1. Australian self-styled healthy-living sensation Belle Gibson is facing daily battles to maintain her credibility. Today, her top-rating food app The Whole Pantry is not available in Australian and US App stores. Whether it was Apple or Gibson who pulled the app is still unclear, but publisher Penguin has scrapped her debut cookbook in the wake of allegations Gibson falsely claimed to have cancer and that she has failed to hand over thousands of dollars in fundraising proceeds.
2. To the markets, where in Asia yesterday, the positive lead from the US and the recent comments from Premier Li combined to drive prices substantially higher again. Having broken its recent range top, it’s clear traders are buying again with gusto. At the moment the overnight indication is Shanghai will have another good day. Likewise, the Nikkei was in a positive mood after the BoJ yesterday reinforced its QE program would continue. It noted it thought the economy was on the road to recovery but also downgraded its inflation forecast. If they are correct, that’s more QE for longer. Stocks liked that.
3. On the data front, the Westpac Leading Index for Australia is out today, as is Japanese trade data. Chinese house prices will attract some interest but the Bank of England’s MPC cut and Minutes will be the highlight mid-evening. But the big one is at 5am tomorrow morning with the release of the FOMC decision.
4. The hydrogen revolution is near and the University of NSW is leading the charge. Hydrogen is created by running a current through water and farming out the oxygen, but it’s expensive because you need to use precious metals in the process. But UNSW has developed a specially coated foam material which lets the bubbles of oxygen escape quickly. They say it’s “inexpensive, sturdy and simple to make”. Yes, we’re talking about water-powered cars here.
5. Until then, you’ll have to keep weighing up your cheapest petrol-guzzling travel options. The UK’s University of Cambridge studied millions of Uber and traditional taxi rides and found out exactly when you should switch from cabbies to Uber drivers to save the most moolah. It’s pretty specific, too.
6. The world gets ready to rumble. Russia is fortifying the Arctic as melting ice reveals huge resource wealth:
Lithuania’s preparing for a Russian invasion and NATO’s practising war moves on Russia’s doorstep. And now Ukrainian-born heavyweight boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko says Putin’s flouting of international laws “could set off a third World War”. (You might have noticed a common theme in there.)
7. Relief for multiple sclerosis sufferers might be on the way, after Australian scientists developed a new drug-like molecule which can halt inflammation. The team at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute says the discovery could aid in preventing the progression of MS.
8. Get nude, look at art. The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is currently hosting a retrospective of 50 years of James Turrell’s work. Turrell plays with light to stir people up and says we “drink light through the skin”. That means his work is best viewed naked and if you pay an extra $5 at the NGA, you can bathe in the full glory of his work in nothing but God’s furry pyjamas.
9. Bill Gates had lots to say overnight. He reckons you should read this best-ever business book, this part of Warren Buffett’s latest letter to shareholders and that Steve Jobs would have made a terrible CEO of Microsoft.
10. Don’t insult the Buddha. Especially if you’re in Myanmar, where a Kiwi bartender just learnt the hard way that the Burmese take religion very seriously. Philip Blackwood posted a mocked-up photo of the Buddha wearing DJ headphones on Facebook in December. He’s been sent to jail for two-and-a-half years after being found guilty of insulting religion.
BONUS ITEM: The next wave of 3D printing is jaw-dropping.
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