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2015 SciMail

LATER Eclipses etc. ETs' Code End Times? Cycles Weasels Ants' Dance? Old Universe?
Hawking Temps+Trees Tree Temps Climate Fraud Panspermia Fake Science! Sci-Ignorance LIfe+Universe
Mega-Fauna Galactic Energy Old Galaxies Hurricanes Wrong PTB Phys Ignorance? Phys Basics Altruism?
Alarmists? Mammoths Glaciers Arctic Ice Folk-lore2 Folk-lore Fakery Controversy
Fish-oils? `Black Holes' Fake Yellowstone Impact2 Impact DARPA + Mars NASA + ETs EARLIER


plse use "MAIL PERCEPTIONS" to input

Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2015 08:46:47 +0100
Subject: "Super blood moon on Sunday will not usher in the end of the world

Well, they're probably right to talk down any panic - because panic doesn't help anyone.

However there is more than a germ of truth in warnings of quakes etc at times like these - as several groups of scientists have found from analysing the statistics - see checkalign.html#lun1 and then maybe scroll up to top [or go direct to this text file].

By JAKE ELLISON, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF Updated 5:22 pm, Monday, September 21, 2015

Super blood moon on Sunday will not usher in the end of the world (and other failed predictions)
The end of the world will surely come, but just as surely it will not be this Sunday night or Monday morning when a super moon combines with a lunar eclipse to create a "super blood moon."

The moon completely crosses the earth's shadow in a total lunar eclipse, becoming a "blood moon" because of sunlight bending through Earth's atmosphere and hitting the moon.
Basically, despite the doomsayers, we're just going to call it:

No world destroying comet, no Earth shattering quake ... and if a religious figure comes/returns, our guess is that it will be on par with a personal visit like what people say happens every day ... no Earth-scorching fire and brimstone will happen this weekend.
Why did this astronomical event cause such fervor?

Basically, the rare but eminently predicable event of the moon reaching its closest distance from the Earth (super moon) during a total lunar eclipse (causing a red hue to be painted on the moon by refracted sunlight or a blood moon) captured the imagination of those who are looking for evidence of the end times.
(more at page ...)

Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2015 11:12:16 +0100
Subject: "Edward Snowden: we may never spot space aliens thanks to encryption

Right, only it's not just `encryption' that does it.

Those of us working on early satellite communications (only a few decades ago) knew this then, because, using `spread spectrum' modulation [+ demodulation of a multi-GigaHz carrier - along with a few more tricks to impose and retrieve signals from a fast running coded bit-stream of say 20 or 40 MHz] and looking at the resulting o/p signal on a spectrum analyzer screen - you only see a tiny increase in the "noise", which runs continuously across the bottom of the screen anyway - totally unrecognizable as a signal.

Someone should tell SETI to get uptodate.
Edward Snowden: we may never spot space aliens thanks to encryption
And extraterrestrials may never notice us, either, if our technology is sufficiently sophisticated, whistleblower tells Neil deGrasse Tyson
The US government whistleblower Edward Snowden believes encryption might make it difficult or even impossible to distinguish signals from alien species from cosmic background radiation.

On Friday night, Snowden appeared from Moscow on the astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson's StarTalk podcast, via a robot video link called a `beam remote presence system' ....
The conversation turned to the possibility that data encryption might be making it harder to intercept communications from aliens.

"If you look at encrypted communication, if they are properly encrypted, there is no real way to tell that they are encrypted," Snowden said. "You can't distinguish a properly encrypted communication from random behaviour."

Therefore, Snowden continued, as human and alien societies get more sophisticated and move from `open communications' to encrypted communication, the signals being broadcast will quickly stop looking like recognisable signals.

"So if you have an an alien civilization trying to listen for other civilizations," he said, "or our civilization trying to listen for aliens, there's only one small period in the development of their society when all their communication will be sent via the most primitive and most unprotected means."

After that, Snowden said, alien messages would be so encrypted that it would render them unrecognisable, "indistinguishable to us from cosmic microwave background radiation". In that case, humanity would not even realise it had received such communications.

"Only," Tyson replied jovially, "if they have the same security problems as us."

Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:07:32 +0100
Subject: "Eschatology

Ha!  A bit dated.  Posited on the out-dated `Heat Death' of the universe.

Typical BBC (and Establishment) which always wants the Universe to be a doomed one  (they'd earlier said `Big Crunch' and then `Heat Death' although we now know all those were untrue.

[ In 1973 the elite `Nature' journal was corruptly refusing Tinsley's paper which proved the Universe was expanding (or at least not collapsing) forever. ]

Why?  Because they - the ruling elite - could then justify despoiling and exploiting all resources - claiming that it's all going to end in ruin anyway.

But we now know that the anti-entropic effects of gravity and plasma-forces (and the multiple positive feedbacks of `LIFE' in the Universe) means that the Universe is probably age-old - maybe infinitely old - and also maybe infinite in extent.

A radiophonic drama about the end of the world, witnessed from a liner adrift on a deserted ocean. Written and narrated by Peter Blegvad, Eschatology is a poetic exploration of the end of everything: of land where we take to ships, of radio contact when white noise fills the receiver; of individual sounds as they echo into space. Music and sound effects are composed and performed by Langham Research Centre (Felix Carey, Iain Chambers, Philip Tagney and Robert Worby), using vintage electronic instruments and tape machines. The last survivors are played by Harriet Walter and Guy Paul. Susan Rae delivers updates on the apocalypse as it spreads around the planet. Eschatology is a contemplative piece that encourages us to calmly consider how it would feel to witness the end of the world.

Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2015 07:19:11 +0100
Subject: "Global warming hiatus 'may NOT end soon' - UK Met Office. BUT it might!

Yup, a propos of this article, there's a quote [from Hermann Flohn: - `one of the world greatest climatologists' (Wiki)]:
"the magnitude and extent of any changes attributable to Man's activities - or even whether any such effects are occurring on more than a local scale - cannot be determined without knowing the range, and the likely timing, of changes due to natural causes."
which agrees with my own simple message - at try-logic.txt [2010]
and also at glacials page: glacials.html, where ALL evidence is reviewed, without fear or favour.
Ray D
Science | 14 Sep 2015 at 10:01 | Lewis Page
Global warming hiatus 'may NOT end soon' - UK Met Office
But it might. Hey, we don't have any idea

Climate-change followers will know there hasn't been any global warming since around the turn of the century. Observers had been expecting that to change, perhaps from this year, but now a fresh report from the British weather bureau suggests it may be business as no-warming usual for a while yet.

In a nutshell the UK Met Office climatologists say that a long-expected El Nino is finally starting in the Pacific Ocean, which will probably cause significant warming. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), another ocean mechanism in the Pacific, also looks likely to heat the planet up from this point.

But, no doubt upsettingly for people who may be desperate for a return to a warming world (for instance the workforce at the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services, dependent on global warming for its raison d'ętre) there's a third and very powerful factor to consider: the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).

The AMO has actually been heating the world up since the mid-1990s, though not strongly enough to raise temperatures, but now it looks set to swing into a negative phase and cool the planet off, probably for a long time, as AMO phases typically last several decades. The Met Office's new report (pdf), just out today, has this to say about the AMO:

The current warm phase is now 20 years long and historical precedent suggests a return to relatively cool conditions could occur within a few years ... Observational and model estimates further suggest AMO shifts have an effect on global mean near-surface temperatures of about 0.1°C. A rapid AMO decline could therefore maintain the current slowdown in global warming ...

The Met Office doesn't care for phrases such as "hiatus" or even "pause" to describe the absence of global warming for the last fifteen years or so: it describes the flat temperatures as a "slowdown".

But it's all the same thing. One should note that the Met Office report is strongly hedged - its title even ends in a question mark, in the style of headlines-to-which-the-answer-is-no.

But it isn't just the Met Office that believes the AMO may be headed into a cold spell. Scientists studying Atlantic hurricanes have noted that these massive storms have been mostly less common and less powerful in recent years, and the suggestion is that this trend may be set to continue, with the underlying mechanism being a switch in the AMO to a negative phase.

Meanwhile, it appears quite possible that 2015 will be a record warm year globally - though not in Europe or America. However, as NASA climate chief Gavin Schmidt pointed out in 2013, "one more year of numbers isn't in itself significant".

Just as it took quite a few years before the hiatus could be said to be ongoing, it will require several years of climbing temperatures before it can be said to be over.

Those climbing temperatures may be imminent - but, if the AMO plunges into a strong negative cycle, they just may not be, either.

Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2015 09:53:38 +0100
Subject: Weasel words: "Next two years hottest, says Met Office

Ha!  Getting some very carefully worded claims (actually lies) from the alarmists these days.  Like "hottest on record globally" is a virtual lie, since it sounds serious - but there are NO global records beyond a few decades back so they can claim anything they like.

What they don't tell you is that only about 900 years ago the world-climate was quite a bit warmer than now, and about 2,000 years ago it was MUCH warmer than now, and about 3,300 years ago it was even HOTTER.  [Check and official ref-links]

So much for their weasel-words
Ray D
By Roger Harrabin | BBC environment analyst | 5 hours ago

Next two years hottest, says Met Office
The next two years could be the hottest on record globally, says research from the UK's Met Office.
(more at page)

Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2015 12:39:48 +0100
Subject: Mysterious ant 'tribal dance' around ringing iPhone (VIDEO)

Very interesting  -  I've never gone for the "only chemical communications" for ants - they react too fast and from too far away for "only chemicals".

So now the questions are: was it electromagnetic or sonic ((or a combination of the two) - or something else?
Mysterious ant 'tribal dance' around ringing iPhone (VIDEO)
Published time: 10 Sep, 2015 15:09 | Edited time: 10 Sep, 2015 15:09

[ + VIDEO - "Ants Circling My Phone - Can Smartphone cause Injury to humans?" Published on Aug 30, 2015 This video was filmed August 30th, 2015 on my front porch. An iphone was placed in the center of approximately 300 ants.No animals were injured in the experimet. When the smartphone starts to ring because of an incoming call, the ants suddenly start circling around the phone.i donīt know the reason for the ants to behave like this. i also donīt know if a smartphone is able to cause injury because of electromagnetic radiation. ]

A viral YouTube video featuring a troupe of ants running in circle around a ringing iPhone has incited an active discussion among viewers as to why insects behave in such a weird way.
The video, uploaded August 30, initially shows nearly 300 black ants minding their own business and moving in a rather chaotic manner when all of a sudden they form a closed circle and start marching to the sound of a ringing iPhone lying in the center of the scene.

The footage has sparked a whole lot of various theories trying to expose the reasons behind the odd phenomenon.

Some commenters suggested that it might've been a tribal dance, while others were sure the ants were merely panicking since they didn't know whether to answer the phone or not.

Still others stuck to the more scientific explanation voiced by Associate Professor Nigel Andrew of the Department of Entomology at the University of New England, Australia. The ants are sensitive to electromagnetic waves emitted by the iPhone and walking in circles is how they respond to this kind of exposure, Andrew told Yahoo 7.

"[Ants] have magnetic receptors in their antennae. If they're traveling long distances they use magnetic cues from the earth to know if they are going north, east, south or west," he said.

Simon Robson, a social insect researcher from Queensland's James Cook University, believes that ants would circle around any object and the video is nothing special.

"There are many ants that actually start forming in a circle without the phone. It's an unavoidable consequence of their communication systems. Having the ants together like that, the shape of the phone may have something to do with it and the vibration might get them a bit more excited, but a lot of ants will do it even without the phone," he explained to Yahoo 7.

As usual, there were some skeptics as well who supposed the whole video had been staged.

One way or another, this mesmerizing march has garnered almost 3.5 million views so far.

Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2015 09:49:45 +0100
Subject: "Oldest galaxy so far discovered - challenges theories about evolution of universe

Ha!  This is only the latest example of "impossible" ancient galaxies and cosmic structures, all contradicting the `Big Bang' model and indicating the universe is much older and much bigger (i.e. maybe `infinite' in age and size).

The _total_ evidence - much suppressed and ignored by mainstream science - seems to say the Universe is an eternalist one, with minimal or zero expansion and continual redistribution of matter maintaining its average density.  [Maybe see creation.html#cre-ian and scroll]
Oldest galaxy so far discovered - challenges theories about evolution of universe
Scientist has discovered a new galaxy challenging the current theories regarding the age and evolution of the universe

By Ken Anderskov Petersen - 2015-09-06
PASADENA, Calif., September. 4 - According to a press release from Caltech, scientists have discovered a faint galaxy believed to be the farthest ever be observed. The discovery may lead to a revision of theories of age and evolution of the early universe.

According to current estimates the universe 13.8 billion years old. The newly discovered EGS8p7 galaxy - the newly discovered galaxy by a team of astronomers using several interlinked telescopes is estimated to be more than 13.2 billion years old.

The discovery was made by measuring a type of radiation with Lyman-alpha lines emanating from galaxy, a type of radiation that should in theory not be possible. Radiation of this kind should have been absorbed by clouds of neutral hydrogen early on in the evolution of the Cosmos.

Right after the Big Bang, the universe was a mess of primordial soup. Scattered free electrons are believed to have made it impossible for light to travel through space. After approximately 500 million years, when the universe cooled, the electrons combined with protons and formed clouds of neutral hydrogen gas, ionizing the gas which allowed the radiation to travel.

The new discovery suggests that cosmologists need to rethink the timing and evolution of the universe.

NASA Hubble Post-doctoral Scholar in Astronomy at Caltech, Adi Zitrin says "If you look at the galaxies in the early universe, there is a lot of neutral hydrogen that is not transparent to this emission. We expect that most of the radiation from this galaxy would be absorbed by the hydrogen in the intervening space. Yet still we see Lyman-alpha from this galaxy."

Zitrin and his colleague Richard Ellis, professor of astrophysics at University College, London published a description of the galaxy in the latest issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The age of the galaxy was estimated by measuring its so called redshift also known as the Doppler effect but using light instead of sound.

"The surprising aspect about the present discovery is that we have detected this Lyman-alpha line in an apparently faint galaxy" Ellis said.

Zitrin and Ellis suggest the findings indicate that ionization didn't happen uniformly. It is possible that EGS8p7 ionized large clouds of hydrogen gas which allowed its radiation to escape into the cosmos earlier than its peers.

"We are currently calculating more thoroughly the exact chances of finding this galaxy and seeing this emission from it, and to understand whether we need to revise the timeline of the reionization, which is one of the major key questions to answer in our understanding of the evolution of the universe," Zitrin says.

According to Caltech graduate student Sirio Belli, EGS8p7 was "unusually luminous, may be powered by a population of unusually hot stars, and it may have special properties that enabled it to create a large bubble of ionised hydrogen much earlier than is possible for more typical galaxies at these times.

Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2015 21:18:45 +0100
Subject: Ha!  "Stephen Hawking and his colleagues are still puzzled by black holes

Ha!   "Stephen Hawking and his colleagues are still puzzled by black holes

Hawking is a mathematician playing at being a physicist (see uef/inertfey.txt for Feynman's warning about the dangers of that situation).

Fr'instance, for years Hawking's model of a (non-existent) "black hole" was a static one - he just didn't realize that any body accruing mass has got to SPIN at an ever-increasing rate.

Which destroys the "black hole" hypothesis - ever-increasing spin ALWAYS ends in polar jets distributing the body's core material outwards - so no black holes!
After a week of intense debate, Stephen Hawking and his colleagues are still puzzled by black holes
By Rachel Feltman August 29 at 9:53 AM

Do black holes pose a big problem for the basic laws of our universe? That was the topic up for debate all week in Stockholm, where some of the first people to work on black hole theory did their best to come to some new solutions to a question they posed decades ago.

They were focusing on something called the information paradox. Based on the incredible density of black holes, physicists believe the bodies must swallow anything that comes too close to them -- including the stars that they're initially formed from. But based on the work of Stephen Hawking, they also believe that black holes give off so-called "Hawking Radiation" and degrade over time, slowly disappearing.

The paradox is this: If a black hole swallows up all the things that make a star a star, and then the black hole disappears, does the information about that star disappear too? Information isn't supposed to disappear, and (according to some researchers, Hawking included) such a phenomenon could turn the basic laws of our universe upside-down.

On Saturday, the gathered researchers summarized their conclusions -- or lack thereof.

"It's been quite an exhausting week," University of Arizona physicist Paul Davies told the gathered crowd of students and media.

Davies went through a series of complex theories that had been debated over the week, painting a picture of a field that has a lot more thinking to do before it reaches consensus. But the hope is that this week's discussions will provide new tools for the next generation of physicists.

The conference, which was primarily funded by the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita), is the brainchild of physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mersini-Houghton is a member of the next generation of scientists tackling these questions, and her work on black holes has drawn the "founding fathers" of the field into fierce (albeit good-natured) debate -- mostly via phone.

"On the one hand, we loved spending so much time on the phone talking about physics," Mersini-Houghton told The Post. "But we were getting nowhere in terms of convincing each other."

Mersini-Houghton started to think of the whole field as being a bit stuck. On the one hand, there were the men who had done the first work on black holes in the 1970s. On the other hand, there was a new generation of physicists -- Mersini-Houghton included -- who were doing exciting new work of their own.

But there seemed to be a communication divide. People coming to the field today, she explained, armed with new ideas and with access to new technology, weren't really diving back into the theories presented 40 years back.

"The younger generation, mainly due to this relatively new pressure to keep publishing new things, to keep pushing out new publications, most of what's transferred from the '70s is kind of cut-and-paste," she said. "Whatever was in those papers, it's just cut and paste without question. And there's so much confusion."

If the next generation had more unified, newly debated versions of these concepts to work with, she thought, they'd be more successful in pursuing new ideas.

"I thought, if we had these people, had them all in one room and locked them in for a week, we'd at least understand exactly what was going on, and what they agreed on," she said. "And everybody said yes. It must have been the right time for it."

Sitting in the aforementioned locked room -- a former chapel at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, its image of Christ now hidden behind a gilded curtain -- it's hard not to feel that the meeting is a fairly historic one. During his conclusion summary, Davies joked that they'd debated the topic so exhaustively that he had no desire to think about it again for another 40 years. But with all due respect to the brilliant physicists who helped form our first theories about black holes, most of them won't be around for another powwow by then.

Hawking, in particular, is clearly fragile. At age 73 and more than half a century after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the famed physicist was spirited in and out of conference sessions by his entourage, who firmly denied any requests for one-on-one chats with the media.

So it's not surprising that the public and press were rather breathless over Hawking's latest theories, which he presented Tuesday. But in watching the physicists in attendance, it was clear that Hawking's latest thoughts were just adding to a mix of many exciting new ideas. No one present expected to convince their colleagues that they had solved the whole mess -- they just hoped to spark some lively new debates.

As late as Saturday morning, in fact, the researchers were still debating whether or not the information paradox is even a paradox.

But that doesn't mean the gathering was useless.

"It has been a pleasure for me to participate - and to spend a week of intense discussion with old friends and colleagues," Hawking said Saturday. "It is many years since we experienced similar excitement on this topic."

And it's the right time to be reveling in that excitement: In the next few years, researchers will use a giant array of radio telescopes to get our first ever direct observation of a black hole - the one sitting at the center of our galaxy.

It could well be another 40 years before we have a real, working knowledge of how black holes work. But until then, theoretical physicists will just have to keep on arguing - whether or not they're physically stuck in the same place again anytime soon.

Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2015 19:47:41 +0100
Subject: WRONG? "2015 May Just Be Hottest Year on Record

Ha!  Don't want to seem cynical yet can't help recalling yesterday's complaint by a tree expert (BBC Radio 4 `Gardeners QT 15:00) that some trees aren't putting on growth this year because it's been a bit too cold!
2015 May Just Be Hottest Year on Record
2015 will very likely beat 2014 as the warmest year
By Andrea Thompson and Climate Central | August 20, 2015

If you're a betting person, it would be close to a sure bet to go all-in on 2015 taking the title of warmest year on record.

"I would say [we're] 99 percent certain that it's going to be the warmest year on record," Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with ERT, Inc., at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said during a press teleconference on Thursday.
(more ...)

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:00:44 +0100
Subject: "Trees and temperature

Was just now hearing - on a radio gardening program - a tree expert explain why many trees aren't putting on growth this year. It's too cold.
That is, although their trigger temperature of about 12 degrees (C) was reached in Spring and started off their sprouting, the wind-chill ever since has kept average temperatures too low for actual growth.

My own inbuilt thermometer is probably less accurate than a tree's but I've felt that way too - in fact I'm beginning to suspect that the really hot summers of my youth are a thing of the past, and that we might be starting the slide into a new Ice Age.

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 12:24:01 +0100
Subject: "Nasa: sea levels rising as a result of human-caused climate change - video

Misleading - to the point of being a downright lie!  Not the `sea-level rise' bit, that's to be expected in view of long-term rebounds in temperature - but the sneaky `human-caused' insert.

That's probably quite untrue - check the graph at imgs/gisp2-ice-core-temperatures2.jpg

I.e. about 3000 to 4000 yrs ago sea levels were much higher than now, without ANY oil-wells, coal mines or autos (and it's to be hoped we can retain that toehold against an upcoming Ice-Age!).
Nasa: sea levels rising as a result of human-caused climate change - video
Josh Willis of Nasa explains the space agency's announcement that a long-term satellite imaging study has shown a dramatic rise in sea levels due to climate change. He says the findings that sea levels worldwide rose an average of nearly 3 inches (8 cm) since 1992 could indicate how strongly impacted coastal populations will be in the coming century

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:12:25 +0100
Subject: "Panspermia: Scientists Mull If Alien Life Can Travel Between Stars Like Epidemic Outbreak

Yup, only a few years ago all the `experts' (inc. an increasingly bitter Sagan - see Velikovsky) were denying the possibility - see panspermia.html - maybe especially the later bit where UK Gov't agents tried to silence Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, it's at panspermia.html#police
PS - the implications are interesting, in that much or most `alien' life near us in this Galaxy might be rather closely related to Earth-life.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  RD
Panspermia: Scientists Mull If Alien Life Can Travel Between Stars Like Epidemic Outbreak
By Jim Algar, Tech Times | August 27, 10:59 PM

Life may have expanded across our galaxy like a virus spreading an epidemic, say researchers looking for proof of a theory dubbed panspermia.

Supporters of the panspermia theory - and it's a controversial one - suggest the seeds of life, or at least the building blocks, somehow made it to Earth from some distant alien world.

Scientists at Harvard University suggest that if the search for alien life begins to find inhabited planets, the distribution in the galaxy of those planets could be "smoking gun" evidence of panspermia.

Not that there's any reason to expect that life would resemble anything we see on Earth.

Still, Harvard researchers Henry Lin and Abraham Loeb say they've created a model of how life might spread from planet to planet. ...
"Life could spread from host star to host star in a pattern similar to the outbreak of an epidemic," says Loeb. "In a sense, the Milky Way galaxy would become infected with pockets of life."

The epidemic analogy is a valid one, Lin says, to be kept in mind in any search for extraterrestrial life.

"If there's a virus, you have a good idea that one of your neighbors will have a virus too," he says. "If the Earth is seeding life, or vice versa, there's a good chance immediate neighbors will also have signs of life."

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:37:11 +0100
Subject: "Study reveals that a lot of psychology research really is just 'psycho-babble'

Ha! You won't be surprised by my cynicism, maybe check fake-sci-psych.txt
STEVE CONNOR - SCIENCE EDITOR | Thursday 27 August 2015

Study reveals that a lot of psychology research really is just 'psycho-babble'

Psychology has long been the butt of jokes about its deep insight into the human mind - especially from the "hard" sciences such as physics - and now a study has revealed that much of its published research really is psycho-babble.

More than half of the findings from 100 different studies published in leading, peer-reviewed psychology journals cannot be reproduced by other researchers who followed the same methodological protocol.
There is growing concern about the reproducibility of scientific findings, especially in the medical journals where there is great emphasis on "evidence-based" medicine. The levels of statistical significance needed in some fields of research, such as particle physics, are much higher for instance than those employed in "softer" fields such as psychology and medicine.
However, the researchers found that some of the attempted replications even produced the opposite effect to the one originally reported. Many psychological associations and journals are not trying to improve reproducibility and openness, the researchers said.

"This very well done study shows that psychology has nothing to be proud of when it comes to replication," Charles Gallistel, president of the Association for Psychological Science, told Science.

Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2015 22:56:36 +0100
Subject: Shock - Ignorance is rife - in science!

Shock - Ignorance is rife - in science!

`An astronomer reports (c. 2004) that in an impromptu survey, six out of ten of her fellow astronomers replied "carbon dioxide" when asked what was the major greenhouse gas.'

There you go - a majority of `scientists' are just as ignorant and easily misled as the average layman.  In fact CO2 is NOT the major greenhouse gas and hardly qualifies to join the club;  a) because it reflects heat rather poorly (in two narrow bands of the spectrum;  b) because it exists only in tiny quantities.

The truth is:  Water Vapour - which exists in huge, mind boggling quantities, and is a much more efficient greenhouse gas - has, luckily for us, been responsible for about 99.9% of all Earth-warming, from billions of years ago to the present day.

But of course gov'ts can't demonize (as an excuse for `taxes') Nature's water-cycle vapour phase - which keeps Earth relatively warm.

N.b. without water vapour the Earth would be solid ice, even at the equator.


Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2015 18:56:57 +0100
Subject: Us & the Universe (& Lovecraft)

Was re-reading `The Collapse of Chaos' (by the Profs Cohen and Stewart) and came to a chapter which partly encapsulated some of the big problems with (Darwinian) evolution.  Now that's surprising because both Cohen and Stewart are convinced Darwinists, as well as being quite orthodox in believing all the main `standard models' of physics theories; i.e. `Big Bang', Particle Physics SM, Relativity, QM etc.

My doubts were underlined when I got to p. 137 or 138, in chapter 5, `The Origins of Human Understanding' - a big subject.  Firstly they illustrated that `natural selection' tends to make living things more complex, via various pressures - need for food, to escape predators, cope with parasites (inc. diseases) etc. They summed it up by saying "Complexity is downhill to evolution."

They then introduced two concepts:
i) it's `easier' to add to an already effective operation (of machinery, code or DNA sequence) than it is to re-engineer or rewrite earlier stages, which is almost always (99.9999%) harmful / fatal;
ii) it's more likely to give competitive advantage by adding something rather than by removing it:  i.e. if your hearing is good and eyesight is poor, then it's more adantageous to improve the eyesight.
They then proceeded to recap the standard evolutionary tale, with their own (quite good) examples of various tricks (complete operating systems, plus lots of bells and whistles - in computer terms).

A problem with the human genotype - the `plan' of our genes.
To get to us humans, with mammalian traits of temperature regulation of the egg and fetus (and ONLY mammalian DNA to operate them) the Profs Cohen & Stewart have to do a lot of special pleading, and to turn a blind eye to some difficulties and paradoxes:

I.e. there seem to be NO selection pressures to clean-up old, unused DNA sequences - if they're not used then they don't affect the organism, which is therefore just as efficient as others.  But mammals don't have any trace of the huge genetic libraries that amphibians and most reptiles have - because their eggs are lying around in ponds etc. and always needed to cope with a wide range of temperatures and variations of humidity.

So Stewart & Cohen's standard `evolutionary tale' has a big hole in the DNA plot-line - where are the traces of the evolutionary steps from amphibians & reptiles to mammals?  What "re-wrote" the entire mammalian DNA library (from scratch? - without fatal damage?) - without amphibian or reptile reproduction DNA?

In fact human DNA is quite sparse (see  As it says, initial predictions were for 100,000 genes, but now we find there only about 20,000 to 25,000 genes and even that total may be revised downwards.  It adds - "The number of human protein-coding genes is not significantly larger than that of many less complex organisms, such as the roundworm and the fruit fly."

That's one problem (among many) with the human genotype.

Some problems with the phenotype - i.e. an organism's material body, shape, behaviour, mentality etc. are initially outlined at creation.html#bio1 with contributions from Hoyle, Wickramasinghe, Penrose, Wells, Macbeth, Margulis and many other scientists.

[James P Hogan collected some of these writings in his `Kicking the Sacred Cow' - an excellent book.]

Many problems are significant, concerning our structure and workings.  Again the standard `evolutionary tale' has to ignore ALL these problems - so, as Margulis wrote, it's more of a religious mantra than a scientific theory.

When you put all these problems in their cosmic setting - the sheer unlikeliness (see creation.html#b-b) of a universe containing stars, making oxygen, carbon, silicon and many other elements needed for our kind of Earth-life, things get even more surreal, despite the `science mainstream' trying to explain it all away by what amounts to `magic' events without ANY convincing reasons.  Their `standard models' are full of unexplained forces and particle masses - all held as semi-religious "beliefs" by scientists (if they want to keep their jobs, get grants and tenure).

[I.e. the `Big Bang' was never convincingly predicted - their estimates needed thousands of times more background energy than was eventually measured as the Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR or CMBR) so they just lied and rewrote the history books.]

The standard model of cosmology is riddled with gaping holes and lack of logic - and gov'ts are motivated to make scientists say the universe is small, of a short life and doomed to early death (first they said "Collapse", then "Heat Death", now they say "Energy Loss" - none of which is supported by known facts and much is flatly contradicted by many observations).

In reality, taking all observations into account - seen at creation.html#pheno - the universe is probably huge (maybe infinitely huge) and therefore much older than the `standard model' claimed (again, the universe may be infinitely old).
To recap, we can see why gov'ts (via `mainstream science') lie to us about life and the universe - being always greedy and afraid of losing power, they want / need to keep our eyes closed to reality.

Even so we should be aware that, if we did open our eyes and see the `truth', we might not like it - as Lovecraft hinted, quoted at magic2.html#mad.

Ray D

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:05:09 +0100
Subject: Wrong? "Humans definitely killed off woolly mammoths

Probable hype & rubbish.  Dazzled by the thought of instant publicity (and more grant money) they've forgotten a major rule - `Don't confuse correlation with causation'.

In this case they ran a spreadsheet / database comparing "possible" extinction times, set against "probable" human arrivals and "reconstructed" climate figures.  Completely ignoring the fact that humans would only arrive in an area _after_ climate had changed to suit them, which the "reconstructed" climate chart probably doesn't show.

[So they saw a correlation, but there was no true causation.]

What they've probably really shown is that climate change [caused by massive impact(s)] _did_ kill the mega-fauna;  that's backed-up by the fact that the huge predators also died off - because their giant herbivore prey had perished for lack of leafy stuff.  I.e. their swampy tropical jungles had been wiped out - to be replaced by prairie grasslands.
PS - and any so-called `scientist' willing to say "As far as we're concerned ..." is no scientist at all.
ANDREW GRIFFIN | Friday 14 August 2015

Humans definitely killed off woolly mammoths, giant armadillo and sabretooth tiger, scientists claim
Scientists can now say definitively that humans are responsible for the death of ancient megafauna like the sabretooth tiger, the woolly mammoth, the woolly rhino and the giant armadillo, according to new research.

Researchers have long argued about whether the giant beasts were killed off by climate change or by humans. But the new findings from Exeter and Cambridge prove that man was the dominant force in killing them off, according to their researchers.

The animals, known collectively as megafauna, were wiped out over the last 80,000 years. All were extinct by 10,000 years ago.

To work out how that happened, researchers ran a statistical analysis that looked at all the possible times that they could have become extinct, and set that against the times that humans arrived in various places. They also compared that with reconstructions of the climate during those times.

"As far as we are concerned, this research is the nail in the coffin of this 50-year debate - humans were the dominant cause of the extinction of megafauna," said Lewis Bartlett, from the University of Exeter's Centre for Ecology and Conservation, which ran the study. "What we don't know is what it was about these early settlers that caused this demise.

"Were they killing them for food, was it early use of fire or were they driven out of their habitats? Our analysis doesn't differentiate, but we can say that it was caused by human activity more than by climate change. It debunks the myth of early humans living in harmony with nature."

Researchers said that they will now look into why the megafauna continued to exist for so long in Asia, where they suffered very low rates of extinction.

"Whilst our models explain very well the timing and extent of extinctions for most of the world, mainland Asia remains a mystery," said Andrea Manica, from Cambridge University, who was the paper's lead supervisor.

The research is published in the journal Ecography.

Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 16:16:28 +0100
Subject: WRONG: "Our Universe is Dying

Rubbish!  Just shows what a tangle folk get into when they unthinkingly accept faulty `assumptions' as fact - in this case that redshift = distance (+ velocity).  The truth, as Halton Arp et al were proving, is that redshift is really a sign of `activity' - the sort of angular momentum activity which produces galactic jets (see below).

So these folk, taking the high-redshift galaxies as far away and therefore `ancient', have naturally measured more energy - because they are actually nearby active galaxies.  That's how they've fooled themselves into thinking that universal energy levels are falling.
Ray D
[PS - maybe see jets page, and why TPTB want a dying universe]
Our Universe is Dying | by JASON MAJOR on AUGUST 10, 2015

Based on findings from the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) project, which used seven of the world's most powerful telescopes to observe the sky in a wide array of electromagnetic wavelengths, the energy output of the nearby Universe (currently estimated to be ~13.82 billion years old) is currently half of what it was "only" 2 billion years ago - and it's still decreasing.

"The Universe has basically plonked itself down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze," said Professor Simon Driver from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia, head of the nearly 100-member international research team.

As part of the GAMA survey 200,000 galaxies were observed in 21 different wavelengths, from ultraviolet to far-infrared, from both the ground and in space. It's the largest multi-wavelength galaxy survey ever made.

Of course this is something scientists have known about for decades but what the survey shows is that the reduction in output is occurring across a wide range of wavelengths. The cooling is, on the whole, epidemic.

"Just as we become less active in our old age, the same is happening with the Universe, and it's well past its prime," says Dr. Luke Davies, a member of the ICRAR research team, in the video.

But, unlike living carbon-based bags of mostly water like us, the Universe won't ever actually die. And for a long time still galaxies will evolve, stars and planets will form, and life - wherever it may be found - will go on. But around it all the trend will be an inevitable dissipation of energy.

"It will just grow old forever, slowly converting less and less mass into energy as billions of years pass by," Davies says, "until eventually it will become a cold, dark, and desolate place where all of the lights go out."

Our own Solar System will be a quite different place by then, the Sun having cast off its outer layers - roasting Earth and the inner planets in the process - and spending its permanent retirement cooling off as a white dwarf. What will remain of Earthly organisms by then, including us? Will we have spread throughout the galaxy, bringing our planet's evolutionary heritage with us to thrive elsewhere? Or will our cradle also be our grave? That's entirely up to us. But one thing is certain: the Universe isn't waiting around for us to decide what to do.

The findings were presented by Professor Driver on Aug. 10, 2015, at the IAU XXIX General Assembly in Honolulu, and have been submitted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Date: Sat, 8 Aug 2015 16:49:03 +0100
Subject: "Hubble finds evidence of galaxy star birth regulated by black hole fountain

Ha!  A bit late for NASA to play `catch-up'.  Years ago we'd outlined the way that core jets re-distribute the most intense plasma (not just ionized but stripped down to protons and loose electrons) out of the axis of the core, to immediately combine as `virgin' hydrogen, then into molecular hydrogen (with maybe a largish smidgin of helium if the plasma was hot enough).  Our own Milky Way galaxy has two massive `bubbles' of gas North and South of the core, almost certainly hydrogen.

Note that we didn't need imaginary "black holes" in our analysis and application;  jets are ubiquitous around the universe and are created (by a rotating mass) on all scales, from blue jets above lightning-vortexes in large thunderclouds to incipient planetary jets - visible as X-ray jets for Jupiter and maybe as less energetic radiation for Earth (and even our Moon - see cosmic ray repulsion by polar jets at jets.html#level).

Ray D
Hubble finds evidence of galaxy star birth regulated by black hole fountain
The discovery explains the mystery of why many elliptical galaxies in the present-day universe are not ablaze with a higher rate of star birth.
By STScl, Baltimore, Maryland | Published: Friday, August 07, 2015

Astronomers have uncovered a unique process for how the universe's largest elliptical galaxies continue making stars long after their peak years of star birth. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's exquisite high resolution and ultraviolet-light sensitivity allowed the astronomers to see brilliant knots of hot blue stars forming along the jets of active black holes found in the centers of giant elliptical galaxies.

Combining Hubble data with observations from a suite of ground-based and space telescopes, two independent teams found that the black hole, jets, and newborn stars are all parts of a self-regulating cycle. High-energy jets shooting from the black hole heat a halo of surrounding gas, controlling the rate at which the gas cools and falls into the galaxy.

"Think of the gas surrounding a galaxy as an atmosphere," explained the lead of the first study, Megan Donahue of Michigan State University. "That atmosphere can contain material in different states, just like our own atmosphere has gas, clouds, and rain. What we are seeing is a process like a thunderstorm. As the jets propel gas outward from the center of the galaxy, some of that gas cools and precipitates into cold clumps that fall back toward the galaxy's center like raindrops."

"The 'raindrops' eventually cool enough to become star-forming clouds of cold molecular gas, and the far-ultraviolet capabilities of Hubble allowed us to directly observe these 'showers' of star formation," explained the lead of the second study, Grant Tremblay of Yale University. "We know that these showers are linked to the jets because they're found in filaments and tendrils that wrap around the jets or hug the edges of giant bubbles that the jets have inflated. And they end up making a swirling 'puddle' of star-forming gas around the central black hole."

But what should be a monsoon of raining gas is reduced to a mere drizzle by the black hole. While some outwardly flowing gas will cool, the black hole heats the rest of the gas around a galaxy, which prevents the whole gaseous envelope from cooling more quickly. The entire cycle is a self-regulating feedback mechanism, like the thermostat on a house's heating and cooling system, because the "puddle" of gas around the black hole provides the fuel that powers the jets. If too much cooling happens, the jets become more powerful and add more heat. And if the jets add too much heat, they reduce their fuel supply and eventually weaken.

This discovery explains the mystery of why many elliptical galaxies in the present-day universe are not ablaze with a higher rate of star birth. For many years, the question has persisted of why galaxies awash in gas don't turn all of that gas into stars. Theoretical models of galaxy evolution predict that present-day galaxies more massive than the Milky Way should be bursting with star formation, but that is not the case.

Now scientists understand this case of arrested development, where a cycle of heating and cooling keeps star birth in check. A light drizzle of cooling gas provides enough fuel for the central black hole's jets to keep the rest of the galaxy's gas hot. The researchers show that galaxies don't need fantastic and catastrophic events such as galaxy collisions to explain the showers of star birth they see.

The study led by Donahue looked at far-ultraviolet light from a variety of massive elliptical galaxies found in the Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey with Hubble (CLASH), which contains elliptical galaxies in the distant universe. These included galaxies that are raining and forming stars, and others that are not. By comparison, the study by Tremblay and his colleagues looked at only elliptical galaxies in the nearby universe with fireworks at their centers. In both cases, the filaments and knots of star birth appear to be very similar phenomena. An earlier independent study, led by Rupal Mittal of the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, also analyzed the star birth rates in the same galaxies as Tremblay's sample.

The researchers were aided by an exciting new set of computer simulations of the hydrodynamics of the gas flows developed by Yuan Li of the University of Michigan. "This is the first time we now have models in hand that predict how these things ought to look," explained Donahue. "And when we compare the models to the data, there's a stunning similarity between the star-forming showers we observe and ones that occur in simulations. We're getting a physical insight that we can then apply to models."

Along with Hubble, which shows where the old and the new stars are, the researchers used the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, the Herschel Space Observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, XMM-Newton, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Jansky Very Large Array, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory's Kitt Peak 3.5-meter WIYN Telescope, and the 6.5-meter Magellan Baade Telescope. Together these observatories paint the complete picture of where all of the gas is, from the hottest to the coldest. The suite of telescopes shows how galaxy ecosystems work, including the black hole and its influence on its host galaxy and the gas surrounding that galaxy.

Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2015 21:30:27 +0100
Subject: "Increased likelihood of below-normal Atlantic hurricane season

Well, well.  Seems only a few months ago we were reading `reports' from official alarmists crying that hurricanes would INCREASE in number and severity - due to "Global Warming".  Ha!
NOAA.Gov | August 6, 2015

Increased likelihood of below-normal Atlantic hurricane season
Updated outlook calls for 90 percent probability of below-normal season

2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. (Credit: NOAA)
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center's updated 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook calls for a 90 percent chance of a below-normal hurricane season. A below-normal season is now even more likely than predicted in May, when the likelihood of a below-normal season was 70 percent.

"Tropical storms and hurricanes can and do strike the United States, even in below-normal seasons and during El Niņo events," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "Regardless of our call for below-normal storm activity, people along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts should remain prepared and vigilant, especially now that the peak months of the hurricane season have started."

Two tropical storms already have struck the United States this year. Ana made landfall in South Carolina in May, and Bill made landfall in Texas in June.

The 90 percent probability of a below-normal season is the highest confidence level given by NOAA since seasonal hurricane outlooks began in 1998.

The updated outlook also lowers the overall expected storm activity this season. The outlook now includes a 70 percent chance of 6-10 named storms (from 6-11 in the initial May Outlook), of which 1-4 will become hurricanes (from 3-6 in May), and 0-1 will become major hurricanes (from 0-2 in May). These ranges - which include the three named storms to-date (Ana, Bill, and Claudette) - are centered well below the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Forecasters attribute the high likelihood of a below-normal season to three primary factors:

El Niņo has strengthened as predicted, and NOAA's latest El Niņo forecast calls for a significant El Niņo to continue through the remainder of the hurricane season;

Atmospheric conditions typically associated with a significant El Niņo, such as strong vertical wind shear and enhanced sinking motion across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean Sea, are now present. These conditions make it difficult for storms to develop, and they are predicted to continue through the remaining four months of the hurricane season; and

Tropical Atlantic sea-surface temperatures are predicted to remain below average and much cooler than the rest of the global tropics.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.

Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2015 16:40:38 +0100
Subject: Doubt - was "Neil deGrasse Tyson on Q&A ..."

Just re-reading Feynman's address to the Galileo Symposium (Italy '64) and was struck by its resonance today.

Y'see it was about the fact that the PTB (mostly governments, but religions get involved also) always rush to judgement about what is scientifically correct or not - and they are always WRONG!  They were, and still are, actually suppressing real science rather than encouraging it.

So it's not reassuring to look around and see the PTB still making science calls on Drugs (medical & rec.), GMOs, Food Safety, Health Services, Nuclear Power, and "Climate Change" (Global Cooling / Warming) - if only because they have always been wrong in the past.

BTW I particularly like Feynman's definition of doubt as the kernel of real science - he said  "The freedom to doubt is essential".


TPTB = The Powers That Be

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2015 12:54:14 +0100
Subject: "Neil deGrasse Tyson on Q&A calls scientific illiteracy a tragedy of our times

Well, it's not quite a `tragedy of our times' - Richard Feynman said the same a while back (Galileo Symposium, Italy 1964).

I.e.  that most folk (including some scientists) can and do get through life knowing very little about what really happens around them.  He also said (paraphrased) that informed people have to live in doubt, while the ignorant are free to believe whatever they want (or are told).

[maybe see for Feynman quotes]
Neil deGrasse Tyson on Q&A calls scientific illiteracy a tragedy of our times

Astrophysicist joins scientists and mathematicians to discuss climate change and extraterrestrial life - and the booing of Adam Goodes - without acrimony

Politicians cherry-picking information to suit their own agenda is one of the great tragedies of modern civilisation, the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said on Monday night's Q&A.

In a panel devoid of politicians, Tyson joined the oncologist and Guardian Australia columnist Ranjana Srivastava, the mathematician and CSIRO marine scientist Beth Fulton and the mathematics ambassador Adam Spencer to discuss climate change, extraterrestrial life and artificial intelligence.

In response to a question about how scientists prevent scientific ideas becoming politically partisan, Tyson said he did not have a problem with people believing in anything they wanted to. "But if that belief is not based on objective truths, you should not be creating legislation based on it," he said.

"One of the great tragedies of modern society is that we have politicians cherry-picking science in the interests of their own social, cultural, political and religious belief systems, and that's the beginning of the end of an informed democracy."

Neil deGrasse Tyson: curiosity about science is `an ember that must be fanned'
(more ...)

Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2015 21:46:40 +0100
Subject: Everything You Know Is Wrong: WRONG

Sounds like this guy is saying that, because an ascending rocket seems to change its _attitude_ (looks like it's moving west or even descending) then we've been fooled by all rocket launches.

Actually that is a #1 Internet Lesson - I.e. - don't automatically believe an ignorant pillock just because he posts a video:

The guy has ignored (or doesn't know about) the fact that the Earth rotates eastwards at about 1,000 miles per hour (at equator);

therefore anything moving up out of Earth's atmosphere MUST appear as if it's moving westward and then falling (towards the horizon).

Everything You Know Is Wrong

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:37:07 +0100
Subject: EO Wilson - The Life Scientific

Interesting - just heard the morning broadcast (it's run again this evening at 9:30 pm).  Well worth a listen - especially if you ever believed in the SELFISH GENE rubbish.
EO Wilson - The Life Scientific

E O Wilson has been described as the "world's most evolved biologist" and even as "the heir to Darwin". He's a passionate naturalist and an absolute world authority on ants. Over his long career he's described 450 new species of ants.

Known to many as the founding father of socio-biology, E O Wilson is a big hitter in the world of evolutionary theory. But, recently he's criticised what's popularly known as The Selfish Gene theory of evolution that he once worked so hard to promote (and that now underpins the mainstream view on evolution).

A twice Pulitzer prize winning author of more than 20 books, he's also an extremely active campaigner for the preservation of the planet's bio-diversity: he says, "destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal".

E O Wilson talks to Jim al-Khalili about his life scientific.

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 06:56:54 +0100
Subject: Climate alarmists live in `echo-chamber'

Hadn't seen this - a `report' from sociologists so probably not worth much anyway, but there's an interesting graph of the long-term *cooling* trend which confirms the Arctic / Antarctic ice-core records - at
The 'echo chamber' effect misleading people on climate change

Trick-cyclists in America have come out with research which could explain why the debate on climate change continues to rumble on, even though there is a solid consensus on the facts of the matter.

Essentially, according to the researchers, people tend to live in "echo chambers" as far as climate matters go, seeking out information and advisers who agree with what they already believe. Thus, they may persist in deluded views regardless of what others think.
On a larger scale it's been repeatedly established in recent surveys that most people don't agree with the idea that climate change is mainly caused by human activities. The United States Senate recently declined to endorse this position, also. And it's well known that nations around the world have consistently failed to sign up to any binding agreement on significant cuts to carbon emissions, no matter what position they may espouse on climate change.

So it's pretty clear that the "dominant perspective" here is the sceptical one: the belief that climate change certainly occurs, but it's not been proven to be primarily driven by carbon emissions - and in any case that the theorised consequences of carbon-driven change have not been shown to be such as to require urgent and economically painful action.

And yet many people, living inside their misguided "echo chamber", keep on insisting that the science is settled in the alarmist direction and the case for economic pain is made - or alternatively, that no pain is involved in emissions cuts, quite the reverse (though in that case it seems odd that people haven't just cut emissions on their own). These people obdurately persist in their denial of the consensus position.
(more at page ...)

Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2015 03:48:51 +0100
Subject: "Mammoths Died Out Because of Sudden Climate Change

Well, they got one thing right - it was certainly more changeable _and_ intermittently much hotter for most of the past, as you can see in the graphs at glacials.html

But then they said "the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and resulting warming effects" and got it exactly wrong - back to front.  As a sharp-eyed person can see, warming precedes CO2 increases - precisely because extra plant, algal, and plankton life is produced by warming, and that extra life-mass goes on to produce more CO2.

Don't forget earth-life - including us - is made from carbon.
Ray D
Mammoths Died Out Because of Sudden Climate Change
The mighty megafauna of the last ice age, including the wooly mammoths, short-faced bears and cave lions, largely went extinct because of rapid climate-warming events, a new study finds.

During the unstable climate of the Late Pleistocene, about 60,000 to 12,000 years ago, abrupt climate spikes, called interstadials, increased temperatures between 7 and 29 degrees Fahrenheit (4 and 16 degrees Celsius) in a matter of decades. Large animals likely found it difficult to survive in these hot conditions, possibly because of the effects it had on their habitats and prey, the researchers said.
(more at page ...)

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:43:08 +0100
Subject: "As globe warms, melting glaciers revealing more than bare earth

What they don't say is that each discovery tells us when that area was last as warm (or warmer) than now - as you can see from the graphs at glacials.html#n-age - especially from c. 5,000 to 8,000 yrs ago.
As globe warms, melting glaciers revealing more than bare earth

As the once-frozen world emerges from slumber, it's yielding relics, debris - and corpses - that have lain hidden for decades, even millennia. As a result of warming temperatures, Mexico's tallest volcano, Pico de Orizaba, is performing an all-natural striptease, the ice patches near its summit melting away to bare rock.

The same process is taking place in the permafrost of Russia, the ice fields of the Yukon and the glaciers of New Zealand. And as the once-frozen world emerges from slumber, it's yielding relics, debris - and corpses - that have laid hidden for decades, even millennia.

The thaw has unnerved archaeologists, given hope to relatives of lost mountain climbers and solved the mysteries of old plane crashes.

What emerges is not always apparent - or even pleasant. That pungent smell? It's a massive deposit of caribou dung in the Yukon that had been frozen for thousands of years, and now is decomposing in the air, its sharp odor unlocked.

Pico de Orizaba towers above all other mountains in Mexico at 18,491 feet. It is the highest peak in North America after Mount McKinley in Alaska and Mount Logan in Canada's Yukon Territory. A challenging dormant volcano, Orizaba is a training ground for those interested in high-altitude climbing.

For a handful of climbers, it has been their last peak. They've been buried by avalanches or swallowed by crevasses. Now, the mountain is spitting back their bodies.

Late in February, a climbing party circled the jagged crater atop Orizaba. "One of them slipped, and they later said he skidded down and came to a stop. When he got up, he saw a head poking out of the snow," said Hilario Aguilar Aguilar, a veteran climber.

It was a mummified climber, a member of a Mexican expedition hit by an avalanche on Nov. 2, 1959. Some climbers fell near the Chimicheco Ridge, their bodies frozen in an icy time machine, only to re-emerge 56 years later.

Hearing of the macabre discovery, prosecutors dispatched Aguilar and other climbers March 4 to document the scene of death.

"Upon clearing away some snow so that I could take some photographs, I saw another hand. Suddenly, there were one, two, three hands. It didn't seem possible. Digging a little more, we discovered that there was another body," Aguilar said.

The natural fiber rope connecting the two bodies had disintegrated to little more than a stain in the ice, he added. Aguilar said one of the mummified climbers appeared to be wearing remnants of a red sweater.

"I tried to bring a piece as a sample, for evidence, but it turned to dust when I touched it," he said, adding that the mummified bodies are unlikely to be retrieved from the mountain until weather clears, perhaps in November.

Then word came of another body, this one at an oxygen-deprived elevation of about 16,900 feet on another side of the crater. Aguilar and his crew went up June 4 and brought the body down on a metal gurney, dragging it down a steep scree slope.

Wearing a suit inappropriate for a freezing clime, the victim may have been thrown from a small plane that crashed on Orizaba in 1999, although his identity is not yet known.

Elsewhere around the world, explorers and scientists are stumbling upon mountainside plane wrecks, finding mummified Incan children, and discovering a frozen graveyard of ancient marine reptiles once hidden under a Chilean glacier.

Archaeologists are turning into unlikely beneficiaries of a warmer Earth, and several have started a new publication: the Journal of Glacial Archaeology.

Its editor, E. James Dixon, an anthropologist at the University of New Mexico, frets about the phenomenon of ancient ice melting after thousands of years.

"For every discovery that is made, there are thousands coming out of the ice and are decomposing very rapidly," Dixon said. "In the ice, some of the most delicate artifacts are preserved. We've found baskets, arrow shafts with the feathers intact and arrowheads and lashings perfectly preserved."

Once the ice melts and the artifacts are exposed, they decay quickly.

Norwegian archaeologist Lars Holger Pilo said that about 3,500 artifacts have been found near melted ice patches and glaciers around the globe, with more than half in his country.

In Norway's Oppland County, only short distances separate valleys from mountains, where caribou once gathered on ice patches to flee swarming insects. The ice patches, which are immobile and distinct from moving glaciers, became hunting grounds for ancient people.

Starting with a warm summer and autumn in 2006, Pilo said ice patches have melted significantly, revealing weapons, tunics, shoes and other implements, including a complete arrow shaft dating from 5,900 years ago.

"They look exactly as they did when they were lost. It's like they were in a time machine. Once they are out, the clock starts to tick. They deteriorate rapidly," he said. "We used to get Iron Age implements. Now, we're starting to get the really old Stone Age arrows."

The most notable discovery of a mummified body coughed up by a melting glacier occurred in 1991 in the Italian Alps, where two German tourists found a 5,300-year-old mummy, dubbed Otzi the Iceman, presumably a high-altitude shepherd.
Ill-fated modern mountaineers are also melting out of glaciers.
Hikers in Canada's Columbia Icefields in 2010 came across the body of an American, William Holland, 38, who fell off a precipice and was subsequently buried by an avalanche in 1989. His body was so well-preserved that his spiked boots were still on his feet and his climbing rope was still coiled around his body.

Last month, the body of a New Zealand teenage climber, David Erik Moen, was returned to his family 42 years after an avalanche near Mount Cook in the Southern Alps buried him.

Another glacier and icefall in the area, Hochstetter, spit out human remains in March. News reports say police are still working to provide an identity.

In Canada's Yukon Territory, melting has sparked new interest in finding the wreckage of lost aircraft.
(more ...) ---

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 18:20:35 +0100
Subject: "Cool summer boosts Arctic ice

Another example - and why I said, in response to that 20 foot sea-level rise claim, that ice-caps can never be "in equilibrium" - they're always responding to latest average temperature changes.
Cool summer boosts Arctic ice | 20 July 2015

Measurements from ESA's CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice increased by a third following the unusually cool summer of 2013. This new finding suggests that ice in the northern hemisphere is more sensitive to changes in summer melting than it is to winter cooling.

Scientists at University College London (UCL) and the University of Leeds in the UK used 88 million sea-ice thickness measurements taken by CryoSat between 2010 and 2014.

The study, published today in Nature Geoscience, shows a 14% reduction in the volume of summer sea ice between 2010 and 2012, but the volume of ice jumped by 41% in 2013, when the summer was 5% cooler than the previous year.

Lead author Rachel Tilling, from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at UCL, said, "The summer of 2013 was much cooler than recent years, with temperatures typical of those seen in the late 1990s.

"This allowed thick sea ice to persist northwest of Greenland because there were fewer days when it could melt. Although models have suggested that the volume of Arctic sea ice is in long-term decline, we know now that it can recover by a significant amount if the melting season is cut short."
(more ...)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:30:32 +0100
Subject: "'Memories' pass between generations

Thanks FB - maybe missed this when it came out.  So another `old wives tale' (i.e. that a traumatic experience before or during pregnancy can "change" the unborn child) is proven to be true.  Have lost count of how many others so far - to do with foodstuffs, herbs, AND the Moon of course.
and here's another one!
'Memories' pass between generations

Behaviour can be affected by events in previous generations which have been passed on through a form of genetic memory, animal studies suggest.
Experiments showed that a traumatic event could affect the DNA in sperm and alter the brains and behaviour of subsequent generations.

A Nature Neuroscience study shows mice trained to avoid a smell passed their aversion on to their "grandchildren".
Experts said the results were important for phobia and anxiety research.
The animals were trained to fear a smell similar to cherry blossom.
The team at the Emory University School of Medicine, in the US, then looked at what was happening inside the sperm.
They showed a section of DNA responsible for sensitivity to the cherry blossom scent was made more active in the mice's sperm.
Both the mice's offspring, and their offspring, were "extremely sensitive" to cherry blossom and would avoid the scent, despite never having experienced it in their lives.

Changes in brain structure were also found.
"The experiences of a parent, even before conceiving, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations," the report concluded.

Family affair
The findings provide evidence of "transgenerational epigenetic inheritance" - that the environment can affect an individual's genetics, which can in turn be passed on.
One of the researchers Dr Brian Dias told the BBC: "This might be one mechanism that descendants show imprints of their ancestor.  "There is absolutely no doubt that what happens to the sperm and egg will affect subsequent generations."

Prof Marcus Pembrey, from University College London, said the findings were "highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders" and provided "compelling evidence" that a form of memory could be passed between generations.  He commented: "It is high time public health researchers took human transgenerational responses seriously. "I suspect we will not understand the rise in neuropsychiatric disorders or obesity, diabetes and metabolic disruptions generally without taking a multigenerational approach."

In the smell-aversion study, is it thought that either some of the odour ends up in the bloodstream which affected sperm production or that a signal from the brain was sent to the sperm to alter DNA.

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 16:52:44 +0100
Subject: "What does rosemary do to your brain?

And another `old wives tale' (and Shakespeare's) seems to be true.
15 July 2015
What does rosemary do to your brain?

In folk medicine, rosemary has been associated for centuries with having a good memory. But is it worth investigating whether it really has any powers, asks Dr Chris Van Tulleken.

In scientific terms there are different kinds of memory.
There's past memory - your experiences and what you learned at school. There's present memory, which is your working minute-to-minute memory. And there's future memory or "remembering to remember".
Medicine has little to offer. There are some drugs for treating the memory loss that happens with dementia but they are not hugely effective. They give some measurable benefits but whether they are "clinically significant" is controversial. Certainly they are no miracle cure for people with dementia, nor do they improve the memory of anyone else.

So I was not that hopeful travelling up to Newcastle to see Prof Mark Moss at Northumbria University. His team is running an experiment to test whether rosemary essential oil could benefit future memory. I'll be honest - this seemed hokey.
Here's how the experiment worked. The team at Northumbria recruited 60 older volunteers to test the effects of not only rosemary oil but also lavender oil. They then tested these volunteers in a room infused with either rosemary essential oil, lavender essential oil or no aroma. Participants were told they were there to test a vitamin water drink. Any comments about the aromas were passed off as irrelevant and "left over from the previous group to use the room".

The volunteers (and I) then took a test which was designed to test their prospective memory. It's a clever test with many layers so you never quite know what's being tested.

At the start, objects are hidden around the room in places which you have to remember at the end of the test. Then you perform a series of distracting but fun word puzzles while increasingly complex demands are made of your memory by the testers (in my case two extraordinarily nice and competent graduate students, Kamila and Lauren). "In seven minutes' time from now can you hand me this book?" or "when you come across a question about the Queen in the word puzzles can you remind me to call the garage".

What Mark's team found was remarkable. The volunteers in the room with the rosemary infusion did statistically significantly better than those in the control room but lavender caused a significant decrease in performance. Lavender is traditionally associated with sleep and sedation.

Was the lavender sending our volunteers to sleep and decreasing their performance? How could vaporised essential oils possibly have this effect?

It turns out that there are compounds in rosemary oil that may be responsible for changes in memory performance. One of them is called 1,8-cineole - as well as smelling wonderful (if you like that sort of thing) it may act in the same way as the drugs licensed to treat dementia, causing an increase in a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.

These compounds do this by preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter by an enzyme. And this is highly plausible - inhalation is one of the best ways of getting drugs into the brain. When you eat a drug it may be broken down in the liver which processes everything absorbed by the gut, but with inhalation small molecules can pass into the bloodstream and from there to the brain without being broken down by the liver.

As further confirmation Mark and his team analysed blood samples and found traces of the chemicals in rosemary oil in the blood.
The implications of this kind of research are huge, but they don't mean you need to spend your days smelling of rosemary and your night sleeping on a pillow of lavender. The effects were measurable but modest and they give us a clue that further research into some of the chemicals in essential oils may yield therapeutics and contribute to our understanding of memory and brain function.

It's also important to remember that any drug that has a measurable effect, even if inhaled from a traditionally prepared essential oil, may also have a measurable side-effect. You can't tinker with brain biochemistry and expect things to be simple.

But if these studies may help eventually contribute to new drugs to treat dementia there is another very nice benefit - they also restore some credibility to the much maligned alternative health field.

Traditional healing practices weren't all quackery. Modern medicine of the kind I practise in London may have many sophisticated treatments but it comes with side effects and can leave people feeling disempowered.

We have spent many years rubbishing alternative treatments but there is, I believe, a real benefit in allowing people to take control of their own health with treatments that make them feel better - even if we haven't been able to prove how.

Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 13:54:10 +0100
Subject: "Met Office defends 'hottest July ever' claims amid raised eyebrows

Ha!  As we discussed maybe a year ago, and as those on the inside have known for years - the increases they're claiming are mostly due to their monitoring stations being subsequently surrounded by roads, airports and large buildings etc.   i.e. concrete (which gets much hotter than their original natural surroundings).

Significantly, many monitor stations which _haven't_ been built around have been discontinued / abandoned - because they won't show the required `warming' results.
Met Office defends 'hottest July ever' claims amid raised eyebrows
The Met Office said a sudden break in the cloud allowed temperatures to soar to record levels, but others are not so sure

Sarah Knapton | Science Editor | 5:22PM BST 12 Jul 2015

The Met Office has been forced to defend the way it monitors temperatures after critics claimed weather station readings were skewed by the heat from aircraft.
According to forecasters Britain experienced its hottest July day ever on the first of the month, when temperatures nudged 100F at Heathrow.

But the climate blogger Paul Homewood said he had checked four other weather stations nearby and none showed such extreme readings.

Even The Met Office admitted that readings at neighbouring Kew Gardens, which are usually very close to airport temperatures, were more than two degrees cooler at the time of the supposed record-breaking spike. While Heathrow recorded 98F (36.7C) Kew only reached 96F (35.7C)

But the weather service said that a sudden break in the cloud at the airport had allowed temperatures to temporarily soar, while overcast conditions had kept things cooler just a few miles away at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Mark McCarthy, Manager of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre , said: "There were scattered clouds in the area that afternoon. Both Heathrow and Kew Gardens have instruments measuring solar radiation. Both sites recorded a general dip in solar radiation due to clouds from approximately 1.30pm to 3.30pm which corresponds to a slight cooling at both sites.

"Heathrow saw a short gap in the clouds shortly after 2pm which resulted in a similarly short lived peak in temperature, while Kew Gardens remained cloudy. "In turn Kew Gardens then saw a brief spell being sunnier than Heathrow just before 3pm and became warmer than Heathrow for about an hour."

Mr Homewood said the actual figures show a strange 1.7 degree temperature spike at 2.15pm and suggested that extra heat could have been generated by the heat from a nearby runway which would have been experiencing a busy Wednesday afternoon. Thermometers surrounded by tarmac have been known to exaggerate heat conditions if the wind suddenly changes direction.

"While clouds may have been the cause (The Met Office) fail to rule out other non-climatic factors, such as a subtle windshift bringing hot air from the runway. This is a well-known phenomenon at airports," said Mr Homewood.

"No engineer would trust such a spike in any other field and would throw it out unless he had firm evidence that it was correct.
"It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the reading at the Met Office station at Heathrow is either incorrect, or has been artificially inflated by local, non-climatic factors."

However the Met Office insisted that the data was reliable and the weather station met international requirements for temperature monitoring.

"It is reasonable to ask whether Heathrow, as a major international airport, can provide a reliable climatological record," added Mr McCarthy
"But the instrumentation and station enclosure are managed so that they meet the standards required by the MetOffice and set out by the World Meteorological Organization.

"The site has been operating for 66 years and provides an excellent long observational series for west London."

The Met Office said it was not just Heathrow that had seen record temperatures on July 1.

Other sites which saw their hottest July temperatures in at least 50 years of records included Durham, Sheffield, Bradford and Nottingham. St James' Park in London also peaked at 35.3.

"Although Heathrow measured the highest temperature recorded by the MetOffice observing network on a July day, record temperatures were reported across a wide stretch of the country", added Mr McCarthy.

Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2015 21:18:04 +0100
Subject: "Evidence from past suggests climate trends could yield 20-foot sea-level rise

Tortuous `logic' here - in order to comply with politicos' "warming scare" orders, they've asserted that they _do_ know that sea-levels rose 20 ft when temps were a bit warmer (1 to 3 °C) than now, while ignoring the fact that land masses tilt when ice-load is removed  [just now west Wales coast is rising while S-E England coast is sinking - due to end of Ice-Age c. 15,000 yrs ago].

Yet in order to evade questions about temperatures + sea-levels when CO2 was much higher (maybe 2000% higher than present-day levels, for millions of years - see article and graph) they DO invoke that tilting and deforming of coastlines as a reason for not answering.

In reality there are `elevated beaches' around the world, commonly 30/60/80 feet high (Thames Valley) or several hundreds of feet high (Snowdonia - Wales), and also under-sea cities being found around continental coasts, which show that combinations of temperature changes (sea-level rises + falls) and continents' movements (tiltings) have been much more drastic in the past.  The present is merely the leading-edge of the past.

(sarcastic note below - sorry Andrea)
Evidence from past suggests climate trends could yield 20-foot sea-level rise
Published: July 9 2015

When past temperatures were similar to or slightly higher than the present global average, sea levels rose at least 20 feet, suggesting a similar outcome could be in store if current climate trends continue.

Findings published in the journal Science showed that the seas rose in response to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, said lead author Andrea Dutton, a University of Florida geochemist.

"This evidence leads us to conclude that the polar ice sheets are out of equilibrium with the present climate," she said.

Dutton and an international team of scientists assessed evidence of higher sea levels during several periods to understand how polar ice sheets respond to warming. Combining computer models and observations from the geologic record, they found that during past periods with average temperatures 1 to 3 °C (1.8 to 5.4 °F) warmer than preindustrial levels, sea level peaked at least 20 feet higher than today.

"As the planet warms, the poles warm even faster, raising important questions about how ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will respond," she said. "While this amount of sea-level rise will not happen overnight, it is sobering to realize how sensitive the polar ice sheets are to temperatures that we are on path to reach within decades."

The researchers concluded that sea levels rose 20 to 30 feet higher than present about 125,000 years ago, when global average temperature was 1 °C higher than preindustrial levels (similar to today's average). Sea level peaked somewhere between 20 and 40 feet above present during an earlier warm period about 400,000 years ago, when global average temperatures are less certain, but estimated to be about 1 to 2 °C warmer than the preindustrial average.

During those times, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels peaked around 280 parts per million, but today's levels are around 400 ppm and rising. The team of researchers looked at the last time period when carbon dioxide was this high - about 3 million years ago - but couldn't get a confident estimate on sea-level rise, in part due to land motion that has distorted the position of past shorelines.

The researchers also sought to understand how quickly sea level rose and which ice sheets may be most susceptible. They acknowledged that the rate of sea-level rise associated with polar ice sheet retreat is not well known, and that this is an important target for future research. Developing a better sense of which ice sheet sectors were most susceptible in the past, as well as how quickly this process occurs, could inform how policymakers plan for and mitigate sea-level change.

Source: Andrea Dutton, 352-392-3626 ---

Note:  The article speaks, rather naively, of `equilibrium' of polar ice with world temperatures - as if that were `normal' or likely or even desirable.

That's unscientific and rather ignorant rubbish - world temperatures are always varying, sometimes wildy and often very fast, so the ice-caps (if any) are _always_ going be slowly reacting to those temperature changes;  i.e. out of equilibrium.

The alternative (`equilibrium') would be a dead Earth, either frozen solid (in cold equilibrium) or a roasted cinder (in hot equilibrium). RD

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2015 18:05:35 +0100
Subject: "Fish oil pills: Why the fabulously popular supplement may not be so healthy after all"
"Fish oil pills: Why the fabulously popular supplement may not be so healthy after all"

Heck!  Seems the `omega-3' fatty acids aren't so beneficial - or beneficial at all?
However, I have a much longer-held (ancient) opinion:  fish (sea-foods) are good for the brain!

PS - here's my researched reasons.

Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2015 11:07:02 +0100
Subject: "British astronomers discover five supermassive black holes"??

Ha!  Not going out on a limb, because I've already said this a long time ago - and repeatedly:

When you read media and even science journals talking about "black holes" you're actually reading about neutron stars and/or even larger agglomerations of matter in extremely dense, fast-rotating masses, most of which will `jet' along their axes, although the smaller neutron stars might only jet intermittently.
(Jets are ubiquitous - on all scales:  from `blue jets' on Earth upwards to galactic-core-size masses, dependent on mass/density and speed of rotation).

Black holes don't exist;  that particular fad started as most sci-crap starts, by mathematicians who don't know basic physics, and, as a scary/sexy concept it became highly fashionable without _any_ confirmation or even input from observation: the basis of real `science'.  We can see it's fake because its popularisers have to keep shifting their definitions trying to keep ahead of exposure.

I.e. first they said that `black holes' (hypothetical singularities surrounded by event horizons) existed all over the place but, after being rebuked (by me and others), had to alter that, mainly because they would've been highly visible - surrounded by huge halos of dragged starlight.  But that doesn't happen, so pseudo-science then had to claim that `black holes' hide in the centres of galaxies - a non-falsifiable claim so non-scientific (by Popper).

Remember - black holes (hypothetical singularities surrounded by event horizons) don't exist.  In reality when any dense body of mass accretes matter it will spin at an increasing rate (conservation of angular momentum) and - long before any putative singularity can arise - it will `jet' and distribute much of its core material into the surrounding interstellar or intergalactic medium - i.e. into space.

JOSH BARRIE | Monday 06 July 2015

British astronomers discover five supermassive black holes
Five previously hidden supermassive black holes have been discovered by British astronomers, leading to speculation that the universe could contain millions of the mysterious monsters which chew up everything that comes close to them.

A supermassive black hole is a cosmic mass at the centre of most large galaxies with a gravitational pull nothing can escape - not even light.

International scientists led by astronomers at Durham University said the five had been hidden by clouds of dust and gas - and millions more could be similarly hidden.
(more ...)

Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2015 08:41:47 +0100
Subject: "Apocalypse Not Now: Yellowstone supervolcano

Don't be misled by the headline - even if the method is fool-proof (which I doubt), that "ten years warning" is a best case scenario; it could be as little as ten months notice!
Home / USA / | Published time: July 02, 2015 17:06
Apocalypse Not Now: Yellowstone supervolcano eruption predictable up to 10 yrs in advance

Natural disasters, Science, USA
US scientists have found a way to estimate the time of the next eruption of the dormant volcano in Yellowstone National Park from 10 months to 10 years beforehand. They promise it won't be cataclysmic, yet its lava and ash could cause a volcanic winter.

A new Arizona State University research focused on past eruptions at Yellowstone volcano, with the most recent happening nearly 70,000 years ago, in order to learn more about the time when its sleep is over. The study on the supervolcano's giant chamber of hot, partly molten rock was published on Wednesday in the journal Geology.

Petrologist Christy Till, a professor in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, and her colleagues combined the data on the volcano's past with measurements obtained by NanoSIMS, an advanced chemical imaging instrument. It allowed a closer observation of magma crystals that enabled a calculation of the time period between magma's reheating and the volcano's eruption.

"We find that the last time Yellowstone erupted after sitting dormant for a long time, the eruption was triggered within 10 months of new magma moving into the base of the volcano, while other times it erupted closer to the 10 year mark," Till said in the press-release.

Magma in chambers in the crust tends to cool into a form of crystal that resemble tree rings, in that they too can tell a lot about the environment and history, and can remain in that state for thousands of years. Yet, before any eruption it becomes reheated, so the scientists' question was, "How quickly can you reheat a cooled magma chamber and get it to erupt?"

ASU professor Christy Till strives to better understand the potential for future eruptions at Yellowstone volcano by studying those in the recent past. She and paper co-author Jorge Vazquez examine Yellowstone lava in the field (Photo by Naomi Thompson)ASU professor Christy Till strives to better understand the potential for future eruptions at Yellowstone volcano by studying those in the recent past. She and paper co-author Jorge Vazquez examine Yellowstone lava in the field (Photo by Naomi Thompson)

"Our results suggest an eruption at the beginning of Yellowstone's most recent volcanic cycle was triggered within 10 months after reheating of a mostly crystallized magma reservoir following a 220,000-year period of volcanic quiescence," said Till. "A similarly energetic reheating of Yellowstone's current sub-surface magma bodies could end approximately 70,000 years of volcanic repose and lead to a future eruption over similar timescales."

As Yellowstone has been continuously monitored for about 30 years, scientists say, that there have been no indications that the volcano will erupt in 10 months, or even 10 years. They also reassure that the next eruption "won't be cataclysmic."

Within the past 2.1 million years there have been three major eruptions at Yellowstone, according to geological evidence, but smaller ones are far more numerous. Since the last wide scale eruption that took place approximately 640,000 years ago, there have been over 23 smaller ones with the most recent one happening some 70,000 years ago.

Yellowstone National Park in the US state of Wyoming is a widely visited tourist attraction with a giant caldera, 55 by 72 km in size, canyons, lakes, rivers and natural hot springs. It is feared that an eruption of its massive supervolcano could lead to a global cataclysm, with much of the US territory covered in ash and air travel complicated by the resulting ash cloud.

Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:40:29 +0100
Subject: Climate change IMPACTS

Re-reading those collected reports re: `4200 year Event' [at normreal.html#egypt2], got to my final note about the 12,000 to 13,000 year ago impact which gave us the Younger Dryas Cooling, about 2000 yrs _after_ the end of the Ice Age, and suddenly realized:

major impact events occurred 12,800 yrs ago, then 8,200 yrs ago, then 4,200 yrs ago - so, if the power laws mean anything, we're due another one any time now.
[Maybe check asteroid impact frequency graph.]

Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:50:52 +0100
Subject: "Climate Change: Largest Freshwater Lake in the World Turned into a Desert in Only a Few Hundred Years

Am getting suspicious about these increasingly trendy `climate change' / `eco-ruin' reports.  About eight years ago I began noticing some disparate reports of `eco-ruin' (from the BBC and some fashionable scientists) which had the same time signature - i.e. from about 4250 years ago to about 4150 years ago, some bearing an `exact' date of 4,200 years ago.  So did a quick search and found others, and expect there are more which have simply been badly dated and so fell outside my search criteria.  See normreal.html#egypt2 and maybe 4200event33.txt

Now mainstream scientists seem to've heeded my (loud) postings about that probable impact event - although they still prefer "climate change" - see

There was an even more severe `event' about 8,200 years ago, before any records (so far at any rate), which was also likely to've been caused by an impact - see

The reason for saying they were both impact events is that the effects were very sudden - and severe.
Ray D
Climate Change: Largest Freshwater Lake in the World Turned into a Desert in Only a Few Hundred Years
Catherine Griffin | First Posted: Jun 30, 2015 09:25 AM EDT

Researchers may have discovered a bit more about the startling changes that impacted a massive lake. Scientists have found that the Palaeolake Mega-Chad, which was once the largest freshwater lake on Earth, dried up in a matter of a few hundred years.

In order to better understand the history of this lake, the researchers used satellite images to map abandoned lake shore lines. They also analyzed sediments to calculate the age of these shore lines. In the end, they created a lake level history spanning the last 15,000 years.

The lake was at its peak around 6,000 years ago. During this time, it was the largest freshwater lake on Earth and had an area of 360,000 square kilometers. Today's lake Chad, though, has been reduced to a fraction of that size at only 355 square kilometers.

So what caused this drying? There was a rapid change from a giant lake to desert dunes and dust due to changes in rainfalls from the West African Monsoon. In fact, one part of the lake, called the Bodele depression, is now the single greatest source of atmospheric dust in the world. This dust now helps maintain the fertility of tropical rainforests.

"The Amazon tropical forest is like a giant hanging basket," said Simon Armitage, one of the researchers, in a news release. "In a hanging basket, daily watering quickly washes soluble nutrients out of the soil and these need to be replaced using fertilizer if the planets are to survive. Similarly, heavy washout of soluble minerals from the Amazon basin means that an external source of nutrients must be maintaining soil fertility. As the world's most vigorous dust source, the Bodele depression has often been cited as a likely source of these nutrients, but our findings indicate that this can only be true for the last 1,000 years."

The findings reveal a bit more about this region and show how it turned from a massive lake into a desert area in only a few hundred years.

The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2015 13:41:59 +0100
Subject: "DARPA: We Are Engineering the Organisms That Will Terraform Mars

Seem to remember A. C. Clarke (+ Kim Stanley Robinson) covering this fairly extensively some years back. Ray
BTW - we've had earlier chats re: Mars and plans +/or plots
JASON KOEBLER, STAFF WRITER | June 24, 2015 // 09:04 AM EST

DARPA: We Are Engineering the Organisms That Will Terraform Mars
It's no secret that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing heavily in genetic engineering and synthetic biology. Whether that excites or terrifies you depends on how you feel about the military engineering totally new life forms. If you're in the excitement camp, however, here's a nugget for you: DARPA believes that it's on the way to creating organisms capable of terraforming Mars into a planet that looks more like Earth.

The goal of terraforming Mars would be to warm up and potentially thicken its atmosphere by growing green, photosynthesizing plants, bacteria, and algae on the barren Martian surface. It's a goal that even perpetual techno-optimists like Elon Musk think isn't going to happen anytime soon, but it's a goal that DARPA apparently already has its eyes on.

"For the first time, we have the technological toolkit to transform not just hostile places here on Earth, but to go into space not just to visit, but to stay," Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA's new Biological Technologies Office said Monday at a DARPA-hosted biotech conference. As she said this, Jackson was pointing at an artist's rendering of a terraformed Mars.

So what's this technological toolkit she's talking about? For the last year, Jackson's lab has been working on learning how to more easily genetically engineer organisms of all types, not just e. coli and yeast, which are most commonly used in synthetic biology projects.

"There are anywhere from 30 million to 30 billion organisms on this Earth. We use two right now for engineering biology," she said. "I want to use any organism that has properties I want - I want to quickly map it and quickly engineer it. If you look at genome annotation software today, it's not built to quickly find engineer able systems [and genes]. It's built to look for an esoteric and interesting thing I can publish an academic paper on."

DARPA and some of its research partners have created software called DTA GView, which Jackson calls the `Google Maps of genomes.' At the conference, she pulled up the genomes of several organisms on the program, which immediately showed a list of known genes and where they were located in the genome.

"This torrent of genomic data we're now collecting is awesome, except they sit in databases, where they remain data, not knowledge. Very little genetic information we have is actionable," she said. "With this, the goal is to, within a day, sequence and find where I can best engineer an organism."

The goal is to essentially pick and choose the best genes from whatever form of life we want and to edit them into other forms of life to create something entirely new. This will probably first happen in bacteria and other microorganisms, but it sounds as though the goal may to do this with more complex, multicellular organisms in the future.

The utility of having such a capability is pretty astounding: Jackson threw out goals of eradicating vector-borne illnesses, which obviously sounds lovely and utopian. But perhaps more interesting is DARPA's plan to use specifically engineered organisms to help repair environmental damage. Jackson said that after a natural or man-made disaster, it'd be possible to engineer new types of extremophile organisms capable of surviving in a scarred wasteland. As those organisms photosynthesized and thrived, it would naturally bring that environment back to health, she said.

And that's where terraforming Mars comes in. With enough practice turning Earth's damaged landscapes back into places hospitable for life, Jackson thinks we'll have what it takes to eventually try to colonize the solar system. This is something that obviously doesn't even really have a timeline, it's technology that's in its infancy, and much of the work being done is classified - but the implications are exciting nonetheless.

"After a manmade or natural disaster, we can think about recovering the environment," she said. "These are the tools that, for the first time, are allowing us to go after that problem."

Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:10:05 +0100
Subject: "Alien Life Form Will Be Found Or Extraterrestrials Will Spot Humans Soon | NASA

Headline maybe a bit misleading - think the official NASA statement was just re: "alien life-forms", while an ex-astronaut made the more striking "Intelligent aliens" comment.

Alien Life Form Will Be Found Or Extraterrestrials Will Spot Humans Soon | NASA
Erik Pineda | Jun 22, 2015 01:25 AM EDT

NASA officials are firmly convinced that alien life forms do exist and will be found soon enough. It is likely too that these extraterrestrials are smart enough that they could even be the first to `discover' humans.

"We're going to find evidence that there is life elsewhere in the universe," NASA administrator Charles Frank Bolden was reported by The Daily Mail as saying. Bolden anchors his prediction on the fact that millions of other planets are out there and many of them have the same characteristics as Earth. Science dictates that these planets can hold and sustain life, the scientist stressed.

Realistically, the space agency is set not to detect men-like creatures but microbes and working on them, according to NASA officials, will surely happen and it's only a matter of time.

But former astronaut John Grunsfeld believes that there are intelligent life forms beyond Earth's reach and if they are just 20 light years away, these aliens would eventually stumble upon humans. With the significant changes made by humans on their home planet, activities on Earth can be easily observed by advanced instruments, Grunsfeld told the UK publication.

"We put atmospheric signatures that guarantee someone with a large telescope 20 light years away could detect us ... If there is life out there, intelligent life, they'll know we're here," Grunsfeld said.
(more at page ...)

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