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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29 May 2010
Titbits

At www.google.com/hostednews/ there is an article on divers exploring the ruins of Cleopatra's palace, dated May 26th. An international team with a French leader who has spent some years exploring ship wrecks and treasure hunts, is investigating underwater archaeology off the coast at what was Alexandria. It slid into the sea after earthquakes in the 4th and 8th centuries AD and much of the city is still intact - including temples, palaces and military outposts and the general mundane things of life.

28 May 2010
Drought, Lightning, and the Sun ...

At www.physorg.com/print194030525.html tree rings have been used to compile a temperature proxy over 900 years in North West Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and they show dry periods in the 13th and 16th centuries - and in the late 20th century. They appear to coincide with warmish weather in northern Europe - droughts are virtually absent after 1500AD for about 400 years when it was very cold in northern Europe.

28 May 2010
Martian Ice Cap

www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/2010-180 data from NASAs Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have provided evidence of a large chasm and a series of spiral troughs on the northern ice cap of Mars (see also Nature May 27th and NASA newsletter May 26th at info [at] jpl [dot] nasa [dot] gov ). The Shallow Radar instrument onboard is sending back detailed information and it seems the northern ice cap is a stack of ice and dust layers up to 2 miles deep covering an area roughly the size of Texas.

27 May 2010
Nature's batteries

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525094906.htm there is an interesting article on research done by Leeds University and published in Chemical Communications. How did life on earth emerge from inanimate matter billions of years ago? What prompted abiogenesis?

27 May 2010
Termites in the Savannah Belt

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525171229.htm a paper published by PLoS Biology says that termites are typically viewed as pests and as threats to agricultural and livestock production - and termite mounds are often destroyed. However, it has been found it can take centuries to build up a single termite mound and field research in Kenya has found they form a network of uniformly distrubuted mounds across the savannah environment.

27 May 2010
Drought, Lightning, and the Sun ...

At www.physorg.com/print194030525.html tree rings have been used to compile a temperature proxy over 1000 years in NW Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and they show dry periods of climate in the 13th and 16th centuries - also in the late 20th century. They appear to coincide with warmish weather in northern Europe - droughts are virtually absent after around AD1500 - for about 400 years

26 May 2010
The WISE

NASAs Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (otherwise WISE) has captured a huge mosaic of two bubbling clouds in space that are being called the Heart and Soul nebulae (see www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/ May 24th). The space telescope has completed three fourths of its infrared survey of the entire sky, and captured one million photographic frames. It will complete a mapping of the entire sky in July but will then spend 3 months doing the same thing again - until the solid hydrogen coolant required to chill its infrared detectors run dry.

25 May 2010
Bows and Arrows, and Spears that changed the Climate of the world ...

At www.physorg.com/print193847219.html May 23rd ... a paper by 3 researchers published in Nature this week has a novel take on the Younger Dryas event - it was caused by humans killing off herds of mammoth and causing temperatures to drop. This is perhaps the whackiest global warming alarm story of the year and it's hard to accept that it was written in all seriousness - but it must have been as it was published by Nature - and they aren't into comedy. Are they?

25 May 2010
A cave in the desert ...

At http://af.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=AFJOE64NO9L20100524 May 24th ... archaeologists have found prehistoric rock art in a remote cave in Egypt which included dancing figurines and strange headless beasts, and they are being studied in order to find clues to early Egyptian civilisation. Some 5000 images have been found in the cave in the desert near the SW border with Libya and Sudan. The rock art has been dated to about 8000 years ago - 6000BC.

25 May 2010
Diminutive humans in trees

At http://news.discovery.com/human/get-ready-for-more-proto-humans.html May 24th ... there is a story of another hominid addition to the human fossil bank, Homo gautengensis. Found in South Africa and just 3 feet tall it spent a lot of time in trees and had big teeth adapted to chewing plant material. The past few years have witnessed a lot of new discoveries and it seems anthropologists have in the possession bones that await study and clarification.