What is a better way to remember 2016 than the December wormfood? Discover how Sweden is trying out a six-hour working day, Google supports renewables and the biodiversity of microbes and invertebrates. Climate change will bring wetter storms in U.S and Lego evolves to keep the page with digital trends. Robot are ‘stealing’ jobs and limiting our privacy.
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- Sweden sees benefits of six-hour working day in trial for care workers. Two-year experiment at Gothenburg retirement home had economic cost but cut sick leave and improved staff wellbeing.
- Opec doesn’t hold all the cards, even after its oil price agreement. The cartel’s deal hammered out in Vienna may put a floor under the price of crude, but Saudi Arabia has failed to destroy the US fracking industry.
- A tour around North Korea with three defectors. Gleams of life in one of the most discussed and controverted countries in pictures.
Energy & Environment
- Climate change will bring wetter storms in U.S. A new study shows that such intense precipitation will most likely increase across the continental United States, but with important regional variations.
- ‘Conservation biodiversity’ vs ‘production biodiversity’. Biodiversity research is largely focused on a relatively small number of species, mostly vertebrates and flowering plants. By contrast, the majority of microbes and invertebrates are less known and under-appreciated for their economic and aesthetic values. Little is known about whether or not any of them are endangered by industrial methods in agricultural and fisheries, global warming, pollution or other threats.
- Google to powers itself using 100% renewable energy in 2017. Google announced that it has purchased enough solar and wind capacity, 2.6 gigawatts, to run entirely on renewable energy next year.
Business & Economy
- The absence of grocery stores. In Kansas, nearly one-fifth of rural grocery stores went out of business over the span of four years, according to a 2010 study by the Center for Rural Affairs. Throughout rural America, 2.3 million people live in food deserts, areas 10 miles or more from a supermarket.
- New market aims to make trading natural gas more like oil. Two U.S. exchanges plan to launch derivatives that could make it easier to trade a type of natural gas, potentially revolutionizing this market. According to people familiar with the matter.
- Lego: how to keep the pace with digital trends? The Danish toy company Lego is seeking new ways to build its brand and is appointing a new, British boss. The past decade has seen Lego embrace movie tie-ins including Star Wars and Harry Potter, as well as introducing smartphone apps and digital games and movies. The strategy has led to double digit annual growth.
Science, Technology & Design
- Flight of the future? Shrinking a flight from London to New Zealand to little under 30 minutes might bend the laws of physics. Jack Stewart investigates an ultra-fast airliner concept.
- First dinosaur tail found preserved in amber. To scientists' delight, the incredible appendage from 99 million years ago is covered in feathers.
- Maps reveal how global consumption hurts wildlife. As international trade threatens vulnerable species and natural resources, new maps show some unexpected connections.
- The Future of Privacy. A reflection on what mean privacy for us and our governments and what scenarios we can expect in the future. While it’s true that states and corporations often desire privacy, they just as often desire that I myself have less privacy. What does it mean, in an ostensible democracy, for the state to keep secrets from its citizens?
- Robots to steal 15million of your jobs. Bank chief Doom-laden Carney warns middle classes will be 'hollowed out' by new technology.
- Aging in Community: Inside the Senior Cohousing Movement. For seniors who want to age in a supportive community environment, cohousing is an exciting alternative to traditional options such as retirement homes and assisted living centers.
Unexpected and Intriguing
- Paris to sell off bridges' love locks and give the proceeds to refugees. The 65 tonnes of love locks removed from Paris’s bridges in the last 18 months are to be sold. They could raise €100,000 for refugee groups.
- Love at first sight: A refugee and a border police officer.Theirs is an unlikely love story: She is a Muslim refugee from Iraq, he's a Christian Macedonian border police officer. But they say it was love at first sight.
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