Venus hot

At ... the planet Venus, it tells us, has played a role in the mythology and astrology of countless people around the globe - and even in present times interest in Venus thrives. Lots of consensus stuff - and speculation about why it has not cooled. It seems to be highly volcanic, the atmosphere rich in sulphur dioxide adn with hot spots that may mask fresh lava outflows, oozing out of the surface. Its impact craters have the appearance of being fresh.

climate change, mammoths

At ... and .... concerns a paper that blames the demise of the mammoths and other large beasties on 'climate change' - and human impact was negligible. This story has been around for a while and got the commenters at WattsUp in a huff. They objected to climate change playing a role and tended to 'big up' the role of human predation by hunters.

Utah wet

At ... in the deserts of Utah, Nevada, and southern Oregon ancient shorelines can b e found on hillsides above dry valley floors, left behind like bathtub rings. These are the mark of former lakes that once existed in what is now a hot and dry region in the shadow of the mountains.This whole region was much wetter long after the end of the Ice Age, with springs and marshes and water in abundance (in comparison with today). When did the desert form - or dry out? Well, dampness still existed until 8200 years ago - isn't that surprising? Or is it.

Denisova cave, Altai

At ... this excellent web site has lots of images to go with its science stories - and we get to see inside the cave.

space rocks

Lots of links and information now emerging on the Rosetta mission. At ... is a post on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and its interaction with the solar wind. It is the constant battle between the comet and the solar wind that sculpts the ion tail - and Rosetta's instruments are monitoring the detail. Activity has been increasing the closer the comet gets to perihelion - a fortnight away.


At .... it seems Monmouth is back in the archaeological news with another curious discovery. A while ago we had boats that were once being built and used on a former glacial lake and now we have the remains of a wooden building on stilts going back 5000 years ago - and also built on the former lake. The site is going to be turned into a housing estate and the archaeology is being done prior to that situation taking place.

Irish eclipses

At ... enigmatic images on a slab of stone at the back end of a cairn on

geological zeal

At ... lots of geological mapping took place in the 19th and 20th century (in the US), somewhat before the Plate Tectonics consensus hypothesis saw the light of day. Geologists with great zeal, missionaries guiding the young 'uns, so to speak, have set their sights on modifying old geological data because they claim it has been neutralised by Plate Tectonics. They say much of North America is the equivalent of terra incognito, and should be shown as a white space on geology maps rather than the various colours used for basement rock.


Fascinating. A sea stack off the Aberdeenshire coast has been confirmed as the site of an early Pictish fort in the 3rd and 4th century AD. It is a small fort - but then again a sea stack is not normally very expansive. It was dwarfed by a near neighbour - but later (5th and 6th centuries AD), Dunneter Castle. The big mystery is how the Pictish warriors regularly got to scale the sea stack - which is narrow, very tall, and doesn't come with a footpath to the top. Nowadays the sea stack can only be accessed by using ropes at low tide.

sea levels on the other side of N America

We learnt yesterday, that sea level was surprisingly stable in northern British Columbia over the last 13,000 years - but we now have a new study that claims it is a lot different on the eastern coast of N America. It is said to be anything but stable.