NASA, Fossils, Digital Era, Passions and Interests, Concussions

NASA, Fossils, Digital Era, Passions and Interests, Concussions

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

  • Feb 18, 2015 10:00 pm
  • 1:44:16 mins
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NASA SMAP Guest: Vanessa Escobar, Support Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland  Despite pockets of intense snowfall and ice across parts of the South and Northeast, the U.S. Drought Monitor says 44 percent of the nation is “abnormally dry” and a quarter of the U.S. is experiencing some form of drought. California, Nevada, and parts of Texas are seeing the worst of it.  NASA has a new mission that promises to better predict drought, improve flood warning systems and even help farmers forecast crop yields. It’s a satellite called “SMAP,” which launched on January 31st. SMAP stands for “Soil Moisture Active Passive.”  “The information from the satellite is meant to enhance and inform processes that are already in place,” says Escober.  The satellite can provide useful information for many professions. “The farmer is not going to use the data directly,” says Escober. “We have people that are going to process this information and make it very useable. It’s going to be scaled to the relevance of an individual.”  2.3 Billion Year Old Fossil Guest: Malcolm Walter, Professor of Astrobiology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney  Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection says that organisms evolve in response to changes in their environment. So the flip side of Darwin’s theory is that if there’s no change in an environment, organisms won’t change either. Evidence of an organism that has remained completely unchanged for millions of years fully supports Darwin’s theory of evolution. Fossils dating from 1.8 to 2.8 billion years old remain untouched on the ocean’s floor.   “On the sea floor there’s mud, very soft mud,” says Walter, “and there’s microbes living in that mud.”  Walter says oxygen is what drives evolution. “In ancient times, the whole of the earth had very little oxygen in waters of the ocean and the atmosphere.”  Securing our Digital Lives Guest: Dale Rowe, Cybersecurity Expert and IT Professor at BYU  Kids these days are constantly plugged into the Internet through laptops, phones, and tablets. But with all of this access comes dangers: children stumbling onto dangerous or inappropriate websites, or losing valuable personal information with just a swipe or a click.  “It’s definitely an option,” says Rowe on filters. “For a desktop computers or laptops, it’s relatively effective. They’re fairly good at blocking deliberate searches. But, they are really just a first layer of defense. Sometimes it’s not just getting around, it’s the device as well. You might put a filter on your laptop but there might be 6 or 7 other device in the house that might not be protected.”  “Have a good relationship,” advises Rowe. “It’s really about if you can feel comfortable talking to your kid, if they feel comfortable talking to you. Don’t make them feel condemned about finding something” on the Internet.  “My four year old has been playing on tablets since he was two. He didn’t know what he was doing at two but now he’s four. It’s kind of startling how fast he gets there. We told him ‘Okay, it’s time to get off.’ We tried to take the tablet away from him and he threw a fit. They’re a good way to relax every now and then but they shouldn’t be a way of life,” says Rowe.  Passions and Interests Guest: Grant Madsen, BYU History Professor  This week’s “American Heritage” segment analyzes passions and interests and if greed is ever a good thing.   “There were always rich people that lived like kings but that is because they were literally the king,” said Madsen.  There must be a balance between greed and hard work. “The key is where to do you learn discipline?” said Madsen. “Where do you learn the qualities of key character that can keep you under control?”  Concussions and Magnets Guest: Dr. Ray Colello, Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine  The National Football League is negotiating a settlement with 5,000 former players who accuse the NFL of hiding the dangers of concussions. Efforts to address the problem of football head injuries has fallen along two lines – educating players and coaches about the danger of concussion and redesigning helmets to better protect players. Dr. Colello believes magnets might be a better answer than adding more padding to a football helmet.  “We’re not talking about putting the magnets on the outside of the helmet, but on the inside by the polycarbonated shell,” says Colello. This reduces the linear forces and extends the time impact takes place.

Episode Segments

2.3 Billion Year Old Fossil

13m

Guest: Malcolm Walter, Professor of Astrobiology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney  Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection says that organisms evolve in response to changes in their environment. So the flip side of Darwin’s theory is that if there’s no change in an environment, organisms won’t change either. Evidence of an organism that has remained completely unchanged for millions of years fully supports Darwin’s theory of evolution. Fossils dating from 1.8 to 2.8 billion years old remain untouched on the ocean’s floor.   “On the sea floor there’s mud, very soft mud,” says Walter, “and there’s microbes living in that mud.”  Walter says oxygen is what drives evolution. “In ancient times, the whole of the earth had very little oxygen in waters of the ocean and the atmosphere.”

Guest: Malcolm Walter, Professor of Astrobiology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney  Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection says that organisms evolve in response to changes in their environment. So the flip side of Darwin’s theory is that if there’s no change in an environment, organisms won’t change either. Evidence of an organism that has remained completely unchanged for millions of years fully supports Darwin’s theory of evolution. Fossils dating from 1.8 to 2.8 billion years old remain untouched on the ocean’s floor.   “On the sea floor there’s mud, very soft mud,” says Walter, “and there’s microbes living in that mud.”  Walter says oxygen is what drives evolution. “In ancient times, the whole of the earth had very little oxygen in waters of the ocean and the atmosphere.”

Concussions and Magnets

27m

Guest: Dr. Ray Colello, Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine  The National Football League is negotiating a settlement with 5,000 former players who accuse the NFL of hiding the dangers of concussions. Efforts to address the problem of football head injuries has fallen along two lines – educating players and coaches about the danger of concussion and redesigning helmets to better protect players. Dr. Colello believes magnets might be a better answer than adding more padding to a football helmet.  “We’re not talking about putting the magnets on the outside of the helmet, but on the inside by the polycarbonated shell,” says Colello. This reduces the linear forces and extends the time impact takes place.

Guest: Dr. Ray Colello, Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine  The National Football League is negotiating a settlement with 5,000 former players who accuse the NFL of hiding the dangers of concussions. Efforts to address the problem of football head injuries has fallen along two lines – educating players and coaches about the danger of concussion and redesigning helmets to better protect players. Dr. Colello believes magnets might be a better answer than adding more padding to a football helmet.  “We’re not talking about putting the magnets on the outside of the helmet, but on the inside by the polycarbonated shell,” says Colello. This reduces the linear forces and extends the time impact takes place.

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