Sarah Laskow

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

Cities

Bereaved husband sues NYPD for failing to investigate pedestrian death

Last summer, 28-year-old Clara Heyworth died while crossing the street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn — she was hit by a car piloted by an intoxicated driver who only had a learner’s permit. The NYPD never conducted an investigation, and the …

Oil

A report from inside the Shell ‘oil spill’ party prank

It took Grist a hot second to figure out that this too-ironic-to-be-true video of a Shell party gone wrong was a prank. The concept, though, is brilliant — an “oil derrick” on a cake started “spilling” liquid all over the …

Living

New York kids need a doctor’s note to use sunscreen in school or at camp

Once upon an innocent American summer, sun-kissed cheeks were all the rage for lithe, beautiful children freckling in the clean air. But now we know that evil sun rays will kill you — not now, but later, with skin cancer …

Pollution

Tsunami debris on the West Coast could be ‘far worse than any oil spill’

Last year’s tsunami in Japan threw 1.5 million tons of debris into the ocean. It’s starting to show up on the West Coast — a soccer ball here, a motorcycle there, a 66-foot, 165-ton dock. According to the Associated Press, …

Business & Technology

Honda Fit, most efficient car EVER, gets 118 MPG equivalent

In England, when you want to say that a guy or a gal is h-o-t-t HOT, you say “He/she is FIT!” And that is what we want to say about the 2013 Honda Fit EV. The Fit is FIT. F-i-t-t …

Cities

First-graders protest Starbucks to save local coffee shop

Back in 2011, a tragedy of epic proportions struck the East Village: Starbucks moved in. And not only did it move in, it kicked a beloved local coffee shop, The Bean, out of its flagship location. Even non-coffee drinking elementary …

Animals

Horseshoe crabs have weird, bright blue blood

Horseshoe crabs have bright blue blood. They are like aliens. (Does this one not look like a dead alien?) Nature, you are weird. Robert Krulwich explains why the crabs’ blood is so beautifully blue: Their blood kind of sloshes around …

Living

GZA and Neil deGrasse Tyson team up on a hip-hop record about science

I do not know much about writing rap lyrics, but I’m guessing that most rappers do not meet with physicists and cosmologists from MIT and Cornell before sitting down to write. But that’s exactly what Wu-Tang Clan founding member GZA …

Business & Technology

A cell phone charger made out of viruses

Except for the whole “make you sick and can’t be killed” thing, viruses are basically the ultimate renewable resource. They’re natural. They’re numerous. They replicate themselves. And, after some tinkering by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, they can generate electricity. …