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During a storm, this guy powered his TV with his Prius

prius-energy-consumption-flickr
Nicole Mays

Bob Osemlak is one resourceful guy. The Toronto-area retiree lost power for almost all of Dec. 21, but he just hooked up his Prius to his home appliances (easy peasy, right?!) and powered his furnace, lights, fridge -- even his TV. Sadly, this eliminates the beloved “Guess we better eat all the ice cream now” line, but other than that, cool!

Even though Osemlak used the Prius battery for nine hours, the hybrid’s power only went down by less than one bar (or about a gallon of gas). Osemlak conserved the battery by switching back and forth between the furnace and the other appliances. And it didn’t hurt that he prepared in advance:

Osemlak prepared for the outage by installing an outlet on his furnace. He then ran a cord through the basement to his hybrid electric car.

But maybe don’t imitate him:

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Here is a baby skunk wearing a onesie and cuddling with a toy sloth

baby-skunk-onesie
Imgur

Hope you're sitting down, because it's cute animal time! Stunky is a seven-month-old skunk that just got spayed but refused to leave her stitches alone. “Since she can't wear a cone of shame, my vet had us put her in a newborn onesie and a puppy diaper,” writes Redditor KalisCoraven. UM YES. YES INDEED.

baby-skunk
Imgur
Read more: Living

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British thieves make off with thousands of sleeping bees

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quisnovus

As if colony collapse disorder (CCD) weren’t enough, now random Brits have stolen a beehive full of tuckered out li’l bees. According to the Huffington Post:

The hive, which was taken from a community garden in Norwich between Dec. 13 and 22, contained an estimated 20,000 to 60,000 bees that were hibernating for the winter.

First of all, who steals from a community garden? BRITISH SATAN? (It was probably the same people who stole some nuns’ organic Brussels sprouts.) Second, uh, whaddya do with upwards of 20,000 hibernating bees? Sell a bunch of honey at your black-market roadside stand? Third, doesn’t the perp realize that when the bees wake up and aren’t in their usual home, they’re gonna be pissed? I hope SOMEbody is ready to get stung. (With JUSTICE!)

Read more: Living

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Crab creates cinema masterpiece by trying to steal a camera and bury it

Remember the eagle who stole a video camera and made 2013’s Best Picture (knock on wood!)? Not to be outdone, a crab in Fiji has now snatched a vacationer’s camera in an attempt to show us humans how it’s done:

The audio is bad, so you can’t quite make out the crab’s narration, but I transcribed it for you:

Read more: Living

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Believe it or not, these gorgeous pictures of melting glaciers aren’t photographs

greenland-60-Zaria-Forman
Zaria Forman

Here’s climate change art we actually like! Brooklyn artist Zaria Forman makes beautiful, ginormous pastel landscapes that serve as snapshots of melting glaciers and rising seas. (You may’ve seen her work in House of Cards if you have a habit of staring at sets.) Believe it or not, this is not a photograph. I mean, THIS is a photograph, but it's a photograph OF a pastel drawing. (Scroll down to see one in progress if you don't believe me.)

Greenland #62 / 47”x70” / Soft pastel on paper
Zaria Forman
Greenland #62 / 47”x70” / Soft pastel on paper

Read more: Living

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Here’s how to restore a community with your old Christmas tree

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Jacob Allen-Jordan

Sure, you COULD compost your Christmas tree, or set it on fire, or weave its branches into a hat (we’re really only condoning the first one). But why would you do that, when you could donate it to a local restoration project?

Your old, dry Christmas tree nonspecific holiday foliage can do everything from preserving fish and bird habitats to generating electricity. Way more exciting than just sitting in your yard waste bin, right? For instance, in Louisiana, more than 350,000 old Christmas trees have helped protect shorelines and prevent erosion since 1991:

Here’s a list of community restoration programs across the country, courtesy of the National Christmas Tree Association:

Read more: Living

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This lady ate only Starbucks for an entire year

beautiful-existence-starbucks-2
1 Year of My Life

Beautiful Existence -- her legal name, if not her birth name -- is a Seattle-area woman who takes gimmicks to a new level, a PR team’s wet dream. In 2011, she shopped only at Goodwill; in 2014, she’s partnering with REI to learn every sport. And last year, she only ate and drank Starbucks. For the whole year.

http://vimeo.com/82914890

WHY?! She doesn’t really explain. One hopes at least she got paid, because Existence spent over $7,000 and gave Starbucks a TON of free press. Her Facebook page is loaded with gratuitous Starbucks coffee cup shots and Starbucks-related links. She even dressed up as the mermaid for Halloween. She explains that she likes to highlight Washington-based companies, but one wonders, couldn’t she find a smaller, less-evil company to partner with? Maybe one that actually needed the publicity?

Read more: Food, Living

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Walmart in China recalls donkey meat because it doesn’t taste like ass

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Matthew Stinson

One Chinese Walmart shopper wanted meat that tasted like ass. But something was fishy about the 1,600 packages of donkey meat he bought -- namely, they tasted like fish (a telltale sign they were tainted with fox meat, though you'd think it would be a telltale sign they were tainted with fish). Now Walmart is recalling its “Five Spice” donkey meat, performing meat DNA tests, and offering refunds.

Why would anyone be adding foxy filler to ass burgers? “Donkey meat [is] a regional delicacy,” notes Quartz. “Selling undesirable (and cheaper) meat under these names [donkey, beef, and mutton] can therefore boost profits enormously.” According to Reuters, China eats 2.4 million donkeys’ worth of ass lunchmeat and snacks every year. (Donkey Lunchables would actually explain a LOT.)

But what the heck does donkey taste like? Writes Businessweek:

Read more: Food, Living

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This weird jumping fish lives on land

leaping blenny
Martin Eckert

The Pacific leaping blenny (Alticus arnoldorum) is a land-dwelling fish that sounds like an Irish drinking exclamation ("leapin' blenny!") or maybe the name of a pub. Native to Guam, the fish is also the subject of a new study in Animal Behavior that looks at how important camouflage is.

The li’l buddies are only one to three inches long, but they can leap much farther than that (hence the name), flinging themselves on rocks near water and wiggling around to stay wet. Writes Sci-News:

“This terrestrial fish spends all of its adult life living on the rocks in the splash zone, hopping around defending its territory, feeding and courting mates ...” said study senior author Dr. Terry Ord.

Sounds like twentysomethings. Zing!

Read more: Living

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The year in GIFs: 2013’s green news in animated form

It's been a year. Here are a few of 2013's top green stories, animated. Happy 2014!

Obama unveiled an actual climate plan in June!

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Reaction Gifs
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Tumblr

...But he likes fracking. REALLY likes it.

Read more: Living