X Prize

The X Prize shakes gives stagnant industries a shot of entrepreneurial innovation. Plus Big Thinker Peter Diamandis.

Peter Diamandis's mission is to use cash prizes to inspire innovation in industries that are happy to sit back and make money on the utterly unacceptable status quo. The original $10 million Ansari X Prize successfully inspired a non-NASA manned space flight (and will soon result in consumer space flights from Virgin Galactic), but it's the expansion of the idea into other areas that may have the greatest impact. Currently on tap is $10 million for the first team to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days and a to-be-determined sum for a super-fuel-efficient car that will put the Prius to shame.BIG THINKER:

Peter Diamandis

I wanted to bring about a radical breakthrough in how we get people into outer space. I fundamentally believed that there must be a better way to open this frontier. I know firsthand that the day before something is a breakthrough, it is a crazy idea, and that the establishment rejects change and abhors crazy ideas. The Ansari X Prize experiment worked, just like when Charles Lindbergh won the Orteig Prize for his transatlantic flight 80 years ago. We are genetically programmed to compete, and we do our best work, and take the highest risks when we go head-to-head for fame, fortune, or honor.I have become very passionate about rewarding the folks who pull off these crazy ideas. Not those who try, but those who actually make it happen. We are hoping to launch about $300 million in purses over the next five years, in areas such as education, global poverty, cancer, and health care, because we think X Prizes are one way to combat the risk-averse society that has developed over the last 40 years. As an American, I think risk-averse behavior is destroying our nation. As a human, I know we will need visionaries and risk-takers to overcome the challenges we will face in the decades ahead.Peter Diamandis is the founder of the X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit prize institute created to foster radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.

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Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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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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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

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Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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