Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

More than 100 tar-sands activists politely arrested in polite Canadian protest

On Monday, at least 400 protestors stormed -- or, more accurately, walked gently up to and tapped on the shoulder -- the Canadian parliament building in Ottawa to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. Over 100 people were arrested, charged with trespassing, and barred from coming near the parliament building for a year. But everybody was REALLY, REALLY POLITE about it.

Grow a real garden in a LEGO greenhouse

Well, here's an innovative urban gardening solution -- a greenhouse made of transparent LEGO bricks that grows real plants in LEGO mulch.

People know how to eat better, they just can't afford it

We know, we know -- you just got done patting yourself on the back over that New York Times graphic showing that healthy food is cheaper than fast food. If you were operating on a really tight budget, we're sure you'd be able to pull off super-wholesome eating for your whole family! Here's the thing, though: For most actual poor people, it's not that simple.

Atlas error overstates Greenland's (still significant!) ice loss

Here's the good news: Greenland did not lose 15 percent of its ice cover in the last 10 years, as the Times [Usually] Comprehensive Atlas of the World said it did. This is, in fact, really good news, since this amount of melting would raise sea levels three to five feet. The publisher, HarperCollins subsidiary Collins Geo, has retracted the 15 percent figure but says it's "reviewing" the map -- but in the meantime, a whole bunch of scientists went "whoa whoa whoa there." 

Well, that's one way to recycle your bottle caps

This Chuck Close-style self-portrait by Mary Ellen Croteau is entirely made of discarded bottle caps. (A lot of them are from sodas, but deodorant caps, childproof pill container lids, soap bottle-style pumps, and tops from bottles of saline solution and eyedrops are also represented, along with probably many more.) This is possibly not a practical recycling solution for everyone, but you gotta admit it looks amazing.

Engineers: We have all the tech we need to cut carbon

Apparently the world's engineers are getting sick of being told that cutting emissions is an engineering problem. Eleven of the biggest engineering organizations have released a joint statement saying, in effect, "You want carbon cuts? We can give you carbon cuts. Just say the word, smart guy."  We already have all the tech necessary to cut emissions 85 percent by 2050, say the engineers. What we don't have is support from governments -- laws that prioritize carbon reduction, and funding to put the technology into action.

Graphic: Fast food is more expensive than homemade

The New York Times breaks down the cost of two home-cooked meals, relative to McDonald's.

Save the whales, put them in the Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle is just sitting around making ships and planes disappear. Why not put it to work for something useful, like a whale sanctuary? Because when you want to save something, you definitely store it in a place where stuff mysteriously vanishes. That's why I keep my passport in the dryer.

Teen's invention boosts solar panel output 40 percent

Nineteen-year-old Eden Full is going to be taking a few years off from her studies at Princeton. That's because she's been getting a ton of grants to finish developing her SunSaluter, a technology that allows solar panels to track the sun, boosting output by 40 percent.