This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!
Kapur believes that struggle activates parts of the brain that trigger deeper learning. Students have to figure out three critical things: what they know, the limits of what they know, and exactly what they do not know. Floundering first elevates the learning from knowing a formula to understanding it, and applying it in unfamiliar contexts.
Jeb Bush’s Loss Is Democracy’s Gain (jdargis)
In the coming days, journalists will gorge themselves on stories about Jeb’s collapse. But collapse implies that Jeb had much real support to begin with. What he had was money. The media crowned him frontrunner on the assumption that he could turn that money into votes. Republicans, it was assumed, are orderly and hierarchical. Once the party elite gets behind someone—even someone like John McCain or Mitt Romney whom grassroots conservatives distrust—the unwashed eventually fall in line.
Freedom From Fries (jdargis)
Hers is a commonly voiced sentiment. Speed and convenience matter as much as ever to American diners. But increasingly people also demand the information that places like Sweetgreen offer. They want to know what they are eating and how it was made; they prefer to watch as their food is prepared, see the ingredients, and have a sense of where it all came from. And they are willing to pay more for what they perceive to be healthier fare. Most of these restaurants, where meals generally cost between eight and fifteen dollars, rely on a few ingredients, stress the quality of their food, and often treat the farms that supply their vegetables with the kind of reverence once reserved for fine wineries.
Another drawback of conventional batteries is the use of toxic chemicals, such as sulfuric acid, which can be problematic when they’re being made and when they need to be discarded. Prieto Battery’s products, however, use only non-toxic chemicals, including citric acid, the substance that makes many fruits tart.
Whereas several earlier experiments on Li-O2 batteries have cycled by creating a chemical reaction that results in lithium peroxide (Li2O2), the Cambridge researchers built their battery to produce lithium hydroxide (LiOH) as a discharge product. The battery was composed of a lithium metal anode, a graphene oxide electrode, and a lithium iodide (LiI) additive, which acts as a mediator of redox reactions, as well as a dimethoxyethane solvent. The result was that the researchers were able to form and then remove lithium hydroxide during charge and discharge. (They also found that adding a little bit of water(!) to the battery helped.)
Save The Humans (jdargis)
The “Al Gore” climate movement model—which was effective, but severely flawed—was not created to stop climate chaos and simultaneously tackle poverty and its accompanying social inequities. Naomi recognizes that there is not enough power in the current environmental community alone to lead a global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The movement must expand, and to do so we need to re-frame the issue of climate change to make it an everyday, every-person issue.
Buy Coal Now! (jdargis)
The only way to evade dangerous levels of global warming, he believes, is by finding and funding a low-emissions power source, then deploying it across the world at scale. By investing in technology, Gates argues that he can provide many times his money’s worth to humanity as a whole.
Seaweed: A New Leaf (jdargis)
Seaweed, which requires neither fresh water nor fertilizer, is one of the world’s most sustainable and nutritious crops. It absorbs dissolved nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon dioxide directly from the sea—its footprint is negative—and proliferates at a terrific rate. Smith’s kelp can grow as much as three-quarters of an inch a day, maturing from pinhead to ten-foot plant in the course of a winter, between hurricane seasons. It is resilient, built to take a lashing, but if a storm wipes out the crop he can just start over. Every year, he harvests between thirty and sixty tons of it, about the same per-acre yield as a potato farmer. Plentiful, healthy, and virtuous, kelp is the culinary equivalent of an electric car. “You’re not just gaining nutrition, you’re also gaining absolution from guilt,” Mark Bomford, the director of the Yale Sustainable Food Program, says. “This is your get-out-of-anxiety-free card.”
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