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China Lands On The Moon, Rover Deployed – On Science

December 16, 2013

Chang’e scores one for China.

What is color?

Who’s surfing the web other than humans?

And the holidays are getting started today On Science!

Hello and welcome to On Science. I’m Emerald Robinson.

China has landed! China has announced the successful soft landing of its Chang’e 3 spacecraft—the first since 1976. China is only the third country ever in the world to have completed such a landing. However, the country say’s they’re willing to share. One Chinese news agency reported that they will “share the achievement of its lunar exploration with the whole world and use them to benefit humanity. “ Named after the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e will release its Yutu rover, which will spend about 3 months cruising around the lunar surface in an effort to find natural resources. And I like this little tidbit of information, the Chinese spacecraft landed in the Bay of Rainbows on the lunar surface.

How do you explain the colors of a rainbow? Or, well, color in general? The Third Annual Flame Challenge is on and scientists have until March 1, 2014 to explain through writing, video, or graphics: “what is color?” The more exact questions came from 11 year-olds across the nation and were questions like: “is my blue their blue?” “Does everyone see color the same?” and “Why is the sky blue?” Ahhh….questions of the ages. The creator of the contest said the point of it is to have scientists communicate science in a way that an 11-year-old can understand and appreciate. Well, we big kids appreciate the breakdown too! “Do we see color the same way?”

I’m not sure we all see “captcha” codes the same way. I have such a hard time getting those right. And they say it’s to prove we are human. Well here’s why! Nearly two-thirds of all Internet traffic originates from non-human sources and 60% of them are malicious. This report comes from the bot-tracking firm Incapsula. We human surfers only make up 38.5%. But the report wasn’t all bad. Although there has been an overall growth in bot activity, Incapsula said that many of the traditional malicious uses of the bots has become less common. Well, that’s good. But why are bots so prevalent? Because they’re easy to build. So easy to build, one source said, that even a journalist that didn’t know code could pick up a $300 bot kit and get going.

Well the holidays are upon us and I can almost hear the sound of Old Kris Kringle and the Jing Jing Jingle of sleigh bells. But the jingle bells are in danger! A new study from the University of Calgary says that climate change is endangering global reindeer and caribou habitats. The study found that North America’s caribous are remarkably similar to Northern Europe and Asia’s reindeer and that climate change is having the same effect on each. Global warming is destroying lichen-rich habitats necessary for caribou to thrive. But the interesting find was how DNA analysis showed just how similar these two groups were despite their many assumed differences. So Rudolph you might want to ask Santa for a Christmas miracle for your caribou cousins this Christmas.

And it will be a Christmas miracle if I don’t gain 10 pounds this Christmas with all the good down home cooking. Here’s a solution that doesn’t require a miracle. The University of Bath suggests daily exercising counteracts some of the profound negative physiological effects that occur with binge eating—a.k.a. the holidays. So even though you’re taking in way more calories than usual, exercising can help stop the blood sugar from rising and prevent unhealthy metabolic changes and unhealthy diet balance. In the study, the group that exercised showed no unhealthy changes from increasing their calorie consumption by 75% but those who didn’t exercise did show negative changes even with only increasing their consumption by half. So if you want to indulge in the fruit cake and sweet potato pie you better get to sweating.

And that’s what’s up On Science. I’m getting started now, while visions are sugar plums are starting to dance in my head.



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