Daily Orbit – Space Flight on the House

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,973
    8-30-12: In this episode of the Daily Orbit, Virgin Airlines is giving away a trip to space, scientists find sugar molecules surrounding a distant star, and twitter might be the key to predicting the presidential election.

    Emerald Robinson: Which frequent flyer program is upping the ante? All the sweet life of stars, wait! Is that right? And I predict that the winner is Twitter. Are you following this race? Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to launch into the Daily Orbit.

    Hi! I am Emerald Robinson. Welcome to the Daily Orbit. Ladies and gentlemen, please stow your tray tables and bring your seatbelts into an upright position. The flight to suborbital space is now ready for takeoff.

    Oh, yeah! You heard me right. Virgin Airlines announced the company will reward its most frequent traveler for the year with a roundtrip ticket to outer space. Started in 2004, Virgin Galactic has already presold tickets for its first ever space flight to 500 starry-eyed passengers at $200,000 of ticket.

    However, the Virgin Elevate member with the most miles accumulated between August 8th of this year and August 7th of 2013 will earn a complimentary seat on the historic flight. It makes your loyalty program look a little bland now, huh? Yeah, mine too.

    Life is sweet! Literally; a scientist in Chile has found sugar molecules around a distant star. This is the first time sugar has been found in space around a young sun like star which indicates that the building blocks of life are already present during planet formation.

    Astronomers use the Atacama Large Millimeter Array to study the star which sits 400 light years away. A telescope can zoom in to see the details of newly formed stars and their outer disk.

    Astronomers also saw evidence of other complex materials on the star including ethylene glycol, methyl formate, and ethanol. An astrophysicist at the Niels Bohr Institute said these findings suggest the possibility that extraterrestrial life might be able to be found in other places in the universe.

    I see, in my Twitter ball, The Whitehouse with the next President who is.

    .

    . who.

    .

    . sound a little hokey; maybe at first, but researchers at Northeastern University say that Twitter might just help determine who wins the next presidential election. To conduct their research, they looked at tweets about contest television shows like American Idol and were able to anticipate who would be getting the axe by using those signals as a proxy for the general preference of the audience. The researchers then developed a simplified version to analyze social phenomenon like our upcoming presidential election.

    Now, they left us hanging on that one. The method could theoretically be used to predict who sits in the Oval Office next year, but they are just not saying. Oh! Wait a second! Let me just finish my tweet about this story. Oh! By the way, make sure you follow us at RedOrbit.

    You know, my mum always told me this, but it takes a bunch of scientists saying it to make me listen. Sorry, momma. Scientists say headphones on your portable player can reach levels comparable to those of jet engines. Maybe it's no surprise that loud music can lead to temporary deafness, but scientists say they now have a better understanding of why exposure to noises louder than 110 decibels damages hearing.

    Such loud noises strip away cells from the myelin sheath that carries electrical signals from the ears to the brain. The coating that surrounds these nerve cells can reform within three months allowing hearing recovering, meaning the damage is reversible. So, for all of you rockaholics out there who can't hear me really, there is hope.

    First, it was just Spaghetti, then there was Whole Wheat Spaghetti, and now there is Super Spaghetti! Two research projects kick off next month to create pasta that is more nutritious for you. Researchers will be looking at the fundamental role of cell walls in plants to determine how they might be better utilized in food. They will investigate how the growth of durum wheat affects starch levels, how fiber levels in pasta can be improved, and the roles dietary fiber plays in the quality of pasta and bread dough.

    Next, they should research how to make super cupcakes!

    All right! That's it for today's Daily Orbit. We will see you right back here tomorrow.