Mike Dwyer – Anchor Staff
“Just the facts” is a column written by our longtime news writer Mike Dwyer. The facts listed below are meant to inspire readers’ interests in bizarre scientific facts and possibly inspire a google search. One of the facts below is false– if you can find the singular false fact, email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will win a free ¼ page advertisement.
Ingurgitate is to guzzle as sternutate is to sneeze.
Borborygmus is an ancient Greek onomatopoeia for the tummy wumbles.
A common psychological phenomenon known as pareidolia is the likely culprit behind cloud animals, the man in the moon and Jesus on toast. Both mice and men fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy and grimace when they are in pain.
Chimpanzees living in Côte d’Ivoire’s Taï National Park have distinct cultural differences in nut-cracking. French dolphins sleep talk in whale.
Blue tits have learned to steal milk, while wigeons, ducks and skuas are known to engage in piracy. Pigeons are prone to problem gambling but the cause of avian divorce, particularly high among urban communities, is still poorly understood.
The flat earth society has endorsed the science behind man-made climate change.
The popularity of the Japanese video game Space Invaders is thought to be a reflection of American fear and xenophobia while the game Tetris, a creation of Soviet science, has been used to correct lazy eye in older adolescents.
An assistant professor in Canada created kulturBot, a robot that is designed to tweet art criticism and hitchBot, a robot that successfully hitchhiked from Canada’s Maritime Provinces to British Columbia.
HitchBot’s second transnational journey, this time from Boston to San Francisco, was cut short after the robot was found decapitated and disemboweled in a roadside ditch outside of Philadelphia.
The development of Siri was funded by the Department of Defense.
A group of computer scientists in Singapore successfully downloaded the consciousness of a monkey to an artificial neural network but can’t get the digitized primate to stop screaming.
Microsoft’s Tay, an artificial intelligence designed to speak like a teenage girl, was instead radicalized online and had to be shut down shortly after launch.
The United States Air force is looking into how to handle Elon Musk’s pot use.
The earliest warning of the impending technological singularity was made in 1863 by Samuel Butler, an English author and satirist.
The article appeared in a New Zealand newspaper and provided an ominous warning that machines were undergoing an evolution similar to that of humans and that “in the course of ages we shall find ourselves the inferior race.”
Through his writing, Butler advocated for the cessation of mechanical progress and the destruction of any machine invention less than 300 years old which, ironically, would have included the steam powered printing press and newspaper itself.
Checking the facts with Dwight Myers:
Unfortunately, no one was able to correctly identify the false facts from our previous issues. It’s time to reveal the falsehoods of the last fortnight. The aforementioned study from the University of Nevada, mentioned in our September 10th issue, did not link chronic fatigue syndrome to the XMRV virus. The immunologist who led the study was sacked from her job after being accused of image manipulation. Also, the mice used in the study did not suffer from bladder shyness. To the best of my knowledge, that was a complete fabrication, as was the claim of avian-Marxism from our September 17th issue.
Keep checking the facts in this week’s issue, and as always, there will be prize for the student who correctly identifies the false fact.