Category Archives: Science

A Space Hotel in Real Life? It’s Sooner Than You Think

Forget about staying at a five-star hotel when you can stay at a hotel that’s actually “sitting on” five stars (AKA space).

Orion Span, a start-up company based out of California, is planning on building and launching a space hotel called the Aurora Station in late 2021. They plan to accept guests the following year.

The hotel will be 43.5 feet long by 14.1 feet wide and will have a pressured volume of 5,650 cubic feet. It will be orbiting at an altitude of 200 miles or around 1,164,000 feet.

Founder and CEO of Orion Span, Frank Bunger, described the Aurora Station as “the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel” at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California.

However, to a normal person, “affordable” might as well be a metaphor. The price for a stay at the Aurora Station is roughly $800,000 a night, and you will be paying more than $9.5 million for the required 12-day stay.  Previously, it would cost over $20 million to travel to the International Space Station under the Virginia-based company, Space Adventures. Only 7 people took this trip between 2001 and 2009.

Bunger’s goal for his company is “to create that innovation to make simplicity possible and by making simplicity possible, we can drive a tremendous amount of cost out of it.”

Aurora Station will be able to hold four guests and two permanent crewmembers which would likely be astronauts, and as long as the demand is there, Orion Span will continue to expand their station.

While Orion Span is currently not the only company planning on sending a hotel into space, they are the only ones to have laid out a plan for the future that has a good chance of succeeding.

 

Featured Image from Krone

Giant Solar “Tornadoes” (They Aren’t Actually Tornadoes)

The sun can be a very scary place to be (if it was possible to begin with), with temperatures in the upwards of 5,778 K (9,941 F) and tornadoes that are even bigger than those on Earth. However, scientists have found that those solar tornadoes are not similar to tornadoes on Earth.

Using the Doppler effect to add a 3-D dimension to their data, they were able to measure the speed of the moving plasma of the tornado along with the direction, temperature, and density. Now, after many years of studies, they have come to the conclusion that solar tornadoes don’t rotate.

In a presentation in Liverpool, England, Nicolas Labrosse, the lead scientist, explained that despite the similarities between tornadoes and solar prominences in pictures, the magnetic field is not vertical and the plasma mostly moves horizontally along magnetic fields.

Another scientist involved in the research, Brigitte Schmieder, noted that we shouldn’t be too worried about these tornadoes. However, when we start to see too many of them, that’s when we should start to worry, since space weather can potentially damage power grids, satellites, and communication networks.

Solar tornadoes can last up to a day and ones that are stable may last for several months. Their lengths can also loop hundreds of thousands of miles into space.

We think we know everything about our sun but this research about solar tornadoes shows that we as humans still don’t know all the answers.

Did Self-Driving Cars Hit a “Pothole?”

While a lot of us want to see the revolution of self-driving vehicles, there is still a lot of work to be done, especially after what happened a couple weeks ago.

This could be the future of driving but Uber may not have a part in it; photo from techgenez.com
This could be the future of driving but Uber may not have a part in it; photo from techgenez.com

A woman in Arizona was killed when a self-driving car from Uber hit her while she was crossing the street at night. She “could have” been to blame for suddenly walking off a median or jaywalking in front of the car in the night. However, the street was well-lit and the woman was making an attempt to get across the street before the car hit her.  This shows that there is work to be done by Uber and state governments.

Self-driving cars would save many lives in the future but as of now, at least 30,000 to 40,000 people every year in the U.S. die in auto accidents (human-driven cars).

The provider of Uber’s laser technology, Velodyne, said that their technology was “more than capable” of identifying her before the collision which would have stopped the car.  Police in Arizona stated that the car didn’t slow down until after she was hit.

Velodyne is blaming Uber and its test driver for the incident and they have a point. Uber’s driver, who is supposed to take the car over if the autonomous system fails, didn’t even have their hands on the steering wheel. Uber’s cars have had a hard time lasting 13 miles before a driver has to take over. In comparison, Waymo’s cars (Google) can last over 5,600 miles.

Uber has also cut down its Lidar system from seven units to only one. The remaining one does have a blind spot according to employees who have worked on the car. So in other words, Uber is cutting corners to lay claim as the first company to sell a self-driving car.

States across the U.S. have taken action and have made regulations for the self-driving cars which is why Uber is in Arizona (they don’t have many regulations for the self-driving car business). Arizona could have a problem on their hands if this becomes a common theme.

While self-driving cars are touted as the future of driving and they would cut down on many deaths, there is more work to be done before they become a common feature in someone’s driveway. States have to be tough on regulation so we get the best product, and don’t end up with a product that has been cutting corners like Uber has.

 

 

Is Facebook in Trouble with the U.S. Government?

Mark Zuckerburg has seen better days (well, most of his adulthood has been fine until now), and while he may still be very rich, he does have a huge problem on his hands with Facebook.

Does Facebook have trouble with the U.S. Federal Governement after an whistle-blower reveal information about Cambridge Analytica; photo from betanews.com
Does Facebook have trouble with the U.S. Federal Governement after an whistle-blower reveal information about Cambridge Analytica; photo from betanews.com

Christopher Wylie, co-founder of Cambridge Analytica, blew the whistle on Facebook and his company on Tuesday, telling a United Kingdom parliamentary committee that the “Brexit” (look it up) referendum could have ended differently if there had been no “cheating” from proponents wanting to leave the European Union.

This comes after stories broke about how Cambridge Analytica allegedly used illegally obtained data from 50 million users on Facebook.  This was used in an attempt to influence political outcomes.

Cambridge Analytica was able to use the 50 million user accounts to create 30 million “psychographic” profiles that were used to design targeted political ads.

The Federal Trade Commission announced on Monday that they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices and a couple days before that, UK authorities had raided Cambridge Analytica’s offices.

In a statement from the embattled company, they had stated that their data had no influence in “Brexit” or the 2016 campaign of Donald Trump, the current president of the U.S.

Facebook is also facing problems with the scandal as numerous people have deleted the app and also started a hashtag called #deleteFacebook. It was because of this, Facebook’s share drive took a nosedive as the social media grant lost over $60 billion in value at one point.

Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook has taken out full-page adverts in newspapers across the U.S. and UK, apologizing for what happened. Zuckerburg has also accepted an invitation to testify in front of the U.S. Congress; however, he has not extended the same offer to UK lawmakers.

As each day passes, the scandal gets more and more interest as this could affect the President and the planned “Brexit” over in the UK. Only time will tell if anything comes out of this.

Yes, A Satellite Is Falling But You Shouldn’t Worry Too Much

Don’t start to scream yet; it’s not the end of the world if a big satellite from China is crashing down into an ocean.

Tiangong 1, a defunct satellite from China was projected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere on Saturday. Now, according to the European Space Agency, which has released new information on the satellite, it is re-entering the atmosphere on Easter Sunday.

The spacecraft poses very little danger to people on the ground since most of the 8.5 ton vehicle is likely going to burn up on re-entry. The question is: What damage can the carcass of the satellite do to the planet?

As of now, the space object is projected to land in the Pacific Ocean which would be the best case situation for everyone. There was a possibility that the spacecraft would land on a strip of land in southern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. That possibility prompted the governor of Michigan to activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center to keep an eye on the situation.

Tiangong 1 was launched by the Chinese in 2011 and it was China’s first space station (China has nothing to do with the International Space Station since they were barred by the U.S. legislation). The last crew of Tiangong 1 left in 2013 since the station was merely an experimental project for Tiangong 2, which will be in full service by 2022. Tiangong, which translates to “Heavenly Palace,” lost contact with China in 2016 and since then, the station has been monitored for re-entry.

People here in the U.S. shouldn’t worry about any space objects hitting a person. There is only one documented case of someone getting hit by space debris and that person was not injured. You’re more likely to die in space, be killed by a shark or hit by lighting before even getting hit with a piece of space junk.

So don’t worry, you’ll be fine for now.

 

Cover: An artist’s illustration of Tiangong 1; photo from theverge.com

Happy 2000th Day on Mars, Curiosity Rover

The Curiosity Rover on Mars has reached another milestone… 2,000 days on Mars, well technically it’s 2,055 days since the days are longer on Mars. But this is about being on Mars.

This is a very big milestone for Curiosity and the scientists running the rover as this week they plan on drilling into the clay-rich rocks of Mount Sharp.

Ever since its landing on Mars in 2012, Curiosity has traveled 11.6 miles on the red planet.

Some of the achievements that Curiosity has accomplished include unique HD pictures of the “Red Planet,” the playing of a song on another planet (Happy Birthday to You, in celebration of Curiosity’s one year anniversary on Mars), and the investigation of water on the planet.

Curiosity is not the first rover to be on Mars, of course. The honor of the first rover on Mars goes to Sojourner. However, Sojourner only lasted 85 days on Mars (83 sols) due to the lack of technology at the time (1997).

Curiosity is also not the only rover on Mars currently. Opportunity, which has spent over 5,000 days on the “Red Planet,” is still in operation today.

Each of the Mars rovers over the years have gotten better and better, and come 2020 we will see the best rover in NASA’s history. Designs for that rover are coming from the designs of the very durable Curiosity.

 

Cover Photo from  jpl.nasa.gov

Is it an Alien or is it a Human?

For over two decades, there was an argument over a mummifed skeleton in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The question was: Is the skeleton from an alien or from a human?

The 15 centimeter skeleton that was found in the Atacama Desert in Chile; photo from cosmosmagazine.com
The 15 centimeter skeleton that was found in the Atacama Desert in Chile; photo from cosmosmagazine.com

Ata, the name of the skeleton, was in remarkably great shape for a… human. After many years of discussion, it was found that Ata has human DNA and that she belonged to the local population. Researchers also identified Ata’s DNA as a group of mutations of genes related to the development of the bones.

These mutations might be the reason for the skeleton’s unique appearance, a disorder that has never been seen in humans before.

The research into Ata began in 2012 with Dr. Garry P. Nolan from Stanford University. Nolen had heard about Ata from the production of the UFO movie “Sirius.”

Nolen and his team offered to look into the skeleton’s DNA. So the owner of the skeleton agreed to send X-ray images as well as bone marrow samples taken from the ribs and right humerus.

Once Dr. Nolan and his colleagues received the samples, they were able to retrieve fragments of DNA from bone marrow samples which was relatively easy. They then found their answer. “We could tell this was human right away,” said Atul Butte from the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the co-authors of the research.

Once the researchers were able to find out that Ata was a human, they dug deeper into the skeleton’s genome. They were able to determine that Ata was a female who had died less than 500 years ago. Even though it’s impossible to pinpoint a certain year, scientists were able to find out that she has European heritage from the 1500s.

There’s more research needed to be done on Ata to find out if she was stillborn or if she lived a short life, as her bones are similar to an eight-year old’s bone structure. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens.

The First of its Kind, Oxygenation of the Brain

So, most of you may not watch WWE but if you do, you may have noticed that Daniel Bryan (real name: Bryan Danielson) was cleared to return to the ring. What you may not know is that his recovery is history in the making.

Daniel Bryan's return is history in the making for all with a history of concussions; photo from denofgeek.com
Daniel Bryan’s return is history in the making for all with a history of concussions; photo from denofgeek.com

Bryan has had a history of concussions. Over the course of his wrestling career, Bryan has had over 10 documented concussions along with many others that they couldn’t count in his 16-year career. So in 2016 after another concussion, multiple tests were done and the worst came true; Daniel Bryan had to retire from the WWE.

Flash forward to 2018 and after multiple tests were done, Bryan was cleared by Joseph Maroon, WWE and Pittsburgh Steelers doctor. So how was it possible for Bryan to get his brain into the shape that the brain is supposed to be in?  He was able to oxygenate his brain in a scientific procedure.

During his efforts to be cleared, Bryan was using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) which has you inside a pressurized chamber, breathing in oxygen.  Bryan in 2017 praised the treatments saying that “it’s way better than nuclear spec scans of the brain.”

In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration noted HBOT has not been clinically proven to cure or be effective in treatment of cancer, autism, and diabetes among many other illness and diseases.

It is cleared that the FDA still won’t be approving the treatment anytime soon. It’s clear that HBOT might be a blueprint in concussion recovery. Even Dr. Maroon only saw a “15% chance” that Bryan would be cleared.

Now, tens of thousands of athletes across the world will be watching Bryan’s return to see if he will be back for an extended period of time.

If Daniel Bryan is successful in the long return after HBOT treatments, many of those athletes will be looking to explore HBOT in the hopes of returning to their respected sport or even just their normal health.

Doomsday Clock is Now Closer to Midnight

Not even the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan moved the Doomsday Clock to the point where it is currently at now.

The recent update to the clock, photo from CNN
The recent update to the clock, photo from CNN

On Thursday, January 25, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the “Doomsday Clock” 30 seconds closer to midnight/catastrophe. The clock is now two minutes to midnight. The Bulletin moved the clock ahead due to increasing worries over recent nuclear tensions and the continuing worries in climate change.

The president of the group, Rachel Bronson said “This is the closest the Clock has ever been to doomsday, and as close as it was in 1953, at the height of the Cold War.”

In 1953, the hydrogen bomb was tested for the first time by the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Scientists are blaming multiple threats that include dangerous political rhetoric to the potential of a nuclear threat as for the reason to move the clock forward.

In a statement released by the Bulletin, “In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago and  dangerous as it has been since World War II.

As the statement continued, “The greatest risks last year arose in the nuclear realm. North Korea’s nuclear weapons program appeared to make remarkable progress in 2017, increasing risks for itself, other countries in the region and the United States.”

The closer the clock gets to midnight, the closer it is estimated that a global disaster will occur.  The Bulletin will actual skip years that they feel that the clock doesn’t need a update. In 1991, the collapse of the Soviet Union moved the clock back to 17 minutes to midnight and the clock stayed like that until 1995.

The Bulletin founded by the University of Chicago scientists in 1945, that same group helped design the first nuclear weapons in the Manhattan Project. The clock was created in 1947 using the imagery of apocalypse/midnight and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion/countdown to zero to convey threats to humans and the Earth.

In recent years, global warming has been added to the concerns of the Bulletin and since 1991, the clock has dropped every few years excluding 2010 which only gained one minute.

PSA: Don’t eat Tide Pods

You would think that the title up above would be enough to stop someone from eating a “Tide Pod” but no… Just because your favorite YouTuber attempted the challenge doesn’t mean you should and here’s why.

DON"T EAT THEM... YOU WILL GET SICK; photo from huzlers.com
DON”T EAT THEM… YOU WILL GET SICK; photo from huzlers.com

Tide Pods are more or less, laundry detergent in a convenient pod that you throw in your laundry machine. Chemicals like polyvinyl alcohol (you will find this in your glue), Denatonium benzoate (this chemical will burn every tissue in your body), Fatty acid salts (soap), Alcoholethoxy sulfate, Disodium distyrylbiphenyl disulfonate (long word here, which means its not something to eat), and Mannanase.

If you can’t pronounce most of these words or all of them, maybe you should think twice before eating them. As a old saying goes “If you can’t say a word that’s in your food, maybe you shouldn’t eat it.”

Without the challenge, Tide Pods are still a major problem. Over 10,000 people were hospitalized last year and since 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed them as a “serious health threat” to children under the age of 5 and adults with dementia.  In 2015, the companies selling the laundry pods added a coated chemical that made the pods “taste nasty” before someone bit into them and made the outside container without showing the pods.

These changes have not worked and actually the number rose to a peak of 12,594 in 2015 before dropping back down to 10,570. The pod still looks like a piece of candy to the young child or adult with dementia. In 2018, in just 25 days (date of the article) over 37 teens have eaten the pods with half of them being intentional.

The makers of Tide Pods, Proctor & Gamble have release statements and even had NFL Tight End for the New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski do a video telling teens not to eat the pods.

Well people, we have reached a point in our lives where we need to go back in time to the laundry detergent in the bottle and to forget these pods for good. (Maybe when people start to grow-up, we can have nice things). Well if not because of the teens, maybe stop selling them to look like candy. No need for them to look more appetizing than actual candy.

The Numbers behind the Super Bowl

Super Bowl LII is officially set for February 4 between the AFC Champions, the New England Patriots and the NFC Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles however it’s not all about football but it’s all about the commercials.

Official Super Bowl Logo, photo from nfl.com
Official Super Bowl Logo, photo from nfl.com

While the die-hard football fans will be ignoring the commercials, the common fan or that one person who enjoys the $5 million (yes, they cost that much and more.) commercials. Here’s the behind the numbers on the commercials and the “Big Game” itself.

$7.7 million and Gone in 30 Seconds

This year’s cost for a 30 second commercial in the Super Bowl this year is $7.7 million dollars. To put that figure in retrospect, The average player in the NBA barely makes over $5 million a yearwhile the average players in the NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS make less than that amount in a year. If your company wants a minute long commercial, prepare to add another $5 million to the original amount for a grand total of $10 million. Now that’s a lot of dough but the amount of viewers watching the Super Bowl, it’s all worth it

The World is Watching

The 1st Super Bowl in 1967 had over 51 million viewers and it has only grown since.  Last year’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons had an average of 111.3 million viewers while a grand total of 172 million Americans watched the game at one point. That’s more Americans that watch the game than Americans who had voted in the 2016 election (137.5 million).

FOOD… and partying 

We all love food right? Well just like Christmas and Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl has a case to being a holiday. During last year’s Super Bowl festivities, it was projected that Americans would eat 1.33 billion Chicken Wings, and spend $1.2 billion on beer and alcohol ( for fans to celebrate their team’s win or to drown out their emotions after their team loses). Domino’s last year sold 11 million slices of pizza and they said the Super Bowl is their 3rd-busiest day of the year (only behind Halloween and New Year’s Eve). Now that’s a lot of food and dough (PIZZA DOUGH).

“Sick Day”

The most important number here is over 16 million. That’s how many estimated people who are going to miss work the day after the Super Bowl.  That doesn’t even count how many students would missing from school (from Pre-K to College.)  Just last year, Heinz, the ketchup makers gave their salaried workers the day off following the Big Game, noting that the U.S. would lose over $1 billion in “productivity losses.” Maybe one day, we will see the day after the Super Bowl added as a national holiday but until then, don’t miss class just because of one game.

There are so many numbers behind the Super Bowl that the game itself over shadows everything in your life. On February 4th just like many, I will be watching the big game and to the two teams, may the best team win.

 

 

 

 

 

Artificial Intelligence that Can Find Cancer in Seconds

We have seen the wonders that artificial intelligence can do in software development, and now Japanese researchers have unveiled an AI that can find cancer in less than one second.

The AI that is being used to find the cancer has been demonstrated in a colonoscopy. The system was revealed during the United European Gastroenterology Week in Barcelona, Spain.

The ribbon for colon cancer awareness; photo from zazzle.com
The ribbon for colon cancer awareness; photo from zazzle.com

The system uses a magnified view of a colorectal polyp to study features and to compare it with over 30,000 endocytoscopic images. The AI learns more about the pictures by using them in studies.

The researchers said they were able to test the polyp and predict the pathology with a 86% accuracy. Out of 300 polyps, the AI was able to find cancer in 258 polyps.

Dr. Yuichi Mori, one of the researchers (and the study lead) from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan, was impressed with the results of the test.

“The most remarkable breakthrough with this system is that artificial intelligence enables real-time optical biopsy of colorectal polyps during a colonoscopy, regardless of the endoscopists’ skill set,” Mori said.

Now he wants to develop and work on a broader study aimed to creating a system that can find cancer automatically.

In a growing world of technology, artificial intelligence leads the way. The advances that AI can accomplish in so little time as led to people like Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook discussing the many benefits that can have.

Others , such as Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, feel that the government should have say and control over the AI’s building process. Musk feels that AI should only be used to prevent global disasters.

Artificial Intelligence has so much potential and value to the medical world that Musk’s beliefs are far from universal, and only time can tell what freedoms and restrictions will be placed on such advancements by the governments of tomorrow.

A history of Daylight Savings Time

November 5th is Daylight Savings Time, and yes, you get to catch up on your sleep as clocks move back one hour—but that’s not the only thing Daylight Savings Time does.

Ben Franklin had proposed the idea centuries before it was implemented . This was after Franklin woke up at 6 a.m. and saw the morning sun. He repeated this for three days and found the same result.

photo from wallpup.com
photo from wallpup.com

Franklin’s idea for Daylight Savings was to save money and with this, expensive candle use would be cut down with free light from the sun but it wasn’t until 1895 before the idea was heard from again.

George Hudson from New Zealand saw the idea as a way to have more after-work sunshine to do things. His proposal was to have a two hour shift but again this didn’t happen

Seven years later, William Willett, a builder from Britain thought of the idea while riding his horse. He would take his idea to Parliament where he had support from Winston Churchill but the British Parliament rejected the idea.

Willett would argue for the idea until his death in 1915, he’s now known as the great-great grandfather of Chris Martin, frontman  of Coldplay.

A year after Willett’s death and two years into World War I, the idea was brought up by the German government. They needed to save energy, and with that Daylight Savings Time was utilized. Soon after, every country that was fighting in WWI followed suit and with just moving back the clocks, energy was being saved.

After WWI, the idea was dropped and picked up again during World War II.

After the war, the idea again was abandoned. However in the 1960’s, Daylight Savings Time was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, helping the country though the Energy Crisis in the 1970’s.

In today’s age, Daylight Savings is no longer useful in the United States and doesn’t save energy. However, some areas around the world need the change to  survive.

Just relish in the fact that on November 3, you get to have that extra hour of sleep but only to lose it in March of next year.

Another “Super Earth” has been discovered

Another day, another super planet that is “perfect for humans.”  It’s unfortunate that the planet is 111 light years away or in miles- 5.879 x 10 to the 12 (Any math people in here).

photo from netzoe.com
photo from netzoe.com

K2-18b orbits with in the “Goldilocks” zone or habitable zone of a red dwarf star in the Leo constellation.

The study was done by the University of Toronto and University of Montreal in Canada  with a dataset coming from High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher or HARPS for short.

Using a machine-learning approach on the research for the planet, researchers was able to tell a difference if the planet was a rocky-gaseous or if the planet was more Earth like with a layer of ice.

Come to find out, the planet is a rocky base with Earth like features that could allow for the planet to have alien life.

With the future of the James Webb Space Telescope, researchers will be able to tell more about the planet before even ever getting the chance to visit the planet if it were to be possible.

While studying K2-12b, researchers found another planet and named it K2-12c, however the planet will never be inhabitable due to the planet being so close to the red dwarf sun.

With scientists finding more and more planets that are habitable to humans and other life, it’s looking more and more likely that humans will be able to survive after the Earth’s demise.

 

 

Who’s smarter, Cats or Dogs?

The ages old argument, who’s smarter… Garfield or Odie… Well if you ever read the comic strip, it’s definitely Garfield but according to science, it’s actually Odie.

photo from pinterest.com
photo from pinterest.com

An international team of scientists who work at universities and zoos around the world have found that dogs are indeed smarter than cats. Their findings will be published in the Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

The report found that dogs’ brains have double the amount of cortical neurons (the cells linked to learning) than cats’ brains.

The team actually studied eight different carnivorans, a large class of mammals that have teeth and claws that can allow for them to eat other animals. (This class is NOT the same as carnivore class, a much larger class that includes bears, raccoons, and seals.)

Suzana Herculano-Houzel, an associate professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt University was one of the researchers on the team. Vanderbilt was the school that developed the method to court the amount of neurons.

“I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state,” said Herculano-Houzel.

The research did account for physical brain size along with assessing the number of cortical neurons and it turns out that dogs do have more sheer brainpower than animals like African lions and brown bears (Who knew that Odie could be that smart if just used his brain).

Why could a dog be smarter than a lion or a bear, well as the paper explains: the bigger you are, the more energy you need.

Well Odie, you are smart. I think its time to kick Garfield off the couch and take your rightful spot as smartest pet.

 

 

Bill Gates offers $50 million to Alzhemier’s research

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft can have everything he wants in this world. Being the second richest man in the world does that for you but Gates knows that he doesn’t have everything he wants.

photo from biotech-365.com
photo from biotech-365.com

Gates’ family has had a history of Alzheimer’s Disease and because of that, Gates will be donating $50 million out of his pocket into the Dementia Discovery Fund, a private-public partnership devoted to finding what drives a brain disease and that includes looking at a brain cell’s immune system.

He knows the financial and mental destruction it can have on families. Gates’ family will never have to deal with the financial burden that many others will have to deal with.

“I’m a huge believer in that science and innovation are going to solve most of the tough problems over time,” Gates said with optimism.

Gates already has a foundation but their mission is focused primarily on infectious diseases like HIV, malaria, and polio. Most of diseases are centered currently in third-world countries.

Gates knows the process to find a cure has gone slower than we had hoped for and he’s right. Since 2002, there has been over 400 different drug trials ran and none of them can be used for treatment. There’s some drugs that are prescribed to help with cognitive symptoms that are associated with Alzheimer’s but none actually help fight it.

Currently, there is 5 million Americans that live with the disease, at cost of $259 billion. Without any treatment or cure, those numbers will triple by 2050.

With his donation, Gates has hopes to spur research into more novel ideas about the disease. He believes that out-of-the-box thinking with mainstream will lead to potential treatments in the future.

Gates has fears of developing the disease, but that’s not going to stop him from living his life. By staying active with his “perfect’ job, and “meeting new people everyday.” “You know, I have most fun job in the world,” Gates said with a smile.

 

Asteroid passing “darn close” to Earth

This past Thursday was a normal day for most; you probably didn’t even notice the mobile RV passing us in space. I mean, an asteroid that came close enough to hit us.

The asteroid 2012 TC4 flew by the Earth,  about 26,000 miles away from our only home. Very close when considering the Moon is about 239,000 miles away from Earth. Rolf Densing, head of the European Space Operations Centre in Germany, called the asteroid “a close miss.”

An artist's conception of 2012 TC4 passing by Earth; photo by nowreadthisnews.com
An artist’s conception of 2012 TC4 passing by Earth; photo by nowreadthisnews.com

The asteroid had no chance of hitting the Earth but Antarctica got the closest sighting of the asteroid at 1:42 am. ET this past Thursday, October 12th.

After the discovery of the asteroid in 2012, the asteroid was too distant and faint to be detected.  The rock is roughly 45 to 100 feet, traveling at 16,000 MPH.

NASA used the asteroid’s close travel to Earth to test their planetary defense system. The drill was to see if the system were to work if an actual asteroid were heading straight to the Earth. In previous tests, NASA would use pretend asteroids. Vishnu Reddy, a NASA consultant asked, “How prepared are we for the next cosmic threat?”

He would answer his question: “So we wanted to test how ready we are for a potential impact by a hazardous asteroid.”

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office led the drill and they are in charge of coordinating efforts to protect Earth from hazardous asteroids. They are also responsible for finding, tracking, and characterizing potentially hazardous objects coming near Earth.

In order to deflect an asteroid, the asteroid would need to be detected years in advance. The most promising techniques that NASA are investigating are the “kinetic impactor” which uses an object to hit the asteroid to get it off course and the “gravity tractor” which would gravitationally tug on an asteroid by placing a large mass over it.

The good news for you and me is that there is no known asteroid that poses a significant risk of impact in the next 100 years.

Tesla introduces their version of the “fastest” car ever

Thursday, November 16 will be known as the day Elon Musk changed the game for car businesses forever.

Being described as the “fastest production car ever made,” the new Tesla Roadster will be challenging Chevrolet’s Corvette ZR-1 and Dodge’s newest Challenger nicknamed the “Demon” for fastest car but however the Roadster will not be released until 2020.

When released, the Roadster will be able to go from 0 to 60 in 1.9 seconds or to 100 in 4.2 seconds. The car will also be able to travel .25 miles in only 8.9 seconds. More or less, if you get the chance to buy this car, you’ll be living the life of a NASCAR driver without the constant left turns. This car through will cost as much as a car in NASCAR as it will set your bank account back to the stone age to the tune of $250,000.

With the being that impressive from a technological and price perspective and also considering the fact that this car will be fast than a Bugatti Charon which costs around $3 million. The average person will not be able to handle this car and its power.

Musk knows this car is the real deal and he means it saying this, “The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline vehicles.” He mentoned the price by describing like this “It’ll feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

He kept the top speed of the Roadster unknown but it will be above 250 mph with gas mileage on the car being twice as more as the current models.

“You’ll be able to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back without refueling,” Musk said. Most critics disagree with the statement as the car will have to have fuel mileage of over 700 miles, Musk give the actual fuel mileage of the Roadster at 620 miles.

Along with those impressive statistics, the Roadster will have all-wheel drive and will be able to fit four people, even if two of those people will have to be very small.

Musk has set down the challenge to all automakers… Who’s going to answer it.