Mysterious News Briefly — November 8, 2021
Indigenous Samoan scientists say a Samoan traditional medicine called 'matalafi' could be as potent as ibuprofen in alleviating inflammation associated with fevers, swelling, and skin infections. The challenge will be finding an indigenous childproof bottle to market it in.
For those who are still puzzled about how getting hit by lightning could kill you, especially when there is nothing left as evidence but bones, a new study found that the electrical jolt of a lightning bolt causes extensive micro-fracturing and fragmentation of the skeleton, causing a ‘barotrauma’ which literally blows bone cells apart. Are your chances higher if your name is Rod? (Asking for a friend.)
Geologists have determined that a series of small but annoying earthquakes northwest of Columbia, South Carolina, are caused by Lake Monticello, a man-made lake built more than 40 years ago, in a process called "reservoir-induced seismicity" where a reservoir is built over rocks that contain fluid-filled fractures that crack under pressure. Ironically, a different kind of pressure takes the pressure off of frackers.
Enjoy your real beef from real cows burgers while you can -- a new facility in the San Francisco Bay area is producing 50,000 pounds of lab grown meat per year and has the capacity to produce 400,000 pounds a year. Get ready for a new McDonald’s character – Pete Treedish.
If you need some incentive to learn a second language, a new study by New York University scientists found that the human mind is built to be bilingual because the brain has a sharing mechanism for combining words from one language and combining words from two different languages. Tell that to the person in front of you at Taco Bell who requests an interpreter.
A lost Steller’s sea eagle turned up recently in Nova Scotia -- 4,700 miles away from its native range in China, Japan and Korea and the east coast of Russia, and it may have been seen earlier this year in South Texas. Depending on which cable news channel you prefer, this is either an accident or a spy mission.
A Brazilian medical journal reports that a baby born prematurely at 35 weeks had a real 12 cm (4.75 inch) tail with a 4 cm (1,5 inch) diameter ball at its tip – both were removed by surgeons once they determined it would not harm the baby boy. He was not worshiped as a god, which happens with similar cases in other cultures, but he’s guaranteed a lifetime of A’s during show-and-tell at school.
A couple in Scotland recorded a flying humanoid going “across the sky going from the northwest of Glasgow towards the southwest” that some people thought was a balloon while others said was an ET checking the progress at the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. “If they can’t identify this, good luck with the greenhouse gases,” thought the ET.
The egg-shaped asteroid 4660 Nereus or 1982 DB is about 330 meters long -- making it taller than the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Washington Monument – and will pass by Earth on December 11 at a distance of approximately 3.9 million km, making it not really dangerous but a good candidate for future explorations. Does comparing asteroids to tourist attractions help NASA recruit future astronauts?
Researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame and the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology 3D-printed a swarm of ant-like machines capable of working cooperatively, calling for help and completing complex tasks without additional guidance from programmers. If they can figure out how to haul away sugar like real ants, we may have witnessed our last Halloween.