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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Socially and sexually deviant species of octopus shares room with preteen girl

I am rare and was discovered in the 70s.
Dr. Roy Caldwell

The recent story of the unusual Larger Pacific Striped Octopus wanders off in exactly eight directions, one for each of its tentacles. It is therefore difficult to know where to begin, or end, or focus one's attention.

1. The species was only discovered very recently, in Nicaragua in the late 1970s. Its preference for living 130 feet underwater, near the murky mouths of rivers, made it virtually unspottable by divers. A Panamanian biologist named Arcadio Rodaniche discovered it, and he wrote up his findings in a 1991 paper that was never published.

2. Although the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus was discovered more than 35 years ago, two scientists, Roy Caldwell and Richard Ross, last week issued a press release to let people know about the species. It's been sort of neglected by everyone but Caldwell and Ross, and they are choosing this moment to say "Hey, look at this rare and unusual octopus. Stop ignoring it. It is special." (I paraphrase.)

Read more: Living

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These houses share a backyard, but it would take two hours to walk from one to the other

Click to embiggen.
Click to embiggen.

The houses marked A and B on this map are essentially touching butts, and yet if you wanted to drive from one to the other it would take nearly 20 minutes. And god forbid you wanted to walk -- if you stick to the roads, that would take more than two hours. 

Read more: Cities

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Pollution may be endangering otter penises

otters 04
"Not tonight, dear, I'm self-conscious about my dong."

If you needed another reason why we don't want harmful pollution in our waterways, try this one on for, ahem, size: Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in U.K. rivers may be shrinking otters' penises.

otters 12
"Noooooooooooo! My weenie!"

Researchers surveying otters in England and Wales found that the average weight of their penis bones has decreased over time. This of course raises an important question: "Otters have BONES in their PENISES??" The answer is yes; like other mustelids and rodents, male otters have a wang-bone called a baculum, because mustelids and rodents are a walking boner joke. But the new data raises another, less pressing question too: Why is this happening? Scientists think human-made endocrine-disrupting chemicals are to blame.

Read more: Living

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Watch a man jump into freezing water to save a dog stranded on an ice floe

I'd like to think I would be this guy, leaping into Siberian waters to save a stranded dog. But realistically I ... no, you know what? Fuck it, I'm not doing this charade where I pretend I wouldn't do this in order to be humble. I WOULD TOTALLY DO THIS. I care way more about dogs than about not getting hypothermia. But I still think this guy is a hero, and this video is utterly heartwarming.

Read more: Living

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Homemade dehydrated food lets you cook dinner just four times a year

canning
Chiot's Run

Julie Languille has an idea that's so good and wholesome and savvy that it makes me exhausted just thinking about it. Her larder is stocked with whole, ready-made dehydrated meals, which she cooks in batches of 40 at a time, Smithsonian writes. And unlike the pre-prepared food you can buy in a store, this food is actually good for you:

“The meals that I have on hand are tastier than the commercially prepared dried foods,” says Languille, who doesn’t use any artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives in her recipes, save for a few packets of oxygen absorbers, which keep food from changing color or growing mold.

By putting a lot of work in at the front end, Languille saves time when she actually gets around to serving these meals -- all she needs to do is add water.

Read more: Food, Living

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Horse meat shows up in IKEA meatballs

First the horse meat showed up in Ireland and in England. Then it came to France. It showed up in supermarkets and frozen lasagna. It appeared at Burger King. It was linked to the mafia. And we laughed and shook our heads and moved on with our days because those places are mostly far away and we don't eat Burger King.

But then the horse meat showed up at IKEA.

The company had tested its own meatballs and come up empty. But now Czech authorities have said they found traces of horse meat in the company's Swedish meatballs, and IKEA is pulling them from the shelves "in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland," according to The New York Times.

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No offense, Michelle Obama, but there are way less boring ways for you and Big Bird to promote healthy eating

Listen, I love Michelle Obama. L.O.V.E. F.L.O.T.U.S., OK? I am constantly staggered that we have a first lady this cool in my lifetime. But this PSA with Big Bird is a complete snore.

Ugh really? That's your pitch? "I like to eat healthy fruits and vegetables. Some also have peels." YOU ARE COOLER THAN THIS, MICHELLE. (I'm not sure about you, Big Bird. I don't like your new voice.)

Remember the healthy eating promotions from the heyday of Sesame Street? I MEAN. Captain Vegetable!

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Obviously you want to watch this dog feed a baby lamb from a bottle

If you weren't seriously, seriously in need of this after the week you've just had, then fuck you and your perfect life. The rest of us will be under our desks, drinking from flasks and watching Jess the awesomely named English springer spaniel feed an orphaned baby lamb.

Read more: Living

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This may be the most fun bus stop in the world

For a brief shining moment, if you went to the URL posted on this New York bus kiosk, you'd get a surprise ride to your destination -- from a fancy sports car, a circus bus, or a sled pulled by huskies. The marketing stunt was advertising some kind of mobile something something, but we don't care because SLED DOGS. 

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Artist teaches bugs to build awesome jeweled sculptures

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Hubert Duprat

The larvae of the caddisfly build themselves weird little sarcophagi from sand, shells, and other riverbed junk. But that's just because they live near ponds and streams -- they'll build out of whatever raw material is lying around. So French artist Hubert Duprat provided the larvae with gold, jewels, and pearls, and let them fashion themselves the most ornate, luxurious caddis houses ever known to man or insect.

You can watch the caddis larvae building houses in this video of Duprat's work, starting at around 2:33.

Read more: Living