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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10 Feb 2019
Greenland Temperatures

Oh dear. Scientists have discovered the Vikings enjoyed a warm Greenland. Archaeology has been telling us that for quite some time as Viking farms have been revealed by melting ice. At ... were medieval Vikings baking in 50 degrees summer weather? Presumably this is fahrenheit rather than celsius - and let's face it, 50 degrees F is not very warm. Then it is Greenland - just down the road from the pole. The press release doesn't allow us to see the broader picture, parking their bus at the medieval period.

9 Feb 2019
Collimated Jet

At ... a highly collimated bipolar jet seen rising from the Red Square Nebula surrounding one of the stars. The study can be accessed at ... for more information. The jet appears to be externally ionised. It consists of a pair of segments on either side of the host star- separated by gaps. The calculated speed of the jet is around 500km a second. Attempting to explain the phenomenon the authors propose two hypotheses.

9 Feb 2019
Giant Impact

William sent in the link to ... astronomers have found fresh evidence for significant planetary disunity within a single explanet system suggesting, they theorise, that giant high speed collisions are partly responsible for planetary evolution. The impacts in question are posited to have occurred in Kepler -107 (an exoplanetary system discovered five years ago). However, giant impacts are thought to have had a fundamental role in shaping our own solar system - and the moon is possibly the result of such an impact.

9 Feb 2019
Eat the Fat not the Greens

At ... hot on the heels of the UN bleating about cattle and sheep raising as ecologically irresponsible and we should all be going vegan comes along this study which seems to confirm the former hyperventilations were all flannel and no substance. Meat on the bone is lacking in the UN procrastinations but it is the fat within the bone that is the subject of the study. It seems a taste for fat provided early humans with the nutrition to develop bigger brains - see Current Anthropology (February 2019).

8 Feb 2019
Panama Geology Again

Loks like a case of a dog with a bone. At ... mainstream don't seem to want to abandon their cherished views on North America crashing into South America - but some geologists are being stubborn. This is another story about the isthmus of Panama. How did it come into being. In a study in Scientific Reports we are told that not only were tectonic process involved but volcanoes also played a significant role. Mainstream opinion is that it formed 2.8 million years ago as the Caribbean plate bumped into the South American plate.

4 Feb 2019
Does Dark Matter exist

William sent in this link to ... dark matter may not actually exist. There is an alternative theory and it can be tested, we are told. Dark matter is theoretical. It is required to account for the fact that galaxies do not seem to obey the laws of physics as currently understood. The alternative theory seeks to explain the behaviour of galaxies - by tweaking the role of gravity. The study is published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticles Physics.

1 Feb 2019
Ultra Luminous

Japanese astronomers have discovered an 'ultra luminous' (in infra red) galaxy in a search of optically faint objects. It exhibits a strong ionised gas flow, it is said, which is an interesting observation. The details are available in a paper at the open access forum arXiv - go to ... and see also ... where we learn the team is led by Xiayang Chen (at Tohoku University).

1 Feb 2019
Polar Vortex

What is the polar vortex and how does it influence the weather? Go to ... the polar vortex is a term that has eagerly been taken up by the media - and by numerous people who know little about climate. Is it fake news? The term is used in the literature to explain two different features of atmospheric circulation - one in the troposphere and the other, in the stratosphere. This has caused what we might call a little confusion - and hot air.

1 Feb 2019
Archaic Human Spread

At ... humans colonised diverse environments in SE Asia and Oceania during the Late Pleistocene. This is just a news release but the actual article should be worth getting hold of. Do we have evidence of humans active in the region during the last Ice Age, and in particular, during the Late Glacial Maximum. What was the vegetation like - and what evidence of migrations have been found.

28 Jan 2019
Ancient Javelins

The Daily Telegraph of 26th January (2019) had a piece by Henry Balkin on Neanderthal spear throwing prowess. As the science correspondent he was citing an article in Science Reports (January 2019). For years, anthropologists and archaeologists, and just about everybody has been of the opinion that Neanderthals were a sixpence short of a shilling (or a dime short of a dollar). However, once scientists had begun to investigate them more completely views have begun to change. They were little different to modern humans in many ways.