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How we can slow global warming by smashing up an asteroid

Charlotte Lücking
Asteroids are just like giant beach umbrellas!

In case you're worried about the fact that the Earth's temperature might rise as much as 11.5 degrees by 2100, well, you should really relax. Everything is totally cool! And we mean that LITERALLY. Because we are all going to find shade under this giant asteroid.

No really. They're using asteroids for everything now. They're going to get minerals from asteroids. When the Earth turns to stone we will plant wheat in aster -- wait. That won't work. Well, we are going to get minerals from them and we're totally going to get shade from them, for real.

So the way that this works -- and "work" is perhaps a very strong word here, though we hope not, since we like being alive -- is that we will explode an asteroid and it will turn into dust and that dust will surround the planet and act as a sort of protective cover from the sun. You know, like the dust cloud that might have killed the dinosaurs, only on purpose, and only enough to blot out SOME of the sun instead of plunging the Earth into eternal night.

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Thanks to climate change, Texas is up to its ears in dead crickets

Table for 6,574,796?

There's lots of big stuff in Texas. Big hair, big football. The state itself is big. And now, they have a big cricket problem. Thanks to a mild winter and early spring, the state is getting totally overrun with crickets, and nothing short of a 747-sized lizard is going to take care of the problem.

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McDonald’s video claims their beef is not really that bad

McDonald’s has made a video wherein Jeff Kroll, a VP at McDonald’s Canada, reads off and answers questions from anxious would-be consumers of McDonald’s beef. Questions like, “Is McDonald’s beef rinsed in ammonia?” and “Is it true that '100 percent real beef' means the whole nasty cow ground up in a big grinder, guts and all?” Of course, the answers are "no" and "no," because they wouldn't make the video just to say "yes we throw a cow and some ammonia in a blender," but it's all punctuated with images of beef goo that might make the entire exercise counterproductive from the point of view of McDonald's.

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Human-made 50-ton rainbow proves you’re not in Kansas anymore

puck90

In the last couple of years, the Culver City section of Los Angeles has gone from being one of those ho-hum places where people just kinda lived to a place where there are cool bars and restaurants with one-word names. When this happens, civic officials and local corporations naturally get all excited, and the next step -- not unlike marriage after falling in love -- is some sort of potentially perverse piece of public art. Since The Wizard Of Oz was filmed on the MGM-turned-Sony lot in Culver City, and since literally fuck-all else has ever happened in Culver City, the natural choice was an enormous rainbow.

This rainbow is approximately 94 feet tall, weighs 100,000 pounds, and cost about $100,000. At about a dollar per pound, it's potentially a pretty good value. Also, the bill's being footed by Sony, so in case you were in the mood to bitch about taxpayers' money being wasted on rainbows, you're not going to be able to do it at this exact moment.

Read more: Cities

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This company is planning to mine asteroids, and you could be their intern

When you were a little kid, and everyone else was all, "oh, I want to be a fireman," "I want to be a policeman," "I want to make tuna melts for two children and then drive them to soccer," were you saying to yourself something more like, "I'd like to expand our reach beyond the Earth into the solar system"? If so, it's your lucky day, because Planetary Resources, an asteroid mining start-up backed by Larry Page and James Cameron, is recruiting paid interns to start work this January. This video should give you some idea of what Planetary Resources does.

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A tiny dumpster for your desk made out of recycled materials

Steel Plant

Have you ever looked at your desk and said to yourself, yeah, this computer and coffee mug and picture of my kids is great, but you know what would really complete it for me? If I could throw them all away in a tiny replica of a dumpster. Well, this is the moment to develop this desire so that it can almost immediately be fulfilled, because this item exists. It exists and you can feel green about it, because it's made out of 25-35 percent recycled steel.

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Barclays Center: Ugly, an insult to Brooklyn, and already leaking

The actual leaking roof in question! It is leaking. Trust.

If you hate the Barclays Center project in Brooklyn -- and if you don’t, well, you’re probably an asshole -- you will take as much delight as we did in discovering that the building’s construction may be as hideous as its appearance. At today's onsite press conference held by community activists protesting the arena's opening, the roof on the structure’s rain shelter began to leak. We’re filing this under H, for How Fucking Awesome is That.

Read more: Cities

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Campfire-scented beard cologne lets you pretend you’ve been outside

We think this is a joke but then we remember that Mumford and Sons have lots of fans.

So a Portland-based (duh) company is selling little sticks that you light on fire, blow out, and allow the smoke to seep into your glorious beard. You then smell like you've been camping, without actually having to, like, go outdoors.

This is a weird product. We're not sure how many levels of irony it's supposed to have.

Read more: Living

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How to make the opera more interesting: Eat algae the singer grew on her face

I grow algae on my face. What do you grow on your face?

In the future, we will live off of algae created by the breath of opera singers. Wait. What? This future you speak of -- could we somehow opt out of it? 

Well, bad news: It's not so much the future as the present. At the Victoria and Albert Museum's Digital Design Weekend, an opera singer used her voice to feed carbon dioxide (for you non-science majors, it’s “what we breathe out”) to algae so that it would grow. Which is kind of vile. The carbon-dioxide-emitting opera singer controlled her pitch and volume to change the algae’s taste, which is also vile. And yes, the audience was encouraged afterward to “taste her song,” and yes, this unique opportunity and the phrase used to describe it are both upsetting, in a way that evokes walking in on your mother’s book club discussing that Naomi Wolf book about her cooch.

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High schoolers run a solar-powered treatment plant that will give clean water to 750 families in India

Well, maybe we can temporarily relax our crotchety notion that we are overconsuming unthinking pigs and we're going to murder ourselves with our own greed and complete lack of respect for the planet. Because very smart, resourceful, and caring high school students in India took it upon themselves to do something pretty amazing: They helped set up a plant that uses solar power to treat more than 1,300 gallons of brackish water every day. The water will be used by around 750 families living in poor areas around the school.

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