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McNeill was written over 50 years ago that changed historical analysis by challenging the leading theories of the day and influenced the study of global history ever since. McNeill divides his narrative in three parts: the beginnings of civilization in Mesopotamia to B. Throughout McNeill highlights the interplay between cultural, political, and economical factors of each civilization as well as how they interacted and influenced each other.

Because of the length of both of the book and time frame covered, McNeill did not go into a detail history instead focusing on trends and important historical moments that may or may not involve historical actors like Alexander or Genghis Khan. Yet information is outdated as new sources or archaeological evidence has changed our understanding of several civilizations over the last 50 years.

The Rise of the West takes a long time to read, however the information—though outdated in places—gives the reader a great overview of world history on every point of the globe. Moose Country by Sam Campbell is the sixth book so his Living Forest series, as the author details happenings around the Sanctuary of Wegimind as well as a return journey to Sanctuary Lake with numerous friends both longtime and new in learning about the ways of the moose in the Canadian lake country.

Beginning the winter of , Sam and Giny Campbell are taking time away from the lecture circuit and living in the town close to their home to allow Sam to focus on writing. Unfortunately the Campbells find their newly installed insulation being taken out by their island squirrels and their chimney inhabited by chimney swifts, which results in some uncomfortable living for weeks as they attempt to relocate the squirrels who keep on coming back to the island and not having a fire in the cold spring nights.

But the Campbells keep their spirits up as they plan to return to Sanctuary Lake, that they visited in A Tippy Canoe and Canada Too , by themselves and much to the disappoint of Hi-Bub. This book is just a page short of the previous installments page count at Though Campbell is philosophical, there is not much of it as in previous books. Games of State by Jeff Rovin My rating: 2. The demons of hate are reemerging in the newly united Germany and finding root in various countries around the world linked through the shadowy recesses of the Internet and fueled by a businessman looking both for profit and triumph of bigotry, yet Op-Center must find a way to prevent chaos from exploding around the world.

From Germany to the streets of the U. Gerard Dominique, a French billionaire financier and computer game mogul, is uniting hate groups throughout Europe and the United States to destabilize numerous countries and allow France to once again lead Europe. Part of his plan is to use hate filled video games downloaded onto the Internet and well time hate crimes in various locations to bring about political and societal chaos. Released in , Games of State brought together many political and cultural threads to create the backdrop of very riveting political thriller with action-packed sequences as well.

However well the set up and the ideas were, the use of formulaic tropes that are standard in one-hour TV dramas and paperbacks undermined the potential of a book.

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Rod explained that the layer of sandstone that contained the salt was formed underwater, so it was immersed in brine. Tectonic forces gradually lifted the rock layer out of the water, and when the river sliced through the rock, the trapped brine started leaking out of the cliff face. Salt seeps were important places to Indians and other early Canyon travelers. It was. The salt straws that had broken off were hollow and quite thin, so a casual tap could undo something that took many years to build.

We got back in the boat and Pedro pulled through a stretch of calm water.

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It was hot and still, and we were bored and punchy. Tania and Pedro and I made up a song. Our descent into Specter rapid 6 was a wake-up call.

The drops were hard, the waves were big, and the hole would have definitely taken us for a swim. We all made it through Specter, but we also stopped singing funny songs. A bigger, more complicated challenge was looming a mile downstream. Bedrock rapid 7 is located at a spot where the river bends to the right. The rock is perhaps feet long, and our guidebook advised that we avoid running the rapid on the far side of the rock. It told us to stay close to river right until we cleared the point of rocks and the river started to turn, then row hard to stay on the right side of the big projecting schist fin while not running into it.

Scouting Bedrock took forever, mostly because of Jim. He was attracted to rapids as an engineer would be to a complicated problem in fluid dynamics. Gazing at the water, he would go through every rock, wave, and eddy in sequence. He would try to add them all up, in hopes of finding an answer. Not all the boatmen required that much time. He might ask a question or two, and then he would listen and wait with the rest of us.

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Gary Painter was also a quick decider. He was definitely interested in getting out and taking a look before going through a big drop, and he would do what he could do, but he also knew that the river determines most of what happens in there. The rafts we were using were more like minivans. Gary and Jia were the delegation from Steamboat Springs, and they usually traveled in the same boat. It looked to me like they were having a lot of fun, even though it was their job to carry the ammo cans after we had filled them with our poop — and by day ten, this amounted to about pounds of smelly cargo.

But she kept smiling and having a good time. Nothing ever kept her from smiling. Gary is in his late 60s and retired from a career in fine carpentry. He exudes a laid-back coolness, and the younger crew Jia, Tim, Lukas, and Baer were drawn to him. He had a deep, horsey laugh and his mouth was usually set in a smile. I joked that Gary had some special quality, like a rock star, and one afternoon I suggested that he was the lead singer of a band I called the Anal Vectors see day two for an explanation of this term.

He dug that. He grabbed a paddle and struck a pose like James Brown at the microphone, while Jia and Tim posed like back-up singers. The long wait at Bedrock gave us a lot of time to explore another strange rock formation called the Dollhouse. This was a cluster of pink pegmatite perhaps twenty feet tall and fifty feet in circumference, with pinkish-white crystals that looked like fat marbling a hunk of raw beef.

Eons of high water had eroded circular chambers in it and made holes big enough to walk through. It was a naturally occurring three-room house. I found a shady nook near the entrance and crouched there, listening to the silence. When the scouting party finally returned, they had to pass through a rock gateway one by one. As they did, I took their pictures.

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We all got through Bedrock rapid without incident. We aimed for the near side and rowed like hell to keep from getting pushed up against the fin, just as the book advised, and it worked. Pedro gave me the oars when we got back to calm water and I rowed a mile to Deubendorf rapid 7 , where we had lunch and endured another long scout. Pedro then took the oars back and it was a good thing he did, because this one was especially rough.


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Low water meant that the only way through Deubendorf was on the left side, which featured several big holes, and we had no choice but to go through them. The drops were hard enough to lift us off of our seats, and the waves were destabilizing enough to tip the raft twenty or thirty degrees. When things tip more than forty-five degrees, you often swim. Deubendorf was the first time I saw Pedro get rattled. After it was over, we were all shot through with adrenaline, as if we had gotten through a close call in heavy traffic. We pulled in at Above Owl Eyes Camp around pm.

It was a large, flat, exposed beach with no shade to speak of, and the sun was unbearable. The Kirchner brothers, who have four engineering degrees between them, took a tarp and paddles and rigged up a sun shelter. The design was not simple and the erection was not without controversy. As the minutes ticked by, the non-laborers drank beers and became a fine peanut gallery. When the tarp was finally raised, everyone cheered. Then Jia broke out a set of bocci balls, and most of the crew went to a level sandy spot to play and drink some more.

The afternoon slipped away. Christie had injured her knee in Deubendorf, so she iced it down and took a nap.

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The scouting, the heat, and the tarp proved too much for Jim and Pete, who got into an argument and then retreated to separate corners. Around , I noticed that no one had started dinner. So I asked Jai, Tim, Nan, Gary, and Tania to step into the breach and they performed brilliantly, producing paella and a green salad.

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It was my favorite meal of the trip, but by the time Jia, Tim, and Baer put away the dishes, it was pitch dark outside. Every morning, about an hour before there was enough light to get up, something would wake me — maybe an early-rising bird, a breeze, or the first glow of dawn — and I would not know where I was. I was just ears and eyes.

I would hear running water and see stars in a deep desert sky, and a half-second later it would register that I was lying next to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Those were delicious moments.


  1. Ambiguous.
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  4. It was blessedly cool, and so quiet. I would sink back into a light sleep, and the rocks and the river would mix into my dreams.