Mysterious News Briefly — August 6, 2021
From the “When all else fails, test a fruit fly” file comes a new study on the question, “After being deprived of both, will a brain choose food or sex?” – for tiny fruit fly brains, the sex neurons battle with the food neurons and the food side generally wins. Humans would probably choose the same, although guys would want to know what kind of food and women would wait to see if he has a job.
The Perseids meteor showers are here again and astronomers warn they’re getting weaker because Earth passed through the densest part of the tail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle (which causes the meteors showers) in 1992 and it’s been less dense ever since, reaching the minimum density in about 40 years. Why can’t we have less dense politicians and more dense meteors?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updated their May 20 hurricane season forecast and warned about the presence of atmospheric and ocean conditions that favor higher-than-average storm activity this season. Some hotels in Florida are already booked with nothing but hurricane reporters.
Chapman’s pygmy chameleon (Rhampholeon chapmanorum), a tiny species of chameleon thought to be extinct due to habitat loss because of deforestation, has been found by researchers in its native forest in the Malawi Hills in the Republic of Malawi in southeastern Africa. Due to deforestation, they survived by learning how to change to the color of houses and fast food restaurants.
The Swiss startup company SwissPod wants to build a hyperloop system under the Alps that could transport passengers at speeds of up to 745 miles per hour – reducing the trip from Geneva to Zurich from an hour-and-a-half to only 17 minutes and at a fraction of the carbon footprint of plane travel. If you have sex on a train going under the Alps, do you join the Mile Deep Club?
From the “Who comes up with these ideas” file is the story of researchers who decided to test the durability of a new method of freeze-drying mouse sperm by applying it on a postcard and mailing it to themselves. The freeze-dried mouse sperm survived, and the postman promised to never read their mail again.
The earliest known family photo taken at Stonehenge – dating back to the 1860s – was found in an archive belonging to Queen guitarist Brian May, who is an avid collector of 3D stereoscopic images; the photo shows the stones in disrepair compared to today. Did May deliver the Stonehenge photos to English Heritage while humming “We Will Rock You”?
From the “This is the science we need” file comes a study by researchers at Washington and Jefferson College picky eaters who avoid new foods are less sexually attractive than those willing to try unfamiliar dishes. Least attractive are the ones who say, “I’ll just have a little of yours.”
A new weight loss treatment was discovered accidently by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania testing a potential type 2 diabetes treatment who noticed that the lab mice were getting thinner because they were sweating fat directly out of their skin. And you thought wiping down exercise equipment was gross now.
A recent study found that an ancient lake, Glacial Lake Agassiz, that occupied as many as 1.5 million square kilometers of what is now southern Manitoba and central Saskatchewan more than 12,000 years ago, caused an epic flood when it drained at a rate of more than 800 Olympic swimming pools per second and probably forced a warming Earth back into an ice age. This must make Olympic swimmers more depressed than just missing a bronze medal.