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Jess Zimmerman's Posts

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Cartoon version of Rick Perry indistinguishable from the real thing

I wish this Taiwanese animated explainer on Rick Perry said more about his laughable positions on climate science, but you gotta love watching a cartoon version of the Republican front-runner pray for rain and get smacked down by God.

Read more: Election 2012

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Representative thinks Obama controls the weather

Yeah, that's Rep. Joe Wilson, of the "You lie!" outburst. Is it possible the reason they don't believe in science is that they actually believe in magic?

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An ode to scary mutant fruits

Awl editor Alex Balk found out that farmers have been tinkering with plant genetics to create cross-breeds like "pluerries," and it inspired him to heights of lyrical brilliance: Please Don't Make The Fruits Do Sex To Each Other The freakish fruits that Science spawns— The pros we know, but not the cons What laws of nature might we breach By blending apricot and peach? Or still more fearsome, contemplate An apple grafted to a date It makes one sit with mouth agape To ponder kiwi mixed with grape You know you need to read the rest of it. It could …

Read more: Food, Scary Food

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How Gmail saves energy

There are a lot of benefits to cloud computing. For instance, if you believe the commercials, it lets you replace your family's heads with better heads! Also, it saves you storage space and means you can access your data with multiple devices. But this might be the best argument so far: Switching from local email servers to a cloud-based service like Gmail could make companies 80 times more energy-efficient. In fact, a full year of Gmail requires less energy than it takes to make a bottle of wine (both the wine and the bottle), drink it, put a message in …

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Rick Perry: Just because global warming is a 'fact' doesn't mean it's real

Oh, Rick Perry. He's like a feudal lord who was just defrosted from the 13th century, only better-coiffed and less handy with a lance. He's like his own personal Renaissance Festival. Science? Forsooth, milord, what dost thou mean? In last night's debate, Perry offered the following extremely convincing argument against global warming: Not all scientists believe in it, I am pretty sure. I can't name any scientist who doesn't, but then, I can't name any scientists at all. Even if they do say it's a fact, that doesn't mean it's true. Because Galileo. Hey, Galileo! He's a scientist who probably …

Read more: Election 2012

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The Dalai Lama and other Peace Prize winners ask Obama to reject Keystone XL

If Obama won't listen to the Tar Sands Action protesters, will he listen to nine of his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureates? Because they've all but told him -- in their very kind and Peace-Prizey way -- that they'll be embarrassed to share the medal with him if he doesn't. Nine laureates, including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have written Obama a letter urging him to nix the pipeline. The night you were nominated for president, you told the world that under your leadership—and working together—the rise of the oceans will begin to slow and the planet will …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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ConAgra pulls a dirty frozen-meal trick on food bloggers

Hey, remember those ads where they used to secretly replace people's actual made-from-beans coffee with freeze-dried Flavor Crystals? Those were a laugh riot, right? So obviously the most genius possible marketing plan for frozen dinners -- basically the food equivalent of instant coffee -- would be to make people think they're eating real made-from-food food, and then alert them that they've been baited and switched. It can't fail! You know, unless the people involved are food bloggers who care about eating organic, fresh, and healthy ingredients rather than mass-fabricated sodium-enhanced spun and capped protein strands. Then they might get pissed. …

Read more: Food, Scary Food

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Toilet-sharing app CLOO' turns your home into a public bathroom

Hey, we all love sharing, right? It lets you live comfortably while limiting consumption and waste. And you have that bathroom, and you're not using it all the time, right? What are you, selfish? Put your money where your mouth is, toilet-hog, and offer up your bathroom to strangers with a deuce to donate. Otherwise the terrorists win. If you're seriously willing to hang an "Open to Strange Butts" placard outside your lavatory (what are you, nuts? We were joking), a new app called CLOO' will let you take shit from just about anyone. CLOO' is a community of registered users …

Read more: Cities, Living

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Bear steals Prius

Here's a cautionary tale for hybrid owners: A Prius-owning family in California lost its car to a joy-riding bear.  After wedging itself inside the car, the bear became stuck. Frustrated, hungry and mad, it kicked, scratched, bit and tore at the interior of the hybrid, trying to force a way out as easily as it found its way in. In its behind-the-wheel rampage, the bear ripped open the seats, bit a chunk out of the steering wheel and damaged the Prius' gear box, shifting the car into neutral. From the safety of the cabin, the awakened family watched helplessly as …

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Light pollution is stealing our night sky — here's how to get it back

This (left) is your sky. And this (right) is your sky on ONE MAJOR LIGHT SOURCE. So it's no surprise that suburban starscapes have been totally desaturated by the lights on buildings, roads, and parking lots. Less than half the U.S. -- and almost none of Europe -- has dark enough night skies to see the Milky Way. It's an easy fix, though, at least in theory. Replacing street lights with full cutoff lights, below, saves money and reduces glare while also giving us back the stars.  

Read more: Cities, Pollution