Mysterious News Briefly — August 20, 2021
Here’s a potential space travel game-changer -- Japan’s space agency JAXA announced has successfully demonstrated the operation of a “rotary detonation engine” in space which uses a series of controlled explosions that travel around a circular channel at its base, providing a huge amount of thrust from a tiny engine using much less fuel than conventional rocket engines. Frustrated former owners of Wankel engine cars think they should use another name besides “rotary.”
Biomedical robotics engineers have developed a small robot that can live inside the small intestine of people with diabetes and provide a docking station for a delivery robot carrying insulin – the system was successfully tested in three diabetic pigs. All of a sudden, Asimov’s “I, Robot” may become a real autobiography.
Food is about to go full circle with new research by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign civil and environmental engineering professor Jeremy Guest showing how human waste -- which is loaded with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – can be used safely as crop fertilizer. You don’t want to know what the spreader looks like.
‘Ugly diamond’ sounds like an oxymoron, but scientists love cloudy, yellowish “fibrous” or ugly diamonds because their crystalline structures hold tiny pockets of trapped fluid from a billion or more years ago – making them geological time capsules. The diamonds may be ugly, but some scientists still cry while crushing them.
Divers exploring the waters off the coast of Australia's Palm Islands discovered a 400-year-old coral measuring 10.4 meters (34.1 ft) across, making it the Great Barrier Reef's widest coral ever. It’s a record, but women named Coral do not appreciate the comparison.
Bloomberg senior analyst Eric Balchunas says Bitcoin’s mysterious inventor Satoshi Nakamoto is actually American computer programmer Hal Finney – a theory based on a January 1993 forum post by the late Finney (he died in 2014) where he describes the technology of cryptocurrency trading cards, which is similar to the principle of modern NFT. Interesting, but not as useful as finding someone who can tell you when to sell.
Beaches on the French island of Corsica were closed after aggressive cows roamed the sands, chasing tourists and goring a few people – locals blamed farmers who freed the cows after the EU changed the rules on owning them. We know how to deal with bullies, but what do you know when a bull kicks sand in your face and steals your girlfriend?
A new study found that rattlesnakes keep their enemies – that’s us humans – away by changing the audio frequency of their rattles to make it sound like they’re closer than they actually are. Babies used to do this, but modern parents are replacing their rattles with cellphones.
Here’s something to think about as the last picnic of summer approaches – University of Michigan food experts analyzed 5,800 foods for how they impact health and the environment and determined that a hotdog causes you to lose 36 minutes of healthy living, while a serving of salted peanuts gives you 26 minutes and baked salmon 16. Based on that, champion hotdog eater Joey Chestnut is actually a zombie.
Forteans know red rain is bad, but Greenlanders know any rain is worse, as climate change caused rain to fall at the summit of Greenland’s ice sheet for the first time in recorded history. As B.J. Thomas once advised, you’re never gonna stop the rain by complainin’ and talking to the sun doesn’t help either.