Katy Balatero

Katy Balatero is Grist's editorial intern.

Plunder the sea

New online game illustrates the impacts of overfishing

Following in the footsteps of other web-based enviro games such as Whale's Revenge, Planet Green, and, uh, Catstration (okay, maybe that one is a stretch) comes Ocean Survivor. The game has no relation to a certain CBS reality show; players swim through the sea as a bluefin tuna and avoid obstacles like death-by-bottom-trawler:

Journey to the bottom of the Earth

CBS airs final segment of Antarctica series tonight

CBS has been televising a series this week on climate change impacts in Antarctica. Monday's broadcast spotlighted how climate change has affected Adelie penguin populations. The segment last night focused on scientific research in Antarctica and what it might mean for our understanding of global warming (see video below). You can tune in tonight at 6:30 pm EST to find out about waste and recycling issues in our least-inhabited continent.

Stadium Barack

Obama takes the stage in Seattle to rally support for Saturday’s state caucuses

Barack Obama's speech in Seattle today made this 26-year-old feel positively old. I and a few other Gristers hopped a bus over to the rally in Key Arena and were greeted by a stadium overflowing with supporters, many of them high school and college students. I overheard an usher say "I dont see this kind of support for [Seattle's basketball team] the Sonics anymore." (The venue holds 18,000 people: by speech time it was over capacity, with people crowded on the floor, spilling into the aisles, and climbing up the walls into off-limits box seats; several thousand had been turned away at the door.) The Obama rally at Key Arena, Seattle, Wash. Photo: Ashley Braun

Rockin' robins

Birds die in Portland neighborhood after alcohol binge

This story from The Oregonian gives new meaning to the term "dead drunk": It's a case fit for wildlife CSI: 55 robins from the Mount Tabor neighborhood -- all dead within a few nearby backyards. Toxic spill? Mystery virus? Maybe not. The leading theory is that the birds were fatally intoxicated, said Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society of Portland's wildlife care center, where the birds ended up last week. That's right: The birds drank themselves to death. Not from a bottle, though. The birds' bellies were chock full of holly berries, skins and seeds. Sallinger isn't dismissing other explanations yet, but the current thinking is that the birds ate aged and fermented berries that killed them. ... The robins travel in flocks this time of year, so they could have gobbled the berries together last week. They may have died from ethanol poisoning directly or dropped into such a stupor they died of exposure. "Certainly a drunk bird in the rain is pretty vulnerable," Sallinger said. Maybe they were just depressed.

'The Story of Stuff'

Another reason to procrastinate about my Christmas shopping

From the producers of "The Meatrix" and "Grocery Store Wars" comes "The Story of Stuff," a short video about production and consumption, just in time for the holiday shopping binge. Click here for the full movie (sample clip embedded below).

Bird by bird

A third of avian species on land could disappear this century as a result of climate change

In more depressing bird news, researchers at my alma mater estimate that up to 30 percent of all land-dwelling bird species could be extinct by 2100 as a result of global climate change. The study, published this week in the journal Conservation Biology ($ub. req'd), modeled bird population responses to changes in vegetation for over 8,000 species and 60 scenarios, and is one of the first analyses of extinction rates to incorporate information from the recent IPCC reports. I think I'm going to go cry now.

More Grist love on the 'Today' show

7 items you didn’t know you could recycle

This time around, Chip and Katharine chat about how to recycle unusual items: How to recycle

Hold the phone

Evaluating seafood choices just became a lot easier

Wondering whether the seafood entrée you are about to order at a restaurant is environmentally friendly? Pulling the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Card out of your wallet to check it out is so 2006. Enter FishPhone, a text-messaging service provided by the Blue Ocean Institute. Text 30644 on your cell phone with the message "FISH" and the name of the fish in question, and the BOI will get back to you within seconds. The FishPhone website allows mobile web users to look up seafood choices as well, and provides a "Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood" that you can download to a handheld device.

Where to turn when you’re sick of disposable doodads

Block to basics. Photo: iStockphoto Keeping up with Ken and Barbie got you down? Check out these companies invested in making eco-friendlier playthings for your little ones. (And read about one mother’s no-crap crusade.) Dwelling These soft, handmade toys are created by a women’s knitting collective in Kenya, under the guidance of a nonprofit that helps connect artisans to international markets. All of the items are made with natural wool and colored with vegetable-based dyes, including this zebra hand puppet ($18) and these knit penguins (starting at $18). Where to buy: Branch HaPe HaPe is a Swiss toy company with …

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