Mysterious News Briefly — March 8, 2021
From the “Duh!” files comes a new study on social behavior which found that conversations almost never end when both parties want them to and many people really don’t know when or how to shut up. Will you be surprised or the first in line when science develops a real-life mute button?
You may hate those low-flow commodes, but research has found that humans are low-flow too – compared to our closest primate cousins, the human body uses 30% to 50% less water per day, giving us another big advantage when it came time to evolve. On hot days, it would be nice to be able to adjust our water flow by jiggling an ear.
A woolly mammoth rib fragment found in Mount Holly, Vermont, dates back to 12,800 years ago – the same time humans arrived. This doesn’t mean they lived together or that one caused the extinction of the other – unless humans saw the woolly mammoth eating their maple syrup.
Researchers from Northwestern and Lund universities report that catnip and its active ingredient, Nepetalactone, could become the next wide-scale mosquito repellant because of its ability to activate and irritant receptor in the insects that drives them away in pain. Is being mosquito-free worth the risk of becoming a human cat scratching post?
Astronomers at Boston University’s Center for Space Physics report that the moon has an invisible tail made from its sodium atoms, blasted into space by meteorite collisions, colliding with solar photons – and this comet-like tail brushes Earth once-a-month when it passes between Earth and the Sun during the new moon phase. Contrary to Jerry Seinfeld, perhaps it’s the moon’s tail, not the pretzels, that are making you thirsty.
From the “What goes around, comes around” file comes word that the recent orange skies over France are caused by Saharan dust storms containing abnormal atmospheric amounts of radioactive caesium-137 – a product of French nuclear tests conducted in the desert in the 1960s. And you thought it was from the glow of all of those cigarettes being smoked at outdoor cafes.
Social media has gone wild over a photograph from Cornwall, England, showing a ship floating high above the water – a phenomenon known as a ‘superior mirage’ that is caused by a temperature inversion that makes light rays bend, beaming an image above where it actually is. Many people were disappointed this was not a new feature to get them to start booking cruises again.
A major 6.4 earthquake on December 29th in Croatia – the strongest ever in that country – appears to still be triggering dozens of mysterious and dangerous sinkholes that are happening too fast and too randomly for researchers to be able to predict or prevent. Kids who asked Santa for a pool are suddenly feeling a little guilty.
Two University of Toronto professors have developed a new theory suggesting that dyslexia can be reversed or even prevented by learning the Greek alphabet. If that’s true, why does joining a college Greek fraternity generally seem to result in worse grades?
A Dutch inventor has come up with a scream test for COVID-19 test where you stand in an airtight booth and scream – emitting particles that are captured and analyzed by an air filter, giving results in under three minutes. If a person says they have nothing to scream about, someone should remind them about 2020.