Dilation of Time

At http://phys.org/print339147471.html ... there is a fascinating abstract derived from an article in the December 23rd issue of PLOS ONE online journal, 'Implication of an Absolute Simultaneity Theory for Cosmology and Universe Acceleration' which suggests dark energy is not necessarily a factor in the expansion of the universe. It is all about the idea of time dilation and a different way of looking at Einstein's theory of relativity.

Cappadocia, Kirbet Kerak, and the mystery of the Tutankhamun mummy

A new underground city has been found in Cappadocia, in the eastern part of what is modern Turkey - see www.hurriyetdailynews.com/massive-ancient-underground-city-discovered-in...?

An early urban centre near the Sea of Galilee is being explored by archaeologists. This is Kirbet Kerak, a city that dates back at least as far as 3000BC. It was contemporary with the Old Kingdom of Egypt, with links even as early as dynasty One.

the article that never was

SIS was, quite a few years ago now, on the way to publish an article on Dodwell's famous 'curve' - where he claimed to be able to track the last time the axis of rotation of the Earth had changed. The original article, at that time, was in the safe hands of Adelaide University, and his family had expressed the wish that his work was not taken out of context.

Forbush Decrease

A sudden decrease in cosmic ryas bombarding the Earth's atmosphere has coincided, accidentally or otherwise, with a week or so of very cold weather> On December 21st ground based neuton monitors detected a sudden decrease in cosmic radiation - http://spaceweather.com December 29th - and this was due to three CMEs thrown out by the Sun, over the previous 48 hours, sweeping awy, broom like, many of the cosmic rays normally in the vicinity of the Earth. The CMEs did not engage with the Earth or its atmosphere - they swept on by (sweeping up the cosmic rays in the process).

Geology is a fascinating science subject

At www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/when-texas-was-bottom-sea/ ... is one of those imponderables. Guadelupe Peak, the highest mountain in Texas, looks across the jagged spine of El Capitan, which looks almost like the prow of a great ship rising out of the ground. The road to El Paso is in the plain below and Guadelupe Peak, and indeed, the Guadelupe Mountain range, are full of fossils. They go way back to when they were under the sea, forming part of a reef system that was some 400 miles in length.

Energy systems

At http://phys.org/print338190635.html ... is about thermoelectric power plants that seek to harvest the ocean waves by pumping cold water up through a heat exchanger

Mesolithic Stonehenge

At the site of Blick Mead near Amesbury, close to the earthwork known as Vespacian's Camp, we have a site that is revealing new information all the time. It overlooks Salisbury Plain and Stonehenge and has locked in a remarkable bit of history. David Jaques of Buckingham University has a career unfolding just from what has been preserved at Blick Mead. Charcoal from the site has been C14 dated and reveals the site has been continuously occupied over a period of three to four thousand years - by people with a Mesolithic culture (a reference to the micro blades they used).

Venus is still mysterious

At http://phys.org/print338201746.html ... we have one of those schoolboy visions of Venus which is mostly hypothetical but written as reality. Venus is horrible! It sucks, we are told - but sucks what? It's as hot as an oven (actually, an awful lot hotter than an oven) and atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of the Earth. It rains sulphuric acid. It is a lethal place as far as humans are concerned - so no bus stops for spaceship tours on Venus. We won't be visiting the place in a hurry.

Vikings in the Arctic

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-12/uv-eov121514.php ... the discovery of Viking activity in northern Canada is not exactly something new. However, the latest finds have hit the archaeological headlines as it involves metallurgy - fragments of bronze and small spherules of glass that form when rock is heated to a high temperature. Basically, they have discovered a crucible for melting bronze in order to convert it into something different - tools or ornaments. It is long known the Vikings were in northern Canada to obtain furs and walrus ivory and other items of trade and bartering.

Unravelling String

At www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/string-theory-about-unravel-180953... ... the String Theory hypothesis has been around for 30 years - and nobody has really been able to get to grips with it. Is it real ... or is it the product of being too clever by half?

This link provides a fascinating glimpse into all those high expectations associated with super strings and elaborate mathematical calculations. One suspects the theory will survive enthusiastically until all the excited young students of the time are living off a pension and swallowing statens.