SMALL CHANGE: How Fifty Dollars Can Change the World

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Don't think of arid expanses like the Sahara as desolate wastelands. Think of them as near-infinite sources of clean power.

How A Small Act of Kindness Can Change The World - Dhar Mann

In six daylight hours, Earth's deserts soak up more energy than humanity uses in a year. Now an unlikely consortium of politicians, scientists, and economists from around the Mediterranean has a plan to harness it. Planners are hoping to get solar power flowing from North Africa to Europe first. An estimated 1, square miles of North African desert could handle 20 percent of Europe's energy needs by As with most massive infrastructure projects, the biggest challenges are political.

North African leaders see Desertec as a job creator, but the Arab Spring left investors uncertain about the region's long-term stability. Europe's economic crisis has drained public works funding, and the continent is a tangle of incompatible power grids and regulations. Still, the Desertec concept could travel. Ninety percent of the world's population lives within 1, miles of a desert. China's cities could be powered by the Gobi; South America could run lines from the Atacama. Where there's light, there's hope. Smartphones have given us an always-on connection to the world's information.

Why the revolution will not be tweeted.

But actually accessing that information requires us to stare down at our gadgets, leaving us prone to fender benders and ticked-off dining companions. What if we could tap into all that information seamlessly, without risking our lives or friendships? Google's cofounders have talked about a direct line into our brains since So far the closest they've come is the Google Glass prototype, eyewear that projects information onto a heads-up display, visible only to the wearer.

But Babak Parviz, the founder of Project Glass, who is also an associate professor at the University of Washington, hopes to take things one step further. He suggests a long-range plan to do away with the bulky glasses and build a microsystem on a contact lens. Using radios no wider than a few human hairs, he thinks these lenses can augment reality and incidentally eliminate the need for displays on phones, PCs, and widescreen TVs.


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The movie Armageddon got two things right: First, we are woefully unprepared for an incoming asteroid. And second? The right tool for the right job. See, Armageddon helped popularize the theory of subsurface explosions. Up front: a "kinetic energy interceptor. The kinetic part drives into the rock, and the bomb blows it all to pieces. The design addresses one of the biggest shortcomings of nukes in space.

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Slamming a bomb into the surface of an asteroid would cause the fissile material to melt down before it could detonate, and a stand-off blast wouldn't destroy the target. The HAIV puts the bomb inside the rock, where it creates ground shocks, magnifying the force of the blast twentyfold.


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  • Wie plans to test the system, sans nuke, around , but he says he could get one airborne in less than a year if a collision looked imminent. It's one of the hardest materials in the universe. It's utterly clear, virtually frictionless, chemically inert, and an excellent conductor of heat. And it's made of one of the most common elements: carbon. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content.

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    Read about our editorial guiding principles and the enforceable standard our journalists follow. Meanwhile, former 7. It's the event when all Australians come together in agreement: the Logie Awards are ridiculous. But is that fair?

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    Finding strategies that help you feel comfortable pitching for jobs — and mastering the follow-up — can help sustain and grow your business. By Nicole Mills. Photo: Connor McLeod, now 15, started a change. ABC TV.

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