This new year is presenting some stunning, seemingly unrelated discoveries.
Stunner #1: A group of soaking wet, grass-stained Department of Energy scientists in Richland, WA have developed a process for making crude oil out of algae. You might want to check your pool for recent intruders. The goop is subjected to heat and pressure, much like the original process, but without the time lapse of 1,000,000 years.
This is microwave designed for oil barons. The result is black gold–Texas Tea as the song goes. Environmentalists: be on the lookout as the swamp in your backyard is in jeopardy.
Stunner #2: Those intrepid researchers at the University of Tokyo have just announced that they can levitate objects using sound waves. This is a bit lame as my parents advised our noise had been raising the dead for years. Apparently the scientists have been able to grasp objects–no doubt with the high parts of Old Man River–and suspend them in midair.
This is a huge advance for Obamacare where you can be put on hold forever. While the scientists optimistically intend to create high speed rail-free commuter transport, riders will have to agree on musical choices and cell phone usage.
Stunner #3: Invisibility cloaking is everywhere. Not that you would notice. I don’t know where to start, but clearly, transparency is the key word in science today. This is good, because it has a long way to go in politics. Researchers at universities worldwide are clamoring to publish their latest wave manipulation breakthroughs in the world of disappearance.
So was it The Hobbit, or Harry Potter that propelled a legion of millennials to perfect the science of absence? This runs against the advice of Woody Allen, once credited with the observation that “90% of success is just showing up.”
Stunner #4: And this, straight out of the Czech University of Life Sciences– researchers have established that dogs relieve themselves in line with the earth’s magnetic fields. After 7,475 individual observations of the cumulative works of 70 dogs over two years, this dedicated team proclaims that dogs line up north-south before letting go. If you are lost, no more need to look up at the stars. Better to look down at your feet.
Stunner #5: The Sun’s magnetic field is changing. It changes north to south, apparently. This was announced just before Christmas by Stanford University. Physicists at the Wilcox Observatory say this happens every 11 years or so, but that we should expect to see no changes here on earth. To be sure, you might ask your dog.
Stunner #6: The Polar Vortex has swallowed North America, we think. It could actually be South America, but that will require verification by our teams at Czech University and Stanford. In the mean time, it is very cold. Though it is never too cold for flag pole testing. These are happy days for the professional weather forecasters who have been searching for news, and now they have it.
A sad note: while we are transfixed under a polar icecap that reaches down to Albuquerque there are two icebreakers imprisoned in a sea of ice at what used to be the South Pole (see #5 above) . They are attempting to rescue stranded global warming researchers who, last observed, were eating canned beans waiting for a ride to Australia.
If you have any observations of your own respecting these recent discoveries, let me know. Are they inter-connected? Mean time, feel free to share this with your friends. They deserve to know!