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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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Folding bicycle helmet

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You know that bicycle helmets save lives and prevent brain injuries. Unfortunately, they are inconvenient to carry around with you after rides and are easily stolen if left with your bike. Maybe you’re one of the millions of riders who doesn’t wear a helmet for this reason, even knowing the risks. The Morpher Helmet may be a practical solution. Due to an imaginative concept and design, the helmet folds flat so it can be stored easily in a backpack or briefcase. See https://www.morpherhelmet.com

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A digital tombstone to remember you

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This tombstone at first glance looks like any other, but after a few seconds it senses the presence of a person viewing the grave and displays an interactive screen. This screen can contain any kind of digital content, such as a film of your life, text, or still pictures. When there is nobody to interact with the gravestone it will then simply display your name, birth and death date the same as any other traditional gravestone, therefore saving energy.. https://www.springwise.com/cemetery-visits-interactive-twist/

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An “encore” career

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Neither young nor old, the vast population moving into midlife offers an extraordinary resource. Millions are determined to apply their experience to make a difference for others. And they are looking for a new model combining elements of work, service, and social impact – an “encore” or “encore career.” www.encore.org

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Clean drinking water from saltwater and sunlight

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Salt water is poured into the top container, which then gets heated by the sun and converted to steam by solar energy. The increase in pressure forces the steam to travel through a tube to the lower container where it re-condenses. The clean drinking water gathers at the bottom of the lower container. https://borgenproject.org/eliodomestico-water-purifier/

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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 hotel room that floats on water

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You’ll soon be able to sleep on a bed in a floating capsule and look into the stars while it drifts to an island overnight. That’s the experience a major theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture plans to offer you by the end of this year. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/06/business/huis-ten-bosch-inn-boast-spheric-sleeping-capsules-drift-isle-attactions/

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Creating water out of thin air

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Using only the power of the sun via solar energy and a metal-organic framework this new device is capable of producing 2.8 litres of water in 12 hours. http://www.deccanchronicle.com/science/science/150417/scientists-build-solar-powered-device-to-harvest-water-from-dry-air.html

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Origami inspired kayak

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How do you design a kayak that can fold into a convenient, transportable package and still offer the performance kayakers demand? Face the challenge like an artist to break visual barriers and then break physical ones. The result is the Oru Kayak. https://www.orukayak.com

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Backpack with a difference!

Backpack with a difference!

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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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A solution to lost school clothes

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Sydney startup RagTagd offers parents a solution to help find their child’s lost property with a smart tag that is attached to uniforms, hats and jumpers. You activate the tag with an SMS then any time the item is lost and goes to lost property you are automatically sent an SMS saying the item is there. www.ragtagd.com

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London tests driverless shuttle service

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The UK’s Transport Research Laboratory is testing a driverless shuttle service in the London borough of Greenwich. The vehicle will ferry participants up and down a preset route. It can travel at speeds of up to 10 mph and is capable of seating four. The UK government is hoping these sorts of autonomous shuttles will play a big part in the country’s public transport, especially in areas not served by bus, train, or tram routes. http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/5/15188650/london-driverless-shuttle-service-pod-greenwich

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Reusable rockets- a game-changer in space exploration

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Reusable rockets are far more cost-effective than the “disposable rockets” previously used, so cheaper space exploration is on the way. https://futurism.com/elon-musk-says-his-reusable-rockets-will-make-space-access-100-times-cheaper/

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Flying on grass

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Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium have developed a way to turn grass into biofuel which could be used for air travel. If they can keep working on optimizing this process, in cooperation with industrial partners, this idea could become feasible http://www.ugent.be/en/news-events/news/from-grass-to-grassoline.htm

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Bricklaying robots that build houses faster

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Fastbrick’s bricklaying robot Hadrian is making building houses faster and safer. Fastbrick Robotics is a pioneering technology driven company introducing 3D innovation to the construction industry. This BBC podcast explains how and why it’s needed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04y5v9b?

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Alcohol banned at major Sydney beachside parks and reserves

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Alcohol is now banned permanently at all Coogee beachside parks and reserves. The ban brings the beach in line with similar restrictions at Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte beachside parks. Alcohol is already prohibited on the actual beaches. Sydney is known for its beautiful beaches and residents want to keep them that way. http://www.randwick.nsw.gov.au/about-council/news/news-items/2017/march/alcohol-ban-at-coogee-made-permanent

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