Strange Science: The Voice of a Mummy

Scientists have recently determined what a mummy might have sounded like by 3-D printing a mummy’s vocal cords.

Though a single elongated vowel is not much of a conversation, the technology has been used previously to simulate the sound of speech for a mummified corpse found frozen in the Italian Alps. The latest subject is a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.

You can read more about this here!

Posted in Strange Science | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

More Demons and Creepy Critters

If this week’s story about demons has you wishing for more demons and other creepy critters, we’ve got you covered!

“Excerpts from the Audio Notes” by Jonathan Ficke (scientists working with demons) (available in MSJ Spring 2019)

“5 Ways to Prevent Dimensional Pests” by E. R. Zhang (help with extra-dimensional entities) (available in MSJ Summer 2017)

“A Study of the THING from Cobb’s Barn” by Ira Krik (studying an extra-dimensional entity) (available in MSJ Spring 2016)

“The Front Line” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (fighting otherworldly creatures) (available in MSJ Summer 2014)

“Dying is Easy” by Franco Raud (deals with demons) (available in MSJ Autumn 2013)


Posted in MSJ Time Machine | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Loads of Short Fiction from MSJ Alums!

It’s only the beginning of 2020, but MSJ alums have already had a number of short fiction out this year!

Jennifer R. Povey’s “The Men Who Go Under the Ground” is available at Curious Fictions.

The new anthology Witches, Warriors, and Wyverns contains stories from Dave D’Alessio, Ali Abbas, and co-editor Dawn Vogel.

The most recent issue of Eye to the Telescope includes poetry from S. Qiouyi Lu, Tais Teng, and Dawn Vogel.

Rhonda Eiskamp and Dawn Vogel have a story and a poem in issue 9 of Apparition Literary Magazine.

Lorraine Schein and Dawn Vogel have stories in issue 7 of Truancy Magazine.

Posted in Mad Scientist News | Tagged | Leave a comment

OpenSciEd for Science in Classrooms

For teachers looking to teach science in interesting ways, the resources have not always been available. With OpenSciEd, however, teachers have access to open source science education materials that focus on the fun parts of science rather than memorization.

The service is rolling out new content as time progresses, so not all grade levels or topics may be covered at present, but it’s worth checking out if you’ve got school-aged kids interested in science, and find the available resources not as robust or useful as they might be!

Posted in Awesome Finds | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fiction: A Home for Wayward Demons

An essay by Star Posey, as provided by Megan Dorei
Art by Leigh Legler

These records are as much for my sanity as they are for posterity. It’s long past due for me to share my findings, and exterior circumstances have motivated me to do so.

There might be someone out there who remembers.


Nov. 1st

I arrive home around midnight to find Sarah waiting on the stairs. She is a deeper shadow than the rest, punctuated by neon orange eyes. I freeze. For a moment, I feel acutely judged. I stifle the urge to tell her that it’s perfectly acceptable for a twenty-five-year-old partial shut-in to go trick-or-treating. It’s practically therapy, at this point.

Instead, I simply say, “Howdy.”

Low, rattling suspicion hums from her chest, but she stays motionless. Guilt clogs my throat. She’s hungrier than I thought. I spread my arms apologetically before realizing that in my bed-sheet ghost costume, it’s merely a flaring of wings.

“You wanna try out some more options?”

Nothing about her posture indicates enough patience to undergo yet another investigation into her eating habits. Because she doesn’t speak (at least not a language I understand), I’ve spent hours trying and failing to puzzle out her nutritional needs.

Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Strange Science: The Question for 42?

If you’re familiar with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, then you know that 42 is “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” But the computer that provides this answer can’t also provide the question.

Mathematicians, however, working on the question of “can each of the natural numbers below 100 be expressed as the sum of three cubes?” have finally found the numbers that fit into the equation resulting in the answer of 42, with the help of a supercomputer.

While other numbers were more easily calculated, 33 and 42 were the outliers. After 33 was solved, 42 was the only remaining natural number below 100 that had not been solved. Perhaps it’s just coincidence that Douglas Adams chose 42 as the ultimate answer, or perhaps he was aware of this problem. Either way, it’s nice to finally have A question for which the answer is 42 that is more complicated than “what’s six times nine?” (which is 54, not 42).

You can read more about this here!

Posted in Strange Science | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hands-On Labs Wins Education Award

Hands-On Labs, a service that provides digital content and lab-grade materials kits, has been awarded the 2020 Education Innovation of the Year award in the international Cloud Computing Awards.

You can read more about this here!

Posted in Awesome Finds | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Awesome Finds: A Mendelian Genetics Game on Kickstarter

They’ve already reached their funding goal many times over, but fans of genetics might want to check out Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game currently funding on Kickstarter to get a copy of it! It’s a board game for 1-5 players involving dice drafting and worker placement in order to conduct experiments on pea genetics, much like Gregor Mendel did. It looks like a cool way for folks 14 and up to learn about genetics through a game!

Posted in Awesome Finds | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

More Quantum Physics

If you enjoyed Monday’s story on quantum physics, here are a few more from our back issues that you might also like!

“Product Review: Chronochill” by Franko Stephens (the problems of a multi-dimensional refrigerator) (available in MSJ Winter 2019)

“The Salvaged Soul” by Tom Lund (portals between worlds) (available in MSJ Summer 2018)

“The Window Cleaner” by Kaitlin Moore (a different sort of portal between worlds) (available in MSJ Summer 2017)

“An Introduction to Emotional Scarcity in an Induced Multiperson Organism” by A. Hollins (the problems of cloning technology) (available in MSJ Spring 2016)

“A Thread Finer than Hope” by Jack N. Waddell (quantum events) (available in MSJ Summer 2012)

Posted in MSJ Time Machine | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Fiction: Purely Mental

Excerpts from the Journal of Dr. Waller, as provided by Franko Stephens
Art by Errow Collins

July 27th, 2022

First journal entry on my first day of freedom! It’s weird, writing on paper. I haven’t used a pen since the third grade, when my idiot of a teacher decided that cursive was a lost art. Curriculum be damned, he said, you kids are going to learn this. Two days later, he was hospitalized after a horrible accident involving the metal frame of his chair and an unfortunately close electrical outlet. Sweet, sweet memories. I never did learn cursive.

Although this is never meant to be found … who am I kidding, I want some underfed scholar in the future to find this journal. My name is Dr. Ignacious Waller, Dr. Mental to the public, Iggy to my friends, if I ever make any. Twenty-seven years ago, I was arrested for the murder of 212 people in a cavern outside the city limits. My arch nemesis, Liberty Man, had failed to save them, though he nearly killed me before handing my battered body over to the authorities. In his defense, it was a trap, an unwinnable situation concocted by a brilliant mind. There was just one issue.

It was not my mind that created the trap.

Oh, I know. You’re thinking, of course he would not confess after being released, of course he would not write down his guilt like a moron. True, I am no moron, according to all the tests. Why am I even writing in a journal? The truth is, I need a focus. I need it badly. I need to start from the beginning, so that I may move forward in my own story.

Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Fiction: Purely Mental