KILLER ASTEROID OR BUST
NASA scientists have finally caught up with Hollywood scriptwriters and are currently drafting a plan to land an astronaut on an asteroid in order to figure out if we have any way of stopping one of those rocks if they come hurtling on a doomsday mission to Earth.
"There's a lot of public resonance with the notion that NASA ought to be doing something about killer asteroids," explained Chris McKay of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, adding that we need an exploratory mission because "we don't know enough about asteroids right now to know the best strategy for mitigation." While the future of deflecting asteroids is still many decades away, the proposed ideas include planting thrusters on an asteroid to nudge it from its path, placing an object in the path to knock it off course, or using mirrors, lights and paint to change the way the object absorbs light and heat in order to gently change its direction over many years. And, if that isn't exciting enough, taking the rock out with missiles is also being studied. At the moment, Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is tracking 831 "potentially hazardous asteroids" that might one day collide with Earth. NASA also claims that it is 750 times more likely that you will be killed by an asteroid than that you will win this weekend's lottery. (The Guardian)
YOU'VE GOT A LONG WAY TO GO, BABY
A survey of 90,000 women in India conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences found that about 56 percent agreed that it was OK for a man to beat his wife for one of six reasons: neglecting the house or children; going out without informing her husband; showing disrespect to in-laws; infidelity; inadequate dowry; improper cooking. What if she likes dumb TV shows? Shouldn't that count?
BRITAIN'S LUCKIEST MASOCHIST
The man who has been dubbed "Britain's Unluckiest Man" is back in the hospital after falling down a manhole and injuring his knees, left leg and back. This is major accident number 16 for John Lyne, 54, who has survived a lifetime of close calls. Included in his trail of mishaps are being struck by lightning (twice!), surviving a rock-fall in a mine, nearly drowning and suffering three car crashes. As a child, Lyne fell off a horse and cart into the path of a delivery van. As a teenager, he fell out of a tree and broke his arm, then broke it again when the bus that was taking him to the hospital crashed. "Everyone thinks it is just hilarious," said Lyne. (Ananova)
LIFE IMITATES DISNEY
Last year, we learned that farm animals such as cows, pigs, goats and chickens have much richer emotions and more complex mental lives than we ever thought. That research claimed that animals nurture friendships, become excited by new challenges and feel emotions such as fear, anxiety and happiness. Now, we have new research out of Britain that claims that even fish have different personalities which change as they are exposed to different life experiences. Biologists from the University of Liverpool claim to have identified different "personalities" in fish by observing the boldness or shyness of the fish in response to various stimuli. The fish were studied as they were exposed to strange new objects or watched other fish go through experiments that even included "fixing" fights between fish to gauge their reactions to winning or losing a fight over food. The researchers found that the future behavior of each fish changed depending on what they had seen or experienced. "The general opinion is that a fish is a fish, but they show striking individual personality differences," said one of the researchers. "However, we have shown that this is flexible and that behavior is adjusted to circumstances." (The Telegraph)
CURIOUS QUOTE of the week
"He wanted to go to a motel in the Bronx where I would defecate on him, but I told him I was uncomfortable going to the Bronx."
--Dominatrix Gina Pane, testifying against a police officer in a Connecticut courtroom last week.
I-READ-IT-ON-THE-INTERNET-SO-IT-MUST-BE-TRUE FACT OF THE WEEK
Eighty-six percent of men in South Africa would vote for Chuck Norris if he ran for president.
Get waaay more bizarro news at CuriousTimes.com.