Mars - spreading volcano

At 'Is Tharsis, Mars, a spreading volcano?' - it is thought Tharsis Rise on Mars is spreading outwards and that has produced rifting at the summit with radial tear-fault systems associated with folding round its periphery. It is said by this geological attempt at understanding the feature to be analogous to a terrestrial mid-ocean ridge - without the corresponding subduction zones.

Plasma and Magnetic Fields

NASA has another story to delight - the Cassini spacecraft took images of enormous clouds of plasma periodically blooming around Saturn, moving the planet 'like an unbalanced load of laundry on a spin cycle' and words to that effect. The hot plasma, they continue, producing a repeating signature like a thump in the rotating magnetic field. The big question now being asked - why are these plasma explosions happening in such a periodic manner?


At we have a video clip and a story on a sunspot eruption way back in August (see also december 14th). What prompted the post was a paper just published in the Journal of Geophysical Research on the electro-magnetic significance of the eruption.

Prehistoric Footprints at Formby

The footprints are said to date back some 5000 to 6000 years ago, see and it seems a lot of amateurs have been scouring through sand dunes near Formby in Lancashire after the disovery of footprints. According to marine scientists the beaches are receding and this disperses sand and sediment and uncovers underlying layers.

Israel Antiquities Authority

For those interested in Biblical archaeology - or revisions with a slant towards the archaeology of the Levant, you may be interested to learn the Israel Antiquities Authority journal is now available to read or download in full online at - articles published in English as well as Hebrew.

Naughty Maoris

At ... apparently, scientists have found evidence that 40 per cent of the canopy forest in the South Island of New Zealand was incinerated around 800 years ago - and the blame is being put on the Maoris as they were unable to climb trees and pick fruit, we are told, but for some reason they are said to have preferred to dig up the rhizomes of bracken fern as they contained starch.

Victor Clube at the 2010 Conference on Quantavolution

The talk is available for download from ... the talk has the title, 'Global Warming and the Disallowed Protestant Calendar' but has nothing to do with the global warming debate at all except to point out that the warming trend out of the Little Ice Age is one thing and pollution as a result of industrialisation is a different issue.

A crocodile - but different

At ... a paper in the Journal of Vertebrae Paleontology 30 (December 8th) has come up with some interesting biological differences, as it seems crocodiles come in a variety of adaptations to habitat - long snouts and pug nosed snouts, long tails and shortish tails, lithe bodies and pudgy


At ... Kevin Trenberth, IPCC lead author and matey boy with Phil Jones of UEA notoriety, has rushed to defend a peculiar study that contradicts not just a lot of earlier research but the fact that market gardeners pump C02 into growing houses in order to make their crops produce bumper yields. An Australian biologist claims otherwise - and John O Sullivan is on the case.