a single stone tool with a lot to say

At http://westerndigs.org/stone-tool-unearthed-in-oregon-hints-at-oldest-hu... .... this excellent web site has come up with another humdinger. A multi-purpose stone tool made from an orange agate was unearthed at a rock shelter in Oregon. The site has already produced evidence of human occupation as early as 12,000 years ago - such as stone points, tools, and hearths. The new agate tool was found in a much deeper layer. It was situated in a sandy clay geology that was itself found beneath a layer of volcanic ash that has been dated at 15,800 years ago.

Ping Pong with the planets

At www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31664162 ... rogue planets are forcing astronomers into a rethink of the birth of our solar system. Planetary pin balls are on the table - and are seriously being aired as a subject for discussion.

The change in heart and mind has come about as a result of the hunt for exo-planets. Astronomers have been seeking them out as they may harbour life - or that is the hope. The search is on for a planet in an Earth like orbit in an Earth like solar system arrangement.

Yucatan Pop

At http://phys.org/print344769202.html ... evidence of a massive tsunami wave that struck the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsular has been found. It is claimed it occurred 1500 years ago, at some point after AD450. It could have been caused by an underwater land slip, a Caribbean volcano, an earthquake, or a meteorite strike. No chance of knowing. Even the date is wide open as it is presently dated somewhere between 450 and 900AD. It requires a more secure dating analysis, using C14 on sediments from above and below the tsunami level.

bang, wallop, sizzle

At http://phys.org/print344585068.html .... surprise, surprise. Australian Aborigine people have stories about a fire devil that burnt people on the surace which they attributed as revenge for breaking their 'sacred law' - and where have we heard that before.

There are other stories of fiery stars falling from the sky and producing a deafening sound, blowing debris across the landscape and setting the vegetation on fire. See http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.6368

fulgarites

It is a well known theory that lightning causes fulgarites but an open access paper at http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G36255.1 ... for the Geological Society of America, claims volcanic lightning can also produce glass from volcanic ash.

At http://phys.org/print344596072.html ... some nice close up images of the surface of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken on the 14th February.
 

the Rostov slab

At www.livescience.com/48298-bronze-age-sundial-moondial-discovered.html ... a slab of rock discovered 20 years ago and having spent that time in the back of a museum in Russia has proved to have had an astronomical function. An archaeo-astronomer said somewhat unconvincingly, that it was perhaps evidence of people trying to understand patterns of the motion of luminaries and the nature of time. The slab of rock had been used to cover a grave dating back to the 12th century BC. It goes back to the Srubna Culture people who lived on the steppe between the Urals and the Dneiper.

starry eyes

At http://phys.org/print344225723.html ... star clusters forming in a remote part of the Milky Way. Apparently, this is not supposed to happen according to the consensus view on how stars may form. Now, the sky survey WISE mission has picked up star formation in a region where it is impossible to happen - according to orthodox thinking. Stars, the theory goes, form inside loops of gas in great molecular clouds at the heart of the galactic disc. Brazilian astronomers espied two molecular clouds - and the stars beaming out from them.

snails, humans, and wheat DNA

Snails are often collected during archaeological excavations as they can provide evidence of the environment - species variety by species variety. For example, they were a useful source of data in the recent Stonehenge Riverside Project. However, there is evidence some human groups ate snails as part of their regular diet. Eating snails may have a link with catastrophes - such as landscape fires. It seems that people living in SW France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, may have developed a taste for snails and reared them as a delicacy, taking them with them on their travels.

co2 is warming the planet ... oh no it isn't

This is a tale of two takes on a single paper in Nature journal (Feb 25th 2015) and the press release can be read at http://phys.org/print344084581.html ... where scientists using 'incredibly precise' spectroscopic instruments in Oklahoma and Alaska have 'observed' an increase in co2 and the greenhouse effect on the surface of the Earth for the first time - but what did they really see? We know there has been an increase in co2 (all those Chinese coal fired power stations) but where did the extra heat at the surface come from?

Jewish fortunes in the Exile and beyond

   This is an image of a clay tablet with cuneiform writing, as practised in ancient Babylonia. The said tablet is one of over a hundred in the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. They document the lives and religious continuity of Jews in the Exile. Although many returned to Judah after the Persian king gave them permission many of them did not - not until modern times.