Don’t Miss the Top Five Stories of the Week

What Does Life on Mars Look Like?

There’s a lot of talk about humans settling on Mars within the next few decades. Which is exciting, but if you know anything about Earth’s neighbor, it doesn’t present itself as the most hospitable of planets. This week, our very own Stephen Petranek sat down with The Wall Street Journal to help clear up just how the heck experts expect humans to survive in seemingly unlivable conditions. How will we grow food in radioactive dust? How will we access water that’s frozen under layers of rock and soil? How will we breathe carbon dioxide-laden air and protect ourselves from solar radiation?

Stephen answers the burning questions most of us have when it comes to colonizing Mars. Click here to read his comments.

Reclining on the Job

If you thought your office buying you a standing desk was progressive, try this on for size: A company out of San Francisco has developed a desk that not only allows you to stand, but to recline as well. Altwork is a convertible desk that allows the user to sit, stand and lie down. The idea for the reclining desk was conceived by a partner on the project, who had trouble sitting for long periods thanks to a back injury. And recent studies have highlighted the inherent risk of sitting for long periods of time, including heart disease and diabetes.

How does the reclining desk function, and what is it like to actually work at one? Click here to read the full review.

Space’s Friday the 13th Surprise

Just in time for Friday, Nov. 13, a mysterious piece of space junk will enter the Earth’s atmosphere, crashing into the Indian Ocean. Scientists are baffled as to where the debris came from, but some speculate it could be an old rocket body, or leftovers from the lunar space program. Most of the debris is expected to burn up in the atmosphere, and anything that remains will land in the Indian Ocean about 65 miles off the coast of Sri Lanka.

There’s no danger here, but as one researchers warned, “I would not necessarily want to be going fishing directly underneath it.” Click here to read the full article.

3D Printed Limbs Help Those in Need

Due to the high cost of production, prosthetic limbs can be hard to come by in poorer countries. But volunteers from Intel recently built 100 robotic hands in a mere two hours, thanks to the help of 3-D printing. Led by engineer Shashi Jain, the prosthetic hands each cost about $15 to produce, and Jain plans to send the recent batch to those in need in Haiti.

Meet the young boy who motivated Jain to take on the project and the superhero that inspired the design for the 3-D-printed prosthetics by clicking here.

Pass the Vino, Comet Lovejoy

Researchers came to the conclusion this week the comet Lovejoy has been releasing large amounts of alcohol into the atmosphere. “We found that comet Lovejoy was releasing as much alcohol as in at least 500 bottles of wine every second during its peak activity,” said Nicolas Biver of the Paris Observatory, France, who is the head author on the paper outlining the findings.

Scientists believe that the findings show that comets have a more complex chemistry than originally thought. Read the full article on the recent finds by clicking here.

Regards,

Amanda Stiltner
for The Daily Reckoning

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