Skip to content Skip to site navigation
Grist List: Look what we found.


Comments

Vegan condoms are so passé — socially conscious rubbers are the new hotness

guy-holding-l-condoms

At this point, it’s hard to keep track of all the vegan, eco-friendly condoms. Sir Richard’s makes vegan sausage sheaths and donates one to a developing country when you buy one. Sustain Condoms are fair trade and nontoxic, if slightly insulting (uh, not all women are afraid to purchase prophylactics). And of course there’s Glyde, the grandpappy of vegan, ethical, fair-trade condoms.

That’s even without the funny ones: Oil Spill Condoms clean up the Gulf AND jizz, and Endangered Species Condoms remind you that overpopulation threatens the critters with slogans like, “In the sack? Save the leatherback [sea turtle]!”

So forgive some green raincoat fatigue when I heard about L. International. “Yet another slickly designed, one-for-one, ‘TOMS of condoms,’” I thought, dozing off. Then I realized L. was actually kinda cool.

L-condoms
L.

Its silly ad didn’t hurt (puppies! Swearing!):

Read more: Living

Comments

We want the funk

This beer tastes like crap, and that’s a good thing

sanctification-russian-river-the-great-beer-quest
The Great Beer Quest

If you’ve had a French, barrel-aged red wine, you’re familiar with the earthy (some say shitty) taste of Brettanomyces. Now the strain of wild yeast is slipping into craft beer.

Brettanomyces, or Brett for short, has a distinct “barnyard” flavor that reflects the soil it’s from. So Brett in beer could be a cool way of tasting the brew’s connection with the earth. It’s even central to some lambics and saisons. Santa Rosa, Calif., brewery Russian River makes a 100-percent Brett beer, “Sanctification.” (Forgive us, St. Brett, for the PBR we have imbibed!)

UC Davis viticulture professor Linda Bisson is one fan of the funk, according to Modern Farmer:

It can give you a nice spiciness, sometimes a clove character. To me there’s a little bit of leather -- new leather, not sweaty leather.

Read more: Food, Living

Comments

This guy is taking the world’s longest road trip in an electric car

Click to largify.
Norman Hajjar
Click to embiggen.

Have you ever driven cross-country? What about twice, AND down both coasts? That’s what Normal Hajjar is doing in a Tesla Model S: covering almost 12,000 miles in an EV, just to prove it can be done.

You’d think it’d be a pain, what with charging it all the time, but he told Fast Co. Exist the infrastructure is there:

“The reality is that it’s not difficult at all, other than the whole ordeal of driving which is the same with any gasoline vehicle. The key to this is fast-charging infrastructure.”

But the varying availability of permits, land, and electricity means charging stations are often located conveniently for the automaker, rather than strategically based on potential drivers’ routes. Tesla is one company Hajjar thinks is doing it right:

Comments

The tiny house documentary is finally (almost) here! Peek inside the result

TINY-tiny-house-documentary

Christopher Smith had never built anything before, so he figured documenting the process of building a tiny house would be interesting at the very least. The resulting film, TINY, was supposed to come out two years ago, and now it’s finally almost here. You can bring TINY to a local indie theater or wait til early summer to snag a DVD -- OR you could peek inside the house right now! [Claps eagerly like a deranged seal]

Apartment Therapy recently ran a house tour of the 127-foot space, which Smith and his partner Merete Mueller built without a plan (GUTSY!). They used recycled materials from thrift stores and junkyards, as well as supplies from hardware stores and IKEA.

tiny-house-inside-front
Ashley Poskin
Read more: Living

Comments

"A major internal flood"

There’s something worse than phosphates in England’s wastewater: A dildo

dildo-vibrator-flickr-2dogs
2 dogs

There’s actually something worse than phosphates, antidepressants, or birth control in the wastewater: your old dildo. We're not sure why someone flushed an unidentified sex toy down the sewers of Devon, England, but it sure made a mess.

According to the Exeter Express and Echo, a sewage company in southwest England has found some pretty crazy items in the waste system, beyond the usual cotton balls and condoms clogging things up:

Some of the more unusual items that have been found by our network crews include false teeth, mobile phones, plastic toilet freshener hangers, underwear, a 12-inch kitchen knife, and sex toys.

REALLY, people?! Have you not heard of Goodwill?

Other items found down the drains by technicians have included steel rods, children's toys including bicycles, a dismantled greenhouse, and a dead sheep ...

Read more: Living

Comments

Busted ant farm or bikeshare? Watch Citi Bikers swarm NYC streets

If you live in NYC, you've probably seen your fair share of Citi Bikes whiz past. But do you ever wonder where all those riders are actually going? Now that Citi Bike has released a heap of data on who's been using its system, data visualization buffs have come up with all sorts of ways to answer that question -- like a map that correlates weekend data with where to find NYC's best nightlife, or this project, which sketches out 5.5 million bikeshare trips over eight months, showing the most popular routes.

But if you really want to trance out, watch this video from Jeff Ferzoco, which traces rides through time as the city morphs from lonely ambling 2 a.m. partiers to the full-fledged ant hive of 8 a.m. commuters to clusterfucks caused by traffic delays -- till everyone goes back home, and does it all again.

Read more: Cities, Living

Comments

Donate to the Sharknado sequel and you’ll also be supporting shark conservation

Sharknado movie

Let it never be said that the producers of Sharknado 2: Sharknado Harder only care about fictional sharks that are delivered via violent weather system. They also have plenty of love in their hearts for real, living, sea-bound aquatic predators -- which is why they're sending some of the donations they collect for a fan-funded bonus scene to conservation projects.

Ecorazzi reports:

The studio reportedly became interested in supporting shark conservation and science after the huge success of “SharkNado,” and is hoping to raise at least $50,000 to pay for the fan-funded bonus scene. The studio has pledged to donate 10 percent of the contributions to the RJD Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami to further the college’s ongoing shark conservation research.

Read more: Living

Comments

With “Netflix for LEGOs,” the sharing economy just went preschool

pley-lego-rental

Kids don’t usually like to share, but the founder of Pley is betting she can change that. When an overabundance of toys was “turning [her son] into a little monster,” Elina Furman launched the LEGO-rental company to give all those little plastic bricks new life.

Once you join Pley, you can choose a monthly subscription of $15, $25, or $39, depending on how fancy and expansive you like your LEGO world. In the same vein as Netflix, your kids (or you -- no judgment) get to play with one set at a time, ship it back for free, and then eagerly await the next set in your queue. Both germaphobes and recycling junkies will admire Pley’s cleanliness routine, writes Fast Company:

Cautious parents need not fear the downside of many tiny, bacteria-laden fingers on the bricks. The company says that 15 million bricks have been washed and dried in Pley’s eco-cleaning solution, a strategy that’s reduced waste by eliminating 90,200 pounds of ABS plastic from our landfills.

Comments

Smog is linked with higher risk of suicide

poison-skull-sign-flicker
Broken Clouds

Research is piling up that air pollution is correlated with higher suicide rates. (Yet another reason to treat the cause, not just ship in bags of fresh air!)

John Upton (who also writes for Gristreports in Pacific Standard that smog in Salt Lake County is associated with higher risk of killing yourself, according to a study that looked at 1,500 suicides in the area:

[Researcher Amanda] Bakian and her colleagues found that the odds of committing suicide in the county spiked 20 percent following three days of high nitrogen dioxide pollution -- which is produced when fossil fuels are burned and after fertilizer is applied to fields.

They also found that Utahans were five percent more likely to kill themselves following three days of breathing in air laced with high levels of fine particulate matter, also known as soot.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

This could be the future of Chicago public transportation

In olden times, back when people wore pocketwatches and used the word “gallimaufry,” Chicago’s transit system was simple. People from the city outskirts took the train downtown for work, then they hopped back on the L and schlepped home.

Nowadays, shit’s different. People live even farther out than before (sprawl!). New business hubs have sprung up -- downtown isn’t the only game in town, you might say. All of this forces people into their cars. (Well, that and the fact that when you're in a car it’s harder for strangers to judge you while you eat Doritos Locos.)

So the Center for Neighborhood Technology and the Active Transportation Alliance just proposed a new, expanded transit map to serve the Chicago of today and tomorrow. Here it is, juxtaposed with the existing rail system:

chicago-transit-map-before-after
TransitFuture
Read more: Cities, Living