Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Study: Rich old Republicans are pessimistic about your future

A new Gallup poll finds that only 44 percent of those surveyed thought that today's youth would have a better life than their parents. That's worse than during the recession. In fact, it's the lowest percentage on record, for a question they've been asking since 1983. (The highest, weirdly, was in December 2001 — 71 percent of people thought youth would be better off then, way more than in any other year. It must have been all that post-9/11 optimism.)  But the actual youth aren't feeling that dire. Among people ages 18 to 29, 57 percent thought they'd be better …

Cute guy hand-rears baby hummingbird, what’s not to love?

How's this for a hands-on approach to saving the natural world: When this baby hummingbird was attacked, this guy rescued it and nursed it to a healthy adulthood in a stirring montage set to a Jack Johnson tune.  The dude says: when she thought she was ready to leave (and she was) she flew off to her favorite patch of the back yard, and her instincts instantly kicked in, and now she's just like all the other hummingbirds. for those that are concerned that she has imprinted on humans and wouldn't survive in the wild, don't worry, she is thriving. …

GOP rep couldn’t have voted for oil subsidies, because they don’t exist, la la la

Bush killed Osama, the president was born in Kenya, and there's no such thing as oil subsidies. Not buying it? You just need practice. If you can believe six impossible things before breakfast every day, before you know it you'll be as adept as Utah Rep. Rob Bishop, who last week told a constituent that "There are no special subsidies or tax breaks for oil companies, period." Mind you, the House GOP — including Bishop — just voted to extend the special subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies, shooting down a proposal that would have recouped tens of billions …

New Chernobyl sarcophagus will dismantle itself from the inside

The "sarcophagus" that encases the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was only ever supposed to be temporary, but it's been left in place for 25 years. It's no surprise that the thing could crumble if you looked at it funny (and a LOT of people look at it funny). So a new containment structure is in order, and this time they are not f*cking around: It's going to be a giant metal shield with Teflon wheels and robot arms. It's hard to build a box around something you shouldn't really spend time near, like say a radioactive nuclear reactor …

Turn a month of trash into a month of treasure

A couple of Austrian design students have issued a challenge — to themselves, but you can get in on it. They're posting an upcycling project every day for 30 days, and for every guest submission they post, they'll extend the project one day. Send in your upcycling ideas and help them rehabilitate a month — or six months, or a year — worth of trash. Some of our favorites: Coat hangers made of metal measuring tapes have an advantage over the regular kind: They can fold up to travel. A lot of bakeries and bread companies discard loaves that are a …

Canada elects first Green Party MP; everything else sucks

Well, yesterday's elections ended with Stephen "Kyoto is a socialist plot" Harper and his Conservative cronies controlling a majority government, with Jack "Trustache" Layton and the New Democratic Party nipping at their heels. Canadian Twitter this morning sounds like U.S. Twitter would have sounded in 2004 if we'd had Twitter then. Oh, Canada, we're sorry — you can come crash on our couch!  But there's one bright spot in the dark night up north: Canada's Green Party got its first member of Parliament elected. Elizabeth May will be promoting the party's vision of a green economy, which includes removing corporate …

Meet the world’s most high-tech bike

It's pretty impressive that we're still chugging along on human-powered vehicles only a step more high-tech than a velocipede — olde-tyme bikes look basically like the ones we've got today. Why improve on perfection, right? Well, maybe just for the sheer badassery of it. At least, that seems to be the theory behind the Alpha, a high-tech bike designed by UPenn students that is basically a jetpack on wheels. The Alpha is an engineer's wet dream. Among its features: Lightweight carbon-fiber frame (lighter than a steel frame, even with all the added gadgetry) Onboard computer and handlebar display with real-time …

Tim Pawlenty doesn’t understand how gas prices work

Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty doesn't like high gas prices. Unfortunately, he apparently has no idea where they come from. Well, Tim, when a congressional GOP loves an oil industry very much … Pawlenty complained that Obama is "proposing is a tax increase on energy at a time when the gas is $4 a gallon," adding that the idea is "ludicrous." Well, that's technically true; Obama's proposing a tax increase in the sense that he wants to reduce handouts to oil and gas companies, and yes, he's doing it at a time when gas is $4 a gallon. But the two have …

What can we learn from the world’s most efficient fake city?

This EXTREMELY METAL VIDEO shows the evolution of what is probably the world's most efficient Sim City: 6 million inhabitants and no congestion. It's got optimal population density, operates by subway alone, and has essentially beat an unbeatable game by lasting for 50,000 in-game years. The innovative gridding system that made all this possible was a year and a half in the making. Also if you go by the video, it was designed by Dethklok. It wasn't really, though — it was designed by reportedly "normal dude" Vincent Ocasla. And he points out that there are a few down sides …

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