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Announcing Sacred Mounds, a novel of Magical Realism and Historical Fantasy from Jim Metzner, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.
Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he is swept back to pre-colonial times, walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present-day America. Sacred Mounds Book Cover Four hundred years apart, they are bound by a mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago. Sacred Mounds weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.
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Science Diary: Water - Fingerprints: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Sep 01, 2008
Scientist: Adina Paytan

Science Diary: Water - Fingerprints

Science Diary: Water - Fingerprints
Bodies of water have unique identifying characteristics that enable scientists to trace pollutants to their source.

music; ambience

AP: "If that's the seawater, what will happen if you pour this water into here gently?"
Student: "Yeah, I think it would stay on the top, because it's lighter."

Doctor Adina Paytan is an oceanographer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. When she's not doing field work, chances are Adina is inspiring future scientists. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Showing high school students how to distinguish salt water from fresh water is the first step in what Dr. Paytan calls 'water fingerprinting.'

"Different types of water have different characteristics, kind of fingerprints. For example, in an estuary you know you have freshwater that doesn't have salt in it, you have seawater or salty water, and they mix together. So, the salinity of the water is one way to identify it. Here, actually, in San Francisco Bay, a lot of the water is from sewage treatment plants. After the sewage is treated, it's released back into the Bay. This water has certain chemicals that are unique to sewage treatment facilities. It has more nutrients. It has more phosphorous. There are certain tracers or chemicals that are unique to different types of water."

Adina Paytan uses water fingerprinting to trace contaminants to their source. For example, if beach water tests positive for E. coli bacteria, and the water there reveals the fingerprint of a nearby river, that river is likely to be the culprit.

Students: "The salt in the water would make it more dense."
"It's heavier than tapwater."

AP: "Okay, good."

Dr. Paytan is one of the researchers participating in our latest project, which aims to get third to sixth graders excited about science; check out kidsciencechallenge.com.

Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.