Jan 26, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

Zombie Chatbots, Grinning Crater, Warring Chimps and More Mysterious News Briefly — January 25, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — January 25, 2021

Microsoft filed for a patent, "Creating a Conversational Chatbot of a Specific Person," on that will use social data (images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, written letters, etc.) about a dead person and bring them back to life as a chatbot. In case the voices of dead people in your head lecturing you from the grave aren’t annoying enough.

SpaceX revealed plans to drill natural gas wells near its launchpad in Boca Chica, Texas, and there’s speculation Elon Musk will use the natural gas to fuel rockets. “What about us?” said every person sitting in a dead Tesla.

Janet Yellen, the nominee for treasury secretary, wants Congress to "curtail" the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin over concerns that they are "mainly" used for illegal activities. When was the last time she saw a $100 bill that wasn’t covered in powder or glitter?

Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics – which unveiled Sophia, the creepy humanoid robot, in 2016 – announced it will start mass-producing Sophia and three other models in 2021 to help humans deal with the pandemic. If she can find toilet paper in bulk, people will not only buy Sophia – they’ll marry her.

It’s still January but SpaceX launched its third mission of 2021, Transporter-1, carrying 143 satellites – a world record for most payloads/satellites launched on a single mission. That may also break the record for most reasons why astronomers hate Elon Musk.

The Chinese space program announced plans to China is planning to launch its first solar mission, code-named the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), in the first half of 2022. It must take that long to convince solar satellites it’s OK to look directly at the sun.

Tai Chimpanzee Project researchers have observed three communities of chimpanzees where both males and female cooperate with other group members in fights with neighboring groups, putting themselves at risk of serious injury or even death to protect their own group. How long before college football teams adopt the mascot “The Fighting Chimps”?

A comparison of images taken by the HiRISE camera (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the so-called “Happy Face Crater” on the Red Planet’s surface show that its grin has gotten bigger and its color has changed. Proof that even planets are conscious of what they look like after seeing their first selfie?

A student at Concordia University, in Montreal, Quebec, complained on social media that one of his current professors has been dead for more than a year but he still has to pay full price for his online class. If the prof is in hell, that might explain why it’s so tough to get higher than a C.

Showing that mysterious monoliths are so 2020, residents of Borås, Sweden, are puzzled over the sudden appearance of a mysterious three-meter-high snow penis in a roundabout shortly after a heavy snowfall. If it’s ETs bragging, we’re in big trouble.

Paul Seaburn

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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