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Jess Zimmerman's Posts

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Vegan cooking is totally metal

You don't have to go vegan to eat responsibly. But if you want to, you can avoid meat and dairy while still being TOTALLY METAL. <guitar solo by Skwisgaar Skwigelf> With a lot of rubber armor, face paint, and an awesome knife (your knife does not have to be that awesome), Vegan Black Metal Chef shows you how to keep death and destruction confined to your music collection and off of your plate.

Read more: Food

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Which crop is the biggest water hog? (Warning: You’re not gonna like the answer.)

Agriculture is thirsty work. Growing and processing food takes a ton of water, and it's only going to get worse as the world warms. So which crop has the biggest water footprint? (That's defined, by the way, as the volume of fresh water used to make the product, across all steps of production.) You're not going to like this, or at least I don't: It's chocolate. The global average water footprint for chocolate is 24,000 liters per kilogram (2,876 gallons per pound), according to the nonprofit Water Footprint Network. Even generally wretched-for-the-environment beef farming is less water-hungry, at 15,500 liters …

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This guy crashed his bike into a taxi for you

Casey Neistat moved out of the bike lane to avoid an obstruction -- like a deliberately parked cop car? MAYBE -- and got busted for not riding in the lane. But he's a good citizen; he paid his $50 debt to society and resolved to never, ever deviate from the bike lane again. Here is the result. Incidentally, yes, it's legal to deviate from the bike lane for safety, including to avoid things that are in your way. It is NOT legal to park in a bike lane. But "laws" are for people who aren't in the NYPD.

Read more: Biking, Cities

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South Korea will create 1.5 million green energy jobs

Going green costs jobs? Tell that to South Korea. The country plans to create 1.5 million jobs -- and, not for nothing, 328 trillion won ($304 billion) in new exports -- by increasing investment in green energy.  Oh, also, South Korea predicts that this new commitment to renewables -- which will include solar, wind, fuel cells, biogas, energy storage, and nuclear -- will reduce carbon emissions by 210 million metric tons over the next 19 years, not to mention reducing fossil fuel dependence. But when it comes to selling the U.S. on greener energy, money talks, and that 328 trillion …

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Bike shares are the new black

You know that bumper sticker on your Prius that says "My Other Car is a Bike"? You might want to slap on another next to it that says "And It's Not Even My Bike," because bikesharing systems are totally hot right now. There are now 400 bikeshares in western Europe, up from "a few" 10 years ago. The world's biggest bikeshare -- in Hangzhou, China -- has 50,000 bikes available and logs 240,000 trips a day. Arbiter of cool New York City has plans to launch a bikeshare system by April, 2012. There are bikeshares across five continents -- Mexico, …

Read more: Biking, Cities

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GM’s CEO says a gas tax hike would help the auto industry

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson doesn't want tougher fuel efficiency standards. That's no surprise. Here's the surprise: What he wants instead is a $1-per-gallon gas tax increase. If given a choice between a gas surcharge and the increasing fuel efficiency standards that are set to phase in over the next 15 years or so, Akerson says, he'd choose the tax. The overall efficiency of cars on the road would still increase, because buyers would opt for more efficient and thus more cost-effective cars. But the tax would be a better deal for the auto industry. As it turns out, high …

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EPA critics are hogging the air time

According to a Media Matters report, cable news channels are flooding the airwaves with people who oppose the EPA's rules regulating greenhouse gases: They get four times as much airtime as supporters. Of 199 guests discussing EPA rules on cable news shows between December 2009 and this April, 152 opposed the rules, and only 35 supported them. (The rest were neutral.)  Given that a recent Stanford University poll showed that 76 percent of respondents think the government should regulate businesses' emissions, this is pretty out of line with public opinion. Fox News channels were the biggest offenders -- le gasp! They …

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Amazing urban farm school for teen moms will be shut down

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Hey, do you like education? Do you like keeping teen moms from dropping out of school? Do you like teaching kids about sustainable food and farming? Well, screw you, says the Michigan state government. Catherine Ferguson Academy, the amazing but embattled Detroit public high school that let pregnant teens and young mothers work on an urban farm while continuing their education, has lost its battle to stay open.  Michigan has a new law empowering the state's emergency financial manager to close whatever schools he likes, without votes or …

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Ken is leaving Barbie over her deforestation habit

Barbie's got a dangerous addiction to endangered Indonesian hardwood, and Ken isn't putting up with it anymore. Once he found out Mattel packaging uses wood from the fragile Indonesian rainforest, at least some of which is from evil conglomerate Asia Pulp & Paper, he was out of there, girl.  This video leans a little hard on the "Ken is gay or at least metrosexual" trope, which is dumb because a) yeah, like we need more entrenched gender roles ("OMG, boy + doll must = stereotypical swishy gay guy!") and also b) Ken has no genitals, so can he really have …

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Websites help you choose a walkable, low-commute home

Looking for an apartment involves a lot of guesswork -- if you believe Craigslist, absolutely everything is "steps from shopping and transportation!" If you want to figure out how to maximize walkability and minimize commute, you have to actually schlep over there. Or, now, you could just hit the web. PadMapper integrates rental listings, Google maps, and Walk Score, with the result that for every available apartment you can instantly see street view, price compared to the local median, and -- critically -- how walkable the neighborhood is and what's nearby.  It's addictive, even if you're not moving imminently. I've already …

Read more: Cities, Living