Mysterious News Briefly — February 11, 2022
An amateur Tunisian historian spent 14 years learning how to make royal purple dye from sea snail shells using the technique developed by ancient Phoenicians to produce Tyrian purple dye that sells online for about $2,500 a gram. “Why not just wash your red boxers with your blue socks?” asked every guy?
More prime Loch Ness monster-watching real estate is for sale as a five-bedroom property which lies just outside the popular Highland village of Drumnadrochit – home to the Loch Ness Centre and Nessieland – has been placed on the market for offers over $522,000 (£385,000). Put a couple of logs just offshore and you’ve got the perfect money-making Airbnb.
The Canadian and Israeli company BioHarvest Sciences has announced the successful production of 22 pounds of fully viable cannabis biomass in a lab without the need for a farm or a lot of energy. Does lab-grown pot give one the munchies for lab-grown chicken nuggets?
A researcher in Venice claims he’s found a will that reveals Marco Polo had a daughter out of wedlock in Venice who claimed she had a “strong and trusting relationship” with her father. When her kids played in the pool, did they yell “Marco” … “Grandpapa”?
A blackboard owned by University of Cambridge cosmologist Stephen Hawking, which was covered with cartoons, doodles and equations at a superspace conference he arranged in 1980, has been put on display for the first time and the university hopes attendees will come by to explain what some of the sketches and comments mean. Too bad they didn’t save the graffiti these geniuses wrote on the bathroom wall.
Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile have found evidence of a third planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Solar System, and at just a quarter of Earth's mass, Proxima d is one of the lightest exoplanets ever found and orbits Proxima Centauri at less than a tenth of Mercury's distance from the Sun. The first SETI message from Proxima d will probably be, “Is it hot everywhere or just here?”
Gotland, the largest island in Sweden, has a severe scarcity of fresh water so a local company is collecting urine from waterless urinals and specialized toilets that it will into concrete-like chunks that they turn into fertilizer pellets for a barley farm that will go to a brewery to make ale which locals will drink to produce urine … and so on. Would this be called a pee-petual motion machine?
The Lightyear company has finished testing the Lightyear One -- a solar-powered car with a top speed of 130kph (80mph) and a range of more than 700km (434 miles) at lower speeds -- and will start selling them this summer to those who make a €150,000 ($171,000) down payment. The range is lower if you park under a tree of pigeons.
While on a flyby of Venus on its way to the Sun, the Parker Solar Probe captured visible light from the surface beaming through the planet’s heavy clouds – the first time this light has been photographed from space. A concert by a Velvet Underground tribute band playing “Venus in Furs”?
The science of rainmaking has moved from cloud seeding to cloud shocking as meteorologists at the University of Reading are flying drones equipped with ionizers into clouds to release positive and negative charges into the air that help vapor droplets bond with lesser charged droplets – even with the same charge – and make heavier droplets that fall to Earth as rain. Get ready for a maniac with a giant stun gun flooding the world in a new blockbuster movie: “Shocknado”