Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Google science fair winner stands up for air quality

Naomi Shah, winner of the Google science fair in the 15-16 age group, isn't just a budding research scientist. She's also an environmentalist. And her project, which focuses on the effects of air quality triggers on asthma sufferers, highlights why other people should be environmentalists too.

Idaho highway is COVERED IN BEES

So that's what was happening with all the bees! It wasn't cell phones (okay, it really wasn't) or pesticide. They were just all inside a truck. And now that truck has crashed on an Idaho highway, releasing 14 million bees to go make a giant vat of potato honey or whatever bees do in Idaho. 

JetBlue offers $4 L.A.-to-L.A. flights for Carmageddon

Los Angeles is quaking in fear of "Carmageddon" this weekend, when 10 miles of heavily-populated Route 405 will be shut down. But never fear, Angelenos ... you won't have to spend even a single weekend not pumping out tons of carbon! JetBlue will let you fly from Burbank (just north of L.A.) to Long Beach (just south of L.A.) for only $4.

Cut trash with tiny trash cans

We tend to associate the "everything bigger" approach with wastefulness -- oversized cars guzzle gas, McMansions drive up electricity bills, 72-ounce challenge steaks never get fully eaten. So it makes sense to think that downsizing trash cans might help downsize trash. That's what they're finding at Dartmouth College, anyway, where trash cans as small as quart-size yogurt containers (that's my ineptly 'shopped comparison above) are cutting down on waste.

New solar cells can be printed on paper or fabric

Finally, your dream of solar pants (that don't look douchey) can come true! MIT researchers have devised solar panels that can be printed directly onto fabric, plastic, or paper, as easily as printing from an inkjet. The result is a flexible, malleable solar panel with enough juice to power ... well, okay, barely any juice at all right now. But it's still in the early stages of development! Besides, once you pair your solar pants with a solar shirt, tie, bag, fedora, and shoes, it'll start to add up, and you will also look very snappy.

Zero-energy lighting for poor communities requires only water and bleach

It can get pretty dark under the corrugated metal roofs of Manila’s slums. Millions of families in the Philippines go without electric light, and those who have it can be at risk of fires from faulty wiring. But thanks to an innovation developed at MIT and distributed by the Liter of Light project, that problem can be solved with just a hole in the roof, a bottle of water, and some bleach. The bleach and water solution refracts sunlight, illuminating the insides of close-packed shanties in a way that windows can’t. Installation takes less than an hour and costs little, …

So much for GOP's lightbulb bill

Whether they decided they had more important things to worry about than saving the inefficient lightbulb, or whether they were scared of enraging the ghost of Thomas Edison, House members put the kibosh on a bill that would have repealed lightbulb efficiency standards.

Coal company: 'Birth defects aren't from mining, they're because you're inbred hicks'

Babies born in areas with mountaintop-removal mining have higher rates of birth defects -- we know that from a study that came out last month. But, say coal companies, that doesn't mean the mining CAUSES the birth defects! They could easily be caused by something else -- like, say, rampant inbreeding.

Surprise! Fracking fluid kills trees

Not that this is a big surprise or anything, but a new study shows that disposing of fracking fluid can do a number on local trees. One perfectly legal dump of used fracking fluid in West Virginia ended up killing more than half of the trees in the affected area.

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