In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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8 Dec 2019
Dinosaur evolution

A study in Current Biology 'Repeated evolution of divergent modes of herbivory in non-avian dinosaurs' at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.10.050 ... herbivore dinosaurs evolved many times over the 80 million years of the Mesozoic era. In other words, they adapted to changing environments and food resources in different ways, filling various niches. Whilst they all did not evolve to chew, swallow, and digest their food in the same way, certain specific strategies appeared time and again. See https://phys.org/news/2019-12-dull-teeth-skulls-specialized-evolved.html

8 Dec 2019
Those Romans ...

We know lots about the Roman stone trade and how they transported stone from quarries to building sites over long distances. Lots of Roman worked quarries are well known - even when it comes to clay for bricks. Yet, the Romans had an extensive trade in timber, and not so much is known about that as cutting down trees doesn't entail digging holes in the ground or leaving much of a mark on the environment (or at least the sort of mark archaeologists could monitor in the modern world).

7 Dec 2019
Planetary Wave

At https://spaceweather.com/  (5th December 2019) we have details of a planetary wave supercharging noctilucent clouds in the southern hemisphere. NASAs AIM spacecraft detected the phenomena and took images (see below). Planetary waves are huge ripples of temperature and pressure that flow in the atmosphere in response to coriolis forces. In this instance the planetary wave is boosting noctilucent clouds over Antarctica, causing them to spin out to latitudes where they are not normally seen. In this instance, over New Zealand.

7 Dec 2019
Bennu Mission Oddities

At https://phys.org/news/2019-12-osiris-rex-mission-bennu-mysterious-partic... ... shortly after NASAs OSIRIS REx spacecraft arrived at Bennu it was discovered the asteroid was active - dislodging particles into space. After studying images beamed back over several weeks scientists wrote a paper for the journal Science (of December 6th 2019). The discharges occurred from different points on the asteroid. Sample collection on Bennu is scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 - delivered to earth in the autumn.

5 Dec 2019
Comet Outbursts

Sent in by William - https://phys.org/news/2019-12-nasa-exoplanet-hunting-mission-natural-com... ... NASAs exoplanet hunting mission has caught images of a comet outburst in unprecedented detail - an explosive emission of dust, ices, and gases. It caught on camera Comet 46P/Wirtanen in late 2018. The write-up was published in Astrophysical Journal Letters on November 22nd 2019. The outburst itself occurred on September 26th 2018 when an estimated million kilograms of material was ejected from the comet.

4 Dec 2019
Red Ochre

This comes from www.everythingselectric.com/eie-141/ ... and seems to have its origins at Thunderbolts (but see also www.everythingselectric.com/eie-140/ .... an interview with Montgomery Childs on the Safire Project). Red ochre, and yellow ochre too, are age old compounds used in rock art and for painting the bones of the dead. It also featured in megalithic art - at Malta's hypogeum for example. It was in use over thousands of years. At Babine Lake ochre was harvested from an aquatic source - iron rich bacteria in a clay sediment.

4 Dec 2019
Mesolithic houses in Yorkshire

In Current Archaeology 358 (January 2020) we learn about the discovery of timbered houses in a Yorkshire quarry - at Killerby. They were preserved in peat - one set of timbers dating as far back as 10,000 years ago, and the other set of timbers, to somewhere between 6000 and 3000BC (no exact date at the moment). Peat forms in persistently wet climate - rainfall day after day as if the jet stream had got stuck overhead for year after year (and is known as podzolisation).

4 Dec 2019
Stars Slinging Comets

Another mainstream theory ruptured it would seem. At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2019/12/02/astronomers-see-stars-slingin... ... stars and comets as dance partners, linked into a gravitational celestial interaction that was predicted by Oort many moons ago. Polish astronomers have captured images of two nearby passing stars that seem to pluck up comets and then swing them into an orbit around our star, the Sun (entering our solar system). Astronomers think the Oort Cloud is out there on the edge of the solar system (or just beyond it).

3 Dec 2019
Is climate change re-writing history?

At https://phys.org/news/2019-12-justinianic-plague-landmark-pandemic.html ... which is derived from https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1903797116 ... a new study shows the historicity of the Justinian pandemic is inconsistent with facts on the ground. That is the claim. It comes courtesy of sociology and environmentalism (a combination of some kind) at the University of Maryland, with others from Princetown's 'Climate Change and History Research Initiative' department.

30 Nov 2019
Meteor Bombardment

Gary sent in this link to www.dailymail.co.uk/science-tech/article-7733203/ ... earth's rocky surface is the result of meteor bombardment as a result of extraterrestrial impacts smashing into the surface of the earth. Billions of years ago is of course. That is where the goal posts are - for whatever reason. A new study has been looking for an explanation for the onset of Plate Tectonics. They came to the conclusion that a bombardment of meteors and other space debris could have kick started the process.