Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Could eating poo-burgers save the Earth?

Eat sh*t, cattle farming industry! No, literally, eat sh*t. Japanese scientist Mitsuyuki Ikeda has developed a way to make meat substitute out of "sewage mud," which is exactly what it sounds like. He extracts (bacterial) protein from what is essentially a soup of human feces, then blends it with soy protein and steak sauce to form a sort of poop patty. According to initial tests, the stuff actually tastes like beef, which raises the question: WHO THE HELL DID THEY GET TO DO THESE TESTS? 

Military spends more to air condition tents than NASA's entire budget

Steve Anderson, a retired brigadier general who was Petraeus' chief logistician in Iraq, says that the Pentagon spends $20 billion a year just to air condition tents and temporary buildings in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's more than NASA's entire annual budget. There's an easy fix, says Anderson: Spray tents with polyurethane foam. An existing $95 million contract to spray-insulate tents is providing $1 billion in cost-avoidance, Anderson says. But insulating tents instead of air conditioning them is still not official military policy.

Climate denier says solving global warming could cause Black Plague

James Taylor (the Heartland Institute guy, not the folk singer, alas) has discovered humoral medicine. See, the Black Plague was caused by too much cold, after the Medieval Warm Period petered out. (God, why didn't those medieval physicians think to treat it with hot poultices and baths to reduce black bile? SO OBVIOUS.) Anyway, if we manage to stem the global warming tide, according to Taylor, we'll be setting the stage for a new outbreak of plague.