Friday, October 12, 2012

Freaky Friday News: October 12, 2012

An artistic rendition of 55 Cancri e, the Diamond Planet
Credit:  Haven Giguere 
Hello!  Welcome to today's edition of the freaky news of the week.
  • First up, it's a story about a man and his car.  In December 2010, a 31-year-old man in southern Germany went out drinking for the night.  When he woke up in the morning, his car was gone.  He searched and he searched, then he reported the loss to the local police.  Fast forward to this week, and viĆ³la!  The police find the car, parked about 4 km (or about 2.5 miles) from where the man thought he left it.  
  • Moving on to space, SpaceX's Dragon capsule flew up to and docked with the International Space Station successfully this week.  So begins the next chapter of our journey into space.
  • Also in space, scientists think Voyager I traversed the heliopause, the boundary between our heliosphere and the rest of the universe, earlier this year and is now the first man-made object outside our entire solar system.  As a Star Trek fan, I wonder if this is the first step towards the making of V-ger.  
    Artistic drawing of what happened with Voyager I.
    Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • My last bit of space news is rather expensive.  Scientists think they found a planet that's twice as big as earth and has approximately 8 times the mass, with a third of the planet being composed of diamond (see the picture at the top of the post).
  • Credit:
  • In health news, the November issue of Consumer Reports contains an investigation into arsenic and rice products.  Sadly, there is measurable amounts of inorganic and organic arsenic in a variety of rice products, from rice baby food to instant rice to rice cereals (such as Rice Krispies and Rice Chex).  Currently, the FDA neither measures nor limits arsenic in foods, though three members of Congress have stated their intentions of changing this.  Regardless, I strongly urge you to read this article and check out your kitchen.  (In January, Consumer Reports found arsenic in grape and apple juices - you can find that report here.)  
  • A women in Minnesota lobbed the first lob in what is certain to be the legal blitz over the contaminated injections of pain medication.  I cringe over this lawsuit, because I wonder if it is truly necessary.  If the pharmaceutical company that created and sent out the shots steps up and pays for everyone's medical bills and compensates people for lost wages (if necessary - some companies already pay people sick leave), then why sue them?  The woman who filed the lawsuit doesn't even know if she is contaminated; she is suing them preemptively. Ugh.
  • This story does have a funny tangent.  Governor Scott of Florida accidentally gave out a phone number to a sex hotline when attempting to give out a number for people to call for more information about meningitis. 
  • Apple got its hand caught in the metaphorical cookie jar.  Instead of designing a new interface for the clock in iO6, they stole the design of the Swiss Federal Railways station clock, a national icon in Switzerland.  For people who doubt this statement, I've included a picture of the Apple clock and the Swiss clock so you can make your own comparisons.
    Apple iO6 Clock vs Swiss Railways station clock
    By the way, I find this amusing and infuriating because Apple sued Samsung because Samsung's cell phones have rounded corners. Simultaneously, Apple goes out and steals a design that's been patented since 1944. Talk about hypocrisy.
  • My last story contains a nominee for the Darwin Awards.  A 32-year-old man in Florida, Eddie, won a bug eating contest, then promptly passed out and died.  No one knows why, since the other contestants are okay.  What do you think?  Darwin award nominee or simple tragic accident?         


  1. Hah! I totally thought of V-Ger from ST:TMP when I heard the news about Voyager breaking out of the solar system too!

    And now I have the (changed) song lyrics running through my head, "...planets are a girl's best friend..."

    Happy Friday!

    1. Great - now I'm hearing that song in my head!!!


Feel free to agree or disagree, just be polite.

Freaky Friday News: Unicorn Licenses

Los Angeles County Gives a Young Resident a Unicorn License Last month, a resident of Los Angeles county, Miss Madeline, sent a handwritte...