Mysterious News Briefly — January 19, 2021
In a Reddit survey, former Flat Earthers reveal the reasons they became globeheads and the rationales range from scientific to personal experience to finding out the political affiliation of fellow Flat Earthers. Not surprisingly, the results of the survey are being contested.
NASA’s initial test of its huge Space Launch System rocket started out great but had to be shut down after 67 seconds when the fourth engine failed. Would not be surprised of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson did a socially-distanced high-five.
Despite world leaders bragging about their hypersonic weapons systems, a study by independent experts found that the ‘hype’ in hypersonic is exactly that – illusions not based on facts. Captain Pickard just face-palmed again.
Seychelles warblers, a cooperatively breeding species of songbird that lives in small family groups, have been shown to use bird babysitters to help elderly parents raise their chicks, according to research done by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the University of Groningen. Do bird babysitters eat worm-covered pizzas?
A new study found that click beetles are able to jump 20 times their body length using not their legs but a powerful elastic hinge hidden in their thorax behind their heads that makes the telltale ‘click’ when it snaps. On the other hand, two clicks means they’re locked and loaded.
The block of ice holding what appears to be a frozen caveman that appeared mysteriously in a Minnesota park has been identified as a project artist Zach Schumack who says the caveman is a department store mannequin dressed to look prehistoric. Too bad – this is a lot more interesting that those darn monoliths.
In a tribute to the recently-departed Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, astronomers unveiled some very strange stars discovered using Arecibo data -- three so-called black widow stars (neutrons eating their binary companions), a redback (a spider whose companion is larger and regularly blocks it from view) and one that resembles a cross between the two types. Bad news for arachnophobes interested in astronomy.
Using just partial portions of their skulls, Russian anthropologists have built lifelike recreations of a 2,600-year-old Scythian nomadic couple often called the “Siberian Tutankhamun and his queen". Now they need to pair up Steve Martin with a Russian band to sing a Siberian version of “King Tut.”
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered the holy grail of touchscreen monitors and phones – a transparent perovskite crystal (barium stannate (BaSnO3)) that conducts electricity. Sadly, this is yet another major computer discovery that will first be popular for porn sites and sexting.
Harvard’s Abraham ‘Avi’ Loeb – the professor who recently proclaimed that the cigar-shaped ‘Omuamua interstellar comet was probably a spacecraft – deflated hopes it came from Proxima Centauri by using mathematics to determine a strange signal picked up from the star in 2019 actually came from Earth. Even in space communications, we can’t escape wrong numbers and prank calls.