775AD, update

The Usoskin and Kovaltsov paper at arXiv (see link on two posts previous to this one) is by two scientists who have previously written on the subject (2012, 2013) and appear to underestimate the ability of the coma of a comet being waggled by the solar wind. The necessity for a huge comet is assumed because in mainstream theory comets produce such effects due to heat (from the Sun) rather than from the electro-magnetic flux. Hence, it is likely the Chinese study won't too easily go away. It is backed up by a genuine observation.

It didn't take long ...

The Chinese paper on a comet involvement in the C14 spike at 775AD, as recorded in Tang astronomical records (Liu et al, Nature Science Report 4:3728, 2014) has lasted just a few days before news of another paper debunking a comet connection (Ilyan Ususkin and Gennady Kovaltsov, 'A comet could not produce the C14 spike in the 8th century' which has been released as a pre-publication paper at arXiv). They appear to actually ignore what the Chinese are actually saying, picking up on the news blurb rather than the actual paper itself.

Chesil Beach

Chesil Beach, between Weymouth and Abbotsbury, is a huge bank of pebbles, which are graded. Various theories exist about how it originated. However, behind the pebble ridge there are a couple of lagoons, a sort of fossil beach - or is it? In February's issue of the BBC CountryFile magazine there is a short piece on unusual beaches in various parts of the country. For example, along the eastern North Sea shore there are several examples of sea spits and sandbars.

Arp Obituary

For an interesting obituary go to www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/science-obituaries/10598040/Halton-A... ... Halton Arp is associated with adopting an opinion opposed to the Big Bang theory of how everything in the universe began. It is assumed he was a supporter of the Steady State hypothesis, favoured by the likes of Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle. In fact, there are a lot of assumptions made about Arp - how much of it is true is anyone's guess.

Locating the city of Sodom

There is nothing new under the Sun and so it is with the latest identification of Sodom with Tall el-Hammam in the Kikkar plain, where the Jordan river joins the Dead Sea. Canon Henry Baker Tristram, in his book, 'The Land of Moab: Travels and Discoveries on the east side of the Dead Sea and the Jordan' (1874). The good canon travelled through the old Bible lands for the specific purpose of identifying biblical locations based on geographical indicators embedded in the Biblical narrative.

Celtic Calendar

This appears to be the calendar referred to by Euan MacKie in a recent post - go to www.celticnz.co.nz/Coligny/ColignyPart1.htm ... but it looks an awful lot more complicated than imagined. Is it real?

Indeed, none of this appears to be in Euan MacKie's article in Time and Mind - is it all phooey?

Observed eclipse data doesn't fit with the modelled eclipse data

At www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/105/01/0061.pdf ... computer modelling of eclipses doesn't fit with observation. The above link shows recorded eclipse data from India, which is regarded as reliable, but it does not match NASA models of eclipses. The Indian data is between 400 and 1800AD and the paper goes on to suggest the lunar orbit of the Earth must change more than predicted and that the tides on the Earth must be strong enough to change the length of day. What this is saying is that length of day is dependent on the Moon and its orbit (to a degree).

A Strange kind of bird behaviour

In The Times January 10th 2014, the Red Knecked Phalorope spends the summer months gobbling midges in Scotland but it spends the winter in a different place to its brethren in Scandinavia and Russia. They take the route south to the Arabian Sea. The Scottish birds, instead, fly west, first to feed on plankton in Canada, and then via the Caribbean and central America, to Ecuador and Peru.

Tang Astronomy

At http://heritageofjapan.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/the-tang-dynasty-cosmic-... ... further to the recent post on a comet recorded by astronomers during the 8th century AD the link describes the cosmic world view of the Tang emperors. No mention of comets but it is clear they would have been watching and recording very carefully.

Milk digestion amongst European people

Lactose tolerance evolved - it is a genetic change. At http://phys.org/print309711543.html ... we have a story about milk digestion and lactose tolerance. A research undergraduate has analysed DNA from the teeth of a human living in central Europe around one thousand years ago. Not exactly historical, as such, but the results showed that people at that time had a similar genetic predisposition for milk digestion as in present day people in the region. In other words, lactose tolerance was more widespread than previously believed.