Fuel cells ⛽ Sleep deprivation 💤 Election race 🇺🇸!

Technology News

Daimler and Volvo team up to make fuel cells for trucks and generators

Daimler and Volvo are forming a joint venture to develop and sell fuel cell systems. The focus is on heavy-duty trucks, but the two note their technology should be “ideally suited” to tasks like stationary power generators – imagine a cleaner alternative to the diesel generators that keep data centers up and running. The two are creating a system with multiple power stages, most notably a twin system that delivers 300kW of non-stop power for long-haul trucks. Daimler and Volvo expect to start the first tests of trucks using the fuel cells in “about three years,” and won’t start full production until the second half of the decade.

An underwater navigation system powered by sound

Researchers have built a battery-free pinpointing system dubbed Underwater Backscatter Localization (UBL). Rather than emitting its own acoustic signals, UBL reflects modulated signals from its environment providing researchers with positioning information, at net-zero energy. Piezoelectric materials generate their own electric charge in response to mechanical stress, like getting pinged by vibrating soundwaves. Piezoelectric sensors can then use that charge to selectively reflect some soundwaves back into their environment. UBL could someday become a key tool for marine conservationists, climate scientists, and the U.S. Navy.

Science News

Scientists find a troubling link between sleep deprivation and addiction

In a recent study, scientists examined the underlying brain system that can influence reward-seeking and can trigger relapse: the orexin system. They discovered sleep-deprived mice formed a preference for a lower dose of cocaine, a dose that did not affect rested mice. They also had a stronger preference for a standard cocaine dose, indicating they found cocaine more rewarding than rested mice. By blocking the orexin system, scientists could mitigate bad sleep’s negative cascade of effects on drug-seeking in the animals. Researchers say the findings could inform new ways of treating addiction and substance abuse in people.

Teens who participate in extracurriculars, get less screen time, have better mental health

A new study finds that teens, especially girls, have better mental health when they spend more time taking part in extracurricular activities, like sports and art, and less time in front of screens. The study found that spending less than two hours per day of recreational screen time (such as browsing the internet, playing video games, and using social media) was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction and optimism, and lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, especially among girls. Similarly, extracurricular participation was associated with better mental health outcomes.

Business News

Wall Street rebounds as focus shifts to White House race

Wall Street’s major indexes gained ground after suffering their worst week since March, as investors gear up for a week centered around the U.S. presidential election. Market participants expect short-term trading turmoil and major long-term policy shifts related to taxes, government spending, trade and regulation depending on whether President Donald Trump or his Democratic challenger Joe Biden wins the White House race. Investors betting on a Biden administration, which is expected to deliver a massive fiscal stimulus and promote green energy, have fueled a rally in solar stocks, industrials and small-cap names in recent weeks.

Brunswick ramps up boat production to meet rare off-season demand

Brunswick is tooling up to build more boats to keep up with unprecedented demand for personal watercraft. Retail interest in boats has been above usual levels amid the pandemic, contributing to the manufacturer’s double-digit growth in the third quarter. Since the first half of 2020, both veteran boaters and newcomers have depleted inventory at Brunswick as they find ways to spend time outdoors. Even with cold-weather months approaching, Brunswick continues to see order numbers that are strong for the boating off-season. Brunswick’s revenue grew 26% from the year-ago quarter, the first quarter business grew after five-straight quarters of declines.

Miscellaneous News

A College in Bali Is Accepting Coconuts As Tuition

The Venus One Tourism Academy has started accepting payment in coconuts. “Because of this Covid pandemic, we have adapted a flexible policy. We produce virgin coconut oil, so students can pay their tuition by bringing coconuts.” The school also accepts moringa leaves, as well as the leaves from gotu kola, a culinary and medicinal plant. The coconut oil and assorted leaves will be combined into “herbal soap products,” that can be sold on-campus to raise money for the academy. “We have to educate them to optimize the natural resources in their surroundings.”

Whale sculpture catches crashed Dutch metro train

A metro train in Spijkenisse crashed through a barrier at the end of the tracks. But rather than plummeting 10m into the water below, the train was left suspended in the air. It ended up being delicately balanced on the large sculpture of a whale’s tail at the De Akkers metro station. The driver was taken to hospital and is not believed to have suffered any injuries. The architect of the sculpture,Maarten Struijs, was surprised the structure did not break.. “It has been there for almost 20 years and… you actually expect the plastic to pulverise a bit, but that is apparently not the case.”

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