February 28, 2013
Giving Birth To A Planet – The Daily Orbit
The birth of a planet!
Rosie the robot in real life?
What new find is made for the movies?
And a little pain for a little pleasure on today’s Daily Orbit.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
The possible birth of a planet has scientists excited! Astronomers have obtained what is likely the first direct observation of a forming planet still embedded in a think disc of gas and dust. The planet is surrounding the young star HD 100546, only 335 light-years away from Earth. It appears that a planet is in the process of being formed that would be a gas giant similar to our Jupiter and is about 6 times further from its star than the Earth is from the Sun. If this is indeed the formation of a new planet, it’s the first time that scientists will be able to study the planet formation process and its natal environment. But they say they can’t jump the gun. More follow-up observations need to be made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope. You know, you would think all those smart people could have come up with a better name for that.
Remember Rosie from the Jetsons? The family robot maid of the futuristic family? Well, the future is officially here, George Jetson! A new robot called P37 S65 has been developed to help remind the elderly to take their medication and exercise…it even tells jokes! The bot provides 24-hour emergency notifications that go directly to care-givers or doctors through video conferencing or text messaging. Developers of P37 S65 say this could be the answer to an aging population that requires more care from a smaller work force. Hmm… wonder if Rosie could have done all of those functions?
If there are any B movie producers watching out there—I’ve got an idea for you. Picture this—killer fish with a chainsaw-like tongue full of razor sharp teeth to slash through its prey mercilessly. Picture—Helicoprion. But it’s for real. Scientists say that this 25 foot long fish lived about 270 million years ago in the waters of what is now modern-day Idaho. Wow. Exotic. Up until now, scientists couldn’t understand how the teeth fit in the mouth. But by using CT scans and computer modeling of the fish’s spiral set of teeth – or whorl – scientists were able to analyze deep into the fossil and found for the first time how the spiral of teeth relates to the jaw. As the mouth closes, the long, pointy, sharp, triangular teeth spin backward slashing into its prey. No need for a steak knife! Well, definitely not since it more likely ate calamari. So, if you like my idea anyone let me know. We’ll make movie magic!
Yesterday we told you that you needed sleep to keep your genes functioning. Well, today we’re telling you more zzzz’s will make your kids smarter, assuming you have kids. Researchers say that children need to get more deep sleep due to the massive amount of data that take in on a daily basis. Sleeping after learning helps long-term storage of the material. The new study shows that children who slept preformed much better in memory tasks than the children who stayed awake. And it’s not just about learning. A previous study showed kids who got as little as an extra 27 minutes of sleep per night had fewer behavioral issues. So get your kids to bed! You’ll be glad you did when they get that college scholarship.
“Hurt so good….come on baby make it hurt so good.” Well, looks like John Cougar Mellencamp was onto something. New research looked into the “It could have been worse” phenomenon, which suggests that minor pain can be pleasant when worse pain is expected. Exposing subjects to either intense or moderate pain and measuring brain activity, researchers found that intense pain triggered negative feelings, but moderate pain triggered a positive reaction in people braced for worse pain. They said this could identify why some people enjoy experiences that others find unpleasant or painful. Case in point…50 Shades of Grey. Uhmm-hmmm…
Well that does it for the Daily Orbit. Let me try this out. Ouch! No that just hurts…yeah.