On Science – International Space Station Turns 15

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,377
    11-20-13: On this episode of On Science, the ISS turns 15, how to turn dead fall leaves into compost, and how calorie counts on menus may actually be working.


    Who turns 15 today?

    A little home and gardening science…

    How effective are calorie-counting menus?

    And we’re on a power trip!  Coming up today… On Science!

    Hello and welcome to On Science. I’m Emerald Robinson.

    Today is a big day!  The International Space Station turns 15!  On this day, 15 years ago, nations united to build the most advanced space laboratory ever created—the International Space Station.  A Russian spacecraft carried the first piece, Zarya, up into space in November 1998 with the module from NASA, Unity, joining it a couple of weeks later.  It would be two years of preparation and building before the first crew would grace the ISS.  But in November 2000, Expedition 1 arrived aboard a Soyuz TM-31.  The space station marked an end to a rivalry between NASA and the Russian space agency.  And the international participation now includes the Japanese space agency, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency.  Look what happens when we all work together. 

    Well, here’s a little home and garden tip brought to you by On Science.  Dread the fall because it means raking dead leaves?   Here’s a tip—turn them into compost.  If you are fortunate enough to live in a wooded area, you can simply leave the fallen leaves where they are.  Trees need leaf liter to help enrich the soil’s nutrients and quality to allow for healthy root growth.  Leaf mulch is dark brown and decomposes slowly to release nutrients to plants.  For your own compost bin, Experts suggest a 3” by 3” container made of material of your choosing.  Include green and brown plants—green for nitrogen and brown for carbon.  Be sure the pile stays about as moist as a rung-out sponge, turn the pile over every week or two to allow for air to reach the materials and speed up the decomposition process so that you will be ready for Spring 2014.

    Don’t you love when you seek to find answers to questions and only end up with more questions?  Well that’s what happened to a team of researchers who wanted to find the answer to what made great white sharks so distinctive.   A team of scientists from Nova Southeastern University and Cornell University were surprised and intrigued to find that the genetic makeup of great white sharks had fewer differences from humans than from the most studied fish-- the zebra fish. Scientists were specifically looking at RNA sequences expressed by the organism’s genes.   They think this surprising find could be due to the fact that the sharks are not true cold-blooded fish like bony fishes, but that theory needs testing itself!

    So new calorie labels on menus are really messing me up.  I go to order the Mac and Cheese and then what do I see?  852 calories?  No thank you.  A new study led by Drexel University found that nutritional labeling is making a difference in full-service restaurants.  In fact, when ordering off a labeled menu, patrons chose food with an average 151 fewer calories, 224 milligrams less sodium and 3.7 less grams of saturated fat.   But researchers said they weren’t necessarily doing great.  Even consumers who used the labels purchased oversized meals that typically far exceeded what could be considered healthy.    They’re taking the fun out food.

    I’m the one in charge here!  Drop and give me twenty!  That felt pretty good!   A new study from the University of Kent and the University of Adelaide lends credence to the old adage—there is no tyranny like petty tyranny.  From four different experiments that included nearly 500 participants, researchers found that spite, revenge, and other acts of aggression are responses usually exhibited by those who were new to the possession of power.  Those who were more experienced holding a leadership position tended to feel more self-assured and therefore felt less vulnerable to perceived threats.  They say this research shows a better understanding of the relationship between power and revenge and that power isn’t simply good or bad.  It affects people in different ways. 

    And that’s it for On Science!  See you tomorrow!