Pet translators

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Pet translators that can turn woofs into words and make sense of miaows, might really be on the horizon, according to a recent report. A Futurologist who co-authored the report for Amazon, says he believes devices that can talk dog could be less than 10 years away. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/hear-boy-pet-translators-will-be-on-sale-soon-amazon-says?

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Restaurant gets fresh herbs from nature strip

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Chef Emile Avramides, a graduate of the exacting kitchens of Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurants in London and Melbourne, has chosen a quiet shopping strip in Randwick to debut his Sydney restaurant, Clove Lane. A clever reason for this location is to grow fresh herbs for the restaurant on the adjoining nature strip. http://www.goodfood.com.au/eat-out/news/maze-graduate-to-open-clove-lane-in-randwick-20170309-guv1ld

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A dementia village

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Korongee village is a $25 million project being built in the suburb of Glenorchy in Hobart, which is expected to change the way we help dementia sufferers. It will feature a village structure based on a typical Tasmanian cul-de-sac streetscape that allows residents to feel at home and wander freely within a safe and supported environment. http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-19/australian-first-dementia-village-set-to-open-in-tasmania/8724772?pfmredir=sm

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Light from a plastic bottle

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Liter of Light, a project of the Philippines-based nonprofit MyShelter Foundation, provides light to poor households around the world with limited or no access to electricity ― by collecting plastic bottles, filling them with water and bleach, and sticking them into roofs. The bleach-filled bottles then refract the light from outdoors into the house, lighting up much like a lightbulb. To make the bottles work at night a small LED lightbulb is slipped into the bottle, which in turn is hooked up to a mini-solar panel. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/plastic-bottles-electricity_us_596e64f4e4b0000eb1968bb5

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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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A new college program to launch encore careers

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A growing number of 55-plus adults seek opportunities to move from their career jobs to new ways of working and living in an evolving new life stage, that’s now being called “encore careers”. Despite widespread interest, few pathways to such post-career social impact work exist. A new 1 year college program in the US is providing this pathway. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/07/17/the-new-college-program-to-launch-encore-careers/

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Data needs good governance

Data needs good governance

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A wristband that accesses your critical medical data

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WRIXO is a high-tech ID wristband. In place of words engraved directly on the bracelet, a QR code directs medical professionals to your unique profile in the Cloud. It also contains a Near Field Communication, or NFC, chip embedded inside. All first responders have to do is tap their NFC-enabled smart device to the wearable, or if they don’t have NFC capabilities, scan the band’s QR code with their phone. From there, they can access personal data such as family history, doctors’ notes, current medications, emergency contacts, and blood type. http://mentalfloss.com/article/502682/id-wristband-stores-live-saving-medical-information-cloud

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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 network of creative spaces

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The first national network of shared creative spaces for makers and start-up entrepreneurs will be launching in Varna, Bulgaria. The workshops will be equipped with 3D printers, CNC routers, VR labs, Internet of Things, laser cutting and other advanced technology, as well as conventional equipment. The team behind the project is part of the global Makers Movement manifesto, unifying a network of more than 6000 collaborative spaces and more than 135 million people across the whole world. If you like the project you can support their Kickstarter campaign – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1365315937/innovator-creative-spaces

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Coffee keeps the doctor away?

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The more coffee you drink the less chance you have of dying from heart and liver diseases according to new research– though experts say it’s unclear whether the health boost is down to the brew itself. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/coffee-cuts-risk-of-dying-from-stroke-and-heart-disease-study-suggests?

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The world’s first hydro-solar power plant

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In Portugal the world’s first hydro-solar power plant has commenced operation. The Alto Rabagão dam, near the country’s northern border with Spain, added 840 floating solar panels earlier this year, Floating solar panels offer a means of expanding hydroelectric plants’ capacity without embarking on costly dam reconstruction. http://m.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/hydro-solar-plant_us_595f96dee4b02e9bdb0c0fa6

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A wearable device that could help us read minds

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What if you could “see” directly into another person’s brain? The ability to read minds, referred to as telepathy, is a concept that’s abundant in science fiction. It may however be possible courtesy of a brain-computer interface (BCI) — a wearable device that works like a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. https://futurism.com/this-wearable-mri-device-could-help-us-read-minds/

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Volvo to save the planet?

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Volvo has made the decision that all their cars will be fully electric, or at least hybrid, by 2019. Not one car solely powered by internal combustion engine will come off a Volvo production line by 2020. This will instantly change the charging infrastructure for electric cars. Currently you can fully charge an electric vehicle – one with a range of about 105 miles – in half an hour from a supercharger in a garage, however there aren’t enough superchargers. This move by Volvo will drive access to more high-speed charging points, as well as battery production and research and development into battery storage. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/is-a-carmaker-about-to-save-the-planet?

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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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Hearing aids that are as trendy as glasses

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Great to see Republicans and Democrats in the US offering bipartisan support to encourage new competition and innovation in a market that has been dominated by a handful of specialized companies. Their efforts could catalyze a sea change in the cost and design of devices for people with mild and moderate hearing loss, even making hearing aids look trendy so more people wear them. www.dopplerlabs.com

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Pour It Forward – Coffee Shop Only Hires People With Disabilities

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Bitty & Beau’s Coffee in Wilmington, NC (USA) is known for its warmth. At the heart of the shop’s popularity is its unique staff: Almost everyone who works there has an intellectual or developmental disability, ranging from Down syndrome to autism to cerebral palsy. For many employees, it’s their first job, and their joy fills the air. Nearly 70% of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities do not have jobs, these folks resolved to do something about it. https://www.bittyandbeauscoffee.com/  

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‘Muru View’ – Mapping of Places to Aboriginal Names on Google Maps

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Still in the Beta stage – but *very* cool! 🙂 Muru View (Muru – meaning path in Darug) is an interactive data visualisation drawing from the State Library of New South Wales Indigenous language collections. The data used in the interactive is over 120 years old, and is drawn from the survey forms collected by the Royal Anthropological Society of Australasia. Muru View dynamically uses data to display locations around New South Wales incorporating their Indigenous name and meaning that were recorded at that time, all using the Google Maps API in a way never done before. The result is an interactive online experience and a projected installation at the State Library of New South Wales itself coinciding with NAIDOC week 2017 in the first week of July. http://dxlab.sl.nsw.gov.au/making-muruview/

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