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The Shaolin Way by Steve DeMasco
 - 10 modern secrets of a survival from a shaolin grandmaster

Another self help book, this one with a shaolin twist. It's basically the author's life as he has become a 'shaolin master' which is or was somewhat taboo since he's a westerner. And a claim which is made all the more poignant due to his difficult background growing up in a rough neighbourhood. It was an OK read but not as much an insight into the lives of the 'proper' grandmasters as I would have liked. Still, the appendix contains some dietary tips and the Shaolin Stances and Animal Forms.buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

The Search For Free Energy by Keith Tutt
 - A Scientific Tale Of Jealousy, Genius and Electricity

Fascinating accounts of people building devices that can create free energy. From ZPMs to magnets! Did you know that the Earth can be seen as a homo polar generator - just connect the pole and equator.buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

The Entity: Five Centuries of Secret Vatican Espionage by Eric Frattini

I found this book very interesting and not all that difficult to digest. Of particular interest was the changing times and the changing tactics by the Vatican but how they have persisted in their efforts to be the force behind the shaping of our world, how they shaped our history and how that has effected our future. All for the love of God?buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

The Mystery of the Crystal Sculls by Chris Morton and Ceri Louise Thomas
 - Unlocking the secrets of the past, present and future...

The opening chapter reads like the plot from the latest Indiana Jones movie, but once you get past that it's quite interesting. I'm enjoyed the information about crystals in general and how they are formed and used in modern technology. The research into the skulls began quite objectively and even scientifically but about half way through a stage was reached where the British Museum became involved, a collection of skulls were brought together and compared. However, the museum refused to reveal their findings and refused to give a reason. It is at this point that the authors strayed away from what might be seen as their sensible research and instead turned to individuals and groups who had other far-reaching ideas and beliefs, such as the skulls being brought here by aliens from another world. I'm all for conspiracy theories and love reading about them but in this case I came away feeling like there was no sensible concluding research, just a bunch of weirdos inflicting their views on the reader. The underlying ideas were that the crystal skulls are a vessel of information that will help the human race and the planet, but that we are not at a stage to be worthy of having access to it... and we need to develop ourselves... but the way I saw it was that if we develop so we are worthy, then we'll be at a place where we don't need the information contained within! Oh and, in accordance with the end of the Mayan Calendar, we have until December 2012.buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

How to Rescue a House by David Ireland
 - Turn an unloved property into your dream house

Great for if you are looking to buy a property that needs a bit of work or even if you have one already. It also has some useful advice about being green at the same time.

buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

Life Signs by Claire Petulengro
 - love, money, career, health and family - let the power of the stars guide you to success

This is a self-help book but with advice tailored to each star sign. Therefore it only took me a couple of days to read this book from cover-to-cover, digesting only the parts referring to me. If you don't believe in astrology then you're not going to pick up this book as this book isn't going to even acknowledge you.

buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

Afterlife Encounters by Dianne Arcangel
 - ordinary people, extraordinary experiences

While it's easy to think 'hoax' when you see a photograph or recording of a so-called encounter, what is not so easy to dispute are the stories published in this book along with results, the raw data, from the 'afterlife encounters survey'.

Personally I believe in life after death and while I've never seen a ghost I have had an afterlife encounter so I'm clearly not going to be a hardened skeptic. If I was a hardened skeptic I doubt this book would sway me but then that's not what I think this book is really about - it's for those looking for affirming that are loved ones can still be around us after they pass but not in a way that prevents us from moving on but actually the opposite, to help us move on and overcome the hurdles that block our path in life when grieving.

buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

Holy Terror by Terry Eagleton

There are far too many big words in this book... I'm spending more time with my head in the dictionary trying to decipher it. I would have preferred it to have been written in plain English, but other than that, once you knuckle down the author delivers some interesting points.

buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

Alien Liaison by Timothy Good
 - The Ultimate Secret

Notes:
p.86 "gears recovered from crashed alien craft had gears not of the mathematical (cycloid) design our gears use, but one using a strange 3-level digital form." Obtained from a letter to author from Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Bowker, USAF (Retd.), 22 November 1987. I wonder what is meant by the term "3-level digital form".

p.106 "US Government projects that had been established in order to study the alien question. These included Project Garnet, which had studied (and apparently resolved) all questions relating to the evolution of mankind; Project Sigma, an ongoing project, initiated in 1964 (presumably following the Holloman landing), dealing with alien communication; Project Snowbird, a continuing research effort into the development and implementation of alien spacecraft technology; and Project Aquarius, an overall project devoted to the accumulation of all available information about alien life-forms."

"...aliens have on various occasions manipulated DNA in terrestrial primates - and perhaps in other species as well. ...the time intervals for this DNA manipulation ...were 25,000, 15,000 and 2,500 years ago."

p.107 "...2,000 years ago aliens had created a being who was placed on Earth to teach mankind about love and non-violence."

There is also information about the time-bending propulsion systems of UFOs - click here.

Brian's Little Library

 

The Druids by Stuart Piggott
 - Ancient Peoples and Places

Firstly, the book seems to be more about the life of the 'Celts' without defining who they and the 'Druids' were - it's as if the terms are synonymous.

There are maps illustrating the world as occupied by the Celts:

P.37 - The Celtic World: The author talks about a time period around
200-500BC

The author states "the evidence shows us the Celts as a people originating (in archaeological terms) in Central and West Central Europe, and by the third century BC established from Iberia in the west to the Carpathians and the borders of the Ukraine in the east, with the Galatian colony as a still more easterly outpost. Southwards they reach to the Alps, and march with the civilizations of the classical world. Northwards they take in the British Isles, and find their northern boundary along the southern edge of the Teutonic, Slav and Finno-Ugrian peoples on a line roughly marked by the modern cities of Cologne, Kassel, Leipzig and Cracow... In terms of geographical regions, Celtic Europe was essentially the southern part of the deciduous temperate forest zone."

P.39 - The distribution of iron ingots (mostly around central Europe).

P. 41 - Distribution of iron fire-dogs and rod-and-ring cauldron chains (throughout Europe and into Britain but mostly restricted to the south-east - illustrating a north-westerly migration from Europe).

The following few pages talk about farming but jumps to a period thousands of years earlier: "The basic structure of such a farming economy [with cereal crops and livestock] had been in existence in prehistoric Europe for five thousand years in the south and east, and nearly four thousand in the north and west. The traction plough, rather than the primitive hoe or digging-stick, had been employed in Britain since the third, and in northern Europe from early in the second millennium BC, and roughly rectangular field-systems can be dated in Britain to the middle of the millennium and some may be earlier: by the last few centuries before the Roman Conquest they are recognizably widespread in southern England."

So while the maps of iron ingots and firedogs distributed by the Celts seem to illustrate a migratory direction leading from Central Europe to Britain, the last part of this paragraph paints a different picture - that of the use of the Traction plough being used thousands of years earlier and migrating south-east into the rest of Europe 500 years later. Were these the same people, the so called Celts, or another group of people who arrived on the west coasts of Britain from the far reaches of Scotland to Wales - reflected in the distribution of standing stones.

On page 45 the author describes battles between families, clans, tribes or coalitions (such as survived in the Scottish Highlands to the middle of the eighteenth century) as barbaric, but then the farming practices technologically advanced and the types of dwellings (the typical round-house - as opposed to the rectangular, single-roomed dwellings of the Mediterranean) skillfully constructed. To me these seem like two distinct types of people.

P.55: Woodlands:
"Sanctuaries in woodland clearings that might at most be ceremonial enclosures stuck the Greek and Roman writers as something unusual, as did the heavy forests themselves. It looks as if much of the awe are horror expressed at the dim barbarian groves may have been inspired by the contrast between a rural continental world in which uncleared woodland still dominated the landscape, and the urban pattern of life in what were by then the increasingly open coastlands of the Mediterranean... The forests went on to inspire awe in the townsmen of the Middle Ages-here the pagans lurked, and worse: wild and hairy men, pilosi and woodwoses; Hell was well known to be 'surrounded by very thick woods', as an eleventh century poem puts it, and Dante placed la dolorosa selva in his Inferno. It is not surprising if a Greek Roman citizen felt ill at ease in the Celtic jungle."

Map on page 70.

P.102: "...Tacitus in his Annals gives us, in a mood of very hard primitivism indeed, our only glimpse of British Druids, like howling Dervishes, ritually cursing the Roman troops by the Menai Straits."buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

Strange Beauty by George Johnson
 - Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in Twentieth Century Physics

I found this to be a fascinating book about the life of the physicist. I felt I really connected with the intriguing character and his idiosyncrasies. Some of the technical physics terms were hard to digest although they were described well and nicely intertwined with the whole past-to-present style providing not just a bibliography but also a kind of particle physics handbook.

Notes:
p.58-9 "Einstein, in his wonderfully strange theory of relativity, had overturned the most ingrained assumptions, showing that time and space do not provide a rigid and absolute frame-they appear to squeeze and stretch, conspiring to ensure that nothing can exceed the speed of light. And the faster a particle flew, the more massive it became, approaching infinity as it neared the speed of light. Indeed, that was why nothing could go any faster.

"...the new quantum theory, built on Max Planck's revolution that energy must come in packets. Light itself was now believed to be made of particles-the quanta that came to be called photons. Photons, by definition, are moving at the speed of light, so why isn't their mass infinite? They should not be able to move at all! ...though light was indeed packaged as photons (as Einstein himself had demonstrated with his photoelectric effect), it still traveled though space in the form of waves. Thus unlike electrons and other particles, photons were not subject to the Einsteinian speed limit.

"...it was not just light that had this dual nature-acting sometimes like a stream of particles, other times like a wave. An electron could take on wavelike qualities; a beam of these particles could be refracted and deffracted like a shaft of light... unlike an electron, a photon at rest has no mass. Since there was no heft to begin with, there is nothing to grow heavier as the particle accelerates." [authors italics]

p.60 "...these waves particle-waves-these wavicles, as some physicists called them-were not physical waves... [but] waves of probability, mathematical undulations expressing the likelihood of where an electron would be at a certain time."

p.117 "The jukebox drove Murray crazy. Once he went over and pulled the plug. It seemed to him that you should be able to feed it some coins and choose silence as an option, purchasing time to think."buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

How to Hear Your Angels by Doreen Virtue

For me this book can strike a fine light between gaining some spiritual enlightenment and laughable paranormal nonsense. It all depends if you believe we are surrounded by angels or not. It's basically a simple self-help handbook. However it would have hardly been worth sending it to print had the editors chosen a smaller yet still legible font, plus it does seem that the formatting could have had a bit more time spent on it.

Quotes:
p.138 "You're probably a "lightworker" or an "Indigo Child" - that is, someone who feels compelled to make the world a better place from a spiritual perspective. Lightworkers - and their younger counterparts, the Indigo Children - very often feel they're different or that they don't belong." A little more on these terms is mentioned at [this site] where it says "In various stages of their own awareness, many Wanderers have forgotten why they came here and feel isolated and saddened by the manner in which people treat one another." This can also be found in Jean-Claude Koven's "Going Deeper".

p.139 "Taking inventory of your current life: "The Fear: You're afraid of being unprepared to make changes if you see something you don't like about your life - that is, you want to remain in denial... The truth: Clairvoyance may increase your awareness of parts of your life that aren't working. It's true that taking inventory may increase your dissatisfaction in certain ways; however, assessing your relationships, career, health, or some other life area doesn't require you to make an immediate 180-degree turn and fix everything at once. Dissatisfaction is a powerful motivator toward taking steps to improve things."

p.140 "...you may be called upon to pray for peace, send out healing energy, anchor the Light in various places..." "...remember that you signed up for [such an assignment] prior to your incarnation..."buy from Amazon.co.uk

 
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