems and decreased cognitive functioning.
Bushnell said there is compelling evidence from studies conducted at NIH/NCCIH and other sites that mind-body techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can counteract the brain anatomy affects of chronic pain. “Practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain as does chronic pain,” said Bushnell.
She said the studies show yoga practitioners have more gray matter than controls in multiple brain regions, including those involved in pain modulation. “Some gray matter increases in yogis correspond to duration of yoga practice, which suggests there is a causative link between yoga and gray matter increases,” Bushnell noted.
Assessing the impact of brain anatomy on pain reduction, Bushnell said gray matter changes in the insula or internal structures of the cerebral cortex are most significant for pain tolerance. “Insula gray matter size correlates with pain tolerance, and increases in insula gray matter can result from ongoing yoga practice,” said Bushnell.
“Brain anatomy changes may contribute to mood disorders and other affective and cognitive comorbidities of chronic pain. The encouraging news for people with chronic pain is mind-body practices seem to exert a protective effect on brain gray matter that counteracts the neuroanatomical effects of chronic pain,” Bushnell added.
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