Miles Mathis on Gerald Pollack

At ... was provoked by Geral Pollack's book of the same name. The latter has produced in its wake a very hostile reception in some quarters of mainstream opinion but Mathis comes down on the side of Pollack after reading his tome. He points out that if you put the phrase, 'Gerald Pollack Quack' into your search engine you get pages of negative response.

Acid Rain events

At ... you can read the abstract of an article with the title, 'Late Glacial Fire and Nitrogen dynamics at lacustrine sites in Alabama and Michigan: evidence of an acid rain event?'. Sediments from three lakes show roughly coeval nitrogen perturbation at the onset of the Younger Dryas (with a distinct shift in vegetation alongside evidence of landscape fires).

Lords of the Rings

At ... Yes, mountains made out of space debris - on a moon of Saturn (but what is good for the goose might also be good for the gander) - could it have happened on Earth?

Copper Age in western Britain

At ... the Neolithic in western Britain, or that part close to the Great Orme copper mines, has come up with evidence of copper artefacts as early as 3500BC. Does this warrant redefining a large tract of what is now the Neolithic (stone using) as Copper Age (even when such objects are rare in an archaeological context)?

La Brea tar pit fossils

At ... the image below (at the same link) is of the pupae of a bee (comparing a real life version with the fossilised one). The species still lives in the modern world - but the fossil pupae dates from 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. The presence of bees in the tar pit suggests nearby woodland and river

banks with pollen rich wild flowers or blossom in a fairly cool and moiste climate.

The first population explosion

At ... genetic studies, we are told, indicate Palaeolithic people grew in huge numbers between 80,000 and 60,000 years ago. Why this should have happened is not clear - but the idea of growing numbers of people at around that time is very convenient for the Out of Africa theory (and therefore should be treated with a bit of caution).

Feeding a hungry world in the future

Most ethanol produced uses high temperature fermentation to chemically convert corn, sugar cane, palm oil or any suitable plant material into liquid fuel. A new technique has been developed at Stanford University and requires no fermentation - and little raw material from the plant world - see ... which must be a good thing in the long run. At the moment it is a lab based experiment - will it be efficient in practise?

Galaxies powered by black holes

That is the inference in a story at .... and opens with the statement, all matter of fact, 'quasars- are young galaxies powered by massive black holes, extremely bright, extremely distant, and highly red shifted ...'

Cambrian Surprises

No - not a shindig in Wales but a reference to Cambrian fossils at .... where it has been found that creatures living 520 million years ago had a sophisticated heart and blood vessel system similar to lobsters and other creatures in the modern world. The remarkable fossils come from a site in Yunnan Province in China which preserved intact the blood vessel system.

speak of the devil ...

Speak of the devil. I mentioned Neanderthal DNA research two days ago and the very next day spied this story at ... Technical objections to the idea Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of EuroAsians have been overcome thanks to a genome analysis method described in the April 2014 issue of the journal Genetics. The research is ongoing and already thee are two camps in the debate.