Kirk in Space, Robot Dog Snipers, the First Acrobats and More Mysterious News Briefly — October 14, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — October 14, 2021

Captain Kirk finally flew into (near) space as William Shatner rode boldly for 10 minutes in a Blue Origin capsule, telling Jeff Bezos tearfully upon landing that “What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened.” Bezos popped some champagne to celebrate that Kirk/Shatner never once said, “Beam me up, Jeffy.”

The mystery of Hamilton’s Object – twin galaxies with identical parallel dark streaks across the galactic bulge – has been solved as astronomers discovered a clumpy cluster of galaxies in front of it causing gravitational lensing that made one galaxy appear as identical twins. Does original discoverer, astronomer Timothy Hamilton of Shawnee State University, have to give back half of his finder’s award?

Man’s best friend isn’t so friendly when roboticized – the US defense companies S.W.O.R.D. International and Ghost Robotics joined forces to build Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Q-UGV), a robot dog with a sniper rifle on its back that can hit a target .75 miles (12 meters) away. Look for our enemies to begin work on robotic squirrels.

According to new research, the first known mention of a human acrobat or huppû was found in administrative documents from the ancient city of Ebla (Tell Mardikh) in Syria in 2320 BCE, when they performed for the king and at special festivals. Was this before or after the invention of the net?

A rare two-headed diamondback terrapin turtle with six legs that was hatched two weeks ago is still alive, thriving and eating at the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts – the heads operate independently and are connected to two separate gastrointestinal systems. It will join the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as soon as they find twin Renaissance artists to name it after.

Archeologists studying the poop of an Iron Age salt miner found in what is now the Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut area of Austria found that he and his fellow Europeans ate blue cheese and drank beer 2,700 years ago. That gastronomic combo gives an idea of what the mine smelled like.

Scientists studying endangered African penguins found that the birds can visualize the face of a member of their colony simply by hearing their voice – a rare skill they may have developed to improve communication in their rocky and windswept habitat.

Astronomers have determined that white dwarf star LAMOST J0240+1952, located 2,000 light years away in the constellation Aries, spins every 25 seconds – making it the fastest-spinning star of any kind ever seen. Sounds like the perfect location for the first galactic amusement park.

Jaguars are thought to be loners and land-based hunters, but cameras set up near Brazil’s Taiamã Ecological Station in the remote, northern reaches of the Pantanal tropical wetland reserve recorded large groups of jaguars wading through water hunting for fish in packs and later playing together on land. That will end when they discover canned tuna and humans with can-openers.

A new study based on computer models, fossil records and information from living mammals proposes that the ancestors of primates and marsupials survived the dinosaur-killing asteroid hit 66 million years ago by climbing down from trees and learning to live on the ground. A pain for many but a welcome change for monkeys afraid of heights.

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