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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Vultures will eat your car

vultures
hyperion327

Vultures have a reputation as serious scavengers: You don't want to know what they'll do with a delicious cow carcass. But it turns out that you can't leave these guys alone with your fancy car, either, because they will eat it, and if they don’t eat it, they will at the very least poop all over it. At least, the ones living in the Everglades will. The Miami Herald reports:

Nothing has curbed the curious appetite that migrating vultures have developed for windshield wipers, sunroof seals and other rubber and vinyl vehicle parts. So this winter, the park is shifting to purely defensive tactics against the big birds, expanding a program that provides visitors at the most trouble-prone sites loaner “anti-vulture kits” consisting of blue plastic tarps and bungee cords.

Apparently, vultures also have been known to eat roof shingles and pool screens, and scientists don't really know why they do it.

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Supermarket is saving $80 million a year just by putting doors on its refrigerators

Thank you in advance for putting doors around us so as to conserve energy
Daderot
Close the damn door!

You know how when you were a teenager (or a 20-something living on your parents' couch) and you stood around with the refrigerator door hanging open, and your mom would be all "hey, I'm not paying to cool the whole neighborhood"? Well, when supermarkets leave the produce and meat and dairy sitting out in the open, they are paying to cool the whole store, because those veggies are essentially sitting in an open refrigerator. That costs a lot, first of all, and second of all it wastes a lot of energy and precious resources. U.K. supermarket chain the Co-operative has decided to put an end to this rather silly practice, and has equipped 100 of its stores with produce refrigerators that have doors. The Co-operative estimates it will save about $80 million a year with this practice.

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Plastic bottle birdhouse is the most sickeningly adorable recycling ever

bottle_birdhouse_colectivo_da_rainha
Colectivo da Rainha

It was only a matter of time. They make everything out of plastic bottles. Jeans. Furniture. Buildings. Mayonnaise. And now, the most twee, Portlandia-esque plastic bottle object possible: bird feeders. Is that adorable or what? Look at that thing. Look at that adorable bird in her hand. Jesus.

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If you were affected by Sandy, these scientists want your dirt

sandy_mud
drpavloff

Hey, people living near the Rockaways or Newtown Creek or the Gowanus Canal: Scientists want to look at your dirt. If you happen to have saved the dirt that entered your house as a result of superstorm Sandy, you're going to want to make sure you get it to Neil Fitzgerald of Marist College and Alison Spodek Keimowitz of Vassar College so that they can check it out. If you already cleaned off all the dirt, well, I guess you just hate science.

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More and more hospitals are telling McDonald’s to take a hike

big_mac
Evan Amos

For over 20 years, if you found yourself at the Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., with a big craving for a Big Mac, you would have been in luck. You could have gone right past the cafeteria, with its presumably medically approved food, and had yourself a ball stuffing your face with fat, carbs, and non-organic animal protein. Alas, this magical experience is no longer going to be available to you, because Truman Medical Center is getting rid of its McDonald’s. So are a lot of other hospitals. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago moved this year, but did not pack the McDonald’s. At Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky., the lease with McDonald's ends in four years, and the hospital does not plan to renew.

Read more: Food

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This graph will make you think twice about eating organic

Click to embiggen.

If you suck at science, this graph from Reddit user jasonp55 ought to scare you off organic food forever. And if you're constantly looking for "the real cause of increasing autism prevalence," chances are you kinda suck at science, so ... perfect!

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This is what your city would look like without light pollution

San Francisco
Thierry Cohen
San Francisco

Photographer Thierry Cohen's "Darkened Cities" series shows what the night sky might look like after humans and their light pollution are wiped off the planet. Without electric lights, human-made structures are reduced to geometrical patterns against a starlight-filled sky.

New York, Ground Zero
Thierry Cohen
New York, Ground Zero
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People will go out of their way to hit turtles with cars, because people are jerks

Bad People Run Me Over
Screw all y'all.

A student at Clemson University made a disturbing discovery when he placed a rubber turtle in the road and spent an hour watching what passing cars would do. Out of 257 cars that passed, seven of them tried to hit the turtle. Down the road at Western Carolina State University, a psychology professor asked a class of about 110 students whether they had intentionally ever run over a turtle. Thirty-five of them had.

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This tiny tricycle house lets you bring your home with you

Tricycle-House-and-Tricycle-Garden-by-PAO-and-PIDO-9-568x410
The Tricycle House is a dream come true for anyone who imagined living life like a snail, with a home to crawl into wherever you happen to land at the end of the day. It comes from China (which means that it was designed by the real actual communists at the People's Architecture Office and People's Industrial Design Office), and it's basically a tiny house attached to a bicycle.

Tricycle-House-and-Tricycle-Garden-by-PAO-and-PIDO-2-568x410
PAO
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You spend up to three months a year searching through your clutter

cluttered_garage
Earthworm

We know, we know: Despite your best intentions, you bought people nice presents and received some in return. Now you have that much more stuff that you have to find a place for and deal with. But it’s not too late to resolve to declutter in the new year -- and bonus, you could save yourself up to three months of wasted time.

It turns out that we all spend a stupid amount of time wandering around our homes, trying to find stuff we probably didn't need to begin with, CNN reports:

[National Association of Professional Organizers] Industry Member Director Mary Dykstra says that on average, Americans waste time amounting to between six and 12 weeks a year searching for things in their offices and homes.

Now, one option would be to go out and buy a bunch more stuff to organize the stuff you already have. But another is option is simply to have less stuff.

Read more: Living