A jungle is land covered with dense vegetation dominated by trees. Application of the term has varied during the past recent centuries. Before the 1970s, tropical rainforests were referred to as jungles but this terminology has fallen out of usage. Jungles in Western literature can represent a less civilised or unruly space outside the control of civilisation, attributed to the jungle's association in colonial discourse with places colonised by Europeans; the word jungle originates from the Sanskrit word Jangla, meaning desert. Although the Sanskrit word refers to dry land, it has been suggested that an Anglo-Indian interpretation led to its connotation as a dense "tangled thicket" while others have argued that a cognate word in Urdu did refer to forests; the term is prevalent in many languages of the Indian subcontinent, the Iranian Plateau, where it is used to refer to the plant growth replacing primeval forest or to the unkempt tropical vegetation that takes over abandoned areas. Because jungles occur on all inhabited landmasses and may incorporate numerous vegetation and land types in different climatic zones, the wildlife of jungles can not be straightforwardly defined.
One of the most common meanings of jungle is land overgrown with tangled vegetation at ground level in the tropics. Such vegetation is sufficiently dense to hinder movement by humans, requiring that travellers cut their way through; this definition draws a distinction between rainforest and jungle, since the understorey of rainforests is open of vegetation due to a lack of sunlight, hence easy to traverse. Jungles may exist within, or at the borders of, rainforests in areas where rainforest has been opened through natural disturbance such as hurricanes, or through human activity such as logging; the successional vegetation that springs up following such disturbance of rainforest is dense and impenetrable and is a ‘typical’ jungle. Jungle typically forms along rainforest margins such as stream banks, once again due to the greater available light at ground level. Monsoon forests and mangroves are referred to as jungles of this type. Having a more open canopy than rainforests, monsoon forests have dense understoreys with numerous lianas and shrubs making movement difficult, while the prop roots and low canopies of mangroves produce similar difficulties.
Because European explorers travelled through tropical rainforests by river, the dense tangled vegetation lining the stream banks gave a misleading impression that such jungle conditions existed throughout the entire forest. As a result, it was wrongly assumed; this in turn appears to have given rise to the second popular usage of jungle as any humid tropical forest. Jungle in this context is associated with tropical rain forest, but may extend to cloud forest, temperate rainforest, mangroves with no reference to the vegetation structure or the ease of travel; the word "rainforest" has replaced "jungle" as the descriptor of humid tropical forests, a linguistic transition that has occurred since the 1970s. "Rainforest" itself did not appear in English dictionaries prior to the 1970s. The word "jungle" accounted for over 80% of the terms used to refer to tropical forests in print media prior to the 1970s; as a metaphor, jungle refers to situations that are unruly or lawless, or where the only law is perceived to be "survival of the fittest".
This reflects the view of "city people". Upton Sinclair gave the title The Jungle to his famous book about the life of workers at the Chicago Stockyards, portraying the workers as being mercilessly exploited with no legal or other lawful recourse; the term "The Law of the Jungle" is used in a similar context, drawn from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book —though in the society of jungle animals portrayed in that book and meant as a metaphor for human society, that phrase referred to an intricate code of laws which Kipling describes in detail, not at all to a lawless chaos. The word "jungle" itself carries connotations of untamed and uncontrollable nature and isolation from civilisation, along with the emotions that evokes: threat, powerlessness and immobilisation; the change from "jungle" to "rainforest" as the preferred term for describing tropical forests as has been a response to an increasing perception of these forests as fragile and spiritual places, a viewpoint not in keeping with the darker connotations of "jungle".
Cultural scholars post-colonial critics analyse the jungle within the concept of hierarchical domination and the demand western cultures places on other cultures to conform to their standards of civilisation. For example: Edward Said notes that the Tarzan depicted by Johnny Weissmuller was a resident of the jungle representing the savage and wild, yet still a white master of it. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak compared Israel to "a villa in the jungle" - a comparison, quoted in Israeli political debates. Barak's critics on the left side of Israeli politics criticised the comparison. For example, Uri Avnery charged that comparing "civilised" Israel with "a villa" and Israel's Arab neighbors with the "wild beasts" of the "jungle" tends to throw the blame for t
Beyond the Black River
"Beyond the Black River" is one of the original short stories about Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard and first published in Weird Tales magazine, v. 25, nos. 5-6, May-June 1935. The story was republished in Conan the Warrior, it has more been published in the anthology The Mighty Swordsmen, the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon and Conan of Cimmeria: Volume Three. It's set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan's battle against a savage tribe of Picts in the unsettled lands beyond the infamous Black River; the foreword to the story tells of Conan's journey to Punt with Muriela, a scam perpetrated against the worshippers of an ivory goddess, into Zembabwei, where he joins a trading caravan on their way towards Shem. Around 40 now, Conan finds his old friends are now fathers. Bored, Conan sets off for the Bossonian Marches and becomes a scout at Fort Tuscelan on the Black River, at the western border of the newly conquered Aquilonian province of Conajohara.
A young settler named Balthus encounters Conan in the forest slaying a marsh devil. Accompanying the young man back to the Fort, Conan finds the corpse of a merchant left by a Pictish wizard named Zogar Sag and slain by a swamp demon; the fort's commander, Valannus asks Conan to slay Zogar Sag before he raises the Picts against the whole borderlands since their fort is vastly undermanned after the Aquilonian king, has foolishly decided to withdraw most of his army. Taking a hand picked team of scouts and Balthus, Conan sets off stealthily in canoes. Soon, Balthus is captured and most of Conan's men are slaughtered in an ambush. Balthus and one of the scouts are tied to stakes, while the scout is sacrificed by Zogar Sag to one of his jungle creatures. Before Balthus can meet a similar fate, Conan sets a Pictish village on fire and the two flee into the forest. Conan tells Balthus information on the cult of Jhebbal Sag, now forgotten by most. Once all living creatures worshipped him when beasts spoke the same language.
Over time, both men and beasts forgot his worship. Zogar Sag has not and can control those few animals and creatures who remember, sending them on Conan's trail. Conan is able to neutralize the creature using a symbol he once noticed, the pair return to the Fort to warn everyone of an impending Pictish assault, but they are too late; the Picts have surrounded the fort, a fierce battle is going on. The number of Picts ensures that the fort will be overwhelmed and the defenders slaughtered; the only thing left to do is warn the settlers to flee while the Picts are busy with the fort - otherwise they will be slaughtered, too. The two soldiers go to warn everyone that an army of Picts have crossed the river and are about to attack, they are joined by Slasher, a feral dog owned by a settler, slain by the Picts. Balthus is sent on to warn the settlers of an incoming raid, Conan parts from him to aid a group of fishermen who had gone to gather salt. Balthus warns the children to leave their huts and flee.
When a band of Picts arrive, who move quicker and might overtake the women, Balthus stays behind to cover their escape. Accompanied by Slasher, he makes a stand against the coming Pictish raiders, first shooting arrows from concealment and in a furious face-to-face battle. Both Balthus and Slasher's sacrifice delays the Picts while giving the settlers time to reach safety. Conan manages to warn the salt-gathering party in time, but finds he has been marked for death by the gods of darkness for misusing the symbol of Jhebbal Sag, is attacked by a demonic creature who tells him that it and Zogar Sag are of one blood. Conan triumphs against the creature, but the fort is lost, so is the entire province; the story ends in a tavern on the other side of Thunder River, the former boundary to the Pict Lands in Conajohara. A survivor tells Conan about the courageous act of Balthus and Slasher, how their final stand had delayed the Picts just long enough for the settlers to reach safety, he relates that in the midst of his victory at Fort Tuscellan, Zogar Sag was mysteriously struck dead, sporting the same kind of wounds Conan had inflicted on the swamp demon.
Upon hearing of Balthus' and Slasher's demise, Conan vows to take the heads of ten Picts to pay for Balthus, along with seven heads for the dog, "a better warrior than many a man". The story was adapted by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala in Savage Sword of Conan #26 and #27; the story was the basis for the GURPS: Conan adventure module "Beyond Thunder River". The Sword, on their album Gods of the Earth, based the song "The Black River" on this story. Beyond the Black River title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Conan.com: The Official Website Beyond the Black River public domain audiobook at LibriVox
Official Xbox Magazine
Official Xbox Magazine is a monthly video game magazine which started in November 2001 around the launch of the original Xbox. A preview issue was released at E3 2001, with another preview issue in November 2001; the magazine was bundled with a disc that included game demos, preview videos and trailers, other content, such as game or Xbox updates and free gamerpics. The discs provided the software for the Xbox 360 for backward compatibility of original Xbox games for those without broadband and Xbox Live access; as of January 2012, OXM no longer includes a demo disc. In mid-2014, the U. S. version was merged into the UK version on the website, which lasted only a few months until Future plc announced that it was closing its website along with all the other websites that Future has published, including Edge and Computer and Video Games. In February 2015, OXM and all of Future's video game websites were redirected into GamesRadar; the magazine itself continues to be published in US and Australia.
On the Disc Each issue contained a demo disc with both Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade games. However, beginning in January 2012, OXM stopped including demo discs, saying "You've told us you don't want the DVD anymore, we listened....". Each demo contained unlockable content like hidden demos. There was a sim-like game called'OXM Universe'. Gamers played the games on disc and viewed the videos on the disc to gain points, but only 800 points were needed for the unlockable content; the points had another use in which gamers used their points to research and build equipment for the in-game game'OXM Universe'.'OXMU' was discontinued in OXM's 100th issue. We Heart Xbox In this section, new games which were not yet shown to the mainstream public or user-modified hardware such as consoles or faceplates were shown here. Message Center Besides showing readers' mail, the OXM crew revealed their'Top 5' things on their mind at the moment. The'Top 5' tradition was broken in Issue #85 of July 2008, when the staff instead answered to the question "What's your worst habit - and do you want to break it?"
Xbox Next In this section, upcoming games were previewed. Features In this section, games may get prolonged previews, or OXM may have an exclusive 6-10 page review for a certain game. There may be special featured content like Issue #77's'HDTV Buyer's Guide'. Xbox Now This was the section where every Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live Arcade game, downloadable content is reviewed. Xbox 365This section contained Xbox business articles, gaming news,'Hard Stuff','2,000 Pennies or Less', the codes of the month,'Forza Showroom', a section for competing against the OXM crew in games like Lost Planet, Halo 3, Gears of War, more,'Media Ho!','Live Space' (a section which showed gamers' Xbox Live gamertags,'Ask Dr. Gamer', and'The of Xbox' (a section that talked about business and other things of the Xbox gaming world; the column'The Business of Xbox' was written by Geoff Keighley through the May 2007 issue, but until 2015, the column was written, on a less frequent basis, by Chris Morris. As of Issue #71, the end page rotated columnists, with guests including game creators Tim Schafer, Denis Dyack, Randy Pitchford.
UK and US Edition Editor: Stephen Ashby Deputy Editor: Daniella Lucas Staff Writer: Adam Bryant Production Editor: Russell Lewin Senior Art Editor: Warren Brown Until issue #52, the Official Xbox Magazine used a 100-point system, scoring games out of 10.0 with.1 increments. The games that received at least a 9.0 were given an Editor's Choice award. Beginning with issue #53, the US OXM switched to a 20-point scoring system, scoring games out of 10.0 with increments of 0.5. The UK edition though switched to a 10-point scoring system, scoring games out of 10; this ratings scale was detailed on the introduction page to every issue's review section. A score of 10.0 was not considered perfect, but is called "Classic" and is considered to be "one of those rare and best of games." OXM's review scale did include a score of 11.0 as "Perfect," however the description for that score was "The unicorn. Will never happen. Never." Twenty games received a 10/10 score from OXM, but only BioShock, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto V had been given this score by both the US and UK editions.
The nine 10/10 games from the US edition included: Fight Night Round 3, Gears of War, Fallout 3, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mass Effect, Gears of War 3 and Batman: Arkham City. Whereas the nine 10/10 games from the UK edition included: Grand Theft Auto IV, Project Gotham Racing 4, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Mass Effect 2, Halo: Reach, Portal 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mass Effect 3. OXM had begun reviewing Xbox Live Downloadable Content, on a three-point scale: Buy, Fanboys Only, Deny; the exception was The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles expansion pack in issue 70, due to the game's size, being "much more than a simple map pack" was reviewed on the normal 20-point scale, receiving an 8.5. Some disks came with additional material for Xbox games. Early issues' demo disk included a costume expansion to Dead or Alive 3 and Easter eggs unlockable
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Role-playing video game
A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion; the electronic medium increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences. Role-playing video games use much of the same terminology and game mechanics as early tabletop role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. Players control a central game character, or multiple game characters called a party, attain victory by completing a series of quests or reaching the conclusion of a central storyline. Players explore a game world, while engaging in combat. A key feature of the genre is that characters grow in power and abilities, characters are designed by the player.
RPGs challenge a player's physical coordination or reaction time, with the exception of action role-playing games. Role-playing video games rely on a developed story and setting, divided into a number of quests. Players control one or several characters by issuing commands, which are performed by the character at an effectiveness determined by that character's numeric attributes; these attributes increase each time a character gains a level, a character's level goes up each time the player accumulates a certain amount of experience. Role-playing video games typically attempt to offer more complex and dynamic character interaction than what is found in other video game genres; this involves additional focus on the artificial intelligence and scripted behavior of computer-controlled non-player characters. The premise of many role-playing games tasks the player with saving the world, or whichever level of society is threatened. There are twists and turns as the story progresses, such as the surprise appearance of estranged relatives, or enemies who become friends or vice versa.
The game world tends to be set in a fantasy or science fiction universe, which allows players to do things they cannot do in real life and helps players suspend their disbelief about the rapid character growth. To a lesser extent, settings closer to near future are possible; the story provides much of the entertainment in the game. Because these games have strong storylines, they can make effective use of recorded dialog and voiceover narration. Players of these games tend to appreciate long cutscenes more than players of faster action games. While most games advance the plot when the player defeats an enemy or completes a level, role-playing games progress the plot based on other important decisions. For example, a player may make the decision to join a guild, thus triggering a progression in the storyline, irreversible. New elements in the story may be triggered by mere arrival in an area, rather than completing a specific challenge; the plot is divided so that each game location is an opportunity to reveal a new chapter in the story.
Pen-and-paper role-playing games involve a player called the gamemaster who can dynamically create the story and rules, react to a player's choices. In role-playing video games, the computer performs the function of the gamemaster; this offers the player a smaller set of possible actions, since computers can't engage in imaginative acting comparable to a skilled human gamemaster. In exchange, the typical role-playing video game may have storyline branches, user interfaces, stylized cutscenes and gameplay to offer a more direct storytelling mechanism. Characterization of non-player characters in video games is handled using a dialog tree. Saying the right things to the right non-player characters will elicit useful information for the player, may result in other rewards such as items or experience, as well as opening up possible storyline branches. Multiplayer online role-playing games can offer an exception to this contrast by allowing human interaction among multiple players and in some cases enabling a player to perform the role of a gamemaster.
Exploring the world is an important aspect of many RPGs. Players will walk through, talking to non-player characters, picking up objects, avoiding traps; some games such as NetHack and the FATE series randomize the structure of individual levels, increasing the game's variety and replayability. Role-playing games where players complete quests by exploring randomly generated dungeons and which include permadeath are called roguelikes, named after the 1980 video game Rogue; the game's story is mapped onto exploration, where each chapter of the story is mapped onto a different location. RPGs allow players to return to visited locations. There is nothing left to do there, although some locations change throughout the story and offer the player new things to do in response. Players must acquire enough power to overcome a major challenge in order to progress to the next area, this structure can be compared to the boss characters at the end of levels in action games; the player must complete a linear sequence of certain quests in order to reach the end of the game's story, although quests in some games such as Arcanum or Geneforge can limit o
Jewels of Gwahlur
"Jewels of Gwahlur" is one of the original short stories starring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian, written by American author Robert E. Howard. Set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age, it concerns several parties, including Conan, fighting over and hunting for the eponymous treasure in Hyborian Africa; the tale was first published in 1935 issue of Weird Tales. Howard's original title for the story was "The Servants of Bit-Yakin". Robert E. Howard set his story in Hyborian Africa; the Teeth of Gwahlur are legendary jewels, kept within the ancient city of Alkmeenon, in the country of Keshan "which in itself was considered mythical by many northern and western nations". Conan, following rumors of this treasure, journeys into Keshan and offers his services in training the local army against their rival, Punt. However, Thutmekri, a Stygian thief with similar intentions, his Shemitish partner, Zargheba arrive in the country with an offer for a military alliance with another of Punt's neighbors, with some of the Teeth to seal their pact.
The high priest of Keshan, announces that a decision on the matter can only be made after consulting with Yelaya, the mummified oracle of Alkmeenon. This is all the treasure hunters. Zargheba joins Gorulga in his expedition. In the abandoned city, an initial atmosphere of the supernatural gives way to intrigue over the oracle. Zargheba has brought along a Corinthian slave girl, Muriela, to play the role of Yelaya and tell the priests to give all of their jewels to Thutmekri. Conan is at first frightened by the living oracle, but discovers the ruse. Intrigue and mystery follows as the body of the genuine oracle switch roles. Gorulga, however, is innocent in this, genuinely attempting to consult his oracle. However, a fourth faction appears. A Pelishti traveller, Bit-Yakin, had visited the valley; when the natives of Keshan visited the site to worship Yelaya as a goddess, Bit-Yakin provided prophecies from a nearby cave. He died there. Bit-Yakin's servants, revealed to be large gray-haired apes, kill the survivors of Gorulga's party after they attempt to claim the jewels.
Conan manages to acquire a chest containing the jewels, but is forced to abandon his prize so he could rescue Muriela. The two escape Conan ends his adventure by outlining a new plan. Several parts of the story highlight Conan's intellect, in particular his grasp of written and spoken languages: "In his roaming about the world the giant adventurer had picked up a wide smattering of knowledge including the speaking and reading of many alien tongues. Many a sheltered scholar would have been astonished at the Cimmerian's linguistic abilities, for he had experienced many adventures where knowledge of a strange language had meant the difference between life and death." Conan's polyglottery is a plot point in Robert E. Howard's only Conan novel, The Hour of the Dragon, while his literacy and knowledge were noted in the first Conan story, "The Phoenix on the Sword"; the ending emphasizes his strong tendency to save damsels in distress. Being able to save either Muriela or the chest of priceless gems which he spent months in seeking, only seconds to make a choice, Conan without hesitation chooses to save the girl and let the treasure be irrevocably lost.
The Conan stories are ambiguous with regard to whether the various gods exist. In "Black Colossus" Mitra is quite real and unequivocally manifests himself to those who come to his shrine; the Conan stories take place in a fictional past, known as the Hyborian Age, but based on real places. The main country of Keshan takes its name from "Kesh", the Egyptian name for Nubia, their enemy, the Land of Punt, has a similar Egyptian origin. The other nation, takes its name from the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Fritz Leiber rated it among the worst Conan stories, "repetitious and childish, a self-vitiating brew of pseudo-science, stage illusions, the'genuine' supernatural." The collections King Conan and Conan the Warrior republished the story. It has more been published in the collections The Conan Chronicles Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon as "Jewels of Gwalhur" and The Conquering Sword of Conan under Howard's original title, "The Servants of Bit-Yakin". Roy Thomas and Dick Giordano adapted the story in Marvel Comic's "Savage Sword of Conan" magazine #25 in 1977.
In 2008, that adaptation was reprinted in the trade paperback collection "Savage Sword of Conan" Volume 3. P. Craig Russell adapted the story in Dark Horse comics in 2005 as a three issue mini-series and collected in 2006 as a hardcover book. An audiobook edition was narrated by Phil Chenevert in 2013 and released by LibriVox in the public domain. Conan the Barbarian at AmratheLion.com Conan.com: The Official Website Jewels of Gwahlur public domain audiobook at LibriVox
A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. Earth's volcanoes occur because its crust is broken into 17 major, rigid tectonic plates that float on a hotter, softer layer in its mantle. Therefore, on Earth, volcanoes are found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging, most are found underwater. For example, a mid-oceanic ridge, such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates whereas the Pacific Ring of Fire has volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates. Volcanoes can form where there is stretching and thinning of the crust's plates, e.g. in the East African Rift and the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and Rio Grande Rift in North America. This type of volcanism falls under the umbrella of "plate hypothesis" volcanism. Volcanism away from plate boundaries has been explained as mantle plumes; these so-called "hotspots", for example Hawaii, are postulated to arise from upwelling diapirs with magma from the core–mantle boundary, 3,000 km deep in the Earth.
Volcanoes are not created where two tectonic plates slide past one another. Erupting volcanoes can pose many hazards, not only in the immediate vicinity of the eruption. One such hazard is that volcanic ash can be a threat to aircraft, in particular those with jet engines where ash particles can be melted by the high operating temperature. Large eruptions can affect temperature as ash and droplets of sulfuric acid obscure the sun and cool the Earth's lower atmosphere. Volcanic winters have caused catastrophic famines; the word volcano is derived from the name of Vulcano, a volcanic island in the Aeolian Islands of Italy whose name in turn comes from Vulcan, the god of fire in Roman mythology. The study of volcanoes is sometimes spelled vulcanology. At the mid-oceanic ridges, two tectonic plates diverge from one another as new oceanic crust is formed by the cooling and solidifying of hot molten rock; because the crust is thin at these ridges due to the pull of the tectonic plates, the release of pressure leads to adiabatic expansion and the partial melting of the mantle, causing volcanism and creating new oceanic crust.
Most divergent plate boundaries are at the bottom of the oceans. Black smokers are evidence of this kind of volcanic activity. Where the mid-oceanic ridge is above sea-level, volcanic islands are formed. Subduction zones are places where two plates an oceanic plate and a continental plate, collide. In this case, the oceanic plate subducts, or submerges, under the continental plate, forming a deep ocean trench just offshore. In a process called flux melting, water released from the subducting plate lowers the melting temperature of the overlying mantle wedge, thus creating magma; this magma tends to be viscous because of its high silica content, so it does not attain the surface but cools and solidifies at depth. When it does reach the surface, however, a volcano is formed. Typical examples are the volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Hotspots are volcanic areas believed to be formed by mantle plumes, which are hypothesized to be columns of hot material rising from the core-mantle boundary in a fixed space that causes large-volume melting.
Because tectonic plates move across them, each volcano becomes dormant and is re-formed as the plate advances over the postulated plume. The Hawaiian Islands are said to have been formed in such a manner; this theory, has been doubted. The most common perception of a volcano is of a conical mountain, spewing lava and poisonous gases from a crater at its summit; the features of volcanoes are much more complicated and their structure and behavior depends on a number of factors. Some volcanoes have rugged peaks formed by lava domes rather than a summit crater while others have landscape features such as massive plateaus. Vents that issue volcanic material and gases can develop anywhere on the landform and may give rise to smaller cones such as Puʻu ʻŌʻō on a flank of Hawaii's Kīlauea. Other types of volcano include cryovolcanoes on some moons of Jupiter and Neptune. Active mud volcanoes tend to involve temperatures much lower than those of igneous volcanoes except when the mud volcano is a vent of an igneous volcano.
Volcanic fissure vents are linear fractures through which lava emerges. Shield volcanoes, so named for their broad, shield-like profiles, are formed by the eruption of low-viscosity lava that can flow a great distance from a vent, they do not explode catastrophically. Since low-viscosity magma is low in silica, shield volcanoes are more common in oceanic than continental settings; the Hawaiian volcanic chain is a series of shield cones, they are common in Iceland, as well. Lava domes are built by slow eruptions of viscous lava, they are sometimes formed within the crater of a previous volcanic eruption, as in the case of Mount Saint Helen