"Mixing science, humor, and grossly irresponsible self-experimentation, Evans paints a vivid picture of how bad habits built the world we know and love." —David Wong, author of John Dies at the End History has never been more fun—or more intoxicating. Guns, germs, and steel might have transformed us from hunter-gatherers into modern man, but booze, sex, trash talk, and tripping built our civilization. Cracked editor Robert Evans brings his signature dogged research and lively insight to uncover the many and magnificent ways vice has influenced history, from the prostitute-turned-empress who scored a major victory for women’s rights to the beer that helped create—and destroy—South America's first empire. And Evans goes deeper than simply writing about ancient debauchery; he recreates some of history's most enjoyable (and most painful) vices and includes guides so you can follow along at home. You’ll learn how to: • Trip like a Greek philosopher. • Rave like your Stone Age ancestors. • Get drunk like a Sumerian. • Smoke a nose pipe like a pre–Columbian Native American. A celebration of the brave, drunken pioneers who built our civilization one seemingly bad decision at a time, A Brief History of Vice explores a side of the past that mainstream history books prefer to hide. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A clear-eyed look at the instrumental role drugs have played in our cultural, social, and spiritual development. • First American publication of the surprising European bestseller. • Examines everything from the ancient use of ergot and datura to the modern phenomenon of "designer" drugs such as Ecstasy and crack cocaine. From remotest antiquity to the present era of designer drugs and interdiction, drugs have played a prominent role in the cultural, spiritual, and social development of civilizations. Antonio Escohotado demonstrates how the history of drugs illuminates the history of humanity as he explores the long relationship between mankind and mind-altering substances. Hemp, for example, has been used in India since time immemorial to stimulate mental agility and sexual prowess. Aristotle's disciple Theophrastus testifies to the use of datura by the ancient Greeks and further evidence links the rites at Eleusis to the ingestion of a hallucinogen. Similar examples can be found in cultures as diverse as the Celts, the ancient Egyptians, the Aztecs, and other indigenous peoples around the world. Professor Escohotado also looks at the present-day differences that exist between the more drug-tolerant societies like Holland and Switzerland and countries advocating complete repression of these substances. The author provides a comprehensive analysis of the enormous social costs of the drug war that is coming under increasing fire from all levels of society. Professor Escohotado's work demonstrates that drugs have always existed and been used by societies throughout the world and the contribution they have made to humanity's development has been enormous. The choice we face today is to teach people how to use them correctly or to continue to indiscriminately demonize them. "Just say no," the author says, is not an option. Just say "know" is. Antonio Escohotado is a professor of philosophy and social science methodology at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain. He travels widely, offering lectures and seminars on the subject of drugs and history.
Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country
Author: Daniel O'Brien
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (CA)
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Based on in-depth research and accompanied by informative illustrations, this hilarious history book collects the most wildest, manliest, interesting and badass facts about every U.S. president. Original. 25,000 first printing.
The Stuff You Didn't Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew
You are an idiot. Don't get defensive! It's not your fault. For decades your teachers, authority figures and textbooks have been lying to you. You do not have five senses. Your tongue doesn't have neatly segregated taste-bud zones. You don't know what the pyramids really looked like. You're even pooping wrong - Jesus, you're a wreck! But it's going to be okay. Because we're here to help. Packed with more sexy facts than the Encyclopedia Pornographica, the Cracked De-Textbook will teach you about the true stars of history, why you picture everything from Velociraptors to Ancient Rome incorrectly, and finally, at long last - how to pop a proper squat. This book was built from the ground up to systematically seek out, dismantle and destroy the many untruths that years of misguided education have left festering inside of you, and leave you a smarter person...whether you like it or not. The De-Textbook is a merciless, brutal learning machine. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are informed.
The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead
Author: Robert Brockway
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Just when you thought you’d accepted your own mortality . . . Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody is bringing panic back. Twenty illustrated, hilariously fear-inducing essays reveal the chilling and very real experiments, dangerous emerging technologies, and terrifying natural disasters that soon could—or very nearly already did—bring about the end of humanity. In short, everything in here will kill you and everyone you love. At any moment. And nobody’s told you about it—until now: • Experiments in green energy like the HiPER, which uses massive lasers to create a tiny “contained” sun; it’s an idea that could save the world if it doesn’t consume us all in a fiery fusion reaction first. • Global disasters like the hypercane—a hurricane so large it could cover all of North America and shoot trailer parks into space! • Terrifying new developments in robotics like the EATR, which powers itself on meat—an invention in the running for “Worst Decision Made by Anybody.” From the Trade Paperback edition.
Obscure and addictive true tales from history told by one of our most entertaining historians, Giles Milton The first installment in Giles Milton's outrageously entertaining series, History's Unknown Chapters: colorful and accessible, intelligent and illuminating, Milton shows his customary historical flair as he delves into the little-known stories from the past. There's the cook aboard the Titanic, who pickled himself with whiskey and survived in the icy seas where most everyone else died. There's the man who survived the atomic bomb in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And there's many, many more. Covering everything from adventure, war, murder and slavery to espionage, including the stories of the female Robinson Crusoe, Hitler's final hours, Japan's deadly balloon bomb and the emperor of the United States, these tales deserve to be told.
Alexander Fleming was not the first person to discover penicillin. The adorable-looking duck-billed platypus is actually a poisonous killer. We don't really swallow eight spiders a year in our sleep. And a zombie apocalypse could happen. From the extremely popular humour website Cracked.com, these punchy articles, written with its typical irreverent humour, will enlighten, fascinate and terrify you in equal measure. Packed with a huge range of intriguing facts about horrifying bugs, mythological beasts, illegal cheeses and deadly trampolines, You Might Be a Zombie will make you question what you thought you knew and fill you in on the facts that were too disturbing to teach you in school. This witty collection of trivia is perfect for those who hate to be wrong and love to shock their friends with their knowledge of hilarious and astounding facts.
"Bucholz (Severance) has deftly constructed a believable future that explores the environmental and social effects of a radical solution to global warming. The breakdown of governmental order and personal relationships, and the attitudes toward disabled people who are viewed as unable to contribute to either, form a frightening portrait of the tendencies of communities to isolate in times of devastation." — Publishers Weekly Synopsis: The Earth is icing over and no one knows how to shut the Shade off. Every attempt in the last thirty years has failed and humanity is nearly out of options if they want to regain a world that isn't covered in snow and ice. Gabe Alfil may be the only person alive with enough expertise in quantum computing to solve the problem, but a hiking accident a decade earlier has left him paralyzed, and the key to saving the world requires a dangerous trek across a frozen wasteland. Between chases across the icy landscape, kidnapping attempts, and computer hijacking, Gabe quickly realizes that not everyone wants to save the world. Can anybody be trusted?
Filled with tales of adventure and astounding reversals of fortune, this book celebrates the city-state that transformed the world--from the democratic revolution that marked its beginning, through the city's political and cultural golden age, to its decline into the ancient equivalent of a modern-day university town. Everitt also fills his history with unforgettable portraits of the talented, tricky, ambitious, and unscrupulous Athenians who fueled the city's rise: Themistocles, the brilliant naval strategist who led the Greeks to a decisive victory over their Persian enemies; Pericles, arguably the greatest Athenian statesman of them all; and the wily Alcibiades, who changed his political allegiance several times during the course of the Peloponnesian War--and died in a hail of assassins' arrows. Here also are riveting you-are-there accounts of the milestone battles that defined the Hellenic world: Thermopylae, Marathon, and Salamis among them.
A Handy Primer on the Customs, Culture & Practice of the Chosen People
Author: Emily Stone
Publisher: Chronicle Books
This handy primer on all things Jewish is filled with funny, surprising and informative facts about Jewish life, culture, and religious practice—all presented in an entertaining and witty voice and accompanied by bold illustrations that pack a graphic punch. Jews, lapsed Jews, and their spouses and friends will surely learn a thing or ten while devouring this addictively readable mix of practical information, fun facts and figures, and amusing trivia. Including information on key figures from Saul to Seinfeld, a lesson in proper Jew-fro care, and a basic guide to all those second-tier holidays no one ever celebrates, this engaging compendium is perfect for gifting or for simply learning more while being thoroughly entertained.
The creators of the podcast The Dollop present illustrated profiles of the weird, outrageous, NSFW, and downright absurd tales from American history that you weren't taught in school. The United States of Absurdity presents short, informative, and hilarious stories of the most outlandish (but true) people, events, and more from United States history. Comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds cover the weird stories you didn't learn in history class, such as 10-Cent Beer Night, the Jackson Cheese, and the Kentucky Meat Shower, accompanied by full-page illustrations that bring each historical "milestone" to life in full-color.
The Art of Refereeing provides an essential insider's insight to the world of soccer refereeing. Packed with anecdotes, advice and the first-hand experiences of seasoned professionals, referees of all levels will find this to be an indispensable companion to the game. Effective refereeing is as much about learning when not to blow the whistle, as it is about blowing it; learning what actions can be ignored as well as what actions must be punished. Keeping complete control of the match without having to continually stop the game is what makes a truly great referee.This book contains all the advice you need to approach the sport with the right attitude, allow you to think more deeply about what you do every week as you officiate and ultimately make you a better, more satisfied referee.
An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century's most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Andrew Scott Cooper traces the Shah's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He draws the turbulence of the post-war era during which the Shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers. Readers get the story of the Shah's political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right, the beloved family they created, and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper's investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran; American families caught up in the drama; even Empress Farah herself, and the rest of the Iranian Imperial family. Intimate and sweeping at once, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world's most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.
A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
Author: Lydia Kang,Nate Pedersen
Publisher: Workman Publishing
What won’t we try in our quest for perfect health, beauty, and the fountain of youth? Well, just imagine a time when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When liquefied gold was touted as immortality in a glass. And when strychnine—yes, that strychnine, the one used in rat poison—was dosed like Viagra. Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. Ranging from the merely weird to the outright dangerous, here are dozens of outlandish, morbidly hilarious “treatments”—conceived by doctors and scientists, by spiritualists and snake oil salesmen (yes, they literally tried to sell snake oil)—that were predicated on a range of cluelessness, trial and error, and straight-up scams. With vintage illustrations, photographs, and advertisements throughout, Quackery seamlessly combines macabre humor with science and storytelling to reveal an important and disturbing side of the ever-evolving field of medicine.
Draft your own presidential fantasy team, based on these hilarious-but-true profiles of our past leaders, in this fun and funny illustrated book perfect for fans of How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous and Kid Presidents! What if a zombie apocalypse or a robot uprising threatened the nation and you had the power to recruit some of the nation’s finest presidents to help save the day? By studying the most successful squads in history, Daniel O’Brien has identified the perfect ingredients for a victorious team. Which president would you choose for: the Brain, the Brawn, the Moral Compass, the Loose Cannon, and the Roosevelt? Choose wisely—the fate of the world is in your hands! "Aiming squarely at a sports-obsessed, statistics-mad and gross-out friendly audience, the madcap, utterly irreverent Your Presidential Fantasy Dream Team may be on to something." —New York Times "O'Brien takes a non-holds-barred approach to describing each man's strengths, weaknesses, and reputation . . . Rowntree's over-the-top illustrations picture ratchet up the humor even more." —PW "A warts-and-all look at two centuries of presidential leadership and politics." —Kirkus Reviews
A Naturalist Debunks Our Favorite Fallacies About Wildlife
Author: Warner Shedd
In this fascinating book, wildlife expert and enthusiast Warner Shedd refutes popular animal myths like squirrels remembering where they bury nuts, wolves howling at the moon, and oppossums "playing dead." Have you ever seen a flying squirrel flapping through the air, watched a beaver carrying a load of mud on its tail, or ducked when a porcupine started throwing its quills? Probably not, says Shedd, former regional executive for the National Wildlife Federation. Offering scientific evidence that refutes many of the most tenacious and persevering folklore about wild animals, Owls Aren't Wise & Bats Aren't Blind will captivate you with fascinating facts and humorous anecdotes about more than thirty North American species-- some as familiar as the common toad, and others as elusive as the lynx. Owls Aren't Wise & Bats Aren't Blind is an entertaining dose of scientific reality for any nature enthusiast or armchair adventurer.
When the Internet suddenly stops working, society reels from the loss of flowing data and streaming entertainment. Addicts wander the streets talking to themselves in 140 characters or forcing cats to perform tricks for their amusement, while the truly desperate pin their requests for casual encounters on public bulletin boards. The economy tumbles and the government passes the draconian NET Recovery Act. For Gladstone, the Net's disappearance comes particularly hard, following the loss of his wife, leaving his flask of Jamesons and grandfather's fedora as the only comforts in his Brooklyn apartment. But there are rumors that someone in New York is still online. Someone set apart from this new world where Facebook flirters "poke" each other in real life and members of Anonymous trade memes at secret parties. Where a former librarian can sell information as a human search engine and the perverted fulfill their secret fetishes at the blossoming Rule 34 club. With the help of his friends---a blogger and a webcam girl, both now out of work---Gladstone sets off to find the Internet. But is he the right man to save humanity from this Apocalypse? For those of you wondering if you have WiFi right now, Wayne Gladstone's Notes from the Internet Apocalypse examines the question "What is life without the Web?"
Since it first aired in 2011, Game of Thrones galloped up the ratings to become the most watched show in HBO’s history. It is no secret that creator George R.R. Martin was inspired by late 15th century Europe when writing A Song of Ice and Fire, the sprawling saga on which the show is based. Aside from the fantastical elements, Game of Thrones really does mirror historic events and bloody battles of medieval times—but how closely? Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood is a collection of thought-provoking essays by medieval historians who explore how the enormously popular HBO series and fantasy literature of George R. R. Martin are both informed by and differ significantly from real historical figures, events, beliefs, and practices of the medieval world. From a variety of perspectives, the authors delve into Martin’s plots, characterizations, and settings, offering insights into whether his creations are historical possibilities or pure flights of fantasy. Topics include the Wars of the Roses, barbarian colonizers, sieges and the nature of medieval warfare, women and agency, slavery, celibate societies in Westeros, myths and legends of medieval Europe, and many more. While life was certainly not a game during the Middle Ages, Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood reveals how a surprising number of otherworldly elements of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy are rooted deeply in the all-too-real world of medieval Europe.
Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.