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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3 May 2010
Electric Earthquakes

At http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/earthquake-alarm there is an article by Tom Bleier and Friedemann Freund but dates back to December 2005. It refers to the October 2005 Kashmir/Pakistan earthquake in which 70,000 people died and 3 million were left temporarily homeless - and asks, what happened in the weeks and days leading up to the EQ?

3 May 2010
Ancient Aurorae

At www.thunderbolts.info April 28th, 'Picture of the Day', ... 'Amun - an Ancient Aurora filled sky' by Gary Gilligan. He claims the Egyptian god Amun wears a crown that is the aurora - sacred colours that have been eroded or flaked away from stone monuments over the millennia. The parallel is of course with the bright tail feathers of the quetzal bird, cognate within the Mesoamerican god Quetzalcoatl. Such stone statues and monuments, even temples and buildings, were once colourful affairs.

3 May 2010
Nigel

At http://calderup.wordpress.com ... another wrinkly has set up a blog, Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist and co-author with Henrik Svensmark of The Chilling Stars. He is too obviously a sceptic - and a welcome addition to a motley band of pensioners determined not to let the AGW frenzy run amok. He intends to embrace all kinds of science subjects so this is a site worth a regular visit. For example, he begins with a study on the way flocks of pigeons switch and change leaders - no single bird is dominant.

3 May 2010
The Science of Doom

At http://climateaudit.org May 3rd Steve McIntyre tells CA readers to look at the blog Science of Doom (see earlier posts on In the News for this interesting site) at http://scienceofdoom.com . It policy, as Steve notes, unlike that of Real Climate or Climate Progress and other sniffy pro AGW blogs, is not to criticise the heretics (or even pensioners) or use vacuous venom against sceptics, but it is committed to engaging with the general public.

29 Apr 2010
Prehistoric walkabouts

Prehistoric Journeys, Cummings and Johnston, Oxbow: 2007, is an attempt to understand prehistoric movements. People did not simply travel from one place to another for the sake of the journey but for a purpose - trade and barter for example. Mobility and travel are unlikely to have been expceptional in prehistoric societies - unlike later agrarian communities where people were tied to district and could live their whole lives without venturing outside the immediate locale.

29 Apr 2010
Water ice found on asteroid

This story can be accessed from several places (see www.physorg.com/print191665880.html and BBC News April 28th http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/science_and_environment/10090128.stm April 28th 'Asteroid Themis has frosted surface' and in addition www.sciencedaily.com).

29 Apr 2010
Floods of Water at the end of the Ice Age

At www.physorg.com/print191683663.html April 28th ... a paper that can be accessed in full (or abstract) at http://bit.ly/9VKpln on research that shows part of Alaska was inundated by a massive flooding event - 17,000 years ago. I am assuming this coincides with the end of the Ice Age but the dating differs from other studies. It is being described as a mega-flood event which formed dunes in the ground over 110 feet high and spread half a mile apart

29 Apr 2010
Reachable Stars

In Reachable Stars: Patterns in Ethno-astronomy of Eastern North America, George Langford, University of Alabama Press: 2007. Ethno-astronomy is one of those amusing word constructs that is basically a woolly way of describing star based Native American myths and legends. Anyway, it is a compilation of stories that took many years to pull together.

29 Apr 2010
Sutton Hoo and it's Landscape

In Sutton Hoo and it's Landscape: the context of monuments, Tom Williamson, Oxbow:2009, there is some interesting speculative ideas. The author is a landscape archaeologist based at the University of East Anglia and he looks at the barrows and where they are located as visible features on the horizon. They are situated on a terrace above the river Deben which at the time was well populated with farms and hamlets clustered around the lower river valley, and the estuary that opens into the North Sea.

28 Apr 2010
Trans Pacific Connections

At http://archaeology.about.com/od/transportation/a/trans-pacific.htm April 27th ... About.Com archaeology has an article (and several others in their archive) on contacts between Polynesians and South America. In the mid 20th century the idea of pre-Columbus voyages across the Pacific was part of a rich vein of speculation. Thor Heyerdahl is perhaps the most famous adherents of this idea via his adventures on the balsa raft, Kon Tiki.