March 20, 2013
Mars Rover Back Up And Running After Temporary Glitch – The Daily Orbit
Curiosity’s still kicking it after another glitch.
Why the Pleistocene dating pool must have been pretty small.
Finding the fountain of youth.
And more tips for a long and healthy life on today’s Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Well, Curiosity is safe after a glitch sent it into another “safe mode” this weekend. The rover put itself into standby status over the weekend after a command file failed a size-check. But engineers simply had to delete the no longer necessary file, getting Curiosity back on track. Sort of like detox for the rover right? But the rover will be taking a much longer break beginning April 4 when Mars moves behind the sun from Earth’s prospective. The 4 week moratorium is necessary in case the sun were to interfere with any commands being sent Curiosity. Well, little rover we’re glad you’re okay and back to work exploring the Martian surface.
And who else plans to get smart with watches? Samsung. The company says that it plans to release a smartwatch, after rumors of an Apple-branded smartwatch having surfaced months ago. I love a little competition. Samsung and Apple are the world’s leading producers of smartphones, and have been in direct competition since the iPhone was released in 2007. Other than the plans to release the watch, Samsung remained mum about the details. But leaked reports of the Samsung watch suggest that it can fetch email, display maps, play music, and work with a cellular connection. So it looks like the watch race is on. Show me the map to the Daily Orbit. I feel like a spy!
Ever heard that Ray Stevens song “I’m my own Grandpa?” Well, I am reminded of it in light of this story. A 100,000 year old skull found in a mountainous region of northern China suggests that our ancestors were inbreeders. The skull had an unusual hole called an enlarged parietal foramen – which is typically diagnosed as a rare genetic mutation in modern humans. EPF prevents the closure of the skull bones that typically occurs within the first five months of fetal development and previous research shows that inbreeding is a major cause of this condition. Researchers believe that the genetic pools were very small in the Pleistocene era and without the knowledge of the risks of inbreeding, it was probably quite common for our ancestors to procreate with relatives. In other words, their sister was probably also their aunt who was their cousin twice removed. Confused?
And tell me, where is the Fountain of Youth? In the land of Ikaria you say? Well, it might not be the fountain of youth of folklore but inhabitants of the Greek island of Ikaria do tend to live longer, and researchers say it might be because of their special brew—of coffee that is. Ikarians have the highest longevity rate in the world and they tend to drink a special boiled Greek coffee. After studying a sample of Ikarian men and women, researchers found a correlation between the boiled coffee and improved endothelial function. The endothelium is a thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels throughout a person’s circulatory system. They say the connection is likely because the boiled Greek type of coffee is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants and contains only a moderate amount of caffeine. How can I get some of that coffee?
And here are more tips for your health and longevity from the American Heart Association that they say will cut you risk of death from heart disease in half. 1) Be physically active. 2) Maintain a healthy weight. 3) Eat a healthy diet. 4) Maintain healthy cholesterol 5) Keep your blood pressure down. 6) Regulate your blood sugar level, and 7) DON’T SMOKE! And not only will your heart thank you, but you’ll significantly reduce your risk of cancer. Follow just one or two of these rules and see a 21% dip in cancer risk, but meet 5 or 6 and cut your risk by more than half. Though all the factors are important, not smoking seemed to have the most significant impact on health. So quit smoking if you do currently. And start drinking boiled Greek coffee.
Well that’s all for the Daily Orbit. When do you think Starbucks is going to start selling boiled coffee? Soon?