Think community gardens are sweet cooperative spaces where a neighborhood can come together to cultivate food and companionship? You poor sucker. Modern Farmer has the lowdown, and it's pretty low. Turns out those idyllic little greenspaces are actually hotbeds for theft, hard partying, vandalism, and culture clashes.
Vancouver Aquarium released seven rescued harbor seal pups last week, five of them outfitted with head-mounted transmitters. The babies are being sent back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor and prevent her child from becoming an anti-Skynet rebel. Vancouver Aquarium No, wait, no. The antennas are just for tracking the seals' movement, so aquarium vets can make sure the babies -- who've been receiving care and rehabilitation for months -- are doing OK after their release. These transmitters don't interfere with the pups' quality of life at all -- they're weightless in the water, and they'll fall off by next …
Unless you make a special trek, chances are you'll never see a Joshua tree -- they only grow in the Mojave desert, and even the ones there may be under threat from climate change. Luckily, photographer Sungjin Ahn has put together this lovely time-lapse video so you can appreciate the weird prickly trees in all manner of conditions (mostly sunrise, sunset, and various configurations of clouds, but it's all gorgeous).
Today President Obama is "pardoning" two turkeys with conventional taste in music -- Caramel, who reportedly likes Lady Gaga, and Popcorn, who's more into Beyonce. Sure. Anyway, they're getting a presidential pardon for the crime of being edible, and will be sent to an idyllic turkey farm where they can run free until they drop dead in a year because modern turkeys are just not built to live.
The lack of public toilets is a problem when you're on your way home on the subway and you drank one beer too many, but they're a much bigger problem if you have no home and no access to facilities. Increased public access to bathrooms doesn't just mean everyone has a pot to piss in; it can also increase health, dignity, confidence, and employability for the homeless. And San Francisco nonprofit Lava Mae is getting the word out about that -- in the form of a parade of beautiful artistic toilets.
When Michael Pollan said we should make our food ourselves, we kind of thought he meant home cooking, not culturing cheese from your belly button bacteria. But scientist Christina Agapakis and scent expert Sissel Tolaas have done just that, producing dairy products made using Pollan's navel microbes. And it looks almost edible. Almost.
Artist Sarah Hatton collects dead bees, but we promise it's not some sick weird thing. She collects them into complicated mandalas, swirling mathematical patterns like Fibonacci spirals that she intends to be "symbolically linked to monoculture crops" and representative of " the bees’ loss of ability to navigate due to the toxins locked within the very source of their sustenance."
Oh, you probably thought zebras were just docile, pleasant horsies that enjoyed dressing like a smarmy playboy's sheet set, huh? Well joke's on you, because apparently they've been biding their time waiting to avenge themselves on humans for threatening their species and putting them in captivity. The first volley: A zebra at the National Zoo bit a zoo staffer this morning, who had to be rushed to the hospital.
Somehow we missed this 2009 video, in which banker Joel Armstrong stands under a ledge catching ducklings as they jump off, helping them safely to the ground, and finally rescuing the stragglers with a ladder and helping them through the city streets to the river.
Of all the city-navigation sites and apps available -- the ones that tell you where to eat, the ones that plot your bike route, the ones that tell you when the next train is coming -- none is more likely to improve your New York experience than ToiletFinder.com, the site that tells you where to find a public toilet and how gross it's likely to be. (You think I'm exaggerating? Sit around and age for a while, then get back to me.) And now, you can apply to make ToiletFinder even better -- and earn some cash -- by becoming a professional bathroomologist.
ToiletFinder currently features user reviews, like a kind of poop Yelp. But founder Michael Li has decided to class up the joint by hiring a professional writer to scour New York's public pee spots. He's offering $100 a day plus a share of Google AdSense profits for the successful candidate, who must be funny, college-educated, and willing to be a little disgusting. (And even if you don't get the gig, he says he'll pay $20 for a good review.)