Dumb Neanderthals

At https://anthropology.net/2018/02/10/richard-coss-argues-neanderthals-did... .... Richard Coss, described as a professor emeritus of psychology, questions why there is no Neanderthal cave art in the archaeological record. He seems to skip the obvious answer - it hasn't been found yet, the blog author says. Coss jumps to the conclusion that modern humans have a superior kind of eye and limb co-ordination. It turns out Coss has taught art as well as psychology - so he should know something about the subject.

Plasma Universe

At https://phys.org/print437373834.html ... the universe is highly magnetic - with everything from stars to planets to galaxies producing their own magnetic fields. The researchers created a hot turbulent plasma (quite small and short lived) in the laboratory - just the size of a penny. The looked at how the turbulence and its motions was able to amplify a weak magnetic field to the turbulence seen on our Sun. It is the first laboratory experiment of a theory explaining the magnetic fields of various cosmic bodies, the plasma working like a dynamo.

Global volcanism and Chicxulub

Sea floor data point to a global volcanism event after the Chicxulub meteor crashed into the Yucatan peninsular - see https://phys.org/print437224338.html ... the highest peak of sea floor spreading (expansion of the sea floor) is deemed to have occurred at the same time as the Chicxulub meteor strike. That makes sense as recent investigations have shown how deep into the crust the asteroid penetrated. It caused massive magamatic activity - all around the world.

Earth's Core

Go to https://phys.org/print437245752.html ... for the story. Basically, the mainstream view for a long time has been that Earth's inner core formed a billion years ago when a solid super hot iron nugget spontaneously began to crystalise inside a 4200 mile wide ball of liquid metal at the centre of the Earth. According to a new paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters the above theory is a paradox - contradicting itself.

Edfu

Archaeological excavations of Tell Edfu, ongoing for the last 16 years, have revealed some interesting information about how people lived in the Old Kingdom - see https://phys.org/print437211849.html ... going back to the second half of the 3rd millennium BC. Edfu is in southern Egypt (or what was known as Upper Egypt) and finds  from the 5th century are currently being investigated. Edfu was an important post for expeditions into the Eastern desert in search of metals and stone. The Red Sea coast was just 125 miles to the east.

Ozone

It seems that when the Sun is more active than normal, with lots of flares, some of which are directly aimed at the Eaarth, the ozone hole over the poles appears (as ozone is dispersed to temperate and tropical areas of the Earth (the atmosphere overlying these regions). The zone hole was particularly a focus of interest in the 1990s and early 2000s. It was back to a degree in the middle of the current solar cycle (or solar maximum as it is known).

Formation of Clays

At https://phys.org/print437125828.html ... in this instance, clay formation on the planet Mars. Temperature on Mars is well below freezing but it must once have been warmer if liquid water carved out features on the surface. Not only that but the water had to be warm enough for surface clays to form. The researchers opt for a series of short term warming episodes leading to temporary wet climates. All speculation of course.

HINODE images

At https://phys.org/print437129335.html ... HINODE captures record breaking solar magnetic field. A sun spot observed by the HINODE spacecraft. Astronomers in Japan discovered the largest magnetic field ever directly measured on the surface of the Sun. It seems to have been generated as a result of gas outflow form one sun spot pushing up against another sun spot .... (see below)

Global Warming

It's been pretty cold in the US - especially in the NE. Over in the UK we have had some cold spells - nothing out of the ordinary (just normal winter weather). Elsewhere it has been very cold in Russia )again, not unusual), cold in Japan (in comparison with recent years) and monsier president appears to have got a dose of gloabl warming after weeks of saying he is going to combat it - and dip into his wallet (well, the wallet of the French people, that is). However, the creme egg is the Sahara. It had not snowed for 37 years when it snowed in 2016.

Virus from Space

Gary sent in this link www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5359111/Billions-viruses-bacteri... ... courtesy of British Columbia. Not exactly the same as Hoyle and Wickramasinghe and 'Diseases from Space' as the new findings are talking about viruses swept into the air in sea spray and soil dust, which then travel upwards into the atmosphere. They are deposited back on to the surface of the Earth somewhat later - in a never ending cycle. Obviously, humans have evolved and survived while all of this was going on - by the mechanism of the immune system.