Mysterious News Briefly -- December 3, 2020
According to the new book, “Alcohol in Space,” Russian cosmonauts like drinking on the ISS and have “smuggled bottles of cognac in hollowed-out books, filled up plastic meal containers with booze and mislabeled them as juice, and even gone on strict diets before launch so they could smuggle bottles in their spacesuits and still make weight requirements.” No wonder Russia never has any trouble recruiting new cosmonauts.
The FDA has approved a new vibrating smartwatch which can to be used as a “digital therapeutic” device to stop nightmares. Does it remind the user to turn off cable news?
The purpose of the so-called “Venus figurines” carved 30,000 years ago in Ice Age Europe and found across the continent may have finally been solved in a new study which suggests that the obese (by today’s standards) figures were actually recommendations and reminders to women of the time that full figures are better for pregnancies and bad agricultural times. To be more realistic, some should have been carved into yo-yos.
The families of 20 children in the northern Spanish region of Cantabria are suing their doctors for mistakenly given the kids minoxidil, a medication for hair growth, instead of omeprazole, a treatment for gastric reflux, causing the children to grow hair all over their bodies like werewolves – a condition that some still have two years later. They should sue the pharmacist too -- or would that be splitting hairs?
Weather forecasters in Florida are predicting iguana rain as the temperatures drop and so do the invasive lizards as the cold puts them in a coma and they fall out of trees. Northerners spending the winter in Florida are advised to remove them from the driveway with a shovel rather than a snowblower.
Those waiting for personal cloaking devices that work in both daytime and night will be interested in the work of researchers in South Korea who studied camouflaging cephalopods to develop a skin that hides in both the visible and infrared ranges according to the situation. If they showed an octopus a Harry Potter movie, would the cephalopod develop a real invisibility cloak they could copy?
A team of astronomers studying what they refer to as “Unexpected Circular Radio Objects at High Galactic Latitudes” (Odd Radio Circles or ORCs) have been unable to determine how far away these ghostly circles are or what is causing them, with a few Russian astronomers suggesting they are wormholes. Or is it just a way to keep astronomy in the news now that fast radio bursts have been solved?
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have restored vision in old mice by reversing the aging process in their cells. A great medical achievement for the doctors and a possible hope for tissue regeneration in humans, but all the old mice saw were the same old mazes and wheels.
China's Chang'e-5 probe has successfully landed on the Moon and is busy digging up 2 kg (4.4 pounds) of lunar dirt and rocks to return to Earth before the end of the year. If successful, will this inspire Buzz Aldrin to storm the house of Elon Musk demanding one more shot?
Speaking of Elon Musk, the SpaceX CEO said in a speech this week that his company will land humans on Mars in six years (by 2026) and “If we get lucky, maybe four years.” Before you place your bets, this is the same guy who crashed a three-wheeled electric car into a brick wall because he found it too hard to drive.
While millions have been killed to stop the disease, over 100 SARS-CoV-2 infected mink have escaped from Danish fur farms and may be spreading the novel coronavirus among Denmark’s wild animals. Needless to say, no one is coping well in Copenhagen.