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Doomsday weapons

Doomsday weapons

The risks to human survival were once out of our hands. Disease and famine our greatest threat. Industrial revolutions have neutralised many of those threats while creating new potentially more potent and entirely man-made ones. Climate Change and nuclear weapons

While global warming has had more coverage in the last few years, you may be forgiven for thinking that nuclear threats are remote or isolated to attempts to create them in nations like North Korea and Iran.

That is mostly true, but recent developments between the US and Russia may see the nuclear threat becoming more real.



More episodes from Business Unusual

Business Unusual - Matric Results - Let's look at the myriad of courses you can take online

8 January 2020 7:21 PM

Guest : Colin Cullis| Business Unusual Correspondent at Money Show

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How to find the size that fits you

18 December 2019 7:37 PM

Are you a small, medium or large? If the answer is “depends” you are not alone. Clothing sizes are not universal. Not only are there major differences around the world there are differences from one brand to the next.

Why would the sizes differ so much? There are three M’s that should answer it. Measurements, Marketing and Money.

Image: Pixabay

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Mechanical batteries could save Eskom

11 December 2019 7:26 PM

Hydro dams use high-pressure water under gravity to drive turbines connected to generators. They are effectively mechanical batteries in that we can use electrical energy to pump water into the dams when demand is low and then release it when demand peaks to provide the additional electricity when needed.

Battery storage is needed to reduce the need for baseload generation (which is the minimum needed to be generated consistently) and to use the off-peak times to store the energy that can be used during the peak times to effectively create a relatively flat demand to use the least amount of resources to generate the required amount of electricity.

image credit: EnergyVault.com

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Pandemic - of all potential threats, the smallest may prove the most lethal

4 December 2019 7:27 PM

The earliest living things are over three billion years old and they have proven to be both a help and a threat to us. Bacteria and viruses have always been a part of our evolution. Every so often one will come along that simply overwhelms us and rather than just making us sick will kill thousands if not millions.

There are a variety of bacteria and viruses and multiple times when their variations have affected and killed many humans. It is this range and variability that makes them so effective and deadly.

Guest: Colin Cullis/Business Unusual Correspondent at Money show. 

Image credit: 123rf.com

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Freedom of Speech is not the same as Freedom of Reach

27 November 2019 7:29 PM

The internet and the web promised to be humanity’s greatest project to share information and enable co-operation. It was created by the military and developed by the academic and scientific community. Since the web’s launch in 1991 over half the world has moved online and the other half are joining at an increasing pace. It took 23 years for 2,4 billion users to join and just five more to grow it to 4,3 billion. 

It has certainly changed the world, but the question now is has that change been for the better. There are good arguments to suggest the answer is no, but that would be forgetting how humanity has typically progressed. Hopefully, this will provide some context.

Guest: Colin Cullis/ Business Unusual Correspondent at  the Money Show. 

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Kylie Jenner - the 22-year-old billionaire

20 November 2019 7:28 PM

Forbes has maintained a list of the worlds richest people for over 30 years. The richest comprise a little over 2 000 billionaires and in March this year, a then 21-year-old Kylie Jenner was added to the list becoming one of just eight that were under 30 and the youngest ever to amass a worth of over $1 billion.

The calculation is based on publically available data but is not always easy to determine. Billionaires typically have ways to limit who knows how much money they actually have.

The sale of 51% of Jenner’s cosmetics company to Cosmetic group Coty for $600 million is money in the bank and the sale price and revenue sales for 2018 value the company at $1,2 billion so her 49% ownership adds $588 million to her balance sheet making it official, she is the youngest billionaire ever to have created the fortune herself.

Image credit: Wikipedia

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TikTok - the best free interactive social video creator

13 November 2019 7:27 PM

Just because it is free does not mean there is no cost though

TikTok is not even five years old and is part of a Chinese group called Bytedance that operates a short video app in China called Douyin for the Chinese market and TikTok for the rest of the world. It is based on another Chinese short video app that it acquired in 2017 called Musical.ly which had a sizable US user base. It took off in October 2018 thanks to the combination of impressive creation tools and creators that sparked a slew of video challenges.

For older generations that struggle to take a decent digital picture, the idea of creating a video albeit only 15 seconds long might seem impossible, but TikTok makes creating an impressive video relatively easy.

image credit: tiktok.com

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The World in 2056 based on Blade Runner

6 November 2019 7:31 PM

Considering that in 1982 the cutting edge technology was the Compact Disc (CD). Technology experts wondered if the new laser-powered mini disc could disrupt the cassette tape and vinyl LP.

Computers were big and expensive. The internet existed, but the web was still a decade away.

Mobile phones were so big they could only be used in cars and briefcases and they were expensive to use.

It might seem easy to dismiss Blade Runner's makers' overblown assumptions that cars could fly and robots would be so life-like that special tests would be needed to identify them.

That test was based on the Turing test suggested by A.I. forefather Alan Turing. We don’t have robots anywhere near as polished as those in the movie, but a text-based A.I. has managed to pass a Turing test.

The environmental disaster is also thankfully not as bad, but it does show that humans impact on the environment was expected to result in more harm than good.

What it did get right is pretty amazing. Mobile video communications, voice assistants and home automation. Those are a reality in November 2019 and they were pure fantasy in 1982. 

 

Image credit: Sergey Nivens 123rf.com

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Fundraising in the 21st Century

30 October 2019 7:31 PM

Until everyone in the world can live happily and sustainably, which is not any time soon, there will be a need for those that can help to assist those that need it. Philanthropy was coined over 400 years ago and for much of it, help came from the few that had the most to assist those that didn’t. It still does, but technology has made human-loving (the meaning of philanthropy) at lot easier and allows many more to help others.

With just $1 that you can donate and join #TeamTrees to get those trees in the ground.

Image credit: Teamtrees.org

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A Business Unusual recap for 2019

23 October 2019 7:33 PM

A look back to some of the developments from previous Business Unusual shows and which disruptors remain as winners and which have fallen by the way side. 

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