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The promise of conditional cash transfers
  • 6-year long study of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) finds that they improve the lives of children living in poverty in Indonesia.
  • The positive effects included better nutrition and greater access to healthcare for children in families that received CCTs.
  • The study provides guidelines for policymakers that want to implement similar programs, and it’s one of the first big studies of how CCTs improve lives.
  • CCTs are about providing poor, working families with money based on simple conditions (like children regularly attending school).

Wall Street Begins Trading Water Futures as a Commodity
  • Like gold or oil, water has become a commodity traded on Wall Street.
  • The Chicago Mercantile Exchange launched the first water market with $1.1 billion contracts tied to water prices in California.
  • Farmers, hedge funds and municipalities can bet on the future prices of water, and future water available in western US.
  • Water scarcity and water pricing are going to become a “hot topic” in the years to come.
  • This could help farmers protect their revenues, but putting a basic human right in the hands of financial institutions and investors might be dangerous in the long term.

Steve Wozniak is starting another company, 45 years after co-founding Apple with Steve Jobs
  • What has an interesting business model, and combines green tech with blockchain? Apple co-founder’s, Steve Wozniak's new company, Efforce.
  • It’s a decentralized platform where investors can benefit financially from energy efficiency projects.
  • Essentially, companies can register their green-energy upgrade projects, and get funding through the platform to execute those projects.
  • All in all, this could allow companies en masse to switch to green energy, contributing to global reductions in CO2 production, and helping to combat global warming.
  • Efforce has been around for a year, and they just released their token, #WOZX, on two of the biggest cryptocurrency marketplaces.

No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time
  • Big moment for the meat industry - chicken bites produced in bioreactors without killing animals have passed a safety review by the Singapore Food Agency.
  • At the moment, by weight, 60% of mammals on Earth are livestock, 36% are humans, and only 4% are wild animals.
  • The producer, Eat Just, will sell their chicken bites in one restaurant, they’ll be expensive - but with scale, they’ll become less expensive than normal meat.
  • They claim it’s nutritionally the same as chicken meat, but there are differences, and it’s up to consumers to tell if they like it.
  • "Cultured meat” and plant-based products are important to reduce the negative impact of traditional meat production.

‘Extremely aggressive’ internet censorship spreads in the world’s democracies
  • Using a global automated censorship tracking system deployed in 2018, researchers from Censored Planet project find censorship worryingly increasing in 103 countries.
  • These countries include democratic countries like Norway, Japan, India, Italy, Israel and Poland.
  • Many countries start with a valid reason to implement network blocking infrastructure - for example to block child porn sites - and then they start using it willy-nilly.
  • Some examples include blocking human rights sites, or dating sites, and often happen in the wake of large political events, social unrest or new laws.




  • Science Science (88) New state of matter in one-dimensional quantum gas
  • Psychology Psychology (104) Study: Religion, psychology share methods for reducing distress
  • Cosmos Cosmos (42) Scientists Discover The Oldest Supermassive Black Hole, and It’s Too Big
  • History History (19) ‘Viking’ was a job description, not a matter of heredity, massive ancient DNA study shows
  • Society Society (93) The promise of conditional cash transfers
  • Medicine Medicine (88) Microbiome Study Could Change The Way Doctors Diagnose Depression
  • Technology Technology (110) Extremely energy efficient microprocessor developed using superconductors
  • Nature Nature (60) Training methods based on punishment compromise dog welfare