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text 2017-09-06 22:53
Wow!
Birds of Utah Field Guide - Stan Tekiela
Lonely Planet Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks (Travel Guide) - Lonely Planet,Greg Benchwick,Carolyn McCarthy,Christopher Pitts

Finally having a bit of down time after some exhausting days hiking. Haven't seen any TV and not even had time to do any reading, but the amazing scenery and wildlife I've seen, kind of makes up for it. 

 

Zion National Park

 

Bryce Canyon

 

Tomorrow we're heading for Capitol Reef, and after that it's Arches and Canyonland before we head to Salt Lake City and then home. 

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review 2017-08-27 02:50
The 12th Planet (Book I of the Earth Chronicles)
The 12th Planet - Zecharia Sitchin

How did civilization begin seemingly out of nowhere?  And how did humanity evolve so fast in comparison to what had happened before?  These are the questions that Zecharia Sitchin set to answer in his book, The 12th Planet, in which he purports that he found said answers in cuneiform text dating from time of Sumerians over 5000 years ago.

 

Sitchin begins by going over the spurts of cultural development that lead to the beginning of Sumerian civilization and how modern man appeared so soon in terms of evolution to even develop the civilization that we are a part of.  Sitchin then describes all the firsts that Sumer did in, many of them were not continuous since then through to our day, and then asked where the Sumerians learned this knowledge to he responded that the Sumerians learned it from the gods.  Using the Sumerian Creation myth, Enuma Elis, Sitchin details the beginnings of the solar system including how a rogue planetoid entered the developing solar system and began circling the sun in a 3,600 year long orbit.  This planet, named Nibiru, created havoc in the early solar system resulting in the asteroid belt and Earth, seeded with the building blocks of life from this planet.  Eventually humanlike beings eventually developed technology to explore the solar system and find Earth habitable and with resources they needed.  These beings, the Annunaki or Nephilim, began travelling to Earth and mining for resources but bringing with them their own politics and grudges that eventually led to the “creation” of modern humans then the Deluge in an effort to destroy them.  But in the aftermath were thankful that some survived so they could help them rebuild their operations.

 

Sitchin’s work was one of a number “ancient astronaut” books throughout 1970s and his influence within the community is immeasurable still almost a decade after his death.   Yet, this book is rife with many scientific errors related to astrophysics, celestial mechanics, cosmology, and plate tectonics to name a few and is out-of-date in human evolutionary thought.  While those are big drawbacks, Sitchin’s focus on Sumerian & Akkadian cuneiform on the reported Annunaki influence on early Earth and human history is very interesting and thought-provoking even if you disbelieve it.  This focus on Sumerian myth, or record of history, is the most important part of the book as well as it’s relation to other mythological traditions along with the Bible.

 

While many might discount this book because of the incorrect scientific propositions put forward and disagree with the “ancient astronaut” theory.  The best argument for reading Zecharia Sitchin’s The 12th Planet  is the focus on Sumerian history and myth, which is one of the oldest and little known compared to many other cultures.  Agree or disagree with Sitchin, this book is just one you have to say that you’ve read.

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review 2017-08-25 01:16
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers - My Thoughts
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers

Let me be clear from the get-go.  I think many readers would rate this book with at least 4 stars, even 5, but quite honestly, I'm not the ideal reader for this book, so MY rating is a little lower.  I just don't want people to miss a fun, well-written, diversely cast, thoughtful, filled with love book.

My problem with the book is that the plot was little more than a wisp of smoke in an evening breeze.  I need a plot, really I do.  And this world/universe was built in a way that a whole BUNCH of plots could have been explored.  But the author didn't go there with her diverse merry band of  'tunnellers', wormhole builders if you will.  Instead she went for exploring the characters and their backgrounds and how this biggest job of their lives manages to affect them all in a very profound way. 

We get most of the story through the eyes of Rosemary, the young human who comes aboard as the ship's clerk, trying to escape her past and in reality, learn who she is and who she wants to be moving forward.  It's really a New Adult coming of age story, I guess.  Again, not my cup of tea, but I liked it in spite of that.

Here's a fan drawing of the crew I found that I thought was pretty good.  It's a crew that often reminded me of the crew of Firefly.  There are unlikable members and members that you just want to hug to bits.They all gel as a team though, especially after their big job journey.  Again, the story is way more about the characters than that big job thing.  :)

 

 

 
 
So, if you're looking for some sci-fi fun, heavy on the characterisation, light on plot, but a fun read and one that will warm the proverbial cockles of your heart, this is your book.  :) It'll make you feel good!

And I'll probably be picking up the next one in the series at some point.  
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review 2017-08-23 01:15
Review: Bitch Planet Vol 2
Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch - Kelly Sue DeConnick

Powerful and compelling reading, just like the first volume. Interested to see what happens next.

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review 2017-08-15 13:33
The Planet in a Pebble by Jan Zalasiewicz
The Planet in a Pebble: A journey into Earth's deep history - Jan Zalasiewicz

TITLE:  The Planet in a Pebble

 

AUTHOR:  Jan Zalasiewicz

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2012

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  9780199645695

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

“Take a pebble.  A slate pebble, say, from a beach in Wales.  Look at its rich grey, cut by veins of white quartz.  Look closely.  There are other markings too…”

 

The Planet in a Pebble is the story of the Earth as determined from a single pebble, from the depth of time and across the far reaches of space to its current existence.  The many events in the Earth’s past that can be deciphered from the subject pebble include:  the Big-Bang;  solar system creation; planet creation; volcanic eruptions; magnetic fields, the lives and deaths of extinct organic species;  the nature of long-vanished oceans;  transformations in the depth of the earth;  the creation of fool’s gold and of oil; and tectonics. 

 

Jan Zalasiewicz demonstrates, in an accessible and lyrical manner, how geologists reach deep into the Earth's past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter to discover aspects of Earth’s history.   However, while the writing style is entertaining and accessible, there is some technical vocabulary that may be confusing for non-geologists, but this can’t be helped in a book like this.  None of this technical vocabulary is incomprehensible with a bit of application of grey matter.

 

The author shows how many stories are crammed into each and every pebble around us, no matter how ordinary the pebble.  But this pebble is also a part of the Earth’s amazing journey through time.  Taking a look at the history of the Earth by what can be told by a single pebble is an unusual and novel method for a science book that I rather enjoyed.

 

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