September 16, 2013
Beer Goggle Effect Works Both Ways – The Daily Orbit
Looking through both sides of the beer goggles.
Amateur astronomers are at it again.
What makes an entomologists go ick?
And who’s happier and healthier on the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
There’s an old country song that says, “life looks good, Billy’s got his beer goggles on.” Turns out Billy looks better to himself a few beers in too. A new study revealed that as people drink, they not only find others more attractive, but themselves as well. In the study, people rated themselves as funnier and more attractive the more alcohol they believed they had consumed, even though unbiased observers saw no difference. In fact, it only took one drink for people to start feeling the effect. Researchers said this shows how strong the link is between alcohol and attractiveness. For their foray into liquid courage the researchers received the Ig Nobel Prize for Improbable Research. The Ig Nobel celebrates unusual research or research that simply makes people laugh. Well, this one definitely makes me chuckle.
And citizens keep contributing more and more to science. Amateur astronomers have observed a trio of collisions in Jupiter’s atmosphere. These fireballs are the result of meteors entering Jupiter’s atmosphere, like the meteor seen over Russia in February. These events happen about 100 times more often on Jupiter than here on Earth due to the large planet’s strong gravitational attraction. Scientists say they enter the gas giant’s atmosphere at speeds of at least 37 miles per second and disintegrate at temperatures topping 18,000 degrees F. The impacts were observed by amateur astronomers in Australia, the Philippines, Japan, and the US. Way to play in the big leagues amateurs.
A new report says that Americans are living longer, healthier and happier than ever before. The study, which compiled data from over two decades, found that American babies born today can expect to live 3.8 years longer than someone born two decades ago. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Harvard said that it’s not just living longer, but Americans are also living healthier and more active lives thanks to advancements in modern medicine. They used the quality-adjusted life expectancy, or QALE, to calculate the relative quality of those added years are in terms of physical, emotional and mental well-being. They say we haven’t just added years to life, but we’ve added healthy years. So I guess, I’ll do a happy dance!
But this report does not make me happy. New research presented at the CleanUp 2013 scientific contamination conference in Melbourne, shows that we’ve all been physiologically and biochemically polluted by man-made chemicals. And it’s a global problem. The dangers of low-level chemical pollution in our air, water and food have been known since the 80s, but there has been a slow response to deal with it worldwide. Such toxic substances like mercury and lead have been linked to chronic health issues and can be found in everyday items—from cosmetics to food. Toxic pollutants can affect people on the genetic level, which can be passed on to children and grandchildren. Scientists say that governments and health professionals need to respond quicker to these health issues associated with pollution, and we need better training of healthcare workers to diagnose chemical poisoning. That’s disturbing.
One would think that if someone chose a career as an entomologist, that one would not be afraid of spiders. But not so says a new study. An article published in the journal American Entomologist says that those who make a living studying insects can be just as spider-adverse as the next person. A survey of working entomologists found that most had a mild disgust or fear of the creepy crawly little creatures but some were clinically arachnophobic and react to spiders in an almost “debilitating manner.” That’s ironic. Scientists are trying to understand the roots of the fear of spiders, so they can lessen instances of arachnophobia in the long run. So you see entomologists really are just like you and me. Well, except that I don’t really want to be around any bugs in general.
Well, that’s all for the Daily Orbit. [ spider ] And that is why I’m not an entomologist.