October 4, 2013
New Race To Space Reality Show – The Daily Orbit
A reality show with an out of this world prize.
An easy new weight loss plan.
A battle between robot and jellyfish.
And celebrating World Animal Day on the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Well there’s a reality show for everything and this was bound to happen. I had wondered before why Richard Branson hadn’t gotten into the reality show game and now he has. Mark Burnett, the producer of Survivor and The Voice, is teaming up with Sir Richard Branson and NBC for a reality show that is truly out of this world. Branson and Burnett announced, “Space Race,” a competition series where people compete for a trip on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. Space Race will have unlimited access to Virgin Galactic’s home at Spaceport America in New Mexico, but we still don’t know how the show will be structured. Burnett said he wanted to make it possible to reward a regular person with a trip into space. There’s no date for the premiere of the show, but hey, with Branson and Burnett you know it’s going to be a winner.
What’s not winning? Pictures of your food. A study from Brigham Young University says that looking at too many pictures of food could make it less enjoyable to eat due to “sensory boredom.” They said seeing all those food images on Pinterest and Instagram makes you tired of a particular flavor without even consuming the food. Researchers said the effect becomes stronger the more pictures a person views, so viewing a pic two or three times is going to kill your appetite. Well, there’s a new diet plan for you—the picture diet.
And honeybees haven’t been eating their food either. In an attempt to understand the worldwide decline of honeybees, researchers from the University of Southampton found that diesel exhaust fumes change the chemical profile of floral aroma molecules which affect the honeybees’ ability to locate, identify and recognize a potential food source. In their study, they found that the nitric oxide and nitric dioxide components in exhaust were responsible for the molecular change. When these gases were present, the bees in the study were unable to locate flowers. Honeybees have a sensitive sense of smell and rely on learning and memorizing new odors, but diesel exhaust pollution keeps them from doing that. Researchers said that policy makers should work to improve air quality to save the honeybees.
A battle for Earth is brewing. We are fighting for our planet. Against whom do we struggle—not aliens, not asteroids, but jellyfish. A team of South Korean scientists is battling jellyfish with a new robot – JEROS, short for Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm. JEROS can devour nearly 2,000 pounds of jellyfish in an hour. It floats on top of the ocean and has a GPS navigation system to locate the swarms. It then uses its attached pulverizing propellers to turn the jellyfish into goo. And South Korea has a reason to kill. Experts estimate a 300 million dollar loss per year as jellyfish plague the fishing industry where they clog nets, feed on fish eggs and consume the plankton that fish normally eat. Go get ‘em JEROS. Sorry! I got stung by one of those suckers last week and it hurt!
And there’s more danger lying in the ocean. The International Programme on the State of the Ocean warns that the ocean is absorbing much of the warming from climate change as well as unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide, causing the extinction of some species and a decline in marine biodiversity. Researchers say that the ocean’s oxygen content will decline by somewhere between one and seven percent by the year 2100, partly as a result of increased nutrient runoff in coastal areas from agriculture and sewage. The water is also becoming more acidic, threatening ocean life. And as with all climate change news, researchers say the key is to limit carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible, especially since there is a lag time of several decades for CO2 in the atmosphere to dissolve into the oceans. Well, I guess this is a good time to mention that it’s World Animal Day, which includes marine animals.
And that’s all for you Daily Orbit. So go out and hug an animal. Well, make sure it’s not a dangerous one.