Every project on DonorsChoose.org was just funded by a $29 million cryptocurrency donation

March 29, 2018 by  
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DonorsChoose.org helps teachers crowdsource funding for education needs, with over 35,000 open campaigns asking for everything from robotics kits to field trips. At least, there were 35,000 campaigns open last week. But as of earlier this week, there were zero campaigns thanks to an incredible $29 million donation from cryptocurrency startup Ripple that fulfilled every single one. According to DonorsChoose.org, this donation will provide funding for 70k books, 35k computers, 2,300 musical instruments and much more. Ripple contributed $29 million in cryptocurrency to 35,647 open campaigns, funding wishlists from over 28,000 teachers at 16,500 schools. In a joint statement with Ripple’s VP of Marketing Monica Long, DonorsChoose founder Charles Best said “The teachers behind these projects work with more than a million students who are now going to get materials and experiences that they need to learn. I do not believe there has ever been a day when this many classroom dreams came true.” Related: Former Patagonia CEO announces largest land donation in history While it might seem like Ripple and DonorsChoose are very different organizations, both focus on changing the way we fund the world. When Ripple approached Best to see what DonorsChoose needed most, Best made a one-in-a-million request to fund every project on the site. To his surprise, Ripple agreed. If you want to see what all the money is doing for teachers and students, check out the hashtag #bestschoolday on Twitter , where people are sharing what this announcement means for them. If this act of generosity inspires you as much as it does us, you can help out by going to DonorsChoose.org and funding one of the 6,000 projects that have popped up since Ripple donated. @HelmsDLSchool @Ripple #BestSchoolDay My Donors Choose project got funded!!! pic.twitter.com/esFiTJGzhr — Maria Hernandez (@marher2384) March 28, 2018 I logged into my Donor's Choose account and saw that my project was fully funded!!! @Ripple is allowing my students to experience a week-long trip to Atlanta and Alabama to visit HBCUs. I can't believe it. Thank you!! #BestSchoolDay #HBCU — Joe Somerville (@joesomerville) March 28, 2018 Thank you @Ripple for Funding our @DonorsChoose project! You have made the day of so many! #bestschoolday #oneRCE #b212rce3 pic.twitter.com/V0RdynVp2X — RCE 3rd Grade (@RCE3rdGrade) March 28, 2018 + DonorsChoose.org Via Fast Company Images via DonorsChoose.org and Unsplash

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Every project on DonorsChoose.org was just funded by a $29 million cryptocurrency donation

Why New York City is divesting from fossil fuels

February 2, 2018 by  
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Chief Resilience Officer Dan Zarrilli on the city’s divestment plans, fiscal responsibility and why the announcement is more than a symbolic gesture.

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Why New York City is divesting from fossil fuels

Volvo will only sell electric cars starting in 2019

July 5, 2017 by  
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In just two years, every Volvo vehicle rolling off the production line will be electric. Volvo has announced that starting in 2019, every model it sells will have some sort of electrification – either in the form of a mild-hybrid system, a plug-in hybrid or a fully-electric powertrain. The news marks a significant change for a major automaker, and it follows Volvo’s announcement last month that its Polestar brand will become a standalone high-performance EV brand. Volvo will introduce a full lineup of electrified vehicles across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars and 48-volt mild-hybrid cars. Related: Volvo will introduce an electric car by 2019 – and it could have a 325-mile driving range “This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.” Volvo currently offers plug-in hybrid versions of models like the XC90 and S90, but there aren’t any fully-electric models in its lineup. Volvo will introduce three new electric cars between 2019 and 2021, while the Polestar brand will introduce an additional two models during the same time period. “This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Mr Samuelsson. “ Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.” Images @Volvo + Volvo

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Volvo will only sell electric cars starting in 2019

China plans an entire new city near Beijing to cut congestion

April 5, 2017 by  
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Cities typically sprawl out over time, but the Chinese government just announced they will be building a whole new city about 62 miles away from Beijing . The country’s capital is notorious for its pollution and overpopulation , and the government aims to address those issues with the creation of Xiongan New Area. The new economic zone will ultimately encompass an area over 400 square miles greater than New York City. Xiongan will take over what was once a region in China’s Hebei Province. According to The Guardian, the top leaders of China’s Communist Party announced the new city over the weekend, accompanied by a whirl of government propaganda. The surprise announcement incited gridlock on the roads to future Xiongan as property buyers dashed to the region. Related: Smog-filled Beijing is building a ‘green necklace’ around the city to curb pollution After the announcement property prices in the area almost doubled, according to local media reports, and the government put in place an emergency sales ban after interest surged. Local estate agents had to close on Monday. News agency Xinhua said, “Xiongan will be an answer to China’s growth conundrum: breakneck urban sprawl must give way to a balanced and inclusive development strategy.” They said Xiongan could allow for sustainable growth. The government aims to shift some economic activity from Beijing to Xiongan, with the hope such a move would allow people to reside closer to services, have non-industrial employment opportunities, and get around via more sustainable transportation methods to ease pollution. China’s president Xi Jinping said Xiongan would be “a demonstration area for innovative development…[which] should prioritize ecological protection [and] improve people’s well-being.” Xiongan is part of a planned megaregion called Jing-Jin-Ji comprising Beijing, Tianjin, and the Hebei Province. The government aims to bring economic growth to rural areas with the megaregion. Via Curbed and The Guardian Images via screenshot and PublicDomainPictures.net

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China plans an entire new city near Beijing to cut congestion

Elon Musk reveals his big plan for colonizing Mars

September 27, 2016 by  
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SpaceX founder, lead designer, and chief executive  Elon Musk has talked a lot about Mars over the past few years, and today marks a culmination of everything he’s hinted at so far. This afternoon, the man behind wild ideas like the Hyperloop and solar roofs made an epic (and long-awaited ) announcement  revealing more details about his ambitious plans for colonizing the Red Planet . Musk warned months in advance that his plan would be “mind-blowing,” and he lived up to that promise today. Nearly 100,000 viewers around the world tuned in to the live stream of the event, for a never-before-seen look at simulations based on actual CAD designs for a Mars spaceship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1YxNYiyALg Musk made his announcement today at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico as promised. The announcement was broadcast simultaneously on SpaceX’s Facebook page and YouTube channel . His lecture, “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species,” focused on “making Mars seem possible” by with the establishment of a “self-sustaining city” on Mars. Despite its inhospitable environment, Musk insists Mars is the best candidate for supporting life, as opposed to Venus’ high-pressure atmosphere and Mercury’s close proximity to the sun. He further suggests Mars is the place to be, because a day on Mars is very similar to one on Earth, stretching 24.5 hours. Its atmosphere, he believes, would support plant life (not unlike we saw Matt Damon grow in “The Martian” ) which makes human civilization seem just a little more possible. Related: SpaceX retro travel posters make Mars look like the ultimate vacation destination As has been the case since the earliest murmurings of a SpaceX “city” on Mars , Musk says the effort will require intense participation (and a whole lot of funding) from industry, government and the scientific community here on Earth. So, how much will it cost future humans to move to Mars? Musk illustrated the estimated cost of a trip to Mars by revisiting the first Moon landing in present-day dollars, which breaks down to around $10 billion per person. He suggests targeting a “ticket to Mars” price around $200,000 per person, an affordable price point he says will be a “bit tricky” to reach, given the need to reduce the cost of interplanetary human travel by 50,000 times. Even so, he says he expects the ticket price to eventually drop below $100,000 after an initial base is setup and spacecraft reusability further brings down the cost of transportation. Musk’s big plan for establishing a human presence on the Red Planet without spending all the money in the world hinges on the development of a ginormous reusable rocket and a huge spaceship capable of carrying human passengers and all the necessary cargo for starting life on a new planet. Given the mixed results of SpaceX’s innovative  Falcon 9 rocket booster  so far in its short tenure, many are skeptical about the idea of ramping up rocket technology fast enough to meet Musk’s timeline. During his announcement today, Musk reiterated the importance of “full reusability” when it comes to colonizing Mars, in addition to refilling in orbit, generating fuel on Mars to use for rocket propellant, and ensuring that the right propellant is used considering all factors involved. Musk tweeted  yesterday (September 26), “SpaceX propulsion just achieved first firing of the Raptor interplanetary transport engine,” with two fiery photos attached as evidence. SpaceX also uploaded a video of the test to its YouTube channel. The company says this is the first stage of technology capable of launching a trip to Mars, with cargo and people in tow. Today, Musk said the design for the Mars spaceship calls for 42 Raptor engines, which provides the immense power necessary for the trip, as well as some redundancy in the event that an engine or two happens to fail. The biggest question, still pressing in just about everyone’s mind, actually has less to do with how humans will reach Mars and more to do with when . SpaceX announced plans earlier this year to send an unmanned vessel dubbed Red Dragon to Mars as early as 2018, and Musk has previously said he thought it would be possible to land on Mars by 2025. When it came time to discuss the timeline for a SpaceX trip to Mars during today’s announcement, Musk waxed poetic over the 14-year history of the company, which he founded, before finally saying that he plans for SpaceX to make its first true grab at the Red Planet as early as 2023. Via Phys.org Images via SpaceX

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Elon Musk reveals his big plan for colonizing Mars

Elon Musk aims to build clean energy giant with Tesla’s $2.8 billion bid for SolarCity

June 22, 2016 by  
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Imagine every home around the world with a renewable energy storage system collecting emissions-free energy from rooftop solar panels and using that clean power to charge electric vehicles . Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday took a big step to making this vision a reality with the announcement of a $2.8 billion stock offer to buy  SolarCity , the solar installation firm that Musk chairs. “Tesla’s mission has always been tied to sustainability,” the company wrote  in a blog post. “We seek to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transportation by offering increasingly affordable electric vehicles. And in March 2015, we launched Tesla Energy, which through the Powerwall and Powerpack allow homeowners, business owners and utilities to benefit from renewable energy storage. It’s now time to complete the picture. Tesla customers can drive clean cars and they can use our battery packs to help consume energy more efficiently, but they still need access to the most sustainable energy source that’s available: the sun.” Related: Tesla and SolarCity to add more energy storage in 2016 than the entire country did last year Musk said the SolarCity solar panel systems will be sold under the Tesla brand. Following his announcement, Tesla shares fell more than 13 percent to $190.59 in after-hours trading while SolarCity shares jumped 19 percent to $25.26. In March, Musk unveiled Tesla’s first affordable EV, Model 3. The car is priced at $35,000 before incentives and achieves a 215 mile range per charge. “The world does not lack for automotive companies,” Musk said on a conference call with reporters. “The world lacks for sustainable energy companies.” + Tesla Motors + SolarCity Via CleanTechnica Images via Flickr  and Wikimedia

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Elon Musk aims to build clean energy giant with Tesla’s $2.8 billion bid for SolarCity

Artist upcycles found hubcaps into spectacular life-like creatures

June 22, 2016 by  
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Take a look at Elrington’s work and you’ll find creatures of all kinds, from dragons and barracudas to falcons and wolves. The Brighton-based artist only uses hubcaps found at the roadside or those that are given to him and pairs them with other materials, such as wires, salvaged from junk yards. Elrington began crafting his hub cap creatures over 15 years ago, and continues to work full-time on his craft doing commissions for individuals and companies. Related: Tal Avitzur Recycles Vintage Metal Machinery into Cool Robots His artworks vary in size and can use anywhere between ten and two hundred hubcaps per model. Elrington is currently working with other materials as well, including shopping trolleys and car wheel trims. + Hubcap Creatures Via My Modern Met Images via Hubcap Creatures

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Artist upcycles found hubcaps into spectacular life-like creatures

Harvard’s new artificial leaf converts sunlight into fuel with groundbreaking efficiency

June 6, 2016 by  
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Harvard University’s Daniel Nocera is a busy man. Last week, we reported on his announcement of a superbug that consumes carbon dioxide and creates fuel, a major development in energy technology. Now, the news is out that the “bionic leaf 2.0” is ready , a next-generation energy system that could eventually help keep more fossil fuels in the ground. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KRlRhNbxKg Nocera led the team that, in 2011, first developed an artificial leaf that mimicked the natural process of photosynthesis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be harvested for fuel . Now, with the help of Pamela Silver, Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, an updated version of the bionic leaf blows its predecessors out of the water. The latest iteration doesn’t stop at splitting water molecules; it takes the process one step further by converting hydrogen into usable liquid fuel, with a little help from the superbug we reported on last week. Related: Harvard chemist engineers a superbug that converts inhaled CO2 into fuel “This is a true artificial photosynthesis system,” Nocera said in a statement. “Before, people were using artificial photosynthesis for water-splitting, but this is a true A-to-Z system, and we’ve gone well over the efficiency of photosynthesis in nature… If you think about it, photosynthesis is amazing. It takes sunlight, water, and air—and then look at a tree. That’s exactly what we did, but we do it significantly better, because we turn all that energy into a fuel.” The paper on the new bionic leaf, whose lead authors include postdoctoral fellow Chong Liu and graduate student Brendan Colón, was published last week in the journal paper published in Science. Via Gizmag Images via Jessica Polka/Silver Lab

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Harvard’s new artificial leaf converts sunlight into fuel with groundbreaking efficiency

China aims to shut down 1,000 coal-fired power plants this year

February 24, 2016 by  
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The world’s biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions plans to shutter a thousand coal-fired power plants before the end of this year. China’s National Energy Administration made the announcement Monday, as part of the country’s larger goal to reduce carbon pollution 60 percent by 2020. Shutting down coal plants is just the tip of the iceberg in China’s ongoing efforts to reduce the country’s carbon emissions. Read the rest of China aims to shut down 1,000 coal-fired power plants this year

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China aims to shut down 1,000 coal-fired power plants this year

BREAKING: Genetically engineered salmon approved for human consumption

November 19, 2015 by  
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Today, environmental activists across the US are cringing at the FDA’s announcement  that they have given a variety of genetically engineered salmon the green light, deeming the fish fit for human consumption. The AquAdvantage salmon has been genetically modified to grow twice as fast as regular salmon, so it reaches market weight sooner. While the announcement is disappointing for many, it doesn’t come as a major surprise — the FDA gave it preliminary approval more than five years ago. Read the rest of BREAKING: Genetically engineered salmon approved for human consumption

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BREAKING: Genetically engineered salmon approved for human consumption

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