Jomons in Ecuador

At ... Tim Cullen is away on a new angle, similarities between Jomon pottery from Japan and the pottery of the Valdivia Culture in Ecuador, located on the Santa Elena peninsular. They appear to have arrived in the area around 5000 years ago - another long distance migration episode? Perhaps.


At ... it seems that coal was formed 300 million years ago just as Pangea was in the process of coming together - or that is the current theory on offer in PNAS (January 2016). This contradicts a popular theory geologists seem to have taken a fancy to over the last few years and this is that coal was formed in the Carboniferous in a 60 million year gap between the appearance of forested landscapes and the evolution of wood eating microbes in between.

nest sites

At ... we learn that nesting grounds of sauropod dinosaurs are quite astonishly preserved in some parts of the world, some sites covering many square miles. These form vast playgrounds to rear their young. At Jabaljur in India, and at Lemta Ghat for example eggs of giant crocodiles have also been found in these fossilised nesting sites. The nesting sites with crocodiles tend to be located in estuarine situations in what may indicate crocodiles and dinosaurs wee able to tolerate each other.


The Times, February 25th 2015, nearly a year ago, had a report on the Black Death - and Asian gerbils were said to be responsible. Between the winter of 1348 and the summer of 1349 the plague is said to have wiped out a quarter of England's population and half that of London. An estimated 50 million people in Europe died in such a short space of time that it makes you wonder if rodents could spread a disease that quickly. Mike Baillie in his book, 'New Light on the Black Death; the Cosmic Connection' had a different view.

Warm november december

It seems the 2015 El Nino may be mostly responsible for the warmth of global weather in November and December. This is the line adopted by David Whitehouse at ... which is a rather nice title as CAGW people are fond of accusing sceptics who say heavy snow falls, like the current blizzard striking eastern N America, disprove global warming. It seems the sauce is good for the golden goose but not for the gander (Joe Public who finances it all).

mammoths where they shouldn't be

Mammoths, or big elephants shall we say, are always a crowd pleaser which draws attention and the story at .. where we learn a frozen mammoth carcase displays evidence of butchering by some of our ancestors. The problem is that the discovery was made deep inside the Arctic Circle, at 72 degrees N, in what we might call the northern region of central Siberia. Other kill sites are known just below the Arctic Circle but most of them occur well outside the region.

atmospheric tides

Another one from ... the lunar gravitational pull increases rainfall when it is on the horizon but reduces rainfall when overhead or on the opposite of the Earth. The cause is the atmospheric equivalent of ocean tides - and the paper is published in Geophysical Research Letters (Jan 2016).

We are not of course referring to a lot of influence by atmospheric tides - and it would be difficult to notice, but the effect can be seen, they say.

Beauty and the Beast

Not very often I get a chance to post in the Mythology box but at ... which claims some fairy tales, such as Rumpelstiltskin and Beauty and the Beast, and the Smith making a pact with the devil, go way back into history - far into the bronze ages. The latter story in particular, they say, goes back to the 4th millennium BC, and the article is published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

Planet Nine

I saw this first at January 20th but it has since spiralled on to lots of other sites such as ... Batygin and Brown of Caltech claim they have found evidence for a Neptune sized object orbiting the Sun beyond Pluto. Six small objects in the outer solar system, also beyond Pluto, are grouped together as if they are being shepherded along by a larger body - as yet not actually seen. That body, they say, is ten times the size of the Earth and has an elliptic orbit.

zodiacal lights

Rens van der Sluijs continues his posts on people in the past that have mentioned electricity in space - see ... followed by part 3 and 4