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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4 Sep 2010
Humans in the Amazon Basin

At www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR20100903023 ... the Washington Post, September 3rd, has a post on the Amazon rainforest - in this instance the section that is in Peru, below the Andes mountains. It begins by saying the idea that the Amazon Basin is a virgin environment unblemished by the excesses of human behaviour, and in fact barely touched by a human footprint, seems to be wrong.

4 Sep 2010
Water and Stars

At www.physorg.com/print202577650.html there is a report from ESA (the European Space Agency) that the Herschel infrared space observatory has discovered that ultraviolet starlight is a key ingredient for making water in the atmosphere of some stars. It is the only explanation, they continue, for why a dying star is surrounded by a gigantic cloud of hot water vapour (published in Nature September 2nd).

4 Sep 2010
Water and Ocean Currents

At www.physorg.com/print202724011.html there is another ESA report - this time on the role of the Amazon and the Orinoco in the Ocean Circulation system in the South Atlantic. Fresh water from the Amazon tends to create a flow or current of low salinity surface water. It seems to circle back on itself as a result of a much stronger ocean current off the coast of northern Brazil which is the southern equivalent of the North Atlantic's Gulf Stream - and well recorded in ocean circulation research.

4 Sep 2010
Dancing Electrons

At www.physorg.com/print202733904.html a report on a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that was prompted by physicists who struggled to understand the dance between electrons that create magnetic fields. A new model was formulated to learn more about quantum quirks of high temperature super conductors that has apparently had the side effect on the understanding of ferromagnetism.

4 Sep 2010
Life on Mars (?)

At www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-286&cid=release_2010-286 we have a report that seems to suggest that NASAs Viking Mars Lander mission in 1976 may actually have examined soil that contained carbon based building blocks of life. Organics and perchlorate may have been present in the soil  although it is quite possible the organics had an origin in meteorites - and the ability of perchlorate to break down organic material was not realised at the time.

4 Sep 2010
Mass Extinctions and Evolution

Again, at www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/mass-extinction-dynamics/ this story is a repeat - but worth repeating. A reappraisal of the fossil record, it is thought, reveals that global mass extinction events are not actually short term diversions along life's uniformitarian course but such events send life careering down wholly new avenues.

4 Sep 2010
A coral reef is evidence of an extremely rapid change in sea levels during the Holocene

At www.physorg.com/print202639164.html there is a story on a relic coral reef 600km off SE Australia - 20 times bigger than the modern coral reef nearby. It thrived between 9000-7000 years ago - or that is when it was submerged and now lies 20+m below the sea surface.

3 Sep 2010
Near Earth Update - NASA report

This story from NASA (see www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/ September 2nd) has popped up all over the blogosphere, with various angles to the headlines. NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed  a lot of new information about near earth objects orbiting in near space - mainly asteroids, or defunct comets. However, the composition of these bodies turns out to be highly varied. Some are dark and dull and others shiny and bright (the Astronomical Journal September issue).

3 Sep 2010
Another city under the sea

At www.theartnewspaper.com September 2nd ... BP aims to drill some exploratory oil wells off the Libyan coast and this has alarmed French archaeologists who are worried about some ancient sites that exist below and at sea level in what was once Cyrenaica and Tripolitania in the Classical period - quite apart from anything that may date from before the Grreks and Romans. For example, the ancient town and harbour of Apollonia is now submerged, under 5m of water.

2 Sep 2010
... and after the diamonds we have red rain ...

At http://arxiv4.library.cornell.edu/abs/1008.4960v1 - an interesting post sent in by Gary Gilligan that moves seamlessly into juxtaposition  to the extraterrestrial impact debate - and red rain clearly has analogies with the Biblical Exodus event which was decyphered by Velikovsky as derived from a comet passing relatively close to the earth. The authors of the paper, Rajkumar Gangappa (University of Glamorgan), Chandra Wickramasinghe (Cardiff University), Milton Wainwright (Sheffield University), S.