Mysterious News Briefly — March 4, 2022
A new study found that male spiders of the Paratrechalea ornate species give females worthless nuptial gifts like silk-wrapped dried-up prey leftovers or plant bits. These male spiders are more commonly known as single or dead.
Six scientists people -- one Emirati, two Americans and three Russians – are currently sealed inside a capsule in Moscow as part of a joint NASA and Russian Space Program eight-month isolation experiment and might be the only people on Earth who don't know about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. When it’s opened in June 2022, they should first be supplied with copies of Rip Van Winkle.
A jogger found a strange, slimy alien-looking creature, about 4 cm (1.5 inches) in size, in Marrickville, Australia, on Monday and neither experts nor the general public have been able to identify it – suggestions range from alien to some sort of aquatic or marine embryo. It’s nice to see a strange creature in Australia that isn’t climbing out of a toilet.
Ron Garan, a former NASA astronaut who flew on missions in 2008 and 2011, says humans should colonize the Moon and explore the solar system … but not before fixing environmental issues on Earth to prove we can develop sustainable settlements elsewhere. That makes so much sense … it’s no wonder space agencies and private space companies are ignoring him.
Defying conventional wisdom, new research on trees at the edges of forests in the northeastern United States found that these trees grew nearly twice as fast and had a higher density than those in the interior, meaning more carbon is stored in their roots, trunks, and leaves – a key for reducing carbon dioxide emissions due to climate change. Finally, an example of where living on the edge is a good thing.
New research on data acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft shows bright brine residues and organics in the Urvara basin, one of the largest impact structures on the dwarf planet Ceres, which implies that Ceres is a geologically active world moving stuff from its interior to the surface. As Elton John would say, Ceres still ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids.
Scientists at Australia’s Curtin University have developed a new way to study sand and determine the "age distribution fingerprint" of the mineral zircon in the sand, which can then be used to reveal more about the evolution of the surface of the Earth across billions of years – zircon crystals are formed when continents crash into each other. Wasn’t Zircon one of the Coneheads?
Dartmouth researchers have built an artificial intelligence model for detecting mental disorders using conversations on Reddit – focusing on emotions and emotional transitions rather than specific content of social media posts. Big AI is watching.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the world’s first drug-delivering contact lens that's coated with ketotifen, a widely used antihistamine used to treat allergies such as hay fever, which will help people who wear contact lenses but also suffer from allergies that can irritate their eyes. Does this mean you can find lost contacts with a drug-sniffing dog? (Asking for a friend who constantly drops them.)
“Saturday Night Live” star and Kim Kardashian boyfriend Pete Davidson is rumored to be close to signing a deal to join Jeff Bezos on a Blue Origin flight later this year. The Fermi Paradox will be replaced by the Funny Paradox – if there are billions of inhabitable planets, why don’t we hear any ETs laughing?
A newly discovered fossilized stegosaur found recently in China lived 170 million years ago, during the Middle Jurassic Bajocian age, and measured just 2.8 meters (9 feet) from its nose to the tip of its spiny tail – making it a new species (Bashanosaurus primitivus), the oldest stegosaur ever found in Asia and possibly in the world, and the smallest ever found. At that tiny size, a T. rex could have used it for a backscratcher.