Leaves of Grass

At www.physorg.com/print194798703.html ... we have a post on Walt Whitman, a poet who left in one of his collections, Leaves of Grass, a reference to a 'huge meteor succession' in extremely vivid detail that has caused people to think he witnessed the event. Scholars have debated the issue for over a hundred years, and astronomers have equally been puzzled. What exactly did he see?

Origins of Earth ... a new idea

www.physorg.com/print194799255.html ... there is a fresh insight into the origin of planet earth, involving geochemical data. The surpising result is that earth did not fully form in the beginning - but was 40 per cent of itself. See the link for details.

Jewish Origins

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603123207.htm genome analysis has probed Jewish genetics - or distinctly Jewish populations (see American Journal of Human Genetics June 2010). The idea is to find out if there is a distinctly Jewish race - which is a bit of a stupid question as Judaism is a religion and must embrace more than one strand of human genetics.

Volcanoes and the Mantle

See www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602131346.htm ... if tectonic plates colliding cause volcanoes why do some volcanoes erupt far from a plate boundary? A study in Nature suggests that volcanoes, and even mountains, in the Mediterranean region, can grow from the pressure of the semi liquid mantle pushing on earth's crust from below.

Primordial Magnetic Fields

It seems that almost every day astronomers are revealing more data about magnetic fields in space - which in the end must involve electricity in some kind of way. Magnetic fields are mentionable commodities nowadays as they fit into the 'plasma universe' - but astronomers have some way to go before thinking in terms of an actual 'electric universe' - but within time who knows what they might home in on.

Earthquake clustering

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602193429.htm is a post on earthquakes triggering other earthquakes, causing clusters of them - which involves the synchronisation of faults in the crust. The synchronisation of earhquakes - clusters of ruptures of several faults followed by phases of quiescence has apparently been found in palaeo-seismic records (or proxy data). It reflects the common observation that large earthquakes can trigger others on nearby fault lines.

Harrapan culture

Frontline, India's national magazine, has a beautiful article with lots of pictures that can be downloaded at www.flonnet.com/stories/20100618271206200.htm on the rise and fall of a Harrapan city - the layout, views of the dig, and views of the finds. The rise and fall of the city over a period of 150 years is portrayed - urban grid, monumental architecture, a stadium with terraced stands, funerary architecture, a sandstone quarry, and an impressive water management system are included.

Humans in Britain earlier than thought

The Independent June 1st ... until last month there was no evidence of humans in Britain between 200,000 and 65,000 years ago - but that was only because no evidence had been found. Now it has - humans were here 110,000 years ago - the trusty Neanderthals. Southampton University and Oxford Archaeology have discovered stone tools in Kent and it is being floated that humans were able to cross from France to SE England because sea levels were so low.

Huge Flare

At www.physorg.com/print194274365.html ... XMM Newton images of the emisson of the neutral iron flourescent line in molecular clouds around Sgr A taken between 2004 and 2008 shows that the supermassive black hole thought to be at the centre of the Milky Way went through a turbulent phase during the past few centuries. The evidence comes from surrounding molecular clouds whose variation in X-ray and gamma-ray luminosity reflects a major flare in the recent past (see the Astrophysical Journal).

Himalayan Smack

At www.physorg.com/print194263023.html May 28th ... geologists have found evidence that when India collided with Asia 90 million years ago the crust of the Indian tectonic plate was forced beneath the larger Asian plate and sank into the mantle of the earth to a depth of at least 200km. This is double that of previous estimates.