Drinking Around The World – Starting Now

On W.O.O.D. a notice was put up about drinks in Australia:


jim2 says:
6 December 2019 at 2:10 am (Edit)
Holiday drinks around the world …

For other skeptics in other cities (even in other countries) — why not organise something? I’ll mention it here… let’s get skeptics together.


Checking my UTC time:

ems@OdroidN2:~$ date
Fri Dec 6 02:38:34 UTC 2019

I see that it’s Already Friday 6 December… So time for getting things started, I’d say.

Here’s what’s at Jo’s place:

Anyone for Christmas Drinks? Perth, Melbourne, Rocky, Friday 6th December — plus Adelaide, sunshine coast… others
Drinks, photo, beer, wine, Photo: Jonathan Rautenbach

NEW posts will appear below this one!

UPDATE #2: There are Christmas drinks events in Perth, Rockhampton and Melbourne on this Friday. Adelaide on Saturday. Sydney Dec 12th. Plus Buddina (Sunshine coast) Dec 13. Sydney Dec 12th. There may be others too, apologies if I’m not keeping up with comments below. EMAIL: joanne AT joannenova.com.au. and I’ll forward on your email to the key people.

UPDATE: Other events being discussed in many locations. Do a “find” search in comments….

Australia: Melbourne, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast, Hunter Valley NSW, Rockhampton Qld, and Marysville, Geelong, Ballarat, Glenrowan, Vic. Gold Coast. There is already a fabulous group in Sydney running that started ten years ago on this blog by the great Jim Simpson. Ask and ye shall be connected.

New Zealand: Nelson and Wellington.

USA: How about central Washington State USA, and CT USA?

Perth, Australia: Party time, Christmas drinks and dinner is on from 6pm Friday 6th December.

We are lucky enough to have spectacular views, a central location, free parking, and just $20/head for steak and salad. Beer and wine for sale. Families welcome. No speeches. If you’d like to come, I’d love to see you there Friday week from 6pm — email me to find out where this quiet, brilliant, private venue is.

EMAIL: joanne AT joannenova.com.au.

For other skeptics in other cities (even in other countries) — why not organise something? I’ll mention it here… let’s get skeptics together.

Unfortunately, I’m driver for the spouse for the next month. She has “foot in boot” device and can’t drive with it until done, in a month. So I’m stuck at home. But I can still participate “virtually” ;-)

If anyone wants to coordinate a place, feel free to put up ideas here, or at Jo’s.

Since it’s already Friday “somewhere”, I think I’ll get things started now… I just need to find that bottle… I think I have enough for 24 hours… IF I can manage it…


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The Daily Watch

Why I’m in favor of this impeachment process, EXACTLY as the Democrats are running it:

All of this is just my personal opinion, you can form your own.

We have, live and saved on video, direct confessions of just how corrupt the Democratic Party in general, and the Democratic Leadership in particular, have become, are, and will continue to be.

They can’t run away from that. They can’t stop it being thrown in their faces for years to come.

1) They like, and have called and run, Kangaroo Courts of the worst kind.
2) They despise “The Rule Of Law”, precedent, and even modest fairness.
3) They forbid legal council to the defendant.
4) They forbid even identifying the accuser.
5) They find guilt before even identifying a crime.
6) They despise Personal Privacy (publishing the call records of a Journalist not accused of anything).
7) They have hatred deep in their hearts, and blatant on their faces.
8) They love getting dirty money, and brag about it.
9) They love perverting governments in other countries for their own gain.
10) Nepotism R Us is their motto. (Biden, Kerry, and so many more).

and on and on.

When I voted for Trump, 3 long years ago, it was from a strong dislike of Hillary The Corrupt. I’d have been more ambivalent about some other Democrat and might well have voted for a middle leaning Governor from some Midwest State. Trump was a “Wild Card”. But given how Hillary railroaded the Convention, I was just not given any real choice. I had one choice: Bet on the unknown and hope.

Now, 3 years later, Trump has succeeded beyond my wildest hopes. He’s doing exactly what he said he would, inside the limits imposed on him (McCain the traitor…) and I’m very satisfied with his skill and performance.

Now, 3 years later, I also know that it wasn’t just Hillary that was corrupt. It’s the whole DNC and Leadership at a minimum, and many layers down too. Not only will I NOT vote for ANY Democrat in the coming election, I’ll not vote for one for at least a decade, maybe never ever again. You see, they are ALL now painted with the Corrupt Dictator Wannabe Brush. Guilt by association and membership.

I’ve seen that Pelosi, instead of just being a bit daft and “poodle in the headlights” is in fact a coward easily bent by a Junior Know Nothing into doing incredibly stupid and damaging things (like calling for the Schitt Show). I also know that she has no moral compass (or would simply step down before such criminal acts as violating civil rights) and lusts for power more than anything else.

I’ve seen that Nadler is a corrupt little vindictive Troll who loves to inflict pain on people.

I’ve seen that Schiff is a lying petty vindictive worm who thinks violation of privacy and civil rights is just fine.

I’ve seen that to a person all the Democratic Candidates despise the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution and wish to ignore it and trample, remove and destroy your Constitutional Rights. No mere constitution will get in their way. No Rule Of Law nor courts need apply.

I’ve seen that the leader of the C.I.A. was running an operation against an elected POTUS, and even after he was removed, folks lower down the management chain continued to run it.

I’ve seen that the leader of the F.B.I. was happy to hand out immunity to the guilty in exchange for Party Favors.

I’ve seen that the whole Swamp Creature Lot Of Them get fat contracts on CNN, huge advances on book deals for books nobody will ever read, and generally manage to retire with fame and wealth on a “government salary”… that alone cries out “Corrupt!”.

And so much more.

So yeah, go on, keep the show running. The longer the better. Right up to November… See, I haven’t decided if I’ll volunteer to drive Republicans to the polls or not, and I need the nudge to get me over the line…

Tim Pool

In this video, Tim Pool does a great job of ranting. He’s a “Center Left” sort. I’m a Center Right sort. We’re both just about “middle of the bird” and lean Libertarian. The DNC has lost it, and lost Tim in the process.

I suspect he is particularly livid about Schiff publishing the phone records of a journalist innocent of all crimes save being an irritant to Schiff. I can see that as Tim could be treated the same way. No right to privacy for Journalists anymore? Hey, ACLU, how about looking into THAT violation of Civil Rights…

Much of what he covers was also covered by Bongino in the last few days. That Russiagate never ended, and Ukraine is just the continuation. My belief is pretty simple. Follow the $Millions up stream and you will find Soros and Bloomberg demanding the Impeachment Show be run as part of a Color Revolution. It is directly following the Color Revolution playbook with the goal of driving from power via smear campaign any elected leader they (Soros and friends) don’t like in any country of the world, voters be damned. 22 minutes.


Bongino has a pretty good one today too. About an hour. Has a clip of Nadler almost nodding off in his own “investigation”, and has one of Pelosi swallowing her pride and Doing The Stupid Thing since otherwise no money for her from Soros and no power of being Speaker either. Sold out, and she shows it on her face as she chokes out her little lying spiel… He also has an interesting take on the reason for some of the announcements of innocence and such just before the 2016 election: As cover for the dirty tricks. They thought Hillary was a win, so were finding “no Russian interference” as cover so after Hillary was in, they could point at the history and say her win was legit. I had not thought of that, but it makes sense. Similarly Comey and the email thing. But then he had to reopen it when the laptop surfaced.

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A Note On Stoves

As I’ve been living on portable stoves for a few days, I thought documenting the experience might be of value.

The $10 (a few years ago) single burner 1 kW electric burner from my road / hotel kit works fine for everything. It is easy to use. Just plug it in and turn the knob. It is more flexible than the electric skillet, so things like steaming vegetables or making coffee are easy. As long as you have electrons, it is the best and cheapest solution. The only downside is the lower power for things like running a canner or big pots that take about twice as long to heat as on a regular 2.2 kW stove burner. For use in hotels, the lack of any flame, fumes, or similar “smoke detector fodder” is a major benefit. (I also have a one person sized slow cooker for use in hotels too ;-) Cost to operate ranges from free in hotels to very low in the home at 7 ¢ to 40 ¢ per hour depending on how political your local electricity supplier might be…

This looks like a fancier one at $12 from Amazon:

The surprise star was the Asian style butane stove. These are common in Asian homes as a table top appliance for various foods cooked at the table. Low and flat with a large burner surface, they cook like a regular gas stove. I got mine for about $20 at an Asian grocery store about 15 years ago. Just saw one for $30 at Smart & Final who also sell the fuel as $10 for a pack of 4 cans of 8 ounces each. Yeah, that’s $1 / 3.2 ounces. Not cheap, but not as expensive as some other choices. It runs a long time on a can, so for all practical purposes the cost isn’t very important. BIG feature is the “turn and go” ignition with the built in sparker, and then the stability and even cooking of the large burner area. Being low and flat, it is very stable. Nearly no odor or other issues. Very even cooking and fast responsive burner ( it has reminded me why I really really like cooking on gas more than electricity). It came with a carry case and I’m tempted to put it in the car kit when next I go on the road. Only problem I’ve had is forgetting that there’s an interlock that prevents loading a fuel canister if you have the burner assembly upside down in the stowed position…

The GasOne stove I have is now $31 on Amazon on the first search, but subsequent searches turned up this one at $16
But for $27 you can get a dual fuel version, propane / butane:
Go figure… The blurb says “backpacking”. Not hardly! This is a table top item not for the pack. They also have 2 burner models and more in the same general pattern. At $13.32 for 4 fuel cans, it’s cheaper to hit up Smart & Final for fuel. Interesting to note that Coleman has one for $20 ATM (regularly $30)

Alcohol stoves are good indoors but don’t stand up well to wind outdoors. Wind shields helpful. Quiet, low smell, easy to operate (pour in fuel and light). Small and light weight. As an emergency stove for use in the home, a very good choice. Fuel keeps forever and not under pressure so leaks not a big deal. As a portable or camping stove, good for an individual. I’ll likely use it in the office for making coffee now that the big butane canister is used up ;-) A bit slower than the other stoves, but very workable. The Trangia type are a good “carry in the pocket” stove for hiking & biking as the fuel is already in the stove and the whole thing is palm sized. You do need an ignition source, so carry matches, a Bic lighter or a sparker of some sort. Fuel can be found in most all hardware stores (methanol is lacquer thinner) and auto parts stores / departments (fuel line dryer). Just a very nice, but smaller and slower, stove. It will boil water fast enough to make the kettle whistle, just takes a couple of minutes longer. You must be comfortable working with flaming liquids and dropping a metal top on the fire to put it out. There is a fire risk of flaming spreading liquid if you knock it over when lit.

I like this one for general use when camping and such, but realize small Sierra Cup like things don’t get support from the “ring” and you will need a larger sized pot or use the pot that is the case.

Small butane camping stoves work great, indoors or out. With a built in spark igniter nearly trivial to operate and absolutely reliable. The small size of the platform / burner can make for a tippy experience with larger pots / tea kettles and the concentrated flame makes for a hot spot with things like a 9 inch frying pan. Eggs will cook fastest in the middle of the pan while being under cooked at the edges. Still, for camping it is nearly ideal and as an emergency stove packed in a bug-out bag or car kit it’s great. It took forever to use up a 15.5 ounce (440 gram) large size fuel canister. I’ll only be buying the smaller 220 gram size from here on out. The lower height makes things more stable and, frankly, the fuel lasts more than long enough. They can suffer fuel leaks. Yeah, the canister is supposedly self sealing when you remove the stove, and it seems to work fine, but in a life or death situation do you really want to be dependent on a bit of rubber? Leaving the stove on the canister for weeks seemed to not have any leak issues, but may depend on the stove. (I was using it to make coffee in the office before the main house stove went out…). No smells and works well in wind or bad weather. As an emergency stove, it’s a great choice. For day to day cooking, the ‘tippy’ nature of the small burner surface is an issue as is the hot spot from the small flame head. For making ramen cups and coffee on the road in an Aw Shit situation, ideal; especially with the built in spark igniter models where you don’t need to worry about where the matches have gone, or running out of matches.

Now running at $9, this looks like the one I’ve got. Just ran 15.5 ounces of fuel through it, and it worked every time. Folds up small enough to be easily in the pocket with the car keys. Holds a full sized tea kettle if you center it well ;-) I have this stove and 3 smaller sized fuel cans (220 gram) as the default OMG kit for home or road. I also have a much more expensive smaller all titanium version in my car backpack. Why? Why not? ;-)

I love my Coleman Dual Fuel 533 camp stove for the ability to run on some of the cheapest fuel you can get, unleaded gasoline. BUT: It does smell a bit. I only run on Coleman fuel as it runs a bit cleaner and isn’t that expensive, but you do need to accept a bit of smell when fueling it up, or when shutting down. It cooks well and has a nice sized burner with good responsive flame control. There’s some noise in operation, but not much. There’s also the “fiddly bit” of pumping it up to operating pressure. At first ignition it takes a while for the “generator tube” to get hot and for the flame to stabilize. I’m fine with that, but others might not be. As an EOTWAWKI stove, the ability to run on the gas from the car tank is a big feature. For general use it isn’t. I just used it to make coffee and this is after standing for a year (or three?) with fuel in it. No Problems. (This is NOT a preferred behaviour, BTW, and especially not with gasoline that polymerizes on standing) It is vastly heavier than the pocket sized alcohol and butane stoves, so not for backpacking unless you are seriously into big packs and don’t care about weight. Yet if the society started to collapse a few months ago (Impeach 45!…) it’s the stove I most want in the kit. Durable and reliable, even if a bit fiddly and with a bit of smell in operation. But not for day to day use inside the home…

Running $62 at the moment, and listed as $90, I’m glad I have mine, but I’d not buy another one prior to buying a couple of the things above. IMHO calling it a “backpacking” stove is a bit of hype. Car camping, yes.

Some time ago I used the Sterno Stove for some experiments with alternative fuels. Alcohol and such in an empty tuna can in the stove. It is slow to heat with regular Sterno fuel, but has a nice even flame. Small, light, and easy to pack, and with the added tuna can a stove able to use ‘found fuels’ like alcohol or sticks, it’s a great EOTWAWKI stove. But the low power means it isn’t great in wind and cold (snow) where you want a lot of heat fast. It’s OK indoors for making coffee and ramen (if you have some patience…) and great for things like frying eggs. Fuel is everywhere, reasonably priced, and you can make your own (do a web search…) if desired. If you run out, you can just pour methanol, ethanol, or even rubbing alcohol in the can and light it. Be careful about spilling though, as spreading flaming liquid alcohol is not as safe as solidified Sterno alcohol. As a food warmer in the home, or as a “last ditch out of gasoline” stove, it’s great. For day to day use or as your main camping stove, not so much. The Trangia style alcohol stoves beat it (though at higher cost). Very wide base so handles all size pots, and with the narrow grids works well with Sierra Cups too. Built in wind screen feature is also nice. One of my favorite stoves given the added tuna can, but does take some fiddling to set up and operate. Think Origami Stove ;-) Matching a Trangia style burner with this stove also works well for various sized pots. Does require an ignition source.

Looks like these are up to $14 now. I think I paid $5 for mine some several decades back.

Propane Stoves: There’s several of these. Similar in cost to operate to the Butane Asian stove and cheaper fuel cost than the Butane camp stoves, but bigger and heavier. Not for backpacking, but great for “car camping”. I have both 2 burner and single burner versions. They work great and are easy to figure out and operate. Over-all, just about ideal for the person who doesn’t want to deal with the fiddly bits or smell of a gasoline stove, but wants something a bit more economical than the fancy camping stoves and doesn’t care about the size or weight (i.e. not carrying it on your back). The single burner stoves tend to be tall and a bit tippy. I like the brief case shaped 2 burner versions better for the purpose of cooking for 2+ folks. One of these and a couple of cans of fuel and you are set for a long power outage. I’ve had fuel canisters in the garage (hot in summer…) for years and then used them. Just no problems. Even heat. Cooks well. Very fine burner adjustment. All in all a great stove. Just a bit big for the bug out bag. Also with the wind screen wings and all, not as suited to table top use in the home (but way better out doors…). If planning a camping trip with the car, this is the go-to stove. Also for emergency power out use at home where I’m expecting things to recover before I’ve used up 2 fuel cans ;-) I.e. not EOTWAWKI but “Standard Operations Of Socialist California Electricity”…

Looks like about $44 for the Classic Coleman 2 burner version:
This single burner one is overpriced at $30
I have 2 of them (from 2 different makers) bought over the years. They work well on the short fat canisters but are tippy on the tall skinny ones. They do work very well, handle all sized pots, and have very good power and control (but you need an ignition source). IIRC mine were about $10 at Target or similar decades back. I would not buy one again, preferring a shorter less tippy solution. But have one in the car and you are set for fuel anywhere there’s a store…

In Conclusion

So there you have it. Life with too many stove choices ;-)

Were I stoveless, and trying to decide what emergency stove to buy as a ‘first stove’, it would come down to the question of backpacking weight or in the house. For backpacking I’d get the igniter built in butane camping stove. For the home, I’d get the Asian style butane stove. (For hoteling, I’d get the electric hot plate ;-)

For EOTWAWKI, I’d get the Sterno stove, then add the Coleman Dual Fuel. Oh, and save an empty Tuna can for “found fuels” in the Sterno stove ;-)

As a second tier, I’d get a Trangia style alcohol burner kit. This is also usable for backpacking / hiking / whatever, and the burner increases the power of the Sterno stove (at the expense of heating the grids a bit…)

Only if I did a lot of car camping or cookouts would I bother with the Propane stoves. Yes, they save on fuel costs, but unless you use them a lot it just doesn’t matter. Too heavy for backpacking, and a bit clunky for use in the house, they are only really suited to a camp ground with a big picnick table and a car to haul them back and forth.

There are hundreds of other stoves and styles out there, and this is by no means an exhaustive exposition. It is intended as a “Start Here!” not as a be all and end all. For example, I have a very nice high power kerosene stove for baking with a portable oven over it. Fairly specialized, it uses a very stable fuel that’s low cost. It also would work well for canning outdoors. But it just isn’t something for the typical urban person in the First World. It does fit in well in India for a main house stove though. It’s a bit big, has a bit of smell, and fuss to make it go, but with daily use the lower fuel cost really matters. But this isn’t really about daily use. It’s about having something that’s not in the way for when you need it.

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Is The Earth Not A Planet?

I’ve taken issue with the “rule” used to demote Pluto to Dwarf Planet on prior occasions. There’s a bunch of reasons why I think it was a bogus act. I’ve also proposed a different and simpler definition of planet that would let folks have Pluto be, or not be, a planet via a simple choice. Just choose a diameter that you find “big enough” about 2000 km for Pluto to remain a planet, about 2500 km for it to be out of the planet pool. So anything orbiting the Sun, not orbiting some other object, and bigger than that diameter is a planet.

This also solves some other problems, like having NONE of the planets be planets in the early solar system as none of them had ‘cleared the area” of other stuff. Then just one day they have cleared “enough” and suddenly pop in to being a planet? Seems dodgy to me. Then what happens when some big comet breaks up and you get a debris field pelting your surface for 20,000 years? That happened to Earth with the Taurids and likely was the source of the impactors that resulted in the Younger Dryas event.

The current definition has big things orbiting the sun swapping from not a planet, to planet, to not, to planet as stuff arrives and leaves. Just not very clean. Rather like saying that if two bodies orbit a barycenter inside one of them, the other one is a moon, but if it is outside, they are planets. This results in our Moon becoming a planet when the orbit gets a little bigger in a few millions or billions of years. Better would be to just say “never goes retrograde in orbit of the sun and always concave to the sun”. Thought that would promote us to a binary planet system already, but at least it doesn’t change.

The other problem with the “clear the area” is that there’s some Magic Handwaving as to when that’s happened. They say it must be mostly clear, but doesn’t need to be 100% so the stray comet doesn’t make you ‘not a planet’ if it shows up. But how many is too many?

We’ve been finding ever more “stuff” in our “neighborhood”. In fact, I’d assert we’ve gone way past “a few” and are firmly in the land of “surrounded by debris”. To the extent that is true, then Earth is NOT a planet. (Hey, their definition, not mine).

So let’s look at some bits.

First up, here’s what’s impacted us in the 19 years from 1994 to 2013:

Map of Bolide Impacts from 1994 to 2013

Map of Bolide Impacts from 1994 to 2013

Note that Little Boy was a 63 TJ bomb dropped on Hiroshima, so 63,000 GJ which puts it as a smaller dot than the two biggest ones on the scale. These are the “Small Asteroid Impacts”…

Then, what’s “in the neighborhood’?

Here’s just the “potentially hazardous” ones (i.e. bigger than the ones in the prior map):

Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Objects

Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Objects

This is a very big chart and even if you click to embiggen it, the area around the Earth stays blue. There are so many you can’t make out the individual traces. Sit out at night and there are several named large meteor swarms that give twinkles of light as they burn up in the air. So would you say that looks like the Earth has “cleared the neibhborhood”

Here’s an animation of just the ones we know about so far:

Known NEOs

Known NEOs

Can you really look at that and say with a straight face that our neighborhood is cleared?

There have been a few major impact events, one as recently as 12,000 years ago, where major rocks from space have caused mass extinctions. From Dinosaurs to American Mega-fauna, we keep getting whacked with rocks from space. They have shaped life on this planet. Most recently, a fairly large one whacked Tunguska Russia in 1908 and wiped out a huge area with a blast roughly the same as Little Boy.

Our history is punctuated by comet and similar impacts changing the world.

Comets and The Bronze Age Collapse
By Bob Kobres

Mirrored from The Cosmic Tusk. The original page is here.

. . . and from heaven a great star shall fall on the dread ocean and burn up the deep sea, with Babylon itself and the land of Italy, by reason of which many of the Hebrews perished,

. . . Be afraid, ye Indians and high-hearted Ethiopians: for when the fiery wheel of the ecliptic(?) . . . and Capricorn . . . and Taurus among the Twins encircles the mid-heaven, when the Virgin ascending and the Sun fastening the girdle round his forehead dominates the whole firmament; there shall be a great conflagration from the sky, falling on the earth;

Are these lines from Book V of the SIBYLLINE ORACLES eschatological nonsense? Contemporary astronomical evidence suggests a historic basis for words describing cosmic calamity. British astronomers, Victor Clube and Bill Napier, in THE COSMIC WINTER (1990) and other recent works, provide students of the past with newly discovered celestial clues which indicate that Earth has been periodically pelted with comet fragments throughout the Holocene period. The evidence for the break-up of a large (> 50 km), short period (approximately 3.3 years), Earth-orbit-crossing comet is substantial and should be considered as hard as anything a trowel might turn up. What astronomical information cannot convey is the actual effect these periodic bombardment episodes had on human culture; only further digging and sifting will illuminate that aspect.

There’s mounting evidence for a major impact even in the Younger Dryas. Just yesterday in geologic time scales.



“Scientists have found the first evidence that a devastating meteor impact in the Middle East might have triggered the mysterious collapse of civilisations more than 4,000 years ago. Studies of satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide circular depression which scientists say bears all the hallmarks of an impact crater. If confirmed, it would point to the Middle East being struck by a meteor with the violence equivalent to hundreds of nuclear bombs. Today’s crater lies on what would have been shallow sea 4,000 years ago, and any impact would have caused devastating fires and flooding. The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC.”
— Robert Matthews, The Sunday Telegraph, 4 November 2001

“Hundreds of years after the event, a cuneiform collection of “prodigies,” omen predictions of the collapse of Akkad, preserved the record that “many stars were falling from the sky” (Bjorkman 1973:106). Closer to the event, perhaps as early as 2100 BC, the author of the Curse of Akkad alluded to ‘flaming potsherds raining from the sky’ (Attinger 1984). Davis (1996) has reminded us of Clube and Napier’s impact theory, and asked “Where is the archaeological and geological evidence for the role of their ‘Taurid Demons’ in human history?” The abrupt climate change at 2200 BC, regardless of an improbable impact explanation, situates hemispheric and social collapse in a global, but ultimately cosmic, context.”
— Harvey Weiss, Late Third Millennium Abrupt Climate Change and Social Collapse in West Asia and Egypt, 1997, p. 720

This video reviews this paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-38089-y

Published: 13 March 2019
Sedimentary record from Patagonia, southern Chile supports cosmic-impact triggering of biomass burning, climate change, and megafaunal extinctions at 12.8 ka

Here Antonio Zamora reviews his paper in a video about the Carolina Bays and similar impact structures:


Then there’s that giant crater in Greenland:


NOVEMBER 26, 2018

Huge crater discovered in Greenland – here’s how the impact may have wiped out the mammoths
by Kathryn Harriss, The Conversation

Scientists have discovered a 31km wide impact crater beneath the Hiawatha glacier in Greenland. The discovery, published in Science Advances, was made using airborne radar surveys which unveiled a circular bedrock depression beneath the ice. The presence of quartz and other grains and features on the ground helped the team confirm the finding – these showed signs of having been subjected to large shock pressures.

Analysis of the grains also shows that the impact was most likely made by an iron meteorite more than 1km wide. It would have occurred during the Pleistocene, between about 12,000 and 3m years ago. This is by no means the only large impact crater on Earth, and research shows just how much such features can teach us about the history of our planet – including the evolution of life. So how could the Greenland impact have changed our planet?
There is evidence that three impacts are possibly related to mass extinction events, including the Cretaceous-Palegene events caused by Chicxulub. We also know that the majority of marine species and terrestrial vertebrates became extinct during the Permian Triassic event some 252m years ago, thought to be caused by the asteroid impact leaving behind the Wilkes Land Crater in Antarctica. Meanwhile, the Popigia impact in Siberia about 35m years ago is linked with the Eocene-Oligocene event, which wiped out many marine species.

All these impacts created craters a whopping 100km across or more (170km for Chicxulub), suggesting that the 31km crater in Greenland may not have been as devastating to the Earth. However, it would have drastically changed the local environment and reset the life race within that area.

If it is really true that the Greenland crater was created 12,000 years ago or more, it could explain a mysterious feature called the Younger Dryas event. This was a sudden and dramatic change in climate – a glacial period about 12,900 to 11,700 years ago,
followed by gradual climatic warming. Previously, scientists believed that this event was caused by a meteor exploding before impact, which would also have caused changes to the local environment.

While we think 65 Million years ago was a Very Long Time, in the 4.5 Billion year lifetime of Earth, it is a very recent event. That was the mountain sized object that destroyed the Dinosaurs. I doubt they thought their neighborhood was “cleared”.

More recently, there’s an impact site in the Indian Ocean that is likely the event causing the Noah story as a tidal wave from it would run right up the Red Sea and Persian gulf.


Burckle crater is an undersea feature that is hypothesized to be an impact crater by the Holocene Impact Working Group. They considered that it likely was formed by a very large-scale and relatively recent (c. 3000–2800 BCE) meteorite impact event, possibly resulting from a comet. Burckle crater is estimated to be about 29 kilometres (18 mi) in diameter, about 25 times wider than Meteor Crater in Arizona. The Russian Academy of Sciences lists the crater as a potential impact crater.

In Conclusion

It’s pretty clear we live in a shooting gallery of space rocks. We have NOT “cleared the neighborhood” and get extinction level impacts fairly frequently compared to the life of the planet. Even into historical times.

I’m sure someone will want to claim that the Taurids are somehow a special case of a comet breaking up in a new orbit, but isn’t that just what happens? Lots of “stuff” kicking about and we’re not able to keep it all out? I don’t remember anything in the planet definition that included “Except for recent junk” or “comet debris excepted”.

So, IMHO, the necessary conclusion is that under the “new” definition of planet that includes a requirement to have cleared the area of debris, and given the recent (geologically) episodes of extinction level impacts, of large non-extinction level events, the various craters all over (including Meteor Crater in Arizona formed just 50,000 years ago), the frequent air burst events such as Tunguska and the one just a few months back off the coast of Alaska: The Earth has not cleared the neighborhood.

Therefor, by their definition, the Earth is not a planet.

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