January 30, 2013

DARPA Wants To Create Self-destructing Hardware – The Daily Orbit

Be careful what you eat!

A River Runs Through It…It being Mars.

Ferocious felines on the prowl in the US?

And timing is everything on today’s Daily Orbit!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.

Ever notice how some science fiction movies seem to one day come true? Well, in true Transformer fashion, DARPA has announced its new endeavor, inviting scientists to help them create Vanishing Programmable Resources, or VAPR-hardware that self-destructs on command. Such hardware could be especially useful in the battlefield to ensure that lost technology behind doesn’t fall into the evil hands of the enemy. Hahaha. Last year DARPA showcased electronics that dissolve in water, so the technology isn’t too farfetched. That would be a great new feature for cell phones. If they happen to fall into the wrong hands you could trigger destruction.

Let the evidence show that the Red Planet with thriving water did flow… I was just keeping with the science fiction feel. But in all seriousness new research is further supporting the theory that water once flowed on Mars. Looking at images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of 4,000 ridges in two crater-rocked regions, the team determined the presence of iron-magnesium where the ridges exists—a mineral that is considered to be a sign that water had once been present in the rocks. Researchers say these findings could mean that Mars is a good place to search for evidence of ancient life. NASA’s motto anyway—“Follow the water!”

So would you like the chicken dinner or the vegetarian meal? Well here’s some food for thought before you RSVP to that wedding invite. According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control, leafy greens – like lettuce, spinach, and kale – accounted for the most food-borne illnesses nationwide over a ten-year period. But veggies should not bear the full brunt of bad news. Dairy products accounted for the most hospitalizations. But which one topped the death-related list? Well, that would be poultry with 277 deaths in a 10 year span. So eat veggies and possibly get sick….eat poultry and maybe get sick…but maybe die too…hmmm…oh well I’ll take my chances.

And it’s not only what you eat but when you eat when it comes to weight loss. Just like in love and luck, timing is everything. And doctors say that the timing of meals predicts weight-loss effectiveness. Researchers found that people who eat their largest meal of the day before 3pm lost significantly more weight than those who ate their largest meal after 3pm. These findings were independent of traditional factors that typically play a role in weight loss suggesting that meal timing really is important. So I guess I will be certain to eat my hand-tossed pepperoni pizza and chicken wings before 3:00pm then…done!

And more upsetting news on Killer Cats!!! Just a week after news of one conservationist’s efforts to rid New Zealand of its cat infestation, a new study says that the U.S. is also under attack from the ferocious felines. Okay, maybe that’s a bit much. But the Smithsonian is saying that domestic cats in the US kill as many as 3.7 billion birds and more than 20 billion small mammals every year – even being responsible for a bigger animal-elimination rate than habitat loss, agricultural chemicals and hunting. But it’s not really the family housecat that’s to blame. It’s mostly feral and stray cats doing the killing. Experts say these findings show that we need to be more responsible about the impact of outdoor cat populations on the environment.

That’s your Daily Orbit for today. Self-destructing in 3-2-1…

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