May 20, 2013
Caffeine Toothbrush May Give Your Morning A Jump Start – The Daily Orbit
What new twist to toothpaste will get you hyped!
Attack of the crazy ants!
Want to shock your math skills into action?
And the moon was a big hit! On the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Is your coffee, soda, Red Bull, or Wrigley’s gum not cutting it on the caffeine front? Well, here’s a way to get more of our favorite drug—caffeine-laden toothbrushes. Colgate-Palmolive has filed a patent for a new toothbrush that could secrete chemicals during brushing. According to the company, caffeine is a “homeopathic teething or inflammation soothing additive.” Teething? I’m pretty sure caffeine is the last thing you want to give a toddler. But it’s not just for caffeine. Chemical releasing patches could provide various flavors or release appetite suppressants or painkillers. Any more caffeinated goodies and I’m going to be totally cracked out.
It’s attack of the crazy ants! Like the stuff cheesy B movies are made of—crazy ants are taking over the U.S.’s Gulf Coast. Residents never thought that the native fire ants would be a welcome sight, but this invader out of South America is proving to be a real pest. Although they don’t sting, they are an invasive species, entering people’s homes, nesting within in walls and crawl spaces, and damaging electrical equipment. And lucky for homeowners—they don’t consume most poison baits. Great. In South America, they are kept in control by other types of ants and predators but no such regulators live in the Gulf. Researchers say these invaders could impact the region’s entire biodiversity.
Want to give your math skills a shock? Researchers have found that applying random electrical noise to stimulate the part of the brain involved in doing math, can actually boost your math skills. The study found that participants who underwent what is called “transcranial random noise stimulation” saw improved performance on both calculation and learning tasks, which lasted as long as six months. The technique is painless, easy and relatively affordable. They say this could one day be used in the clinic, classrooms, and even the home to help those who struggle with certain cognitive tasks. Hook me up! I could use a little stimulation these days.
Well, the Mars Rover Opportunity has taken the lead! Sometimes I forget there’s another rover up there besides Curiosity. Opportunity surpassed the miles traveled record set back in 1972 by astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt in their Lunar Roving Vehicle that drove 22.21 miles over a three-day period. Opportunity has traveled a total of 22.22 miles since January 2004, making it the farthest total distance any NASA vehicle has driven on a world other than Earth. But that is just the national record. The Soviet Union holds the international record with a total driving distance of 23 miles with its remote controlled Lunokhod 2 rover that rolled around the surface of the moon in 1973.
And to all you armchair astronomers out there—if you weren’t moon-gazing on Friday night, you missed quite a sight! An object the size of a small boulder hit the lunar surface and exploded with a flash nearly 10 times brighter than astronomers have seen before, so bright it was visible to the naked eye. But you had to be quick to see it! It lasted only about a second and glowed as bright as a 4th magnitude star. Astronomers believe the meteoroid was about 90 lbs and struck the moon with a force equal to 5 tons of TNT. NASA’s lunar monitoring program helps identify space debris that could pose a threat to the Earth-moon system, and they believe the March 17th impact could be a good candidate for their research. Why do I keep missing all these cool stellar events! Ugh!
Well that’s all for the Daily Orbit! See you back here tomorrow!