November 5, 2012
Sleep Loss Costs Billions In Productivity Loss – The Daily Orbit
A Big Happy Birthday to the International Space Station
Could living steps from the bar turn you into a sot?
And how much is not sleeping costing your boss?
All that and more coming up on the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Let’s start the day with a Curiosity update! Experiments from the rover show that the Red Planet’s atmosphere is 100 times thinner than the Earth’s. Using the Sample Analysis at Mars (or SAM) instruments, scientists discovered that a fraction of the Mars atmosphere has been lost into interplanetary space. They say this occurred by a physical process favoring retention of heavier isotopes of certain elements. The rover is also searching for methane gas on Mars to see if the planet has this precursor to chemical life. NASA’s MAVEN, scheduled to arrive on the Red Planet in 2014, will be further investigating the possible losses from the upper atmosphere. NASA says that “atmospheric variability in the Martian atmosphere could yet hold surprises for us.”
And continuing on in space, we wish the International Space Station a Happy 12th Birthday. The ISS officially opened for business 12 years ago, marking a milestone in international efforts to expand life beyond Earth. The Expedition 1 mission, which launched in November of 2000, brought the first crew to live and work on the space station and there has been a crew there ever since. The space station is a collaborative effort of five space agencies, representing 15 nations. The ISS is the third brightest object in the sky next to the sun and moon. And this is really cool – sign up for NASA’s “Spot the Station” program, and get a text or email notification when the space station is visible over your house. You can sign up for the alerts at spotthestation.nasa.gov — we’ll also post a link on the Daily Orbit facebook page. I’m definitely signing up for that!
Looks like living near those neon lights might lead to more heavy drinking. A new study suggests that the closer you live to a bar, the greater the chance you could become a heavy drinker. The study found that for each kilometer closer a person lived to a drinking hole, the chance of heavy drinking increased by 17%. But, researchers say the study did not necessarily prove that living close to a bar would automatically turn a person into an alcoholic. It’s possible that people who have a higher proclivity for heavy drinking may intentionally live closer to bars.
Now here’s a problem that could lead you to drinking – insomnia! Researchers say that approximately 10 percent of the population suffers from insomnia and 4 to 5 percent form sleep apnea. They say this lack of sleep is costing billions in terms of productivity loss at work. And also scary, lack of sleep can cause car accidents, especially in the presence of sleep aid that could cause drivers to still feel sleepy the next day. They say that individuals who feel tired will attempt treatment and may end up overusing medication or alcohol. See told you it would drive you to drinking. But what if you just can’t sleep?!
Then you’re probably spending a lot of time on the Internet. Well so are America’s youth — and its effects are getting mixed reviews. 77% of teachers surveyed said that today’s “digital tools” have had a mostly positive effect on kids when it comes to research for school work. However, 87% of the same teachers said that these very technologies are creating an ever increasingly distracted group of young people. Survey feedback also showed that, although students have a great wealth of available information, they expect to find information quickly and easily, are discouraged from using a wide range of sources, and don’t always search for credible sources. I tell ya, I would have loved to have the Internet back when I was in high school These kids these days are getting off easy!
Well that’s it for the Daily Orbit. See ya tomorrow!