Mysterious News Briefly — December 20, 2021
A new species of cave snails (Iberozospeum costulatum) recently discovered in Spain are only a few millimeters long, transparent and have many rows of very pointy two-pronged teeth which they use to sift through the cave mud for food particles. Escar-gross?
Stabilizers installed on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to keep it steady in strong winds are working, but they emit a hum that annoys locals, so in 2022 thousands of 1/8th inch U-shaped aluminum clips with rubber inserts will be added to silence the hum. Now how will we know when the bridge is thinking?
NASA released a brief recording of sounds collected by the Juno spacecraft on its flyby of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede and the abrupt changes to higher frequencies made when it passes into a different region in Ganymede's magnetosphere are clearly audible. Are Jovians annoyed by the hum?
While ufologists worry about invasions by space aliens, biologists and botanists are warning about invasions by aliens from Earth – invasive plant species which are colonizing ecosystems, displacing native species, driving some to extinction and homogenizing nature to a few plants that live well with humans. If the state of plants in offices are a sign – we’re doomed.
Russia’s space chief Dmitry Rogozin says he plans to fight the U.S. for space tourism supremacy with a special module on the ISS for Russia's visitors, spacewalks outside the station, and tourist trips around the moon. It’s hard to believe when the Russian module is leaking and they don’t even have an inspirational TV series called “Star Trekski.”
The Search for Lost Birds, a collaboration between Re:wild, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and BirdLife International, has launched a world-wide effort to support expeditions to find 10 birds that haven’t had a confirmed sighting in a decade or more – the list includes Vilcabamba brush-finch last seen in 1968 in Peru, the Himalayan quail last seen 1877 in India, and the Siau scops-owl last seen in 1866 in Indonesia. Get ready for your parrot to start demanding you donate to the cause.
Ascento Robotics unveiled the Ascento Pro – a two-wheeled autonomous robot can climb up and down full flights of stairs and travel flat surfaces at speeds of up to 7.5 mph for eight hours before needing a recharge. Will all of these delivery robots rise up and revolt when the economy collapses and no one can afford to buy things?
After spending 50 years in a warehouse, a box of lunar samples collected by Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan, the last human to walk on the Moon, is about to be reopened by the European Space Agency, which received it as a gift from NASA. It will be a bad sign if Harrison Ford shows up and yells for everyone to cover their eyes.
Japanese billionaire fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, his producer and a Russian cosmonaut returned to Earth after spending 12 days at the International Space Station. If he’s smart, he’ll earn his next billion making relaxed fit spacesuits for space tourists.
A team of physicists claims to have entangled a superconducting qubit and a tardigrade by freezing the tardigrade, entangling it with two superconducting transmon qubits, thawing them out and watching the tardigrade live to brag about becoming the first living organism to be quantum entangled. What we need now is a living organism who can explain it it’s really true and what quantum entanglement is.