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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22 Sep 2011
A black hole captured by WISE - on video

Now you can see what is thought to be a black hole on video - or bright flaring activity (see www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-298&cid=release_2010-298 ). Whatever it is emits random bursts of energy and can become then three times as bright in a matter of hours, before fading again. It is orbited by a companion star. See the video link at www.astro.isas.jaxa.jp/~pgandhi/wise_gx339/wise_blackhole_anim.html and a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters by a number of scientists from Japan, India, the UK, Europe and US (see also http://wise.astro.ucla.edu ).

22 Sep 2011
Eating Information

At www.physorg.com/print235629106.html ... Chinese researchers at Nanking University have found some unknown effects from eating plants and herbs. The plant miRNAs may get into the blood and tissue of the host species - simply in the process of eating those plants and their fruits. Once inside the host body they can elicit functions by regulating host 'target' genes and then regulate host physiology. In a nutshell, in this godsend research for the traditional Chinese health industry, plants can cause the host community, over time, to adapt in ways beneficial to the plant.

21 Sep 2011
Plain of Jars

At www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/09/2011/understanding-the-myst... there is a piece on the Plain of Jars, otherwise the Xieng Khouang Plain in Laos, where there are hundreds of gaint stone jars arranged in clusters and dating from between 500BC and 500AD. They weigh in at several tones, are up to 3m in height and are made of very hard stone - such as granite, limestone and sandstone.

21 Sep 2011
Happenstance?

At www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2011/09/12/mythology-at-stake/ ... mythology is interpreted in many ways especially when societies and cultures seem to record almost the same phenomena but live many miles apart without any apparent contact. One idea popular in some quarters is that the use of plants and fungi to produce hallucinogenic visions in some way reproduce similar images from the depths of the human collective unconscious - a similarity in shapes and form.

20 Sep 2011
Blue Stones, strange lines on the ground and a Pictish beast

At the topnotch web site www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/09/2011/bluestone-henge-twin ... if you remember, from the TV series on the 2007 excavations, a former bluestone circle was found on the banks of the Avon, at the beginning of the Avenue. Now, this circle was dated to around 3000BC and it is thought it consisted of blue stones. However, the stones were transported up the Avenue after roughly 500 years in their original position and they are thought to have become part of the larger bluestone circle erected at Stonehenge in around 2500BC.

17 Sep 2011
Troy ... revisited

News of a book just released - on the location of the Plain of Troy. According to author John Crowe, former SIS stalwart, the area around Bergama is a much better fit than that of Hisarlik (taking a cue from John Lascelles). However, the location of Troy and Ilios is left open as it is unclear if Homer's creation concerned a single historical event (a clash with the Mycenaeans) or a composite of several historical events (per Bryce, 2005), and indeed, whether Homer was reciting a myth (which may or may not have included an historical clash of men at arms).

17 Sep 2011
Feathers in amber

At www.news.ualberta.ca/article.aspx?id=7F2465DE563B40C9882377C4C08E0F52 ... University of Alberta scientists have found feathers preserved in amber, from the Late Cretaceous era (towards the end of the dinosaur age). No mention of sudden apocalyps. It is thought the feathers, blown in the wind perhaps, landed in tree resin which preserved them - but how long did it take for the resin to harden? Fossilised feathers have also been found preserved in sedimentary rocks.

17 Sep 2011
Vesta - the asteroid

A video of NASAs Dawn spacecraft flying past the giant asteroid, Vesta, is available online to view (see www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/index.cfm?id=1020). Vesta has seasons just like the Earth - and there is a huge circular depression near its South Pole, hundreds of miles wide with cliffs several miles high. A mountain squats in the middle of the depression, nine miles tall. No doubt Thunderbolts in due course may comment on this peculiarity (see also www.nasa.gov/dawn or http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov for mission details etc.

9 Sep 2011
The Grail and the Moon

Gary Gilligan sent in this link to a story about NASAs Grail mission which is set to blast off in an attempt to unravel some of the mysteries of the Moon (see http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/07sep_twomoons/ - and one such mystery concerns a paper in Nature that claimed there was once two moons orbiting the earth. The small of the two struck the bigger one and created the bumps and humps on the far side of the Moon.

8 Sep 2011
Antarctica in the News

There is a fun post at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/07/frozen-global-warming-research/ a post by Willis Eschenbach, in a dry style. It seems that because of faith in AGW the Americans did away with their ice breaker fleet some years ago. At some later point they found they needed an ice breaker in order to bring in supplies for their team of scientists studying the effects of co2 on the Antarctic ice sheet and hired one from Sweden - and this has been the situation for the last few years.