May 14, 2013

Astronaut Rock Star Belts Out A Bowie Tune – The Daily Orbit

One astronaut gets creative on the ISS.

Rolls-Royce and the Bloodhound are on the hunt for a new record.

Buggin’ out over world hunger.

And losing our mind for technology on today’s Daily Orbit!

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

Well, if you haven’t seen this video yet—I don’t know what rock you’ve been hiding under! During his five months aboard the International Space Station, Canadian astronaut and Commander of Expedition 35, Chris Hadfield, has done some cool stuff like talking to William Shatner and being active on social media. But this time he’s topped it with a music video of his own rendition of David Bowie’s classic “Space Oddity.” And he gave it his own spin with modified lyrics referring to the Soyuz capsule in which he returned to Earth on Monday. He recorded the vocals in space, and some Earthlings added the piano and other musical instruments. I love when the guitar goes floating through the space station. This is the last space mission for the Canadian government due to budget cuts. Way to go out with a bang Chris! I love an astronaut with a sense of humor!

What do you get when you put Rolls-Royce and a Bloodhound together? A really, really super-fast car! Rolls-Royce has announced its support of the jet-engine powered Bloodhound SuperSonic Car in an attempt to break the 1,000 mph World Land Speed Record. Rolls-Royce is providing the supercar with an EJ200 jet engine, typically found in a Eurofighter-Typhoon combat aircraft. It will reach speeds of 350 mph before igniting a rocket motor to take it supersonic. Wing Commander Andy Green will be in the driver’s seat to make the record-breaking attempt at a desert site in South Africa. And in an attempt to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in education, they’re encouraging students to join in on the fun by having their names inscribed on the fin of the vehicle for just 10 British pounds. Also over 5,500 schools have signed up for Bloodhound themed lessons. Reps from Rolls say that promoting education is vital to keeping the UK at the forefront of global business.

Feel bad about paying $15 for a burger at one of those gourmet burger joints? Try $325,000. That’s how much a Professor from the Netherlands says his test tube beef patties cost to make. The in-vitro burger (yeah that sounds real appetizing) is made from 100% beef products. Stem cells were harvested in the neck of a cow on its way to slaughter, then grown in fetal calf serum and other material used to recreate tissue. Yummy…ugh gag me! The flavor, well as you would suspect, not so great but the professor wants to reduce the world’s dependence on beef and says the test tube burger is simply the first step towards a solution for a possible-food shortage crisis. The burger will be served at a London event next month to a few lucky chosen guinea pigs. Yeah, I’d probably have to add a lot of ketchup to that burger to wolf it down.

I might rather eat a bug than one of those burgers. [ bug tossed into scene ] Ahhh!! I was just kidding! But a new report says that creepy crawlers are an underutilized source of food in the battle against worldwide hunger. Researchers say that certain insects could be cultivated more efficiently as a food source. Insects are a good source of protein and 2 billion people worldwide already eat 1,900 insect species. But don’t panic. Researchers aren’t saying go out and eat a bug. They’re saying that it’s an untapped resource, but more research needs to be done on its safety. [ taking a bite ] Don’t knock it til ya try it I guess!

And researchers say that dementia and deaths related to dementia are on the rise thanks to obesity and technology. A new UK study revealed that mid-life obesity doubles the risk of dementia and that nearly half of all men and 31% of women will be obese by 2050. By that time, they say 7% of those 65 plus will suffer from dementia. Another US study found a drastic increase in dementia-related deaths in people under the age of 74. They attribute the rise in dementia to environmental and social changes like the explosion of electronic devices causing a rise in background non-ionizing radiation like our PCs, microwaves, TVs, cell phones along with all the pollution, food additives, and so forth. They say you can’t change your age but you can change your lifestyle to help combat the risk of dementia.

And we want to just follow up on yesterday’s report from NOAA that carbon dioxide levels had passed 400 parts per million. A revised reading actually put average levels for the week of May 9th at 399.89 ppm, just under 400, but still up from last year’s average.

And that’s all for your Daily Orbit. Take it away Chris!

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