5 Things to Know Today: January 17, 2017
Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today
In case you missed it, a privately owned passenger train is coming to Florida this summer, Germany’s highest court just rejected an attempt to ban a "neo-Nazi" political party, and the U.S. Department of Energy is on a mission to find the best seaweed farmers in America.
1. Slate: For the first time in over a century the U.S. is getting a new, privately owned passenger train
The rail service, called Brightline, will have stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. With similar projects underway in California and Texas, Brightline's trains will be a key test of potential popularity for the business of intercity trains. It hasn’t been an easy journey for the company, and some coastal cities, like Orlando, have stalled development on local aspects of the project for two years or more.
2. BBC: Germany's highest court rejected an attempt to ban a far-right political party.
The Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the National Democratic Party (NPD), which has been accused of being a neo-Nazi group, was not a threat to democracy in Germany and therefore would not be banned. This is the second time the federal government has attempted to ban the NPD. The country's Constitutional Court is the only institution that can ban a party, but they have only banned the Socialist Reich Party of Germany (SRP) and the Communist Party (KPD) since the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
3. TechCrunch: There’s a new app that connects hourly workers with open jobs, and it just raised 20 million.
Think Uber for the service industry; Shiftgig is a startup that lets hourly workers pick up shifts at local businesses looking to fill gaps in their schedules. Today, the company mostly works in the food service, hotel, retail, warehouse, and marketing spaces. The businesses pay the worker through the app and Shiftgig takes a percentage, which varies depending on the size of the order and the size of the client.
4. Inc Magazine: These five money habits separate the rich from the poor, and they aren’t what you think.
A lot of people might think the wealthy just jet around the globe, splurging on the latest and greatest at every opportunity, but that’s generally not the case. In fact, most millionaires tend to live well below their means and don’t flaunt their money. These people generally work for themselves, don’t financially support others, and know how to save.
5. Cleantechnica: The US Department of Energy is looking to join the race for seaweed production for a new algae-to-energy initiative.
Farming seaweed for biofuel is entirely different than farming it for food, and now the Energy Department is looking to fund the macroalgae farmer of the future. Right now, this sort of farming is low-tech, labor-intensive, and doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s available at deeper sea levels. They Energy Department has high hopes that new material and engineering solutions will advance production and ramp up macroalgae farming to the point where it can compete with land-based biofuel solutions.