100 Years: Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity

Though we might not know what it means (we are wordsmiths and bookish types after all), we’ve all heard of “E = mc2”.

Albert Einstein’s famous equation proposed that energy and matter were interchangeable, and re-defined mankind’s ideas about the Universe.

And precisely 100 years ago this week, Einstein presented his Theory of General Relativity to the Prussian Academy. It described how mass and space were related to each other, and explained how, due to the effects of gravity, matter can bend and warp the fabric of space and time.

Confusing, eh?

To explain Einstein’s theory, watch this nifty little video put together by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. (Bonus – it’s narrated by the one and only David Tennant)

Souvenir Press publishes Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions, the definitive collection of his writing. Drawn from his books and letters, speeches and articles, it reveals the thinking, personality and philosophy behind the world’s most famous scientist.

Ideas and Opinions cover

Einstein was unique among scientists in the affection the public felt for him, as famous for his personality as for the theories that helped to create the modern world.

“He was unfathomably profound – the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.”
– Time

Ideas and Opinions is as close to Einstein’s autobiography as we will get, and captures his witty, anarchic, but thoughtful personality.

“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people – first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.”

Albert Einstein, from ‘The World As I See It’, included in Ideas and Opinions.

Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein is available in paperback (ISBN: 9780285647251), £14.99.

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Need some inspiration for Father’s Day this week? Fear not! SP are here to help with some of our favourite titles, so no matter what he’s into, we’ve got it covered.

For sports-mad dads…

The Golf Swing of the Future by Mindy Blake

Golf-Swing_PB

Does your dad still dream of being the next Rory McIlroy? Help him to perfect his swing with Mindy Blake’s Golf Swing of the Future. A bestseller all over the world on its first publication, Mindy Blake’s love of the game shines through as he offers a deeper understanding of what golf is about and how that can be used to improve any golfer’s game.

*we can’t guarantee that your dad will be a professional golfer.

“A revolutionary but completely convincing method… I highly recommend it to all serious students of the game.”
‘Financial Times’

Muhammad Ali: The Birth of a Legend by Flip Schulke and Matt Schudel

Muhammad Ali cover

A collector’s piece for all sporting dads, the photographs in Flip Schulke’s Muhammad Ali: The Birth of a Legend show Ali at the start of his journey. Flip Schulke was more than a silent observer, he was a witness to the transformation of Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali, and Schulke’s commentary on his photographs provide a penetrating insight into, arguably, the greatest athlete of the century.

“One of those great iconic photos, regardless of whether you’re interested in boxing or Muhammad Ali… One of the top three sporting photographs ever taken.
‘ShortList’

For music fans…

Bowie on Bowie by Sean Egan

Bowie on Bowie cover

In the closest thing to an autobiography that Bowie has come, Sean Egan has compiled Bowie’s most revealing interviews into a riveting commentary on 50 years of personas and styles, tracing each step from Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane to The Thin White Duke and into the elder statesman that Bowie has become.

“Here is the ultimate introduction to Rock’s most distinctive voice.”
Bowie Wonderworld

Meet The Beatles by Tony Barrow

Meet the Beatles front cover

The first book to be published with the Beatles own involvement, Meet The Beatles introduced the Beatles, in their own words, to the world. This special collector’s edition features rare photographs of the Beatles, many of which have not been reproduced elsewhere and was compiled by Tony Barrow, the man who coined the phrase ‘the Fab Four’. Guaranteed to make your dad think of ‘Yesterday’…

“A uniquely first-hand introduction to the Beatles as they were in 1963…A terrific book, crammed with facts and figures and brilliant photographs – nostalgia at its very finest.”
‘Books Monthly’

For Fiction lovers…

Bhowani Junction by John Masters

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Set in the wake of the partition of India, as the British prepare to withdraw from the newly independent country, Bhowani Junction captures the tensions and conflicts that accompanied the birth of modern India. In the last hectic days of the British Raj, Victoria has to choose between marrying a British Army officer or a Sikh, Ranjit, as she struggles to find her place in the new, independent India.

“One of the most unjustly neglected writers… a remarkable and accurate picture of the Empire and its aftermath, as well as magnificent storytelling.”
‘Evening Gazette’

The Neruda Case by Roberto Ampuero

neruda case

In 1970’s Chile, Pablo Neruda, the Nobel-prize winning poet, is close to death and he senses the end of an era in Chilean politics. But there is one final secret he must resolve. He recruits Cayetano Brulé, a young Cuban rogue, as his “own private Maigret” and lends Brulé the novels of Simenon as a crash course in the role of private detective. Brulé must travel across the world, through Neruda’s past and the political faiths he has espoused, retracing the poet’s life from Fidel Castro’s Cuba to Berlin, Mexico City to Bolivia….

A must have for any crime fiction fan.

 “Forget Poirot, Holmes or Marlowe…Ampuero gives his readers some fascinating glimpses of both Neruda and the world he lived in.”
‘The Spectator’

The Warriors by Sol Yurick

warriors

We can pretty much guarantee that your dad will have heard of the cult movie ‘The Warriors’, directed by Walter Hill and released in 1979 (go on, we dare you to ask!). Published in our Independent Voices collection, Sol Yurick’s The Warriors follows the Family, a New York gang who have to fight their way home after being accused of killing Cyrus, the leader of the city’s most powerful gang.

“The best novel of its kind I’ve read. An altogether perfect achievement. I’m sure that to many it will sound like sacrilege but I have to say that I think it a better novel than Lord of the Flies.”
Warren Miller

And finally, something to make him laugh…

Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner

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For anyone brought up on sexist, racist, sizeist and ethnocentrist reading matter, James Finn Garner’s stories have been purged of the influence of an insensitive cultural past to become fables for our times. From Snow White’s relationship with seven vertically challenged men, Little Red Riding Hood, her grandma and the cross-dressing wolf who set up an alternative household based on mutual respect and cooperation, to the Emperor who was not naked but was endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle, at last, here is bedtime reading free from prejudice and discrimination to witches, giants, dwarves, goblins and fairies everywhere.

“Hillary and I have been enjoying (it)… it’s hilarious.”
Bill Clinton

Bum Fodder by Richard Smyth

Bum Fodder by Richard Smyth

And for those dads that enjoy toilet humour (there’s always one!), Richard Smyth’s Bum Fodder charts the absorbing history of the humble toilet roll. From its origins in Medieval China to the invention of the hi-tech Washlet, a combined cleansing and drying system that removes the need for paper altogether, Smyth has delved deep into the annals of literature to chart humanity’s pursuit of gentleness for the behind.

“The ultimate accessory for the loo: Richard Smyth’s fascinating tome about toilet paper that flushes out reams of intriguing facts.”
‘Saga’

Happy Father’s Day to all! For more ideas, visit our website at www.souvenirpress.co.uk.

Most Haunted…?

Chateau d’Hérouville*, once favoured by the biggest British recording artists including Elton John (the French chateau inspired the name of his ‘Honky Chateau’ album), The Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie, has been put up for sale this month. But it wasn’t just the musical great and good that frequented this French chateau.

According to David Bowie, the Chateau d’Hérouville was haunted, and by none other than the ghost of Frédéric Chopin, who is said to have lived at Hérouville with his mistress. Bowie even refused to sleep in the master bedroom, due to the strange energy of the Chateau.

But why cross the Channel for a spot of ghost-hunting, when here in Britain we have such a wealth of spooky places for you to explore! Where the Ghosts Walk by Peter Underwood is the culmination of a lifetime’s work from the UK’s leading authority on the paranormal. The book is a thorough guide to places across Britain where ghosts have been seen outside – that is, public places, not buildings or private houses, or French chateaux.

If you’re after famous names, you can discover the ghost of Anne Boleyn in the grounds of Hever Castle in Kent and Napoleon at Lulworth Cove. You can also find screaming figures in Norfolk at Castle Rising, Kings Lynn, and at the Shrieking Pits in Aylmerton… and if you’re lucky you might even find a ghost train in Dunphail, Scotland.

So instead of heading to France, take a ghostly tour of the British Isles under the expert guidance of Peter Underwood.

Where the Ghosts Walk cover*You can read more about the Chateau d’Hérouville on the Guardian website.

Friday Freebie!

Well, we told you it was on the way, and now it’s here.

Lorna Robinson has written a teacher’s guide to accompany her new book Telling Tales in Latin, which is now available for you to download for free! The guide contains lesson ideas and activities, translations of all Latin text, running OCR Entry Level Latin vocabulary for each chapter as well as practice sheets which are based on OCR Entry Level requirements.

All through August Telling Tales in Latin is available for the bargain price of £1.19 on Kindle, so why not take advantage of the offer and pick it up, along with a copy of the Teacher’s Guide for free to go with it?

To find out more about Telling Tales in Latin, visit the Souvenir Press website. To download a copy of the Teacher’s Guide, take a look at the Iris Project website.

Telling Tales in Latin

Recent news for Telling Tales in Latin

The Iris Project awarded the EU Language Label 2013

“This project provides an opportunity for young children to be introduced to Latin, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds and who may not have the opportunity to find out about Latin at any other time of their school career.  The teaching I saw was excellent, based on an exciting programme designed by the Iris project.  In my long career (primary) I have not seen children identifying, analysing and discussing grammar at such a high level as I saw at St. Saviours.”

Stephen Addis review in full

“Congratulations to Lorna Robinson who has produced a real masterpiece, which brings the subject to life.”

Baby name trends hark back to Edwardian era

According to a recent article in The Times, the current craze in baby names harks back to the Edwardian era, with names inspired by nature such as Daisy and Ruby popular for girls, and names with historical military significance such as Harold (Harry) and Alfred (Alfie) making a comeback. In the current top 10 most popular baby names for each gender, seven out of the twenty names listed are from this era, showing that while there is a desire for the unique and unusual (like North West) the appeal for the traditional remains.

Naming and Blessing by Andrew Tawn is a baby name book like no other: as well as providing the origins and meaning of over 500 baby names, it also includes for each one a personal and individual name prayer in the acrostic format. It is the ideal book for prospective parents as they choose a name for their son or daughter; these name prayers can be used at christenings as a gentle affirmation of the connection between your new baby and God. These prayers can also be used at confirmations, weddings, and as your child moves through the important stages of their life.

Take a look at the prayers for a few of the Edwardian-inspired current top 10 baby names:

Amelia

All the days of your life,
May God bless you,
Encourage and equip you,
Lead and enlighten you,
Instruct and inspire you,
And accompany you always.

Lily

Lord, grant Lily your love, peace and purity,
In all she thinks and says and does.
Let her remain always in your protection,
Your guidance and your care.

Harry

Heavenly Father,
As you raised your son from death,
Raise Harry from every fall,
Renew in him each day and year
Your Easter life and peace and joy.

Alfie

As high as the highest star you can see,
Longer than the days of your life,
Further than the furthest place you will go,
In depth deeper than the deepest sea,
Even so may God’s love for you be.

Naming And Blessing coverName prayers taken from Naming and Blessing, © Andrew Tawn 2010. Naming and Blessing by Andrew Tawn is published by Souvenir Press.

Author Corner: Jena Pincott on the Surprising Science of Pregnancy

The latest post in our Author Corner comes from Jena Pincott, author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The book explores the weird and wonderful science of pregnancy – the why rather than the how-to, and is a fascinating must-read for curious mums- and dads-to-be.

 Her guest blog post tackles 12 old wives’ tales about pregnancy, including morning sickness, baby brain and labour pain. All these and more can be found in her new book Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? which is available now from Souvenir Press in hardcover, paperback and as an e-book.

 Science vs. Pregnancy Myths

Science tackles 12 old wives’ tales about pregnancy.  Guess which ones endure?

Myth #1: Girls steal their mothers’ beauty:  False. You might even argue that being pregnant with a girl enhances your beauty! Statistically speaking, women carrying girls have more sex during pregnancy than those carrying boys.  Our breasts also grow larger when carrying a girl than a boy.

Myth #2:  You’re eating for two. Not really. You’re actually eating for 1.1.  Even in third trimester, this means eating only, say, three bananas more daily than you would pre-pregnancy.

Myth #3:  You’ll crave dirt and clay.  Possibly true. The scientific explanation: Clay seals the stomach — and, in the past, may have helped to protect mother and foetus from toxins, bacteria, and viruses.

Myth #4: Basketballs are boys, watermelons are girls:  False.  Truth is, your belly can be both a basketball and a watermelon during different phases of the pregnancy.  If you’re pregnant with your first child, you’ll carry higher for longer into the pregnancy because the ligaments holding up the baby are tighter.

Myth #5: Girls make us sicker than boys:  Somewhat true.  A hormone called hCG contributes to pregnancy sickness. Generally speaking, female foetuses put out higher levels of hCG than do male foetuses.

Myth #6: More babies come out on a full moon.  False. The full moon doesn’t trigger labour, according to multiple studies that track births and the lunar calendar. (Note:  Nor are more loony people admitted to psych wards at this time.)

Myth #7:  You can induce your own labour.  Mostly false. In studies, most home-induction remedies such as walking, sex, spicy foods, castor oil haven’t had any significant effect on triggering labour.  BUT there is limited evidence that nipple stimulation (breast pumping) helps the process along if you’re already close to going into labour naturally.

Myth #8: The Chinese birth calendar accurately predicts gender.  False. Multiple studies have shown that when it comes to predicting gender, the Chinese birth calendar is no more accurate than flipping a coin.

Myth #9: Babies look like their fathers.  Not necessarily.  Of course some do, but this doesn’t happen as a rule. The strange thing is that we really think babies often look like their dads— possibly because fathers favour look-alikes. From an evolutionary perspective, this may have reduced the risk of infanticide.

Myth #10: Pregnancy is a turn-off for men. Nope. To the contrary, some studies find that men are generally as attracted or more attracted to their wives during pregnancy than beforehand. While couples may not have sex as often as before (expectant fathers may have a lower sex drive), pregnancy is not the turn-off they fear. From an evolutionary perspective, the pregnant woman benefits from her mate’s support, and sex helps couples bond.

Myth #11:  You’ll forget all about the pain.  Maybe. There’s a 50/50 chance that, five years from now, you’ll think labour pains were less painful than they felt at the time.  Only a small percentage of women look back at their labour pain and remember it as worse than they felt at the time.

Myth #12:  You’ll get pregnesia.  Probably. Many (but not all) studies find that pregnant women experience difficulty storing and retrieving memories. This may be due to hormones or the foetus diverting resources to grow her own brain. While your visual memory is intact (in fact, your ability to recognize and remember faces is better than ever), your ability to remember to do what you  say you’re going to do, or recall a name or street address, may be impaired.   Women carrying girls may be especially afflicted.

chocolate-lovers-jena-pincott

 

Literacy Through Latin wins the EU Language Label 2013

We were delighted to learn last week that the Literacy Through Latin project, run by The Iris Project (founded by Lorna Robinson, author of Telling Tales in Latin) has been awarded the EU Language Label 2013 for innovative language teaching projects.

The European Label is an award that encourages new initiatives in the field of teaching and learning languages, rewarding new techniques in language teaching. By supporting innovative projects at a local and national level, the Label seeks to raise the standards of language teaching across Europe. Each year, the Label is awarded to the most innovative language learning projects in each country participating in the scheme.

A judge visited St Saviour’s school in Brixton where the Literacy Through Latin project – and Telling Tales in Latin – was in use in the classroom, to see it in action, and reported:

“This project provides an opportunity for young children to be introduced to Latin, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds and who may not have the opportunity to find out about Latin at any other time of their school career.  The teaching I saw was excellent, based on an exciting programme designed by the Iris project.  In my long career (primary) I have not seen children identifying, analysing and discussing grammar at such a high level as I saw at St. Saviours.”

Lorna Robinson, author of Telling Tales in Latin and founder of the Iris Project was delighted with the news:

“I’m completely over the moon at the news that the Literacy through Latin project has won this prestigious award. The judge who visited St Saviours school in Brixton was delighted at the pupils’ enjoyment of Latin. We have been teaching using our Telling Tales in Latin book at St Saviours and the pupils’ reactions to it have been very positive indeed.”

Congratulations to Lorna and the whole team at The Iris Project on being awarded the EU Language Label 2013 for their Literacy Through Latin programme. To find out more, visit the Iris Project website, or order a copy of Telling Tales in Latin today.

Telling Tales in Latin