In this issue . . .
Q: Since when does England have a “grand” canyon?
A: A quickly formed canyon in England provides clues to how the Grand Canyon and other geological features formed recently—and not over millions of years.
British people love to talk about the weather. In particular, we love to moan about the weather if it is not to our liking—especially if it involves lots of rain. Pre-war northern comedian Stanley Holloway used to recite a poem that talked about the Flood starting in Lancashire.
The ’ouses were soon under water, And folks to the roof ’ad to climb.
Of course, folks from County Durham do not consider that Lancashire is far enough north to be considered as the North. But now they have their own memorial to the Flood—and a much more convincing piece of evidence it turns out to be.
On Friday, July 17, the rain had been falling hard, intermittently, for several hours. Similar conditions over a number of days had made the ground soak up water like a sponge. A Google Maps picture (retrieved on July 24, 2009, but showing an aerial photo taken well before July 17) reveals a farm field to the west of the River Wear. The village of Shincliffe is just to the east of the river—off the picture.
In the second picture, the dotted line reveals the approximate position of the new “canyon.” An amateur photograph from the website ukweatherworld.co.uk shows a close-up view of how the floodwaters have washed away soil, leaving a canyon that is 100 feet (30.5 meters) across, 15 feet (4.6 meters) deep, and 200 yards (182.9 meters) long.
News to Note Quick Look
“Missing links” of death and suffering: Hot news about chimps, “missing links,” and evolution—but the story has nothing to do with human origins or anthropology. What could it be? Read more.
Violence in Iraq: It’s a sad case of violence in Iraq: evidence of human-on-human violence from more than 50,000 years ago (allegedly). Read more.
Also: the slightly less grand canyon; leaps of logic; rock my world, the Jovian said; and don’t miss . . . . Read more.
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