At ... we are told researchers have worked out how planets like Jupiter form. Astronomers set up 'two theories' and then set about simulating each of them to arrive at the truth. Number One was the accretion of a substantial core that consensus thinks might have then attracted gases and kept them. Number Two was a top down formation beginning with the gaseous disc that seems to accompany star formation.


The cows farting story is still popular amongst the Green Blob (as absurd as it sounds to most everyone else). At ... (which is written by a guest blogger from the Antipodes). The gist of the post is that productivity  (the amount of food produced) and the health of farms and their livestock are under threat from CAGW legislation and alarmist scare mongering.

Pacific Migrations.

At ... modelling and statistical data have been used to explore how the colonisation of the Pacific islands took place and what role wind systems might have in the process. It was shown that Hawaii and New Zealand may have been found as a result of La Nina conditions existing in the Pacific whereas colonisation eastwards, they think, was a result of El Nino conditions. The problem with this study is obvious - they have limited their modelling to known wind systems and weather changes that occur in the modern world.

Altiplano Uplift

The topography of the central Andes is the subject at ... geologists have been investigating why so much uplift has occurred in that region since the end of the Pleistocene - uplift on a scale contrary to the mainstream consensus regards how long these processes take. For example, it is widely recognised that  Lake Titicaca was a coastal lagoon but now it is elevated at several thousand feet.

Blooms, Manure, Tea Leaves.

At ...  a study of phytoplankton in the Oct 21st (2016) issue of Science claims that blooms of these small sea creatures and algae coincide with warming of the oceans. How does this affect the accumulation of chalk (blooms of coccoliths).

Siberian Faces

   At ... it seems stone faces in Siberia underwent facial adjustments in the early Middle Ages as a result of new people moving into the area.

Early Humans

There was an excellent TV programme a few weeks ago featuring Alice Roberts and human history (the Denisovans, Neanderthals, and the arrival of modern humans etc). Whilst it seemed to glaringly omit earlier but related versions of humanity it did serve to update her earlier TV programme (and book) 'The Incredible Human Journey' - which kept strictly to the BBC propaganda line on 'Out of Africa' (for better or worse).

Ice Age Cattle

At ... Ice Age artists depicted an unknown hybrid species of bison and cattle in great detail on cave walls around 15,000 years ago (in the Magdalenian cultural period). Research published in October (2016) Nature Communications, suggests this animal was the ancestor of modern European bison (now largely extinct across its former habitat) - yet the DNA from one to the other differs. Why?

Frigate Bird

You can see why scientists like to visualise dinosaurs as having had bird bones when you consider the remarkable feats of the frigate bird. Bird bones are lighter bones otherwise birds would never be able to launch themselves and remain in the air - and frigate birds have extremely light bird bones. They migrate over thousands of miles of ocean, rarely touching down for a breather, between Africa and Indonesia. They are inclined to avoid the doldrums, that equatorial region of unpredictable winds that becalmed so many sailing ships prior to the 20th century.

China refutes BBC slant

At ... a BBC television programme came out with the claim Greek sculpture directly influenced the rendition of the terracotta army in the tomb of the First emperor a week of so ago (see ). The archaeologist has retorted by saying she has been quoted out of context - which is not surprising as the BBC have a habit of selectively editing material.