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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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To Disperse or Not: 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: Jul 07, 2010
Scientist: Terry Hazen

To Disperse or Not

To Disperse or Not
Treating an oil spill with dispersants and detergents may be more damaging than the spill itself.

JM: In the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we're left wondering which detergents and dispersants have been most effective in the cleanup effort. Well, the answer may be none at all. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Terry Hazen is a microbiologist and head of the Ecology Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

TH: "So we've seen some dramatic effects from some other major oil spills. In the areas where they didn't do anything it was recovered after 5 years, but the areas where they used detergents, 20 and 30 years later, it still had not recovered because of the toxic effects of the detergents."

JM: But faced with the largest oil spill in history, if chemical dispersants aren't the answer, then what might be the better course of action?

TH "So, the best thing to do would be to get up all the undiluted material that you can possibly get up, and you can do that by boom containment, by sorbents of different types, and by skimming. So, anything like that, that will get up the oil, soak it up, and then, basically, we can remove it and either treat it somewhere else or use it as fuel. So, get up as much of that undiluted material as you can, and then, give serious consideration to not doing anything further."

JM: Oil-eating bacteria and nutrients naturally present in the ocean may be our best ally in cleaning up oil spills. And because these microorganisms are native to the ocean, Hazen cautions against adding more of them, which throws off the natural balance, and may cause further damage to the environment.

You can hear our complete interview with Terry Hazen at pulseplanet.com.

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