Does torture work?

Photo of hands in handcuffs

Well, you’ll have to read John W. Schiemann’s book to find out.

In his 2015 publication, Does Torture Work?, Schiemann ‘examines whether interrogational torture is effective in obtaining valuable information and at what cost in terms of torture’s brutality and frequency’ (taken from abstract).

According to the abstract, the book ‘draws on historical accounts, previously secret CIA documents in the war on terrorism, and the proposals advanced by torture proponents to build a game theoretic model of interrogational torture’.

‘Illustrating the model outcomes with narratives from Pinochet’s Chile to Algeria to the use of enhanced interrogation techniques against Al Qaeda operatives at CIA black sites, the book compares the results of the model with proponent benchmarks on information reliability, torture frequency, and torture severity’.

In his book, Schiemann shows that ‘interrogational torture fails to reliably generate valuable information but will be both more frequent and more brutal than proponents expect and are willing to accept. Having shown that interrogational torture is ineffective, the book then demonstrates just why and how it fails’.

You can read this book online via the Oxford Scholarship Online: Political Science database.

The database contains the full text and abstracts of classic and newly published Oxford books in the areas of political science – from Comparative Politics to Political Theory, International Relations to European Union Studies.

10 ways to spot deception

Female teenager covering her mouth

Being able to understand body language is almost like reading people’s minds. And wouldn’t we all love to know what our colleagues (read: boss) are thinking.

If you want to learn how to use body language to enhance your personal and business relationships, you should read Body Language for Dummies by Elizabeth Kuhnke (2015).

Kuhnke teaches you how to interpret what people really mean by observing their posture, gestures, eye movements, and more. Body Language for Dummies is your guide to decoding body language, and adjusting your own habits to improve your interactions with others.

The Body Language for Dummies eBook is available in Books24x7 BusinessPro Collection database.

How do you know if someone is deceiving you? Here are 10 ways to spot a liar (see Chapter 17, ‘Ten ways to spot deception’, Body Language for Dummies).

  • Fleeting facial expressions
    Look for muscular twitches, dilation and contraction of the pupils, flushed cheeks and sweating. Disregard this if your suspected fibber has just returned from running an errand outside in forty degree heat!
  • Suppressed facial expressions
    Lady Gaga sang ‘he can’t read my poker face’. But you can! Concealing an expression or emotion takes effort. Look for narrowed eyes, a tense forehead and twitching lips.
  • Little or no eye contact
    Possible signs of deception include eye rubbing, and an inability to look you in the eye. There’s also a small possibility they just have something in their eye, or you have remnants of lunch stuck between your teeth and they are embarrassed for you.
  • Covering the face
    Do you typically put you hand to your mouth when you tell a porky? So do others.
  • Touching the nose
    ‘When someone lies, it releases chemicals called catecholamines, causing the nasal tissues to swell’ says Kuhnke (Chapter 17). ‘This is known as the Pinocchio Response because the nose becomes slightly enlarged…’ And this means the storyteller will touch, tug or scratch their schnoz. On the other hand, they could have allergies, a cold or a rogue nose hair…

What are the other five signs of a fibber? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Hey dummies! Did you know there is an eBook for that?

Photo: Instagram user @conneontheroad

Photo: Instagram user @conneontheroad

For Dummies is a book series you are probably already familiar with.  Maybe you’ve navigated your way around a foreign country with one of their handy travel guides or used one to navigate a tricky Microsoft or Adobe program.

For Dummies is widely known for providing non-intimidating introductory guides on a seemingly never-ending range of topics. And you have access to a number of them online!  (But not the travel guides. Sorry!) Read the rest of this entry »

You wouldn’t read about it! Watch videos in the Books 24×7 database


You probably already know about all the business, technical and engineering eBooks available in the Books24x7 database. But did you know that it now includes video?

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Finding it all a bit taxing? We have a solution for you


Finding it all a bit taxing? Don’t worry, we have a solution for you. Until June 2016, you have access to the CCH Australian eBooks. CCH Australia is a leading business publisher in Tax, Accounting & Financial Planning and Corporate & Business Law.

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Google secrets: do what you never thought possible with Google


The secret is out! Google has an abundance of apps that can help you be your most productive at home and in the office.

The university provides a Google Apps account for all students and active staff. Using Google Apps you can email, schedule, chat, create, share, store, organize and collaborate with others. For more information about Griffith Google Apps, visit Google Apps Support.

Griffith library also has databases, journals, articles, books and eBooks that can help you learn more about Google Apps. Check out the Books 24×7 database. It contains hundreds of full-text electronic books and journals covering over 100 different technology topics.

Here is a selection of Google eBooks in the Books 24×7 database you may find interesting:

Read the rest of this entry »

Be the best bad presenter ever

badpresenter_rectangleDo you feel the pressure to be perfect when doing a presentation?

Author, Karen Hough says relax! Break the rules, be yourself and make mistakes to connect with your audience, she says in her book Be the Best Bad Presenter Ever.

Be the Best Bad Presenter Ever is available online via Griffith University Library’s Books 24×7 database.

The database also has other helpful books on presentation skills. Take a look!

Be the Best Bad Presenter Ever: Break the Rule, Make Mistakes and Win Them Over
By Karen Hough
Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2014
Click here to access

Passion and authenticity wins people over; not perfection. Packed with wise and witty advice, this book will help you avoid being one more robot behind a podium and will help free you to be a living, breathing, occasionally clumsy real person whose passion is powerful and infectious.

The Introverted Presenter: Ten Steps for Preparing and Delivering Successful Presentations
By Richard Tierney
Apress 2015
Click here to access

Laying out a complete process guaranteed to raise you from a debilitating state of terror and aversion to a comfortable place of clarity, calm, and competence—perhaps even brilliance, this concise guide will show you how to deliver competent presentations, no matter how unsuited by nature you might be to the performing arts.

How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World’s Most Inspiring Presentations, Revised and Expanded New Edition
By Jeremey Donovan
Published: McGraw-Hill 2014
Click here to access

Whether you’re presenting to an audience of 1 or 1,000, this indispensable book for any public speaker will teach you how to give a TED-style talk to achieve your personal and business goals.