Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New report and download - Post Party politics

Post Party politics: can participation reconnect people and government?

Someone has turned off the people. Just as electricity powers our homes and workspaces, it is the public that power politics and government. Without a good reliable supply of people our institutions stutter and stop working. Much like electric lights in a power cut.
Historically it has been the role of political parties to both represent the people and equally importantly to galvanise society behind specific political agendas. In essence to supply the people upon which our institutions legitimacy and effectiveness depend. On both counts political party’s are currently left wanting.
With no obvious signs that party’s intend to radically reform beyond becoming ever harder to distinguish, what are the other options for reconnecting people and government?
To download a free copy click here.

Available to borrow by RSA Fellows - contact the Library for details. Ask about our Freepost service.

Monday, February 20, 2006

New Book - Safe: design takes on risk

Paola Antonelli
Safe: design takes on risk
The Museum of Modern Art, 2005, 745.2 ANT

As part of the extensive work the RSA has undertaken in the fied of design, the RSA's Design Directions project covers a broad range of design issues, Safe: design takes on risk is a design resource in the area of Design for Patient Safety.

Safe: design takes on risk is a book devoted to this category of design objects and prototypes that seek to respond to situations of emergency, to protect the body and the mind from dangerous or stressful situations, and to provide a sense of comfort and safety. This book combines essays and illustrations to explore these objects, featuring designs and objects in areas such as protective gear, everyday safety devices, emergency shelters, life support equipment, bioengineering and emergency vehicles.

Available to borrow by RSA Fellows - contact the Library for details. Ask about our Freepost service.

New Book - Porcupines in winter

Alessandra Buonfino (ed.) & Geoff Mulgan (ed.)
Porcupines in winter: the pleasures and pains of living together in modern Britain
The Young Foundation, 2006, 302.1 BUO

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once described human beings as being like porcupines in winter, huddling together for warmth, then pulling apart when their quills pricked each other, and constantly striving for the right balance between being together and apart. Looking at how modern Britons are negotiating this difficult balance, Porcupines in Winter maps out the state of the relationships that matter most in our daily lives in order to paint a compelling picture of how Britain has changed and of the challenges we face in creating stronger and more mutually supportive communities.

Exploring different places - from Grimethorpe and Shropshire to Glasgow and London's East End, and different communities - including Polish migrants and Jamaican transnational families, Porcupines in Winter presents a society not without great faults and problems, but is ultimatly a celebration of the diverse and changing faces of modern Britain. It is a varied and engaguing text that has been published to accompany the launch of the Young Foundation which has been set up to build on 50 years of pioneering social research and action led by Michael Young.

Available to borrow by RSA Fellows - contact the Library for details. Ask about our Freepost service.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Book - Breaking the spell

Daniel C. Dennett
Breaking the spell: religion as a natural phenomenon
Allen Lane, 2006, 200 DEN

In his latest book leading academic Daniel Dennett, who speaks at an RSA Lecture in March 2006 , brings us a bold and timely exploration into cultural and psychological role of religion in human societies. Discussing why and how different faiths have commanded allegiance and shaped so many lives, Dennett provides a detailed history of the development of religion and uses this to unravel the complex way religion has penetrated our social and psychological consciousness. He argues for the need, not to simply challenge religion, but to understand it as a powerful multifaceted phenomenon, as Breaking the spell presents us with a comprehensive explanation for religion that seeks to objectivity question this controlling foundation of our society.

Available to borrow by RSA Fellows - contact the Library for details. Ask about our Freepost service.

Friday, February 10, 2006

DVD's In the RSA Library

A complete list of DVD's available to borrow in the RSA Library:


and here's the list

About With Betjeman
Green Umbrella, 2001, DVD GAM
A fond exploration of the former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjamen, particularly how he captured a sense of Britain in his poetry and prose.

The Ascent of Man
Award-winning series tracing the history of mankind's cultural development and scientific imagination from primitive times to the present day.

Bowling For Columbine
2003, DVD MOO
Award-winning documentary by Michael Moore confronting the issue of gun control in America.

Civilisation: a personal view by Lord Clark
Lord Clark gives his view of the eternal wisdoms and core values of Western European culture: from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Industrial Revolution and beyond.

Control Room
Tartan Video, 2004 DVD NOU
Arab-American filmmaker Jihana Nouijaim asks whether America is radicalizing or stabalizing the Arab world by examining and contrasting the presentations of the recent war in Iraq by Arab and American satellite television news media. Suggesting that Al Jazeeras, the Arab news network branded by the Bush administration as “Osama Bin-Laden’s mouthpiece” may actually be more in tune with democratic ideals than its American counterparts, Noujaim reminds us that truth is gathered, presented and ultimately created by those who deliver it.

Edward Said: the last interview
ICA Projects, 2004, DVD DIB
Interview with the acclaimed author in which he discusses his illness, his work, his life and education in this moving feature-length film.

Electric Edwardians: the films of Mitchell & Kenyon
BFI Video, 2005, DVD MIT
Highlights from the films of Mitchell & Kenyon.

Fahrenheit 9/11
Optimum Home Entertainment, 2004, DVD MOO
Michael Moore's Cannes-award winning attack on the Bush administration.

The Fog of War
Sony Pictures Classics, 2003, DVD MOR
Robert S. McNamara discusses his experiences and lessons learned during his tenure as Secretary of Defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

Four little girls
Feature film company, DVD LEE
Spike Lee's film about the 1963 bomb explosion in the basement of a Black Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four girls.

Geoffrey Jones: the rhythm of film
BFI Video, 2005, DVD JON
A collection of the films of Geoffrey Jones.

A History of Britain: the complete series
From the Stone Age to the recent millennium, Simon Schama takes the viewer through the turbulent history which has shaped the British Isles.

The Human body: vols 1 and 2
BBC Worldwide Ltd, 2001, DVD WIN
In this ground breaking series, Dr Robert Winston explores the intricate mechanism of the human body and also charts the journey of human life from birth through to death.

Koyaanisqatsi: life out of balance
A spell-binding collection of photographed scenes, contrasting nature and urban society.

Powaqqatsi: life in transformation
A visually poetic depiction of ancient cultures and modern day life.

UGC Films UK, 2005, DVD NOS
A full-bodied examination of the surprisingly cut-throat international wine industry.

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's war on journalism
The Disinformation Company, 2004, DVD GRE
An investigation of the alleged conservative bias at Rupert Murdoch's Fox News channel.

A Personal journey with Martin Scorsese through American movies
The British Film Institute, DVD SCO
Martin Scorsese guides us through the history of American movies.

The Planets
BBC Worldwide Ltd, 2000, DVD WES
A journey through space & time, visiting the planets and major satellites of our Solar System.

Seven wonders of the industrial world
Acorn Media, 2004, DVD CAD
The acclaimed seven part television drama series.

The Sorrow and the pity
Arrow Film Distributors, 1969, DVD OPH
This Oscar-nominated documentary is a chronicle of the occupation of a small French industrial city during World War II.

2001, DVD NOU
Gripping documentary following the fate and fortune of the New York based website govWorks.com through the burst of the dot.com bubble.

South: Sir Ernest Shackleton's glorious epic of the Antarctic
British Film Institute, DVD HUR
The restored film record of Shackleton's heroic but ill-fated Antarctic crossing(1914-16).

Mo Media, 2002, DVD ELS
Account of a temporary rope sculpture exhibit based on the idea of travelling beyond borders.

Triumph of the will
DD Video, 2001, DVD RIE
Leni Riefenstahl's controversial film of the Nazi Party Congress held in Nuremberg in 1934.

World at war: vols 1 to 5
Thames Television, 2000, DVD OLI
A remarkable visual document charting the history of World War 2.

The Yes Men
Tartan Video, 2003, DVD SMI
Two board, middle-class American activists set up a fake World Trade Organisation website with a subtly subversive content. Much to their surprise, it fools enough people to get them invited by various organisations to give lectures on behalf of the WTO. This film is the hilarious but equally frightening account of these lectures, and the staggering lengths these activists have to go to in order to expose their own prank to these groups of so called 'experts'.

David Attenborough: The Blue planet
BBC Worldwide Ltd, 2001, DVD ATT
A spectacular voyage of discovery from the shallowest lagoon to the deepest ocean on earth.

David Attenborough: Life in the freezer
BBC, 1993, DVD ATT
Antarctica, the last great wilderness on Earth is explored in this fascinating series.

David Attenborough: The Trials of life
BBC, 1990, DVD ATT
Charts the struggle for survival of all living creatures on Earth from birth to death.

David Attenborough: The Life of birds
BBC, 1998, DVD ATT
Fascinating, colourful and wide-ranging series, celebrating the diversity of birds on Earth.

to borrow any of these DVD's, contact the Library.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

News - RSA Migration Project

A new EU report published on Wednesday 8th February has given a great boost to the RSA and its work in the area of Migration. The report recently published by EU employment commissioner Vladimir Spidla, provides evidence to suggest that the free movement of workers from the 10 accession countries will benefit the economies of the wealthier EU countries. Spidla's findings show that immigrants from these eastern European countries have similar, if not higher employment rates, than nationals of those countries who have allowed them free access to work. These workers also tend to fill vital gaps in the labor market, such as that of construction. Furthermore, the report reveals that migration flow has naturally been somewhat limited, and removing migration barriers enable governments to better manage and direct such workers. This is important and timely information from a report designed specifically to encourage important "Old Europe" countries such as France and Germany to lift the current restrictions they place on such immigrants. The issue has received significant media attention, including articles in the Financial Times and The Guardian; as 12 EU countries have until May 1st 2006 to decide whether to join Britain, Sweden and Ireland in lifting restrictions on immigrants from the 10 accession countries.

In November 2005 the RSA Migration Commission launched a new report: 'Migration: a welcome opportunity - a new way forward from the RSA Migration Commission' as part of the RSA Manifesto Challenge 'Advancing Global Citizenship'. More information on the RSA Migration Project is available online.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

New book - The Revenge of Gaia

James Lovelock
The Revenge of Gaia: why the earth is fighting back - and how we can still save humanity
Allen Lane, 2006, 333.7 LOV

In The Revenge of Gaia, James Lovelock brings his enlightening perspective to the environmental change debate. Illustrated with examples drawn from his experiences around the world, Lovelock draws many radical conclusions, most controversially a passionate advocacy of nuclear energy. This, he argues, is not only a secure, safe and reliable source of energy but also the most effective way to counter the lethal heat waves and rising sea levels, which will increasingly threaten our civilisation. Lovelock's argument is rooted in the belief that the only way for humankind to come to terms with Gaia now, and have a chance of surviving, is to embrace science and technology, not reject them.

Available to borrow by RSA Fellows - contact the Library for details. Ask about our Freepost service.

New Book - The Big moo

Seth Godin (ed.)
The Group of 33: the big moo: stop trying to be perfect and start being remarkable.
Portfolio, 2005, 658.8 BIG

This quirky book presents a group of thirty-three leading business thinkers who draw on the philosophies of Seth Godin's best selling Purple Cow: transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. Using case stories to illustrate their approach, the writers of The Big moo stress the need for the development and promotion of ideas which will embrace change, take risks, and stand out in the market.

Click here for the Big moo website.

Available to borrow by RSA Fellows - contact the Library for details. Ask about our Freepost service.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New book: Math you can't use

Ben Klemens
Math you can't use: patents, copyright, and software
Brookings Institution Press, 2006, 346.048 KLE

Gathering persepectives from law, computer science, mathematics and economics, Ben Klemens examines the intellectual property issues surrounding computer software. At the heart of this thoughful investication is an understanding of the need for patents to better accommodate for the unique structure of code and copyright for software, and Klemens makes some important suggestions of how such changes could be effectively implemented.

Available to borrow by RSA Fellows - contact the Library for details. Ask about our Freepost service.

New book - Civilisation

Roger Osborne
Civilization: a new history of the western world
Jonathan Cape, 2006, 909.098 OSB

What do we mean by civilization? Attempting to address this question, the author suggests that we can only understand and build on our civilization by re-examining and confronting our past. Telling the story of the Western world from its origins, Osborne covers many of the most significant events in its hostory, from the siege of Troy to the Gettysburg address and much more.

Available to borrow by RSA Fellows - contact the Library for details. Ask about our Freepost service.