Mysterious News Briefly — November 24, 2021
A rare, 54-page manuscript co-written by Albert Einstein and his lifelong friend and engineer Michele Besso, in which they describe Einstein’s famous theory of general relativity, sold at an auction in Paris this week for over $15 million, well above the predicted $3.5 million. The winning bidder is enjoying hearing the old saying with a new inflection point: “Way to go … Einstein!”
NASA postponed the launch date of the James Webb Space Telescope after a sudden, unplanned release of a clamp band – which secures Webb to the launch vehicle adapter – caused a vibration throughout the orbital observatory. Breaking million-dollar mirrors would have caused at least 7-squared years of bad luck.
New research shows the Magellanic Stream, a huge stream of gas wrapped around the Milky Way that emanates from the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds dwarf galaxies, is much closer than we thought, which means many calculations based on it are wrong. And you don’t want to know what happens if you cross galactic streams.
New analysis of ancient texts and genetic data on the Justinianic Plague, the first known outbreak of bubonic plague which spread through west Eurasia between the 6th and 8th centuries CE, show its impact was much more severe than previously thought – killing up to half the population of the Mediterranean region at the time and helping to bring down the Roman Empire. Perhaps the first and most appropriate time in world history to exclaim, “Rats!”
The South Korean city of Busan gave the go-ahead to build the world’s first floating city, which will cover 75 hectares, accommodate 10,000 people and be finished potentially by 2025. Location, location, location is replaced by flotation, flotation, flotation.
Five rare “non-returning” boomerangs found in a dry riverbed in South Australia date back to between 1650 and 1830 CE and were used by Aborigines to hunt waterbirds before the Europeans arrived in the area. Those were probably the ones they gave the Europeans and, when they didn’t return, laughed and said “You’re doing it wrong.”
A British doctor revealed in a TikTok video that the strangest place he’s seen humans grow nipples is on the bottom of their feet. That mom’s kid is in for years of therapy.
The next celebrity taken into near space by Blue Origin will be Good Morning America co-host and NFL Hall of Fame member Michael Strahan, who will join Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of astronaut and first American in space Alan Shepard, on the Dec. 9 mission. Blue Origin should warn Strahan not to describe things during the mission with football expressions like “two-minute warning” or “sudden death overtime.”
California’s Pacific Grove Monarch Sanctuary reports the Monarch apocalypse may have been avoided as more than 20,000 of the black-and-orange butterflies have arrived for the winter and the peak season won’t arrive for several more weeks. At least Monarchs have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
NASA invited movie star Bruce Willis to the launch of the DART spacecraft that will crash into an asteroid in an attempt to deflect it, but the star of “Armageddon,” whose plot matched the mission, had better things to do. Or is NASA’s budget so small that it can’t even afford a recorded “Yippie ki yay!” from Bruce?