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Grist List: Look what we found.


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

richard_turere

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.

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

elephants
wwarby

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

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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

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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.

bug_art
Steven Kutcher and darkling beetle
Read more: Living

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

bigdog_cinderblock

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.

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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

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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.