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RSID: <<2013-08-24T16:02Z MFSK-16 @ 17860000+1500>>
Welcome to program 23 of VOA Radiogram.
Here is the lineup for today's program:
2:20 MFSK16: Program preview (now)
1:46 MFSK32: Chinese text sample*
6:33 MFSK32: VOA News re robot, with image
6:39 MFSK32: VOA News re Kepler Telescope, with image
4:32 MFSK64/Flmsg: RFE/RL News re left-handers in former USSR
1:18 MFSK32: Image accompanying left-hander story
1:11 MFSK16: Closing announcements
1:24 MFSK16: VOA Radiogram logo (500x44)
*Use UTF-8 character set
Please send reception reports to email@example.com
And visit voaradiogram.net
VOA Radiogram now changes to MFSK32...
RSID: <<2013-08-24T16:04Z MFSK-32 @ 17860000+1500>>
This is VOA Radiogram in MFSK32.
Next is another sample of VOA Chinese text. If the Chinese
characters appear as blocks in your decoding software, try
copying the blocks to a word processor or another application to
see if the characaters appear. You could also download the East
Asian language files for your operating system.
"Japan sends 1'st robot to ISS
RSID: <<2013-08-24T16:05Z MFSK-32 @ 17860000+1500>>
Robot With Human-Like Hands Could Tackle Dangerous Situations
George Putic, KI4FNF
August 19, 2013
WASHINGTON — Robo Sally is a remotely controlled humanoid robot
that may one day help law enforcement officials and emergency
technicians defuse bombs, patrol large spaces and do guard duty.
It was designed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University's
Applied Physics Laboratory [APL], outside Washington, D.C.
The robot is a versatile moving platform with a humanoid
attachment that looks like a modern day centaur. It can turn in
tight spaces, climb over small obstacles, closely examine objects
and even manipulate them with human-like hands.
But Robo Sally was not initially designed for sentry duties.
Mike McLoughlin, the principal investigator for APL's Prosthetics
Program, said, "The purpose of that program is to develop
prosthetic arms that have all the capability of your natural
arms, and you do all the complex motions that we can do with the
natural arm - with the robot. We had this idea if we did this for
prosthetics for humans, we could also put these on robotic
platforms and enable the robots to go out into dangerous
It was a complex task. McLoughlin said the device not only had to
have many small motors to mimic the flexibility of the human
hand, it needed human-like strength. The thumb was especially
difficult because it allows the hand to grasp objects. And
everything had to fit into a space about the size of a hand.
The next problem, McLoughlin said, was to figure out how to
control the artificial hand. "So we had to figure out how to make
the connection between the brain and this arm. We've done that
for spinal injury patients, where we can actually interface with
the brain and use the patient's thoughts to control the arm."
Of course, for search-and-rescue duties, Robo Sally will be
operated by wireless remote control, through special gloves and
glasses. The glasses allow the operator to see the robot's hands
and enables him to finely control their movement.
McLoughlin said robots like this could be used in "dull, dirty or
dangerous" situations where human dexterity is a requirement.
"So, for example, opening a door, or turning the valve or, you
know, going to a factory or a power plant like Fukushima, that
was all designed for humans. You need to be able to go in and
have the human-like capabilities in order to be able to work in
McLoughlin said the technology is not ready for practical
application, but he predicts that within five years we will see
some amazing advances.
RSID: <<2013-08-24T16:10Z MFSK-32 @ 17860000+1500>>
MFSK32 image of Robo Sally follows...
RSID: <<2013-08-24T16:12Z MFSK-32 @ 17860000+1500>>
Kepler Telescope's Planet-hunting Days End
August 16, 2013
NASA is ending its attempts to restore the Kepler Space Telescope
to full working order. The US space agency will now focus on
analyzing the data collected over the past four years as the
spacecraft searched for Earth-like planets around other stars in
Launched in 2009, Kepler's mission was to find Earth-sized
planets in or near the habitable zone, the region around a
sun-like star where liquid water can exist on the surface of the
planet. The mission's principal investigator said Kepler has been
"At the beginning of the mission, no one knew whether Earth-sized
planets were abundant or rare in our galaxy. Now at the
completion of the Kepler observations, we know that our galaxy is
filled to the brim with planets," William Borucki said. "It's
likely when you look up at the sky at night and see the sky
covered with stars, most of the stars have planets."
Kepler discovered 135 planets and over 3,500 planet candidates
with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances. Most of these
planets are small, like the Earth.
The four-year mission was extended in 2012, but ended last week
after engineers failed to repair two broken reaction wheels
necessary to precisely point the spacecraft. Deputy project
manager Charles Sobeck says the decision was obvious.
"The wheels are sufficiently damaged that they cannot sustain
spacecraft pointing control for any extended period of time,"
With its observational capability compromised, the Kepler team is
looking into whether the space telescope can conduct a different
type of mission, potentially including an exoplanet search, using
the two operational reaction wheels and thrusters. NASA has
called on the science community for ideas.
"They are not proposals. They are not asking for funds," Borucki
said. "They are suggesting ideas and we look at them [and ask],
'Which of these would be practical? Which of these could we do at
a reasonable cost?'"
Kepler's scientific mission is not over. The scientific team is
now focusing on data collected by the spacecraft over the past
four years, which Borucki expects will yield hundreds if not
thousands of new discoveries.
"And so basically in the next few years when we complete this
analysis we will be able to answer the questions that inspired
the Kepler mission: Are Earths common or rare in our galaxy?" he
Borucki sees Kepler's journey is a "critical first step in the
exploration of our galaxy." NASA is scheduled to launch a
follow-up mission to Kepler in 2017. The Transiting Exoplanet
Survey Satellite (TESS) will look for larger, brighter planets
closer to our solar system than Kepler did.
MFSK32 image follows: Artist's rendering of the Kepler Space
Telescope in orbit...
Please send reception reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
VOA Radiogram now changes to MFSK64 for a VOA News story in Flmsg
NO RSID: <<2013-08-24T16:19Z MFSK-64 @ 17860000+1500>>
:tt:51 Remembering When Right Was Right and Left Was Wrong
:to:28 Worldwide shortwave audience
:fm:13 VOA Radiogram
:dt:17 24-25 August 2013
:tm:34 UTC Sat 1600, Sun 0230, 1300, 1930
:sb:51 Remembering When Right Was Right and Left Was Wrong
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<h2>Remembering When Right Was Right and Left Was Wrong</h2>
<b>Daisy Sindelar (RFE/RL)
August 13, 2013</b>
Growing up in the southern Kazakh village of Temirlan, Dina got
used to a series of daily corrections.
She'd pick up a fork with her left hand. Someone would move it to
her right. At school, she'd work on a lesson holding a pencil in
her left hand. Her teachers, worried, would urge her to switch to
the "normal" side.
"I was also trying to write with my right hand, but it didn't
work," she says. "I was the only one in my school who was
left-handed. So it was a hard time, because everyone was calling
me a lefty. 'Solaqay' - that's in Kazakh. It literally means a
person who writes with their left hand, but at that time it did
have some negative connotations."
Dina is one of an estimated 900 million people worldwide who are
"sinistral," or predisposed to using their left hand, rather than
their right, for writing and most manual functions.
Natural-born left-handers are believed to make up as much as 13
percent of the human population.
But as the world marks International Left Handers Day on August
13, some say the real number is in fact far higher, and that many
lefties have been forced to switch hands because of unfounded
fears that left-handers were somehow disabled, odd, or simply
The stigma was especially widespread in the former Soviet Union,
where pedagogical trends stressed qualities like conformity,
discipline, and uniform penmanship.
"It was simply a lack of knowledge that played a role," says
Gennady Chichkanov, a Moscow-based clinical psychologist. "It's
simpler when a child writes with his right hand. So it's easier
to put something in his right hand and say, 'Write.' That's how
it was in the Soviet Union."
But some say everything from language to religion has added to
the longstanding cultural preference for right over left.
In many languages, of course, the word for "right" is not only
used to designate a direction but to signify correctness,
truthfulness. By contrast, the word "left" in languages such as
Russian is often used to connote something fake or of poor
By extension, it is traditionally the right arm that is used in
hand-on-heart pledges, military salutes, and making the sign of
the cross. In Islam, standard etiquette dictates that a person
must enter a house or mosque right foot first, but use their left
foot to enter a lavatory.
With such traditions in mind, it might seem reasonable to
encourage left-handed children to switch to the right.
Science, however, provides its own compelling argument for
leaving left-handers alone. The brain, after all, is divided into
two hemispheres, each with its own distinct function and each
directing the motor functions of the body's opposite side.
In short, the left side of the brain - the hemisphere responsible
for language, math, and rational thought - controls the right
side of the body. The right side of the brain - more commonly
associated with creative, emotional impulses - controls the
body's left side.
Forcing a child to switch the hand he or she writes with can
cause considerable chaos as the brain struggles to establish new
communication paths with the body.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that people also have a
dominant eye and a dominant foot, in addition to a dominant hand.
According to Chichkanov, tampering with the formula can have
devastating consequences on a child's ability to learn.
"If a lefty writes with his right hand, it's bad, because we're
changing the hand but not the leading eye or the leading foot,"
he says. "So a child who has had his hand changed is more prone
to distraction; he absorbs information more poorly. As a result,
he can become more irritable. That kind of process simply doesn't
improve his chances of success at school."
Any lingering doubts about left-handers is easily dispelled by a
look at some of the world's most accomplished people. Famous
lefties include Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Alexander
Pushkin, Paul McCartney, Barack Obama, and Martina Navratilova.
There is even speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin
is a closet leftie. Although the Russian leader writes with his
right hand, he also wears his watch on his right hand --
suggesting it is in fact his dormant side - and he has been seen
making the sign of the cross with his left.
This article originally appeared in the RFE/RL web site:
Remembering When Right Was Right and Left Was Wrong
TO: Worldwide shortwave audience
FROM: VOA Radiogram
SUBJ: Remembering When Right Was Right and Left Was Wrong
DATE: 24-25 August 2013
TIME: UTC Sat 1600, Sun 0230, 1300, 1930
VOA Radiogram now changes to MFSK32 for an image from RFE/RL
accompanying the previous story.
RSID: <<2013-08-24T16:24Z MFSK-32 @ 17860000+1500>>
RSID: <<2013-08-24T16:27Z MFSK-16 @ 17860000+1500>>
Please send reception reports to email@example.com.
And visit voaradiogram.net.
Thanks to colleagues at the Edward R. Murrow shortwave
transmitting station in North Carolina.
I'm Kim Elliott. Please join us for the next VOA Radiogram.
This is VOA, the Voice of America.
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