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Sarah Miller's Posts


Hedgehog rescued from potato chip bag by professional hedgehog-rescuers

That was tiring, now I will curl up on this flattering red surface.

Last week, a hedgehog was rescued from a potato chip bag outside a supermarket in Weston-super-Mare (in Somerset, on England's west coast). Apparently he had burrowed in there to get warm, and then people were like, why does that crisp packet keep moving, not like in the wind moving but has a hedgehog inside it moving? (Brits call potato chips "crisps" and wrappers "packets" because they are adorable.) The hedgehog, who is now fine, was named Crispian.

Here's where it starts getting weirder: Crispian was saved by a hedgehog rescue organization. Yes, England's western counties have their very own hedgehog-saving league.

Read more: Uncategorized


House candidate Doug LaMalfa is the archetypal climate-denying idiot

LaMalfa campaign
I will tell you my stupid ideas about climate change so you can die from boredom instead.

When we talk about climate denial, especially during this heated election, and in the aftermath of the biggest storm to ever hit the East Coast, it's so easy to focus on the obvious crazies. Like Paul Ryan, who said "fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow." There's just something dazzling about this kind of willful ignorance.

So dazzling, in fact, that we now realize we'd been blinded to the real heroes of climate denial: people like Doug LaMalfa, former member of the California Senate, now running against Democrat Jim Reed to become a representative to Congress from California's rural First District. Cleverly worded idiocy that gets ink? Not LaMalfa's thing. But rattling off the exact same fucking jackass idiot talking points we've heard from all the other jackass idiots: totally his thing. Watch.

Read more: Politics


London traffic light has 75 anxiety-inducing signals

Metro Centric
I wish I were in a horse and buggy right now.

It is already very stressful to drive in a city. So we can't imagine that anyone fashioning an urban traffic-control contraption would just intentionally find a way to upset drivers more than they are upset already. And yet -- what is this thing in the Canary Wharf section of London, with more colors beaming off of it than a hanging Swarovski crystal? Well, it's a monstrous hell-tree made of dozens of conjoined traffic lights, that's what.

The light does have something going for it: It's not real. It's a piece of public art. Aren't you relieved? Now when you see the thing you will know not to jump out of your car, abandon it forever on the street, and hail a cab, where you would tell the driver, "Don't say anything. Just hold me."

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These beautiful, sobering murals are made entirely out of sugar

Shelley Miller

Most artists are mired in the whole paint paradigm, but Montreal-based artist Shelley Miller has too crazy/brilliant a brain for that. Her message? History was definitely not very sweet. Her medium? Sugar. It's thematically appropriate, it's beautiful, and it's public art that can disappear without a trace.

Miller has spent the last couple of years making large murals out of piped icing (like what they make cake roses with) and sugar tiles (like uh, tiles made of sugar) depicting slavery in all parts of the Americas. (Yes. Canada had slaves too. They weren't always so frickin' perfect.)

Read more: Cities, Food


Lobster in costume found on Halloween

New England Aquarium
Why do I get to go live in an aquarium while all my friends die? Is it because I'm the prettiest?

Yes, we are aware that Halloween is over, but we were kind of busy a) dressing up and b) worrying about the end of the world. So we did not get around to letting you guys know about this really weird-looking lobster and his natural "outfit." The fancy lobster was caught by a fisherman in Massachusetts and weighs one pound, all of which is pretty normal for a lobster. What's not normal is his particolored shell, estimated to occur once in every 50 million lobsters.

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A walnut thief is on the loose with millions of innocent walnuts

Pauline Mak
Have you seen this walnut?

It is a crime to steal, and, although we don't think of this often, it is a crime to steal walnuts. Which is why law enforcement officials are on the hunt to find a man who stole not one but two loads of walnuts from a freight brokerage firm in Los Molinos, Calif. The first theft took place on Oct. 23, and involved about 40,000 pounds of walnuts, which were on their way to Texas. The second took place a few days later, bringing the total to 80,000 pounds of nuts that never made it to their final destination in Miami.

Read more: Food


When climate change destroys the potato, we’ll all have to eat bananas

Original photos by Mike and Larry

So the world is getting warmer. OK. Agreed. Potatoes are a cold-weather vegetable. Yes? So. Chances are there might be less of them soon. So what's the solution? Stop burning so many fossil fuels? Ha. You fool! The future is bananas -- and plantains and cassava. They're all in the running to replace potatoes as a staple crop.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Food


Mayor Bloomberg’s ASL interpreter was the unsung hero of Sandy

She's the one on the left, with the cerebral cortex.

Ask a lot of New Yorkers what they remember about Hurricane Sandy, and they are likely to reply "Lydia Callis is amaaaaaaazing." Callis, the ASL interpreter who became an internet sensation over the past few days as she translated Bloomberg's pedestrian storm instructions into ASL -- and thus into something much more beautiful, interesting, and, in moments, almost operatic -- was one of those unlikely heroes who emerges from a disaster. She might not have carried people out of burning buildings, but she did save New York in lots of other ways.

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Woman wants memorial for fish that died in a traffic accident

Oh and this also marks a spot where a crazy person erected a sign.

You probably think fish die because someone -- maybe you -- wants to fry them in butter and sprinkle them with chopped fresh rosemary. You can't be blamed for thinking that, because there are no plaques around reminding you that fish also die in traffic accidents. Which is why an Irvine, Calif., woman is asking her city to erect a memorial at the street corner where 1,600 pounds of live fish were dumped out of a truck.

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Your car might be made out of recycled beans, pants, and money

Pierre & Leon Cohen

Think your car is good? Your car is garbage. I mean it's literally garbage -- U.S. car companies use discarded cardboard, carpets, jeans, tires, and even money to make car components. Fast Company breaks down which trash goes where:

  • Money: Ford plans to recycle some of the U.S. paper money that gets shredded (3.6 million pounds a year!) into plastic for car trays and bins.
  • Carpets: When broken down, carpet fiber can be made into plastic, which Ford then uses to make engine head covers for Escapes, Mustangs, and F-150s. Ford has turned 4.1 million pounds of carpet into parts, which helped it cut petroleum use by 430,000 gallons in 2011.
  • Soybeans: Ford uses oil from soybeans to produce stuffing for upholstery. That's another substitute for petroleum, which is a component in styrofoam.
  • Jeans: Scrap denim -- 25 million pounds of it a year -- is used as insulation in Ford Escape dashboards.
Read more: Uncategorized