Scientists found microbes six kilometres under the sea

Scientists found microbes six kilometres under the sea

From the MIT Press: "In water nearly 6 kilometers deep, the scientists drilled 100 meters into the seafloor. They found microbes all the way to the bottom of the cores, albeit not as many as in the richer areas closer to the surface. The scientists estimated that the deepest microbes were at least 100 million years old, making it seem they could only be fossils. Surely nothing could survive, whatever that means exactly, for 100 million years. But when brought back to the lab and offered nutrients, the microbes began to grow and multiply. This seemingly fantastic discovery raised the question of what the microbes beneath the gyre had been doing for 100 million years, and where they got their energy."

An escaped convict lived for six months inside a secret room in a Circuit City

From SFGate: "She had recently ended a 20-year marriage and was juggling work and life as a single mom. One day in October 2004, John appeared at her church. He was funny and romantic. They were soon dating, sharing dinners at Red Lobster and evenings at her home watching movies. At Christmas time, he donated more items to the church toy drive than anyone else in the congregation. Then a police officer approached her at work. He had a photograph of John in his hand. His real name was Jeffrey Manchester, the officer told her, and he was an escaped convict who had been living for the last six months inside hidden rooms he’d created in a nearby Toys R Us and Circuit City."

Matt Farley has written 24,000 songs but you probably haven't heard any of them

From the New York Times: "When I called Matt Farley to say I was the Brett Martin he had written a song about, he said “You have to understand, I’ve written over 24,000 songs. I wrote 50 songs yesterday. Farley is 45 and lives with his wife, two sons and a cockapoo named Pippi in Danvers, Mass., on the North Shore. For the past 20 years, he has been releasing album after album of songs with the object of producing a result to match nearly anything anybody could think to search for. These include hundreds of songs name-checking celebrities from the very famous to the much less so. He has albums devoted to sports teams in every city that has a sports team; hundreds of songs about animals, and jobs, and weather, and furniture."

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A Roman diplomat writes about what it was like meeting Attila the Hun

Feast of Attila, by Hungarian painter Mór Than (1828–99).

From Quillette: "Inside the tent, we beheld Attila for the first time. He sat on a wooden chair in the middle of the tent, dressed in a clean white linen tunic with a simple design stitched at the collar. His face was broad and deeply scarred, with a thin beard and small sharp eyes that took in everything at a glance. My servant and I stood at the edge of the tent and were quiet while Maximinus approached the chair, Bigilas beside him to translate. He greeted the barbarian, presented the Emperor’s letter, and proclaimed that the Emperor prayed that Attila and his family were safe and well. Attila said in a dark tone that the Romans would later that day receive that which they sought to give."

Students in Estonia built giant amplifiers to listen to the sounds of the forest

From Earthly Mission: "Students at the Estonian Academy of Arts built a pair of giant earphones, aka The Forestphone in Baumkronenweg Park, Kopfing, Austria, to create a place for resting, healing and contemplation. The installation proved that amplifying the ambient hums of the forest can indeed focus your attention and heighten the experience. In a later project, they installed 10-foot-wide wooden megaphones in Pähni Nature Centre, Võrumaa, Estonia, to function in the same way. But instead of working as giant headphones, as in the previous project, these forest megaphones direct sound to the center of a clearing. And if you stand inside one, you get close and personal with nature’s acoustics."

An Israeli spy exposed his true identity by writing a book under a pseudonym

From The Guardian: "The identity of the commander of Israel’s Unit 8200 is a closely guarded secret. He occupies one of the most sensitive roles in the military, leading one of the world’s most powerful surveillance agencies, comparable to the US National Security Agency. Yet after spending more than two decades operating in the shadows, the controversial spy chief – whose name is Yossi Sariel – left his identity exposed online. The embarrassing security lapse is linked to a book that he published on Amazon, which left a digital trail to a private Google account created in his name, along with his unique ID and links to the account’s maps and calendar profiles."

Gorilla children can be just as annoying as ours it seems

Acknowledgements: I find a lot of these links myself, but I also get some from other newsletters that I rely on as "serendipity engines," such as The Morning News from Rosecrans Baldwin and Andrew Womack, Jodi Ettenberg's Curious About Everything, Dan Lewis's Now I Know, Robert Cottrell and Caroline Crampton's The Browser, Clive Thompson's Linkfest, Noah Brier and Colin Nagy's Why Is This Interesting, Maria Popova's The Marginalian, Sheehan Quirke AKA The Cultural Tutor, the Smithsonian magazine, and JSTOR Daily. If you come across something interesting that you think should be included here, please feel free to email me at mathew @ mathewingram dot com