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Tuesday, January 26, 2021


A bunch of astronomers, after a four years long survey, found an exoplanet, orbiting very close to its star, that has an "extraordinarily low density" (P). It has, indeed, a mass 1.8 times that of Neptune, but a Jupiter like radius. 

The fluffy planet, which discovery is described in a paper (P) published on The Astronomical Journal, is in the WASP-107 system, and it's called WASP-107b.

WASP-107b's super low density puzzles the astro-brains, 'cause the planet has a core mass smaller than 4.6 times the mass of Earth, that is "significantly lower than what is traditionally assumed to be necessary to trigger massive gas envelope accretion" (P) - meaning WASP-107b shouldn't exist, 'cause its small "seed" shouldn't have been able to attract enough gas and dust to eventually form, well, WASP-107b -.

The researchers have one possible explanation: the planet formed far from its star, in a region of space where the gas is cold enough so that the small core mass could attract it and grow a planet around itself very fast. Then, the fully formed WASP-107b migrated toward the inner part of the system, possibly influenced by the second more massive planet, with "a wide eccentric orbit" (P), detected by the astronomers in the same system.

But this dumb blog, pals, has a different idea on the reason why the fluffy planet is up there. Check out the following cartoon, and you'll find out what it is.

Space candy cotton WASP-107b exoplanet (by @sciencemug)
"Space candy cotton"-WASP-107b exoplanet (by @sciencemug)
[Exoplanet pic, by
NASA, ESA, and L. Hustak and J. Olmsted (STScI), is a Pubilc Domain pic (source: Wikimedia Commons); the alien's hand pic, is a Pubilc Domain pic (source:; all images are adapted by @sciencemug]

Bibliography (P)

P - Piaulet, C., Benneke, B., Rubenzahl, R.A., Howard, A.W., Lee, E.J., Thorngren, D., Angus, R., Peterson, M., Schlieder, J.E., Werner, M., et al. (2021). WASP-107b’s Density Is Even Lower: A Case Study for the Physics of Planetary Gas Envelope Accretion and Orbital Migration. AJ 161, 70.

Monday, January 18, 2021


Keywords: plastics, plastic, microplastics, placenta, placentas, birth, pregnancy, pollution, spectroscopy, medicine, biology

(Read other plastic related stories here & here)

Ooooh, hello dear English speaking-reading-hearing reader, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog/podcast/twitter&instagram accounts/entity behind the unsuccessful e-shop stuffngo on which tells you science stories while trying to understand, by reading tons of zoology textbooks, if millipedes don’t wear shoes ‘cause they generally are too broke to be able to afford such a huge expense, or ‘cause they prefer flip-folps but they can’t find a good wholesale dealer to make the order to, ooor ‘cause no millipede wants to be a cobbler given the high risk of dying of a heart-attack due to constant overwork, aaand which talks to you thanks to the voice, kidnapped via a voodoo-wireless trick, from a veeery very very dumb human.

Aaand which does all of this in Eng?ish, a language that is to proper English whatghwaahhghzzt!” is to something that make sense. 

Here I’m gonna tell you a story about human placentas and plastics!

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 Sulla plastica & la placenta umana: ecco a voi la “plasticenta” (Pt1)

 Ascolta l'episodio in italiano  

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Pieces of plastic have been found, for the first time ever, in human placentas. The placentas in question were indeed those of four healthy women who have had smooth pregnancies and deliveries.

The discovery is the result of a study, published (P) in the science journal Environment International, made by a group of Italian researchers (aka the Italian Brains aka the ITBs) led by Medical Doctor Antonio Ragusa, Head of the Department of Woman, Mother and Newborn of the San Giovanni Calibíta Fatebenefratelli Hospital, in Rome.

Soo dear reader, the story goes like this.

A bunch of researchers, in Italy, decides to investigate if there’s plastic in the placentas of pregnant women.

More precisely, Dr. Ragusa and colleagues look for microplastics, that are commonly defined as all those plastic particles that are smaller than half a centimeter.

Now, dear reader, I know you’re a fast thinker, so in your mind you just wondered why is that half a centimeter is the limit for microplastics, instead of, I dunno, two millimeters or the thickness of a hair of the bear of Masha and the Bear. Well, buddy, here’s a fun fact for you ‘bout this.

The science community

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


Keywords: Christmas, Xmas, Santa, Santa Claus, Christmas Eve, Xmas Eve, children, kids, virus, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, flu, measles, naughtiness, naughty list, myth, popular belief, North Pole, deprivation, hospitals, United Kingdom, UK

- Testo in italiano alla fine del post -

Listen to the podcast episode
on iTunes
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Ooooh, hello dear English speaking-reading-hearing visitor, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog/podcast/twitter&instagram accounts/entity behind the unsuccessful e-shop stuffngo (sNg) on which tells you science stories while exploring all the 11 dimensions of spacetime while putting its virtual ear on them vibrating membranes hoping like that to catch the voice of a trans-dimensional entity of mighty wisdom talking about how to correctly answer your significant other’s question: ”does this dress make me look fat?, aaand which talks to you thanks to the voice, kidnapped via a voodoo-wireless trick, from a veeery very very dumb human.

Aaand which does all of this in English-question-mark, a language that is to proper English what 2020 is to an even slightly not crappy year for human kind.

Today I’m gonna tell you a story that debunks (or not, who knows, dear wait-and-find-out reader) the notion according to which Santa Claus only visits children who well behaved during the year (and no, Santa, it’s not the outfit, you ARE fat!).


Santa Claus wonders what naughtiness be while smoking a cigar and sipping liquor
Santa Claus & the naughtiness issue (by @sciencemug)
[Badass Santa pic, by hue12 photography, is a free pic (source: Unsplash); adapted by @sciencemug]


Six scholars from Harvard and other universities and medical institutions of the USA and United Kingdom (UK), in 2016 publish a paper (P) on the science journal The BMJ (formerly know as the British Medical Journal), which, founded in 1840, “is one of the world's oldest general medical journals” (see) out there.

The six academics, led by at the time prestigious Kennedy scholarship owner John J Park (we’ll call the JJ6 from now on), decide to investigate whether it be true or not the commonly accepted opinion that Santa Claus (“also known as Saint Nicholas, St Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Santy, or simply Santa” (P)) decide which kids to visit depending on their past year round good or bad behavior.

Now, the JJ6, to test this popular belief, select

Thursday, December 17, 2020


Heeeello dear dearest buddy reader/listener!

I just want to tell you this: new posts/podcast episodes are coming!



(Wow, four "!" in a row, that's something! Oooh, five! Oooh, six! Ooooh... Ok, I stop it now)


Here's a picture of a seal (or at least I guess it is it, otherwise it's the oddest chicken I've ever seen…) that is just really excited about the news.

A seal
A thrilled seal [in reality, it thought some fish were coming, it couldn't care less 'bout the news (I spare you the pic where it finally realizes no fish is coming, it's too heartbreaking)]
[The seal pic, by Karen Lau, is a free pic (source: Unsplash)]



"Soon" is an acronym standing for: "Suuureoh-ohneverthelessdon'tbetoooptimisticI'mstillalazydumbblogafterallbutI'mactuallyworkingonitthepost/podcastepisodeImeannotmylackofcommitmentorlackofbrain"

Sunday, December 6, 2020


Completed in November 1963, the giant (its dish is/was 305 meters wide) Arecibo radio telescope of the Arecibo Observatory (near Arecibo, in Puerto Rico) suffered apparently irreparable damage on the early morning of December 1st, 2020. 

On that day, indeed, the telescope’s instrument platform (a 900 tonnes juggernaut, like about a hundred fully loaded 5th Wheel Camper), suspended above the already previously partially damaged dish, crashed into it definitely completing the destruction job.

Here a full account and footage of what happened.

The following cartoon is this dumb blog's homage to this invaluable piece of technology and source of scientific discoveries and, ultimately, of human progress.


Sketch of a gravestone with engraved: "R.I.P. Arecibo Telescope, Nov 1963-Dec 2020, "of course it had to happen in 2020..."
Farewell, Arecibo Radio Telescope! (by @sciencemug)
[The Arecibo Telescope pic by Jaro Nemčok, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (source: Wikimedia Commons); the pic is adapted by @sciencemug]