All About Cruising: Guide for First Time Cruisers

Bentham's Panopticon is the architectural figure of this composition. . is both a counter-city and the perfect society; it imposes an ideal functioning, . 2. The swarming of disciplinary mechanisms. While, on the one hand, the.

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Hard to tell when they send a representative named Nancy to deal with humanity and all we can find out is that there was supposed to be a twelfth planet ripping away our crusts back in You can find - or perhaps just hunt for - the details you want at ZetaTalk. Make sure your Third Density is up to snuff if you want to claim a place after everything goes to pot. If you're looking for a source on the big lizards, you may be disappointed.

They take their time getting around to telling you what it is they do offer, which includes information on the dogs Russia sent into space and collections from L. They mention more than they show, so some of it is obviously intended to lure you into the brick and mortar building itself. And who wouldn't be enticed by cryptic mentions of Noah's Ark? In fact, there are in-jokes within the in-jokes if you're in the market for vehicular upgrades.

The search engine can help you find a flux capacitor, a Mr. Fusion home energy reactor, and the versatile hover conversion. It's not that it's a compelling read, it's that the book is bound in human skin. The titanic battle continues at Left-or-Right. No, not that titanic battle. We're talking about the important issues of the day. Make your voice heard: Coffee or tea? George or Kramer? Condoleeza or rice? You will decide. Tried to add or subtract, or maybe do taxes, but came up with a surprising and probably incorrect result?

How this is possible is the subject of their extensive website. Oh, there's some stuff about Freemasonry and the Lost Tribes of Israel in there, too or so they claim - it would be hard to imagine these several dozen pages were all about the inbreeding of European royalty , but we know it's all related in the end, right?

Alienshift takes you deep inside the illuminated mind, but it doesn't stop there.

See a Problem?

When you pop out the other end you'll find Majestic and the shadow government that created it; John Titor's travels through time; and Hopi prophecy springing eternal. It's a dizzying array with a large block of links, but at least it spares us the usual broad wash of random text and graphics -- Suggested by Ed Elder March 30, Illuminated Site of the Week: Assaulted Batteries Want something for nothing? Sure, we all do. How about energy? Yes, we're going down that road again. The IPCtec research labs have the answer, or at least they're a clearing house for the bits they have worked out.

It's hard to tell because the English version of their page doesn't always work you might want to bring along a translation tool. See pictures, find formulae, follow threads, and watch videos of electrified Pepsi cans powering antigravity. Or something. Hear lightning in the heart of Saturn, or listen to collisions with the solar winds. Just be sure to turn your volume down at Space Audio.

It's cool, but the music of creation is. Instead, esoterica like this is conveniently collected at The Hermetic Library where its depths can be plumbed safely. Study it, employ it, even summon it if you like. It might be a whole lot like what you see at the Zombie World News. No, it's not news for the flesh-eaters, it's a series of articles from the front lines in the war against them.

The site attempts to provide as realistic an accounting as possible of the descent of man during the rise of the dead. That means some cool, clever, but unpleasant content. He knew it was only a question of time before his creations rose up against him. The Icon War has begun. Now similar charges are being laid against His kids.

It's almost like an Internet giveaway - the material at Jesus is Lucifer, He is the Antilogos, the Beast, should be recognizable by predestined readers. Not only are you informed, you may already have won greatness. That's the short version of this web page's name, by the way.

And yeah, if it sweetens the pot any, UFOs and Masons and such make a guest appearance. We haven't featured Nazca Lines? Well, we have now , smart guy. And just in time, too. Unless you know a guy who knows a guy, that's probably not a transaction you can effect. The next best thing is the cinematic equivalent: a fake corpse built by the handy helpers at Corpses for Sale. If you've got the gumption, Di Stefano Productions will even help you build your own special-effects body.

Forget it.

Sue Perkins, Author: Welcome Rebecca Russell

We don't want to know. Never mind. We created a pointer to a site with rude-but-funny content, and by the time it posted, the content had been changed to something considerably ruder and not nearly as funny. These things happen on the web; this one just happened to happen on posting day. To those who subscribe to the Illuminator via e-mail: if you thought that particular IllSotW wasn't up to our usual standards, we agree with you. Nothing to see here. There must be some cachet in being able to invent a drain on our own society, yes?

Stardust Home would like you to help them find micron-sized bits of space dust. You'll long for the days friends just begged for a ride to the airport. Or you could get dispatches from the Masonic District of Prince Edward. Is it accidental their lodges offer only blank pages? You can ask at the next meeting. Work on the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project proceeds more than years after the discovery of this mechanical analog marvel in a Roman shipwreck.

Where was it going? Who built it? Right now scientists would settle for figuring out how it worked or what it was for, two questions that may have been answered. BBC News has the story. With everything from devices to impossible Escher-inspired sculptures to Dilbert statues, you'd think he was trying to build a brand new career. And new co-workers.

And a new office. They take a hands-on approach to what you have your eyes on. You may not have the chops to understand all the technical jargon, but playing with all the pretty colors is fun. They sell small slivers of the stuff to the public. No, they're not looking for you to fill out a lot of paperwork - they're not that strict - but you need to be a citizen gotta have some limits. Select your purchases by the sort of radiation you want to emit, or just put something futuristic-sounding into your E-cart.

Though if they're going to sell the topical Polonium, they might want to spell it consistently. Strange Maps shows that the map is not the territory - in some cases it couldn't possibly be - but that the trip is still worth taking. Some are historical, some fanciful, others just wishful thinking, but they'll all keep your attention in ways that geography class never did.

Was the epic hero a Biblical construction, or a poetic representation of a historical figure? Who cares. Monsters from every place and time creep, crawl, and shamble through its pages, and unlike previous entry American Monsters , they don't lock themselves into any one venue. The next time you wince at the price of a monster collection on your game shop's shelves, just surf in here and take what you like for free. John Dee is required reading. From his pen to Project Gutenberg to your desktop with a few other helpful stops in between , the wisdom of this Renaissance scholar and occultist spans the centuries to find its own little piece of immortality on the Internet.

For extra credit, pick a volume out of the catalog of Dee's own library of manuscripts and do a report. A lot of theories have been put forth about the Newport Tower in Rhode Island, but maybe it's just a case of interested parties making a tower out of a molehill. Is there really anything new to be uncovered, or is it just the remains of a windmill?

The Chronognostic Research Foundation is going digging. Better to turn an inkjet into an electronic stamp to leave your tags. It even prints on beer or water. Some of these photos are obvious fakes, some ask you to stretch your imagination and eyesight past the breaking point, and some. Donohue, psychic extraordinaire.

But he that is, Aaron is so much more: a remote viewer, a healer, a prophet, a man with an odd way of spelling magician. The site also points out Aaron has found thousands of skulls. While James discusses the history of the Great Lakes, Aaron ferrets out the truth behind Lucifer, the Russian plot to blow up the moon, and the most horrible events of It's one of those sites with links to the unexpectedly adult, so caution is advised. Insert here the usual warnings about adult language and the sorts of things you'll find when you turn a blind corner on the Web.

Most of it is free, including the music. Oh, yeah. And again, insert here the usual warnings. They're trying to improve upon jet-pack technology with model rocket engines at Skywalker Jets , and they're willing to let you partner with them.

Let's hope his tech skills are better than his grammar and spelling. Early animators often had more than one bone to pick with their employers - long hours, bad pay, not enough recognition for their work. Michael Paulus pays homage to their rib-tickling results, and labors to uncover the inner workings of some of their more famous creations. To wit: humerus illustrations of cartoon character Skeletal Systems. Okay, you didn't want to think about that, but you'd like to put it off, right? They'll guide you through the minefield that is our modern landscape by pointing out epidemics, hurricanes, meltdowns, forest fires, and anything else that might ruin that late-season vacation.

The ominously flashing front-page map, slow-loading though it is, is enough reason to visit. The Star Trek franchise has ever been a source of strength and encouragement for its fans, and now an hour's worth of TV has been compacted into two dimensions. Star Trek Inspirational Posters will keep you boldly going when the going gets tough. Page after page of nothing but digits, all meant to offer the cruncher in you a truly random selection.

Is it possible? Sounds like. And the really weird thing is, he makes the whole thing sound fascinating. We won't spoil the ending for you, but it involves numbers. But for convenience or just plain "Ooo. Barela August 11, Illuminated Site of the Week: "I Have Made Better Lightning Than That" If you have what it takes, you, too, can be a member of the Tesla Engine Builders Association , and what it takes would seem to be a keen intellect and the desire to figure out that last missing piece to his grand design.

Matt Hardy

An ego and a madness equal to Nikola's is useful, but not necessary, and certainly not included in your membership package. And not to harp on it, but they claim they've got machines that can end greenhouse gas emissions, so that's nice. If the Big Flash rolls around, they know how you can seal yourself up tight. If the ozone is being depleted, just put quote marks around the word "depletion. Apparently we're already doing it. But what if we were the world around us? That is, what if the world around the world was we? To approach this another way.

Trepanning Village State may be hard to navigate, but the problems are all in your mind. A unique piece of real estate, and if you're lost in reverie by the river, the river may also be lost in you. On you. Just go. Heil, Yes Got your life in order? Time for the pendulum to swing the other way. The Principia Discordia is just the tip of the golden iceberg. Files, fun, and rampant consumerism are the dis order of the day.

Note this site isn't intended for the easily offended, nor those with a closed mind, though it can help you with those if you're straddling the fence. What was Kennedy's schedule on his last day in office? Read his diary. What's our government really think about terrorists? Discover the "Status of Jihad.

Its mysteries are laid bare in the Stargate program report. The Black Vault is like a safety deposit box of dark knowledge, but on this heist, the contents take you. You ignored your parents and your teachers, and where are you now? That's right. Sitting at the game table, playing Transhuman Space , and wishing you had a better grasp of physics. The layout of our solar system, navigating things, working out your trajectory - all the stuff you slept through in class.

But pay attention, because there actually will be a quiz later. If you've ever wanted to see, in dramatic detail, the Cradle of Civilization and the origin of the cabal that controls your fnord to this day, look no further. No, we mean it. Look no further, if you know what's good for you. Panic buttons, the button that does nothing, yadda-yadda-yadda, but this button.

BOOKING ENQUIRIES

It should keep you occupied while we get some work done. Well, yeah, from dinosaurs; we meant after the lizards were done with them. Those museums and collections were the lifelong obsession of a handful of eccentric men, The Real Bone Warriors. Their story is an inspiration to us all, especially if we want to co-opt their body of work to make card games.

Follow the links to their accompanying game right after you've picked up a copy of Dino Hunt. We're all being deluded by this faction of the conspiracy or the other, after all. The "oppo-sames" are out to turn our republic back into a democracy, and we can't afford to be tools. Don't worry. The Lightning Path To Ascension holds that, rather than contest the relative benefits of good vs. Perhaps that's an indelicate way of putting it the author states, somewhat more succinctly, "someone has finally been zapped by Light and Dark Forces" , but the upshot is you will become the One God.

Apparently it's first come, first served. Our cars are bigger, our budgets are bigger, our feet are bigger. Er, that is, we have Bigfoot. And the Mothman, and aliens, and. Not ones for provincial thinking, American Monsters not only broadens its worldview to include cryptids of all kinds, it admits the original mission statement as represented by the site name was a bit limited. Critters of the sea, sky, and land and the carrion they leave in their wake are all summed up on a single site regardless of diet, religious followers, or country of origin.

Most furniture is in showrooms. This stuff? Well, it probably ought to be in "vague hints and suggestions" rooms, because you harbor the sneaking suspicion some of these fixtures might just as willingly sit on you. Never fear, your children may safely leave the house. The furnishings can be found locked away in the Uniquities Gallery. Why on or off Earth would they call it Extra-Vehicular Activity Research if they're already sitting on the prototype?

Well, that's how it looks anyway. The team at MIT's Man Vehicle Laboratory is convinced they've got the next generation of spacesuit, and it does away with those bulky and unfashionable models that scream " Just pump the numbers you need into eSolutions Data and challenge your detractors to show you're wrong. For example, did you know that squirrels are transparent? It's true. The European Space Agency General Studies Programme has super conducted three years worth of experiments and believes it could be on its way to the quantum theory of gravity.

What does that mean for science? All manner of new applications, not least space travel. What does it mean for us? Well, it's usually new novels and TV shows, but hope springs eternal. We can raise bickering to a whole new level. Make your voice heard as we attempt to secure a bid with the Olympic Games Committee to bring the Winter Olympics to the ice planet Hoth.

The power to destroy a planet is insignificant compared to the power to market one. Actually, the end result is probably about the same. They've already got the snow, the Imperial probes can broadcast all the action, and no terrorist would dare try to breach the shields.

All the relaxation offered you by a good night's sleep, now available just by sticking your head in between two different frequencies. Here they let you customize your state of mind by mimicking different states of sleep. Crank up the notes, find your center, turn on, tune in, and drop a few hours trying to hash out all the tech-talk. Kermit and company have covered other great works - Treasure Island , A Christmas Carol - but aren't there other genres and media they could be covering? Until the big-budget version of "Pigs in Space" comes out, there's Seremuppety. How can you contribute to his campaign?

How can you add to his diet? And with strange eons, are we going to pare down that "death and taxes" thing? Educate yourself at Cthulhu For President. If you want to live the fantasy, call Creative Home Engineering and have them put an old-fashioned secret passage in your home. Go classic with the "pull the right book on the bookshelf" bit, or the gothic route with twisting candle sconces, but in any case you can add decidedly modern touches like eye scanners.

Oh, sure, you could end up on the cover of Architectural Digest. No, not the one at the Science Museum in London. This one is made of the ubiquitous building blocks in some guy's house, and is accompanied by enough background, math, and explanation to make your eyes bleed. If you want enough information about the incident to bury the staunchest critic, go to their site. If you want more than that, click on a subheading. It's turtles all the way down. Brother Anthony Grigor-Scott certainly seems up in arms about something.

What, we're not sure, though it certainly involves the U. Visit his Bible Believers' Newsletter , and marvel at his rant, simply and elegantly titled "Conspiracy. Or recreating old myths with a modern flair. Or perhaps it's all modern, and this is the very definition of "pop art. The Death Psychic will tell you just how you'll meet your maker based on your name and age. Small wonder songstress Anne Murray adds an E to her first name - better to be sawed in half in a magic show than done in by a serial killer. And with strange eons and stranger coding , even Death, Jesus, and Jimmy Hoffa may die.

Lots of discussion of various aspects of space war, as we used to think it would go and as we think now that it might. Do you wonder what became of those beloved volumes of high weirdness? They've all migrated to Veronica's Books , which claims to be the place to go for all those tomes of forgotten lore. From acupuncture to Wicca and all illuminated points in between, there's sure to be a gift for the enlightened on your shopping list. January 8, Illuminated Site of the Week: You've.

Been The Caretaker Here Stephen King thought the original big-screen version of his novel The Shining was too over-the-top for its own good, and the folks at P. They've edited the film's trailer and made it what it was always meant to be: a romantic comedy. The rest of the site is something spiffy, too. There's even more life in the death business than that. See what the more generic-sounding Findadeath adds to the necro-fan pot, including death certificates and links to other folks in the business of liveliness after death. Even with their dark sense of humor, they treat dead people better than most folks treat the living.

Hard to argue with them, though. They make good points on both sides. Just try and burn the Library at Halexandria. They're good at weird HTML characters, so you know they possess deep wisdom. Be warned, it's got poetry, and we're not vouching for that. It happens all the time. Oh, but hey, don't get us wrong. Then let Douglas Weibel's "microoxen" do the job. They've found ways to move microscopic things using other microscopic things. They claim We Are Family. Well, better them than us, yes? The puzzles at Planarity have more twists than a Mason plot, and get increasingly difficult.

At least until someone uses Flash to create a Gordian game complete with sword. Robert Henderson's Open Letter to Kansas School Board throws fuel on the fire and raises the intellectual level of the conversation by raising the possibility that the world is the work of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Sound like crazy talk? Sure does, until he points out the pirate angle. At that point, he had us. Holistic is the only way to live.

Use crystals and Beta Clear CDs. What's the difference? Well, duh. If you're not up for discussions of why God who was selected accidentally is really pulling double duty as the Devil, you might want to tune in next week for holistic healing instead. Okay, so it's part puppetry and part screed, but it's all natural.

The Organic Trade Association warns against the tyranny of farm-raised veggies in Grocery Store Wars , a story of good and evil in the pumpkin patch. The Safar Center for Resuscitation Research has revivified our animal companions. Can a practical application in horror movies be far off? Fox has the story. Perhaps you're starting a Special Ops game.

Then again, you may want that long-sought proof that They are watching you. Or, conversely, you could be. But go Google Sightseeing. Find out what the latest is - though, how can you be sure Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is obsolete? And what if it's right in the universe next door? They've developed a Gundam-style walker that will actually walk you around.

The product page has a lot of characters that may baffle your browser, but The Japan Times has the story. No, Seriously Good news for those of you who worry someone might be smuggling iron filings into secure areas: mPhase brags they have used nanotechnological advances with batteries that will yield sensors 1, times more sensitive than what we've got today.

Read the press release here. Tickets and Places for the Boxes to be had of Mssrs. Doghorse and 4rthur at Eclectech. Participants are cautioned that Exposure to additional Elements at this Interweb Service should be under the Direction of responsible adult Authorities. Man of Tomorrow. Last Son of Krypton. What a jerk. This site proves, through a series of old comic covers, that everyone's all-American hero is really, when you come right down to it, pretty much a.

But if you have a high tolerance for pain, this kind of art might appeal to you. Nobody Here but us chickens, goats, giraffes. What's the story with evolution and intelligent design? And should we be concerned that there are seemingly too many New Mexicans for Science and Reason to make statisticians comfortable? They're a clearinghouse for all the ugly scientific truth that rears its nascent head.

Watching someone else's nine-to-five grind. How can something that requires this much work be so unimaginably dull? He needs to Wake Up , because even worse than watching boring is programming boring. They've got all the technology, but they make us do all the heavy lifting. They're not calling us, so we have to leave a message with them. At the sound of the tone, TalkToAliens. Crank can hook you up. Of course, so could we. If you want. Not that we care. Go there if you like. We'll just sit here. In the dark. With our secrets. Wiping out our planet not "all life on it," mind you isn't as easy as summer blockbusters would have you believe.

It's a daunting task, but if you think you've got the Wrong Stuff, Sam's Archive will help you avoid common missteps as you learn How to destroy the Earth. He'll tell you at great length about what he thinks is evil and wicked unless you're a "child Human," in which case, no kidding, some of his photo albums aren't fit for viewing. His philosophy is similarly difficult to encapsulate, and his prophecies stretch a billion years into the future, if you think you'll be around for a Third or Fourth Coming. What would you do with it? Explore space?

Cure disease? Royal BodyCare wants to smooth your skin and help you lose weight now. Ask them how. Or perhaps a canyon filled with mutant cockroaches. Plustech , a John Deere company, has taken us another six-legged step into the future with their Walking Forest Machine. See the specs, see the history, but most importantly, see the videos 11 MB worth, mind. We Want Your Soul has a counteroffer for that wispy, meaningless little contrivance that's holding you back from all your dreams.

Gnostic Media can give you a good start, and if they can't they have plenty of books, videos, and links to pick up the slack. Conspiracies, Santa Claus, the myth of Moses That'd be silly since there never was one. Sure, bioelectrification, sound therapy, and colloidal silver all have their place in a properly advanced regimen of personal care, but the thwarting of Sinister Forces cannot be neglected, either.

One cannot have good health, after all, if the genetic New World Order includes such things as power lines, suppressed cures, and rampant bioterrorism. Eyes that bore into you and betray the inhuman and emotionless intelligence that lurks behind those baby blues. The Cuddly Menace threatens us all, and it's staring at us from something no more sinister than a simple children's book.

Check your state and see who's selling the farm. So far there doesn't seem to be a single listing anywhere in the nation, but that doesn't mean they won't soon have your special treasure. On an unrelated note, Warehouse 23 recently had an influx of unmarked crates. On February 12th, hypnotherapists across the land will try to Hypnotize America. They say you'll feel ready to do everything you've been meaning to do, and your life will be filled with purpose. That's all. There's nothing to worry about. What else could someone in complete control of the suggestible minds of all Americans possibly do, right?

The mind boggles - if they'll let it. If you're specialized in your job, you go where the work takes you. For example, there's not much call for pyramid builders these days, so when Pennsylvania calls, you go. That's not the only Secret of Olyphant , either. Seems the whole place is one big homage to Egypt - or are they trying to supplant it as purveyor of mysticism and ancient rites? We live-birthers have been giving lizards what-for for million years.

That, or the Repenomamus giganticus has traveled back through time to alter history. If so, New Scientist has those parts of the story that the timeline has promulgated forward. Booz Allen Hamilton is looking for a teleport test engineer. What does the job entail? All they'll say at Career Builder is that the required travel is "not specified.

O'Drudy January 8, Illuminated Site of the Week: Stone-Cold Philosophy The builders of Stonehenge are long gone and therefore hard to track down, but when the same thing happens in the late 70s and we still can't get a handle on it, it's embarrassing. Some guy managed to erect The Georgia Guidestones without anyone really sitting up and taking notice. You may as well read what he had to say, just in case he comes back to take an active hand in fulfilling his dire admonitions.

Not without permission, anyway. Think you can go covering your bald spot all willy-nilly? To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Zarena , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As the first book in a series, Zarena has a lot of weight on its shoulders.

It needs to set up a highly complex universe with lots of races, some human, most fantastical. And these inhabitants of the universe it's multi-planet are sometimes direct analogies to familiar stories. The creation story is the basis. The whole Seraphym Wars concept is right out of Milton. Laud is the god who creates the seraphym.

One of those right-hand angels decides to revolt and the schism between good and evil pe As the first book in a series, Zarena has a lot of weight on its shoulders. One of those right-hand angels decides to revolt and the schism between good and evil persists through centuries. Another familiar aspect out of fantasy lore is the concept of a Chosen One. In this case, Zarena is destined or prophecized to lead a group of children called the Vigorios against what we assume are the bad guys the fallen angels.

This is a big surprise for year old Zarena when she wakes up in a monastery-like building run by the Conscientas. They're Laud's advisors and the beings that will equip Zarena to lead this children's war. Essentially, this is all that happens in this first book. Like I said, there's an a lot of background here and without it, the reader could easily be lost in the many strange names for the various seraphym and other minions of both sides of the battle. The weakness in this first book for me is that not much happens other than Zarena learning the tools of the quest thrust upon her.

All of this is well-written and kept me reading, but I was a bit let down at the end by not at least hitting the road to find the other Vigorios recognized by the aura they give off. I just KNOW that the books to follow will provide the satisfying confrontations and difficulties. There just wasn't enough meat in this book. In Ms.

Harry's STAR WARS EPISODE ONE Review

Russell's "Odessa" a YA version we are in the same world as Zarena, but focusing on an older girl who is also to lead the Vigorios. So, I'm a little confused whether these two forks in the Seraphym road should be read together or kept separate. I will say in defense of the series that Ms. Russell is an excellent writer and has come up with a complex fantasy world. No qualms about that. I definitely want to know what happens next to both Zarena and Odessa. I'd love to see an explanation of the interaction of the two series, if there is actually meant to be one.

I'll have to nose around Rebecca's websites and blogs to learn more. Oct 31, Romancing the Book rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy. Jeremiah Holyfield agreed to leave the peaceful world of Revrum Natura for a life of constant strife and fear on the newly renamed planet of Dracwald. And Narciss refuses to take no for an answer. But Jeremiah discovers allies along his path and even true love, which he never dreamed possible. Within moments, the purple night sky eased into a rosy glow that lightened by the second into a yellow halo over the Lucimons Mountains.

Destined for another scorching walk across the blazing sands without food or water, I did not relish the fact. Besides, my burned face, neck, and hands ached. I spread another coating of aloe gel across them enjoying the cooling effect, but the grit from soot and sand scraped like sandpaper. I heaved a mighty sigh. You seem to be injured, as well. Last night I had been a human heater for the desert crawlies.

I decided I was probably going insane. My brains had cooked from dehydration. Head due west. With a lighter step, if it meant finding water, I took off across the soft sand, which sifted around each step. The sun had risen, but not donned its fierce face yet, when tall green structures appeared in the distance.

Cresting the peak of a dune, I saw the cacti forest Lucy had mentioned. Stumbling through the sand, which pulled at every step, my heart danced with joy.


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Finally, I stood gazing up at giant spine-covered plants wondering how they would supply the promised food and water. Towering well over my head, with spines the size of fingers, I touched the smooth green skin and shrugged. It felt dry. Beware the millions of spines. Quickly I searched the nearby area. A long narrow knife-like shard of rock with which to knock down and de-spine the balls protruded from the sand. Its tip edge also opened a crack in the fruit, which I further opened with a finger, cringing at the sharp pain it induced.

Blackened skin on both palms cracked and bled despite the aloe gel. What I found inside the cactus nearly made me giddy with joy. The pulp tasted bitter, but juicy. After scooping out the contents of three balls, I pushed one of the halves toward Lucy, sitting on a nearby rock, who demurely lapped at the juice.

Once sated, I knocked down a dozen more balls, de-spined and debated where to store them. The thought of them splitting in the rucksack and despoiling the parchment was horrifying.