A green future with algae as jet fuel

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Japanese firm Euglena has been cultivating a type of algae, that’s both a plant and an animal, for use in food and cosmetics and is now aiming to use it to produce energy. It aims to produce 33,000 gallons of jet fuel a year from Japan’s first algae biofuel refinery, partnering with top Japanese airline ANA. http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/24/technology/japan-algae-euglena/

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A flying car to open the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

A flying car to open the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Making dangerous roads safer

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#RoadsThatHonk works by alerting speeding drivers to avoid collisions with the help of SmartLife poles that use radar technology across accident prone turns. The poles are installed at key intersections, and use an advanced networked device to combine wireless technology, radar systems, and an anti-collision warning system, all powered by solar PV modules. http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/04/27/hp-and-leo-burnett-collaborate-anti-collision-tech-roadsthathonk-campaign

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A disability-led theatre company

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Raspberry Ripple is a Disability Led theatre company aiming to create compelling theatre of a professional standard using disabled and mainstream performers, writers, directors, designers and technical artists as well as a pathway into the mainstream performing arts for disabled performers. https://pozible.com/project/launch-raspberry-ripple-productions

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A vaccine for malaria

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is now one step closer to achieving their goal of eliminating malaria by 2040. Last week WHO announced that one of several potential malaria vaccines in development has made it through a crucial phase in trials and is now ready to be field tested. https://futurism.com/worlds-first-malaria-vaccine-will-be-given-to-thousands-of-babies-in-africa/

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A practical flying car

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Terrafugia claim that The Transition® is the world’s first practical flying car. A folding-wing, two-seat, roadable aircraft, the Transition® is designed to fly like a typical Light Sport Aircraft in the air and drive like a typical car on the ground. It will run on premium unleaded automotive gasoline, fit in a standard construction single-car garage, and convert between flight and drive modes in under a minute. Orders are now being taken. https://www.terrafugia.com/the-transition/

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A day without coal-generated power in Britain

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April 21 was the first full day of coal-free power in Britain in 135 years. About half of the energy used that day came from natural gas, while the rest of the power was provided by nuclear, imported, and renewable energy sources. In fact, half of the power in the U.K. on a day-to-day basis now comes from renewables and nuclear. https://futurism.com/britain-goes-24-hours-without-coal-generated-power-for-the-first-time-in-135-years/

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A ban on alcohol supported by women

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Village women are enforcing a new prohibition law in Bihar, one of India’s poorest, most agrarian states. Since the law was introduced the crime rate has fallen sharply, brick houses are starting to be built instead of the usual mud huts and spending on things like motorbikes and appliances has risen significantly. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/world/asia/india-bihar-alcohol-ban-women.html?

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A laundromat for the homeless provided by the Pope

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Pope Francis has opened a new laundromat for the homeless to wash and dry their clothing. The laundromat, near the Vatican, has six washing machines and dryers donated by Whirlpool. It will remain open four days a week and services are free. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/1f6c5814a3df4dc29534fd85ca83e6e5/pope-francis-opens-free-laundromat-homeless

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School desks from recycled cardboard boxes

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Aarambh is using discarded cardboard waste to create school bags which unpack into small desks — designed to improve the posture of children who are used to sitting and writing on the floor. https://www.springwise.com/india-cardboard-boxes-create-school-bags-transform-desks/

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Fly by tiny plane instead of drive

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The obvious choice now for a trip of less than 500 km might be to drive. But what if you could show up at an airport, bypass security checkpoints, board a small hybrid-electric plane with luggage in hand, and be on the ground at your destination in about an hour — all for $25 each way? A company called Zunum Aero hopes to make that a reality, so you won’t think twice about flying on regional trips. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/04/08/why-tiny-electric-planes-and-25-tickets-could-be-the-future-of-air-travel/?

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A flight past the edge of space

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In the next few years Blue Origin plans to begin flying tourists past the edge of space, 62 miles or 100 km high, where for about four minutes you’ll experience the thrill of weightlessness and view the curvature of the Earth. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/04/05/jeff-bezos-shows-off-the-crew-capsule-that-could-soon-take-tourists-to-space/?

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Veggies reduce your stress levels

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New findings in Australia are consistent with numerous cross sectional and longitudinal studies showing that fruit and vegetables, together and separately, are linked with a lower risk of depression and higher levels of well-being assessed by several measures of mental health. http://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2017/03/16/some-veggies-each-day-keeps-the-stress-blues-away.html?cid=em_se-apr-2017

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Headphones that measure brain activity and train you to concentrate

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Using advanced machine learning, Mindset measures your concentration level in real time, tracking your changes throughout the day. You can use it to schedule deep work sessions and, during these sessions, Mindset can alert you whenever you get distracted, so you can return to task immediately. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mindset/headphones

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A recycled plastic road

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Volkerwessels say that their plastic road has a lightweight design, a fraction of the construction time, is virtually maintenance free, and has three times the expected lifespan. It consists of 100% recycled material which makes it a sustainable alternative to conventional road structures. https://en.volkerwessels.com/en/projects/detail/plasticroad

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Free fast wifi on Qantas domestic flights

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Qantas is planning to roll out free wifi across 80 of its domestic aircraft from mid 2017 at speeds up to 10 times faster than US airlines offer. http://www.afr.com/business/telecommunications/qantas-to-roll-out-wifi-on-domestic-flights-from-midyear-20170223-guk8vy

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A hotel with no front desk

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Philadelphia’s Old City is now home to a new style of hotel that seeks to erase the barriers between visitors and their destination with “invisible” service hospitality. https://www.springwise.com/boutique-hotel-opens-no-front-desk-invisible-service/?

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A TV that attaches to your wall

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The new LG SIGNATURE OLED TV W features a “Wallpaper” design so thin and light that it attaches to your wall. It’s also the first TV of its kind to bring both Dolby Vision™ and Dolby Atmos® together. http://www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-OLED77W7P-oled-4k-tv

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Biodegradable bags that reduce plastic waste

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Evigreen bags are organic, made of ingredients such as bananas, flower oil, tapioca and corn. Left alone, they decompose in about three months. Using water, they can be disposed of in a day or even seconds if using boiling water. http://envigreen.in/

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