Mysterious News Briefly — October 14, 2020
An entomologist with the Washington State Department of Agriculture used dental floss to tie a tracking device on a female Asian giant “murder” hornet, but the huge and dangerous insect managed to carry the extra weight through blackberry bushes and elude its followers, who hope the tracking device survived the trip. Forget the flight … did she survive getting mocked by fellow hornets for her ugly backpack?
A government official in India is promoting a “chip” made from cow dung that he claims will reduce the radiation emitted by cell phones. It should also keep people from holding phones too close to their faces for selfies, which is probably a good thing.
The US Department of Agriculture has solved the mystery of the Chinese seeds delivered unordered to Americans, with one wave being blamed on consumers who forgot they ordered the seeds and were not expecting them to be from China, and a second wave sent by scammers sending inexpensive items to boost their sales totals. The seeds were deemed to be harmless, or at least less harmless than poor memories or unscrupulous fellow humans.
Anonymous Pentagon officials say the U.S. Cyber Command, a branch of the Department of Defense under the National Security Agency (NSA), managed to hack into the Trickbot botnet, a network of more than two million malware-infected Windows PCs used by Russian criminals to steal financial data and disrupt the U.S. election. And to think this all started with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak hacking long-distance phone calls with a Cap’n Crunch whistle.
Stan the T. Rex, one of the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons, sold for $31.8 million at a Christie’s auction, setting a new world record price for any dinosaur skeleton or fossil. NOW will you let your daughter major in archeology?
Astronomers now say that Dragonfly 44, a strange galaxy that appears to be 99.9% dark matter, is actually not an anomaly but a fairly common type in the universe. Astronomy students are now probably asking their teachers, “If it’s not that unusual, will it still be on the test?”
A team of German physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz demonstrated how they were able to capture light in a container, move the container and then release the light in another place. If you own stock in a flashlight company, now might be a good time to sell.
NASA demonstrated its new DuAxel Mars rover which can break apart, allowing one half to anchor is self in a safe spot while the other half explores extreme terrain while attached to a tether. What would really make this fun is if the halves flipped a coin first.
In a proposal that sounds like Mother Nature meets Jeff Bezos, scientists at the University of Washington want to use live moths equipped with remote-control devices to deliver and drop tiny sensors in remote locations in order to map and study them. Is it just me or does it sound like none of these scientists has ever seen a porch light?