In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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19 Dec 2011
Liquid co2 occurs in puddles on the sea bed ... is this bottoming the scare?

A fascinating piece of sleuthing that has uncovered reports of liquid co2 on the ocean bottom and these have an origin in 'white smokers' - vents near mid ocean ridges and plate boundaries that spew out while columns of fluids, water containg compounds of barium, calcium and silicon, and blobs of liquid co2 - see http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/liquid-co2-on-the-ocean-bottom/. Potentially, this is capable of blowing away the current super scare story -ocean acidification.

15 Dec 2011
Higgs and Holes and sun beams

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/13/higgs-boson-announcement-expected-... cern/ is a piece with lots of comments on how the search for Higgs Boson is proceeding (see also www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16158374/ we have the BBC headline, 'Higgs Boson may have been glimpsed' ... but on the other hand, it might not have been. Whatever, particle physicists are apparently very excited by small signals - which might be background noise.

10 Dec 2011
Up the stairs and down the stairs

Landsatt satellites used to track Yellowstone's geothermal heat - see www.physorg.com/print242540137.html. Yellowstone National Park sits on top of what is thought to be a huge ancient and still active volcano, a so called hot spot - downstairs. Heat is thought to rise from an underground chamber that creates some 10,000 hot springs, mud pots, terraces and geysers. 

8 Dec 2011
A couple of gems ... bouldnor cliff and Kents cavern

In the latest issue of Current Archaeology 262 Dec/Jan 2011/12 there are a couple of gems. The first of them concerns Kents cavern in the holiday resort of Torquay. New research here began in 2009 and the cave still contains a large amount of untouched sediment, and hopefully, Pleistocene archaeology and palaeontology. So far it has yielded over 80,000 fossils and bits and pieces and caused ripples in the 19th century.

8 Dec 2011
An alternative view of Gobekli Tepe

At http://archaeology.about.com/od/huntergatherers/ss/Gobekli-Tepe.htm there is a discussion of an article by EB Banning in Current Anthropology (2011) that suggests the T shaped pillars were used to lay a roof over the structure - otherwise compared by archaeologists with stone circles. They are circular in shape - but so are Iron Age houses in Britain and Ireland, and there are lots of these T shaped circles at Gobekli Tepe - within a quite small space.

8 Dec 2011
Canaries volcano and a spaceship at the edge the solar system

The under-sea volcano that has erupted deep on the sea-bed off the Canary island of El Hierro is now just 60m below the surface - and still growing. It will either create a new island in the Atlantic or will become an extension of the southern shore of El Hierro. There is also seismic activity to the north of El Hierro and over the last 4 months there has been some 11,000 tremors across El Hierro itself (see www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15917740)

5 Dec 2011
Some interesting archaeology news-bites

At www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/dec/04/bronze-age-archaeology-fenland/ ... the Cambridgeshire fens have preserved some archaeology intact for 3000 years. Some six hollowed out oak trunks (boats), textile fragments, wicker baskets, and wooden sword handles have been preserved in the peat. How? Well, they are described as beneath a deep layer of peat and silt - and the silt might be a clue.

4 Dec 2011
Circle of Bones, Knowth and Lapita

At www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/12/02/3381368.htm ... the Lapita culture has been found around the coastline of southern Papua New Guinea and it is thought Torres Strait Islanders may be direct descendants. The seafaring people are thought to have developed their culture around 3500 years ago on islands on the other side of New Guinea, expanding out into the Pacific Ocean around 1200/1150BC onwards, and colonising Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, and somewhat later, moving on to Samoa and Tonga.

3 Dec 2011
Bumping the Crust

At www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=japan-earthquake-moves-seafloor we learn that the Fukushima earthquake moved the sea floor as much as 50m laterally and 16m vertically. In addition, the crust as a whole did not move forwards by 50m but varied between the coastline and the nearby trench (thought to be a subduction zone) which means that closer to the coast it was just a movement of a few feet, and out at sea rising to 20 and 30m and even further out to 50m movement.

2 Dec 2011
Fish, using tools to ... fish

At www.physorg.com/print241950691.html ... rather, a fish using a tool to smash open a shell - various species of wrasse do this and there is photographic evidence of a tusk fish doing the same thing. This is distinctly disturbing as we have always been informed that just we humans are that clever. It was bad enough when primates were found to use tools to poke things out of tight places or crack nuts open but then it was found that crafty crows and various other birds, such as the thrush cracking open snails, also used tools in their everyday sort of chore ...