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(generated from captions) nations borrow money by issuing

paper, Government bond. Yes,

and your bank hold a lot of

these? Most banks hold Government debt. So your Government

problem now is these countries

can't pay you back? A lot of countries are struggling in

fact we've just had a big

meeting, I was about to spen

part oaf today calling in some

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conversations with one lender.

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position of exit nearest my seat. Pardon me? Sorry? Just going through the instructions, you can't be too

careful calling in sovereign debt. The compart above my

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little Defaults? That's the

program for tonight. Tomorrow

you'll have the State editions

of 7:30 and I'll be back on Monday. Goodnight. Ahead on Catalyst: Reflections of an astronaut... I would definitely do that. If I could live in space, re-inventing the guitar... And guitar legends is going next! You won't believe where the guitar ? Theme music G'day. Welcome to Catalyst. Also in this episode: Triggering new life... With cyanide. And aerial manoeuvres. with a robot? What happens when you cross a bee the biggest impact on pop music? But first, which instrument has had The guitar of course. to some music legends Jonica Newby talks this instrument louder. about the push to make ? ROCK INSTRUMENTAL being a rock god? Who hasn't dreamt of you need one of these... And for that, OK, it's not really me playing. (Screeching halt) It's him. ? Tonight's the night I'm gonna ? Make my true confession. ? we can all play a mean air guitar. Even if we can't play, Yet who plays air piano? how in just this century, It's astonishing, really, this instrument took over music. some actual guitar gods So I've recruited leaps of technology that got us here. to help explain the game-changing where the guitar is going next. And you won't believe Once upon a time, the humble lute, ancestor to the guitar, with all the other instruments. was vying for our attention a quest to make the lute loud. But at some point, someone went on (Muffled banging) But, there was a barrier, rock god assistant Diesel which I've asked my humble stunt OK, what do I do? to help demonstrate. Yep. I'm gonna hit a chord... You're gonna hit record there. a microphone in front of a guitar. Here's what happens when you put (Metallic chord) the strings vibrate the guitar Sound is air vibrating - by the microphone. and the sound is picked up So far so good. But as we turn the volume up, is also vibrating, the air from the speaker to hit the guitar. eventually powerfully enough by the mic, The extra vibration is then picked up which loops it back to the guitar... which sends it to the speaker, on the wave form! (Laughs) You can really see it the archenemy of the acoustic guitar. And you've got feedback - So how big a venue can you play and a microphone? with just an acoustic guitar I'd say probably... to be completely, utterly silent. ..any size, but everyone would have (Laughs) So, who are you gonna call? helicopter engineer in the 1960s. Charles Kaman - in helicopters For years, the whole problem was to make them not shake. This guitar - to make it good, it must shake. So you do the opposite. This was his inspiration. It's a piece of quartz - a piezoelectric crystal. also known as when it vibrates, What that means is that it generates a tiny voltage. to detect and eliminate vibration. It's used in helicopter design in a pickup inside the guitar. Kaman had the genius to pop them the vibrating strings, The crystals just pick up not so much outside air, instead of just playing to hundreds, which means now, you could play to thousands. ? ROCK ANTHEM acoustic guitar. That was the amplified had been quietly developing Meanwhile, another guitar out of the arena. and it would blast the acoustic ? First thing you know ? I'll be back in Bow River again. ? when I got my first electric guitar. I was about 14 or 15 the toilet. The school work went down when someone's shown you It's sort of like for a pyromaniac. how to strike a match Yeah... transformed 20th century music. This is the invention that as the singer, Now the guitar was as loud and the guitar god was born. You got nothing I need. ? ? You got nothing I want get into a stadium, They're a buzz if you can a massive sound system, generally having and everything's turned up to 11... ..and it's bliss. (Laughs) a completely different system. This guitar uses a bit of healthy deconstruction. Now it's time for We've got a electric guitar. with this screen. We can cover one of the pickups crafted, hand-crafted iron filing. We're gonna grab some carefully (Plucks chords) Yep. See there? There we go. It is magnetic. There we go. Now we can see...

? BLUES INTRO The strings are steel, the magnetic field, so their vibration disrupts which creates electricity, which is fed to the amp, where the process is reversed then speaker - to produce vibration - sound. you don't need a hollow guitar - With a magnetic pickup, just a lump of wood, so it's more resistant to out-of-control vibration from feedback, which means... It takes a lot more volume to get a plank of wood to resonate to the point where it's creating trouble, rather than a hollow box. That's why you can turn it up to 11. Get close enough to the speaker though, and you can still get some feedback through the pickup itself. When they first started plugging guitars in, the feedback was technically 'wrong.' On radio, they thought it was rousing, it was sinful - whatever, they just thought it was wrong and they banned it. But then people started to like it. Feedback is a lot of fun because you can play with it. It might give you an octave above or two octaves above the note you're actually hitting. If you grab your tremolo arm and give it a bit of a wiggle, it might produce some other sort of weird harmonic or nuance. It could sound like anything from a cat being strangled to almost cello-like. It's the sound that still dominates today. Meanwhile, Diesel was upset. He'd gone from being an electric guitar player in the '90s to playing more acoustic, but he had a problem with the volume. I knew there was more and I knew that I could get more level, so not be... 'Hang on, guys, I'm playing an acoustic, sorry.' Enter this man - a professional guitar-maker whose hobby is... ..making little guitars. Barnsey bought a couple, gave one to Diesel and he loved it. He got in touch with me and he wanted a pickup put in. My whole idea was that I would be able to get it louder because there wasn't so much body capturing all the feedback. (CRASH! RATTLE!) It's all to do with the so-called fundamental frequency - the frequency at which a whole object vibrates. The higher the fundamental frequency, the louder you can turn up the speaker before you get feedback. A regular hollow acoustic has a fundamental frequency of 120 hertz. But Mark's little guitar has a fundamental frequency of 140 hertz. Thanks to Diesel's understanding of the physics, they invented an acoustic guitar you can turn up 30% louder. A lot of people were chasing them up because they'd seen Diesel playing them. There got to be too many orders for me in the shed so I had to bring them in to Maton to deal with them. Now, it's everywhere, even if it does prompt the odd comment. 'Nice ukulele!' Or, 'Oh, look, he's got Woody from Toy Story's guitar.' I'm comfortable with my manhood, what can I say? (Laughs) That was the '90s, but the next game changer, is arriving now. It's the Firebird X, but I prefer to call it Robo-guitar! It has automatic tuning, amongst other high-tech Gizmometry. This is the first one in Australia. (Guitar instrumental in background) You just strum and it tunes it. (Motor buzzes) Oh, yeah! Yep. Yeah. I'm learning already. Robo-guitar is Bluetooth-enabled, so you can go cordless and has unlimited programmable effects built in. (Strings humming) That's a reverse echo... ..which is really cool. I think I detect guitar god endorphins. This really is like a blast from the future this thing. Yeah. You'd be locking yourself away if you got one of these. (Laughs) For a while, huh? People wouldn't hear from me for months. And all this... from the humble lute. Why the guitar ended up dominating the 20th century, I don't know. I suppose it's... You can look a whole lot sexier just playing it then you would, say, a harp. NARRATOR: Ahead on Catalyst... Aerobatics inspired by bees. (Crowd cheering, applause) MAN: I grew up at a time where America was launching Gemini capsules, then Apollo. I watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step out onto the moon. So it was all very inspiring. (Radio traffic in background) When I was six or seven years old, I decided I wanted to be an astronaut. I was still kind of a science geek kid. My mum was very pleased, because I wanted to be a lorry driver before that. I just assumed that when I was a professional scientist, that I would go to space - that that's what people would do. The world didn't quite turn out that way but for me, it worked out pretty well. There's lots of training where it's real. We fly training aircraft. We go on simulators and practise and you try and put yourself in the simulators on the real day. But when you actually climb onto the spaceship on launch day, the tanks are full of fuel, so you're on 4.5 million pounds of explosives. (Roaring) The vibration starts and you realise that you're sitting on a huge beast and that really you have absolutely no control over your destiny. I was sort of curious - why am I not scared? I realised - what's the point? Am I gonna go, 'Excuse me, I'd like to get out now'? I don't think so. I think the biggest fear I felt is the potential fear of embarrassment. I think astronauts are more more afraid of embarrassment than death. We have this huge task - billions of dollars of responsibility, and we just don't want to make mistakes. We have over 1,000 hours of training in the pool, and you do it over and over again. First spacewalk... everything is real, and it is very different. But as long as you keep the training in your brain of... 'OK, I know what to do.' It doesn't matter that it's really different that 600km below me is this beautiful earth travelling by, that if I get lost in space, that's the end of me - those kind of things. You just don't think about death. The strangest thing I found is that when I got to space, I was more comfortable in space than I've ever been on earth before. I just felt - this is my home. I would definitely do that. If I could live in space, It's pretty amazing to me that we'll have had a space shuttle program that's lasted 30 years for one space vehicle, especially one as complex as the space shuttle. It's quite an achievement that it can launch a rocket laboratory in space - space truck, space repair truck - for the Hubble Space Telescope, and then glide like an airplane back to earth and it's fully reusable. But it's not sustainable right now. It's just too expensive, too complex and actually a little bit too risky. In America, we're really having this big debate about what is the next American space vehicle. My own opinion is we ought to build a very simple small rocket, to get people from earth to orbit and back. The thing I find so remarkable is as humans 100 years ago, we were in these wooden and fabric airplanes, just trying to fly to mock birds for the first time. 50 years ago - the first rockets - we go to the moon. We can go up and repair a telescope in space. We can build a telescope in space that can see back almost to the beginning of time. Don't you think we could solve some of our problems here on Planet Earth? Some of our climate problems, polluting the environment, energy. I think so. But looking out the window of the space shuttle on my first mission, I started to see things that I'd been told about - deforestation in the Amazon, vast fires - slash and burn fires in Central Africa, rivers being clogged up in Madagascar from erosion. But I wasn't prepared for it as I flew two years later, then two years after that, three years after that... ..that I would see big changes in that short span. In fact, in the 15 years of my flight, I've seen those areas in the Amazon grow exponentially. The pace of deforestation, the pace of development is just incredible, and you can see that from space. There's no question that if we stay on Planet Earth and never leave, that eventually we'll be wiped out. I think the progression will be that we'll send robotic spacecraft and robots on the surface like the Rovers. Initially, to do the survey work, then eventually people will follow. We'll follow for a couple of reasons, one of which is humans are just more effective in these environments at making discoveries, but also because the ultimate goal is to send people out to find another place to live. The view from orbit is so incredible, and the experience of weightlessness is just so magical. If you're a well-heeled tourist, that's the place to go. The first space tourists will almost certainly be very wealthy individuals and these individuals tend to be influential. So I think there's a real opportunity if we have these influential people flying in space, seeing the earth, getting that global perspective, I think that could really change the dynamic here of people who make decisions about our future, and hopefully to make good decisions. (Film reel crackles) (Gasps) ? DRAMATIC VIOLIN Perfectly good gasp. (Thunder cracks) We generally think of cyanide as a killer rather than a creator of life, but in this distinctly Western Australian tale, be prepared for the unexpected. (CRACK!) (Fire rumbles) Bushfires can be incredibly destructive, but they can also play a positive role in the Australian landscape. The Australian bush has a remarkable ability to cope with bushfires. Fire is one of the great regenerators that restarts ecosystems, begins the germination process, helps species to bloom. Of course the great mystery is - what is locked in bushfire smoke? That is the key agent that does this remarkable stimulation. Professor Kingsley Dixon, together with his colleague, Dr Gavin Flematti, thought they'd solved this mystery some years ago. Ah, here we go. These are our beautiful little... So that won't flower unless it's had a fire. No... We get zero. In 2004, we made the discovery that there was a master molecule locked in bushfire smoke that stimulated the germination of a whole variety of Australian species. They named the molecule Karrikinolide, after a local Aboriginal word Karrik, meaning smoke. Karrikinolide was a new compound to science. It hadn't been described before, so one of the difficulties was to prove that it was the structure we propose which we were able to achieve. But not long after their discovery, and much to their surprise, Kingsley and Gavin realised that this iconic Western Australian plant, the Kangaroo Paw, wasn't germinating in response to Karrikinolide. What was going on? We were almost in disbelief that the master molecule didn't work with this species because it grew in a bushland environment that had a whole mixture of species that did respond to that master molecule. So if it wasn't Karrikinolide on its own that was germinating Kangaroo Paw seeds, how did you know that it was something else in the smoke mixture? Because we could germinate a full range of species with smoke. And, with that, Yeah. Oh! we'd get complete germination. natural mixture of compounds VOICEOVER: Smoke is the most complex that occurs on the planet. (Laughs) So obviously not germinated yet. and we should start to see No... A couple of weeks the first emergents coming out. those species coming up at all. Without the smoke, you won't get was somewhere in the smoke, Knowing that the suspect the hunt returned to the lab. you bubble smoke through water, It was known that when compounds in that water. you can trap the germination-active over 4,000 different compounds, Smokes contains separating all those compounds so it's a very difficult task in that's responsible for this effect. to look for the active compound We get essentially a clear solution on the Kangaroo Paw seeds. that we then test sifting through the smoke, After five years of carefully what makes Kangaroo Paw germinate they finally discovered after bushfires. Glyceronitrile. The culprit was the compound a known compound, It turned out to be so it was a little bit disappointing in that regard, but it turned out to be quite fascinating, the way it can release cyanide active stimulant in this case. and that cyanide was the true a range of species Cyanide's been know to germinate to apple seeds. all the way from sunflowers But it's only ever been shown to have that role. in laboratory situations that we've discovered It's a first for science ecological source for cyanide. that there is a natural bushfire smoke, The molecule that's produced from percolates through the soil, first flush of winter rainfall, enters the seed with that inside the seed and then the cyanide is released does its work. and it's then that the cyanide just opened our eyes The discovery of cyanide really has is the continent of discovery. that Australia that we start unravelling here Every story on the way that plants have adapted becomes essentially a new book to live on the planet. So Kingsley's work continues. that cyanide is useful for something In the meantime, it's good to know an inconvenient relative. other than removing the deadly poison cyanide. MAN: Some plants naturally contain enough cyanide to kill a human, 10 bitter almonds contain but cultivated almonds contain no cyanide, and die of a heart attack instead. so you can enjoy a friand every day happily chomped by pandas, Bamboo shoots, are chock-full of cyanide. But once peeled, sliced and boiled, they're fine for a stir-fry... That's the shoots - not the pandas. (Growling) Raw lima beans contain cyanide, make them way less dangerous but thorough soaking and simmering than a trip to Lima itself. Cassava is cyanide-rich, when eaten as tapioca pudding. but it does no harm It just looks gross. of bitter almonds While the post-mortem odour for cyanide poisoning, is a dead giveaway strangely, some of us are genetically programmed not to be able to detect this scent, in which case, it's probably best to stick to wine appreciation. NARRATOR: This team of engineers is testing a model plane unlike any other - one that sees like a bee. MAN: If you look at the things a bee does - with it weighing less than a milligram, about the size of a sesame seed, you find these creatures can go fly several tens of kilometres, find their way back home and do a perfect landing. It doesn't need any radar, it doesn't need any LADAR... sonar, nothing. Just vision, right? two cameras that feed data The plane is equipped with of a bee, attached to a small brain. to an onboard computer like the eyes all-round vision, So it has panoramic motion of the world all around you which means you can measure the and use that to guide your flight. Good flying weather? Yeah, it is quite nice. Yes. It's not windy. (Engine buzzes) a lightweight machine The dream is to engineer using a tiny amount of energy. that can fly itself are living proof that it's possible. Flying insects, like bees, At the Queensland Brain Institute, for science. bees are giving up their freedom This flight simulator for bees to navigate the real world. reveals how their vision enables them (Buzzing) in a tethered situation By putting the bee and having it fly in one place, what stimulus we can show to it. we have a lot more control over about how it's behaving. We can also measure a lot more from the bee flying, So, with feedback that are up on the monitors here. it can actually control images Yeah, that's correct. We can measure the bee's thrust and we can use that information to allow the bee to control the speed of the visuals how it's able to do this. that it experiences and then look at The secret is known as Optic Flow. to your eyes in a certain pattern, The image of the world moves how that images moves, and for analysing different objects are, you can work out how far away you are moving within that world. Not only that, but also how can come and go as they please But what about when bees and exercise their own free will? the all-weather, bee-flight facility. That's what this is for - to wind speed and direction Inside, Niko studies how bees adjust to make smooth landings. from different directions. We just blow wind at them from the beginning One thing which was obvious they get exposed to that, is that as soon as the wind eases, into the wind. they turn their whole body on the landing platform He varies the patterns to provide different visual cues. What we want to check with the bees oops... is if there is perhaps some other... ..some other pattern, to perform a secure landing. another method they use from these experiments, Armed with data and engineers, Sri's team of biologists develop visual guidance algorithms for their aircraft. The computer is trying to perform what we call an Immelmann turn. It does a half loop and then rolls back to level. So it's a fast way of changing direction. The computer stitches together these two images. It looks at the different colours in the sky and the ground and we can see where it thinks the horizon is. It shows us the amount of motion on the ground, and how fast it's moving. This is unlike our human vision, but it's very much like what a bee sees. What we're computing from that is which way up we are very reliably. So it's much more reliable than typical senses you have on aircraft. (Engine buzzes) MAN: Particularly in windy conditions, the computer can fly a lot better than I can, just purely because it can correct about 25 times a second, and I'm nowhere near that fast. Handing over. Amazingly, this aircraft is now flying itself - the bee-inspired algorithms guiding it through a series of pre-programmed manoeuvres. It still makes me nervous. (Chuckles) At the moment it's using Optic Flow to hold 30 metres, Now it's doing a loop using the horizon information. Doing it pretty well - you happy with that? Yeah, very happy. Poetry in motion, hey? Like the bees, this plane doesn't use a GPS, radar or sonar to fly and land itself. It simply analyses the motion of the world past its eyes. Like an insect, it means this technology can explore uncharted territories - even another planet. You could put a lot of sensors on these aircraft and do whatever you need to do with them once they can fly by themselves. Weather monitoring, for example, great for spraying crops, surveillance in general, mapping out terrain in a particular area, reconnaissance... All of these things are very useful. Next time on Catalyst: 3-D printing...'s up... They're getting bigger and stronger. (CRASH!) And doing the penguin wave. If you enjoyed that interview with astronaut John Grunsfeld, go to our website where you can watch the full thing. I'll see you next time. Closed Captions by CSI - Kent Rosenthal

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening. Craig Allen with an

news update. There

Good evening. Craig Allen with an ABC news update. There are renewed fears

that Greece is about to default on

its debts as Europe struggles to

contain its debts as Europe strugwes to contain its crippling financial crisis. contain i 6rippling financial its debts as Europe struggles to

contain its crippling financial crisis. Germany and France have

pledged their full support for Greece. The comments were aimed at calming Gece. The comments were aimed at

Greece. The comments were aimed at calming world stock markets that

calming world stock markets that have seen turbulent trading in recent weeks. seen turbent trading in recent

seen turbulent trading in recent weeks. And Italy is moving ahead

weeks. And Italy is moving ahead with an austerity program , despite

an austerity program , despite fierce opposition on the streets. More than

200 people have died in flooding

across southern Pakistan. The floods

have swamped Sindh province, leaving

more than 200 000 people homeless.

Aid agencies say urgent help is needed

needed to provide relief supplies

needed to provide relief supplies for more than five million people. The alleged alleged collar bomb hoaxer alleged collar bomb hoaxer will be brought back to Sydney next week. Inve

Investment banker Paul Peters won't

fight extradition from the US. He's accused fight ╛tradition from the US. He's

fight extradition from the US. He's accused of chaining a fake bomb

around 18-year-old Maddie Pulver's nec

neck in a failed extortion plot. The National neck in a failed extozion plot. The

neck in a failed extortion plot. The National Museum of Australia has a

new exhibition That tells of the

lives culture and identity of Torres

Strait Islanders. The show captures

way of life that's fast disappearing Strait Islanders. The show captures a

- including the music and art of the

islands that stretch between Cape York islands that stretch bween Cape

islands that stretch between Cape York and PNG. To Canberra's weather


mostly fine and sunny - one to eighteen. More news in His house collapsed. He can't live in it. That's why Richard's here. You're on the Mervich case with Rhys. The boltcutter babes? ERIN: Their fear was their prison. Repeated abuse leads to learned helplessness. It is a classic syndrome. It's real. She had a nightmare about Ray Stone attacking her with boltcutters. I'll take a run up to Clarence, where... Ray Stone was murdered. I was hoping you'd like to come. RHYS: According to the police report,