Mysterious News Briefly — February 12, 2021
A new study on mindreading or mentalizing found that women are much better at it than men, especially when it comes to projecting themselves into another person’s shoes. Is this because women understand minds better than men … or shoes?
The “boring billion” is not a statement on the modern ultra-rich but the name scientists have given the years between 1.8-0.8 billion years ago when mountains on Earth stopped growing and the evolution of life forms came to a standstill. Did it end when prehistoric moles finally started building bigger molehills?
NASA announced it is using Fitbit devices to track COVID-19 in astronauts and NASA employees critical to future space missions by monitoring their temperatures and other coronavirus indicators. It will also help to see which astronauts will need their spacesuits altered in the waist.
Researchers at the University of Maryland recently demonstrated how hydrogen peroxide – the stuff used to bleach hair and whiten teeth – can also make wood transparent by modifying its chromophores so they no longer absorb light and color the wood, making it a cheap material for windows. It will be worth waiting for just to see it mess with the minds of termites and woodpeckers.
Ancient graves found during the archaeological preparations for the construction of a controversial road tunnel beside Stonehenge back more than 4,500 years to the Beaker people who helped build parts of the stone circle. That’s ‘Beaker’ – not to be confused with the ‘Breaker’ people who will be using their CB radios while driving their convoys through the tunnel.
Two cousins living near Tampa, Florida, caught a 300-pound, 16-foot-long invasive Burmese python that was loaded with 100 eggs ready to be laid and hatched. A disgruntled Kansas City Chiefs fan seeking revenge on Tampa Bay?
The mysterious metal monolith that appeared and disappeared in a field in southeast Turkey near the UNESCO World Heritage site of Gobekli Tepe was revealed to be a publicity stunt by Turkey’s President Erdogan to draw attention to his announcement of a space program for the country. I’m not saying it’s alienating, but it’s alienating.
The two odd-shaped moons that appeared mysteriously over Dubai recently were revealed to be images of the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos beamed on a 40-meter screen suspended between two 100-meter cranes were revealed to be a publicity stunt by the UAE government to celebrate the country’s Hope Probe spacecraft entering orbit around Mars. Even the hologram of Packers coach Vince Lombardi is doing a facepalm.
NASA’s Insight Lander will be listening with its seismic monitors for the sounds of the new Perseverance rover as it descends and lands next week on the Martian surface. Even on Mars, we get excited about the sound of deliveries.
After seeing levels of nitrogen dioxide gas (NO2) – which is pollution produced by burning fossil fuels – go down during the COVID shutdown, NASA is recommending astronomers look for it as a sign of life on other planets. Why do we want to communicate with life that has the same lack of intelligence we do? (Asking for an astute friend.)