Mysterious News Briefly — July 12, 2021
Archeologists have determined that 107 ancient Roman coins found on the banks of the Aa river in the village of Berlicuma in the Netherlands were left there by superstitious travelers crossing the waterway to ensure their safe passage. For positive proof, they need to find a troll booth.
The NYPD’s official beekeeper amazed tourists and Manhattan residents by removing a swarm of approximately 25,000 bees from a spot on Times Square and transporting them to a safe location. Which, in New York City, is anyplace besides Times Square.
Facebook’s AI research team joined forces with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and the University of California, Berkeley, to train a four-legged robot to use AI learning to walk over sand, rocks and other difficult surfaces, adjusting its stride as it moves to keep from falling. When they do this with a two-legged robot looking at a cellphone, let us know.
The European Space Agency’s Fast Kinetic Deflection (FastKD project proposes in a new study that large telecommunications satellites used for TV broadcasting could be quickly and easily repurposed as asteroid deflectors if a space rock were to threaten Earth. But only if they don’t interrupt Dr. Who.
Researchers at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created a new radar scanning system that uses one receiver and many transmitters to create real-time images and video of objects are hidden behind walls or moving at hypersonic speeds. If you have something moving at hypersonic speed inside your wall, it’s time to move.
A research team in China declassified an unmanned underwater drone that can recognize, follow and attack an enemy submarine without human instruction — which was developed in secret by the military more than a decade ago. If it flies too, we need to learn the Chinese word for Tic-Tac.
At the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, a British designer unveiled a car that removes pollution from the air as it travels around town. It can’t be driven in U.S. cities yet because the container in the trunk is way too small.
Using new data from satellite laser instruments, NASA scientists have penetrated Antarctica’s thick ice sheet and discovered two new hidden but active subglacial lakes which cyclically fill and drain into the Southern Ocean. Thanks, NASA, for some cool news in this record-breaking hot summer.
A team from NASA and NOAA found that Earth’s “energy imbalance” doubled between 2005 and 2019, meaning Earth is retaining more than twice as much heat annually as it was 15 years ago, and the causes are melting ice, which reduces the amount of reflective white surface, and greenhouse gases, which prevent radiation from escaping, increasing the overall energy retained. Thanks, NASA, for reminding us why there’s so little ‘cool’ news these days.
Three towns in Wisconsin — Belleville, Dundee and Elmwood — are fighting over which one is the UFO capital of the state, with Dundee claiming to have an alien in a jar, Elmwood having a police officer as a reliable witness to one, and Elmwood with one picked up by FAA radar. Cows in Wisconsin are relieved humans are finally fighting over something besides cheese.
A team of nanoscientists in China have discovered a way to grow microfibers of water ice that can flex and bend into a loop without breaking the ice surface. This could completely change figure skating at the Winter Olympics into an extreme event.