Announcing 3 New Releases on Sale Now!
Announcing 3 New Releases on Sale Now!
  • The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome

    Professor Gregory S. Aldrete, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome traces the breathtaking history from the empire’s foundation by Augustus to its Golden Age in the 2nd century CE through a series of ever-worsening crises until the empire's ultimate collapse. Over 24 lectures, Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin-reen Bay offers you the chance to experience a new history of Rome, incorporating the latest historical insights that challenge our previous notions of the empire’s decline.

    View Lecture List (24)

    The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome traces the breathtaking history from the empire’s foundation by Augustus to its Golden Age in the 2nd century CE through a series of ever-worsening crises until the empire's ultimate collapse. Over 24 lectures, Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin-reen Bay offers you the chance to experience a new history of Rome, incorporating the latest historical insights that challenge our previous notions of the empire’s decline.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Dawn of the Roman Empire
      Your course opens by setting the stage for Rome's transition from a Republic to an Empire. Octavian, overlooking the Ionian Sea after the ferocious Battle of Actium, has just secured victory in a civil war against Mark Antony. He will soon achieve what Julius Caesar could not: one-man rule over Rome. Delve into this major turning point in world history. x
    • 2
      Augustus, the First Emperor
      Meet the man who became Rome’s first emperor: Octavian, who took the title of Augustus, was relatively short and sickly, but clever and astute. His great political innovation—taking the title Augustus, gaining control of the military, and ruling Rome without inspiring his own assassination—is one of history’s most astonishing feats. x
    • 3
      Tiberius and Caligula
      Augustus may have been a tremendous emperor, but he failed in one key area: choosing a successor. After an almost comical series of events, he secured a male heir (a son of his wife's by a previous marriage) to take the throne. Witness the debacle of Roman leadership under Tiberius and then Caligula. x
    • 4
      Claudius and Nero
      The succession after Caligula continued to be a problem for the Roman Empire. Claudius, though physically challenged, was a good administrator. Nero, however, was depraved and self-aggrandizing, and nearly bankrupted the empire. Trace the strange, sad, and bloody story of their rule. x
    • 5
      The Flavian Emperors and Roman Bath Culture
      Following Nero, a quick series of emperors took power, ultimately ending with Vespasian, the first in the line of Flavian family emperors. After reviewing the story of these emperors, their accomplishments, and their shortcomings, Professor Aldrete offers insight into Roman bath culture and what it meant for the city. x
    • 6
      The Five Good Emperors
      Round out your survey of the early Roman emperors with a look at the rulers of the 2nd century, including Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius. Get to know their stories; their approach to ruling; and their achievements, such as Trajan’s military conquests and Marcus Aurelius’s philosophical meditations. x
    • 7
      Hazards of Life in Ancient Rome: The Five Fs
      You might think of Rome as a grand city filled with shining marble and peopled with decadent-toga-clad citizens. In reality, the city was a swampy, stinking, disease-ridden mess with filth in the streets and a fire nearly every night in one of its buildings. See what life would have been like for Rome's ordinary citizens. x
    • 8
      Roman Art and Architecture
      Two of the great legacies of the Roman Empire are its art and architecture. You will reflect on the Etruscan and Greek influences on Roman portraits and sculptures, see how Augustus used art as propaganda, and learn about some of the many architectural and engineering innovations—including the Pantheon and the aqueducts. x
    • 9
      Roman Literature
      Roman literature had its roots in Greek influences, but by the time of the Empire, Roman writers had come into their own. The works you will study include the fiery rhetoric of Cicero; the poetry of Horace and Ovid; and Virgil’s epic about Rome’s founding, the Aeneid. You’ll also review histories, technical works, and writings on Christianity. x
    • 10
      The Ordinary Roman Speaks: Graffiti
      The traditional understanding of Rome was based on accounts by upper-class males, who wrote the primary sources historians relied on for generations. More recent historians have looked at new sources to gain a fuller sense of the city's history. You will examine graffiti preserved at Pompeii in order to hear directly from everyday Romans. x
    • 11
      Final Words: Burial and Tombstone Epitaphs
      Continue your study of everyday Romans with a look at the epitaphs on their tombstones. While elaborate tombs were reserved for the very rich, people of all social classes had their thoughts and stories inscribed on tombstones. You will also explore how the Romans buried their dead. x
    • 12
      From Commodus to Caracalla
      Marcus Aurelius may have been a wise philosopher, but he didn't act wisely when appointing his son Commodus as heir; who turned out to be a throwback to the megalomania of Caligula and Nero. Emperor Septimius Severus provided a short period of stability, but his son, Caracalla, was yet another unbalanced ruler. x
    • 13
      The Crisis of the 3rd Century
      The empire hit a low point with Elagabalus, who was arguably the worst Roman emperor of all—which is saying quite a lot. Then Rome teetered on the brink of total collapse due to a deadly combination of civil war, barbarian invasions, economic collapse, and natural disasters. x
    • 14
      Diocletian and Late 3rd-Century Reforms
      Just when the Roman Empire seemed on the verge of collapse, a series of hard-headed, practical emperors managed to rescue it. Follow the astonishing story of how these men, led by the reformer Diocletian, drove back the barbarians and stabilized the faltering Empire. x
    • 15
      Early Christianity and the Rise of Constantine
      Stability never lasted long in the Roman Empire. At the dawn of the 4th century, Christianity emerged as a major world force—made manifest by Constantine’s dramatic and unexpected conversion. Find out how and why Christianity developed and spread, and the role it played in subsequent political events. x
    • 16
      Constantine and His Successors
      Take a closer look at Constantine and explore his motivations for converting to Christianity. Learn about the Arian Controversy and the Council of Nicaea, which codified key aspects of Christian theology. Then see why Constantine founded a new capital city at Byzantium, and the state of the empire at the end of his life. x
    • 17
      Gladiators and Beast Hunts
      Gladiators dominate today’s popular imagination when it comes to ancient Rome—and indeed, the Romans loved their spectacles and sports. As you will find out here, gladiator combat was only one of many popular entertainments in the empire. Find out who the gladiators were and what their lives were like. Then turn to another popular contest: the beast hunt. x
    • 18
      Chariot Racing, Spectacles, and Theater
      Although gladiators dominate Hollywood films, chariot racing was actually the most popular sport in the Roman Empire. Go inside the Circus Maximus and learn about the factions and teams of chariot racers. Then shift your attention to the world of the theater, where plays, mimes, and music entertained the masses. x
    • 19
      The Roman Army
      No survey of the Roman Empire would be complete without a detailed look at one of its most central institutions: the military. Take a look at the organization of Rome's fighting forces. See what kind of equipment soldiers were outfitted with, how they trained, and what joining the military meant for farm boys in the provinces. x
    • 20
      Barbarians Overwhelm the Western Empire
      Administration is only half the battle in maintaining a tremendous empire. You also have to defend the borders, and from the 3rd to the 5th centuries, Rome experienced an increasing wave of invasions by outsiders. Here, Professor Aldrete introduces you to the Huns, the Visigoths, the Vandals, and other invaders who penetrated Rome's borders and plundered the empire. x
    • 21
      The Byzantine Empire
      While the western half of the Roman Empire had clearly collapsed by the end of the 5th century, the eastern Romans in the Byzantine Empire flourished for another thousand years. Visit the world of Constantinople, meet fascinating figures such as Justinian and Theodora, and see what made the Byzantine Empire so successful. x
    • 22
      When and Why Did the Roman Empire Fall?
      Generations of historians have struggled over—and disagreed about---the fundamental questions of when and why the Roman Empire fell. This lecture critically evaluates a wide range of possible answers to these complex and enduring questions. x
    • 23
      Late Antiquity: A New Historical Era
      Traditionally, historians have viewed the years 200 to 600 as a time of collapse and stagnation, the end of Rome and the arrival of the “Dark Ages.” Recent historians have taken another look at this era and seen a time of invigorating change, a vibrant mingling of cultures, and an exciting transition between antiquity and the Middle Ages. x
    • 24
      Echoes of Rome
      In this final lecture, consider the legacy of the Roman Empire, which influences us in innumerable ways, from our language to our legal codes. Because history is ultimately about people, Professor Aldrete closes with a few final voices to keep everyday Romans alive, and a reflection on what they might tell us today. x
  • What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution

    Professor Scott Solomon, PhD

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD
    Taught by Professor Scott Solomon of Rice University, this course follows the revolution in biology and genetics sparked by Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. In Darwin’s day, there were many gaps and uncertainties in his theory—most of which were conclusively solved by his successors. Throughout, Dr. Solomon contrasts what Darwin knew with our tremendous increase in knowledge today.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Taught by Professor Scott Solomon of Rice University, this course follows the revolution in biology and genetics sparked by Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. In Darwin’s day, there were many gaps and uncertainties in his theory—most of which were conclusively solved by his successors. Throughout, Dr. Solomon contrasts what Darwin knew with our tremendous increase in knowledge today.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  What Darwin Didn't Know: The Modern Science of Evolution
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      What Darwin Knew and Why It Still Matters
      Retrace Darwin's path to his theory of evolution by natural selection, which appeared in his masterpiece The Origin of Species, published in 1859. Encounter collector Alfred Russel Wallace's astonishing, almost identical, key insight. Detail the types of evidence, not known to Darwin, that have accumulated in the century and a half since his time, deepening and extending his ideas to a remarkable degree. x
    • 2
      Inheritance: Darwin's Missing Link
      Missing from On the Origin of Species is any account of how traits pass from one generation to the next. Explore the work on genetic inheritance by Gregor Mendel, whose pioneering rules of heredity remained essentially unknown for 35 years. Follow up with 20th-century pioneers including Thomas Hunt Morgan, Theodosius Dobzhansky, and others, who established the “modern synthesis” of evolutionary biology. x
    • 3
      Genome Mutations: Evolution's Raw Material
      The arrival of genetics in the early 20th century addressed what Darwin did not know about inheritance, but there was more to uncover: how do genes function, and where do variations come from? Trace the discovery of DNA as the carrier of genetic information and the realization that mutations and other structural changes in DNA are a source of the modifications that underlie natural selection. x
    • 4
      Gene Flow versus Natural Selection
      Natural selection is not the only mechanism driving evolution. In this lecture, discover how the movement of individuals leads to gene flow between populations. Travel to the Galapagos Islands and neighboring Cocos Island to see how finches evolved into multiple species in the Galapagos archipelago but stayed a distinct species on isolated Cocos. Consider the implications for human evolution. x
    • 5
      Geology and Genes: The Geography of Life
      Trace the importance of geology in Darwin's thinking and his many observations that make sense only in light of the theory of plate tectonics, which was not developed until the 1960s. Chart the breakup, movement, and reassembly of continental plates that dispersed related flora and fauna all over the planet. Also look at the Wallace Line in Indonesia, which separates Asian from Australian species. x
    • 6
      Genetic Drift: When Evolution Is Random
      Explore how population bottlenecks and the founder effect lead to random changes in the frequency of genes, an independent mechanism of evolution known as as genetic drift. Darwin had an inkling of this process when he proposed that “spontaneous variations” play a role in evolution. But genetic drift has proved far more significant than he ever envisioned. For example, it has played a key role in human evolution. x
    • 7
      Rapid Evolution within Species
      Darwin thought evolution was an imperceptibly slow process, but it can happen remarkably quickly. Review Peter and Rosemary Grant's famous studies of Galapagos finches, along with the work of other scientists on guppies in Trinidad, moths in England, and foxes in Siberia. These show evolution playing out in real-time as creatures adapt to changing conditions within a few generations. x
    • 8
      Evolution in the Lab
      One thing Darwin never anticipated was that evolution would be observed in the laboratory. In this lecture, analyze lab experiments that shed light on the minute details of evolution, helping to settle a long-standing debate: Is the outcome of evolution random or predictable? Also cover digital life simulations, which inspire new ideas that can be tested with living populations. x
    • 9
      The Many Origins of Species
      Despite its title, On the Origin of Species does not fully address how new species arise. Delve into this complex problem by investigating what a species is. Consider definitions based on morphological, biological, phylogenetic, and genomic distinctions. Then examine the reproductive barriers, both before conception and after, that can lead to the origin of new species. x
    • 10
      Cambrian Explosion to Dinosaur Extinction
      Darwin was puzzled by the sudden appearance of complex, diverse flora and fauna in the fossil record roughly 540 million years ago, a period known as the Cambrian explosion. And Darwin had no idea that the history of life on Earth has included five big mass extinction events—including the demise of the dinosaurs—followed by accelerated periods of evolution that often took life in radically new directions. x
    • 11
      Reconstructing the Tree of Life with DNA
      Darwin envisioned the history of evolution as a great Tree of Life, in which all the branches are connected by ancestry. Explore the modern version of this idea, which has been revolutionized by DNA sequencing. Investigate the concept of phylogenetics and the surprisingly close link between single-celled microorganisms, plants, and animals. Also probe the phenomenon of “jumping” genes. x
    • 12
      Human Evolution in All Directions
      Zoom in on the branch of the Tree of Life that gave rise to our species. Fossil discoveries and insights from DNA have led researchers to abandon the iconic image of a linear progression from hunched apes to upright humans. In its place is a much more intertwined tree for humans and their closest living and extinct relatives, including Neanderthals and the recently discovered Denisovans. x
    • 13
      Evolution Doesn't Repeat, but It Rhymes
      Convergent evolution occurs when natural selection causes different species to evolve in similar ways. Does this mean that evolution follows a predetermined path? Focus on the recent debate between scientists Stephen Jay Gould and Simon Conway Morris. Gould perceived contingencies and unpredictability, but Conway Morris saw repetition and consistency. How do these views relate to human evolution? x
    • 14
      The Evolution of Extreme Life
      Life is even more adaptable than Darwin could have known. In this lecture, investigate extremophiles—organisms that flourish in extreme conditions. These have made biologists rethink the limitations of life on Earth. From bacteria existing miles underground that divide once every 10,000 years to creatures thriving next to superheated undersea volcanoes, life is programmed to adapt and survive. x
    • 15
      Imperfect Nature: Ad Hoc Body Designs
      While Darwin knew of inefficient anatomical features of humans and other animals, he didn’t consider these a distinct category of evidence for natural selection. Explore ad hoc body designs—from our imperfect eyes and sexual anatomy, to the bizarre faces of flounders and the false thumbs of pandas. Each adaptation shows evolution devising a solution that is “good enough,” even if it is not ideal. x
    • 16
      The Sterile Worker Paradox
      Why was Darwin afraid that ants might undermine his theory of natural selection? Delve into the sterile worker paradox: the puzzle of why ants and other “eusocial” species evolved to have large numbers of non-reproducing offspring. Since the ability to reproduce is central to natural selection, this feature, which is common among insects and also present in other animals, demands explanation. x
    • 17
      Coevolution: Peace Accords and Arms Races
      Darwin saw that natural selection not only leads to species that evolve to their mutual advantage, but to enemies that wage an evolutionary arms race that ends up benefiting both sides. Study coevolutionary cases—from the yucca plant and its symbiotic partner, the yucca moth, to the fastest animal on Earth, the cheetah, and its prey the springbok antelope, which has evolved to be almost as fast. x
    • 18
      Microbiomes: Evolution with Small Partners
      On the Origin of Species failed to account for a major part of the Tree of Life, namely bacteria and other microorganisms. These represent the original forms of life, and they have played a central role in the evolution of every species since. Study the symbiotic role of microbes in the functioning of plants and animals, and consider the view that all organisms are, in part, microbial. x
    • 19
      The Evolution of Brains and Behavior
      In Darwin’s lifetime, comparisons between the brains of different species were restricted to examinations of anatomy alone. Today, researchers use genetic tools to gain deep insights into how behaviors and sensory abilities evolve. Study behavior in creatures from fire ants to crows to humans, asking how did human brains get so large—and why are big brains so useful anyway? x
    • 20
      The Evolution of Sex and Parenting
      Darwin devised his theory of sexual selection to explain many traits that can’t be understood through natural selection alone—from the peacock’s gaudy tail to the elaborate constructions of bowerbirds. Probe deeper to discover why sexual reproduction exists at all, what causes individuals to develop into males versus females, and why some males take on the role of raising the young. x
    • 21
      The Evolution of Aging and Death
      Darwin's writings seem to imply that evolution through natural selection should always favor longer lifespans. So why don't we live forever (or at least for several centuries)? Consider ways that evolutionary processes account for aging and death. Weigh factors such as accumulated mutations, programmed cell death, and genes whose multiple effects are antagonistically at odds with one another. x
    • 22
      Evolutionary Medicine
      Explore one of the ultimate applications of evolutionary principles: harnessing evolution to benefit human health. Study diseases such as malaria, AIDS, influenza, and cancer that evolve rapidly to outmaneuver the body's changing defenses. Also contrast our modern lifestyle with the physiology we inherited from our prehistoric ancestors, who evolved to compete in a far different world. x
    • 23
      Gene Editing and Directed Evolution
      Darwin contrasted natural selection with artificial selection—the time-tested techniques for selective breeding that promote desired traits in plants and animals. See how far we’ve come with 21st-century tools such as CRISPR, which allows precise edits to the DNA sequence of any species. Evaluate the promise and perils of this technology, which lets us take evolution into our own hands. x
    • 24
      The Future of Human Evolution
      What does the future hold? Will we evolve into new species? Or have we reached an optimum state that will see minimal evolutionary changes? Weigh the impact of our ever-more-sophisticated technology and consider what will happen to humans who leave Earth for another planet with new physiological challenges. As you learn in this course, evolution isn't just possible; it's inevitable. x
  • How to Build Your Own Furniture

    Instructor George Vondriska, Woodworking Expert

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    Designed for woodworkers at almost every level of experience, How to Build Your Own Furniture guides you step by step through several exciting furniture projects. Over the course of 10 lessons, master woodworker George Vondriska gives you the knowledge and confidence to build beautiful tables and chairs crafted to withstand everyday use—and that you can be proud of.

    View Lecture List (10)

    Designed for woodworkers at almost every level of experience, How to Build Your Own Furniture guides you step by step through several exciting furniture projects. Over the course of 10 lessons, master woodworker George Vondriska gives you the knowledge and confidence to build beautiful tables and chairs crafted to withstand everyday use—and that you can be proud of.

    View Lecture List (10)
    10 Lectures  |  How to Build Your Own Furniture
    Lecture Titles (10)
    • 1
      All about Wood
      Before you start a woodworking project, whether it's a picture frame or a table, you need to know the medium you're working with. How do you know which wood to use and when? What's the difference between particle board and plywood? What does hard" and "soft" wood even mean? What's the difference between wood that's plain sawn versus wood that's quarter sawn? How does lumber go from a tree to the individual plank you use for the job? How do you calculate board feet to make sure you purchase the right amount of material for your project? In this lesson, you'll come away with answers to these and other questions about wood. By the end, you'll have the knowledge to make more informed and economically-sound shopping decisions-and better, more professional woodworking projects." x
    • 2
      Mastering Mortise-and-Tenon Joints
      Mortise-and-tenon joints are commonly used in everyday tables and chairs of all sizes, which means it's important for the structural integrity of your project that you make your mortise-and-tenon joints correctly. With help from Mr. Vondriska, you'll learn tips and tricks to get your joints to the right size using a variety of tools so you can adapt to what you have in your workshop. You'll learn what it takes to get a plunge router set up to accurately cut mortises and explore how to use a bench-top mortiser to cut square holes into a piece of hardwood. You'll also look at how to use drill presses and router tables to produce accurate tenons. With all the insights in this lecture, you'll be able to make accurately fitting joints that stand up to the test of time. x
    • 3
      Must-Have Furniture-Making Skills, Part 1
      If you're going to make furniture like chairs and tables, there's some core information that you'll need to have to ensure your projects come out strong and looking good. Here, you'll tackle the must-have furniture-making skills needed to work ably with your skill level and the tools you have in your workshop. In the first of two lessons on these critical skills, you'll dive into topics including joinery, mortise-and-tenon joints, and loose tenons. Sidestepping a core project, this lesson focuses instead on practicing these skills using pieces of wood you might have just lying around. By watching these skills in action, and practicing them, you'll find yourself more than able to tackle making your own furniture like a master woodworker. x
    • 4
      Must-Have Furniture-Making Skills, Part 2
      In this engaging lesson on must-have furniture-making skills, turn to topics like tapered legs (both two-sided and four-sided). Mr. Vondriska then moves on to skills involving mitered and non-mitered corners, and talks about right ways to compose a solid wood tabletop that's smooth and flat. And when it comes to furniture making, gluing is just as important as joinery. You'll explore how to glue pieces edge to edge so they stick, stay flat, and look great. With all the many skills you'll cover in this lesson, you'll be able to customize them to fit your particular experience level-as well as the woodworking tools you have around you. With just a little patience and practice, there's no excuse for not being able to make your own furniture. x
    • 5
      Build a Sofa Table
      Your project in this lesson: a mission-style sofa table made from quarter-sawn oak that's held together by 24 mortise-and-tenon joints. Mr. Vondriska shows you ways to tackle the process of making a sofa table, from choosing the right wood to applying the last coats of stain. Along the way, you'll learn tips like these: Yellow glue dries faster than white glue and is easier to sand. Cut slats from an edge of 6/4 wood to get a quarter-sawn appearance. When using a table saw, build your dado head to slightly exceed the length of your tenon. Drill oversized holes in your shelf support to allow for the wood's seasonal expansion and contraction. Remove your table's top and shelf before you apply finish. x
    • 6
      Chair-Making Essentials
      It's true that a lot of woodworkers, even seasoned ones, are challenged by making chairs. Because there are few pieces of furniture in a house that have to tolerate stress like a chair, it's essential that the joinery is the best it can possibly be. Here, examine the essentials of chair making, with a focus on offset mortise-and-tenon joints (as there are 24 such joints that go into the chair you'll learn how to make). Additional features you'll create include a handhold that makes it easy to move the chair around, and book-matched back slats made of walnut. Plus, you'll get more help from an expert upholsterer who shows you all sorts of accessible tips and tricks for making attractive, professional slip-seats for your chair. x
    • 7
      Beautiful Bedside Table
      In this lesson, your project is a beautiful bedside table made of white oak that includes distinct features that will test your woodworking skills, including a full-extension drawer, leg and rail construction with mortise-and-tenon joinery throughout, two shelves that provide a unique opportunity to work with the expansion and contraction of solid wood, and a shelf bracket that's dadoed into the table legs. Mr. Vondriska takes you step by step through the process of making this table, instilling in you the confidence and knowledge to tackle a second table entirely on your own-because, of course, you'll need another table for the other side of your bed. x
    • 8
      Handkerchief Table
      Also known as drop-leaf tables, handkerchief tables may look complex. But with the tips you'll learn in this lesson, you'll be able to successfully complete one of these tables in your own workshop. One of the tasks you'll focus on is the joinery required to create the table's signature drop-leaf: a rule joint made with a match set of router bits specifically for drop-leaf tables. Other details you'll learn to make include the gate leg that swings not on a mechanical hinge, but a hinge you'll create using a dado head on a table saw; tapered legs that give the table a more delicate look; mortise-and-tenon joints at both 90- and 45-degree angles; and more. Never built a drop-leaf table before? Mr. Vondriska walks you through all the geometry and cool woodworking techniques you need. x
    • 9
      Design and Shape Cabriole Legs
      Join guest instructor David Munkittrick for a helpful, accessible look at how to design and build a classic style of leg-known for its s-curve and rounded foot-that goes all the way back to ancient Egypt and China. Like most complex woodworking projects, there are many ways you can go about shaping a cabriole leg, but Mr. Munkittrick simplifies the process so you can find the way that works best for you. Using a basic two-dimensional template, you'll built a Queen Anne-style cabriole leg that's 2-3/4 inches thick and 24 inches long. And the best part: Aside from a cabinet-maker's rasp, you won't have to spend lots of money on special tools to make this iconic leg. With just a little practice, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to make a cabriole leg of your own. x
    • 10
      Finishing Essentials
      Nervous about finishing a woodworking project you've spent so much time and work on? No need to worry. In this lesson on the essentials of finishing projects, Mr. Vondriska teaches you what he's learned about finishing from his own mistakes. The goal: to give you the confidence level you need to finish your projects the right way-the first time. What finish should you use? What are the best tools for applying them? How do you avoid honey-like layers of finish that never want to dry? What are the benefits of lacquer, varnish, and urethane? What's the difference between natural bristles and synthetic bristles on particular types of finishing products (whether man-made or water-based)? Whether you're finishing a chair, a side table, or a picture frame, learn how to give your projects the great finale they deserve. x