Monthly Archives: May 2013

Now you see it, now you don’t

No Planet of Alpha Centauri B?

Last October astronomers announced big news: the discovery of a rocky, scorching hot, Earth-sized planet circling our closest stellar neighbor, the orange dwarf star Alpha Centauri B just 4.3 light-years away. Exoplanet astronomer Debra Fischer (Yale) told the New York Times that the planet next door was the “story of the decade.” Almost lost in the excitement was the caveat that the planet’s detection was still iffy and required heroic efforts to extract any sign of it from the background noise of the star’s radial-velocity measurements.

Now the plot has become more muddled. A new analysis of the data by an independent researcher has failed to confirm the planet’s existence.

How to resolve this issue: Get a lot more data. Everybody involved agrees on that. This is science at work. Finding a planet in the Alpha Centauri system would be really cool (ask any science fiction fan), but we need to be sure it is really there.

Dark Age Greece

The Lost Community of Lefkandi

I particularly noticed:

From around 1250 BC onwards, post-Mycenaean ‘refugee’ settlements began to appear, establishing a pattern that was to continue throughout the Dark Ages (Whitley 2011: 77-78). The characteristic Dark Age remote, defensible positions, often over 500m above sea level – as in evidence at Karphi (ibid: 78) – exhibited a continuity of older traditions and no obvious change in population levels (ibid.).

This pattern was noted by Robert Drews in The End of the Bronze Age as evidence that the disasters in the Eastern Mediterranean c. 1200 BC were the result of human action, not natural causes. The only reason the survivors would rebuild in such difficult locations is fear of an attack by raiders or invaders. See also my post on From Bronze to Iron.

Monday Night Irish Class, April 29, 2013

Irish Class, April 29, 2013

Rang Gaeilge, 29ú lá mí Aibreáin 2013


Fadas: áéíóúÁÉÍÓÚ


Future Tense Corrections

  1. Foghlaimfidh Foghlaimeoidh tú Gaeilge go leor ag an gceardlann.

  2. Téifidh Rachaidh mé go California an mhí seo chugainn.

  3. ithfidh íosfaidh mé haggis ariamh.

  4. Pacáileoidh Pacálfaidh sé ag an nóiméad deireanach, creidim.
    [Stem broadens, Type I]

  5. Oscaileoidh Osclóidh fear an phoist na litreacha níos déanaí.

  6. rachfaidh rachaidh mé ar ais go dtí an siopa sin.

  7. thiománóidh thiomáinfidh mé an carr sin aríst!
    [Stem stays slender (less common), Type I]

  8. An bhfaighfidh bhfaighidh sibh bhur ndóthain bia leis an gcóisir anocht?

  9. An mbeirfidh mbéarfaidh na Gardaí ar an ngadaí?

  10. Nach n-imireoidh n-imreoidh siad peil amárach?

  11. Tarfaidh Tiocfaidh an traen ag an sé.

  12. Léoidh Léifidh muid an leabhar sin sa gclub atá againn.

  13. Deirfidh Déarfaidh mé é aríst agus aríst eile.

  14. Gheobhfaidh Gheobhaidh na cailíní éadaí nua go luath.

  15. Scríobhaidh Scríobhfaidh mé alt leis an nuachtlitir, nuair a bheas an t-am agam.

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