A clever way to encourage shopper patience

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This time of the year is very busy and it’s easy to be impatient, particularly when grocery shopping. The “L” sign in front of this young cashier at Harris Farm Markets Randwick is a clever way to encourage patience. If you choose her queue, as I did, your expectations are lower. It was a pleasant surprise when she exceeded expectations. I told her the sign reminded me of a joke my son made that I should put an “L” plate on my car so drivers behind me would not become impatient with my slow driving!

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A primary school in a residential development

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Primary schools in Sydney’s north are so overcrowded that the state government has considered buying land and redeveloping it into residential blocks with classrooms underneath to cope with ballooning enrolments. However no progress has yet been made and the overcrowding problem is now in high schools.  Holy Trinity CE Primary School in Beechwood Road London is a residential development operating successfully as a solution to this problem. http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/sydneys-primary-school-overcrowding-to-hit-high-schools-20170613-gwpxte.html

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Connecting and sharing

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We are experiencing unprecedented waste as we consume more and use less. Spare Harvest brings local communities together to share, swap or sell what they have spare in their kitchens, gardens and farms. Spare Harvest uses technology to take us back to a time when we shared our resources, bought less and connected more. Produce, plants, tools, time, land and jams are some of the items exchanged. As they say, your trash is someone else’s treasure. There will be someone in your community who will use it; you just have to let them know it is available. www.spareharvest.com

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Merino wool for sensitive skin

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Recent research, funded by The Woolmark Company, has demonstrated that wearing superfine Merino wool next to the skin is therapeutic for those suffering from eczema. Dermatology trials have shown that adult and infant eczema sufferers have reduced symptoms when wearing superfine Merino wool garments next to the skin. When worn next to skin, superfine Merino wool works as a dynamic buffer, helping maintain a more stable humidity and temperature in the micro-climate between the fabric and the skin. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/does-your-child-suffer-from-eczema-merino-wool-might-be-the-solution?

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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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Valuing natural capital

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Natural capital is another term for the stock of renewable and non-renewable natural resources (e.g. plants, animals, air, water, soils, minerals) that combine to yield a flow of benefits to people. With financial capital, when we spend too much we run up debt, which can, if unchecked, eventually result in bankruptcy. With natural capital, if we keep drawing down stocks without allowing or encouraging nature to recover, we run the risk of local, regional or even global ecosystem collapse. There are a growing number of businesses from all around the world that are valuing natural capital. The Natural Capital Coalition is developing a Protocol Application Program to support businesses as they begin to measure, value and integrate natural capital considerations into their business decisions. IdeaSpies is very pleased to be a natural capital coalition organisation. www.naturalcapitalcoalition.org

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A VR exhibit that helps you see what it’s like to be a refugee.

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Forced From Home is a free, interactive, outdoor educational exhibition presented by Doctors Without Borders in the US to raise public awareness about the experience of the world’s more than 65 million refugees and internally displaced people. With an experienced aid worker as your guide, you can learn about the many challenges people on the move encounter and the work Doctors Without Borders does to address their basic medical needs. Using a combination of 360-degree video and virtual reality Forced from Home involves you in the journey of a refugee, from their life in their home country, through the route they travel and obstacles they face along it. http://www.forcedfromhome.com/

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A postie to check on you

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Call & Check is a new service that has been developed by Jersey Post. It offers a regular visit if you would benefit from extra help and support. The service is currently being run as a pilot with no charge. It provides a regular visit as agreed. Postal staff will have brief conversation with you to ascertain how you are and if you need anything. Working with your designated contacts, they are then able to relay important messages or requests back to the relevant authority for action. Australia Post is also trialling this service. http://www.jerseypost.com/community/callandcheck/

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A 3rd thumb to extend your abilities

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The Third Thumb is a 3D printed device that wraps around your hand and attaches to a wristband, providing an actual third thumb on the opposite side of your hand from your natural thumb. Its movement is controlled by your feet. Two pressure sensors are placed into your shoes and connected to the thumb through a Bluetooth connection. With an extra thumb, you can extend your musical instrument-playing abilities, more easily grasp objects, or just improve your dexterity overall. https://3dprint.com/180162/third-thumb-project-3d-printing/

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