Mysterious News Briefly — January 20, 2021
For the first time, researchers have been able to analyze a dinosaur’s cloaca – the all-purpose rear orifice used for defecation, urination, and copulation. Be prepared for irritation, agitation and possible regurgitation when you use ‘cloaca’ in Scrabble.
According to a new report, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory is working on bio-hybrid robots – cyborg Frankenbots made from metal, AI and living muscle tissue. If Army beats Navy next season by 10 touchdowns, the referees need to trying sticking a magnet on their running backs.
Female mantises have a reputation for biting their mates’ heads off after sex but researchers have found the secret to the long lives of many sexually-active male Springbok praying mantises – they jump on the females first, pin them down and give them a serious but non-fatal injury to the abdomen that distracts the female long enough (13 seconds) to consummate the act and escape with their heads. Look for this to be the opening scene of a new female superhero movie introducing Medusa Mantis.
Using high-resolution imagery from the Worldview 3 satellite, for the first time scientists have successfully counted African elephant populations from space. How long did it take before they stopped saying, “No, that’s a grey Volkswagen Beetle”?
Paleontologists discovered the fossilized remains of a 98 million-year-old titanosaur in Neuquén Province in Argentina’s northwest Patagonia that they believe is “one of the largest sauropods ever found” and could exceed the size of a Patagotitan which measured up to 37.2 meters (122 feet) long. How big is that? Imagine sliding down a waterslide into a subway car filled with bad smells and mysterious creatures – just like a real subway car.
In 50 million-year-old rocks in Colorado, paleontologists discovered a fossilized assassin bug (Aphelicophontes danjuddi) so well-preserved that its grain-of-rice-sized genitals were still intact. Did all prehistoric bugs call him “Assassin” or just the females?
Swiss startup OrphAnalytics applied its algorithm-based machine-learning text analysis software, normally used by teachers to detect plagiarism, to analyze the messages of Q (of QAnon fame) and has identified two distinct styles which indicates Q may actually be two people. They’re not the so vain Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger, says Carly Simon.
Researchers in brain biomechanics used eggs to study the fundamental physics behind concussions and found that a decelerating rotation impact rather than a direct impact causes the most trauma to the yolk, which was the stand-in for the brain. If they can figure reasons to study bacon and coffee, they may never leave the lab again.
The Wall Street Journal reports that cryptocurrency mine operators are using some the huge amounts of heat generated by their computers to heat their chicken coops and greenhouses. If you need to raise chickens and grow your own vegetables, perhaps cryptocurrency mining isn’t a good career choice.
A man in Newport City, Wales, is offering the local government $71 million to allow him to search the local landfill for a hard drive he accidentally threw away in 2013 because it contains 7,500 bitcoins now worth an estimated $273 million. See comment on using your bitcoin computer to heat your chicken coop.