October 15, 2012

Space Jumping Daredevil Breaks The Speed Of Sound – The Daily Orbit

Why do certain sounds make you cringe?

How will NASA provide hope for paraplegics?

And Felix Baumgartner sets new world records!

All that and more on today’s Daily Orbit!!!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit!  I’m Emerald Robinson. Well, Orbiters, after many delays, Felix Baumgartner successfully completely his “space jump” from 128,000 feet yesterday.  Felix became the first man to break the sound barrier without being inside a vehicle, traveling at 1.24 times the speed of sound. Hoisted by balloon in a capsule that looked a lot like a Red Bull can, it took two and half hours to reach his record setting height and only about 4 minutes and 20 seconds of free fall before he opened his parachute to reach the ground. As he stood on the edge of the capsule preparing for his jump Felix said “the whole world is watching now, and I wish they could see what I see!” Well, congratulations Felix from The Daily Orbit! You’re braver than I am!

Ughhh! What is that sound…it’s making me crazy!!!! Why is that? New research reveals an interaction between the region of the brain that processes sound – the auditory cortex – and the region which processes negative emotions – the amygdala. Sounds like nails on a chalkboard or of a knife on a bottle fall in the frequency range of 2,000 to 5,000 Hz, the frequency range where our ears are most sensitive. At this range, the amygdala regulates the response of the auditory cortex heightening activity and causing our negative reaction. Please make it stop!!!!

Ummm…so I can’t work today because ummm… my dog had a nervous breakdown and he really needs me to be there for him. Believe it or not that’s one of the “calling in sick” excuses that made the top of Careerbuilder.com’s “Most Ridiculous Excuses for Calling in Sick” list.  Other excuses that made the list: “my sobriety tool wouldn’t allow my car to start” and “my toe is stuck in a faucet.” Forbes reported that 30 percent of employees call in sick at least once a year when they aren’t actually ill. But before you fib, beware! According to US News and World Report, 29% of employers “checked up” on their absent workers throughout the day.

And we may soon be looking at real-life avatars, you know like the movie with the blue people? Robotic technology used by NASA’s Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, may one day be used to help astronauts stay healthier in space and also help paraplegics walk on Earth. Robonaut 2 is currently working with the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.  Based on this technology, scientists are developing a robot exoskeleton, worn over the legs with a harness that reaches up the back and around the shoulders. Weighing 57 lbs., the robotic exoskeleton would either assist or inhibit movement in the legs. This technology is building on the work of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition’s “Mina” exoskeleton. NASA says the device will have the ability to measure, record and stream real-time data to flight controllers to give Earth-bound doctors better insight into the crew’s exercise.

Hold on! Gotta get my burst of exercise. Okay..wooh. A new study says that if you can’t fit a regular exercise routine into your schedule, then doing a few short bursts of intense exercise can burn up to 200 or more calories throughout the day! Based on the exercise program known as sprint interval training, researchers analyzed the benefit of participants who did five 30 second periods of fast pedaling on a stationary bike separated by four minute recovery periods. They found that these participants burned an extra 200 calories! So they say if you can get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, add these short quick bursts into your daily routine.

That’s it for the Daily Orbit! Time for my second 30 seconds!

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