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Poop is becoming a new fuel source

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Surprisingly, this idea doesn’t stink.

A Kenyan company is taking the excess fecal waste from residents in Nakuru and transforming it into a usable fuel source for cooking and heating.

Truck loads of feces are transported into the Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company’s processing plant, where they are emptied into vats and dried for two to three weeks. The dried chunks are heated in a kiln at high temperatures to burn off any harmful gases and increase the amount of carbon, making the feces more flammable. This step also makes the feces powder odorless.

After the material leaves the kiln, it is ground into a fine mixture and combined with molasses in a rotating drum to make briquettes, which look like round lumps of coal. These briquettes are sold for 50 US cents per kilo. Customers say that the fuel burns longer and with less smoke than charcoal and firewood.

Since only one out of every four people in Nakuru has access to the town’s sewage system, the briquettes could be an innovative solution to a big sanitation issue. Excess waste is dumped into rivers and poorer areas, creating health hazards. Although the current capacity for the waste-to-fuel processing plant is about two tons per month, the company aims to quintuple that amount by the end of 2017, reducing the amount of dumped sewage in the local area.



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The Opioid Crisis: Treating Root Causes of Addiction

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Jerri-Lynn here:  Trump last week declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, but is unlikely to support policies that will treat the root causes of addiction. This Real News Network interview with Vancouver-based doctor Gabor Maté discusses what an effective policy should target. AARON MATÉ: It’s The Real News, I’m Aaron Maté. The opioid drug […]
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The books that inspire people to get PhDs

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Twitter may be the last place most people turn for wisdom, but sometimes a simple tweet can unleash a wealth of sage advice. Just in time for National Book Lovers’ Day, the Aug. 9 holiday mostly celebrated through hashtags and emojis, Susan Dynarski, a professor of public policy, economics, and education at the University of Michigan, posed a question to the Twitterverse:

Dynarski tells Quartz she was “curious about what gets people to choose doctoral studies, which is a huge commitment of time and energy. Did they want to fix a problem in public policy? Solve a theoretical puzzle?”

Professors, doctors, and PhD candidates obliged, with replies about the reading material that inspired them to pursue their degrees.

Replies came from the field of education…

…from political scientists and public policy experts…

…a historian…

…a psychologist…

…some from the world of science and math…

…a lot of sociologists…

…and even more economists, likely due to nature of social networks and Dynarski’s own area of study…

While most brought up serious academic works read during their undergraduate years, some reached further back into their past.

As for Dynarski herself, she tells Quartz, “I had been a union organizer for years, and I was a first-generation college graduate. While I was working on a master’s in public policy in the early ’90s, I read the emerging literature on income equality. I realized economists studied the problems I was trying to solve and so decided to apply to doctoral programs.”



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The Richest People in History

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I was surprised to learn Augustus Caesar was worth $1.4 trillion dollars:   click for ginormous graphic Source: Visual Capitalist via Marketwatch  

The post The Richest People in History appeared first on The Big Picture.

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Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Home Wi-Fi

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WiFi is one of the most important developments in the evolution of the internet—no one wants to be chained to a desktop—but it’s also one of the most frustrating. If you’re plagued by slow speeds, bad reception, and other WiFi issues, here are 10 ways you can power up the WiFi in your home.

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Ride-sharing and self-driving relationships

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Source: Recode

The post Ride-sharing and self-driving relationships appeared first on The Big Picture.

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