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  • China Loads Zero-Emissions Ship With Coal:  Talk about a funky footprint. China’s first all-electric cargo ship, a 229-foot, 2,204-ton behemoth powered by more than 1,000 lithium batteries, is ready for a test run — transporting, of all things, coal. The ship is due to begin its regular route early next year, supplying a power plant along southern China’s Pearl River. It can haul 2,314 tons of coal 50 miles before charging up during cargo transfer. That’s hardly ocean-worthy, but a Norwegian cruise line plans to launch a hybrid-engine vessel next year.    Quartz

  • Human Brains Have Evolved Unique Pleasure Systems:  We’re born to be tame. A new study reveals that human brains are more different from our great ape relatives than previously thought. It’s all about our control systems for dopamine, pleasure’s chemical trigger, and may explain why we behave so differently from our hairier cousins. Dopamine levels are thought to be linked to everything from memory and emotion to disorders like schizophrenia. One hypothesis researchers plan to test is that this control mechanism allows us to work toward far-from-instant gratification — like doctoral degrees in neuroscience.  NPR

  • Silicon Valley Turns Gaze Toward Construction:    They’re building the future. With experts calling it the last major industry to be disrupted by cutting-edge technology, construction is in for a makeover — courtesy of Silicon Valley. This year venture capitalists are expected to invest $375 million, a 420 percent increase since 2014, in firms focusing on streamlining the sector, which has long been hampered by labor-intensive projects involving multiple contractors. What’s more, observers say “constructech” innovators needn’t come from within the field, evidenced by venture capital pouring into both hammer-swinging and code-cracking startups.  Wired

  • New Market Tax Credits could help solve downtown vacant property problem:  One thing that most small communities in West Virginia aren’t short of is abandoned and blighted properties. Some larger cities, like Fairmont, Wheeling, Bluefield and Huntington, have several vacant commercial properties in or around their downtown vicinities that could use some TLC. Not only are these properties vacant and not up to code, but they are also very old and dated. The million-dollar question that gets asked by developers is, “How do we fund this?”  STATE JOURNAL

  • Internet Deregulation Backed by ‘Fake’ Comments:  Nobody asked for their opinion. The Federal Communications Commission has announced plans to dismantle net neutrality regulations, allowing internet providers to control bandwidth and choose which sites customers can view. But beyond telecom companies and Republican allies, the idea isn’t as popular. Now people whose names are associated with anti-neutrality comments on the FCC’s public forum are reportedly disavowing them. New York’s attorney general says he’s investigating, but has been rebuffed by the agency, which calls his claim “inaccurate.” That’s sure to inflame neutrality supporters, including major tech companies and entrepreneurs.  Ars Technica

  • ‘Butcher of Bosnia’ Ratko Mladic Convicted of Genocide:  It’s official. The U.N.-backed International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia convicted the Bosnian Serb commander of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the killings of thousands of Muslims and Croats during the 1992-1996 Bosnian war. The court found him responsible for the deaths of over 7,000 men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995, and for targeting civilians in Sarajevo. Mladic, 74, shouted obscenities at the court before being sentenced to life imprisonment. While Mladic’s fate is now decided, Bosnian survivors continue to struggle toward reconciliation.    The Guardian

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