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Smart Dogs, Villain Lovers, Cyborg Rats and More Mysterious News Briefly — January 27, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — January 27, 2021

According to a new study of over 1,000 North Americans, movie watchers who preferred the villains – like Mr., Smith from the Matrix franchise, Mystique from the X-men and Darth Vader of Star Wars – were more likely to have villainous personalities themselves, especially in the so-called ‘dark triad’ of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism. To be completely safe, limit your dating searches to guys who like C3PO, Benji and Dory.

Axiom Space unveiled the crew of the first entirely-private orbital space mission scheduled for early 2022 and it will include the second oldest person to launch into space, the second Israeli in space, the 11th Canadian to fly into space and the first former NASA astronaut to return to the International Space Station. The first three each paid $55 million for their seat, which means the movie about the mission will be called “The Billionaire Right Stuff Club.”

The Family Dog Project research project at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest found that certain dogs can learn new words after hearing them only four times. And by “certain dogs,” they mean “but not your dog.”

From the “This explains a lot” file comes this study by the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding at the University of North Carolina which found that when trying to decide whom to side with in a debate, people prefer personal stories, especially of vulnerability and tragedy, over facts. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole debate, go with the side that distributes free tissues.

A 12-year-old British Columbia boy broke a Guinness World Record by stacking 693 Jenga blocks atop a single, vertical-standing Jenga block, and he did it by designing and testing different stacking patterns instead of just randomly piling them up. He’s the only kid in the world dreaming of a career as a cathedral spire builder.

A group of people fishing near Tampa Bay, Florida, say a 16-foot great white shark came so close to their boat that they tried to pet it, and it responded by taking a bite out of a motor. After finding this dumb crew, the shark probably swam back to its friends and said, “We’re gonna need a bigger Instant Pot.”

From the “This is a sure sign of the apocalypse” file, Austrian researchers studying football (the soccer kind) matches played in empty stadiums because of the pandemic found that players and coaches were more polite to each other, there were fewer altercations on the pitch, and players had “less extensive emotional behavior” and word fights. That roar you just heard is football fans around the world screaming “Boring!!!”

Archaeologists have discovered traces of a 200-year-old wooden fort in southeastern Alaska built by the indigenous Tlingit people in to resist an invasion by Imperial Russia, which won the Battle of Sitka after a long fight and ruled the area for 60 years until 1867, when Alaska was purchased by the United States. When dining at an Alaskan restaurant, never ask for salad with Russian dressing.

The first global ice-loss survey using satellite data showed a total of 28 trillion metric tons of ice was lost between 1994 and 2017, the equivalent of equivalent to a 100-meter-thick sheet of ice able to cover the whole of the U.K. or 28 giant ice cubes —one for every trillion metric tons of ice lost—each taller than Mount Everest and measuring 10 kilometers in width, height and depth. “Who’s making jokes about warm beer now?” said every pub customer in England.

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) were able to place a new kind of neural implant in a rat’s brain and control the rodent’s behavior in real time with a smartphone app. This is either a great opening for a dystopian movie or something rat haters can’t wait to get their hands on.

 

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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