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5/5/2000; Ice: The Ultimate Disaster.

5/5/2000; Ice: The Ultimate Disaster; by Richard W. Noone; 1995; Three Rivers Press; 390 pages, paperback; $16; ISBN 0-609-80067-1

Here's something to take your mind off 1/1/00: 5/5/2000.

That's the title of a book (subtitled "Ice: The Ultimate Disaster") whose main theme is that trillions of tons of ice are going to break off Antarctica, causing floods of biblical proportion, possibly knocking the planet off its axis and almost instantly plunging the world into a new ice age. And it will probably occur next May 5, due to a planetary alignment.

That certainly makes worrying about a few computers going haywire seem like a waste of time, doesn't it!

Some readers who are already alarmed by Y2K possibilities might not be able to handle this one, and most of those who think Y2K is a crock of baloney will throw up their hands in despair (or maybe just throw up). But for those who can deal with it, and can approach it with open-minded curiosity -- or a predisposition to some of its subject matter -- this book presents many intriguing ideas. Some could apply to the homestead philosophy.

Actually, 5/5/2000 covers enough off-the-wall topics to attract -- and repel -- almost anyone. And because of the way it's organized (or not organized), you can never be sure whether you're going to be reading about the polar shift, pyramids, the next ice age, Masonry, psychics, architecture, science, or variations thereon.

Richard W. Noone started his research in 1973, the book was first published in 1982, it was reissued in 1995, but only recently has it become a best-seller.

The two main themes are inextricably related: The mystery of the great pyramids, and a sudden ice age that will thoroughly destroy civilization leaving such a wisp of a trace that future generations will regard us the way we regard Atlantis. We won't be history: we'll be a myth.

In a nutshell, Noone maintains that the pyramid of Cheops was constructed 6,000 years ago -- long before the Egyptians -- and that it was designed to warn future generations that the current era of civilization will end in 6,000 years. In other words, any day, now. The meat on those bones is like a detective story that entails science, mythology, history, religion and intrigue.

If you know anything about or are interested in any of the current theories about how and why the pyramids were built, you are already making a note to check out this book. If you know anything about or are interested in the HAB theory or any others about the shifting of global land masses, you'll want to read this. And if you've been thinking about current climate and weather patterns, or what the future might hold, or the meaning of life, 5/5/2000 will give you plenty more to think about. But none of these are reasons such a book is being reviewed in COUNTRYSIDE.

One reason was cited at the beginning of this review: To put things into perspective. This is not to say that neither Y2K nor a new ice age are likely, or that they're impossible. There are plenty of facts and some rational logic involved in both, and you'll have to make up your own mind based on those. But just the notion of 75 percent of the world's population being wiped out in a matter of hours or days should be cause for pause and reassessment of what we're doing with our lives, right now. Maybe that "major problem" with the car, the job, or personal finances or a relationship isn't as major as it seems, when you stand back and look at the big picture!

Another reason might seem rather personal. My 1989 novel, The Place Called Attar, started with the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago, and ended with the inexplicable sudden onset of another, in the near future. While that was primarily a literary device, I did have a "feeling" about it ... a feeling that many readers have echoed (and which, as it turns out, also pervades much of homesteading itself). Noone's allusion to this "racial memory" is most interesting.

But the real kicker was, having read this shortly after putting together a COUNTRYSIDE largely devoted to water, discovering Noone's (and others') theory that the pyramid is actually a giant pump, and specifically, a hydraulic ram!

It was not, he claims, built with levitation, anti-gravity, or some unknown extra-terrestrial technology. It was not, as we were taught in school, assembled by thousands of slaves harnessed to the 276,939 huge blocks of stone, which were cut and dressed with soft copper tools, over a period of 23 years. (One amusing proof is offered in a letter from the technical director of the Indiana Limestone Institute of America, Inc. Noone asked for a "bid" on the project, and was told that using the latest high-tech tools and equipment, the job could be completed in 27 years ... if the limestone industry could triple its present production. No cost estimate was given.)

Noone suggests that the blocks were moved and raised on barges, in a series of locks, with water pumped by the pyramid itself. (Details are provided. This book is rich in annotation.)

This book doesn't have much, if anything, to do with homesteading. But if you're attracted by any of its disparate parts, or want to get a view of the world far from the maddening crowd ... or just take your mind off Y2K ... 5/5/2000 will make good summer reading.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Countryside Publications Ltd.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Review
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1999
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