2009 List: Patent Pending

Seven technologies that will change our lives more than the new iPhone.\r1 Open-Source Cell phones  The open-source movement has come to the cell phone with the launch of Google's new Android operating system. It's great for gadget lovers, but even better for the millions of users in the developing world..\n

Seven technologies that will change our lives more than the new iPhone.

1 Open-Source Cell phones The open-source movement has come to the cell phone with the launch of Google's new Android operating system. It's great for gadget lovers, but even better for the millions of users in the developing world who have leapfrogged over landlines to cell-phone technology and now can get it in the form of a minicomputer with a customizable operating system.2 Crash-Proof Cars Researchers in Europe have turned satellite navigation into a system that can warn drivers of upcoming hazards through radar or infrared hazard-sensing systems. Already, luxury cars incorporate features like warning lights in the windshield to alert drivers to an onrushing obstacle. But in 2009, these advanced safety features will start to appear in lower-cost vehicles.3 Electric Cars Speaking of car improvements, 2009 will feature the return to prominence of the electric automobile-a sight last seen almost a decade ago. The Chevy Volt and the Tesla Model S sedan, among others, will be racing into production and showrooms, though the economic crisis is slowing their progress.4 Green Cement Cement is one of the largest sources of CO2 in the country, but a California-based company has invented a cement that actually puts the greenhouse gas to good use, by mimicking the marine cements formed by coral, allowing it to build itself.5 Oil Sands The record high prices for oil in 2008 spurred a boom in investment in Canada's oil sands-hydrocarbon-rich rock and sand-making this a make-or-break year for unconventional oil. Wild card: Converting oil sands to oil results in the release of three times as much globe-warming pollution as good old-fashioned crude.

6 Ubiquitous GPS Big Brother is totally watching you. Whether in your crash-proof car, through your cell phone, or on Google Earth, your (almost) every move is being tracked somewhere. The rise of radio-frequency identification and global-positioning systems basically means an end to geographic privacy.7 Virgin Galactic Spaceport The world's first commercial spaceport begins construction in the New Mexico desert. More Cape Canaveral than Mos Eisley, you still should be able to hitch a ride on a spacecraft by 2010-if all goes according to plan. You just need to line up behind those intrepid souls who have already plunked down $30 million in bookings.

Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Scott are getting company. Statues of the famous men are scattered across Central Park in New York City, along with 19 others. But they'll finally be joined by a few women.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Currently, just 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to women. Out of 150 statues of historical figures across the city, only five statues are of historical women, including Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

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It's easy to become calloused to everyday headlines with messages like, "the world is ending" and "everything is going extinct." They're so prevalent, in fact, that the severity of these statements has completely diminished to the point that no one pays them any attention. This environmental negativity (coined "eco-phobia") has led us to believe that all hope is lost for wildlife. But luckily, that isn't the case.

Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

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The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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