dendritic patterns

At ... starts with a dendritic pattern distinguished by vegetation near Ostia, the former port of Rome. The ridges can be clearly picked out. Along the Italian coast such features are said to be common. The author of the piece speculates these were formed by thunderbolt strikes (lightning) which sent massive shockwaves ripping through the Italian countryside.

Tom Dillehay

Tom Dillehay is a controversial archaeologist as he was in charge of the excavations at Monte Verde in southern Chile. The controversy involved the dates for human activity he unearthed, unpopular at the time because Clovis First ruled the roost in North America. His dates, at the time, were 14,500 years ago, and humans had to get as far south as Monte Verde after the end of the Ice Age (around 15,000 years ago as far as melting ice was concerned).

Glastonbury abbey

Well I never. The Glastonbury monks made it up. William Blake got it wrong.

co2 or sun

At ... is instructive in that it explains why climate scientists do not foresee the Sun playing a role in global warming. This is one of a sequence of posts by Dr David Evans and he says, it is not co2 - but climate scientists say it isn't this fellow.

ultimate uniformitarianism

This link was sent in by Gary. Apparently, some scientists have discovered a huge fossil forest buried in deep sediments and preserved intact that goes back to the Devonian period (400 million years ago) when they dug a hole for the Global Seed Vault on Svalbad (Spitzbergen), a secure underground frozen seed bank in which plants are preserved in case of a future loss of diversity. This was supposed to be part of the Eden Project in Cornwall but that has developed into a giant tourist fly trap.

religious peaks and troughs

Alfred de Grazia, in his book 'The Divine Succession' made a connection between catastrophic events, and peaks and troughs in religious experiences. We live in a pretty stable world as far as nature is concerned, with little activity in the cosmic zone, and religion in general is pretty quiescent.

earthquake fire

Paul Devereux wrote a couple of books back in the 1980s on earthquake lights and electro-magnetic discharges associated with earthquakes which had a New Age slant but was an attempt to nudge people out of their inertia in respect of fringe science. He went on to investigate pyschology, psychodelia, and harmonic phenomena (stones that ring like a bell etc). As such, Devereux will always be a little on the sidelines - as his work on earthquake lights proved to be.

Amazon rainforest in Medieval Period

Lovely programme on BBC 4 last night, on the Amazon and the discovery of towns and plazas and a wonderful fertile soil which included charcoal, human waste and other unmentionable components. See it live at


At ... which is a peculiar question to ask - why would anyone know the answer? True, the Japanese were using pottery a long time ago, around 13,000 years ago, and the Japanese like eating fish - but the question concerns the processing of fish, the extraction of fish oil. Not only that the article is focussed on N America and pottery in use amongst Native American societies (pre-farming). It is something to think about and can only have been asked as a result of residues found on pottery shards.