Surprises in the Chicxulub Tale of Dino Extinction

first_imgDid an asteroid hit in the Yucatan explain the demise of the dinosaurs? New drilling in the crater has brought some surprises.The Alvarez theory of an asteroid impact causing the extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, embraced reluctantly at first, has taken on the feel of accepted truth, especially after a “smoking gun” crater was found. Chicxulub in the Yucatan is assumed to be ground zero where a San-Francisco-sized object at the right time, leaving a quasi-circular scar part onshore and part offshore. It would have raised tsunamis far and wide, and lofted smoke into the atmosphere, cooling temperatures for decades. Some 76% of organisms are said to have perished immediately after that unlucky day for planet earth. Or so, that’s the typical story.Artwork courtesy of Detlev van Ravenswaay/ScienceSource.Now, published results from new drill cores recovered offshore from part of the crater’s peak ring have scientists wrinkling their brows. Some things are not what they expected. “Life recovered rapidly at impact site of dino-killing asteroid,” NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine says, noting one of the main surprises. Inferring ecological signals from smaller impact craters, geologists thought they had a handle on how long it takes life to recover from a really big impact site. Other impact scars, they say, took ten times as long to recover.Although the asteroid killed off species, new research led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that the crater it left behind was home to sea life less than a decade after impact, and it contained a thriving ecosystem within 30,000 years — a much quicker recovery than other sites around the globe.Microfossils and ichnofossils (such as burrows) show that animals re-inhabited the scar in as little as two to three years after the impact. How could such a catastrophe kill off all dinosaurs around the world, yet allow living things to invade the site so quickly? Is it because tsunamis rebounded, bringing in fresh material from a distance?“We found life in the crater within a few years of impact, which is really fast, surprisingly fast,” said Chris Lowery, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) who led the research. “It shows that there’s not a lot of predictability of recovery in general.”Another piece on Astrobiology Magazine says that forests and tree-dwelling birds were decimated around the planet by the impact, too. Is it plausible that “recovery after a global catastrophe could be a local affair”?The paper in Nature concludes that “proximity to the impact did not delay recovery and that there was therefore no impact-related environmental control on recovery.” This counter-intuitive result flies in the face of common sense that destruction should be worst near the crater.The impact seems to have generated a system of hydrothermal vents in the crater. The authors made a brief suggestion that “Impact-generated hydrothermal systems are hypothesized to be potential habitats for early life on Earth.” That’s all it took for some reporters to speculate that impacts might have caused the origin of life.A news feature in PNAS gives some background on the scientists who adventured to the Yucatan and lived on the drilling rig for weeks getting the drill cores. Most of the story concerns the characters and their adventures, but the article does share additional anomalies about the geology of the site. “To this day we don’t understand what the pattern of fractures was that led to those changes,” one of them says about the pulverized granite seen in the drill cores. After that, the article degenerates into rank speculation about how impacts might be “crucibles of life” on earth and other planets. Close your eyes and let your imagination take over: “You can see impacts as generating a whole set of experiments, producing lots of organic material, and then at some point you can imagine that a self-replicating molecule emerged.” Whoever says this “is not unreasonable” has not done the math like Illustra Media did in Origin (see “The Amoeba’s Journey” video clip).Critique of the Chicxulub SenarioPromoters of the impact story for the extinction of the dinosaurs like to make it sound like the smoking-gun evidence at Chicxulub clinches the case. It takes an outsider like Brian Thomas at ICR to point out problems and ask questions. In ICR’s June edition of Acts & Facts, his timely article points out some facts that should raise serious doubts about the story. He begins by noting that even children are taught the story of Chicxulub, which leads children of Christian parents struggling to know how to reconcile the secular story with what the Bible teaches about a worldwide Flood. Here’s a summary of his responses:Frogs and clams are much more vulnerable to the toxic after-effects of an impact-caused extinction, but they survived fine.The Chicxulub crater is not circular. “Plus, an impact with worldwide destructive force would have melted rocks, but the site has very little melted rock.” Upwelling magma could explain the structure seen at Chicxulub.The Flood layers cover hundreds of square miles that could not have been produced by an impact tsunami, which would have created a wedge-shaped trace that decays with distance. Many flood layers stay the same thickness over vast distances and can even be seen across continents.Dinosaurs are found buried in mud sediments on the opposite side of the globe from the Yucatan site.Soft tissue in fossils of dinosaurs and other animals shows the extinction was recent; the tissues could not last 66 million years.In the Genesis Flood scenario, some dinosaurs were taken aboard the Ark, and the rest perished. Those that proliferated for a short time after the Flood were understandably hunted down as pests or as trophies for ‘dragon slayers.’ That’s why none of the post-Flood dinosaurs fossilized, and why none survive today.When consensus science tells a story, best look for independent thinkers. Selective evidence is easy to amass to tell a story, but one stubborn fact can knock it down. Brian Thomas just shared five, and that’s not necessarily a complete list.Exercise: What other ‘scenarios’ or consensus stories are told by evolutionists in spite of contrary evidence? Make a list. They may have some alleged ‘smoking gun’ evidence, but contrary evidence is usually minimized or ignored. The Chicxulub story is one. Snowball Earth is another. What others can you think of? (Visited 704 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Itchy, Scratchy, & Rashy – Bad Things Come in Threes…

first_imgThey say bad things come in threes. Poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak are three of the evilest plants out there. At least 50 percent of people who come into contact with these plants are allergic to them and will develop an itchy rash which can last as long as three weeks.The best way to prevent a rash is to avoid poisonous plants all together. But if you are determined to get that D5/T5, then you need to know how to protect yourself. Avid geocacher (and dedicated nurse) Kelley Piekarek* put together these safety tips so all outdoor enthusiasts can keep themselves safe during geocaching’s busy season.Prevention:The best way to avoid the rash is to avoid the plant. The best way to avoid the plant is to know what they look like and where they grow.Poison ivy is reddish in spring, green in summer, and yellow/orange/red in autumnPoison ivy:Found throughout Canada and the United States except for parts of the West Coast. Can grow as a hairy vine or small shrub trailing along the ground or climbing on low plants, trees, and poles. Each leaf has three glossy leaflets with smooth or toothed edges. Leaves are reddish in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange, or red in the fall. Found in woody areas, thickets, and moist places.Poison sumac is orange in spring, green in summer, and yellow/orange/red in autumn. Often, the leaves have spots that look like blotches of black paint.Poison sumac:Grows as a tall shrub or small tree in bogs or swamps in Northeast, Midwest, and parts of Southeastern North America. Each leaf has clusters of seven to 13 smooth-edged leaflets. Leaves are orange in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange, or red in the fall. Often, the leaves have spots that look like blotches of black paint. May have yellow-greenish flowers and whitish-green fruits that hang in loose clusters. Poison oak leaves tend to be glossy, and the plant grows upright. May have yellow-white berries.Poison oak:Grows as a low shrub in the eastern and southern North America, and in tall clumps or long vines on the Pacific Coast. Poison oak usually has a cluster of three broad leaves, though it can have up to seven. The leaves tend to be glossy, and the plant grows upright. Western poison oak has lobed leaflets like an oak tree, while eastern poison oak is more like a glossy version of poison ivy. May have yellow-white berries.Protection:Keep your skin covered to avoid contact with these plantsWear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, and closed shoes if you’re in an area where these plants may be lurkingTie the bottoms of your pants legs or tuck them into your bootsWear gloves when bushwhackingIt’s a good idea to keep a pair of shoes dedicated for geocaching that can be kept outdoorsOOPS!  I’ve touched it, now what?The chemical that causes the rash is called urushiol and it will stick to your skin when you touch or brush against any part of the plant. It will also contaminate your clothes, ‘caching gear and your geo-dog, too! Remember, you can’t spread the rash to other people, but you can get the rash all over again if you touch contaminated items you haven’t washed.If you know your skin has come in contact with the plants, wash with soap and water immediatelyIf water is not available, wipe down the area with rubbing alcoholWash your clothes with hot soapy waterHose down your boots, geocache bag, leash, and anything else you took on your hikeWash your geo-dog well with soapy water and wear gloves while you do this (she can’t get the rash, but you can get it from her)Some dogs like baths as much as they like geocaching! Help! I have the rash!The rash often looks like a straight line because of the way the plant brushes against the skin. But if you come into contact with a piece of clothing or pet fur that has urushiol on it, the rash may spread out. The rash usually develops 12 to 48 hours after exposure and typically lasts two or three weeks. To treat the rash at home:Do not scratch, as scratching can cause an infectionLeave blisters alone—if blisters open, do not remove the overlying skin since the skin can protect the raw wound underneath and prevent infectionConsider applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone creamConsider taking antihistamine pills (with your doctor’s approval)Rash caused by poison ivy – and this is one of the “nicer’ imagesIf you have any of the following symptoms, you need to go to the Emergency Room. Like, right now:You have trouble breathing or swallowingThe rash covers most of your bodyYou experience swelling, especially if an eyelid swells shutMuch of your skin itches, or nothing seems to ease the itchYou develop a fever greater than 100 F (37.8 C)The rash doesn’t get better within a few weeksStay safe out there my friends, and cache on! How do you stay safe while enjoying your favorite hobby?*If the name Kelley Piekarek sounds familiar, it may be from this story that made national geocaching news in February of this year. Woof! Share with your Friends:Morecenter_img SharePrint RelatedBeware the Tall Grasses! Or, Death of a BatteryMay 20, 2014In “Maker Madness”10 mistakes to avoid while geocachingFebruary 26, 2019In “News” Co-Founder Celebrates Ten Years of Geo-LoveNovember 18, 2011In “Community”last_img read more

Applications From The Internet of Things – An Analysis of Pachube

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting richard macmanus Pachube’s sister company, Haque Design + Research, will also build use cases for Pachube. They’ve been doing this already, for example using some Siemens building management products to demonstrate the power of Pachube.Haque told ReadWriteWeb that Pachube will also be used for large-scale urban infrastructure projects. He referred to this as “massively networked cities,” where there is a lot of data collection and sensor stream management. He declined to name specific examples, but said that Pachube is currently “focused quite heavily onEast Asia.”Haque noted that Pachube is especially concerned with how to make sure sensor datais accessible to consumers. He said that “people aren’t passive consumers of thedata, but actively engaged in producing it.” The idea being that people will take an active role in understanding their cities. This is an ongoing theory that Usman Haque extols in the talks and interviews he does for Pachube.Conclusion: Early Days, But Commercial and Consumer Apps Are ComingOverall, Pachube is “still quite experimental” according to founder Usman Haque. However he said that it will be increasingly used for things like climate data, home automation systems, and more. The company will try to drive usage from both cities, commercial entities (like Siemens) and consumer applications.In Part 3 of this series tomorrow, we look at Pachube’s business model, how it competes with large companies like IBM, and why it’s an open platform.The full 3-Part series on Pachube:Pachube Adds Real-Time Notifications – More Power to The Internet of ThingsApplications From The Internet of Things – An Analysis of PachubeBusiness Models of The Internet of Things – An Analysis of Pachube’s Open Source Platform Last week we reported that Pachube, an open source platform enabling developers to connect sensor data to the Web, had released a real-time notifications feature. We at ReadWriteWeb think that Pachube is an excellent example of one of our Top 5 Trends of 2009: Internet of Things. So we’re going to explore Pachube in-depth in a 3-part series. This is Part 2, where we’ll look at what applications we can expect to see in the coming years from Pachube. I spoke at length to Pachube founder Usman Haque to find out what developers – and Haque’s company itself – will build on the platform.Brief Overview of PachubeFor end users, Pachube enables automation of your environment. For example controlling the lighting in your house, via sensors and the Internet. With its new notifications feature, called “triggers,” Pachube can cause a specific action in external applications or devices. Such as turning on your living room lights when a sensor (say on your garage door) activates.Pachube can be difficult to understand at first glance. At heart it is about connecting environments. However it’s more than just connecting sensors to the Internet. Pachube wants its users to interact with sensor data and use it to actively engage with their environment. Experimental ApplicationsA lot of current Pachube projects are using Arduino, an open-source electronics prototyping platform that we briefly profiled in February. In July we wrote about an example of Pachube and Arduino being used in concert, Web-connected light sensors.Here’s a newer augmented reality demo, showing live Pachube data displayed in real-time ‘on top’ of Arduino sensor boxes. Tags:#Analysis#Internet of Things#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img We’ll explore some more commercial and consumer applications below – most of them in development or on the agenda for the future. Usman Haque admits that currently Pachube is still at an early, experimental stage. Its website is very much focused on developers and prototypers right now.So what does Pachube offer developers? Usman Haque told us that Pachube’s goal “has always been to do the simplest thing we possibly can, sopeople can get going [connecting their environments].” In a practical sense, Haque explained to us that Pachube is almost like offsite storage for low power processes. Pachube also wants to reach out to existing popular Web platforms. For example it plans to submit to Apple’s iPhone/iPod Touch App Store a “generalized data logger.” This will enable developers to tap into sensor data gathered by the device, using Pachube as the backend to hold and manage the data. Haque added that Pachube’s new notification system will make it possible to build more applications;up till now Pachube has been used mostly by developers as a repository (a place to upload data to).What Commercial Applications Can We Expect in Future?Although Pachube is currently targeting developers, it has an eye on enabling and creating commercial applications for sensor data. A big driver currently is energy monitoring. Haque told us that this will be an area with the mostinnovation in the near future. For example, he said that people could have graphs tracking their long term energy use and comparing it to other people. He noted that this is an “obvious one to build, but nobody has built it yet.” You can see from the Pachube website tag cloud below that energy data is a significant part of Pachube already: A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more