How have we become what we now see in the mirror Quite simply, we have been shaped into what we are While some believe it was the hand of God that shaped us, others assert that it was the cosmos itself randomly choosing this or that thing to happen to us In either case it is appealing to think that we are all that we will ever be and that we have reached the pinnacle Yet changes and calamities continue to occur They continue to shape us into something other than what we are The forces of nature are the smithys hammer and we are the iron shaped on the cosmic anvil In this book we explore the effects of gamma ray beams from distant stars, how gravity changes the flow of time and what may happen when aliens from distant stars arrive We take a look at a hypothetical near miss of a massive object from the Oort cloud as well as what we may soon endure as the Earth s magnetic field continues to fade on its way to a full polar reversal This book, however, is not simply a recitation of all the catastrophes and changes that may occur It is a reminder that the cosmos continues to shape us and through that process we may yet become the sublime beings we feel meant to be If we survive the cosmic forge we will indeed be wondrous creatures