October 2019

Neil Stephenson in 2011

Neal Town Stephenson was born on October 31, 1959 in Fort Meade, Maryland, USA. Neal Stephenson’s career as a writer began in 1984 with the novel “The Big U”, a satire on university life. A novel more typical of his production was “Zodiac” (1988), an ecological thriller.

Neal Stephenson isn’t a very prolific writer, although some of his novels are really long. He’s often not easy to read because his novels can be really complex with the development of many different themes. You can also read his articles in technology magazines.

According to a genetic research, humanity's birthplace is in today's Botswana

An article published in the journal “Nature” reports the results of an analysis of modern humans’ mitochondrial DNA to reconstruct the Homo sapiens family tree. A team of researchers led by Eva Chan of the Genomics and Epigenetics Division of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the University of New South Wales made a complex genetic analysis concluding that the modern human species emerged about 200,000 years ago in today’s Botswana, near the Zambezi River.

Throy by Jack Vance (Italian edition)

The novel “Throy” by Jack Vance was published for the first time in 1992. It’s the third book of the Cadwal Chronicles and follows “Ecce and Old Earth”.

A new Charter is meant to protect Cadwal better than the original one it replaced but that doesn’t seem enough to bring tranquility to the planet. Factions with very different agendas for Cadwal’s future continue to work on old and new intrigues that endanger peace.

Glawen Clattuc is forced once again to start a mission that takes him away from Cadwal, this time with Eustace Chilke, to discover at least some truths. Personal feuds continue to be intertwined with struggles for power at various levels with recent events intertwined with others dating back many years.

A treasure trove of fossils dating back to the period following the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs

An article published in the journal “Science” reports a study of fossils found at the Corral Bluffs site in Colorado, USA, dating back to a period that spans about a million years after the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs and many others species. A team of researchers led by Tyler Lyson and Ian Miller of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science examined what turned out to be fossils of remarkable quality of many species of animals and plants, including pollens, from the period in which life forms recovered after the great extinction.

A quick acidification of the oceans after the impact that caused the extinction of dinosaurs

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” reports a study on fossil foraminifera dating back to the period before and after the great extinction that wiped out dinosaurs. A team of researchers led by Michael Henehan of the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences examined in particular the carbon and boron isotopes in the calcareous shells of organisms belonging to the group of foraminifera discovering traces of ocean acidification caused by the impact of huge meteorite that determined that great extinction.