humanity absolved

A few weeks ago I posted a story about a mammoth graveyard in Siberia where a village had been built on top without anyone  realising what lay underneath their houses - initially. At the excellent site (lots of pictures( http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/f0214-paleothithic-m... ... where the idea that some of the carcasses had been butchered because stone tools had been found, ostensibly tools for cutting hides and flesh rather than for killing them, and in a minority as well.

Zanzibar

At http://phys.org/print375437395.html ... alathough the subject of this article is environmentalism and scare mongering about rising sea levels and the extinction of animals, we do learn an interesting fact. Zanzibar only became an island roughly 11,000 years ago. Large animals such as zebra, buffalo and water buck were common but when they were cut off from the mainland they died out - or that is the assumption. It is thought rising sea levels were responsible but is that the whole story. It sounds a little trite. Zanzibar is very close to the equator.

magnetic eyes

Yes, you read that right - magnetic eyes. At http://phys.org/print375443736.html ... dogs and primates can sense the earth's magnetic field - with the help of their eyes. In animals cryptochromes controlo the body's circadian rhythms - and the same is true of bacteria and other living things. The magnetic field is used by many animals to orientate and navigate - especially among birds (pigeons spring to mind). A magnetic sense has been found in some insects, fish, reptiles, birds and various other animals but apparently this ability is absent from humans, we are told.

fired hill forts

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/winter-2015-2016/article/some-iron-... ... we've heard of the vitrified forts of Scotland where timbers were set alight to partially melt stones and rocks but now it seems archaeologists are thinking in terms of this practise being quite common - on the continent and even in northern England. However, in southern Britain hill forts are usually made of earth ramparts with ditches, and presumably this was common on the continent as well.

expanding charon

Nice one here. You have heard of the expanding universe and the expanding earth theory but now we the claim the moon of Pluton, one Charon, has expanded - and caused the surface to fracture and crack (see http://phys.org/print375129748.html

Meanwhile, at http://phys.org/print375347863.html ... astronomers have discovered a spectacular tail of gas more than 200,000 light years across, coming from a nearby galaxy. Do galaxies have tails like comets - on a much larger scale?

another giant

At http://phys.org/print375349033.html ... glypodonts, like all armadilloes, originate from a common ancestor around 35 million years ago. The glypodont is a very large version of the armadillo and lived during the Late Plaeistocene - at the same time as giant elephants, giant grould sloths, giant elk and deer, and giant forms of lots of other animals. At the end of the Ice Age all these large mammals became extinct - why? Why did they grow to such a large size? It is almost reminiscent of the Jurassic era - when small dinosaurs of the Triassic became larger versions of the same animal.

getting round a problem

At http://phys.org/print375467925.html ... getting round the problem of a gamma ray burst being detected at the same time as the hypothetical merger of two black hole has not vexed mainstream for too long - just a couple of days it would seem. We now have a black hole swalling a massive star - and spitting out a gamma ray burst.

At http://phys.org/print375441286.html .... we have a little history of 'globular clusters' - don't know what they are then read the link. The role of Charles Messier is interesting.

genetic holes

It seems that even genetics can get frenetic over when genetic changes might have taken place. This new discipline, presented as almost infallible, has been holed on the under side. At http://anthropology.net/2016/02/17/neanderthal-human-sex-happened-100000... ... where sex is included as an attractor as a light is to a moth. The subject is genetics and inheritance of traits. Some four per cent of Neanderthal genes are said to be preserved in Europeans, for example, but the big question is, how much more genetic material was once part of European genes.

atheism

Seems like some academics have discovered atheism might have been prevalent in the ancient world - particularly during the Greek and Roman classical era. Atheism is not a modern phenomenon we are told - see for example http://phys.org/print374828340.html .. so what is new?

2015 warmth

Two pieces explaining the warmth from November to February - El Nino. Go to http://phys.org/print375009187.html ... and http://phys.org/print375033372.html ... The funny thing here is that it was the super El Nino of 1998 that set the global warming mantra into overdrive - but never acknowledged that the warm spike was a fully natural event. As CAGW went into full swing we may wonder at the connection with the secular apocalypse and the year of 2000AD (a year in which the brain cells go back to a date tuned into full religious mode).