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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Switzerland had one wild bear, and now it’s dead

Despite abundant cheese and chocolate, Switzerland is apparently not appealing to wild bears. This becomes a lot less mysterious when you find out that officials just shot the only wild bear in the country, a brown bear called M13.

M13 probably wandered into Switzerland from Italy, ignoring the bear-hobo chalk signs saying, “Stay away, here they shoot bears.” He wasn't scared of much -- certainly not humans. He would wander through Swiss villages in broad daylight, like a tourist looking for some fondue, and had a habit of breaking into the beehives behind a local school. It was a good enough life, but it freaked the hell out of the humans he hung around. And so they shot him.

Read more: Living

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These are the youngest wild tigers ever captured on film

These four tiger cubs are only 10 days old, the youngest ones ever filmed in the wild -- and they're clearly a pain in their mom's majestic ass. They wander off and tumble down rocks while she attempts to fetch them all back, eventually getting fed up and hauling one home by the leg. (By the time she gets done with that, the first one has probably toddled off again.)

Read more: Living

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Watch rescuers save an injured bald eagle hit by a car on the highway

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The bald eagle has been the national bird and national emblem of the United States of America since 1782. We Americans encounter it on the Great Seal from a such an early age -- and we encounter so few real bald eagles -- that our brains are probably wired to render as symbolic any eagle that pops into our consciousness.

Please don't do that symbolizing thing to this week's Eagle In The News: He is a simply a beautiful, noble, eight-foot-wingspanned, government-protected bird that was hit by a car Wednesday afternoon on I-84 in Portland, Ore., while roadside dining, and is critically injured. He has a broken leg, possible paralysis, and is being watched closely at the Audubon Society to see if he will survive into today. Two lanes of traffic were shut down, for 20 minutes, to save him. Rescuers had to creep up from behind to capture and treat the guy.

Read more: Living

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There is such thing as a too-tiny house, and this is what it looks like

It should be clear to regular readers of Grist that we love us some efficient living space. Apartments, tiny houses, houses that can be carted around by bikes -- we'll take any of those more efficient, energy-saving, sprawl-avoiding living spaces.

But there is a limit. And this is it:

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SOCO

These photos come from the Society for Community Organization, a human rights organization, and they show apartments in Hong Kong. Though “apartment” might be overstating it.

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SOCO
Read more: Living

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Depressing video proves that seagulls are too dumb not to eat plastic bags

In this downer video, a seagull tries so so so so hard to eat a plastic bag, and eventually (starting around 3:30ish if you're the impatient type), it manages to choke it down.

Poor seagull. You have to wonder why it doesn't realize that what it's eating is not food. At Treehugger, Jaymi Heimbuch writes:

Don't say, "Well it just shows how stupid they are," because that's about the lamest response one can muster on this issue. The fact is we're allowing plastic to enter into the food chain eventually to eat it ourselves so we're the stupid ones.

But that is the point.

Read more: Living

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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

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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