October 26, 2012

Aftermath Of Huge Storm On Saturn – The Daily Orbit

What storm is making headlines?

Why’s the pantless tree frog making news?

And how could a smartphone get any cooler?  Just wait til you hear this!

All that and more coming up on the Daily Orbit!

Hello, I’m Emerald Robinson. Welcome to the Daily Orbit. There’s a storm making headlines, but it’s not Storm Sandy that is headed towards to East Coast. This one’s making science headlines and Saturn is its victim. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft tracked the aftermath of a massive storm on Saturn that happens once every Saturn year, or 30 Earth years. The storm has majorly disturbed the planet’s upper atmosphere with a temperature spike that’s equivalent to going from the coldest cold of Alaska to the scorching hot summer in the Mojave Desert. The storm, first detected on December 5, 2010, grew so large that in Earth terms, it would blanket most of North America from north to south, and wrap around the planet. That storm makes Sandy sound tame!

And the “pantless treefrog” may be in big trouble if — they do put their pants back on (hahahahaha) okay, that was corny — I just couldn’t help myself. This little amphibian is going to have to evolve, scientists say, to survive climate change! The tropical frogs lay their eggs out of water to protect them from aquatic predators. However, these eggs are now at an increased risk of drying out as the number of rainy days during the rainy season has significantly decreased. But scientists say that the “pantless treefrogs” can switch between laying their eggs in water or on leaves to respond to the climate changes. So with a little evolution these funny named little frogs will still be around. I find that kind of inspiring.

Okay now this is uber cool! They keep making our smartphones more and more addictive. Now a Danish company hopes to develop a way for us to navigate our smartphones with our eyeballs. You could use it for basic controls like turning the next page in an e-book and playing games with your eyes. The software uses infrared light to track the movements of our eyeballs. This reflected light is sent back to the camera, which sends the instructions to the phone. This means we might one day open an app by looking up once and blinking twice. The developers are saying they’re not trying to get rich! They plan to hand the software over for free to developers sometime next year. Listen Danish boys, I think you might want to rethink that. This idea sounds like gold!  Call me let’s talk about this!

I feel like we should just incorporate a section in the show called “Outing Obesity” or something. Nearly every day we bring you news on the perils of being overweight. A new study says that the longer people are overweight, the harder it’s going to be to shed those pounds. And at some point, the body seems to “flip a switch,” and reprograms itself to a heavier set weight. Researchers say their findings demonstrate that obesity is in part a self-perpetuating disorder and the results further emphasize the importance of early intervention in childhood to try to prevent a condition whose effects can last a lifetime. Just another call to wake-up America!

Looks like Jurassic Park wasn’t completely accurate with some of the dinosaurs in the movie. Remember that herd of scaly kind of bird-like dinosaurs being chased by the Tyrannosaurus rex? Well new research recently published says the real bird-like dinosaurs weren’t all scaly, but had feathers and wings!  Recovered from 75 million-year-old rocks in the badlands of Alberta, Canada, the ornithomimid is the first feathered dinosaur specimen found in the Western Hemisphere. Researchers found evidence of feathers preserved with a juvenile and two adult skeletons.  They say that the dinosaur was covered in down-like feathers throughout life, but only older individuals developed larger feathers on the arms, forming wing-like structures.

Well that’s it for today’s Daily Orbit! See you right back here next time!

Share on Linkedin Share on Google+