Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things.

Male killer whales need their mommies to survive

Girl humans tend to go all gooey when a guy loves his mama — like tipping well, it’s an indicator of good boyfriend material. Girl orcas, though, might just sneer and say “oh, of course you’re nice to your mom. You’re just trying to not die.” A new long-term study of about 600 orcas showed that orcas are the ultimate mama’s boys — when male orcas’ mothers die, their own chances of survival drop sharply. ScienceNow explains: Young males were three times more likely to die the year after their mother’s death than were males whose mothers were still around. …

You should probably spend all day watching this brand-new baby panda

Suspend all activities you had planned: THERE IS A NEW PANDA CUB AT THE NATIONAL ZOO.

Cities

America’s 20th largest bus system is a semi-legal network of vans in NYC

In New York City's outer boroughs, there's an official bus system and a shadow bus system.

Living

Slovenians house their bees in works of art

Slovenes provide gorgeous painted beehives for their colonies

Climate & Energy

U.S. exit signs use as much power as West Virginia

The country's 100 million lighted exit signs use 30 to 35 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity every year

These tiny plants can live for 300 years with the help of their friends the ants

The herb Borderea chouardii is like the Disney heroine of plants

Living

Your CD collection is greener than Spotify

A new report crunched the numbers on your Spotify habit and concluded that it's terrible for energy consumption.

Cities

New walkability scoring site factors in safety, attractiveness, and hills

Walk Score is a wonderful thing, but it is not perfect. Therefore, it now has some competitors. The newest would-be Walk Score killer is Walkonomics, a site that tells you more than just how close you are to shops and restaurants and other places to which you might want to walk. FastCoExist explains: Ideally, you also want to know things like how safe the streets are, whether the sidewalks are wide enough, how clear the signage is, and also — less tangibly — how clean the street is, and whether it’s relaxing and fun. Distance, in other words, is not …

Living

$50 solar-powered water purifier is so green it’s like a joke

This invention is like a parody of a green technology: It’s solar-powered, it reduces pollution, and it provides clean water. All at once!! But we have to admit, it looks pretty useful and is actually rather attractive. TreeHugger reports: The Eliodomestico works like an upside-down coffee percolator to desalinate salt water. The ceramic oven has three main pieces. The top black container is where the salt water is poured. As the sun heats the salt water and creates steam, the pressure that builds pushes the steam through a pipe in the middle section. The steam condenses against the lid of …

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