Mysterious News Briefly — April 14, 2021
The biggest smalltooth sawfish ever measured washed ashore last week in the Florida Keys – a female measuring 16 feet (4.9 meters) in length and weighing as much as an adult horse. Sad, but any fish resembling wood are sleeping easier tonight.
From the “Duh” file comes a new study that confirms what people working from home during the pandemic already know … we only need to work eight hours a week – less than two hours a day — to get the psychological benefits of working up to 48 hours. Helpful hint – don’t read this out loud during office Zoom calls.
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) are simulating ways to blast dangerous incoming asteroids to bits using two different neutron energy sources, fission and fusion, with deflection being preferred over blowing them into smaller bits. Do they run the simulations over and over so everyone at the lab gets a chance to yell, “Yippee Ki Yay!”?
The producers of ‘Space Hero’, a reality show competition to send a civilian into space on a $55 million, 10-day trip to the ISS, signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to facilitate initial cooperation and information sharing between the parties. This will never fly unless they can figure out how to make skimpy spacesuits.
Domino’s has joined forces with robotics company Nuro to deliver pizzas in Houston, Texas, using R2 – the first fully autonomous on-road delivery vehicle to be approved by the Department of Transportation. If only there was a Department of Pizza.
From the “That’s what we were afraid of” file comes a study which found that the rapid extinction of megafauna (mammals like giant sloths, wombats and flightless birds) around the world 40,000-to-10,000 years ago was likely the result of complex, localized scenarios, including regional climate change variations and different impacts from humans. Do you feel the sudden urge to visit a natural history museum and apologize to a mammoth … or is it just me?
Scientists at MIT have translated the three-dimensional structure of a spider’s web into music and added an interactive virtual reality component to allow people to enter and interact with the web. As expected, the first thing everyone tries to play is the opening riff to “Smoke on the Water.”
Android’s Digital Wellbeing service is getting a new “Heads Up” feature which will prompt users to stop staring at their phones while walking with instructions like “Watch your step,” “Stay alert,” and “Look up.” How about “Stop chewing gum,” “Isn’t that Justin Bieber?” and “Too late – dialing 911”?
A lightning strike killed 68 goats in Arcos de Valdevez, Portugal, recently and the shepherd claims their bodies were all in a line without a mark on them, making him think they “exploded inside.“ Should this be called a chupa-Kaboom-bra?
A new study found that women with elevated stress before, during, and after conception are twice as likely to deliver a girl, possibly because sperm carrying an X chromosome are better equipped to reach the egg under adverse conditions. Men who want a boy – sounds like it’s up to you.