The 300/200BC event

We now have the 300/200BC event (see ... Dallas Abbot, a geologist based at Columbia University in New York, says an asteroid 183m wide crashed off the coast of New Jersey and sent a tsunami surging across what is now New York city over 2000 years ago.

Strange Supernovae, Water on the Moon, and an asteroid that struck Australia

The following three articles all come from one day at 26th October ... the first says robotic telescopes have turned attention to strange exploding stars that seem to indicate unusual physics. One supernova in particular cannot be explained by known mechanics or physics. Observation has been done by a variety of different telescopes and it seems it is devoid of oxygen and carbon but is rich in helium.

A volcano, tropics under the ice, and Ice Age vegetation - under the sea

At ... the Java volcano, Merapi,  is about to blow, it seems, and the countryside is on high alert. Meanwhile an earthquake of the coast of Sumatra created a tsunami a day ago. There were 500 volcanic related earthquakes in the region over the weekend.

Comet Hartley - fast approaching meeting

At is a report on the space mission  scheduled to have a close encounter with Comet Hartley in November. However, even now observations indicate the comet is not behaving as it should do in respect of the consensus model of comet behaviour. It was seen to increase the release of cyanide fourfold over an 8 day period in September - without an increase in dust emissions. It is not known why this happened.

Little Big Horn

At ... is an account of the story pieced together from later Indian memories. Adapted from The Killing of Crazy Horse Thomas Powers (2010).


The Menhirs, Cyprus in the Neolithic, Ancient Writing, and a wooden door that was made 5000 years ago

At ... the Russian Information Centre has released news of archaeological findings in the South Urals where they have unearthed an ancient complex including settlements, burial grounds, avenues of menhirs. One site consisted of a central upright stone around 2m high surrounded by a ring of recumbent stones - with the odd outlier.

Keeping Neandertals brutish

At ... it seems that archaeologists have new decided the major site at Aray-sur-Cure in central France, the so called reindeer cave, is so jumbled up - Neanderthal remains and artefacts mixed with those of Homo sapiens, the site should be disqualified from the debate over Neanderthal mental attributes and symbolism. The problem has been caused by new radio carbon dating at the site.

Stone Age (Palaeolithic) flour

At there is a report on a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (this week) (see doi.10.1073/pnas.1006993107 ) that claims that Palaeolithic people were making flour in Europe as early as 30,000 years ago - from plant grains and roots. The idea that Palaeolithic hunters were almost exclusively meat eaters has always been insecure.

Megalithic Tombs

Another locked in consensus point of view might be about to start rocking at the hinges. I am referring to some of the abstract ideas that have proliferated in archaeology textbooks in recent years regarding the use of the landscape by our ancestors in NW Europe. Very often, long barrows and prehistoric graves seem to occupy high ground - significant ridges or terraces. This has given the impression the intention was to dominate the surrounding landscape, to impress or mark out ownership of the valley or lowland below, and various other ideas, sometimes quite woolly.

Dating the Ice Ages

New Scientist 22nd May 2010 had a story on the Hulu cave system near Nanjing in China which contains some very useful stalagmites that have been used to date the Ice Ages - or at least the last four. James Croll, a Scottish self taught physicist, proposed that periodic change in the earth's orbit caused the amount of sunshine reaching the surface of the earth to vary over time. Low sunshine in winter led to snow accumulating. As ice sheets grew the earth reflected more heat back into space amplifying the effects of orbital changes.