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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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Pleiades: 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: Feb 02, 2001
Scientist: Joe Rao


For people in the Northern Hemisphere, it's a wonderful time to gaze at the Pleiades, the most visible cluster of stars in the sky.



Do you ever look up at the night sky and wish you could recognize something more than the big dipper or Orion? Well there's another group of stars that's pretty easy to identify. For thousands of years, this cluster of stars has been a special inspiration to people all the world over. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. The group of stars we're talking about has been nicknamed "the seven sisters", or the Pleiades.

"The Pleiades are a star cluster that is probably the most obvious of all clusters in the sky. "

Joe Rao is a lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium in New York.

"Actually, the cluster contains many hundreds of stars, but to the unaided eye, most people see six or seven teeny tiny little stars that are squashed together into a little tight spot in the sky. They’re so close, in fact, that at first glance, they look like a little tiny little cloud."

If you follow the line of the upward slant of Orion's belt, the Pleiades lie just North of that. These stars have captured human imagination throughout time. They certainly figure in Greek and Native American mythology. The ancient Arabs believed the constellation brought rain, and farmers in many cultures have timed their planting to the stars' position. The Pleiades have even influenced architecture, and city planning.

"Twenty-eight miles to the Northwest of Mexico City, is the pyramid of the sun, Teatijuacan, and the western side of this sun pyramid is oriented to the setting of the Pleiades. And in fact if you go to Teatijuacan, the local village nearby, the west-running streets of the city all point to that same spot on the western horizon, where the Pleiades vanish in the springtime during the late evening hours."

You might even be driving this constellation. The Japanese word for "Pleiades" is "Subaru." Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation.