Mysterious News Briefly — April 5, 2022
NASA photographed four lightning bolts, including a massive one, hitting the launch pad of the 322-foot-tall 'Mega Moon rocket' at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, during a so-called wet dress rehearsal of the world’s most powerful rocket – while impressive to look at, they did not slow the pre-launch preparations. That’s different than the “wet dress rehearsal” Broadway casts have prior to their opening night.
Evidence continues to mount that certain invertebrates, including bees and octopuses, experience emotions and pain – in a recent experiment, honey bees were shaken for 60 seconds to simulate a predatory attack and researchers found their ‘blood’ (called haemolymph) was lower in dopamine and serotonin after shaking, a result that is similar to the mood regulation dopamine and serotonin cause in humans. This explains why some ‘boomers’ long for the old days when all they had to worry about was stepping on a crack.
After collecting mushrooms on the Polynesian volcanic island of Mo’orea, scientists identified a total of 553 fungal specimens, sequenced the DNA of 433 of them, and found that most are examples of completely new-to-science species located only on Mo’orea – leading to speculation they were either blown there from Australia or other South Pacific Islands by easterly winds or brought there by humans from East Asia, Europe, and South America.
An international team of researchers in biological sciences discovered a developmental gene linked to touch in the tentacles of sea anemones as well as to hearing in humans – the pou-iv (pronounced "pow four") gene could help identify the last common ancestor of invertebrate animals and cnidarians, which include jellyfish, corals and sea anemones. A common link to jellyfish could explain those flabby muscles of yours.
Befitting of a planet with a metallic name, an international team of scientists has proved that Mercury has geomagnetic storms, similar to those on Earth, as the result of a donut-shaped ring current of charged particles flowing laterally around the planet, except for the poles, which triggers geomagnetic storms. “Mmm, Mercury donuts,” thought astronomer Homer.
When someone asks what your favorite smell is, you will be in the majority if you answer “vanilla” – a recent study asked individuals from 10 distinct cultural groups, ranging from indigenous hunter-gatherers to modern city-dwellers, to sniff 10 unique scents and rank them in order of pleasantness … and vanillin (the main component of vanilla extract) finished first, ethyl butyrate (a fruity smell) second and isovaleric acid (a pungent, unpleasant odor associated with cheese, soy milk, and sweat) finished last. If you think cheese smells like sweat, you should bid adieu to fondue.
If you’ve ever pondered why the T. rex had such tiny arms, a new paper has an unusual answer – the fierce killers evolved short arms to lower the risk of accidental bites by the massive jaws and sharp teeth other T. rexes while participating in feeding frenzies. Something to think about at your next all-you-can-eat barbecue?
If you’d like to live in air-conditioning 24-7 wherever you go and you don’t own a mobile home, this may be your solution – a company is raising money on Kickstarter for a device called the Metaura Pro which it claims is the world’s first wearable air-conditioning device capable of producing cold air that is up to 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the surrounding air by using artificial intelligence to regulate air temperature. Sounds like the perfect answer to: “Is that an ozone hole over your head or are you just glad to see me?”
A beauty salon in Quang Ninh, Vietnam, is reportedly doing a great business in artificially filling earlobes to emulate those of the Laughing Buddha (Maitreya), a Buddhist symbol of wealth and good fortune, hoping the giant lobes will bring them good luck as well. It could work ... if you define ‘good luck’ as getting a job as a walking earring store.
Dmitry Rogozin, the director general of Russia’s Roscosmos space program, continues to demand the "complete and unconditional" end of the Western sanctions on Russia or he’ll end Roscosmos cooperation on the International Space Station. When will he realize this doesn’t even make a good movie plot anymore?