Mysterious News Briefly — February 24, 2021
Earth has had water from its beginning, according to researchers at the GLOBE Institute at the University of Copenhagen, and their new study suggests that it’s the same for all planets, which means the Milky Way is loaded with watery planets, with volume dependent on the planet’s distance from its star. Does working on or reading studies like these make one thirsty? (Asking for a writer who just downed a liter and yearns for another.)
Agricultural researchers are using CRISPR gene editing to increase the number of kernels per cob on low-producing variations – a process that once took farmers hundreds of year to accomplish. Just in time for movie theaters to reopen – the one-cob barrel of popcorn?
Humans didn’t always have opposable thumbs, but a new study suggests that some early hominins had tools long before one finger curved into opposition to its fellow fingers. Thumbs probably developed as the females of the species complained about crooked shelves and nails sticking out.
Molecular engineers at the University of Chicago have developed a new gel that gets stronger as it “exercises,” which will make it perfect for giving soft robots human-like muscles that get wore powerful after workouts. What next – human-like eyes so they can flex in front of gym mirrors?
Everyone knows that environmentalists swear by dish soap for cleaning the feathers of birds affected by an oil spill, but a spill off of Israel’s Mediterranean coastline caused endangered sea turtles to ingest tar, which volunteers found could be quickly flushed out of their systems with mayonnaise. The ham, cheese and bread was just an extra treat for being good patients.
The Air Force has revealed that two separate F-16 fighter jet pilots flying over Nevada lost their consciousness after experiencing high Gs and were saved by the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS) – the artificial intelligence co-pilot built into the jet. Sounds like the Air Force needs to award an AI medal.
The Perseverance Rover beat his car to Mars and now Elon Musk is no longer officially the richest man in the world after shares in Tesla dropped significantly, wiping out $15.2 billion from his fortune and allowing Jeff Bezos to take over the title. Does the smile on that Amazon box look a little wider today?
An Indonesian fisherman caught a baby shark with what appears to be a human face, and he’s hoping it brings him luck, even though a marine biologist says it’s probably from a congenital defect known as cyclopia. Meanwhile, people are lining up to see it and P.T. Barnum is trying to send this guy a message from the afterlife.
A border collie and Australian shepherd mix puppy born in Oklahoma has managed to survive despite having six legs and two tails, the result of two types of congenital disorders. Mother Nature’s cousin in Oklahoma heard about the human-faced shark and said, “Hold my beer and watch this.”
A mysterious artifact found recently on the grounds of the Paul Revere House in the North End of Boston has finally been identified as a parasol runner – the part of the parasol or umbrella that slides up and down the shaft when you open and close it. “One if by land, two if by sea, take a parasol because the forecast says rain.”