Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Can we turn mining pits into underground cities?

Architect Matthew Fromboluti designed this inverted skyscraper to make use of abandoned open-pit mining operations in Bisbee, Ariz. The 900-foot underground building (maybe we should call it a mantle-scraper?) wouldn't just be for residences -- it would comprise an entire self-sufficient subterranean city, including crops fed by skylights. 

TransCanada threatens to seize land for Keystone XL pipeline

The Keystone XL pipeline hasn't even been approved yet, but that hasn't stopped proud papa TransCanada from starting to decorate its room. The company is already suing landowners who refuse to sell, and is threatening to use eminent domain to seize the land. 

Watch a dust cloud engulf Texas

Holy moly. Lubbock, Texas, is really seeing the effects of its record-breaking drought. Is this another indicator of the Southwest becoming a new Dust Bowl? At any rate, it's super amazing/weird/pants-wettingly scary to watch.

Ten years of car commuting could cost you $125,000

A lot of home buyers are pushing out into the exurbs because the houses are cheaper there -- but long commutes come with hidden costs that could seriously dent any money you might save on a mortgage. A personal finance blogger with the trust-inspiring nom de plume of Mr. Money Mustache (okay, so he's a mustache, but it's a MONEY mustache!) has calculated that a two-car commute of 19 miles each way would cost a couple $125,000 over 10 years. That makes a $250,000 home into a $375,000 home, but all you get for your extra money is a tension headache.

How to translate climate science into Average Joe-ese

Communicating science can be a challenge — not everybody wants to be communicated to, for one thing, and also a lot of words with specialized Science Meanings also have regular meanings that are completely different. (If you don't believe me, try using the phrase "quantum leap" to a particle physicist.) In the wake of the Climategate hoopla, much of which centered on a misinterpretation of the word "trick," two physicists have published a paper about how scientists can choose their words when talking to the public about climate change. This chart can act as a sort of Science-English Dictionary.

Coming in 2013: Electric DeLorean!

The DeLorean Motor Company (not the original one but a reboot) will be coming out with an all-electric version of the iconic gull-wing auto in 2013 -- two years early for the events of Back to the Future II. Dear god, we'd better get cracking on those self-lacing shoes!

You know you want to knit a sweater for a penguin

Now is the time for all good knitters to come to the aid of some penguins. The New Zealand oil spill has left the little guys in need of some warmth and protection, and a Kiwi yarn store has posted patterns for how to knit "penguin jumpers" and instructions on where to send them. 

Japanese companies turn bras into fuel

The whole "feminists burn their bras" thing is kind of a canard, but now you can do it for real and for an equally good cause. Japanese lingerie manufacturers are collecting bras and recycling them into solid fuel.

Giant Bicycles strikes back at stupid GM ad

GM's ad about how embarrassing it is to ride a bike? Dumb. Giant Bicycles' parody response? Classy! Also pretty amusing.

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