Pulse Picks

Pulse Picks

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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Welcome to Pulse Picks, where you can find more in-depth content on some of your favorite subjects.  Based on a listener survey and an analysis of the past year's searches on the Pulse of the Planet web site, we found that you've been asking for a variety of topics; some we would have expected, and some surprised us!

Gulf Oil Spill
Oil Spill

What should and shouldn't we be doing to clean up the mess? What lessons have we still not learned? Stories from the past and present provide clues. ...more

The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
It takes about a month, starting in a sultry, almost rain forest environment, ascending through terraced farmland and on past the timberline up to Thorung La, a mountain pass, and then on down to the lowlands again. ...more

Singing Up the SunSinging Up the Sun: Cherry Festival, Karánou, Crete
Although the legacy of its distant past is a powerful drawing card, the real magic of Crete is in its vibrant culture – as is evidenced by a visit to a cherry harvest celebration held in the northwestern region of the island. ...more

Unraveling Silk
Unraveling Silk: Primordial Magic, Bursa, Turkey
It was one of the cities on the Silk Road, the fabled route which brought the finest cloth in the world from the East to West. ...more

Celebrating December
When the Sun Stands Still: Celebrating December
This month, we offer some sound memories of global holidays past, which coincide with the start of the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. ...more

Offering Thanks: Japan, Thailand, and the United States
Offering Thanks: Japan, Thailand, and the United States
This month we look at a few celebrations around the world, all of which occur in November. ...more

The Pantanal: Earthly Paradise
The Pantanal: Earthly Paradise
"Welcome to Paradise!"  A pair of binoculars dangling from his neck, ornithologist Reggie Donatelli stands on the lawn of the Fazenda Rio Negro and invites me to survey the surroundings. ...more


Cajun Mardi Gras: “Tickling Society”
Cajun Mardi Gras: "Tickling Society"
It's 5 a.m., too early in the morning to think about revelry, and yet here are dozens of people gathering at a ranch just outside of Elton, Louisiana. ...more

Casa de la Trova
Casa de la Trova: Cuba's Down-home Music Salon
In 2001, photographer Phil Metzidakis and I traveled to Santiago de Cuba in eastern Cuba. It was part of an exchange program that allowed Americans to learn some of the dynamics and intricacies of Cuban music and dance.. ...more

City Out of Time: Fez, Morocco
City Out of Time: Fez, Morocco
Walk through the Bab Bou Jeloud, the Blue Gate, and wander through the streets and narrow passageways of Fez el Bali (Old Fez), and it’s not hard to imagine you’ve gone back in time. ...more

African Ceremonies
African Ceremonies: Niger, Senegal and Ethiopia
Photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have traveled to nearly every corner of Africa over the last 30 years, witnessing tribal ceremonies rarely seen by outsiders. ...more

African Ceremonies
Australian Cloud Forest
Rare birds and frogs, a cool evening breeze, stinging trees, leeches. It’s all in a day’s work for climate researchers in a cloud forest. ...more

A Few of Your Favorite Things
Based on our survey and the past year’s searches on the Pulse website, you’re interested in holidays and festivals like Los Posadas, and the food and drink that we consume during these times. You’re interested in the remote places that most of us simply can’t visit, like the Gobi Desert. You asked for more information about animals, especially birds and large predators, like lions and tigers and bears. Surprisingly to us, many of you asked about artificial voice simulators. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of interest in global warming. You asked about the Iroquois, and other indigenous people, as well as about dinosaurs, naked mole rats, cicadas, penguins, Nile Perch, moon rings, swarming bees, and many other topics. To give us more input for future topics, go to the Feedback Loop on the Science Diaries page and let us know what you’d like to hear more about.