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Grist List: Look what we found.


Coca-Cola-funded study: ‘People get fat because of, uh, literally anything besides soda’

Ajax All Purpose Blog

I was already pretty irked when I heard about a study that said women gain weight because they don't do enough work around the house, but I mostly resolved to ignore it because it is dumb. What I didn't realize at first, though, is that it was funded by the Coca-Cola company. Suddenly, the frantic flailing for any bullshit, sexist, non-soda-related explanation for U.S. average weight gain makes a lot more sense.

The study looked at a bunch of diaries and found that women averaged 13 hours a week doing housework in 2010, compared to 26 hours in 1965. They also spend more time sitting at computers than they did in 1965, for some mysterious reason. Boom: An explanation for why we as a country tend to weigh more, one that doesn't have to account for tricky variables like food culture, weight thresholds, health care, potential hormone disruption, the idea that women are capable of doing other active things besides housework, or the existence of men!

Read more: Food


Don’t try to get anything done in D.C., even driving

Peter Dutton

We already know Washington, D.C.,  has the worst gridlock in the world. But now we know it has the worst traffic too. HEYOOOOO

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute has just put out its annual Urban Mobility Report [PDF], and D.C. can proudly proclaim that it remains No. 1, based on data collected in 2011. If you are living and driving in D.C., you can expect to lose 67 hours a year and 32 gallons of gas to traffic gridlock. And you can expect to spend roughly $1,400 a year on the problem.

Read more: Cities


Help your favorite species win this March Madness tournament for best animal of all time


Fellow animal lovers, rejoice: No longer will we have to bite our nails with worry, wondering whether otters are better than sloths or sloths are better than walruses. Buzzfeed is running a March Madness tournament for the cutest things nature has to offer, and when it's done we'll all know for certain which animal is best. At least this year.

Although, wait ... are there no sloths in this tournament? I CALL SHENANIGANS.

Read more: Living


This bizarre-looking bike went 127 miles per hour


In 1962, José Meiffret used this odd-looking bike to ride down the German Autobahn at an incredible, record-breaking 127 miles per hour. That gigantic gear had 130 teeth. The bike had wooden rims to keep it from overheating. It weighed 45 pounds. And it went fast. As. Hell.

Bike Hugger

Meiffert practiced a type of cycling called "motor-paced racing" in which, rather than riding with a group of other cyclists, the racer rides behind a motorcycle or a car equipped with a wind-screen. American Cyclist explained it like this, in a 1965 article on Meiffret's exploits:

Racing behind motorist is quite different from racing in a group. Behind motors, the speed is higher, the pedaling faster, the concentration greater. It is like a continuous sprint. A motor-paced rider must have suppleness rather than strength. And he must have flair.

Also, a high tolerance for risk. Riding at these speeds -- 70, 80, 90 miles per hour -- isn't exactly safe. And Meiffert's attempt to ride faster than 200 kmh -- 124 mph -- easily could have killed him.

Read more: Living


13-year-old genius from Kenya is saving lions with LEDs


In the video below, 13-year-old Richard Turere says quite explicitly that lions are his enemy. So why did he invent a simple LED-based invention that will help protect struggling lion populations? Well, because the LEDs keep the big cats from eating cows belonging to Richard's family and neighbors in Nairobi National Park, which means fewer lions have to be killed to protect local livelihoods. Cows benefit, people benefit, and lions benefit too.


Practically all of the forest elephants are dead :( :(


In Africa, there are forest elephants and there are savannah elephants. Forest elephants are smaller than savannah elephants and also less likely to be featured in a Disney movie. They also have more beautiful tusks and are therefore being hunted down even more aggressively -- a new study found that the number of forest elephants in Africa has dropped by two-thirds over the past decade, to just 100,000. The Guardian reports:

Forest elephants have suffered particularly badly because they range across central Africa, which has been left lawless in large areas by war, and where poachers have ready access to guns. Furthermore, the tusks of forest elephants are longer, straighter and harder than savannah elephants, making them particularly sought after. "A lot of carvers prefer forest elephant tusks," said [Wildlife Conservation Society]'s vice president, Elizabeth Bennett.

Read more: Living


This 8-year-old understands global warming better than most of Congress

atheistcats_kid_drawingClick to embiggen.

Reddit user atheistcats posted this picture of a drawing by his (or her) (but let's be real, his) boss's 8-year-old daughter. It's not a perfect depiction of how global warming works -- for instance, there's no obvious depiction here of the greenhouse effect, the role of human activity is not addressed, and the sun doesn't have scary teeth in real life. But it still demonstrates a better grasp of how global warming works than most of Congress or anyone at Fox News.

Read more: Climate & Energy


That’s not just a bug, that’s an amazing artist who happens to be a bug

This was painted by a bug
Steven Kutcher and hissing cockroach
This was painted by a bug.

Steven Kutcher is not the kind of entomologist who wantonly sticks bugs on pins in display cases. He is the kind of entomologist who lovingly applies non-toxic paint to a bug's feet, lets the bug walk around on a damp piece of paper or canvas to create a tiny masterpiece, and then carefully cleans the bug off when done.

Steven Kutcher and darkling beetle
Read more: Living


A robot that throws cinderblocks means that humans will no longer be employed to throw cinderblocks


Starship Troopers is one of my favorite films, so I just couldn't help but warm to this sort of rough-trade, clacking, kind of crude robot who is the total doppelgänger of the film's "bad guys." This robot, nicknamed BigDog, could already run four miles per hour and carry over 300 pounds, but its creators at Boston Dynamics (some dudes from MIT) apparently decided it was time for it to learn a useful trade. And that trade is throwing cinderblocks. Watch it do so below.


Goats yelling like humans, part 2: Electric WHY IS THIS STILL FUNNY

I'm not sure how Grist List ended up on the "goats yelling like humans" beat, but ... OK now that I put it that way, it seems pretty self-explanatory. Anyway, those yelling goats are just not going to stop until they've conquered YouTube, so here's a second screaming-goat supercut to fulfill your laughing-until-you-die requirements.

Read more: Living