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SCIENCE

Earthquake Science

Earthquake Science
January 14, 2010
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“…The USGS has already measured more than 40 aftershocks above a 4.0 magnitude (including a 5.9 and 5.5 magnitude) and many more below that, Bedwell said. More aftershocks are anticipated in the coming days and weeks as the restive fault continues to react to the jolt that set it off in the first plac”…”

University of West Indies Earthquake FAQ

According to the Wunderground weather blog Haiti was just now recovering from the 2008 Hurricane season.

“…In many ways, the hurricane season of 2008 was the cruelest ever experienced in Haiti. Four storms–Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike–dumped heavy rains on the impoverished nation. The rugged hillsides, stripped bare of 98% of their forest cover thanks to deforestation, let flood waters rampage into large areas of the country. Particularly hard-hit was Gonaives, the fourth largest city. According to reliefweb.org, Haiti suffered 793 killed, with 310 missing and another 593 injured. The hurricanes destroyed 22,702 homes and damaged another 84,625. About 800,000 people were affected–8% of Haiti’s total population. The flood wiped out 70% of Haiti’s crops, resulting in dozens of deaths of children due to malnutrition in the months following the storms. Damage was estimated at over $1 billion, the costliest natural disaster in Haitian history. The damage amounted to over 5% of the country’s $17 billion GDP, a massive blow for a nation so poor…”

Two years ago this specific quake was predicted.

“...In a presentation to the 18th Caribbean Geological Conference in 2008, the team pointed out that their models showed a slip rate of around 8 millimetres per year on the fault. In their abstract they warned that this, combined with the fact that the last known major earthquake near Haiti was in 1751, could add up to yield “~2 meters of accumulated strain deficit, or a Mw=7.2 earthquake if all is released in a single event today”. One of the team members, geophysicist Eric Calais of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, said in an e-mail to Nature: “Unfortunately we were pretty much right on.”…”

From Eruptions comes a portal into the science of the big one in Haiti. This is a straight post about the cold blooded science of the incident – nothing more and nothing less. This is the largest quake in the region since 1751, when there was one well over 8.0. This specific quake has now been ramped up to a 7.2, and was quite shallow, which is why there was so much damage.

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Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?

Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?
December 31, 2009
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Borrowing from John 1:46 a little is for a good cause.  A remarkable archaeological discovery from the old town of …Read the Rest

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Earth’s Upper Atmosphere Rapidly Cooling

Earth’s Upper Atmosphere Rapidly Cooling
December 30, 2009
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Please, try and blame this one on global warming. The Earth’s upper atmosphere is rapidly cooling.  It is rapidly cooling …Read the Rest

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Say It Five Times Fast – Solar Tsunami, Solar Tsunami…..

Say It Five Times Fast – Solar Tsunami, Solar Tsunami…..
December 16, 2009
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The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory have come up with a “solar wave”.

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It is way cool.

“…The waves, which are comprised of plasma, appear at the base of the corona, a couple of thousand kilometres above the surface of the sun. They rise quickly from a central point and spread out in a circular pattern millions of kilometres in circumference.

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Roman Ruins Briefly Open to the Public

Roman Ruins Briefly Open to the Public
December 15, 2009
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ITALY ROMAN LUXURY

From the AP

“…Visitors look at new discoveries unveiled in Rome, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009. Italian officials have unveiled new discoveries in an ancient Roman luxury complex filled with priceless mosaics, elegant porticos and thermal baths. The 1,800 square-meter (2,000 square-yard) complex, dating from the 2nd to 4th centuries, has been excavated intermittently starting in 2004, when the ruins were accidentally discovered during renovations of a Renaissance palazzo that now stands above them. In the latest digging campaign, which began in March, archaeologists uncovered a palatial room decorated with precious marble and a colorful mosaic made with half a million tiles brought from all over the Roman Empire.

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God, Carbon Credits, Greenies, and a Lack of Faith (and Technology)

God, Carbon Credits, Greenies, and a Lack of Faith (and Technology)
December 12, 2009
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PART I of two articles on “green” Is it even possible for a person to be a hard-core environmentalist and …Read the Rest

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Only in New Mexico: Very Early Dino Fossils

Only in New Mexico:  Very Early Dino Fossils
December 11, 2009
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Sometimes really interesting things happen in New Mexico. This is one of them! It is called Tawa hallae. “…The first …Read the Rest

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UPDATE: San Antonio “Bigfoot” (or Baboon)

UPDATE:  San Antonio “Bigfoot” (or Baboon)
December 4, 2009
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Has Bigfoot turned into an urban scavenger?

The San Antonio Bigfoot story is quite intersting. There are allegedly footprints, handprints, and some say itis a baboon.

From Loren Coleman:

“...Fidel Amaton, who is a technician at the body shop, was the first to see the animal early in October 2009 as he was throwing trash into the bin behind the shop. Amaton said it was early in the morning and he still was rubbing the sleep from his eyes when he was startled by what appeared to be a monkey that jumped out of the bin.

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BREAKING: New Bigfoot Gossip!

BREAKING:  New Bigfoot Gossip!
December 3, 2009
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Regular readers know The Pink Flamingo gets a kick out of “bigfoot” and enjoy following the stories.  I think there …Read the Rest

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No Longer an Urban Legend: The 1932 Alligator in the Sewer Tale Confirmed!

No Longer an Urban Legend: The 1932 Alligator in the Sewer Tale Confirmed!
November 30, 2009
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“…Still, the occasional discovery of above-ground alligators in New York — on Staten Island, in Central Park or in Queens — refreshes the story. And of course, there was that one case in 1935. Salvatore Condoluci, the teenager who roped that alligator, is now 92. Though he has forgotten some of the details, he still remembers hearing the thrashing in the icy water beneath the manhole, first seeing the creature’s head, and using a rope to lasso and haul it to the surface…”

Loren Coleman brings news that the New York Times has managed to track down the person who told the story in 1932 about a 7 foot long alligator in the New York sewer.

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“…These stories were backed by scattered reports, mostly very old, of alligators living in sewer systems that appeared in papers around the country, including Atlanta, Dallas and Newark. The most widely cited of these was an article in The Times on Feb. 10, 1935, headlined “Alligator Found in Uptown Sewer.”

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Thera’s Killer Tsunamis

Thera’s Killer Tsunamis
November 29, 2009
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The eruption of Thera 3000 years ago devastated much of the Mediterranean with tsunamis.  There are those who think it …Read the Rest

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One of the Coolest Enceladus Images Yet!

One of the Coolest Enceladus Images Yet!
November 23, 2009
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This is a volcanic plume captured by Cassini’s November 21 flyby of Enceladus.

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New Vegan Dino Discovered

New Vegan Dino Discovered
November 21, 2009
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What had flat feat, was a binge eater, and liked its veggies? “…The vegetarian dinosaur, one of three discovered at …Read the Rest

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Tracking the Baby Coelacanth

Tracking the Baby Coelacanth
November 20, 2009
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The Pink Flamingo has been fascinated by coelacanths since I read a book about them in elementary school. The other day a baby coelacanth was filed swimming by Aquamarine Fukushima.

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“...The Japan Times and other news outlets are reporting on November 18, 2009, that a team from an aquarium in Iwaki, Japan has successfully, in a world first, photographed juvenile coelacanths (example above), a fish regarded as a living fossil, off Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island.

Aquamarine Fukushima reports that the small newborns were found Oct. 6, 2009, at a depth of 161 meters in Manado Bay off North Sulawesi Province. This is near where the Indonesian coelacanth was first discovered in a fish market in 1997, and then off-shore in 1998…”

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Al Gore and His Idiotic Journey to the Center of the Earth

Al Gore and His Idiotic Journey to the Center of the Earth
November 19, 2009
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If Al Gore’s knowledge of Global Warming is as outrageous as his grasp on geology then why on “earth” is anyone even bothering to listen to him.

This is just simply precious.

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Something Every Woman Knows

Something Every Woman Knows
November 16, 2009
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Chocolate reduces stress.  Every normal, red-blooded woman on the face of the earth knows that – doesn’t she? Now – …Read the Rest

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The T-Rex Family Tree

The T-Rex Family Tree
November 15, 2009
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They call the “little” guy a Proceratosaurus.

091103-proceratosaurus-02He’s only about 10 feet long.

In T-Rex terms, that’s “little”. Heck, Sue’s head is almost that big!

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An Ultra Deep Field?

An Ultra Deep Field?
November 13, 2009
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hs-2004-07-m-large_webH/T – The Hubble Telescope

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Has the Lost Army of Cambyses Been Found

Has the Lost Army of Cambyses Been Found
November 10, 2009
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One of the great historical mysteries has been the fate of the army of Cambyses.

“…According to Herodotus, Cambyses sent an army to threaten the Oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis. The army of 50,000 men was halfway across the desert when a massive sandstorm sprang up, burying them all. Although many egyptologists regard the story as a myth, people have searched for the remains of the soldiers for many years. These have included Count László Almásy (on whom the novel The English Patient was based) and modern geologist Tom Brown. Some believe that in recent petroleum excavations, the remains may have been uncovered…”

It now appears that two Italian archaeologists have discovered Cambyses lost army! The plot sounds like an Indiana Jones movie – an army of 50,000 men were literally swollowed in a massive sand storm.

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Golly – was Herodotus right?

“…Now, two top Italian archaeologists claim to have found striking evidence that the Persian army was indeed swallowed in a sandstorm. Twin brothers Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni are already famous for their discovery 20 years ago of the ancient Egyptian “city of gold” known as Berenike Panchrysos.

Presented recently at the archaeological film festival of Rovereto, the discovery is the result of 13 years of research and five expeditions to the desert.

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Male Smilodon Fatalis Were Pussycats?

Male Smilodon Fatalis Were Pussycats?
November 9, 2009
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Would you believe the male Smilodon Fatalis was a “pussy cat”?

“…The researchers report that while male American lions were considerably larger than females, male and female sabertoothed cats were indistinguishable in size. The findings suggest that sabertooths may have been less aggressive than their fellow felines, researchers say. In species where males fight for mates, bigger, heavier males have a better chance of winning fights, fending off their rivals and gaining access to females. After generations of male-male competition, the males of some species evolve to be much larger than their mates.

Most big cats have a form of sexual dimorphism where males are bigger than females, said co-author Julie Meachen-Samuels, a biologist at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, NC. So she and Wendy Binder of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles wanted to know if extinct sabertooths and American lions showed the same size patterns as big cats living today.

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Another Cool Star Trek Moment

Another Cool Star Trek Moment
November 7, 2009
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The Pink Flamingo is too exhausted to understand the exact technology behind this one, but it is so way cool!

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“…The method, called electron beam freeform fabrication (EBF3), uses an electron beam to melt metals and build objects layer by layer. Such an approach already promises to cut manufacturing costs for the aerospace industry, and could pioneer development of new materials. It has also thrilled astronauts on the International Space Station by dangling the possibility of designing new tools or objects, researchers said…”

H/T Hot Air

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Cassini’s Early Fly-By of Enceladus

Cassini’s Early Fly-By of Enceladus
November 6, 2009
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I’ve been waiting for these shots since Voyager II’s Saturn Fly-by.enceladus-1-580x580

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Sarychev Volcano Eruption

Sarychev Volcano Eruption
November 5, 2009
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sarychev-volcano-eruption-cloudThe ultimate photography experience would be the opportunity to take the photograph of an erupting volcano from space!

“…Astronaut photograph ISS020-E-9048 was acquired on June 12, 2009, with a Nikon D2XS digital camera fitted with a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 20 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by M. Justin Wilkinson, NASA-JSC….”

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New Madrid Seismic Zone Dangers

New Madrid Seismic Zone Dangers
November 4, 2009
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The greatest earthquake danger for the US is not The Big One in LA, but in New Madrid, Missouri, not far from Memphis and St. Louis. It is a strange area, just plain weird. Traveling through the region which experienced one of the worst earthquakes in this nations’s history, one is taken aback by just how strange the area feels. There’s just something almost “wrong” about it.

new-madrid-seismic-zone-map-lgTopographic map showing earthquakes greater than magnitude 2.5 (circles) of the central United States. Red circles are earthquakes that occurred after 1972 from the USGS Preliminary Determination of Epicenters catalog. Blue circles are earthquakes that occurred before 1973 from the USGS Preliminary Determination of Epicenters catalog and historical catalog. Larger earthquakes are represented by larger circles. Yellow patches show urban areas with populations greater than 10,000. USGS image.”

“…Vulnerable Communities in the Mississippi Valley

There is broad agreement in the scientific community that a continuing concern exists for a major destructive earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone. Many structures in Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., and other communities in the central Mississippi River Valley region are vulnerable and at risk from severe ground shaking. This assessment is based on decades of research on New Madrid earthquakes and related phenomena by dozens of Federal, university, State, and consulting earth scientists.

Considerable interest has developed recently from media reports that the New Madrid seismic zone may be shutting down. These reports stem from published research using global positioning system (GPS) instruments with results of geodetic measurements of strain in the Earth’s crust. Because of a lack of measurable strain at the surface in some areas of the seismic zone over the past 14 years, arguments have been advanced that there is no buildup of stress at depth within the New Madrid seismic zone and that the zone may no longer pose a significant hazard.

As part of the consensus-building process used to develop the national seismic hazard maps, the U.S. Geological Survey convened a workshop of experts in 2006 to evaluate the latest findings in earthquake hazards in the Eastern United States. These experts considered the GPS data from New Madrid available at that time that also showed little to no ground movement at the surface. The experts did not find the GPS data to be a convincing reason to lower the assessment of earthquake hazard in the New Madrid region, especially in light of the many other types of data that are used to construct the hazard assess ment, several of which are described here.

The Geological Record

There are historical accounts of major earthquakes in the New Madrid region during 1811–12. The geologic record of pre-1811 earthquakes also reveals that the New Madrid seismic zone has repeatedly produced sequences of major earthquakes, including several of magnitude 7 to 8, over the past 4,500 years. These prehistoric earthquakes caused severe and widespread ground failures in the New Madrid region, much like those caused by the 1811–12 earthquake sequence. The key evidence for large earthquakes that occurred in the past are sand blows that formed when under¬ground sand and water erupted to the surface as a result of violent shaking. Numerous large sand blows over a wide area were created by strong ground shaking during the 1811–12 earthquakes. Similarly large, widespread, and abundant prehistoric sand blows were produced over the same area during ground shaking from previous clusters of large earthquakes around A.D. 1450, A.D. 900, and 2350 B.C. The sizes and areal distribution of the prehistoric sand blows indicate that the older earthquakes were similar in location and magnitude to the 1811–12 shocks….The New Madrid seismic zone is a source of continuing small and moderate earthquakes, which attest to the high stress in the region and indicate that the processes that produced the large earthquakes over the previous 4,500 years, are still operating. It is the most seismically active area of the United States east of the Rockies. There is no sign that the rate of these smaller earthquakes is decreasing with time, as would be expected if they were aftershocks of the 1811–12 earthquakes.

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How Did Dinos Go Extinct

How Did Dinos Go Extinct
November 2, 2009
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After a long period without decent dino news (my new painting by Doug Chaffee has arrived, btw) we’re now being treated to just scads of new theories, extinctions, and all sorts of feathered critters.

My painting has arrived in time to crown my reading of the “new” debate about Dinosaur extinction. Sure, I know all the talk is about India, but I am partial to a volcanic end of things.

Did Dinos go extinct from a massive asteroid hit or from volcanism?

“…The cause of the dinosaurs’ demise is far from an open-and-shut case. Though many experts support the Chicxulub impact theory, some question whether the extinction was caused by an impact at all, and suggest that climate changes and volcanism were responsible. One line of reasoning holds that all three phenomena were to blame.

Gerta Keller, a geoscientist at Princeton University, found evidence for massive volcanic activity coinciding with the time of the extinction in an area called the Deccan Traps in India. Keller has advocated that this volcanism was the main culprit behind the dinosaurs’ downfall. Her idea has long been controversial and remains so. She is bluntly dubious of Chatterjee’s argument.

“We have worked extensively throughout India and investigated a number of the localities where Sankar Chatterjee claims to have evidence of a large impact he calls Shiva crater,” Keller wrote in an e-mail along with colleague Thierry Adatte of Switzerland’s Universite de Neuchâtel. “Unfortunately, we have found no evidence to support his claims… Sorry to say, this is all nonsense.”

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In Defense of Politicians Dealing with “Climate Change”

In Defense of Politicians Dealing with “Climate Change”
November 2, 2009
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On Sunday afternoon it dawned on The Pink Flamingo that we are taking the whole issue of climate change and politicians in the wrong direction. Lindsey is being hammered for a piece he co-authored with John Kerry for the NYTimes. Even I cringed – because I knew he would be hammered for it.

He has.

Suddenly, like the light flashing down from an alien craft about to abduct some drunken deer hunter (note that there is no intentional insult to deer hunters implied) The Pink Flamingo had an epiphany.

GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT

Remember that old computer term – garbage in garbage out?

I think expecting our elected officials to know everything about everything, or even a little bit about everything is just not logical. None of us know everything about everything. We specialize. The era of a eclectic “renaissance” style education no longer exists.

Take climate change – please.

The only reason The Pink Flamingo has a different take on things is because of an essay the late great, Stephen Jay Gould penned for his monthly column in the Natural History magazine. Aside from filling The Pink Flamingo with a life-time desire to be a writer of essays, this article tweaked my fancy. I was going into high school, volunteering doing the candy stripe thing at our local hospital. I remember reading the article after my father picked me up at the hospital there in Seneca. The mail was on the back seat, where I was consigned as he and my grandfather drove home.

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I read the Gould essay on the drive to Fair Play, fascinated. My current love of all things dinosaur is nothing new. I’ve been fascinated since I was a little kid and saw that now legendary T-Rex fossil in the Natural History Museum in NYC. While it might take a calculator to figure out how many scientists have been inspired by that same critter, including the great Gould himself, The Pink Flamingo never went beyond fascination when it came to dinosaurs. But – it did give me a reason to read geology, paleontology, and delve into archeology as a high school student.

The specic Gould essay, which I can no longer find, was about the fact that the planet was due for another round of what he felt might be a cycle of ice ages.

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BINGO

Golly – an ice age?

I read everything I could on the subject, only to decide upon a life-long fascination with Post-Roman Britain instead of science.

Guess what?

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It seems like the alleged time frame of La Morte de Arthur and the alleged fall of the Roman Empire all occurred around 475AD – 550AD. No one in their right mind would even put the idea of the death of Arthur, fall of Rome, and an ice age together. BUT – they all happened around the same time.

Seems like David Keys also put 2 + 2 together to come up with an ice age. Publisher’s Weekly reviewed the book:

“…In Keys’s startling thesis, a global climatic catastrophe in A.D. 535-536–a massive volcanic eruption sundering Java from Sumatra–was the decisive factor that transformed the ancient world into the medieval, or as Keys prefers to call it, the “proto-modern” era. Ancient chroniclers record a disaster in that year that blotted out the sun for months, causing famine, droughts, floods, storms and bubonic plague. Keys, archeology correspondent for the London Independent, uses tree-ring samples, analysis of lake deposits and ice cores, as well as contemporaneous documents to bolster his highly speculative thesis. In his scenario, the ensuing disasters precipitated the disintegration of the Roman Empire, beset by Slav, Mongol and Persian invaders propelled from their disrupted homelands. The sixth-century collapse of Arabian civilization under pressure from floods and crop failure created an apocalyptic atmosphere that set the stage for Islam’s emergence. In Mexico, Keys claims, the cataclysm triggered the collapse of a Mesoamerican empire; in Anatolia, it helped the Turks establish what eventually became the Ottoman Empire; while in China, the ensuing half-century of political and social chaos led to a reunified nation. Huge claims call for big proof, yet Keys reassembles history to fit his thesis, relentlessly overworking its explanatory power in a manner reminiscent of Velikovsky’s theory that a comet collided with the earth in 1500 B.C. Readers anxious about future cataclysms will take note of Keys’s roundup of trouble spots that could conceivably wreak planetary havoc….”

Would you believe the global temperature during the height of the Roman Republic and Empire ranged something like 4 degrees warmer than it is now?

Royalty Free

Civilizations flourish during a time of global warming and had a tendency to either fall or wax inward during periods of cooling.

Please expain the importance of the word “Greenland”.

Now, the following completely esoteric lines of study are something no “normal” person who has a “real” life would even bother thinking about, let alone own dozens of books about the above.

There’s even more.

The Pink Flamingo has been interested in astronomy and space even longer than dinosaurs.

Get the picture?

Add a fascination with geology, history, King Arthur, Ancient America fringe archaeology, and a half-way decent working knowledge of science and you have a walking rebuttal to the current infant “science” of climatology. (it is a joke)

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We are dealing with a rather fascinating solar minimum. For some strange reason, the utter lack of sunspots indicates a cooling surface on the sun. Anyone who knows anything know the cooler the sun, the cooler the earth.

Know anything about the relationship between very messy volcanic explosions and global cooling?

The Pink Flamingo subscribes to the theory of history that someone must delve, not only into the usual historical tools, papers, archives, etc, but must also integrate misc. sciences be them social, earth, biological, archaeology, or political in order to write history.

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More Chupacabra News

More Chupacabra News
November 1, 2009
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Is it possible the now infamously legendary “chupacabra” is a newly emerged breed of dog?  You do realize dogs are …Read the Rest

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White on White (Shark) Violence

White on White (Shark) Violence
October 27, 2009
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Have you hear the one about the 20 foot Great White that bit another Great White in half?

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Naturally this is just another excuse for a little John Williams music.

Seriously, folks – a 20 foot Great White is roaming the shores of Queensland, Australia.

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The Shame of Fake Dinos

The Shame of Fake Dinos
October 25, 2009
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What if a third of “known” dino species never really existed?

What’s a little kid to do with all those different dinos he can identify on sight?

“…The lean and graceful Nanotyrannus is one strong example. Thought to be a smaller relative of T. rex, the supposed species is now considered by many experts to be based on a misidentified fossil of a juvenile T. rex.

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Is the Kensington Rune Stone Authentic?

Is the Kensington Rune Stone Authentic?
October 24, 2009
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Scott Wolter, a Minnesota geologist thinks he has additional information that may point toward the famous Kensington Rune Stone being authentic.

506px-Kensington-runestone_flom-1910

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