The Flying Car Is Closer Than You Think

flying car grass

Is that the President landing? No its just Kevin, he got that new flying car!
http://laughingsquid.com/terrafugia-unveils-futuristic-tf-x-flying-car-concept/

The future of flying cars is closer than you think, and Terrafugia is willing to take us there! Funny name you say? It is derived from Latin, meaning “escape the Earth.”  Fitting to say the least.

Terrafugia is set to release a car-plane hybrid by the name of The Transition which will be a fuel efficient transforming plane. That is correct. You will be able to drive your Transition from your house to the nearest run-way and simply lift off into the the skies!

How you ask? The wings of the flying car fold up on the side, transforming the vehicle into a regular 23 gal, 35 mpg, 100 hp, compact automobile. And when you are ready to hit the skies you will be cruising at a steady speed of 100 mph with a flight range of 410 miles. All for the low price of $279,000. While that price may seem steep to some, it is as with all things that enter the market as a new technology: eventually the price of flying cars will come down to a more reasonable and affordable six figure price tag.

This mobile aircraft is as cute as a button. http://www.terrafugia.com/aircraft/transition

This Transition is cute as a button.
http://www.terrafugia.com/aircraft/transition

Related Article: Blimps are the Future!

The great thing about Terrafugia is they also have a commercial flying car in the works. While the Transition is set to come out in 2015, they have planned another model flying car by the name of TF-X (released in 8-12 years). The TF-X will be a smaller, safer, road oriented version of the Transition. Not to mention it will have a sophisticated auto pilot:

  • TF-X™ vehicles will be capable of automatically avoiding other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted and tower-controlled airspace.
  •  If the operator becomes unresponsive, TF-X™ will automatically implement an emergency auto-land at the nearest airport.

Related Article: Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

There are however a couple of setbacks, as with any new invention. The flying car will likely run into road blocks (why not just fly over them…) from the political side of things; weight restrictions, flight allowance, zone restrictions, and licence requirements. Currently, with a petition already submitted, Terrafugia is still a long way away before getting government support and clearing all the speed bumps ahead (again… just fly why don’t you, you have a flying car!). Most of these policies and restrictions will be upheld with public safety in mind, but there will unfortunately be opposition from the greedy side of politics.

All shall be unveiled in the next couple of years, and if everything goes accordingly, we should be able to fly out of traffic jams in the next decade or so. Flying cars will guide us to a brave new world. Imagine: no more close calls with black ice (preaching to the choir of current weather hazard victims). No more long, windy roads up a mountain with no support  in order to get to a camping spot in Virginia. No more dangerous flooded areas one might get stuck in after intense rainfalls. Flying cars have the potential to provide us with all of this in the near and plausible future too!

Cheers to the Jetsons, and to a world of flying cars!

Related Article: Car Warming: Debunking the Myth

 

Research:

Terrafugia

The Transition

TF-X

Temporary Exemption for Terrafugia

Youtube: The Jetsons TV intro

 

Wondergressive: Blimps are the Future!

Wondergressive: Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

Wondergressive: Car Warming: Debunking the Myth

Alcohol in Moderation Strengthens Immune System

January 17, 1920. A day to remember, a day to forget, but mostly a day that made America dry. At 12:01 A.M. America entered its age of Prohibition. Alcohol was no longer sold anywhere legally and everyone relied on bootleggers to keep the nectar flowing. Flash forward to 2014 (Happy New Year!!!), alcohol has become a very vibrant part of our culture and lifestyle. With drunken people mostly kept in check by laws, we now are able to enjoy our alcohol to whatever extent we wish.

But is that such a good thing? Maybe there should be a limit or maybe we should cut out alcohol from our diets?

Related ArticleU.K. Chief Advisor on Drug Policy Fired for Showing Danger of Alcohol and Tobacco

Not completely of course; in fact it may be wise to keep a little bit of it in your diet. A recent study finds that by consuming moderate amounts of alcohol, like a glass of wine with dinner, you can boost your body’s immune system. The research suggests that moderate drinking may increase cardiovascular health as well as boosting immune functions to help fight off infections. Moderate consumption is considered around 2 drinks per day for men, and 1 drink for women.

The study found that heavy drinkers had diminished responses to a vaccine that was administered. As it turns out, those that consumed moderate amounts of alcohol also boasted an enhanced response to the administered vaccine in the study.

Related Article: Beer is the Way

The author of the study, Ilhem Messaoudi, says:

If you have a family history of alcohol abuse, or are at risk, or have been an abuser in the past, we are not recommending you go out and drink to improve your immune system, but for the average person who has, say, a glass of wine with dinner, it does seem in general to improve health and cardiovascular function. And now we can add the immune system to that list.

Not such a bad idea seeing that there is a lot of sickness going around lately.

Related Article: A Pill That Makes You Sober

So go ahead! Have that glass of wine with dinner! Drink that ice cold brew on a hot summer day! Enjoy that baileys and coffee or sweet port with dessert! Your body approves, just as long as you don’t over do it! Cheers!

 

Research:

PBS: Prohibition

IMDB: Boardwalk Empire

YouTube: ABBA – Happy New Year

Study: Moderate Alcohol Consumption Boosts Body’s Immune System

Ilhem Messaoudi, Ph. D.

 

Wondergressive: Beer is the Way: Humanities Secret Weapon for Survival and Health

Wondergressive: U.K. Chief Advisor on Drug Policy Fired for Showing Danger of Alcohol and Tobacco

Wondergressive: A Pill That Makes You Sober

Technological Advancements: A Detriment to Our Hearing

In our early days there was classical music. Some artists, even deaf artists, would perform brilliantly for their audience in orchestra halls and concert halls alike. The relatively soft tone of a concert was just loud enough for patrons of the arts but over time there came a change of volume. Soon we would start hearing the sounds of Jazz and Rock, both representing liberation and the soul, and both progressively louder counterparts to classical music. With disco also on the rise our ear drums delighted in hearing the loud sounds that paired with flamboyant costumes and exceptionally fun dance moves.

Not long after, techno joined the ranks and pumped up the volume even more. With clubs playing intense drum-and-bass and euro-trance loud enough to make your body tremble, our ears started to complain. And complain they do as we exit the club or the rock concert and everything becomes muffled, our hearing no longer as clear as it once was. But this is all only temporary; this muffled sensation goes away and our hearing is just fine only hours later. There should be no long term effects from any of those long party nights in the city other than maybe a hangover and regret of certain activities, right?

Related Article: Put That Music You Hate On Repeat

That may not be the case after all, says Chief Executive Paul Breckell of Medical Research Council Centenary:

Damage to your hearing is irreversible – and, contrary to popular opinion, hearing loss is not a condition that only older people need to concern themselves about. With many nightclubs and concerts measuring 20 or 30 decibels above the safe noise level, more and more young people are likely to start feeling the effects of their music-loving, gig-going habits. Hearing loss not only rules out our enjoyment of music, but has the potential to lead to unemployment, isolation and has even been linked to dementia.

The story does not end there unfortunately. We have so many technological advancements that have been released in recent time, such as walkmen, cd players, casette players, mp3 players, ipods, zunes, and now even all of our cell phones are music players. What does one do when they sit in Starbucks sipping on a delicious pumpkin spiced latte? We plug in our headphones and listen to music. How about when we research or study on the computer? Blast away some System Of A Down of course. When you are cleaning or cooking? Drum and Bass to help us focus!

While it is a wonderful thing to have music in our lives and for it to be so special to us, it may be time to lower the sound level a bit. I have erred as well by playing my music loudly when I am at the gym and getting pumped up, literally. Or when I am driving home from work and my favorite song comes on and I am happy the work day is done, I BLAST IT! But at what cost to my hearing?

Related Article: Music’s Grand Effects on the Mind

MRC Centenary is conducting a study that will answer all of these questions in the near future. In fact you and I can become a part of this study. To take their questionnaire and be a part of a deafening… err, defining moment in hearing history visit the MRC Centenary. Even though the questionnaire focuses on sound, it is also a visually stimulating experience. But don’t just listen to me, check it out for yourself! Cheers!

Sources:

Beethoven’s Deafness

Medical Research Council Centenary

MRC Centenary Questionnaire

 

Wondergressive: Music’s Grand Effects on the Mind

Wondergressive: Put That Music You Hate On Repeat

Fat and Fit Don’t Mix

get fit

Helloooo CONSUMER friendly, let’s get fit! .
http://www.tofugu.com/2011/10/12/what-do-sumo-wrestlers-eat/

I have very, very disappointing news to share with everyone: Being fit does not co-exist with being fat. At least that is what the Annals of Internal Medicine are claiming through a new study. But let us back up a little, where did this idea even come from?

Data has been floating around recently about the idea that one can be fit even if one is obese. Due to this data the acceptance of being overweight wasn’t thought of as anything more than a choice. But can there be repercussions from choosing to be fit and obese? Could there be health issues unbeknownst to us that the study is trying to bring attention to?

Related Article: To be Fat or Not to be Fat?

There is a stockpile of data showing that there is no ‘healthy level’ of obesity. Over 60,000 patients in 8 studies weighed in on the findings presented by the study mentioned above. The result was that those who were metabolically healthy but obese had a higher risk of death or cardiovascular events later in their lives than others of normal weight. The study simply concludes that being overweight or having excess weight poses a threat to your longevity. In addition to weight management, which of course is the inferred solution, one should always check their blood pressure and cholesterol levels to ensure their body stays healthy and fit.

Related Article: Fat, Poor Kids Just Got a Little Less Fat

Who wants to check their weight now? Go here for a Body Mass Index calculator! It will tell you whether you are at a societally normal weight, underweight, overweight, or obese. It is better to know than to be in denial.

In the end both your fitness level and your health level is quite clearly determined by you. If you choose to be a little overweight and still feel great then who is to say that in fact you aren’t going to live forever? Honestly, living life the way you want to is what matters most, if indeed you wish to be happy then live the way that makes you feel happiest. Doesn’t hurt to adjust some parts though! Cheers to living!

 

Research:

AoIM: Are Metabolically Healthy Overweight and Obesity Benign Conditions?

CNN Health: You Can Be Fat AND Fit, Researchers Say

NIH: Calculate your Body Mass Index

 

Wondergressive: The Dangers of Fat Acceptance

Wondergressive: To be Fat or Not to be Fat?

Wondergressive: Fat, Poor Kids Just Got a Little Less Fat. Still Poor.

Eat Nuts For a Longer Life

nuts heart

NUMMYYY!!!!!! Give me my nuts!
http://house-of-health-nuts.wikispaces.com/

A new study posted in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that a key to a longer life may be as easy as snacking on some delicious and healthy nuts!

Over 170,000 participants were included in the study over a period of 30 years. Participants reported their diet on a 2 year cycle in which data was gathered and applied to the study.

The final analysis gathered information from a little over 118,000 of those original 170,000 participants due to incomplete information and/or cessation in participation. The study yielded some really interesting results:

As compared with participants who consumed nuts less frequently, those who consumed nuts more frequently were leaner, less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and more likely to use multivitamin supplements; they also consumed more fruits and vegetables and drank more alcohol.

Related Article: Obese? Got a Fatty Liver? No Problem.

Did I just read that correctly? Are nuts a mind infusing, brainwashing, positive health boosting, youth extending, feel good super-food? What are you waiting for?! Get with the program and eat some already! But wait, healthy you say? Where are you drawing this from other than said study? Plenty of different sources agree that nuts are good for you, in fact the study talks about just how good they are nutritionally. They contain:

unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality protein, fiber, vitamins (e.g., folate, niacin, and vitamin E), minerals (e.g., potassium, calcium, and magnesium), and phytochemicals (e.g., carotenoids, flavonoids, and phytosterols), may confer cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic, antiinflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Related Article: The Wonderful, Healthier World of Fasting

What if I don’t like to snack on peanuts? What if I hate walnuts? No worries, there are 9 different types of nuts that we can indulge in, so even if you aren’t too fond of a peanut, there may be hope for you yet. Not to mention each of these 9 different types have different amounts of protein and different amounts of nutrients.

This is quite a bold claim that the study is making but I would say that it is all relative to your own state of mind. Drawing from this study, I believe if you are snacking on tree nuts you are also likely avoiding junk food snacking, which is in itself already a recipe for a healthier lifestyle. Not only that but snacking on something packed with protein and nutrients helps you function better throughout your day, allowing for a productive and positive life. Cheers!

 

Research:

Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality

The New Low-Cholesterol Diet

NutHealth.org

 

Wondergressive: Obese? Got a Fatty Liver? No Problem.

Wondergressive: The Life Changing and Life Lengthening World of Fasting

Go Go Gadget: Wearable Tech!

 

God I loved that cartoon when I was growing up (not the crummy live action movie adaptation…). I still quote “go go gadget arm” from time to time at work when I am reaching for something that is just slightly out of reach. Nerd. Yes, indeed. Then again, this is 2013 is it not?! So why do we not have those amazing gadgets that Inspector Gadget so often flaunted?! Government secrets I’m sure. Unfortunately it may still be some time yet before we are all cyborgs, but in the mean time we do have some exciting gadgets and wearable tech to play with!

Misfit Shine and Hot Watch are both wearable tech that blend new age technology with a sense of style! But of course, I am getting ahead of myself, they aren’t as impressive as a hand that reaches out of a detective hat. They do however each have their own purpose and are definitely pieces of technology that should not be overlooked.

Related Article: Robotic Sense and Feel

The Misfit Shine is a little metal UFO looking coin, that, much like a UFO, lights up in response to touch. This little wonder is not equipped with a touch screen of any sort, but it is a pedometer that is able to track your fitness throughout the day. This stylish coin is waterproof so you can even take it with you on your morning swim or your afternoon bike ride where you are likely to sweat all over everything in your pockets.

Equipped with a touch response, the Misfit Shine may be a bit complicated with a unique way of showing time of day, although it does sport a sleek and stylish look. In fact, the best part about this little tracker is that it resembles jewelry! For all you style fashionistas, think fitness, health, with a twist of chic. Misfit Shine comes with a armband that it fits into snugly, resembling a watch, or a small strap that has a magnet attached to the end of it, acting as a clip-on. But for everyone else, just pop it into your pocket and set out on your athletic adventure. Pricing for Misfit Shine is just under 100$. Make sure you have an iOS device such as an iPhone or Apple computer, as Misfit Shine is currently only compatible with iOS. Compatibility with Android and other operating systems is expected sometime next year.

Related Article: Biggest Wastes Of Money That We Continue To Pay For!

Now the next one I am really excited about. The Hot Watch is the closest to a James Bond watch accessory that I have seen thus far. It resembles a watch with a LCD touch screen that may just be too small for my fingers. The screen isn’t exactly meant for texting or reading blogs, rather it provides you with updates of your Facebook and other social media outlets. Swipes and patterns bring up different menus that access your updates and alerts from emails and such.

The coolest thing about this Hot Watch is that it can be used as a substitute for a hands free Bluetooth headset. By cupping your hand around your ear the watch receives the calls and runs the speaker up your hand to your ear for private calls. A simple “good bye” wave hangs up the phone. Cool. The watch connects directly to your cell phone via Android or iOS apps and even alerts you when you are too far from your smart phone, reminding you that you are most likely losing it or forgetting it. Stylish and Smart. Bingo. Pricing starts at $169 for the Hot Watch and it will be released in December 2013.

Related Article: Facebook: Glorifying and Depressing

Technology tickles my fancy, especially with the prospect for newer and more innovative pieces that may be released because of current tech that is being developed. Now I won’t lie, during the construction of this whole article I was either humming or singing the Inspector Gadget song. I may just have to watch a couple episodes on YouTube now. GO. Gadget. GO!

Cheers to nostalgia!

Research:

CNET: Sleek Hot Watch Makes Hands-Free Calls With Style

CNET: Fitness Tracker As Futuristic Jewelry 

Wondergressive: Robotic Sense and Feel

Wondergressive: Biggest Wastes Of Money That We All Continue To Pay For: Part 1

Wondergressive: Facebook: Glorifying and Depressing

World Protests: Can You Hear Me Now?

In the last couple days mass protests have been spotted in Egypt comprised of the supporters and the opponents of former President Mohamed Morsi. On one side there is an army ready to enact its ultimatum to overthrow the government and instate a new political power. On the other side is the Muslim Brotherhood that would take on the deadly army in order to preserve the former president’s reign and ensure that democracy under Islamic law stays.

The people of Egypt fear what is happening to their beloved country and the economic crisis that is taking place and so the protests rage and violence ensues.  The Military Coup will most likely result in a dictatorship being reinstated, but who is to say that a president within a “brotherhood” is not like a dictator himself. Furthermore, the phrase”will most likely result in” is still an ‘up in the air’ statement. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and with the Military Coup, we may see the fall of democracy in Egypt take place while the immediate reinstatement of military power to rule over all is enacted, ‘temporarily’ of course. One thing is for sure: the people of Egypt all just want peace and prosperity for their children, their friends, their family, and their country. Just like those of the past, they rally together, on one side or the other, showing their pride and commitment to what they believe is most important. The world has heard their cry, a reaction for good or bad will be delivered, like it has been in the past.

What past you say? Let us take a stroll down memory lane and explore several world protests most significant to our mother Earth.

Related Article: Conservation Efforts of Earth

French and American Revolutions

The French and American revolutions were caused by the aristocratic rule that undermined the people and exploited their freedoms. Both of these revolutionary periods took a long time to resolve the ongoing problems of tyrannical monarchy. The French Revolution lasted some 10 years from 1789-1799; overthrowing the monarch King Louis XVI, giving power to a republic, and finally ending with the Consulate under Napoleon Bonaparte.  The American Revolution era lasted some 20 years starting around 1763 and finally ended in 1783 when a peace treaty marked the full separation from British power. The world watched and learned as nations became independent of monarchs and set examples for future nations to follow.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Martin Luther King Jr.’s words will never be forgotten as they rang through the ears of 250,000 supporters of the civil rights movement rallied together on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was an effort to end racism in the United States of America and the support it received helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, finally freeing a people from oppression and racism. The movement became of staple in the society of America and an example for bringing rights to others in the future. Even now as we struggle with gay marriage being accepted we frequently reference what Martin Luther King Jr. set out to accomplish.

Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989

Probably the most memorabe in my mind would be the Tiananmen Square protests where students led demonstrations against the slow reform process that was taking place in China. The students followed astrophysicist and professor Fang Lizhi, who preached liberty and democracy after returning from tenure in America. The student protests inspired people in Beijing to follow suit, proclaiming the need for human rights and human power, only to be met with military resistance and martial law. The famous image of this protest was the “Tank Man” where one anonymous and yet to be named man stood in front of 4 military tanks as a sign of protest against military ultimatums. To this day this image is referenced during talk of peace or protest.

February 15, 2003 Anti-War Protest

Let’s not forget one of the most recent cries for peace that spread from DC, looped around the world through  more than 600 cities, and came back around to ring in president Bush’s ears: The all expansive War on Terrorism. In Rome 3 million people cried out against the war with the slogan: “stop the war, no ifs or buts”. Madrid rallied just over 1 million people to stop the war. The US had over 150 cities rallying to support peace and to stay out of Iraq. The world cried out for peace on February 15, 2003. Sadly, the world at large was ignored, and the invasion of Iraq took place only a month later on May 20, 2003, finally ending in 2011 after 2 years of withdrawing troops from Iraq. The message remains though, with one of the biggest rallies for peace to date, that we as a people want to coexist peacefully.

Related Article: War On Drugs

Where these are only 5 other protests out of many, many more significant protests, it is important to remember what they stood for: Hope. A hope for change, a hope for a better life, and a hope for peace. This article, of course, was not an attempt in any way to mock anyone or to devalue the lives that have been lost in any of the public outcries that have taken place in the past and that will unfortunately follow. This was simply a tribute and a remembrance to what has passed, inspired by the recent events in Egypt.

To all my brothers and sisters in Egypt, to all the supporters and opponents of Morsi, and to all the protesters of the world that are straining to have their voices heard: I wish you the least bloodiest road to your goal and may peace and prosperity find you. May we all live in a world where protests are a thing of the past, and where violence and war are no longer necessary or even thought of.

Finally, in the spirit of America’s Independence Day, I wish that all other countries, oppressed or yearning for freedom, may one day be able to cheer, as we privileged Americans do, for their own country’s Independence and Freedom. Happy July 4th America!

Cheers!

 

Research:

Egypt Crisis: Protesters

Brotherhood of Morsi

Newyorker Military Coup

Army Ousts Egypt’s President

President Mohamed Morsi

French Revolution

Louis XVI of France

Napoleon Bonaparte

American Revolution

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

I Have a Dream Speech

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Ten states to tackle gay marriage

Tiananmen Square Protests

Fang Lizhi

Tank Man

Anti War Protests

Invasion of Iraq

Independence Day, Fourth Of July

Wondergressive: War on Drugs

Wondergressive: Conservation Efforts of Earth

A Non-Loony Google Project Called LOON: Solar Powered, Internet Wielding Balloons

Even though I currently use Verizon Wireless, which of course claims to have the most coverage in the USA out of all the other cell phone companies, I still find places where my connection to the interweb does not exist. These dead zones are our biggest enemy in the fight for superior knowledge! They limit our access to vast information, they cause frustration and anger, they are the bane to our batman. So when will we have an answer to this persistently pervasive problem? Maybe  the movie Up was trying to send us a message.

Related Article: FCC Proposes Free Public Wifi Nationwide

In comes Google. How about sending out 30 balloons, no really they are balloons, which are capable of giving you comparable internet speeds to that of 3G. Google calls it project Loon. The balloons are about 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter and float some 12 miles (20km) up in the air! The great thing about this is that the balloons will be all the way up in the Stratosphere, above planes and above clouds and storms, safely floating without interfering with anything or getting lost in changing weather patterns. They are equipped with a navigation system which allows the balloons to either replace one another in a flight pattern, or continually sail in an area, in a sense guaranteeing a constant signal. The balloons took flight in Christchurch, New Zealand where only a select few were a part of the testing process. Cliff L. Biffle, a part of the project and Tech Lead of Flight Systems, says:

 Having access to the internet can change lives and there are 5 billion people on the Earth that aren’t reached. Balloon-powered internet sounds positively mad, and in a way it is, but its mad in a practical way that could just work

Related Article: Free Internet, Help Yourself

What is cooler, but could be a limiting factor for some, is that the Google project developed its own type of antennas to broadcast the signals so that the signal would not get lost or interrupted by all the other Wifi signals around. It could mean paying royalties to access Google’s internet, but you may be thankful for the access when your Google Glasses are recording the next big concert in the middle of a desert that you are exploring. In fact, are you climbing Mt. Everest and the Patriots are in the Superbowl? No problem, whip out your phone for a live feed of Brady’s game winning touchdown. Google has you covered! Literally. Bet you all those people in Maldives, Tunisia, and Belarus can’t wait!

Cheers!

 

Research:

Google Project: Loon for ALL

Google Glasses

IMDB- UP

Wiki- Stratosphere

A Map of the Internet’s “Black Holes”

Wondergressive: Free Internet, Help Yourself

Wondergressive: FCC Proposes Free Public Wifi Nationwide

Let’s Capture US an Asteroid!


What would interstellar warfare be without the original ideas that brought us there? Like, for instance, humans developing new space technologies and exploring space in the first place. Lucky for us, we have a great amount of our budget invested in NASA, a hefty proposed 17.7 billion dollars to be exact, which, surprisingly, is still 50 million less than in 2012. Looks like NASA’s planned mission to an asteroid was not just a pipe dream!

The most interesting part of the budget would be the proposed spending associated with NASA and asteroids. The description in the budget for NASA states that:

The Budget includes $78 million for NASA to develop needed technologies and study alternative approaches for a robotic mission to rendezvous with a small asteroid—one that would be harmless to Earth—and move it to a stable location outside the Moon’s orbit.

That is to say we will send men to space to commandeer an asteroid and bring it home! As if the asteroid had any say in the matter anyway, I foresee a cult uprising like no other before! That is all chump change compared to what NASA is really planning to do with this excavating of asteroids. Sometime in 2014, there is a planned launch of Orion, which will bring us one step closer to herding asteroids and ultimately reaching Mars in 2030!

Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Division (what a title!) says:

It’s a key element of our overall plan to get humans beyond Earth’s orbit as quickly as we can

With that test flight accomplished, the scientists and engineers can analyze Orion’s design and maneuverability,  capability of Orion housing humans, and heat shields designed for Orion’s reentry, all of which will hopefully bring us all closer to sun bathing on our red brother’s atmosphere. That, or using it as a space station for our intergalactic space battles!

For a full low down on the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, visit that link and check out whether or not you agree with the budget and the changes it will bring. One definite that it prescribes is an eventual decline in our debt, but at what cost?

 

Further Reading:

Wondergressive – NASA’s Planned Mission to Asteroid

NASA’s Proposed Budget

President’s Budget for fiscal year 2014

NASA website

Wondergressive – Interstellar Warfare

Mars’ Atmosphere

 

TVs, Brains, and Zombies Oh My: TV’s Effect on the Mind

TV, the true Petrus Romanus. How about THAT for an introduction? All you conspiracy junkies out there should take a break from brainwashing and new world order propaganda and give this a good read before your brain turns to mush! The average American watched 34 hours 39 minutes of TV per week in Q4 2010 according to Nielson. Something taking up that much of your time deserves the evil name of Petrus Romanus. That’s over 4 hours of our waking daily life that is consumed by watching TV! Let’s say you are an average daily sleeper of 8 hours (lucky you), you work on average an 8 hour shift daily, commute a total of 1 hour, perform proper hygiene of 1 hour daily including showering, brushing teeth, dressing, etc. and 4 hours of watching television. Are you following me? Your remaining daily time (week days) is only 2 hours for other activities. Why does that matter? Those remaining 2 hours may not be productive at all due to the beforehand act of watching the tube.

When you watch television, your brain activity is focused in the right hemisphere, a crossover that produces endorphins, our body’s natural opiates. Psychophysiologist Thomas Mulholland found that:

After 30 seconds of watching television the brain begins to produce alpha waves, which indicates torpid (almost comatose) rates of activity.

Long story short, you watch TV and your brain relaxes, just like when you ingest opiates (opium, morphine, heroin, etc.). Only difference is that television puts you into a more comatose state. Sounds good right? Unfortunately it is not a good thing for your brain. During this point of relaxation, your brain does not function in its higher regions and no real beneficial brain stimulation is occurring.

Wes Moore, scholar for The Journal of Cognitive Liberties, states:

When you’re watching television the higher brain regions (like the mid brain and the neo-cortex) are shut down, and most activity shifts to the lower brain regions (like the limbic system), in the long run, too much activity in the lower brain leads to atrophy in the higher brain regions

Atrophy in higher brain regions can lead to dementia later in life. As you age, it is better to stay active or involve yourself in your family’s life, especially compared to spending all of your time melting away in front of the tube. However, not only are those that are older are in peril, there are other disadvantages caused by the TUBE for all of us.

A study at ISU found that:

Students who stare at a screen for more than two hours per day are twice as likely to be diagnosed with attention problems.

tv drug

http://vimeo.com/22872736 look at me video

And all this time, I thought that drooling when staring at the TV was normal. Oh well, TV seems to be one of many different reasons why students are as distracted as they are now-a-days, however, it is essential to be in the know about all the different types of distractions technology provides.

Even those that have health problems can now blame something other than big bones and hereditary fat genes. Effects of Television Viewing, an article in JAMA, describes how obese participants that limited their TV viewing would burn more calories than those participants who continued to watch TV at their normal rate. In fact reading, writing, and relaxing without TV was found to increase total calories burned over watching TV. That is, you burn more calories than you do viewing the tube by not even being involved in an activity, not even going to the gym to workout, not even participating in the outside world, by not doing anything at all.

In fact, Visual Voodoo found that:

 Kids who watched more than 2 hours a day between the ages of 5 and 15 were more likely to have high cholesterol, reduced fitness, and were at higher risk for diabetes as adults

If that doesn’t persuade you to involve your kids more, how about what Medline Plus has to say about too much screen time:

Makes it harder to get your child to go to bed and fall asleep at night

AND

Increases the chance that your child will develop attention problems, anxiety, and depression

Sounds like something mentioned before.

Solution? (breath) You could…

Read a book, fly a kite, write a book, play an instrument, talk to your kids, talk to your parents, enjoy other people’s company, draw something, paint something, go for a walk, go hiking, volunteer, go snowboarding, mow the lawn, clean the house, write a sonnet, write a rap, read a comic book, write a love letter, solve the world’s problem of hunger, etc. The world lives and moves and continues on whether or not you are a part of it, I think it is high time to be a part of it.

Relate Read: Fun Fact: You’re the Cause of Boredom

 

Research:

Nielsen – State of Media

Journal of Cognitive Liberties

JAMA, Internal Medicine

Visual Voodoo

Medline Plus

Television and Dementia

Technological Distractions

Wondergressive Cats are Mind Parasites

Mushy Brains and Shorter Lives

ISU TV Study

New World Order

Petrus Romanus, Prophecy of Popes