Mysterious News Briefly — December 21, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence announced that members of the Space Force, whose motto is Semper Supra or Always Above, will be called Guardians to distinguish them from the U.S. Air Force’s Airmen. All the Space Force Guardians need now to cement their existence in the minds of Americans is their own action movie starring Tom Hanks.
Plants have a circadian clock like humans that governs their actions over a 24-hour period, but a new study finds that, also like humans, plants can be early birds or night owls and that knowledge can help farmers plant crops according to latitude, seasons and climate. Here’s a point to ponder – are coffee plants natural night owls or is it all that caffeine that’s keeping them awake?
If you’re willing to get close enough to one, a study by the University of Roehampton and the University of Sydney found that kangaroos use gazes to communicate with humans in the same manner as dogs, horses and many domesticated animals. If you’re gazing into the eyes of a ‘roo looking for communication, you need to try online dating.
A 5,000-year-old fragment of cedar wood, one of only three artifacts ever recovered from inside Egypt’s Great Pyramid, was found in a cigar tin at Scotland’s Abeer Eladany university that had been misplaced for over 70 years. A consequence of the school’s first smoking ban?
Beaches in New South Wales and Queensland have been covered with deep blankets of sea foam that look like nature’s way of providing a rave during the pandemic shutdown of clubs – until you wade in and find it loaded with Australia’s 32 species of venomous sea snakes. ‘Foam clouds of venomous sea snakes’ – is your 2020 bingo card filled yet?
In the Movile cave in southeast Romania, a hostile location filled with poisonous gases, scientists has discovered a 2-inch (52 mm) long troglobiont (underground) centipede they named Cryptops speleorex, which means ‘king of the cave’. Being king of a hot, humid cave filled with sulfide, methane, ammonia and other toxic gases is the best 2020 can do for good news.
Two independent groups of researchers have confirmed the existence of anyons – formerly theoretical particle-like objects that only exist in two dimensions and only at temperatures near absolute zero and in the presence of a strong magnetic field – making them the third particle in the universe, joining fermions and bosons. Not surprisingly, response to the two-dimensional discovery has been flat.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro warned his citizens that his government is not responsible if the coronavirus vaccine turns them into crocodiles. What about if it turns reptilians into humans? (Asking for a strange friend.)
It’s Christmas on Mars as a recent photo sent back by the ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft shows the image of a winged angel complete with a halo on the ground at the planet’s south pole. Great … now the Mars spaceships need to add cargo space for presents for Martians.
Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon is criticizing the English Heritage ban on people celebrating the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge because “You can’t get more Covid secure than you can in the middle of the field.” Does he feel the same way about the druid treatment of blood-letting instead of a vaccine?