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Viewing Blog: The Bone Diggers' Underground, Most Recent at Top
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A blog for explorers about the world we know and the unexplained, and of course, writing for kids.
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1. thebonediggers


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2. Of Mermaids and Mid-grades and BLACK HOLE SUN. Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

I'm posting a few tidbits from the wonderful blog, From the Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors (and I might as well post links to other people's blogs since I've had no time to devote to my own!). First, an exciting December release from the also wonderful Helene Boudreau. REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS! is out and on my holiday wish list.

There's also this great interview with editor Donna Bray of Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins. I particularly enjoyed reading about what she considers ‘essential ingredients’ in a mid-grade novel.

Finally, the School Library Journal is out with their Best of 2010 list. I was thrilled to see that one of my favorites, BLACK HOLE SUN by David Macinnis Gill (author of the deliciously fun SOUL ENCHILADA) made it, but was surprised to find Rick Riordan's THE RED PYRAMID. No offense to Riordan fans out there, but after Percy Jackson I didn't feel PYRAMID offered too much that was new and there were so many fantastic 2010 titles to choose from!

So what's on your reading wish list this year?

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3. The truth is out there, and the answer may be smart machines

Alien hunters told to search for artificial intelligence
(Silicon.com article by Nick Heath, 8/24/10)

Dr. John Elliott from the Seti Institute says we can't just scan for alien transmissions in areas of the universe deemed habitable, we must look for synthetic artificial intelligences (AIs). Why? AIs can live longer than biological lifeforms and in the most seemingly uninhabitable places.

"Look at ourselves: within a short space of time we are developing the potential for technology such as AI, which can think and reason on its own. I'm not talking about The Terminator, more 2001: A Space Odyssey," he told silicon.com.

Elliott said AIs could be present in the galaxy "anywhere where there was an energy supply and matter to replicate themselves".

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4. New Middle Grade Authors Blog

For those of you who love middle-grade fiction like I do, check out this new blog: http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/

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5. Work in progress gets fresh start this week

The Bone Diggers Cometh...again

I may have been elected mayor of Rejection City this week (Ol' Boris isn't fairing too well in Agent Land) but I have discovered new life in an old work in progress. Still not sure about the title, THE DROMEDA SQUARE, but I like the tag line I just put up.

A search for a lost treasure leads to an unimaginable truth.

Right now I'm working on Chapter Four titled, CRYOGENICS 101. Stay tuned!

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6. Shhhh, this blog is sleeping.

Its both frustrating and wonderful to have several writing projects to juggle. DROMEDA is really coming together, but I had to make the difficult decision to shelve it for awhile, along with this blog, to focus on my chapter book, BORISLAV AND THE WAYWARD STINK BOMB which is currently out on submission.

I promise I'll be back soon. In the meantime, join me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, or visit me over at Borislav's haunt.

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7. What was I thinking?

I've started a new blog for my new chapter book, BORISLAV THE TERRIBLE AND THE WAYWARD STINK BOMB. Not sure what I was thinking since I've found it so hard to keep up with this blog. Recently I've chosen to focus 100% of my writing energy on, well, writing! In the time since my last post, I completed BORISLAV, a humorous chapter book for upper elementary readers, and have made tremendous headway in reshaping what was once THE CIPHER OF ANU-K'AI into a new manuscript (currently) titled THE DROMEDA SQUARE.

I've also been thinking a lot about social networking and its pros and cons in the world of publishing. If you are one of my writing friends and are reading this, please check out the poll I've added to my sidebar (and feel free to leave additional thoughts in the comments of this post). I'd love your feedback. To the rest of my readers, thanks for checking in at the first sign of a pulse. I promise to breathe new life into this blog in the very near future.


H. Pinski

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8. Two mind-numbingly smart people calculate the number of parallel universes.

That's the answer. The number of all possible universes, and the number it equals is really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really big.

From PhysOrg.com: Over the past few decades, the idea that our universe could be one of many alternate universes within a giant multiverse has grown from a sci-fi fantasy into a legitimate theoretical possibility. Several theories of physics and astronomy have hypothesized the existence of a multiverse made of many parallel universes. One obvious question that arises, then, is exactly how many of these parallel universes might there be. In a new study, Stanford physicists Andrei Linde and Vitaly Vanchurin have calculated the number of all possible universes, coming up with an answer of 10^10^16. If that number sounds large, the scientists explain that it would have been even more humongous, except that we observers are limited in our ability to distinguish more universes; otherwise, there could be as many as 10^10^10^7 universes.

In other words, it's likely that the actual number is much bigger, but we literally can't wrap our human brains around it. I wonder what David Deutsch thinks about all this. I don't know about you, but I feel very tiny right now.

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9. Discovering Ardi: Darwin could only dream of finding this.

Check out Discovering 'Ardi' this Sunday, October 11, on the Discovery Channel at 9 pm eastern time!

The Hands: Made for Climbing
A digitally rendered composite hand of the "Ardi" partial skeleton. The hand structure suggests "Ardi" could climb trees, using lengthy fingers and big toes for grasping, but it could also walk on the ground in a two-legged manner.

From the Discovery News article:

Myth Busted: Humans Never Evolved From Chimpanzees

Although chimpanzees remain our closest living primate relatives, there is now no evidence that Homo sapiens somehow evolved from chimpanzee-like individuals, losing chimp characteristics over time. Instead, after the chimp/hominid split, the two groups appear to have gone their separate evolutionary ways, developing the unique traits seen in each today.

Will you watch? I'll be traveling, so if you do please post your comments. I'd love to hear what you think!

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10. Come on New York!!! Show us the GREEN!

From Huffington Post:

UPDATE 7:09pm: Despite plans to light the Empire State Building green tonight in honor of the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, the building is instead basked in red. It is currently unknown what caused the color change, but Iranian activists recently asked for the building to be lit green in support of their protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appearance at the UN, only to be denied. As a substitute, many protesters regarded tonight's green coloring as a show of support despite it not being done directly for them.

Check out the live Web Cam. Maybe NYC will have a change of heart tonight.

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11. My Blog is going GREEN today: Ahmadinejad to speak at the U.N.

My blog is going green again today, in support of the protesters descending upon New York City to voice their opposition to "President" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who will speak at the U.N. General Assembly later this afternoon. Here's the schedule from the Wall Street Journal. Did you notice who follows President Obama? Yup, Moammar Khadafy. It's going to be an interesting day in NYC.

If you're at any of the protests, please post news in the comments section!

1 Comments on My Blog is going GREEN today: Ahmadinejad to speak at the U.N., last added: 9/25/2009
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12. Mission Accomplished: New Images from Hubble

Thank you, Atlantis.

From ZDNet:

This image, taken by the new Wide Field Camera 3, shows the Butterfly Nebula (or Bug Nebula, cataloged as NGC 6302), at the center of which is a dying star that once had five times the mass of Earth's sun.
This view of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 6217, located 6 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major.

Can you count all the stars here? NASA says there are 100,000, all squeezed (relatively speaking) into a small portion of the Omega Centauri star cluster. The yellow-white dots are adult stars powered by hydrogen fusion, the orange ones are late-life stars, and the red giants, which are shedding their gaseous envelopes, are older still.

NASA describes Eta Carinae as having a "volatile temperament," and as a doomed star.

For more on Hubble, visit Hubble.org

1 Comments on Mission Accomplished: New Images from Hubble, last added: 10/2/2009
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13. The Underworld of Giza

British explorer Andrew Collins says he has found a mysterious underworld beneath the Pyramids of Giza. The vast tunnel system, according to Collins, is tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years old and virtually unexplored. He describes the environment as highly dangerous, an entire ecosystem of bat colonies, venomous spiders not to mention treacherous pits, so it remains to be seen just how much Collins was able to report on in his forthcoming, BENEATH THE PYRAMIDS. But the book, due out in September, is already causing a stir amongst archaeologists.

As reported in the Discovery News article, Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, was quick to dismiss the find. "There are no new discoveries to be made at Giza,” said Hawass. “We know everything about the plateau.”

Never mind then. Since Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities already knows everything, case closed, right?

Image from Discovery News: An explorer is photographed inside tunnels that were allegedly found beneath the Pyramids of Giza. Strictly copyright Andrew Collins, 2009.

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14. UK releases more UFO files. CNN headlines Lemonheads and Jazz lovin' ETs

This is interesting. The UK's Ministry of Defense released more secret UFO documents today, but it isn't the information contained within these so called British "X-Files" that I find as interesting as how CNN characterized it.

If you read the CNN.com article, you're left with little else but lemonheads and jazz lovin' ETs. Don't get me wrong, the British press had there fun dragging poor Agents Mulder and Scully into the fray, but at least they took the time to report on the more compelling evidence. See the Daily Mail for a good breakdown.

Perhaps the reason I find this so interesting, is that I've just been reading how Robert Temple was persecuted by government agencies around the world, the worst of which came from the CIA and NASA.

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15. Going into the Plotting Cave: Will be back soon.

Book Two in the Bone Diggers' series is calling so I'm off to the Plotting Cave and taking a short break from the blog. What am I bringing into the Cave with me? THE SIRIUS MYSTERY by Robert Temple and ARK FEVER by Robert Cornuke. Love this part!

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16. No. Way. Aliens spotted inside the Mayan Crop Circle?

Remember my last post about this beauty?

Guess what?...http://ufoweek.com/2009/07/aliens-seen-in-crop-circle-near-silbury-hill/

This is getting fun. If anyone finds any more info on this, please post links in the comment section!

1 Comments on No. Way. Aliens spotted inside the Mayan Crop Circle?, last added: 8/3/2009
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17. Something's in the air...

This past weekend we celebrated the Fourth of July in the United States. Like so many others on Saturday, my family and I were on the beach watching fireworks when my mother pointed out three orange glowing orbs in the sky. I watched them intently for several minutes as they hovered and quickly dismissed them. We had seen similar Chinese lanterns last year.

But something else has been happening. My stat counter over the past few days has been off the charts, and every visitor to this blog has come searching for two things, Puma Punku, and Ancient Aliens.

And then I saw this...they all describe yellow/orange orbs in the same direction we saw ours on July 4th.

July 4th UFO comments chime in from 14 states

And then...this crop circle was reported on July 5. Crop Circle activity in general has been very high recently.

The Mayan Motif Returns to Silbury Hill

Have no idea what it all is or what it mean, but I can tell you with absolute certainty, there is something in the air.

Images John Montgomery/Steve Alexander Copyright 2009

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18. George Washington was our Luke Skywalker

So I'm hanging out with my little guy who is obsessed with Star Wars, trying to explain Independence Day to him, when I realized that George Washington was Luke Skywalker...fighting for freedom from the control of an Empire, the odds stacked against him, armed with little else than deeply held convictions about what is good and just in this world.

Independence day quote

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” George Wasgington

Two great Independence Day reads:

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19. One step from Twitterville...

I finally got a Facebook account (took me long enough, right?). I haven't started friending yet, not until I get my bearings over there, but if you happen to be visiting my blog and are also on Facebook, please do whatever it is you need to do which I still have not quite figured out so I can meet you! And that really is me, my full name is Hilary Sierpinski.

I'm one step away from Twitterville, aren't I?

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20. Book Expo America on Twitter

If like me, you are wishing you were in NYC for Book Expo America, here's the twitter link, http://twitter.com/BookExpoAmerica. They're not tweeting much, but it's better than nothing!

I think Twitter is a growing force in publishing, as everyone who is anyone in the business explores new media outlets. I also think it's only a matter of time before I'm tweeting myself. I'll go kicking and screaming, but I can see it happening in the near future.

How about you? Are you a writer? Do you tweet?

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21. Holy Time-drain Batman!

See that? It's my day going right down the Facebook drain. And I've barely begun over at Library Thing and Jaket Flap. Just thinking about Twitter makes me shake...

What I did not do today was work on my synopsis for TREASURE. No synopsis means four query packets remain in a holding pattern on my desk and we all know you can't get an agent unless you query the agent first. So my question is this...the publishing industry is one that values this kind of connectivity, but is the value of blogging, Facebooking, Myspacing, Jacket Flapping and (eee gads) Twittering worth the time we loose doing actual writing?

What do you think?

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22. Dry rub or marinade? Prehistoric BBQ Pit Discovered.

Imagine trying to pit roast that? Turns out prehistoric humans knew how to "super size" their meals. At a site called Pavlov VI in the Czech Republic, archaeologists have uncovered a kitchen dating to 29,000 B.C. where Woolly Mammoths were roasted "luau-style underground."

From the Discovery News article written by Jennifer Viegas:

It's unclear if seafood was added to create a surf-and-turf meal, but multiple decorated shells were unearthed. Many showed signs of cut marks, along with red and black coloration. The scientists additionally found numerous stone tools, such as spatulas, blades and saws, which they suggest were good for carving mammoths.

Click here for the prehistoric bbq slide show and here for the full story at Discovery News.

Photo: Woolly mammoth replica in a museum exhibit in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Jonathan Blair/Corbis

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23. Puma Punku: The Door of the Cougar

Of all the compelling images in the History Channel’s special Ancient Aliens, the ones that haunt me most are of Puma Punku, a temple complex located in Tiwanaku, Bolivia, 13,000 feet up on a barren plateau in the Andes. Puma Punku means, “The Door of the Cougar.” It rose 56 feet, swallowed an area of 164 feet squared, and was constructed of monoliths weighing anywhere from 200 to 450 tons. Constructed 17,000 years ago by an ancient culture with no access to lumber and before the invention of the wheel

Even more remarkable, the granite used to build Puma Punku is impossibly hard, and yet somehow straight channels measuring only 1 cm deep were carved—perfectly proportioned from start to finish—amongst equi-distant holes drilled into the hardest granite found on earth using ancient tools. The monoliths themselves were cut with such precision that when stacked, they fit together like a puzzle—a remarkable feet of engineering even by today’s standards.

Archaeologists remain mystified as to how Puma Punku was built. Paleocontact theorists, however, have a few ideas of their own..

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24. The Facebook/Twitter Revolution

UPDATE: Live-blogging the Uprising on Huffington Post.

The Facebook/Twitter Revolution. That's what it is being called. What John Adams would have thought of this!

"The Revolution," Mr. Adams once said, "was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution." John Adams, second President of the United States.

My thoughts today are with a small band of rebels, the Loyal Nine as they were first called. It was a movement that spread like fire throughout the thirteen original colonies. They are the reason for the flag pole you see on every town green, and the primary catalyst for a Revolution that would be heard and felt around the world. I am speaking of course of the Sons of Liberty. It is hard not to think of them when looking at the images coming out of Iran this week. And to think of how many people in this country don't vote if the weather is bad on election day. *Sigh.*

My thoughts today are with those acting as the brave voice of change in Iran.

Photo #1: Protesters questioning the validity of the recent Iranian election. (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo #2: Fires burn in Tehran, Iran in the early hours of Monday, June 15, 2009. (AP Photo)

Photo #3: A supporter of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi shouts slogans during riots in Tehran on June 13, 2009. (OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty Images)

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25. Green Balloons for the Iran!

The latest: Iranian cleric calls for the execution of "rioters," Mousavi vows to continue fight, satellites confiscated in Iran, Internet connections at a crawl in Tehran…

From Huffpost Iranian Uprising Live Blog: 8:36 AM ET -- Green balloons. The Mousavi camp called for people worldwide to release green balloons today in a show of support, but green trash bags work too if you're in a bind.

Or, you can help Iranians and the environment by sending up virtual balloons instead! News of Michael Jackson's death is flooding twitter, making it difficult for the opposition to organize. If you blog or tweet, please take some time today to help keep the voice of the opposition strong.

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