PLEASE NOTE:


*

Date sent:        Fri, 06 Feb 1998 09:48:15 -0500 (EST)
From:             Benny J Peiser B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk
Subject:          CC DIGEST, 6 February 1998
To:               cambridge-conference@livjm.ac.uk
Priority:         NORMAL

CAMBRIDGE-CONFERENCE DIGEST, 6 February 1998
--------------------------------------------

(1) WAVE OF GLOBAL SUPPORT FOR SIR ARTHUR C CLARKE, THE HUMANIST,
    SCIENCE VISIONARY AND PATRON OF SPACEGUARD UK
    b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk
http://www.Sunday-Times.co.uk:80/news/pages/Times//frontpage.html?1617548

(2) NEW EVIDENCE FOR GLOBAL NATURAL DISASTER AT ~8200 BP
    http://www.spacer.com

(3) ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE & THE RISE AND FALL OF AN ANDEAN CIVILISATION
    M.W. Binford et al., Harvard University

(4) POSSIBLE METEORITE DROPPING FIREBALL OVER GERMANY
    Bernd Pauli bernd.pauli@lehrer1.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de

(5) THE POWER OF THE BULL
    Phil Burns pib@nwu.edu

(6) A COUPLE OF CORRECTIONS
    Bob Kobres bkobres@uga.cc.uga.edu

====================================
(1) WAVE OF GLOBAL SUPPORT FOR SIR ARTHUR C CLARKE, THE HUMANIST,
SCIENCE VISIONARY AND PATRON OF SPACEGUARD UK

I am sure that all of you are just as appalled as I am about the
current press campaign by the Sunday Mirror (London) against
Arthur C Clarke. Unfortunately, the recent events have
somwhat overshadowed the international delight and joy about the
decision by the British Government to award Arthur C Clarke a
knighthood for his visionary contribution to British and world
culture. While the Prince of Wales, on a state visit in Sri
Lanka and not a friend of tabloid innuendo, had planned to
formally knight Sir Arthur last Wednesday, the ceremony has been
postponed for the time being at the request of Arthur C Clarke. By
laudly voicing our support for a fellow science writer and
comrade-in-arms, we should make sure that the official award
ceremony will take place as soon as possible.

I have attached today's report from Colombo by Christopher Thomas
of The Times.

Benny J Peiser
-------------------

From THE TIMES , 6 February 1998
http://www.Sunday-Times.co.uk:80/news/pages/Times//frontpage.html?1617548

Reporters chastised by writer at royal banquet

From Christopher Thomas in Colombo

ARTHUR C. CLARKE denied last night that he had ever paid for sex
with boys, describing it as "one of the most revolting charges
ever laid against anybody - that is why I am so upset by it".
Sipping an orange juice at a state banquet in Colombo, he talked
briefly to the Prince of Wales, exchanging pleasantries and
smiling.

His arrival at the banquet at President's House, where the Prince
was guest of honour, surprised everybody, including the British High
Commission, which has been trying since Sunday to track him down after the
Sunday Mirror accused him of having sex with boys in the 1980s. "I didn't
expect you lot to be here," he told journalists who approached him. "This is
not Arthur C. Clarke. It's a clone." He added, laughing: "I am not supposed
to say anything to you bastards."

Sir Arthur, 80, suffering from post-polio syndrome, arrived in a
wheelchair as dignitaries from more than a dozen countries gathered
amid intense security for the last big event of a week of events
celebrating Sri Lanka's 50th anniversary of independence from Britain. "I am
not saying anything because I am taking legal advice," Sir Arthur declared
initially, but went on to talk briefly of his disgust at the accusation.

The exchange with the Prince happened in the greeting line before
dinner began. They shook hands and the Prince stooped to talk to him.
The Palace is believed to have favoured going ahead with plans for the
Prince formally to knight Sir Arthur two days ago, but the science fiction
writer asked for a postponement, saying he did not want to embarrass the
royal visitor.

Sir Arthur was too frail to travel to London after the award of his
knighthood in the New Year's Honours List. He issued a statement last
night, dimissing as "nonsense" the Sunday Mirror allegation that he had
admitted to two of its reporters that he had sex with boys. "Having always
had a particular dislike for paedophiles, few charges could be more
revolting to me than to be classed as one," the statement said. It was
signed Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

He reiterated that he was seeking legal advice on the report. The
Sunday Mirror journalists who wrote the story, and who are still in
Colombo, claim to have his confession on tape after identifying
themselves to him as reporters and asking him if he had ever had
sex with boys. Sir Arthur said the allegations had triggered a wave of
support for him from friends all over the world, "some of whom I never knew
I had". He added: "Indeed, the accusations are such nonsense that I have
found it difficult to treat them with the contempt they deserve. My
conscience is perfectly clear. In any event, I categorically state that the
Sunday Mirror article is grossly defamatory and contains statements which in
themselves and by innuendo are quite false, grossly inaccurate and extremely
harmful."

Sir Arthur has lived in Sri Lanka for 42 years. He came initially to
pursue his love of diving, and fell in love with the island,
proclaiming it decades ago as his permanent home. Copyright 1998,
Times Newspapers Ltd.

============================
(2) NEW EVIDENCE FOR GLOBAL NATURAL DISASTER AT ~8200 BP

From: SPACER.COM http://www.spacer.com

Abrupt Cold Events Cause Rapid Change

San Francisco, Calif - February 2, 1998 - About 8,200 years ago, the
world climate suddenly got colder and stayed that way for a few hundred
years before temperatures returned to normal, according to a team of
paleoclimatologists.

"This event, which we are calling the 8K event, was short compared to
other, more distant events, " says Anna Maria Agustsdottir, graduate
student in geosciences, Penn State. "We see it in the Greenland ice
cores as one of the biggest dips during the Holocene."

The Holocene is the geologic period beginning about 10,000 years ago at the
end of the last glaciation and continuing up to today. Unlike other events,
the 8K takes place in what for geologists is the very recent past.

"Temperatures abruptly decreased about 11 degrees Fahrenheit during the 8K
event," said Agustsdottir at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical
Union in San Francisco in late December.

The change in climate during this period can be seen not only in the
temperature record from the Greenland ice cores, but also in ice
accumulation, in the indicators of forest fires and in the amounts of
methane found in the atmosphere.

"Methane is not just an indicator of local climate change," says
Agustsdottir. "But it indicates a global change in climate."

The researchers, who include Agustsdottir; Richard Alley, professor of
geosciences, Penn State; and Peter J. Fawcett of the University of New
Mexico, note that during the 8K, Greenland became cold, dry and windy,
Canada became cold and the North Atlantic Basin cold and fresh. Asia and
Africa also showed colder, dryer climate while South America and North
America were wetter.

"This event appears to be very similar to, if some what shorter than,
the Younger Dryas event that occurred about 12,000 years ago," says
Agustsdottir. "We are trying to find the underlying cause for these
sudden temperature drops."

The researchers believe that these events occur when the ocean conveyor
system shuts down. This system is a series of currents that normally move
warm water from the equatorial zone to the north. This water cools as it
moves northward and the colder, saltier water sinks and flows back toward
the equator to replace water moving north. Temperature, water density and
salinity control ocean currents. When the ocean conveyor shuts down, deep,
cold water formation stops in the north and the cyclical flow of water
halts, cooling Europe and its surroundings.

"We do not know what shuts down the conveyor, but one possibility is an
increase in fresh water in the North Atlantic that would decrease salinity
and prevent the water from sinking," says Agustsdottir.

Using a climate simulation model called GENESIS, the researchers are
trying to model events leading up to the 8K event to simulate an ocean
conveyor shut down and temperature decline. The Penn State researchers have
used this method on the Younger Dryas event with some success.

"Using conditions similar to today's oceans, the model response to a
conveyor shutdown does not match data from the 8K event," says
Agustsdottir. "However, shutdown from an ocean with a more vigorous
conveyor does match observations. This indicates that things were
different in the early Holocene."

She considers the mechanism behind these sudden cold spells important
because the climate changes are so rapid. While we cannot predict the
future, we can learn from events in the past and see how they occurred.

"If change is gradual, animals, plants and humans can adapt to
the new environment," Agustsdottir says. "If change is abrupt,
crops fail, rains do not come or come too frequently and people do
not have time to adjust." Copyright 1998, Spacer.Com

=================================
(3) ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE & THE RISE AND FALL OF AN ANDEAN CIVILISATION

M.W. Binford*), A.L. Kolata, M. Brenner, J.W. Janusek, M.T. Seddon,
M. Abbott, and J.H. Curtis: Climate variation and the rise and fall of an
Andean civilization. QUATERNARY RESEARCH, 1997, Vol.47, No.2, pp.235-248

*) HARVARD UNIVERSITY, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN, 48 QUINCY ST,
   CAMBRIDGE, MA, 02138

Paleolimnological and archaeological records that span 3500 years from Lake
Titicaca and the surrounding Bolivian-Peruvian altiplano demonstrate that
the emergence of agriculture (ca. 1500 B.C.) and the collapse of the
Tiwanaku civilization (ca. A.D. 1100) coincided with periods of abrupt,
profound climate change. The timing and magnitude of climate changes are
inferred from stratigraphic evidence of lake-level variation recorded in
C-14-dated lake-sediment cores. Paleolake levels provide estimates of
drainage basin water balance. Archaeological evidence establishes spatial
and temporal patterns of agricultural field use and abandonment. Prior to
1500 B.C., aridity in the altiplano precluded intensive agriculture. During
a wetter period from 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1100, the Tiwanaku civilization and
its immediate predecessors developed specialized agricultural methods that
stimulated population growth and sustained large human settlements, A
prolonged drier period (ca. A.D. 1100-1400) caused declining agricultural
production, field abandonment, and cultural collapse. (C) 1997 University of
Washington.

=======================================
(4) POSSIBLE METEORITE DROPPING FIREBALL OVER GERMANY

From: Bernd Pauli bernd.pauli@lehrer1.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de

Jürgen Rendtel's homepage: http://aipsoe.aip.de/~rend/rnl-p.html

1998 January 25, 19h 13m 50s +-15s UT = 20h 13m 50s +-15s MEZ

Possible meteorite dropping fireball

A fireball of about -8 mag apparent brightness was observed visually
(Manuela Trenn, Potsdam; Sven Näther, Potsdam; Sabine Wächter,
Alberice/Czech Republic) and photographed by five photographic camera
stations of the European Network (EN). One of these stations is
located in Potsdam (#33), the others are in the Czech Republic. There
is a network of camera stations for detecting bright meteors,
covering parts of Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and
Slovakia. The fireball of January 25 was not exceptionally bright. So
it was thought to be a mere `routine event'. A closer look at the
trajectory as obtained from the different stations showed, that the
terminal point of the luminous trail was as low as 24 km above the
Earth's surface. Furthermore, the trajectory was almost vertical,
thus keeping the length of the luminous trajectory relatively short.
These circumstances indicate that there MAY BE a little material
left, and a small meteorite MAY HAVE FALLEN south of Cottbus.
Meanwhile we received a few further reports. Witnesses closer to the
terminal point of the trajectory saw the bright fireball and reported
sounds some time after the fireball disappeared. All this information
is collected and will be used to reduce the size of the potential
search area. The image shown above is a part of the Potsdam camera
photograph. The long curved parallel trails are from the stars during
the exposure (from 16h 54m UT to 22h 01m UT), the one curved trail is
from an airplane and the straight line close to the southern horizon is the
fireball.

Best Wishes, Bernd

============================
(5) THE POWER OF THE BULL

From: Phil Burns pib@nwu.edu

Michael Rice is the author of a recent book entitled "The Power of
the Bull" (Routledge, 1998) which discusses the role of bull cults in
many ancient societies. Members of the Cambridge list may be
interested in Rice's invocation of astronomical referents for some of
the mythology involved with bull cults, including quasi-precessional
phenomena.

Rice offers a most intriguing statement on page 110:

"It is surely more likely that the persistence of icons such
as the lion-bull combat in the Near East, as was especially
the case in south-western Iran, was the result of the
observation of some otherwise unrecorded event, most probably
some form of dramatic cometary activity. Even this
possibility does not, however, answer the question of why the lion
and bull should have been thus identified."

Rice provides no footnote or other reference for this statement.
I know that Elizabeth Chesley Baity was working on this very idea at
the end of her life.  Unfortunately she passed away before publishing
her research in this area.

============================
(6) A COUPLE OF CORRECTIONS

From: Bob Kobres bkobres@uga.cc.uga.edu

First, it was pointed out to me by Nick Martin, who works as a
microbiologist, that I misused the term `autoimmune' in my most
recent comment. I should have wished for us to behave as an IMMUNE
SYSTEM, as I did correctly about a decade ago.  See:

http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/discd.html#immune

Anyway, since Benny has posted my gaffe THREE times I decided that it
was worth noting that the term autoimmune relates only to an immune
response by the body against one of its own tissues or types of
cells. Unfortunately, as Nick pointed out, that term is actually more
descriptive of our present behavior than the mode of activity I think
we are capable of:  A Properly functioning IMMUNE SYSTEM for Life on
Earth.

Also, Victor Noto conveyed to me that he erred on predicting the date
for `Armageddon'--the movie is actually due to be released this
summer.

Later.
bobk

Bob Kobres
bkobres@uga.cc.uga.edu
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk
706-542-0583

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CCCMENU CCC for 1998

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