07 January, 2015 – Episode 496 – This Week in Science


TWIS predicts 2014 in our annual prediction show, Cutllefish Cues, Fake Meal Pills, No Shed Xmas, Goldilocks Abound, Disco Clam, And Much More…

Future Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
Predicting the future has always been a difficult task…
Mystics, sages, crystal ball gypsies and financial analysts
have been at it for thousands of years with little evidence that they are doing
more than guessing about possible outcomes…

It takes some courage to predict things in the near future… Long
term predictions have a way of being forgotten if they are wrong,…
It’s one reason to have more respect for the nightly news
At least he or she is attempting to tell you about events so
new, they haven’t happened yet, but will come to pass within a weeks time…
while everyone else gets to ramble off info about things that have already
taken place.

Prognosticators have made bold predictions in the past.
The inventor Thomas Edison predicted a future where
Everything was made of steel, and iron could be converted into gold so easily
that it would cease to be valuable…
Both Tesla and Marconi believed wireless operation of military
vehicles and weapons would make war obsolete.
Decca Records declined to sign the Beatles in 1962 as Guitar
Music was on the way out…
Isaac Asimov predicted 2014 would be the year of mega cities
under the sea…

Popular mechanics in 1949 predicted that the Computer of 50
years into the future would no longer consist of tens of thousands of vacuum
tube… but only 1000. Bringing its desk
top weight down from 30 tons, to a mere 1 and a half

And showing the greatest vision over the longest time…
Popular Mechanics in a 1905 issue… (it’s been around that
long!) predicted that a doctor would one day be able to examine a patient
anywhere in the world by utilizing a mechanical hand that would transmit touch feedback…
and therefore be able to diagnose many ailments from afar…

While that last one is in some way shape or form already happening
now, the one thing they all failed to predict but you wise prognosticating
predicterator of future events saw clearly is
This Week in Science… prediction show… coming up next…

This year we predict…
From Justin: “Apple will create the iThink, a mind-phone interface.
Sparticles will be found by the LHC, our first glimpse of dark matter.
Serious talk about neutrino being the theoretical tachyon particle.
Will discover the atheon, the atheist particle that refutes the Higgs being a God particle.
When UN meets to put together climate change plan, cold weather will make them do nothing.
This is the year, the Monkeycat will be discovered.
No evidence for a gravity wave, but good penguin recipes from BICEP2 crew in Antarctica.
Green Bay vs. Broncos – Broncos lose.
This is the year, TWIS becomes a coast to coast show!”

From Blair: “-It will be discovered that actually, Pandas play an integral role in the food webs in bamboo forests (and I will officially apologize on the show, dressed as a panda) –
-As permafrost melts, we will discover a crazy, never-before described Family of animals
-We will cure Koala chlamydia and Koala populations will begin to bounce back
-In one state, a group will try to pass a law forbidding not only evolution and climate change education in the classroom, but also statistics, as it promotes “”leftist propaganda.”” The Supreme court will not agree.
-We will find another way crows are smart.
-Curiosity will see mold on mars! and then discover we brought it there. Whoops!
-We will read about yet another new theory on how pigeons navigate, nullifying the most recent – magnetic fields.
-Scientists will shine more light on dark matter
-A monkey will type some Shakespeare, via brian-to-brain communication
-I will create some more artwork to send to TWIS contributors, due to the fact that we will remain solidly over the $500 mark for the majority of the year!
-I will successfully goad a famous person (hopefully Bill Nye) to reply to a SHOUTY TWEET!!”

From Kirsten: “-You thought drones were bad in 2014… just wait for 2015. With new technologies like VR interfaces on the market, we will see pilots with their heads in their drones.
-And, the FAA will continue to punt on making regulations for the UAV’s.
-Japan’s SCHAFT robot will sweep the DARPA Robotics Competition in June… because he’s SCHAFT.
-The restarting of the LHC at 13 trillion electron volts, double it’s original power, will further confirm the Higgs particle and the Standard Model of physics.
-December’s climate change conference in Paris will consist of a large number of politicians hand-waving and making no real progress.
-The New Horizons mission will successfully rendezvous with Pluto finding it to be very cold, and the Dawn mission arriving at Ceres will find the same.
-Ebola will continue to rage in Africa, and be ignored by most Americans.
-We will still have no evidence of gravitational waves, although studies will be ongoing.
-As Europe’s ITER Tokamak facility begins construction, the US-based NIF will show progress on fusion experiments.
-Hydrogen cars will become more prominent in the market being snatched up by Silicon Valley yuppies, although petroleum vehicles will continue to dominate.
-An email will be sent by thought alone from a brain via a mouse-goldfish-robot pathway.
-SpaceX will successfully demonstrate reuseable rockets and new Mars vehicles.
– Using one of these rockets, Japanese company, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, with American company Astrobotic Technology, will solidify plans to put a can of Pokari sweat on the moon, and go on to win the Google Lunar X prize.
-Venter will create the first completely synthetic living organism.
-This year will mark the beginning of genetic printing on demand.
-Solar Impulse will become the first solar plane to circumnavigate the Earth.
-TWIS will kill in NYC!
-We will have an amazing 500th episode
-AND, we will produce more shorts, long-form interviews, and in-person meet-ups!”

How do you think we will do???

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Cuttlefish can hear, and are rather touchy about it.
Cuttlefish showed noise response at about the same range as fish, and showedmost sensitivity around the frequency at which we produce the most noise pollution in the ocean. Sorry guys!

Fake Meal For weight loss
Salk Institute researchers have developed a compound that locally stimulates the gut to “think” that it has eaten, resulting in weight loss and increased metabolism in a mouse model.

The science of a gorgeous, not needle-shedding Xmas tree
Scientists have been studying which genetic lines of trees shed the most needles to come up with the bestest trees of them all. The only hiccup is, climate change may get to them all, first!

Two New Goldilocks!
Astronomers delving into Kepler mission data have found eight new planets within the Goldilock’s zone of their host stars. Two of these planets are rocky, and potentially Earth-like.

Funky Disco Clam
There is a clam at the bottom of the sea that reflects light, and that has been nicknamed “the disco clam”. Enough said.

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I'm the host of this little science show.