Russian Camels

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/lmsu-shd112717.php ... and https://phys.org/print431074151.html ... we have a story of a camel painted on the walls of a cave in the southern Urals that is assigned to the Upper Palaeolithic period. A two humped camel that is presumably related to the modern Asian camel. The age of the painting has been provisionally date to somewhere between 14,500 and 37,700 years ago. No camels are thought to have existed in the Urals at this time as the area was assumed to be very cold as a result of the Late Glacial Maximum.

Indus rivers

The Indus civilisation thrived during the third millennium BC and into the 2nd millennium BC (basically it was contemporary with the Bronze age in Egypt, the Levant, Iran and Mesopotamia). It was located in what is now NW India and southern Pakistan and emerged on the back of the earlier Baluchistan Neolithic culture. The people were an advanced society that farmed virtually everything from cotton to dates. They established 5 large cities with plumbing and sewerage systems etc. Harappa and Mohenjo Daro are the most famous sites, situated on Himalaya fed rivers.

Speaking of Water

Speaking of water, scientists discover evidence of recent water flow on Mars - see https://phys.org/print430640889.html ... and the scientists in question come from a number of universities and countries but the lead author is from the Open University in Milton Keynes. They claim they have found evidence of recent glacial meltwater in spite of the widely held opinion that the climate on Mars is too cold to melt ice. The evidence in question revolves around the identify of an esker (what they interpret as an esker and it does look very much like it is).

Dowsing is Bunkum

Oh dear. The mainstream thought vigilantes have been out in force after the parents of a precocious biology student witnessed a man from the water company using a dowsing rod to locate the water pipe in order to make a connection to their house. Wow. This went viral - on Twitter and on numerous blogs. Lots of people who had never heard of Sally Le Page now do - courtesy of a little piece of condescension by people who think they are superior to the little people (like the technicians that work for water utilities).

Space Dust

Space dust can transport life between planets - see www.astronomy.com/news/2017/11/life-in-dust#.Whh0luAwbyE.mailto ... dust and debris form ancient asteroid collisions, and outflow from comets as well as interstellar dust is pervasive throughout the solar system. Space is not empty. It is full of dust and no doubt, bigger grains, from gravel to rocks. Roughly 220,000lbs (in old money) of space dust falls on to Earth each day, we are told. In deep space streams of cosmic dust can travel at speeds up to 44 miles per second.

Quirky Comet

At https://phys.org/print430554336.html ... when a comet passed through the inner solar system at the beginning of 2017 it presented astronomers with the chance to turn their telescopes in its direction - and analysis is said to have filled in some crucial details what ices in Jupiter family comets do. Ices in this instance mean frozen gases. The comet it seems did not meet expectations as it is described as quirky - or different from other comets. The team measured 9 gases released from the nucleus into the coma.

Lightning creates anti-matter

This is an interesting story and can be found at various places on the Internet - for example, at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/22/discovery-lightning-creates-anti-... .. lightning creates anti matter in our atmosphere. Back in 2009 Anthony Watts suggested a huge electric charge differential in Earth's atmosphere acted like a particle accelerator and now it seems scientists have verified the idea (or at least, a team from Kyoto University in Japan).

Moon Origins

Sent in by Gary. At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5105879/The-moon-s-surface-solid... .... the Moon's surface was a magma ocean - until it solidified. How long did that take? We are told that long before the Moon came to be covered in a solid and cratered crust (the situation nowadays) it was a massive ocean of molten magma. One theory is that this accounts for the crust's so called purity - it is primarily made up of a single mineral. A new study suggests a secondary event may be to blame.

Empty Space

The way physicists represent the universe and its history are described in Einstein's equation of general relativity, Newton's universal gravitation, and quantum mechanics. The consensus at present supports Big Bang followed by expansion. According to Andre Maeder dark matter and dark energy are only required to make it all fit together because they ignore empty space. He argues empty space and its properties do not change following a dilation or a contraction.

Migrations and Climate Change

Researchers are catching up it seems as migrations in the historical past are now being linked to switches in global climate (and tectonic activity) at different times in the Holocene. A paper in PNAS is briefly described at https://phys.org/print430472642.html ... but doesn't give much away (unfortunately). No doubt Popular Archaeology will give us a bit more info on the when and how later in the week. However, it is worth pointing out they are still ignoring the bigger factor - catastrophism.