Mysterious News Briefly — July 15, 2021
The US Marines are testing a small device called the Drone 40 that is basically a flying, remote-controlled grenade that can reach speeds of 45 mph and travel 12 miles before blowing something up. Not only is this the latest in killing machines, it killed some of the best grenade-throwing scenes in every World War II movie.
Yet another ancient human species may have been discovered, this time using genomes mapped from 25,000-year-old environmental DNA found in the dirt of the cave of Satsurblia in Georgia. Sounds like it’s time for a human corollary to Fermi’s paradox – if there were so many species such a short time ago … where are they now?
A fully grown, 23-month-old Bhutanese cow in Bangladesh stands just 20 inches (51 cm) tall, making it the world’s shortest cow. It’s so small, its T-bone steaks would have to be labeled ‘t-bones’.
A man in Oswestry, Shropshire, England, recently discovered a witch bottle containing a human tooth, hair and urine possibly dating back to 1860 that he quickly buried to “avoid any bad juju." Cue Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.”
In a tweet comparing Russian billionaires to Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, Russian space agency head Dmitry Rogozin said, “I hope that someday our billionaire oligarchs will start spending their money not on regular yachts and vanity fairs, but on the development of space technologies and knowledge about space.” Look for Rogozin to receive an expensive solid gold, diamond-encrusted paperweight spelling out the word “Nyet.”
Wildlife officials report that a record-breaking number of manatees have died this year in Florida's waters, mostly due to starvation caused by the loss of seagrass, their primary food, because of increasing pollution from fertilizer runoff and sewage leaks. Would it help to start calling them mermaids again?
When NASA sends the Lucy spacecraft on the first mission to the Trojan asteroids in October 2021, it will be carrying words of wisdom from The Beatles, Albert Einstein, poet Joy Harjo, author Kazuo Ishiguro, Martin Luther King Jr., Brian May of Queen, Yoko Ono, Carl Sagan and others. If they want to send a message on the current state of Earth, shouldn’t they include the lyrics to “Eve of Destruction”?
In a recent study, scientists confirmed the possibility that an advanced civilization could be harvesting energy from a black hole using a massive Dyson sphere. Meanwhile, we’re working on drones carrying hand grenades – worried yet? (See above)
An analysis of emojis used in millions of tweets in 30 countries, researchers found that the “laugh-cry” emoji is still the most popular emoji around the world, even though millennials and Generation Z think its uncool. Rising fast on the list – the OK Boomer emoji.
A British paratrooper jumped out of a plane during a High Altitude Low Opening (Halo) exercise at Camp Roberts in California but his parachute failed to open – luckily, after a 15,000-foot-fall, he crashed through the roof of a house and survived with only minor injuries. On the downside, it wasn’t Harry and Megan’s.