Mysterious News Briefly — July 1, 2021
NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, scheduled to launch later this year, will be carrying a mannequin that just received its name by popular vote — “Commander Moonikin Campos” is named for Arturo Campos, a Mexican-American electrical engineer who helped bring Apollo 13 safely back to Earth after a service module oxygen tank aboard the spacecraft ruptured. Does this signal the end of those ridiculous McFace names? (Probably mcnot.)
Slovakian company Kelin Vision took its prototype flying car for a 35-minute test flight between the cities of Nita and Bratislava, marking the first successful intercity flight for the company. It converts from plane to car in three minutes – no word on how long you have to wait for your luggage.
From the ‘Duh’ file comes a new study published in the journal Lancet which found that physical punishment such as spanking is “harmful to children’s development and well-being” and resulted in “increased aggression, increased antisocial behavior, and increased disruptive behavior in school.” Will tattooing the study on your rear help?
Researchers at Penn State University tapped into a 2.5 mile underground telecom fiber optic cable under the campus and used it as a seismic surveillance device during the pandemic to monitor pedestrian traffic – something that could be used by governments in major cities. Big Mole may soon be watching.
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit rocket LauncherOne delivered satellites from three countries into space Wednesday after being launched from a modified 747 jet named Cosmic Girl. Did Cosmic Girl send the satellites into hyperspace when it saw their pretty face? (Asking for the band Jamiroquai and their lawyers.)
NASA scientists studying data on Comet 46P/Wirtanen, which made its historic flyby of Earth two and a half years ago, found it was releasing an unusual amount of alcohol around and behind it. Incentive for a manned flight to a comet?
Sam Altman, the former president of startup incubator Y Combinator, co-founded a startup called Worldcoin and is offering its custom cryptocurrency for free to anyone willing to get their eyeballs scanned by basketball-sized orb-shaped devices in order to create their biometric profiles. Having a giant orb in your face could be tough for anyone with bad memories of school dodgeball games.
New research on clay minerals extracted from Gale Crater by NASA’s Curiosity rover back in 2016 found that they very closely resemble glauconitic clays on Earth – indicating that at least one part of Mars had conditions that were suitable for life over millions of years. If Martians liked throwing clay and spinning pottery wheels, this changes everything – or at least changes the plots of future Mars space travel movies into rom-coms.
You can stop wagering – a venom scientist looked at various studies on tarantulas and scorpions, including videos of both in battles with prey, and determined that a fight between two evenly-matched members of the species would most often be won by the tarantula because the spider is less affected by scorpion venom than vice versa. The next question is – which one is better at the trash-talking leading up to the pay-per-view match?
To increase local tourism, the Tourism, Culture and Environment department of the Sabah state in Malaysia government is advertising the Agnes Keith House and other well-known haunted houses in the state and offering one-night stays for brave visitors interested in the paranormal. Kind of a Boo & Breakfast.