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The truth behind claims NASA has discovered a parallel universe next to ours

The real story…

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A recent report from New Scientist states that ‘strange particles’ found in an experiment in Antarctica could be evidence of a reality ‘where everything is upside down’.

I took a deep dive to find out whether we really should believe everything we see on the internet. Short answer is no. 

The plausibility of the statement has been amplified for ‘sensational reasons’ according to particle physicist Peter Gorham from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

What has essentially happened is a report has explained that scientists have concluded a rare event from very rare particles that defy our current understanding of physics.

We currently do not have the knowledge of parallel universes to determine definitively whether this new research is indeed a parallel universe.

There is also, according to Forbes, zero evidence to support the Daily Stars report of a ‘parallel universe, right next to ours, where all the rules of physics seem to be operating in reverse’.

Credit: Jeremy Thomas / Unsplash

Many articles have surfaced, mostly quoting each other, referring to a pay-walled post from New Scientist on April 8 that says ‘we may have spotted a parallel universe going backwards in time’ in its headline.

The article gathers a collection of information from three different scientific papers that essentially all point towards us needing to potentially consider alternative explanations behind the science.

So what is the experiment that has caused everyone to go cuckoo?

ANITA-IV. Credit: Drummermean / Wikipedia

This is where it gets really science-y. The original research paper from the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA), found ‘upward pointing cosmic ray-like-events’ from its balloon-based experiment.

ANITA is a stratospheric balloon-based experiment that has a radio antennae pointed back at Earth that detects radio waves emitted by very high-energy and very rare neutrinos as they strike an atom of ice.

These ‘new’ headlines are reporting on an experiment from 2016 whereby ANITA detected some signals that were best described as ‘anomalous’ that, according to New Scientist, ‘seemed impossible’.

The article went on to state: “Explaining this signal requires the existence of a topsy-turvy universe created in the same big bang as our own and existing in parallel with it. In this mirror world, positive is negative, left is right and time runs backwards.”

There were three main hypotheses for the detections: astrophysical explanation, systematic error or physics beyond the Standard Model.

IceCube. Credit: Amble / Wikipedia

Scientists at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory tried to search for the source of those signals, ruling out ANITA’s Standard Model explanation of the anomalous neutrino events in January 2020.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is in the South Pole and is made-up of 5,160 optical detectors buried in the ice that detect neutrinos passing through, reacting with hydrogen or oxygen atoms in the ice.

Essentially, Icecube and ANITA are detecting similar things, however IceCube is a remarkable tool to follow up ANITA. For each anomalous event ANITA detects, IceCube should detect many, many more.

In this instance, IceCube did not. The idea that these events recorded by ANITA came from some intense point source should be ruled out as the chances of ANITA seeing an event and IceCube not are very slim.

Credit: Jay Ruzesky / Unsplash

The paper concluded that: “An astrophysical explanation of these anomalous events under standard model assumptions is severely constrained regardless of source spectrum.”

This translates to us lot who are definitely not physicists as: ‘we don’t know where these signals come from’. It does not translate to: ‘they come from a parallel universe’.

A mathematician has explained the science behind this experiment in a nicely condensed Twitter thread that you can read here.

The reports of a parallel universe comes from a paper that reads: “In this scenario, the universe before the Big Bang and the universe after the Big Bang is reinterpreted as a universe/anti-universe pair that is created from nothing.”

Forbes reports the only real conclusion from this experiment is that the ‘Standard Model concerning neutrinos—fundamental particles—doesn’t explain the detection of a rare kind of event by ANITA.’

Credit: Alarn Light / Flickr

A scientist who specialises in Neutrinos and dark matter who works on IceCube Neutrino Observatory responded to the tabloid news reports of a parallel universe, clearing up that their words have been twisted in a list of tweets.

Safa writes: “NASA has discovered that y’all should not be getting your news from the new york post”.

He also states in a tweet that: “ANITA’s events are definitely interesting, but we’re a long ways away from even claiming there’s any new physics, let alone an entire universe.”

The release regarding the research paper mentions that ‘other explanations for the anomalous signals – possibly involved exotic physics – need to be considered.’

One of the leads from the paper, who has been investigating these detections for the last two years, took to Twitter to further clarify a few things. You can read the full thread here.

Credit: Long Ma / Unsplash

Essentially, Alex Pizzuto states that ANITA detected strange signals that are ‘hard (but not impossible) to remedy with our current models of physics’.

He also goes onto explain that although scientists have to come up with ways of modifying our understanding of physics, that may ‘require bizarre beyond the standard model ideas’, that there are also some ‘COMPLETELY non-exotic explanations as well’ such as astrophysics.

So while the experiments could be due to physics beyond our current understanding, a lead from the paper, Safa explained that: “it looks like we’ll have to wait for the next generation of experiments, which will increase exposure and sensitivity, to get a clear understanding of this anomaly.”

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Feature

The story behind Manchester’s mysterious Withy Grove Stores

It looks like it’s not been touched for 40 years, so what’s really going on in there…

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Surrounded by chicken shops and takeaways sits an oddity in modern Manchester, the Withy Grove Stores.

At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s abandoned, a relic from the 1980s that time and gentrification forgot, confusingly located round the back of the Printworks.

In fact, the safe and office supply store is very much still active, although you can’t just walk in off the street and have a browse – the whole thing raises so many questions, like who owns it? Why hasn’t it been bought and turned into a chicken shop? Is it being used as a front?



Well, the guys over at Manchester’s Finest had a bit of a dig around into the history of the building, and we now have some answers to your questions.

They spoke to a safe and office interior company called Withy Grove Office Interiors, who explained that the company began on Withy Grove in Manchester all the way back in 1850.

However, the history goes even further back, when the Richmond Safe Company was set up by John R Solomon back in 1799, supplying iron-branded and ironclad strongboxes for ships.

The Richmond Safe Company continued to operate until around 1840, at which point they located to offices on Withy Grove and renamed themselves Withy Grove Stores. From here the company expanded, eventually running three sites in the North of England – Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds (the company still operates from Leeds now).


For over 130 years the shop on Withy Grove flogged safes and furniture, impervious to the rapid change and development around it – the Withy Grove Printing House, which printed the Daily Mirror among other titles, closed down in 1985, while the Arndale popped up over the road in the late 1970s.

During the 1980s, it appears the Solomon brothers all fell out over something and each site was broken up and given to one of them to look after. The Leeds site was sold off to private owners by Casper Solomon, but the Manchester location is still very much owned by a Solomon to this day.

A quick check on Companies House shows the Directors of the company are Brian Solomon and Anthony Solomon, and both still own and run the Withy Grove Stores on Withy Grove. Financial statements show the company ran at a substantial loss in both 2018 and 2019, which isn’t really surprising.


So what do they do there and why is it never open? Manchester’s Finest rang up the store’s phone number – found on their still active website – and this is what happened: “The phone was answered by a lovely woman, and we were told that the shop is indeed open and she proceeded to bang out some rather erratic opening times for the week ahead.”

So there you go, if you are in the market for a safe or office chair, give them a ring and grab yourself a retro little number when lockdown is over.

A thread on Reddit also delved into the mystery of Withy Grove Stores, and some people revealed their own experiences with the shop, including actually buying stuff from it.

A user called MR_EXCELLENT wrote: “I rang Mr.Solomon myself a few years ago to ask if I could rent a bit of space in the building, he declined stating he gets dozens of calls every week asking him to ‘sell up’. He told me his dad built the building and he’ll never sell, I told him how much I like the building and how much I’d hate to see a big company ruin it, he told me he thought it would make an excellent Italian restaurant. Good chat! He seemed to be happy to talk to someone who appreciated the building but he could have just been too polite to tell me to fuck off.”

Redditor asidonhopo added: “I went in about 8 years ago or so. Wanted a nice comfy computer chair and it looked like they had some interesting old school office stuff in there, so I rang and the lady said she’d be around that Saturday and to knock on. Her dad used to own the place apparently, she was dead happy for me to just root around through all the old stuff and chat away.”

Pedro-a-go-go actually bought something from there: “I’ve bought stuff in there before, admittedly about 15 years ago. Needed a load of office ‘in trays’ for work. There was a lot of standing about as the bloke was dealing with someone buying a safe, and couldn’t work out how it to change the combination on the safe he was demonstrating. He ended up snapping a teaspoon and jamming it in the lock to try to get it to change. The person didn’t buy the safe. Also office in trays are REALLY expensive….”

And so did Redditor scottynoble: “I bought a safe from there in 2008. Still have it. Friend who recently passed away was a big deal at printworks recommended the place and got me a discount. Was like stepping into 1971, lovely people.”

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Feature

If you’re having really weird dreams this lockdown here’s why

(Don’t worry, you’re not the only one)

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Matthew Henry / Unsplash

If you’re finding yourself having super weird dreams and actually being able to remember them in the morning, don’t panic, you’re not alone.

Tonnes of people across the country have been reporting the exact same thing during lockdown. Luckily a scientist has given us a clever explanation that will calm down all our fears that self-isolation might be getting to us.

There are a lot of contributing factors that stem from being in lockdown that are changing our dream patterns. One of the biggest one is increased stress and anxiety levels due to the uncertainty of the world right now.

Credit: Stephen Oliver / Unsplash

Many, in fact, most people are finding themselves with financial worries and pressures like never before.

Cabin fever is also a huge factor to our unconscious thinking patterns and a lot of people are having dreams of being stuck, whether that formulates as a room with no doors or a shipwreck you’re stuck on – it all comes down to a feeling of being stuck inside. Which is pretty self explanatory.

We’re all also spending more time than ever with the same few people which will be having an effect on your dreams.

Other reasoning comes down to the fact that our homes are physically warmer because we’re all in it, potentially with the heating on. When we’re asleep and warm we have more vivid dreams.

Credit: Kate Stone Matheson / Unsplash

Some people’s dreams might not be that spectacular – finding themselves down the local having a frosty pint of their favourite beer (which does actually sound spectacular tbh) – and that’s completely fine too.

Life has become monotonous, what with ‘going to work’ including rolling out of bed and walking the 10 steps to the dining table. Basically we’re just missing normality and craving the things we would do in an average week.

There’s even a reason as to why we’re all remembering our dreams like they’re a blockbuster movie too.

Credit: Damir Spanic / Unsplash

As we’re all having a little lie-in in the morning, with some of us not even setting an alarm, we can move into that REM sleep.

While we’re in REM sleep our brains are more active, dreams get longer and more vivid. With our alarms not going off, we stay in this type of sleep for longer, dreams extend, get weirder and we can then remember them when we get up.

So whatever your dreams involve, you’re not crazy just isolated!! Keep dreaming kids!

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Feature

Who remembers Manchester’s hugely popular Granada Studios Tour?

Ahh the memories…

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cantwont & Markus Schroeder/Flickr

It was Manchester’s answer to Universal Studios, but with the Coronation Street set…

After a successful decade-long run of providing fun for Manchester, the demise of the Granada Studio Tour began after visitor numbers dwindled – meaning the tour sadly shut up shop for one last time.

One of the biggest reasons as to why can be put down to poor businesses practises at ITV, which saw the company lose millions.

The main culprit was the Sky-like service called ‘ONDigital’, which launched in 1998 and was forced into administration just four short years later.

Granada Studios Tour, Manchester
davekpcv / Flickr

It was pretty much the exact same concept as Sky, only the exclusive shows were essentially rubbish and the whole thing flopped.

At this point the Granada Studios Tour was seen as a large and unnecessary expense, and unfortunately closed down.

The tour was the brainchild of Granada producer David Plowright, who proposed to create a ‘Hollywood-on-the-Irwell‘ – and that he did. Sort of, anyway.

The tour first opened its doors in 1988, expecting to welcome 250,000 in the first year, but in the initial eight months alone 600,000 people visited to take in the sights.

Arguably the most popular attraction was the Coronation Street set which in 2013 moved to MediaCity, built on an even bigger scale with the chance to go inside too!

In 2018 Victoria Street was added, which features a garden and memorial bench paying tribute to the Manchester Arena bombing 22 victims and Coronation Street super fan Martyn Hett.

The old Granada Studios Tour might not have been the bright lights of LA or Hollywood, but you don’t get much more Mancunian than that cobbled street! 

What are your favourite memories of the tour? 

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