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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11 Nov 2011
Records of Aurorae and Climate Change

A paper by Nicola Scafetta in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-terrestrial Physics is reviewed at .. is set to expand the climate debate by drawing in solar flares and aurora borealist records. Basically, the claim is that oscillations in mid latitude auroras between 1700 and 1966 occurred in a cycle of some kind, at intervals that marry into instrumental global surface temperature records.

11 Nov 2011
Solar Magnetic Polarity Reversal

Michael Armstrong on the .... wrote a piece last year on the solar magnetic reversal every 11 years and corresponding with sun spot cycles, which is little understood. Armstrong seeks to explain the situation by making a connection with the electric sun hypothesis (but see also

This piece, it may be noted, has a strong association with plasma physics and nuclear fusion - see 

11 Nov 2011
Hannibal and his elephants

I make no comment on this inclusion, sent in by Gary Gilligan, a link to a piece that asks if Hannibal really crossed the Alps with an army - and some elephants. The gist of the piece is a bit of grist, and that is that historians accept he did but when it comes to events in the Bible such as the Exodus they cast doubt on the authenticity of such things. See One aspect missing is that most of the Roman period was warm - warmer than today.

10 Nov 2011
Looking at the universe - with different eyes

At ... Stephen Smith has a look at the way astronomers describe features of the universe. For example, plasma behaves in unusual ways and observers assume it is the result of winds and shockwaves that they see. Plasma is driven at a very high rate of knots - as fast as 1000km a second. There seem to be powerful storms going on, or cluster activity with great clouds of gas - for want of a better description.

10 Nov 2011
Caves and Archaeology

At there is a report on a paper in PNAS on the colour and markings of prehistoric horses as painted on the walls of Lascoux cave - and elsewhere. All the variations existed in pre-domestic horse populations, it would seem, lending weight to the idea the artists were portraying faithfully their natural environment. Anthropologists, and others, have suggested the paintings actually reflect abstract ideas in the minds of the painters, and such colour and markings did not exist.

10 Nov 2011
Cooking up a nice dinner

At we learn that cooking meat played a key role in driving the evolution of man from apes. The study is in PNAS and actually builds on earlier studies in the same field. I can remember something on these lines a couple of years ago. However, in the recent paper, Rachel Carmody of Harvard's dept of Human Evolutionary Biology, has expanded on what went before - but what will the vegans think?

7 Nov 2011
An Electric Universe query - can anyone help?

Todd has emailed the SIS contacts link with an Electric Universe query. People who might wish to get in reciprocal contact with him can do so via SIS - we have his email address. He claims that nearly two weeks ago Mars was smacked by a large solar flare and he says this was responsible for red skies on the Earth. First question to be asked by us - what connection is there between red skies on earth and the planet Mars. Something or nothing?

7 Nov 2011
Arctic Warming

One of the big scaremongering stories in recent years has revolved around the warming summer waters of the Arctic Ocean - as a result of warm surface water perculating around the ocean conveyor belt system transferring warm tropical waters into the far north. What the fond of cuddling up to AGW people fail to tell the public is that the Arctic Ocean has warmed up before - quite recently. Naval logs from the RN, for example, record this happening in the first half of the 19th century, and Hubert Lamb reported on this occurring in the 1930s.

7 Nov 2011
Doomsaying and prophecies of End Times

At ... as 2012 approaches the doomsayers and mongers of disaster are abroad and barking in the dark. On the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011 the New Age fraternity, it seems, or some of them, plan to celebrate receiving 'energies' in preparation for a transformation of consciousness on the winter solstice of 2012. What the connection between the two dates might be is left unsaid but some kind of catastrophic event for 2012 has been dreamed up in the minds of some people - the internet is awash with stories.

7 Nov 2011
Fossils in Amber

We all know about insects in amber, preserved as fossils and highly prized by our ancestors. The trade in Baltic amber during the past is well catalogued in archaeological studies. The entombed insects of Baltic amber go back to the Eocene. Amber comes from the resin of trees - but the species of tree has not been identified. What you might not know is that fossilised tree resin has been found all over the world and from different epochs in time - see the Deposits Magazine (Southwold in Suffolk) issue 26 (2011).