Mysterious News Briefly — November 2, 2020
PORTL Hologram is raising money to build home hologram devices that will replace video call images with 3D holograms appearing in the presence of the person you’re calling. This will take sexting to a whole new level and hopefully put an end to calls from the restroom.
Researchers at Stanford University found that watching TV while texting or browsing social media can lead to memory loss. On the positive side, who wants to remember the hours you wasted texting while binge-watching old TV shows?
In a new search for the elusive Planet Nine, two Yale astronomers are searching dark corners of space by using a technique called “shifting and stacking” where they take hundreds of photos of an area, each shifted slightly from the previous, then stacking them, which will amplify the light and paths of extremely dim object and, hopefully, Planet Nine. “Shifting and stacking” is also what lonely astronomers do with their crackers during long nights at the observatory.
A SETI researcher used logic techniques from game theory – the idea that both parties should agree that the party with more information should be the one that transmits first to the other and that the transmission should be the lowest common form that both can understand – to determine that the planet we should be sending signals to is K2-155d orbiting the star K2-155 in the Taurus constellation. I personally hope the lowest common form of communication is Todd Rundgren’s “Hello, It’s Me.”
A new study determined that ancient Egyptian scribes recording their times on rolls of papyrus added lead to their ink to help it dry faster and make their writings last longer. This was obviously not a good time for scribes struggling to find the right word to chew on their end of their pen.
Researchers studying fossils from mass extinction events caused by asteroid impacts found that ocean algae managed to survive while the rest of the global food chain perished by feeding on other algae, a trait they no longer have. And Cannibal Algae would make a great name for a band.
A team of ecology researchers has identified two new Australian bee species that have night vision which allows them to pollinate plants in very low-light conditions. Great, another insect sound to keep you awake when you’re camping.
In a search for zombie voters, a team of Stanford political scientists analyzed 4.5 million voter records from the state of Washington and found only 14 cases (0.0003%) where a ballot may have been stolen and submitted for someone who had died. Follow the advice of The Sixth Sense — If you see dead people at the polling place, check your own pulse first.
A study of dog DNA found that dog domestication can be traced back 11,000 years to the end of the last Ice Age, making man’s best friend the oldest known domesticated species. As usual, cats are not impressed.