Saturday, February 22, 2020

Paleolithic Papers #34

Genus Homo:

Modern human and Neandertal relics are washing up on shore in the North Sea.

Neandertal DNA might be more common in modern humans than previously thought.

What cave art reveals about human nature.

Scientists have uncovered a ghost lineage of ancient hominins in West African genomes.

Was there evidence of a technological break or gap or evolution at a cave in Israel?

Modern Humans (H. sapiens):

Mesolithic site  remains show cooking tubers took place.

Pottery from the Amur River region from the late Pleistocene has been found.

Settling of the Americas remains complex with outliers in cranial morphology being found.

How old is the oldest H. sapiens skull?  The one from Florisbad.

A skeleton of a 30 year old woman from Mexico dating from the end Pleistocene/dawn Holocene has interesting insights to the early native American populations.

What was the climate variability like during the early expansions of modern humans out of Africa?

Neandertals (H. neanderthalensis):

The last Neandertals might have lived at Byzovaya, above the Arctic Circle in Russia.

Neandertals made an epic trek 60k years ago to the Altai Mountains.

There is evidence of two separate migrations into Asia by Neandertals.

Inbreeding might have been the doom of Neandertals.


Mitochondrial DNA from Densovans has been found in modern human nuclear DNA.

Denisovans were more complex than we originally thought.

Meet the Denisovans.

H. antecessor:

Two juvenile scapula from Spain are examined.

H. erectus:

H. erectus arrived in Java 200,000 years later than originally thought.

H. erectus might have engaged in long range trade for obsidian.

Genus Australopithecus:

A. anamensis:

What ecology did A. anamensis live in?


Nasty recessives aren't an obstacle to introgression between hominins.

What we have learned about human evolution and what remains to be understood?

African climate forcing simulation for the last 140,000 years and its implication for human evolution.

There's a new method for figuring out where ancient humans came from.

Human language probably evolved gradually.

When did hominins begin to understand death.

How to estimate the contamination of ancient DNA by modern.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Stealth Saga #57

6th Generation Fighters:

Rolls Royce will develop a new engine for the British led Tempest fighter.


Turkey has invited Malaysia to join its program.


Another article on the first production Su-57 crash.


Supposedly (in russian), a contract was signed in 2017.  Testing of three prototypes is supposed to happen starting this fall (2020).  Development is supposed to continue through 2026.  State testing is supposed to take place between 2026 to 2028.

Chinese Stealth Aircraft:

Chinese aviation watchers are expecting to see new aircraft this year.


The USAFA and Sierra Nevada designed and built the 5GAT 5th gen target drone.  It might be useable as a Loyal Wingman.


DARPA's Valkyrie has had a successful 4th flight and expanded its flight envelope.


Details of the RQ-170's first trip to South Korea get shown.


The USAF has released renderings of the B-21.  One of which I am very late to post.


A B-2 overflew the Rose Bowl.


An F-22 at Langley AFB had a landing gear failure.

The new Demo pilot for the F-22 does an interview.


2019 was a very good year for the F-35 program.  134 F-35s were delivered.

OTOH, the F-35 has 873 deficiencies.  Including issues with its gun.

The F-35 program will be ditching ALIS for a new software called ODIN.

The F-35 now has a multi aircraft infrared search and track capability.

F-35 can now feed ground interceptors targeting info.

The Pentagon and Lockheed have signed a new sustainment contract.

A new rotor design is being tested for the F-35's engine.

Congress will only allow the USAF to use early F-35As as aggressors once there is some sort of plan.

The USAF released an RFI for the Stand in Attack Weapon for the F-35A.

The monster F-35A elephant walk by the USAF at Hill AFB gets another profile.

The USAF's 158th is training in Florida.

USMC F-35Cs will leave NAS Lemoore for MCAS Miramar.

Lt Col Bann is the first pilot to reach 1,000 hours in the F-35.

The USN is weighing what it takes to get the F-35C on the USS Kennedy.

The Australians have transferred their F-35 pilot training to Australia from the US.

British F-35s will get a DAS upgrade.

British F-35Bs went to Nellis AFB for Red Flag and diverted on the way.

British F-35Bs are conducting sea trials on the USS Queen Elizabeth.

Lockheed has started building Denmark's first F-35.

The Israelis have inaugurated their second F-35I squadron.

An Israeli F-35I appeared on a tracking website again.

Norway is deploying its F-35s to Iceland.

Poland should sign a deal for 32 F-35s shortly.  And they did.  32 birds for $4.6B.

Singapore has requested the F-35B.  The US State Department approved buying 12.

The majority of the parts made in Turkey for the F-35 will be moved to other locations by March.

Lockheed expects F-35 production to rise to 180 annually.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Wuhan Virus Update

Officially, China says 28k are infected and 563 dead.  Personal projection for tomorrow is 33k and 660 dead.  By Monday, it will be 50k and 1k, imo.

A recent post on Tencent that went back down really fast claimed the infections and deaths are way, way higher than the official numbers.  The Wuhan coronavirus would have a 1:6 kill rate (over 16%) if accurate.

Another report says the infection rate is undercounted and makes it seem the deaths are at a higher percentage than they are.

Singapore has at least 28 infected and business people are getting infected when visiting.

The 12th US case has been detected in Wisconsin.

Two cruise ships are quarantined.  More than 10 tested positive on the cruise ship off Japan.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Despite Russia's Bluster, There are no "Plans" to Send Cosmonauts to Mars

Manned flights to Mars are not stipulated in the guidelines of state policy in the space sphere, Chief Designer and First Deputy CEO of Energia Space Rocket Corporation Yevgeny Mikrin said on Tuesday.

"Such flights are not planned so far and they are absent in the guidelines of the state policy," Mikrin said, replying to a question about whether Russia planned crewed flights to Mars.


Monday, February 03, 2020

Russia Tested its Already Existing Iskander IRBM...and it Broke the INF Limits "accidentally"

During a planned live-firing exercise by Russia, one of its Iskander-M ballistic missile flew beyond 600km and landed outside its designated target area. The missile is said to have been fired from Kapustin Yar for the Makat firing range in Kazakhstan. However, the missile ended up in the Bayganinsky district. The SS-26 Stone or “Iskander” is a road-mobile short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) with a range of up to 500 km. Using a common transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) and support vehicles, the system can also fire the 9M728 (R-500, SSC-7) and 9M729 cruise missiles. Russia began development of the SS-26 in the late 1980s to replace the OTR-23 “Oka” SRBM.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

A Russian Satellite Appears to be Stalking an American KH-11 Spysat

Publicly available data suggests that a Russian inspector satellite has shifted its position in orbit to bring it relatively close to a U.S. KH-11 spy satellite. Russia has a number of what it calls "space apparatus inspectors" in orbit, which the U.S. government and others warn the Kremlin could use to gather intelligence on other satellites or function as "killer satellites," using various means to damage, disable, or destroy those targets.