Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Sarah Parsons' Posts

Comments

Crocodile incubator saves species from extinction

Don’t look now, but baby crocodiles might be UNEXPECTEDLY ADORABLE. And the best part of this video, from Cuba’s Sabanalamar animal nursery, is that these babies represent new hope for a vulnerable species. Cuban researchers at the nursery are using specially designed incubators to hatch American crocodiles, helping to save the species from extinction.

Click to go to video.
Read more: Animals

Comments

New fashion line creates a year’s worth of outfits with only 10 items of clothing

Many of us try on more than 10 items of clothing in a single morning. Malaysian fashion label “We are ULTRA” wants you to wear only 10 articles throughout the entire year.

The label’s new ULTRA 10 line aims to cut back on consumerism and waste by offering up a minimalist wardrobe crafted from sustainable fabrics. ULTRA 10 features 10 items of clothing that can be mixed and matched into an array of outfits intended to last all year.

So far, the industry’s critics have embraced its appeal, winning the 2011 Ethical Fashion Forum INNOVATION Award. The 10 piece wardrobe’s "modular and multifunctional pieces" includes a 4-in-1 Coat/Dress/Jacket/Skirt and a 2-in-1 Jacket/Vest. Their clever arrangement of zippers, cuts and accessories gets you from the banquet to the bar in a single outfit -- most of which is sustainably sourced or recycled fabrics.

Comments

New frog species found in Staten Island

Photo by Brian Curry, Rutgers University.

Most folks assume Staten Island holds little more than Italian restaurants, mob wives, and a huge landfill. But another resident has just been discovered on New York City’s most disrespected borough: a new species of frog!

Scientists recently discovered a new species of leopard frog on Staten Island. The hopper went unnoticed for so long because it looks more or less exactly like another type of leopard frog -- it just sounds different. And, ya know, because the science community is more used to finding undiscovered wildlife in remote, pristine places, rather than urban metropolises. (The center of this new frog’s range? Yankee Stadium.)

Read more: Animals, Cities

Comments

Scotts Miracle-Gro pleads guilty to selling poisoned bird seed

Photo by Kris.

Scotts Miracle-Gro products are known for zapping weeds dead. But it turns out they could be killing decidedly more attractive creatures -- birds.

Scotts pled guilty this Tuesday to charges that the company illegally put insecticides in its “Morning Song” and “Country Pride” brands of bird seed. That’s right: The company knowingly coated products intended for birds to eat with substances toxic to birds and wildlife.

According to court records, in 2008, Scotts distributed 73 million packages of bird seed coated with the insecticides Storcide II, containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos, and and Actellic 5E, containing the active ingredient pirimiphos-methyl, intended to keep insects from destroying the seed.

The company continued to produce and market the insecticide-coated seeds despite being alerted to toxicity dangers by a Scotts staff chemist and ornithologist.

Comments

Man braves radiation exposure to care for Fukushima’s abandoned animals

Naoto Matsumura's Facebook page.

Meet the modern-day, post-apocalyptic Dr. Doolittle. Naoto Matsumura lives right inside the Fukushima evacuation zone in the town of Tomioka, just 10 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The reason he’s stayed in the poisoned region post-nuclear meltdown is so that he can take care of all the abandoned cows, pigs, dogs, and cats.

By all accounts, Tomioka is the apocalypse now: deserted, layered in radioactive dust, buried debris. But the devastation is most evident in Matsumura’s gruesome descriptions of what he’s encountered since -- and what he continues to discover. Dogs and cats left to die slowly and agonizingly of starvation. Caged birds with withered feathers. An emaciated cow and her calf, crying weakly in a corner of a barn.

Read more: Animals, Living, Nuclear

Comments

Florida Republican thinks we should sell off national parks

Legislators are always looking for ways to pull America out of its bajillion-dollar deficit. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) came up with his own master plan that is totally not crazy at all -- sell off America’s national parks one by one.

At a February town hall meeting, Stearns (who, BTW, is also a birther and a major figure in the attacks on Solyndra) spouted off about how America doesn’t need any new national parks -- and, in fact, we’ve got too many and should be hawking the ones we do have. He said:

I got attacked in a previous town meeting for not supporting another national park in this country, a 200-mile trailway. And I told the man that we don’t need more national parks in this country, we need to actually sell off some of our national parks, and try and do what a normal family would do is — they wouldn’t ask Uncle Joe for a loan, they would sell their Cadillac, or they would take their kids out of private schools and put them into public schools to save to money instead of asking for their credit card to increase their debt ceiling.

Read more: Politics

Comments

Anheuser-Busch turns beer leftovers into usable products

Now you can feel good after knocking back a few brewskis -- and not just because you’re tipsy. Beermaker Anheuser-Busch has found a way to turn its waste grain into an array of products, from clothes to cosmetics to biogas.

The beer behemoth has partnered with a company called Blue Marble Bio, which plans to set up large-scale biorefineries at Anheuser-Busch breweries that will use naturally occurring bacteria to break down spent grains using proprietary “polyculture fermentation technology.” That process will create both biogas, which can be used to generate electricity, and chemical compounds called carboxylic acids that are used to make everything from nylon to soap to food additives to floor polish.

Comments

Shell hires dogs to detect oil spills in Arctic

Photo by Arnout Grootveld.

Some of Shell’s newest employees are decidedly cuddlier than the middle-aged white dudes we typically associate with the oil behemoth. That’s because they’re a dachshund and two border collies.

New information reveals that the company has experimented with using three dogs -- Jippi, Blues, and Tara -- as a cheap and effective way to detect oil spills in the Arctic.

The dogs' ability to sniff out oil spills beneath snow and ice has been tested and paid for by Shell -- and other oil companies and government research organizations -- in preparation for the industry's entry into the forbidding Arctic terrain. The company hopes to begin drilling for oil off the northwest coast of Alaska in June.

Comments

Meet the worst Senate amendment that ever lived

It’s ba-aack -- the Keystone XL pipeline, that is. The Senate is set to vote tomorrow on an amendment created by Big Oil wearing a Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) mask. The amendment would revive everyone’s favorite pipeline -- and, while it was at it, greenlight all the other oil-hungry environmental ruination that Republicans go in for.

The Senate defeated Keystone yet again last week, but Sen. Roberts included the pipeline in amendment #1826 of the Senate transportation bill (S. 1813). And that’s not the only Big Oil party favor he stuck in this grab bag of evil:

It would mandate drilling off of every coast in our nation and in the Arctic Refuge, allow oil shale development on millions of acres in America’s west, and allow the already-rejected Keystone XL pipeline to go forward.

Comments

5 stories about the Fukushima anniversary that you really need to read

This weekend marked the one-year anniversary of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear accident. While thousands of residents fell victim to the natural disasters, countless others are still living in fear of radiation poisoning from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s triple meltdown.

There’s a cornucopia of news in light of the March 11 anniversary, but lucky for you, we’ve broken it down into digestible morsels. Here are five stories about the Fukushima anniversary that are not to be missed: