Mysterious News Briefly — July 29, 2021
From the “What did Elon say today?” file – Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted “Population collapse is potentially the greatest risk to the future of civilization.” Not to mention electric vehicle sales and space tourism reservations.
A series of recent studies found that psychedelics and prayer both produce alterations of perceptions and mood, and both have anxiolytic, analgesic, and antidepressant properties because both cause significant changes in the cingulate, frontal, and temporal cortexes of the brain. However, praying for LSD does not double your chances of scoring some.
Engineers in Japan have developed a new way to levitate and manipulate tiny objects from reflective surfaces using acoustic levitation or sound waves – they built a hemispherical acoustic array that lifted a 3-millimeter polystyrene ball from a reflective surface. The next new Olympic sport?
Goodbye Gilgamesh -- federal authorities in New York seized the “Gilgamesh Dream Tablet,” a 3,500-year-old clay tablet containing part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian poem considered one of the oldest pieces of literature, from Hobby Lobby, which had it on display at the Museum of the Bible, and is returning it to the Iraqi government. You can still get a jigsaw puzzle of it or a kit to make a needlepoint version.
Yet another invasive species showed up in Florida – this time it’s the Rio Cauca caecilian, (Typhlonectes natans), a reclusive blind wormlike creature that is a separate species of amphibian which can grow up to five feet long and have a pair of sensory tentacles located between their eyes and nostrils. “Tastes like chicken,” said chefs in Louisiana.
A new viral video shows a two-headed snake – the result of bicephaly – called Ben and Jerry devouring two mice in each of is fanged mouths. After watching the Olympics, a three-headed snake named Larry, Curly and Moe decided not to go for the record.
For the first time, astronomers have directly detected reflected light in the form of X-ray echoes bending around from behind a supermassive black hole 800 million light-years away, confirming one of Einstein's predictions in his theory of relativity. Someone in the afterlife give him a high five.
Scientists from Cambridge University and NTU Singapore have found that slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates drag more carbon into Earth’s interior than previously thought, suggesting that only about a third of the carbon recycled beneath volcanic chains returns to the surface via recycling and giving a possible new way to store carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. Has anyone bothered to see how the Earth feels about this?
Nervous men rejoice -- researchers have developed magnetic, biodegradable nanomaterials which can be guided to the testes and heated with magnetic fields, making them reversible male contraceptives. Men will still ask if they come in extra-large.
The sate of Indiana has hired the German company Magment to test out new, high tech streets made with magnetic particles in the concrete that automatically charge the battery of any electric vehicle outfitted with a special receiver driving on them. Can it also zap the cell phones of anyone driving while texting?