Mysterious News Briefly — November 12, 2020
The University of Colorado Boulder’s OSIRIS-REx team has been studying the asteroid Bennu’s gravitational field and have determined that the space rock’s interior is less dense than its outer layers, making it more like a crème-filled chocolate egg flying though space. If they can find a machine to make Bennu’s odd shape, Cadbury may have a new space treat.
As one of his monthly prayer intentions, Pope Francis has asked the world’s Catholics to pray that robots and artificial intelligence “always serve mankind.” Aw, your Holiness, haven’t you ever watched “The Twilight Zone”?
NASA has completed the signing of the Human Rating Certification Plan officially certifying SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft as the first commercial spacecraft system in history capable of transporting humans to and from the International Space Station. They’ll probably drink the champagne on Earth since popping corks isn’t as much fun under weightless conditions.
A recent study, published in Cognitive, Affective & Behavioural Neuroscience, found that human brains have two distinct beauty centers – one for appreciating art and another for faces. Women don’t buy this – when do men ever look at their faces?
Germany’s federal fiscal court BFH has ruled that ‘techno’ is actual music and techno clubs should not have to pay the standard 19 percent VAT on ticket sales when music concert venues enjoy a lower rate of seven percent. This was one time it paid to have a very young judge.
Just when you thought they were gone for good, the team with the Washington State Department of Agriculture that destroyed the first giant Asian ‘murder’ hornets nest discovered in the U.S. revealed that the small nest contained approximately 200 queens and more could have escaped and are building new ones. Have they checked to see if any of them were just drag queens?
Australian researchers studying cane toads (Rhinella marina) have found that the invasive species is evolving more rapidly than normal and now have longer limb bones, larger hindfeet and smaller front feet relative to their body length which allows them to disperse and evade enemies even faster than before. The year 2020 is shaking its head and saying, “Don’t go blaming that one on me.”
A new study found that bats sometimes run into large walls even though they detect them with their radar because their acoustic perception ability sometimes makes errors about the density of a wall, similar to the way humans will run into glass doors. If they’re like humans, do bats also ignore push/pull signs?
Researchers at The Ohio State University Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics found that, unlike humans, the universe is getting hotter as it gets older — the thermal history of the universe over the last 10 billion years shows the mean temperature of gas across the universe has increased more than 10 times over that time period and reached about 2 million degrees Kelvin today — approximately 4 million degrees Fahrenheit. If there’s a parallel universe running colder, do they argue about who gets control of the cosmic thermostat?
A small jug discovered recently in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter contained four gold coins in excellent condition, which were the equivalent of four month’s salary for a common laborer in 940 CE when they were hidden away for a rainy day. Before you ask if the jug was shaped like a piggy bank, go back and read the part about this being found in the Jewish Quarter.