Ancient concrete a solution to rising sea levels

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The concrete in some structures off the Italian coast built by the Romans, a mixture of volcanic ash and quicklime, has withstood the sea for more than 2,000 years and is stronger than when it was first mixed. By contrast, modern concrete exposed to saltwater corrodes within decades. The composition of the Roman concrete is now being studied as a solution to rising seas from climate change. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/04/ancient-romans-made-worlds-most-durable-concrete-we-might-use-it-to-stop-rising-seas/?

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Toys that teach empathy

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TwentyOne Toys makes toys for the 21st century teaching empathy, failure and creative collaboration. The Empathy Toy is a blindfolded puzzle game that can only be solved when players learn to understand each other. The Failure Toy is coming soon. www.twentyonetoys.com

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A Lego helmet that encourages use by kids

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In an effort to motivate children to use bicycle helmets, design and innovation firm MOEF has created protective head gear in the shape of a LEGO figure’s hair. wanting to mimic the proportions and physical characteristics of the original plastic toy as closely as possible. http://www.designboom.com/design/lego-hair-bike-helmet-moef-10-14-2016/

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A helmet that helps you concentrate

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This Privacy Helmet would be interesting for those who believe the open office concept kills productivity. It fully blocks office noise to allow full concentration at work. It’s equipped with a communication system so you can do your work within the helmet. It reminds some of the Cone of Silence, one of many recurring joke devices from Get Smart, an American comedy television series of the 1960s http://www.designboom.com/technology/hochu-rayu-helmfon-ukraine-06-30-2017/

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An easier way to access clinical trials

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HealthMatch is a mobile app that allows you to find clinical trials in the fastest and simplest way possible in real-time and tailored to your profile. It structures and aggregates clinical-trial listing data, making it ‘machine-readable’ so that you can be ‘smart matched’ with trials relevant to your condition. By simply inputting data about your condition and answering a series of machine generated questions, you will be able to easily qualify for trials and access new treatments. You can register interest in this new app which is under development. www.healthmatchapp.com

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Glow in the dark money

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The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled its new glow-in-the-dark coin, thought to be the first of its kind. The CAD 2 coin has been created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. The coin has been made with ink that contains luminescent material so it glows in the dark. https://www.springwise.com/worlds-first-glow-dark-coin-celebrates-canadian-anniversary/?

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New tool to stop illegal fishing

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CSIRO has developed a world first web-based reporting tool that alerts authorities when offending vessels arrive in port. Countries will be able to sign-up to receive notifications, or directly access the portal, to search for vessels and then be provided with a report which highlights the suspicious behaviours involved so they can reverse the tide of illegal fishing and help rebuild depleted fish stocks. Illegal fishing is the third most lucrative crime in the world, after weapons trafficking and drug smuggling. https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2017/Science-tackles-illegal-fishing?

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The smarter way to keep dry

The smarter way to keep dry

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A battery that would allow electric cars to be recharged instantly

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One of the biggest inconveniences of owning an electric or hybrid vehicle is how long it takes to recharge the batteries. Depending on the size of the battery and the speed of the recharging station, powering up a sustainable vehicle can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours. Researchers have developed a flow battery that would allow electric cars to be recharged instantly at stations like conventional cars are. This energy breakthrough would speed the switch to electric vehicles by making them more convenient to drive. http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/instantly-rechargeable-battery-for-electric-cars-2017/

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A new energy system for your house and pool

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Pooled Energy is a unique Electricity Retailer providing a new bundled service of electricity, pool automation and energy management. When you’re a Pooled Energy customer, Pooled Energy is the electricity retailer for your home, including your swimming pool. They will only sign you on as a new customer if you have a pool. Pools are managed individually for energy and water condition, and in groups to minimise load on the Grid. www.pooledenergy.com

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The world’s first trackless train

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The world’s first trackless train recently went on a trial run. Train tracks on city streets could be a thing of the past. China has unveiled a train that travels on ‘virtual tracks’. The Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) uses sensors to run along invisible tracks on city streets. The sensors send the information back to the train’s central control unit to help it travel smoothly. More than 300 people can ride on the ART, which is comprised of three carriages in its basic state. It has rubber wheels with plastic cores. The ART is powered by electricity, so it won’t give off carbon emissions as traditional trains do. Watch https://lnkd.in/fugXDa3

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Building on big ideas

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IdeaSpies presented today to top marketing students at a UNSW Business School Master of Marketing class led by Professor John Roberts. It was a great way to get feedback on objectives, target market and positioning. Based on their advice I’ve already changed the IdeaSpies tagline to “A hub for inspiration”. Watch this space for further improvements!

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A verbal assistant to help with autism

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Pollexy is a special needs verbal assistant that lets caretakers schedule audio task prompts and messages both on a recurring schedule and/or on-demand. Caretakers can schedule regular medicine reminder messages or hourly bathroom break messages, for example, and at the same time use their Amazon Echo and mobile device to request a specific message be played immediately. Caretakers can even set it up so that the person needs to confirm that they’ve heard the message. https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/pollexy-building-a-special-needs-voice-assistant-with-amazon-polly-and-raspberry-pi/

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The key to early cancer detection

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A new algorithm that detects the early formation of blood vessels could lead to early diagnosis of malignant tumours and improved success rates of treatment. To progress clinical trials in humans, CSIRO researchers are looking for 3D imaging technologies and partnering with a hardware manufacturer that can produce high-resolution images with safe levels of radiation for humans. https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/sciencesprings.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/from-csiro-new-software-key-to-early-cancer-detection/

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A free concert for hotel guests

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On the 25th of each month there is a free concert allowing guests to enjoy a performance by a young musician in the lobby of the Hotel Okura Tokyo. A glass of complimentary sparkling wine is also served. This is part of a program established by the hotel to support art and culture. http://www.hotelokura.co.jp/tokyo/en/mecenat/

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Fashion shopping in Japan

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In Tokyo I visited the Mitsukoshi Ginsa store. I was required to put a soft bag over my head to prevent getting my make-up on clothes as I tried them on, a clever idea, and I wondered why it’s not more widely adopted worldwide. I bought a top and asked to keep the bag so I could use it at home!

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A robot that tells you what to wear

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In the not-too-distant future it’s predicted that busy career women will rely on artificial intelligence to update their wardrobes. Jamie is a virtual shopping assistant that offers this service now. Through artificial intelligence Jamie learns about your personal style, while regularly sending you a curated selection of outfits tailored to your taste. https://www.jamieandi.com/

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Recycling hotel toiletries

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Every day millions of hotel toiletries are being sent to landfill around the world. Meantime poor sanitation is killing millions of people in the developing world. CleantheWorld now collects these toiletries and has distributed more than 40 million bars of soap to impoverished people in 115 countries. http://www.traveller.com.au/the-shameful-truth-about-what-happens-to-your-hotel-toiletries-gw4uge#ixzz4hI0rF0U0

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A house that can be folded up and transported anywhere

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IIT Madras students have developed a house than can be folded up and transported anywhere. It’s a two-storey house made out of metal frames and iron panels that can be unfolded and fixed to accommodate 20 people at a time. It can be set anywhere that’s flat; all you have to do is unfold its metal frames and start fixing the panels which will be the walls for the house. There are provisions for electricity and water supply as well. This construction should be especially useful when natural disasters render many homeless.

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