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Sarah Laskow's Posts


If Park Slope parents suck so bad at contraception, what hope is there for the rest of us?

In fiscal year 2012, the federal budget marked out $610 million for international family planning programs. But perhaps some of that funding needs to be directed inward, to fix the backwards bourgeois parents of Park Slope. Amy Sohn writes in the Awl:

You would think people with multiple children would be responsible about contraception because they understand the financial and emotional toll of childrearing. Instead they are as clueless and blasé as teens, teens who really don’t know any better ... In the 90s we did “everything but intercourse” because of AIDSphobia. Now we do it because of laziness.

As for condoms, no way. If a twentysomething guy on “Girls” can’t be bothered to use rubbers, why would a forty-year-old monogamous dad?

Now, Sohn's account of Park Slope parents' misbehavior is anecdotal and just a teeny bit sensationalized (we fucking hope). But parts of it do ring true:

Read more: Childfree, Living


This summer’s blockbuster: Tiny House, THE MOVIE

The best cinema taps into our secret dreams, and TINY taps in specifically to our secret dreams about running away to Colorado and building a tiny house. Thus, we think it’s reasonable to assume it’ll be bigger than Avengers.

TINY chronicles filmmaker Christopher Smith’s attempt to build a tiny house more or less from scratch.

Smith directed the movie and Merete Mueller, who will also live in the house, wrote and produced it. They're both quite charming, and to get a sense of both their ambitions and their learning process, consider this bit from the blog chronicling the project:


In the future, your clothes could be made of bacteria poo

The nice way to talk about Suzanne Lee's garments is to say that they're "biocouture" -- biodegradable clothes that required no animal products in the making. The grosser to way to talk about them is to say that they're made of bacteria excretion.

She explains:

You can start with something like green tea, you add sugar as a nutrient and then you introduce another culture which is a living organism and that basically feeds on the sugar and the green tea and it spins threads of cellulose.

Basically, these are Kombucha clothes. Those cellulose threads gather at the surface of the pool of tea, and Lee can harvest them in thick, goopy sheets that look a little bit like giant slabs of pressed tofu. It's pretty gross if you think too hard about it, but, then again, so is the idea that we wear silk aka dried caterpillar saliva.

Read more: Living


‘Missed Connections’ street art marks the sites of love affairs that never happened

I Wish I Said Hello takes the private moments of missed connections and puts them back in the public spaces where they occurred. See that green map marker in the picture above? It represents a wisp of an encounter that someone wishes went further.

The source material for these markers is Craiglist's Missed Connections pages. As Wired reports:

Read more: Cities


Cloned horses could compete in the Olympics

The highest body of equestrian sports, the Federation Equestre Internationale, is just a little obsessed with where horse babies come from. And not without reason -- have you seen the prices for champion horse sperm these days? (Man, you know this is a phrase that has actually come out of Mitt Romney's mouth. And we used to think arugula was elitist.)

In the past, the best way to propagate and improve a horse's line was the old-fashioned artificial insemination route. That’s expensive, and not a little messy, and it doesn’t work for champion horses that are also geldings (i.e., neutered). But now a few horse owners have had their champions cloned.

The FEI at first dismissed these freaks of nature, but now it's welcoming them into the fold, or at least "will not forbid participation of clones or their progenies in FEI competitions."


Watch a clam snarf salt off a table

Here’s a fun pastime, if you’re mildly sociopathic: Put a clam on a table. Sprinkle salt around it. Watch as it investigates with what looks for all the world like a gigantic creepy beige tongue.

Yes, we know it's not a tongue, but you know it looks like it's sticking out its tongue and very slowly licking its lips.

Alex Hern at the New Statesman captures the pathos of it all:

Read more: Animals


If you promise not to panhandle, San Francisco will give you a puppy

Photo by: Jessica R.

San Francisco has an overabundance of dogs who need love and homes, and a large number of people who make their living by panhandling. This summer, the city's starting a program that could benefit both groups. The program, called WOOF (which, in a textbook example of why coming up with the acronym first isn't always a great idea, stands for Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos), will pay residents of supportive housing $50-75 a week -- about the same amount a panhandler might take in -- to foster adorable puppies who need to get accustomed to human companionship.

It's a great idea, but Atlantic Cities reports that some dog-loving San Franciscans worry about whether the dogs will be getting the best of care. I mean, whose dogs are these? How can anyone just sit there eating while they're tied up to poles? Who puts their dog on a pole like a stripper?

Not to worry, Portlandians San Franciscans, the organizers of the program are on it:

Read more: Animals, Cities


Chinese police save 3,600 endangered crocodiles from being eaten by humans

In southern China, police intercepted three foreigners trying to sneak over the border with precious cargo -- more than 3,600 crocodiles. By the time police arrested the smugglers, 42 of the Siamese crocs (an endangered species) had died of dehydration and overheating. But if the police hadn't intervened, the rest would have met an equally gruesome fate, as dinner for the culinarily adventurous in Guangdong province.

This was a particularly large load: The crocodiles weighed more than 17 tons in all. But according to the Guardian, environmental watchdogs like Zheng Yuanying, southern China program director for Green Eye of China, say that smugglers are slipping smaller shipments of reptiles over the border all the time:

Read more: Animals, Food


Life-size LEGO garden sprouts up in Australia

In the Age of the Anthropocene, nature is what humans make it. LEGO took this idea quite literally when it graced the Australian town of Broken Hill, in New South Wales, with these giant versions of LEGO flowers and trees.

Read more: Green Home


Fit in with the masses with this reusable tote that looks like a plastic bag

If those reusable "I am not a plastic bag" totes earn glances of hippie-hating scorn from the populace, the THANK YOU THANK YOU bag helps green-minded people blend into the crowd while still sticking to their principles.

Read more: Living