Vortex of Fire

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/27/tornado-of-fire-in-brazil/ you will find some short video clips of a tornado of fire created during wild fires - transient phenomena captured by the abundance of mobile phones with cameras. Are these combustible tornados?

The video clips are available on a variety of blogs.

The Layer Cake

If this is cake it ain't got a lot of fruit. At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825185121.htm ... research has found the North American continent is a layer cake (see Nature August 26th). Exploration of seismic factors at the interior of the earth illuminate how the continents formed. The continental land masses have been broken into pieces, joined back together, and then broken up again - but some old pieces of the lithosphere have existed over very long periods of time.

Alternative energy

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100825131445.htm ... devices to capture electricity out of the air are being contemplated - like solar cells capture sunlight. However, it requires more research into lightning - and how it builds up and grows. It is known that water in the atmosphere can accumulate an electric charge and transfer them to other materials it comes into contact with - known as 'humidity-electricity'

Coal through the microscope

Go to http://geology.com/articles/coal-through-a-microscope.shtml where it says microscopes reveal the hidden nature of coal - made from thick accumulations of plant debris, mixed with swamp sediments. Also, coal contains a lot of charcoal - as a result of fires raging through the landscape as the coal was being formed. Now, that is catastrophic.

Near Earth Objects

At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1306555/Our-terrifyingly-crowded-solar-system/ is a short post with a video clip of the asteroids that fly close to the earth - and only those discovered by telescope. It excludes the additional near earth objects found by the WISE mission. It was compiled by astronomer Scott Manley over the last 30 years. He is a former research student at Armagh Observatory.

Early Americas

Daily Mail August 25th ... the remains of a prehistoric child were found in an underwater cave in Mexico - dating back over 10,000 years ago. Scientists hope the skeleton will offer clues to ancient human migrations into the Americas - from SE Asia. Anthropologists think the body was placed in the cave in a funeral ceremony performed when the sea level was some 488 feeet lower than it is today.

Electricity in the brain and electricity in the weather

At http://opa.yale.edu/news/article_print.aspx?id=7646 July 14th 2010, Yale University press release - scientists at Yale have a paper in Neuron which claims electrical fields can influence the activity of brain cells - the little grey cells of Monsieur Poirot perhaps? It is known that transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation are effective in the treatment of neurological disorders.

Arrows give the game away

BBC News August 26th ... archaeologists in South Africa have unearthed stone points dated 64,000 years ago which were probably arrow heads. A microscope revealed traces of blood and bone. They also found traces of a glue - a plant based resin that was possibly used to fasten them to a wooden shaft. The use of bows and arrows as a hunting tool enabled humans to kill from a distance where previously they had used ambush tactics in order to move in with spears at fairly close quarters.

Radio emissions from sun spots

At www.physorg.com/print201972151.html ... professor Jeongwoo Lee (see also www.csun.edu/physicsandastronomy/IAUS273/) seeks to explain why sun spots are a source of radio emissions because hot electrons gyrate in the coronal magnetic field. As they gyrate they produce an efficient radiation called gyro-resonant emission. This serves as an indicator of the magnetic field and of temperature in the coronae above sun spots.

Shrinking atmosphere

Yes, the atmosphere is shrinking - as a result of low levels of solar radiation - a lack of sun spots. At www.physorg.com/print202054025.html there is a report on a paper in Geophysical Research Letters from research funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation which sponsors the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) at Boulder, Colorado. It is now thought the Sun's magnetic cylce may vary much more than previously considered possible.