Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Dolphins take Manhattan

New York is becoming quite the haven of wildlife! There's the pigeons, the giant monkey on the Empire State Building, and now dolphins have been spotted in New York Harbor. The frisky sea critters haven't gotten into an empire state of mind in two years, so this is a big deal — it means the water quality is better and the fish populations are rebounding. Of course, regular Grist List readers know that you can't always trust a dolphin, what with their mad lust-fueled killing sprees and everything. But that probably means that the tolerant Big Apple is the best …

New trend: Going produce shopping in abandoned gardens

Most cities these days are chock-full of foreclosed properties. Some foreclosed properties are chock-full of fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and other sources of fresh produce. That adds up to a lot of tasty plant matter going to waste -- unless people take it upon themselves to harvest food from abandoned houses, either for their own use or to distribute to shelters. That's not legal, but as a New York Times piece makes clear, that doesn't mean it's not a good idea.

In a world of 7 billion, what does the typical person look like?

Here's a new take on the "new normal." National Geographic has run some calculations on our population averages, now that we're staring 7 billion in the face. The verdict: The most typical human right now is a 28-year-old Han Chinese man — there are over 9,000,000 people in the world fitting that description! — who is right-handed and has a cell phone but no bank account. "Typical" is a moving target as the population explodes: By 2030, as we shoot past 7 billion, the typical person will come from India.