Cool pavements to reduce temperatures

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In Los Angeles, where summer temperatures regularly surpass 38 degrees Celsius, or 100 degrees Fahrenheit, workers are coating streets in special grey treatments in a bid to help reduce the heat. It’s the first major city to test the technology. Normal black asphalt absorbs 80 to 95 per cent of sunlight, while the gray “cool pavement” reflects it – reducing ground temperature and urban street heat. http://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2106692/los-angeles-coating-roads-reflective-paint-beat-heat?

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An army of robots to sort parcels

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Chinese delivery firm Shentong is leading in automation. Orange robots at the company’s sorting stations are able to identify the destination of a package through a code-scan, virtually eliminating sorting mistakes. They can sort up to 200,000 packages a day, and are self-charging, meaning they are operational 24/7. Shentong estimates its robotic sorting system is saving around 70-percent of the costs of a human-based sorting line. http://m.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/04/18/shentong-express_n_16087678.html

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Overnight travel in a bus you can sleep on

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Cabin began making overnight trips between Los Angeles and San Francisco last month. The company’s emphasis on providing passengers with a good night’s sleep separates Cabin from other forms of transportation. Once on board you can relax on leather chairs in the bus lounge, retreat to your pod to rest or watch a movie. The buses depart around 11pm and arrive at their destination about 500 miles away the next day at 7am. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/08/10/can-a-better-nights-sleep-in-a-hipster-bus-replace-flying/?

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Clean water and power for remote communities

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For a few cents a day, people in remote communities can access clean water and clean power at a conveniently located box unit. Inside the box is a five-stage micro-filtration tank that takes in dirty water and makes it drinkable. Each box has solar panels sufficient to allow 300 families battery packs that hold enough power to run three LED lights for four hours and to charge two mobile phones. Grid Box plans to install units in 18 villages in Rwanda. https://www.fastcompany.com/40449777/this-simple-box-serves-up-running-water-and-clean-electricity-in-remote-locations?

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‘Bags for life’ to save waste

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Tesco is scrapping its 5p single use plastic carrier bags and replacing them with a new 10p Bag for Life made from 94pc recycled plastic. The announcement follows a successful 10-week trial in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, where Tesco found that customers bought significantly fewer bags when only pricer bags were offered. Removing the 5p single-use carrier bags will “significantly reduce the number of bags sold and will therefore help reduce litter and bags sent to landfill,” Tesco said. The single-use carrier bags will cease to be offered in stores from August 28. Money from the new 10p bag, which will be replaced for free if damaged, will go towards funding community projects across Britain. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/08/07/tesco-scraps-5p-shopping-bags-10p-bags-life/  

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Life outside the box

Among the gadgets in the kitchen the knife appears as the most simple tool. It is not as flashy as the electronic machines that make kitchen tasks so much lighter. Yet it is unimaginable to have a kitchen without this unassuming knife. Actually, scientists consider this humble tool as the first machine of the mechanical evolution. Thanks to the creative capacity of our ancestors. They saw the sharp edges of an angular stone as a means to easily tear apart their raw food. Through innovations, the knife was transformed from a stone in a dirt  to that useful gadget in modern-day kitchens. This process of thinking that generates or recognises ideas and alternatives to problem solving that are workable or functional is called creativity. Man’s capacity to be creative and innovative has made major contributions to humanity through the fields of science and the arts. Yet studies have proven that it also plays a very important role in everyday life. Experts in the field consider creativity as necessary in solving everyday problems and in adapting to changes. In fact, they consider it also as an indicator of mental health. Without creativity there is no innovation. Creativity is what drives a person to consider things from different perspectives and to work out of the box. It enables him to seek different ways of solving complex problems and to conceptualise strategies. It gives him the capacity to produce unique ideas. Innovation, on the other hand, is creativity at work. That is, it implements what creativity conceives. How does creativity and innovation arise? Case studies have come up with different theories to address this question. But the current views support the comprehensive  framework conceptualised by Teresa Amabile, doctor in Psychology and Head of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School. It suggests that creativity arises from the  integration of three factors: KNOWLEDGE: All the relevant understanding an individual brings to bear on a creative effort. CREATIVE THINKING: Relates to how people approach problems and depends on personalityand thinking/working style. MOTIVATION: Motivation is generally accepted as key to creative production, and the most important motivators are intrinsic passion and interest in the work itself. Many theories point to innovation and creativity as competencies of emotional intelligence (EI). This is so because EI enables one to transform emotions into motivators of creative activity. And during the creative process, innovation and creativity are at work with other EI competencies. People lacking in this competence: Find it difficult to deal with change and become anxious when there is a need to shift priorities. Often complain and has negative attitudes towards new situations. Are narrow-minded and are intractable from how they view things. Are not up to taking on new challenges. Can’t change track when confronted with changing circumstances. People with this competence: Seek out fresh ideas from a wide variety of sources. Are open to new and original solutions to problems. Ask lots of questions to acquire new ideas; they love exchanging ideas  such that they encourage others to brainstorm & think out loud. Question accepted practices, patterns and assumptions. Are naturally curious and take risks in their thinking. They seek new ways of doing things as they take views from other perspectives. Are resilient and adaptable; view failures as learning opportunities and not as burdens to be carried. Man has the natural capacity to be creative but it is not uniformly allotted. Some have more of this capacity than others. But just like an athlete who works on his muscles to increase his strength or an artist who practices to enhance his talent, creativity can be increased and developed with appropriate training and focus done in an environment that encourages innovation. The amount of training and its diversity are important factors as studies revealed that they are directly proportional to the creativity output. The following are tested ways to get a person on track. Maximising the use of all senses and avoiding self-censorship in brainstorming. Generating varieties of ideas, options and possibilities (asking “what if” questions) when approaching a challenge. Taking time off (creativity can be drowned by too many demands). Clearing space and finding new ways  to de-clutter. Cultivating an attitude of curiosity in all things. Trying out or exploring things that spark the interest. Exploring one’s polarity – that is, exploring the opposite of what one is. Allowing self to be surprised by something new every day. According to an IBM survey, the number one attribute CEOs look for in their incoming workforce is not discipline, integrity, or intelligence. It’s creativity.  It does not only give man the capacity to adapt to a fast-changing and technology-driven environment but it also gives him the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of innovation to make a difference in his life and in this world. Have you been living in a box? Are you running out of ideas in facing your problems? Need fresh ideas in sorting your life out? Have you been living in a box? Are you running out of ideas in facing your problems? Need fresh ideas in sorting your life out? Contact us today. by peoplebuilders peoplebuilders.com.au

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