Adam Butler/Associated Press
SERENGETI ROAD PLANS SCRAPPED--HURRAY!
|Bat eared fox who depend on the herbivore migration for his food|
DINOSAUR EXTINCTION NEWS
There has been much discussion about the three meter gap in the fossil record at the time of the presumed extinction of the dinosaurs and many other species. Of course, there is another view: supported by Rick Perry and the Tea Party folks. It may be the first senior moment in history, to say something of the judgement of old man Noah:
It now appears that the finding of a fossil specimen has put this problem to rest. . The abstract is free and open. If anyone wants the full article, please let me know and I will download it for you in pdf format. While we are into paleontology, there is a new report from Alaska of the finding of the nearly complete fossilized skeleton of a thallatosaur,
a long-tailed sea creature that plied warm, shallow waters in the early days of dinosaurs and became extinct at the end of the Triassic period some 200 million years ago.
With all this attention to evolution and such heresies, Pollyanna would like to even up with some attention to the DAWN OF RELIGION Many of us have visited Stonehenge and marveled at the ability of prehistoric people to build such a structure. It appears that there exists a site in Turkey that eclipses Stonehenge both in age and in the technological sophistication involved. There are dozens of massive stone pillars arranged into a set of rings, one mashed up against the next. Known as Göbekli Tepe (pronounced Guh-behk-LEE TEH-peh), the site is vaguely reminiscent of Stonehenge, except that Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. I
report from National Geographic--even very busy people who lack the time to follow the links.
Apropos religion, it is interesting that at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem there is a 53 year old project going on to try to find a definitive text for the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible. It is a daunting project. This is an endeavor so meticulous, its pace so disconnected from that of the world outside, that in more than five decades of work the scholars have published a grand total of three of the Hebrew Bible's 24 books. (Christians count the same books differently, for a total of 39.) A fourth is due out during the upcoming academic year.
If the pace is maintained, the final product will be complete a little over 200 years from now. This is both a point of pride and a matter of some mild self-deprecation around the office.
MARS IS WET--WELL SOMETIMES
|Rill indicating flow of water:NASA image|
CORRUPTION AT THE COLOSSEUM
When Pollyanna and I saw this item, we were sure that someone was fixing the gladiator matches at the Colosseum and that someone should inform the Emperor.
I recall that Daphne was relieved of 150,000 lire (about $100) at the Colosseum by some enterprising Roman pickpocket. Yosefa got ripped off in an Athens hotel elevator for about 80 Euros by some skillful practitioners of the craft.There must be something about women connected to me.
Pollyanna also has some strong opinions on environmental matters and would be grateful to any of you who
would (very quickly) sign off on a petition to the President of Brazil to prevent concessions to loggers that would greatly endanger the Amazon basin and its great rain forest along with the environment of the entire world.
We would like to pass on some science tidbits and refer you to a review of an interesting book. by Simon Baron-Cohen (cousin of Sascha, but not accountable for him) and send you off with a dose of humor, first from our friend XKCD
and then Gene Weingarten, who arouses empathy in all of us who have ever tried to learn to play golf.