Reusable bread bags

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Onya’s vintage styled reusable Bread Bags are designed to carry your bread home in style without any packaging waste. They are also perfect to use as storage for the home baker. Simply bake, allow your loaf to cool, slice and store in your reusable bread bag. Due to the unique roll and clip closure, you can simply roll down the closure as the loaf is eaten to ensure maximum freshness is maintained by reducing air movement around the bread.‪ https://www.onyalife.com/product/reusable-bread-bag/‬

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Startup countries that are floating islands

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A new company, Blue Frontiers, plans to build and operate floating islands in French Polynesia. The goal is to build about a dozen structures by 2020, including homes, hotels, offices and restaurants, at a cost of about $60 million. To fund the construction, the team is working on an initial coin offering. If all goes as planned, the structures will feature living roofs, use local wood, bamboo and coconut fiber, and recycled metal and plastic. Each will offer different ways of governance hoping that with more choices it will be more likely that there is peace, prosperity and innovation. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/business/dealbook/seasteading-floating-cities.html

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No more vehicle permits

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Singapore will stop issuing new vehicle permits starting February 2018. The government points to limited space available in the city-state as the reason for the halt in vehicle growth. They plan to reduce the vehicle growth rate from 0.25 percent per year to 0 percent for cars and motorcycles. Due to the limited space available, Singapore controls the number of vehicles on the road to a great degree. https://futurism.com/singapore-will-stop-adding-new-cars-to-its-roads-in-2018/

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More rights for women led by a robot who’s now a citizen

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Saudi Arabia recently granted citizenship to Sophia, a humanoid robot. It’s the first time a country has granted a robot the same basic status and privileges as humans. This clever idea could lead to more recognition of women’s rights in some countries. http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/27/robot-becomes-first-in-the-world-to-be-given-citizenship-7031214/

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Government incentives for electric vehicles

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Norway offers bus-lane access for electric vehicles, many recharging stations, privileged parking, and toll-free travel. The initiative began in the 1990s as an effort to cut pollution, congestion, and noise in urban centres; now its primary rationale is combating climate change. Today, Norway has the highest per capita number of all-electric [battery only] cars in the world. Last year, electric vehicles constituted nearly 40% of the nation’s newly registered passenger cars. Earlier this year, Norway opened the world’s largest fast-charging station, which can charge up to 28 vehicles in about half an hour. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/07/power-to-the-ev-norway-spearheads-europes-electric-vehicle-surge

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A salad for lunch from Sally the robot

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You use a touch screen to place your order choosing from a menu of recipes or designing your own. The machine calculates the number of calories per salad and drops the veggies into a bowl in less than a minute. There is less human contact with the food as the salads are assembled out of precut vegetables stored in refrigerated canisters hence minimizing food safety concerns. Plans are being made for the robots to produce healthy meals in convenience stores, airports, hotels, hospitals and universities. www.chowbotics.com

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The world’s biggest lithium-ion battery

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The world’s biggest lithium-ion battery has been launched in South Australia. US tech giant Tesla won a bid in July to build a 129 megawatt hour (MWh) battery and the state is counting on it to be ready by the start of the southern summer in December when electricity demand begins to peak. Tesla was selected from over 90 competitive bids to provide the entire energy storage component of a 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack System to be paired with global renewable energy provider Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/musk-weatherill-launch-sa-battery/news-story/6215cc6853ca0268d39fcb374ec63a01?

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Giant golden bees on a skyscraper

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On a side of the Eureka Tower, on Melbourne’s Southbank, you’ll find a colony of giant golden bees. It’s a giant sculpture made from anodized aluminium. These creatures are a gleaming metaphor for a hive of frenetic activity and harmonious high-density city living. Eureka Tower is a 297.3-metre (975 ft) skyscraper that once was the world’s tallest residential tower when measured to its highest floor. It was surpassed by Ocean Heights and the HHHR Tower in Dubai. https://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/m/15356/queen-bee-eureka-tower

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Major car makers commited to electric cars

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Daimler plans to offer electric versions of every Mercedes-Benz model by 2022. To support this plan, Mercedez-Benz’s Smart city car brand will evolve into an entirely electric brand. Daimler reps have stated that they will offer at least 50 versions of passenger cars in hybrid and fully electric variants. Volvo, Jaguar and now Mercedes-Benz have committed to roll out a fleet of fully electric or hybrid models within the next five years.

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A smarter private prison

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The New Zealand government is experimenting with a private prison model designed to discourage inmates from returning. The Auckland South Correctional Facility, known as Wiri, is the largest privately run prison in New Zealand. But what sets it apart is its bold application of an approach called payment-by-results, which links payments to outcomes. For Wiri, those outcomes include a 10 percent reduction in the rate of recidivism. This model contrasts with others in the US where private prisons gain revenue the more people are imprisoned. This year, Geo Group, the second-largest prison operator in the U.S., will begin operation of another prison using the Wiri model—in Australia. https://www-citylab-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.citylab.com/amp/article/538506/

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