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Move the World.

Welcome back to another edition of This Week In Ideas, where we share with you the coolest stories we’ve shared amongst ourselves. Our theme this week? The future is already here.

No more grocery store checkout lines: “Customers will be able to scan their phones at the entrance using a new Amazon Go mobile app. Then the technology will track what items they pick up or even return to the shelves and add them to a virtual shopping cart in real time, according a video Amazon posted on YouTube. Once the customers exit the store, they’ll be charged on their Amazon account automatically.”

A new type of propulsion is causing a stir in the physics community: “The basic idea of the EM Drive is an asymmetrical cavity where microwaves are bounced around inside. Since the microwaves are trapped inside the cavity, there is no propellent or emitted electromagnetic radiation to push the device in a particular direction, standard physics says there should be no thrust on the device. And yet, for reasons even the researchers can't explain, the EM Drive does appear to experience thrust when activated.”

Photoshop, but for your voice: “The same company that gave the world Photoshop wants to do for the human voice what it did for the human image—give people the tools to warp it in anyway they see fit. At the Adobe Max Creativity Conference, the company premiered VoCo: an audio editing suite that will allow users to make people say whatever they want just by typing.”

A new chapter for AirBNB: The renting company is making a big push into the world of experience booking. “The first batch of Airbnb Trips will include lessons from a samurai master in Japan, training with long-distance runners in Kenya, and surfing with a local pro in Malibu.”

Watch an ad, go for a ride: “Would you watch a few ads on your smartphone if it meant you got a free ride on the tram or subway? Of course you would, especially if you discovered you didn't have any change for a ticket.”  

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Making a Difference
Ever Wonder What Happens to Leftover Crayons?
Ever Wonder What Happens to Leftover Crayons?
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Making a Difference
Ever Wonder What Happens to Leftover Crayons?
This dad is melting down old crayons for kids who need them most.
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The Crayon Initiative began when father Bryan Ware wondered what happened to the old crayons his kid used at restaurants. It turns out that not only are they not recyclable, they’re toxic to the environment - and typically wind up in landfills after they are thrown away. He had an idea: what if they were melted down and used to make new crayons for kids in need? He decided to…

Clean Decisions
Hope After Prison
Hope After Prison
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Clean Decisions
Hope After Prison
This former inmate is cleaning up his city and helping other ex-cons turn their lives around.
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When Will Aliva got out of prison, he’d paid his debt to society - but that didn’t help him pay his bills. Like many ex-cons, he struggled to find companies that would take a chance on hiring him. Too often, this roadblock results in ex-cons winding up back behind bars as they turn to old illegal activities to make ends meet. He decided to tackle the problem head on and…

Culture of Change
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
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Culture of Change
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
Blistering speed. Big money. 11-year-old world champions. Is drone racing the next big sport?
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Yes, drone racers are a thing and they’re amazing. The Drone Racing League has gone from a dream to ESPN in a few short years. We met world champion Paul Nurkalla, aka Nurk FPV, and got an inside look at how the DRL is striving to be the next big sports league. Somewhere between esports, NASCAR and Star Wars sits drone racing, also known as FPV racing. It’s a breathtakingly…

Inspiring
Veterans to the Rescue
Veterans to the Rescue
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Inspiring
Veterans to the Rescue
On the worst day of their lives, these veterans came to help.
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Team Rubicon is a group of military veterans who volunteer to respond to natural disasters. They’re helping disaster victims - and helping each other heal. Many people join the military to serve their country, and still feel called to serve after they get out. In some cases, they may have experienced trauma or have PTSD from their time in the armed forces. Enter Team Rubicon, the volunteer organization that’s responded…

#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
A Day in the Life of a 'Violence Interruptor'
A Day in the Life of a 'Violence Interruptor'
#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
A Day in the Life of a 'Violence Interruptor'
Freethink followed Andre T. Mitchell, the founder of Man Up!, and his violence interrupter team for a day in Brooklyn…
By Michelle Frankfurter

Freethink followed Andre T. Mitchell, the founder of Man Up!, and his violence interrupter team for a day in Brooklyn as they responded to a recent shooting in a nearby neighborhood.

#fixingjustice - Re-entry
This Former Wall Street Felon is Helping Ex-Cons Find Jobs
This Former Wall Street Felon is Helping Ex-Cons Find Jobs
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#fixingjustice - Re-entry
This Former Wall Street Felon is Helping Ex-Cons Find Jobs
Doing prison time changed this Wall Street trader’s life. Now he’s helping others get jobs after prison - and stay out for good.
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Richard Bronson’s story could inspire a movie—and that’s not far from what happened. He worked for the firm depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street before getting charged with financial crimes and spending 2 years in prison. While incarcerated, his eyes were opened to the inequities prisoners faced and how daunting re-entry to society was. He decided to do something about it. He started the website 70 Million Jobs,…

Wrong
Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat?
Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat?
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Wrong
Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat?
To address rising health problems in the 1980s, scientists and policymakers developed the US Food Pyramid to encourage healthy eating.…
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To address rising health problems in the 1980s, scientists and policymakers developed the US Food Pyramid to encourage healthy eating. But despite a massive public education campaign, obesity and diabetes continued to rise. What happened? How did we get it so… wrong?

Crossing the Divide
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
Crossing the Divide
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
After studying a team of canvassers, two researchers found that a single conversation can have a significant and lasting impact…
By Michael O'Shea

After studying a team of canvassers, two researchers found that a single conversation can have a significant and lasting impact on a person's opinion.