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10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (1/12/19)

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (1/12/19)

On Listverse, one other Saturday means one other record which seems to be at a few of the strangest information tales to make the rounds over the previous few days. There’s additionally the Friday record which explores the essential subjects of the week.

We begin off the brand new yr with a number of science tales overlaying quite a lot of fields. We have now some machine-on-machine violence and controversy surrounding the newest, high-tech feminine intercourse toy. Crows dazzle us with their intelligence, whereas crickets are apparently chargeable for a Cuban “sonic assault.” We discover the science behind double-dipping and marvel at mysterious alerts coming from outer area.

10 A Doping Scandal

A 90-year-old bike owner was stripped of his world report after failing a drug check.

Again in July 2018, Carl Grove from Bristol, Indiana, took half within the US Masters Monitor Nationwide Championships. He gained within the 90–94 age group, however this was not shocking as he was the one competitor. He additionally set a brand new world document. Nevertheless, america Anti-Doping Company (USADA) stripped him of his report after the bike owner acquired two doping violations.

Grove submitted a pattern the day of the competitors on July 11, and it examined constructive for epitrenbolone. He was additionally utilizing a complement discovered to be contaminated with clomiphene. Nevertheless, one other pattern that Grove submitted the day prior had no traces of prohibited substances.

Plainly the USADA is inclined to consider the bike owner’s excuse that the medicine “extra probably than not” got here from tainted cow liver he ate the night time earlier than the race. Grove has solely been issued a public warning however should race once more if he needs his report again.[1]

9 An Costly Fish

An enormous bluefin tuna bought for a report 333.6 million yen ($three.1 million) at a New Yr’s public sale in Tokyo.

The fish weighed in at 278 kilograms (612 lbs) and was purchased by Kiyoshi Kimura, the self-proclaimed “Tuna King” who owns a sequence of sushi eating places. The sale passed off at a particular public sale commemorating the closing of the famend Tsukiji fish market, which was among the many largest seafood markets on the planet. It closed final yr to make room for parking for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and moved to the brand new Toyosu facility.

Kimura expressed some purchaser’s regret after the public sale. He anticipated the fish to go for 30–60 million yen, however he ended up paying over 5 occasions that. The Tuna King’s buy doubled the earlier document of 155 million yen which was set on the 2013 New Yr’s public sale.

There was additionally lots of satisfaction concerned within the sale. Kimura had paid the highest worth for a fish at six consecutive New Yr’s auctions till final yr when one other businessman outbid him. This yr, Kimura made positive that he took again the title.[2]

eight An Sudden Comeback

Axl Rose has launched his first new track in over a decade, and he did it in a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Again within the ’90s, Weapons N’ Roses was among the many hottest music teams on the planet. Nevertheless, tensions between band members triggered an extended recording hiatus following the discharge of their 1993 album, The Spaghetti Incident? It took one other 15 years for Weapons N’ Roses to launch their subsequent album, Chinese language Democracy, to a lukewarm reception.

This triggered entrance man Axl Rose to go on one other lengthy hiatus. Throughout that interval, he nonetheless toured, regrouped with the band’s basic lineup, and even carried out as AC/DC’s new lead singer. However he didn’t document any new materials.

That modified just lately when he launched “Rock the Rock.”[3] The music video options Axl in animated type alongside Bugs Bunny and different Looney Tunes characters rocking out in an effort to cease an asteroid. The video itself is a snippet from an upcoming New Looney Tunes episode.

7 A Daft Mistake

Students from the British Museum admitted to being “daft” after realizing that an artifact that they had been displaying as an historic vase was truly the top of a mace turned the wrong way up.

Till the top of the month, the British Museum is showcasing an exhibition titled No Man’s Land. It presents objects which inform the story of the primary border battle on document between the Sumerian cities of Lagash and Umma through the third millennium BC.

Nevertheless, whereas researching the exhibit, curators found that considered one of their artifacts was not what they thought in any respect. One among their “vases” truly turned out to be a weapon positioned the wrong way up.

Students realized their blunder after evaluating their object with an analogous one at Yale College. The artifact was truly the top of a mace or membership which was made for King Gishakidu of Umma. Now that it’s right-side up, the ornament on it makes a bit extra sense. It’s a depiction of a internet which was used to immobilize individuals for execution.[4]

6 A Fallen Robotic

A singular motoring accident befell on the streets of Las Vegas. Digital camera footage exhibits a “self-driving” automotive committing a hit-and-run on a robotic.

The sheer bizarreness of the occasion plus the truth that the town is presently internet hosting CES 2019, the most important electronics commerce present on the earth, has individuals skeptical of the video’s authenticity. The truth is, most have labeled it a publicity stunt. They’re in all probability right, though nothing is official simply but.[5]

The robotic is known as Promobot and is the creation of a Russian firm additionally referred to as Promobot. It was run down by a Tesla Mannequin S. The Russian group wasted no time in milking the “accident” for max publicity. Spokespeople for Promobot have given interviews and a press launch mourning their fallen comrade. As of this writing, neither Promobot nor Tesla has commented on the alleged hoax.

5 A Sonic Conundrum

Over the previous few years, a number of US diplomats and their relations residing on the US embassy in Cuba have complained of unusual noises. These introduced on quite a few signs comparable to vertigo, dizziness, and ringing within the ears. US officers feared they have been being focused by a “sonic assault,” however new analysis means that the weird noises have been simply crickets.

The issue began in 2016. In late 2017, an audio pattern of the sound was first launched to the general public. It has been described as “piercing squeals” and “grinding metallic.” Nevertheless, individuals have been unable to determine the supply of the noise. As anticipated, Cuban officers have vehemently denied orchestrating any sort of “sonic assault” on their American counterparts.

Two scientists from the College of California, Berkeley, and the College of Lincoln in England declare that the sound is brought on by the Indies short-tailed cricket. They’ve analyzed the audio pattern, and a number of traits similar to oscillations per pulse, repetition fee, energy spectrum, and period match the insect’s chirps.

There are some inconsistencies between the 2 which the researchers blame on the truth that the recording was made indoors whereas the crickets have been outdoors.

The research has not been peer-reviewed but, so it’s removed from a closed case. Furthermore, the 2 scientists are stating that simply the noises have been made by crickets. They aren’t discounting the likelihood that embassy personnel have been additionally the victims of an assault or that their signs have been psychosomatic.[6]

four A Contentious Intercourse Toy

There’s extra controversy from the Shopper Electronics Present (CES). The organizers have been accused of gender bias after banning a feminine intercourse toy despite the fact that intercourse know-how aimed toward males has been showcased up to now.

The Ose private massager is a hands-free system which makes use of micro-robotic know-how to imitate the sensations of a human tongue and fingers. It was developed by Oregon start-up Lora DiCarlo. Extra than simply being introduced at CES, the gadget was initially chosen because the CES 2019 Innovation Awards honoree within the Robotics and Drone class.

The corporate’s celebration was short-lived. Organizers contacted Lora DiCarlo with dangerous information: Not solely have been they not receiving an award anymore, however they might not even be allowed to exhibit the Ose massager at CES 2019.

They organizers claimed that the gadget is just not eligible for an award as a result of it doesn’t match into any present product classes. It additionally can’t be showcased as a result of it was deemed by the Shopper Know-how Affiliation to be “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in line with CTA’s picture.”[7]

Lora DiCarlo founder Lora Haddock identified that Ose was developed in partnership with the robotics lab of Oregon State College and has eight pending patents encompassing robotics, biomimicry, and engineering. Subsequently, it clearly matches within the Robotics and Drone class.

So far as the gadget being obscene, Haddock additionally noticed that VR porn is a staple of CES and that a intercourse robotic named Solana debuted eventually yr’s commerce present with no objections.

three A Sensible Hen

Everyone knows that crows are actually clever animals. However the birds have lately been noticed exhibiting a capability beforehand solely ascribed to people—they will infer the load of an object by the way it strikes within the wind.

If there are a number of gadgets on a desk and a breeze blows a few of them away, we perceive that these are lighter than the gadgets which stood nonetheless. In response to a research carried out on the College of Cambridge, apparently, so do New Caledonian crows.[8]

Through the experiment, researchers educated 12 birds to discriminate between mild and heavy objects. Half of them have been rewarded once they dropped mild gadgets right into a meals dispenser, whereas the opposite half needed to drop heavy objects.

After this preliminary part, the crows have been then introduced with new gadgets that they had by no means seen earlier than. These have been suspended from strings and positioned in entrance of an electrical fan in order that the birds might see how they swayed within the wind. Lastly, the crows have been allowed to select between the 2 objects.

The birds chosen the thing that may earn them a reward in 73 % of instances. With the fan turned off, they did no higher than probability.

Whereas this appears to point that crows can infer weight, this experiment has by no means been carried out with different animals. So we don’t understand how widespread the power is. Research lead writer Sarah Jelbert want to see it run once more with primates.

2 A Double-Dipped Chip

Most individuals have in all probability double-dipped sooner or later. That’s whenever you dip a chip, take a chew, after which dip once more. However have they been exposing the people round them to giant quantities of micro organism? A brand new experiment says “sure.”

Meals scientists Paul Dawson and Brian Sheldon have just lately revealed a guide titled Did You Simply Eat That? It appears at the most typical concepts about meals security to see if there’s any science to again them up.

Double-dipping is an idea that has been round for some time, however it was popularized in an episode of Seinfeld. In response to one character, double-dipping is “like placing your entire mouth proper within the dip.”

For his or her experiment, researchers dipped and double-dipped chips in chocolate sauce, cheese dip, and salsa. Then they checked the quantity of micro organism switch. Professor Dawson admitted that he didn’t anticipate to see a lot distinction because of the small floor measurement of the chip.[9]

Nevertheless, there have been truly round 1,000 extra micro organism per milliliter of dip within the case of double-dipping. Dawson referred to as this a “vital quantity” which was extra just like person-to-person transfers of contagious illnesses than common foodborne maladies.

The researchers additionally examined the five-second rule. It says that in case you drop meals on the ground, it’s nonetheless suitable for eating for those who decide it up inside 5 seconds. Dawson referred to as this a recreation of “Russian roulette” as it’s the kind of floor that really issues, not the period. Carpet turned out to be higher than tiles or a picket flooring as carpet truly soaked up the salmonella used within the experiment.

1 A Mysterious Sign

Astronomers from Canada have detected puzzling area alerts coming from a distant galaxy.

These sorts of alerts are often known as quick radio bursts (FRBs), they usually solely final a number of milliseconds on common. On this case, the repeating radio waves picked up by the CHIME telescope in British Columbia emanated from the identical supply situated about 1.5 billion light-years away.

Astronomers made the invention final yr and now have revealed their findings in Nature. Though dozens of single FRBs have been detected, that is solely the second time that we have now noticed a repeating FRB.

Whereas we don’t know the precise origin of the radio alerts, scientists do have a couple of concepts. They assume it could possibly be two neutron stars colliding with one another or only one neutron star quickly spinning in a area with a excessive magnetic subject. There are additionally a number of hypotheses implicating black holes. They’re both collapsing, devouring a neutron star, or being hit by darkish matter.[10]

In fact, there has additionally been speak that it might be aliens. Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb believes that FRBs might come from power beams used to propel spacecraft.

Even skeptics like Duncan Lorimer, the scientist who found the primary FRB in 2007, can’t rule out the likelihood. Nevertheless, he thinks a magnetized neutron star is extra believable.