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Darby Minow Smith's Posts

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Dogg Eat Dogg world

Allow Snoop Dogg to show you the horrifying wonders of Plizzanet Earth

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While we love the honeyed tones of one Sir David Attenborough in Planet Earth, sometimes the natural world calls for a little less calm bemusement and a little more "Damn, he didn't even chew BLEEEEEP he just swallowed. That's coldblooded, man." To that end, we welcome Snoop Dogg's spirited redubbing of the landmark BBC series.

The great white shark segment is his second Plizzanet Earth; below, he kicks off the segment on the Jimmy Kimmel Live. Sample quote: "I never understood rams. Why do they do this shit? What do they get out of this?" Enjoy:

Read more: Living

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Booze clues

Watch this adorable climate scientist explain sea-level rise with a gin & tonic

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A stranger at a bar challenged scientist Adam Levy on climate change. In a video response, Levy uses a classic cocktail to show how rising temperatures affect sea-level rise. Climate science, booze, and adorable Commonwealth accents? Count us in.

Remember: Do not try this at home (adding salt to a beautiful gin & tonic, that is).

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Earth Ball: So much fun, you’ll want to destroy the planet twice!

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Who needs a planet when you can have Earth Ball? Each kit comes with a spray bottle of acid rain, spillable mini-barrels of oil, and printouts of irrelevant environmental legislation (ouch! My heart!). Practice up, kiddos. If you're ever going to keep up with your parents, you have a lot of terrible habits to learn.

Thanks to the kids big and small at the Upright Citizens Brigade for the too-real video.

Read more: Living

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Put down the kale and step away

Relax, everyone: We’re not about to run out of kale

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Lay off the kale, you arrogant yuppies.* The leafy green's popularity has skyrocketed in the last few years, and as a result, Bejo Seeds, a major kale seed supplier, just ran out of seeds in Australia.

The kale chip fans in the media are scared. "Hipsters have made kale so popular that farmers are struggling to meet demand," cries the Daily Mail. "Time to Panic: There May Be a Global Kale Shortage," warns Eater. "Start Prepping Now for a Possible Global Kale Shortage," advises GrubStreet.

I see you're already clutching your favorite leafy green and growling. But is it really time to panic over, hoard, and ration your kale?

Don't unwax your handlebar mustache just yet. First, to point out the obvious, we're only talking about a temporary shortage from one (albeit big) seed supplier in one country. The Bejo Seeds Australia director told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he hopes seeds will be available by September or October.

When I contacted the Australia director for more details, he told me they had "switched the tap off" when it comes to the kale story. Translation: Calm the fuck down, internet.

I called up the managing director of Bejo Seeds' U.S. branch, Mark Overduin. He told me that while their branch had quadrupled kale seeds sales in the last three years, they weren't feeling the same crunch as their sister branch in Australia. "Sometimes supplies get a little tight," he said. When I told him that I thought that the kalepocalypse was overblown, he chuckled and said I was probably right. The leafy green researcher and kale farmers I heard from didn't seem too concerned, either.

Read more: Food, Living

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This little fox loves transit. Should we tell him he just missed his stop?

The fox was probably on the way to visit the raccoons who are taking over your neighborhood, the wolf-coyote hybrids who are prowling your park, and the deer who are munching on your parsley. Despite the fact that the bus was empty, the fox only took up one seat. If only all encroaching wildlife (including humans) were so polite.

Have no fear: The fantastic little guy snuck onto the parked bus for a snoozer and left on his own accord (feeling refreshed, we hope, and ready to seize the day -- or somebody's tasty backyard chickens!).

Read more: Cities, Living

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Slow your roll

Stephen Colbert can’t wait to belch exhaust all over bicyclists & hybrid cars

Greens had Stephen Colbert seeing red, so he was excited to hear about a new anti-environmentalist trend: coal rolling. "Coal rollers modify their diesel pickups to get shittier mileage and belch as much pollution as possible," explains Jim Meyer. The dirty pranksters then kick up black clouds on bicyclists, pedestrians, and hybrid cars. As Colbert points out, "The only other way to keep a Prius away from you is driving over 45 mph."

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Good riddance, ocean, you were terrifying and gross anyway

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When I put a fishy face to the victims of ocean acidification, overfishing, and pollution, my brain usually goes off into Christian Riese Lassen territory. Orcas leap through the ocean at sunset. Coral reefs teem with diversity, each fish more lovely than the next. Sea turtles circling the globe? Why the heck not.

You know what never made it into the ocean diversity art on my seventh-grade geography folder? This guy:

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Oh, heck yes: Check out these farm tools for women

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When it comes to products designed for women, the field is full of bubblegum-colored toolkits and dainty pens. "Shrink it and pink it" tends to be the default philosophy of the men wearing ties (presumably uttered as they do Mel Gibson impressions around the boardroom table).

So what happens when the product designers have no Y chromosomes and don gender-neutral polar fleeces instead of suits?

You get Green Heron Tools and a batch of farming and gardening tools that are actually useful for women. Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger founded the business after farming for 20 years and noticing the tools didn't quite work for their bodies. Deborah Huso interviewed the pair over at Modern Farmer:

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Death comes forest all

While away the hours to your inevitable demise with this green burial documentary

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You're probably not going to die and I certainly never will, but in the off chance the Grim Reaper catches up with us one day, why should our deaths be less sustainable than our lives?

The mainstream funeral industry is full of nasty chemicals and manicured lawns. Shouldn't we strive to stay green beyond just the inevitable 50 shades of mold [GLURGH] that awaits us?

Read more: Living

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Hay, Girl

Farming is full of shit, blood, and stubborn fields. How’s that for romantic?

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Real talk? That hay would be itchy as hell.

For the last few years, farming has enjoyed perhaps unprecedented levels of urban adoration. But two excellent articles recently popped up to warn us of the dangers of romanticizing farming.

Sarah Searle muses for Modern Farmer on the trend of farm-based weddings and agrotourism in general. While that extra bit of income from holding weddings can really make a difference for some farmers, "we’re incentivizing farmers to use their limited resources to perpetuate a romantic stereotype that consumers enjoy, rather than to spend money on functioning, sustainable (but perhaps not magazine-beautiful) models of local farming." Plus, some once-working farms "have found they can fare better offering a carefully curated version of farming to those willing to pay for it."

Shells of farms and farmers preoccupied with dancefloor assembly do not a sustainable, hardy food system make.

Over at The Guardian, Beth Hoffman hits hard on how little we actually know about the journey from farm to fork:

Read more: Food, Living