The Evil Scientist’s Dream Come True: A Laser Beam Strong Enough to Blow Up the Sun.
Austin Power’s Dr. Evil would be excited to learn that only a few years into the new millennium we have invented a laser beam one million times brighter than our sun!
Well, technically, it is a particle accelerator and it was built to simulate nuclear explosions and generate supercomputer data. Still, in 10 years of life, the “Z machine” has produced temperatures of up to 2 billion degrees Kelvin, which according to Popular Mechanics, is actually hotter than the inside of our sun.
The Z machine even generated enough pressure to melt a diamond! We can all be thankful this machine is safely stored at Brookhaven National Laboratory rather than some evil genius’s lair. For now, anyway!
People dancing “Hare Krishna” near the beach in Tel Aviv
Dance Fever Can Literally Be Deadly!
According to Oddee.com , “Dance Mania” is not only a genuine disease, but has left thousands dead in outbreaks ranging from the 13th to the 17th centuries! After the first recorded outbreak in Aachen, Germany in July 1374, Dance Mania reportedly reached its peak in 1418 in Strasbourg after spreading throughout France and southern Europe. The 1418 outbreak got so bad that one town came to a complete halt.
Imagine you’re walking through your town one day when suddenly every single citizen begins a manic dance routine resembling something between the twist and demonic possession. Your high school gym teacher is screaming about wild visions while mimicking an epileptic electric slide while your boss is foaming at the mouth, doing some kind of strange Macarena dance.
So why the sudden plague of violent dance parties? No one can be 100% sure but this is yet another scientific mystery chalked up to Ergot poisoning. A result of eating rye contaminated with Claviceps purpurea, symptoms of this poisoning include nervous spasms, delusions, spontaneous abortion, convulsions and even gangrene. Of course, considering the fact this fungus also happens to contain lysergic acid, which we now use to make LSD, these dance parties may have just been whole communities tripping out unintelligibly. Talk about a crazy rave scene!
Image: Axel Rouvin
The gorgeous Jewel Wasp investigating a flower.
A Wasp Which Turns Cockroaches into Zombie-like Edible Breeding Grounds for their Young
Straight out of a B horror movie, scientists have proved that zombies do exist, at least in the insect world. In a 2007 article by National Geographic they explain the gorgeous Jewel Wasp’s evil survival method. By injecting venom directly into a cockroach’s brain they are able to disengage its free will. Meaning that these parasites basically zombify an army of cockroaches to do their bidding throughout their lifetimes.
Believe it or not this is just the beginning of the victim’s mortifying fate. The immobilized cockroach is then pulled below into the wasp’s underground lair so an egg can be laid in its abdomen. When the wasp’s larvae hatch they have a free meal all ready for them and begin munching down on the very aware, very much still alive but utterly incapacitated cockroach from the inside out. This whole torturous process lasts as long as an agonizing 7-8 days before the cockroach finally dies.
Six astronauts who had been in training at the Johnson Space Center
Astronauts Aren’t Really Floating In Space, They’re Falling Through It
Here we enter a division of science that is certainly no stranger to unbelievable facts, Astrophysics. NASA promises that astronauts don’t float around in space because there is no gravity. In fact there are far too many loose atoms and particles out there for scientists to believe, as of now anyway, that any true vacuum in space could exist. A vacuum is an area of space completely void of any matter which makes it the only place that could possibly be devoid of all gravity.
In reality astronauts are floating because while in orbit these astronauts are stuck in a continual state of falling. Gravity in this case is equivalent to acceleration rather than nonexistent.
Image: Lucius Kwok
A scientist uses Liquid Nitrogen to make ice cream.
New Burial Method Freezes Corpse with Liquid Nitrogen and Then Smashes Them with Sound Waves
In Sweden you can have your body frozen with liquid nitrogen and smashed with sound waves after you die. Yup, I am serious. According to an article from StunningStuff.com, apparently concerned with the environmental effects of cremation, they officially adopted this practice as an alternative in the first Swedish town in 2005.
As strange as this may sound, it is actually a much healthier and more natural burial alternative environmentally. These processes remove water from the body without destroying its biological identity, thus allowing the earth to break down organic material.
Besides, how cool does being shattered by sound waves seem to any over-passionate music fan anyway?
“On April 25, 2008, NASA’s Swift satellite picked up a record-setting flare from a star known as EV Lacertae”
Our Sun is on a Collision Course with a Red Dwarf
Extimundi.com states that our sun is on a collision course with a Red Dwarf labeled Gliese 710, traveling at nearly 50 times the speed of sound! Fortunately, Earth inhabitants won’t likely have to worry about it for at least the next million years since it would take about that long to get a half a light year away from us. Perhaps in the future of our species some highly evolved Tom Cruise type will somehow save the day and get the girl just in time. More than likely, by the time the Red Dwarf is any real threat we will all have long ago been doused in liquid nitrogen and smashed by sound waves.
Gleise 710 isn’t the only star headed our way either. In fact, there are at least 8 other stars moving towards our solar system. Sure, most are only expected to come a little closer than the 4.3 light years away our current neighbor, Proxima Centauri waits; but there is always the possibility that these stars have planets orbiting them. Further, these planets may even have life on them! So perhaps these otherworldly stars aren’t on a collision course with us, but rather we are on a collision course with them! It is even a possibility that on one of these planets right now, some alien science geek is writing an article about a star named “Sol” and its expected arrival in the future! A possibility that may sound way more like a sci-fi plot than an actual hypothesis, but as scientist and writer Isaac Asimov once wrote, “Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today — but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.”