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This beige liquid could be the only food you need to eat for the rest of your life

The perfect meal.
Rob Rhinehart
The perfect meal.

Rob Rhinehart, a 24-year-old software engineer living in Atlanta, has invented the last food you'll ever need to eat. He calls it Soylent, and it's basically a very nutritious liquid meal, which is meant to be ingested the same way one might ingest actual food -- for a feeling of fullness, to provide the body with nutrients -- but without the other pesky things about food. Like, say, enjoying it, preparing it in a communal manner, chewing it. Screw that. Who do I look like, Alice Waters?

Read more: Food

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Adorable students create air freshener out of cow dung

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Syaiful Arif

You might think that cow dung smells bad, but that must be because you have never mixed it with coconut water and let it distill for seven days to remove all the impurities. This is what two students competing in Indonesia's Science Project Olympiad did, and they ended up with a nice-smelling, eco-friendly, chemical-free cow dung air freshener. The high school girls, Dwi Nailul Izzah and Rintya Aprianti Miki, did such a good job that they actually beat out 1,000 other student inventors to win the competition.

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Shark dies in L.A. pool while filming a commercial, miraculously has no cocaine in system

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Willy Volk

In a few months you may see a Kmart commercial featuring an animatronic hippo, and you may say to yourself, "Wow, I would have been so much more likely to run out to Kmart for a plastic measuring cup or a leafblower or a pair of $400 cubic zirconia Sofia Vergara earrings if only that ad had featured a real live shark!" Well rest assured Kmart wanted to use a real live shark in this ad too, a five-foot-long white-tipped shark specifically, but it died. Not only did it die, it died after being transported from New York to Los Angeles and then waiting around for its big shark 15 minutes in an above-ground swimming pool in Van Nuys. Now it's never a good time to die, but when your time comes I'm going to guess that you'd rather it be elsewhere than an above-ground swimming pool in fucking Van fucking Nuys.

Read more: Living

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Watch a pine marten turn a soccer game into a Wild Kingdom episode

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File under "things that make us think perhaps we will go on to endure yet another day": A weasel-like animal called a pine marten ran onto a soccer field on Tuesday, during a match between Swiss Super League teams FC Thun and Zurich, and bit the crap out of one of the Zurich players. Maybe it saw a wide expanse of green space and thought "goddamit, monkeys, get your cleats off my habitat."

The pine marten ran around for a few minutes, looking cute in that way that wild animals are temporarily cute before they go feral on you -- which, after being dextrously captured by Zurich defender Loris Benito, this thing did. Watch as Benito successfully fends the wriggling and enraged creature off for a few minutes before it turns around and gives him a nasty bite on the finger.

Read more: Living

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These LED streetlights can fight crime

A little smarter than your average streetlight.
Johann H. Addicks
A little smarter than your average streetlight.

It's not just a streetlight. It's a streetlight that fights crime.

No, it does not also eat donuts or dress up like a man-sized bat. Don't be silly. It's still a streetlight, but it doesn't just sit there all the time, being on, wasting money and causing light pollution. That kind of streetlight is so 2010. The 2o13 streetlight, which is now being installed in Chattanooga, Tenn., can reduce crime and increase park usage by shedding light on unsavory goings-on.

Instead of driving away crime by installing more or brighter lights, police officers can brighten these networked LED lights from inside their cars -- turning up the light on suspicious activity, or illuminating the path of a fleeing suspect. Chattanooga is safe from light pollution, money is saved, and crime is fought. You don't need to be a streetlight expert to call that a win-win.

Read more: Cities

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A new board game where kids rescue polar bears from real, melting ice

It's like Monopoly, except the world is ending.
GEOlino
It's like Monopoly, except the world is ending.

A German science magazine has invented a game wherein tiny polar bear game pieces sit on melting blocks of ice -- real melting ice that comes from the game's own special ice tray -- and players try to rescue the polar bears before the ice melts.

"It's a race against time," a male narrator with a plummy British accent informs us, "as the path leads across real, slowly melting ice floes." There is no winner. The winners are the polar bears, or nobody. And, also, "the game is played not against each other but with each other, because, after all, climate change can only be stopped if everyone takes part." Although technically, in this game it can't really be stopped at all -- the ice is going to melt no matter what, and the question is just how many will die. We appreciate the trademark German fatalism.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Make your clothes last longer by coating them in flame-retardant fish sperm

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Fire is good for cooking steaks and making iron bend and dancing around if you are tripping balls, but when it causes, say, your sleeping bag to burst into flame because a spark touched it, well, that is where flame retardants start to become real useful. The problem with a lot of flame retardants, though, is that they are made out of  gnarly stuff that makes people worried about themselves and frogs. It is therefore kind of awesome, and not a little freaky and surprising, that you might be able to make a flame retardant out of DNA from fish sperm.

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Mummies found around the world all had heart disease

In my next life I will only eat at Jack in the Box.
Klafubra
In my next life I will only eat at Jack in the Box.

Everyone thinks they know the right way to eat. The Paleo people think you should eat meat and vegetables. The low-fat people think you should eat low-fat. The Weston Price people think you should eat coleslaw and bacon and chug buttermilk. But a recent look at the arteries of several mummified bodies from around the world, all of whom ate different diets in life, demonstrates that, wow, all of these people had atherosclerosis -- the serious hardening of the arteries that causes heart disease.

The mummy from Peru who ate a lot of beans and complex carbohydrates? Atherosclerosis. The mummy from the Aleutians who ate a lot of meat and vegetables? Atherosclerosis. The other mummies were from Egypt, and for some reason no one mentions what they ate, but here's what's important: No matter what it was, they also got atherosclerosis.

Read more: Food

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Hero mouse attacks snake to save his friend

800px-Mouse-19-Dec-2004
Roger McLassus

A mouse at a zoo in eastern China was supposed to be a snake's dinner, but was freed by zoo officials after he informed the snake that he had no plans to go quietly. While the snake was eating another mouse -- let's call that mouse Dinner Mouse --  that had been unceremoniously dropped into its cage for its evening meal, this guy -- who we'll call Brave Alive Mouse -- jumped on the snake's head and started to bite him. This was undoubtedly a combination of survival instinct, having a tiny mouse brain, and maybe rabies, but we're choosing to interpret it as a desperate, heroic attempt to save his friend.

Read more: Living

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Weird, perplexing bacteria discovered in buried Antarctic lake

It's a hoilday in Lake Vostok where you'll do what you're told (and be very cold)
It's a holiday in Lake Vostok where you'll do what you're told (and be very cold).

No, Lake Vostok is not some beautiful sylvan locale where Chekhov characters go to trade regrets and bon mots. It is instead the largest of hundreds of glacial lakes lying several miles below the surface of Antarctic ice. Scientists only reached the lake a few months ago after 20 years of drilling. And now that they've had some time to look into what's actually in this lake they were so eager to reach, they have discovered a bacterium so weird it is kind of tripping them out.

Read more: Living