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The carnival sideshows of the past have left behind a fascinating legacy of mystery and intrigue. The secrets behind such daring feats as fire-eating and sword swallowing and bizarre exhibitions of human oddities as "Alligator Boys" and "Gorilla Girls" still remain, only grudgingly if ever given up by performers and carnival professionals. Working alongside the performers, Joe Nickell blows the lid off these mysteries of the midway. The author reveals the structure of the shows, specific methods behind the performances, and the showmen's tactics for recruiting performers and attracting crowds. He also traces the history of such spectacles, from ancient Egyptian magic and street fairs to the golden age of P.T. Barnum's sideshows. With revealing insight into the personal lives of the men and women billed as freaks, Nickell unfolds the captivating story of the midway show.
A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America’s special operations forces into man-hunting and killing machines in the world’s dark spaces: the new American way of war The most momentous change in American warfare over the past decade has taken place away from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, in the corners of the world where large armies can’t go. The Way of the Knife is the untold story of that shadow war: a campaign that has blurred the lines between soldiers and spies and lowered the bar for waging war across the globe. America has pursued its enemies with killer drones and special operations troops; trained privateers for assassination missions and used them to set up clandestine spying networks; and relied on mercurial dictators, untrustworthy foreign intelligence services, and proxy armies. This new approach to war has been embraced by Washington as a lower risk, lower cost alternative to the messy wars of occupation and has been championed as a clean and surgical way of conflict. But the knife has created enemies just as it has killed them. It has fomented resentments among allies, fueled instability, and created new weapons unbound by the normal rules of accountability during wartime. Mark Mazzetti tracks an astonishing cast of characters on the ground in the shadow war, from a CIA officer dropped into the tribal areas to learn the hard way how the spy games in Pakistan are played to the chain-smoking Pentagon official running an off-the-books spy operation, from a Virginia socialite whom the Pentagon hired to gather intelligence about militants in Somalia to a CIA contractor imprisoned in Lahore after going off the leash. At the heart of the book is the story of two proud and rival entities, the CIA and the American military, elbowing each other for supremacy. Sometimes, as with the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, their efforts have been perfectly coordinated. Other times, including the failed operations disclosed here for the first time, they have not. For better or worse, their struggles will define American national security in the years to come.
Written by one of the world's foremost authorities on martial arts and weaponcraft, Master of the Blade is an instructional manual on the realistic use of the knife in self-defense. Based on the Tactical Edged Weapons System of Richard Ryan's Dynamic Combat Method, it offers priceless insights into a world shrouded in mystery, hype and mystique, and dispels common myths about knife fighting. Ryan covers the various types of blades and how to choose one that's right for you; knife fighting stances, grips, targets, striking patterns and types of cuts; the basics of defense and counterattack; blade tactics and strategies against different types of weapons and attackers; deadly mistakes such as overcommitment and hesitation; dealing with fear and the importance of mind-set; carry methods and tactical concealment; and realistic training methods. Master of the Blade explores the deadly art of knife fighting in a refreshing and often humorous manner, presenting the stark realities of knife fighting in a way we can all understand and digest. The old adage "don't bring a knife to a gunfight" won't have the same meaning for you once you've read this book. For academic study only.
Here's a fast, down and dirty guide that offers you sound advice and solid information for anything—and everything—you could possibly want to buy. Smart shopping takes on a whole new meaning with Trade Secrets, an all-encompassing, fact-filled compendium on how to make the right buying decisions every time. From minute details about dozens of products to tips on dealing with merchants who hand you the inside skinny on how to get the most value for your money, including such topics as: Doing Your Homework: home-equity loans, furniture, carpets, plumbing services Wall Street Savvy: checking accounts, credit cards, mutual funds Painting the Town Red: buying bubbly, choosing a cruise, renting a tux It's the Little Things: magazine subscriptions, sunscreens, beds and beddings Irreverent and entertaining, Trade Secrets is like having a trusted uncle in the business, who tells it exactly like it is.
When eleven year old Tony and his older brother, Jack are on the ferry to Galiano Island at the start of their summer holiday, Tony sees a pickpocket steal a wallet. The pickpocket, a girl about Tonys age is caught but the wallet cannot be found. The girl makes a daring escape when the ferry docks at the island. Tony thinks she is part of a gang of young thieves led by an older man and a woman. Tony and Jack set up camp overlooking a popular pleasure boat harbour close to the home of their parents friends from Africa. Their sister Meg is staying with these friends who have a daughter named Sam. Sam believes she has discovered an ancient tunnel and the four children decide to investigate. Anchored in the harbour is a large motor launch.Tony sees the girl pickpocket on deck. He also sees the man and woman who were on the ferry. On a shopping trip with Sam and her mother Tony and Jack see the gang of thieves stealing wallets and purses and they discover how the gang conceals the stolen items. Finally, the secret of the ancient tunnel is revealed and leads to an exciting escape and the capture of the gang of thieves.
Epic romance, heroism, adventure, and mystery... Ancient Egypt circa 1500 B.C... a magical time when the Divine Princess Hatshepsut rose to power as Pharaoh, the first all-mighty FEMALE leader in Man’s history! But there was a secret so shocking it had to remain hidden for the millennia, shrouded in secrecy, entombed and sealed with her mummy! Was it love? Or mysticism or the paranormal? Or political intrigue? What is the... “SECRET OF THE MUMMY”? And what is the secret of the strange ankh amulet that was found in Hatshepsut’s tomb, clutched in her mummified hand and held over her heart as her mummy lay sealed in her sarcophagus for the millennia? Scientists discovered that this ankh, the religious symbol for “life”, has peculiar atomic properties that they are STILL trying to unravel! How do the Egyptian gods, pyramids, hieroglyphics, mysticism, and the paranormal fit into the puzzle? And what about passion and romance, and the power of LOVE – a force so powerful that it can move mountains, change the course of history... and endure for eternity? What role does Love play in unraveling these mysteries? The links... the threads, the clues are all contained herein. All is revealed... in the “SECRET OF THE MUMMY”! (The first clue – don’t believe everything you see!)
The first (unauthorised) literary companion to the mysteries behind Dan Brown's latest blockbuster, THE LOST SYMBOL. From the bestselling Secrets team. Delve into a whole new world of secret societies, ancient mysteries, hidden symbols, new-age philosophy and cutting-edge science ... Discover: the role the Freemasons played in US history; the 'real' Katherine Solomon; the true background of the 'Ancient Mysteries'; the reality of Noetic science and much more ... Presenting ideas from world renowned historians, code-breakers, symbologists, theologians, philosophers and scientists, Burstein and de Keijzer break through the web of conspiracies, mythologies, encrypted signs and alternate histories. SECRETS OF THE LOST SYMBOL is a must-read for anyone who wants to separate reality, speculation, fact and fiction in Dan Brown's global phenomenon.

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