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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20 May 2010
Ball Lightning

At www.physorg.com/print 192952150.html according to physicists at the University of Innsbruck in Austria (see http://arxiv.org/abi/1005.1153 ) magnetic fields associated with lightning are powerful enough to produce hallucinations of hovering balls of light in nearby observers and these 'visions' are interpreted as ball lightning. The researchers based their hypothesis on magnetic fields used in clinical transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

20 May 2010
Phobus

At www.sciencenews.org May 14th ... Phobus, the larger moon of the planet Mars, appears to be porous - an amalgamation of space rubble (see Geophysical Research Letters May 16th). The density of Phobus is not dissimilar to asteroids but quite how Mars could have captured an asteroid without breaking it to pieces is an unknown.

14 May 2010
Survival of the Fittest

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/10051010533.htm from a paper in Nature May 9th ... researchers used entire islands in the Bahamas to test the theory, survival of the fittest. Competition among lizards was found to be more important than predation by birds and snakes when it came to survival. They covered several small islands with bird-proof netting while others were left open, and on some islands snakes were added to expose the lizards to a greater degree of predation.

14 May 2010
The Shy Sun

At http://calderup.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/puzzling-sun/ is a report on what is going on, or not going on, at the surface of the Sun. The Michelson Doppler Images (MDI) onboard the Solar and Heliosphere Observatory (SOHO) measured a very small variation in the absolute solar radius values and the solar shape, a variation of just 22 milli-arc seconds from peak to peak, virtually nothing.

14 May 2010
Djedefre's Pyramid and Easter Island

At http://heritage-key.com/blogs/owenjarus/could-djedefres-pyramid-be-solar-temple-not-according-new-research-Baud  May 11th ... could Djedefre's pyramid be a solar temple? Not according to new research. Dr Michael Baud of the Louvre Museum in Paris gave a lecture on the pyramid at Abu Roash (see also http://heritage-key.com/site/abu-roash/ ) which was quarried in Roman times for its stone.

13 May 2010
Oxygen and Evolution

At www.physorg.com/print192714427.html - the journal Astrobiology has a paper that suggests the evolution of complex life forms may have had a kickstart a couple of billion years ago when geological events caused large quantities of phosphorous to wash into the oceans. In turn, this caused vast algal blooms that pumped extra oxygen into the environment which allowed larger more complex organisms to thrive.

13 May 2010
Hole in Clouds

At info [at] jpl [dot] nasa [dot] gov May 11th (see www.jpl.nasa,gov/news ) the Herschel Space Observatory has found a gaping hole in clouds surrounding a batch of young stars - providing astronomers with a glimpse into the star forming process. It is alleged. Stars are born obscured by dense clouds of dust and gas so little is actually known about the process - but theories exist. Now it seems there is a hole in the cloud surrounding the latest star birth event - but what might have blown the hole open?

13 May 2010
Neanderthals and Genes.

Science Daily May 6th (see www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100506141559.htm ) the fossil record indicates modern humans differ physically from Neanderthals.

11 May 2010
Land of Punt

A story in the San Franscisco Chronicle at www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/-7/MNBN1D3U74.DTL May 8th appears to confirm the Land of Punt was somewhere in the Eritrea/Ethiopia region, a region favoured for some time by historians. To the Pharaohs the Land of Punt was the source of treasure - or prized objects of trade. This included exotic animals such as leopards and baboons.

11 May 2010
Gravitational Waves

At www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7695994/Largest-scientific-instrument-ever-built-to-prove-Einsteins-theory-of-relativity.html May 9th ... physicists from NASA and the ESA intend to search for gravitational waves - as predicted by Einstein. These are the last strand of the theory of general relativity  that has still to be proved correct.