Welcome, one and all, once again to my (hypothetically) weekly roundup of strange and extraordinary science news. I call it Strange Days In Science. This week’s edition comes to you with a slightly new format and the promise that it’ll happen again next week. Don’t hold me to that.
Let’s get to the stories, then…
CERN’s “Cosmic Piano” Mystifies Musicians
Arturo Fernandez and Guillermo Tejeda, working on the ALICE project at CERN, have created a unique instrument that, you could say, plays the song of the universe. You can see the instrument at work in the video up there.
In truth, as Wired.co.uk shares, it actually detects passing particles and converts them into musical notes. It won’t be too long from now, I suspect — we’ll find out that what we’re actually picking up are notes from jazz musicians in a parallel universe!
A New Clue to the Curious iPhone Quandary?
One year ago today, I dipped my toes into the shallow waters of conspiracy and posted the bizarre claim that Apple iPhones are actually the product of alien technology recovered from extraterrestrial wreckage at the bottom of the ocean.
Was it true? Perhaps not. But a video uploaded on August 30, 2015 prompted many to wonder just what would cause the ants’ peculiar reaction to a ringing smartphone.
Some believe it may have been caused by electromagnetic waves generated by the phone. Others believe the video may, in fact, be a hoax.
Even so, one intrepid YouTuber hinted at a far greater purpose: “So now with apple iPhone you can summon the mighty lord of the antgod and make first contact with spiritual beings ohh hail the mighty antgod hail hail”. Looks like the cults of Cthulhu may have some interesting new competition.
Robotic Russian Cockroaches Revealed
Russian scientists have unveiled a cleverly-concealed robot spy that masquerades as an ordinary cockroach. The robot is roughly 10cm (~3.9in) long and can move up to 30cm (~11.8in) per second. Outside of the obvious spying implications, according to RT these tiny insectoid robots might also be ideal for “search and rescue missions.”
Paralyzed Patient Regains His Pace
A paralyzed man suffering a spinal cord injury is able to walk again (with assistance) thanks to a “brain-controlled system” that reroutes his brain signals to a computer. The computer then decodes those signals and sends them to a device that, according to LiveScience, “stimulate[s] the nerves in the man’s legs, causing the muscles to move.”
Pluto’s “Perplexing” Panorama
NASA’s New Horizons has brought us new high-resolution images of Pluto’s surface, a landscape described as “like tree bark or dragon scales.” Follow the link to view the high-res color images.
Other things you may have missed…
- Virtual human built from more than 5000 slices of a real woman. Careful with this one; you might find it a bit gross!
- Linking brains: Researchers at UW say they’ve done it. Kind of.
- Marines give Google’s latest robot a tryout as “working dog”
- We Emit Clouds of Microbes Wherever We Go
- Double Black Holes May Warp Spacetime – But Quietly
- ‘Lost world’ of cold weather dinosaurs discovered
- U.S. Physicists Smash Distance Record for Quantum Teleportation
- Thin Is in for Invisibility Cloaks
And that’s it for this week. Consider liking Stranger Dimensions on Facebook, or following me on Twitter. The choice is yours. Also check out these links and more with the Strange Days In Science Flipboard Magazine. I’ll see you next time. Provided the world doesn’t end by then…