Mysterious News Briefly — January 13, 2022
A huge Chinese ‘ghost ship’ found by oil rig workers in the Gulf of Thailand floating crewless with no documents or cargo on board mysteriously sank while being towed to shore. After COVID, isn’t every cruise ship a ghost ship?
Scientists at the University of New England (Australia) and the Max Planck Institute for Human History (Germany) studying samples of Liberian writing, created from scratch around 1834 by eight illiterate Liberian men who wrote in ink from the juice of crushed berries, were surprised to find that the language called Vai started out with very complex letters that simplified over time. Which came first – simplified writing or writer’s cramp?
Scavengers around the world feed on whatever is available whenever it’s available … except Tasmanian devils — a new study found they are picky scavengers who have favorite foods that differ from devil to devil. Is one of them rabbits? (Asking for a cartoon bunny.)
Researchers in Thailand discovered the first case of a genus of tarantula that lives exclusively in bamboo stalks. There goes any chance of pandas enjoying dinner.
After sequencing the genome of quinoa, researchers at Brigham Young University are developing new hybrids of the crop that are more heat tolerant, more salt tolerant and more capable of growing in very dry conditions in order to introduce the crop in areas that won’t grow anything else. Farmers would be even more appreciative if it had a name they could spell.
German and Austrian scientists used a micro-CT to study the braincase of an ankylosaur – every kid’s favorite club-tailed, spike-and-plate-covered dinosaur – and found the creatures were sluggish and deaf and those traits contributed to them being loners. At least they were well-equipped for bumping into things.
The Los Angeles house made famous by the 1984 slasher film ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ just sold for $2.8 million after being listed for $3.5 million – in the movie, the house is in the fictitious town of Springwood, Ohio. In selling a house like this, real estate agents emphasize movie location, movie location, movie location.
Researchers sequencing the DNA of hundreds of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), a common roadside weed, found that its genetic mutations are not random – an unexpected discovery that could help researchers breed better crops or help humans fight cancer. Happy non-random mutant giant killer weed nightmares to the people who make herbicides.
The autonomous vehicle company Nuro unveiled a new vehicle for delivering pizza and groceries that is equipped with a giant external airbag to protect both itself and pedestrians during inevitable collisions. Which one is responsible for taking pictures, writing down license numbers and notifying the insurance companies?
A New York man filed a lawsuit accusing a Manhattan psychic of swindling him out of more than $1 million to find him a mate and purge “dark spirits” from his life – the psychic claimed her powers got stronger the more he spent. If that was really true, the center of the universe would be Las Vegas.