What is happening in the world besides COVID-19?

Shruthi Narayanan, Staff Writer

While there have been many strange things that have occured in the past few months, most people are not aware of them due to the media’s coverage of COVID-19. As a fun breather, here are five things which have happened in 2020 that most people do not know about. 

Xing Lida // National Geographic

New dinosaur discovery: In mid-March, a new lizard-like dinosaur species was discovered. It was the smallest dinosaur ever discovered, being the same size as a hummingbird, and it was found trapped in amber in northern Myanmar, near China. It is closely related to other feathered dinosaur species as well as many modern-day birds. With its long snout, sharp teeth and large eyes, it is definitely a unique species, among both dinosaurs and birds. 

 

Geograph Britain and Ireland

Wanted Cow: A cow has evaded capture by U.S. authorities since late January in South Florida. It is on Florida’s most wanted list, yet its identity is unknown to the public. This cow has been especially difficult for authorities to catch because of its speed and ability to jump fences. The cow does not pose a threat to the public, but it does endanger itself and drivers, as it has a habit of walking onto roads and freeways into oncoming traffic.

 

 

 

 

“The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring” (1884)

Stolen Van Gogh painting: On March 30, an early Van Gogh painting, “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring” (1884), was stolen from the Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands, which has been closed since March 12 due to the coronavirus. The thieves smashed through the museum’s glass front door and took the painting, but surprisingly, no other pieces were touched. The painting had been on loan from another Dutch museum. This case highlights the lack of security present at the museum caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

NASA

Large asteroid flyby: A large asteroid (1.1 miles long and 2.5 miles wide) that was first spotted in 1998 flew by Earth on April 29. The asteroid will be 3.9 million miles (6.3 million kilometers) from the Earth, almost 16 times the distance between the Earth and the moon, which is far enough to pose no major threat. The closest flyby of the asteroid, called 1998 OR2, will be on April 16, 2079, when it will be only 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) away.

 

The government could change what gets posted online: The U.S. government is discussing ways to reform or repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law which allows companies to avoid responsibility when it comes to content posted on their platforms. By repealing this law, the government could force websites to vet every piece of content before it goes online, preventing the spread of hateful messages. Critics say, however, that it could eliminate smaller companies, allowing only large companies to survive under these regulations.

 

Just like life pre-COVID-19, there are obscure things happening which are far from normal. Hopefully, these stories either gave you a laugh or you learned something new and interesting.