Sarah Laskow

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

Tick bites can make you deathly allergic to meat

If there weren’t enough reasons to be totally terrified and grossed out by ticks (they drop on your head from the trees, they suck your blood, they burrow into your skin, they transmit a terrible disease you’ll never be fully rid of), the bite of a lone star tick can trigger allergies that mean eating a hamburger can lead to anaphylactic shock. Helen Chappell writes in Discover Magazine about her experience with this relatively unknown danger, and her account is pretty dire: Tick saliva is “a really good provocateur of an immune response, even outside of an infection,” Commins told me, …

Food

Gummi bear bratwursts are a crime against nature (but apparently taste sort of OK)

This should be a rule about food: If you wouldn't put two things in your mouth at the same time, they should not be combined into a single food.

Politics

Meet the 82-year-old nun who just committed the worst nuclear security breach in U.S. history

Turns out nuns have more up their habit sleeves than knuckle-rapping rulers and twee songs for Austrian children.

Cities

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James use public transit at the Olympics

If the American men's Olympic basketball team can use public transportation, so can everybody else.

Living

This couple moved all their worldly possessions using only bikes

Moving is stressful, and most of us deal with it by renting a ginormo truck, dumping our stuff in it (or bribing our buddies to dump our stuff in it), and hoping that nothing in our newspaper-packed boxes breaks. But Anthony and Jess Reiss decided to take a chance on a potentially really, really stressful alternative: They recruited a bunch of a friends and moved by bike. The Washington Post reports: Bicyclists from the community offered to help. A church group offered to help. A bike messenger from the District offered to help — a big coup because he had …

Cities

New walk-scoring tool finally acknowledges that walking in the suburbs sucks

At Atlantic Cities, Sarah Goodyear puts her finger on a truth universally acknowledged by everyone in the world except WalkScore: “A mile in an American suburb is a lot longer than a mile in Rome.” In other words, walking 10 city blocks is very different from walking a mile up the side of a highway with intermittent sidewalks. A new tool, Walk Appeal, is trying to take that very real difference and quantify it. Steve Mouzon, the tool’s creator, explains that distance is only one of the factors that determine how far people are willing to walk. Imagine, for instance, …

Cities

9-year-old’s lemonade stand raises over $3,000 for Detroit parks

Due to Detroit's budget gap, the park in Joshua Smith's neighborhood was full of tall grass and trash. Instead of moping and watching TV, the 9-year-old took matters into his own hands.

Politics

Activist group sends Obama a message by carving it into a cornfield

Hot tip from an ex-resident of D.C. to all you activists out there: If you want to get the president’s attention, standing outside the White House with some signs and bullhorns is not going to do it. Everyone does that. You have to get creative. Like these guys, who cut their message into a field of crops, in hopes that the president would see it from Air Force One as he flies into Grand Junction, Colo., on a visit:

Cities

In Brooklyn, even the factories are artisanal

Manufacturing is back in Brooklyn! But only in a Renaissance Florence sort of way, where skilled artisans produce craft-objects for wealthy patrons with finicky desires. The New York Times reports that there are, against all odds, still factories in Brooklyn, although they’ve morphed from behemoth plants stamping out assembly-line goods to smaller shops: This building, at 1205 Manhattan Avenue, has been sliced and diced into several dozen small factories, each with a niche clientele. One forges exhibits out of wood and metal for the city’s museums. Another makes props and models for advertisers of products like Absolut Vodka to use …

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