Emerald Robinson: Why does America deserve a pat on the back? Hermit crabs: cute or cunning? And a glass of wine, good for the heart but not for the head? All that and more coming up on the daily orbit.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I'm Emerald Robinson. It seems we're often bringing you news of all the bad things we are doing to ourselves and Mother Earth. Well, here's a more positive story: we Americans consumed less energy last year than the year before. And the energy that was used was more than ever before generated by renewable energy sources. With the shift to more energy efficient technologies in the transportation and residential sectors, the numbers dropped from 98 quadrillion BTUs in 2010 to 97.
3 quads in 2011. Wind energy experienced the largest spike in production as many new wind farms came online. 2011 also saw an increase in hydroelectric power thanks to the abundance of rainfall last year.
Other contributors to the decline included the sustained low natural gas prices and the high oil prices. So kudos America, keep up the good work!
And this little guy might look cute and relatively harmless, but its turns out hermit crabs can be ruthless to each other! Scientists at UC-Berkley have discovered that terrestrial hermit crabs will kick one another out of their shells to trade up to a bigger crib. As empty shells are few and far between, the little scavengers line up literally to trade up, wrenching the target crab from its shell. So watch your back little hermit crab.
. it's a cruel world out there for you!
If you find yourself saying, "I can't get no satisfaction," maybe you should go for a good run. New research says that exercise leads to a more satisfied life. They found that people's satisfaction with life was directly impacted by their daily physical activity. The researchers said that based on the findings they recommend that people exercise a little longer or a little harder than usual as a way to boost satisfaction with life. They also said that the findings reinforce the idea that physical activity should be considered when developing national policies to enhance satisfaction with life. So feeling blue.
. get up and move! You see how they rhymed?
Having a glass or two of red wine is good for the old heart right? Maybe, but not so much for the brain. A new study found that moderate to binge drinking significantly reduces the structural integrity of the adult brain. Researchers say that moderate drinking can quickly become binge drinking without the person even realizing it and that short term effects on motors skills or overall function problems may go unnoticed. However, long term, this type of behavior could have an adverse effect on learning and memory. So your brain or you heart, I guess you choose!
And anthropologists have determined that "Lucy" and the three year old girl Selam, who lived 3.
3 million years ago, did climb trees. These upright walking species had a bottom half that looked very similar to a human's, but were more ape-like up top. Scientists have long debated whether or not these creatures also spent time in trees. New careful analysis of Selam's shoulder blades shows that the species not only walked bipedally, but also was adapted to climbing.
Well that's all for today's Daily Orbit! We will catch you right back here tomorrow.