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Bizzare & Odd

Brazil’s Twelve-Fingered Family Counts World Cup Wins

The da Silva family of Brazil carries a rare genetic disorder that gives the six fingers on each hand. They’ve become a symbol of hope in Brazil, at least according to the AP. Normally, these extra fingers aren’t functional.

 

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Bizzare & Odd

Astronomers complain that SpaceX satellites are blocking their view

Elon Musk’s spacetech company SpaceX is trying to bring broadband to the globe by sending up to 12,000 tiny satellites into low-Earth orbit. But not everybody is thrilled.

Astronomers complain that SpaceX satellites are blocking view of stars
REID HAHN / FERMILAB

Astronomers are finding that the 122 satellites that the SpaceX launched so far are already ruining the night sky, appearing as extremely bright trails of light in the observations.

Clarae Martínez-Vázquez, astronomer at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in northern Chile, tweeted:

“‘Wow!! I’m chocked!!. The huge amount of Starlink satellites crossed our skies tonight at @cerrotololo. Our [Dark Energy Camera] exposure was heavily affected by 19 of them!

Crowded skies

The space company sent 60 new Starlink microsatellites into Earth’s low orbit on November 11, and many more launches are planned. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission approved SpaceX’s request to launch an additional 7,518 satellites, bringing the total number of approved units to nearly 12,000.

This means that if SpaceX follows its plan, the problem will only get worse.

Martínez-Vázquez yet wrote:

The train of Starlink satellites lasted for over 5 minutes!! Rather depressing… This is not cool!

Radio interference

The International Astronomical Union has highlighted the issue in a june statement arguing that Starlink reflective satellites could “impair the sensitive capacities of large terrestrial astronomical telescopes” and that “aggregate radio signals emitted by satellite constellations can still threaten astronomical observations at radio wavelengths.”

Some astronomers are even turning the problem into a meme:

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Archaeologists make a shocking discovery in an ancient funeral of children

They were buried about 2,000 years ago. On their heads were tightly fitting “helmets” of human skulls, and more specifically of older children.In 2014-2016, archaeologists conducted intensive excavations in the Salango region, Ecuador. Most recently, their results have been published in Latin American Antiquity.

In total, 9 scaffolds were excavated at this site, which, according to the ceramic remains, belong to people from Guangdong who lived in Ecuador between 100 BC. and 800 AD.

One of the two children was 18 months old when she died and the other was 6-9 months old. When archaeologists discover their remains, they immediately see that their skulls are strange and too thick. It turns out that the upper skulls of older children are tightly stacked on the skulls of young children.

It seems that when they were placed on the skulls of babies, they still had remains of flesh. Otherwise, the skulls would dry up and then fall out of their heads.

Archaeologists were shocked by such a ritual. They have never encountered anything like this in Ecuador and in Central and South America before. They have not read about such customs in other countries. Still, scientists do not know whether young children and skull owners died naturally or were killed.

Most likely, all children died of malnutrition. During their study, scientists found that there were clearly visible signs of hunger on the bones. During excavations, archaeologists also discovered a layer of volcanic ash that had fallen there shortly before the funeral. The ash can explain why starvation began in these places.

In addition, a finger phalanx, also childish, was sandwiched between one of the skulls and the helmet. This part of the likely rite also puzzles archaeologists.

According to archaeologists, one version of the creation of “helmet skulls” is that it was a kind of attempt to protect babies. Ancient people may have believed that the souls of babies were still too undeveloped and “wild”, and therefore, in the afterlife, they would need a guide and protector at an older age. But, for now, these are just guesses.

In the graves, near the bodies of the babies, are also found small figures of people made of stone, probably representing a kind of “guardian”.

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Astronauts develop bizarre clots and blood flows

NASA/VICTOR TANGERMANN

According to a shocking report by NASA scientists, blood flow can stop and even reverse in the upper bodies of astronauts.

NASA / VICTOR TANGERMANN

According to a shocking report by NASA scientists, blood flow can stop and even reverse in the upper bodies of astronauts.

The study could have some major implications about prolonged trips through deep space, as we’re still trying to nail down the exact effects of spending long periods in microgravity.

The study looked at periodic ultrasound tests of 11 healthy astronauts who staffed the International Space Station.

The results were alarming: blood flow had either stagnated or reversed in the left internal jugular vein, a major blood vessel on the side of the neck, in seven crew members. The tests also found a clot and a partial clot in two of the crew members after their return to Earth.

A paper of the study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open on Wednesday.

“This was an unexpected finding,” Michael Stenger, senior author and manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, told NBC News. “We did not expect to see stasis and reverse flow. That is very abnormal. On Earth, you would immediately suspect a massive blockage or a tumor or something like that.”

And that could have some very serious effects on astronauts’ health.

“If you get a clot in the internal jugular vein, the clot could travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism — that’s very dangerous,” professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Andrew Feinberg told NBC.

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