Beyond the Bricks
by Michal Colie | published Dec. 9th, 2013
Caffeine Energy Drinks Cause Heart Dysfunction
Fatal heartbeat problems may eventually occur for even a healthy individual due to consumption of caffeine and taurine-filled energy drinks, according to a recent study. Even though these drinks have ingredients listed, manufacturers tend to refrain from informing the consumer of any chemicals within the beverage. About an hour after ingestion of the drink, heartbeats per hour for the individual significantly increases, and each heartbeat is highly intensified, the University of Bonn in Germany suggested, according to the BBC. For the experiment the University imaged a variety of subjects’ hearts. The left ventricle, the part of the heart that pumps blood through the entire body, substantially exaggerated each pump.
Rather than providing energy, these drinks provide caffeine, which is a stimulant. Energy drinks contain up to three times the amount of caffeine in beverages such as coffee and cola. Medical Daily stated that, “The stimulating properties in the drink can boost heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes causing palpitations, which dehydrate the body and prevent sleep.” The BBC reports that at this point in time it’s still not entirely clear what long term effects these drinks will have on the human body, however, the research team advised individuals with heart issues, and children, to cease drinking the beverages at this time.
Amazon Courier Drones versus Google Humanoid Robots
Amazon recently revealed their plan to have drones deliver their products directly to customers, rather than having individuals deal with the current postage options and time constrictions. Huffington Post reported that the service would be called Prime Air, and according to Amazon CEO and founder Joe Bezos, it would be able to get customers their products within half an hour. It’s expected to be up and running in approximately four to five years, but first there needs to be a variety of FAA approvals and more safety testing.
Meanwhile, the engineer who designed the Android software for smartphones, Andy Rubin, was recently hired to work, alongside seven technology companies all acquired within the last half-year, on Google’s vision of eventually having humanoid robots for processes such as manufacturing and to compete with Amazon. The New York Times reported that at this stage Google does not plan to sell the resulting robotic product to consumers. Experiments with a home delivery service utilizing robots have been tested in certain markets in San Francisco. "This is a clear sign that days of personalised robotic technology entering the mainstream market [are] imminent," said Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, director of the Robotics Lab at the University of Edinburgh, according BBC News.
Biden Visits Asia in Response to New Controversial Chinese Air Defense Zone
Vice President Joe Biden began mending tensions between Japan, China and the United States on December 2 during his weeklong stay in Southeast Asia. Tensions arose because of a controversial Chinese air defense zone, the Aircraft Defense Identification Zone, which includes parts of disputed land claimed by Japan and China. China became upset when the United States allowed military aircraft to be flown through the zone without prior authorization. Japan and South Korea also dismissed China's zone and have flown undeclared military aircraft through the area. U.S. federal regulators have instructed commercial aircraft to avoid the airspace and to follow any protocols China has set in place in order to avoid any possible danger or issues.
“Analysts and former diplomats said that reassuring Japan of America’s commitment to the region was particularly important given creeping worries in Tokyo that the United States might no longer have the financial ability, or even the will, to maintain its dominant military position in the Asia-Pacific,” the New York Times reported. Japan does not want the air zone to be recognized by the United States.