Black Hole Lane, Rauks (Rocks), Worm on the Tree of Life

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them:

  • Mapping black holes — Richard Notley has been wondering down a dark path… and found enlightenment in remarks made by mathematician Roger Penrose (New Scientist, 19 November 2022) about the structure of the universe. He writes: “Roger may have solved a problem I have. A continuation of Roman Road, Hereford, on which I live, goes into Black Hole Lane [pictured below]. I have ridden down this lane several times both ways wondering whether I will hit the event horizon….
  • Rauks (rocks) — Tom Gill is one of many scientists who always want to know more about the things they love. “I’ve been a geology nerd for fifty-plus years,” he writes to Feedback. “I was today years old when I learned that a type of rock exists which is officially named… rauks.” Gill’s epiphany – that rauks are rocks – came from the city of Wroclaw in Poland….
  • Worm’s view of the tree — Worm, Boris Worm (spoken aloud that way, the name has much the same musical ring as “Bond, James Bond”), has long been a biology professor at Dalhousie University in Canada. Worm sees humans as predators. You can read his explanation of that in the study “Humanity’s diverse predatory niche and its ecological consequences“, which Worm and 11 co-authors published in the journal Communications Biology….