#117: A Song of Ice & Fire

November 16th, 2018

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We're growing like crazy and it's all because of you. We didn't start this endeavor to become wildly profitable -- though I wouldn't sneeze at it. No, we got into this game to make an impact. To save the world. So the more of you we've got on board, the more impactful we can be.

So thanks. For giving a shit, and for telling your friends. That's what's up. That's how we fix shit.

To all of our readers suffering from the California wildfires, we're with you. If you're not directly affected, please help feed those folks, and the amazing emergency workers right here.

We're off next week for the holiday. Stay safe, have fun.


This week's topic is The Future of Digital Health, Part 1

Our guests are Dr. Indra Joshi and Maxine Mackintosh, co-founders of One Health Tech, a grassroots community that champions and promotes the unheard voices in health innovation to drive our future healthcare using technology. Dr. Joshi is also the clinical lead for NHS England's digital experience programme and Maxine is pursuing her PhD in neuroinformatics at the Alan Turing Institute, where she is working on the intersection of data science and dementia. SLOUCH.

Subscribe now to get next Tuesday's episode, just in time for Thanksgiving: Food Waste is the Stupidest Fucking Thing We Do. Can We Cut It In Half?

Our guest: Dr. James Rogers.founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences and one of our most mind-blowing guests yet. You may think you know about avocados, but you have no idea. Get ready for it.



On to the news!

Clean Energy 💨☀️⚡️

Clean Energy Is Surging, but Is It Fast Enough to Solve Global Warming?

"Over the past five years, the average cost of solar power has declined 65 percent and the cost of onshore wind has fallen 15 percent. The energy agency predicts those prices will keep tumbling as technology improves and governments scale back subsidies. Solar plants are becoming well-placed to outcompete new coal plants almost everywhere.

The agency sees renewable power supplying 40 percent of the world’s electricity by 2040, up from 25 percent today. Even that forecast could prove conservative: In the past, the agency has underestimated the speed at which wind and solar power proliferate.

Carbon-free sources like wind, solar and nuclear power aren’t yet growing fast enough to keep up with rising global energy demand, particularly in places like India and Southeast Asia. That means fossil fuel use keeps growing to fill the gap."

+ More Clean Energy:

      - Forget the blue wave. The green wave is sweeping over US cities.

      - Panasonic says solid-state batteries still 10 years out - boooo

      - Spain to Ban the Sale of All Gas-Powered Cars by 2040

Food & Water 🍌🥑🥕🔬💊👩‍🌾🚰

High-tech farmers are using LED lights in ways that seem to border on science fiction

"In addition to shaping the plants, LEDs allow speedy, year-round crop cycles. This permits Zelkind and his team of growers and technicians to produce 200,000 pounds of leafy greens, vine crops, herbs and microgreens annually in a 12,000-square-foot warehouse, an amount that would require 80 acres of farmland (hence the company’s name)."

+ More Food & Water:

      - How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year

Climate Change 🔥🌊💨

Part of the Answer to Climate Change May Be America’s Trees and Dirt, Scientists Say

"When people think of potential solutions to global warming, they tend to visualize technologies like solar panels or electric cars. A new study published on Wednesday, however, found that better management of forests, grasslands and soils in the United States could offset as much as 21 percent of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

At the high end of the projections, that would be roughly equivalent to taking every single car and truck in the country off the road."

+ More Climate Change:

      - Your A/C is a climate shitshow. Here's how we make it better.

      - As Brazil’s Far Right Leader Threatens the Amazon, One Tribe Pushes Back

Biology 401 💉👾💊 

How Bill Gates Aims to Save $233 Billion by Reinventing the Toilet

"Holding a beaker of human excreta that, Gates said, contained as many as 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder explained to a 400-strong crowd that new approaches for sterilizing human waste may help end almost 500,000 infant deaths and save $233 billion annually in costs linked to diarrhea, cholera and other diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene."

+ More Bio 401:

      - CDC sets task force on determining cause of rise in polio-like illness

The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀

NASA is giving advice to Yuri Milner’s private mission to Enceladus

"Ever since NASA’s Cassini probe first detected hydrogen and organic materials in plumes of water vapour streaming from Enceladus’s south pole in 2008, scientists have speculated that liquid oceans hiding beneath the moon’s icy crust might be home to alien microbes. The hydrogen may come from underwater hydrothermal reactions, in conditions similar to deep sea vents on Earth where microorganisms thrive without oxygen.

Breakthrough is proposing another fly-by mission to sample the moon’s plumes, but this time with equipment to detect extra-terrestrial life. The agreements make it clear that Breakthrough would be leading and paying for the mission, and have sole authority to determine whether it goes ahead."

+ More Space:

      - Scientists Spot Tantalizing New Super-Earth Around Nearby Star


Robots & AI 🤖🚘🧠⚡️

Why Doctors Hate Their Computers

"A 2016 study found that physicians spent about two hours doing computer work for every hour spent face to face with a patient—whatever the brand of medical software. In the examination room, physicians devoted half of their patient time facing the screen to do electronic tasks. And these tasks were spilling over after hours.

The University of Wisconsin found that the average workday for its family physicians had grown to eleven and a half hours. The result has been epidemic levels of burnout among clinicians. Forty per cent screen positive for depression, and seven per cent report suicidal thinking—almost double the rate of the general working population."

The Highlight Reel