At ... the subject is viruses, the most abundant form of life on Earth. These are outliers in the search for life on other planets. Now, astrobiologists are being urged to do the research more thoroughly. The humble virus is integral to life on Earth - a disease causing agenb (but is it as simplistic as that?) Viruses are entities where genomes replicate themselves inside living cells. They can transfer from one cell to another. Viruses comprise the whole reproduction cycle - and use living cells to reproduce.

Finnish Pine Dendro

At .... University of Helsinki seem to be catching up with Mike Baillie and David Keys on the severity of the weather around 536, and 541-5AD. Like both Keys and Baillie they point towards a sudden dip in global temperatures which they attribute to volcanic activity somewhere on the globe. In other words, the downturn, they6 claim, was due to an extended period of reduced sun light. Food production was hit (arable farms as well as animal husbandry) which rely on solar energy.

Ismenia Patera

Ismenia Patera means, in Latin, a 'flat bowl' - but the term was also used to describe a flat crater on Mars. Its origin has caused a bit of head scratching - as it looks nothing like an impact site. Go to ... we learn that Mars topography is open to differences of opinion, and no wonder. It is split into two parts. In the north we have what are called the lowlands while in the south we have the highlands. In general, the south is much higher in contour than the north. Why is this?

Sun's rotating core

Jovan sent in a raft of links - most of them dated. In case you missed them here is another opportunity. Ice on Mars is the subject at ... which is basically saying that if micro-organisms existed on Mars in the past where might they have survived. In icy regoliths is one idea.

Black Hole Swarm

At ... a swarm of thousands of black holes MAY surround the giant black hole believed to be at the heart of our galaxy, according to a new study. At the centre of the Milky Way lies Sagitarrius A (thought to be a 'massive' black hole). Cosmologists think black holes grow by engulfing smaller black holes - and the search has been on for them.

Easter Island DNA

Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, in the SE Pacific, has spawned various theories and one of these is that the inhabitants, prior to the arrival of Europeans, was a mixture of Polynesian voyagers, and South Americans (the nearest land mass). In fact, a genetic test a few years ago, showed an 8 per cent South American ancestry. We are then told this study was based on 'modeling' - an area of genetic research that can be imprecise). In other words, they admit modeling is inexact - but only because they wish to drive their own piece of genetic research to the forefront.

K/T again

Apparently, there are a lot of scientists out there that have reservations about the asteroid/ comet impact theory a the K/T boundary - see ... and these mostly revolve around dating sedimentary layers on a uniformitarian time scale rather than on a catastrophic laying down of sediments (as one would have thought per an asteroid strike).


Supercontinent cycle theory goes back to the 1980s - see ... Pannotia is one of five supercontinents that predate Pangea and is 'known' to have had 'profound' influence on the course of earth history and the condition of its oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere - even on the circulation of the Earth's mantle. One wonders how these things are known - rather than thought to be - but one of its adherents tells us 'we know a lot more about on what is going on between the surface and the earth's core.

Earth Facing Coronal Hole

   ... looks like the chance of a big CME event this coming week - see


Eric's Velikovsky thread has gone big on EU subjects of late. For example, we have some posts on Rupert Sheldrake, one of the speakers at the UK EU conference in Bath in July. Specifically, it broings up once again the now dated story of TED taking down Sheldrake speaking at a TED sponsored conference a few years ago. Apparently, TED can be influenced by mainstream science monitors, the so called thought police that likes to patrol Wiki and other public arenas, threatening organisers with bad publicity and black listing them if they don't comply with their preferred views.