Cave Hill dominates a portion of the landscape in the northern part of Belfast - see Down to Earth magazine issue 89, 2014 (ISSN 0969-3408) which is just four issues for a pound (great value). Cave Hill is a chalk and flint hill but it is capped by a layer of basalt. This is an igneous rock, formed when hot lava cools. It is dated to around 60 million years ago, a time of intense volcanic activity in many parts of the world. It is known as the early Palaeogene - but comes right after the end of Cretaceous K/T boundary event.
At http://news.yahoo.com/500-old-traces-monster-hawaii-tsunami-discovered-1... ... it is claimed an earthquake in Alaska was responsible in generating a tsunami wave that struck Hawaii in the 15th century AD. That s the main thrust of the news story but caught my eye is they declared a tsunami wave after investigating a sink hole 328 feet beyond the shoreline and 23 feet above sea level. It was choked with marine debris - including large quantities of corals and shells dredged up from the foreshore.
At http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/de-vries-events/ ... Tim Cullen has a pop at long term solar cycles, pointing out they rely on proxy data from tree rings and ice cores (and the like) which includes C14 levels in ice cores and dust profiles created from ice cores. I found it rather intriguing that the largest amplitude of the de Vries cycle are found at 8200, 4500, 2500 and 800 years ago.
Emperor Yao was not in effect a human emperor of the Chinese but a sky deity. In his rule a deluge occurred as a result of water escaping out of a hole in the sky. He was also associated with many other wondrous events.
Rens van der Sluijs is back on song at www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2014/09/24/wizards-and-sourcerers/ ... which is a brilliant pun on the use of source material by scholars. He looks at four misquotes of original material and notes that going back to the original is always a worthwhile exercise.
We have had cave artists from the Palaeolithic era (during the Ice Age) obsessed with the Pleiades and the Hyades. Now we have evidence of early Holocene interest in the sky - go to www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/09/2014/mesolithic-sanctuary-r... ... a site in Pomerania dating back 9000 years or so, in effect a series of huts that have been preserved intact with their contents, is being excavated. One of the huts is thought to have belonged to a shaman as so called ritual objects were found there - including a meteorite..
At http://cosmictusk.com/university-of-chicago-nanodiamonds-prove-cosmic-im... ... which is a reference to the recent Younger Dryas event. The same story is at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/11/microscopic-diamonds-suggest-cosmi... ... where the first comments become somewhat heated. However, the very first comment is somewhat reflective in that it says that if you ignore the Younger Dryas event the warming after the Ice Age is a straight line right into the Holocene (at 11,500 years ago).
George Howard takes another pop at Phil Plait and his 'consensus science rules' blog after he had a go at Chandra Wickramasinghe and the theory of Panspermia. George considers Panspermia to be a friendly cousin of neo-catastrophism and worthy of defence on the same grounds. Both subjects endure a lot of criticism, especially by people such as Plait who instinctively disapprove and oppose new ideas as if it is an affront on them personally rather than a different way of looking at things, in the spirit of science.
At http://news.ucsc.edu/2014/09/egyptian-mammals.html ... a paper in PNAS (Sept 8th 2014) sets out to assemble a record of large mammals living in the Nile Valley - over the last 6000 years. Therefore it doesn't seek to catalogue the fauna of the early Holocene when the Sahara was a much wetter environment. The arid climate appears to have set in as a result of a series of step changes - periods of very dry climate that correspond with low growth tree ring events.