Mysterious News Briefly — February 8, 2021
The latest member of Bosnia’s most popular rock band, Dubioza Kolektiv, is Robby Megabyte – a humanoid robot who sings and plays musical instruments and was designed by students from Sarajevo University’s electrical engineering school. Next up – the biology department develops a synthetic meat dress for Lady Gaga?
in an unusual twist on insect sex, a new study found that male Heliconius melpomene butterflies mark their mates with a revolting smell to “turn off” other horny male butterflies. No matter how bad he smells, the females still have to pretend to enjoy it.
Until recently, it was thought the prehistoric Australian marsupial Palorchestes azael (a distant relative of the wombat) lived its entire life 40,000 years ago with permanently bent elbows (causing a strange walk that resulted in their extinction), but new research shows they could bend them a tiny bit. So they could drink prehistoric beer?
An extremely rare one-in-30-million yellow lobster was caught off the coast of Maine by a lobsterman, who did the right thing and donated it to the University of New England’s Marine Science Centre, where the yellow crustacean was named “Banana”. It would prefer a different nickname just to stop the other from saying it’s because it has ‘appeal’.
Putting chips in a human brain are so 2020 – the Neu-ChiP project at Aston University has been awarded $3.68 million to put human brain stem cells in chips as a way to cut energy usage in computers. Do you really want the voices in your head coming out of your PC too?
Australia’s Alauda company has unveiled a full-sized, fully functioning electric flying racing car – the Airspeeder Mk3 – and is planning to build more in hopes of staging the world’s first unmanned fly car race later this year. The Windy 500?
NASA has awarded Firefly Aerospace of Cedar Park, Texas, the contract to provide the commercial delivery service for the Artemis moon mission. Not Amazon? Was NASA too cheap to pay for Prime?
Inspired by kombucha tea, engineers at MIT and Imperial College London used yeast and bacteria to create “living materials” that interact with their environment. Wouldn’t it be better to invent a kombucha tea that caused humans to interact with their environment?
Around 50,000 years after a bunch of Neanderthals used a hole in what is now Valencia, Spain, for a bathroom, a team of archaeologists, microbiologists, and anthropologists studied the paleo-poop, the oldest known to come from a human species, and found that the microbes in a Neanderthal’s gut were very similar to those in modern humans. Does it show if Neanderthal males left the seat up? (Asking for a female friend who claims she’s married to one.)
Descendants of Dante Alighieri of “Divine Comedy” fame are restaging his trial from over 700 years ago for corruption in political office – which resulted in a conviction that sentenced him to be burned to death (it was later commuted to exile) – to see if he would still be convicted today. That depends – will the Devil be called as a witness?