More Geek Stuff

new&nerdlyThe K-T Impact Event (the one that helped kill off the dinosaurs) resulted in an unstable climate with erratic, rapidly changeable, weather conditions that favored deciduous plants over their slower growing, less adaptable evergreen cousins. This is why our modern forests are, predominantly, deciduous in nature. Of course, the planet was already experiencing environmental stress due to the Deccan Traps flood basalt eruption that was occurring in India even before the asteroid slammed into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Impact that doomed the dinosaurs helped the forests bloom – Science Daily
September 16, 2014

Scientists at Duke Medicine have been studying the bacterium Yersinia Pestis, the vector that causes bubonic plague, better know as the Black Death. In studying the disease, they have learned quite a bit about how the pathogen works after it enters the body, and have started experimenting, somewhat successfully, with non-antibiotic treatments. Always a good thing in this age of drug resistant bacteria.

New insights on an ancient plague could improve treatments for infections – Science Daily
September 18, 2014

According to scientists at he University of Bristol, there was another, mysterious, volcanic culprit for the extreme cold of the early nineteenth century. We all know about the infamous eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1815. However, there are obscure accounts in Spanish colonial texts in Colombia and Peru referring to environmental changes associated with a volcanic event within a fortnight of December 4, 1808.  Now they just have to find the volcano.

Mysterious volcanic eruption of 1808 described – Science Daily
September 18, 2014

Yet more evidence has come to light, in the form of teeth, suggesting that the Out of Africa model is in desperate need of revision. There was almost definitely more than one wave of anatomically modern human migration from Africa, and some of them occurred well before 60,000 years ago.

Lunadong fossils support theory of earlier dispersal of modern man –
September 19, 2014


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