Yolanda Crous

Yolanda Crous is a Grist contributing writer based in Santa Barbara, Calif.

I don't think they're ready for this jellyfish

Sea-dweller stops McConaughey in his tracks

The recent discovery of Irukundi jellyfish off the coast of Fraser Island, Australia, has stopped production of Fool's Gold, a sure-to-be-Oscar-contender starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. The teensy-tiny toxic creatures ("no larger than a thumbnail") are usually found only in northern Queensland, but -- you guessed it -- warming temperatures seem to be pushing the deadly (and we mean deadly) critters south. The upside: Now that global warming has deprived the world of the wacky romantic-comedy stylings of Matt and Kate for a few whole days, maybe the administration will finally have the motivation it needs to do something about global warming. Yeah. And maybe Matthew McConaughey will finally go a whole day without taking his shirt off in public.

It sure is sexy being green

… especially at an auto show

Possibly in an attempt to convince attendees that a green auto show actually can be sexy, the UK's Eden Project named their eco-car fiesta -- wait for it -- "the Sexy Green Auto Show." Luckily it seems to be living up to its moniker with an abundance of tempting auto treats, from a Volkswagen that gets 72 mpg to a racing car that can run on a 50 percent blend of jatropha nut biodiesel. And god bless 'em, I saw zero scantily clad babes in the show's program -- just a whole lot of carbon fiber and flex-fuel engines. Now that's sexy.

Light for your rights

So last week, my roommates were out of town. And just before they left, one of their cars was broken into and slightly trashed. Alas, this simple act of vandalism has ushered in a new era of paranoia in the house -- and in the twisted funhouse that is my brain. Needless to say, I did not sleep well while I was alone in the house. Lord knows, I could have used this stylish and oh-so-practical nightlight made from recycled cans. Its tiny beam of yellow brilliance would have shone a bit of happy reality into my nasty nighttime imaginings. Next time, I suppose.

Funny ha-ha and funny peculiar/terrifying


Oh, dear. This video is HIGH-larious. And at the same time utterly, utterly depressing. Without further ado: "What We Call the News."

Great Britain

Way to channel that consumerism!

Jane Austen. Monty Python. Ricky Gervais. My Anglophilia runs amok, people. And it just spiked again. According to easier.com, 25 percent of British motorists are planning on buying a car in the coming year -- and a full one-fifth of them have made buying a "green" car their priority. That's three times more green-thusiasm than a year ago. 'Course the number of drivers looking to buy cars in the first place could use a little help -- one-quarter seems a tad steep. Still, a big pip-pip to the British isles for at least channeling their rampant consumerism in the proper direction.

Pangea's labyrinth

Great finds in the search for green cosmetics

I smell yummy. Very very yummy. So yummy, in fact, that my roommate's dog just tried to lick all the yumminess off my face. Still, even that salivary interlude couldn't kill my French Rosemary With Sweet Orange buzz. I'm on a mission to replace all my pharmacy-bought personal care products with non-toxic, petrochemical-free alternatives. Alas, it's been slow going, especially in the skin care department. It took me years, after all, to find cleansers and moisturizers that simultaneously control my oiliness, don't dry me out, and prevent breakouts. (Sigh.) Saying good-bye to those standbys is tough.

How deep is Gore love?

That Al Gore. Such a busy guy. Apparently, in between getting nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, stealing the show at the Oscars, and testifying before Congress, he's found time to heal a former Beatle's tender heart. This, from TMZ.com: While Heather Mills dances with the stars, soon-to-be-ex hubby Paul McCartney is getting hot and heavy with a new squeeze. The beleaguered Beatle has been spotted a lot lately with Sabrina Guinness, of, yes, the Guinness Stout beer empire. Guinness, 52, was spotted recently with McCartney, his daughter Stella and her husband Alasdhair Willis. McCartney told Brit rag the Daily Mail that "I realize everyone wants to see me with a new bird right now and that's very flattering. We enjoy each other's company." The politically progressive McCartney then added that he and Guinness woo each other by talking about "stuff like the environment and Al Gore, things like that." Ah, green love.

A bad pap

Yet another reason for your bile to rise when you hear the word "paparazzi": their choice in vehicles. Check out this impressive (or should I say unimpressive?) lineup of pap-owned SUVs parked in front of Britney Spears' house last week. Couldn't a couple of you chase the starlets around in a Civic or something?

Julia styles

Julia Roberts greens up

Nothing like another child on the way to get a gal thinking about the health of the planet. Apparently, Julia Roberts, who's preggo again, is planning to green up her Malibu abode with some solar panels, recycled tiles, and sustainable wood products.