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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7 Mar 2012
A bright streak and a pale red dot

The police received a number of calls concerning a huge fireball that crossed the sky from Scotland to Devon around 21.40 on March 3rd, escribed as incredibly bright - see and This follows several fireballs seen over North America during February - but where do they come from? It is only a matter of weeks since the passage of an asteroid that came relatively close to the earth, in astronomical terminology that is, but might there be a connection? Was the asteroid a defunct comet?

5 Mar 2012
A little bit of local history ... and everywhere in Britain has something similar to say

The Slough Observer last week had a report on the history behind the Montem Mound at Salt Hill in Slough. In various sources this was associated with a mysterious trade in salt that in some way involved Eton College, which until the 20th century owned much of the land to the south of Salt Hill, down to the Thames in the valley below. In the early medieval period this was a watery landscape and the line of the Roman road to Bath takes the high point along a ridge above the Thames valley, including Salt Hill.

5 Mar 2012
Easter Island statues and a lesson in misrepresentation

The Times (Feb 23rd, 2012) has a report by correspondent Tom Whipple on the famous statues of Easter Island and the current excavations taking place there by a team under the guidance of Colin Richards. It seems he is critical of recent environmentalist whoppers that have blamed the islanders for the plight they find themselves in - rather than loot hungry westerners in sailing ships. The term the environmentalists that re-write history use is ecocide (Jared Diamond, Collapse, 2005).

5 Mar 2012
The Moon and Tidal Rhythmites

Gary has sent in details of a paper that can be found at which has the subject of 'tidal rhythmites' - an interesting subject from a uniformitarian and a catastrophist angle.

5 Mar 2012
Isostasy and Mean Sea Level

An interesting guest post at Anthony's site - see ... a look at all the things that might affect global sea level - and whether or not it has been rising in the recent warming period. For the moment, sea levels appear to have settled down, possibly due to cooler sea surface temperatures as a result of two years of La Nina dominancy. However, there is more to it than simply thermal expansion of sea water. Lots more.

4 Mar 2012

The Cassini spacecraft has detected a thin atmosphere that includes oxygen and ozone on Saturn's moon, Dione - see Admittedly, it is a faint atmosphere but enough to get news of it published in Geophysical Research Letters. Oxygen, it seems, is common in the Saturn system, already detected on the moon Rhea and in the rings around the planet.

3 Mar 2012
Fakegate ... get up to speed (and sustenance for the science buffs)

This is really climate change but it is also having a look inside science, hence the heading. Fakegate has dominated the blogosphere for the last fortnight. Very little about it has hit mainstream media but one place to look is (a lot of posts) and for those seeking a shred of amusement, always the best option, go to

3 Mar 2012
Oxygen Isoptopes

The paper reviewed on the post in front of this (today) at uses high resolution foraminifera based sea temperature data (the shells of plankton) as well as salinity and upper water stratification reconstructions off Cape Hatteras, a region sensitive to thermahaline circulation changes associated with the Gulf Stream.

3 Mar 2012
More on Clovis-Solutrean links

At ... the title says it all and recounts the story of the scallop trawler that hauled up a mastadon tusk and a dark, tempered stone blade some 8 inches in length, a distinctive style of blade common to both Clovis people in the Americas and Solutrean people in Iberia and SW France.

3 Mar 2012
Conifers in the far north that survived the Ice Age

This story is at and begins by saying that it has been assumed that the last Ice Age denuded the Scandinvian landscape of trees until the milder weather of the Holocene kicked in and trees seeded themselves back into the region from somewhere in the south. A paper in Science says this might not actually be true and there were ice free pockets or refuge areas where spruce and pine trees survived - to reseed the areas covered by the ice sheet.