Today on Planet 100: Bees Best Computers in a Math Showdown (Video)


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Today on Planet 100, bees solve math problems that stump computers for days, a permit is approved to build the world's largest solar energy project, and an urban rice paddy takes root in downtown Tokyo.Bees vs Computers
New research reveals that bees can solve complex mathematical problems which keep computers busy for days.

Scientists at Royal Holloway University of London said that the insects learn to fly the shortest route between flowers discovered in random order, effectively solving the "travelling salesman problem." Computers solve the problem by comparing the length of all possible routes and choosing the one that is shortest.

Humans have much to learn from bees who manage to accomplish this extraordinary feat using a brain the size of a grass seed.

Via: The Guardian
SoCal Solar
The United States approved a permit for the largest solar energy project in the world—four massive billion dollar plants each in southern California.

"The Blythe solar power plant will consist of four, 250-Megawatt plants, built on public lands in the sun-drenched Mojave desert," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. The total capacity will be roughly equal to the turbine output of a nuclear power plant or a large modern coal-fired power plant.

Solar Millennium plans to begin construction on Blythe this year; the project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

Read more: World's Biggest Solar Power Plant? US & South Africa Race For First 1 GW Project
Urban Rice Paddy
In bustling business hub of Otemachi Tokyo a 1,000-square-foot indoor rice paddy is providing office workers a way to get back to their horticultural roots—and 100 pounds of rice for the building's cafeteria. That's actually kind of a big deal for a country that grows only half of the food it requires.

Via: Popsci
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