Happy Wednesday dear friends! It is half-way to the weekend, and that always makes me smile! So grab your cup of coffee, and join me for the news on this beautiful morning. Today we focus on some wonderful new discoveries and ideas, that can help solve some of the problems we face in our world today. We will then jump around from there.
New ideas to help scrub carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.
Whether or not you believe that humans drastically contribute to climate change, we all know that excess carbon dioxide in the air, is probably not a good thing. Two different groups of scientists are looking at ways to combat this problem. One has figured out a way to zap carbon dioxide, and turn it into oxygen using a laser. The other has discovered new nanoparticles that act like plant chlorophyll. These particles may be used in the future to soak up excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is wonderful that ideas are coming to light that can help clear our air!
A breath of fresh air, on land or in water.
I got certified to Scuba Dive when I was in college, and I absolutely adore it. What I do not adore, is the clunky air tank on my back! That might change soon, because of a new discovery by researchers at the University of Southern Denmark. They have been working with cobalt salts, that act like an oxygen sucking sponge. The material can absorb oxygen in both air and water. It functions like synthetic hemoglobin, and could help those with breathing issues, such as COPD. It also shows great promise for assisting high altitude climbers and revolutionizing scuba equipment.
Walk a mile in these shoes, and charge your cell phone.
It is obvious, that cell phone technology has changed the world. In developing nations, the transformation sparked by cell phones is explosive, but it also points to a large problem. In Kenya, where 84% of people own cell phones, only 14% have access to electricity. SolePower aims to change that, by creating affordable shoe inserts, that harvest kinetic energy while a user walks. The inserts then translate the stored energy into electricity, which can be used to charge cell phones and power lights. The inserts would be available in developed nations, at a higher price point, to help keep the cost down for those who live below subsistence levels. This idea gives a whole new meaning to the term “walk it off!”
Doctors sharing photos to save lives.
Doctors in Western Europe, will now get a chance to share photographs, of various patient maladies, with an ’Instagram-like’ App called Figure 1. The App is already available in North America, the UK and Ireland. Doctors are able to share photographs, and add to the medical data base, that relates to various illnesses. This gives doctors, in isolated areas, more information about what they are seeing with their patients. Some have concerns about patient privacy with this App, but the program automatically obscures the face, and doctors can remove identifying marks. In areas where there is limited access to advanced medicine, this App could help save time in diagnosis and treatment.
Moving on, but not too far…
One step closer to a car that drives itself.
I remember, as a child, watching cartoons, where cars drove themselves. I also wanted one of those cars, that Will Smith drove in the movie I Robot, in a bad way! Well, it seems that self-driving cars are getting closer to reality, as Tesla Motors, the luxury electric car brand, enters the race into automated driving this month.
Lighting up the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Red and green LED diodes have been around for thirty years, but it wasn’t until 1990 that a blue diode was created. When red, green and blue diodes are combined, they create white light, and thus the LED light bulb revolution began. Two Japanese and one American scientist were awarded a joint Nobel Prize in Physics this week, for their work in perfecting the LED light. I actually just purchased my first home LED bulb today and it has a 10 year warranty! They are energy efficient, and kind to the environment, since they do not contain mercury. Congratulations guys! You light up our lives!
Carlos Slim and his Best Buddies help disabled people find jobs.
I have been lucky enough to work for companies who hired disabled people, so I thought it was the norm. I didn’t know though, that 85% of disabled people in the US, didn’t have a paid job last year. Carlos Slim, the telecommunications billionaire, started Best Buddies, to advocate for those with disabilities, and he also launched a campaign this week to help them get jobs.
These kind first responders also do yard work.
When a man in California fainted while mowing his lawn, the fire department responded to the scene. When he left by ambulance, the fire fighters stayed to finish mowing his lawn. When asked why they went above the call of duty, they said it was a tight knit community, and they take care of their own. I hope their attitude spreads far and wide!
That’s the news for today! Now off you go and have a terrific day!
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!