A parasitic caterpillar fungus that grows in the Himalayas has many names, according to Scientific American — yarsagumba, yarchagumba, yartsa gunba, yatsa gunbu. But we are only going to remember one name: Himalayan Viagra. This fungus, which leeches off of Tibetan ghost moth larvae, is said to get the fellas going when boiled and consumed in tea or soup. Oh, it also cures cancer and fights fatigue. Miracle drug! (Scientific American — always with the science! — notes, “These medical claims have not been borne out scientifically.”) As a result of its awesome properties of making everything sexy and cancer-free …
A reader frets about his caffeine-delivery equipment. Umbra gives him a dose of reality.
A reader wonders how to find a hose that's not made of PVC plastics. Umbra's not going to water down this answer.
A reader asks if it’s ethical to mine asteroids. Umbra takes us on a voyage of discovery.
How can you prevent turning red while staying green? Umbra takes on this burning issue.
Grist’s green-living pioneer, the Greenie Pig, quit shopping, cold turkey, for a month. Well, almost. What do you think -- in the No New Stuff challenge, did she pass or fail?
A reader thinks a motorized bicycle would make riding easier, but it feels like cheating. Umbra makes the call.
It’s great when celebrities get the green bug and decide they want to use their fame to tell people “hey, this climate change thing? It’s a problem.” But guys, GUYS, as much as we appreciate the support, we’re REALLY going to need you not to pull stunts like the one will.i.am just did: showing up to a meeting about climate change in a goddamn gigantic helicopter. The rapper was paying a visit to climate change expert Myles Allen, who apparently is not as exasperated about this as we are. I do believe that, as Allen put it, will.i.am is “committed …
A reader wonders what to do with all the CD cases he no longer needs. Umbra has the answers.