Pict Symbols

At https://phys.org/print460193508.html ... archaeologists have found evidence of domestic cattle, sheep, and goats, in the high mountain passes of Kyrgystan going back over 4000 years. These routes were used by merchants of the Silk Road but this new evidence predates this activity by a long shot. The findings are published by PLOS One journal and refer to pastoral herding societies of central Asia who were journeying through the region that connects directly to NW China and the oases cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. The evidence of herders is said to date from 4300 years ago.

Super Lungs

Remaining on the subject of dinosaurs and birds we have a really interesting post at https://phys.org/print459590617.html ... biologists have speculated that birds descend from one branch of the dinosaurs. Not all dinosaurs are related to birds - but some are. This is the theory. It seems birds have a unique respiratory system which enables powered flight. The question is being asked - did dinosaurs have a similar respiratory system (allowing them to run like Velociraptor). Unlike mammals, including humans, whose lungs expand and contract with effort, bird lungs are rigid.

Dinosaurs and Birds

At https://phys.org/print459671315.html ... we have a possible missing linke - between dinosaurs and birds. It looks like they might need to find a fossil from the dinosaur age to conclusively show birds are descended from one group of the dinosaurs. A team from Manschester University (in collaboration with the Chinese) think they might have isolated such a fossil. The findings are published in the journal 'Historical Biology' (2018) DOI:10.1080/08912963.2018.1818443

Angkor Demise

This story was sent in by William - go to https://popular-archaeology.com/article/what-contributed-to-the-downfall... ... the headline of which puts it into context - what contributed to the downfall of the city of Angkor in modern Cambodia? A new study claims that monsoon flooding weakened the water infrastructural network of canals, reservoirs, moats and ponds, and led to the collapse of the system (and abandonment of the city). Angkor was one of the world's largest cities back in the 13th century AD.

Scottish Tsunamis

Weather Eye in the Times (of London) a couple of weeks ago had a piece on tsunamis that affected the Shetland Islands (and the Scottish mainland in the first instance). Until this year it was thought the only really big tsunami to affect Britain was the one dated just over 8000 years ago that was blamed on a collapse of the Storegga shelf on the seabed off the coast of Norway. Evidence for this has been found along the eastern coast of Scotland in large deposits of sand and detritus.

SIS Autumn Meeting

Slides from Bob Johnson's two talks at the September SIS speaker meeting are available to read on the web site in case anyone is unaware of how to view them. Simply click on the blue text on Autumn Meeting and the two links will pop up on the next page. The first talk concerns the differences between the Plasma Universe as espoused by the likes of Alfven and Perratt, and the Electric Universe as outlined at Thunderbolts web site.

Palaeolithic burials

At https://www.archaeology.org/issues/310-1809/trenches/6882-trenches-italy... ... an Ice Age necropolis found in a cave in NW Italy. There was a massive 300 feet deep sand dune in front of the cave - but it has now been quarried away. The cave has ten Palaeolithic burials and seven clusters of bones. A thick rocky layer in the cave separates the Palaeolithic burials from Neolithic burials (mid Holocene).

Comet Wirtanen

At http://spaceweather.com 16th October 2018, we hae news of an upcoming comet (Comet Wirtanen) which may provide us with a dramatic show in December. It is just 1km in width but is set to become a naked eye object for several weeks over the Christmas holidays.

Galactic Panspermia

At https://phys.org/print458809784.html ... looks like at least one country, Japan, is prepared to seriously consider a connection between the solar wind/ earth's magnetic field connection to earthquakes - using the magnetic field to detect future natural disasters (and in memory of the recent tsunami wave that caused the deaths of so many people).

At https://phys.org/print458815392.html ... giant planets around young stars raise question about how planets form, we are informed - but are those questions just that. Something to ruminate about or something to explain.