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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Monkey runs around Toronto IKEA in adorable jacket

Can you please tell me where to get some normal ice cube trays, that aren't for fourteen year old girls?
dzd_liza
Can you please tell me where to get some normal ice-cube trays that aren't for 14-year-old girls?

What's cuter than a monkey in a shearling coat running around an IKEA store in Toronto? The answer to that riddle is FUCKING NOTHING and if you don't believe me just look and then if you still don't look harder.

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The condoms of the future could disappear when you’re done with them

Sperm caught in a nanofiber mesh.
University of Washington
Sperm caught in a nanofiber mesh.

Condoms! We love you! Now go away.

Seriously, condoms are great for public health and for controlling how many babies you want to have, but they've got a LOT of room for improvement. They're messy, they're a pain to use, and some people are allergic to latex. Which is why researchers at the University of Washington are trying to improve the prophylactic paradigm, replacing the humble cocksheath with a space-age nano-fabric that's actually woven out of medication.

Read more: Living

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Holy crap it used to take forever to get anywhere in this country

Oh Hmmm... maybe I will just stay home.
Oh hmmm ... maybe I will just stay home.

Louis C.K. was on Conan last year and his visit was much shared on Facebook and Twitter because he made the very good point that bitching about air travel is kind of stupid, considering that it used to take for fucking EVER to get anywhere. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, that we should all be sitting there in our seats not complaining about how small they are, and how little leg room we have, but marveling over the miracle of flight. Looking at these old maps of travel times, ranging from 1800 to 1930, I am rather inclined to agree with him. OK, yes, there's the whole thing where fast travel burns fossil fuels that will kill us all, but consider the alternative!

travel_1830

Read more: Cities

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Doctors save elephant’s eyesight with historic cataract operation

elephant_eye
Tarique Sani

Duchess the elephant weighs 4.4 tons,  she only has one eye left (she lost the first to glaucoma) and the other one is riddled with cataracts. Lucky for Duchess she has a lot of nice people who care about her and want to help her and those people are giving her a cataract operation. It's only the second elephant cataract surgery ever performed.

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Green is the official color of 2013

pantone_emerald
Next year, it will finally be easy being green -- or, if not easy, at least popular. Because Pantone has declared emerald green, Pantone shade 17-5641, to be the official color of 2013.

OK, so that doesn't necessarily translate into green actions, green concerns, or green priorities. But there will probably be green shoes and green nail polish, at least according to Pantone's trained chromatognosticators. Baby steps, right?

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This gravity-powered lamp could bring nearly free lighting to the developing world

gravity light
GravityLight

Two London designers spent four years developing this gravity-powered light, which, now that it exists, seems like such a simple and obvious idea that it's a mystery why no one thought of it before. It works any time of day or night, and could be super, super cheap -- the designers' target is less than $5.

For now, though, they're raising money through Indiegogo to get the lights into off-the-grid communities to test out. Here's the plan:

We will gift them to villagers in both Africa and India to use regularly. The follow-up research will tell us how well the lights met their needs, and enable us to refine the design for a more efficient MK2 version. Once we have proved the design, we will be looking to link with NGOs and partners to distribute it as widely as possible. 

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Awesome metal squid will guard your bike

bikesquid
bananavich

This squid, modeled after "a deep-sea creature that might be found at the depths of Puget Sound," has been guarding bikes in Seattle -- up to eight at a time -- since May.

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The Curiosity rover left space trash all over Mars

Debris from one of Curiosity's tungsten blocks.
NASA
Debris from one of Curiosity's tungsten blocks.

Being a robot rolling around on the surface of Mars is a little like being the first one to walk on freshly fallen snow. In an untouched landscape, everything you do looks kind of cataclysmic. In that sense, we're sympathetic to NASA's Curiosity rover -- it may have had the best intentions to take only pictures and leave only awesome Morse code footprints. But its mere arrival on Mars scattered the planet with debris. There's humanity for you. Even our science pollutes.

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Move over, Marlboro man — here comes the Marlboro bird!

Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Or put 'em in your nest.
splashdolphin
Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Or put 'em in your nest.

Birds are very smart. They have always used aromatic plants like lavender and yarrow to deter certain insects from invading their nests, and in the modern age, they have come up with a repellant which is perhaps more toxic and less fragrant, but nonetheless effective: cigarette butts.

Read more: Living

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China has plans for a victory garden in space

The Chinese have figured out how to make a bio-dome IRL. Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin have not.
The Chinese have figured out how to make a bio-dome IRL. Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin have not.

Everyone knows fresh vegetables are really good for you. The Chinese are not going to skimp on proper nutrition while colonizing the Moon and Mars, so they are trying to figure out how to grow vegetables there.

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