Daily Orbit – Ebb and Flow Say Goodbye

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,165
    12-18-12: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, the twin probes have a successful planned crash into the moon, a secret code from WWI might have been cracked, and IBM says computers will have all 5 senses in the next 5 years.

    Emerald Robinson: A successful crash and burn on the lunar surface. Touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight all human qualities right? Not for long! What tasty treat might one day fuel your car? Plus code cracking and night vision. Get ready orbiters for today's Daily Orbit!

    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I'm Emerald Robinson. Well, it was a dramatic end for GRAIL's Ebb and Flow satellites yesterday. The pair crashed into a shadowy mountainside of the moon at 2:28 pm pacific time, moving at 3,760 mph.

    Unfortunately, there was no video documentation of their demise but NASA did stream live commentary. Some people disliked the idea of trashing the probes on the moon, but one of our viewers made a really good point - at least Ebb and Flow didn't land on his barbeque. Touch!

    And can you break this secret code? Well, amateur historian Gord Young says he's cracked a code held by a lost World War I carrier pigeon in England. The coded message was found inside a canister attached to the remains of a dead pigeon by an Englishman renovating his chimney. But the Government Communications Headquarters, which got the first crack at the code, ain't buying it. They made a statement that the message would be impossible to decrypt. You can decide for yourself. We'll post the full message on the Daily Orbit Facebook page. And see if you can crack my code - that answer will also be on Twitter and our Facebook page too!

    Computer: I like your perfume.

    Emerald Robinson: Thanks, it's Versace-Wait! Who said that?

    Computer: It's me.

    Emerald Robinson: You can't smell yet computer. But IBM predicts that computers will have all five senses in five years. Researchers say, they will have the ability to give machines some of the capabilities of the right brain. And the benefits? They say we will be able to touch through our smartphones, feeling the fabrics as we shop online. Computers could smell diseases and communicate with doctors. Researchers say computers could one day hear what matters-is the baby crying because he's hungry or because he's sick.

    Computer: Actually, Emerald, you smell rather strong.

    Emerald Robinson: Oh shut up, you don't even know. And remember when you were a kid and you would eat all your cereal to get to the super duper night vision goggles at the bottom, just to find out they didn't really work? Well, soon you might get them and not have to eat all your cereal. A development team is working on an ultra-thin smart layer film than can be applied to any pair of glasses instantaneously transforming them into night vision glasses that will be like seeing at night with full moonlight.

    At 2 ounces, the new film will be much lighter than existing bulky goggles and far less expensive. The nanophotonics film captures invisible rays of light and turns them into visible light and will run on a lightweight 20 volt battery. How cool!

    I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! And so might your car one day! A new study is showing how fatty acids, found in ice cream and even soap, could one day be used to create fuel. Researchers say the creation of fuel involves the manipulation of hydrocarbon chemicals; commonly found in ice cream, soaps, shampoos, and many other household products. The breakthrough allows researchers to further explore how to create renewable energy from sustainable sources, and could lead to more innovative ways of sourcing fuel from natural resources.

    Researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Turku in Finland came together to work on this project, saying that sometimes it's necessary to work together to solve challenging problems. That's sweet!

    And that's a wrap for today's Daily Orbit!

    Computer: Emerald, I sense that you have been eaten too much ice cream lately.

    Emerald Robinson: Would somebody please tell this computer that he won't be able to do this for another 5 years? Geez!