No steam or gas drives anything until it is confined. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick D.D
Life & Learning
Ever wonder how 20 million bananas make their way through Manhattan every week? This special report shows the logistical nightmare that is the trip from Ecuador to the corner bodega.
Health & Fitness
Plant-based diets are all the rage these days, with ample evidence for it extending life in humans and making us all around healthier. But being incredibly strict about anything in life can lead to some weird situations that might not always be healthy. In today’s episode, a research fellow at Oxfordargues why being a strict vegetarian may not always be best.
Money & Investing
Toyota has $53B in cash, is hiring like crazy (just not in the valley), and investors are paying close attention. What could they be working on? Autonomous cars? Of course, they do have a $1 billion research center that showed off one of them a few months back. But go deeper. We know for a fact that Japanese automakers are investing in autonomous scooters and next gen products for a younger millennial market as well as a senior and disabled market, where self-driving is more like a back-up safety system so you don’t run into things rather than controlling the entire drive from point A to point B.
You might be surprised to learn that Apple owns more than $50 billion of United States treasuries. That’s more than many major countries. But do you know what a treasury is? It’s debt. That means Apple lent the US Government $50 billion that the US has to pay back over a certain time period. Much like buying a house or a car from a bank, only on a much, much larger scale. That’s a lot of gov’ment cheese.
A look at today’s world markets.
Stories & Entertainment
It’s hard to make art without direct experience. Hans Zimmer, for instance, takes his musical role on the movie Dunkirk seriously because it hits close to home. Modern-day film composing may not look at all like what you expected with a conductor surrounded by a symphony of live people and instruments. Those have been replaced with, you guessed it, computers:
Ever wonder what music people in your neighborhood listen to? Now there’s a pre-built playlist for that.
Makers & Science
What happens when we have trillions of tiny smart devices all connected to the internet surrounding us at all times? Aside from the extra radiation and EMF signals, it means we’re going to be sucking far more energy down than we ever have before. Our collective utility bills will skyrocket but we also can’t plug all of these devices in. So what to do?
The short answer is to harvest energy from the surrounding environment. One solution is capturing static electricity, or the energy from pressure, but another is to convert heat to electricity.
Culture & Society
You know that shared office space behemoth, WeWork, right? Now they’re creating co-living space as well. For the digital nomad trend, this is a big deal, if they get the requirements right. It means not having to sign a lease anywhere, it means similar or cheaper living than an AirBnB or hotel. And it means you can book 1 month at a time in many places around the world. We’ve lived this lifestyle, and trust us when we say, this is the right set of requirements. If anyone can pull it off, it’s WeWork.
Even Union Square Ventures of Twitter VC fame is investing in this thesis. The freight train is coming, will you be ready?
Aerospace & Sea
When future wars are fought in cyberspace, then sometimes it means going to legacy analog technologies unconnected to the internet without software-based controllers. In layman terms, that means shipping vessels are moving backwards to 50-year old technologies like radios as a back-up system to power their navigation from point A to B.
Collaboration & Politics
While China and the US battle for economic supremacy, one thing is clear, we’re willing to help each other out when it really matters. In this instance, China helped the US locate an American sailor who went overboard off the South China sea. Japan even helped out in the search. Politics aside, humans are humans, and collaboration between world superpowers is always good.
Startups often talk about how much runway they have before they’re out of money. That is, “we can go 6 more months at our current spending levels before we’re flat broke”. Ever wonder how much runway one of our American states has? The median is about a month before the state is flat broke, down significantly year over year.
Tech & Startups
If you thought Netflix was going on a spending spree buying up video content, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Amazon is doubling down on buying content, up to $4.5B in spending this year alone.
Aerospace is an emerging trend in the startup world, but there are still very few entrepreneurs focused on the space, even though the commercial dollars are much larger with much less competition than the Enterprise. To that end, there is one accelerator, Starburst.aero, who is leading the charge. In the latest episode, they’ve partnered with one of our friends at Thales, a giant multinational aerospace and defense company, for a new cybersecurity program based out of Paris. If you’re interested, give the Station F programme a look.