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Kids compete to name kid-killing asteroid

Let's call it "Pleasedontbreakanything Asteroid."

Whether or not you spend much time worrying about 1999 RQ36, the asteroid that might hit Earth in a couple hundred years, surely everyone agrees: If a giant formation of rock and space detritus is going to smash us all to kingdom come, it would be nice to at least be properly introduced first.

To this end, as well as for the purposes of teaching children about space and the ways it can kill you, Bill Nye's Planetary Society, MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, and the University of Arizona have teamed up to hold an asteroid naming competition. For kids. Kids who want to not only contemplate planetary doom, but get really hands-on involved in it.

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The Pope and his weird hat have a new electric car

Don't let my diabolical grin fool you; I love the Earth. (Photo by Sacha Fernandez.)

Pope Benedict is considered the Green Pope. This does not mean that his weird hat is green, though that would be really cool. It means that he cares about the environment, so even though he is the Pope and also kind of scary-looking, he does cool, Norcal-y stuff like harness solar power for electricity and sponsor reforestation projects. Most recently, he added an electric car to his fleet of vehicles, specifically a white Renault Kangoo.

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World’s oldest message in a bottle has been found in Scotland

Hey, you got a letter. I think it's from Sting. (Photo by Dasha Bondareva.)

In 1914, a Scottish scientist named Captain C. Hunter Brown dropped 1,890 bottles in the North Sea as part of a science experiment. So far 315 of these bottles have been found, the most recent one last week by a Scottish fisherman named Andrew Leaper. At 98 years old, it's the world's oldest message in a bottle. (At least, the oldest one that's been recovered.)

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This new bike grows when your kid grows

You better like this bike because you're going to have it for fucking ever, kid. (Photo courtesy of Orbea.)

In response to the pesky but unavoidable fact that children tend to grow over time, Spanish bike company Orbea has designed a child's bicycle that grows with them.

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Middle schoolers convince L.A. school district to ban styrofoam

She's an adorable child who just wants to live on a clean planet. He's a giant pile of styrofoam. They fight crime.

Anyone who thinks that kids don't care about anything but eating uncooked ramen and playing video games clearly underestimated the kids of Thomas Starr King Middle School in Los Angeles. Their interests include uncooked ramen, playing video games, building a tower of styrofoam, and getting so grossed out by it that they launch a letter-writing campaign and eventually convince the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to become the first school district in the nation to ban styrofoam.

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Vladimir Putin dressed as a bird to save endangered cranes

Artist's conception. (Original photos by Jackie and Agencia Brasil.)

There are 20 white cranes left in the world. But for one special day, there were 21. OK, the extra crane wasn't really a crane. It was Russian President Vladimir Putin on a hang-glider, wearing a white jumpsuit and a crane nose.

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Good news: The nuclear apocalypse will kill everything but beer

I never drink during the day, unless it's a wedding, or the end of the world. (Photo by Michelle Tribe.)

Imagine there’s a huge nuclear explosion and almost everyone you know is dead. Sure, things are bad. But you can still get a beer.

Alex Wellerstein at the Nuclear Secrecy blog has looked into some of the weird shit that the United State’s Nuclear Defense Agency did during the Cold War to better understand the finer points of nuclear attacks. And one of those things was to drop bombs on bottles of beer. Naturally some of them were smashed into oblivion, but those that survived were totally safe to drink.

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New documentary lets you watch glaciers disappear

Anyone who is not a raging moron knows that glaciers are melting really fast. We should probably be constantly consumed by worrying about our waterlogged future, yet we somehow manage to sit around having conversations about, like, cheese.  The reason is pretty simple: We can't see glaciers. They are Far. Which is why National Geographic photographer James Balog has been kind enough to bring them closer in his gazillions-of-awards-winning documentary Chasing Ice.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Old Testament theme park uses donkeys as wifi hotspots, just like in the Bible

If I get really Zen sometimes I can forget I am equipped with a modem. (Photo by William Allen.)

If you find yourself at the Israeli biblical theme park Kfar Kedem and you see a flashing light, don’t be alarmed -- you are not having a hallucination brought on by Talmudic scholarship and hummus. You are seeing a wireless router affixed to a donkey. 

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Purse full of wine is so classy it hurts

I can't remember if I always wanted to get hammered or if it was only after I saw the purse. (Photo courtesy of Vernissage.)

If you are the type of Classy Lady who drinks wine, you don't want to have to wait until you take the wine out of the special wine gift bag to let people know how classy you are. You want something that lets you announce that shit from the get-go! Like a wine purse. The above pink thing, the thing that you're like, oh, is that what Samantha from Sex and The City carries her vagina in -- it's really a purse full of wine. Yeah. It is.

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