Daily Orbit – Bionic Man Debuts at NYCC

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,210
    10-14-13: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, the UK’s bionic man is showcased in America, evidence that neanderthals recycled, and the SpaceX Grasshopper hits another milestone.

    The bionic man premieres in the States…

    How much are you willing to pay for that cup of Joe?

    Recycling ain’t no new thing…

    And a view from the top on the Daily Orbit!

    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit.  I’m Emerald Robinson.

    The bionic man made his U.S. debut at New York Comic Con.  Made by Shadow Robot Company in the UK, the man features realistic human body parts from 17 different manufacturers.   He’s one tall, handsome guy standing 6.5 feet.  He has 60-70% the functionality of a real person with a heart that pumps 200 gallons of blood per minute, a microchip that acts like the human eye, lungs and all-- and can even stand up and sit down.  But he’s no real boy yet with of course no brain, digestive system, liver or skin.  And this is actually a little creepy. He’s modeled after a social psychologist at the University of Zurich who was born without a lower left arm and wears a bionic prosthesis.  He said it was a shock to see a bionic man’s face that so closely resembled his own.  It’s like having a wax figure made in your likeness--that would be creepy too.


    At what point do you say that white mocha Americano triple shot isn’t worth what you’re paying?   One German neurologist says it’s a little more than Starbucks obviously knows.  He found that study participants were willing to pay between $2.85 and $3.25 for a small cup of Starbucks coffee that really costs $2.45.   Using an EEG to monitor people’s brain waves as they were looking at coffee and pictures of coffee with different prices, the researcher observed that prices too cheap or too high triggered the region of the brain that makes sense of connections.  And these neuronal mechanisms topped out at $3.25 for a small coffee. He says that Starbucks is messing up by not understanding this mechanism.  Please don’t tell Starbucks about this.  I already give them enough of my money. I should own stock by now.


    And if you’re proud of yourself for recycling those Starbucks cups, turns out you a little late to the party.  Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel say that recycling actually began with early hominids.  They say that our predecessors used discarded or broken tools made out of flint and/or bone to make new utensils, and evidence suggests that early hominids were recycling as early as 1 million years ago and included groups in Spain, Italy, Israel, and North Africa.  Guess going green is just in our genes.


    And speaking of recycling….  SpaceX’s reusable rocket prototype, Grasshopper, recently made another successful test flight.  But what’s really the hot topic with this rocket this week is this video.  A remote-controllable hexacopter captured this video clip as the 10-story tall Grasshopper conducted a half-mile ascent and controlled descent.  The company says that it is looking forward to a point where the reusable rocket can be tested in a real configuration.  Now that as a cool video!


    So they’ve lied to us.  Okay, maybe they didn’t mean to.  Researchers from France and Luxembourg say that there’s no evidence suggesting that shock-absorbing tennis shoes really keep runners from running-related injuries.  After observing 250 runners for five months who used provided running shoes--some with more softer-soles and others with a hard mid-sole, researchers found that the type of sole did not have any bearing on injury.  What did, however, was a runner’s body weight and overall fitness level.  Though manufacturers claim that heavier runners need additional shock-absorption in their shoes, scientists don’t believe the shoes will actually have a positive effect.  You know how you prevent running related injuries?  You don’t run… Ha!  I shouldn’t say that.  


    And that’s it for the Daily Orbit!