As you might have guessed, I’m in nerd mode tonight. And somewhere in the chaos of multiple tabs of earth scientists I found a parade on which I would really like to pee:
With surprising and mysterious regularity, life on Earth has flourished and vanished in cycles of mass extinction every 62 million years, say two UC Berkeley scientists who discovered the pattern after a painstaking computer study of fossil records going back for more than 500 million years.
Perhaps, [the authors] suggested, there’s an unknown “Planet X” somewhere far out beyond the solar system that’s disturbing the comets in the distant region called the Oort Cloud — where they exist by the millions — to the point that they shower the Earth and cause extinctions in regular cycles. Or perhaps there’s some kind of “natural timetable” deep inside the Earth that triggers cycles of massive volcanism…
Oh, to have a functional super-special proxy server in Caltech’s privileged IP-space! It’s very hard to pee on anyone’s parade without at least reading their article first, and in this case probably also learning a whole bunch of new crap about statistics. But. Um. The smell of data-mining, it is as pheremones to a fluttery moth! So I flutter!
But fluttering takes energy, and it’s really very past bedtime. Sigh.