Miracle Machine Could Save Lives

Bill Gates has developed a fantastic invention that turns sewage into drinking water.

Not only does this machine look really impressive, it could help supply water to millions of people who currently have no access to safe drinking water, saving millions of lives. It is called the Janicki Omniprocessor, and it turns sewage sludge into drinking water and electricity. The machine is named after its founder, Peter Janicki.

It works by drying sewage waste (sludge) and then burning it. This creates steam that powers an engine, generating electricity. While this is happening, the water removed from the sewage is filtered and cleansed, producing safe drinking water.

This invention could have a huge impact across the world, providing millions of people with access to clean water.


Facts to make you think:

  • 748 million people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water. This works out as approximately one in ten people around the world.
  • Over 500,000 children die every year from illnesses directly caused by unsafe drinking water.
  • A running tap wastes 6 litres of water per minute.
  • Australia is the highest user of water per capita in the world.
  • Australia wastes more water per head than any other country in the world.

For more information about saving water, check out WaterAid.

Source(s): waterwise, WaterAid, thegatesnotes, helloU


Where Do Plastic Bottles End Up?

Recycling is an easy way to begin saving the planet!

Unfortunately people often forget to recycle, which isn’t good for the environment, wildlife and… well, it just isn’t good for anyone really.

If plastic isn’t recycled, it can find its way into landfills, where it won’t decompose and could poison the earth, water and wildlife around it. Of course, it also means it isn’t reused. When plastics are recycled, they are washed and then melted down to be used again.

This video follows the story of 3 bottles who share 3 different fates. Two of them are disposed of incorrectly. The last bottle is recycled and disposed of correctly.

Facts about recycling:

  • If we recycle all our newspapers, we could save 250 million trees every year.
  • Aluminium cans can be recycled and back on shop shelves in just 2 months.
  • £36,000,000 worth of aluminium is thrown away each year.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be reused over and over.
  • Glass that is thrown away and ends up in landfills will never decompose.
  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic is used each year in the UK. That’s 15 million bottles per day.
  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to compose.

Teenagers Didn’t Always Exist

Teenagers aren’t just the future, but the present.

Teenagers all around the world are making a difference, changing the world for the better! Let’s take a second to celebrate that.

Last year, an awesome film came out about teenagers, called Teenage. Take a look at the trailer above. The documentary explores what it means to be a teenager and revisits the time when the term “teenager” was starting to become a thing.

The origin of the word “teenager” goes back to 1922. The word “teener” existed from 1894 but wasn’t commonly used.

It’s strange to think that there was a time when no one used the word “teenager”. People were children, and then they were adults. There was no need for a word that marks the transitional phase between the two. But then things started to change. Adolescents were starting to become more independent, staying in school for longer and generally living the way they wanted. The teenager was born!

As the film’s website says: “Teenagers didn’t always exist. They had to be invented. As the cultural landscape around the world was thrown into turmoil during the industrial revolution, and with a chasm erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape.”

Watch the clip and enjoy. It’s fascinating stuff!


John Nash: A Beautiful Mind

It’s important to celebrate people who achieve great things. If for no other reason than to inspire us.

On this occasion, we visit the world of mathematics to pay tribute to John Nash, who recently passed away. John Nash is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. He was a key proponent of game theory (ask your maths teacher!) and left an indelible mark on the world of academia. They even made a film about him, called A Beautiful Mind.


John Forbes Nash, Jr. was born on June 13th in West Virginia. From an early age, he showed signs of his great intellectual ability. He received a scholarship to study at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he begun a chemical engineering major, but eventually switched to mathematics. When he was applying for Princeton University, one of his former professors wrote him a recommendation that consisted of one line. It said:

“This man is a genius.”

John Nash excelled in the field of mathematics, coming up with new theories and angles from which to view previously unsolvable mathematical problems. His work won him numerous awards and acclaim. Although he was a mathematician, his theories apply to lots of different subjects, including biology, computing, artificial intelligence, politics and economics.

However, in the 1960s, it became clear that John Nash suffered from mental illness. Nash started experiencing severe paranoia, believing that there were people plotting against him. His illness drastically affected all aspects of his life, including his work. In 1959, when speaking at the American Mathematical Society at Columbia University, it was noted immediately that his lecture was incomprehensible. He was hospitalised and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

After around 30 years, Nash began to overcome his mental illness, having been in and out of psychiatric wards and mental institutions. In the 1980s, he  managed to continue his work in mathematics and game theory.  In 1994, John Nash was awarded the biggest prize of them all, the Noble Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

On May 23rd, 2015, Nash died in a  car crash, but his work and legacy will live on forever. If you’re interested in this spectacular man’s life, then why not read A Beautiful Mind, a book about his life authored by Sylvia Nasar, or watch the movie of the same name.


The World’s First Selfie!

The world is obsessed with the selfie.

It’s believed that the photograph below is the first selfie of all time. it was snapped in 1839 by Robert Cornelius, known as one of the pioneers of modern photography. The image was taken behind his parents’ lamp store in Philadelphia. It’s estimated that it would have taken over 3 minutes to take.


From the oldest selfie to one of the most unique, one taken on the edge of space. This video shows how Christopher Michel, a San Francisco based photographer, managed to snap the amazing selfie. When he took the selfie, he was 70,000 feet in the air.  He reached these dizzying heights in a U2 plane and used a GoPro to take the selfie.

Even though we can’t all take pictures from the edge of space, we can still take some pretty cool selfies. Check out these amazing ones.


That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for selfies. Maybe we’ll be seeing more space selfies in the future!


This trained pilot grabbed a quick pic while flying over these mountains. Hopefully he didn’t taken his eyes off the sky.

Ellen DeGeneres group Oscar selfie

One of the most famous selfies ever. It became the most retweeted picture with over 3 million people retweeting!


This selfie taken from on top of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is very impressive, if a little dangerous. The massive statue stands 38m tall on top of an 8m pedestal with its arms stretched 28m wide.


Auto pilot engaged. There’s no better way to take a break from flying than snapping a crazy selfie like this. But is this one real?


Aftermath of the Nepal Earthquake

Helping the people of Nepal.

On the 25th of April, Nepal was struck with a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, with an aftershock of 6.6. Within 24 hours Nepal was hit by a second of 6.4.

The immediate global response was very positive, with people of all nationalities sending donations to Nepal. During recent weeks, the media coverage of the earthquake died down and so did the support. But the people of Nepal still need international support.


What you might not know is that, since 25th of April, there have been over 100 quakes measuring at a magnitude of 4 or higher. These earthquakes are hindering the process of rebuilding.

What’s more is that monsoon season is just around the corner in Nepal. Aid workers and locals are scrambling to build shelter to add extra protection. In Kathmandu, the wettest period stretches from the end of June to the beginning of September, nearly 3 months of heavy thunderstorms and flooding.

Another unbelievable fact that demonstrates the brute force of the earthquakes is that they caused Mount Everest to move 3cm (1.2 inches) towards the southwest. To put that into perspective, during the last ten years, Everest had moved 40cm northeast at a rate of 4cm per year.

Of course, it is the people of Nepal who have suffered the most from the catastrophe. For instance, many young people and children cannot go to school. Since schools have been destroyed, children have no place to study or learn. With nothing to occupy their time there have even been reports that children have taken to chasing leopards and other wildlife. Villages have resorted to burning nearby forests to ward them off.

Source(s): UNICEF


All About Bill Gates

Celebrity culture is everywhere.

So much so that it’s hard to avoid. Unfortunately, a lot of the most popular celebrities aren’t the most inspiring role models. At Vivo HQ, we‘re only interested in celebrities that inspire us. It can be hard to pick the right role-models to follow? How about Bill Gates?

Bill Gates is mostly known for being extraordinarily wealthy. However, the man who created Microsoft and was the Richest Person in the World for 13 years, is more than just a billionaire. With his wife, he set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity  organisation that they have donated $28 billion to.

Bill Gates sold his first computer programme to his school when he was 17 for £4,200. Compared to his net worth now that’s nothing, but he had to start somewhere! At school he bragged about how he was going to be a millionaire by the time he was 30 years old, and no one believed him. He was a billionaire at 31.

5 facts about Bill

1. If Gates drops $100, it’s not worth his time to pick it up.

2. Of his $79 billion dollar net worth, hes leaving $10 million each to his three children. He claims they must make their own way through life.

3. When Gates took his Standardized Test (SATs), he scored a crazy 1590 out of 1600.

4. 6 million lives have been saved by Gates through his donations to vaccines and healthcare.

5Gates DOESN’T have a college degree

We think Bill Gates is inspiring because of his amazing contribution to charity work and the fact that, even with all his success and money, he is still very down to earth. He doesn’t let his success cloud his personality.


The History and Future of Everything

Does anybody have a friend who thinks they know everything?

Now you can hit back with the knowledge you will pick up from watching the awesome videos on YouTube channel, Kurzgesagt.

Translating from German to English as “In a Nutshell”, Kurzgesagt offers up spectacular videos on an an array of topics, ranging from time to the immune system to war.

Here are a couple of their best videos for you to sink your teeth into.

The History and Future of Everything — Time

In this ambitious video, Kurzgesagt take us on a trip back to the beginning of the universe and then fast-forwards to its final moments. What does all this mean for us? Well, that the present moment is precious. They pick out some fascinating facts along the way.


Are You Alone? (In The Universe)

In this video, Kurzgesagt  explains how we are all intimately linked to the rest of the universe. It discusses where all the tiny pieces that make up our bodies have come from, as well as where they had been before they came together to create the things we now know as you and me.

Source(s): Kurzgesagt


You’re Never Too Old For Cartoons!

“Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional”

Cartoons are normally included on the list of things you can grow “too old” for, along with video games and comics. We’d like to disagree. This hugely popular form of entertainment is not only super fun but an art form. The animation of hit films like Toy Story or Frozen takes hugely talented teams of artists and a massive amount of time and dedication.

So, to celebrate the world of cartoons and their animators, let’s take a look at some of our favourites.

Cartoon Network

Launching in September 1993, Cartoon Network has released hit cartoon after hit cartoon. The channel has introduced shows like Dexter’s Laboratory, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Adventure Time and Regular Show. There’s no sign of them slowing down any time soon, so expect more hits in the future.


Many would argue that Pixar had dominated the world of animation for the last decade or so, especially when it comes to feature films. Pixar has released 14 feature films to date, beginning with Toy Story in 1995. 13 of these movies are in the 50 highest-grossing animated movies. With Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur coming out this year, it is exciting times for the studio.

Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio known for its anime movies. To date they have created 20 feature films, 7 shorts films, TV ads and one TV movie. On August 4th, Studio Ghibli announced it was temporarily halting production following the retirement of its co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki. We are eagerly awaiting their return to see what new things they’re working on. Read more about Ghibli here.


The largest and best known animation company in the world. To date Disney has released a whopping 54 feature films, the first being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Disney has become a household name around the worl and is commonly associated with big-budget movies like The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Frozen. Their short films are also pretty popular, loved by people of all ages.

Source(s): legend0fsora, Golden Wolf, AdryStudio, Pablo Medero


What if Superpowers Were Real?

Life would be so much easier if we could fly or read people’s minds right?

We all dream about having super powers. But would it actually be beneficial to have super strength, invisibility or the ability to dance really well (does that count as a superpower?). These TED videos poke fun at some of the most popular super powers, exploring the possibilities of each one and what could go wrong if we actually had those powers.


Want to know what it would be like to live forever? Well it may not be as pleasant as you may have once thought.

Super strength

Crushing cars with your bare fists and being able to break just about anything imaginable. Here’s why super strength won’t be as straightforward as first expected.

Super speed

Imagine being able to travel to wherever you want in a matter of seconds, Your power is transportation! Only joking; it’s super speed. Here’s why being as fast as Usain Bolt might be the ideal limit of human speed.

While classic super powers may not work, Iron Man and others who rely on technology may not be so far-fetched. This video is of an Iron Man super fan showing off his crazy glove creation. He can shoot lasers that make quick work of balloons.

The glove features 2 lasers, a blue 700mW that shoots from his palm and a red 300mW that shoots from the top. His invention makes quick work of balloons; although, we’re not sure how it’ll hold up against Ultron.

Source(s): TED-Ed, LaserGadgets


Young People Who Changed the World

Think you’re too young to change the world? Think again!

Many young people feel like their voices aren’t heard, that adults ignore them and dismiss their points of view out of hand. They feel they are cut off from all avenues of making positive change, simply because of their age.

But this isn’t the case. Throughout history there have been many cases of young people standing up for what they believe in and making a huge difference. Age is not a barrier to making the world a better place. And the good news is that the internet is empowering young people in a way that wasn’t previously possible. The future is looking rosy.

Do you want to change the world?

As part of the Is It Real? campaign, we want to show you that you can make a difference. For some inspiration, check out this short list of extraordinary young people.


Malala Yousafzai


If you are a regular Vivo Edge reader, you will know all about Malala, who topped Vivo’s  Teen of the Year 2014.  Malala is the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the only teenager to ever be awarded the prestigious accolade.

Malala received the honour in 2014, two years after she was shot on a bus by a Taliban gunman. Malala was attacked because she was standing up for her right to education in a country where the Taliban had banned girls from going to school. Surviving the attack, Malala became a global icon by continuing to stand up for beliefs. She used this global recognition to extend the reach of her campaign.


Louis Braille


Louis Braille was an exceptional young man. At the age of 15, he created a system of reading and writing for the blind and the visually impaired that was truly revolutionary. The brilliance of his system was largely unrecognised while Braille was still alive and remained unused for many years after his death. Now the system is known as braille and is used around the world today.

In a time where Louis would normally have received a certain amount of neglect for his disability, his parents raised him as best as they could. Thanks largely to their efforts and Louis’ intelligence, Louis excelled at school. The whole world now benefits from his achievements.


Samantha Smith


This young girl from America demonstrates that one person can make a difference. Samantha Smith was 10 years old when Yuri Andropov became leader of the Soviet Union in 1982. Tensions were increasing between America and the Soviet Union, and so was the threat of nuclear war. Smith felt uneasy with all of this, and decided to write a letter about ending the hostilities.

Samantha eventually received a reply from Andropov, and her letter was featured in a popular Soviet magazine. Andropov responded that he wanted nothing but peace between the two countries and also invited Samantha to visit the Soviet Union. She took up his offer and her visit created a lot of publicity. This only strengthened relationships, and helped bring the Cold War to an end.


Thandiwe Chama


Unfortunately, education is not a right that everybody has. In some parts of the world, giving everybody equal access to education is not a priority. One young girl from Zambia decided that this needed to change.

When Thandiwe was 8 years old, her school was shut down as they didn’t have any teachers. She lead 60 of her classmates on a march, to bring attention to the fact that all children should be allowed an education. The march was a success and her whole class was transferred to another school. After this Thandiwe continued to fight for children’s rights to education. Chama’s efforts have earned her an International Children’s Peace Prize.


Anne Frank


To complete this list of intelligent, courageous and inspiring young people, we had to pick Anne Frank. The child who documented the awful oppression of Jewish people under the hard dictatorship of the Nazi party.

Anne Frank remained in hiding for 25 months before being caught by the Nazi’s. During that time, she kept a diary and documented the events up until her capture. She died, aged 15 years old, in March 1945. Her diary, published by her father who survived, has touched the lives of millions of people across the world.

 So, what are you going to do to change the world?


How to Paint Like a Surrealist

Surrealism is possibly the most imaginative art movement of them all.

It literally takes the idea of viewing the world through your dreams and subconscious mind, instead of through logical thought, and transforming that view into a piece of art.

Surrealism first came about when “The Manifesto of Surrealism” was published, authored by a key pioneer of the surrealist movement, André Breton. However, it is often said that surrealism was actually formed out of a Dutch movement called “Dadaism”.

Even though the surrealists had mastered the traditional artistic methods, they just weren’t that into them. In fact, they wanted to create art that ignored these teachings so they could express new levels of creativity: art that came directly from the imagination.

Some famous surrealist artists include Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Max Ernst.

Watch these fun videos that show you how you can paint your own surrealist masterpieces.

Fun Facts

  • Before this was an art movement it was a literary movement. However it is mainly a philosophy and way of life.
  • Salvador Dali was only 6 years old when he completed his first painting.
  • Surrealists looked for pieces of art from children and patients from mental institutions.
  • “Surrealism” means “Above Realism” whereas “Dada” from Dadaism, literally didn’t mean anything.
  • The most expensive surrealist art piece ever sold was Dali’s “Portrait de Paul Eluard”, which sold for a breath-taking $22.4 million.



Future Sporting Greats: Martin Ødegaard

All over the world there are people who dream about becoming professional football players.

They hope to play for their favourite club or even their country. For most, these dreams are just that, dreams.

For 16-year-old Martin Ødegaard, his dream has become a reality. Ødegaard made his debut for legendary Spanish football club Real Madrid. He was 16 years and 157 days old when he replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in the 58th minute on the 23rd May 2015. This officially makes him Real Madrid’s youngest ever player.

Ødegaard started his career at Drammen Strong, with much support from his father who was a famous footballer as well. This is where it is said he developed his talent, spending a lot of time honing his skills on a brand new football pitch his parents and others had paid for in donation to the club.

As his potential grew, he began training with Strømsgodset,  at the age of 13. A year later he was playing with their junior team, which was normally for players aged 17-19.


It wasn’t until 2014 that the 15 year old “wonderkid” was called up to play for the first team. He was unable to train with the team seeing as he was still in full-time education, so he trained with Mjøndalen IF twice a week, where his father was a coach.

After an impressive performance in a league match, there was much discussion across Norway about Ødegaard joining the national first team. He had been included in the U15-U21 teams, where he showcased the talent everybody knew he possessed. But it wasn’t until he was 15 years and 253 days old (only!?!) until he made his debut for Norway.

On January 21st 2015, Strømsgodset reached an agreement with Real Madrid to sell young Martin for approximately €3 million. It was agreed that Ødegaard would train with the first team and the reserves — Real Madrid Castilla — who are currently managed by Zinedine Zidane.

Ødegaard’s career at Real has started slowly. But perhaps it is wrong to expect too much from a 16-year-old future star who is no doubt overwhelmed by his new surroundings. Carlo Ancelotti, the former Real Madrid manager, had backed Ødegaard and asked the fans to remain patient while he settles at the club.

Ødegaard’s playing style has been linked to that of David Silva or Lionel Messi. However, many say that comparing the young Norwegian to Messi is silly, as he needs time to develop his own skills and particular way of playing. He is sure to be a star of the future.