Mysterious News Briefly — November 5, 2020
Entomologists found that leaf-cutter bees were using plastic flags and leaflike plastic products to construct their nests and are investigating whether they can be used to clean up our mountains of plastic waste, but bee experts say it’s not a good idea because plastic hives can’t breathe and would get too hot. Too bad because plastic hives might be just the thing to protect them from giant Asian murder hornets.
Those looking for someone or something else to blame for the spread of the coronavirus can now turn to the Sun, as researchers in Italy say is that both the prevalence and evolution of epidemics are strongly correlated with the amount of daily solar irradiation that hits a given location on the Earth at a given time of the year. Anyone brave enough to get close to bat faces would probably see them smiling.
Thai Airways announced a new “flight to nowhere” called the “THAI Magical Flying Experience Campaign” which will fly over 99 of the country’s holiest Buddhist religious sites while the passengers reciting mantras before returning to the airport. Meanwhile, passengers on other flights are praying behind their masks no matter what is their destination or religion.
One image of a remote area of Antarctica taken by the GeoEye-1 Earth observation satellite appear to show strange concentric ovals about 400-feet-wide that some looking at them think looking manmade while others explain they are sastrugi – dunes of snow caused by katabatic winds formed by the downward motion of cool air. One cue is that they’re in an area so remote and frigidly cold that even Nazis wouldn’t go there.
Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido is chasing bears away from neighborhoods using a robotic wolf called the Monster Wolf which, when its motion detector picks up movement, lights up scry red eyes and emits a variety of loud sounds, from howls to human voices to gunshots. Gunshots? Aren’t they afraid this might give real wolves ideas?
Scientists from Japan’s Gifu University have unveiled a robotic hand called the “Osampo Kanojo” (My Girlfriend in Walk) for men to clasp when they feel lonely. Does anyone really believe that’s all that lonely men will use it for?
A leading theoretical physicist claims he has a formula for calculating the number of parallel universes in existence, but is only willing to say that “it’s certainly a lot. Is 42 a lot? Asking for a Douglas Adams-loving friend.
Scientists in Siberia have discovered a new source of methane gas bubbling up from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean near eastern Siberia and warn this will only accelerate the pace of global warming. When we asked for something to take our minds off of the pandemic, this wasn’t it.
Oregon is the first state in the U.S. to legalize psilocybin with the passage of Measure 109, which permits supervised use statewide. Warning – a supervisor is not someone who begins every sentence with “Dude.”
A newly-discovered parasitic wasp has been named Microgaster godzilla for its terrifying (to caterpillars) ability to swim underwater and sneak up on prey. It likes moth caterpillars, so look for a new insect-sized sequel to Godzilla V. Mothra.