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John Maeda's Bookcase

John Maeda is an American executive, designer, technologist. His work explores the area where business, design, and technology merge. He was a Professor at the MIT Media Lab for 12 years, and then became the President of the Rhode Island School of Design from 2008 to 2013. He is currently Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where he advises startups on the business impact of design. He also serves on the Board of Directors of consumer electronics company Sonos and global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy.

Photo by: Robert Scoble

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An Easier and Better Way to Learn Biology

For a biology student attempting to memorize the stages of cell division or understand basic genetics, straight memorization from textbooks or lecture notes can be a frustrating and laborious exercise.

Biology Coloring Workbook is a breakthrough approach to studying the science of life.  Learning interactively through coloring fixes biological concepts in the mind and promotes quick recall on exams.  Rather than learning cell structure by forcing yourself to memorize the name and function of each organelle, you can benefit from reviewing your own colorful portrait of the cell.

Inside are nearly 150 plates of clear and precise computer-generated artwork that are accompanied by a thorough explanation of each topic.  Complex biology subjects are explained through clear and simple drawings.  Coloring suggestions are providede to help you complete each lesson, and each plate is labeled for easy identification and reference.  Biology Coloring Workbook follows the standard organization of introductory textbooks, making it the ideal study companion.

The plates are organized into the following sections:

Introduction to Biology Biology of the Cell Principles of Genetics DNA and Gene Expression Principles of Evolution The Origin of Life and Simple Life Forms Biology of Plants Biology of Animals Human Biology Reproduction and Development in Humans Principles of Ecology

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

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A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

National Bestseller

The struggle to perform well is universal: each of us faces fatigue, limited resources, and imperfect abilities in whatever we do. But nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine, where lives may be on the line with any decision.

Atul Gawande, the New York Times bestselling author of Complications, examines, in riveting accounts of medical failure and triumph, how success is achieved in this complex and risk-filled profession. At once unflinching and compassionate, Better is an exhilarating journey, narrated by "arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around" (Salon.com).

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Syntax as Style

In Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style,Virginia Tufte shows how standard sentence patterns and forms contribute to meaning and art in more than a thousand wonderful sentences from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The book has special interest for aspiring writers, students of literature and language, and anyone who finds joy in reading and writing.

". . . Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style, generally recognized as the best study of sentence style."--Brooks Landon, University of Iowa, in Building Useful Sentences, page 122. 

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Part of JRP|Ringer's innovative Documents series, published with Les Presses du Réel and dedicated to critical writings, this publication comprises a unique collection of interviews by Hans Ulrich Obrist mapping the development of the curatorial field--from early independent curators in the 1960s and 70s and the experimental institutional programs developed in Europe and the U.S. through the inception of Documenta and the various biennales and fairs--with pioneering curators Anne D'Harnoncourt, Werner Hoffman, Jean Leering, Franz Meyer, Seth Siegelaub, Walter Zanini, Johannes Cladders, Lucy Lippard, Walter Hopps, Pontus Hulten and Harald Szeemann. Speaking of Szeemann on the occasion of this legendary curator's death in 2005, critic Aaron Schuster summed up, "the image we have of the curator today: the curator-as-artist, a roaming, freelance designer of exhibitions, or in his own witty formulation, a 'spiritual guest worker'... If artists since Marcel Duchamp have affirmed selection and arrangement as legitimate artistic strategies, was it not simply a matter of time before curatorial practice--itself defined by selection and arrangement--would come to be seen as an art that operates on the field of art itself?"

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A Romance of Many Dimensions

This masterpiece of science (and mathematical) fiction is a delightfully unique and highly entertaining satire that has charmed readers for more than 100 years. The work of English clergyman, educator and Shakespearean scholar Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926), it describes the journeys of A. Square, a mathematician and resident of the two-dimensional Flatland, where women-thin, straight lines-are the lowliest of shapes, and where men may have any number of sides, depending on their social status. Through strange occurrences that bring him into contact with a host of geometric forms, Square has adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions) and ultimately entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions—a revolutionary idea for which he is returned to his two-dimensional world. Charmingly illustrated by the author, Flatland is not only fascinating reading, it is still a first-rate fictional introduction to the concept of the multiple dimensions of space. "Instructive, entertaining, and stimulating to the imagination." — Mathematics Teacher.

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Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks

During his many years as a senior executive at Starbucks, Howard Behar helped establish the Starbucks culture, which stresses people over profits. He coached hundreds of leaders at every level and helped the company grow into a world-renowned brand. Now he reveals the ten principles that guided his leadership-and not one of them is about coffee. Behar shows that if you think of your staff as people (not labor costs) they will achieve amazing results. He discusses the importance of building trust, telling hard truths, thinking independently, and more. And he shares inside stories of key turning points for Starbucks, as it fought to hang on to its culture while growing exponentially.

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The Interaction of Visual Elements

Swiss artist and designer, Karl Gerstner draws on artistic literary, and scientific sources, as well as on his own studio work to investigate the basic visual elements of color and form. Inspired by Wassily Kandinsky, Gerstner explores the ideas of continuous and evenly measured changes in the three dimensions of color - hue, tone, and saturation.

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The Individual and the Innovative Society

In his classic treatise Self-Renewal, John W. Gardner examines why great societies thrive and die. He argues that it is dynamism, not decay, that is dramatically altering the landscape of American society. The twentieth century has brought about change more rapidly than any previous era, and with that came advancements, challenges, and often destruction. Gardner cautions that "a society must court the kinds of change that will enrich and strengthen it, rather than the kind of change that will fragment and destroy it."

A society's ability to renew itself hinges upon its individuals. Gardner reasons that it is the waning of the heart and spirit-not a lack of material might-that threatens American society. Young countries, businesses, and humans have several key commonalities: they are flexible, eager, open, curious, unafraid, and willing to take risks. These conditions lead to success. However, as time passes, so too comes complacency, apathy, and rigidity, causing motivation to plummet. It is at this junction that great civilizations fall, businesses go bankrupt, and life stagnates. Gardner asserts that the individual's role in social renewal requires each person to face and look beyond imminent threats.

Ultimately, we need a vision that there is something worth saving. Through this vision, Gardner argues, society will begin to renew itself, not permanently, but past its average lifespan, and it will at once become enriched and rejuvenated.

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A Visual Communication Manual for Graphic Designers, Typographers and Three Dimensional Designers

From a professional for professionals, here is the definitive word on using grid systems in graphic design. Though Muller-Brockman first presented hi interpretation of grid in 1961, this text is still useful today for anyone working in the latest computer-assisted design. With examples on how to work correctly at a conceptual level and exact instructions for using all of the systems (8 to 32 fields), this guidebook provides a crystal-clear framework for problem-solving. Dimension: 81/2 x 113/4 inches, English & German Text, 357 b&w examples and illustrations.

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In recent years, computer games have moved from the margins of popular culture to its center. Reviews of new games and profiles of game designers now regularly appear in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and sales figures for games are reported alongside those of books, music, and movies. They are increasingly used for purposes other than entertainment, yet debates about videogames still fork along one of two paths: accusations of debasement through violence and isolation or defensive paeans to their potential as serious cultural works. In How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost contends that such generalizations obscure the limitless possibilities offered by the medium’s ability to create complex simulated realities.

Bogost, a leading scholar of videogames and an award-winning game designer, explores the many ways computer games are used today: documenting important historical and cultural events; educating both children and adults; promoting commercial products; and serving as platforms for art, pornography, exercise, relaxation, pranks, and politics. Examining these applications in a series of short, inviting, and provocative essays, he argues that together they make the medium broader, richer, and more relevant to a wider audience.

Bogost concludes that as videogames become ever more enmeshed with contemporary life, the idea of gamers as social identities will become obsolete, giving rise to gaming by the masses. But until games are understood to have valid applications across the cultural spectrum, their true potential will remain unrealized. How to Do Things with Videogames offers a fresh starting point to more fully consider games’ progress today and promise for the future.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

The authors present the complete guide to ANSI standard C language programming. Written by the developers of C, this new version helps readers keep up with the finalized ANSI standard for C while showing how to take advantage of C's rich set of operators, economy of expression, improved control flow, and data structures. The 2/E has been completely rewritten with additional examples and problem sets to clarify the implementation of difficult language constructs. For years, C programmers have let K&R guide them to building well-structured and efficient programs. Now this same help is available to those working with ANSI compilers. Includes detailed coverage of the C language plus the official C language reference manual for at-a-glance help with syntax notation, declarations, ANSI changes, scope rules, and the list goes on and on.

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A Designer's Art

Paul Rand was one of the world's leading graphic designers. Here he describes his work with the same precision, economy and passion that he displays in his graphic designs, seeking to help us to understand the nature of his relationships with his clients, his audience and his art.

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Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't

The Challenge Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.
“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

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The Contemporary City

This inaugural double issue of the serial publication ZONE examines the physical, political, and perceptual transformations redefining the contemporary city.

These transformations are explored through historical studies of transformations in the urban system, through theoretical essays which map out the evolution of related social and economic structures (such as the state, the family, and the factory), and through experimental artist projects and critical dossiers.

Some of the many contributors to this issue include: Christopher Alexander, John Baldessari, Gilles Deleuze, Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas, William Labov, Michael Piore, and Paul Virilio.

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