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Horizon highlights – July 4 weekend

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Happy Fourth of July weekend! Our regular roundup of noteworthy stories from the web covers Wall-E's secret roots, bizarre patents from the war on terror, and how to get the most out of your trash.

If you think I missed a great story, feel free to post your links as a comment down below. That way, other readers can enjoy them as well. Let’s kick it off:

EnergyGarbage In, Megawatts Out
"This week, city counselors in Ottawa, Ontario, unanimously approved a new waste-to-energy facility that will turn 400 metric tons of garbage per day into 21 megawatts of net electricity – enough to power about 19,000 homes." [Via Technology Review]

SpaceFrance plans revolution in space
Ambitious plans for European missions to the Moon and Mars are being considered by the French government. It wants to kick-start a revolution in space by letting EU politicians, not bureaucrats, decide on priorities for the European Space Agency (Esa). [Via BBC]
Video: Space tourism is ready for takeoff: "Wanna see outer space? The round trip will only take 30 minutes. Xcor Aerospace is counting down to 2010 for the launch of its Lynx rocket ship. The two-seater tourist plane will blast toward the sky at 1,500 miles per hour."

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