Want to be Successful? Spend Time with Your Friends

Are you worried you aren’t successful? Don’t be! The greatest success one can have is found in their social network, and size doesn’t matter. According to a 75-year long study done by Harvard the path to success is spending time with friends. Take a moment out of your day today and send somebody you know a nice message.

If you don’t have a large group of friends, or don’t have a partner, don’t worry. A person only needs a few close relationships to be happy.

“It’s not just the number of friends you have,” Waldinger says, “and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship. It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”

It’s a reminder to carve out more time to connect with people who you enjoy being around, sure. But unlike landing a new job or buying a new car, you many not see changes to your mood overnight. “Relationships are messy and they’re complicated,” says Waldinger. Investments in them can take time to pay dividends.

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Turning Sewage into Something Useful

ocean shore

Today is World Water Day and what better way to celebrate than by talking about sewage?

The Stockholm Environment Institute, an international non-profit research and policy organization, released a report on how we can better handle human waste. When it comes to basic sanitation there is plenty of good news including that only 26% of the global population has access to sanitation which is down from 50% in 1990. The report this year looks at how we can use sewage in the circular economy including turning into power to fuel buses.

“We need to reevaluate our view on wastewater and human excreta. Today’s approach to disposal means lost opportunities in the form of nutrients and organic matter which are being flushed away,” says Kim Andersson, Senior Expert at the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the lead authors of Sanitation, Wastewater Management and Sustainability: From Waste Disposal to Resource Recovery. “Instead, we could use these materials to improve soils or produce clean burning, low carbon biogas. If cleaned properly, wastewater can even be turned into drinking water. Reusing this resource will generate new jobs and business models.”

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5 Ways We Can Improve Cities During the Pandemic

Intersection

IKEA’s research and design lab in Copenhagen released a book this month on ways we can improve our cities. They start by recognizing we’re presently facing two global crisis: a pandemic and catastrophic climate change. Their proposals to address these two issues within cities is titled The Ideal City and they outright admit that top-down urban planning is inherently problematic. The goal of the book is to demonstrate that change is possible, it’s happening, and we can make the world better by improving our lived environments.

Making Cities Safer

This chapter proposes that in addition to lowering crime, cities need to protect their citizens against extreme weather events and provide a healthy environment that fosters physical and mental well-being. It highlights a small project that makes a big impact: the Tokyo Toilet, a series of 17 public restrooms designed by renowned architects in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. By incorporating colored glass that’s transparent when the lavatory is empty and opaque when in use, Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban’s design addresses two basic concerns people have with public toilets: cleanliness and how to know if someone’s inside.

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Happy 20th Birthday to VLC

One of the best open source projects is undoubtedly VLC, that little app with the pylon icon that plays any video file you throw at it. VLC embodies the spirit of a free and open world of computing in which the user can do whatever they want and not have anybody spying on them (VLC doesn’t track when you open the app or what you play). The team behind VLC is an impressive group of people who stay true to their values and better the world through their efforts.

VideoLAN originally started as a project from the Via Centrale Réseaux student association, after the successful Network 2000 project.
But the true release of the project to the world was on 1st of February 2001, the École Centrale Paris director, Mr. Gourisse, allowed the open-sourcing of the whole VideoLAN project under the GNU GPL.

Today, VLC media player is used regularly by hundreds of millions of users, and has been downloaded more than 3.5 billion times over the years. VLC is today available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android (including TV and Auto versions), iOS (and AppleTV), OS/2 and BSD.

Over the years, around 1000 volunteers worked to make VLC a reality.

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Good News From Web Summit Lisbon Day 1

Web Summit is a conference run in Lisbon about the future of the planet, technology,and business at large. I’m attending it remotely as best I can. The first day isn’t even done and there are two nifty good things already worth sharing:

Ridley Scott launches campaign with The Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)

The ‘Digital with Purpose’ Movement is open to all. Member organisations are required to make a public pledge to the four universal commitments of the movement: To contribute to the development of the framework, to take part in an open framework evaluation process and to collaborate with others to develop and realise their ambitions to maximise their positive impact on achieving the Paris Agreement and SDGs.

Evercity Announces Smart Sustainable bond

Powered by Parity Substrate blockchain engine, Smart Sustainable Bond Protocol is an open-source software which allows participants to issue and monitor innovative sustainability-linked bonds with adjustable floating impact-linked coupon rate. The main idea of the project is to increase accuracy of impact monitoring and reporting eliminating the risk of greenwashing, as well as to enable fair and transparent impact allocation between different stakeholders engaged in sustainability-related projects. The main operations performed are confirmed by blockchain digital signatures and can be traced publicly. The platform stablecoin EVERUSD can only be used in the operations with bonds, which eliminates the risks of money laundering.

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