Science Watch: The Sharks of MysteryS

Asteroid tails! Clean bacteria! Dinosaur gore! See-thru snails! Desert farming! Traffic math! Moon craters! And toothy fish that can't be killed! It's your Thursday Science Watch, where we watch science—with rancor!

-A newly discovered asteroid, P/2013 P5, reportedly resembles a "rotating lawn sprinkler." How is that science??

-The "cleanrooms" where spacecraft are assembled are supposed to be the cleanest places in the world. But now NASA has discovered a new type of bacteria growing in their cleanroom, despite all of their cleaning efforts. It's just like the time that my mom told me to clean the bathroom, and I did, and then she comes in and she's all, "There's still dust here. And here." Want to hear more? Email me.

-Fossil diggers have found a new dinosaur—a member of the T. Rex family—that they're calling "The King of Gore." Wow you guys sound like a bunch of real badasses. (Sarcasm)

-A new snail that lives in Croatian caves has a clear shell. I literally cannot think of any fact less important to my life than this. Maybe they'll find out something about the snail's poop. But until then.

-Qatar has undertaken a project to use advanced technology to grow vegetables in the desert. "Good luck, idiots!!!!" -a real farmer.

-No, I do not like traffic jams. Nor do I like mathematical equations, even if they claim to be able to reduce traffic jams. So, god help me, I guess we'll just sit in this traffic jam.

-Well whattaya know, craters on the near side of the moon are bigger than craters on the side of the moon facing away from us. This is referred to by the loathsome popular press as a "Moon Surprise." I'll tell you what a real Moon Surprise would be: "Mankind Reads Something Above a Third Grade Reading Level For Once."

-When a mass extinction occurred 250 million years ago at the end of the Permian period, how did sharks survive? Funny, I've often wondered this myself. As I piloted my carbon fiber sailboat around the Horn of Africa, this very question popped into my mind. The Great Whites, down below... how did they survive? What about the mass extinction? What was their secret? I'd often toss scraps of my sandwich crusts overboard in hopes of luring them to the surface, where I could beguile them with charm and convince them to reveal their hidden methods. But alas. The question remained solely inside my mind, and my soul. The truth is that I didn't mind not finding the answer. The very act of wondering was enough for me to maintain my mental acuity throughout those lonely nights on the high seas. Is it right that men of science now arise, answer in hand, to deprive the voyagers of the future of the solace that I received in my contemplation of the interrogative? That's for you to judge. Choose wisely, friends. And no matter what your choice, remember that we are all one, beneath the sheltering skies, on both sides of the rising swells, awash in mystery.

[Photo: Flickr]