Mysterious News Briefly — April 28, 2021
Days after the four astronauts heading to the ISS in a SpaceX capsule were ordered back into their spacesuits because of a potential collision with orbiting junk, U.S. Space Command issued a statement that there was no object and the false alarm is under review. Wanna-believers think an alien space command is also investigating a malfunctioning cloaking device.
Wolf researchers say the commonly held belief that wild packs have a power and mating hierarchy of alpha, beta, gamma and so on males and females is wrong because it was based on captive wolves. Just goes to show the influence of the Shangri-Las song, “Leader of the Pack.”
Brain researchers looking for non-invasive ways to watch a living brain in action are turning to a strange creature called Danionella dracula -- tiny, transparent fish which lacks a skull roof, leaving its brain visible for study. It’s great for scientists but a hindrance for fish on dates who try to play hard-to-get while their brains show “Yes, yes, yes!”
Male sperm whales were long thought to be lifelong loners but new research found they actually form bro groups with one or more other males, although the scientists haven’t been able to determine why. It’s obvious – at some point, all males, even sperm whales, need a friend to tell to “Hold my krill and watch this.”
NASA announced plans for a new Interstellar Probe that will travel 1,000 astronomical units (AU) from the sun into deep space – nearly ten times as far as the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft have reached – on a mission that would launch in the early 2030s and take about 15 years to reach the heliosphere boundary. It will take till the 2030s to decide whose music to put on the probe to give ETs a flavor for what’s popular on Earth.
China celebrated "National Space Day" in Nanjing with a video unveiling a planned vehicle for suborbital point-to-point transportation that looks suspiciously like SpaceX's Starship rocket. Next thing you know, the head of China’s space program will want to host Saturday Night Live.
Astrophysicists with nothing better to think about have been pondering what collective noun – the word used to describe a group of specific things, like a gaggle of geese or a murder of crows – should be used to describe a group of black holes … with “void,” “disaster” and “scream” as suggested candidates. Sounds like this collective noun could also be used to describe the minds of astrophysicists with nothing better to think about.
From the “Why didn’t someone think of this before?” file comes the idea that automation at a company should go all the way to the top, and the solution to out-of-control CEO pay may be to replace them with AI robots. Zuckerberg – the bots are coming for you first.
The feud between billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos intensified this week after NASA selected Musk’s SpaceX to build the upcoming Artemis lunar lander, prompting Bezos’ Blue Origin to file an official protest against the decision, calling it a “high risk” “flawed acquisition.” This explains why neighbors never see boxes on Elon Musk’s front porch.
Oleg Orlov, director of the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, says the future of space travel will require the integration of an astronaut into a spacecraft, creating a cyborg spaceship. That would change the most famous line in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to “I’m sorry, me … I’m afraid I can’t do that.”