This utterly precious baby polar bear lives at the Wildlife Health Center at the Toronto Zoo, and since he was only born in November, this is his first experience of winter. Which means you get to watch him have a formative experience: meeting a polar bear's natural element, snow, for the first time.
This painstaking map (click to embiggen, but you're going to want to go to the full-size version) is a labor of love by the American Intercity Bus Riders Association, and it shows all the intercity transit routes in the U.S. In theory, you could use this map to traverse the country by rail and bus alone, never getting in a car.
When the news cycle gets you down, just remember: Baby sloths are probably being born ALL THE TIME, somewhere. And when they're born at zoos, like this Linne's two-toed sloth born at the Ellen Trout Zoo in Texas, we get to hear all about it and see pictures. Just close all your other tabs; this is the only one you need.
Here's a picture of the newborn, who arrived Jan. 16, when he was only an hour and a half old:
Did you hear the one about the ugly duckling who grew up to be a beautiful, graceful, complete asshat invasive species that threatens not only people and other birds but also commercial air travel? Well, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has, which is why it wants to get rid of the state's 2,200 mute swans in the next 12 years.
Oh, sure, swans are beautiful -- at least that's what you've been told to believe -- but they're also the worst kind of arrogant mutated dinosaur. They attack people, hurt other birds, destroy fish and waterfowl habitats by eating underwater vegetation, threaten passenger jets, and if they could open their beaks wide enough they'd eat you and everyone you love. So the conservation department wants to classify them as a "prohibited invasive species" -- mute swans were imported in the 19th century -- and start bumping them off.
Monsanto, everyone's favorite food villain, is rolling out a new crop of improved veggies -- but none of them are GMOs. Or rather, their genes are modified, but in the old-fashioned way: careful cross-breeding to promote desirable traits. Meet the new veggies:
Broccoli with up to three times the antioxidants
Teeny-tiny bell peppers (which means less waste)
Winter cantaloupe that's 30 percent sweeter
Onions that don't make you cry
Lettuce with more nutrients and a longer shelf life
In the unpleasant event that you're faced with someone who's all "lol how can there be global warming it's cold," you could follow our four-point plan for wasting your breath and not managing to change their minds. Or you could just send them this XKCD comic and let Randall Munroe do the work.
Dennis Hlynsky's video project "small brains on mass" use digital processing to show the tracks of birds and bugs. It's like that one part in Donnie Darko, except there's no time travel and no incipient mental breakdowns -- just a beautiful illustration of the patterns of nature.
Sorry to make your children look like total underachievers, but Ontario resident Chris Marchand has dealt with a month of subzero temperatures by making what is probably the best ice fort of all time. The five-foot wall acts as a noise and wind buffer for a 25-square-foot section of Marchand's yard, but the important thing is that it's MULTICOLORED -- and translucent, of course, so that when the enclosed fire pit is lit, it glows.