September 26, 2012

Bacon Shortages On The Horizon – The Daily Orbit

Free-falling from space?  Who would dare?

What news will have you chanting: Save Our Bacon!

To the Moon and far beyond!

And whole lot to toast to on today’s Daily Orbit!

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

“I feel just a like a tiger in a cage that can’t wait to get out!” No not me!  That’s what Felix Baumgartner is saying in anticipation of his “space jump.”    On October 8, Baumgartner will plunge from an altitude of 120,000 feet…or 23 miles from the ground.  Riding a specialized helium filled balloon, the dare devil will soar into near space in a custom-built capsule.  From this height, Baumgartner could become the first skydiver EVER to reach supersonic speeds and will break the 52-year standing record for the world’s highest skydive, set back in 1960.  Baumgartner already completed a test jump on July 25 from a height of 97,146 feet where he reached speeds of 537 mph. Not only will he be setting the record for highest skydive, fastest free-fall, longest free-fall, and highest manned balloon, but he will be collecting data that will help in future high-altitude escapes from spacecraft.  Somebody let that tiger out!

Save Our Bacon! Save Our Bacon!  If you’re a fan of bacon with you eggs, you may soon be saying a sad bye, bye.  Britain’s National Pig Association says that a global pork shortage is unavoidable in 2013.  Severe drought has dried up corn and soybean crops this year, decreasing food supply for livestock- leading farmers to thin their herds.  The NPA is spearheading a Save Our Bacon campaign to try to get British supermarkets to pay farmers a fair price for their stock.  One farmer in Kentucky got so desperate he gave his cattle candy just to keep them alive!  Bet they loved that!

NASA’s proposing a new outpost that would send astronauts the farthest ever from Earth.  The new “gateway spacecraft” would orbit on the far side of the moon and give purpose to the Orion space capsule and the Space Launch System rocket currently being developed at a cost of $3 billion annually.  The SLS is designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle that can transport a crew to the moon or beyond.  It will also carry important cargo, equipment, and experiments.   Though the new outpost would be a great use of the Orion and SLS, the price tag of the Gateway Spacecraft could be the deciding factor as NASA approaches Congress and the White House.

Ever heard “that stuff could run a car?”  (referring to over the shoulder graphic)  It’s true!  A Renewables company in Scotland is joining forces with a distillery there to turn whiskey leftovers into biofuel.  Scientists will use bacteria to feed on the leftover whiskey through a process that will produce butanol.  This advanced biofuel would be able to be used in any unmodified vehicle on the road and will mix well with conventional petroleum products.  Cheers to butanol!! Here! Here! (maybe toss a shot glass!)

And in more alcohol news, a new study says drink up!!!!  With red wine that is.  Scientists looked at the effects on honeybees of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine.  When administered the resveratrol, the bees ate less! They also found that the honeybees that received resveratrol experienced lengthened lifespan by 33 to 38%.  Previous scientific studies on resveratrol showed that it lengthens the lifespan of diverse organisms ranging from unicellular yeast to fruit flies and mice. If they change their mind on this finding, just don’t let me know!

That’s it for the Daily Orbit!  Cheers J (toasting and drinking)

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