10 in 2 - Week of September 11th - moving to the country, not gonna eat a lot of peaches

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 11th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

  1. According to a study done at RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan, a simple and inexpensive way to significantly increase a plant's drought tolerance is to grow it in vinegar-laced soil. Given trends associated with climate change, this could be a game-changer. (Popular Science)

  2. The Baker Institute, a thoroughly mainstream policy think tank, argues in Forbes that we should fund disaster relief by FEMA and other local agencies with a tax on carbon. Since excess carbon is a contributing factor to the increasing ‘once in a thousand year’ weather events, it just makes sense. It is just a matter of time before we have no choice but to internalize the growing costs of renegade carbon in the atmosphere. (Forbes)

  3. Uber launches Clean Air Plan for a greener future. The plan is specific to the UK,  includes goals of ensuring every car available on uberX in London will be 100% hybrid or fully electric by the end of 2019, and in the larger UK by 2022, and fully electric by 2025. In addition Uber is pledging  £5,000 towards the cost of upgrading their driver’s cars to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, and expects to pay out £150m over the life of the fund. (Uber)

  4. A fungus with an appetite for plastic has been discovered in a garbage dump. Scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre and the Kunming Institute of Botany in China think the fungus could help deal with our waste problem by using enzymes to rapidly break down plastic materials. (Agroforestry World)

  5. On September 7 a video went viral on Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat showing a river of mud and grass moving through what social media users recognized as the Dimye village on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Since the video began circulating, many have speculated that the flow was caused by the melting of permafrost. (National Geographic)

  6. New Delhi-based Ant Studio made a zero-electricity air conditioner to combat the brutally hot summers in India’s capital. This low-tech, energy efficient, and artistic solution to the sweltering heat harnesses the power of evaporative cooling. The innovative honeycomb-like installation is made with conical clay tubes that naturally reduce the surrounding temperature. (Inhabitat)

  7. The Red List of Threatened Species, maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, has declared the Christmas Island pipistrelle, a bat species found only on that island, extinct. Meanwhile, due to habitat loss and human pressures, Thailand’s Thongaree’s disc-nosed bat, Madagascar’s Rumpelstiltskin pygmy grasshopper and 5 species of African antelope have moved to the critically endangered list. On the positive side, the Rodriguez flying fox and the snow leopard are moving back from the brink. (New Scientist)

  8. A study published in the journal Biological Conservation, shows that in the last 35 years, the population of western monarchs has plummeted from about 10 million living along the west coast to approximately 300,000. Even more concerning, if present trends continue, the butterflies face an 86 percent extinction probability over the next 50 years. (Sierra Club)

  9. 2017 has been a bad year for peaches in the Peach State. Georgia’s disruptively warm winter caused the loss of an estimated 85 percent of the peach crop. Climate change, and the loss in winter chill that can come with it, poses a particular threat to fruit and nut trees and the farmers who depend on them. Farmers who grow annual crops, such as corn and wheat, replant every year and might be able to adapt more nimbly. (538)

  10. Israel-based startup StoreDot has some weird ‘organic’ battery technology that they claim can charge an electric vehicle in 5 mins, and they just raised $60 million led by Daimler. However, when it comes to claims of “battery breakthroughs”, it’s extremely difficult to distinguish what has real potential and what is simply PR fluff. (Electrek)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of September 4th - wild dogs vote by sneezing

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 4th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Mars, the privately held chocolate company has pledged to spend $1 billion on its "Sustainability in a Generation" plan. It aims to tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and promoting sustainable farming. Mars wants big companies around the world to follow its lead, which will include investments in renewable energy, food sourcing, cross-industry action groups, as well as directly in support of farmers. (Business Insider)

  2. According to Forbes, Sustainable food startup Memphis Meats received $17 million in Series A financing from notable investors including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and more. The company is developing “real meat grown directly from animal cells.” A new trend in food that is designed to significantly reduce the environmental, social and moral footprint associated with industrial scale meat production. (Forbes)

  3. The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like. It’s bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture. Yet it’s the globe’s number two exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the United States. All of this is made possible by a commitment to sustainable food systems and technological research in the face of the global population boom. (National Geographic)

  4. In a related story, SoftBank-backed startup Plenty is out to build massive indoor farms on the outskirts of every major city on Earth. In the world they are imagining and attempting to create, food could go from farm to table in hours rather than days or weeks. The startup is on track to begin deliveries from its pilot vertical farm to grocers in the bay area by the end of 2017. (Bloomberg)

  5. Nonprofit Democracy Earth’s Sovereign app is poised to completely change how people vote. Employing blockchain technology, the app allows people to securely and easily vote on important issues at a country or company level.. The first test of Sovereign allowed users to vote on an unofficial deal between Columbia and a rebel group. A number of South American political groups have reportedly already expressed interest in the app, which could help trigger a more widespread adoption of internet-powered democracy. (Democracy Earth)

  6. In a related study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B, African wild dogs vote over pack decisions by sneezing - the more sneezes there were, the more likely it was the pack moved off and started hunting. This differs from the Democracy Earth news in one crucial way: the study suggested some sneezes hold more weight than others, and much like many humans, the dogs haven't yet figured out what blockchain is, exactly. (BBC)

  7. Another nonprofit story: OpenSourceSeeds based in the German town of Marburg has just launched a licensing process for open-source seeds, to create a new repository of genetic material that can be accessed by farmers around the world, in perpetuity. The idea is to separate seeds from the private domain, in direct response to the increasing trend towards monopolization of genetic resources.

  8. Zach saw a tweet this week that gave solid reasoning for his preponderance for arguing with people online despite the next to zero chance of changing their minds. Reason one, to change the minds of less- committed onlookers. Two, to give comfort to onlookers who are glad to have allies in the fray. Three, to reinforce the valuable norm of sharing one's opinion.  And four, to model polite and reasonable argumentation. So get out there, and politely hammer on climate skeptics. (@juliagalef)

  9. A new study published in the journal Risk Analysis found that Americans across the political spectrum are more likely to support policies designed to mitigate climate change after viewing news articles and images that inspire hope. Articles that provoked fear, on the other hand, encouraged people to be more willing to compromise on the issue, particularly conservatives who are less likely to support climate change policies. Anger had the opposite effect, spurring people to stick to their beliefs and remain divided down political lines. (Wiley Online Library)

  10. Understanding the link between climate change and the recent apocalyptic weather around the globe really comes down to one figure: the air can hold 7% more water with every degree Celsius that the temperature rises. A warmer ocean makes a warmer atmosphere, a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, thus the same storm in a warmer planet would give you more rainfall. (Time)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of August 28th - industrial melanism

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of August 28th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. An experimental conservation project that was abandoned and almost forgotten about, has ended up producing an amazing ecological win nearly two decades after it was dreamt up. A juice company dumped 1,000 truckloads of waste orange peels in a barren pasture in Costa Rica back in the mid 1990s, which eventually revitalised the desolate site into a thriving, lush forest. (Science Alert)

  2. IBM has partnered with a group of major retailers and food companies to explore how blockchain technology can enhance food safety, transparency, and traceability across the global food supply chain. The consortium of companies involved includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart.(IBM)

  3. Lauren Duca wrote a piece for Teen Vogue about why Harvey must be a turning point for how we respond to climate change. She wrote “Our current approach is like sitting next to a sandcastle, pretending we had no idea it was going to get swept away — only the sandcastle is civilization, and we know damn well that the waves are coming in.” (Teen Vogue)

  4. After issuing the world’s harshest ban on plastic bags, Kenya adjusts to life without them. Punishment for carrying, manufacturing, or importing plastic bags ranges from about $19,000 to as much as $38,000 or a jail term of up to four years. (QZ)

  5. Scientists have succeeded in combining spider silk with graphene and carbon nanotubes. The most mind blowing part about this advancement is that the spider itself spins the web after it drinks water containing the nanotubes. These advancements could lead to a new class of 'bionicomposites' including parachutes and other innovative applications. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  6. More graphene news you probably don’t want... Unbreakable rubber bands that are 200 times stronger than steel are coming soon: Alliance Rubber Co., a 94-year-old company based out of Alliance, Ohio, has announced a new partnership with the University of Sussex to infuse graphene into its rubber bands. (Science Alert)

  7. The colors the National Weather Service uses to show rainfall on its weather map couldn't represent the deluge in southeastern Texas, so the NWS added two more purple shades to its map. The old scale for a storm topped out at more than 15 inches; the new limit tops 30 inches. (NPR)

  8. The turtle-headed sea snake usually sports beautiful bands of alternating black and white. But for decades, researchers have been puzzled by populations living near Pacific Ocean cities that seem to have lost their stripes. Now a new study may finally have an answer: The pigment in black skin may help city snakes rid themselves of industrial pollutants.  This de-striping phenomenon is one of several micro evolutions taking place in animals that live in close proximity to cities, and scientists are now referring to the changes as “industrial melanism” (National Geographic)

  9. Giving every adult in the United States a $1,000 cash handout per month would grow the economy by $2.5 trillion by 2025, according to a new study on universal basic income. According to the report by the Roosevelt Institute, the larger the universal basic income, the greater the benefit to the economy. (CNBC)

  10. Increased temperatures from climate change will reduce yields of the four crops humans depend on most—wheat, rice, corn and soybeans—and the losses have already begun, according to a new meta-study by The National Academy of Sciences. (Forbes)



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10 in 2 - Week of August 21st - bad for the land dwellers

 

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of August 21st

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Alaska’s permafrost is thawing. The loss of frozen ground in Arctic regions is a striking result of climate change. And it is also a cause of more warming to come. Worldwide, permafrost is thought to contain about twice as much carbon as is currently in the atmosphere. (NYT)

  2. China has already reached its solar energy installation target for 2020, reaffirming its position as the largest producer of solar power on earth. In the last two months alone, China has added 24.02 GW of solar capacity. To put that into context, The US currently has a total capacity of 44.7 GW. (Futurism)

  3. Ahead of the launch of iOS 11 this fall, Apple has published a research paper detailing its methods for improving Siri to make the voice assistant sound more natural, with the help of machine learning. Jib is ultimate Siri hater, so I will let you know if this update can get him back on board. (The Next Web)

  4. The first American settlers cut down millions of trees to deliberately engineer climate change. After being disappointed by the harsh climate of the new world, they tried to make the northeast more temperate through deforestation in an effort to woo more colonists. Oh, humans. (Timeline)

  5. Nine states agreed on a plan Wednesday to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The pact includes New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. (Washington Examiner)

  6. Brazil's government has abolished a vast national reserve in the Amazon to open up the area to mining. The reserve is larger than Denmark and about 30% of it will now be open to mining on previously protected indigenous lands. WWF's report on the project said that a "gold rush in the region could create irreversible damage to these cultures". (The Guardian)

  7. A Russian tanker has traveled through the northern sea route in record speed and without an icebreaker escort for the very first time, highlighting how climate change is opening up the high Arctic. (The Guardian)

  8. A stunning chart from NASA shows that the ground beneath our feet is warming twice as fast as oceans. In the past sixty years, land temperatures have risen at a rate of nearly  one half of a degree per decade. Good thing we live in the oceans. I feel bad for the land dwellers. (ThinkProgress)

  9. Your personal information is now the world's most valuable commodity. These huge amounts of data are controlled by just 5 global mega-corporations that are bigger than most governments. Traditionally, antitrust regulators would step in, but the data economy is presenting new challenges to that model. (CBC)

  10. Now that they own the Whole Foods, Amazon is begging to lower the prices at the chain, beginning next week. I am pretty curious about what we will call the store, now that dads who laugh at their own jokes may no longer be able to call it “whole paycheck”. (Next Big Future)



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10 in 2 - Week of August 14th - Crown Shyness

 

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of August 14th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Our current favorite blog site this week is called Ecosophia and is hosted by a druid, yep, a druid. In fact he was the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, and is current head of the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn. John Michael Greer is a prolific author, known best for his work and thinking about post-industrial society. We find him to be surprisingly rational. Check out his recent blog called Hate is the New Sex which is particularly relevant given our current President and the events in Charlottesville over the weekend. (Hate is the New Sex)

  2. We like MOOCs - Massive Online Open Courses, or said another way free courses of on the internet - because they democratize learning. However, the vast majority of people don’t take advantage of this because they don’t have a mindset of growth. Check out Sal Kahn’s short essay on shifting one’s mindset. Just by reading it you’ll be on your way. (struggle is good)

  3. In times like these it’s good to return to the master essays. One of these is Buddhist Economics by the late, great economist E.F. Schumacher, where he compellingly argues that individuals need good work for proper human development. (Buddhist Economics)

  4. Crown shyness, a naturally occurring phenomenon, results in crack-like gaps in the tree canopy. Trees with “crown shyness” mysteriously avoid touching each other. No one is quite sure why certain trees exhibit this unique behavior, but the most prominent theory is that the gaps prevent the proliferation of invasive insects. For images of this photogenic phenomenon, just Google it. (My Modern Met)

  5. HBR published a piece this week by our friends at Semler Brossy. They argue that it’s time to tie executive compensation to sustainability, as shareholders are ratcheting up their demands on environmental and social issues, consumers are registering their concerns about how companies make their products, and talented millennial employees are voting with their feet by leaving laggard companies behind. (HBR)

  6. A new study has found more intelligent people are quicker to learn (and unlearn) social stereotypes. Because pattern detection is a core component of human intelligence, people with increased cognitive abilities may be equipped to efficiently learn and use stereotypes about social groups. This makes me question what we define as “intelligence”. (British Psychological Society)

  7. Health benefits of wind and solar offset all subsidies, and the estimated economic benefits of renewables in the US is $87 billion. As they edge out fossil fuels, renewables are reducing not just carbon emissions, but also other air pollutants. And the result is an improvement in air quality, with a corresponding drop in premature deaths. (Ars Technica)

  8. Silicon Valley billionaire Stewart Butterfield voiced support the week for universal basic income. The founder of Slack joins Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg as a public supporter. He said a basic income would be part of a “new social contract for our generation”  (Independant)

  9. Recommended Netflix viewing: Chasing Coral. The film offers a breathtakingly beautiful look at some of the Earth's most incredible natural wonders while delivering a sobering warning about their uncertain future. Rotten Tomatoes rating comes in at a paltry 100%, so you know it’s terrible. (Rotten Tomatoes)

  10. For number ten this week, a shout out to Senior Editor at The Atlantic, James Hamblin, who had the tweet of the day. The simple and tired sounding sentence reads “This concludes infrastructure week.” (twitter)



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22nd Century Leadership - David Crane

We’ve been producing podcasts now for a while, focusing most recently on a weekly 10 in 2 report – 10 things that interest us this week, provided to you in 2 minutes, or in as short a time as we can. Now we’re unveiling a new periodic podcast we’re calling Leadership in the 22nd Century.

Our current social and economic systems were designed in and for a different time. Namely the 19th and 20th centuries. A time when there was a lot less people changing life on earth a lot slower and less systematically. Today, each day we add approximately 200,000 new humans to the 7+ billion people occupying our beautiful blue orb floating through space. Add to this the addition of tech innovations associated with machine learning, DNA manipulation, and flash stock trading, and we are living in the midst of a volatile cocktail that has manifest in unusual politics and a broad sense of dissatisfaction.

For the last 15 years we’ve worked with CEOs, corporations, non-profits, foundations, and even a city, on taking action to build long-term resilience and sustainability in light of these trends. Along the way, I’ve met a lot of interesting people engaged in what I’ve come to call the act of History Making. These are leaders who are actively transforming the way that human beings ‘see the world.’ Known examples are people like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Desmond Tutu. In our case, we are going to focus this podcast on a subset of these History Makers. Namely, leaders who are actively working to help people appreciate the beauty, utility and fundamental necessity of a healthy environment to a thriving human economy and existence.

These 22nd century leaders are applying the best of human leadership capabilities to successfully helping their fellow humans through the what is sure to be a very turbulent transition from an economics built for 19th century realities to a society and economics built for 22nd century realities.

We began this podcast a few weeks back with an interview with pioneer Biodynamic Farmer, Paul Dolan, and today we’re shifting towards the energy sector with an interview with my friend David Crane…

David currently is the senior operating executive at Pegasus Capital Advisors, a New York City-based private equity firm focused on investment in sustainability and wellness. As part of his responsibilities at Pegasus, David is chairman of Impala Holdings, a renewables development company focused on sub-Sahara Africa, and GVL, a biological lighting joint venture. David is also focused, on behalf of Pegasus, on new investment in clean energy technology, including distributed generation, energy storage, energy efficiency and EV infrastructure.  

Prior to Pegasus, David Crane was CEO of NRG, which he led out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2003. He transformed NRG over his 12-year tenure to be a Fortune 200 company, engaged not only in conventional power generation and competitive retail electricity services but also green retail, large scale renewables, home solar, EV charging and portable solar. David pioneered the yieldco asset class with the IPO of NRG Yield in July 2013.

David was awarded the Corporate Environmental Leadership award by GlobalGreen in 2014 and the Equinox Solar Champion Award and more recently The C.K. Prahalad Award for Global Sustainability Business Leadership in 2015. He is also editor at large for greenbiz.com and leads the B Team's corporate "net zero" initiative.


 

For further reading on David Crane, start with this interview with GreenTech Media



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10 in 2 - Week of August 7th - a range of visual and audio concepts

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of August 7th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. U.S. consumer credit-card debt just passed an ominous milestone, with outstanding card loans reaching $1.02 trillion in June, beating a record set just before the global financial system almost collapsed in 2008. (Bloomberg)

  2. The Orlando City Commission unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday establishing a goal to move Orlando to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050. Orlando is now the largest city in Florida to make such a commitment and joins a growing movement of more than three dozen cities nationwide that have committed to a 100 percent clean energy future. (Eco Watch)

  3. The environmental impact of our diet on the planet is well known, but new research shows that the impact of our pets is substantial. The study found that the roughly 163 million pet cats and dogs in the United States eat about a quarter of the meat produced in the country. (Smithsonian)

  4. Scientists announced the birth of 37 pigs gene-edited to be better for human transplant. The black-and-white piglets are now several months old, and they belong to a breed of miniature pigs that will grow no bigger than 150 pounds—with organs just the right size for transplant into adult humans. (The Atlantic)

  5. The most ambitious project to reintroduce jaguars into habitat where they once roamed freely has reached a new milestone with the addition of Tania, the fourth jaguar in the program. The project, part of Conservation Land Trust Argentina, is to breed formerly captive jaguars and then release their offspring into the vast 3.2 million acre Ibera National Park wetlands. Supported by Tompkins Conservation and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, this program is the first of its kind in South America. (CLTA)

  6. HP is spearheading a Virtual Reality project that is crowdsourcing an effort to conceptualize and simulate life on Mars. As you contribute concepts and models, they will draw upon your feedback, ideas and skills to create a Virtual Reality experience that offers an exploration of our combined imagination. Sign up for the early stages at launchforth.io or by following the link on the accompanying blog post for this episode. (HP)

  7. New fossil discoveries show that prehistoric “squirrels” glided through forests at least 160 million years ago, long before scientists had thought. Flowering trees did not yet exist, so there was no fruit to eat. Instead, the earliest mammal gliders may have leapt from tree to tree to feed on the cones of conifer trees or the soft parts of giant ferns. (NYT)

  8. Google’s DeepMind has developed an AI that teaches itself to recognise a range of visual and audio concepts just by watching tiny snippets of video. This AI can grasp the concept of lawn mowing or tickling, for example, but it hasn’t been taught the words to describe what it’s hearing or seeing. This project takes us closer to the goal of creating AI that can teach itself by watching and listening to the world around it. (New Scientist)

  9. EDF outlines 7 ways global warming is affecting daily life. You’ve heard about the long-term, large-scale changes predicted by scientists. But climate change is already pervading our daily lives. The list includes ways that crucial beer ingredients like water, barley, and hops are threatened and how many homeowners whose houses were destroyed by natural disaster are having a hard time getting insurance again. (EDF)

  10. Starbucks has saturated the American market so much that it’s now losing sales competing with itself. On average, for every Starbucks location in the US, there are now about four others within a one-mile radius to compete against. As a result, a Montreal-based investment bank this week downgraded its view of Starbucks’ stock. (Quartz)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of July 31st - Happy Earth Overshoot Day

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of July 31st

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Happy Earth Overshoot Day. According to analysis conducted by the Global Footprint Network and the World Wildlife Foundation, on August 2 we human beings officially used up our annual sustainable allowance of resources such as water, clean air, and soil for 2017. According to the model, if natural resources are life’s capital base, we are now eating into the principle with five months to go in the year. (Independent)

  2. Bacteria that eat methane have been discovered in an Antarctic lake that has been isolated from the atmosphere for thousands of years. The bacteria's presence could significantly reduce the potential risk of warming posed by reservoirs of gas locked up in the ice. (Newsweek)

  3. Games are emerging as an effective tool for fighting fake news by helping users learn how to tell the difference between misleading headlines and factual claims. Digital creative agencies, journalists, developers, and academics are teaming up to create games that create a seemingly unnatural combination of Tinder, Politifact, and Pokemon Go. The games are part of a larger effort spearheaded by the Knight Foundation to combat fake news. (Nieman Lab)

  4. According the McKinsey Global Institute, China is far and away the largest ecommerce market and is a leader in virtual reality, autonomous vehicle, robots, 3-d printing, drone and artificial intelligence venture capital funding (McKinsey Global Institute)

  5. In one of the most surprising examples of rapid genetic adaptation to climate change to date, scientists have been studying a common lizard living on the Texas-Mexico border, which, in just the span of a few months, underwent a dramatic genetic transformation in response to cold weather. (Science Magazine)

  6. Peak oil demand can’t be far away when the CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies says his next car will be an electric vehicle. But, that’s exactly what happened yesterday when Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden predicted oil demand may peak by 2030. (Think Progress)

  7. This week the Atlantic noted that if everyone ate beans instead of beef, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals, even if nothing about our energy infrastructure or transportation system changed—and even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese. (The Atlantic)

  8. India’s government wants to ban self-driving cars to save jobs - “We won’t allow driverless cars in India,” said India’s minister of transport, Nitin Gadkari. “I am very clear on this. We won’t allow any technology that takes away jobs." (Singularity Archive)

  9. The New York Times makes the claim this week that Cryptocurrencies are this generation's pensions. After watching markets disintegrate in 2008, millennials are betting heavily on digital coins. Obviously not everyone is bullish, but it is clear that the path to financial stability is no longer limited to traditional investment. (NYT)

  10. Kevin Kelly, the futurist, author, founder of Wired Magazine has alerted us to the existence of website called HVPER.COM, which is the internet distilled into a single page. He recommends that we all forgo social media, TV, and Newspapers, and visit the site once a day, the irony being he posted this recommendation to Facebook, which is where we saw it.



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10 in 2 - Week of July 24th - Binary in a coal mine

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of July 24th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating, and decidedly not about Trump.

 

  1. Bacilli string. Blowing out birthday candles increases cake bacteria by 1,400 percent. But if you are attending a birthday party this weekend, don’t stress. If birthday cakes significantly contributed to the spread of deadly diseases, it’d be obvious by now given the ubiquity of the practice. (The Atlantic)

  2. Runoff selection. Heavier rainfall will increase water pollution in the future. Researchers anticipate harmful nitrogen outputs to increase as a result of precipitation changes. This is especially true globally, where nitrogen application is higher than in the US. (National Geographic)

  3. Yes yes no I will not give you my credit card number. Popular podcast “Reply All” devoted this week's episode to a months long process of discovering the people behind a tech support scam. It’s an amazing piece of internet radio, which involves hundreds of phone calls to a Delhi based company, and eventually, a trip to India to meet one of the scammers. (Reply All)

  4. Two scoops of Ethics. Researchers have demonstrated they can efficiently improve the DNA of human embryos. Using CRISPR, the scientists are looking to cure a range of diseases, from HIV to muscular dystrophy. After successfully completing the experiment the embryos were destroyed, with no intention to implant them. (MIT Technology Review)

  5. Binary in a coal mine. How We Get to Next, is starting a new multimedia project called “Human Machine” with a look into how new, ubiquitous technologies which change human behavior are demonized by those who dislike them. They are going to show how things are, of course, a little more complicated than good and evil. Subscribe to the newsletter at howwegettonext.com

  6. Gross-erie store. You can experience a staffless, cashless, AI powered convenience store in Beijing. A video on YouTube shows a journalist entering the store, allowed inside only after facial recognition scanning, and a screen inside greets her by name, giving us an interesting glance into the inevitable future. (YouTube)

  7. To our new best friends. While we are on the subject of AI, Carnegie Mellon University's head of machine learning, Manuela Veloso, talks in new video about the challenge AI robots present for humanity, why humanity and AI will be inseparable, and what Siri and Alexa might look like in 2021. (YouTube)

  8. Flight club. NASA Is uploading decades of archival footage to YouTube. Spanning decades, the footage is no-fluff documentation of some of the most important flight tests and aircraft developments in NASA and Air Force history. Check it out, it’s really fun to browse through. (YouTube)

  9. Total eclipse of the heart. In the 1970s, a small group of astronomers used the first prototype of the Concorde to pursue a total eclipse across the Sahara at twice the speed of sound. If seen from the ground it would have lasted 7 minutes, but their careful planning allowed them to witness the eclipse for 74. They succeeded in their goal, and was a lot of fun, but the research led to no new clarity regarding our understanding of solar events. (Motherboard)

  10. Shoot more, read less. There is a popular article on Medium this week that starts out as what I thought was a whiny and regretful self help think piece like we have all have read several times. However, it gets to a point that we think is important: The author outlines how he started replacing his consumption activities with creation: Writing over reading. Shooting video over browsing YouTube. Meeting people rather than spending time on Facebook. Sage advice...so you probably should stop listening to this, and go make your own thing. We’re conveniently okay with that, because this is the end of this week’s episode. (The Mission)



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10 in 2 - Week of July 17th - Artificial intelligence is a monster that is happening

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of July 17th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Life in plastic, it's fantastic. Humans have produced 18.2 trillion pounds of plastics since large-scale production began in the early 1950s and we've put most of it in the trash. That weight is equivalent to 1 billion elephants or 25,000 Empire State Buildings. (USA Today)  

  2. Crispr Kreme. Researchers are considering ways to use synthetic biology to eradicate invasive species or strengthen endangered coral. But... environmentalists are worried about the ethical questions and unwanted consequences of this new gene-altering technology. (Yale Environment 360)

  3. Don’t forget to bring a towel. You can now visit the International Space Station in Google Street view. There are little annotations that help explain daily life on the ISS. This is the first Street View of anything beyond earth, and is another cool project completed as a result of a Google’s famous 20% project, where employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time on a passion project. (The Verge

  4. Live Tree or die. A new study offered a simple solution about how to preserve the world's dwindling forests: pay landowners in poor countries not to cut down the trees. Deforestation dropped by more than half in Ugandan villages where landowners were paid about $28 per hectare each year if they preserved their trees (The Atlantic)

  5. Moth-er bear. Bears in yellowstone eat 40,000 moths a day in August. The bears climb high above timberline in Yellowstone National Park to feed on moths that come from farmland many miles away. That translates to 20,000 calories of just moths, every day. (Yellowstone Park)

  6. Farms race. As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers are moving quickly to replace workers with robots. Much in same way industry has had to reinvent the factory, big ag is rethinking the field’s basic infrastructure. Driscoll’s is so secretive about its robotic strawberry picker it won’t let photographers within telephoto range of it, but that is probably just because it drove itself into a lake. (LA Times)

  7. Grave new world. All hell breaks loose as the tundra thaws. A recent heatwave in Siberia’s frozen wastes has resulted in outbreaks of deadly anthrax and a series of violent explosions. Long dormant spores of the highly infectious anthrax bacteria frozen in the carcass of an infected reindeer rejuvenated themselves and infected herds of reindeer and eventually local people. As for the explosions, the heatwave thawed out dead vegetation and erupted in blowouts of highly flammable methane gas. (The Guardian)

  8. His desk was moved to the basement. Joel Clement was director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the U.S. Interior Department until last week. He was involuntarily moved to the department’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue. He believes he was retaliated against for speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities. (The Washington Post

  9. A. I am a good doctor. Artificial intelligence can help better diagnose schizophrenia, says University of Alberta and IBM researchers. The model was able to predict instances of schizophrenia with 74% accuracy. At this point we should probably just stick to compiling the list of things that AI can NOT do. (Edmonton Journal)

  10. Smorgasborg. Artificial intelligence is a monster that is happening, and will literally change everything in ways that we are only starting to wrap our heads around. We have come across a ton of articles about this revolution recently, and have finally found our favorite. James Manyika wrote an Executive Briefing called Technology, Jobs, and the Future of Work for the McKinsey Global Institute that will help you come to terms with the arrival of our new overlords.



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