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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1 Jul 2011
Aborigines are the whipping boys again

At http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/06/did-australian-aborigines-... there is a report on a paper in Geophysical Research Letters that claims Aborigines burnt old vegetation from the landscape in the hot dry season in order to help stimulate regrowth during the upcoming rainy season (the monsoon rains of northern Australia and the Darwin peninsular).

1 Jul 2011
Homo erectus ... clues and counter clues

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-06/nyu-fsh062811.php there is a report from PLoS One (online journal) on Homo erectus in Indonesia, widely regarded as a human ancestor as they resemble Homo sapiens in a variety of ways. It is standard theory that Homo erectus also migrated Out of Africa - but some 1.8 million years ago. Now, we all read these dates but they are pretty meaningless except in a geological context, as geochronology has a pattern.

1 Jul 2011
A black hole ... Cygnus X1

At www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/06/cygnus-x-1-a-black-hole-harvard-sm... is one of those posts where you wonder if the use of proof is a bit stretched, but never mind, apparently some people think Hawking has lot a bet he made with Caltech astrophysicist Kip Thorn on Cygnus X1. Hawking said it was a neutron star and Thorn was sure it was a black hole. It seems Thorn has won himself a year's subscription to Penthouse magazine as astrophysicists claim to have measured the distance and mass of the star.

1 Jul 2011
Maryland Meeting update

The July Maryland conference is being updated daily at the Thunderbolts web site - speakers and subjects are evolving and more information is forthcoming at www.thunderbolts.info so that those planning to attend can get a broader picture of the event. Good luck to all.

30 Jun 2011
Laughing at the climate news

A nice piece of humour in the form of a letter written to a prominent AGW journalist, here just named Fiona (a spoof or otherwise) - see http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/6/29/letter-to-a-climate-cor...  ...

 .... while at www.wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/29/the-log-in-the-eye-of-greenpeace/ is a short piece on AGW funding. Not quite funny but useful to know for those unaware of the $ and £ involved in the oh so saintly we know what is good for you brigandage. 

26 Jun 2011
A trillion bolts of lightning

Yes, a trillion bolts of lightning are being emitted from what is said to be an enormous black hole in a distant galaxy (see www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/06/universes-highest-electric-current... ). Philipp Kraberg of the University of Toronto and some colleages say they have measured the alignment of radio waves around Galaxy 3C303 where a giant jet is shooting out of the centre. A sudden change in the alignment of waves coinciding with the jet was 'an unambigous signature of an electric current' he said.

26 Jun 2011
Dr Strangelove ... and scary AGW solutions

At www.physorg.com/print228124344.html .... ideas to combat the rise in levels of co2 in the atmosphere and in the oceans are beginning to feature some Dr Strangelove kind of ideas - and one of them is adding iron filings to the oceans. The threat of global warming, they think, is good reason to tinker with ecological systems - in the air we breathe and the water that feeds us with its bounty. Luckily, a few other scientists are getting worried something crazy will be set in motion, and a bit of research into the oceans is in order.

26 Jun 2011
Tiljander lake sediment data

Proxy data known as the Tiljander series, named after the original researcher on lake varves in a Scandinavian body of water, pops up in the new sea level hockey stick model in spite of the controversy that exists, as pointed out by the original research and by Steve McIntyre and others in a series of searing demolitions of its use in Mann hockey sticks - upside down. Now, the myth is that this particular series of data is used bottom up for a reason - to produce a desired result (eliminating the Medieval Warm Period).

25 Jun 2011
Under the sea volcanic activity

An interesting post at http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/megaplumes-and-volcanic-gasses/ is a bit of typical sleuthing by EM Smith, wondering just how much co2 might be produced by under the sea tectonics and volcanic activity. He takes it a stage further by speculating that it might influence the transfer of heat by the ocean circulation system that runs around the globe, an area of research that is poor in comparison with other palaeo-climatic endeavours.

25 Jun 2011
More info on Mercury

At www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/06/-mercurys-messenger-reveals-surpri... (see earlier post a few days ago). This blog post is derived from information from the Carnegie Institute and it expands a little on what the Messenger spacecraft has found out about the magnetosphere of Mercury. The Mariner 10 fly by in 1974 witnessed a burst of highly energetic particles in the magnetosphere but nothing as powerful as that has been seen by the Messenger during its 3 fly bys so far. However, bursts of energetic electrons have been seen - which were not as energetic.