6. The atlatl is an actual, legitimate, weapon – sort of.

10. The South Pole – no longer inaccessible.

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9. Heroes don’t have to sleep with everyone who comes along.
8. North Korea is looking for respect and power on the world’s biggest stages.
7. Is there really an ocean of oil under the South Pole?
6. The atlatl is an actual, legitimate, weapon – sort of.
5. The division of Antarctica between so many nations is a volatile situation.
4. Unmanned military airplanes will continue to evolve.
3. Nanotechnology will change warfare in the near future.
2. The Switchblade may be the next generation of military aircraft.

 

And the Number 1 futuristic story line from “South Pole Vendetta”:
1. Where’s the evidence for global warming?

 

Tell the truth, “Do you even know how to pronounce ‘atlatl’?” I didn’t, when I began doing research for “South Pole Vendetta”.

 

Let’s try another question:

 

What weapon preceded the bow and arrow?

 

“It consists of a shaft with a cup or a spur at the end that supports and propels the butt of the dart. The atlatl is held in one hand, gripped near the end farthest from the cup. The dart is thrown by the action of the upper arm and wrist. The throwing arm together with the atlatl acts as a lever. The atlatl is a low-mass, fast-moving extension of the throwing arm, increasing the length of the lever. This extra length allows the thrower to impart force to the dart over a longer distance, thus imparting more energy and ultimately higher speeds.[2]

 

“Common ball throwers (molded plastic shafts used for throwing tennis balls for dogs to fetch) use the same principle.

 

“A traditional atlatl is a long-range weapon and can readily impart to a projectile speeds of over 150 km/h (93 mph).[3]”

 

This concept, and brand-new idea for me, quickly caught my interest. While everyone is aware of the bow and arrow, I had never thought about what came before that. The notion was too delicious to disregard.

 

So what kind of history do they have?

 

For one thing they’re found – everywhere.

 

“The earliest secure data concerning atlatls has come from several caves in France dating to the Upper Paleolithic, about 21,000 to 17,000 years ago. The very earliest atlatl shaft found to date is a simple antler hook dated to the Solutrean period (about 17,500 years ago), recovered from the site of Combe Sauniere. (I don’t think there’s any reason to believe they have to be that old. That date comes from a very evolutionary way of looking at history.)

 

“It seems to have been introduced to America during the immigration across the Bering Land Bridge, and despite the later introduction of the bow and arrow, atlatl use was widespread at the time of first European contact. Complete wooden spearthrowers have been found on dry sites in the western USA, and in waterlogged environments in Florida and Washington.

 

“The people of New Guinea and Australian Aborigines also use spearthrowers.

 

“Australian Aboriginal spearthrowers are known as woomeras.

 

“As well as its practical use as a hunting weapon, it may also have had social effects. John Whittaker, an anthropologist at Grinnell College, Iowa, suggests the device was a social equaliser in that it requires skill rather than muscle power alone. Thus women and children would have been able to participate in hunting,[3] although in recent Australian Aboriginal societies spearthrowers are in fact restricted by custom to male use.

 

“Whittaker said the stone-tipped projectiles from the Aztec atlatl were not powerful enough to penetrate Spanish steel plate armor, but they were strong enough to penetrate the chain mail, leather and cotton armor that most Spanish soldiers wore.[5] Whittaker said the Aztecs started their battles with atlatl darts followed with melee combat using the macuahuitl.[5]”
—This quote comes from Wikipedia.com

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So, it was fascinating to actually run into the weapon on television just recently. To see “Atlatl Bob” live on the television screen after reading about him for so long, as “Weapon Masters” explored the weapon, was nearly etherial.
So, what do you think, ready to go back to the spearthrower of our ancestors?

Is there really an ocean of oil under the South Pole?

And is there any way North Korea would be interested in exploiting it in the near future?

Remember our top 10 futuristic story-lines from “South Pole Vendetta”?

10. The South Pole – no longer inaccessible
9. Heroes don’t have to sleep with everyone who comes along.
8. North Korea is looking for respect and power on the world’s biggest stages.

7. Is there really an ocean of oil under the South Pole?
6. The atlatl is an actual, legitimate, weapon – sort of.
5. The division of Antarctica between so many nations is a volatile situation.
4. Unmanned military airplanes will continue to evolve.
3. Nanotechnology will change warfare in the near future.
2. The Switchblade may be the next generation of military aircraft.

And the Number 1 futuristic story line from “South Pole Vendetta”:
1. Where’s the evidence for global warming?

Let’s consider some different aspects of this seventh question:

Got any idea how many barrels of oil the US consumes every day? The CIA World Factbook says somewhere around twenty million.

How about North Korea? Same source – 13,000 and falling.

So, do you think North Korea, the antagonist in “South Pole Vendetta”, might be interested in any new sources of oil?

The idea of a huge reserve of oil under the ice at the South Pole is an interesting one. There are those that believe that there may be a huge deposit there, there’s just a couple of problems: 1. The treaty prohibiting exploration of resources there, and 2. How in the world does one work with the stuff if it is there? It’s a million degrees below survivable!

CoolAntarctica.com says this:

“It is believed that oil and natural gas are to be found in large quantities in Antarctica’s continental shelf though these are not currently being exploited.

“Antarctica poses a number of serious logistical problems to any would-be mining or prospecting activities;

*”The most extreme cold on the planet.

*”A very thick ice sheet.

*”Isolation from any town, city or industrial development.

*”Having to cross the roughest seas on the planet to get any cargo back to the industrialized world.

*”Gigantic icebergs like multi-million ton ploughs that threaten shipping, platforms and pipelines.

*”The annual “icing-in” of the continent when the area around the coasts freeze so that only the most powerful (and expensive) ice breakers can get through.

“Oil and gas from the continental shelf are the most likely resources that may be exploited, but this is still a good distance in the future. The shelf areas are not covered by the Antarctic Treaty unlike the continental zones and therefore are not subject to the same protection.”

The Istanbul Gazette goes on to say:
“On the other side of the world, meaning the South Pole, a vast white continent with a surface area of 14,000,000 km2 – possibly containing a wealth of hitherto undiscovered mineral resources and a limitless reservoir of clean water – awaits the year 2048. People first started considering the possibility of exploiting Antarctica’s mineral resources in the 1980s. At the time these speculations led to the signature of the Wellington Convention on 2 June 1988. This agreement aimed at creating a strict framework to regulate mineral resource exploitation in the Antarctic. France’s Mitterrand boycotted the convention and subsequently, Australia, Belgium, and Italy followed suit. These rejections led to the 11th Antarctic Treaty Special Consultative Meeting sessions in the course of 1990 and 1991. Finally, on 4 October 1991 the Consultative Parties ratified and accepted the agreement, which basically cut short any form of mineral exploration on the uninhabited South Pole.” – Istanbul Gazette

It makes for an interesting question:

Is there a chance that some nation (wink) could decide to pursue that resource?

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Help with a rewrite

I could really use your help.

In working on a second book in the “Judges of Israel” series, I am using a much stronger romance theme. That’s been one challenge. But my wife, a great proofreader and editor, made the comment that she struggles with following “who’s who” throughout the story.

I’m interested in getting some critique and feedback.

Would you be willing to help? I’ll post the story by chapters and partial chapters (approx. 1500 to 2000 words each). Any feedback would be appreciated.

Blessings

“For Such a Time” 21084 words

Chapter One

“Are you completely out of your mind?” Kirieth is up to his old tricks again.

I’m not even sure what he’s doing here. As judge of Israel, I’m supposed to be the voice of the nation of Israel, but this man is trying his best to take my place – and he’s doing it without any real authority.

While I have been given the position of prophetess and judge by Jehovah Himself, Kirieth has simply assumed the position of advisor to Barak, the military commander, by simple friendship. Worst of all is the fact that Kirieth seems to have no respect for my authority. If this is allowed to continue, my position could be affected to the point of making it completely ineffective.

Why Barak has such faith in this worthless man is beyond anything I can understand. He is far too smart to be taken in by this charlatan. Time after time Kirieth has shown himself to be without scruples. On one hand he tells Barak anything he wants to hear, and on the other gives advice that benefits Kirieth alone. Yet, despite all that, Barak seems totally enamored.

As I consider that fact I am forced to admit to myself that Kirieth is quite capable of convincing people of all manner of amazing things. The ability this man possesses to convince people that he is something other than he actually is never leaves my mind. As much as I would like to blame Barak for his indiscreet actions in trusting the man, any blame I find would be shoved right back in my face.

“Barak,” I decide to continue the message I have been told to share, rather than get immeshed in this vocal battle, “Jehovah has told me that we are to attack at this time. Hiding on this mountain is not how He will bring deliverance. The issue of numbers is of no consequence.”

“No consequence!” Kirieth springs to his feet as sweat trickles down his chiseled cheeks. “No consequence? We have ten thousand warriors. Sisera has nine hundred iron chariots alone. If we leave the mountain we give up the ONLY advantage we have.”

“Yes,” I shouldn’t respond – but I can’t help myself, “and they have thousands upon thousands more soldiers than we have as well. We cannot possibly win.” Sarcasm is often effective in this type of situation.

“And yet you say the numbers are of no consequence…” Kirieth obviously isn’t interested in hearing anything I have to say.

“Jehovah wonders where our trust is,” I respond again.

“Don’t give me that religious…”

“Kirieth, if you are wise you won’t say another word.” Barak speaks for the first time. “You are on thin ice. We are here because Deborah heard Jehovah say we were to come. If she tells us that He is giving us the command to leave the mountain, we leave the mountain.”

“I don’t know why I even give my opinion,” Kirieth can’t seem to keep his mouth shut. “You always take her advice anyhow. The advice of a woman.”

“I don’t remember asking for your opinion.”

I have to turn away to hide the smile on my face. To watch the reaction of Kirieth is a study in emotional dichotomies because Barak didn’t say things like this to him, and the resulting expressions range from surprise, to shock, to anger, and back to shock like the waves moving on the sea off to our east.

Without another word he leaves the tent – and I wonder if that isn’t even more dangerous. I remind myself again that I have an unexpected, but very genuine, enemy that I need to keep a constant eye out for; but that has been the case for many years now.

“Deborah,” my focus is forced back to the matter at hand, “is there anything in particular that we are to do as we leave the mountain?”

Addressing that question to me as prophetess is a legitimate thing to do even if I would rather not be asked to answer. The fact that I have also been appointed judge simply complicates things. And, finally, the fact that I had called Barak to raise the army of men from his tribe and the nearby one of Ephraim muddies the waters yet further. Ten thousand warriors against the horde of deadly assassins in the valley below makes little sense. I can respond in a number of ways, and must choose my words with care. The message I heard while meditating told me that we were to attack the Canaanite forces, but hadn’t given me anything about how that was to be done.

“No, Barak. I was simply told that we were to leave the mountain – and that we would be victorious.”

“Nothing more?”

I can understand his feelings, they’re similar to my own; but I can’t tell him what I haven’t been told myself. It isn’t like the commands of Jehovah come with little signs explaining why He is making those demands. “I’m sorry…”

“You know I trust you…” He glances at me out of the corner of one eye, and that look makes me wonder if the phrase is more of a question or a statement. “We’ll leave at first light.”

As I wander out of Barak’s tent and move toward my own shortly after that, my mind is filled with questions, and I try to set them aside to enjoy the evening. The top of Mount Tabor has always been one of my favorites, so I’m in no hurry to leave it behind. Even as a young girl I would come up here with my father. The Sea of Galilee sparkling like a diamond off to the east is heady; in the moonlight it mesmerizes me with its similarity to the beautiful ring of my mother’s dowry. The “wedding diamond” – gathering every bit of available light to reflect its love to anyone who cared to notice – held nothing to the beauty of the waters reflecting the light of the sunset.

The wind blows my hair in embracing ripples around my head as it rushes from its home in the northern mountains toward its destiny with the heat of the Dead Sea to the south. There are enough wildflowers in the area to give the breeze a pleasant scent that rivals any perfume. The night would be intoxicating, if not for the looming battle.

Even as I drink in the cool, gentle air I wonder, Is it preparing to storm? I can’t tell in the darkness, but one must always consider it in this location. The ability of this area to spawn storms on the moment is legendary. Thinking of the ways in which Jehovah has used storms in our nation’s history I wonder if that might be the answer for what is to happen this time. I struggle to catch sight of any small cloud in the northern hills, but simply find myself marveling at the full view in any direction.

I imagine the Canaanites preparing to light the fires for their evening meal. I shiver knowing that we will soon be able to see those tiny flames from Hades reaching out to destroy us.

The peace of the moment is instantly gone as the thought of the coming storm floods my mind. I suck in my breath attempting to rid myself of the terrible thoughts that come with the image, but the attempt is only marginally productive. Why would Jehovah ask us to leave this place of natural advantage? I quickly remind myself that He is in control, and has asked this type of thing on numerous occasions in our history. Why should we expect anything different?

The images of attacking forces are replaced by memories of childhood as I try to embrace one last pleasant thought before bed and the conflict that will commence when I awaken. My eyes close for just a moment, and the memories come flooding back as if it were yesterday.

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ULTRA PURE WHITE WRITING

My attempt at a “humorous” post.

You’ll probably understand why I leave the humor in the hands of the masters such as Rob Akers, at robakers/wordpress.com, or Joe Schwartz, author of “The Crossover Test”. So, here goes nothing:

I just looked at a gallon of “Ultra Pure White” paint from Behr, does that disturb anyone but me?

While the idea of a paint being “white” would seem straight forward, I have dealt with enough different colors of so-calledwhite to realize that there may be a need to call it “pure” white.

But what about the idea of something being “ultra” pure?

If something is pure, it doesn’t need to be called “ultra”, does it?

Have we truly arrived at a place in our society where there can be a “purer” pure, a “whiter” white, or an eternity plus one, for that matter?

It probably doesn’t matter to anyone but me, but I get disturbed by that type of language. Redundant language seems self-defeating and unnecessary, but it’s big in fiction writing.

Think of some other things that could be talked about this way:
A very dark blackness – or a very black darkness
A wet, drenching rain

Alright, so you get the idea, what does it have to do with writing?

It seems to me that “descriptive writing” often falls under the idea of “ultra pure white”. Doesn’t it seem as though “good” writing often falls under this idea of being flowery and just a little bit “over the top”?

Anyhow, I struggle with being “realistic” and “descriptive” without being “ultra pure white”. How about you?

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Yeah, I’m wondering how long the “perfect” blog would be.

Comments for a newbie? Let me know.

God Quotes

Such truth, such love!

A disciple's study

by Max Lucado – from various sources

“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning… Face it, friend. He is crazy about you! ”

“Nature is God’s first missionary. Where there is no Bible there are sparkling stars. Where there are not preachers there are spring times…  If a person has nothing but nature, then nature is enough to reveal something about God.”

“He loves each one of us like there is only one of us to love”

“God rewards those who seek Him. Not those who seek doctrine of religion or systems or creeds. Many settle for these lesser passions, but the reward goes to those who settle for nothing less than Jesus himself. And what is the reward? What awaits those who seek…

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