Wish I'd had college professors like this one. Prof. Albala was animated and enthusiastic about his subject and held my attention. I especially enjo..Show More »yed the portion about food in ancient Rome and the very early recipes that still exist from there and other places a s well. His discourse puts a human face on the people who preceded us and brings them to life through the very human process of nourishment.
Don't expect this series of lectures to be entirely about the mechanics of mindfulness meditation. Once the basic practice is described, Professor Mu..Show More »esse spends a great deal of time on Buddhist philosophy and the reasons why conscious examination of our mind's wanderings is beneficial. Very little of this work is guided meditation; however, the guided mediations and instructions provided are consistent with what I have found in other authoritative works.
Because we are creatures of habit, i.e. our brains actually adapt to make it easier to repeat common patterns of thought, breaking the habit of allowing our minds to wander uncontrolled, can help us prevent unproductive patterns of thought from becoming habit.
Both mindfulness mediation and Dr. Muesse's introduction to it are highly recommended by this reviewer.
I found parts to be interesting and the description and examples of integrative medicine to be for the most part useful; there is such a strong focus ..Show More »on supplements and vitamins that I would have expected some discussion of how well the body absorbs supplements compared to getting them through food, but that topic was not addressed.
I had just finished Robert Sapolsky's "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers" when I started this. Honestly, after the zebra book, I would have skipped this one..Show More » had I not already purchased it. However, this one turned out to be quite a bit better. There is a lot more attention given to the brain and brain processes in response to stress, and there is more meat and less fluff in this one. I will, however, reiterate what I said about the zebra book. DON'T READ THIS IF YOU'RE STRESSED!. Once again, the author, himself, cautions, after he's read most of the book, that if you aren't stressed by that point, you haven't been listening. And once again, there isn't that much about stress relief.
The author was a decent narrator, but not stellar. I listened to it at 2x or 3x. The material was interesting and logical in its presentation, but I thought it went on about certain points for too long.
Overall, this is a good primer about what happens when you get stressed, and there some material here for dealing with it. I could recommend this for someone with a scientific interest in stress or psychology, but there are better books about stress relief and coping methods.
I have spent the last few weeks listening to nearly a dozen Great Courses lecture series on the brain, the mind and the ways that thought and memory h..Show More »elp us to adapt to the world around us, making for a more pleasurable and useful life. I just finished Craig Heller's course on sleep, and since much of that was on sleep's effects on learning and memory, much of the material dovetails nicely here. It would also work very well listened to in conjunction with Steven Novalla's The Deceptive Mind, which deals with much of the same material, just from a slightly different angle. Joordens enlightens us with the way that memories are encoded and stored and the way memory enhances our lives and makes us who we are. He educates us in regard to how the memory process and memories themselves change with the age of the person remembering--or not remembering. He shares with us the amazing accuracy of our memories, but also the way they can be corrupted and changed. This latter is especially important with the recent resurgence of reports of false memories in regard to supposed "satanic ritual abuse" being implanted in patients by unscrupulous and/or incompetent "therapists" and horribly unscientific (and poorly written) books like the "Dr." Phil publicized 22 Faces or the older, but equally bad and deceptive Michelle Remembers. Do false memories exist? Of course they do. And they are incredibly easy to get started. You can even plant a false memory in yourself!--like I did. I have told a particular story in a writing class I do focused on Theories Of Morality in which I demonstrate the ignorance and bias back of racism. It is a true story--sort of. For 11 years, I had told the story as happening to me--when it really happened to someone else. It began innocently enough. I didn't want to begin a story with something awkward like "now this happened to someone else, but..." so for facility, I simply put myself into the narrator's position. After 11 years and at least 88 re-tellings, I REALLY BELIEVED IT HAD HAPPENED TO ME! I would have sworn in a court of law that it had. I could have passed a lie detector test. I still see it all very clearly in my head--HAPPENING TO ME!--even now that I know better. It took telling the story to the person it DID really happen to--and her claiming the story--for me to actually remember that it did not happen to me. But it is still there so clearly--a vivid technicolor movie in my head--with me as the star.
I am a political junkie and the US Constitution is particularly interesting and important to me. I feel very strongly that the Bill of Rights is an i..Show More »mportant part of what defines the US democracy so I was thrilled to see a series of lectures about the first amendment.
Professor Finn clearly knows his material very well and has a good sense of humor.
With that said, he tries to cover too much material in the amount of time allotted for each lecture. As a result, he ends up raising an important question or issue, citing the case and the decision and reading (some times at length) from the court's decision & the Justice's opinions.
What he does not do, but would have made this a five star listen, is to take some time to "decode" the extremely thick, legal comments made by the judges into "plain English." I would have liked to hear him say something like, "so, what Justice so and so is stating is that Free Speech can be restrict if and when."
I found myself rewinding a lot because the material is so densely packed. Worth checking out if you like to listen hard and pay attention to your books (or lectures). Do not buy it if you want to space out and absorb.
A well-organized and structured lecture that takes a look at constitutional law and historical legal precedent, with particular emphasis on the 4th, 5..Show More »th, and 1st amendments.
Professor Rosen keeps the lecture interesting and thought provoking, forcing the listener to consider their own views on the concepts described. He supports his assertions with multiple references to case law without coming across as pedantic. I would rate this as relatively "light reading" with moderate information density.
The narration was good but not excellent: obviously a polished speaker, but not rising the the quality of Audible's best professional narrators. The annoying and obviously added-in-post-production applause at break points between lectures was a poor creative choice.
If this is indicative of the other "great courses" audiobooks I look forward to listening to more.
This one starts out alright but there are a LOT of things that one can find wrong with the experiments spoken about later on. This is only 3hrs but it..Show More »'s worth even less, about 45min. Instead, skip this truncated summation of psychological experiments and suggestions to do illogical things for training purposes and go straight to "The Willpower Instinct" which contains descriptions of all the best psychological studies AND realistic ways of both understanding and improving upon your willpower.
Prof. Peter M. Vishton is an expert in Cognitive Psychology who gives tips on how to raise your children... what was unusual to me was that he didn't ..Show More »do it from a religious perspective, but his suggestions flows from a scientific basis. He actually brings together a huge range of scientific experiments and data by which he sifts the corn from the proverbial chaff. That is the strength and appeal of this course. There is something that any parent can take out of the course that can be applied almost immediately to your own children irrespective of their age and development.
I especially liked Prof. Vishton's almost mantra-like caution that parents should not go overboard. He was also very careful not to give black and white answers how to be a parent. He suggested and supported certain things more than others like being a authoritative parent over and against and authoritarian, permissive or absent parent. I was surprised to discover that video games and even television programmes had a positive side to it, but also realised that children in the United States are in some ways very different from South African children - owning more than one video console - why? Why owning one at all? Be that as it may, this course is an excellent measuring rod by which you can measure your own parenting. It brings new ideas into your grasp, some of which I found had an immediate effect on my relationship with my eldest daughter - like over-explaining instead of just getting impatient and sometimes unnecessarily angry. I am also very glad to have been introduced to the Montessori hundred board.
If there is one concern about the course, is that it is too broad. Divide it into two or three more detailed courses. I think for instance sibling rivalry and the function of pets, which Prof. Vishton mentions towards the end of the course, can really benefit parents. Furthermore it will help to gain a better grasp upon a child in early childhood development, versus a teen and ultimately an adolescent. I would have liked also to know a bit more about gender roles and grand parents. I think the net for this course is thrown a bit wide and a few fish got away.
That said, it is an excellent course, very thought provoking, enlightening and very helpful to guide you in avoiding some of the pitfalls of parenting. I like Prof. Vishton's idea that parents should themselves become scientists when busy parenting their children. The course comes highly recommended (especially when you use an Audible credit to buy it... otherwise you might find it a bit pricey).
In 24 lectures prof. Clancy Martin makes his listeners realise that moral decision making is an important, yet often neglected part of life. He initia..Show More »lly uses practical everyday scenario's to introduce those questions in life that seems to be the stuff that only Philosophers really ponder on. While highlighting various Western and Eastern Philosophical traditions as well as Christian and Buddhist religious traditions to show different ways in which you should approach a seemingly moral dilemma, he helps the listener to decide how he or she will deal with a certain issue in the future. Though he leads the listener in taking his view, especially towards the end of his lectures, he doesn't force it on you.
Maybe a little bit of criticism from my side would be his inability to think a bit more globally about certain issues, especially about things like the death penalty, recycling and caring for your elderly parents. I think that in these lectures he seems to be unable to escape his North American mindset. That said, it was still interesting, and even these lectures can be of help to someone from another continent.
The three lectures I found most valuable is "Aren't Whistle-blowers being disloyal?" and "What is wrong with Gossip?" and "Why can't I date a married person?" Some of the ways in which he navigates his reasoning through difficult issues without religious endorsement is ingenious. As a chaplain working within a multi-religious environment, this course is really beneficial.
I think the goal on any course in ethics would be to get people thinking about what they do and if it is right and wrong. By empowering people to evaluate their own actions, you can change people's behaviour radically and in a very short period of time. A successful course in ethics should just to what I've described above. Prof. Clancy Martin has surely succeeded through these Great Courses' lectures to do just that. It is recommended extremely high!
There were just too many technical terms and the narration was like a boring college classroom. The audiobook is probably useful for people who alread..Show More »y know a little about how brain works and the various hormones that influence our mood/behaviour. As someone totally new, I just couldn't follow. Narrator's monotone didn't help much in keeping me engaged either.
I absolutely love The Great Courses. I've listened to at least 30 of them, and I have to say that Customs of the World might be my favorite. It was so..Show More » packed with observations that were both fascinating and practical, I think I'll find myself wanting to listen again in years to come.
I'm struggling in my mind to suggest a better name for this course, because it's about so much more than customs. It's about how culture profoundly affects how people and societies interact, along with practical advice on how to observe and interact with people from all cultures and subcultures both around the world and at home. This course is invaluable not only to world travelers, but to anybody who engages with people from other cultures, whether at work or socially.
Professor Livermore divides the course into three sections. The first explains the concept behind cultural intelligence. The second set of lectures is a comprehensive look at the ten established dimensions along which cultures consistently differ. The final set of lectures takes a deep dive into each of the major cultural regions of the world, pointing out the dominant norms of each, along with suggestions on how to observe and interact with people from within those regions.