Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

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.

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. 

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.

Mom could be arrested for letting her kid bike to school

There are a few factors that make it tricky for kids to bike or walk alone: Bad drivers who face insufficient consequences, lack of sidewalks and protected bike lanes, too few crosswalks. We COULD improve biking and walking infrastructure, and have cops actually crack down on illegal driving maneuvers. But that's hard! Instead, let's just arrest everybody who doesn't drive their kids to school. That appears to be the approach in Elizabethton, Tenn., where Teresa Tryon has been threatened with arrest if she keeps letting her daughter bike to school on her own.

Nothing says eco-tourism like a 21-foot crocodile

What do you do with a suspected man-eating crocodile the size of a small aircraft? Make it the highlight of an eco-tourism park. At least, …

Introducing the self-inflating bicycle tire

PumpTire has developed the world's first self-inflating bike tire, which actually takes in air and inflates to ideal pressure as you ride. This won't keep you from ever getting a flat or anything, but it could spare you a lot of tedious adjusting and checking of tire pressure.

How to assess hurricane damage using waffles

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has an idiosyncratic (and tasty) way of determining the damage caused by a hurricane: the Waffle House Index. The iconic Southern chain is so widespread -- and so stalwart -- that you can gauge a storm's severity based on whether the local Waffle Houses closed.

Obama blows smog in everyone's face

President Obama has yanked back the EPA's proposed new restrictions on ground-level ozone (i.e. smog). That's a huge win for Big Business, which had claimed it couldn't weather an economic downturn AND keep from suffocating people at the same time. But it's an equally huge loss for everyone else -- especially since the reason the EPA was revising the smog standards in the first place was because the allowable limit was well above safe levels, according to the agency's science advisors.

Raising chickens is totally rock and roll

Jenifer Jourdanne has expensive tastes, expensive shoes, and "designer chickens." In an essay in xoJane, she talks about how her long-standing backyard coop didn't dent her rocker cred: I will have you know I was a maverick. I was the girl in the early 90s at Viper Room where people would say things like “Slash, come over here, no really, this chick has pet chickens!" I mean I am sure they probably thought I used them in an adult act but sorry to bore you, they just walk around my herb gardens looking for snails.