This seems to be a hard week for everyone, probably because nighttime is lasting like 26 hours a day and we all want to hibernate. What to do? Well, how about watching this time-lapse video of a total solar eclipse? Seeing the shadow sweep over the landscape and -- this is the crucial part -- go away again ought to restore your hope for the future. For a little while, anyway.
This roughly 2,000-square-foot office building was built by two German architects who are brothers out of compressed recycled paper. That's not surprising. After all, if anyone is going to build something out of paper that kind of looks like a late modernist painting it's going to be two German brothers named Dratz.
So obviously this thing is cool-looking. And here's the inside, also cool-looking:
It's McRib season, bitches! And this year there's more on the line than your annual intake of demoralized sad pigs and azodicarbonamide, which is used to make gym mats and shoes. This time, it's all about saving McDonald's bacon.
You know how we're still in that recession that Obama caused, because he is a commie? Well, even McDonald's is not immune. Profits are floundering. The head of U.S. operations stepped down. Between Taco Bell and Wendy's and etc., etc., etc., there's just a hell of a lot of fast food out there to sample and people are frickin' busy eating shit that's not McDonald's. So McDonald's is taking off the gloves, and they are fighting back the only way they know how: McRib style! Starting Dec. 17, you will be able to order this coveted cult sandwich again. Is this a great country or what?
Mother Jones editors admit that sometimes, maybe, readers might catch them "posting scary stories about how your consumer choices are ruining everything." We do our fair share of this at Grist, as well, and so it is with particular glee that we share with you MoJo's Eco-Doom Headline Generator, for all your climate apocalypse headline needs.
Our favorites so far:
Did the Captain of Larry Ellison's Yacht Once Harm This Tiny Baby Octopus?
Will Chickens Give Your Kids Cancer?
Did Eric Cantor Just Decimate the Everglades?
Does Friending Your Exes Unfairly Malign Organic Tomatoes?
Is TEDx Secretly Harming Newborn Babies?
We'll let you in on a little secret: One of these is actually a real story! (Take a guess which one.)
From time to time, we have a little freak-out about all the foods climate change is going to take away from us. Like chocolate. And coffee. And bourbon. But, though we’re reluctant to admit this, a lot of these food items are luxuries. (All of them but bourbon, in fact.) Today we are having a slightly bigger freak-out, because we're thinking about how we could possibly deal with a world where there is no more pasta.
No more spaghetti. No more penne covered in pesto. No more fettuccine in creamy alfredo sauce. No more stuffed shells or orecchietti or lasagna. No more soft, perfect ravioli. OK, now we’re getting into luxuries again, but for real: Tons of people depend on pasta as a staple. This is serious.
Here is basically all you need to know about this, from Newsweek:
Wheat is a cool-season crop. High temperatures are negative for its growth and quality. …
Pasta is made from wheat, and a large, growing body of scientific studies and real-world observations suggest that wheat will be hit especially hard as temperatures rise and storms and drought intensify in the years ahead. …
Extreme and volatile weather patterns are especially threatening to durum [pasta wheat], which is more finicky than conventional wheat varieties. If too much rain falls at the wrong time, durum’s quality can be ruined.
And do not think this will happen in some apocalyptic future. No. It's happening now, Newsweek reports:
The Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years, so it was very kind and ambitious of Buzzfeed contributor Mitchell Moffit to put together this claymation/magic marker video that compresses this lengthy history into a 24-hour period.
The most expensive cheese in the world comes from a donkey farm in Zasavica, Serbia. About 100 donkeys live on the farm, and they're milked three times daily. While in normal cheesemaking a pound of cheese requires about a gallon of milk to make, it takes more than three gallons of donkey milk to make a pound of this donkey cheese. And that pound of donkey cheese costs about $500.
“Aha,” you say, “luckily I am a rich idiot with a powerful hunger for donkey cheese!” Well, buster, if you want any you'll have to go through Novak Djokovic, ranked No. 1 in men's tennis singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals. The best men's tennis player in the world has bought up all of the donkey cheese. Every single last bit of it.
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.
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.
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!