At this new net-zero energy McDonald’s, on-site solar provides 100% of the power

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By 2030, emissions from McDonald’s restaurants and offices will need to drop 36%, compared to 2015, to meet the company’s science-based targets. This new restaurant now open at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is one step toward that goal. At a new McDonald’s restaurant that just opened at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (with COVID-19 protection measures in place), solar panels covering the roof—and solar glass panels throughout the building—are designed to generate enough energy that the restaurant can run on 100% renewable power. Read Full Story

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Why Bill Gates is the focus of the latest coronavirus conspiracy theories

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Misinformation about the Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist is swirling around online as part of an effort to push an anti-vaccination agenda. “The Bible says there will be an Antichrist, a man that proclaims to be God, who will try to unite the world in a one-world government with a one-world financial system and establish a one-world religion,” says Pastor Adam Fannin, a controversial Florida preacher who has latched onto the anti-vaccination movement, in a recent YouTube video. Read Full Story

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Even amid COVID-19, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is ready for takeoff

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Building a Mars rover is already hard. Building one during a pandemic is even harder. After nine years in development, the Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance , was entering its final four months when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. By then, the separate spacecraft sections had arrived at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida for assembly and testing. With diminishing margins for error or delays, teams were suddenly thrust into working from home with family distractions. Adding to the pressure was a four-week launch window that, if missed, would push the mission back two years and a half billion dollars. Read Full Story

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Why one city in car-obsessed Florida is prioritizing pedestrians

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Developers in Tampa have designed a community that mimics walkable neighborhoods such as Barcelona’s Las Ramblas. When Jeff Vinik bought the Tampa Bay Lightning and its NHL arena in 2010, he got a couple of extra pieces of land as part of the deal. Like the arena, which is surrounded by parking lots and cut off from the rest of the city’s downtown by an expressway, the other lots were similarly isolated in a part of town that had seen better days. It was something of a dead zone. But it was also a blank slate. Read Full Story

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Scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations is a mess. Zocdoc has a solution

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The healthcare marketplace has come up with a scheduling platform designed to help people get vaccinated as quickly as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are here, but even if you qualify to get one, getting it is a harried experience. Phone lines for health departments and care providers offering the vaccine are overwhelmed. Signing up for a vaccination online has been no easier. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who is also running for mayor, complained that both websites available for booking vaccination appointments were “buggy” and one required too much information. Meanwhile, residents in several counties in Florida have to reserve their COVID-19 vaccinations on event-ticketing site Eventbrite (the same place they can get tickets to see local band Clematis). Read Full Story

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Why this bizarre picnic blanket might be summer’s must-have accessory

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A new “social distancing picnic blanket” because some people just can’t figure it out on their own. If the past week’s warm weather is any indication, not even a pandemic will keep people from heading to the nearest public park for some fresh air. That’s theoretically fine, but images from New York , California , and Florida make it clear that people aren’t always keeping their distance when they go outside. Because it can be hard to eyeball exactly how far six feet is, one designer rethought an essential to make it explicitly clear. Time to add “social distancing picnic blanket” to your list of summer must-haves. Read Full Story

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Florida just became the 8th state to adopt a $15 minimum wage

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The Sunshine State’s current minimum wage is $8.56. Florida voters think it should be much higher. Florida voters just passed an amendment to increase the minimum wage from $8.56 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026, making Florida the eighth state to adopt a $15 minimum wage. As in other states, the amendment will gradually increase the wage floor over the next six years, raising it to $10 next year and then upping it by $1 each year until the minimum wage reaches $15 in 2026. Read Full Story

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