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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Brazil’s Carnival now runs on pee

let's be sexy for a while and then pee in the turbine-equipped urinal
Jacopo Werther
Let's be sexy for awhile and then go pee.

Last month was Carnival time in Rio. Which means lots of partying and lots of sexy women wearing very little and also lots of drinking and peeing. Is the pee thing a buzzkill? Well sorry. You can't just make people stop peeing. Especially drunk people. Luckily there is a samba-lution to all of this: portable toilets that can actually use pee to power sound systems used for the event.

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Instead of getting demolished, this Japanese building is slowly shrinking away

shrinking_building

If you want to get rid of a building, you're pretty much stuck blowing it up. It's not ideal, especially in a city where there are other structures around that could be damaged, but buildings are large, and designed to be permanent, and it's not like you can convince them to just shrink down to nothingness -- can you?

Well, a Japanese construction company is doing a pretty good job with this hotel. Instead of using explosives -- dangerous in a densely populated area -- it's taking apart each floor from the inside, then sliding the building's cap down a level, then repeating until the whole thing is gone.

Read more: Cities

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Egyptian locust plague just happens to occur right before Passover

locusts
nivs

I’m pretty sure that when I was a kid at Sunday school we had to make a fake newspaper whose front page trumpeted "Plague of Locusts Afflicts Egypt." But now that’s a real headline (though it loses something without my epic crayon drawing of the pharaoh). Just three weeks before Passover -- the Jewish holiday celebrating the Exodus story, 10 plagues and all -- an unusually large and hungry swarm of locusts, the eighth plague, is descending on Egyptian lands.

Read more: Living

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Soon they’ll be able to 3D-print you a hybrid car

It's just like my Yaris only maybe even cheaper.
It's just like my Yaris only maybe even cheaper.

Cars suck: They use a lot of gas, and they need to be built in factories out of metal. So 20th century. The Urbee (cute name, right?) could change all that: It's a hybrid car that can go up to 110 miles an hour and carry over 1,200 pounds, and it's made using a 3D printer.

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This site is like Etsy, but with products that are actually good for the planet

One of the great consumer confusions of our time is the fact that there is a difference between "local"/"artisanal" and "actually good for the planet." Often, a given a product is all three -- made locally, with environmental awareness, by an intrepid, craftsy individual. There's no guarantee, though, and if you care more about actual environmental friendliness than about making your lifestyle resemble that of a hipster fairy in the woods, you might want to skip Etsy and instead spend your internet dollars at a place like EcoMarket.

Treehugger explains:

Co-founders Liam Patterson and Jason Dainter are two young gents from Leeds University that started EcoMarket to help bring attention to the types of business owners you might find at your local farmers market. Today, the marketplace features more than 10,000 products from 1,600 sellers.

EcoMarket describes itself as being something like an Etsy for Eco, which makes sense for consumers that are wanting an easy way to identify small businesses that have been vetted for organic, ethical and eco-practices. Like your local farmer's market, EcoMarket encourages shoppers to learn about the story of each seller.

Read more: Living

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Super-convincing fake egg is made entirely from plants

OK, it doesn't look like this. But it TASTES like this.
OK, it doesn't look like this. But it TASTES like this.

It's not easy to make a real egg. First of all, you have to get a real chicken. Then you have to find a real place to put it, then you have to find real food to feed it so it stays alive. It's quite a production, and sometimes the chicken doesn't enjoy itself so much, seeing as a couple hundred generations ago chickens were just running around willy-nilly and now, generally, their lives suck.

So, to the rescue -- what else -- Californians! A San Francisco company called Hampton Creek Foods (is there a Hampton Creek in San Francisco? I think there is NOT) has created an egg substitute. It is called Beyond Eggs. It supposedly tastes just like real eggs. It is cheaper than real eggs. It does not require that a pesky chicken to exist for it to be eaten.

Read more: Food

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Possibly the most controversial food infographic ever made

Click to embiggen.
GraphJam.com
Click to embiggen.

Congratulations, anonymous graph maker: Basically everyone is going to find something here that they absolutely cannot tolerate in silence.

Read more: Food

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It’s Friday, let’s hang out with baby goats all day

It's Friday! It's March! It's almost spring! Let's celebrate like Heidi would by hanging out with baby goats.

We're gonna go craaaazy:

And do some goat hurdles:

Now we're on a bucket.  Now we're on a stump. On a stump! On a stump! Now we're on a bucket!

What is this thing you call "seesaw"?

Read more: Living

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This bike is so light even a kid can lift it

pg-bikes-blackbraid-carbonfiber-3
PG Bikes

This bike is called the BlackBraid, and it weighs only 11 pounds. It's so light that even this little kid can lift it up over her head.

Fast Company explains how this magic happens:

The frame is of particular note. It’s what gives the bike its unbelievable lightness, and it’s also the BlackBraid’s namesake. Crafted from specially braided carbon fiber developed by a partner in Munich, the tubes have incredible rigidity, despite being mostly air. Carbon components have been sourced through much of the rest of the bike as well, including the chainwheel, sprocket, and chain.

Read more: Living

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Affectless hipster invents, what else, an Oreo separating machine

And then the oreo is chopped in half and it rules
The Oreo is chopped in half with a hatchet and it rules.

Portland resident David Neevel's self-description as a "physicist and copywriter" leads one to suspect he has talents in neither field. But one thing is beyond a doubt: The man is capable of building an effective, if perhaps not elegant, Oreo-separating machine to satisfy his passionate "dislike for cream" and "preference for cookies."

The other thing that's beyond doubt is that he has a real scene-stealer of  mustache. I asked my friend Heather, "What do you call that kind of mustache?" and she said, "A health hazard."

Read more: Food