August 2017

Ichthyosaurus somersetensis (Image courtesy Dean Lomax)

An article published in the magazine “Acta Palaeontologica Polonica” describes the identification of a specimen of Ichthyosaurus somersetensis that was found to be a pregnant female. Paleontologists Dean Lomax of the British University of Manchester and Sven Sachs of the German Naturkundemuseum Bielefeld studied this almost 3.5-meter (11 feet) long ichthyosaur that was discovered in Somerset in the 1990s, where it lived about 200 million years ago then ended up in the collection of the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum in Saxony, forgotten until recently.

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” describes a simulation of the events that led to the mass extinction of the end of the Creataceous period, which also led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. A team of researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), in Boulder, Colorado, and NASA used a computer model to find out what climatic conditions followed an asteroid impact.

The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi

The novel “The Causal Angel” by Hannu Rajaniemi was published for the first time in 2014. It’s the sequel to “The Fractal Prince”.

Jean Flambeur and Mieli are separated after the attack they suffered. The consequence is that each of them has to face a series of dangers on their own and that at a time when various forces are preparing for a war as of an unprecedented scale in the solar system.

For Mieli, the dangers derive from what she has in her head, information that could be precious in the upcoming war and that someone would like to extract at any cost. Jean Flambeur wants to save Mieli but at the same time has to face other complications.

Chilesaurus diegosuarezi specimen

An article published in the journal “Biology Letters” describes a research on Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, a dinosaur that caused perplexity among paleontologists because it looked like a T.rex’s vegetarian cousin and had other characteristics that made it a kind of jigsaw puzzle of various species. According to Matthew Baron and Paul M. Barrett this dinosaur that lived in today’s Chile about 145 million years ago is a missing link that shows how carnivorous theropods have evolved into herbivorous long-necked ornithischians.

Doctor Who - Time and the Rani

“Time and the Rani” is the first adventure of the twentyfourth season of “Doctor Who” classic series, which aired in 1987. It follows “The Ultimate Foe” and it’s a fourt parts adventure written by Pip and Jane Baker and directed by Andrew Morgan.

The Tardis is attacked by the Rani (Kate O’Mara) and falls to the planet Lakertya. Right after regenerating, the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is brought to the Rani’s lab while she pretends she’s Melanie Bush (Bonnie Langford) to take advantage of his post-regeneration confusion. The Doctor’s amnesia is increased by drugs and he doesn’t realize that his enemy is convincing him to help her in one of her criminal plans.

When Mel wakes up in the Tardis and can’t find the Doctor, she goes looking for him but faces a number of dangers. The area is full of traps placed by the Rani and there are the Tetraps, monsters that serve the rogue Time Lady. Mel discovers that Lakertya’s natives have been enslaved by the Rani but some are trying to organize the resistance to take back the control of their planet.