Houston, we have a serious problem

More than a foot of rain fell on some parts of Houston, Texas yesterday as the city was paralysed by flash flooding, the BBC reports. Local officials say at least five people died as rivers burst their banks in downtown Houston. In total 1,200 people needed to be rescued from rising floodwaters. The storm was the worst weather event to hit Houston since Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and was “remarkable for both its size and intensity. The flash flood warning declared by the National Weather Service Monday morning covered a region encompassing more than 21,000 square miles,” the Washington Post writes.

Vattenfall bails out of fossil fuels

Another day another story of big business turning the lights out on fossil fuel investments. Today it’s Vattenfall, the Swedish state-owned energy giant. It will sell its German coal operations as part of a corporate strategy to “shift towards a more sustainable production,” CEO Magnus Hall told the Guardian. Vattenfall is Germany’s third largest energy producer though its coal business only contributed about 10% of production in the country. That said, “the sale means more than 75% of our production will be climate neutral compared to about 50% today,” Hall said.

How IoT will make apparel responsible and accountable

Think you’ve got a handle on how the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform everyday life? Think again. Yesterday packaging and labelling giant Avery Dennison announced a deal with IoT pioneer Evrythng to “create unique web identities for at least 10 billion pieces of apparel over the next three years,” Fortune reports. Evrythng creates digital identities for everyday items allowing people to have a “relationship” with, and connect with them. Avery Dennison, meanwhile, provides apparel labelling for major brands like Nike and Hugo Boss. The partnership will help consumers to interact with apparel, find extra value through digital offers and, very importantly in our view, have a real time opportunity to question the sourcing and sustainability of the products they own. Big brands had better start upping their sustainable supply chain game.

Why Virtual Reality is like the Wild West for marketers

West coast of America advertising agencies, especially those tapped into Hollywood and the gaming industry, are in a race against time to understand and master the potential of virtual reality, Adweek reports. To do so many are building VR labs to experiment. "We're learning a completely new creative language, and it's a different way of looking at consumer behavior,” Alastair Green of Team One agency explains. Understanding how VR makes people feel is one key factor. As Adweek writes: “On the most basic level, if the content dips below 90 frames per second, it tends to make people motion sick. Marketers are looking for emotional resonance, Green said, not projectile vomiting.” 

Qantas vs Tesla

Finally today, here’s a video showing a Tesla S racing a Qantas Boeing 737-800. Why? Well according to Qantas it’s got something to do with the two companies “collaborating to drive innovation for their customers and sustainability in the transport industry.” Quite what the race has do with that is anyone’s guess but it’s still fun to watch. Enjoy.

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