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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18 Mar 2011
The Lost Legion

The mystery of what happened to the Roman Ninth Legion has exercised historians minds for a long  time. Now, shortly before the release of a new film, 'The Eagle', the media have homed in on the possibility it was lost in Scotland. Miles Russell of Bournemouth University, archaeologist and author, seems to think the Roman suffered a major defeat rather than the excuse they were transferred away from Britain and were wiped out somewhere else. Facts are in short supply, but fiction writers have had a field day.

18 Mar 2011
More on those Arctic trees

At ... a buried forest was discovered after wood was found on the ground near a glacier. Earth scientist Joel Barker spotted some wood scattered on ground near a glacier and found the remains of trees that had once grown on Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic. Nowadays, the Hazen Plateau in Quttinirpaaq National Park is a tundra and glacier landscape, a pretty desolate kind of place where temperatures regularly fall below 50 degrees of freezing. It is thought the mummified tree remains lived millions of years ago - when the Arctic was warm.

18 Mar 2011
The hardiness of the Stoat

At we have an old story, but one that is interesting never the less. Irish stoats, it has been found from DNA evidence, survived the Late Glacial Maximum - but exactly where they survived is unknown (not necessary in Ireland but somewhere now submerged perhaps?) A paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society by scientists from Queens University, claim that stoats survived in Ireland when the Irish Sea was a glacier and an ice sheet covered half of the island, as that was the situation during the LGM.

18 Mar 2011
Flying Saucers and the Rings of Saturn

This story is at March 17th ... and concerns weird flying saucer shaped moons in the rings of Saturn that have intrigued astronomers after seeing them on images transmitted by the Cassini spacecraft. A paper in the December 6th issue of Science says the two Yorkshire Pudding shaped Aunt Bessie like moons seem to be formed from the same material as the rings themselves. They are in effect, clumps of ice and dusty accretions. The actual flying saucer shape is found elsewhere in the universe - around what are thought to be black holes, around stars, around Jupiter etc.

16 Mar 2011
Ozone and Meltdown

A couple of doomsayings - or what might be called some mischief making from environmentalists. Apparently, an ozone hole has developed this week over the Arctic and is said to be a big problem - blamed on unusually cold temperatures in the Arctic. Firstly, you may note the disappearance of ozone coincides with a couple of very big solar flares and auroral displays at the Poles but that is of no consequence, it seems (see ).

16 Mar 2011
Fire use in Prehistory
A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on March 14th has an interesting article on fire use by early humans - and is the result of extensive research and access to libraries and excavation reports across Europe and North America. Neanderthals appeared at around 400,000 years ago and they ranged over most of Europe as far as Central Asia as well as the Near and Middle East regions.
15 Mar 2011
Moon Madness

The March 19th Full Moon is being mooted as potentially dangerous as the Moon is slight closer on average than it normal orbit - and this might cause further earthquake activity as a result of tidal forcing (see the story at March 14th). A NASA spokesman poured cold water on the idea as the Moon only appears be larger and closer and there is really no difference in size or proximity.

13 Mar 2011
Deep Ocean Life Forms

Ever wondered what lives on the bottom of the ocean - or in the bottom waters? A catalogue of deep sea life forms can be seen at but there are of course lots more, estimated at around 230,000 marine animals that are currently known - but there is a total of well over 500,000 species yet to discover (see )

13 Mar 2011
X-Flares and Quakes

At March 12th, it is said it is just a coincidence that the earthquake in Japan coincided with a geomagnetic storm - in case anyone was thinking otherwise. Earthquakes occur without geomagnetic activity and vice versa - but does that put paid to the possibility?

13 Mar 2011
Apophis - the asteroid

At we learn that astronomers are keeping tabs on asteroid Apophis as it approaches a close encounter with the earth in 2029. The position of the asteroid over the next few months will enable astronomers to study it more closely - before its orbit takes it back into the Sun's glare. That makes observation virtually impossible.