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5 Things to Know Today: March 20, 2017

5 Things to Know Today: March 20, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

In case you missed it, Orlando wants to turn the entire city into a theme park for self-driving vehicles. Also, a new startup is redefining the word “priceless” and letting you invest in it, and the 2017’s 10 happiest countries in the world list is different than last year’s. 

1. Quartz: Orlando wants to turn the entire city into a theme park for self-driving cars. 
In doing so, the Florida city would give tourist, defense, and tech industries a place to test their new innovations. Right now, city officials don’t have an exact timeline, but they plan to start at Disney World’s Epcot theme park, which was opened in the 1980s as a “prototype city” of the future. 

2. Tech Crunch: A new startup is letting people invest in “priceless” markets.
Arthena is helping the middle class enter the $64 billion dollar global art market via fine art funds. The startup uses data analytics to crunch information like year created, auction results, risk tolerance, and the artist’s background. Arthena uses its investor funds to purchase pieces, and then distributes the profits that they earn once the piece is sold. 

3. TreeHugger: The top 10 happiest countries in the world for 2017 are out. 
It’s the same top 10 as last year’s report, but in a different order. The United States dropped from number 13 to number 14, and Norway jumped from number 3 to number 1. 

  1. Norway 
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland 
  4. Switzerland
  5. Finland 
  6. Netherlands 
  7. Canada 
  8. New Zealand 
  9. Australia 
  10. Sweden

4. Triple Pundit: Mars and Nestle pledged to end deforestation in the cocoa supply chain. 
Global demand for chocolate is a surprisingly large factor in deforestation, especially in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana—the world’s two largest producers of cocoa beans. Recently Prince Charles of Wales convened the largest chocolate producers in the world, including Mars and Nestle, to agree to expanding deforestation reduction policies to cocoa. Many of the corporations had already rolled out deforestation initiatives that centered on palm oil, a common ingredient in popular candy bars. 

5. Engadget: Researchers made concrete production carbon neutral.
To make concrete production carbon neutral, they would graft a small C2CNT to a concrete factory’s exhaust flue, which can then catch all of the carbon dioxide emissions before they’re released into the air. The oxygen would be released back into the plant’s furnaces—which would allow them to use less fuel and save money, and the carbon dioxide would be spun into carbon nanotubes and used to produce the concrete. 

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