Mysterious News Briefly — January 12, 2022
Officials at Big Bend National Park in Texas on the Mexican border report that 3,000-year-old Native American petroglyphs in the park have been damaged irreparably by vandals scratching their names and other graffiti on the rocks. Haven’t these people heard of bathroom walls?
A presentation at the virtual 239th meeting of the American Astronomical Society revealed the discovery of a mini supermassive black hole in the dwarf galaxy Mrk 462 110 million light-years from Earth –at just 200,000 times the mass of the Sun away, it’s one of the smallest supermassive black holes ever seen. This is proof that astronomers love oxymorons.
Some parents are becoming concerned that their young children playing with virtual reality medieval fantasy games seem to enjoy using virtual swords to slice off the arms and legs of characters and throw them around. These are obviously parents who have never seen King Arthur and the Black Knight in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’.
Tesla has been testing options in “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) mode that allow owners to customize the driving personality of their car – choosing between “Chill,” “Average,” and “Assertive” profiles to program the car to do things like assertively roll through stop signs rather than chill out while in a compete stop. Have Tesla developers not heard of hackers and road rage?
If you look up “pristine,” you no longer see a picture of Antarctica as a new study found that ships from 1,500 ports around the globe visit Antarctica regularly and bring invasive species like mussels, barnacles, crabs and algae attached to their hulls. Is it any wonder that penguin wings are evolving to grow a middle finger?
A recent study published in Paläontologische Zeitschrift (Paleontological Journal) suggests that shortly after it was created by a collision, the Moon was 15 times closer to Earth, even closer than geosynchronous satellites are today, and its orbit caused excessive tidal heat in the oceans and triggered global volcanic activity that filled the atmosphere with greenhouse gases. Was this a time when werewolves were the dominant species and humans were the monsters?
If you’ve ever thought that what this world needs to fix all of our problems is a good supervolcano eruption, researchers studying the history of China may agree with you – they’ve discovered that nearby volcanic eruptions may have contributed to the collapse of many dynasties because their dust clouds cooled the climate and affected agricultural production. This is still preliminary, so don’t start planning to storm Yellowstone just yet.
Italy’s Lazzarini Design Studio unveiled plans for the Air Yacht – a 490-foot combination yacht-blimp with a pool and a helipad whose solar-powered electric propellers allow it to reach 60 knots on water, then rise into the air, hover and fly using its twin helium-filled blimps. Oh, the superrich humanity!
The journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences reports that ocean temperatures in 2021 were the hottest ever recorded by humans – breaking the record set in 2020, which broke the record set in 2019. Look up “ocean” in the dictionary and you’ll find a photo of a crawfish boil.
Chemists at the Université de Montréal (UdeM) in Canada have built an antenna out of DNA measuring just five nanometers in length, making it the tiniest antenna ever erected. Good luck getting molecules to do anything once they’ve discovered TV.