Mysterious News Briefly — July 9, 2021
New NASA-funded research presented at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference revealed that exoplanets which are in their star’s Goldilocks zone and tilted on their axis, like Earth, are more capable of evolving complex life because the tilt changes day lengths which facilitates the development of oxygen. Something we can talk to aliens about – their compasses are screwed up too.
Otters just got more amazing with a new study which found the small marine mammals are able to survive diving in frigid waters without a layer of blubber by forcing their muscle tissue to "leak" large amounts of heat throughout their bodies without the need for exertion. They would like us humans to know that we can’t accomplish the same thing simply by eating otters.
At China’s National Space Science Center, researchers found in simulations that 23 Long March 5 rockets hitting simultaneously could deflect a large asteroid from its original path by a distance 1.4 times the Earth’s radius, thus potentially saving the planet from a deadly collision. Bruce Willis hopes this doesn’t get tested before he can make one last apocalyptic movie.
The Ingenuity helicopter on Mars completed its 9th flight, traveling over uneven terrain for 625 meters in 167 seconds and did not deviate from the calculated destination of the route, making this the most challenging and dangerous flight since its first take-off. The Perseverance rover keeps hoping Ingenuity will come back so it can use its robotic arm to give it a high five.
A team of scientists is planning an expedition in 2022 to find the remains of Ernest Shackleton's long-lost ship, the Endurance, which is at the bottom of the Weddell Sea in the western Antarctic where it sank after being abandoned in 1915 during his attempt to cross the continent. They could use some otters who know how to operate a camera. (See above)
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says the company’s Starship spacecraft could serve as the “structure for a new giant telescope” with ten times the resolution of NASA’s Hubble telescope. Is he really being revolutionary or just trying to make up with astronomers who hate those Starlink satellites ruining the night sky?
NASA has successfully completed a test of procedures that would be used to switch to backup hardware on the Hubble telescope to get around the payload computer problem that has threatened to shut it down for good. NASA can’t send astronauts to fix it because the space shuttles are retired and Elon Musk has other plans. (See above)
If the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill passes in the UK, mollusks like lobsters, crab, octopuses, and squid will be recognized as sentient beings that can feel pain and cooks will be required to stun the creatures before boiling them for dinner. Terrified crustaceans are attempting to escape death entirely by predicting soccer scores.
An urban and environmental engineering professor at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea has designed an eco-friendly toilet connected to a laboratory that uses excrement to produce biogas which is converted to electricity to mine a new bitcoin called Ggool which the professor then pays 10 of to anyone using the toilet. Shouldn’t that be called buttcoin?
Chinese scientists at Huazhong University of Science and Technology have developed a “smart metafabric” from a combination of microscopic beads and fibers of titanium oxide, Teflon and a plastic called polylactic acid that radiates heat and reflects light to help people out in the sun stay several degrees cooler. “Can we get it in a coozie?” asked every beach-going American beer drinker.