February 15, 2013

Asteroid Weaves Its Way Past Earth, And We Didn’t Die! – The Daily Orbit

What’s been printed and now is jumping?

Billboards boding badly for drivers.

Females are taking over Facebook.

And a whole lot of space rocks on today’s Daily Orbit.

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.

You know I don’t even get concerned about asteroids coming close to Earth anymore, there’re so many! Yet another space rock came within kissing distance of our fair Earth today. At 2:25 eastern time, asteroid 2012 DA14 came within 17,150 miles of our planet, closer than most major weather and television satellites which sit at 22,000 miles away. And there’s one commercial company who watched the asteroid closely—Deep Space Industries. The company is looking to mine asteroids for minerals and water. They said 2012 DA14 could have been worth up to $195 billion, if it were in a different orbit. Unfortunately this asteroid is too hard and expensive to chase down. But the company says they have their eyes on the sky for an asteroid that makes sense to sample.

Holy crap! What was that? Well, I guess we should get concerned about these space rocks after all. But all jokes aside, seriously we should be concerned. A meteor striking in the Ural Mountains of Russia this morning injured at least 950 people with 43 hospitalized. The fireball lit up the morning sky and was accompanied by loud bangs. Officials say the large meteor partially burned up in the lower atmosphere and left fragments falling to Earth. Incredible!

And talk about incredible. Last week it was stem cells made from a 3D printer, this week it’s a leaping robot. The three legged jumping soft robot can leap up to a foot in the air. High-voltage wires were imbedded into the legs of the robots to deliver a spark, igniting a gas and causing a small explosion that sends the robot up into the air. They measured the speed of the robot’s jump at 4 meters per second. The team said jumping seemed like a good starting point because it releases a lot of energy quickly. Next, they want to use the combustion system for other gaits, like walking or running. So we’ll have to watch out for asteroids and jumping robots.

Who’s the face of Facebook? Looks like a young female. A recent survey conducted by the Pew Internet group presents a breakdown of social networking users. Sixty-seven percent of all Facebook users are 18-29 year old women. Eighty-three percent of adults between 18 and 29 and 77% of adults from 30 to 49 use social networking. Young African-Americans living in urban areas more likely use Twitter. And interested in Pinterest? It’s mostly educated white females between 18 and 29. In fact, twenty-five percent of all female Internet users have a presence on Pinterest. Hmm..I don’t—maybe that’s something I should think about.

What you should not think about – while driving anyway – are billboards. A new study looked at distracted driving and billboards and found that, yep, they’re dangerous. They say that both negative and positive ads cause drivers to slow down, suggesting an emotional response. Negative billboards also cause drivers to swerve side-to-side, while positive ones cause drivers to speed up. Researchers said this proves that drivers have natural reactions and emotional responses to billboards, and thus these ads distract drivers from the task at hand. You know they left out one category that is most distracting? Billboards with really hot models. I’m sure that’s the worst.

That’s it for today’s Daily Orbit. Drive safely Orbiters 😉

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