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Turn CO2 into fuel

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Researchers at the CSIRO and University of Adelaide have created a new catalyst that efficiently converts CO2 into a synthetic form of natural gas. Not only does this highly active catalyst have the potential to help us solve the problem of CO2 emissions on earth but it could also help in the Mars program. Mars’ atmosphere is 96% CO2, and with SpaceX’s Elon Musk recently announcing it will launch a crewed mission to Mars, they plan to produce methane (fuel) on Mars via the same reaction. https://blog.csiro.au/turning-co2-into-fuel/

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Short Story Vending Machine

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These inventive vending machines have been popping up around France. Instead of dispensing sweet treats or sugary drinks, however, these kiosks distribute short stories! Sleek in design and minimal in effort, each vending machine offers an appealing way for commuters and customers to kill time. To use the innovative inventions, simply choose your desired reading time: 1 minute, 3 minutes, or 5 minutes. Then, the machine will surprise you with a randomly-selected short story to occupy your time and make waiting around a bit more bearable—if at least for a couple of minutes. 🙂  http://short-edition.com/en/  

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Smart Contact Lenses for Diabetics

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Diabetes NSW and ACT are testing a a glucose-sensing contact lens – a non-invasive way to monitor glucose from tears. Glucose levels in tears are five to ten times less concentrated than those found in blood, requiring more sensitive detection. However, based on the prototype, the lenses are expected to generate a reading once per second and to not need calibration. http://diabetesnsw.com.au/smart-contact-lens-to-provide-glucose-readings/

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Umbrella Cup Holder

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For those of us multi-taskers…It’s essentially a cup holder that attaches to the handle of your umbrella. It’s got a gimbal mechanism to ensure that your cups always stay level and don’t spill. That way, you can carry your drink (and even an extra one!) while holding your umbrella with one hand and whatever else you need to carry in the other. 😀 https://technabob.com/blog/2014/03/24/morella-umbrella-cup-holder/

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Rent a designer dress online

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Glamcorner offers thousands of dresses from over 100 top international and local designers, ranging from size 6 to 22, delivered to your door. If the dress doesn’t fit or you’re just not happy with it you send the dress back with all tags fully intact, and they’ll either send out a different size for free or give you a full refund. They also offer an obligation-free try on option of up to 2 dresses for a small charge. www.glamcorner.com.au

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New cycling system powers America’s Cup win

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The radical move to cycle-style grinding stations let New Zealand take advantage of superior leg-power, rather than arm-power, to fuel the crucial on-board hydraulics system and win the 35th America’s Cup. The successful system yielded other benefits since it left hands free to tackle other on-board duties, including the intricate business of foil-trimming. The NZ skipper at 26 was also the youngest ever to win the race.! http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-27/new-zealand-reclaim-americas-cup-with-win-over-oracle-usa/8654286?

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A pool made from a shipping container

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A Canadian company has converted standard, metal shipping containers into pools and jacuzzis that can be installed above or below ground. A portion of one wall is cut away to make room for a viewing window. The pool also comes equipped with an interior partition made of sturdy, heat-resistant plastic that is used to separate it from a jacuzzi. https://www.dezeen.com/2017/05/03/modpools-repurposes-used-shipping-containers-swimming-pools-hot-tubs/

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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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A self-flying plane

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Boeing plans to test self-flying technology in a cockpit simulator this year, before using it on a real plane next year. It wants to develop autonomous aircraft, which would be capable of navigating themselves without any input from a human pilot. Planes can already take off, cruise and land with minimal human assistance, but Boeing wants to go a step further. It wants artificial intelligence to start making some of the decisions pilots are trusted to make. This will mean fewer pilots per plane are needed in future-instead of five pilots on a long haul flight down to three or two, taking two pilots down to one in a freight situation, or in some cases going from one to none. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/boeing-start-testing-self-flying-planes-autonomous-aircraft-no-pilot-artificial-intelligence-a7798901.html

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An unmanned shop on wheels that can move from location to location.

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Moby Store, launched by Wheelys, a Stockholm-headquartered startup, is now testing a model of a 24-hour store run entirely by technology that can be moved from one spot to the next. The Wheelys cofounders decided to test in China rather than Sweden in part because of China’s large population, but even more so because of the country’s near-ubiquitous adoption of paying with your phone. Purchases are made using an app to scan a barcode and paying over the phone. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608104/in-china-a-store-of-the-future-no-checkout-no-staff/?

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