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Sarah Miller's Posts


Sting refuses to play at tree-killing concert venue

Rita Molnár
This is a song about how I bloody love trees.

I used to go to the same yoga place as Sting. And I have to say he was a very nice guy, always with a genial hello, as if he was just a dude, and not in fact a really talented musician who used to be in the greatest band ever until he went solo and started opening himself up to occasionally deserved derision. At any rate, Sting did seem nice! So it was most gratifying to discover that he just refused to play Pasay's SM Mall of Asia arena in the Philippines, upon discovering that plans for an expansion of the (already rather disgustingly enormous) property called for the destruction of 182 trees.

A group called Save 182 has been fighting this expansion, and apparently Sting got some letters from them, and was like, "Yeah, those people cutting down the trees are bad -- let's say I don't help make them any more money and cancel my concert here!"

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The air in Italian cities has a lot of drugs in it

That's 100 percent crack smoke, my friends.

So if you're in Italy any time soon and you find yourself feeling a little high, it's not just the wine and the proximity to great art. It's because there are drugs in the air. Yes, like the kind of exciting drugs people do to get loaded -- cocaine, marijuana -- and also slightly more everyday stuff like caffeine and nicotine.

The levels of these substances found in the air are not actually going to get you wasted. They are trace amounts.

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New York is rehabilitating criminals using bees

Sebastian Criado

People who work rehabilitating and training criminals have all kinds of great ideas about how to make people into productive members of society post-incarceration -- everything from college to license plate repair to chain gangs. And now, there's a new one: bees and beekeeping. Through an organization called the Osbourne Association, a nonprofit working on vocational and educational alternatives to longer prison times, a group of New York City prisoners got a lesson in beekeeping last week.

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iPod’s packaging dissolves in water

"I'm meeeeelting!"

Yes, a portion of the fifth generation iPod Touch and seventh generation IPod Nano packaging dissolves in water. You can watch a video of it below. Before you watch, understand that the cardboard box and the little jewel case do not dissolve in water. It's just the white thing the headphones come in. OK, now watch it here.

I think I dissolve in water too?

Apple is already known for rad packaging, but this disappear-in-water thing is an exciting, groundbreaking first. This dissolving stuff is called “renewable tapioca paper foam material.” We did some research on what that is, and we still don't know. But we did find this article about making biodegradable plastics in your own home, in which someone made a weird little bear out of starch, glycerin, vinegar, and water. (In Apple's formulation, tapioca stands in for starch, but they're basically the same thing.)


The Ukrainian Navy teaches dolphins how to kill people

U.S. Navy
You think I'm cute? Well I will take. You. Out.

Can you imagine a pistol-wielding dolphin squeaking out "Go ahead, make my day?" Does that make you sad? Well, we're sorry, but we're not here to throw a party for the fantasy world you wished you lived in. We're here to tell you that the Ukrainian military is training dolphins how to kill people. Isn't that wonderful news? Doesn't that just give you such hope for humanity?

In case you're not sobbing yet, here are some details: The Ukrainian Navy has recently restarted a marine mammal program. The program includes other military shit dolphins are good at and have already done, like searching for mines and marking them with buoys. But it also includes strapping knives and guns to their cute, soft, pewter-toned dolphin heads to make them killing machines.

Read more: Living


These crocheted chandeliers are recycled from fashion industry leftovers

Naomi Paul

It's chic expensive recycled lamp month! No, it's really not. We made that up. But it does seem to be a bit of a theme, and the latest players in the expensive recycled lamp drama are made out of leftover bits of haute couture textiles from well-known designers like Missoni. The textiles are crocheted together by a young British designer named Naomi Paul, and even though the finished products are about $2,000 each, which is about $1,900 more than we have to spend on a lamp, they are really quite nice.

Naomi Paul
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They’re giving away free trees to plant in Philly!

Kim Kruse

Philadelphia's got some nice trees (and a stable of volunteers to look after them). But some parts of it, like everywhere, could use more. So it's wonderful that the city seems ready to remedy this with a brilliant solution — giving people free trees.

If you own property in Philadelphia, the city will give you two free trees for your yard. You sign up for them, pick them up, and then plant the free trees in the ground in your yard (they say you can't plant it "in the sidewalk outside of your property," which must mean the strip of grass next to the sidewalk, since planting a tree in concrete would probably be unsuccessful).

Read more: Cities


Devoted under-consumer feeds her friends a meal made of trash

Are you going to eat that, or should I throw it out, and then eat it?

Kate Hashimoto, a member of the cast of the new TLC reality show Extreme Cheapskatesserved her friends dumpster food on the show's premiere, an act which is some combination of principled, disgusting, and mean and is therefore hard to assess.

After all, this woman is first and foremost trying to use less, which is good, but she's doing that by voluntarily eating discarded food, so you kind of feel sorry for her. But then you think, whoa, she fed people she knows trash without telling them. What if they got cholera? Would she just be all, "Oh, that's so weird you have cholera, I can't imagine how that happened?" Or would she actually say, "I'm going to level with you, I gave you a chicken that was once covered with coffee grounds, rubber bands, and orange soda, and cat litter, but I washed it, so I don't think it's my fault you might die?"

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Female komodo dragons live half as long as males because they do so much frickin’ housework

If I have to wash one more goddamn pair of dragon pants I am going to bite off Phil Bronstein's other toe.

I already knew that in 2001, a Komodo dragon bit Sharon Stone's ex-husband Phil Bronstein's toe. To tell you the truth, I didn't care if this was the last thing I ever knew about them, but alas, this was not my fate. In the last 24 hours, I miraculously doubled the amount of things I know about Komodo dragons with this exciting komodofact: Female Komodo dragons live half as long as males on average, because they essentially die of exhaustion after a rather tedious life of building nests and guarding eggs.

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Moss-covered keyboard lets you commune with nature while you work

Robbie Tilton
I am the love child of a wireless keyboard and a British country estate.

Keyboards. We use them a lot. I'm using one right now, in fact. They're not interesting or pretty. They're not natural. They don't put you in mind of pastoral landscapes. But designer Robbie Tilton is not accepting this as the be-all end-all of what it means to be a keyboard. He is fighting back with a beautiful keyboard that looks like a lawn. It's made of wood and moss, and also some things that make keyboards work. (Let's call that "keyboard stuff.")

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