Elon Musk’s latest company aims to make us cyborgs within the next four years

April 21, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk must not be busy enough with his Boring company , Space X and Tesla , because he just became CEO of another company, and this one has a goal of turning us all into cyborgs .  Neuralink,  a  San Francisco -based startup says they are “developing ultra high bandwidth brain -machine interfaces to connect humans and computers ” and Musk says he hopes to start delivering by 2021. Musk hinted that he was working on neural lacing last year , though details were scant, but he has never been shy about his opinion that we should be connecting our brains to computers. According to TechCrunch, Musk wants to make that leap with Neuralink. He wants to integrate our brains and computers, or allow us to connect cloud-based artificial intelligence computing with our selves. This could allow humans to communicate directly with each other, instead of having to compress thoughts into language. Related: Elon Musk says new company will start drilling under LA next month It sounds like science fiction. Musk explained it in detail to Tim Urban of Wait But Why . Musk said we already are cyborgs; we’ve “already kind of merged” with smartphones and laptops. He added, “You’re already digitally superhuman. The thing that would change is the interface – having a high-bandwidth interface to your digital enhancements. The thing is that today, the interface all necks down to this tiny straw, which is, particularly in terms of output, it’s like poking things with your meat sticks, or using words – either speaking or tapping things with fingers. And in fact, output has gone backwards. It used to be, in your most frequent form, output would be ten-finger typing. Now, it’s like, two-thumb typing. That’s crazy slow communication. We should be able to improve that by many orders of magnitude with a direct neural interface.” Neuralink’s product probably won’t be ready for the public any time soon – it could be eight to 10 years for people without disabilities, according to Musk, who said the timeline depends both on regulatory approval and how well the devices could work for disabled people. If you want to dig more into the project, Urban wrote a 36,000-word explanation . About the piece, Musk said on Twitter , “Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.” Via Wait What Why ,  The Next Web and TechCrunch Images via OnInnovation on Flickr and Max Pixel

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Elon Musk’s latest company aims to make us cyborgs within the next four years

Hawaii issues alert for brain-invading parasite transmitted by snails

April 11, 2017 by  
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The Hawaiian island of Maui is experiencing an uptick in infections stemming from a parasitic roundworm that invades the human brain. Or, in less scientific parlance, brain slugs . In the past three months alone, health officials have confirmed six cases of the picturesquely named rat lungworm disease, with three additional cases still pending investigation. The trend is worrisome beyond the obvious: Maui has encountered only two cases of the disease over the past decade. Of the 10 or so cases that are reported each year in Hawaii, nearly all are restricted to the Big Island . The grownup version of the Angiostrongylus cantonensis , the offending nematode, is carried by rats, which drop a load of the larvae in their poop. The junior versions can thereafter hitch a ride on other hosts, including snails, slugs, freshwater shrimp, crabs, and frogs. People can get infected by eating raw or undercooked snails or slugs that have been infected by the parasite, or by handling contaminated fruits and vegetables. The infection can trigger a rare form of meningitis characterized by severe headaches, stiffness of the neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin, a low-grade fever, nausea, and vomiting, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Hawaii’s Department of Health Disease Investigation Branch cautions that temporary paralysis of the face and light sensitivity may also occur. Related: Rare brain-eating amoeba found in Louisiana tap water “If you could imagine, it’s like having a slow-moving bullet go through your brain and there’s no rhyme or reason why it’s going to hang out in this part of the brain or that part of the brain,”Sarah Park, a state epidemiologist, told the Associated Press . Although there is no treatment for rat lungworm disease, residents can reduce the risk of contracting it by scrupulously washing their produce before consumption, officials say. Tricia Mynar, a Maui woman who said she contracted the parasite on the Big Island, has one piece of advice . “Take your time and wash your veggies,” she said. Via ScienceAlert Photos by Unsplash

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Hawaii issues alert for brain-invading parasite transmitted by snails

Architect Jim Olson spent 55 years renovating this breathtaking Puget Sound cabin

April 5, 2017 by  
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It would be safe to say that architect Jim Olson from Olson Kundig Architects is an incredibly patient man. In a world where architects strive to build skyscapers at record-breaking speed , the award-winning architect took his time with the construction of his own lake house, as in 55 years. Olson began to build the cabin, located in Longbranch, Washington, in 1959. What began as a mere 14-square-foot bunk house has been patiently and lovingly transformed over the years into a breathtaking lake-side cabin . Starting the cabin construction when he was just 18-years-old, Olson has worked on the structure for decades, always adding new features to the design. However, the word “renovation” doesn’t adequately describe the cabin’s decades-long transformation; rather it was a creative layering process that always incorporated the cabin’s past features into its more modern present. Related: Enproyecto Arquitectura’s Spanish Coastal Stone Cabin Holds More Than a Few Surprises Details hidden among the modest cabin mark each remodeling stage, architecturally revealing the cabin’s design history. Distinct textures and color schemes make up the impressive living space which lies under the exposed glulam beams. Steel columns mark the living space divisions and impressive floor-to-ceiling windows allow for incredible full-frame views of the Puget Sound. In addition to the architect’s sophisticated design features, there are various signs of Olson’s love of nature within the home. Fir flooring extends throughout the living room onto the exterior deck, seamlessly connecting the interior with the exterior. The outdoor deck was also built around three large trees that grew up during the long construction period. Olson wanted to make sure that they were able to continue to grow uninterrupted no matter what new construction may come to the house. + Olson Kundig Architects Via Gessato Images via Olson Kundig Architects  

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Architect Jim Olson spent 55 years renovating this breathtaking Puget Sound cabin

"Piggy Bank," a turtle that swallowed 915 coins, has died

March 23, 2017 by  
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A venerated sea turtle who was fed hundreds of coins by supplicants seeking good fortune is dead . The 25-year-old animal was living in a pond in a town near the Gulf of Thailand in late February when rescuers found her close to drowning from the weight of her cache—about 11 pounds worth. After naming her Omsin, which is Thai for “piggy bank,” a team of veterinary surgeons operated on the turtle for seven hours. By the time they were finished, they had filled a bucket with 915 coins, in currencies both foreign and domestic. Omsin was expected to survive, if not thrive. By all accounts, her rehabilitation at Bangkok’s Veterinary Medical Aquatic Animals Research Center went smoothly. She received laser therapy on her belly incision. A large kiddie pool, coupled with physical therapy for a wonky flipper, helped her ease back into water. Following a liquid diet, Omsin returned to eating solid food. “She is getting stronger,” Nantarika Chansue, a veterinary scientist who tracked Omsin’s progress on Facebook, wrote on March 9. Just as her doctors began planning her release to the wild, Omsin’s condition suddenly deteriorated. They found her intestines in a tangle in the space where the coins once filled. An infection had developed, causing her abdomen to swell up with gas and fluid. Related: Sea turtle is rescued after being dragged onto a beach and beaten for selfies Despite rushing the turtle into intensive care on Sunday night, then emergency surgery on Monday, Omsin lapsed into a comma. On Tuesday, she died, a victim of ignorance and superstition. “At 10:10 a.m., she went with peace,” Nantarika said during a news conference. Visibly weeping, she called Omsin her “friend, teacher and patient.” Nantarika was comforted by just one thought. “She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed,” she said. Via the Washington Post Photos by Unsplash

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"Piggy Bank," a turtle that swallowed 915 coins, has died

Tesla is so confident in their vehicles they’re offering lifetime insurance

February 27, 2017 by  
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Once again Tesla is shaking up the automotive industry, this time through insurance for life. The company has started offering a lifetime maintenance and insurance package for some customers, meaning monthly car insurance bills could soon be a budget item of the past. Tesla President of Global Sales and Service Jonathan McNeill said, “It’s our vision in the future that we’ll be able to offer a single price for the car, maintenance, and insurance in a really compelling offering for the consumer. And we’re currently doing that today.” Assured of the features incorporated in a Tesla that purportedly make the vehicle safer than a typical car, such as Autopilot, Tesla has begun including lifetime insurance and maintenance package right in the initial price of their cars . The new package reflects the idea that their safety features could reduce the price of maintenance and insurance. Related: Tesla just introduced the world’s longest range electric car In an earnings call, McNeill said, “We’ve been doing it quietly, but in Asia in particular where we started this, now the majority of Tesla cars are sold with an insurance product that is customized to Tesla, that takes into account not only the Autopilot safety features but also the maintenance costs of the car.” Such a package could allow consumers to know exactly how much a Tesla car will cost them over the long term, rather than facing unforeseen repair costs or rising insurance costs. Elon Musk made it clear Tesla is willing to offer the package if insurance companies aren’t on board, even though he said his company isn’t trying to disrupt the insurance market. He said of the insurance plan, “If we need to we’ll insource it, but I think we’ll find that insurance partners do adjust rates proportionate to the risk of a Tesla.” Via Mashable Images via Tesla Facebook and Wikimedia Commons

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Tesla is so confident in their vehicles they’re offering lifetime insurance

5 Myths About Ecotourism Debunked

February 21, 2017 by  
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As editor of Eco Companion, I spend my days writing about wonderful eco-lodges, tours and conservation projects from all over the world. And in my time, I’ve come across plenty of misconceptions about my subject of choice: ecotourism. So I’m here…

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5 Myths About Ecotourism Debunked

5 reasons your company should buy off-site renewables now

February 15, 2017 by  
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If you’ve set procurement goals for 2020, the time is ripe to follow through.

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5 reasons your company should buy off-site renewables now

This Christmas Sweater Is Guaranteed to Last 30 Years

December 12, 2016 by  
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As fun and festive as the holidays are, there’s no denying that this is a wasteful season — this time of year, trash accumulates faster, greenhouse gas emissions rise, and we spend a whole lot of time buying stuff that won’t even last…

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This Christmas Sweater Is Guaranteed to Last 30 Years

12 healthy, tasty Thanksgiving recipes to inspire you

November 20, 2016 by  
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Mike Chino, Managing Editor: Pan-Seared Brussel Sprouts 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half 2 tbsp butter 1 tbsp oil salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper and italian herbed salt) I grew up with steamed Brussels sprouts and they were awful; the watery little gooballs dissolve into mush the second you take a bite. It wasn’t until I revisited them a few years back that I realized the cruciferous mini cabbages stand up brilliantly to heat – a quick sauté in a hot skillet renders them tender and flaky with caramelized bits of char. The trick is to use a hefty pan (cast iron works wonders) and preheat it on high for 30-60 seconds until it’s scorching. Next drop in the oil, butter, salt, pepper and sprouts, stir to coat, and DON’T TOUCH them until they’ve turned golden brown (usually about 5 minutes). Once they’re seared on one side, shake up the whole pan and let it sit again to continue building up caramelized bits. Once they’re nicely browned, add 2 tablespoons of water and cover with a pot lid for 30-60 seconds – the steam produced will cook the sprouts through and leave them tender with a slight bite. Yuka Yoneda, Managing Editor at Inhabitat NYC: High Line-Themed Thanksgiving Buffet A lot of families are loyal to their favorite, time-tested Thanksgiving recipes, so there may be a lot of reluctance to try anything new. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change things up by getting creative with your presentation skills. One way to add some excitement to your T-day table is to spruce it up with an edible centerpiece like the  High Line Park-themed one we made last year  using leftover sushi boxes and chopsticks. Copy our tutorial or adapt it for a work of foodscape architecture that will blow your relatives away. See the full DIY tutorial at Inhabitat NYC > Diane Pham, Senior Editor: Linguine All’Ubriaco, a.k.a. Drunken Pasta (with mussels) I’m not a huge fan of the heavy foods that come with the holidays—I much prefer lighter fare, even if it is the time to indulge. This recipe here is one that I’ve integrated into my annual Thanksgiving dinners. I learned to make this delightful dish from an elderly Italian man while I was living in Milan years ago. It’s one of my favorite pastas to make—not only because it’s mind-blowingly good and not too heavy, but because it looks beautiful and it’s super easy to whip up! 1 lb linguine 1 boullion cube and 1/2 a bouillon cube crushed 4 large garlic cloves minced 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil dried red pepper flakes, to taste 1/2 bottle of red wine (the cheap stuff works just fine) 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley 2 lbs of fresh mussels cleaned STEP 1:  In a stock pot, bring 2 qt water and 1 bouillon cube to a boil. Add linguine to boiling water. Cook pasta 1/2 of the way (about 4-5 minutes), drain, and set aside. Be sure to save 1/2 c of the pasta water for the wine sauce. STEP 2:  In another large pot, melt butter in oil over low heat. Add garlic, crushed bouillon, and red pepper flakes to saute pan. Saute slowly until garlic is a pale blond and sizzling. STEP 3:  Add 1/2 bottle of red wine to garlic mix, then add the pasta water you set aside earlier. Turn heat up to medium and bring the liquid to a boil for 4-5 min to burn off some of the alcohol. STEP 4:  Transfer the partially cooked pasta to your saute pan, along with the parsley and mussels. Toss and stir the mixture until the mussels have opened and your pasta is al dente (about another 5 minutes). STEP 5:  Serve pasta and mussels immediately with toasted baguette Alyssa Alimurung, Operations Manager: Roasted Peaches in Bourbon Syrup with Smoked Salt I don’t cook for Thanksgiving because I usually have no idea what I’m doing half the time when I’m in the kitchen (I leave that up to my serious chef big brother!). But this is definitely a recipe I can get behind. It’s super simple and you just need fruit, liquor and salt—which, let’s all admit, we have in our pantries even though our fridges are empty. What you will need: 4 large, barely ripe peaches ½ cup water ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces ¼ cup bourbon 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 tbsp. unsalted butter Greek yogurt, crème fraîche, or caramel ice cream, for serving (optional) 4 two-finger pinches Maine apple-smoked salt STEP 1: Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the peaches, stem side down, in a baking dish large enough to hold the peaches without allowing them to touch one another. Poke each peach with a fork several times to keep them from bursting. STEP 2:  In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and cinnamon to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bourbon, vanilla, and butter. Return the pan to low heat and simmer until the butter melts. Remove and discard the cinnamon pieces. Spoon the sauce over the peaches. STEP 3: Roast the peaches for 10 minutes, then remove the dish from the oven and brush the peaches with syrup from the bottom of the dish. Return the dish to the oven and roast until the peaches are just tender enough to pierce with a fork, about 25 minutes more. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve one peach per person, with some syrup spooned over the top. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or crème fraîche or a scoop of caramel ice cream, if desired. Sprinkle a two-finger pinch of the salt over each serving. Recipe via Saveur Lori Zimmer, Art Editor: Vegan Pumpkin Mousse I can never get enough pumpkin pie. Since pumpkin is so healthy, I decided to find a crustless way to still indulge. Although the dessert is still decadent, the omission of calorie-packed crust lets me focus on the awesome vitamins and nutrients in pumpkin, rather than the calories. What you will need: 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree 1/2 block soft/silken tofu (8 oz.), drained 1 Tbsp. grade A Dark Amber maple syrup 1 1/2 Tbsp. light brown sugar 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 3/4 tsp. ground allspice 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp. ground cloves 1 tsp. ground ginger pinch of salt STEP 1: Combine tofu and pumpkin puree in a food processor; process until smooth STEP 2: Add maple syrup and brown sugar, and spices. Process again STEP 3:  Taste, and feel free to adjust sweet/spice STEP 4:  Allow to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes Jennie Lyon, Contributing Writer:  Organic Miniature Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes I really love this recipe because it is the perfect dessert to make with my son during the holidays. It’s also a small portion which makes it easier to not over indulge! What you will need: For the crust: 10 organic gingersnaps 1 organic graham cracker 1 1/2 tbsp. melted organic butter 1 1/2 tsp. organic brown sugar pinch of salt For the filling: 8 ounce organic cream cheese 1/2 c. organic pumpkin puree 1/4 c. plus 3 tbsp. organic sugar 1 organic egg 2 tsp. organic cream 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla 1/4 tsp. organic cinnamon 1/4 tsp. organic allspice 1/8 tsp. organic nutmeg For the topping: Your favorite organic whipped topping or organic vanilla ice cream Preheat your oven to 350°F and add cupcake liners to six muffin holes of a tin. Add all of the crust ingredient except the butter to your food processor and pulse gently until you have thick crumbs. Pour the melted butter over the top and gently mix together. Carefully spoon equal amounts of your crumb crust to each of the cupcake liners and gently press down with your fingers. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. While the crust is baking, add the cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin puree to your stand mixer and mix well. (You can also use a hand mixer). Then, add the spices, vanilla, egg and cream and mix until combined. Pour equal amounts of filling on top of each of the baked crumb, bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove the cheesecakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 30 minutes before removing the cupcake liners. These little cheesecakes are perfect for any day or great for the kiddos on Thanksgiving since they are so small. You can serve with your favorite whipped topping or with organic vanilla ice cream! Helen Morgan, Contributing Writer: Vegan Pumpkin Pie There are few traditional festive treats I like better than a good pumpkin pie, and this vegan recipe is particularly delicious. Its primary ingredient is obviously the ever-versatile pumpkin, but it also includes cashews to replace eggs and butter, which adds a nice nutty flavor. It’s quick and easy and perfect for pumpkin fans everywhere, including those not celebrating Thanksgiving! Soak 1 ¼ cup of raw cashews in 2 ½ cups water, with 1 tsp salt, and soak for 12-18 hours. Once soaked, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain the water from the soaked cashews and blend with food processor. Add one can of organic pumpkin puree, 1 cup maple syrup, and 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice to food processor and blend until smooth, adding salt to taste. Pour mixture into pre-made vegan pie shell and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and serve! Kevin Lee, Contributing Writer: Classic Thanksgiving Turkey Making a thanksgiving turkey can be complicated between brining, basting, stuffing, smoking, frying, and even more complexities. If you just want a bird that’s easy, brown, and delicious, this has always been my go to recipe. It doesn’t require any brining, flipping, or even any seasoning because the salt pork just drips all the fat and salt you need to keep the turkey moist. 1 cheesecloth 4 cups cold water 1 turkey, 12 to 14-pounds 1 pound salt pork , cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices STEP 1:  Prep the oven racks and temperature for 350 degrees Fahrenheit STEP 2:  Arrange the turkey breast side up on a roasting pan and tuck the wings behind the turkey STEP 3:  Using a fork, prick the skin with holes all over the breast meat and legs STEP 4:  Cut the salt pork into strips and lay them over the turkey STEP 5:  Soak the cheesecloth with four cups of water and place the dripping wet sheet over the turkey and finally a layer of tin foil STEP 6:  Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 2.5 to three hours or until the breast meat registers 140 degrees Fahrenheit STEP 7:  Remove the turkey from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit STEP 8:  Remove and discard the aluminum foil, cheesecloth, and salt pork before returning the turkey to the oven STEP 9:  Continue to roast the turkey until the breast meat registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit and 175 degrees Fahrenheit STEP 10:  Transfer turkey to carving board and let it rest 30 minutes Ana Lisa Alperovich, Contributing Writer: Vegan Chia Seed & Banana Power Breakfast Over the past year I have been consciously trying to include more raw vegetables, fruits, flowers, seeds and roots into my diet. My life as a freelance writer is a bit unorganized, but every Wednesday I make sure I go to El Galpón, in Buenos Aires , to get my ´prana´ / ´qi´ / ‘life force’. Three lovely ladies sell locally produce, seasonal, amazing stuff that is also organic — without the need of certification. I love experimenting with food and taking photos , so working for Inhabitots  have given me the perfect excuse to look more after myself and share some recipes with the world. Here is a great vegan chia seed and banana power breakfast to start your Thanksgiving day with plenty of energy! Get the recipe at Inhabitots > Kristin Lofgren, Contributing Writer: Pumpkin Pie Brulee Thanksgiving is the day for indulgence and what is more indulgent than combining two of the best desserts out there: pumpkin pie and creme brulee. The pie filling is a tad creamier than traditional pumpkin pie and the crackly layer on top makes each bite a sensual experience. I use pumpkins from my garden, but the canned stuff works just as well and saves a lot of time! Get the recipe at Epicurious > Tamsin Woolley-Barker, Contributing Writer: Stuffing My favorite recipe is my mom’s stuffing. I asked her how she makes it. ” I don’t have a recipe,” she said. ” I just throw things together. Stale bread, onions, celery, sage, pepper and salt.  Butter and stock to bind it all together. That’s how’s Mother made it.” Beth Buczynski, Contributing Writer: Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” This will be my first holiday as a paleo eater (2 months and counting!). I’ve had so many positive health benefits (20 pounds lost and clear skin!) from changing my diet this way, but all the grains and starches that usually accompany the holiday meal can be daunting. This recipe is paleo-friendly, delivers the same silky smooth texture as the mash potatoes we’re used to, and most importantly IS DELICIOUS! Get the recipe at Nom Nom Paleo >

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12 healthy, tasty Thanksgiving recipes to inspire you

Ennead Architects break ground on celestial Shanghai Planetarium

November 18, 2016 by  
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Inspired by astronomical principles, the Shanghai Planetarium comprises three main forms: the Oculus, the Inverted Dome, and the Sphere. All three components double as astronomical instruments tracking the sun, moon, and stars and communicate the changes to visitors through light patterns and views. Every visit to the planetarium will offer a different experience, depending on the time of day and year. Related: Ennead Architects unveil futuristic designs for spiraling Shanghai Planetarium “In linking the new Museum to both scientific purpose and to the celestial references of buildings throughout history, the exhibits and architecture will communicate more than scientific content: they will illuminate what it means to be human in a vast and largely unknown universe,” said Thomas Wong, lead designer of the building and Design Partner in Ennead Architects. The modern building is also a symbol of China’s future ambitions in space exploration. The Shanghai Planetarium is slated to open in 2020. + Ennead Architects Images via Ennead Architects

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Ennead Architects break ground on celestial Shanghai Planetarium

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