Amazon unveiled some major enhancements to its home robot, Astro, that will allow it to watch pets while the owner is away, wander around the house monitoring doors and windows so it can send an alert if one was left open or is opened by a burglar, and link up to a home security camera system record break-ins and call the authorities. That’s impressive, but it’s still tough to feel comfortable trusting your valuables to a robo-cop that a crook can dropkick out the back door.
Researchers using facial reconstruction software on a human skull found in 1881 buried inside a cave in Mladeč, a village in what is now the Czech Republic, have corrected an error by the archeologists who found it – the image generated of the human who lived during the Aurignacian in the Upper Paleolithic period (roughly 43,000 to 26,000 years ago) was not a male but a 17-year-old female. She has the face that launched a thousand guys to try and invent the wheel and take her on a date.
A total of 111 vessels of varying makes and models, crewed by a total of 350 participants, rowed 21 miles across Loch Ness from Fort Augustus to Dores to complete the “Monster The Loch Challenge” – the only rule was that the boats must be exclusively human powered. The poor guy taking calls from people spotting the monster on those grainy Nessie cams should have taken his phone off the hook.
Self-proclaimed TikTok time traveler @timevoyaging gave his forecasts and warnings for the rest of 2022 and they included a group of 5 teenagers will discover a T-Rex egg and a device to other universes, a large UFO will land near Area 51 with aliens onboard, and dragons will be discovered in the mountains of Mexico.” If there are dragons in Mexico, why are there no dragon tacos?
An international team of scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Oxford, and the Natural History Museum, discovered that a well-preserved fossil of an armored worm dating back 518 million years ago that appears to be the ancestor of three major groups of living animals -- brachiopods (which looked like a clam), phoronids (“horseshoe worms”) and bryozoans (“moss animals”). With that discovery, it goes from none to three cards on Father’s Day.
A robot developed at Oregon State University's College of Engineering broke a Guinness World Record by running 100 meters on two legs in 24.73 seconds – the fastest time ever for a bipedal robot. Human 100 meters world record holder Usain Bolt was more concerned about whether it will get an endorsement and cut into his shoe sales.
Speaking of athletic shoes, a conspiracy theory making the rounds on social media claims that the new Reebok Classic Leather Decortiqué Tabi Low shoes are "satanic" – some people say the split toe shoe was designed to resemble the hoofed feet of Baphomet, a goat deity allegedly worshiped by the Knights Templar and now incorporated into various occult practices. Get ready for a conspiracy theory about a satanic bipedal robot wearing the Reeboks challenging the Oregon State robot to a race for its AI soul.
To correct a common complaint about self-driving cars, engineers at the University of Tokyo added robotic googly eyes onto their self-driving ‘Gazing Car’ so that people walking in the road or crossing it know if the vehicle has spotted them – the giant bug eyes would turn to ‘look’ at a pedestrian when they detected them. Now we need a self-driving car that rolls its eyes when it sees the old-fashioned driver-controlled vehicles.
Some sad news for Canadian tourists – Hurricane Fiona slammed into the natural sandstone landmark known as 'Teacup Rock' on the shore of Prince Edward Island's Thunder Cove Beach, knocked it over and swept it out to sea. Said Niagara Falls: “Hey! I’m still here.”
A couple in Thailand visited a graveyard and then bought a lottery ticket, which won them the jackpot; in gratitude, they held a barbecue dinner at the cemetery to honor the spirits, then bought another ticket and won a second jackpot, which brought their winnings to $263,000, so they held another cemetery dinner, this time with a sushi bar and Japanese food prepared by a chef and served by waiters to 10 tables that were obviously empty. They’d like to quit playing the lottery and hosting cemetery dinners but local restaurant owners are counting on them.
The Education Minister of Fiji issued a warning to parents that any students will be sent home if they are caught playing Charlie-Charlie – a pencil-balancing fortune-telling game that ten children at a primary school were caught playing despite the fact that Charlie-Charlie is banned in Fijian schools. Taking pencils away won’t help – they’ll just try balancing their cell phones.
MIT biomedical engineers have unveiled a multivitamin-sized device called the Robo-Cap which uses surface grooves, studs and fins to scrub away intestinal mucus like a miniature brush whirling inside a bottle while releasing insulin or other drugs which mucous would normally block from absorption in the gut. Before you try to convince your doctor to give you a prescription, they won’t get rid of slugs in your garden.
Dental researchers at Tongji University in Shanghai have developed tooth implants with hearing aids inside them that transmit sound through the jawbone to the inner ear and work better than hearing aids or cochlear implants, especially when placed in front teeth rather than molars. They’ll be more popular as soon as the engineers develop silent electric toothbrushes.
A new study found that dogs can detect when humans are stressed based on the scent profiles we produce and can discriminate between human breath and sweat before and after a stressful task – an ability that could improve the training of service dogs for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Too bad they can’t smell the stress you’re going to have BEFORE they chew up your favorite shoes.
Researchers at Heriot-Watt University created a laser insect control device with automated machine vision which is able to detect cockroaches at high accuracy, then "neutralizes” them with a high-powered laser beam at a distance up to 1.2 meters (4 feet) – while it is made with off-the-shelf parts and is cheaper than other roach-control devices, the scientists warn that the laser not only burns roaches but also human retinas. And you just know those crafty roaches are already working on tiny mirrors.
British singer Brocarde announced she plans to marry her ghost boyfriend (he’s the spirit of a Victorian soldier) in Las Vegas on Halloween despite the fact that he has a jealous streak and hides her lingerie because it shows “too much skin” for his Victorian tastes – she’s convinced he’ll show up for the wedding even though her disapproving friends and family won’t. The ghost of Elvis would make the perfect Vegas wedding singer since Wayne Newton isn’t dead yet.
Scot Ron Halliday, a paranormal investigator, claims the Loch Ness Monster may exist in a Stranger Things-style parallel universe and it is actually a dinosaur that lived in the past in our own universe. If Nessie had a preference, it would probably rather live in the parallel universe of a show that gets better ratings.
Astronomers from Lund University in Sweden used data from the Gaia space telescope to show that large parts of the Milky Way's outer disk vibrate and the ripples are caused by a dwarf galaxy, now seen in the constellation Sagittarius, that got too close to the Milky Way as it passed by hundreds of millions of years ago. Should that era now be called the Age of Vibrarius … and is anyone working on a song?
A deep-sea angler reeled in a mysterious “nightmare” shark with protruding human-like teeth – they look like a person pushing out their false teeth -- from a depth of around 2,130 feet off the coast of New South Wales in Australia and it baffled shark experts and everyone on social media, but the majority think it was an endeavor dogfish (Centrophorus moluccensis), a species of gulper shark that were once hunted for their liver oil but are now highly endangered. If this were a song, it would be “Mack the Needs Braces.”
Tintagel Castle, the Cornish fortress where King Arthur was allegedly conceived, is in danger of falling in the sea as the cliffs it is built on wear away due to erosion caused by rising waters which are blamed on climate change. Apparently when the castle was built, Merlin waved his hand and told the inspector, “These are not the blueprints you are looking for.”