February 5, 2013
Google Glass Project Adds Another Component – The Daily Orbit
Google’s got good vibrations.
Who’s the most narcissistic member of the animal kingdom?
Finding fear in the brain.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Google’s got another good idea! I can feel, or rather hear it, in my bones! Google recently filed a patent application for Google glasses that would deliver sound by sending vibrations directly to the skull to be picked up and perceived as sound through contact points on the bridge of the nose, the temples, and behind the ears. And an added bonus? Bone conduction minimizes sound leakage so you won’t disturb those around you. But don’t think you’re going to go grab a set anytime soon. According to Google the glasses might not even make it to production; they are “in flux.” Feel the vibrations…brations….What? Sorry I can’t hear you?.
Mini drones reporting for duty! It’s not a toy, but an intelligent war machine. Measuring in at 4 inches by 1 inch, and armed with only a small camera, these mini helicopters are helping to protect the British Army in Afghanistan by scoping out the battlefield and sending live video and images to soldiers waiting in the wings. Extremely light and portable, these drones are easy to carry around while troops are out on patrol. The drones are built for quick, short surveillance missions. These “eyes in the sky” clock in at 22 miles per hour, travel about half a mile, and fly for about 30 minutes. They can be piloted via remote control or programmed to follow a set of GPS coordinates. I want one. Hmmm…they could prove to be very useful.
And from flying drones to flying dinos—scientists have identified a new pterosaur. Named Eurazhdarcho, this newbie belonged to a group of pterosaurs called the azhdarchids and had a long-neck, long beak, and could fold its wings up and walk on all fours when necessary and had a relatively small wingspan at 3 meters. The fossils, which are approximately 68 million years old, were found in an inland, continental environment in Romania and suggest that this species walked through forests, plains and other places to find small animal prey. The discovery is the most complete example of an azhdarchid found in Europe so far. Scientists say this find shows that there were many different animals hunting a variety prey in that region at the same time demonstrating a much more complicated Late Cretaceous period than first thought.
Huh! What was that? Wow that really got my amygdala going. The part of the brain known as the amygdala has long been known to be responsible for the fear response in the human body. But new research suggests that though the amygdala filters external fear, internal fear is managed by other parts of the brain such as the brainstem, the insular cortex, and the diencephalon. Researchers say that this research could help in finding treatments for panic attacks.
I feel as clean as a cockroach’s antenna! You’re thinking, “I always thought cockroaches were dirty.” Yeah me too, but a new study say that insects spend a lot of time grooming and that this is very important for their livelihood. Grooming helps insects maintain acute olfactory senses to help them find food, sense danger, and find love, or well, a mate. The study found that insects groom themselves incessantly to rid microscopic pores of foreign chemicals but also hydrocarbons that they excrete themselves to prevent water loss. These pores allow chemicals to travel through them to reach olfactory sensory receptors. Researchers also found that clean antennae were more effective at picking up the ladies than not clean ones. So keep your antennas clean boys.
Well that does it for today’s Daily Orbit.