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New Year New Releases.
New Year New Releases.
  • How to Paint
    Course  |  How to Paint

    Professor Ricky Allman, MFA

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    How to Paint immerses you in the painting process from start to finish, with step-by-step demonstrations in every lesson. Professor Allman’s years of experience as an artist and teacher enable him to provide the perfect introduction to an immense artistic tradition, infusing each session with passion and humor, so even the most technical and traditional methods become fun and approachable under his guidance.

    View Lecture List (24)

    How to Paint immerses you in the painting process from start to finish, with step-by-step demonstrations in every lesson. Professor Allman’s years of experience as an artist and teacher enable him to provide the perfect introduction to an immense artistic tradition, infusing each session with passion and humor, so even the most technical and traditional methods become fun and approachable under his guidance.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  How to Paint
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      The Painter's Toolkit
      Begin by learning how to embrace the physicality, messiness, and freedom inherent in the earliest stages of a painting. Professor Allman demonstrates how to practice loose, dynamic paint strokes using your entire arm—not just your fingers and wrist—and also goes over some of the basic supplies you will use when starting out. x
    • 2
      Getting Started: Surfaces and Brushwork
      You have your (acrylic) paints and your brushes, now what? First, learn what kinds of surfaces are best for beginning painters and how to choose the one that works for you. Then, follow Professor Allman as he walks you through a demonstration on creating gradients, and get to know the kinds of brushes you will use to achieve different lines and effects. x
    • 3
      Fundamentals: Establishing Value
      Value—the spectrum of light and darkness in an image—is crucial to the way our brains translate images into meaning. See why understanding value is more important than understanding color, and develop your ability to pinpoint value differences in your subjects. Follow along with a demonstration on how to break an image down into its fundamental values. x
    • 4
      Fundamentals: Building Volume
      This lesson opens with a brief look at the rendering of three-dimensional forms using light and shadow, known as volume, and why it is easier to achieve than you might think, once you know how to look at the effects of light. Paint geometric objects using your new understanding of light sources, cast shadows versus form shadows, and reflective effects. x
    • 5
      Fundamentals: Basics of Color Theory
      Understanding color is about discerning the subtle differences in value, hue, and saturation. Professor Allman introduces practical color theory and shows you how to break colors down into a simple matrix so you can create the shades you need. Learn how to directly mix paints and the principles of optical mixing as you create your own 12-step color wheel and value scales. x
    • 6
      Fundamentals: Creating Color Palettes
      Why is color like musical notes? In this second look at color, learn how context and interaction is key, and why a limited palette of four or five colors can be surprisingly powerful. Create a quick painting from a monochrome reference image, using just four colors, while utilizing ratio, value, and temperature to do the heavy lifting of the piece. x
    • 7
      Fundamentals: Compositional Choices
      Step beyond the basics and explore broader elements of painting. Look at arrangement and composition, exploring ideas of symmetry, hierarchy, dynamics, and more. Discover why traditional approaches like the Golden Ratio aren't the only options for arranging your work, and end with a sketching session to explore how to plan your work before you start painting. x
    • 8
      Putting It All Together: A Simple Landscape
      Apply everything you have learned so far and paint a simple landscape with acrylic paints, based on a photographic reference. Professor Allman goes over all the tools you will use and leads you through the process of sketching, beginning with mapping major, medium, and small value areas and finishing with details. x
    • 9
      Creating Linear Perspective
      Like value and volume for objects, linear perspective will help you create the appearance of architectural space on a 2-D surface. Though it can be challenging for even experienced artists, the principles are actually fairly simple. Master elements of linear perspective and then put them into practice as you follow along with Professor Allman's demonstration. x
    • 10
      Creating Atmospheric Perspective
      Explore the ways you can create the illusion of large distances using the techniques of atmospheric perspective, including making objects more or less distinct and creating contrast between the foreground, middle ground, and background. Practice creating a grand sense of space with a simple landscape of hills and mountains. x
    • 11
      Putting It All Together: A Still Life
      Hone your observational skills and develop your personal creative perspective as you tackle a still life composition. Professor Allman's demonstration will help you bring together all the techniques you have learned so far while still allowing you to arrange your own subject and to make crucial decisions about value, proportion, and more. x
    • 12
      Working with Oils
      Oil paints have been the most popular painting medium since the European Renaissance. Transition from acrylics to the traditional realm of oil paints, exploring the many benefits—blending and transitions, texture, the rich pigments—while also learning how to deal with some of the more challenging aspects, such as varied drying times and toxicity. x
    • 13
      Traditional Oil Techniques: Grisaille
      Continue your foray into oil painting, starting with the versatile, monochromatic underpainting technique known as grisaille. Create an underpainting from a reference image, utilizing paint that has been thinned to create a smooth surface for the overpainting. After your underpainting is complete and dry, progress to adding thin, luminous layers of color. x
    • 14
      Working with Acrylics
      Return to acrylics to explore their advantages and disadvantages and how to use techniques that are particularly suited to them: glazing, sanding, and masking. Explore different mediums you can incorporate to slow drying time or change paint consistency, and watch Professor Allman as he begins work on a street scene in acrylics. x
    • 15
      Playing with Mediums
      If you don't touch paintings, why is surface texture so important? As it turns out, the visual surface quality of a painting can trigger the area of the brain that processes tactile sensations. Experiment with mediums you can incorporate into your acrylic paints to create a variety of textures, from high-shine glosses to gritty pumice to the watercolor-effect of absorbent ground. x
    • 16
      Painting Water and Clouds
      Dive into the challenging diversity of the natural world, starting with bodies of water and clouds. First, identify common elements and look closely to determine color temperature and value areas. Then, work from simple structure to finer details as you build up your painting. Finally, add shadows and highlights to capture shape and atmospheric conditions. x
    • 17
      Painting Trees and Bark
      Take advantage of the immense varietyies of trees to create natural compositions and experiment with various shapes and textures. Professor Allman leads you through a demonstration focused on building up different types of trees from basic shapes to foliage and bark texture, including techniques to suggest leaves and needles without excessive detail. x
    • 18
      Painting Rocks and Mountains
      It's not what you paint that makes an interesting work: It's how you paint it. Even something as mundane as a rock can be compelling; as you will see as you undertake a study of rocks using chromatic grays. Learn how to create shades of gray from complementary colors as Professor Allman captures the variety and complexity of stone in a simple landscape. x
    • 19
      Painting Light
      You have looked at the interaction of light and shadow, now broaden your look at the effect of light through the lens of the four main aspects you should know: type of light source, brightness, color, and direction. Professor Allman's demonstration focuses on several strategies for painting light using a candle as your source and subject. x
    • 20
      Painting Glass
      Engage with a subject that can intimidate even seasoned painters: glass. Learn how to focus on what can be seen through glass objects, rather than on the glass itself, to capture its unique properties. Undertake a simple glass still life, using highlights and shadows to suggest shape rather than outlining or blocking. x
    • 21
      Painting People
      In the age of instant photography, why paint portraits? Professor Allman discusses the amazing ability of portraits to capture truths about both the subject and the artist, as he introduces you to the proportions of the human face and then demonstrates how to build" your portrait in much the same way you have tackled previous subjects." x
    • 22
      Getting Creative: Composition
      Up to this point, Professor Allman has focused on the tools and techniques of representation. Now, turn your attention to the ways you as an artist can explore new ideas and techniques to tap into your own creativity. Consider how to find and use a variety of references and materials, closing with an exercise in painting using tape to explore the figure-ground relationship. x
    • 23
      Getting Creative: Surface and Texture
      Further stretch your creative horizons as you leave traditional tools behind and explore new materials and techniques. Featuring four different demonstrations, this lesson will show you how to utilize unique painting surfaces, paint with palette knives instead of brushes, incorporate other media into your paintings, and add collage to your repertoire. x
    • 24
      Getting Creative: Space and Dimension
      Conclude your lessons by freeing yourself from the boundaries of realistic space and, with some guidance from the work of M. C. Escher, use perspective in inventive ways. Learn how to let go of the constraints of realism and transform the two-dimensional surface of your painting into a space where your imagination can take flight. x
  • Masters of Mindfulness: Transforming Your Mind and Body

    Taught By Multiple Professors

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    Mindfulness as a practice is very simple and its effects are well-documented. What many people don’t realize is the breadth of the science behind it and how much of our health—physical, mental, emotional—is bound up in the way we look at and experience the world. Now, modern biology and neuroscience can actually quantify many of the effects of mindfulness and you may be surprised by how powerful the impact can be. In Masters of Mindfulness: Transforming Your Mind and Body, 11 top researchers and proponents of mindfulness discuss what modern science and contemporary research have revealed about this ancient practice and the many ways in which it can benefit your life.

    View Lecture List (22)

    Mindfulness as a practice is very simple and its effects are well-documented. What many people don’t realize is the breadth of the science behind it and how much of our health—physical, mental, emotional—is bound up in the way we look at and experience the world. Now, modern biology and neuroscience can actually quantify many of the effects of mindfulness and you may be surprised by how powerful the impact can be. In Masters of Mindfulness: Transforming Your Mind and Body, 11 top researchers and proponents of mindfulness discuss what modern science and contemporary research have revealed about this ancient practice and the many ways in which it can benefit your life.

    View Lecture List (22)
    22 Lectures  |  Masters of Mindfulness: Transforming Your Mind and Body
    Lecture Titles (22)
    • 1
      What You Practice Grows Stronger
      Mindfulness, the art of being fully present, allows practitioners to see clearly and respond effectively. It can strengthen our immune system, decrease stress, increase cognitive function, and allow us to feel more compassion. With Dr. Shauna Shapiro, explore your own purpose for engaging on a journey of mindfulness with respect to intention, attention, and attitude. Given that what you practice grows stronger, what do you want to practice in your own life? x
    • 2
      Essential Themes of Mindfulness
      In this session with Dr. Shapiro, open by engaging in a meditation exercise to gather intention and center yourself in the present moment. Explore common questions about mindfulness, from concerns about maintaining focus to dealing with feelings of tiredness and even physical pain, and learn how to begin your own mindfulness practices and how to set goals you can commit to. x
    • 3
      Using Mindfulness to Grow Inner Resources
      Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could become stronger and more resilient throughout the course of your life by developing new inner resources to address challenges and vulnerabilities? As Dr. Rick Hanson will show you, you can. Although our brain evolved to scan the world for the negative in order to keep us safe, learn how the practice of mindfulness can help you grow inner resources by using positive neuroplasticity. x
    • 4
      Hardwiring Inner Resources: HEAL
      Chances are you have a lot of positive experiences in your life right now. But are they fleeting—do you even truly notice them? Learn how a mindfulness practice can help you convert positive experiences into long-term beneficial traits, through self-correcting positive neuroplasticity, what Rick Hanson calls “the superpower of superpowers.” x
    • 5
      Mindfulness in Heartbreak
      Because we are human, heartbreak or loss will come to us at some time in our lives. Author Kristine Carlson shares powerful stories of loss and grief, and the role her mindfulness practice played in her healing process. She explains how practicing mindfulness now can even help you better face difficult times in the future. Learn how to access peace, even when joy might not be present. x
    • 6
      Embracing Change and Choosing Growth
      Learn how you can really be of service to another person in his or her time of grief—and what actions and words are more harmful than helpful. Is it possible to reframe the concept of loss so you can move through it with an attitude of embracing the transformation and change? Kristine Carlson shows how your own mindfulness practice can help fill the gaping hole in your life caused by loss with the fullness of the present moment. x
    • 7
      A Mindful Approach to Anger
      We’re always glad to be mindful of our emotions of gratitude, awe, or joy. But what about anger? With Juna Mustad, an expert in “mindful anger,” learn why our normal reactions to anger—either allowing it to drive our actions or stuffing it deep inside—are unhealthy. Learn how to become mindful of your anger, and how that awareness can point you to a healthier, more authentic life and better relationships with others. x
    • 8
      Getting to Know Your Anger
      Neuroscience reveals why we tend to act more quickly on our feelings of anger than any other emotion. We often regret acting out of anger, but what can we do about it? Learn how a mindfulness practice can help you take more appropriate action in response to anger by affecting your body chemistry and growing new connections in specific parts of the brain in this second session with Juna Mustad. x
    • 9
      Mindfulness at Work: The Power of Authenticity
      Author and former professional baseball player Mike Robbins brings a unique perspective to the workplace. As a baseball player, he noticed that the most successful teams were not necessarily those with the greatest individual talent but those with the greatest chemistry and support between players. Mr. Robbins shares techniques to help you create that chemistry and support in the workplace by creating an atmosphere of mindful authenticity. x
    • 10
      Mindfulness at Work: The Power of Appreciation
      Continue your look at mindfulness in the workplace with Mike Robbins. Understand the difference between recognition and appreciation and why appreciation in the workplace can increase employee satisfaction, retention, productivity, and overall mental health. Learn how the mindfulness practice of gratitude can make a difference in your life—both in the workplace and in your personal relationships. x
    • 11
      The Benefits of Brain Training
      Our ability to pay attention and stay focused on a task is incredibly important for our productivity and safety—and often the safety of others. But the attention system in our brain is easily affected by our moods and stress. Are there exercises we can do to train our brain? And, if so, does that training show benefits over time? Join Dr. Amishi Jha to explore brain training from a new perspective. x
    • 12
      Mindfulness as Brain Training
      Dr. Amishi Jha shares her lab's exciting research on the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, and resilience. While other types of brain training do not seem to result in long-term benefits, mindfulness training can positively impact the physical structure and functioning of the brain, especially in the three distinct brain networks related to attention and focus. x
    • 13
      The Science of Mindful Aging
      Recent scientific discoveries reveal not only the mechanisms of aging at the cellular level, but also how our mental activities affect those processes. With Dr. Elissa Epel, learn how your activities—including a mindfulness practice—can affect inflammation; the length of the telomeres that protect our chromosomes; the health of our mitochondria, our cells’ centers of energy production; and our epigenome, the chemical compounds that turn our genes on and off. x
    • 14
      Positive Behaviors That Slow Aging
      See how changes you make in your mental and emotional life can affect aging at the cellular level and why the effort it takes to explore some of life’s biggest questions—your own purpose, the meaning of your relationships, and more—is worth your while. Dr. Elissa Epel discusses what neuroscience reveals about the ways in which your social life and personal relationships impact your physical rate of aging. x
    • 15
      Mindful Sex: Being Present in Your Body
      What do you think about during sex? Jessica Graham’s work reveals that many of us are focused on how we look, what our partner thinks about us, how we’re “performing”—all thoughts that take us outside our body. Instead, learn how mindful sex allows you to better access the pleasure in your own body, create a deeper connection with your partner, and enjoy your own sexuality more than ever before. x
    • 16
      Beyond the Orgasm: Communicate and Flow
      Orgasm anxiety (is our orgasm too fast, too slow, not happening at all?) takes us away from sexual pleasure. But mindful sex can refocus our attention on the body’s innate sexual feelings without judgment, allowing us to relax into pleasure. Jessica Graham shares the concept of “flow” meditation as well as ways mindfulness can help forge better communication between partners, deepening both pleasure and meaningful connection. x
    • 17
      Awe: A Defining Human Emotion
      Join Dr. Dacher Keltner and learn why awe is called a defining human strength and how this emotion and phenomenon differs significantly from beauty and astonishment. What do people report as their main sources of awe, and how does it make them feel? Why is an awareness of awe a central part of the human experience? x
    • 18
      How Can You Find More Awe?
      Why does emotion emerge in mammalian evolution and what role does the emotion of awe play in human development? Dr. Dacher Keltner takes you on an exploration of what scientists have discovered about the cross-cultural universality of awe and its physical, mental, and social benefits—and specific ways in which you can experience awe more often in your own life. x
    • 19
      Blue Mind: The Healing Power of Water
      What has neuroscience revealed about the importance of our connection to the natural world and especially our connection to water? Can a mindful connection with lakes, rivers, and oceans—or even the ordinary water we drink—heal the stress and busyness of our modern lives? Learn the ways in which our brain and body are hardwired to respond positively to water with marine biologist and “water evangelist” Dr. Wallace J. Nichols. x
    • 20
      Go Deeper: The Seven Ages of Water
      Dive into the seven ages of water, from birth to death, and explore the many ways in which water impacts our emotional lives. From play to romance to flotation therapy, Dr. Nichols shows how being mindful of water can increase your mental and physical health, and why many scientists refer to water as medicine. Whether you live by the ocean or in the desert, learn how to make “Blue Mind” a part of your life. x
    • 21
      Mindsight: Understanding Your Inner Life
      Our minds include our subjective experience, consciousness, and information processing. But how does this all come together? With Dr. Dan Siegel, learn why self-organization is one of the key attributes of all complex systems, including the healthy mind. Discover how that quality of integration predicts the quality of mental health, and how the practice of mindfulness can take us from the states of rigidity and chaos to healthy integration. x
    • 22
      The Wheel of Awareness: A Model for Well-Being
      Dr. Siegel shares his guided mindfulness meditation called “Wheel of Awareness.” With this practice, you’ll learn to integrate four main aspects of life and mind: the five senses, internal bodily sensations, mental activity and emotions, and relationship to the outside world. More than 10,000 individuals have experienced the Wheel of Awareness, integrating these four aspects of the life of the mind to create better mental health. x
  • Introduction to Astrophysics

    Professor Joshua Winn, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD
    Taught by Professor Joshua Winn of Princeton University, this course takes you step by step through the major calculations of astrophysics, including Newton’s law of gravity, a black hole’s event horizon, the ignition temperature of a star, and many more. Knowledge of first-year college physics and math is assumed, but Dr. Winn—an award-winning teacher—makes the course rewarding for anyone curious about the universe.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Taught by Professor Joshua Winn of Princeton University, this course takes you step by step through the major calculations of astrophysics, including Newton’s law of gravity, a black hole’s event horizon, the ignition temperature of a star, and many more. Knowledge of first-year college physics and math is assumed, but Dr. Winn—an award-winning teacher—makes the course rewarding for anyone curious about the universe.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Introduction to Astrophysics
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Zooming Out to Distant Galaxies
      Begin by defining the difference between astrophysics and astronomy. Then study the vast range of scales in astrophysics—from nanometers to gigaparsecs, from individual photons to the radiation of trillions of suns. Get the big picture in a breathtaking series of exponential jumps—zooming from Earth, past the planets, stars, galaxies, and finally taking in countless clusters of galaxies. x
    • 2
      Zooming In to Fundamental Particles
      After touring the universe on a macro scale in the previous lecture, now zoom in on the microcosmos—advancing by powers of ten into the realm of molecules, atoms, and nuclei. Learn why elementary particles are just as central to astrophysics as stars and galaxies. Then review the four fundamental forces of nature and perform a calculation that explains why atoms have to be the size they are. x
    • 3
      Making Maps of the Cosmos
      Discover how astrophysicists map the universe. Focus on the tricky problem of calculating distances, seeing how a collection of overlapping techniques provide a “cosmic distance ladder” that works from nearby planets (by means of radar) to stars and galaxies (using parallax and Cepheid variable stars) to far distant galaxies (by observing a type of supernova with a standard intrinsic brightness). x
    • 4
      The Physics Demonstration in the Sky
      In the first of two lectures on motion in the heavens, investigate the connection between Isaac Newton's laws of motion and the earlier laws of planetary motion discovered empirically by Johannes Kepler. Find that Kepler's third law is the ideal method for measuring the mass of practically any phenomenon in astrophysics. Also, study the mathematics behind Kepler's second law. x
    • 5
      Newton's Hardest Problem
      Continue your exploration of motion by discovering the law of gravity just as Newton might have—by analyzing Kepler’s laws with the aid of calculus (which Newton invented for the purpose). Look at a graphical method for understanding orbits, and consider the conservation laws of angular momentum and energy in light of Emmy Noether’s theory that links conservation laws and symmetry. x
    • 6
      Tidal Forces
      Why are the rings around Saturn and the much fainter rings around Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune at roughly the same relative distances from the planet? Why are large moons spherical? And why are large moons only found in wide orbits (i.e., not close to the planets they orbit)? These problems lead to an analysis of tidal forces and the Roche limit. Close by calculating the density of the Sun based on Earth's ocean tides. x
    • 7
      Black Holes
      Use your analytical skill and knowledge of gravity to probe the strange properties of black holes. Learn to calculate the Schwarzschild radius (also known as the event horizon), which is the boundary beyond which no light can escape. Determine the size of the giant black hole at the center of our galaxy and learn about an effort to image its event horizon with a network of radio telescopes. x
    • 8
      Photons and Particles
      Investigate our prime source of information about the universe: electromagnetic waves, which consist of photons from gamma ray to radio wavelengths. Discover that a dense collection of photons is comparable to a gas obeying the ideal gas law. This law, together with the Stefan-Boltzmann law, Wien's law, and Kepler's third law, help you make sense of the cosmos as the course proceeds. x
    • 9
      Comparative Planetology
      Survey representative planets in our solar system with an astrophysicist's eyes, asking what makes Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter so different. Why doesn't Mercury have an atmosphere? Why is Venus so much hotter than Earth? Why is Jupiter so huge? Analyze these and other riddles with the help of physical principles such as the Stefan-Boltzmann law. x
    • 10
      Optical Telescopes
      Consider the problem of gleaning information from the severely limited number of optical photons originating from astronomical sources. Our eyes can only do it so well, and telescopes have several major advantages: increased light-gathering power, greater sensitivity of telescopic cameras and sensors such as charge-coupled devices (CCDs), and enhanced angular and spectral resolution. x
    • 11
      Radio and X-Ray Telescopes
      Non-visible wavelengths compose by far the largest part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Even so, many astronomers assumed there was nothing to see in these bands. The invention of radio and X-ray telescopes proved them spectacularly wrong. Examine the challenges of detecting and focusing radio and X-ray light, and the dazzling astronomical phenomena that radiate in these wavelengths. x
    • 12
      The Message in a Spectrum
      Starting with the spectrum of sunlight, notice that thin dark lines are present at certain wavelengths. These absorption lines reveal the composition and temperature of the Sun's outer atmosphere, and similar lines characterize other stars. More diffuse phenomena such as nebulae produce bright emission lines against a dark spectrum. Probe the quantum and thermodynamic events implied by these clues. x
    • 13
      The Properties of Stars
      Take stock of the wide range of stellar luminosities, temperatures, masses, and radii using spectra and other data. In the process, construct the celebrated Hertzsprung–Russell diagram, with its main sequence of stars in the prime of life, including the Sun. Note that two out of three stars have companions. Investigate the orbital dynamics of these binary systems. x
    • 14
      Planets around Other Stars
      Embark on Professor Winn's specialty: extrasolar planets, also known as exoplanets. Calculate the extreme difficulty of observing an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star in our stellar neighborhood. Then look at the clever techniques that can now overcome this obstacle. Review the surprising characteristics of many exoplanets and focus on five that are especially noteworthy. x
    • 15
      Why Stars Shine
      Get a crash course in nuclear physics as you explore what makes stars shine. Zero in on the Sun, working out the mass it has consumed through nuclear fusion during its 4.5-billion-year history. While it's natural to picture the Sun as a giant furnace of nuclear bombs going off non-stop, calculations show it's more like a collection of toasters; the Sun is luminous simply because it's so big. x
    • 16
      Simple Stellar Models
      Learn how stars work by delving into stellar structure, using the Sun as a model. Relying on several physical principles and sticking to order-of-magnitude calculations, determine the pressure and temperature at the center of the Sun, and the time it takes for energy generated in the interior to reach the surface, which amounts to thousands of years. Apply your conclusions to other stars. x
    • 17
      White Dwarfs
      Discover the fate of solar mass stars after they exhaust their nuclear fuel. The galaxies are teeming with these dim “white dwarfs” that pack the mass of the Sun into a sphere roughly the size of Earth. Venture into quantum theory to understand what keeps these exotic stars from collapsing into black holes, and learn about the Chandrasekhar limit, which determines a white dwarf’s maximum mass. x
    • 18
      When Stars Grow Old
      Trace stellar evolution from two points of view. First, dive into a protostar and witness events unfold as the star begins to contract and fuse hydrogen. Exhausting that, it fuses heavier elements and eventually collapses into a white dwarf—or something even denser. Next, view this story from the outside, seeing how stellar evolution looks to observers studying stars with telescopes. x
    • 19
      Supernovas and Neutron Stars
      Look inside a star that weighs several solar masses to chart its demise after fusing all possible nuclear fuel. Such stars end in a gigantic explosion called a supernova, blowing off outer material and producing a super-compact neutron star, a billion times denser than a white dwarf. Study the rapid spin of neutron stars and the energy they send beaming across the cosmos. x
    • 20
      Gravitational Waves
      Investigate the physics of gravitational waves, a phenomenon predicted by Einstein and long thought to be undetectable. It took one of the most violent events in the universe—colliding black holes—to generate gravitational waves that could be picked up by an experiment called LIGO on Earth, a billion light years away. This remarkable achievement won LIGO scientists the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. x
    • 21
      The Milky Way and Other Galaxies
      Take in our entire galaxy, called the Milky Way. Locate Earth’s position; then survey other galaxies, classifying their structure. Use the virial theorem to analyze a typical galaxy, which can be thought of as a “collisionless gas” of stars. Note that galaxies themselves often collide with each other, as the nearby Andromeda Galaxy is destined to do with the Milky Way billions of years from now. x
    • 22
      Dark Matter
      Begin with active galaxies that have supermassive black holes gobbling up nearby stars. Then consider clusters of galaxies and the clues they give for missing mass—dubbed “dark matter.” Chart the distribution of dark matter around galaxies and speculate what it might be. Close with the Big Bang, deduced from evidence that most galaxies are speeding away from us; the farther away, the faster. x
    • 23
      The First Atoms and the First Nuclei
      The Big Bang theory is one pillar of modern cosmology. Another is the cosmic microwave background radiation, which is the faint “echo” of the Big Bang, permeating all of space and discovered in 1965. The third pillar is the cosmic abundances of the lightest elements, which tell the story of the earliest moment of nucleosynthesis taking place in the first few minutes of the Big Bang. x
    • 24
      The History of the Universe
      In this last lecture, follow the trail of the greatest unsolved problem in astrophysics. Along the way, get a grip on the past, present, and future of the universe. Discovered in the 1990s, the problem is “dark energy,” which is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate. Trace this mysterious force to the lambda term in the celebrated Friedmann equation, proposed in the 1920s. x
  • Investigating American Presidents

    Professor Paul Rosenzweig, JD

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    What limits are there—if any—on presidential power? How do we keep such power in check? In the 12 timely lectures of Investigating American Presidents, Paul Rosenzweig of The George Washington University School of Law guides you through the ins and outs of presidential investigations, using past scandals and controversies as a lens through which to make sense of current (and future) ones.

    View Lecture List (12)

    What limits are there—if any—on presidential power? How do we keep such power in check? In the 12 timely lectures of Investigating American Presidents, Paul Rosenzweig of The George Washington University School of Law guides you through the ins and outs of presidential investigations, using past scandals and controversies as a lens through which to make sense of current (and future) ones.

    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  Investigating American Presidents
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      American Presidents and the Rule of Law
      How does the investigation of a U.S. president's misconduct differ from an investigation into the misconduct of a private citizen? After exploring the roots of the presidency and presidential power as outlined in the Constitution, consider the advantages and disadvantages a president has during an investigation. Then, Professor Rosenzweig explains why this subject is essential knowledge for any American citizen. x
    • 2
      Presidential Investigations through History
      Presidential crises and abuses of power aren't just features of modern times. Early executive scandals have had significant long-term effects that resonate down the corridors of time. Learn how we're still dealing with the fallout of famous (and sometimes overlooked) investigations into abuses of presidential power, including Ulysses S. Grant's Whiskey Ring and Warren G. Harding's Teapot Dome scandal. x
    • 3
      Separation of Powers and the Presidency
      Today, legislative and judicial oversight of the presidency are a permanent part of American government and critical to limiting and restraining the possibility of executive abuse. In this lecture, learn how our system of checks and balances came to exist-with, among other things, a close look at the landmark judicial review case, Marbury v. Madison. x
    • 4
      Watergate and the Special Prosecutor
      The names of the Watergate burglars are mostly forgotten-but the consequences of their arrest brought down President Richard Nixon. Topics in this lecture include two important Supreme Court cases that shaped a president's power to dismiss personnel, as well as the Independent Counsel Act, which established a truly independent form of investigative authority. x
    • 5
      Rise and Fall of the Independent Counsel
      After the Nixon presidency, Congress and the American public became convinced that an independent investigator function was essential. Twenty years later, they let that function expire. Why did that happen, and what's replaced it? Follow the swing from the special prosecutor of the Nixon era to the independent counsel of the Reagan and Clinton eras back to the special counsel leading the investigation of Russian election hacking and the 2016 Trump campaign. x
    • 6
      Can a Sitting President Be Indicted?
      Assume for a moment that there exists convincing evidence of a president's criminality. What does that do to the country's management? Is it legal to indict a sitting president? Or does the president in question just "get away" with it? Ponder these and other intriguing questions about whether or not a president is in a class of his/her own when it comes to indictments. x
    • 7
      Presidential Use and Abuse of Privileges
      Depending on where you sit, testimonial privileges are either barriers to the truth or limitations on the disclosure of sensitive information. Using the Whitewater and Lewinsky scandals that swirled around President Bill Clinton and his lawyer, Bruce Lindsey, in the late 1990s, explore the topics of attorney-client privilege and executive privilege (the right of the president to withhold information from public scrutiny). x
    • 8
      Presidents, Prosecutors, and Public Opinion
      The most significant confrontation between a president and a president's investigators happens not in a court of law but in the court of public opinion. Often, the storyline" is the deciding factor in how an investigation will be seen by future historians. Examine four different tactics used by President Bill Clinton and his team that helped them achieve a public relations victory." x
    • 9
      The Pardon Power and Its Limits
      Investigate the use (and possible misuse) of presidential pardons. Start by looking at two general types of pardons in American history: the justice and mercy" pardon and the "peacefulness" pardon. Then, focus on key questions about the presidential pardon power: Can American presidents pardon co-conspirators for crimes they've committed, thereby frustrating an investigation? Can they pardon themselves?" x
    • 10
      Presidential Lies and Cover-Ups
      Presidential lies can undermine our belief in the fairness of our system of government and our faith in its legitimacy. In this lecture, focus on how the president isn't special when it comes to certain matters of law and evidence (lying under oath, obstruction of justice, and grand jury subpoenas)-as well as some key caveats to this view. x
    • 11
      The Value of Investigative Reports
      Even if formally cleared of wrongdoing, a president or a presidential aide may live with the stigma of investigation forever thanks to an independent counsel's report. First, explore why many investigations typically happen behind closed doors. Then, turn to how the rules are different for presidents and their senior staff (and whether or not that's a good idea). x
    • 12
      The Law and Politics of Impeachment
      Conclude this lecture series with a study of the nuclear option" in presidential investigations: impeachment. Learn why impeachment is inevitably as much a political event as a legal one-and why, when a presidency is on the line, public opinion is at least as powerful a determinant of the outcome as the laws that are on the books." x