Juice vending made to order… Music for nothing and your clicks for free?… Population growth changes by 2051… We’re down on Dubya… Top tips for power snoozing


Future style juice vending

A lot of people like to be able to mix and match their juice – say apple and watermelon one day, orange the next – but it is generally the sort of thing one can only do if a fresh fruit juice shop is handy.

Until now, that is. Springwise reports that Britain’s WaterWerkz has invented a juice vending machine that allows you to select the mix of juices you want via a system of 2000 interlinked resealable, spouted pouches of varying sizes that are filled on demand, with filtered main water and a variety of flavoured juice syrups.

And not only does the system give the consumer what they want, it’s also environmentally friendly because it allows decreased stocking and storage, and avoids transportation costs associated with bulky pre-filled cans or bottles. In fact, Springwise says the system boasts the lowest “food mile” rating of any vended packaged cold drink, while its “just-in-time” flash chilling reduces energy consumption by as much as 80% compared to what’s required to refrigerate beverages in traditional vending machines.

Now that’s fruit juice vending 3007 style.


Music lovers, pay what you want

A band that many consider the world’s best, Radiohead, has decided they are over the whole $30-an-album thing. Time.com reports that when the band releases its new album In Rainbows next week on 10 October, fans will be able to choose how much they pay for the digital download.

When people go to Radiohead’s website, drop In Rainbows‘ 15 songs into the online checkout basket, a question mark will pop up where the price would normally be. Click it, and the prompt “It’s up to you” will appear. Click again and it refreshes with the words “It’s really up to you” — and really, it is.

The intriguing question will be whether, given the choice, people will choose to pay anything at all.

This will be the first major album with a price that is determined by what individual consumers want to pay for it. The reason why the album can be released for free is that Radiohead parted ways with its record company after its last hit album, Hail to the Thief.

Lead singer Thom Yorke told Time: “I like the people at our record company, but the time is at hand when you have to ask why anyone needs one. And, yes, it probably would give us some perverse pleasure to say ‘f___ you’ to this decaying business model.”

Questions are already being raised about the effect this release will have on the industry. As one A&R executive at a major European label says: “This feels like yet another death knell. If the best band in the world doesn’t want a part of us, I’m not sure what’s left for this business.”


Sunshine state surpassing Victoria

By 2051, Queensland will be the second most populous state with a city of 6.5 million residents, beating Victoria’s 6.4 million, according to new projections by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

NSW will remain the biggest with 8.7 million people.

Melbourne will retain its status as the second biggest city with 5.9 million people by 2051, while Brisbane will grow 125% to 4.2 million.

It’s the eastern states that will get the big population growth over the next 50-odd years. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be the biggest cities. Perth will grow from 1.5 million to 3 million, but Adelaide is expected to grow only 17.1% to 1.3 million by 2051.


George Bush is on the nose with Aussies

Nearly 70% of respondents to a new poll on Australian attitudes to the alliance with the United States view US president George Bush unfavourably. Despite their dislike for the Texan, 79% believed the US-Australian alliance is very important or fairly important, and 74% expressed a great deal or fair amount of trust that the US would assist Australia if it was threatened by another country.

The study, by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, reflected declining confidence Australians have in the ability of the US to deal responsibly with world problems, including climate change, which they identify as being as great a threat or worse than Islamic terrorism.


Top tips for power snoozing

The secret to being rested is quality not quantity, according to new research being reported by Wired.

The trick is to make sure you get the absolute best rest from the time you spend in bed. But how? At the 2006 National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference, experts agreed to the following recommendations for obtaining optimum sleep value:

  • Do not take sleeping pills. This includes over-the-counter pills and melatonin.
  • Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy. If you have trouble sleeping, try going to bed later or getting up earlier.
  • Get up at the same time every morning, even after a bad night’s sleep. The next night, you’ll be sleepy at bedtime.
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep, get out of bed and return only when you are sleepy.
  • Avoid worrying, watching TV, reading scary books, and doing other things in bed besides sleeping and s*x. If you worry, read thrillers or watch TV, do that in a chair that’s not in the bedroom.
  • Do not drink or eat anything caffeinated within six hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol. It’s relaxing at first but can lead to insomnia when it clears your system.
  • Spend time outdoors. People exposed to daylight or bright light therapy sleep better.

Even if you aren’t able to have a good sleep at night, a quick midday nap can also provide some much needed rest. According to experiments performed at Loughborough University in Britain, a 15 minute snooze can leave you feel amazingly refreshed. Here is their recipe getting a good quick sleep:

  1. It sounds crazy, but right before you crash, drink a cup of coffee. The caffeine has to travel through your gastro-intestinal tract, giving you time to nap before it kicks in.
  2. Close your eyes and relax. Even if you only doze, you’ll get what’s known as effective microsleep, or momentary lapses of wakefulness.
  3. Limit your nap to 15 minutes. A half hour can lead to sleep inertia, or the spinning down of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which handles functions like judgement. Once it goes offline, grey matter can take 30 minutes to reboot.




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