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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Meet Green Ninja, the extremely earnest climate change superhero you didn’t know you needed

Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 8.14.32 AM

2012 was a big year for climate change. It was the hottest year on record. There were superstorms and derechos and thundersnow. You could be forgiven for getting a little depressed. But please do not  think we are alone in this battle against the warming of the planet. We have Green Ninja, a little animated green guy (in some videos he appears somewhat more awkwardly and kinda problematically as a real person, and we think there may be a branding issue here but we don't want to be naysayers), who is going to show America's youth how to fight climate change on the superhero level.

The invention of some concerned scientists, artists, and writers, Green Ninja appears in a series of skits wherein he swashbucklingly attempts to alert people to their non-planet-friendly behavior. In one, a cartoon, a man finds his feet growing to gargantuan size, and Green Ninja shows up and sorts his recycling and turns off his entertainment system and cleans his fridge. In another (mildly racist live action), Green Ninja replaces a college student's steak burrito with a chicken one, and his roommate's beef jerky with a carrot. Wait, are you the Green Ninja or Captain Vegetable?

It is perhaps beginning to dawn on you that Green Ninja does not have a terribly good sense of humor, what with his silent judgment of your lifestyle. See for yourself:

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Glow-in-the-dark shark will hit you with its light-up spines

spine
Jerome Mallefet

There's a small species of shark, just about 17 inches long, that lives deep in the dark ocean. This is that section where it's so deep and dark that practically the only light comes from the bioluminescence of the sea creatures swimming around. Living in this kind of dicey neighborhood and being only 17 inches long, the shark needs some protection from predators. Which is why it’s got long, creepy spines that look like the nails of some creature Tim Burton dreamed up.

But it's dark down here, and the shark needs some way to let predators know what's up.

Read more: Living

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Video of goats yelling like people gets funnier and funnier until you die

You probably learned at an early age that sheep say "baa" and goats say ... well, actually, I don't know what goats were supposed to say. "Maa," maybe, or "pass the delicious tin can," or "hail Satan." Anyway, it turns out that this was yet another way in which your parents and teachers tried to insulate you from the barbarity of the world, because in fact goats either scream like horror-movie victims or shout "BAA" all aggressively like a shitty actor pretending to be a sheep. Well, and one of them makes a noise that kind of reminds me of Mrs. White from Clue.

Read more: Living

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Ditch your car and get a robot ostrich instead

robot_ostrich

Even those of us who are committed to biking, walking, and public transit often have to drive sometimes. We tell ourselves it's out of necessity -- we have too far to go, we have to take the highway, we've got a lot of stuff to haul. But you know and I know the real reason: We're just waiting for the day we can trade our car for a rideable robot ostrich.

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Lady piggybacking on a great white shark is living our dream, or possibly nightmare

Here's shark conservationist Ocean Ramsey -- wait, her name is Ocean? Is that for real? Is she a mermaid who got confused about human names? She is probably a mermaid who got confused about human names. I mean, look at her! Anyway, here's shark conservationist Ocean Realhumanname Ramsey playing finsy with a great white. Because you should definitely live every week like it's Hitch a Ride on a Shark Week.

Read more: Living

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This bike-mounted grill makes us wish it was summer forever

backbrat
Mathias Hintermann

Mathias Hintermann has enabled what is, hands down, the perfect afternoon. He has invented the "Backbrat" -- a portable grill that attaches to the back of a bike. Bike to the park, set up shop, and slap your food of choice on this thing.

Here's the creation myth, as reported by Atlantic Cities:

Hintermann, a Los Angeles-area product designer ... grew up in the fertile cervelat fields of Switzerland. One day, Hintermann was considering two facets of modern urban culture -- more and more young people are cycling in groups, and groups sure do love outdoor grilling -- when the meat gods slapped him upside the face with a bolt of fat-marbled genius: Why not combine these two things into a grill for a bike?

Read more: Cities, Living

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This sloth wants to give you a flower and hold your hand

Sometimes all it takes to make your day is a small gesture of kindness -- a smile, a hug, a little present. But on those stubborn days when that’s not enough to cheer you up, perhaps you need a small gesture of kindness from a sloth.

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Digg
Read more: Living

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Parody menu shows you all the food Guy Fieri wishes he could serve

Click to embiggen
Click to embiggen.

Crisco Pokemon and television personality Guy Fieri does have a website for his restaurant Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, famously panned in the Times for such offerings as "donkey sauce." But for some reason, he put the website at guysamerican.com, leaving guysamericankitchenandbar.com free and clear. So internet samaritan Brian Mytko took it upon himself to register the domain for him, and populate it with Fieri's dream menu, all the food he wishes he could serve you if it were within the bounds of medical ethics and human decency.

Read more: Food

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This car runs entirely on coffee, just like you

Dunky, dunky, what's in the trunky?
Dunky, dunky, what's in the trunky?

OK, it only goes 65 mph, but that makes the Bean Machine the world's fastest coffee-powered car. Insert joke about cars stepping up to the counter and ordering a venti every morning, and do cars ever say "no foam," get it, because cars don't talk. But seriously, no foam. It does not run on milk. Just pellets made of coffee-grinding byproducts, which are burned for hydrogen to power the car.

The Bean Machine was designed by a British person, engineer Martin Bacon, which means it's actually also kind of cute, in a sort of under-the-radar, stubby pickup way. It's Simon Pegg cute.

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Morrissey got McDonald’s shut down for his L.A. concert

Call me morbid, call me pale, today there's no McDonald's on sale
Matt
Call me morbid, call me pale, today there's no McDonald's on sale.

Morrissey, the lugubrious former lead singer for the Smiths, made an album in 1985 called "Meat is Murder." That was 28 years ago (I KNOW), but he has not since then altered his negative opinion of the consumption of animal flesh. That's why, during the singer's March 1 concert at Los Angeles' Staples Center, the venue's McDonald's will be closed. Yes, Morrissey is a pretty powerful dude.

We don't know if it's the British accent or just his general demeanor, but we do know this: Paul McCartney asked the Staples Center to shut down McDonald's too, and he got nowhere. (So, OK, it's not the British accent.) Former Beatle? Next! Goth hero with pompadour? RIGHT AWAY SIR.

Read more: Food