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Book Reviews

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Elaine Nielson

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Gary A. Kozak

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UFOs are real.

With no prevarication or qualification of terms,

there are physical objects of unknown origin that do transit our universe.

It begins with a village.

To an outsider, the village seems fixed. timeless,

devoid of motion or change, isolated from the larger world.

We consign it to nature.

To those who might glance at its jumble of low buildings from a passing vehicle,

the village seems a tranquil place of ordered, subtle beauty.

Welcome to the Age of Humans,

a new chapter of Earth's history

whose name has already entered the lexicon

of mainstream science.

The earth is full.

In fact our human society and economy is now so large

we have passed the limits of our planet's capacity to support us and it is overflowing.

Our current model of economic growth is driving this system,

the one we rely upon for our present and future prosperity, over the cliff.

This in itself presents a major problem.

It becomes a much larger challenge

when we consider that billions of people are living desperate lives

in appalling poverty and need their personal "economy"

to rapidly grow to alleviate their suffering.

But there is no room left.

The images were stark:

a foreboding gray sky overhead,

a turbulent river churning by in the background,

and throngs of people

-- men and women --

racing against time to save their town.

Today it's possible for people in almost half the countries of the world to say,

"We're democrats now."

This does not mean that democracy can be taken for granted, that history is over,

or that different people mean the same things when they say these words.

After nearly two thousand years of existence,

the Papacy is the oldest continuing absolute monarchy in the world.

In order to move forward,

we need to understand the past.

History doesn't really have a plot,

and even the patterns that we imagine we see

depend mainly upon our own standpoint.

As disasterous as the squandering of America's money has been,

the squandering of its human capital has been worse.

He worked out how old the tree had been,

how many years of rain and sunlight had nurtured it,

and how and when it had been logged.

The seeds of the financial disaster were sown more than thirty years ago

when three smart, ambitious men, working sometimes in concert

--allies in a cause they all believed in--and sometimes in opposition--

competitors trying to gain advantage over each other

--created a shiny new financial vehicle called the mortgage-backed security.

The first time Nakajima stayed over,

I dreamed of my dead mom.

Maybe it was having him in the room that did it,

after having been alone so long.

I touched down in Afghanistan for the first time

on a raw winter morning in 2005 after two days of travel

that took me from Boston to Dubai via London.

As if all objects existed in blueprint;

in different stages of design or repair.

The internet will be in your contact lenses.

You're not going to see me giving my opinions in the public arena,

until I start selling my book.

I'm going to emerge then submerge.

I think computer viruses should count as life.

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