Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Over 1,000 new species discovered in New Guinea

Researchers found more than 1,000 new species in New Guinea over the ten years from 1998 to 2008, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund. Previously unknown species -- including an 8-foot river shark, a frog with fangs, and pink dolphin -- were discovered at a rate of two a week. But New Guinea could lose half its forest to logging by 2020, and already some of these new species are so rare that they went onto the endangered list as soon as they were discovered.

How to build an open-source internet from household trash

If there's anything we learned from the revolutions in the Middle East, it's that the internet has become a critical tool for burgeoning democracies. So what to do in places where the internet is tightly controlled, or just unreliable? For residents of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, the solution is: build your own. Using help from the National Science Foundation and a pile of household trash, they've built an open-source wireless network that can transmit up to several miles.

Bike lanes create jobs

The title of this post should really be "Bike lanes create jobs, duhhhhhhhhhh." A new study from the University of Massachusetts is only the latest evidence that bike infrastructure projects create more jobs than road infrastructure -- but the message hasn't gotten through to everyone, so with UMass' help we'll just keep beating that horse. Anyway, the latest study shows that bike and pedestrian projects generate 46 percent more employment than roads. So, you know, no big deal, just HALF AGAIN AS MANY JOBS. 

Check out this solar-powered 3D printer

Yo dawg, I heard you like solar power, so I put some solar power in your 3D printer so you can solar power while you 3D print.

Vegan condoms keep your junk cruelty-free

If you won't put animal products in your mouth, shouldn't it stand to reason you wouldn't put them on your wang? Or maybe you're courting a vegan, and you want to seal the deal. Lucky for you there are vegan lubes and condoms available, to replace the raw-meat-and-gelatin lube and condoms you were using before.

Build this beautiful shipping container house for only $40K

There's been a small vogue for houses and buildings made of shipping containers, which are cheap, plentiful, and often end up tossed in the sea (either on purpose or otherwise). This airy two-container dwelling is one of the prettiest we've seen, and it only cost $40,000 to build.

Even Republicans and climate skeptics support fuel efficiency and clean energy

Regardless of how they felt about global warming -- from "alarmed" to "dismissive" -- nearly everyone in this 2009 survey supported increased fuel efficiency standards. Even the ones who dismissed the threat of climate change weren't very strongly opposed. What's more, 90 percent of people think clean energy should be a priority for the president, including 85 percent of Republicans. And more than 80 percent support increased funding of renewable energy research.

The U.S. is building an interstate highway system for bikes

One day you'll be able to head out on the highway WITHOUT getting your motor running first. Take that, Steppenwolf! Last week the Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials breathed new life into a long-fallow plan to build an interstate bicycle system, approving new routes for the first time in more than 30 years.

We should all have plastic money like Canada

Canada has unveiled new polymer bills, which will replace paper $100 bills and, by 2012, paper 50s and 20s. They're super slick and futurey-looking (even though they still feature pictures of the prime minister from 1911). More importantly, they're designed to prevent fraud and will be better for the environment than paper money.