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Determined kids in small California town push for plastic bag ban

This is a kid wearing 500 plastic bags, which is more or less how many every American uses in a year.
Sarah Miller
This is a kid wearing 500 plastic bags, which is more or less how many every American uses in a year.

You may have read about some hardworking, smart, and civic-minded students who, back in 2011 and 2012, fought to keep their local river park open. Fought and won, actually. Well, students from that same school, Grass Valley Charter in Grass Valley, Calif., are now on to another battle -- with the help of students from other area schools, they want to push Nevada County to put a ban on single-use plastic bags and start charging for paper bags. These kids are unstoppable.

They are starting their campaign in the county seat, Nevada City, and made their desires known at a Nevada City Council meeting on May 8 when several of them presented some rather sobering research they have done on the subject of single-use plastic bags. One kid talked about the Pacific gyres, massive globs of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean, and the effect this was having on the health of the oceans in general and most acutely, on sea life. Another pointed out that Californians use 400 plastic bags every second. Another read a list of the 75 California communities that have already made similar proposed laws around single-use plastic bags and urged Nevada County to join them. Another posed the question, "Do you really want me to grow up in a world without sea turtles?" Who could say yes to that?

Read more: Living

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This guy got swallowed by a hippo and lived to tell his harrowing tale

Yeah, I wouldn't want to be in that mouth.
mcamcamca
Yeah, I wouldn't want to be in that mouth.

You're probably not clueless enough to think real life hippos are cute and cuddly, but did you know hippos are Africa's deadliest animal? Paul Templer, a river guide showing tourists the sights near Victoria Falls, near the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia back in 1996, found this out the hard way when he almost lost his life inside a hippo's mouth.

Read more: Living

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Hand-sized, house-eating snails show up in Texas

I'm going to fuck shit up Texas style!
Florida Department of Agriculture
I'm going to fuck shit up Texas style!

UPDATE: Call off the snail-hunting committee! The giant snail in question is not a giant African snail but a rosy wolfsnail, which is considerably more benign and also sounds more like a Doctor Who reference.

Houston, Texas, is the latest place to find itself the unlucky host to a rather large African snail, which, sadly, does not have any plans to benefit its newly acquired habitat. A woman working in a Houston garden stumbled on a single snail, but officials fear this was only one snail among more, and possibly many.

In case you were under the misapprehension that being a giant African snail involves a minimum of nefarious activity, well, sorry. These snails are pretty evil, even if they don't mean to be.

Read more: Living

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Looking for a cleaner way to camp? Sleep in a trash bag

It's a tent, it's a trash bag, it's a trash bag, it's a tent
It's a tent, it's a trash bag, it's a trash bag, it's a tent.

When people camp, they often turn into even bigger slobs than they are in real life. Between the beers, flashlight batteries, water bottles, and marshmallow packaging, they generate and leave behind a lot of crap. So, the people at Glad, who make trash bags, thought to themselves, "How might we enhance the camping experience, encourage people to pick up after themselves, and also, let's be honest, promote our brand?" The result: a tent that can be turned into a garbage bag.

Read more: Living

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Brooklyn police bust rooftop grow operation … of heirloom tomatoes

Fucken smoke 'em if you got 'em bro...oh. Those are tomatoes.
AnRo0002
Fucken smoke 'em if you got 'em bro ... oh. Those are tomatoes.

Brooklyn Police descended upon a Lefferts Avenue apartment building this Wednesday, responding to a report that there were marijuana plants on the building's roof. The report came from the building's superintendent, but the cops didn't check it out first. They should've, because the plants in question were not pot plants but tomato plants. For the curious:

Read more: Food, Living

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Some saint made a funny, depressing blog about NYC’s worst apartments

As a former New York City dweller (I won't risk the ire of people who feel like you need to live there since birth to be called a New Yorker) now living in relatively inexpensive, spacious, and rural splendor in NorCal boy, oh, boy did I chortle my way through this blog of thoroughly shitty, almost uninhabitable New York City rooms. Seriously, only look at these if you're feeling kind of stable or in a good mood. Definitely do not look at them if you're a dancer/writer/actor/urban farm intern trying to make your dreams come true in the Big Apple. …

Read more: Living

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For $35 you can eat a lion-meat taco

I think here is nicer than in a taco
Sam Stearman
I think it is nicer here than in a taco.

UPDATE: Taco Fusion either pulled the lion meat from its menu due to pressure, or sold out and didn't restock; it's not totally clear. The note on the website says, "We listened to everyone and decided to no longer carry Lion. The lion meat is sold out and we do not plan to carry it again." They still have shark, bison, ostrich, gazelle, and kangaroo if you're hungry.

If you have $35, you can get yourself an acrylic sweater, three-fourths of a tank of gas, or a lion-meat taco. All you have to do is get yourself to a place called Taco Fusion (it fuses tacos and lions, apparently) in Tampa, Fla. 

Read more: Food

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You can help save Venice’s old-school gondolas

Traghetto

In terms of infrastructure, Venice is maybe not a world leader. (Enough with the canals, guys.) But when it comes to efficient green transportation, a human-powered gondola is pretty great. But Venice's historic gondolas are in trouble -- and you can help.

Read more: Cities

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Climate change may make it harder for surfers to catch a good wave

Bummer dude
Malene Thyssen
Bummer, dude.

Ocean water is getting warmer, and warmer water means less radical waves. Due to climate change, waves are going to shrink over 25 percent of the world (or as much as 38.5 percent in the winter months), including in a lot of popular surfing areas. Yeah. It's pretty sad.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Phone-charging, wifi-providing, levitating bike is one of the coolest concept bicycles we’ve seen

Wow.
Wow.

The Levitation bike is a concept bike designed by an architect named Michael Strain, and I am going to go out on a limb and say that he is probably a pretty smart guy. This bike does a lot. It can power your smartphone. It can act as a wireless hot spot. It has its own generator, and charges batteries as its wheels turn. And yes, of course, it is also a bicycle. And not only a bicycle, mind you, but a bicycle that uses magnetic levitation to hover over the ground (just a tiny bit, to reduce the impact from bumps).