Growing the meat we eat produces a lot of Australia’s carbon emissions. The four innovations explored in this episode – Rob Kinley’s amazing seaweed, George Peppou’s vat-grown meats, Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin’s vertical farms, and Nick Hazell’s plant-based ‘meats’ – show us a path toward an agriculture that can be radically more efficient.
Australia’s cities are already chockers with electric bikes, electric scooters – even electric uniwheel skateboards. Has the nation already made a transition to EVs? And what does this tell us about the future of the family car?
Life in the bush can be beautiful – and dangerous. Can a simple examination of our homes make them safer in bushfires? How can we ‘read’ the bush – and heal it – to avoid catastrophic bushfires?
We speak with Indigenous land and fire expert Victor Steffenson about what we don’t know about the bush – and should. Architect Ian Weir then walks us through some simple steps to make a home in the bush more resistant to bushfire.
Victor Steffenson is the author of Fire Country, about the Indigenous land management practices explored in this episode.
Victor is part of the Firesticks Alliance, an organisation working to educate Australians on how to live within and heal the bush.
Now that we can make “meat” from plants that people prefer to animals – what will we choose to eat? v2Food’s ‘Rebel’ Whopper charts that journey – from soybean to burger patty – via a lot of science, a blind taste test, and an ignored email.
Our cast of characters:
Nick Hazell is the CEO of v2Food;
Skye Anderson is the head of product development at v2Food – and knows more about the Whopper’s patty than any other person in Australia!
For a century, public health officials have contained pandemics by tracing outbreaks. COVIDsafe promises to do this – can we trust it?
How does contact tracking work? And did host Mark Pesce almost accidentally invent Bluetooth contact tracking during some experimenting back in 2005?
Dr. Genevieve Bell offers insights into the history of contact tracing – and how old ideas about sickness can be baked into the newest of our technologies.
Dr. Bell recently wrote a long and clear article on this topic for TECHNOLOGY REVIEW.
Toward the end of 2005, Mark Pesce did some ‘pinging’ of Bluetooth devices from his mobiles, and learned that a lot of other Bluetooth mobiles would answer his pings. He wrote it up in a paper:
The following year, working with artist John Tonkin, they created ‘Bluestates‘ – using Bluetooth contact tracking to generate ‘social graphs’ – maps of who associated with who – for ISEA 2006 in San Jose California. It got a fair bit of attention at the time, including a review in The New York Times. Here’s a short movie of how John Tonkin visualised the contact tracking data Mark Pesce gathered:
Transformations in autonomy & electrification give automobile designers a new palette of possibilities – does our experience of driving change?
Drew Smith talks to BMW design legend Chris Bangle about what it took to design the REDSPACE urban car for the Chinese market. And here’s a video where he’s talking at the Art Center College for Design in Pasadena (Chris’s alma mater, and the school that graduates most of the world’s top car designers):
Mark and Sally sat down at the North American International Auto Show for a long interview with recently-retired Ford design legend Elizabeth Baron, about what it took to combine the real and virtual design processes into a seamless whole.
Finally, Sally learns about the design possibilities created by autonomous vehicles from Luciano Nakamura, one of the founders of Australian startup AEV Robotics.
Producer Alex Mitchell and I traveled to Melbourne on Saturday to attend the Australian Podcast Awards – because this podcast had been named one of six nominees in the Technology and Science category.
Although chuffed to be nominated, we had no reason to believe we’d win – the list of competitors was solid:
In Collingwood’s Melba Spiegeltent, we settled in for a long night. Alex and PodcastOne MD Grant Tothill consoled me – there’ll always be next year, and besides, series 2 is better than series 1, so…
Then the presenter opened the envelope, and managed to say, “The Next…”, and Alex and I realised WE’D WON!
It’s absolutely true what they say – despite your best intentions you can’t remember anything when you accept an award you (secretly) very much wanted to win. Your mind goes blank.
By way of thanks we’ve created this special Web-and-socials only episode of The Next Billion Seconds as a thank you to all of you – our listeners. You made this happen.
We can not tell you how chuffed both host Mark Pesce (that’s me) and producer Alex Mitchell feel about this. It’s been a labour of love – and it’s wonderful to feel a bit of that love coming back.
More details as they develop. Until then, enjoy listening to one of the leading podcasts in Australia…
Solar power cost $100 per kilowatt hour when energy futurist Ramez Naam entered the world. Last year, the UAE signed a 20-year contract for solar power at a four thousandth the cost. For Ramez Naam it’s no longer a question of if renewables, it’s a matter of when: the data proves it. Energy has been mixed with politics from the beginning – so over the next billion seconds, how do we talk ourselves out of our coal culture and into a sustainable future? Ramez Naam makes a convincing case for a future where we profit from the sun.
Here’s an excerpt:
There are some amazing things happening in the renewable energy space, as shown in this chart about a typical week of energy generation in South Australia:
Ramez gives a lot of talks about energy futures, here’s a recent one given in South Africa – a nation with some energy problems…
Ramez has also written a series of blog posts on the energy future – the first is linked here.
Finally, here’s that infamous photo of Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison, on the day they passed a lump of coal around in Parliament: